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Showing posts from July, 2011

Madam al Qaeda on trial in Saudi Arabia

Arab News:

The Criminal Court in Jeddah has started hearing the case of Haila Al-Qusayyer, a 47-year-old alleged terror financier referred to by fellow militants as Madam Al-Qaeda and Umm Al-Rabab.

The prosecution has accused Al-Qusayyer of joining Al-Qaeda, harboring wanted criminals and recruiting members for Al-Qaeda. She was also accused of financing terrorist activities, carrying weapons to be used in terrorist activities and joining the fight in troubled areas. She is charged with forging identifications for those who wanted to travel abroad to join terrorist organizations.

The court heard the charges filed against Al-Qusayyer, who was with a number of her relatives. Al-Qusayyer appointed two of her family members to defend her.

The judge gave them until after Ramadan to respond to the list of charges filed against her. The judge also agreed to allow her relatives to attend the upcoming court sessions. The judge approved the request of one of her relatives to prevent the media fr…

Pakistan's Afghan border remains most dangerous area in the world

BBC:

The top US military officer has said the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan is still the world's most dangerous area, calling it the epicentre of terrorism.

In a BBC interview Adm Mike Mullen again called on Pakistan to end "safe havens" there.

Adm Mullen has been visiting US bases in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

The trip could be Adm Mullen's last to the region before he retires as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

Adm Mullen said his biggest worry, as he neared the end of his four-year tenure, was continued instability in Pakistan's tribal areas along the Afghan border.

He said that despite the death of Osama Bin Laden, plenty of bin Laden acolytes were still plotting operations beyond the region.

He has often raised this issue with senior Pakistani military leaders.

"Probably one of the things I've learned is that I'm a little bit more impatient and I'd like to see things happen more quickly," Adm Mullen said.

&q…

Norway mass murderer maybe crazy. but not insane

Independent:

Breivik demands to be made head of army, but may not be deemed insane
I think in Norway he actually gets a life term if he is insane, but 15 to 20 years for mass murder.  It evidently is a good country for a killing spree.  In a country with stronger laws he would get the death penalty.

Texas in running for Chicago Board of Trade offices

David Freddoso says Texas along with Florida and Tennessee are candidates for a move by the Board of Trade which is trying to escape confiscatory Illinois taxes.

Tough deal to swallow for Democrats?

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This photo from the Washington Times show Democrats who appear to be swallowing their tongues as the deal on debt ceiling is announced.  The NY Times reports that the framework of the deal will be explained to the party caucuses Monday.  I think the picture may give away the story though.

Both sides have been playing chicken, but the Democrats' problem is that they have to govern and they will be held accountable for not getting a deal done.

Left unhappy with proposed deal

Caucus Blog, NY Times:

Liberals began tearing into President Obama and Democrats on Sunday, accusing them of caving to Republican demands even before final details of a debt ceiling agreement have been announced.

In a scathing statement based on early reports, MoveOn.org said the “debt deal has gone from bad to worse” and they called it “extremely troubling that it now appears that some Democrats are willing to give in to Republican demands to make this already disastrous plan worse for working families.”

...There is much more.

On the flip side Republican leaders are saying they are getting most of what they want in the deal. With secret negotiations it is hard to tell, but the outline seems to be close to what Boehner has been pushing, which certainly was not an easy sell for his caucus.

 I expect the final deal will disappoint some on both sides, but it will avoid a shutdown of some services and appears to be a change of direction on spending that voters demanded in the 2010 electio…

Obamacare still a target for cuts in future deals

Brian Hughes:

President Obama's contested health care overhaul will become a larger target in the wake of a bitter and protracted debt ceiling debate as a major cause of the nation's exploding debt, analysts say.
Amid wrangling over raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, Obama has rebuffed efforts to scale back his health care overhaul, taking a hard line that has left large potential savings untapped, some say.

Analysts argue that any serious plan to bring down the deficit must address mounting health care costs, something lacking in both GOP and Democratic proposals.

