Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Nobel Peace Prize Chair demoted for first time in award's 114 year history. Jagland tenure began in 2009 with selection of Obama who ramped up drone killing. Later selections also drew controversy-UK Guardian, RT, Reuters, AFP

3/3/15, "Controversy swirls in Norway as Nobel peace prize chair forced out," UK Guardian, David Crouch 

"Perhaps most controversially, however, in Jagland’s first year as chairman the committee awarded the peace prize to US president Barack Obama, who had been in post for barely nine months, and was about to preside over a major expansion of the US military effort in Afghanistan – and the use of drones in the war on terror.

Morten Wetland, a former Norwegian ambassador to the UN, claimed last year the “most embarrassing day” in his job came when the prize was awarded to Obama, whose then-chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, accused Norway of “fawning” over the new president.

Kaci Kullmann Five, the committee’s new chair, is a former leader of the Conservative party and previously Jagland’s deputy. Jagland himself will remain on the committee for a further six-year term.

“There was broad agreement within the committee that Thorbjørn Jagland had been a good chair for six years,” Kullmann Five told reporters, but declined to comment further.

The Nobel committee mirrors the political complexion of Norway’s parliament, with two members appointed by Labour, two by the Conservatives, and one from the Progress party, which since 2013 has governed in coalition with the conservatives. The committee chooses its own chairperson....

Jagland reportedly left the Nobel Institute building by a back entrance on Tuesday to avoid an encounter with journalists before the change of management was formally announced."...  


"Obama won the prizefor his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," while the US was engaged in two lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as heightened US drone strikes on suspected militants in Pakistan and Yemen."...

3/4/15, "Unprecedented: Nobel Peace Prize chair who oversaw Obama award demoted," Russia Today

"Three out of six prize winners chosen under Thorbjoern Jagland have raised controversy.

Jagland’s first year as chairman in 2009 saw the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to US President Barack Obama, who at that time had only been in office for nine months.

Obama won the prizefor his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," while the US was engaged in two lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as heightened US drone strikes on suspected militants in Pakistan and Yemen."...


3/4/15, "Nobel Peace Prize chairman demoted, first time in 114-year history," Reuters, Oslo

"The committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize demoted its chairman on Tuesday, for the first time in the 114-year history of the award after his right-wing opponents won a majority on the prestigious panel.

Thorbjoern Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister of the Labour Party who has chaired the five-member panel since 2009, will now be a mere member of the committee."...


China reference:

3/3/15, "Nobel peace prize committee chairman Thorbjørn Jagland demoted," AFP via UK Guardian 
"A year after Obama received the prize, the committee drew Beijing’s ire for handing the prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, a move that effectively put Norway-China relations on ice."...

Al Arabiya Editor in Chief: Obama should listen to Netanyahu. What is controversial is Obama's take on managing global conflicts. Netanyahu is correct that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing and being taken over by terror groups mostly backed by Iran

3/3/15, "President Obama, listen to Netanyahu on Iran," Al Arabiya, Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief

"It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does.

However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.

The Israeli PM managed to hit the nail right on the head when he said that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing and that “terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran, are filling in the vacuum” during a recent ceremony held in Tel Aviv to thank outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz for his role during “challenging” times.

In just a few words, Mr. Netanyahu managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other U.S. allies in the region.

What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayottallah Ali Khamenei. (Although, the latter never seems to write back!)

Threat bigger than nuclear ambitions

Just to be clear, nobody disagrees that ridding Iran of its nuclear ambitions is paramount. And if this can be achieved peacefully, then it would be even better. However, any reasonable man CAN’T possibly turn a blind eye to the other realities on the ground.

Indeed, it is Mr. Obama’s controversial take on managing global conflicts that raises serious questions. A case in point is his handling of the Syrian crisis, where according to his own philosophical views, Obama probably takes pride that he managed to rid the Assad regime of its chemical weapons arsenal without firing a single bullet.

Of course, in theory, this could be quite an achievement (which only another war philosopher, such as Sun Tzu, would applaud); but in reality, the problem with what happened is that the REAL issue hasn’t been resolved; as such, the Syrian regime continues – until this day to slaughter their own people (albeit, using conventional weapons, you know… your everyday bullets, missiles and barrel bombs!)

