Thursday, February 18, 2010

Romney says Obama failed America

WASHINGTON — Republican Mitt Romney is blistering President Barack Obama for a squandered inaugural year filled with policy failures and broken promises.

He blames Obama for failing the American people, and said that's why Democrats will lose their majority come this fall.

Romney spoke to a Washington gathering of conservatives, a critical constituency in the Republican primary fight in two years.

The former Massachusetts governor hasn't decided whether to run for president again. He withdrew from the GOP nomination hunt two years ago before the same audience he was speaking to Thursday, the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Supports Michael Baisden's One Million Mentors Tour

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Brothers Big Sisters has partnered with popular nationally syndicated urban radio personality Michael Baisden for his One Million Mentors Campaign and Save Our Kids tour. The seven-month, 72-city national bus tour begins in Dallas this week where Baisden's show is headquartered.

The Michael Baisden Show is the top-ranked urban afternoon program in the country. Every weekday, Baisden ignites lively, passionate discussions while combining the best in music, comedy and social commentary to inspire real change across America. In 2007, he spearheaded the widely reported Jena 6 civil rights demonstration where tens of thousands of Americans peacefully marched in Louisiana to protest the justice system's mistreatment of six young African American men.

"We applaud Michael Baisden's fearless focus on encouraging community activism and believe his outspoken advocacy and support of mentoring will make a real difference in the communities we serve," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President & CEO Karen Mathis. "We have independent evidence and know first-hand how long-term volunteer mentoring makes communities stronger and safer, empowering children and families to beat the odds. We will join the Baisden Foundation's One Million Mentors tour, providing information about how Big Brothers Big Sisters' time-tested careful mentor matching and ongoing support benefit children, their families and volunteers."

During the tour, the Michael Baisden Foundation will team with local radio affiliates, Big Brothers Big Sisters, 100 Black Men of America, National Cares Mentoring Movement, the United Way, local faith-based organizations and other community mentoring organizations to educate communities about mentoring and raise funds to support local organizations.

The One Million Mentors tour comes on the heels of Big Brothers Big Sisters' national summit with African American fraternity leaders from Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi, who have teamed with the nation's largest donor-supported network of volunteer mentors in an unprecedented collaboration. Representatives from the fraternities will also join local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies at the One Million Mentors tour rallies. With African American boys disproportionately representing the children waiting to be matched with "Bigs," the fraternities have committed to help recruit Big Brothers and raise funds so that agencies can meet the demand with sufficient match support.

To learn if the One Million Mentors to Help Save Our Kids through Mentoring tour will stop in your town, please go to

Vancouver 2010 | USA Golden with Chicago's Shani Davis, Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White

Chicago's Shani Davis became the first Olympian in history to win back-to-back Gold medals in the 1000m in Speedskating on a remarkable day for USA at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Former rival Chad Hedrick of USA won the Bronze in the 1000m. Davis will also compete in the 1500m on Saturday.

Lindsey Vonn, despite an injury, won the Gold for Women's Downhill Skiing with her USA teammate Julia Mancuso getting Silver.

Snowboard halfpipe superstar Shaun White "mctwisted" and soared to a Gold again.

Naperville's Evan Lysacek will be a medal contender for Men's Figure Skating on Thursday night.

Armed soldiers storm Niger presidential palace ~ in the uranium-rich, al-Qaeda haven, West African country

Muslim 80%, other (includes indigenous beliefs and Christian) 20%

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Renegade soldiers in armored vehicles stormed Niger's presidential palace with a hail of gunfire during broad daylight Thursday in an apparent coup attempt in the uranium-rich West African nation.

Military music played on state radio later in the evening — the same music that aired after two previous coups in the late 1990s — and the strongman president's whereabouts was unknown. Government officials could not be reached for comment.

Smoke rose from the white-hued multistory palace complex and the echo of machine-gunfire for at least 20 minutes sent frightened residents running for cover, emptying the desert country's downtown boulevards at midday.

