Friday, January 13, 2012

Israeli Spies Disguised themselves as CIA Agents

Once again we see how Israel feels free to do whatever they want whether or not it's the behaviour of an American ally:

But while the memos show that the United States had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah, according to both intelligence officers, the same was not true for Israel's Mossad. The memos also detail CIA field reports saying that Israel's recruiting activities occurred under the nose of U.S. intelligence officers, most notably in London, the capital of one of Israel's ostensible allies, where Mossad officers posing as CIA operatives met with Jundallah officials.

The officials did not know whether the Israeli program to recruit and use Jundallah is ongoing. Nevertheless, they were stunned by the brazenness of the Mossad's efforts.

"It's amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with," the intelligence officer said. "Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn't give a damn what we thought."
Full article

U.S. judge backs multiple rifle sales reporting

A small victory. But a victory that will save lives:

A U.S. judge on Friday refused to block new federal rules requiring gun dealers in four states bordering Mexico to report the sales of multiple semi-automatic rifles, a victory for the Obama administration.

The administration issued the reporting requirements last year despite opposition from the gun industry as part of a stepped-up effort to clamp down on the weapons flowing across the border to violent drug cartels in Mexico.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ordered more than 8,000 gun dealers in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California to report the sale within five business days of two or more semiautomatic rifles to the same person.

That also includes rifles with a caliber greater than .22 and with the ability to accept a detachable magazine.

Mexican officials have complained bitterly about guns illegally coming from the United States. Tens of thousands of Mexicans have died in the drug wars since 2006 when the government there decided to take on the cartels.
Full article

Obama's Most Vocal Black Critics Dial Back Attacks As Election Year Begins

That's a mistake. But it's the same old story. The American people are fed up with the politicians but continue to vote for the same people because they are fed the myth about the 'lesser of two evils." Because Republicans are so unfriendly to African-Americans does not mean they should vote for someone who does nothing for them but ignores them. Barack Obama is not only ignoring the plight of his most ardent supporters, he's thumbing his nose at them. Why do we always fall for that trap. They promise us the sky and moon and deliver nothing but hardship. I'm disappointed in West and Smiley. I thought they wouldn't just go along with the crowd:

The dynamic duo of PBS host Tavis Smiley and professor/activist Cornel West was it again in Washington Thursday evening during a live television broadcast of a program addressing poverty.

The two have made a traveling roadshow out of their roles as the loudest African-American critics of President Obama.

The forum, presented and moderated by Smiley and aired on C-SPAN, follows Smiley and West's 18-city tour last summer that called attention to the growing number of Americans in poverty, particularly blacks. During the tour, and at the original poverty forum last year, Smiley and West became lightning rods for accusing Obama of failing to adequately address problems affecting blacks.

But for two and a half hours on Thursday, Smiley and West made few waves for the president. It was several other panelists who expressed their dissatisfaction with Obama, including Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore.

Moore said the president's term has "been a disappointing three years....He thought he would be a nice guy. He turned the other cheek. ...Right now, we don't need a nice guy. We need someone who will stand up and kick some butt for his country."
Full article

Terry Branstad, Iowa Governor, Slapped With $1 Million Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit By State Commissioner

Huffington Post:

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is facing claims he discriminated against the state's openly gay Iowa’s workers’ compensation commissioner by asking him to resign and cutting his salary after he refused.

As the Des Moines Register is reporting, commissioner Christopher Godfrey is asking for $1 million in compensation, while alleging defamation, harassment, sexual discrimination and extortion against the state. "When you're treated differently than everybody else, and you're subjected to treatment that's different than anybody else...and the reasons that they give as the basis for the action that they've taken against you is flat-out really only leaves one other reason," Godfrey told local news channel WHO-TV.
Full article

D.C. mayor asks feds to close Occupy site

Once again we see how there is no difference between the two parties...and how they handle Occupy Wall Street. Both serve the same master. Occupy is inconvenient:

Two of the more persistent camps in the "Occupy" movement should be consolidated, says District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray. But demonstrators at both camps are unconvinced they should go along with the demand.
Pretty amusing. DC has been crime ridden for decades. And this mayor has the nerve to talk about crime and dangerous:
Gray has expressed concerns about rodents, poor sanitation, and a risk of petty crime at the McPherson Square site, a small city park surrounded by office buildings and busy streets a few blocks from the White House. In a letter this week to the National Park Service, Gray wrote "since both Occupy D.C. locations are under federal control, it falls to you to take immediate steps to remedy this dangerous situation."
Full article

John McCain: SuperPACs Will ‘Destroy Political Process,’ Predicts ‘Scandal’ Because of Them

So do something about it. You've been in the Senate for decades. Show some leadership:

One of the biggest headlines of the Republican primary race so far – and the point Stephen Colbert is trying to make with his satirical campaign – is the story of SuperPACs.

Take Newt Gingrich. Gingrich’s poll numbers in Iowa were competitive until these shadowy groups started attacking him with TV ads. Nearly half the political ads run in Iowa  - and they saturated the airwaves – were negative ads against Gingrich, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group. Many of those attack ads were put on the air by the SuperPAC called Restore Our Future, which is run by former Mitt Romney aides and supports his candidacy.

Because of U.S. campaign finance laws, the Romney-supporting SuperPAC can’t have any official contact with the Romney campaign, but we did ask Romney if he believes the SuperPACs should go away.