As such, the real Iranian threat is not JUST the regime’s nuclear ambitions, but its expansionist approach and state-sponsored terrorism activities which are still ongoing. What is noteworthy, is that whilst in the past Tehran plotted and implemented most of its terror activities in secret (apart from a few obvious examples such as the 1983 Beirut attack on U.S. Marines); the Islamic Republic seems so at ease today that, as noted by renowned media columnist Diana Moukalled recently, it went public with documenting the appearances of Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force.

In her latest column, Moukalled wrote the days of the few, amateur shots of the infamous Commander are long gone.

“Since a few months, photos of Qassim Soleimani have become plentiful and available in High Definition.”

“Soleimani is no longer that secretive personality whose role over the past two decades has lingered been between myth and reality. He is now telling us bluntly: Yes, I am Iran’s strongman who is responsible for the Iranian military's expansion in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestine,” she wrote.

Among his many handlings, Soleimani is the godfather of Iraq’s infamous “Asaa’ib Ahl Al-Haq” (AAS) brigade, a Shiite paramilitary terrorist group responsible for dozens of atrocious attacks and murdering of both Iraqis and Americans.

Iran supports al-Qaeda

Not only is Iran responsible for sponsoring Shiite terrorist groups, but Sunni ones too.

In fact, according to the U.S.’s own State Department, Tehran was home to a number of Al-Qaeda facilitators and high ranking financiers. These accusations are also backed by findings of the U.S. Treasury Department as well.

Now, some would argue that it would be biased and/or naive to leave out Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, out of the equation and blame most of the regions problems on the mischievous Iranian regime.

On the contrary, it would be biased and/or naïve NOT to blame Iran for such problems. After all, yes there are terrorists in Saudi Arabia and there are people who financed terrorism, but these are officially outlaws, who are either in jail, being hunted down or are hiding in the caves of Tora Bora or some other remote area.

The same, sadly, doesn’t apply to the terrorists of Iran; these are in uniform, hold government positions and are not bothering to hide their evil plots anymore!"

"Faisal J. Abbas is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya English, he is a renowned blogger and an award-winning journalist. Faisal covered the Middle East extensively working for Future Television of Lebanon and both Al-Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat pan-Arab dailies. He blogs for The Huffington Post since 2008, and is a recipient of many media awards and a member of the British Society of Authors, National Union of Journalists, the John Adams Society as well as an associate member of the Cambridge Union Society."


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

EPA must have "secret science" in case "it" needs it for regulations. Pathetic GOP should go home. There's no reason for them to be in office

"MORE INK FOR THE VETO PEN, PLEASE: The White House put out a pair of veto threats Tuesday targeting a pair of Republican House bills on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of scientific research.

One bill aims to stop the EPA from using “secret science” to back up its regulations, while the other would put new requirements on the EPA’s scientific advisory panel of experts.

But the White House complained that the legislation would handicap the agency’s attempts to write necessary regulations.

“Provisions of the bill could be interpreted to prevent EPA from taking important, and possibly legally required, actions, where supporting data is not publicly available, and legal challenges could delay important environmental and health protections,” the White House said of the “secret science” bill.

The advisory committee bill could invite new challenges to rules when the EPA hides information about test subjects or proprietary data, the administration said." via Hockey Schtick


Washington Post Editorial Board: Obama must provide real answers to Netanyahu's arguments

3/3/15, "Obama needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu’s arguments," Washington Post Editorial Board

"THE CONCERNS about a prospective nuclear agreement with Iran raised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a speech to Congress on Tuesday are not — as the White House was quick to point out — new. They had, for example, been spelled out in Senate hearings, as an editorial we published last month recounted. Mr. Netanyahu’s decision to repeat this case before a joint meeting of Congress in defiance of the White House and leading Democrats risked turning what should be a substantive debate into a partisan scrimmage.

