September 16th, 2014
One things for sure, aside from all the obvious problems with this ridiculous idea--DC would 'easily' be the wealthiest and certainly most powerful state in the Union....not to mention most liberal
Supporters of granting the District of Columbia statehood asked members of a Senate panel on Monday to make the American capital the 51st state in the union.
DC residents lack congressional representation, an injustice statehood supporters compared with denying women and African Americans the right to vote as they urged members on the Senate committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs to consider a proposed measure to make DC into the “state of New Columbia”. The few opponents who spoke during the hearing questioned the seriousness of the bill and the constitutionality of allowing DC to become a state.
Although the bill has almost no realistic chance of passing Congress, Senator Tom Carper, the committee’s chair and the bill’s sponsor, said he scheduled the hearing as a way to restart the conversation on DC statehood.
“When it comes to having a vote in Congress, these men and women really don’t count, at least not in the same way. In truth they never have,” said the Delaware Democrat during the hearing. “While they bear the full responsibilities of funding the federal government and dealing with the consequences of the laws it enacts, they do not enjoy the benefits and protection of having voting representation in Congress.”
This is the first time Congress has dealt with the issue in more than two decades. The last time was in November 1993, when the Democrat-led House defeated a statehood bill in a 277-153 vote. But DC’s slow-burning fight to become a state has continued, garnering some notable supporters over the years, including the current president.
Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma and a ranking member of the committee, agreed DC residents “suffer an injustice” but didn’t think this bill offered a realistic solution. He said the bill had no chance of passing Congress and would certainly be “dead on arrival” in the House.
Among the speakers at Monday’s hearing who testified in favor of statehood were DC mayor Vincent Gray and district representative Eleanor Holmes Norton. Roger Pilon of Cato Institute, a libertarian thinktank, spoke against the bill.
As recently as this year, the United Nations has decried the limited representation for DC residents, calling it a “human rights violation”.
September 15th, 2014
ISIS is a JV Team...
If you like your Doctor you can keep him....
There's not a smidgen of corruption involved with the IRS targeting of Conservatives.....
All of the drives were erased by accident.....
“By every economic measure, we are better off now than we were when I took office. You wouldn’t know it, but we are.”
and now, we have the following.....but consider the fact that there is no way of knowing who has come over the border, period, and also consider the tone of this article from the NYT, as backing the regime's position....
As the Obama administration and the American public have focused their attention on ISIS in recent weeks, conservative groups and leading Republicans have issued stark warnings ( like these) that ISIS and other extremists from Syria are planning to enter the country illegally from Mexico.
But the Homeland Security Department, the F.B.I. and lawmakers who represent areas near the border say there is no truth to the warnings.
Democrats say opponents of President Obama are simply playing on concerns about terrorism as part of their attempt to portray Mr. Obama as having failed to secure the border against illegal immigration.
At a congressional hearing last week, Representative Jeff Duncan, Republican of South Carolina, pushed back strongly against the testimony of Homeland Security Department officials and Mr. O’Rourke, saying they were ignoring a gathering threat.
“Wake up, America,” Mr. Duncan said before storming out of the hearing. “With a porous southern border, we have no idea who’s in our country.”
But counterterrorism officials say they are far more concerned that an ISIS militant will enter the United States the same way millions of people do each year: legally, on a commercial flight.
Warnings about the possibility of terrorists entering the United States from Mexico have been sounded in the past.
“We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico, as well as Iran, with their ploy to come into the United States,” Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, said at a Republican debate in 2011. “So the idea that we need to have border security with the United States and Mexico is paramount to the entire Western Hemisphere.”
In late August, the conservative group Judicial Watch posted anarticle on its website about how ISIS was operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez and planning car bomb attacks.
“High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued,” the report said. “Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.”
Judicial Watch said intelligence officials had “picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to ‘carry out an attack on the border.’ “ It quoted a “high-level source” saying that the attack was “coming very soon.”
Mr. O’Rourke said that immediately after that report was posted he called the F.B.I. and Homeland Security Department. They told him they had no intelligence about such an attack. Mr. O’Rourke said he spent the rest of his day arguing with members of the news media in Texas about why the Judicial Watch report was not a story. He largely failed to convince them, and the article was widely reported.
Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, said the Obama administration had a history of looking the other way on national security threats, particularly ones involving the border.
“President Obama or his administration should acknowledge this dire threat on the border, whatever its political ramifications are for the debate on immigration,” Mr. Fitton said.
Mr. Fitton said that the idea of ISIS coming across the border “goes against the narrative that the border is secure” and that Americans “don’t need to worry about illegal immigration.”
