Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mark Levin extends radio contract with Cumulus Media to 2020-Talkers

1/29/15, "Westwood One Locks-In Levin,"

"A contract extension between Westwood One and Mark Levin will keep the talk show host with the Cumulus Media-owned syndicator through 2020. Cumulus executive vice president of content and programming John Dickey states, “Mark has established himself as a pillar in talk radio with his sharp and witty commentary. We look forward to expanding his program’s reach.” Levin comments, “I am delighted to continue working with Cumulus and Westwood One. I look forward to further developing the show over the next five years. I am passionate about challenging the mainstream media and educating the public on the most pressing political and legal issues of our time and maintain my commitment to doing so.” Flagship WABC, New York launched Levin’s 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm show in 2003; a third hour was added six years later (2009). Previously an advisor/administrator to several members of president Ronald Reagan‘s cabinet, Levin is president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, a non-profit Washington, DC-based advocacy group."


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

W. James Antle III, for your information, your high regard for state by state organizations in presidential campaigns wasn't shared in 2012 by 'Establishment heavyweight' (your description) Romney

1/29/15, "The big question for Cruz is whether he has the state-by-state organization to go the distance....To win the nomination, Cruz will not only have to battle establishment heavyweights like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Mitt Romney (should they all run)."..."Ted Cruz 2016: Time to Channel Ronald Reagan?" National Interest, W. James Antle III.


Total Romney staff in all states: 500
Total Obama staff in all states: 3000

Florida Romney staff: 200 (almost half his total US staff)
Florida Obama staff: 770 

Ohio Romney offices: 40
Ohio Obama offices: 123

Colorado Romney offices: 15
Colorado Obama offices: 59
"Building on its 2008 field organ­ization, Obama’s campaign had far more people on the ground, for longer periods, and backed by better data. In Florida, for example, the Romney campaign said it had fewer than 200 staff members on the ground, a huge commitment of its total of 500 nationwide. But the Obama campaign had 770 staff in Florida out of 3,000 or so nationwide.

“They had more staff in Florida than we had in the country, and for longer,” said Romney adviser Ron Kaufman. 

In swing state after swing state, the Obama field team was much bigger than the Romney troops. Obama had 123 offices in Ohio, compared with Romney’s 40. Obama had 59 offices in Colorado, compared with Romney’s 15, according to statistics compiled by the Obama campaign."...


US taxpayers support global terror via US State Dept. which this week hosted Muslim Brotherhood delegation to plan ouster of Egypt Pres. al Sisi. MB guest flashed 4 finger Muslim Bro. salute. GOP Estab. loves Muslim Bro. too, so it's fine

1/28/15, "Muslim Brotherhood-Aligned Leaders Hosted at State Department," Washington Free Beacon, Adam Kredo

4 fingers MB
"The State Department hosted a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood-aligned leaders this week for a meeting about their ongoing efforts to oppose the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, who rose to power following the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, an ally of the Brotherhood, in 2013.

One member of the delegation, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture while at Foggy Bottom in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol, according to his Facebook page.

That delegation member, Waleed Sharaby, is a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood.

MB 4 finger icon

The delegation also includes Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood, and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor.

Sharaby, the Brotherhood-aligned judge, flashed the Islamist group’s popular symbol in his picture at the State Department and wrote in a caption: “Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone,” according to an independent translation of the Arabic.

Another member of the delegation, Maha Azzam, confirmed during an event hosted Tuesday by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID)—another group accused of having close ties to the Brotherhood—that the delegation had “fruitful” talks with the State Department.

Maha Azzam confirms that ‘anti-coup’ delegation, which includes 2 top [Muslim Brothers], had ‘fruitful’ conversations at State Dept,” Egypt expert Eric Trager tweeted.

Assam also said that the department expressed openness to engagement, according to one person who attended the event.

Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), told the Washington Free Beacon that the State Department is interested in maintaining a dialogue with the Brotherhood due to its continued role in the Egyptian political scene.

The State Department continues to speak with Muslim Brothers on the assumption that Egyptian politics are unpredictable, and the Brotherhood still has some support in Egypt,” he said. “But when pro-Brotherhood delegations then post photos of themselves making pro-Brotherhood gestures in front of the State Department logo, it creates an embarrassment for the State Department.”

When asked to comment on the meeting Tuesday evening, a State Department official said, “We meet with representatives from across the political spectrum in Egypt.”

The official declined to elaborate on who may have been hosted or on any details about the timing and substance of any talks.

Samuel Tadros, an Egypt expert and research fellow at the Hudson Institute who is familiar with the delegation, said that the visit is meant to rally support for the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing efforts against to oppose Sisi.