Nevertheless, Mr. Netanyahu’s arguments deserve a serious response from the Obama administration--one it has yet to provide. The White House has sought to dismiss the Israeli leader as a politician seeking reelection; has said that he was wrong in his support for the Iraq war and in his opposition to an interim agreement with Iran; and has claimed that he offers no alternative to President Obama’s policy. Such rhetoric will not satisfy those in and out of Congress who share Mr. Netanyahu’s legitimate questions.

His speech singled out “two major concessions” he said would be part of any deal the United States and its partners conclude with Iran. The first is the acceptance of a large Iranian nuclear infrastructure, including thousands of centrifuges for uranium enrichment. The second is a time limit on any restrictions, so that in as little as a decade Iran would be free to expand its production of nuclear materials. Consequently, Mr. Netanyahu said, the deal “doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”

The Israeli prime minister’s most aggressive argument concerned the nature of the Iranian regime, which he called “a dark and brutal dictatorship” engaged in a “march of conquest, subjugation and terror.” Saying that the regime’s ideology is comparable with that of the Islamic State, he asserted that it could not be expected to change during the decade-long term of an agreement. He proposed that controls on the nuclear program should be maintained “for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.” 

In essence, this was an argument that Iran must be sanctioned and contained while its clerical regime remains in power. That has been the explicit or de facto U.S. policy since 1979, but Mr. Obama appears to be betting that detente can better control Iran’s nuclear ambitions and, perhaps, produce better behavior over time. Yet he has shied from explicitly making that case; instead, his aides argue that the only alternative to his approach is war.

Mr. Netanyahu strongly disputed that point. “Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime,” he said. Is that wrong? For that matter, is it acceptable to free Iran from sanctions within a decade and allow it unlimited nuclear capacity? Rather than continuing its political attacks on Mr. Netanyahu, the administration ought to explain why the deal it is contemplating is justified — or reconsider it." via Free Rep.


"Wow. Holy cow. Just wow." Netanyahu gave a speech to rally and save Western civilization which is under assault-Rush Limbaugh

3/3/15, "Netanyahu Is Everything Obama Is Not," Rush Limbaugh
Netanyahu before US Congress, 3/3/15

"RUSH:  Wow. Holy cow. Just wow.  Man, what have we been missing for the last six-plus years, what could have been?... 

Nothing focuses the mind and heart like moral, ethical, and legal clarity.  And today in the House of Representatives chamber at the United States Capitol, the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, gave an historically important speech. A speech that any previous American president could have and maybe would have made, a speech to rally and save Western civilization.

We are talking about thwarting a plan that gives the world's leading terrorist state, we're talking about thwarting a plan being brokered by our administration that gives Iran a certain path to produce nuclear weapons. Iran, the world's leading exporter of terrorism, the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East. And Benjamin Netanyahu came to the United States today in a desperate plea for the world to focus, to get serious, and take notice of what is happening. It was stunning....

Ladies and gentlemen, it was powerful, and the Drive-By Media is underselling this. As I watched the post-speech commentary on the cable news networks, never has it been more clear that the world in which they live is not the world in which we live. To them it's just another hum-ho speech that happened to be delivered by a foreign leader....

They're looking at it through the political prism of how does it help or hurt Obama? How does it help or hurt the Democrat Party, and what is Obama going to do? Will this hurt the Democrats who boycotted this speech? 

They are missing the full impact and importance of what this speech was. So we will try during the program today to tell you what that was, explain to you the importance of this speech. The optics of this speech were just so overwhelmingly powerful. When I say "what could have been," this was leadership. This was leadership in full force. 

Benjamin Netanyahu today was everything Barack Obama is not.  Everything. This speech today even featured Netanyahu turning to a guest in the gallery, much like presidents who deliver State of the Union speeches. Netanyahu's guest, Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor. This speech, as I say, historically important, moral, ethical, and legal clarity. Nothing like that combination to focus the mind. And this speech was all about rallying and saving Western civilization, which is what is under assault

Here's some excerpts of what Netanyahu said for those of you who haven't yet had a chance to see it.  "Iran's regime is not merely a Jewish problem anymore than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. ... the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons....Many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations."

By the way, that highlights one of the stark differences between the Obama administration's approach to all of this and what the approach is in opposition to Obama. The Obama administration believes that they have no right to tell any nation what they can or can't do, particularly and especially involving nuclear weapons. So what the Obama administration is relying on is, go ahead and give them a time frame where they can get the bomb, ten years, but in that time frame we will persuade them never to use them. 

