title>Lady Liberty Defended: November 2009
Labels: Criminals in Power
Hundreds of private emails and documents allegedly exchanged between some of the world's leading climate scientists over the past 13 years have been stolen by hackers and leaked online, it emerged today.We have suspected that scientists seeking government and private advocate group funding for their various projects were falsifying data and projections as well as lending their names to various advocates of human caused global warming. I think that now we know despite the various attempts to cover up.
The computer files were apparently accessed earlier this week from servers at the UK's University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, a world-renowned centre focused on the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change.
Climate change sceptics who have studied the emails allege that they provide "smoking gun" evidence that some of the climatologists colluded in manipulating data to support the widely held view that climate change is real and is being largely caused by the actions of mankind. So far the veracity of the emails has not been confirmed and the scientists involved have declined to comment on the story, which broke on a blog called The Air Vent.
The files, which in total amount to 61MB of data, were first uploaded onto a Russian server, before being widely mirrored across the internet. The emails were accompanied by the anonymous statement: "We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it."
A spokesperson for the University of East Anglia (UEA) said: "We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites. Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all of this material is genuine. This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation. We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and we have involved the police in this inquiry."
In one email, dated November 1999, one scientist wrote: "I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."
By CHARLES HUTZLERNote how much the Chinese treatment of Mr. Xue differs from the Eric Holder's treatment of terrorists captured overseas who actively participated/planned attacks on U.S. soil. Notice how Obama hasn't done a damn thing to help Mr. Xue.
BEIJING (AP) - Sometime into his long detention by China's feared state security agents, American geologist Xue Feng had something to show U.S. consular officials on their monthly visit. He rolled up his sleeve, revealing the burns where his interrogators pressed lit cigarettes into his arm.
Xue also had something to say: He wanted his previously unpublicized detention made public in hopes that the outcry would win his release.
But Xue did not get his wish. His wife balked, as did the U.S.-based consultancy that employed him until months before he was detained, both saying that going public might hurt rather than help his case. The U.S. Embassy, caught between his desire to go public and his wife's wish for privacy, worked behind-the-scenes for his release.
So two years after disappearing into custody, the University of Chicago-trained Xue (pronounced shway) remains held at an unknown location in Beijing, charged with stealing state secrets over the purchase of a commercial database on the oil industry. His case has been batted inconclusively between prosecutors and the courts, which twice asked for more evidence, according to a summary of the case prepared by Xue's wife and seen by The Associated Press.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama raised Xue's case at his Beijing summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao, said a White House official on the trip, in the latest and highest-level intervention.
More than an instance of abusive, intransigent Chinese justice, Xue's case raises disturbing questions about the quiet lobbying foreign governments, companies and the families of detainees often use, believing it more effective with an authoritarian Chinese leadership.
"Under difficult and dangerous circumstances, Dr. Xue made it clear that he wanted the American people to learn of his ordeal. I have little doubt that had his wishes been respected, his case would have already been resolved," said John Kamm, a human rights campaigner with a two-decade track record of getting prisoners released and whom the State Department turned to this month for help.
Beijing's State Security Bureau and the Procuratorate, or prosecutor's office, declined comment. A spokesman for the city's No. 1 Intermediate Court, a Mr. Niu, said Xue's trial "is still in mid-process," where, according to the case summary, it has been since July.
Xue's wife, Nan Kang, who was born in China like her husband and who lives with their children outside Houston, Texas, has hired a lawyer. She said she wanted to keep her husband's detention quiet for fear that going public would have repercussions for their parents in China and disturb their two children, especially their young son.
Kang declined to comment further publicly. In the case summary she wrote: "My husband denies the charge against him, and he believes that he was helping China attract inward investment and to improve the Chinese economy."
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said that it has monitored Xue's case since soon after his arrest, visiting him over 20 times, delivering messages from his family and pressing for his release. It declined to release further details and would only say that Xue asked for his detention to be made public "some time ago."
U.S. governments have for years weighed whether jailed dissidents and American prisoners are better served by public pressure, closed-door diplomacy or a combination of the two. The Obama administration has tried keep any likely disputes over human rights, a perennial irritant in relations, from damaging a broader agenda crowded with the economic crisis, climate change, nuclear proliferation and other global issues.
The AP learned of Xue's case last week. The U.S. Embassy initially requested that publication be withheld, saying it may harm attempts under way to gain his release. But in recent days, the embassy has said it detects no progress on the case. Xue's wife has asked the case not be made public out of concern for her family. Given Xue's wishes to go public and the lack of progress, the AP decided to publish.
