Monday, September 20, 2010

Bill Clinton: “Everyone Should Hear” The “Real People Of The Tea Party Movement”

 by Colby Hall
If you need anymore evidence that the Tea Party movement is being being considered a more serious player in the shifting political landscape, I submit the following clip. While promoting the Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual Meeting this week, former President Bill Clinton shared his insights on the Tea Party with Willow Bay for Yahoo! News and Huffington Post, saying that the message if the Tea Party is something “everyone should hear.”

In a joint effort between Yahoo! News and Huffington Post, Bay posts a number of interview segments with the former president covering such topics as job growth, the economy and the role of the Clinton Global Initiative in the Middle East peace process.

But its his insight on the Tea Party movement, and its potential affect on the future of American politics (both near- and long-term) that is most interesting. Bay seemed to reference the recent Delaware Primary victory of Christine O’Donnell, asking what message Clinton takes away from a Tea Party primary victories over a GOP establishment-backed candidates. Clinton replied:
There are a lot of real people in this Tea Party movement that are saying something everyone should hear, which is “seems like everyone but average Americans are doing all right here. The people that caused the financial crisis are all back in great shape,” (and its true that the banks have 1.8 trillion dollars in uncommitted cash reserves.) “The government is in pretty good shape – the people who work for the government have good jobs, health care and can pay their mortgages and can send their kids to college. What about us?”
The problem is that if you look at the financial energy behind the Tea Party movement, its not about restricting abuse of big public and private power, its about destroying the role of government in our life so that private centers of power will be untrammeled, and I don’t think that’s good for average Americans.
Clinton follows up with political advice for the Democrats in the upcoming elections, effectively saying that a race between apathy and anger, apathy will always lose, which doesn’t portend for the Democratic party in the new few weeks, months and possibly years

Hurricane Igor 19/1530Z

Hurricane Igor is within range of Bermuda with stations and correspondents reporting hurricane force winds already. In many places the power has been out for several hours. Igor is the only remaining hurricane in the Atlantic and remains a powerful cyclone.

At 1500Z (UTC/GMT) the centre of Igor was located 135 miles (220 km) South-Southwest of Bermuda tracking North at 14 knots (26 kmh/16 mph).

Igor's eyewall has collapsed and there is considerable weakening, however it remains a Category 1 Hurricane and is forecast to remain so for the next few days. Igor has max sustained winds of 75 knots (139 kmh/86 mph) with gusts to 95 knots.

Igor should start to make another turn after passing Bermuda. It will likely accelerate in a Northeasterly direction and will begin to transition to an extra-tropical cyclone. It will continue to remain a hurricane for some time and is forecast to be at Cat 1 strength as it passes Cape Race, Newfoundland.

Bermuda weather radar at 1520Z. Image BWS (Webcam!)

Click on any image to enlarge.

'105,000 Kids without food in Pakistan'

The United Nations has warned that more than 100,000 children in Pakistan's flood-stricken areas are in danger of dying due to food shortages.

"About 105,000 kids younger than 5 are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition over the next six months," said the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

More than 20 million people have been affected by the floods since July, with up to 12 million needing urgent humanitarian aid.

The flood waters, which hit northern Pakistan, are still moving to the southern provinces, causing alarming new emergencies. The floods have killed over 1,700 people.

"You're seeing children who were probably very close to the brink of being malnourished, and the emergency has just pushed them over the edge," said Erin Boyd, a UNICEF emergency nutritionist working in southern Pakistan.

"There's just not the capacity to treat this level of severe acute malnutrition," AP quoted Boyd as saying.

On Sunday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an urgent global response to the flood disaster which has affected millions in Pakistan.

Addressing an international ministerial meeting on Pakistan's floods, he called the devastation "the worst natural disaster the United Nations has responded to in its 65-year history."

Ban on Friday also appealed for a record $2 billion in emergency aid for the millions of victims of Pakistan's devastating floods, calling the crisis "a global test of solidarity."

According to the UN, Pakistan needs the money to buy food, set up emergency camps, rebuild its agricultural sector and reconstruct villages, which have seen their drinking water and sanitation systems wiped out.


posted by gr1m_reaper 


The Washington Post reports that the Pentagon has acknowledged that members of a U.S. Army platoon in Afghanistan have killed civilians in Afghanistan for the sport of it.