Traore Amadou, a local journalist who was in the presidency when the shooting began, said President Mamadou Tandja was kidnapped by mutinous troops. It was unclear whether the septuagenarian leader was still at the palace.

Tandja first took power in democratic elections in 1999 that followed an era of coups and rebellions. But instead of stepping down as mandated by law on Dec. 22, he triggered a political crisis by pushing through a new constitution last August that removed term limits and gave him near-totalitarian powers.

Niger has become increasingly isolated since then, with the 15-nation regional bloc of West African states suspending Niger from its ranks and the U.S. government cutting off non-humanitarian aid and imposing travel restrictions on some government officials.

Niger has gained notoriety in recent years with a spate of kidnappings in its lawless northern deserts. A low-level rebellion finally calmed last year in the uranium-rich north, where al-Qaida's North Africa branch has claimed responsibility for taking a handful of foreigners hostage, including a Canadian later freed who was the U.N.'s special envoy.

The nation's latest troubles began suddenly in Niamey on Thursday afternoon, when gunfire broke out around the impoverished nation's small presidency.

"Armored vehicles came into the palace and began shooting at the building," said Moussa Mounkaila, a palace driver. He said the mutinous troops had come from a military barracks at Tondibia, about 7 miles (12 kilometers) west of the capital.

Mounkaila said he saw some smoke rising from the damaged presidency before he jumped over a wall and fled.

Tandja had just gathered government ministers for a Cabinet meeting when the gunfire erupted outside.

State radio stopped broadcasting for 15 minutes during the incident, but went on air again afterward and did not mention the developments in an afternoon report.

Soldiers blocked off streets around the presidency compound and nothing has been heard from Tandja since.

A French diplomat declined to comment on the situation, saying the French government is still trying to determine what is happening. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because the situation is still unclear.

After three coups hit Niger between 1974 and 1999, Tandja twice won votes deemed fair. But in the waning months of his final term, critics say he went down the path of many long-serving African despots, breaking a promise he had frequently made to step down when his term expired in December.

Opposition leaders say Tandja morphed from democrat to dictator over the course of several months last year. In May 2009, he dissolved the national assembly because it opposed his plan to hold a referendum removing term limits. The move was legal but the following month he invoked extraordinary powers to rule by decree, dissolving the constitutional court that also opposed his plan.

The two bodies represented the only real checks on his power. The last obstacle was the constitution itself, which contained a clause saying that the two-term limit could not be amended. In August, Tandja forced through a referendum boycotted by the opposition that created a new constitution. It gave him greatly boosted powers and an unprecedented three-year extension of his rule before another round of elections can be held.

The Aug. 4 vote came despite opposition from international donors who could cut crucial aid and from critics at home who say the Islamic nation's nascent democracy has been hijacked by a new African strongman.

Tandja claims he is only pushing to stay in power because his people have demanded it. He says they want him to finish several mammoth projects worth billions of dollars that have begun in recent months, including a hydroelectric dam, an oil refinery and what will be the largest uranium mine in Africa.

Niger is ranked fifth from last on the U.N.'s worldwide human development index and has an astounding 70 percent illiteracy rate. The nation on the Sahara's southern edge has been perpetually battered by drought and desertification. And these days, it has the world's highest population growth rate.

Tiger Woods to Hold Press Conference

After being in hiding since Thanksgiving weekend, Tiger Woods will hold a press conference.

The pro golfer is scheduled to speak at the TPC Sawgrass, PGA Headquarters in Florida on Friday, February 19, at 11 a.m. EST. His agent tells "The Insider" that media access will be limited for the press conference.

Woods has been splashed all over the tabloids since a car accident occurred outside his Florida home in November. Following the accident, women started coming forward claiming to have had affairs with the famed golfer.

Obama Stimulates More Lies, Unemployment And Reckless Spending

The Obama administration is going all out this week to tout the failed economic stimulus program on its first anniversary. Obama went so far as to claim that it saved the economy from the brink of disaster and that it is the model of transparency.