“I think the campaign finances laws that we have in this country are terribly counterproductive,” Romney told us on the campaign trail earlier this month.  “They limit how much money campaigns can raise and yet allow other entities to raise unlimited amounts.”  Romney added, “The campaigns should be the ones responsible for their own ads.”
Full article

Lisa Murkowski Staffers Wagered Bets On Wildfire Office Pool

Lisa Murkowski Staffers Wagered Bets On Wildfire Office Pool

Severe criticism from the wildland firefighters association and the parents of a fallen firefighter have committee staffers for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski apologizing for an office pool on how many acres wildland fires will destroy.

Chris Christie praises Obama political skills


In a wide-ranging interview with Oprah Winfrey, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has kind words for President Barack Obama, calling him “charismatic,” “genuine” and “as good a politician as I’ve ever seen.”

Winfrey, who is a well-known friend of the Obama family, asked Christie what he thought of the president’s reelection chances. The New Jersey Republican responded with a raft of compliments, according to the AP, which has obtained a full transcript of the interview.

“Those who underestimate Barack Obama, underestimate him at their own peril. He’s as good a politician as I’ve ever seen,” Christie said. “I think he’s very charismatic. And I think he’s genuine. I think what he says he believes, he believes. That’s a very dangerous politician.”

But the governor also said in the interview, set to air this Sunday, that the president is to blame for not facilitating a truce between the two parties in Congress.

“The only person who can call a truce, when Congress is at war at itself, is the president,” Christie said, according to a video clip posted on Oprah’s website.

“I work with Democrats, and we fight like crazy in public, but then we get in a room together and say, ‘there is a boulevard between getting everything I want and compromising my principles.’ I won’t compromise my principles, but I acknowledge I won’t get everything that I want. That’s what’s not happening in Washington right now. The only person that can make that happen is the president,” he added.

Americans Elect 2012 presidential run: The third-party group has cash, but no candidate

Their approach is all wrong. We need someone who is not the two-party system. The candidate should be a committed champion against the old, corrupt order. Don't look to the same people who have been part of the problem:

A new group that hopes to tap into a rising appetite for a third party presidential challenger has discovered that $30 million in secret cash can buy ballot access and attention, but not necessarily a dream candidate.

The group, Americans Elect, failed to generate interest in possible campaigns from Sens. Joe Lieberman and Lamar Alexander, and its intensive outreach to a host of other prospective candidates, including former Nebraska Sens. Chuck Hagel and Bob Kerrey, hasn’t yielded much public enthusiasm for its efforts.

Even Jon Huntsman, who top Americans Elect officials have supported, has ruled out the possibility of seeking the group’s nomination — and this week he reaffirmed his intent to continue his long-shot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination after a third-place finish in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

Instead, Americans Elect has attracted attention from the allies of potential candidates who don’t seem well-suited to the group’s goal of leading a centrist surge on election day, including obscure figures such as Buddy Roemer, and those who seem to defy the group’s moderate positioning, such as Donald Trump and Ron Paul.
Full article

The Transformation Of American Factory Jobs, In One Company


Larry Sills is the CEO of Standard Motor Products, like his dad and his grandfather before him. The company makes replacement parts for car engines. Larry grew up with the company, and he has seen the workforce change over the years. A few decades ago, a lot of his workers had no high school degree. Some couldn't read.

"We had a plant in Connecticut where we didn't realize it, but they were illiterate," he says. "And then when we switched to the next generation, we had to be able to read the instructions. To our astonishment, they couldn't do it."

But in today's factory, workers don't just have to know how to read.

"We have a microscope, a hot stand, snap gauges, ID gauges," Ralph Young says. "We use bore mics, go-no-go plugs."

Capitalism on Trial in GOP Presidential Fight

You can credit Occupy Wall Street for this whole debate. Proof: No one brought it up during 2007/8 primary debates:

The merits of capitalism are normally reserved for debate in classrooms, or for economists to ponder at think tanks and the Federal Reserve. But for the past week, the hallmark American system of free enterprise has been thrust into the court of public opinion by the most unlikely group – Republicans running for president and scrutinizing Mitt Romney’s tenure at the private-equity firm Bain Capital.

Republicans, by their very nature, are supposed to like capitalism.

Yet these candidates — namely Newt Gingrich but also the back-runner Rick Perry — charge that on Romney’s watch, Bain profited while some companies in which he invested went bankrupt and workers lost jobs. The problem with their criticism is, for the most part, that’s one of the ways capitalism is designed to work.

The prosecution has lobbed plenty of insults at Romney — “crony capitalism,” “backdoor socialism,” “vultures” — in an effort to drag him down from his front-runner status. They portray him as a ruthless tycoon who casually dishes out pink slips before speeding away in a Maserati.

But go too far, and they run the risk of abandoning the capitalist roots that conservatives (and plenty of liberals) say make America great. That’s caused the accusers to back off a bit from their charge.
Full article

SOPA Author Lamar Smith: Copyright Violator?

Shows he's not motivated by conviction but some lobbyist has gotten to him:

Our chief SOPA correspondent is out of the office today but this story from VICE magazine was really too good to leave uncovered here at WPN, so I’m tagging in to share the story.

So if you’ve been following the saga of SOPA, you are likely familiar with the author of the bill, Rep. Lamar Smith. He’s been a regular cast member in this epic struggle for Internet freedoms. If you’re short on time, though, here’s the abridged version: Lamar Smith believes the Internet is a wretched hive of scum and villainy when it comes to copyrighted material because he thinks people regard copyrights the same way they regard the newspaper you put in the bottom of a bird’s cage.

Turns out, however, that the copyright-violating apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for Mr. Smith.
Full article