Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Obama homicide against California continues, now set on demolishing 3 dams on Klamath River, loss of clean hydro and irrigation

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"Now, Prof. Paul R. Houser of George Mason University alleges that the administration's plan is all based on junk science."

2/28/12, "Whistleblower exposes Obama junk science," City Square

"Against intense local opposition, the Obama administration wants to demolish three dams on the Klamath River in Siskiyou County, California. Low-cost clean hydroelectricity as well as water for irrigation would be lost if the dams were removed. Removal of the dams would also cause chaos for ranchers, homeowners, and small business who live and work in the downstream of the dams. Despite this, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been trying to force dam removal for the supposed benefit of some salmon and steelhead spawning habitat.

Now, Prof. Paul R. Houser of George Mason University alleges that the administration's plan is all based on junk science. In his role as science advisor to the Bureau of Reclamation, he was closely involved in the project. He has filed a formal complaint (PDF) alleging "intentional falsification" and "intentional . . . compromise of scientific and scholarly integrity." In particular, he says that, under orders from Ken Salazar, the department produced a "summary" report that "intentionally distorts and generally presents a biased view of the Klamath River dam removal benefits." In particular, he alleges:
  • The summary section on Chinook Salmon recovery projects an 81.4 percent recovery, but says nothing about the nine contingencies summarized in the June 13, 2011, Klamath River Expert Panel Final Report: Scientific Assessment of Two Dam Removal Alternatives on Chinook Salmon report that could completely negate this projected recovery . . . .
  • The summary states that "Coho salmon reclaim 68 miles of habitat", but says nothing about the April 25, 2011 statement in the Klamath River Expert Panel Final Report: Scientific Assessment of Two Dam Removal Alternatives on Coho Salmon and Steelhead that "the difference between the Proposed Action and Current Conditions is expected to be small, especially in the short term (0-10 years after dam removal)." . . . .
  • The summary states that dam removal will likely reduce salmon disease, but does not properly state its uncertainty [which is] very high".
  • The summary also spins an optimistic outlook for Steelhead trout, providing access to 420 miles of historical habitat. However, the April 25, 2011 Klamath River Expert Panel Final Report: Scientific Assessment of Two Dam Removal Alternatives on Coho Salmon and Steelhead states that this success would be dependent on effective implementation of the proposed and related actions [e.g.Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)]; whereas ineffective implementation would result in no detectable response.
The changes, Prof. Houser alleges, report only the positive while distorting or falsifying the science.

You can read more about Prof. Houser's extensive qualifications here. Congress has not yet approved Salazar's plan. With luck, they will block it entirely."

=================

Sept. 22, 2009, "Senate rejects measure to turn California water on," Washington Times, Amanda Carpenter


via Michael Savage

Joe Barton comes on strong citing conflicts of interest among EPA researchers and reviewers, then wimps out, acts like good Democrat

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GOP House Energy and Commerce committee members from Fred Upton on down should change their party registration from R to D.
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2/28/12, "Embarrassing: House GOP wimps out at EPA budget hearing," Junk Science, Steve Milloy

"Lisa Jackson wins again.

We were somewhat excited to hear Texas Rep. Joe Barton use his opening statement at today’s House Energy and Commerce hearing on the EPA 2013 budget to read EPA chief Lisa Jackson the riot act.

Barton denounced EPA science and cost-benefit analysis and the conflict of interest among the agency’s researchers and reviewers. He even waived a copy of a scientific reference manual at Jackson. Barton seemed to imply that this was going to be a rough hearing for Jackson.

It wasn’t. Barton didn’t even come back to question Jackson. The rest of his Republican colleagues were more in supplicant than oversight mode.

Many (most) GOP questioners seemed to be more interested in asking Jackson for favors concerning their parochial interests. No one — not even West Virginia firebrand David McKinley — pressed Jackson along the lines that Barton started.

It’s clear that House Republicans lack fire in their belly,

  • knowledge of EPA’s regulatory over-reach and
  • lack the ability to competently cross-examine Lisa Jackson.

It was a thoroughly disappointing and disheartening hearing.

No GOP-er on the Energy and Commerce Committee earned re-election with that performance. They are fortunate that the alternative (Henry Waxman, Ed Markey, et al.) is so unacceptable.

Tomorrow, Lisa Jackson will be testifying before the House Appropriations Committee on the 2013 budget. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing with Jackson, originally scheduled for March 2, has been postponed.

  • So we’ll see what happens with those hearings.

Until then, read “Showdown at the EPA Corral.”

Click to watch the hearing."

=================

2/1/12, "Upton challenger cites light bulb ban," Junk Science, Steve Milloy


via Climate Depot

'US in talks to swap terrorist Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and 49 others for 19 Americans held in Egypt'

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2/29/12, "BOMBSHELL: US in talks to swap jihad terror Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman & 49 others for 19 Americans held in Egypt," Atlas Shrugs, Pamela Geller

"Shocking. This would be the nadir of Obama's craven foreign policy of surrender, releasing the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that left killed six people and injured more than a thousand. Treason.

Al-Arabiya: US in talks to swap jihad terror Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman & 49 others for 19 Americans held in Egypt thanks to Robert Spencer

Al-Arabiya is reporting, in Arabic only so far, that the U.S. is talking with the Egyptian government to free the blind Sheikh and 49 other Egyptians currently imprisoned in the U.S. in exchange for the freedom of the 19 Americans the Egyptians are holding.

The blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, is in prison for his role in masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center jihad terror bombing. If he is freed, it will be the apotheosis of Obama's policy of appeasement toward the Islamic world.

"Omar Abdel Rahman at the head of Egyptian-American swap deal," from al-Arabiya (Arabic), February 28 (thanks to Emad):

The Egyptian government has started real action to respond to a U.S. offer offering to release 50 Egyptians in American prisons, including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, in return for the release of 19 Americans accused of foreign funding of nongovernmental organizations, as confirmed by Major General Mohamed Hani Zaher, an expert on military research and the fight against international terrorism.