"I have been writing letters to members of Congress, the Senate, the Bush administration, the Obama administration, at least two ambassadors in Beijing - Huntsman and Randt - trying hard over time to raise his case and make sure everyone was aware of it," said David Rowley, a geo-sciences professor at the University of Chicago who was Xue's doctorate thesis adviser. "I have tried to be an advocate, but in the wishes of Dr. Xue's wife, I have tried to keep this out of the public eye and tried to deal with this privately."
In pursuing Xue, Chinese agencies ignored their own laws. Authorities did not respond when the U.S. Embassy asked his whereabouts shortly after he disappeared on Nov. 20, 2007, and only three weeks later did consular officials get to see him - far beyond the periods for notification and visits required by China's regulations and its consular agreement with the U.S., said Kamm and legal experts.
Xue's treatment contrasts with that of a similar case, involving a China-born, naturalized Australian executive. The detention in July of Stern Hu, an executive with the global mining giant Rio Tinto who was charged with stealing state secrets - information on iron ore negotiating strategies - brought an angry public reaction from the Australian government. The charges were reduced to bribery and infringing trade secrets, and Australian officials say Hu has not been mistreated.
"Rio Tinto has been cast as a one off: Businesses don't need to worry," said Jerome Cohen, an expert on China's legal system at New York University School of Law who has been consulted about Xue. But "businesses are trying to get information all the time. Obviously they are being watched."
Like Hu, Xue was a highly accomplished professional who returned to China after success abroad. Born near the central city of Xi'an, Xue went to Chicago to get his Ph.D., bringing along his wife. He worked in the geophysical sciences laboratory for most of the 1990s and was seen as driven and meticulous.
"He was a very good student," said Rowley, the thesis adviser. "He worked very hard, was a very dedicated individual and quite careful in his analyses."
Xue earned his degree, studying high-pressure rock formations in northern China's Dabie Mountains. He picked up a green-card residency permit and eventually U.S. citizenship. In March 2001, the prestigious energy consulting firm IHS Energy - now IHS Inc. based in Colorado - hired Xue to be its Northeast Asia manager.
In China, Xue cultivated contacts in a rapidly growing petroleum industry, gathering in-depth, up-to-date information that IHS could provide to clients, mostly foreign energy companies eager to join the boom. At one point, he helped arrange the purchase of a detailed database about the oil industry.
Rowley said the database was developed by another company and was intended for one of China's state-run offshore oil companies. Cohen, the lawyer, said Xue arranged the sale and a contract was signed between the seller who was a person Xue knew and the buyer, IHS.
"On the surface, it looked like a legitimate sale of business information," said Cohen.
Chinese officials have wide powers to classify materials as state secrets, sometimes reclassifying information already in the public domain. Having basic maps still sometimes gets foreigners in trouble. And the government regards its petroleum industry as strategic.
Since Xue's disappearance, he has been held at an undisclosed location and brought to a courthouse for his consular visits. At some point, his jailers beat him, struck him on the head with an ashtray as well as applying the lit cigarettes to his arm. Nearly six months into his detention, the U.S. Embassy received the formal reason given for his arrest. "He is suspected of the crime of gathering intelligence for abroad," read an April 2008 notice from the Foreign Ministry.
IHS denies any connection to Xue's alleged crime, saying that he left the company in January, 10 months before his November disappearance; his wife said it was July. "We have no notification from the Chinese government or any Chinese authorities that IHS is involved," said company spokesman Ed Mattix.
IHS too, Mattix said, was working behind the scenes to free Xue but believes that publicity would hurt the cause.
While efforts on Xue's behalf plodded on, his case was twice heard in a Beijing court in July and a third time this month. No U.S. Embassy officials attended, saying they were told state secrets charges precluded their attendance.
There are a few inconsistencies... They pulled his body from the river, 30 feet from his Caddy and found the .380 pistol underneath him? They did this at what we used to call 'oh-dark-thirty' (literally here)? Something is wrong with this report OR what happened. Has the smell of Vince Foster's 'suicide' about it.
CHICAGO — The president of the Chicago Board of Education shot himself in the head along the Chicago River Monday morning, the medical examiner's office confirmed, according to MyFoxChicago.com.
Police found what was believed to be the body of Michael Scott, 60, floating in the river hours later.
Scott's family released a statement thanking Chicagoans for their outpouring of support during a time of "unimaginable grief."
"Our personal loss is also shared by many throughout Chicago, the home he loved so much," his family said. "We will miss him greatly. Arrangements for a public memorial service will be announced shortly."
Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that Scott had a gunshot wound to his left temple and police discovered a .380-caliber gun underneath his body, which was found 30 feet from his blue Cadillac.
"I am shocked and saddened by the sudden death of my friend and colleague Michael Scott," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.
"Michael cared passionately about public education and made many courageous decisions as president of the Board. He gave his time, energy and talents to improving the life chances of children. Chicago has lost a great leader, and the city’s school children have lost a devoted champion. I extend my deepest condolences to his wife and family."
Scott had been Mayor Daley's go-to guy for a long time. Over the summer he told the Chicago Sun-Times that he had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating how students were selected for the system's elite selective-enrollment high schools, MyFoxChicago.com reported.
Scott said he had done nothing wrong, the Web site reported.
Chicago residents grew angry when Daley appointed Scott to serve a second stint as school board president. Scott had recommended that sports agent Rufus Williams succeed him, but Williams resigned under pressure and Daley re-appointed Scott to head the school board and oversee the city's public schools — a top Daley priority, MyFoxChicago.com reported.
"My wife and I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Scott," Cook County Board President Todd H. Stroger said in an e-mail statement released Monday.
Stroger called his friend of nearly 25 years a negotiator held in high esteem, MyFoxChicago.com reported.
"Mr. Scott was a strong advocate for education," Stroger said in the e-mail. "His contributions to the minority communities of Cook County will be sorely missed. In particular, his love for the upward mobility of residents from Chicago's West Side where he spent his life."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived on the scene at about 7:30 a.m. local time Monday morning.
"Everything is just so wrong," Jackson said, according to MyFoxChicago.com.
Jackson said he spoke to Scott last week, as the former Chicago Public School Board president continued to deal with the brutal death of a Chicago student.
Jackson said Scott did not display any signs of emotional trouble recently, MyFoxChicago.com reported.
Scott reportedly disappeared from his Chicago home Sunday.
Emergency responders pulled the body out of the river at 4:30 a.m. local time Monday, after receiving a tip, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Joe Roccasalva told MyFoxChicago.com.
Chicago Public Schools could not be reached for comment, MyFoxChicago.com reported.
The 2,074-page Senate health care bill would take 34 hours to read cover to cover -- and that's just what Sen. Tom Coburn wants done on the Senate floor.
The Oklahoma Republican has threatened to invoke parliamentary rules to force the Senate clerk (or more likely, a team of clerks) to read the massive bill before the full Senate begins formal debate on the legislation.
The move is strictly according to Senate rules, which say any senator can demand a bill be read in its entirety before debate begins. While Democrats could, if they wish, repeatedly make motions to end the soliloquy, Republicans on the floor could object, and the reading would continue.
What's even more interesting is that Senate Rule XIV (paragraph 2) states that every bill and joint resolution "shall receive three readings prior to its passage."
"Upon demand of a senator, these readings shall be on three different legislative days," the rules say.
A little quick math shows that at a minute a page -- an easily achieved pace since the pages are double spaced and in a rather large type face -- it would take 34.5 hours to read straight through the measure put together this week by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Pity the poor Senate clerks.
President Barack Obama will not announce his decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan before the Thanksgiving holiday, senior aides said on Thursday.and
The news came as the president greeted 1,500 troops at Osan Air Base in South Korea, just before boarding Air Force One and heading back to Washington after an eight-day Asia trip.
Obama and his top military and diplomatic aides have been deliberating for months over how to proceed in Afghanistan, where the United States and its partners have sought for eight years to defeat the Taliban and deny al-Qaeda a safe haven from which it can plan and launch attacks.
Obama arrived on the base 3:19 p.m. local time (1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time), and received a rousing welcome from 1,500 troops in camouflage uniforms, many holding cameras or pointing cell phones to snap pictures.Of course when I saw the event on TV they showed the soldiers standing in the background. However they seemed rather grim. I don't know that that is surprising as I would have been pretty grim myself. However, the news organization also dubbed in the "huge cheer" mentioned when the President mentioned some political act and never played the part about pay raises. You can see that the sound of cheering wasn't in sync with the soldiers in the frame with Obama. They were downright stony.
"You guys make a pretty good photo op," the president said.
Standing on a riser wearing a blue suit and red tie, with a cluster of troops and a large American flag behind him, Obama expressed "the gratitude of the American public" and said his meetings in four countries over eight days in Asia will help deliver a "safer more prosperous world for all of us."
He got a huge cheer when he told them he was increasing military pay. "That's what you call an applause line," he said, before boarding his jet and taking off at 4:11 p.m.