This highlights the hubris and arrogance of Obama, that speeches and words can tame tyrants.  We've already seen after six years that that promise of Barack Obama back in 2008 has fallen flat.  People elected Obama in 2008 with the belief that speeches and words and intelligence could tame the world's tyrants and make them once again love the United States, which they had only recently begun to hate because of George W. Bush.  Well, after six years of Obama's speeches and persuasion and ego and arrogance, the world is on fire.  It is less safe than when Obama arrived on the scene. 
Speeches, words, persuasion, will never work. Ask Neville Chamberlain. Ask anybody who has asked a tyrant to stop being a tyrant. But this highlights the difference. That is the Obama approach. Even though Obama only has two more years in office, he still believes that the power of his personality and his community organizer skills or whatever, that he can persuade Iran after they get the nuke not to use it. 

The Israeli approach is prevention. Do not let them get the bomb. Don't take the risk. Don't rely on a nation which has a 36-year track record of terrorism to all of a sudden get up one day and become nice guys. Netanyahu doesn't believe it, doesn't believe he wants to take the chance, doesn't think it's worth the chance. He said, "Many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations."

He said, "When it comes to ISIS and Iran, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy....Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America."
And then it got really powerful. By the way, I should point out, he started out with overwhelming praise of Obama. He understands Obama to a T. He understands what you have to do. He understands you have to kiss ass. He understands you have to bootlick. He understands this is what Obama requires. It didn't work, but nevertheless it makes Obama look small when he responds....

This was a call to action, a call to a specific type of action that's much different than the rhetoric we are getting from this administration, and rhetoric is all we get. He said, "This deal does not block Iran's path to the bomb, it paves Iran's path to the bomb." Do you realize, ladies and gentlemen, the powerful accusation contained in just that sentence? "This deal does not block Iran's path to the bomb, it paves Iran's path to the bomb."  This was a direct punch. If Obama watched this, the first thing that would have-ticked him off would have been the rousing presidential-like standing ovation that Netanyahu got as he entered the House chamber. And it would have only gotten worse for Obama after that
Netanyahu very cleverly committed, by virtue of the applause he got in the chamber, virtually committed the United States Congress to his conception of defending Israel. But he said, "Israel now has the ability to defend herself, and, if necessary, Israel will go it alone." Which is another slap, or shall I say punch. Netanyahu said, "This deal won't be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control." He pointed out everybody's praising the fact that there are inspectors, UN inspectors will go in and inspect what Iran has done. He pointed out inspectors can't and don't stop anything.  Inspectors, at the end of the day, are meaningless. Look at the inspectors in Iraq.

If the inspectors in Iraq had actually had access, we could have learned that Saddam was using artful BS about his weapons of mass destruction. He pointed out that we've had inspectors go into North Korea time and time again. Inspectors who spotted X, Y, and Z.  They leave. North Korea has the bomb. Netanyahu said, "If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country. ... They need the deal a lot more than you do," he said. "This is a bad deal. It's a very bad deal. We're better off without it. ...The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal."...

But I'm telling you, folks, this was leadership, this was fearlessness. This speech today has a lot of people wishing we had this kind of forceful moral, ethical clarity leading our own country. And there will be a lot of Democrats, of course, who disagree with that profoundly. Don't expect this to unify anything. But what this is going to do, and what it did, was expose the abject weakness in the United States position on this whole concept of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon."... 