Zaher told the newspaper that the Egyptians need to exploit the weak U.S. position,especially after the conviction of their nationals on charges affecting Egypt's sovereignty over its territory, and not to allow this deal to take place without the agreement of the U.S. administration to release more than 500 Egyptian prisoners in U.S. custody; the Egyptian Foreign Ministry does not know anything about them.

He added that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry asked the Egyptian Embassy in Washington for a list of Egyptian prisoners in the United States of America,

and the Egyptian consulate there had already started procedures to account for the number of Egyptian prisoners and detainees in custody on a number of charges in the United States, he said, adding that among the prisoners in the Consulate files was Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the Mufti of Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Group) and currently imprisoned in America...." photo of Sheikh Rahman from Atlas Shrugs. Above Time Magazine cover, 1993

1993 World Trade Center bombing, photo Pendleton Panther

2/26/93, World Trade Center bombing, charliekennedy

2/26/93, World Trade Center bombing, withfriendship

NY Times front page, 2/26/93

Sheikh Rahman, photo Al Arabiya

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Salafist Muslims amend oath of Egypt upper house, note constitution must agree with "God's law" and have "no contradictions"

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2/28/12, "Islamist elected speaker of Egypt's upper house," BBC

"Egypt's upper house of parliament has chosen an Islamist as its speaker, consolidating the Muslim Brotherhood's control of the country's legislature.

Ahmed Fahmi, a little-known member of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), was elected during the Shura Council's inaugural session.

The FJP now controls 59% of the seats in the Shura Council and 43% in the lower house, the People's Assembly.

They will select a 100-member panel to draft a new constitution on Saturday....

As happened when the People's Assembly held its first session in January, Salafists made impromptu additions to the text of the oath. It [sic] with a pledge to respect the constitution and law, but several added "God's law" or "as long as there are no contradictions with God's law"."...

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India growth in 4Q 2011 slowest pace in nearly 3 years-BBC

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2/29/12, "India growth drops to slowest in nearly three years," BBC

"The Indian economy expanded at its slowest pace in nearly three years as the manufacturing sector continued to slow.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.1% between October and December, from a year earlier.

Growth in manufacturing sector slowed to 0.4% during the period, down from 2.7% in the previous quarter.

India's growth has also been hurt by a series of interest rate hikes aimed at reining in high prices....

Analysts said that given the slowdown in key sectors such as manufacturing and mining, Asia's third-largest economy may not be able to achieve its growth targets for the current financial year."...

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Durable Goods drop 4% in Jan. 2012, biggest drop in 3 years, machinery orders drop 10.4%

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Unexpectedly.

2/28/12, "Durable Goods Orders in U.S. Drop 4%, Marking Worst Decline in Three Years," Bloomberg

"Orders for U.S. durable goods fell in January by the most in three years, led by a slowdown in demand for commercial aircraft and business equipment.

Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years slumped 4 percent, more than forecast, after a revised 3.2 percent gain the prior month, data from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Economists projected a 1 percent decline, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

The expiration at the end of 2011 of a tax incentive allowing full depreciation on equipment purchases may have prompted a slowdown in investment at the start of this year....

Capital Goods

Orders slumped 10.4 percent for machinery, the most in three years, and primary metals demand dropped 6.7 percent....

Shipments of non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, used in calculating gross domestic product, decreased 3.1 percent, the most since April 2009, after rising 2.8 percent. "...via Instapundit

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US soldiers involved in inadvertent Koran burning to be put on 'open trial as soon as possible'

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$6 billion US tax dollars per month go to Afghanistan
even though it's well known the country is strictly controlled by organized crime.


2/27/12, "Obama Apologizes for Koran Burning as Afghan Riots Continue," Bloomberg,

"We will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible,” Obama said in a letter delivered by U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker....

Karzai appealed for calm yesterday, asking people to await the outcome of the investigation. NATO officials have promised to prosecute perpetrators of the burning “through an open trial, as soon as possible,” according to an e-mailed statement from Karzai’s press office today.

A German ISAF officer, Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, told reporters yesterday that the force hoped to issue as statement as early as today on how the incident unfolded. George Little, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said today that he expected results of the inquiry to be made public “within days” of its completion." ...

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2/28/12, "We Don't Belong There," American Thinker, Ned Barnett

"The BBC reports that four desecrated copies of the Koran were being used by captured Muslim terrorists to pass messages among fellow prisoners. The Washington Times confirmed this, reporting that defiled copies of the Koran contained extremist messages and inscriptions. These radical Muslim prisoners ignored the prohibition on even touching the Koran without first purifying themselves, perverting Holy texts into tools of propaganda.

Yet the Afghan-in-the-street crowds are not protesting the acts of those Muslim terrorists who defiled their own Holy books. The Karzai government is also ignoring the acts of the incarcerated Muslim terrorists, who had no compunction about violating the purity of their own sacred Koran. They've gotten a "free pass" for their acts of desecration while all blame -- both official and unofficial -- is heaped on Americans."...

---------------------------------

Subcontractors are impossible to trace."...

7/25/11, "U.S. trucking funds end up in Taliban hands," Reuters

Citation for $6 billion/month tax dollars to Afghan. at above link.
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2000 cases of corruption have been reported but no prosecutions have taken place.

10/11/11, "AP Exclusive: Afghanistan obstructs graft probes," AP,

A major investigation into an influential Afghan governor accused of taking bribes has been shut down and its top prosecutor transferred to a unit that doesn't handle corruption cases, Afghan and U.S. officials said.

The closing of the investigation into the former governor of Kapisa province, Ghulam Qawis Abu Bakr, comes on the heels of a grim, unpublicized assessment by U.S. officials that no substantive corruption prosecutions were taking place in Afghanistan despite President Hamid Karzai's pledge to root out graft.

The Abu Bakr investigation raises troubling questions yet again about how much U.S. taxpayer money is lining the pockets of powerful Afghan officials, and whether the U.S. is doing all it can to persuade Karzai to crack down on corruption. It also suggests that the lax prosecution of corruption has pervaded all levels of government.