According to charging documents, the unprovoked, fatal attack on Jan. 15 was the start of a months-long shooting spree against Afghan civilians that resulted in some of the grisliest allegations against American soldiers since the U.S. invasion in 2001. Members of the platoon have been charged with dismembering and photographing corpses, as well as hoarding a skull and other human bones.

The subsequent investigation has raised accusations about whether the military ignored warnings that the out-of-control soldiers were committing atrocities. The father of one soldier said he repeatedly tried to alert the Army after his son told him about the first killing, only to be rebuffed.

This is one of the reasons I absolutely hate it when people in this country call U.S. combat soldiers "heroes" when they return from war. People have no clue what these troops did while in Iraq or Afghanistan. At one point in the article it says one of the accused soldiers, "confided to his new mates that it had been easy for him to get away with 'stuff' when he served in Iraq in 2004."

We know that this kind of random "sport" killing has been going on for years. Seldom is anyone caught and prosecuted.

This is what happens when you put soldiers in a war zone and dehumanize the "enemy". This is what happens when soldiers are trained to kill, kill, kill - some of them begin to like doing it and make a game out of it. This is what happens when the Army repeatedly ignores the pleas of a father, who tried to report the killings, after being told by his son that this was going on in the platoon.

The Army knows it is "business as usual". Indirectly they encourage it in their training and in their supervision of the soldiers in the war zone. They always try to ignore it.

The only way this will ever stop is to end the wars now.

When will Obama and the Democrats do so?

posted by Bruce Gagnon

Ahmadinejad: the Future Belongs to Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said "the future belongs to Iran," and challenged the United States to accept that his country has a major role in the world. The comment came in an hour-long interview with The Associated Press on Sunday. (Sept. 19)

Paris Hilton to plead guilty in Vegas drug arrest

LAS VEGAS — Paris Hilton is expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges stemming from her arrest for drug possession last month at a Las Vegas hotel-casino.

Clark County District Attorney David Roger says the celebrity socialite has agreed to plead guilty Monday to drug possession and obstructing an officer in Las Vegas Justice Court under the terms of a plea deal worked out with prosecutors after her Aug. 27 arrest.

Hilton will serve a year of unsupervised probation and complete a drug abuse program under the plea agreement.

She originally faced a felony cocaine possession charge.

The 29-year-old Hilton was arrested inside the Wynn resort after police say a small bag containing 0.8 of a gram of cocaine spilled from her Chanel purse as she reached for lip balm.

Video: US prisoner: 'I'm no spy' ITN NEWS

Heat Still Have Not Decided On Starter For Point Guard

The Miami Herald reported that with little more than a week to go until the start of training camps through out the Association the Miami Heat head coach Erik Spolestra has yet to decide who will be the starter for his team at the point guard slot. Although Heat All-Star shooting guard Dwyane Wade has said that it will be Mario Chalmers in the starting five, Spolestra is said to be mulling other options. He could go with veteran Carlos Arroyo who was the starter at the end of last season, or reports say that the coach is considering using Mike Miller, Wade and LeBron James as starters.

The who is the bench boss of the Heat told reporters that he was heading into training camp with the philosophy of keeping his options open. Spolestra said “I do want to make a point of being open minded going into camp. LeBron and Dwyane will be handling the ball quite often. Mario and Carlos will be handling the ball quite often. Mike Miller has a great skill set to be able to handle the ball. Whether LeBron starts (at the point) or not, is not a high priority right now. I want to get into training camp and get a better feel for this team.”

Miami still has yet to decide who will be starting at the pivot position as well. The club is said to be interested in Free Agent veteran center Erick Dampier who received an offer from the Houston Rockets earlier this week.