"Despite his assurances, Obamacare doesn't bend [downward] the cost curve at all," said Kathryn Nix, a health care policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "It's going to blow up costs. So, no, we can't take this off the table in the debt debate."

...There is much more.

A new Republican administration will probably look to cut the whole Obamacare monstrosity. It w…

Juarez cartel lead hit man captured, faces extradition to US

AP/Houston Chronicle:

A former police officer who allegedly admits ordering 1,500 killings during a campaign of terror as a drug gang chieftain along the U.S. border has been captured in northern Mexico, federal officials said Sunday.

Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez also is a suspect in last year's slaying of a U.S. consulate employee near a border crossing in Ciudad Juarez.

...

Acosta, 33, was caught Friday in the northern city of Chihuahua along with his bodyguard, said Ramon Pequeno, head of the federal police anti-drug unit. Without offering details on the capture, he said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration helped by providing information. Acosta's arrest was not confirmed until Sunday, just before officials displayed him to journalists in Mexico City.

...There is much more. He apparently confessed to 1,500 killings including the hit on US consular officials that killed three. His contacts within the police force in Juarez made it a very dangerous occupation for the h…

A smart lawyer from Arkansas, looks at congressional race

Kenneth Tomlison:

Why did Arkansas Democrat Mike Ross suddenly announce last week he is not running for reelection for the Fourth Congressional District seat he has held with ease for six terms?

Many linked his decision to his desire to run for governor in 2014, but insiders also recognize that next fall Ross was about to be confronted with the strongest challenger of his congressional career, in the person of Republican Tom Cotton of Yell County near Dardanelle.

That’s the same place that was made a household name in True Grit, as in “My name is Mattie Ross of near Dardanelle in Yell County.” But the story of Tom Cotton which is about to unfold in his congressional campaign is strictly nonfiction.

A rural Arkansas farm boy, Cotton made his way to Harvard and Harvard Law, where he graduated with distinction, with a stop to study at the Claremont Graduate University in between.

Cotton was walking out of a law school class when he learned terrorists had struck the World Trade Center. A w…

More job opportunities in Mexico than California

Sacramento Bee:

There are fewer undocumented immigrants in California – and the Sacramento region – because many are now finding the American dream south of the border.

"It's now easier to buy homes on credit, find a job and access higher education in Mexico," Sacramento's Mexican consul general, Carlos González Gutiérrez, said Wednesday. "We have become a middle-class country."

Mexico's unemployment rate is now 4.9 percent, compared with 9.4 percent joblessness in the United States.

An estimated 300,000 undocumented immigrants have left California since 2008, though the remaining 2.6 million still make up 7 percent of the population and 9 percent of the labor force, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

...

The best-paid jobs for undocumented migrants are in the building industry, "and because of the severe crisis in the construction business here, their first response has been to move into the service industry," González Gut…

Syria turns again to mass murder of its people

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Haaretz:

Over 124 people were killed Sunday in a fresh government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters across Syria, activists said.

At least 97 people were killed when the Syrian army stormed the flashpoint central city of Hama, activists told the German Press Agency.

"Hama is used to massacres by the Assad family, but we tell this tyrant the more you kill us the more we are determined to oust you," the activist, who requested anonymity, told the German Press Agency by phone.

In 1982, a government crackdown caused the deaths of up to 20,000 people in the city, when the town's Sunni population attempted to revolt against then president Hafez Assad's minority Alawite sect.

On Sunday, tanks stormed the city at dawn, shelling different neighborhoods. Electricity and water supplies to the main areas were cut before the attack began, said Omar Idlibi, a Syrian activist based in Lebanon.