U.S. officials had hoped the case would be the first conviction of a relatively significant person in Afghan government. While most of Abu Bakr's influence is in Kapisa province, he is also connected to the Hizb-e-Islami political party, which the government has been trying to court in hopes of getting the group to cut its ties with militants.

Abu Bakr was suspended as governor after CIA Director David Petraeus, then the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, presented Karzai with documentation showing that he was colluding with the Taliban, according to an Afghan official in Kabul with direct knowledge of the incident.

In the two years since Karzai unveiled a new anti-corruption task force, powerful government figures have been accused of corruption and even investigated, but seldom brought to court. It appears that Abu Bakr will be no exception.

Most of the approximately 2,000 cases investigated by the anti-corruption unit since its birth in 2009 have stalled, said a NATO official familiar with the unit, who spoke anonymously to discuss sensitive matters. The 28 convictions so far have all been of minor players. The attorney general's office has been infiltrated by power brokers, ranging from lawmakers to warlords, who are systematically blocking cases, the NATO official said.

In general, little has come of Karzai's promises after a fraud-marred 2009 election that he would make rooting out graft a priority. In fact, a corruption scandal in the interim involving the country's largest private bank has incriminated a number of Karzai allies, including relatives.

The first evidence that corruption was not being taken seriously in the attorney general's office came in the summer of 2010, when a Karzai aide was arrested on charges of accepting a car in exchange for his help in thwarting a corruption case. Karzai ordered the release of the aide, Mohammad Zia Salehi....

Current and former U.S. officials said the American administration was trying to downplay their anti-corruption work in its Afghanistan policy because it was such a failure.

The case against Abu Bakr opened last year after allegations surface d he had received a $200,000 bribe in exchange for the contract to build a cell tower, an Afghan official said.

Abu Bakr lives in Mahmud-i-Raqi, the capital of Kapisa province, in a large house. He has three other houses in Kabul, all built, according to the original witness statements, with stone and gravel paid for by foreign donations intended for roads, schools and clinics.

About 20 witnesses said the governor forced local construction companies to give him truckloads of gravel and stone for his expensive homes, according to the officials. The witnesses reportedly said the governor threatened to halt their construction projects if he didn't get what he wanted.

However, when prosecutors traveled to Kapisa in late June to get more evidence, the witnesses were no longer willing to cooperate.

"They changed their story," the Afghan official said. Prosecutors also met with Abu Bakr, who denied everything.

Only one witness was still willing to testify, a man named Shah Agha who said Abu Bakr shut down his rock-crushing plant after he refused to donate 100 trucks of gravel — worth about $10,500 — for the construction of one of his houses. Agha said within an hour of giving his statement in Kabul, his phone started ringing.

"It was people, friends, asking me why I had talked against Abu Bakr," Agha told the AP. He said his testimony could only have gotten out so quickly if someone inside the attorney general's office was tipping people off."...

====================

9/25/11, "Government by crime syndicate," LA Times, Op-ed, Sarah Chayes,

"In Afghanistan and elsewhere, rampant corruption threatens security and the rule of law."

"Afghanistan is controlled by a structured, mafiaesque system, in which money flows upward via purchase of office, kickbacks or "sweets" in return for permission to extract resources (of which more varieties exist in impoverished Afghanistan than one might think) and protection in case of legal or international scrutiny. Those foolish enough to raise objections are punished. The result is a system that selects for criminality, excluding and marginalizing the very men and women of probity
  • most needed to build a sustainable state....
The remarkable public confrontation between the Gandhi-like ascetic Anna Hazare and the government of India — which came to a triumphant end last month with a glass of orange juice and a government promise to create a strong, independent anti-corruption agency — is the latest manifestation of a worldwide explosion of outrage at what historians may someday come to deem humanity's latest form of tyranny: the capture of states by criminal syndicates.
  • Otherwise known as rampant public corruption."...

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7/18/11, "The War on Terror, now starring Yemen and Somalia," Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com

"There is a concerted campaign underway to ensure that the War on Terror bonanza continues unimpeded in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, and even despite Leon Panetta's acknowledgment that Al Qaeda has a grand total of "fewer than two dozen key operatives" on the entire planet. That effort relies primarily on touting a growing villainous alliance -- the scariest since Marvel Comic's Masters of Evil -- between Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (mostly in Yemen) and the al Shabab group in Somalia. To accomplish this, all the standard fear-mongering propaganda is being trotted out, and the War on Terror apparatus is simply being re-directed to those nations. Most notably,
  • the establishment media is being used to disseminate these messages,
using its familiar journalistically bankrupt practices to serve this agenda. In recent months, government officials have been insisting that the greatest Terrorist threat now resides in Yemen. Almost before the Al Qaeda leader's body hit the ocean floor, U.S. citizen Anwar Awlaki, in Yemen, assumed his (fabricated) role in American government and media depictions as The Next Osama bin Laden.

The Obama administrationhas escalated the existing drone program and begun a new CIA drone campaign in Yemen (one that just killed numerous people over the weekend); it also, contrary to public denials, provided the arms to Saudi Arabia to attack a rebel group in Northern Yemen. Yemen is also the justification for
  • Obama's attempt to institutionalize a
The administration just commenced a separate drone campaign in Somalia. And, as Jeremy Scahill revealed last week, the U.S. is relying upon interrogations conducted in a secret prison in Mogadishu, filled with people from that country and those rendered at the behest of the U.S. from other African nations. Just like The Communist was seamlessly replaced by the Terrorist when
  • a new enemy was needed,
the death of Osama bin Laden and the virtual non-existence of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan means that
  • Yemen and Somalia are the New War on Terror Battlegrounds.
Typifying the subservient role played by the establishment media in propagating this narrative is this new article in The Los Angeles Times by Brian Bennett. Headlined
  • "Al Qaeda's Yemen branch has aided Somalia militants, U.S. says,"
the article grants anonymity to "U.S. counter-terrorism officials" to do nothing more than echo the official administration line: that we now face "a widening alliance of terrorist groups."...