On Fox News on Monday, a county sheriff in Texas said he had received reports that Qurans and Muslim clothing had been found on smuggling routes. He said that was evidence that Muslims had been smuggled into the United States.
“If they show their ugly head in our area, we’ll send them to hell,” said the sheriff, Gary Painter, of Midland County. “I would like for them to hit them so hard and so often that every time they hear a propeller on a plane or a jet aircraft engine that they urinate down both legs. When you do that, then you’ve accomplished a lot.”
Fox News itself has covered the threats in different ways. After senior administration officials testified at a Senate hearing last week about ISIS, an article on FoxNews.com about the testimony ran under the headline “D.H.S. Confirms ISIS Planning Infiltration of U.S. Southern Border.” An article on Fox News Latino about the same hearing had the headline: “ISIS Terrorists Not Sneaking Over U.S. Southern Border With Mexico, D.H.S. Officials Tell Congress.”
RELATED COVERAGE from NYT
September 15th, 2014
Obama still hasn't figured out who America's enemies actually are, or, maybe he has....
The many thousands of US soldiers who lost both life and limb in Iraq were largely due to the IED's supplied solely by the terrorist state of Iran......
Tehran (AFP) - Iran said Monday it rejected a US request for its cooperation against the jihadist Islamic State as part of an international coalition whose true aim Tehran sees as regime change in Syria.
Seen from Tehran, which has helped both Damascus and Baghdad to confront IS advances, the coalition lacks credibility because some of its members had financed and armed the group as part of their campaign to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"Right from the start, the United States asked through its ambassador in Iraq whether we could cooperate against Daaesh," Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei said in a statement on his official website, using the Arabic acronym for IS.
"I said no, because they have dirty hands," said Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state in the Islamic Republic.
"Secretary of State (John Kerry) personally asked (Iranian counterpart) Mohammad Javad Zarif and he rejected the request," said Khamenei, who was leaving hospital after what doctors said was successful prostate surgery.
He accused Washington of seeking a "pretext to do in Iraq and Syria what it already does in Pakistan -- bomb anywhere without authorization."
At the end of a Paris conference on coordinating the fight against IS, to which Iran and Syria were not invited, the United States said Monday it was opposed to military cooperation with Iran in Iraq but was open to further talks.
"We will not be coordinating with Iran," Kerry told reporters shortly after Khamenei's statement. "But as I said, we are open to have a conversation."
For Khamenei, "the Americans are lying when they say they refused to have Iran in the alliance because from the very start we declared our opposition to such a presence".
Washington had appealed for help from all regional states against the jihadists, who spearheaded a lightning offensive through the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad in June and then unleashed a wave of atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities.
But last week Kerry ruled out cooperation with Tehran, citing the mainly Shiite country's "engagement in Syria and elsewhere".
Tehran has been the main regional ally of the Damascus government throughout a three-and-a-half-year armed revolt against Assad.
It strongly criticised President Barack Obama's announcement last Wednesday that he had authorised US air strikes against IS targets in Syria without the consent of Damascus.
Khamenei predicted the US-led coalition against IS would prove as ineffective as the so-called "Friends of Syria" international conferences held as a show of solidarity with anti-Assad rebels.
"The alliance against Syria... didn't manage to do anything, and it will be the same thing in Iraq," said Iran's leader.
In Paris, the world's top diplomats pledged to support Iraq in its fight against IS militants by "any means necessary", including "appropriate military assistance".
Representatives from around 30 countries and international organisations, including the United States, Russia and China, took part.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari voiced "regret" in Paris that Iran had not been invited to the conference.
"We insisted that Iran be present. However, it's not us that took the decision. We regret the absence of Iran at this conference," he told reporters.
"All countries are affected by the Daaesh problem and Iran is a neighbouring country that has several times given us its support," he said.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, meanwhile, called for Iran to cooperate with the coalition even if it did not form part of the alliance.
"It was always unlikely that Iran would become a fully fledged member of the coalition but I think we should continue to hope that Iran will align itself broadly with the direction that the coalition is going," Hammond told reporters.
He said he hoped Iran would be "cooperative with the plans that the coalition is putting in place, if not actively a part of the coalition".
September 14th, 2014
Americans in the West are still buzzing about a mysterious light that flashed across the sky early Friday, with no confirmed explanation yet for the phenomenon.
The light was seen in the early morning hours in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as in Oregon and Nevada.
“I am used to seeing planes early in the morning with lights, but this was different,” one witness told Claycord.com. “This had something coming out of it, it wasn’t just the light. I could see it spraying something.”
