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Showing posts from August, 2013

The end of diabetes

Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book is well worth your time if you have diabetes or know someone who does.  I have been following the diet since earth this year and so far have lost about 45 pounds.  I am off my blood pressure medication and have reduced my diabetes medication.

You can find the book here:
http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Diabetes-Prevent-Reverse/dp/0062219979/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378008642&sr=8-1&keywords=the+end+of+diabetes+by+joel+fuhrman

Middle East sees spread of Syrian violence

Observer/Guardian:
In the northern Jordan villages – some almost split by the border withSyria – people who have watched the flow of refugees into their country are "holding their breath".

The sentiment is the same as in the other neighbouring countries,Lebanon, Turkey, Israel and Iraq: a fear that the Syrian conflict, which has already claimed more than 100,000 lives could spill over and destabilise the wider region.

The fear is not unfounded. Already the consequences of the Syrian war are being felt beyond its borders.

Worst affected so far have been Lebanon and Iraq, which – because of their own political fragility and sectarian competitions – have already seen violence and increasing instability.

Britain has advised against all but essential travel to Lebanon, where bomb attacks in the northern city of Tripoli killed 42 people last week, and as regional tensions grow over a possible US military strike on Syria.

On Friday, Lebanon charged five men, including a Sunni Muslim cle…

Syria hides many of its weapons

Reuters:
President Bashar al-Assad's forces have removed several Scud missiles and dozens of launchers from a base north of Damascus, possibly to protect the weapons from a Western attack, opposition sources said on Thursday.

The move from the position in the foothills of the Qalamoun mountains, one of Syria's most heavily militarized districts, appears part of a precautionary but limited redeployment of armaments in areas of central Syria still held by Assad's forces, diplomats based in the Middle East told Reuters.

They said rebel raids and fighting near key roads had blocked a wider evacuation of the hundreds of security and army bases that dot the country of 22 million, where Assad's late father imposed his autocratic dynasty four decades ago.
...

At the headquarters of the army's 155th Brigade, a missile unit whose base sprawls along the western edge of Syria's main highway running north from the capital to Homs, rebel scouts saw dozens mobile Scud launchers …

Locating WMD in Syria

Foreign Policy:

View Syrian chemical sites and air bases in a larger map It seems more and more likely that the United States will take some kind of military action against the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad. On Aug. 26, Secretary of State John Kerry all but said the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons to kill hundreds of civilians, a move the Obama administration says it will not tolerate. Kerry's words came days after the U.S. announced it is stationing four guided missile destroyers off the Syrian coast. ...  There is much more.

The article has a good deal of detail about the location of the WMD and the delivery systems.

Christians in Syria fear ethnic cleansing

Al Monitor:
Aleppo is basically “Little Syria,” a melting pot, representative of the diverse ethnic and religious groups that make up the nation. Christians in Aleppo have tended to live together in close-knit communities in neighborhoods usually clustered around churches.
It would be very accurate to describe some areas of Aleppo as “Christian,” although this by no means implies any sort of self- or outside-imposed segregation or discrimination. Residents of other faiths are found, and get along just fine in those areas. It is just that they are predominantly Christian.

Unfortunately, by a stroke of peculiarly bad luck, all the Christian neighborhoods are on or near the front lines in the parts of Aleppo divided between regime and rebel control. They have seen more than their fair share of fighting, “collateral damage” and a long line of civilian casualties.

The area of Midan in particular, home to many of Aleppo’s Armenian Christian minority, was a front-line area that saw heavy fighti…

Many in Mexico say drug violence is worse under new president

Reuters/NY Times:
Nearly half of Mexicans feel drug-related violence has increased since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December, according to a newspaper poll released on Friday, heaping pressure on the president who vowed to tame the gangs and restore order.

The El Universal/Buendia & Laredo poll found that 49 percent of the 1,000 people questioned thought drug violence had worsened since December, up 9 points since February. A quarter of respondents felt security had improved while another 25 percent thought it had remained steady.