While there's nothing notable about this corrupt journalistic practice -- granting anonymity to government officials to spout the official line and uncritically printing it is the heart and soul of Real National Security Journalism -- there are a couple of particularly egregious passages in this article worth noting. To underscore how mindlessly devoted Bennett is to promoting the government line, consider this passage:

In a sign of the expanding front, U.S. drone aircraft fired missiles at suspected militants in Yemen in May, and in Somalia in June. They were the first known U.S. military attacks in Yemen since 2002 and in Somalia since 2009.

That claim is factually false, in a very significant way. In December, 2009, U.S. cruise missile carrying cluster bombs were dropped in Yemen, killing 41 people, including 14 women and 21 children. Cables released by WikiLeaks subsequently revealed that the Obama administration perpetrated that attack, as well as a second air strike that same month (which targeted Awlaki). In May, 2010, the Obama administration launched another attack in that country, one that

  • "killed the province's deputy governor, a respected local leader who Yemeni officials said had been trying to talk Qaeda members into giving up their fight,"
which was "at least the fourth such assault" in Yemen since December, 2009. Not only was there no public discussion by American officials of this escalated bombing campaign, but the U.S. allowed its close ally, Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh,
  • to falsely and publicly claim sole responsibility.

Yet here we have the LA Times' Bennett, serving his government directors, telling his readers that the drone attacks in May of this year "were the first known U.S. military attacks in Yemen since 2002." What makes that so inexcusable -- aside from how factually false it is, and how bizarre it is that a reporter writing about Yemen wouldn't know that -- is that those 2009 and 2010 attacks, which Bennett concealed from his readers, are playing a very significant role in why there is a Terrorism problem in Yemen in the first place. As The Christian Science Monitor explained when reporting on the 2009 American cluster bomb attack in Yemen:

Just as high civilian casualties in US attacks on militants have fed extremism in Iraq and Afghanistan, the same phenomenon is now playing out in Yemen, says Yemen specialist Gregory Johnsen.

"It is incredibly dangerous what the US is trying to do in Yemen at the moment because it really fits into AQAP’s broader strategy, in which it says Yemen is not different from Iraq and Afghanistan," says Mr. Johnsen of Princeton University in New Jersey, who adds that AQAP can recruit militants from outside Yemen as well.

"They are able to make the argument that Yemen is a legitimate front for jihad… They've been making that argument since 2007, but incidents like this are all sort of fodder for their argument." If you drop cluster bombs in a country and slaughter dozens of women and children with drones and then kill a popular governor, you're going to spawn pervasive amounts of anger and hostility towards the responsible foreign country and also embolden the message of extremists that they are under attack from the U.S and jihad is thus warranted: a shocking observation, I know -- but readers of the LA Times, or at least this article on the supposed emerging threat, would have no idea that the U.S. has even been doing that in Yemen. That the U.S. is creating the very Terrorism problem it claims to be combating is one of the most crucial points in discussions of American Terrorism policy -- it was one explicitly recognized even by a Rumsfeld-created Terrorism task force back in 2004 -- but it barely is heard in American political discourse. Further bolstering that fact is the work of Noor Berham, who has spent three years systematically documenting the results of American drone attacks in Pakistan with on-the-scene photojournalism:

Noor Behram says his painstaking work has uncovered an important -- and unreported -- truth about the US drone campaign in Pakistan's tribal region: that far more civilians are being injured or dying than the Americans and Pakistanis admit. . . .

According to Noor Behram, the strikes not only kill the innocent but injure untold numbers and radicalise the population. "There are just pieces of flesh lying around after a strike. You can't find bodies. So the locals pick up the flesh and curse America. They say that America is killing us inside our own country, inside our own homes, and only because we are Muslims.

"The youth in the area surrounding a strike gets crazed. Hatred builds up inside those who have seen a drone attack. The Americans think it is working, but the damage they're doing is far greater."

Even when the drones hit the right compound, the force of the blast is such that neighbours' houses, often made of baked mud, are also demolished, crushing those inside, said Noor Behram. One of the photographs shows a tangle of debris he said were the
  • remains of five houses blitzed together.

Because this kind of reporting is so dangerous, most media outlets rely on the claims of American and Pakistani officials and thus dutifully print their allegations about the number of "militants" killed by the strike. Berham, however, insists that those claims are deceitful in what they omit, and that the U.S. is doing far more harm than good with these drone attacks in terms of its stated goal (eliminating Terrorism). Further evidence for that fact is supplied by Harper's Index for May, 2011, which notes:

Minimum number of people killed by CIA drone attacks in Pakistan last year : 607

Number of those who appeared on a U.S. list of most-wanted terrorists : 2

American media reports such as the one appearing this weekend in the LA Times reflexively depict escalating American military attacks as a response to the growing Terrorist threat rather than as what they are: a leading cause of that threat. One might also take cognizance of the obvious connection between these escalating attacks under Obama and the

Independently, note this amazing passage from that LA Times article, regarding how these anonymous officials learned of what they are claiming concerning an AQAP/Shabab grand alliance:

The CIA gained other information when Somali authorities allowed them to interview Shabab militants imprisoned in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, U.S. officials said. The CIA asked about the militants' ability to launch attacks outside Somalia as well as the group's command structure.

That claim presumably refers to the secret Mogadishu prison Scahill revealed, the one the CIA pays Somali agents to guard and at which they're constantly present. The notion that Somali authorities generously "allowed" the CIA to "interview" prisoners there mindlessly disseminates CIA propaganda and ignores the facts Scahill revealed: that this is effectively a U.S.-maintained-and-engineered prison. And, of course, there is no discussion of the legal and human rights repercussions of interrogating prisoners in secret facilities beyond the reach of human rights monitoring agencies, nor any discussion of the role such practices play in
  • further spawning anti-American sentiment.