Col. Lewis L. Millett, an Army veteran of three wars who received the Medal of Honor for leading a rare bayonet charge up a hill in Korea, died Saturday in Loma Linda, Calif. He was 88.May God take you to his bosom and thank you.
Nick Balzano, president of the Service Employees International Union's Allentown chapter, said last week that the union might file a grievance against the city for allowing 17-year-old Kevin Anderson to clear the hiking trail, instead of paying some of the 39 recently laid-off SEIU members to do the work.Sure, the union higher ups are trying to distance themselves from Balzano but he got the idea from someplace.
Balzano's office did not return messages left by FoxNews.com, but the Morning Call quoted him as telling the city council that the union would be "looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails … There's to be no volunteers."
SEIU spokesman Matt Nerzig called Balzano's comments "completely unauthorized and insensitive" and said the union was "not at all" considering a grievance in this case.
Labels: Criminals in Power
When you and I picture life under Obama’s vision for America, we see a dreary existence spent in breadlines, drab apartments and small jail cells with rat cages strapped to our face conditioning us to say “Herstory” instead of “History.” These Castro-lovers and Polanski-defenders see something completely different.
Watch “The Lives of Others.” Not only is it one of the best films of the decade, it also answers the opening question. You’ll see how life under fascism is the complete fulfillment of every narcissistic desire Susan Sarandon, Barbra Streisand, Oliver Stone, Sean Penn and the rest of their sorry lot has ever had.
Leftist Hollywood is not driven by wealth or artistic freedom, they’re driven by status and the insatiable need to be unconditionally adored. Unfortunately for them, as actors in America, status and adoration is tied to awards and the size of the paycheck – in other words competition and a free market – which they hate. But that’s the least of their worries. All this messy American capitalism forces our favorite artistes into the undignified position of having to beg for money in order to have the millions necessary to watch themselves be all artistic on the big screen, and all this messy American free expression allows people like you and me to criticize and ridicule their hard self-serving work.
Not so under a dictatorship.
The way they see it, with the right dictator, the State would hand them money for film projects and jail anyone who criticized them in print or elsewhere. Hugo Chavez shutting television stations down doesn’t horrify Leftist Hollywood, it makes them giddy.
The Civilian Gun Defense blog (www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/blogger.html) is one such place. It contains no opinion, no preaching, no commentary. It hosts only stories of defensive gun use documented by local media sources around the country. While most defensive uses go unreported by local media, some do make it on the air and into print.Take the time to go read the entire article...
According to our extensive research at the Civilian Gun Defense blog, from 2003 to 2009, there have been more than 4,100 defensive gun uses documented through local media outlets. While that 4,100 is obviously just a fraction of the millions of victims saved by defensive gun use over that period, for analysis purposes it is an ideal sample.
Historically, one of the weaknesses in arguing the issue has been the lack of research—beyond knowing that self-defense occurs, we have very few specifics. Now, with such an extensive archive available for a period of years, a systematic study offers some illuminating results.
What We Learn
One of the first things we learn through analysis of media-documented self-defense episodes is that no place is "safe"—no matter the place, time of day, neighborhood or crowds, no matter how unlikely an area is for a violent confrontation. Criminals do not confine their actions to dark alleys between the witching hours of dusk and dawn. Whether it's mothers unloading groceries from their cars, senior citizens sleeping peacefully in their homes, young adults at parties, or convenience store clerks working behind the checkout counter all have had their lives imperiled by criminals, and all have been grateful to reach for their firearms to defend themselves.
The latest internal government estimates place the cost of adding 40,000 American troops and sharply expanding the Afghan security forces, as favored by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American and allied commander in Afghanistan, at $40 billion to $54 billion a year, the officials said.
Even if fewer troops are sent, or their mission is modified, the rough formula used by the White House, of about $1 million per soldier a year, appears almost constant.
So even if Mr. Obama opts for a lower troop commitment, Afghanistan’s new costs could wash out the projected $26 billion expected to be saved in 2010 from withdrawing troops from Iraq. And the overall military budget could rise to as much as $734 billion, or 10 percent more than the peak of $667 billion under the Bush administration.
Such an escalation in military spending would be a politically volatile issue for Mr. Obama at a time when the government budget deficit is soaring, the economy is weak and he is trying to pass a costly health care plan.
Labels: Criminals in Power
Professor Ian Plimer, a geologist from Adelaide University, argues that a recent rise in temperature around the world is caused by solar cycles and other "extra terrestrial" forces.
He said carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, widely blamed for global warming, is a natural phenomenon caused by volcanoes erupting.
