August 17th, 2014
CNSNews.com) – The terrorist threat facing the United States is greater now than it was before 9/11 and the failure to address the jihadist problem as “an ecosystem” is helping it to spread and the danger it poses to grow, House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers warned Sunday.
“The difference here is that, before 9/11, there were single-level threat streams coming into the United States – some pretty serious,” the Michigan Republican said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “Obviously, they got in and conducted the attacks on 9/11.”
“Now you have multiple organizations, all al-Qaeda-minded, trying to accomplish the same thing,” he said, citing the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda affiliated such as the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).“Thousands of individuals now signing up with ISIL to fight their jihad in Syria and Iraq have Western passports. That's what’s so dangerous about this,” he said.
“We also know that they want to conduct an attack. But so does al Qaeda. And so now you have two competing terrorist organizations. Both of them want to get their credentials to the point where they can say, ‘we are the premier terrorist organization.’ Both want to conduct attacks in the West for that reason.”
“And guess what?” he added. “That means we lose at the end. If either one ever those organizations is successful, we lose.”
He pointed to concerns raised by Attorney-General Eric Holder recently about a rising terror threat from Yemen – “one of the things that keeps him up at night. I would concur with him. That is an attack that many believe is going operational. And that is what we should be worried about.”
Rogers said he believed the terrorist danger to the U.S. now is greater that before 9/11 because “the threat matrix is so wide. And it’s so deep. We just didn't have that before 9/11.”
He observed that ISIS controls territory the size of Indiana, possesses sophisticated weaponry and is reported to have “as much as billion dollars in both precious metals, currency, and, by the way, selling oil on the black market to the tune of about a million dollars a day.”
Rogers pointed to parallels between ISIS’ viciousness and that of other terrorist groups.
“This is exactly the kind of thing – beheading people, convert or die, burning religious relics from the past – just the sheer brutality of it is exactly what AQAP pitches. It’s what Boko Haram [in Nigeria] pitches. When they took those 300 girls, that’s what that was all about.
“That’s what they’re practicing and putting into practice. That’s why this policy of not dealing with it as an ecosystem, I think, is wrong and has caused the spread and danger of these organizations.”
Syria and Iraq ‘one war’
Rogers argued that the U.S. would not solve the problem of ISIS without confronting the terrorist group both in Iraq and in Syria.
“I think the president said they’re not related. They are absolutely related,” he said.
Rogers noted that the caliphate declared by ISIS in June has its envisaged capital in Syria (the northern city of Raqqa, which has been under ISIS control for more than a year), and took issue with any attempt to distinguish between the Iraq and Syria situations.
“To say they’re not related, I think just diminishes our opportunity for a strategic victory.”
August 17th, 2014
Associated Press / By JULIE PACE AP White House Correspondent
CR Note: WHAT a change of TONE for the AP/MSM regarding anything having to do with Obama. Perhaps it is all very clear. He is "done" and making way for Hillary 2016.
President Barack Obama is getting off the island.
In a rare move for him, the president planned a break in the middle of his Martha's Vineyard vacation to return to Washington on Sunday night for unspecified meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and other advisers.
The White House has been cagey about why the president needs to be back in Washington for those discussions. Part of the decision appears aimed at countering criticism that Obama is spending two weeks on a resort island in the midst of so many foreign and domestic crises.
Yet those crises turned the first week of Obama's vacation into a working holiday. He made on-camera statements on U.S. military action in Iraq and the clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. He called foreign leaders to discuss the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, as well as between Israel and Hamas.
"I think it's fair to say there are, of course, ongoing complicated situations in the world, and that's why you've seen the president stay engaged," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.
Obama is scheduled to return to Martha's Vineyard on Tuesday and stay through next weekend.
Even though work has occupied much of Obama's first week on vacation, he still found plenty of time to golf, go to the beach with his family and go out to dinner on the island. He hit the golf course one more time Sunday ahead of his departure, joining two aides and former NBA player Alonzo Mourning for an afternoon round.