Club for Growth reassures Republicans under attack by Boehner affiliated Super PAC that it will support them

3/3/15, "Club For Growth Reassures Republicans: If Boehner Is Attacking You With TV Ads, We Have Your Back," Breitbart, Matthew Boyle

"The Club for Growth PAC announced on Tuesday that it will support Republicans who are subjected to attack ads from the American Action Network (AAN), a Super PAC close to Speaker John Boehner.
“The Club for Growth has taken no position on the DHS funding bill, and we take no position on it now,” Club for Growth president David McIntosh said in a statement.
However, when the House Speaker’s Super PAC chooses to attack conservatives in the House for taking a stand on the principles they believe in, that is a matter of concern to us. What’s next? Will Speaker Boehner run ads against House conservatives who oppose raising the debt ceiling or support eliminating the corporate welfare slush fund that is the Export-Import Bank?
We have a message for those House Republicans who might be targeted: if the Speaker of the House attacks you for standing up for economic freedom and limited government, the Club for Growth PAC will have your back.
McIntosh’s statement comes in response to the news that AAN is targeting Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) with attack ads calling for them to support Speaker Boehner’s newly announced position in support of taxpayer funding for Obama’s executive amnesty.

Boehner’s ex-chief of staff Barry Jackson and former RNC chief of staff Mike Shields are on the board of AAN."


Netanyahu's popularity in America has increased as Obama's infantile attacks on him have continued around the clock, with an anger never evidenced for genocidal head slicers and rapists. Netanyahu is everything Obama is not-Peter Wehner

3/2/15, "Netanyahu Is Everything Obama Is Not," Peter Wehner, Commentary

"A month ago, I referred to Barack Obama as “quite simply, anti-Israel.” Events in the last month have only confirmed that judgment.

There are many arguments one could marshall to support that assertion, but it strikes me that among the most compelling is this: Mr. Obama has more anger toward Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, than he has toward any other regime in the world–including the most oppressive ones.

He has treated the prime minister of the Jewish state with more disrespect and pettiness than any other world leader–including the most brutal ones. The time and energy that President Obama and his administration have spent on attacking Mr. Netanyahu–on the record, on background, and off the record–is astonishing. Only Obama’s golf game seems to command more of his time and passion than does Israel, though with the former it’s all positive energy and with the latter it’s all negative energy.

There is undoubtedly a troubling combination of reasons that explains Mr. Obama’s relentless hostility to Israel and Netanyahu; I suspect one of them is that the Israeli prime minister refuses to be intimidated by the president and is willing to publicly challenge his arguments–and worse, from Mr. Obama’s perspective, to embarrass the president by exposing (in this case) his policy of appeasement toward Iran. (For more on the disastrous deal the president has embraced, read this and this.)

I have spoken to members of Congress who have dealt with Mr. Obama and remarked to me that he gets most petulant and prickly when he’s challenged and bested in debate. It infuriates him, which is what you would expect from a president who is notorious for his facile arguments and intellectual dishonesty. No chief executive in my lifetime more closely fits the description by Kenneth Minogue: “a pyrotechnic in a field of straw men.” (h/t George Will.)

Narcissists hate to be embarrassed, which is precisely what Mr. Netanyahu will do to Mr. Obama tomorrow from the well of Congress. Unlike the president, the Israeli prime minister won’t be nasty or personal about it. Rather, he will do it, I suspect, with surgical precision, demolishing one Obama argument after another. Which will only infuriate Mr. Obama even more. (So will the fact that Mr. Netanyahu’s popularity in America is increasing despite, and perhaps because of, the administration’s childish attacks on him.)

Mr. Netanyahu is everything Barack Obama is not: Strong, tough, shrewd, unwilling to bend and bow to tyrants and willing to stand up for his nation and defend it abroad. On some level, Mr. Obama must surely know this. He hates Mr. Netanyahu for it, even as others of us admire him all the more for it." via Lucianne


Obama has enabled Iran to take over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. He has also allowed Netanyahu to become a leader of historic dimensions.-Caroline Glick
2/27/15, "Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week because Obama left him no choice," Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, via Jewish World Review

3/2/15, "Netanyahu, Not Obama, Speaks for Us," Quin Hillyer, NRO

"The leader of the free world will be addressing Congress on Tuesday. The American president is doing everything possible to undermine him. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a nation surrounded by enemies, a nation so small that it narrows at one point to just 9.3 miles. Yet, in a world where the Oval Office is manned by someone openly apologetic for most American exercises of power; and where Western Europe’s economy is enervated, its people largely faithless, and its leadership feckless; and where Freedom House has found “an overall drop in [global] freedom for the ninth consecutive year,” the safeguarding of our civilization might rely more on leaders who possess uncommon moral courage than on those who possess the most nukes or biggest armies. Right now, nobody on the world stage speaks for civilization the way Netanyahu does. While Barack Obama babbles about the supposedly “legitimate grievances” of those who turn to jihad, Netanyahu talks like this (from his speech to the United Nations on September 27, 2012):

"The clash between modernity and medievalism need not be a clash between progress and tradition. The traditions of the Jewish people go back thousands of years. They are the source of our collective values and the foundation of our national strength. At the same time, the Jewish people have always looked towards the future. 

