Thursday, March 31, 2011

NBA Investigating Jay-Z


An NBA spokesman confirms that the league is investigating Jay-Z's presence in Kentucky's locker room after the Wildcats clinched a Final Four berth.

The rapper visited the players after their victory over North Carolina on Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J, home of the Nets. Jay-Z is a part-owner of the team and attended the Nets' 120-116 loss at New York on Wednesday.

NBA rules prohibit team personnel from having contact with players who are not yet draft eligible, and spokesman Tim Frank told the Associated Press the league is looking into it.

The investigation was first reported by

8ft-long shark jumps onto fishing boat

Three fishermen got the shock of their lives when a huge shark landed in the back of their boat in the Gulf of Mexico. Jason Kresse, 29, from Texas, and two crew members were fishing for red snapper about 50 miles out to sea in the early hours of Monday morning.

They were throwing fish guts over the side when they heard two big splashes and "all of a sudden something hit the side of the boat". It was an 8ft-long mako shark which, in a rush to start feeding, "ended up landing on the back of the boat". The shark was thrashing around so badly that the fishermen could not get close enough to free it and put it back in the water.

It died hours later, but not before doing more damage to the boat. The crew did not have a permit to catch sharks, so Mr Kresse contacted officials on shore.

Mike Cox, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman, said there was no violation because the shark's death was an accident. The creature is currently on display in Freeport, about 55 miles south of Houston. "I'm going to get a mount of it," the fisherman said. "A fish jumping in your boat, 400lb, that's unbelievable."

U2 - One - Anton Corbjin Version

Video: Former MVP Testifies in Bonds Perjury Trial The Associated Press

Video: Combat camera: Video of Belgian F16 bombing Gaddafi military compound RT

Threats From Mexico May Move to U.S. Littorals, Official Says

blog post photo

Despite plenty of bumps and bruises along the way, the Department of Homeland Security says that it now has a viable, sustainable, affordable plan for using a mix of technology and border patrol agents to provide security along the southern and northern borders. Note that I didn’t say absolute security—DHS and Border Patrol officials will be the first to tell you that perfect security along the border is a chimera not worth chasing, even with the addition of National Guard troops along the southern border. 

As a matter of fact, those 1,200 troops sent by president Obama last year are scheduled to leave in June of this year, to be replaced by 1,000 new Border Patrol agents. Speaking at a border security symposium Monday morning in Washington, David Aguilar, deputy commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection, called the National Guard deployment a “bridge” to growing the Border Patrol and getting new technologies in the field.
If the growth in the number of officers on the ground and the new commercial off the shelf technologies work the way the government envisions—leading to some high-traffic smuggling routes being choked off—Aguilar predicts that the problem will simply move rather than disappear, just as it did in the 80s and 90s from the Caribbean to Mexico as the point of transit north. Aguilar sees the next drug smuggling battleground being in the littoral waters along the Gulf Coast and along the Pacific coast. He said that the Department of Homeland Security is working through the Coast Guard to prepare for such a future.

But reducing drug smuggling, cross-border gun running, money laundering, and illegal immigration must come from some serious cross-border coordination said K. Jack Riley, director, RAND National Defense Research Institute. He said that Mexico’s “fractured law enforcement and security service” and “tremendous command and control problems” need to be addressed with more American help, but this assistance shouldn’t be relegated to technology transfers. 

Over the last decade the U.S. has done a pretty good job of helping Mexico with technology such as helicopters and surveillance systems, but what we haven’t done enough of is to “engage with them in institution building and capacity” development, in an effort to assist with programs the Mexican government already has in place to clean up and reform an often corrupt and ineffective Mexican police force.

Mexican officials were in Washington on Monday to defend the conduct of its war on drug cartels before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States. Mexico’s under-secretary for Juridical Affairs and Human Rights, Felipe de Jesus Zamora, squared off with representatives from 18 aid groups who criticized the conduct of Mexican security forces. 

While Zamora claimed that his government is conducting the fight “with strict respect for human rights,” Carlos Karin Zazueta of Citizens in Support of Human Rights told the organization that the war on the cartels is failing, since “violence, the murder rate and citizen insecurity have skyrocketed.” Complaints about human rights abuses by Mexican security forces have been well documented, and are something that the United States can help with, if it decides to focus on training, and capacity building.