Troops surrounded one of the major hospitals to prevent the wounded from reaching it. …

Democrats reach out to Tea Party with hyperbole and insults

Guy Benson:

Yesterday, we posted an item about a Politico column arguing that Tea Partiers are "full blown terrorists."  Today, Politico mixes things up a bit by publishing an Op/Ed advancing the premise that members of the Tea Party are just like the Taliban.  Diversity:
We now have a group of U.S. politicians seeking political purity, who seem to have much in common with the Taliban. They are tea party members; and because of blind adherence to smaller government, they seem intent on risking destroying what American political leaders have constructed in more than two centuries of hard, often painful work. Like the Taliban, they see compromise as an unacceptable alternative.
The author, a former Democratic Congressman and DCCC Chairman named Martin Frost, proceeds to lay out his take on the current debt impasse, and offers some potential paths to resolution.  He concludes by accusing the Tea Party of exploding American governance:
Granted, all this is hard. But there is no n…

The anti Shari'a movement

NY Times:

Tennessee’s latest woes include high unemployment, continuing foreclosures and a battle over collective-bargaining rights for teachers. But when a Republican representative took the Statehouse floor during a recent hearing, he warned of a new threat to his constituents’ way of life: Islamic law.

The representative, a former fighter pilot named Rick Womick, said he had been studying the Koran. He declared that Shariah, the Islamic code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions, is not just an expression of faith but a political and legal system that seeks world domination. “Folks,” Mr. Womick, 53, said with a sudden pause, “this is not what I call ‘Do unto others what you’d have them do unto you.’ ”

Similar warnings are being issued across the country as Republican presidential candidates, elected officials and activists mobilize against what they describe as the menace of Islamic law in the United States.

Since last year, more than two dozen states have considered measures to re…

Pelosi the planet saver?

Richmond Times Dispatch:

Politicians say a lot of silly things, especially in the heat of the moment. The budget showdown has provided plenty of examples. None of them, however, can top Nancy Pelosi's remark: "What we're trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. ... We're trying to save life on this planet as we know it today."

You'd never know it, but the Republican budget that prompted Pelosi's hysterical outburst actually increases federal spending year over year. The so-called cuts just make the slope rise a little less starkly.

...She used similar hysteria to describe her reasons for blocking offshore drilling.

It is one of those little things that makes Democrats so unendearing.

The shape of the debt ceiling deal

Major Garrett:

...

...  the tentative deal include: 
$2.8 trillion in deficit reduction with $1 trillion locked in through discretionary spending caps over 10 years and the remainder determined by a so-called "Super Committee."The Super Committee must report precise deficit-reduction proposals by Thanksgiving.The Super Committee would have to propose $1.8 trillion in spending cuts to achieve that amount of deficit reduction over 10 years.If the Super Committee fails, Congress must send a balanced-budget amendment to the states for ratification. If that doesn't happen, across-the-board spending cuts would go into effect and could touch Medicare and defense spending.No net new tax revenue would be part of the special committee's deliberations.This is similar to the last Boehner plan    While I am sure some absolutist will not like it, from my perspective it is a clear win for the Republicans and their conservative members.  There will be more cutting that will have to be…

Voters reject Democrat control freak government

Stanley Greenberg:

...

But in smaller, more probing focus groups, voters show they are fairly cynical about Democratic politicians’ stands. They tune out the politicians’ fine speeches and plans and express sentiments like these: “It’s just words.” “There’s just such a control of government by the wealthy that whatever happens, it’s not working for all the people; it’s working for a few of the people.” “We don’t have a representative government anymore.”

This distrust of government and politicians is unfolding as a full-blown crisis of legitimacy sidelines Democrats and liberalism. Just a quarter of the country is optimistic about our system of government — the lowest since polls by ABC and others began asking this question in 1974. But a crisis of government legitimacy is a crisis of liberalism. It doesn’t hurt Republicans. If government is seen as useless, what is the point of electing Democrats who aim to use government to advance some public end?

In earlier periods, confidence in t…

Too hot to fish, too hot for golf and too cold at home

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Mark Chestnut's hit from several years ago may make a comeback with this NY Times story about a country guy who used the same opening line in an interview.