Throughout history, we have been at the forefront of efforts to expand liberty, promote equality, and advance human rights. We champion these principles not despite of our traditions but because of them. We heed the words of the Jewish prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah to treat all with dignity and compassion, to pursue justice and cherish life and to pray and strive for peace. These are the timeless values of my people and these are the Jewish people’s greatest gift to mankind. Let us commit ourselves today to defend these values so that we can defend our freedom and protect our common civilization."...

Obama not only begrudges the Israeli prime minister the opportunity to make his case against this existential threat to his nation, but he conducts a diplomatic and political assault against Netanyahu of a ferocity rarely seen in the annals of American foreign policy. Obama’s actions aren’t just wrongheaded; they are malignant. They pervert American tradition and American interests, and they attempt to deprive the entire free world of its single most clarion voice for enlightenment values.
Benjamin Netanyahu of course speaks first for Israel, but he speaks also for you and for me, for decency and humaneness, and for vigilance and strength against truly evil adversaries. Congress, by inviting him, is wise. Obama, by opposing him, is horribly wrong. And the civilized world, if it ignores him, will be well-nigh suicidal."


Comment: Thanks again to the entire Bush family and Rupert Murdoch for destroying the Republican Party and handing the country to the radical left. 


NY City murders up 20% in 2015 over Jan-Feb. 2014 despite 12 murder-free days in Feb. Five worst precincts include 3 in Brooklyn, 1 in Bronx, 1 in Queens. 7 drug related deaths involved marijuana dealers-NY Daily News

3/2/15, "Murders up 20% in 2015 in year-to-year comparison, NYPD says," NY Daily News, by , ,

"The murder rate in New York City has spiked an alarming 20% in the first two months of the year, prompting NYPD brass to rethink strategy to curb the deadly trend.

Since Jan. 1, 54 murders have been recorded in the city, up nine from the same period a year ago, according to the grim stats released Monday.

Shootings have also climbed 20% — with 149 so far in 2015 compared with 126 in the first two months of 2014.

But overall, crime has dropped 11% in most major crime categories, including burglary, robbery, rape, grand larceny and auto theft.

The bump in killings came despite a 12-day span over the first two weeks of February when no murders were recorded.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said the rise in killings and shootings should not be taken as indications of “the bad old days roaring back.”

“This is something that we’ve got our arms around, something we have every confidence we can identify motives and basically focus on that,” Bratton said Monday.

Breaking down the deadly data, Bratton said most of the killings and shootings have been concentrated in five of the city’s 77 police precincts.

The department hopes to curb the violence by beefing up patrols in the troubled precincts — which include the 

46th Precinct in the Bronx, the 
102nd Precinct in Queens and the 
67th, 63rd and 75th Precincts in Brooklyn
“At this stage of the game, this is not a precursor of (the) worst to come,” Bratton said. “My sense is we have a pretty good handle on it.”

The city would record 324 murders by year’s end at this pace, which would be less than the 328 murders across the five boroughs in 2014, the lowest since 1963. The murder count for 2013 was 335.

At least 19 of the slayings this year were the result of robberies, burglaries, gang warfare or drug dealing.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said each of the seven drug-related murders this year involved marijuana dealers being targeted. “These are not turf battles. These are ripoffs of marijuana dealers,” Boyce said.

At least eight murders were attributed to domestic violence, including that of a 3-year-old Brooklyn boy allegedly beaten to death last week by his belt-wielding aunt. 

A dozen other slayings were sparked by various disputes, while four were reclassified as murders after the victims died from wounds suffered before the start of the year. Motives in at least nine murders remained unknown. One killing was deemed an accident and one justified, cops said."...