By Jeff Sack

LeBron James to play three positions with Heat

TV analysts have talked about LeBron James needing to adjust his game to play with Dwyane Wade. Both players invariably will, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is not pushing that notion. “I made the point to LeBron that I don’t want to reinvent his game,” Spoelstra said in a wide-ranging chat Friday. “I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable. As a two-time MVP, we want to make sure what he does best, he will be able to do in our system.” James will play at least three positions (small forward, point guard, some power forward). Spoelstra has not asked him to scale back his scoring, though that is an expected offshoot of playing with Wade. “LeBron certainly will play minutes during the game at point guard and handle the ball a lot,” Spoelstra said. “He will be a playmaker. But he has also been a scoring champ. He will be at the end of plays to finish them. He will be a facilitator. He’ll be so many different things. We want to take advantage of all his skills.” — Miami Herald

Reggae star Buju Banton faces drug trial in Florida

By Associated Press   |  Music News  |  September 20, 2010

MIAMI (AP) — On his upcoming album “Before the Dawn,” Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton crows about standing strong, though battered and bruised, in the face of a gathering darkness.

The songs sound prophetic — the four-time Grammy nominee recorded them before he was arrested on federal cocaine charges last December. The trial is scheduled to start Monday in Tampa — a week before the album’s U.S. release. He faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

“I’ve been accused, wrongly convicted. Jah knows I’m innocent,” he sings in his gravelly voice, invoking the Rastafarian God. “I’ve been badly singled out by beloved friends … who sold me out.”

Banton recorded the album’s 10 songs last year in Kingston, Jamaica, before his arrest at his Miami-area home on a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. A grand jury indictment also charged him with carrying a firearm during the course of a drug trafficking crime.
He worked on the album with producers and engineers over the phone from Tampa-area jails, where the 37-year-old has been held without bail since the beginning of the year.

According to the indictment, Banton and an associate negotiated with an informant to buy the cocaine. Along with a third man, they allegedly met with an undercover officer in Sarasota in early December to buy the drugs. The informant told Drug Enforcement Administration agents that he also saw the singer inspecting the cocaine.

Ian Thomas, described by Banton’s manager as an old friend of the singer who resurfaced shortly before the arrest, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to posses with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He now faces up to life in prison.

The third man, James Mack, has signed an affidavit stating that he never met Banton before his arrest, and that the singer did not know about the money or a gun that were in Mack’s car during the drug deal. Mack plans to plead guilty to the drug conspiracy charge and a weapons charge, according to a plea agreement filed Wednesday. He also faces up to life in prison on each charge.

Both men agreed to testify for the prosecution as part of their plea agreements. Banton’s attorney has requested Mack as a witness as well, according to court documents.

Banton’s team will try to prove the singer, who rose from the slums of Kingston to massive success in the 1990s, was a victim of entrapment. Banton’s attorney, David Markus, has said in court that the confidential informant has been paid $3.3 million for working with law enforcement over several years, including more than $35,000 in Banton’s case. The informant met Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, in first class on a flight from Spain to Miami at the end of Banton’s European tour last summer.

Banton’s team contends that it was the informant who raised the idea of the cocaine deal with Banton.
“Paying a convicted drug trafficker millions of dollars for setting up an innocent productive member of society is wrong,” Markus said in an e-mail. “The prosecution’s star is laughing at all of us — he doesn’t pay taxes, he stopped paying the mortgage on his million dollar house, he doesn’t pay his credit cards, and he gets to stay in this country even though he committed crimes here as an illegal immigrant. We’re hoping the jury will see through his charade.”

Banton’s arrest derailed plans to tour Japan after a tumultuous U.S. tour for his Grammy-nominated 2009 album, “Rasta Got Soul.” Shows in several cities were canceled because of protests over violent, homophobic lyrics from early in Banton’s career as a brash dancehall singer.

His manager, Tracii McGregor, has dismissed the controversy, saying those lyrics were written in response to a boy’s rape in Jamaica, no longer represent Banton’s subsequently more traditional reggae music and do not reflect his Rastafarian beliefs.

In 2003, a marijuana case in Jamaica resulted in a fine for Banton. The following year, he was acquitted on charges in Jamaica that he participated in the beating of six gay men.

He alludes to those problems — and his current case, though he doesn’t refer to it specifically — in the liner notes to “Before the Dawn.” He includes a note written in June from the Pinellas County jail urging fans to “stand firm through our adversities” and to “try life.”

“Never before could I attest to the trauma experienced by others,” Banton wrote, “but my current situation brings the full perspective of what bondage really means.”