"We cannot stop carbon emissions because most of them come from volcanoes," he said. "It is a normal element cycled around in the earth and my science, which is looking back in time, is saying we have had a planet that has been a green, warm wet planet 80 per cent of the time. We have had huge climate change in the past and to think the very slight variations we measure today are the result of our life - we really have to put ice blocks in our drinks."
Most mainstream scientists agree that the recent warming period was caused by an increase in carbon dioxide since the industrial revolution.
However Prof Plimer said the world has experienced three periods of cooling since 1850 and furthermore carbon dioxide was increasing during many of those cooler periods.
"If we had only had warming, then there would be a connect between co2 and temperature, there is not," he added.
Prof Plimer has come under attack as a "denialist poster boy" whose theories are in danger of stopping the world from tackling the grave dangers of climate change.
But he said the scientists "frightening people witless by following the party line" are motivated by politics and research funding.
"They are taking advantage of the current situation. That is understandable. In previous times people got wonderful research grants in a war against cancer and they achieved a lot of money for that. Now we have a war on climate change and we have a huge number of people out there who have their career staked on it and are beneficiaries of this process."
Vicky Pope, Head of Climate Change Advice at the Met Office, said it is widely accepted that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has doubled in the last 200 years and as a result the globe is warming.
She said there are "natural variations" in temperature caused by the weather as well as natural phenomenon like El Nino and human effects like pollution, but overall the climate has been getting hotter and has reached its warmest period in recent years.
"The basic physics is that if carbon dioxide increases then the temperature goes up," she said.
A number of "climate change sceptics" will be giving talks in the run up to a key UN Summit in Copenhagen in December when the world is expected to agree an international deal to stop global warming.
Conservative Doug Hoffman conceded the race in the 23rd Congressional District last week after receiving two pieces of grim news for his campaign: He was down 5,335 votes with 93 percent of the vote counted on election night, and he had barely won his stronghold in Oswego County.I have no faith that it was merely incompentence. With groups such as the SIEU and A.C.O.R.N. actively and agressively pursuing fraudulent voter registration and being so closely aligned with the Dem/S I'm of a mind that this was deliberate.
As it turns out, neither was true.
But Hoffman’s concession -- based on snafus in Oswego County and elsewhere that left his vote undercounted -- set off a chain of events that echoed all the way to Washington, D.C., and helped secure passage of a historic health care reform bill.
Democratic Rep. Bill Owens was quickly sworn into office on Friday, a day before the rare weekend vote in the House of Representatives. His support sealed his party’s narrow victory on the health care legislation.
Now a recanvassing in the 11-county district shows that Owens’ lead has narrowed to 3,026 votes over Hoffman, 66,698 to 63,672, according to the latest unofficial results from the state Board of Elections.
In Oswego County, where Hoffman was reported to lead by only 500 votes with 93 percent of the vote counted election night, inspectors found Hoffman actually won by 1,748 votes -- 12,748 to 11,000.
The new vote totals mean the race will be decided by absentee ballots, of which about 10,200 were distributed, said John Conklin, communications director for the state Board of Elections.
Under a new law in New York that extended deadlines, military and overseas ballots received by this coming Monday (and postmarked by Nov. 2) will be counted. Standard absentee ballots had to be returned this past Monday.
Conklin said the state sent a letter to the House Clerk last week explaining that no winner had been determined in the 23rd District, and therefore the state had not certified the election. But the letter noted that Owens still led by about 3,000 votes, and that the special election was not contested -- two factors that legally allowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to swear in Owens on Friday.
"We sent a letter to the clerk laying out the totals," Conklin said. "The key is that Hoffman conceded, which means the race is not contested. However, all ballots will be counted, and if the result changes, Owens will have to be removed."
Before Owens was sworn in Friday, Rep. John Garamendi, a Democrat who won a special election in California, was sworn in Thursday. The two gave Pelosi the votes she needed to reach a majority of 218 and pass the historic health care reform legislation in the House.
The bill passed 220-215 late Saturday with the support of only one Republican. The Republican, Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao of Louisiana, said he voted for the legislation only after seeing that Democrats had the 218 votes needed for passage.
Now Hoffman, who campaigned against the health care reform bill, is carefully watching as the 23rd District race tightens and he is left to wonder if he conceded too soon.
"I don’t know if we would have conceded on election night," Rob Ryan, Hoffman’s campaign spokesman, said Wednesday while discussing the latest results of the recanvassing. "I’m someone who doesn’t like to look back. But would we have taken longer to make a decision on election night? Probably, if we knew it was only 3,000 votes making the difference."