Pic: National Guard

Posted by Paul McLeary

Report: PA's structurally deficient bridges worst in the nation

Report: PA's structurally deficient bridges worst in the nation
(Undated) -- A new report ranks Pennsylvania dead-last, when it comes to the percentage of bridges that are structurally deficient. The Transportation for America study shows nearly 27 percent of its bridges – a total of nearly 6,000 – have problems. Oklahoma is the runner-up, at 22 percent. Governor Corbett acknowledged it’s a problem, but said funding repairs needs to take a back seat to the budget, right now. "Are we trying to…find the funds for it? Yes. But I will go back, and you’ve heard me say it repeatedly: we inherited a $4.3 billion deficit that we have to resolve." The Republican wants to fund efforts through privatization, and blamed his predecessors for not acting to fix infrastructure problems. Governor Rendell disputed that take, saying he put a lot of effort into fixing roadways, beginning with 2007’s Act 44. "It was probably the most historic step in investment transportation funding in the history of the commonwealth," he said Tuesday. "We had a $400 million bond issue that I pushed through for our bridges, as you recall. Even before that $400 million bridge initiative, I tripled the amount of spending on our bridges from $250 to $750 million, on an annual basis." But the federal government rejected a key portion of Act 44’s funding plan when it denied a request to toll I-80. Rendell spent his final months in office urging lawmakers to pass a gas tax to fund infrastructure repair, but the initiative never gained momentum. He did, however, oversee over $1 billion in federal stimulus expenditures on roads and bridges in 2009 and 2010.

Written by  Scott Detrow

Obama Sends CIA Into Libya To Help Lame Rebels

You might have expected the CIA was already on the ground in Libya. Maybe so. But now the Obama Administration is at minimum using CIA agents in Libya to gather intelligence and coordinate with rebels. The New York Times reports British MI6 and British special forces are in Libya with the special forces calling in air strikes and tracking Libyan government troop movements.

Obama so far denies he wants to overthrow Khadafy and he's just trying to protect the civilians. So he's lying, boxed in by his desire to portray his foreign policy as less aggressive and more respectful of the sovereignty of other nations than George W. Bush's. Yet Obama does not want Libya to become yet another long running American war in the Middle East with lots of chaos and decay. Therefore he needs Qadafi's regime to fall - and quickly before his coalition falls apart. So, all his rhetoric aside, the US and its allies are going to help the rebels in more ways.

The Brits (who are running low on pilots for the air campaign) and probably the French as well are already using spies and special forces to topple Gaddafi. Plus, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will probably provide weapons to the rebels.

The US voted for a UN Security Council resolution that authorized the air war while at the same time disallowing outside support for either side in Libya. But now it looks like the US, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will violate the the very Security Council resolution they are currently using to legitimize the air war. Is that cool, or what?

Hypocrisy in the service of what? The rebels are lame. In spite of impressive air support and capture of a number of tanks and Grad rocket systems, the rebels are once again in retreat, abandoning cities they had just recaptured yet again. With massive air superiority they can't even hold ground? Lame, lame, lame.

Remember when the White House was trying to portray the US role in the air strikes as minimal? As recently as March 19, 2011 Obama tried to portray US involvement in Libya as a support role which would not involve US troops on the ground. So he'll have to use mercenaries.
Good afternoon, everybody. Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. That action has now begun.
As a part of this effort, the United States will contribute our unique capabilities at the front end of the mission to protect Libyan civilians, and enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone that will be led by our international partners.  And as I said yesterday, we will not -- I repeat -- we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground.
If Obama sticks with that promise either the Brits and French will have to send in many more special forces or it is time for professional mercenaries to get paid to fight for the rebels.

Here is an incredible irony: By trying to avoid leading a coalition Obama managed to create the smallest coalition out of any US intervention of the last 20 years. His very attempt at multilateralism made the coalition must less multi.
President Obama has touted his emphasis on multilateralism in the U.S. military intervention in Libya, but — for political, operational and legal reasons — his “coalition of the willing” is smaller than any major multilateral operation since the end of the Cold War.
Half-hearted commitment to half measures leads to failure.

By Randall Parker

Obama Energy Speech An Epic FAIL

Three words were all that speech needed to be:
Drill, baby, drill!
Instead, we get exactly the opposite.
Our Lord and Savior Barack Hussein Obama lectures the American people on the need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil yet lays out a plan to do just exactly the opposite.
Obama went to Washington’s Georgetown University to outline what he calls a “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future.”
The president said his goal of slashing oil imports is reasonable, achievable and necessary for protecting U.S. economic security.
“When I was elected to this office, America imported 11 million barrels of oil a day,” said Obama.  “By a little more than a decade from now, we will have cut that by one-third.”
In the words of Joe Wilson: “You lie.”
This is a regime that has done nothing to expand domestic drilling and production of coal, oil and natural gas, despite overwhelming evidence that we have bountiful natural resources. In the wake of the BP oil spill, all leases for any drilling in the Gulf of Mexico have been held up, despite an order from a federal judge to begin reissuing those leases.

