Showing posts from February, 2012

It is time for a no fly zone in Syria

Daily Mail: Helicopter gunships open fire on civilians in Syria as brutal crackdown on Homs rebels continues for 25th day Someone needs to shoot down that chopper.

F-22 lives down to hanger queen reputation

Daily Mail: America's $150m F-22 Raptor fighter jets grounded after pilots report 'lack of oxygen' during flights I am glad they were able to land safely.

That did not go well

Daily Mail: Naked man shows up to his interview for welding job 'high on meth'   An HIV positive illegal immigrant proved a lasting impression isn't necessarily a good one when he turned up to a job interview in Sacramento naked and high. Hispanic Jose Ayala arrived at a Del Paso Heights-area welding shop on Saturday to meet with owner Chris Johnson without a stitch of clothing on his body and having taken methamphetamine. I am guessing ICE would not take him either.  A naked welder would have to be pretty tough.

Widow of Brit bomber collaborating with al Qaeda?

Telegraph: Kenyan authorities want to question a woman believed to be Samantha Lewthwaite, 28, who married Jermaine Lindsay, the suicide bomber who blew up an underground train at King’s Cross in 2005. She is thought to be a key player in a terrorist cell involving two other Britons that was planning attacks on upmarket hotels and restaurants in Nairobi which were popular with tourists. Sources believe Miss Lewthwaite was claiming to be Natalie Faye Webb, a South African, but it was later established that her passport was fake. It was reported that she subsequently escaped a raid by Kenyan police. Authorities believe she fled with a bag containing bundles of US banknotes, 500 fuses use in igniting explosives and a laptop. The Met police sent a large team of counter-terrorism detectives to Nairobi to assist with the investigation and have conducted searches for Miss Lewthwaite in Britain. Alfred Mutua, Kenya’s government spokesman, stressed he could not confirm t

Norks sucker US into more food aid for nothing

The Envoy: U.S. announces diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea The agreement is supposed to be the stopping of their nuclear program in return for food.  We have been sold this turkey before and they have never lived up to the bargain once they got the food.  You can bet that most of the food will go to the military and not the the starving people of North Korea.  That has also been tgeh pattern and practice.  It looks like the Obama administration is probably hoping that the deal does not fall apart before election day.

Use a fuel that does not pay the highway tax

CNN: How billionaire fills tank for $1 a gallon T. Boone Pickens is using natural gas in his Honda Civic that runs on the fuel.  He fills it up from his home natural gas service.   Making this arrangement easier for motorist should be someone's priority and I do not mean the government.

Gitmo detainee cuts a deal

Fox News: A former Baltimore resident who has been detained in  Guantanamo  Bay pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges against him, including murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, spying and providing material support to  al Qaeda .   Majid Khan admitted that he was part of the successful plot to bomb the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta,  Indonesia , in 2003, which killed 11 and injured 76. Two victims from the bombing were in the military court in Guantanamo to witness the proceeding. As part of a plea agreement, Khan is expected to testify against other detainees including the self-described architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed .    Khan's defense team argues that the plea agreement should be kept secret or sealed because releasing the information would put a target on the back of Khan's family and relatives. The prosecution team, led by a lawyer from the  Department of Justice , insisted the plea should be made public because so much

Individual mandates violates contract law

While it is a good argument, this court has ignored fundamental principals of contract law in the recent past.  In a case involving the Geneva Conventions which by their own terms are only between the "high contracting partners" they force the US to provide Geneva type protections for unlawful combatants like al Qaeda even though it is in effect a unilateral contract which is supposed to be unenforceable.