Liberal nostalgia for Bush 41 is a reason it is so hard to do deal now

Thomas Friedman wants to bring back Poppy.  But Republicans still feel like Democrats did not live up to the cuts that were supposed to be a part of that deal or a previous deal with President Reagan.  Why keep falling for the same scam?  That is why Republicans are so insistent that the deal not include a tax increase, and that the cuts be something beyond the smoke and mirrors Harry Reid has trotted out.  His deal as written is a non starter.

To get a deal Obama is going to have to go back to something like the original deal he was working on with Boehner.  Otherwise the best he can hope for is a short term deal with more negotiations.

There he goes again...

Demanding of others what he will not do himself. Politico reports:

Obama demands plan by Tuesday
Obama maybe the most irresponsible President in history.  He has rejected plan after plan without presenting one of his own.  At some point he has got to commit his own plan and defend it to the American people.   Imperious demands are not going to hack it with those looking for leadership.  If he is not capable of doing it, he should at least demand it of his White House staff or others in the administration.  Leadership requires more than just making demands.

The Perry inner circle

The NY Times looks at those closest to Perry who will probably be involved in a Presidential run with him should he make the plunge. He and his wife have known each other since grade school.

Islamist religious bigots make move to control Libya rebels

Sunday Telegraph:

Their admission that the shadowy Abu Obeida al-Jarrah Brigade was behind the assassination of Gen Abdel Fattah Younes has raised concern that religious elements within the rebellion have now acquired considerably greater influence than previously thought.

Thursday's killing of Gen Younes, who earlier this year defected from the Tripoli government to join the opposition fight against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime, came as a damaging blow to the rebels' military efforts. He was widely seen as one of the few military figures on the rebel side capable of organising their forces against the better trained Libyan government army.

But the admission that the militia whose members are responsible for his death has Islamist leanings, and had been allowed to operate in the east of the country with apparent impunity, will reignite fears that the West's support of the Libyan rebels may ultimately open the way to an Islamic state when Col Gaddafi is eventually fo…

Isn't she a little young to be hanging out in a bar?

Reid calls session to throttle any optimism about deficit deal

The Hill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) it was just plain wrong when McConnell told reporters there was reason for hope in debt-ceiling negotiations.

The "Republican leader held a press conference to announce they’re in talks with the president and that a bargain to raise the debt limit is in the works and is close," said Reid who had recently returned from a nearly two-hour meeting with President Obama. "That's not true… the agreement is not in a meaningful way."

...

In a press conference earlier in the afternoon McConnell had expressed optimism that a deal could soon be reached.

“I’ve spoken with the president and the vice president within the last hour and a half," said McConnell. "We are now fully engaged with the one person … who can sign a bill into law.”

On the Senate floor however, McConnell quickly fired back that he had seen reason to be optimistic in his own talks with Obama.

"…

Perry: Send liberals including Obama looking for jobs in the private sector

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Washington Times:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry urged conservatives Friday to “push more liberals into the private sector” in the 2012 election - including the president - but the oft-mentioned potential presidential candidate declined to say whether he had decided to enter the race himself.

Speaking to a packed house at the Western Conservative Summit, Mr. Perry continued to leave his supporters guessing as to his political future, although he did refer repeatedly to the importance of the 2012 election. At one point, he suggested that President Obama should be defeated so that he could take up a career on the Sunday morning talk shows.

“The mixture of arrogance and audacity that guides the Obama administration is an affront to every freedom-loving American and a threat to every job in the private sector,” said Mr. Perry.

The 11-year Texas governor further fueled speculation when he asked a member of the audience to take out their cell phones and text the word “forward” to 95613. “You’re sendi…

Marco Rubio seeks solutions on the debt, not just the limit

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It is somewhat long, but well worth your time,  He is not only an able spokesman, but he spars well with Sen. Kerry.

Developing our energy potential is a way out of economic mess created by Democrats

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IBD:

A new study documents a mini-boom caused by the development of the Marcellus Shale formations in Pennsylvania, creating jobs and revenue. Maybe the second rule of holes is that when you're in one, start drilling.