Just behold how little has changed in political and media circles when it comes to the War on Terror. The propaganda and policy tactics are virtually identical; only the names and places change. So we have anonymous officials continuously hyping the New Terrorist threat and the New Terrorist Masterminds, reporters who do nothing but uncritically pass it all along, civilian slaughter and secret prisons and interrogations simply transferred to the new Battlegrounds, and all new pretexts for not only continuing, but escalating, the War on Terror under a new brand name. The War on Terror is

-----------------------------------------

9/19/10, "U.S. contractor accused of fraud still winning big Afghan projects," McClatchy, Marisa Taylor and Warren P. Stroebel

"USAID hasn't been an aggressive watchdog in Afghanistan, partly because it's under political pressure to pump billions into the country without regard to the quality of the work, Jackson said. It also lacks the resources and expertise to monitor the projects, she said." (parag. 21)

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April 21, 2011, Karzai incited anti-US riots in Afghanistan in which torture and death resulted:

4/2/11, "More violence over Koran burning," Reuters, Ismael Sameem, Montreal Gazette

"Afghan and UN officials said insurgents had incited violence at peaceful protests. Marches in Kabul, the western city of Herat and northern Tahar province ended without unrest."...

Some were beaten and stoned to death, one's throat was slit."...

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Romney says icky GOP voting base is 'easily excited' but he won't give in and bash Obama like they want him to, says he'd rather lose than do that

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Romney again shows his contempt for voters and the country saying we only get motivated by "really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama," and he'd rather lose than do that. Romney forgets it was Gingrich's attack on the elite media-not Obama- that caused the biggest excitement (posted below).

2/28/12, "Romney, Acknowledging Mistakes, Says He Won’t Say ‘Outrageous’ Things to Win," ABC News, The Note

"Mitt Romney vowed that he would not “light his hair on fire” just to rally the conservative base, even if it means not winning the GOP nomination.

“You know it’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments,” said Romney.We’ve seen throughout the campaign that if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama that you’re going to jump up in the polls. You know, I’m not willing to light my hair on fire

  • to try and get support. I am who I am.”"

----------------------------------

Romney, the biggest jump in the polls was after Gingrich bashed the elite media-not Obama. The reasons why we cheered follow:

1/20/12, "Newt Gingrich’s lambasting of John King follows a popular line among Republicans," Washington Post, Paul Farhi

"The CNN host stepped on a land mine named Newt Gingrich when he opened Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate by asking him about his second ex-wife’s allegation that he suggested she accept his affair as part of their marriage.

Gingrich’s now-famous response practically blew back King’s hair. I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office,” he said to thunderous applause during the forum in Charleston, S.C. “And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.”

To even more enthusiastic applause, the former House speaker added, “I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.”

Gingrich’s shoot-the-messenger answer may be one of the most memorable moments of the campaign and a potential boost for his candidacy against front-runner Mitt Romney."...

-----------------------------------

The reason for those cheers was that for decades ordinary Americans have done almost everything right, have been the backbone of America, but are ridiculed around the clock everywhere we look. Whether it's in movies, tv shows, the NY Times, whatever it is, we are ridiculed. For once someone spoke up for us-that was the reason for the cheers. Romney is more of the same for us, he absolutely refuses to acknowledge we exist, in effect plainly says he'd rather lose than speak directly to us. He flips us off today with the lie that all we want to hear is Obama bashing and he refuses to do it.

--------------------------------

Rush Limbaugh: Conservatives have played by the rules yet are laughed at everywhere they look. "Nobody fights back for 'em."

1/23/12, "The GOP Establishment in Abject Panic: They Don't Understand Their Own Base," Rush Limbaugh, transcript

"I've been doing this show for 23 years, and one of my themes from the beginning, from 1988, has been that the American conservative middle class are the ones playing by the rules. They are the ones that obey the law to the best of their ability. They raise their kids. They try to shield their kids from cultural rot and depravity. They try to keep them off drugs. They try to get them into college. They follow as best they can all the rules and they're laughed at and made fun of and they are impugned everywhere they look. They go to the movies, they're mocked and made fun of. They turn on the radio, listen to music, they're laughed at, mocked, and made fun of. They turn on television, watch an average television show, they are laughed at, mocked and made fun of. They open the newspaper, same thing. They've had it. They've been dealing with this for over 20 years, and nobody's fought back for 'em. Not one person ever has fought back for 'em."...

======================

1/21/12, "Newt Gingrich Wins. What It Means." Erick Erickson, RedState.com

"Newt Gingrich’s rise has a lot to do with Newt Gingrich’s debate performance. But it has just as much to do with a party base in revolt against its thought and party leaders in Washington, DC. The base is revolting because they swept the GOP back into relevance in Washington just under two years ago and they have been thanked with contempt ever since.

Adding insult to injury, the party
and thought leaders now try to foist on the base a milquetoast moderate from Massachusetts."...

====================

Crowds realized McCain didn't want to win, here he's trying to break it to them that Obama will be just fine as president. Politico headline and narrative miss this entirely, to them it's just Republican nut cases. To me they acted like anyone would who was kept in a cage and fed crumbs. They were beginning to grasp that George Bush wasn't done with them. His final act was to hand them over to George Soros.

10/10/2008, "McCain: Obama not an Arab, crowd boos," Politico, John Martin

"Each time he tried to cool the crowd, he was rewarded with a round of boos.

"I have to tell you. Sen. Obama is a decent person and a person you don’t have to be scared of as president of the United States," McCain told a supporter at a town hall meeting in Minnesota who said he was “scared” of the prospect of an Obama presidency and of

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On snobs and going for college for no reason except to pass the time-Althouse

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"Do Americans identify with the professor or the student?"