Bin Laden desecrated copies of Bible

Times of India:   Slain al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden kept two copies of the Bible where he wrote secret clues to future terror attacks to be conducted across the globe, according to Pakistani intelligence officials.  The two copies of the Bible were found hidden at the house in Pakistan's Abbottabad city, close to Islamabad, where the world's most-wanted terrorist was killed by US Navy Seals in May last year, The Sun reported Wednesday. The Christian holy books were unearthed by demolition crews sent in to raze the mansion to the ground. Sources told The Sun that several pages of the English editions of the Bible were folded and particular texts marked. Officials of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence were now examining the books in a bid to find out more. The report said there could be another theory that bin Laden may have been seeking out Christian texts to justify his actions. Two concealed radio sets were also discovered at the building.  ...  Christian

Riverine warfare with cartels on the Rio Grande

Houston Chronicle: The Texas Department of Public Safety is deploying a ferocious new boat to patrol the Rio Grande. The 34-foot long shallow “interceptor” craft will be outfitted with six machine guns mounted on its deck, according to DPS. The agency confirmed that the guns will capable of firing in a fully automatic mode, giving it an overwhelming edge on just about anything it would find along the river. According to a DPS news release: The Tactical Marine Unit and the patrol vessels represent a significant enhancement of the state’s efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels and other criminal organizations that transport illegal drugs into Texas and varieties of weapons, explosives and munitions out of our state into Mexico. They will be used to impact so-called splashdowns, where drug smugglers crash their vehicles into the Rio Grande River and transport contraband back into Mexico. It is the second of three boats the agency expects to deploy on the river in the Sou

Russia upgrades radar in Syria to give Iran heads up of Israeli attack

Washington Times: Russia has upgraded a surveillance station it maintains in Syrian territory in order to provide Iran early warning of an Israeli attack, according to the Israeli security-related blog Debkafile. The surveillance station, located south of Damascus, had been able to monitor air traffic in Israel as far south as Tel Aviv, as well as northern Jordan and western Iraq. Since the upgrade, its range reportedly extends to all parts of Israel and Jordan and as far south as the northern part of Saudi Arabia. According to the report, Russia has introduced cutting-edge technology to the station and expanded its manpower. ...  Russia appears to have thrown in with the Axis if evil.  They are definitely on the side of the despots in Syria and Iran.  This could be why Israel is considering using missiles to strike Iran.

Good news for Gov. Walker

Rasmussen Reports: 54% in Wisconsin Oppose Recall of GOP Governor Walker  He is still probably going to be heavily out spent by big Labor.  He is a courageous governor who has turned the state's financial condition around in the face ferocious attacks by the left.

Israel could use missiles to attack Iran

NBC: With tensions between Israel and Iran running sky high over the latter’s nuclear program, U.S. officials and military analysts are growing increasingly concerned that Israel will launch a multi-phase air and missile attack that could trigger waves of retaliatory missile strikes from Tehran.  Such a shootout could quickly spiral into a regional conflict that would potentially force the U.S. to intervene to protect its interests.  The emerging consensus among current and former U.S. officials and other experts interviewed by NBC News is that that an Israeli attack would be a multi-faceted assault on key Iranian nuclear installations, involving strikes by both warplanes and missiles. It could also include targeted attacks by Israeli special operations forces and possibly even the use of massive explosives-laden drones, they say.  ...   Given the immense difficulties in carrying out successful air strikes on the four key Iranian installations using its warplanes alone -- as

Sen Landrieu sets the record straight on the cost of the Gulf moratorium

She really nails Salazar and others who claim big profits for oil companies with world wide operations.  She focuses on the independent operators and service companies that have been devastated by Salazar and Obama's bad policies.  She mainly hammers them with the facts.  She may be a Democrats but she is right on this issue.

High gas prices suck money out of the economy

James Pethokoukis: Did Rising Gas Prices Cause the Recession? ...   Does this all sound a little bit too neat and tidy? Perhaps. But let me point out what Hamilton said is one way oil shocks affect economic growth. They tend to kill consumer sentiment, as this chart from Strategas Research shows: He also demonstrates how previous oil shocks also caused recessions.  It is another reason why it is important to free up oil and gas production in this country.     share share print this page

Obama job approval down to 43 %

The Hill: President Obama’s approval rating has fallen sharply this week, hitting its worst margin since early January, according to Gallup’s three-day rolling average . Only 43 percent of those surveyed said they approve of the job the president is doing, compared to 50 percent who disapprove. ...  That seems to happen every time he gives a speech lately.  Certainly his UAW speech was a stinker.  He is going o be in for a rough campaign.