Obamao Asks Black Leaders To Continue Their Support In His Quest To Destroy The Nation

Obama urges blacks to vote and “guard the change”
The Drudge Report
September 19, 2010

Will the black community of America act in the best interests of the nation and help defeat Obamao, or will they turn a blind eye and support this man who is destroying the nation? This will be interesting.

President Barack Obama, seeking to fire up an important part of his support base ahead of November’s elections, told black leaders on Saturday he wanted their support to “guard the change” he was delivering.
“I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, and your workplaces, to your churches, and barbershops, and beauty shops. Tell them we have more work to do. Tell them we can’t wait to organize. Tell them that the time for action is now,” he told the Congressional Black Caucus.
The words of America’s first black president showed a deliberate effort to recapture the enthusiasm that had helped him win the White House in 2008, after polls showed African- Americans much less likely to vote than whites this year.

“It’s not surprising that a lot of people may not be feeling that energized or that engaged right now,” he told an annual awards ceremony hosted by the organization representing black members of the U.S. Congress.
“A lot of folks may be feeling like politics is something they get involved in every four years when there’s a presidential election, but they don’t see why they should bother the rest of the time,” he said.

Republicans could make big gains in November as high unemployment and slowing growth turns voters away from Obama’s Democrats, potentially costing them control of Congress.

A Gallup survey in early September found only 25 percent of blacks had given ‘quite a lot’ or ‘some’ thought to the November 2 congressional ballot, compared to 42 percent of whites.

This represents a much larger gap than during the presidential election in 2008, when the two groups were about equal in their intention to cast a ballot.

High turnout in the African-American community, together with the enthusiastic support of young voters, was a striking feature of the 2008 election and an important part of Obama’s strategy in securing the White House.
Success in repeating at least part of that performance in the upcoming midterm poll, when voter turnout is traditionally low, could make a big difference to congressional Democrats running in close races. All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 37 of 100 Senate seats are up for grabs.

“The last election was a changing of the guard — now we need to guard the change,” Obama said.

The End of Global Warming and Climate Change

This morning here in leafy Oak Bay we had a deluge of rain and a really loud peal of thunder. The rain was heavier than usual and I can’t remember when last I heard a single peal of thunder on September 19.

Now, in the old days we might have called this “weather”. Then we would call unusual events (of a warmish nature) stuff caused by global warming. But that left all those unusual events of a coolish nature to account for and thus was born “climate change” which seemed suitably catch all. But now the White House Science Czar, crazy old eco-dystopian John Holdren, wants an even vaguer description: “global climate disruption”.

The beauty of this new term is that, as James Delingpole points out, it does away with the inconvenient fact that there has not been any statistically significant global warming since 1998 and it lets Holdren include such non-AGW induced events as this summer’s Russian fires and Pakistani flooding in the general scare scenarios he is so enamored of.

So the clap of thunder today was not just a Sunday morning lie in disrupter – it was yet another important piece of evidence of “global climate disruption”.

I feel ever so much better. These people really are this dumb but having clear proof of it is encouraging.

Tea Party Victory Opens Rift Between Moderate and Conservative Republicans


WASHINGTON — The few remaining Republican centrists in the Senate were eagerly awaiting the arrival of Michael N. Castle of Delaware, a longtime and reliable moderate voice who could provide some counterbalance to the wave of conservatives poised to enter Congress and the steadily rightward shift of party leaders.

But Mr. Castle was defeated in his party primary on Tuesday by Christine O’Donnell, a Tea Party insurgent. And while the conservative wing rejoiced, the surprise outcome raised serious questions about the future place in the party of lawmakers like Senators Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and other Republicans in the Senate and House who are not lock-step conservatives.

Senator Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican who has seen his stature rise through his support of conservative candidates, made it clear in the aftermath of the Delaware upset that he would prefer losing a seat to Democrats than having Republican colleagues who stray from the conservative line and erode party unity and image by voting for policies supported by the Obama administration.

The ascendancy of the right is forcing even some of the most loyal Republicans, like Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the No. 3 Senate Republican, to defend their conservative bona fides. And it seems to be dashing the hopes among moderates that the prospect of winning a majority in the House, and a pursuit of independent voters, would push Republican leaders to the middle.