The survey makes for mixed reading for Pena Nieto, who came into power vowing to break with his predecessor's military-led tactics and put an end to Mexico's vicious drug war.

Nearly 80,000 people have died in drug-related killings since former President Felipe Calderon sent in the army to quell the powerful drug bosses, a policy Pena Nieto has criticized but found tough to break with.

Pena Nieto has said he wants to take a different…

Afghan forces bring peace to Pech Valley hell hole

NY Times:
The Americans arrived under cover of night, the static electricity from their helicopter blades casting halos of blue in the pitch black.

It was their first return to the Pech Valley — a rugged swath of eastern Afghanistan so violent they nicknamed it the Valley of Death — since the American military abruptly ended an offensive against the Taliban here in 2011 after taking heavy casualties.

But the Americans, from the First Battalion of the 327th Infantry, had not come back to fight. Instead, their visit this summer was a chance to witness something unthinkable two years ago: the Afghan forces they had left in charge of the valley then, and who nobody believed could hold the ground even for weeks, have not just stood — they have had an effect.

The main road leading in the Pech is now drivable, to a point, and rockets no longer rain down constantly on the base the Americans had left the Afghans. Local residents said they felt safer than they had in years.

“Man, you couldn’t walk …

Syria-- Go big or do nothing

Kenneth  Pollack:
The complexities of the Syria conflict touch on American interests in myriad ways—ways that don’t necessarily line up neatly with one course of action or another. There are multiple goals, and multiple strategies that could be employed to achieve those goals, and as a result, there are good arguments to be made both for intervention and against. The only thing that makes no sense, unfortunately, is the path that President Obama appears determined to pursue.

Because Washington is not willing to match its rhetoric about wanting to see Assad gone with actions, it instead looks for marginal—even rhetorical—ways to appear as if it is doing something. But that is the worst thing the United States could do. It leads to half measures piled on top of half measures, committing us deeper and deeper without coming any closer to reaching any meaningful goal. This is exactly how the United States ended up backing into Vietnam.The administration constantly stresses the arguments aga…

A plan of attack against Syria

Timothy D. Hoyt:
...
The ugly mismatch between ambiguous or highly aspirational ends and the rather limited means the West is likely to use is now a target of zealous criticism. Matching limited means to very expansive ends appears to most analysts to be a recipe for in effectiveness. Comparisons with the "Desert Fox" strike [3] against Iraq in 1998 are common. The litany of "what do we do next?" Is both persistent and quite reasonable.

The answer might lie in trying to reduce our objectives, and make them more consistent with our available or likely means. If air and cruise missile strikes, of limited duration, are the most likely option, how can we articulate objectives that would allow us to influence the situation on the ground in Syria, provide a means of assessing and demonstrating effectiveness in a reasonable time, AND be consonant with previously articulated policy preferences and concerns?

There is an opportunity here. The primary rationale for a strike a…

Obama's Syria strategy revealed

Mark Steyn:
...

The administration's ingenious plan is to lose this war in far less time than we usually take. In the unimprovable formulation of an unnamed official speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the White House is carefully calibrating a military action "just muscular enough not to get mocked."

That would make a great caption for a Vanity Fair photo shoot of Obama gamboling in the surf at Martha's Vineyard, but as a military strategy it's not exactly Alexander the Great or the Duke of Wellington.
... There is much more

I think he is going to be mocked unless he does something really strategic in an attack as opposed to little more than a punitive raid with stand off weapons.

Back to being our best buddy?

Daily Mail:
So do France and the U.S. really have such a special relationship? Former 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys' are now America's 'oldest ally' They are probably both, but they have been a better ally in recent years.  But both countries like strategic judgment in their plan of attack on Syria.

McDonalds has already found a cheaper alternative to striking workers

CNET:
"Welcome to McDonald's. My name is HAL 9000. May I take your order?"

McDonalds recently went on a hiring binge in the U.S., adding 62,000 employees to its roster. The hiring picture doesn't look quite so rosy for Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.

The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald's Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald's could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order. A calorie account tally at the end of the year could be a real shocker.