Obama's union speech a tough sell outside the audience

David Hirsanyi: False choices. Populist bromides. A lecture on values. President Barack Obama treated us to some of his greatest hits this week.  Speaking before the United Auto Workers union in Washington, Obama, champion of the working man, challenged auto bailout "naysayers" to "come around" and admit that "standing by American workers was the right thing to do," as bailouts "saved" the auto industry. (You have to wonder whether downtrodden citizens appreciate just how close they came to having to roller-skate to work.)  "They're out there talking about you like you're some special interest that needs to be beaten down," Obama told cheering union members. And those who claim that bailouts were just a labor payback are simply peddling a "load of you-know-what."  I do know what, Mr. President.  Because actually, the United Auto Workers union  is  a special interest. Like other unions, the UWA regularly lobbi

Obama expands special ops mission, but not its budget

Washington Times: The  Obama administration ’s increasing reliance on special operations forces with a stagnant budget has sparked concern among the elite units that they will be asked to do too much with too little. The forces will be conducting missions in 120 countries by year’s end, up from about 75 currently. This activity is increasing as the  U.S. Special Operations Command ’s budget is set to remain flat. The  command ’s fiscal 2013 budget request is $10.4 billion - essentially the same as its current budget. In 2011, its budget was $12.1 billion. Defense Secretary  Leon E. Panetta  said last month that as U.S. troops gradually withdraw from the war in  Afghanistan , there will be “more opportunities for special operations forces to assist and advise our partners in other regions.” “There is some concern that the SOF community is not going to be robust enough to maintain these high-demand operations indefinitely,” said retired Lt. Gen.  David Barno , a former Army Ra

Egypt says it arrested al Qaeda leader

Washington Post:  A leading member of the extremist group al-Qaeda reportedly was arrested in Cairo International Airport, where he was traveling on an Emirates Airline flight, according to airport officials.  The officials said they had detained Egyptian-born Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi, and identified him as the senior al-Qaeda leader known as Saif al-Adel (the “sword of justice” in Arabic).  But a lawyer who represents clients from Jihadist groups, including the brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, denied that Makkawi was Adel and said that airport authorities had detained the wrong man.   Makkawi, a former Egyptian military officer, was dishonorably discharged for joining Jihadist fighters in the 1980s, the lawyer, Nizar Ghorab, said. He was arrested and imprisoned by Egyptian authorities but later fled to Afghanistan. For a very short time he was connected to al-Qaeda, Ghoran said, but he severed his ties years ago.  Ghorab said he expected Makkawi, who had travele

US can attack Iran sites 200 feet underground

Washington Post: Western spy agencies for years have kept watch on a craggy peak in northwest Iran that houses of one the world’s most unusual nuclear sites. Known as Fordow, the facility is built into mountain bunkers designed to withstand aerial attack. Iran’s civil-defense chief has declared the site “impregnable.”  But impregnable it is not, say U.S. military planners who are increasingly confident of their ability to deliver a serious blow against Fordow, should the president ever order an attack. U.S. officials say they have no imminent plan to bombard the site, and they have cautioned that an American attack — or one by its closest Middle Eastern ally, Israel — risks devastating consequences such as soaring oil prices, Iranian retaliation and dramatically heightened tension in a fragile region.  Yet as a matter of physics, Fordow remains far more vulnerable than generally portrayed, said current and former military and intelligence analysts. Massive new “bunker buster” mu

UAW may owe Obama, but the country does not

NY Times: Obama Revs Up Oratory, Reminding Autoworkers of Bailout President Obama channeled his 2008 campaign persona in an energetic speech before the United Auto Workers conference in Washington. The President has resorted to snark to defend his unpopular auto bailouts of the UAW.  The union is staying bought, but Obama did a disservice to the investors by moving the unions ahead of the bond holders who were sold secure assets.  The country has been left with huge losses for the two companies that were brought to ruin by the union contracts in the first place.  Many Americans are resisting the bailout cars because of their anger over the deals.  I have been buying Fords of late. These deals were much worse for the US than the bank bailouts which have largely been repaid with interest.  Yet Obama and many on the left continue to hammer the banks and give these guys a pass.  The voters should not make that mistake. The Wall Street Journal points out an $18 billion tax