2/27/12, ""President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob."" Ann Althouse, On Santorum saying Obama is a snob:

"2 things stand out to me here:

1. Obama is the university professor, promoting the product/process that lifted him up and that he bestowed on others. His vanity/self-esteem are all wrapped up in the ideology of education. But Santorum's self-image is that of the student. He was oppressed and bullied. He still feels angry and ripped off. Which attitude resonates more with the American people today?
  • That is, do Americans identify with the professor or the student?
2. The important thing, in my view, is that every young person in America — regardless of their cultural and economic background — needs to see clearly that they can get a higher education — that they belong there if they choose to go there — and that they have a choice that should be based on what will work out well for them. They should to go to college for a good reason, and one particularly good reason is to study science and engineering. If they are going to study in some softer, less career-oriented area, the mushy notion that everybody ought to go to college is not enough, even if the President of the United States tells them it is."


via Instapundit

Timid, career GOP politician running for Senate in Texas, ground zero for Tea Party v Cocktail Party

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2/27/12, "Texas Senate Race: Tea Party vs. Establishment Ground Zero," Ted Cruz, RedState.com

"The U.S. Senate race in Texas presents a stark contrast between a strong conservative fighter vs. a timid, career politician.

The stakes are clear.

This race is THE ground zero in the national battle between Tea Party-minded conservatives and the Establishment. And the national elite media would love to declare the Tea Party dead and gone.

The assaults on our liberty from Washington have become so severe that we must send another proven conservative fighter to the Senate to give reinforcements to Senators Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Pat Toomey—all of whom have endorsed my campaign.

Our new video “The Stakes” sets the stage.

Emphasizing this contrast, the story broke late last week that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst flew to Washington, DC for a reception inside the home of Obama Crony Tony Podesta, who’s brother led the official Obama presidential transition team.

In Texas, Dewhurst has always “reached across the aisle” to support higher spending and push a state income tax, cleverly disguised as a “wage tax.” In DC, he fits right in at the private home of one of the top Democratic lobbyists in the city.

The essence of an establishment moderate, David Dewhurst won’t ever lead the fight against the Obama agenda… especially not from inside Tony Podesta’s living room. Yet, his campaign has the audacity to attack stalwart conservatives like Senators DeMint, Paul, Lee, Toomey, Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks every day.

David Dewhurst is personally worth more than $200 million and is going to pour millions of his own money into this race. In addition, there are two new Dewhurst Super PACs set up just to attack us.

We’ve been surging polls and gaining grassroots momentum on the ground every day. Clearly the Dewhurst campaign is worried.

We need your help to build our incredible momentum and help fight the Dewhurst Attack Machine. Will you donate $25, $50, $100 or more before the end of the month on Wednesday to make sure we meet our goals?

And please take a minute to watch and share our short new video."

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Poll of 'likely voters' shows Obama losing to Romney 45-43, respondents 1/3 ea. Rep., Dem., Ind., Rasmussen

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Rasmussen likely voters, 2/27/12: "For the first time since late December 2011, Mitt Romney leads the president in a hypothetical 2012 matchup. Romney earns 45% of the vote, while the president attracts support from 43%. Romney holds a nine-point advantage among unaffiliated voters.

For the first time ever, Texas Congressman Ron Paul also leads the president. In that matchup, 43% prefer Paul and 41% Obama. Ten percent (10%) would vote for some other option, a figure that includes 17% of Republicans." Obama beats both Santorum and Gingrich as of 2/27

2/27/12, "Barack Obama’s Low Ceiling," Powerline, Jon Hinderaker

"In his column today, the ever-optimistic E. J. Dionne makes the absurd claim that “If the election were held right now, President Barack Obama would likely win by about the same margin that propelled him into office in 2008.” Today, coincidentally, Scott Rasmussen, the only pollster, to my knowledge, who is sampling likely voters this early in the cycle, found Mitt Romney leading Obama 45-33, while Ron Paul also leads Obama by a nearly identical 43-41. Trailing Ron Paul among likely voters is not where Obama wanted to be in his fourth year in office.

Polling can be volatile at this stage of the cycle, and many polls are so poorly conducted as to be worthless. To see why I think President Obama is in a deep hole, consider this chart, showing Obama’s Approval Index from his inauguration to the present. We have noted the Approval Index a number of times over the past several years; it represents the difference between those likely voters who say they “strongly approve” of the president’s performance and those who say they “strongly disapprove.”

Obama’s Approval Index went negative in the summer of 2009 and has been negative ever since. For two and a half years, a plurality of likely voters have said that they strongly disapprove of Obama’s performance in office. Since the summer of 2009, those who strongly disapprove have numbered between 35% and 45% of respondents. At the moment, 42% strongly disapprove. In recent months, the number of those who say they strongly approve of the president has been creeping up, but that group has not exceeded 30% in more than a year.

It is obvious from this history, I think, that Obama’s Approval Index will remain negative through the election in November. The killing of Osama bin Laden produced barely a blip in the overall trend. This is why I disagree with those who argue that a modest uptick in the economy could produce a second term for Obama. The large plurality of the voting population who have been convinced that Obama is doing a lousy job for the past two and a half years are not going to change their minds and vote to re-elect him because unemployment drops to 7.8%, or the price of a gallon of gasoline drops to only $1.50 more than when Obama was inaugurated.

So come November, it is virtually certain that those who fervently want Obama evicted from office will outnumber those who fervently want him to be re-elected by a substantial margin. Thus far, the Approval Index has been a leading indicator for Obama’s overall approval rating, which suggests that by November, most of those in the middle are likely to swing away from the president–which is how the experts tell us undecided voters generally break. We can’t rule out the possibility that Obama could eke out a victory by doing extraordinarily well among the voters who are still up for grabs, but with a solid plurality committed to his defeat, that will be an uphill battle at best." via Lucianne

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2/27/12, "Daily Presidential Tracking Poll," Rasmussen

Rasmussen Polling method: "Currently, the baseline targets for the adult population are 34.7% Republicans, 33.6% Democrats, and 31.8% unaffiliated. Likely voter samples typically show a slightly larger advantage for the Republicans....