The touch screens will only accept debit or credit cards, adding to the slow death knell of cash and coins. This all goes along with an overall revamp of McDonald's restaurants worldwide aimed at projecting a modern image as opposed to the old-fashion…

Military does not have the funds to pay for operation against Syria

Bill Gertz:
The U.S. military, struggling after defense cuts of tens of billions of dollars, will be unable to pay for attacks on Syria from current operating funds and must seek additional money from Congress, according to congressional aides.

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, said on Friday he has not made a final decision on a military strike against Syria. He sought to play down both the scope and duration of the anticipated punitive missile and bombing campaign.
... The punitive strikes he has in mind are unlikely to deter future action by Assad and they may actually embolden him.  If we are going to hit Syria, it should be with a strategic strike that would take out his air assets and reduce his ability to make war on his people.  It could be done in a short time frame and create maximum damage to Assad's ability to hit his enemies.

Meanwhile, Obama needs to think about how he is going to pay for his attempted deterrence.

Obama has little military support for his Syrian gambit

Washington Post:
In U.S. military, deep doubts about Syria strike After the scars of Iraq and Afghanistan, officers fear the potential consequences. That is probably because the military has to think strategically and Obama is mainly thinking about his credibility.  The two are not the same.

They are just using you Wendy

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NY Times:
Texas Democrats See Value in Davis Candidacy
State Senator Wendy Davis of Texas, who rocketed to fame with her 11-hour filibuster to block an anti-abortion bill, is considering a long-shot campaign for governor. She stands little chance of winning.  Her signature issue, late term abortion, is deeply unpopular with women in general and and with the Hispanic population as a whole.  That leaves her with little in the way of a coalition that would provide a path to victory.  But Democrats are desperate for anyone with a recognizable name.  Their bench is so weak that they are pushing her into a race she is sure to lose.

Investigation demanded of alleged $900,000 embezzlement at EPA

PJ Media:
The top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is demanding an investigation into a former top aide to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy who faces federal charges of embezzling almost $900,000.

In a letter to EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. dated Aug. 27, Sen. David Vitter, of Louisiana, said “serious questions remain unanswered regarding EPA’s internal processes that enabled such fraud to occur” and asked Elkins to “make recommendations to ensure that this does not happen again.”

The Department of Justice on Aug. 23 filed a criminal information with the U.S. District Court of Washington D.C. maintaining that John C. Beale, 64, onetime deputy administrator within the Office of Air and Radiation, stole and converted for his own use $886,186 beginning sometime in 2000 to April 30, 2013.

A document accompanying the criminal information asserts that Beale stole the money by collecting bonuses and extra salary he was not …

Voter ID law a non event in Valley election

Texas Tribune:
EDINBURG — This Rio Grande Valley city is supposed to be the epitome of a community whose residents could be marginalized by the state’s voter ID law, according to opponents of the recently implemented measure.

The median household income here is about 20 percent less than the state’s $50,100 average, and the population is about 88 percent Hispanic, according to U.S. census figures. It is people in these demographics — the lower to middle classes and minorities — who would be disenfranchised by the 2011 law, critics argued.

The first day of early voting Wednesday in the three-candidate City Council race here only yielded about 400 votes, but some citizens who voted said they didn’t see a problem showing an ID to cast a ballot. And despite the war being waged over the measure between the state’s attorneys and the U.S. Department of Justice, the battle lines didn’t trickle down to many of the voters here.

“I didn’t have a problem,” Dina Martinez said. “I didn’t know about [t…

Labor bosses want to do for Texas what they have done for Detroit

Dallas Morning News:
Ahead of Labor Day, AFL-CIO president says it’ll target Texas like never before in next electionsChristian Science Monitor:

Can AFL-CIO make inroads in Texas? Richard Trumka will try. They must be really offended by Texas success which is not tied to organized labor.  It seems part of an orchestrated effort by Democrats and other liberal groups to try to mess with the Texas economy before it takes more jobs from blue state economic disaster zones.