The only stimulus that is working is Obama’s fertile imagination. He has created a new measure of success – what he calls “jobs saved” as a result of the stimulus spending. If a school system or fire department received any stimulus money, for example, someone who received a pay raise was counted as a “saved job” under Obamanomics. A postponed lay-off is a “saved job.” Even by its own measures – which most economists and the Congressional Budget Office have rejected as meaningless indicators of the real unemployment picture – the administration has been caught claiming that jobs were saved in congressional districts that did not exist and that more jobs were saved than the total number of jobs that existed in some places.

The official unemployment rate rose to over 10% during the last year and is now at 9.7% – nearly 30% more than it was a year ago. About three million jobs were lost over the past year – real jobs.
Underemployment – which includes those unemployed people who have stopped looking for work but looked for work sometime in the recent past and people who are working part-time but want full-time jobs – is nearly 17%.

The Obama administration can’t even tell us the truth about how much the stimulus program has cost. They still use the original price tag of $787 billion. The Congressional Budget Office, however, has said the the actual cost is $862 billion.

In this administration, a discrepancy of $75 billion is a speck of dust compared to the trillions of dollars of spending they are racking up.

This reckless spending has ballooned the deficit to $1.6 trillion. The federal debt is now at an astounding 94.27% of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product – the highest since 1949! As Bill O’Reilly pointed out during his “Talking Points” segment last night on “The Factor,” Washington under Obama is heading the way of California – bankruptcy.

Government spending on pork projects does not create real jobs. It may fatten the recipients up for awhile at the expense of the taxpayers but it is only lard.

Real jobs are created in the private sector. And Obama’s economic policies – runaway government spending, onerous regulations and higher taxes – are at direct odds with what is necessary to create more jobs in the private sector.

by Joseph Klein

Ex-Acting Boss of Genovese Crime Family Charged in 2003 Murder

The New York U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to hammer away at the Genovese Organized Crime Family.

The office on Wednesday announced the indictment of former acting boss Arthur Nigro and made member Anthony Arillota on racketeering crimes including the 2003 murder of Adolfo Bruno, a member of the crime family who reportedly ran an operation out of Massachusetts.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the indictment charged crime family members Steve Alfisi with racketeering and Marcos Caio, James Coumoutsos and George Coumoutsos with working with Alfisi in an illegal gambling operation.

A press release says that in 2003, Nigro, who served as acting boss of the crime family for a while, and Arilotta murdered Adolfo Bruno “in order to maintain and increase their position in the Genovese Organized Crime Family, as well as to prevent Bruno from providing information to law enforcement about crimes committed by members of the Genovese Organized Crime Family.”

The indictment comes just weeks after the acting head of the Genovese organized crime family, Daniel Leo, aka “The Lion,” and his nephew Joseph Leo, a lieutenant, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to racketeering charges related to loan sharking, extortion and illegal gambling.

By Allan Lengel

Race Played Role in Federal Court Mistrial in Detroit — One of America’s Most Racially Divisive Cities

Early last year newly minted Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. shook things up when he delivered a speech saying Americans were “cowards” when it came to race.

“Though the nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards,” Holder said at the time.

On Wednesday, his federal prosecutors came smack up against the issue in Detroit, one of the nation’s most racially divisive cities, after a jury deadlocked 11-1 and a mistrial was declared in federal court in a high profile public corruption case involving Sam Riddle, an African American who had served as an aide to ex-City Council member Monica Conyers, the wife of Congressman John Conyers.

The Detroit News reported that only one juror — the only African American on the jury — refused to convict Riddle. And apparently she was not a coward when it came to raising the race issue. The News reported that she told fellow jurors early on in deliberations that they wanted to “hang the black man.”

The prosecution plans to go for a second trial.

Crystal Gayle Mangum Arrested: Attempted Murder, Arson Charges For LaCrosse Accuser (Video)

I never thought I’d ever write the name “Crystal Mangum” on this blog again. Back in March 2006, the then-prostitute and stripper accused three Duke University lacrosse players of gang-raping her in a small bathroom at a house party. Mangum said the three men beat and choked her, and orally, vaginally, and anally raped her.

Reasonable people knew she was lying. A southern version of Tawana Brawley.

