April 3rd, 2012
By Barry Secrest
On returning from a business lunch in the early afternoon, I had just merged onto the freeway loop that circles around uptown Charlotte, approaching from the northern side. Flicking on the radio, there was a fifteen-year old from the rustic mountain town of Floyd, Virginia, speaking to Rush Limbaugh, on WBT, concerning America's free market economy and how it was quickly being eroded away into nothing much more than a collectivist experiment into poverty.
As the young man spoke, an image of the esoteric town of Floyd flickered across my memory, recalling small groups of bluegrass and folk musicians peppered all about the town, playing for any and all who cared to listen on a crisp early-autumn evening, both tie-dyed hippies and overall clad countryfolk co-existing meaningfully in the throes of both music and American culture.
Drifting quickly back again to the wise youngster's voice, his subjectivity reminding me a great deal of my own young son's of about the same age, he was highlighting a growing concern for America's future. As I listened to the two discuss America's current generational quandary on the radio, I glanced up at the Charlotte skyline, my vehicle describing a long, lazy arc around the metropolis; uptown buildings leaping from a lush canopy of trees. My gaze returned to the freeway long enough to verify where I and the other vehicles were. I glanced up at the sky scrapers again, consternated that something very familiar was missing. My eyes darted cautiously across the skyline trying to find this missing symbol that should have been embedded deep in the heart of one of America's largest financial centers, and yet the expected elements, long a familiar sight, simply weren't there.
I Applied a bit of logic and reran the mental sequence back through twice while quickly changing lanes away from an erratically driven car from New York. The big Dodge engine meanwhile grumbled at being impeded by some tiny little 2-Liter upstart. Reengaging my random access memory, I was trying to remember another time in the past when the reassuring icons of American industry had been absent, but was drawing a complete blank. You see, the things that were missing were the telltale skycranes that would normally tower out of the Cityscape, often even in multitudes, across the largest and wealthiest city in North Carolina.
Nothing of any note, it would seem, was being constructed for the first time in a very long slice of Charlotte's storied history, that being one of outrageous growth.
Literally unfortunate it is, it would seem, that ours is not the only city being unable to boast that ever-familiar symbol of growth, in America. This particular story in fact, is being repeated in city after major city all across America, even as those in power continually whisper soothing rejoinders of how things are getting better and will be great again, and soon.
But haven't we been hearing this fable for over three long years now, and will we be forced to yet hear this same mantra for another four years? Especially after also being repeatedly told that America can no longer be the world's economic engine that it was.
After repeated and devastatingly radical administrative moves over the past three years, the defining note in the final year for Obama's term is the fact that there will be an election held in a relatively scant, eight months. This led us to wonder exactly how it is, after a decidedly miserable job of managing America's success as a nation, many continue to think that Obama will win the day at election, predicated only on the President's melanin content and a large number of dubious, at best, protestations of unfortunate good intent that went terribly awry.
So, indeed, why is it that we think both Obama and the Democrats face a scorched earth, uphill battle in the impending 2012 election, while many, many others seem to not?
Here are our Top-Ten arguments against the predominant belief that Obama will manage to rebalance the updated US crown as Leader of the Flee World upon his messianic cranium, even though it brims over with the overwhelming detritus of Progressive mush.
10 Obama's Saul Alinsky Radicalism
April 3rd, 2012
BLS Note: "Um...sheez! Ok, no wonder"...this is a pic of Anna Chapman we snared from a Russian website"
If the arrest of Russian spy Anna Chapman seemed abrupt, it’s because the FBI began to fear she was out to sexually ensnare a member of President Obama’s cabinet.
That seems too crazy to be true, even in a case as bizarre as Chapman’s. But the FBI’s counterintelligence chief tells a BBC interviewer that Chapman was getting “closer and closer to higher and higher ranking leadership.”
“They were getting close enough to a sitting U.S. cabinet member that we thought we could no longer allow this to continue,” says C. Frank Figliuzzi, the assistant FBI director for counterintelligence, according to the Independent. That alleged — repeat: alleged — sexual “closeness” prompted Figliuzzi’s agents to shift from monitoring Chapman’s crew of ten spies to arresting them in 2010.
Figliuzzi doesn’t say which “serving” cabinet official was thisclose to shtupping Anna Chapman. It would be irresponsible to speculate. But it’s so, so, so hard not to. (I’m guessing that you can erase ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a former CIA kremlinologist, from Anna Chapman’s little black book.)
Chapman will not go down in history as the world’s ugliest agent, and the history books are littered with politicians who convinced themselves that the rewards of power include extracurricular, extramarital sex. But Anna Chapman appears to have been a pretty incompetent spy. Her crew used what intelligence reporter Jeff Stein termed “primitive radio techniques” and hid loosely encrypted messages in plain sight on the Internet. She traded in “routine political gossip and policy talk,” as the New York Times put it, rather than real secrets. Bedding a cabinet official would seem to be past her means, comely as they are.
These days, you’re likely to find Chapman on the Russian celebrity circuit, boosting Vladimir Putin’s political machinations, or expressing ambitions for designing bizarre fashions. So she’s probably unlikely to spill. But if Figliuzzi is anywhere even close to correct, maybe Chapman left clues to her little black book online somewhere.
Tops at Wired
April 3rd, 2012
"The case raises the possibility that the president's campaign and that of Clinton’s, could have been legally challenged in Indiana if the alleged forgeries were discovered during the race."
Oct 30, 2008 – Indiana vote results for the 2008 Presidential race. Barack Obama upended 40 years of Republican tradition by winning the presidential race ...
By Eric Shawn
Felony charges related to election fraud have touched the 2008 race for the highest office in the land.