Perry seeks Missouri businesses

AP/Kansas City Star:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry warned Thursday that unless Missouri lawmakers override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of an income tax cut, he won’t be the only governor trying to lure business away from Missouri.

Perry, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, had the final word as two governors made appearances in the St. Louis area Thursday in which they offered widely different views of Missouri’s income tax cut plan.

Nixon spoke at the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments in Richmond Heights, calling House Bill 253 a “reckless experiment” that would cause deep cuts in services for children with disabilities and threaten economic progress in the Show-Me State.

Meanwhile, Perry spoke at a private gathering in Clayton hosted by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, appeared on KMOX Radio and spoke at an evening rally in an event tent on the parking lot of a Chesterfield hotel.

At the rally, Perry made no apologies for a series of ads airing in Mis…

Nearly half of Iran's oil income locked up in accounts its can't access

AP/Fuel Fix:
The U.S. has concluded that nearly half of Iran’s monthly earnings from crude oil exports are accumulating in accounts overseas because of sanctions that restrict Tehran’s access to the money.

The estimates, provided to The Associated Press by a senior U.S. official and never released before, are the latest indication that new sanctions imposed in February are deepening Iran’s economic distress and making it increasingly difficult to access billions of dollars in vital oil revenues. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of sanctions policy.

The U.S. hopes the pressure will force Iran to compromise on its nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at making a weapon. Iran insists it is for peaceful purposes only and has not budged on demands to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make fuel for energy production or for a nuclear weapon.

The U.S. estimates that about $1.5 billion in crude oil revenues is piling up in r…

Texas job growth 31.5 % since 1995, US rate 12 % for same period

Larry Bell:
It’s sure a good thing that Texas has lots of space, because a booming economy is bringing in lots of people. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of Texas jobs has grown 31.5 percent since 1995, compared with 12 percent nationwide. Following the financial crisis of 2009-2011 the job growth was only 2.4 percent…but this was still six times higher than the anemic 0.4 percent growth rate of the overall American economy.

What’s creating all those jobs? Yes, petrochemical is a big part of it, just as we’re seeing in North Dakota and other states that are providing fuel essential for industry and virtually all aspects of domestic life. Then add to that an economic climate which has consistently ranked Texas among top states in various surveys for business friendliness, no personal income taxes, strong wages, value-priced real estate, and a great living environment, and you have a darned good formula for success.

Despite an economic slowdown betw…

US sees lowest labor participation rate in 34 years

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Breitbart:
The percentage of Americans who have a job or are looking for one, known as the labor force participation rate (LFPR), has plunged to a 34-year low, according to a new report from staffing company Express Employment Professionals. ...
It is how you get a lower unemployment rate by reducing those looking for jobs.  Blue States who are exporting their jobless citizens to Texas and Florida are doing the same thing.  Liberal Democrat economic theary has been an abject failure during this recession.

West Texas oil production surge expected

Fuel Fix:
Two plays in the Permian Basin could see a surge in production and together pump 38 percent of the West Texas region’s oil by 2018, according to report released this week by energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.

Exploration and production giants such as Apache Corp., ConocoPhillips, and Chevron are positioned to lead an investment boost in the oil fields, and in five years, capital expenditures could jump 57 percent to $22 billion in the two Permian Basin plays. Together, the Bone Spring and the Wolfcamp plays could pump 1 million barrels of oil per day by 2018, Wood Mackenzie reports.

“The Permian Basin is a very mature region, but now horizontal drilling is allowing operators to go back there and unlock massive resources,” said Scott Pearson, an upstream analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “There’s a lot of hype about big numbers.”

Oil boom: US energy rigs grow to 2013 high on oil price surge

To put Wood Mackenzie’s forecast of $22 billion capital expenditures in context, Pearson said, …

A genius escapes special ed and will graduate from college at 14

This guy is incredibly smart, and his mother had the courage to break him out of special ed and find an outlet at college for his genius.
Watch him teach other students here:

What is wrong with asking for a picture ID to vote?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Scarborough challenges tghe administration's position on voter ID requirement.

