- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in the U.S. 5.5 and 5.2 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to: Paul Langley’s Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Obama regime again usurping Congress.(TownHall).As the Obama agenda proves increasingly impotent, Americans have witnessed Obama’s czars crash and burn or run for cover over the past thirty months. From Van Jones to Kevin Jennings to Nancy-Ann DeParle to Todd Stern to Ron Bloom, Obama’s style of management — bypassing the senate-confirmed agency heads — has failed to yield the results promised to the American people. You would think Obama would give up on the failed idea of using a curious collection of White House czars to manage complex economic and regulatory issues. No way.Instead, in the American Jobs Act, Obama is proposing a new group of czars as a part of his “jobs” act — the American Infrastructure Financing Authority (AIFA) czars. President Obama’s newest czars will be given the authority to manage over a trillion dollars of federal funding for roads, bridges, buildings, waterways, dams and other infrastructure. . . .As with Obama’s other czars, the AIFA czar comes with infrastructure requirements of his own: staff, office space and technology needed to perform the job. Managing what is in reality a trillion dollar budget is going to require a huge new staff that will, essentially represent an entire new federal agency. Make no mistake: the AIFA Czar position is redundant. All of the infrastructure projects and tasks identified to be performed by Obama’s new Czar are already the responsibilities of the Senate-confirmed heads of Department of Transportation, the U.S. General Services Administration and the Department of Energy.Of course, nowhere does President Obama tell us why a new czar is required to manage infrastructure projects. More importantly, Obama does not explain why the vast federal bureaucracy now responsible for these activities must be bypassed and a new, redundant agency is built.Hmmmm……Communist Dictatorship rising.Read the full story here.
- Obama heads to U.N. touting Libya, backing Israel against Palestinian statehood.(AlArabiya).U.S. President Barack Obama embarks on a diplomatic marathon this week at the United Nations, touting his approach to Libya, but hoping to contain a Palestinian ambitions for statehood.Leaving behind for 48 hours domestic battles with Republican opponents and an uphill battle to see his jobs plan move through Congress, Obama will huddle with a host of world leaders on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly and speak before the chamber early Wednesday.Obama will “have a chance to address the dramatic change that’s taken place in the course of last year,” including the emerging nation of South Sudan, transfer of power in the Ivory Coast and a wave of unrest and transformation with the Arab Spring, said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.On the Israel-Palestinian issue, the U.S. leader will also “express our support for a negotiated, two-state solution between the parties,” Rhodes told reporters on Friday.His agenda will likely hinge on that crisis burning in the Middle East, as the Palestinians make a landmark bid for statehood, despite the promise of a U.S. veto at the Security Council as Washington solidifies its staunch backing of Israel.If the Security Council effort fails, however, the Palestinian leadership is set to take the effort to the more sympathetic General Assembly.“The United States finds itself in an impossible position,” said Jon Alterman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).The Obama administration “will end up once again on the wrong end of a lopsided vote in the General Assembly, surely leading to all sorts of complaints the administration has no credibility in the international stage,” he added.Obama anticipates meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, but there is no meeting on his itinerary with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.Beyond the immediate issue, Obama also plans to meet one-on-one with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid Ankara’s concurrent move to distance itself from Israel over the raid of flotilla ships to Gaza last year.However, beyond the geopolitical crises and revolutionary movements shaping the world, Europe’s debt burden will also be a key topic, threatening to drag down European countries down and stall the US economy recovery.“I believe that we are watching what has been over an 18-month crisis starting to morph into a slow-motion collapse,” said Heather Conley of CSIS, noting it was certainly set to be a topic for hallway chatter in the halls of New York this week.Hmmmm…..What is the ‘relation’ between Erdogan and Obama, is he Obama’s attackdog against Israel?Read the full story here.