“I think the Muslim Brotherhood visit serves two goals,” Tadros said. “First, organizing the pro Muslim Brotherhood movement in the U.S. among the Egyptian and other Arab and Muslim communities.”

“Secondly, reaching out to administration and the policy community in D.C.,” Tadros said. “The delegation’s composition includes several non-official Muslim Brotherhood members to portray an image of a united Islamist and non-Islamist revolutionary camp against the regime.”

The delegation held several public events this week in Maryland and Virginia, according to invitations that were sent out.

Patrick Poole, a terrorism expert and national security reporter, said the powwow at the State Department could be a sign that the Obama administration still considers the Brotherhood politically viable, despite its ouster from power and a subsequent crackdown on its members by Egyptian authorities.

“What this shows is that the widespread rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, particularly the largest protests in recorded human history in Egypt on June 30, 2013, that led to Morsi’s ouster, is not recognized by the State Department and the Obama administration,”
Poole said.

This is a direct insult to our Egyptian allies, who are in an existential struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood, all in the pursuit of the mythical ‘moderate Islamists’ who the D.C. foreign policy elite still believe will bring democracy to the Middle East,” Poole said."

Muslim Brotherhood 4 finger salute at US State Dept. and yellow icon via commenter, scroll down. Images from Facebook


Great Lakes desperate for another icebreaker, deeply grateful to US and Canada Coast Guard assistance, but can't keep shipping lanes open with only one icebreaker, $700 million and 4000 jobs lost in 2014 due to lack of needed icebreaking. In 2009 congress declined request for second Great Lakes icebreaker, said not needed-Ohio Standard

1/26/15, "Great Lakes carrier association asks US Congress for additional ice-breaker,", Great Lakes. Michigan


"A brutal winter that slowed the 2014 shipping season on the Great Lakes in Michigan has prompted one organisation to ask Congress for another heavy icebreaker.

The Lake Carriers' Association said a second vessel needs to be built to keep shipping lanes open on the lakes during harsh winter conditions
The association has requested another ice breaker similar to the Marinette Marine Corp.-built US Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw.

"I want to stress that Lake Carriers' Association and our members' customers deeply appreciate the efforts of the US and Canadian Coast Guards this past ice season," James H.I. Weakley, president of the association, said in a news release. 

However, he said that ice conditions made it clear that the abilities of both fleets needed to be re-assessed.

Thick ice that lasted into the late winter last year slowed commerce on the lakes and cost about US $700-million in lost business revenue and almost 4,000 jobs, according to the association. 

Another heavy icebreaker could help keep shipping lanes open, it says, but a Coast Guard spokesman said last year was an anomaly for ice on the lakes.

Lieutenant Davey Connor, a public affairs officer based in Cleveland, said that most winters the Coast Guard has what it needs to get the job done.

"With the combination of our fleet and the Canadian Coast Guard, who we work seamlessly with...we're confident we're resourced for 95% of winter-weather years," he told the media. "Last year was a 30-year exception, and we still kept the shipping lanes open as needed."

The US Coast Guard operates nine ice-capable ships on the lakes. Eight will operate this winter as one of the vessels is undergoing a refit as part of a mutliyear program to extend the service life of six 140-foot icebreaking tugs.

Mackinaw was delivered to the US Coast Guard in 2006, replacing a 1940s-vintage cutter that fulfilled the same duties and carried the same name.

Legislation seeking US $153-million for a second Great Lakes icebreaker was introduced in 2009, but didn't materialise due to concerns that the vessel would surplus to requirements." image above from Ohio Standard


1/27/15, "Global Warming so Bad Great Lakes need another Icebreaker," IBD Analysis, Kerry Jackson

"We haven't forgotten that in the beginning it was all about excessive heat, melting ice and rising sea levels. That's why we can't pass up this story about carriers asking for an additional icebreaker in the Great Lakes. Seems they want "to keep shipping lanes open on the lakes during harsh winter conditions."

This wasn't how it was predicted. The National Wildlife Federation warned that "potential global warming impacts" on the Great Lakes "include reduced water levels (due in particular to decreased winter ice cover allowing more evaporation)," and two years ago Climate Progress fretted that "last year, only 5% of the lakes froze over — compared to 1979 when ice coverage was as much as 94%.""...


Diane Farrell joins board of Indian solar company Azure after steering millions in taxpayer financing to them as an Export Import Bank Board member. Democrat Farrell was a 2007 George W. Bush appointee-Free Beacon

1/27/15, "Ex-Im Official Secures Millions for Indian Solar Company, Then Joins Its Board," Washington Free Beacon, Lachlan Markay

"As U.S. preps more subsidies for Indian solar companies, one such company is beefing up ties to the Export-Import Bank."
"As a controversial federal agency prepares extensive taxpayer support for green energy companies in India, one such company has hired a former top official at the agency who has helped it secure millions in taxpayer-backed financing.