Pakistan orders new trial for doctor who helped find bin Laden

Reuters:
A Pakistani judicial official on Thursday overturned the 33-year jail sentence passed on Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped CIA agents hunting for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who was killed in 2011.

U.S. officials have hailed Afridi as a hero for helping pinpoint bin Laden's location before the secret May 2011 raid by U.S. special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after more than a decade of searching.

Judicial official Sahibzada Mohammad Anees ordered a new trial on the grounds that another official had exceeded his authority when handing down last year's sentence. Afridi remains in custody.

"The assistant political agent ... did not have the authority to award 33 years' imprisonment to Dr. Shakil Afridi," said the written judgment. "The assistant political agent played the role of a magistrate for which he was not authorized."

A political agent and his assistant are representatives of the Pakistani government in the tribal areas, which are no…

Massive resistance to Unaffordable Care Act in the red states

Washington Post:
Several Republican-led states at the forefront of the campaign to undermine President Obama’s health-care law have come up with new ways to try to thwart it, refusing to enforce consumer protections, for example, and restricting federally funded workers hired to help people enroll in coverage.

And in at least one state, Missouri, local officials have been barred from doing anything to help put the law into place.

The actions have drawn less attention than congressional efforts to cut off funding for the law, or earlier state decisions to refuse to set up online insurance marketplaces or reject an expansion of Medicaid, which sharply limited the law’s reach.

But the moves could impede Obama’s most significant domestic accomplishment, which, despite having withstood a Supreme Court challenge and a presidential election, still faces doubts about its viability. And they could affect implementation at a crucial time, just as some of the major provisions of the law, also known…

Obama's incoherent Syrian policy

Dan McLaughlin:
The plans being floated by President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry for a wildly unpopular military intervention in Syria are incoherent on any number of levels. Rather than identify an enemy and seek the enemy’s defeat, the essential requirement for using military force, the Administration is unwilling to declare the toppling of the Assad regime as a goal – despiteObama’s own proclamation two years ago this month that “[f]or the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” Instead, according to one unnamed “U.S. official” quoted by the LA Times, the Administration wants a military strike “just muscular enough not to get mocked.” Churchillian, this is not.

Nor is it in line with what Obama, Biden and Kerry used to claim to believe. Once upon a time,Obama’s expressed willingness to meet with leaders like Assad made him popular in Syria. Then-Senator Obama argued in the 2008 campaign that “[t]he President does not have power under t…

The problem with going to war for 'credibility'

Jonathon Mercer:
The United States is poised to strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of civilians and wounded thousands. U.S. President Barack Obama warned Assad not to use such weapons once before, saying that their use would cross a “red line.” Assad ignored the threat in June and Obama did nothing. So does Obama’s initial bluff explain Assad’s second chemical attack?

It might. If Assad concluded from the first episode that Obama was irresolute, then he would discount the threat of U.S. military action. Of course, that would make Assad a strategic simpleton unable to imagine the political pressure on the Obama administration to respond to the repeated use of poison gas.

Even if Assad were so simpleminded, the administration’s critics are wrong to suggest that the president should have acted sooner to protect U.S. credibility. After the red line was first crossed, Obama could have taken the United States to war…

Russia sends its warships to Eastern Mediterranean

Reuters/NY Times:
Russia is sending two warships to the east Mediterranean, Interfax news agency said on Thursday, but Moscow denied this meant it was beefing up its naval force there as Western powers prepare for military action against Syria.

Interfax quoted a source in the armed forces' general staff as saying Russia, Syria's most powerful ally, was deploying a missile cruiser from the Black Sea Fleet and a large anti-submarine ship from the Northern Fleet in the "coming days".

Any strengthening of the navy's presence could fuel tension, especially as the United States has said it is repositioning naval forces in the Mediterranean following an alleged chemical weapons attack which is blames on Syrian government forces.

"The well-known situation now in the eastern Mediterranean required us to make some adjustments to the naval force," the source said in a reference to the events in Syria.

It was not clear when the vessels would arrive but Interfax said th…

US intelligence agencies not as sure as Obama sounds about Syria WMD attack

AP: The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people is no "slam dunk," with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria's chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, U.S. intelligence officials say. ... There is much more.