While Washington unravels over hitting the debt ceiling, fretting over a stagnant economy, a shortage of revenues and an abundance of spending, a quiet economic boom is occurring in Pennsylvania that shows much of our economic wounds are self-inflicted.

That developing domestic energy could go a long way toward generating the revenues, jobs and energy we desperately need is shown by the third and final study by researchers at Penn State on the development of the Marcellus Shale and its economic impact on Pennsylvania and the U.S.

"Large-scale development of the Marcellus is reshaping the economic landscape of Pennsylvania," concluded authors Timothy J. Considine, Robert Watson and Seth Blumsack. They note that in 2010 alone, the Marcellus Shale natural gas i…

Going for the knock out punch against al Qaeda

NY Times:

President Obama’s top adviser on Pakistan said Friday that the United States had six months to deliver “a knockout blow” to Al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan while the group was still in turmoil after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The adviser, Douglas E. Lute, a deputy national security adviser, said the United States needed to increase covert action in Pakistan to take advantage of the disarray within Al Qaeda’s senior ranks.

His comment was widely interpreted to refer to drone strikes, although he did not refer to the operations by name. The United States does not publicly acknowledge the drone strikes, which are classified. “This is a period of turbulence for our enemy,” Mr. Lute said in rare public remarks at a security forum here. “This is the time to double down on the opportunity to defeat Al Qaeda.”

Killing or capturing the group’s half-dozen or so top leaders in the next six months would “seriously degrade Al Qaeda’s ability to regenerate,” he said. “We need…

Liberals disappointed in market reaction to Republican stand on debt

LA Times:

Where is a good old-fashioned market crash when you really need one?

Wall Street could have ended this pathetic debt-ceiling drama in a hurry this week, if only investors had been willing to vote with their dollars.

Bail out of stocks, drive Treasury bond interest rates to the moon and push gold up to $2,000 an ounce. That would have sent the pols a message to get their act together.

Instead, we got a slow-motion stock sell-off that clearly didn't make the point with Congress.

And instead of fleeing Treasury bonds as Washington barrels toward potential default, the world was piling back into U.S. long-term debt by the end of the week, pushing rates down.

How's this for showing Congress who's boss: The 10-year Treasury note yield, a benchmark for many other interest rates, ended Friday at 2.80%, down from 2.95% on Thursday and the lowest since November.

Yeah, that'll strike fear in the hallways of Capitol Hill.

...Actually it was the administration and their li…

Iraq is a hard and dangerous place

Washington Post:

Increased attacks on U.S. troops, a continuing wave of assassinations targeting government officials and a growing number of indirect rocket strikes on Baghdad’s Green Zone are making the security situation in Iraq more dangerous than a year ago, according to a new government watchdog report issued Saturday.

“Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work,” U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Jr. wrote in his quarterly report to Congress and the Obama administration. “It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago.”

The findings come as Washington awaits a final decision by Iraqi leaders on whether they want U.S. troops to stay in the country beyond the expiration of a three-year security agreement in December. U.S. officials have said they are willing to extend the American military presence into 2012 only after receiving a formal request from Iraqi leaders.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top leaders pos…

Out of touch liberals

Harold Meyerson:

The Stimulus Worked
Oh come on.  Liberals are still trying to rationalize an epic failure of liberal economics.  It is rare to find a liberal who will admit mistakes and certainly Meyerson is no exception to that statement.

Wisconsin has robust recovery after repeal of collective bargaining

Gary Wickert:

Over the past six months, Wisconsin has been nothing short of a miracle. Newly elected Governor Scott Walker and the Republicans in the majority in Madison got just about everything they wanted during the past legislative session, and a state facing a projected $3 billion budget shortfall with no end in sight now has a projected $300 million budget surplus. The amazing successes in Wisconsin have emboldened the legislatures and political leaders of other states, who have seen the wonders resulting from a little political backbone and fiscal common sense.