- House Speaker John Boehner Says US Must Be A Strong Partner And Reliable Ally For Israel.(Matzav).House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner says the U.S. commitment to Israel should be stronger now as the American ally faces challenges to its existence in the volatile Middle East.In an address today to the Jewish National Fund conference in Cincinnati, the Ohio Republican dismissed suggestions that Israel has isolated itself and he argued that the Jewish state stands above others as the “one true beacon of freedom and opportunity” in the region.The U.S., he said, must stand by Israel’s side “not just as a broker or observer – but as a strong partner and reliable ally.”A text of Boehner’s address was made available in advance.Boehner’s remarks come on the eve of the U.N. General Assembly session in New York, which is shaping up as a difficult diplomatic period for Israel.The Palestinian Authority intends to seek recognition of statehood despite a threat of a U.S. veto in the Security Council and the strong objections of the United States and Israel.Boehner’s speech comes amid renewed attention to President Barack Obama’s policies toward Israel. Republicans say the president isn’t forceful enough on behalf of Israel, and political questions have been raised on whether the Republicans can capitalize on the discontent and make inroads with Jewish voters.Last Tuesday, Republican Bob Turner scored a surprising win in a historically Democratic New York congressional district in part because of complaints about Obama’s Mideast policies. The district also has a large concentration of Orthodox Jews.In May, Obama called for Israel’s 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps to serve as the starting point in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. That proposal was rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Boehner, in his speech, did not mention Obama, but did recall his invitation to Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, also in May, and the message the prime minister delivered.“The American people deserved to hear from him – and Washington, quite frankly, needed to hear what he had to say,” Boehner said. “I invite the people in this room – and anyone as concerned as I am about the future of Israel – to speak out. Washington needs to hear from you, too.”Boehner said Israel has shown that it seeks “nothing more than peace … a peace agreed to by the two states and only the two states.” The speaker said Netanyahu understands that peace will require compromise.Hmmmm…..Message to Obama?Read the full story here.
- Kaiser Family Foundation 2009 grant to Michelle Obama’s ‘Urban Health Initiative’ sparks more Solyndra ‘crony capitalism’ questions.(DailyCaller).A Daily Caller review of the George Kaiser Family Foundation’s income tax returns found that during the same year billionaire investor George Kaiser successfully secured $535 million in government loan guarantees for the now-failed solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, his private philanthropy donated to a political cause close to the hearts of several high-ranking Obama administration officials. Kaiser, a major Obama donor, was a frequent White House visitor during the week before the Obama administration approved that taxpayer-underwritten financial deal.A $10,000 donation to the Urban Health Initiative at the University of Chicago Medical Center appears on the group’s 2009 tax forms. It was also in 2009 that Kaiser successfully sought to lock down a loan guarantee for the green-energy company Solyndra through his two investment vehicles: Argonaut Ventures and the GKFF Investment Company.While this donation seems small compared to the far larger numbers involved in the Solyndra scandal, it adds to the pattern of possible connections between the Obama administration and the growing Solyndra scandal.Several of President Barack Obama’s senior inner-circle advisers worked with or for now-first lady Michelle Obama when she held a leadership post at the University of Chicago Medical Center and helped create the Urban Health Initiative program. The Washington Post reported in 2008 that Valerie Jarrett was the medical center’s chairwoman, and David Axelrod provided community support-building services.“One of Barack’s best friends, Eric Whitaker, is executive vice president at the center and is now in charge of the Urban Health Initiative,” the Post added in the year Obama was elected to the presidency. Whitaker is still in that role today.George Kaiser’s four White House visits during the week before Solyndra secured its $535 million loan guarantee — and his $53,500 in donations to the president’s 2008 presidential campaign – have drawn scrutiny from critics questioning whether the Obama administration engaged in political favoritism. Now Kaiser’s philanthropic gift to one of Michelle Obama’s public health projects is another indication of what may amount to a White House fully engaged in crony capitalism.Hmmmmm…..Thugocracy in it’s natural habitat?Read the full story here.
- The Dutch Ask Their Central Bank: “Where Is Our Gold?”(ZeroHedge).Think Ron Paul is the only person asking questions about the actual gold supposedly backing the currency in circulation. Think again: the “ask your central banker where his gold is” tour just went global after the Dutch the Dutch Socialists Party (SP)’s spokesman for financial affairs, Mr. Ewout Irrgang, asked the Dutch Secretary of the Treasury 10 detailed questions about the gold supposedly held by the Dutch Central Bank. Questions vary from: where is the gold? why are gold and gold receivables one line item? how much gold is loaned out? As Dutch website Vrijspreker.nl points out, “This is potentially a big breakthrough for global awareness on how central banks hide crucial info from the public and the disastrous effects central banks have on society.” Is Belgium next to ask the same question in a vain attempt to understand just how much of its gold is permanently “lent out”? And after Belgium, everyone else with a central bank perhaps?The Questions:
- Did the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) loan part of their gold? If yes, how much and to whom?