I accused Mangum of lying early on, and I caught heat for it. Unfortunately for them, it added fuel to my fire. Check out the Duke Rape Archives. Lots of stuff. Also see Wikipedia’s entry for more information.

The district attorney, Mike Nifong, though armed with evidence disproving a rape occurred, charged Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans with rape. Nifong was held in criminal contempt and ended up disbarred. Among other antics, he kept exculpatory evidence from the defense. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges against the men and declared them innocent.

Tax dollars wasted. Families going into debt defending against false charges. The psychological shock the falsely accused and those who love them endured.

People believed what they wanted to believe. Disgruntled feminists and liberals of all stripes used this story as an opportunity to dump all their frustrations on “rich” white men, even though they knew the record showed Mangum was lying, and that she’d made a false gang-rape accusation in the past. Mainstream media set the “rich white boys raping black women” narrative, along with the “poor black woman who had to strip and sell her body for money to feed her children” meme. It was a disgusting display of race and class envy. A bloody mess, the whole thing.

Why Crystal Mangum wasn’t charged with something, I’ll never know.

Anyway, one would think she’d keep a low profile, raise her children properly, and keep out of trouble. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Yesterday, the former prostitute, stripper, and gang-rape fantasy-weaver was charged with attempted first degree murder, arson, and other crimes. She threatened to stab her “boyfriend,” but that’s not the worst part. She started a fire in the bathtub, and her three children were inside the house. More to say later maybe.

by La Shawn

Report: Knicks Get Tracy McGrady, Cap Space in Deadline Deal

MANHATTAN — The Knicks acquired former All-Star Tracy McGrady from the Houston Rockets in a three-team deal Thursday, freeing up salary cap space this summer for them to lure marquee free agents like LeBron James to Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks, Rockets and Sacramento Kings have worked out a deal to send McGrady to New York and Kevin Martin to Houston, according to the New York Post and

McGrady, 30, has barely played for the Rockets over the last two years because of nagging injuries, but his real value comes in the form of a $23 million expiring contract.

Thursday's deal will help put the Knicks more than $30 million under the salary cap on July 1. New York has not been under the salary cap since the summer of 1996 when they signed free agents Allan Houston and Chris Childs.

Thursday's deal puts the Knicks in prime position to land two elite players in a 2010 free agent class headlined by James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Nate Robinson is headed to the Celtics. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)As part of the three-team deal New York sends rookie Jordan Hill, forward Jared Jeffries and its 2012 first round draft pick to the Rockets. Houston also gets the right to swap 2011 first round picks with the Knicks as long as it's not the top overall pick in the draft, ESPN reported. New York's pick is top-5 protected in 2012.

The Knicks will also ship Larry Hughes to Sacramento and will get back Sergio Rodriguez from the Kings as part of the three-team deal, the Post reported. Rodriguez, 23, gives the Knicks some much needed point guard help.

The Rockets get Martin, Kenny Thomas and Hilton Armstrong from Sacramento, with Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey heading to the Kings.

The McGrady trade wasn't the only move made by the wheeling and dealing Knicks on Thursday.

ESPN's Mark Stein reported the Knicks and Boston reached a tentative deal to ship Robinson and an unnamed player to the Celtics for Eddie House, J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker. The identity of the second player headed to Boston has not been revealed.

"This is a sad day for me as well but I have tears of joy I accomplished something no one has done, 3X slam dunk champion! Thanks to my fans," Robinson tweeted on Thursday.

The Robinson to Celtics deal has been talked about extensively over the last 24 hours, but New York has yet to announce anything. Earlier reports had the Knicks getting a first round pick back from Boston.

Robinson excited fans with his frenetic play and highlight reel dunks, but his antics on and off the court caused him to fall out of favor with Knicks Coach Mike D'Antoni.

On Wednesday the Knicks traded back up center Darko Milicic to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Brian Cardinal and cash considerations. Milicic, who was not in the Knicks regular rotation, could return to Europe after this season, David Kahn, Minnesota’s president of basketball operations, told the Associated Press.