After being held hostage by 14 AWOL Democrat senators, Walker succeeded in passing his budget repair bill, “Act 10,” which instantly fixed the $137 million deficit by requiring public employees to contribute just a little bit toward their pensions and health care, and by limiting their ability to collectively bargain. Wisconsin also ended the ludicrous automatic pay and benefit increases for public employee unions each bu…

Senate is where plans go to die, and nothing is done to solve the problem

The President is also doing nothing to solve the problem either.

Reid's politic of fraud exposed by Paul Ryan

It is a phony baloney cut that should not pass the giggle test.

Senate has not done its job for 821 days and counting

Sessions says Reid's bill will let members avoid taking a vote for another year or more.  People are catching on to the Democrats' scam.

Obama's untrue populist statements on taxes and who pays them

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Peter Ferrara:

President Barack Obama’s speech to the nation Monday night was highly disturbing. Because read carefully, it reveals a president wildly divorced from the fundamental realities of the nation he is supposed to be leading.

President Obama actually told America on national television that it is a nation “with a system in which the deck seems stacked against middle class Americans in favor of the wealthiest few.” It is incomprehensible how a man serving as president of these United States could make such a fundamentally false assertion about his own country.

As I explain in my new book, America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb, before Obama was even elected, official IRS data showed that for 2007 the top 1% of income earners paid more in federal income taxes than the bottom 95% combined. The top 1% paid 40.4% of all federal income taxes that year, almost twice their share of income. The middle fifth of income earners, the actual middle class, paid 4.7% of federal income taxes. …

Huntsman makes the case for the Boehner plan in the House

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It is the first time I have really seen him speak out on the issues.  He needs to do it more if he is going to become a factor in the Presidential contest.

Perry would test Romney

Rom Krasny:

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney has been on a glide path toward the 2012 primary elections, serving up a steady diet of soundbites and campaign material attacking President Barack Obama on jobs and the economy.

The easy ride will end if Texas governor Rick Perry jumps into the Republican race -- especially since Perry has the strong record on job creation that Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, claims for himself.

While still untested, Perry is said to have cross-over appeal among Republican voters -- from social conservatives and the small government Tea Party to the mainstream business element -- that Romney lacks.

A Perry candidacy could be the first major test of Romney's 2012 bid, forcing the former venture capitalist to compete within his party and to engage on controversial issues that he has often dodged.

"Mitt Romney is running with blinders on. Perry could force him to pivot. Should all things go right for him, Rick Perry is Romn…

How Perry could win

Jill Lawrence:

...

Late entrants rarely live up to their advance billing, as anticipation gives way to the reality of a Fred Thompson or, so far this year, a Huntsman. But many of the party VIPs making pilgrimages to Austin see Perry as different.

“I would say he’s a game-changer,” says Barry Wynn, a veteran fundraiser and former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. Wynn, who attended a meeting with Perry in Austin last week, says he is charismatic and has “a remarkable record of creating jobs.” Perry has also proven he can raise money, Wynn told me, and “there is a perception that he can win”—not just the nomination but the White House.

Perry, who raised $40 million for his 2010 campaign, has been adamant about not launching a White House bid unless he can generate the resources to sustain it. Outlook good, as the Magic 8-Ball would say. Wynn is personally keeping his options open until September, but he says 90 percent of the two dozen fundraisers at his meeting with Perr…

Epic fail of control freak government

Robert Tracinski:

Robert Samuelson recently described the current economic upheaval as "the crisis of the old order," a collapse of the economic dogmas and institutions of the past few decades. I was particularly struck by one of the items he lists as the pillars of the old order, "faith in routine economic expansion." Except that this doesn't describe what he's really talking about. What he's actually talking about is faith that government officials can manage and control economic growth. "Economists exaggerated their understanding and control. They seem to have exhausted conventional policy approaches." Specifically, he points out that the usual theories of monetary and fiscal "stimulus" have failed. "Central banks such as the Federal Reserve have held interest rates low. Budget deficits are high." Yet here we are.