Diane Farrell, who served on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Export-Import Bank and was a Democratic congressional candidate in Connecticut, will join the board of Indian solar company Azure Power, according to a Thursday press release.

The move came days before the Obama administration announced plans to expand U.S. support for India’s solar industry, which will include extensive U.S. taxpayer backing for companies such as Azure.

“Diane’s appointment will strengthen company’s policy making and advocacy expertise,” Azure said in its statement. Chief executive Inderpreet Wadhwa cited Farrell’s “illustrious career [in] strategic policy making.”

Farrell’s public sector experience, and her subsequent position at a division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that seeks to increase business ties with India, could give Azure a leg up in securing some of the $1 billion in Ex-Im loans for Indian companies purchasing U.S.-made solar power technology.
Farrell’s work has already benefitted the company. At Ex-Im, she steered nearly $16 million in taxpayer-backed financing to Azure for the purchase of solar panels manufactured by Arizona-based First Solar.

First Solar, a politically connected beneficiary of other Obama administration energy policies, is expected to be one of the main beneficiaries of Ex-Im loans to Indian solar companies.

Farrell, a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for a House of Representatives seat in Connecticut in 2004 and 2006. President George W. Bush appointed her to Ex-Im’s Board of Directors in 2007.

In that capacity, agency records show, Farrell voted to approve a $15,776,702 loan to Azure for the purchase of photovoltaic solar panels from First Solar and a California-based subsidiary of German company SMA Solar.

At the same meeting, Ex-Im’s board voted to approve financing for a Singaporean company’s purchase of equipment from aerospace giant Boeing. Farrell, whose husband is a Boeing executive, recused herself, a frequent beneficiary of Ex-Im support. from that vote and others that benefitted the company.

Ex-Im’s charter forbids agency officials from “participat[ing] in the deliberation upon or the determination of any question affecting such individual’s personal interests.”

However, the “revolving door” between Ex-Im and the companies and trade associations that benefit from the goodies the agency provides remains a common practice that critics say raises ethical questions.

Only in Washington is it considered acceptable for someone to use their taxpayer-funded position to funnel more than $15 million to a corporation and then join that corporation’s board to seek even more taxpayer money,” said Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action for America and a frequent Ex-Im critic.

“This reeks of favoritism and is yet another reason why Congress must allow Ex-Im to expire this year,” Holler said in an email.

Heritage Action and other Ex-Im detractors are also frequent critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which they say promotes policies, including Ex-Im loans, that allow large corporations to extract favors from federal lawmakers and regulators.

Farrell’s move feeds that criticism. After four years at Ex-Im, she was appointed to the U.S.-India Business Council, an advocacy group linked to the Chamber that promotes greater business ties between the two countries.

Both groups are staunch supporters of the Ex-Im Bank, and represent numerous companies that benefit from its taxpayer-backed financing.

Ex-Im recently beefed up its ties to the green energy industry. It appointed an executive of a prominent solar firm to lead structured finance at the agency, and tapped the head of a wind energy trade association and a former senior Environmental Protection Agency official for positions on its advisory board.

Companies such as First Solar are expected to benefit from its increasing focus on green energy. 

Their ability to secure taxpayer-backed financing could revive complaints that the industry is too reliant on federal support.

According to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, First Solar has “gained a unique advantage relative to its peers by mastering its relationship with government.”"


Catholic Church officials advanced Obama political agenda by holding 'educational events' at Church institutions in 5 states. Catholic groups have met at EPA offices. US gov. has requested meeting with Vatican to discuss binding US to a UN treaty-National Catholic Reporter

EPA chief Gina McCarthy: It’s important to have Pope Francis continue to speak as clearly as he can."...
1/27/15, "EPA chief headed to Vatican to talk climate change," National Catholic Reporter, Brian Roewe

"The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to make a brief Vatican visit at the end of the week on the topic of addressing climate change.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will meet there Friday with senior officials, among them Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. She is also slated to meet with Catholic journalists Friday morning and business leaders in Rome that afternoon.

The (EPA) agency initiated the meeting through U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Ken Hackett, viewing it as a unique opportunity to directly engage the Vatican.

Speaking to NCR ahead of her trip, McCarthy, an Irish Catholic from Massachusetts, described the Vatican stop as “the most important” on a five-day trip that will also have her visiting Geneva (Thursday), Rome (Friday) and Florence (Monday). She said the meetings will focus on discussing President Barack Obama’s climate action plan and EPA’s role in addressing the effects of climate change both domestically and internationally.