In fact, the Obama Regime has looked the other way while the ChiComs drill in the Gulf, and now courtesy of Obama Himself, the U.S. taxpayer will be financing Brazilian oil exploration and drilling to the tune of $2 billion.
The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a “preliminary commitment” letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.
And, Dear Leader, after consulting the U(seless) N(itwits) instead of Congress and the American people, commits to U.S. military involvement in Libya to guarantee the free flow of oil at market prices — for Europe.
Billions for Brazil. American blood for Europe. But not one red cent for the American people.
Worst. President. Ever.

Experts in the energy field are questioning just what it is the regime intends to do:
Eric Smith, who is associate director of the Tulane Energy Institute at Tulane University in New Orleans, said the moratorium on new drilling imposed after last year’s accident, as well as new regulations, have slowed energy development, in spite of what the president says.
“He points to the things like an increase in permits for shallow-water drilling without making the point that shallow-water drilling does not produce oil, it produces gas. Deep-water drilling produces oil. He points to seven permits being issued. In fact there were six permits issued and these were only for wells that had been started before the impact of the moratorium,” he said.
The point is: all Obama cares about is pushing his green energy agenda: wind and solar coupled with electric cars and mass transit.

Typical of an elitist. Electric putt-putt cars can go about 40 miles before having to be recharged. Translated: living where you want to live and working where you want to work are a thing of the past. That in turn will force people to relocate to the urban areas to live near where they work. Then Obama and Ray The Hood can push the choo-choo on them. After all, one of their primary goals is to force trains, a 19th century means of transportation, on the American people.

Back to the future.
Recall this piece of Red State’s Erick Erickson that appeared in Human Events, which we linked to here, as to why the steep increase in energy prices is intentional and why Obama has no intention on doing anything to reduce them:
There are two reasons gas prices must go up.  The first is to get people into coal powered cars.  Coal powered cars can only be driven around 40 miles before they must be plugged back into the grid for more coal power.  If everyone moves to coal powered cars, the drivers will be forced to live closer to cities.
Living closer to cities will increase urban density and decrease the supposedly anti-environmental impact of strip mall exurban utopias.  In the liberal reorganization of society, only farmers should live in rural areas.
Once urban density is increased to European levels, then Barack Obama and the left can finally make a viable case for high-speed rail.  There are, after all, two things high-speed rail supporters admit they need for viability: (1) high urban density and (2) high gas prices.  Hmmm . . .
See, it is not a conspiracy on Barack Obama’s part.  There is no secret.  This President and those he surrounds himself with actively want high gas prices.  They either do not care or are oblivious to the fact that high gas prices will wreak further havoc on the economy.
And as we wrote, there may be an even more ominous intent: control of the people.
It also fits in with the global agenda of the U(seless) N(itwits). Something called Agenda 21. Sustainable communities. All centralized global planning aimed at limiting the freedom of liberty of the Great Unwashed to come and go as they please. The automobile gives Americans freedom. Crisis-created mass transit takes it away and puts Americans at the mercy of the central planners who can then regulate their every movement.
Remember what Rahm Emanuel, the former White House adviser recently elected as Chicago’s Mayor said:
Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.
It is a frightening concept to be ruled by power-hungry individuals who look at a crisis as little more than an opportunity to radically change America and in the process extend the powerful grip of the rulers over the people.

By The underground conservative

US May Give Arms to Libyan Opposition

Despite a UN arms embargo imposed on Libya, US President Barack Obama says he is considering a plan to supply Libyan opposition forces with arms for use against Muammar Gaddafi.

“I'm not ruling it out. But I'm also not ruling it in. We're still making an assessment partly about what Gaddafi's forces are going to be doing,” President Obama said on Tuesday during a series of interviews with mainstream US broadcast news networks.'


U.S. Offers $5 Million Reward in Murder of ICE Agent and Wounding of Another; Mexico Offers 10 million Pesos

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata killed in Mexico/ice photo
By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON— Federal authorities on Wednesday announced a reward of up to $5 million for info leading to the arrest and conviction in the Feb. 15  murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata and the wounding of another agent Victor Avila.

Additionally, the government of Mexico announced that it is offering up to 10 million pesos for information leading to the arrest in the case.

Meanwhile, the FBI and ICE have set up a 24-hour tip line in the U.S.

People in the U.S. can call the tip line at 1-866-859-9778. In Mexico, people can call +001 800-225-5324. Spanish language speakers will be available for either  number, authorities said.

Additionally, authorities said anyone can email info by visiting

The Mexican government has also set up a tip line: (55) 53-46-15-44 and (55) 53-46-00-00, extension 4748 in Mexico City and 01-800-831-31-96 outside of Mexico city.

Zapata and Avila were ambushed in Mexico on February 15 while traveling in their U.S. government-issued vehicle from the state of San Luis Potosi to Mexico City.