It is important to remember that the Rasmussen Reports job approval ratings are based upon a sample of likely voters. Some other firms base their approval ratings on samples of all adults. Obama's numbers are almost always several points higher in a poll of adults rather than likely voters. That's because some of the president's most enthusiastic supporters, such as young adults, are less likely to turn out to vote. It is also important to check the details of question wording when comparing approval ratings from different firms." via Lucianne and Drudge

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Congratulations to Fox News for employing idiots like Huckabee

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2/27/12, "Mike Huckabee Says He Didn’t Run For President Because Of The ‘Toxic Atmosphere’ In GOP," MediaIte

"On Sunday, former Governor Mike Huckabee was in Israel and gave an interview with a local news station. Midway through the conversation, Huckabee was asked why, despite high poll numbers, he chose not to run for President. Huckabee, who announced the decision all the way back in May, explained that his choice had to do with the “toxic atmosphere” in the Party."...

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Ed. note: Isn't it great when US politicians go to foreign countries and tear down the image of the GOP which is already as bad as can be? And in so doing give an international boost to the Soros/UN/Obama radical left? I don't watch Fox News so I don't have to see him.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Poltifact changes 2 judgments after intense pressure from the left, one on Obama alleged job creation

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In January Politifact buckled under intense pressure on the subject of Obama's alleged job creation, changing it to Obama's advantage.

2/27/12, "PolitiFact walks back second ruling in a month, this time on Rubio claim," Poynter.org, A. Beaujon

"PolitiFact has revised its piece from Feb. 14, which found U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s contention that “the majority of Americans are conservativesto be “Mostly True.” It’s now “Half True.”

It’s the second time in about a month that PolitiFact, a project of Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times and a 2009 Pulitzer winner, has revised a ruling after an outcry. In January, the fact-checking site gave President Obama a “Half True” for his claim on jobs growth, then upgraded it to “Mostly True.”

In an editor’s note on the revised Rubio post, PolitiFact says it heard from lots of readers steamed by the original ruling, which hinged on reasoning I’ve read four times this morning and still don’t quite get: “Rubio said that the majority of Americans are conservative. A respected ongoing poll from Gallup shows that conservatives are the largest ideological group, but they don’t cross the 50 percent threshold. So we rate his statement Mostly True.”

The editor’s note says that “the debate centered on whether to judge Rubio on his literal statement or the underlying point. We try to balance that question in many of our rulings.”

In the new post, PolitiFact adds a little more chiaroscuro to its ruling: When pollsters offer voters the option to identify themselves as moderates, conservatives never account for more than a plurality. Take away the “moderate” option, as in a Politico-George Washington University poll, PolitiFact says, and many more Americans identify themselves as conservatives.

The original decision, which didn’t mention the Politico-GWU poll, turned PolitiFact into a punching bag on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show and many liberal blogs. In a forensic piece on the larger Maddow-PolitiFact contretemps, Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple argued that PolitiFact’s “Truth Meter” ruling obscured the subtleties behind its argument: “Viewers and the rest of us appreciate the end product, nothing more. On this front,

  • PolitiFact erred most egregiously on the Marco Rubio contention.”

In Politico, Dylan Byers has argued that PolitiFact should drop the “Truth-o-Meter,” saying it engenders tension between simple rulings and nuanced arguments. PolitiFact head honcho Bill Adair told Byers the meter rulings are “a key part of PolitiFact’s work.”"

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In 12 swing states Obama trails potential opponent because of ObamaCare-USA Today/Gallup Poll of all registered voters

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2/28/12, "72% of Americans Believe the Mandate is Unconstitutional," Volokh, Gallup Poll 2/20-2/21/12

12 swing states include Michigan, Ohio Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 35% of Independents are less likely to support Obama because of ObamaCare.

2/23/12, "Swing states poll: Health care law hurts Obama in 2012," USA Today, Susan Page

"The health care overhaul that President Obama intended to be the signature achievement of his first term instead has become a significant problem in his bid for a second one, uniting Republicans in opposition and eroding his standing among independents.

In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation's dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill's passage "a bad thing" and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do.

"Mandating that you have to buy the insurance rubs me the wrong way altogether," says Fred Harrison, 62, a horse trainer from York County, Pa., who was among those surveyed and supports repeal even though he likes some provisions of the law. "It should be my own choice."

"It seems like it forces you to take health care (coverage), and you don't really have a say in the matter," says Beth Leffew, 26, a college student from Cincinnati. She says the president "didn't really listen to people" when they objected to the proposed bill. "It seems like he just shoved it right through Congress."

Though the law has avid supporters, especially in the president's Democratic base, the net effect among middle-of-the-road voters is negative for him. What's more, the issue unites the GOP when the party is fractured among competing presidential contenders.

In the poll, Obama lags the two leading Republican rivals in the 12 states likely to determine the outcome of a close race in November:

•Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum tops Obama 50%-45% in the swing states. Nationwide, Santorum's lead narrows to 49%-46%.

•Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney edges Obama 48%-46% in the swing states. Nationwide, they are tied at 47% each.

Romney also has a health care problem: Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in the battleground states, 27% say they are less likely to support him because he signed a Massachusetts law that required residents to have coverage. Just 7% say it makes them more likely to back him.

"If they used Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health care program as a guideline for the Obamacare thing, what's the difference?" says Robert Hargrove, 37, of Sanford, N.C., rejecting Romney's explanation of differences between the state and federal laws. Hargrove, a truck driver for a propane company, scoffs: "It's just a bigger version. They put it on steroids."

The swing states poll of 1,137 registered voters was taken Feb. 14-21. In addition, a national survey of 881 registered voters was taken Feb. 20-21. The margin of error for each is +/-4 percentage points.

The battleground states surveyed include Michigan — where Tuesday's primary has become a critical showdown between Romney and Santorum — as well as Ohio and Virginia, which vote next week on Super Tuesday. The other swing states are Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Health care ranks near the top of a list of concerns for advocates and critics of the law. Nationwide, it trails only the economy and the deficit as being the most critical issues facing the nation, rating a bit higher than unemployment and terrorism.

Lynn West, 58, a retired state education official from Boscawen, N.H., is exasperated that a law she says has been "fabulous" for her family continues to draw so much heat. Under its provisions, her 24-year-old son has been able to stay on his father's health insurance plan after graduating from the University of New Hampshire two years ago. Her 77-year-old mother, who lives in nearby Concord, has seen her prescription costs decline.