If anything, Samuelson's summary is understated. Mohamed El-Erian puts it in more alarming terms.

I don…

Wall Street carrying water for Obama again

Charles Gasparino:

...

Even though many of the banks have gone back to making sizable profits, unemployment remains sky high, housing prices severely depressed and economic growth chronically anemic.
With that in mind, it's hard to take seriously just about any thing uttered by Blankfein & Co. -- particularly yesterday's noise.

Bad enough that these guys are preaching responsibility -- but that's not the end of the hypocrisy in their much-hyped letter. Remember: Blankfein & Co. are a big reason why we need to have debt-limit debate in the first place. These same CEOs were some of the biggest contributors to the 2008 Obama campaign -- and the president these donors helped elect then gave us Uncle Sam's largest-ever peacetime spending spree.

Add chutzpah to the hypocrisy: In demanding that any budget deal get done this week, these guys say nothing about spending or the $14 trillion of debt the American people owe to support the modern welfare state.

Sure, it's…

EPA continues to harass shale oil and gas drillers

AP/Houston Chronicle:

Faced with a natural gas drilling boom that has sullied the air in some parts of the country, the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed for the first time to control air pollution at oil and gas wells, particularly those drilled using a method called hydraulic fracturing.

The proposal, issued to meet a court deadline, addresses air pollution problems reported in places such as Wyoming, Texas, Pennsylvania and Colorado, where new drilling techniques have led to a rush to obtain natural gas that was once considered inaccessible. More than 25,000 wells are being drilled each year by "fracking," a process by which sand, water and chemicals are injected underground to fracture rock so gas can come out.

The proposed regulations are designed to eliminate most releases of smog- and soot-forming pollutants from those wells. New controls on storage tanks, transmission pipelines and other equipment - at both oil and gas drilling sites on land - would…

Bush recall 9-11

America was under attack.

Tropical storm Don heads for Texas Coast

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Current trajectory as of about 11 p.m. Texas time has it headed for somewhere near Corpus Christi. I am sure whatever area it hits can use the rain.  I copied the URL so that whatever time you look at it should give a current trajectory.

Iran's general running things in Iraq

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Guardian:

There's a story that the new CIA director, David Petraeus, likes to tell which harks back to his days as a four-star general in Iraq.

Early in 2008, during a series of battles between the US and Iraqi army on one side and the Shia militias on the other, Petraeus was handed a phone with a text message from the Iranian general who had by then become his nemesis.

The message came from the head of Iran's elite al-Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, and was conveyed by a senior Iraqi leader. It read: "General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who's going to replace him is a Quds Force member."

Petraeus hardly needed to be told. Much of the US military's work with Iraq's Shia Muslims had been undermined by Suleimani and the client militias of the Iranian general's al-Quds force. S…

Waiting for patients to die?

Telegraph:

NHS delays operations 'as it waits for patients to die or go private'That is rationed healthcare in the UK. Will Obamacare be next?

Iran accused of aiding al Qaeda

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NY Times:

The Treasury Department on Thursday accused Iranian authorities of aiding Al Qaeda and said it was imposing financial sanctions on six people believed to be Qaeda operatives in Iran, Kuwait, Qatar and Pakistan.

Weighing in on the puzzling question of whether Iran’s Shia regime actively seeks to help the primarily Sunni Al Qaeda, Treasury officials asserted that the Iranian government has entered into an agreement with operatives of the terrorist group and is allowing the country to be used as a transit point for funneling money and people from the Persian Gulf to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The officials said they had become convinced that Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, whom they described as a “prominent Iran-based Al Qaeda facilitator,” is operating in Iran under an agreement between Al Qaeda and the Iranian government.

“This network serves as the core pipeline through which Al Qaeda moves money, facilitators and operatives from across the Middle East to South Asia, including to A…

Understatement of the day

Austin American Statesman:

Perry environmental stance would transform EPAI think it is a pretty fair article.

Global warming computer models proven wrong by satellite data

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James Taylor, Forbes:

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA's Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA's Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.