Earlier in the week, Obama attended a birthday party for Democratic adviser Vernon Jordan's wife, where he spent time with former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
That get-together between the former rivals-turned-partners added another complicated dynamic to Obama's vacation. Just as Obama was arriving on Martha's Vineyard, an interview with the former secretary of state was published in which she levied some of her sharpest criticism of Obama's foreign policy.
Clinton later promised she and Obama would "hug it out" when they saw each other at Jordan's party. No reporters were allowed in, so it's not clear whether there was any hugging, but the White House said the president danced to nearly every song.
August 17th, 2014
If ever you needed to see just how utterly far removed from common human experience “journalists” are, I have the best example you’ve ever seen. After last night’s rioting, shooting and general pandemonium in Ferguson, Missouri, one of the journalists now famous for being arrested at the McDonald’s was looking for evidence around the city, and posted [the above] unbelievable tweet.
This guy is a reporter. He actually WRITES stuff to inform OTHER human beings about what OTHER human beings are doing. How could you POSSIBLY do that with any kind of accuracy if you’ve never even SEEN earplugs before? ......
H/T Lisa Pinnell
August 16th, 2014
Houston, Texas (KPRC/CNN) -- Pictures posted on Twitter earlier this week show something floating through the skies over the Houston area.
In one, a circular "thing" appears to hover. In another, it appears in front of impressive clouds. In yet another, the circle appears to stand on its side with an impressive light show.
You can find a lot of things flying through the halls of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, but a real answer to just what appears in these Twitter pictures is a mystery.
"I think the trick in UFO's is figuring out what else they could be," says Dr. Carolyn Sumners, vice president for Astronomy at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. "It's easy to say that could be the aliens."
Dr. Sumners investigates and is writing a show about UFO's.
"If it's a real object and it looks like it is -- the more people who see it in different directions, the more likely we are to figure out where it is, what it is and see if we can explain it," she explains.
However, Sumner says all the bad weather the area had on Monday night could have something to do with everything people captured on their phones.
"All the way back to recorded history, there are going to be things we can't explain. That's what makes it exciting," Sumner says....
August 16th, 2014
The above was recently published by the NY Daily News
By DAVID LIEB
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Saturday in the St. Louis suburb where a black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer a week ago.
Nixon said that though many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, the state would not allow a handful of looters to endanger the community. The curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m.
Tensions in Ferguson flared late Friday after police released the name of the officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown and documents alleging Brown robbed a store before he died.
Nixon also said the U.S. Department of Justice is beefing up its investigation of the shooting.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said there were 40 FBI agents going door-to-door talking to people who might have seen or have information about the shooting.
Nixon and Johnson spoke at a church in Ferguson, where they were interrupted repeatedly by people demanding justice and objecting to the curfew.
Johnson assured those in attendance that police would communicate with protesters and give them ample opportunity to observe the curfew.
"You saw people sitting in the street and they had the chance to get up," he said. "And that's how it's going to continue."
Brown's death had already ignited several days of clashes with furious protesters. Tensions eased Thursday after Nixon turned oversight of the protests over to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Gone were the police in riot gear and armored vehicles, replaced by the new patrol commander who personally walked through the streets with demonstrators. But Friday night marked a resurgence of unrest.
Local officers faced strong criticism earlier in the week for their use of tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters. Johnson said one tear gas canister was deployed Friday night after the group of rioters became unruly.
The officer who killed Brown was identified as 28-year-old Darren Wilson, a six-year police veteran who had no previous complaints filed against him.
The Ferguson Police Department has refused to say anything about Wilson's whereabouts, and Associated Press reporters were unable to contact him at any addresses or phone numbers listed under that name in the St. Louis area.
Wilson has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said it could be weeks before the investigation wraps up.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley asked Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Friday to take over the case, saying he did not believe McCulloch could be objective. Koster said Missouri law does not allow it unless McCulloch opts out, and McCulloch spokesman Ed Magee said the prosecutor has no plans to surrender the case.