“Clearly, climate change is an issue that is impactful in terms of how we’re not just going to protect the most vulnerable but also take responsibility for protecting God’s natural resources,” McCarthy said.

“I think that the president and myself agree that climate change is indeed a moral issue,” she said. “It is about protecting those most vulnerable, and EPA’s job, as focusing on public health and environmental protection, always tasked ourselves to look at those most vulnerable and to ensure that when we’re taking action we’re addressing their needs most effectively.”

Discussions also expect to touch on Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical on the environment. In August, Turkson delivered a first draft of the teaching document to Francis, who has indicated the encyclical will publish in June or July -- in time for it to “make a contribution” to international climate negotiations in Paris in December....

In the summer, McCarthy called Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, chair of the Domestic Justice and Human Development committee of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, to thank him for his May letter supporting EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan....

During the Clean Power Plan’s commenting period, which closed Dec. 1, EPA received more than 2 million comments. The U.S. bishops’ conference and its affiliate groups encouraged Catholics to participate, with the Catholic Climate Covenant holding eight educational events at Catholic colleges and institutions in five states.

Since the summer, EPA has held meetings with USCCB officials, including an October gathering where McCarthy, Wenski and several Catholic groups -- among them Catholic Climate Covenant and Catholic Relief Services -- met at EPA headquarters to discuss the Clean Power Plan....

“Let’s keep in mind that environment isn’t just a natural resource issue or a safety problem. It is a fundamental threat to the economies across the world,” McCarthy said. 

She continued: “And that’s why it’s important to have Pope Francis continue to speak as clearly as he can because there are millions if not billions of people at risk here who the Catholic church and other faiths have been focused on for many, many years. And it’s those individuals that we need to speak for, and to help.”" via Free Rep.


Obama tells India he'll give them free US taxpayer dollars because India shouldn't have to 'bear the burden' of reducing CO2 alone-Times of India

1/27/15, "Can’t win climate fight without India: Obama," Times of India, New Delhi

"The US could not get a climate deal with India, but President Barack Obama on Tuesday made a strong pitch for emission cuts and said the world does not "stand a chance against climate change" unless developing countries like India cut their carbon emissions by reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

"I know the argument made by some, that it's unfair for countries like the United States to ask developing nations and emerging economies like India to reduce your dependence on the same fossil fuels that helped power our growth for more than a century," said Obama in his Town Hall address.

"But here's the truth: even if countries like the United States curb our emissions, if growing countries like India — with soaring energy needs — don't also embrace cleaner fuels, we don't stand a chance against climate change," he said in his last public speech before leaving the country.

Though India does not deny the importance of mitigation (emission cuts), the country lays greater emphasis on fighting climate change through massive adaptation measures and by moving on renewable energy (solar, wind and bio-fuels) path if it gets economically viable technology and investment.
India took this stand at all platforms and meetings ahead of Obama's visit. As a result, both the countries agreed for cooperation in renewable energy sector but did not go for the climate agreement that may factor in India's emission cut targets.

Obama, in fact, welcomed India's "ambitious targets" for generating more clean energy and promised to help the country to achieve this. He said, "We will continue to help you deal with impacts of climate change because you shouldn't have to bear that burden alone."

He also said with the breakthrough achieved during this visit, the two countries can finally move to fully implementing the civil nuclear agreement
which would mean more reliable electricity for Indians and cleaner energy that helps fight climate change."


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Facebook complies with Sharia law after Turkey threatens to block entire site for alleged offsense to Prophet Muhammad. Turkey restricted Facebook content almost 1900 times in first half of 2014-BBC

1/26/15, "Facebook complies with Turkey page block order," BBC

"The BBC has learned that Facebook has complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the Prophet Muhammad.

If the social media platform had refused, the court had threatened to block access to the entire site. The site is believed to have around 40 million members in Turkey.

Facebook declined to comment but it does have a policy of blocking access to content within a country if it breaks local law.

Facebook publishes a report of requests from governments around the world for user data. The latest report, which covers the period January - June 2014, shows that 1,893 "content restrictions" were made inside Turkey during that time.

Also during that period, Turkey temporarily blocked access to both Twitter and YouTube.

"These companies might be US-based but their users are global - they have to respect local traditions and customs," said cybersecurity expert Prof Alan Woodward from Surrey University.

"They are obliged to obey the laws of the country - the key is transparency.

"There's danger in a government censoring what people in a country see, so the people deserve to know if something is being censored."

According to Amnesty International one of Turkey's biggest newspapers, Cumhuriyet, is under criminal investigation for publishing a selection of images from French magazine Charlie Hebdo following the massacre of its editorial staff."