Ryan, while acknowledging that Hoffman’s chances of pulling off a come-from-behind victory are still remote, said the campaign is looking at its legal options.
"We’re basically watching and waiting," Ryan said. "We’ve been looking very closely at the recanvass. We’re going to see how this week shapes up, and then we’re going to determine what to do."
Ryan said an important factor in the decision to concede was the unexpected -- and erroneous -- close vote in Oswego County, where polls had Hoffman with a double digit percentage point lead heading into Election Day.
"That’s the thing that threw us off," Ryan said.
Oswego County elections officials blame the mistakes on "chaos" in their call-in center that included a phone system foul-up and inspectors who read numbers incorrectly when phoning in results. Of 245 races in the county -- not including the congressional and court races -- 84 had incorrect totals reported election night.
In the congressional race, more votes were cast in Oswego County than any other in the 11-county district.
The district’s second biggest voter turnout was in Jefferson County, where Hoffman also has benefited from a turnaround since election night, gaining about 700 votes. Owens led Hoffman by 300 votes on the final election night tally. But after recanvassing, Hoffman now leads by 424 votes, 10,884 to 10,460.
Jerry Eaton, the Republican elections commissioner for Jefferson County, said inspectors found a problem in four districts where Hoffman’s vote total was mistakenly entered as zero.
"Hoffman definitely gained votes where he didn’t have them," Eaton said.
Jefferson County, home of Fort Drum and the Army's 10th Mountain Division, distributed 2,299 absentee ballots for the special election. As of this week, 1,303 had been returned but not counted, Eaton said. He said the county will begin counting the absentee ballots earyl next week.
Conklin, of the state Board of Elections, said officials did not have updated absentee ballot totals from the other counties.
When asked about the tightening race, Owens spokesman Jon Boughtin released a statement without directly addressing the election. "Since being elected, Congressman Owens has remained focused on the issues at hand: working with local leaders to address the Champlain Bridge closure, meeting with commanders at Fort Drum and continuing the work to strengthen Upstate New York," the statement said.
Ryan said the absentee ballots are likely to favor Hoffman because most were likely mailed before Republican Dede Scozzafava suspended her campaign three days before the election.
"For Doug to win, we needed a three-way race," Ryan said, adding that the campaign’s internal polls showed Hoffman would win with all three candidates.
"Given the majority of these ballots are from a three-way race, we think the ballots are going to break Doug’s way," Ryan said.
Ryan declined to say what percentage of the absentee vote the campaign believes Hoffman would need to win the race. Nevertheless, Hoffman’s campaign is optimistic.
"When people look back at this race, it was a remote possibility that Doug Hoffman would be a contender," Ryan said. "But miracles do happen.
Labels: Criminals in Power
"It's not the job of Congress to be the judge, jury, and executioner," said Jules Lobel, an attorney representing the Center for Constitutional Rights.Maybe I should sue them for stealing MY money to use it to promote prostitution and other illegal activities.
"We have due process in this country, and our Constitution forbids lawmakers from singling out a person or group for punishment without a fair investigation and trial."
Labels: Criminals in Power
MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
Political Appointees and Career Civil Service Positions
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) carries out many important responsibilities for the President and the American people but none is more important than our statutory responsibility to ensure the best qualified candidates are selected for Federal jobs after fair and open competition. In light of the historical origins of the civil service system, OPM’s role as guardian of the merit system is especially important when a Federal agency selects a political appointee for a position in the civil service. While political appointees may not be excluded from consideration for Federal jobs because of their political affiliation, they must not be given preference or special advantages.
Pursuant to our oversight authority under 5 U.S.C. Section 1104(b)(2) and 5 CFR Section 5.2, OPM requires Federal agencies to seek our approval before selecting a political appointee for a competitive service position during a Presidential election year. OPM’s oversight in this area safeguards merit system principles and assures fair and open competition free from political influence. However, if the proposed civil service job is below the Senior Executive Service (SES) level, OPM’s review has been limited only to competitive service appointments and only those appointments that take place during a Presidential election year. In contrast, OPM conducts merit staffing reviews of proposed SES appointments whenever they occur.
I believe we must hold ourselves and the government to a higher standard, one that honors and supports the President’s strong commitment to a Government that is transparent and open. OPM’s responsibility to uphold the merit system is not limited to Presidential election years nor to competitive service appointments. That is why I am instituting a change in OPM policy with respect to hiring political appointees for civil service jobs.