The Knicks are also reportedly shopping Al Harrington to the Bulls in exchange for Tyrus Thomas, the Post reported.

By Jim Scott

Ex-NYC police boss gets 4 years in prison

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was hailed as a hero alongside former Mayor Rudy Giuliani after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and nearly became chief of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was sentenced to four years behind bars Thursday for eight felonies.

Kerik admitted in November that he lied to the White House, filed false taxes and committed other crimes.

"The fact that Mr. Kerik would use that event (9/11) for personal gain and aggrandizement is a dark place in the soul for me," said federal Judge Stephen Robinson.

An apologetic Kerik said before the sentence was pronounced: "Allow me to return to my wife and two little girls as soon as possible."

Federal guidelines indicated Kerik's sentence should be between 27 and 33 months in prison. Robinson said he went beyond the guidelines because they could not account for certain factors.

Kerik was "the chief law enforcement law enforcement officer for the biggest and grandest city this nation has," Robinson said. The crimes were committed "in the process of attempting to become a cabinet level position in the government of the United States."

The prosecutor, Michael Bosworth, said the misdeeds were "driven by arrogance, personal greed and professional ambition."

Kerik will be allowed to surrender voluntarily on May 17; the prison has not been chosen yet.

Kerik, 54, has already been ordered to pay $188,000 in restitution and to pay past-due taxes and penalties on six years of tax returns.

"...I'd like to apologize to the American people for the mistakes I've made and for which I have just accepted responsibility," Kerik said outside the courthouse. "As history is written, I can only hope that I will be judged for 30 years of service I've given to the country and the city of New York."

"...Although this has been the most challenging period of my life ... it will not diminish my love and admiration for this country, which it has been one of my greatest privileges to serve."

Just before pleading guilty, Kerik spent three weeks in the Westchester County Jail for releasing secret pretrial information. While there, he was voluntarily admitted to the psychiatric ward for observation because of stress. Doctors concluded he did not need mental care.

After admitting his crimes, Kerik was freed pending sentencing. He had to post a $1.5 million bond, wear an electronic monitor and generally stay inside his home in Franklin Lakes, N.J.

In presentencing memos to the judge, the defense and prosecution painted sharply different portraits of Kerik.

The defense spoke of his bleak upbringing, his steely leadership after the terror attacks, his remorse and the debt he has incurred to defend himself. It supplied letters of support from his son, fellow police officers, a priest and a man who lost two sons on Sept. 11.

There was no letter from Giuliani.

The prosecution memo said Kerik had "shamelessly exploited" the terror attack, had shamed his gold shield and might flee if he weren't sent to prison right away.

Kerik was Giuliani's police commissioner when New York City was attacked, and he was praised worldwide for his leadership. At Giuliani's urging, he was nominated to the top Homeland Security post in 2004. It was the peak of his fast-rising career — as corruption allegations began to mount.

Kerik said in court that while being vetted for that position, he falsely denied that he had any financial dealings with anyone doing business with New York City. He said he also lied when he claimed he had specifically refused payments that were offered.

In truth, he said, he had accepted renovations of his Bronx apartment from a company seeking city work.

Those apartment renovations were the focus of the original corruption charge, which alleged that Kerik accepted the renovations in exchange for vouching for the company. Kerik did not admit that.

Texas plane crash pilot apparently left Web note

Texas plane crash pilot apparently left Web note
By DEVLIN BARRETT (AP) – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON — A federal law enforcement official has identified the pilot in the Austin, Texas, plane crash as Joseph Stack and says investigators are looking at an anti-government message on the Web linked to him.

The Web site outlines problems with the IRS and says violence "is the only answer."

The IRS said in a statement that the small plane struck its Austin offices, where 190 of the agency's employees work. Officials say they are still trying to account for all the workers.

The official said authorities are looking for a motive at Stack's company Web site. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an investigation still in progress.

The Web site featured a long note dated Thursday denouncing the government and the IRS in particular. It cited the Austin man's problems with the agency.