Authorities said that Mexican investigators have detained several individuals in the case and the probe continues.


by Danielle Canada While speaking with the press about her upcoming reality show “Braxton Family Values”, Toni Braxton also spoke on filing for bankruptcy not once, but twice.

As previously reported, Braxton filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and was reportedly $50 million in debt after previously filing in 1998.

Not shy to talk about her money woes, a brave Toni told HipHopWired and fellow press that she was ready to share her story with the world.
“When I filed for bankruptcy, I was like ‘I can't do it, I don't wanna be on the show, I can't put my life out there' but my sisters told me you have to tell your story because no one knows what really happened…Everyone knows I have heart issues, but no one knows why I have heart issues....

So I reveal my health problems that led to my financial problems…”

She adds,
“Even with the first bankruptcy, no one knew that my first royalty check was less than $2,000 so that's why I filed for bankruptcy…I talk about that during the show.”

Hague: 'No Immunity' For Gaddafi Insider

The Libyan foreign minister who has resigned and defected to the UK will not be offered any immunity from international or British justice, William Hague has said.

Addressing concerns over Musa Kusa's defection, foreign secretary Mr Hague added he had been communicating with the controversial politician over recent weeks.

"He has been my channel of communication to the regime in recent weeks and I have spoken to him several times on the telephone.

"His resignation shows that Gaddafi's fragmented, under pressure and crumbling from within.
"Gaddafi must be asking himself: who will be the next to abandon him?"

More on guns to Mexico

Posted by David Hardy ·
The Latin American Herald Tribune has a story on Wikileaks' diplomatic cables:

The assertions appear in embassy cables written after three bilateral conferences on arms trafficking that took place between March 2009 and January 2010 in Cuernavaca, Mexico; Phoenix; and Tapachula, Mexico, respectively. 
The cables’ authors note that Mexican officials and politicians never hesitate to remind U.S. diplomats that Mexico’s drug war – which has claimed 35,000 lives in the last four years – is fueled by Americans’ demand for illegal drugs and by guns bought in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Yet one of the cables maintains that 90 percent of the heavy armament Mexican security forces seize from cartel gunmen comes from Central America.
The cable, which does not offer any particulars or supporting documentation, does acknowledge that the vast majority of the handguns and many of the assault rifles used by the cartels enter Mexico from the United States.
A message drafted after the October 2009 conference in Tapachula blamed the Mexican government for not doing enough to patrol the southern border with Guatemala.

“While there are 30,000 U.S. CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officers on  the 1,926 mile Mexican/U.S. border, only 125 Mexican immigration officials monitor the 577 mile border with Guatemala,” the embassy cable says.
La Jornada’s publication of the cables follows revelations in the United States about a botched sting operation, “Fast and Furious,” that saw members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allow close to 2,000 weapons to be smuggled from Arizona to Mexico over 15 months.
Via PJ Tattler and Howard Nemerov.

AP Fact Checks Obama's Pretexts for Libyan Adventure

Posted by Van Helsing at March 29, 2011 10:43 AM
Even the moonbats at AP can smell a rat regarding Comrade Obama's justifications for going to war on behalf of al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya. When he finally got around to telling us why he has started another expensive war, they went so far as to fact check his lies:
OBAMA: "Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and no-fly zone. … Going forward, the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Gadhafi's remaining forces. In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role."
THE FACTS: As by far the pre-eminent player in NATO, and a nation historically reluctant to put its forces under operational foreign command, the United States will not be taking a back seat in the campaign even as its profile diminishes for public consumption. …
OBAMA: "Our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives."
THE FACTS: Even as the U.S. steps back as the nominal leader, reduces some assets and fires a declining number of cruise missiles, the scope of the mission appears to be expanding and the end game remains unclear. Despite insistences that the operation is only to protect civilians, the airstrikes now are undeniably helping the rebels to advance. …
OBAMA: Seeking to justify military intervention, the president said the U.S. has "an important strategic interest in preventing Gadhafi from overrunning those who oppose him. A massacre would have driven thousands of additional refugees across Libya's borders, putting enormous strains on the peaceful - yet fragile - transitions in Egypt and Tunisia." He added: "I am convinced that a failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America."
THE FACTS: Obama did not wait to make that case to Congress, despite his past statements that presidents should get congressional authorization before taking the country to war, absent a threat to the nation that cannot wait. … Obama's defense secretary, Robert Gates, said Sunday that the crisis in Libya "was not a vital national interest to the United States…"
OBAMA: "Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."
THE FACTS: Mass violence against civilians has also been escalating elsewhere, without any U.S. military intervention anticipated.
Too bad the media didn't do much fact checking prior to installing the Manchurian Moonbat in the White House. Maybe it can redeem itself by figuring out his furtive motives.
The role doesn't suit him. Via the People's Cube.
On tips from the MaryHunter and ComradeNeotrotsky.