Iran likely to widen war if Israel strikes

NY Times: U.S. Sees Iran Attacks as Likely if Israel Strikes   American officials assessed that Iran would retaliate to an Israeli strike by launching missiles on Israel and terrorist-style attacks on United States civilian and military personnel overseas. Iran has certainly threaten such attack, probably in hopes of putting pressure on the US to stop the Israeli attack.  This administration appears to be responding to those threats by trying to persuade Israel to give it more time to negotiate with the religious bigots running Iran.  My own view is that any negotiation by the Tehran entity will be undertaken in bad faith to stall an attack until after they can get their sites buried.  I think that is a concern of Israel also. I do think Iran will lash out and the US needs to be prepared to launch a destructive campaign against her war making potential.  That would mean taking out Iran's missile launch facilities and any manufacturing facilities.  It would mean taking out

Obama's gas price accelerator

The Republican Study Committee compiles a graphic showing how Obama and Democrat policy caused the spike in gas prices in this country.  There are many other things they have done to strangle development of resources but this is a good start.

U-2s keeping eye on Norks

AP/Houston Chronicle:   As a sleek black U-2 roared back from a mission, Pontiac muscle cars zoomed along the runway to help it touch down using a low-tech method dating back more than half a century to when this Cold War-era aircraft was cutting-edge. "It's notorious for being hard to land," the pilot said after climbing out of the cockpit. But the legendary U-2 " Dragon Lady " remains one of Washington's most prized possessions on the Cold War's last hot front. Pumped up by a $1 billion overhaul, a trio of these piloted aircraft are proving they can still compete with the most futuristic drones on a crucial mission: spying on North Korea. For more than 35 years, the U-2 has been one of Washington's most reliable windows into military movements inside the secretive nation. Unlike satellites, they can be redirected at short notice to loiter over target areas. Last month, the  U.S. Air Force  postponed at least until 2020 any plans to repla

Romney wins big

Romney carried Arizona and Michigan.  He will get all of Arizona's 29 delegates and will probably have to share some delegates with Santorum in Michigan, even though he finished ahead in the popular vote. I listened to most of their speeches, both of which went on too long.  Santorum's best moment was when he pointed out that Obama was making it more difficult and expensive to get North Dakota's oil to market.  He was spot on. Romney did OK, but he can't turn on a room the way Sarah Palin can.  He needs to get someone like her on board to help with his speeches.

Sec. Defense objects to cuts

Washington Times: Panetta: Don’t balance budget ‘on the back’ of the military I do not think he and the President are on the same page on this one.  It is also happening as it comes to light that the President's budget increases the cost of healthcare for the military and retirees.  I think there are going to be some more battles with Obama on this issue and he is not going to look good at election time.  He is putting all the cuts on the military and not addressing entitlements which are the main drivers of the debt.  It is a very irresponsible policy.

Syria kills those trying to help media

Washington Post: 13 Syrians die attempting to rescue foreign journalists from Homs This will not play well outside of Russia and China.

Obama ignores law requiring military trials of al Qaeda

WSJ: President Barack Obama issued an order Tuesday giving civilian investigators broad power to handle the cases of U.S. terrorism suspects despite a law passed late last year that favors military custody. The decision is likely to raise hackles of lawmakers who included the provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, and it could provide an election-year issue for Republicans. Mr. Obama signed the bill under protest Dec. 31 and attached a statement saying he intended to disregard portions interfering with his presidential powers. The law requires military detention for non-U.S. citizens accused of planning or carrying out an attack for al Qaeda and associated groups. At the White House's insistence, it included discretion for the president to waive the requirement if necessary to avoid disrupting terrorism investigations led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Tuesday's order takes advantage of that discretion to the fullest, preserving for the FBI and

What Obama's 'All of the above' energy policy does not include

CNN/Money: ... A study last year commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute said that if every piece of federal land -- excluding national parks -- was open for drilling, North America could produce an additional 10 million barrels of oil a day by 2030.   At today's consumption level, that would eliminate the need for any other imports.   And the additional drilling would create 1.4 million jobs and $800 billion in tax revenue, according to  the study . ... Some one should ask him why his "all of the above" does not including drilling all federal controlled land, but national parks?  It is a relevant question.