(More here.)

Why not extend Obama's stimulus tax cuts?

By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Monday, September 20, 2010

In any athletic contest, winning teams play their own game and force the other side to play that game, too. The same being true in elections, it's remarkable how timidity leads Democrats to fight this year's campaign on Republican terms.

Nowhere is this more obvious than on taxes, where the entire debate revolves around what to do about the cuts enacted under George W. Bush. Almost no one is talking about extending the progressive tax cuts that were included in President Obama's stimulus program. Nor are we discussing the impending death of a pro-work public assistance program that, for a rather modest sum, has helped provide jobs to 250,000 low-income Americans.

At least on the Bush tax cuts, Obama has drawn a clear and sensible line. He's said that Congress should extend the reductions for the middle class but not those for families earning more than $250,000 a year.

For the life of me, I don't get why some Democrats are so afraid of this vote. Substantively, most of the 31 House Democrats who signed a letter last week urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to chicken out of this fight claim to be deficit hawks. Why, then, add $700 billion to the deficit for the purpose of continuing a tax program that disproportionately benefits millionaires?

(More here.)

Is Colin Powell "unsound"?

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell says illegal immigrants do essential work in the U.S. and he has firsthand knowledge of that -- because they fix his house. (LINK) General Powell is one of those rare birds that calls himself an "Obama Republican". (huh?) Isn't that a bit like characterizing yourself as a carnivorous vegetarian? Powell, a left-of-center Republican, urged the Republican Party to support immigration generally because it is "what's keeping this country's lifeblood moving forward."

General Powell, Republicans and the Tea Party isn't anti-immigration. There are many immigrants swelling the numbers of the Tea Party. They are opposed to ILLEGAL immigration. They are in favor of CLOSING THE BORDERS to illegal immigrants, and that is what the fuss is all about. With all respect, you need to get outside the beltway and mingle with the common people for just a moment to appreciate what the point is and what it isn't.
In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Powell said a path to legal status should be offered to illegal immigrants because they "are doing things we need done in this country." He added: "They're all over my house, doing things whenever I call for repairs, and I'm sure you've seen them at your house. We've got to find a way to bring these people out of the darkness and give them some kind of status."
The last time I looked at the statutes, that was a CRIME. And it's also a moral wrong to hire people you know are here illegally and thereby to deny work to US Citizens.

According to the Fox News article (link above), Powell also said "fringe" elements on the right are taking a low road when they label Obama a foreign-born Muslim. General, please have your friend release all of his records to set the record straight once and for all.

Colts Rock The Giants 38-14

INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 19: Austin Collie #17  of the 
Indianapolis Colts scores a touchdown while defended by D.J. Johnson #29
 of the New York Giants during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on 
September 19 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty 
More photos » Andy Lyons - Getty Images 

about 12 hours ago: INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 19: Austin Collie #17 of the Indianapolis Colts scores a touchdown while defended by D.J. Johnson #29 of the New York Giants during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 19 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Yeah, remember everything that was terrible last week? It wasn't tonight. The Colts put the first 24 points on the board before Mario Manningham got behind Jacob Lacey for the Giants first score of the game in the 3rd quarter. Eli Manning was sacked four times, stripped three, (recovered by Indy twice) and once picked off by Jerraud Powers. Massive back Brandon Jacobs recorded just 8 yards on 4 carries before an outburst ending with his helmet in the 10th row of the LOS seats got him fixed to the bench for the rest of the game. Addai put up 113 yards on 23 touches with Brown adding 83 on 16. Peyton was a deadly 20 for 26 for 255 and 3 TDs.

While Ahmad Bradshaw ran for over 5 YPC (89 yards on 17 carries) with the Giants in a deep hole early they had to take to the air where Eli was constantly harassed by the Colts pressure completing less than half his passes for barely over 100 yards in the first 55 minutes before garbage time drives got him to his final 13 for 24, 161 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT line.

While many will see this as a rebound for Indy, or an indication of the relative strength of the Texans and Giants, it is, but I also see a major testimonial for the benefits of an early lead. When the Colts can get out in front of a team they have to play into the strength of the Colts D. When they can't the D's strength is neutralized and weakest point exposed.