"If you say the word 'Obamacare' — Republicans have made that a dirty word," says West, who was among those surveyed.

"If I had to fault President Obama or the people that help him put out his message, I think they need to be simpler. A lot of times it's the catch phrases that catch fire, like when he said, 'Yes we can' " in the 2008 campaign. "That's why the term 'Obamacare' has worked — a simple phrase, and they've been able to put a negative connotation to it. In fact, they ought to be saying, 'Obamacare! Let's rejoice!'""...

  • [Ed. note: Translation: Ordinary Americans are stupid and would accept anything if it were sold correctly.]

(continuing): "Bragging and basketballs

Thursday night at the mansion of Dallas Mavericks star Vince Carter in Orlando, Obama bragged about the law to a crowd of about 70 campaign contributors who had paid $30,000 each to attend.

"We were able to pass a health care bill that is already providing 2.5 million young people insurance who didn't have it before, and by the time it's fully implemented, will give 30 million people health insurance," the president told the audience gathered at Carter's indoor basketball court.

Although touting the Affordable Care Act is part of Obama's standard pitch at political events such as that one, at larger presidential events, he is more likely to be focused on proposals to foster jobs or promote education. In the State of the Union address in January, he referred to the health care law in only two sentences, almost in passing.

The Republicans seeking the presidential nomination hammer the law at every opening — at times targeting not only Obama but also Romney.

"Romneycare was the model for Obamacare and the government takeover of health care," Santorum declared at last Wednesday's debate in Mesa, Ariz. "It would be a difficult task for someone who had the model for Obamacare, which is the biggest issue in this race of government in control of your lives, to be the nominee of our party."

Romney replied that the Massachusetts plan differed in fundamental ways from the federal one. Then he tried to turn Santorum's charge back on him.

"The reason we have Obamacare is because …Arlen Specter, the pro-choice senator of Pennsylvania that you supported and endorsed in a race over Pat Toomey— he voted for Obamacare. If you had not supported him, if we had said 'no' to Arlen Specter, we would not have Obamacare. So don't look at me. Take a look in the mirror."

Opposition to the federal law is nearly uniform among Republican voters. In the battleground states, eight in 10 say passage of the law was "a bad thing." Nearly six in 10 want it repealed. Nine in 10 say the law's provision requiring Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine is unconstitutional — the centerpiece of a challenge before the Supreme Court.

The issue is whether Congress can force people to buy health insurance or pay a fine, a mandate that the law's architects say is critical for the goal of expanding coverage and one that has divided judges on federal appeals courts. Arguments before the high court are scheduled to begin March 26, three days after the second anniversary of the law's signing.

Voters in swing states stand overwhelmingly on one side of the debate: Three of four voters, including a majority of Democrats and of liberals, say the law is unconstitutional.

That reaction is almost instinctual, says Stuart Altman, a professor of national health policy at Brandeis University who has joined two briefs supporting the law. "People say, 'The government should not mandate that I have to do anything.' "

He faults the Obama team for not responding effectively enough to what he calls a "torrent" of opposition and misinformation.

"You have this drumbeat of negative comments and almost no positive," he says. "You're relying on the president to do the selling, and he's moved on to other things. The congressional people on the Democratic side are not supporting it. They're either being very quiet or running away from it themselves because they're afraid of getting tarnished.""...

  • [Ed. note: Again the belief people will agree to anything if sold correctly. There is virtually no negative talk about ObamaCare among elected officials because the GOP loves it as much as the left does. The GOP couldn't care less that we the people don't want it.]

(continuing): ""That debate will be had," says Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager. When the public is engaged in the general election, "there will be an intensive effort to ensure that families understand how they're already benefiting from the law and what would be taken away from them if Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum has their way. The American people do not want to go back to the days of insurance companies discriminating against you if you have a pre-existing condition or dropping your coverage if you get sick."

That will be a hard sale to make to Hargrove, the North Carolina truck driver. He acknowledges there are provisions in the law he calls "good and needed." His 4-year-old son, Matthew, was born with a hole in his heart, requiring expensive surgery. Hargrove notes that the law's bar on insurers refusing coverage to those with pre-existing conditions could protect kids such as his.

"But the way it was done, passed before it was read and all this other stuff, that's underhanded," he says. "You've got to have it or pay a penalty? That's not the way the country was set up."...

Eleven percent of voters in battleground states say the law has helped their families; 15% say it has hurt. Looking ahead, they predict by 42%-20% that the law will make things worse rather than better for their families.

A pocket of support: those under 30, a critical age group for Obama in 2008. They are inclined to call the law's enactment "a good thing." Even among them, the share of supporters falls just short of 50%. The older the age group, the more opposition emerges.

Opposition to the law is eroding Obama's support among the middle-of-the-road voters both nominees will court this fall. Among independents, 35% say the law makes them less likely to support Obama, more than double the 16% who say it makes them more likely.

The intensity of feeling among potential swing voters also favors opponents. Among independents who lean to the GOP, 54% say they are much less likely to support Obama as a result. Among independents who lean to the Democrats, 18% say they are much more likely to support him.

Jason Carr, 40, a federal public defender in Las Vegas who describes himself as a moderate, credits the Obama administration with addressing a problem people had been talking about for decades. "You may not like what they did, but they did something," he said in a follow-up interview after being polled. He is likely to vote for Obama in November

  • but would consider Romney if he was the Republican nominee.

Vivian Robertson, 65, a retired nurse from Bangor, Wis., hasn't decided whom to support in the state's Republican primary on April 3, but she knows she won't vote for the author of Obamacare in November.

"I think it's terrible," she says of the law. "It's going to take our medical system, and it's going to go right down the drain.""

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3/30/2010, "Health care law too costly, most say," USA Today, Susan Page

"Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government's role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds."...

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Ed. note: Expanding Medicaid is all that was needed if the purpose was to cover the uninsured. This is something different. The US medical system now equates to that of a third world toilet. Doctors are in the process of becoming subservient to politboro union clerks in DC.

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