- Why are gold and gold loans stated as one line item in the annual report 2010 instead of mentioned as 2 separate items?
- Can you give an overview of the yearly yields of the gold loans during the past years?
- Where IS the physical gold of DNB? At which locations and how much is where? What is the reason that the gold is still at these locations?
- What was the most important reason for DNB to sell the gold in the past? Are the storage costs a reason? What are the actual costs to store the gold?
- Can you confirm that since 1991 of the 1700 tons of gold about 1100 tons have been sold? Is the remark of journalist Peter de Waard correct that because of these historic sales there is a loss of about 30 billion euro? If not correct, what is the right amount?
- How much of the National Debt has during the past 20 years been paid off with the proceeds of the gold sales? Are you of opinion that the sustainability of the national debt will be improved by paying off the debt and at the same time selling the gold?
- What is in your opinion the present function of the gold stock?
- What is the relation between the size of the market of the gold stock and the size of the market of gold derivates? What are the possible consequences of this?
- Can you confirm that recently a number of countries have even enlarged their physical gold stock? Do you have an explanation for this development?Read the full story here.
- Muslim Group Seeks to Ban Sharia Law in America.(DocsTalk).The debate over Sharia law in America is taking some interesting twists and turns.In Oklahoma, courts are debating whether citizens have the right to ban Sharia law. And in Michigan, a group of Muslims have actually come out in strong opposition to Islamic law in America. In the case of Oklahoma, a 2010 ballot initiative put a stop to considerations of Islamic laws in making state court decisions. The measure, which passed by a 70 percent margin, was challenged by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The group claimed that the initiative was a direct violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. ABC News has more:Now, a panel of judges from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether a lower court was right to block the ballot initiative. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) joined CAIR in challenging this anti-Sharia measure.In a separate debate, the American Islamic Leadership Conference (AILC) recently announced support for a Michigan bill (HB 4679) that would prevent state judges from utilizing foreign laws. This, to the surprise of some, would include Sharia law. This group, comprised of Muslim adherents, is opposed do any state court decisions that would conflict with American law. In an official release, the group writes:
As American Muslims, we believe that the law should treat people of all faiths equally, while protecting Muslims and non-Muslims alike from extremist attempts to use the legal instrument of shari‘ah (also known as Islamic jurisprudence, or fiqh) to incubate, within the West, a highly politicized and dangerous understanding of Islam that is generally known as “Islamism,” or “radical Islam.”
In the statement, the group also claims that it sees no problem with the law and that it will not, as some would likely charge, hamper the rights of Muslims. Additionally, the AILC opposes the “fear mongering” it claims more radical groups are undertaking here in America, writing:As American Muslims we are conscious of the fact that Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups and other Islamists and their surrogates in the U.S. are trying their best to portray any opposition to manifestations of shari‘ah law as “racism” and “discrimination against Muslims.”According to the Huffington Post, Manda Ervin, who signed on to the release and who heads the Maryland-based Alliance of Iranian Women, explained why she’s opposed to Sharia law here in America:“Many of us fled the Muslim world to escape Shariah law…We do not wish these laws to follow us here.”But not all Muslims agree with state laws that would officially forbid Sharia compliance. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, a law professor at Emory University in Atlanta, has the following to say about initiatives like the ones currently being debated in Oklahoma and Michigan:“It‘s fearmongering and it’s reckless. It’s ridiculous that state legislatures are wasting time on a law that tells judges to do what they are already constitutionally bound to do anyway.”Michigan and Oklahoma are not alone. More than 20 states are examining laws that would ban Sharia in courtrooms. It is important, however, to understand that each of these laws have a different focus. While some explicitly point out Islamic law and solely target its tenets, other proposals — like the one in Michigan — more broadly target foreign laws. The AILC has come out in support for latter but not the former.Read the full story here.