Another witness echoed the comment about the object emitting something:
“This morning when I was leaving for work, before I got into my car I noticed that there was some type of object in the air with a type of floodlight on, and white fog/smoke was billowing out of it – as if something was being sprayed into the air. I tried to take a photo with my iPhone but it didn’t come out. This was at 5:58am – I live in Kirkwood – and the object appeared to be just over the area of Clayton Valley Shopping Center at Clayton/Kirker Pass … could this be fogging for mosquitoes? I was a bit concerned because the object was clearly spraying some substance into the air … with the floodlight on. Then the light went off, and I couldn’t see or hear the sounds from a plane or anything, it was very strange.”
Barry Formslag of Novato, California, told KPIX-TV the lights he saw were actually orange in color.
“About 6 a.m. this morning, I came out, I was walking down the driveway and I looked up at the sky and saw this little orange ball – above the Redwood trees,” Formslag said. “All of a sudden these lights just came down from that little orange ball.”
The CBS affiliate spoke with Bing Quock of the Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences, who noted: “Looking at the website of the American Meteor Society, it looks like there are several reports of a large bright object falling through the sky. It’s rather unusual in that this one had a rather large tail following behind it.”
When asked if it’s related to last week’s solar storm, Quock said, “There’s probably no relation between the two.”
“We don’t have confirmation as to what it is just yet,” Autumn King, a spokeswoman for the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“It may be space junk, it may be a meteor, but we have no confirmation yet,” King said. “We’re just kind of going off what we’re getting from viewers and e-mail and video.”
September 14th, 2014
The rising clamor over the beheading of two Americans, and rapidly sinking polls, forced President Obama to reassure the nation last week he had a plan to deal with the Islamic State. He did some of what he had to do, but only some, and so most military analysts believe the expanded airstrikes will not be a sufficient match for the size and weaponry of the terrorist army.
They miss the point. The disjointed speech wasn’t really about terrorism and launching a new war. It was about saving Obama’s presidency.
He is sinking fast and could soon pass the point of no return. In fact, it may already be too late to save the SS Obama.
The whole second term has been a string of disasters, with the toxic brew of his Obamacare lies, middling economic growth and violent global breakdown casting doubt on the president’s stewardship.
Six years into his tenure, nothing is going as promised.
Earlier on, he could have trotted out his teleprompters and turned public opinion his way, or at least stopped the damage. But the magic of his rhetoric is long gone, and not just because the public has tuned him out.
They’ve tuned him out because they’ve made up their minds about him. They no longer trust him and don’t think he’s a good leader.
Most ominously, they feel less safe now than they did when he took office. Americans know the war on terror isn’t over, no matter what their president claims.
Those findings turned up in a tsunami of recent polls that amount to a public vote of no confidence. They shook up the White House so much that the plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants was put on hold to try to protect Democratic candidates from voter wrath in November.
That was a necessary tactical retreat, but it doesn’t change the basic calculation. The president’s problem is that he has been wrong about virtually every major issue.
His worldview, his politics, his prejudices, his habits — they’ve been a mismatch for the country and its needs. He has been a dud even in the one area where he seemed a lock to make things better, racial relations. Only 10 percent believe race relations have improved under him, while 35 percent said they are worse, according to a New York Times survey. The remainder said there wasn’t much change either way.
That’s shocking — but not surprising. Barack Obama was not ready to be president, and still isn’t. It is a fantasy to believe he’ll master the art in his final two years.
The lasting image will be his yukking it up on the golf course minutes after giving a perfunctory speech on the beheading of James Foley. It revealed him as hollow, both to America and the world, and there is no way to un-see the emptiness.
That means, I fear, we are on the cusp of tragedy. It is reasonable to assume the worst-case scenarios about national security are growing increasingly likely to occur.
Obama’s fecklessness is so unique that our adversaries and enemies surely realize they will never face a weaker president. They must assume the next commander in chief will take a more muscular approach to America’s interests and be more determined to forge alliances than the estranged man who occupies the Oval Office now.
So Vladimir Putin, Iran, China, Islamic State, al Qaeda and any other number of despots and terrorists know they have two years to make their moves and advance their interests, and that resistance will be token, if there is any at all.
Throw in the fact that Europe largely has scrapped its military might to pay for its welfare states, and the entire West is a diminished, confused opponent, ripe for the taking. Redrawn maps and expanded spheres of influence could last for generations.
Of course, there is a possibility that America could rally around the president in a crisis, and there would be many voices demanding just that. But a national consensus requires a president who is able to tap into a reservoir of good will and have his leadership trusted.
That’s not the president we have....