Beginning January 1, 2010, agencies must seek prior approval from OPM before they can appoint a current or recent political appointee to a competitive or non-political excepted service position at any level under the provisions of title 5, United States Code. OPM will review these proposed appointments to ensure they comply with merit system principles and applicable civil service laws. I have delegated decisionmaking authority over these matters to career Senior Executives at OPM to avoid any hint of political influence.
In no case may an agency make an appointment of the type described below without written authorization from OPM:
1. The appointment of a current political Schedule A or Schedule C Executive Branch employee or a former political Schedule A or Schedule C Executive Branch employee who held the position within the last five years to a competitive or non-political excepted service position under title 5 of the U.S. Code.
2. The appointment of a current Non-career SES Executive Branch employee or a former Non-career SES Executive Branch employee who held the position within the last five years to a competitive or non-political excepted service position under title 5 of the U.S. Code.
OPM will continue to conduct merit staffing reviews for all proposed career SES selections involving a political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-career SES political appointee before the SES selections are presented to OPM’s Qualifications Review Board (QRB) for certification of executive qualifications. Agencies should carefully review all proposed SES selections to ensure they meet merit system principles before such cases are forwarded to the QRB.
Any request to appoint a current or former political appointee to a competitive or non-political excepted service position should be sent to the following address via e-mail or FAX with the information requested in the attached Pre-Appointment Checklists:
Office of Personnel Management
Dallas Oversight and Accountability Group
Plaza of the Americas, 700 North Pearl Street
North Tower, Suite 525
Dallas, Texas 75201
Phone (214) 880-4980
FAX (214) 880-4999
If you have any questions or need further information about the requirements established by this memorandum, please contact Jeffrey Sumberg, Deputy Associate Director, Center for Merit System Accountability, at 202-606-2786 or at email@example.com.
cc: Chief Human Capital Officers
Human Resources Directors
Labels: Criminals in Power
Republicans were nearly unanimous in opposing the plan that would expand coverage to tens of millions of Americans who lack it and place tough new restrictions on the insurance industry.
The 220-215 vote late Saturday cleared the way for the Senate to begin a long-delayed debate on the issue that has come to overshadow all others in Congress.
A triumphant Speaker Nancy Pelosi compared the legislation to the passage of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare 30 years later.
Labels: Criminals in Power
Congressman-elect Bill Owens was sworn in at noon today.and
Owens indicated in a press release released shortly afterwards that he was now in favor of the the "Affordable Healthcare for America Act" bill in direct contrast to his earlier position during the election campaign.
According to Politico.com, Mr. Owens assured voters that he felt the public option had no place in the health care reform bill. Contrary to that position, Mr. Owens now indicates that he intends to vote in favor of the bill even though it now contains a public option.
UPDATED: A spokesman for Congressman Owens indicated correctly that Mr. Owens had recanted his solid position against public option later in the campaign, clarifying that he did not wish public option to be a 'litmus test' for the Health Reform bill and that on Oct. 30th, several days prior to the election, in a debate had stated that he generally supported the public option as it was now written (at that time.)
The mixed-up mess that was the 23rd Congressional District Special Election was a close race between Democrat Bill Owens and Conservative Doug Hoffman. Many feel that it was unlikely Mr. Owens would have won those crucial few thousand votes if the voting public was aware of his intent with regard to the Health Care bill. The majority of residents in this district do not support the Health Reform bill as it is now written and many feel like they've become victims of a fraud perpetrated by their chosen candidate.I presume that Owens did vote for the bill along with 220 other traitors to pass the bill with a 220 to 215 margin.
Breaking campaign promises is not unusual for politicians... it's a cliche. This is almost certainly a record though. Mr. Owens broke no less than 4 promises in his first 24 hours in office.
Labels: Criminals in Power
...the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) confirming that the failure to comply with the individual mandate to buy health insurance contained in the Pelosi health care bill (H.R. 3962, as amended) could land people in jail. The JCT letter makes clear that Americans who do not maintain “acceptable health insurance coverage” and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.Is this "reform" or more like Stalin, Hitler, or worse? It is unconstitutional. It is the antitheses of the ideals of this nation. It is wrong. It is the absolute, unequivocal goal of the Democrats in Congress.
In response to the JCT letter, Camp said: “This is the ultimate example of the Democrats’ command-and-control style of governing – buy what we tell you or go to jail. It is outrageous and it should be stopped immediately.”