Prosecutors in South Bend, Ind., filed charges Monday against four St. Joseph County Democratic officials and deputies as part of a multiple-felony case involving the alleged forging of Democratic presidential primary petitions in the 2008 election, which put then-candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Indiana ballot.
The officials are accused of taking part in a scheme to fake signatures and names on the primary petitions needed to run for president. Court papers say the plan was hatched by local Democratic Party officials inside the local party headquarters.
April 2nd, 2012
BLS Note: Finally, have we gotten through to the eggheads? Is it even possible? We have been throwing this particular fact out to Global warming's high priests for quite some time now. Nevermind the Pangea quandary which goes back millions of years ago.
The earth was in fact, at one time, a gigantic ball of ice and there were no Chevy Hummers running around at that time, at least not that we know of. So what caused the big thaw before all the continents separated? Could it be possible that it was simply solar cycles in conjunction with seismic activity? No, it was most certainly those dratted Conservative Republican cavemen burning their fires and eating red meat!
UK Daily Mail
Current theories of the causes and impact of global warming have been thrown into question by a new study which shows that during medieval times areas as far apart as Europe and Antarctica both warmed up.
It then cooled down naturally and there was even a 'mini ice age'.
A team of scientists led by geochemist Zunli Lu from Syracuse University in New York state, has found that the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago wasn’t just confined to Europe.
In fact, it extended all the way down to Antarctica.
Cold facts: Antarctica actually warmed up during medieval times, contrary to what climate scientists believe
At present the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the Medieval Warm Period was confined to Europe.
However, Professor Lu has shown that this the Medieval Warm Period had a much broader reach – and the evidence lies with a rare mineral called ikaite, which forms in cold waters.
‘Ikaite is an icy version of limestone,’ said Lu. ‘The crystals are only stable under cold conditions and actually melt at room temperature.’
It turns out the water that holds the crystal structure together - called the hydration water - traps information about temperatures present when the crystals formed.
This finding by Lu's research team establishes, for the first time, ikaite as a reliable way to study past climate conditions.
The mineral proved that Antarctica did warm up.
Lu says that his research has no direct bearing on the current climate, and points out that his research is restricted to one area in Antarctica, and is not in itself proof that the whole Earth warmed up.
Evidence that the Earth heated up over a 1,000 years ago was found in a rare mineral called ikaite
The scientists studied ikaite crystals from sediment cores drilled off the coast of Antarctica. The sediment layers were deposited over 2,000 years.
The scientists were particularly interested in crystals found in layers deposited during the ‘Little Ice Age,’ approximately 300 to 500 years ago, and during the Medieval Warm Period before it.
Both climate events have been documented in Northern Europe, but studies have been inconclusive as to whether the conditions in Northern Europe extended to Antarctica.
Lu’s team found that in fact, they did.
They were able to deduce this by studying the amount of heavy oxygen isotopes found in the crystals.
During cool periods there are lots, during warm periods there aren’t.
‘We showed that the Northern European climate events influenced climate conditions in Antarctica,’ Lu says. ‘More importantly, we are extremely happy to figure out how to get a climate signal out of this peculiar mineral. A new proxy is always welcome when studying past climate changes.’
The research was recently published online in the journal Earth And Planetary Science Letters and will appear in print on April 1.
MOST READ NEWS
April 2nd, 2012
By Lesa Jansen, CNN White House Producer
(CNN) -- The head of the General Services Administration resigned Monday after a scathing report that called government spending on a training seminar in Las Vegas "excessive, wasteful, and in some cases impermissible."
The White House put out a statement that President Barack Obama was "outraged" when he found out about the spending.
GSA Administrator Martha Johnson admitted in a letter of resignation that her agency had made a "significant misstep" and that "taxpayer dollars were squandered."
A GSA Inspector General's report on the 2010 GSA "Western Regions" training conference in Las Vegas shows the government spent more than $822,000 for the 300 attendees, including $75,000 on team building exercises, $6,000 on commemorative coins and $6,000 on canteens, keychains and T-shirts.
President Obama was informed about the report last week before his South Korean trip and administration officials said he acted quickly. "[H]e was outraged by the excessive spending, questionable dealings with contractors, and disregard for taxpayer dollars," White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said in a statement Monday.
Lew said the president called for all those responsible "to be held fully accountable given that these actions were irresponsible and entirely inconsistent with the expectations that he has set as president."
An administration official told CNN the president respects Johnson's decision (to resign), and believes as stewards of taxpayer dollars, these episodes are not acceptable.
The Inspector General's findings show the 2010 training conference was held at the lavish M Resort Spa and Casino outside of Las Vegas.
The report shows that GSA employees "scouted" the location several times before the conference and that travel for conference planning totaled more than $100,000, with catering costs of more than $30,000. Add to that costs for the actual conference of more than $686,000 and the total comes to $822,751.
In her letter of resignation, Johnson said that when she was made aware of the allegations of excessive and questionable spending for the conference she launched internal reviews, took "personnel disciplinary action" and instituted "tough new controls to ensure this incident is not repeated." That was not enough, she said, adding she is resigning to allow the GSA to "move forward at this time with a fresh leadership team."
Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman leveled bruising criticism. "This was a stupid and infuriating waste of taxpayer dollars. The people responsible for it should be held accountable," Lieberman said in a statement.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, similarly slammed the spending.
"I appreciate the work of GSA Inspector General Brad Miller in investigating this matter. I expect that the committee will have additional questions for him and GSA about this wasteful spending," he said in a statement.
Johnson came into her position amid controversy. Her appointment as head of the GSA was held up for 10 months through an arcane Senate procedure known as the "hold," in which one senator can delay a nomination without reason. When Johnson was finally confirmed by the Senate in 2010, the White House touted it as an example of why Americans are so frustrated with Washington.