Time for Dave to move on


According to The Associated Press, Gov. Dave Freudenthal of Wyoming is "still undecided whether he'll seek a third term next year." The problem is that, like 35 other states, Wyoming has gubernatorial term limits. In short, he is legally barred from running for re-election.

If he jumps in the race, he will join a growing list of Third World chief executives who are defying their constitutions, not to mention their people, to retain power after their term limit expires. Over the past few years, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and Manuel Zelaya in the Honduras have cast off -- or tried to cast off -- the restraints of term limits intended to guarantee rotation in office.

In the case of Zelaya, his extra-legal ambitions actually led to a constitutional crisis and removal from office by the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress last year. So you need to be careful how you do such things. "You need to have thought about kind of how you're going to structure it," as the governor told the AP.

Well, let's see. The governor can appeal to the people, as Wyoming does have a citizen initiative process. But there is not enough time. Plus, there's the pesky fact that approval of term limits in polls have hit all-time highs. So, that's right out.

The governor could go to the Legislature and have them change Wyoming State Statute Title 22, Chapter 5, which limits him to serving only eight out of any 16 years. But the Republican Legislature is unlikely to ditch a popular law to further the personal ambitions of a Democratic governor. No can do.

Well, then, there's always the courts. It didn't work for Zelaya, whose final straw was his standoff with the Honduran Supreme Court. But with the right legal team, a friendly judge and a little flexing of his incumbent muscles, maybe he could get the law shot down on technicalities. After all, the Legislature pulled this off back in 2004, nixing a citizen referendum on term limits that had passed with 77 percent of the vote.

In the United States, we take for granted equality under the law and the peaceful and legal transfer of power election after election. In respect for these traditions, Gov. Freudenthal should stand down, thank Wyoming citizens for his opportunity to serve them ... and move on.

President, U.S. Term Limits

NCLB Should Be Repealed, Not Revamped

By Chris Slavens

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), signed into law by Bush in 2002, relied on financial coercion to improve state education standards and school district performance, with a focus on reading and math. This federal mandate, oddly supported by Republican lawmakers despite its obvious violation of limited government principles and states' rights, was unnecessary and, according to some, unconstitutional.

Eight years later, the Obama administration wants to rewrite the act and pass a new law that will increase Washington's role in the public school system and empower federal officials to address its perceived problems.

The success of private and charter schools is proof that the problem in education is the scope of government involvement itself, not the inadequacies of superintendents, principals, or teachers, as federal lawmakers would have us believe. American public schools are staffed by highly qualified individuals, many holding master's degrees and Ph.D.'s, who know exactly what they're doing. Their biggest obstacle to effective teaching is not lack of funding, but nose-poking bureaucrats whose educational philosophies are faulty at best, and more often intentionally injurious.

Washington has trouble enough running itself. Spending is out of control, a mountain of debt is piling up, and a majority of Congress seems not to understand the clear provisions of the Constitution regarding its own role in the nation's affairs. How can we allow further intervention into a system that is deteriorating precisely because of said intervention? How, in good conscience, can we trust incompetent politicians to establish sound educational policies for our children?

Among the potential changes to NCLB proposed in Obama's budget are increased teacher accountability standards, a competitive grant program for teacher recruitment and retention, competitive federal funding that would reward successful schools, and of course, tougher academic standards. The last is a vague goal voiced by every administration, while successful schools logically do not need federal "assistance." That leaves the first two, which contradict one another.

A teacher's job is to present information. Most students choose to learn the information, but some refuse. They attend classes because they are legally required to do so, but trudge through the system with poor grades until they are old enough to drop out. Assuming that an educator is qualified and teaches the established curriculum, why should he or she be reprimanded, or even punished financially, for the test scores of an apathetic pupil? Not only would this release students from taking personal responsibility and teach them to blame others for their own failures, it would also repel potential recruits.

What job-seeking teacher, perhaps fresh out of graduate school, would be attracted by the prospect of being held accountable for factors beyond his or her control, like student apathy or poorly devised curricula? Many might choose to work at a private school, gladly accepting a lesser salary to sidestep the bureaucratic hassle. The best way for lawmakers to assist in recruiting and retaining teachers is to get out of the classroom, and at any rate, district and state hiring practices should not be subject to federal oversight.