While there are some intercepts of Syrian communications that suggest it was a government sponsored attack, it is unclear exactly who ordered it.  Whoever is responsible, it was an unwise move.  But it is also not clear taht Obama's strategy for responding to it is wise either.

Aircraft for controlling an air war against Syria

The Aviationist:
Everybody know E-4Bs are extremely important. In the event of a war, a terrorist attack, an alien invasion and so on (hence the “doomsday plane” nickname), these aircraft are destined to keep the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other “decision makers” alive to direct nuclear (and conventional) forces, by receiving, verifying and relaying EAM (Emergency Action Messages).

One aircraft is usually airborne every 12 hours, with another one ready for departure with a 5-minute notice. If national command centers on the ground are attacked or unavailable, an E-4B is immediately scrambled: that’s why a “doomsday plane” was seen orbiting above Washington DC minutes after a hijacked plane had crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.

The E-6B Mercury, whose mission could be a sign that the Syria air war has just started, can do the same job.
... The plane pictured in the piece looks like a specially designed 747.  The electronics on the aircraft give a global picture o…

Israelis get ready for Syrian WMD attack

Phillip Klein:
Omri Azarzar, 27, stood outside a post office in the southern part of the city here on Tuesday afternoon where the Israeli government was distributing gas masks to residents amid increasing fears Israel could be targeted by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As the United States prepares military action against Syria, Israelis must face the reality that the chemical attack that prompted U.S action occurred within a few hours driving distance of Israel’s major population centers.

“If he’s shooting gas on his own people, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t shoot on us,” Azarzar said.

Israel only has funds to provide gas mask kits to 60 percent of its population, and the recent spike in demand has led to long lines. By 2:30 p.m. Israeli time, the distribution center here had stopped giving out waiting numbers to new arrivals.

With his motorcycle helmet dangling from his arm, Azarzar clutched onto a ticket bearing the number 807. “They’re only up to number 135 now,” he sighed.

I ca…

US energy exports grow 270 percent since 2005

Fuel Fix:
Although it has long been clear that soaring energy production in the United States has cut the country’s net energy imports in half, new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration helps illustrate some notable trends.

The latest monthly report from the agency shows continued growth in U.S. fossil fuel production, leading to a 22 percent drop in petroleum imports between 2005 and 2012, according to agency data.

Meantime, U.S. exports of petroleum products jumped 270 percent between 2005 and 2012.

Energy exports this year are on pace to grow again, already outpacing 2011 and 2012 through the first five months of the year.

Federal forecast: Global oil price will decline through end of 2013

Despite the growth in exports, the nation still relied on imports for 16 percent of its energy needs in 2012, according to the data.

The transformation in U.S. energy exports began when production of U.S. natural gas started soaring in 2005. At the same time, Americans are dramatically d…

Obama's Rush obsession

George Neumayr:
Concealed within President Obama’s carping about Rush Limbaugh is a distaste for democracy. Obama is not the first aspiring tyrant to complain that the pen is mightier than the sword, or in this case, that the pundit is mightier than the president.

Speaking to CNN last week, Obama whined that Republicans listen to Rush Limbaugh too much. They need to “think less about politics and party and think more about what’s good for the country,” he said. “I’ve made this argument to my Republican friends privately, and, by the way, sometimes they say to me privately, ‘I agree with you, but I’m worried about a primary from, you know, somebody in the tea party back in my district’ or, ‘I’m worried about what Rush Limbaugh is going to say about me on radio.’”

If Obama’s story here is true — that GOP pols whisper anti-Limbaugh fears to him over dinner — they are even bigger weasels than previously suspected. Obama’s attempt to drive a wedge between these spineless Republicans and Limb…

It looks like he had no defense

NY Times:
Fort Hood Gunman Sentenced to Death by Military Jury
Major Hasan had been found guilty of 45 counts of murder and attempted murder in an attack called the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil since 2001. It appears he got the verdict he wanted.  I think his victims should have a feeling of justice and closure.  What they also not deserve is fair treatment from the governemtn and doing away with the insult of calling this act of terror "work place violence."