75% say top tax rate should be lower

The Hill: Three-quarters of likely voters believe the nation’s top earners should pay lower, not higher, tax rates, according to a new poll for The Hill. The big majority opted for a lower tax bill when asked to choose specific rates; precisely 75 percent said the right level for top earners was 30 percent or below. The current rate for top earners is 35 percent. Only 4 percent thought it was appropriate to take 40 percent, which is approximately the level that President Obama is seeking from January 2013 onward.   The Hill Poll also found that 73 percent of likely voters believe corporations should pay a lower rate than the current 35 percent, as both the White House and Republicans push plans to lower rates.   The new data seem to run counter to several polls that have found support for raising taxes on high-income earners. In an Associated Press-GfK poll released Friday, 65 percent said they favored President Obama’s “Buffett Rule” that millionaires should pay at least

What is in your candidate's garage?

Romney and Paul are the only ones driving American made autos.  Romney has a Mustang convertible and Paul has a Lincoln Town Car.  Santorum has an Audi A6 and Newts has Mercedes S-Class.  Romney took some heat recently for his wife's Cadillac.  I don't think it was because of the bailout. In case you are curious I drive a Ford F-150.  It has been a great vehicle. BTW, there has been a lot of talk about Romney having to win Michigan, but with the Democrats and Santorum urging Democrats to vote for Santorum in the open primary, they give Romney a ready made excuse in case he under perform.  It does raise the question--why do Republicans have open primaries?  Why would they want to let someone else choose their nominee?

Open access to drilling and watch price of oil drop

The chart shows the price drop of oil just on the announcement that Bush was opening the outer continental shelf to exploration.  Obama has closed them both and refuses to open up ANWR and other areas of the Western US.  The chart comes from the American Petroleum Institute. I recall seeing a $10 drop in the price when Chevron made a big discovery in the deep water Gulf of Mexico. If you want to lower the price, increase the access to supply.

Democrats fear Rubio on GOP ticket

The Hill: Democrats have started to wage a political assault against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and the intensity of their attacks will intensify in the coming weeks.  Senior officials in the Democratic Party anticipate that Mitt Romney will win the Republican presidential nomination and then tap Rubio to be his running mate.  The former Massachusetts governor has a long way to go before he secures the GOP nod, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from launching early salvos at the freshman senator.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), who has not been shy in lambasting GOP White House hopefuls in prior election years, has questioned whether Rubio really stands with the Hispanic voters with whom he is so popular on the issues most important to them.  Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) tried to drive a wedge between Rubio, who is Cuban-American, and Hispanic voters.  Democratic operatives have turned their attention in rece

Emails suggest Pakistan aware of terrorist's home

BBC: Officials 'knew of Bin Laden home' Pakistan denies the allegations, but it is still hard to believe they did not know.  Certainly their reaction after the US raid suggest they were more interested in protecting him than assisting the US in finding the mass murderer. It is not clear what intelligence was used as a basis for the allegation.  It could well be reasoned analysis.

The self deportation debate

CBS News: As Republican voters in Arizona head to the polls today to decide who should be the party's nominee for president, candidates have been talking tough on immigration. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he thinks the Grand Canyon state's controversial immigration law should be something for the rest of the country to embrace. "I think you see a model in Arizona," Romney said at the CNN sponsored debate last week in Mesa, Arizona, near Phoenix. Arizona in 2010 passed a law giving police broad new powers to crack down on illegal immigrants, though the more controversial aspects of the law have been held up by court challenges. Supporters of the law say that by making life difficult for illegal immigrants who have already entered the country, they will choose to leave rather than to stay amid constant fear of getting caught. The concept is known as "self-deportation," though deportation by definition is involuntary. Advocates