Key excerpts from the JCT letter appear below:
“H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at any time during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax.” [page 1]
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“If the government determines that the taxpayer’s unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the following penalties could apply…” [page 2]
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Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses. Depending on the level of the noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual:
• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.” [page 3]
Labels: Criminals in Power
At least in my humble opinion. I may be deluded, but I fancy myself a student of the human mind, the human religious mind and the Islamic religious mind. By the number:
1. Palistinan parent come to US and start having children.
2. Children are native born Americans but are raised steeped in Islam and Palistinan culture.
3. Son goes to Virginia Tec on ROTC scolarship with the obligations for active and reserve service that goes with that.
4. At graduation, son is commission a 2nd. Lt. and decided to go on the med school on the Army dollar which extends his military obligations.
5. Son goes to Army Med School, as a 2nd. Lt. and in his second year 9-11 comes crashing down on his ears and the US goes into Afganistan and Iraq.
6. Oh S%^&, son didn't bargin on being part of an invading hord of infidels killing Allah's holy warriors who resist. But maybe it will blow over before the end of Med School.
7. It doesn't blow over, so son signs up for a four year residence in psychiatry. It will blow over by the end of that.
8. It doesn't blow over, so he signed up for a one year fellowship of addition study. Obama is running and he will bring the invading hoard home.
9. Son is wrong again, Obama doesn't bring the hoards home and everybody in uniform is going to the sand box.
10. Son starts to act up. Gets poor evaluations. Let's his sympathies be know, but to no avail. He is going to the sand box.
11. Son files a law suit claming harrassment to no avail. He is going to the sand box.
12. With three weeks before he leaves for the sand box and out of options he takes his pistols to Ft. Hood.
13. Being a part of the invading hord of infidels killing Allah's holy warriors is not an option. Deserting the infidel hoard has no honor only disgrace for himself and his family.
14. Son picks door number three..dieing a martyer on a personal jihad. This brings honor to him and his family and a free pass to heaven.
When all of the dust settled, I would wager a reasonable sum that this or something very close is what went down at Ft. Hood yesterday.
Updated 9:18 AM CST, Fri, Nov 6, 2009Nope, not so much. But let's give the man his due. He doesn't give a shit about the men and women in uniform. Any caring he expresses is purely for show.
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President Obama didn't wait long after Tuesday's devastating elections to give critics another reason to question his leadership, but this time the subject matter was more grim than a pair of governorships.
After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed. The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 p.m., cable stations went to the president. The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.
But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner." Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?
Labels: Criminals in Power
Former Vice President Al Gore thought he had spotted a winner last year when a small California firm sought financing for an energy-saving technology from the venture capital firm where Mr. Gore is a partner.In short Mr. Gore is taking the fraud of human caused global warming and using his powerful friends to rob U.S. taxpayers.
The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient. It came to Mr. Gore’s firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers, looking for $75 million to expand its partnerships with utilities seeking to install millions of so-called smart meters in homes and businesses.
Mr. Gore and his partners decided to back the company, and in gratitude Silver Spring retained him and John Doerr, another Kleiner Perkins partner, as unpaid corporate advisers.
The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts. Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr. Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years.
Labels: Criminals in Power
THIS HAS GOT TO BE THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS STATEMENT EVER MADE BY A PUBLIC OFFICIAL LET ALONE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. AND THIS GUY IS OUR "COMMANDER IN CHIEF". HE IS A DISGRACE.
HERE IS HIS RESPONSE WHEN HE BACKED OFF FROM HIS DECISION TO LET THE MILITARY PAY FOR THEIR WAR INJURIES.
Bad press, including major mockery of the plan by comedian Jon Stewart, led to President Obama abandoning his proposal to require veterans carry private health insurance to cover the estimated $540 million annual cost to the federal government of treatment for injuries to military personnel received during their tours on active duty. The President admitted that he was puzzled by the magnitude of the opposition to his proposal.
"Look, it's an all volunteer force," Obama complained. "Nobody Made these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice? It doesn't compute.." "I thought these were people who were proud to sacrifice for their country, "Obama continued. "I wasn't asking for blood, just money. With the country facing the worst financial crisis in its history, I'd have thought that the patriotic thing to do would be to try to help reduce the nation's deficit. I guess I underestimated the selfishness of some of my fellow Americans."
Please pass this on to every one including every vet and their families whom you know.
How in the world did a person with this mind set become our leader? I didn't vote for him!!!
REMEMBER THIS STATEMENT... "Nobody made these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice? If this DUDE thinks he will ever get another vote from an Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard service member or veteran of a military service he ought to think it over. If you or a family member is or has served their country please pass this to them. Please pass this to everyone.
I'm guessing that other than the 20-25 percent hardcore liberals in the US will agree that this is just another example why this is the worst president in American history. Remind everyone over and over how this man thinks, while he bows to the Saudi Arabian king.
Labels: Criminals in Power