So what is your excuse for them not liking you Chris?

Chris Matthews:
Republicans' Problem With Obama Is He's Black That must be why Republicans did not like Clinton either.  Really, how can Matthews be this delusional?  Republicans don't like liberalism and those who try to force it on them.  It is why they don't like Chris either.  You have to wonder why liberals are blaming every policy difference on race.  It must be because they can't think of a constructive argument to support the policies.

What about strategic concerns?

Ian Hurd, NY Times:
U.S. Must Justify Intervention on Moral Grounds If we can't make the case for a strategic reason to intervene, then it would be immoral to waste our blood and treasure on the operation.  If we limit the operation to a punitive strike, that will be a waste of resources that will accomplish nothing.  If we are going to strike we should knock out the Syrian air defense system and its air assets.  That would at least open the way for further operations should they be deemed necessary.

Ted Cruz also ask questions about the national security interest of the US in such a strike.

These two military experts question the need for hitting Syria:

Obama's amnesty by other means

Conn Carroll:
Obama’s creeping amnesty plan He goes from one directive to the next to thwart law enforcement efforts by the Immigration Custom Enforcement arm of DHS.   From his executive "Dream Act" to his latest move to keep parents in the country, he is giving illegals an incentive to come and stay and giving Republicans reasons to doubt his sincerity about enforcing any new comprehensive immigration law.

AL Qaeda groups responsible for Benghazi attacks now training Syrian rebels

Bill Gertz:
U.S. intelligence agencies earlier this month uncovered new evidence that al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Benghazi are training foreign jihadists to fight with Syria’s Islamist rebels, according to U.S. officials.

Ansar al-Sharia, the al Qaeda-affiliated militia that U.S. officials say orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound and a CIA facility in Benghazi, is running several training camps for jihadists in Benghazi and nearby Darnah, another port city further east, said officials who discussed some details of the camps on condition of anonymity.

The officials said the terror training camps have been in operation since at least May and are part of a network that funnels foreign fighters to Syrian rebel groups, including the Al-Nusra Front, the most organized of the Islamist rebel groups fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus.

The officials said the jihadist training is a clear indication that Ansar al-Sharia continues to conduct terrorist activ…

Obama's bogus excuses for delaying a decision on Keystone XL

Washington Examiner Editorial:
Liberals opposed to drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during President George W. Bush's administration often argued that it would be decades before consumers would see the result, so why rush? It was an effective tactic. That's the environmental movement's default strategy - stall, stall, stall in the hope that opponents will tire and eventually go away.

Now does President Obama's four-year stall on the Keystone XL pipeline make sense? By some accounts, he was prepared in 2011 to sign off on the project to create a $7 billion, privately-funded pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. But then Big Green giants like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Fund made opposition to Keystone a litmus test for environmental purity in the 2012 campaign. Bowing to the resulting pressure, Obama formally delayed the project in February 2012. His spinners were careful to say he wasn't killing it, he was just wai…

A Martin Luther King speech you have probably not heard but should have

Erick Erickson resurfaces this gem.
... King’s “Street Sweeper” speech, which is more properly called “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life” was a variation of a theme he went back and forth to over the years. He gave this particular speech to New Covenant Baptist Church in Chicago, IL, on April 9, 1967.

It’s common title of “The Street Sweeper” speech comes from this passage:

What I’m saying to you this morning, my friends, even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry; (Go ahead) sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”If you can’t be a pine on the top of a hillBe a scrub in the valley—but beThe best little scrub on the side of the hill,Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.If you can’t be a highway just be a trailIf…

Republican Senate politics has changed

John Dickerson:
The GOP’s New Paths to PowerWhy the Republican Party’s old bulls in the Senate are desperate to get the support of the party’s young bucks. It is a long piece that talks about why senior Republicans are eager to have the support of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.  Cruz is vice chairmen on the committee seeking to elect Senate Republicans.  There is little doubt that he will support the nominees of the party and that Cornyn and McConnell will be in that group.