...There is more.

Spencer is a noted scientific skeptic of global warming, but it is hard to argue with the data, although I…

In UK hacking Pentagon OK, but media hacking of citizens not

NY Times:

New Hacking Case Outrages Britain
Remember the outrage at the US for wanting to extradite a Pentagon hacker? Maybe that is where the media got the idea it was OK.

He is doing better than a dead man

Washington Examiner:

Obama polling better than Nixon

General cleared of using psyops to influence funding of Afghan war

The Washington Post says the Army IG found no substantiation for the charge made by Rolling Stone Magazine.  I thought the charges were pretty silly to begin with.

Police near Ft. Hood arrest AWOL soldier with weapons and bomb making materials

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Fox News:

At least one U.S. military serviceman has been arrested after raising concerns over another alleged plot to attack Fort Hood, Fox News has learned exclusively.

Pvt. Nasser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody there. Authorities, however, will not say if Abdo is the one who raised security concerns.

Abdo was found with weapons and explosives at the time of his arrest, a senior Army source confirms to Fox News. He was arrested at around 2 p.m. Wednesday after someone called authorities to report a suspicious individual.

Eric Vasys, a spokesman with the FBI's San Antonio Office, said authorities found firearms and bomb making components, which he described as smokeless gun powder, inside Abdo's motel room.

Bob Jenkins, a Fort Campbell spokesman, told Fox News that Abdo was also being investigated for child pornography found on his government computer.

Abdo went AW…

Perry leads in the South

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Gallup:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the favorite among southern Republicans when they are asked to say who they are most likely to support for the party's 2012 presidential nomination, with a 22% to 13% advantage over Sarah Palin in that region. Mitt Romney has a similar edge, 24% to 12%, over Michele Bachmann in the West. Romney and Rudy Giuliani essentially tie for first in the East, with Romney holding a slight advantage among midwestern Republicans.

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These results are based on a July 20-24 Gallup poll that shows Romney (17%) and Perry (15%) in a statistical tie as the preferred nominee among Republicans nationwide. However, Romney has a more significant lead among the more limited set of announced GOP candidates, which excludes Perry, Palin, and Giuliani.

Perry, who initially said he would not run, is in the process of re-considering that decision and may enter the race in the coming weeks. Should he do so, he would likely be a formidable challenger in the South, which includes…

Advice to the out of staters writing about Gov. Perry

Paul Burka of Texas Monthly has eight points for those looking for a background story on Gov. Perry.  I think he is mostly right.  I have known Paul Burka since we worked on the Daily Texan in the mid sixties.  He was in law school and decided he would rather be a writer.  I was a journalism undergraduate student who wound up going to law school and becoming a corporate lawyer.

I would add a work or two about his last point that Perry is lucky.  It has been my experience that smart people are more lucky than the not so smart.  When racing sailboats, the best sailors were always "lucky" enough to get inside a wind shift that gave them a major advantage.  The same is true of business and politics.  Perry has a knack for being ahead of others which is why he was on the right side of the Tea Party before any other major politician.  He also has a knack for taking an opponents strengths and turning it against them.

Some out of state writers have already started suggesting that Pe…

Republican bills go after environmental wackos

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NY Times:

With the nation’s attention diverted by the drama over the debt ceiling, Republicans in the House of Representatives are loading up an appropriations bill with 39 ways — and counting — to significantly curtail environmental regulation.

One would prevent the Bureau of Land Management from designating new wilderness areas for preservation. Another would severely restrict the Department of Interior’s ability to police mountaintop-removal mining. And then there is the call to allow new uranium prospecting near Grand Canyon National Park.

There is little chance that all the 39 proposals identified by Democrats will be approved by the Senate, which they control, or that a substantial number could elude a presidential veto. In fact, one measure — to forbid the Fish and Wildlife Service to list any new plants or animals as endangered — was so extreme that 37 Republicans broke ranks Wednesday and voted to strip it from the bill.

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The unusual breadth of the attack, explained Repre…