Obama is correct to revamp NCLB, but is mistaken about the proper action to take. Rather than use it as a foundation upon which to build an even more powerful and intrusive Department of Education, lawmakers would do better to simply repeal NCLB, pass the education issue back to the levels of government to which it belongs, and focus their attention on problems that the Constitution does authorize them to solve.

Congress has a recession, debt crisis, and ongoing war to deal with. Isn't that enough without tackling education?

Chris Slavens, former contributor to the Wilmington News Journal, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.

The Demino Effect

ALG Editor's Note: William Warren's award-winning cartoons published at are a free service of ALG News Bureau. They may be reused and redistributed free of charge.

New York Times, Meet Phil Jones

By Kevin Mooney

Just a few weeks before the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference convened in December of 2009, the New York Times saw fit to report on "a growing body of scientific evidence" showing human emissions are largely responsible for global warming that could prove catastrophic. The newspaper was hardly alone in promoting the alarmist position -- at the expense of other research that shows the human connection has been greatly exaggerated.

The past few weeks have been particularly painful for green activists and liberal reporters who have been crusading for anti-industry regulations for the ostensible purpose of saving the climate. Over 3,000 emails and other documents from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) have found their way to the Internet exposing the junk science that has given rise to manmade global warming theories. CRU is the incubator for many of those researchers who have authored the United Nations' global warming reports and fueled the political movement to regulate carbon.

In addition, the integrity of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also come under fire in the past few weeks. Top officials who have hand in crafting some the major reports and findings in the IPCC have acknowledged recently that major mistakes have been made. The panel may need to revise previous statements on hurricanes, melting glaciers and overall warming trends in light of new evidence. Moreover hundreds of scientists are now on record questioning the premise of man-made global warming theories. In fact, some scientists are now convinced the earth has actually entered a cooling cycle that could persist for decades.

Phil Jones the director of the CRU indicated in a recent interview with the BBC that the debate on climate change is not over, in contradiction to earlier statements that said a scientific consensus has been established. He also conceded that the warming in the latter half of the 20th century may not have been unprecedented after all and could have been outpaced by the medieval warming period going back 800-1300 AD. Moreover, Jones now agrees that there has been no significant warming since the late 1990s.

If U.N. officials now admit that it is necessary to make revisions and to re-examine key claims, shouldn't the New York Times do the same?

In light of these new revelations, how do the following couple of bald assertions from the Times hold up in the paper's preview of the Copenhagen conference?

"A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that since 1950, the world's climate has been warming, primarily as a result of emissions from unfettered burning of fossil fuels and the razing of tropical forests. Such activity adds to the atmosphere's invisible blanket of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases. Recent research has shown that methane, which flows from landfills, livestock and oil and gas facilities, is a close second to carbon dioxide in impact on the atmosphere.

"That conclusion has emerged through a broad body of analysis in fields as disparate as glaciology, the study of glacial formations, and palynology, the study of the distribution of pollen grains in lake mud. It is based on a host of assessments by the world's leading organizations of climate and earth scientists.

"In the last several years, the scientific case that the rising human influence on climate could become disruptive has become particularly robust."

Come again?

Even before "climategate," hundreds of scientists went on record expressing skepticism toward U.N. favored theories. But their research went unreported in the Times. Overseas newspapers that previously ignored alternative views points on global warming have now opened up their coverage in the aftermath of "climategate."

It is long past time for the New York Times to at least acknowledge that the alarmist position they espoused is not above reproach and that there is a substantial amount of evidence now that nature -- not man -- is the engine behind warming and cooling cycles.

As has previously observed, the Times continues to fix demeaning labels on scientists who see little if any correlation between human activity and climate change. If the past few weeks are any indication of what may be coming, history will show that climate skeptics were more careful and methodical in their research than the New York Times was in its journalism.

Kevin Mooney is the editor of