But because of the Tea Party there is an interesting dynamic in the GOP that is pulling the senior senators closer to the conservatives.

Texas gets lowest interest rate in its history on short term borrowing

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts:
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced today’s sale of $7.2 billion in Texas Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) received an interest rate of 0.201 percent – a historic low interest rate for the state’s one-year notes.

“The best ratings from Wall Street ratings firms and strong demand for Texas notes helped drive down the borrowing cost,” Combs said. “Buyers bid about $16.7 billion, more than twice the amount offered for sale. The competitive bids for today’s sale show that investors are very confident in the Texas economy and the direction it’s heading.”

Texas has sold annual TRANs since fiscal 1987. Money from TRAN sales is used to help fund expenditures such as public school payments early in the fiscal year and manage cash flow between the start of the fiscal year and the arrival of tax revenues later in the year.
... The Texas economy and a state government that lives within its means makes for low cost borrowing for short term notes. …

Turkey points its missiles toward Syria

Today's Zaman:
Turkey has rotated its ground-to-ground missiles towards Syria in the southern province of Hatay after an apparent poison gas attack in Damascus a week ago which may lead to Western military action.

Turkey, which has a 900-kilometer border with Syria, hosts half a million refugees from the two-and-a-half year conflict and is braced for a new influx should Western powers strike.

As Turkey is readying itself for a possible military operation against Syria, the Turkish army has deployed a number of missiles in Hatay's Kırıkhan district. The army has rotated Stinger and I-Hawk missiles towards Syria.
... The Turks are getting ready to deal with blow back from any US strike against Syria.  I am sure Israel is also preparing for Syrian forces and their allies and proxies to lash out in their direction.

Turkey found sarin gas in the possession of Syria rebels

RT:
Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamists detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police on Wednesday, reports say. The gas was allegedly going to be used to carry out an attack in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

On Monday, Turkish special anti-terror forces arrested 12 suspected members of the Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group which has been dubbed "the most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels. The group was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in December.
... The story was published on May 30 this year, but it gives you an idea of how WMD is possessed by both sides in the Syrian conflict.

This is evil

Guardian:
Meth drug makers lure children in Thailand with sweet-coated yaba pills It is hard to believe people can be this evil.  The Thai people I met were friendly and hard working.  It would be a shame to see their children subjected to this.

Saudis try to bring Russia into OPEC pricing scheme

Telegraph:
The revelations come amid high tension in the Middle East, with US, British, and French warship poised for missile strikes in Syria. Iran has threatened to retaliate.

The strategic jitters pushed Brent crude prices to a five-month high of $112 a barrel. “We are only one incident away from a serious oil spike. The market is a lot tighter than people think,” said Chris Skrebowski, editor of Petroleum Review.

Leaked transcripts of a closed-door meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan shed an extraordinary light on the hard-nosed Realpolitik of the two sides.

Prince Bandar, head of Saudi intelligence, allegedly confronted the Kremlin with a mix of inducements and threats in a bid to break the deadlock over Syria. “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets,” he said at the four-hour mee…

Norks caught sending gas mask to Assad regime

Breitbart:
North Korea tried to export gas masks to Syria but they were seized in Turkey along with arms and ammunition, a Japanese daily said Tuesday, as the US threatened action over an alleged chemical weapons attack.

A Libyan-registered vessel, identified as Al En Ti Sar, left North Korea for Syria earlier this year with the consignment, the Sankei Shimbun said, quoting unnamed sources from the US military, Japanese and South Korean intelligence.

The US military, which obtained the information, was tracking the ship in coordination with other countries, the daily -- which is known for its North Korea coverage -- said in a detailed report.

The vessel sailed through Dardanelles in Turkey on April 3 and was searched shortly after by Turkish authorities, who had been tipped off by the US.

Turkish officials seized 1,400 rifles and pistols and some 30,000 bullets as well as gas masks apparently for chemical protection, the daily said.

US authorities believe that the ship was intending to unl…