Friday, April 27, 2012
New US Stealth Fighters Now 'parked' at Iran’s Back Door.(Stratrisks).(ABCBlotter).America’s most sophisticated stealth jet fighters have been quietly deployed to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran’s mainland, according to an industry report, but the Air Force adamantly denied the jets’ presence is a threat to the Middle East nation. Multiple stealth F-22 Raptors, which have never been combat-tested, are in hangars at the United Arab Emirates’ Al Dafra Air Base, just a short hop over the Persian Gulf from Iran’s southern border, the trade publication Aviation Week reported. Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. John Dorrian would not confirm the exact location of the F-22s, but told ABC News they had been deployed to a base in Southwest Asia — a region that includes the UAE. Dorrian also stressed that the F-22s were simply taking part in a scheduled deployment and are “not a threat to Iran.”
“This is a very normal deployment to strengthen military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations and enhance interoperability of forces,” Dorrian said. The F-22 has only been in the UAE once before for training missions in 2009 with “coalition partners.” Dorrian declined to say what the Raptors’ mission was in the region this time around or how many planes had been deployed, citing operational security. However, Dorrian said that because of the F-22′s next-generation capabilities, any number of planes deployed to the region is “significant.”
Though the F-22 has been officially combat operational since December 2005, no planes from the Air Force fleet — which are made by defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin and cost an estimated $79 billion — have seen combat. The plane was not used in Iraq, Afghanistan or in the U.S.-led no-fly mission over Libya. The Air Force has said the sophisticated jets simply haven’t been needed yet.The new deployment comes in the midst of the Air Forces’ continuing battle with a rare but sustained oxygen problem plaguing the F-22. Since 2008, nearly two dozen pilots have reported experiencing “hypoxia-like symptoms” in mid-air. The problem got so bad that the Air Force grounded the planes for nearly five months last year in hopes of fixing the problem but never could. The service also does not know what caused the malfunction that cut off F-22 pilot Capt. Jeff Haney’s oxygen shortly before he fatally crashed during a training mission in Alaska in 2010. But despite the ongoing issues, the Air Force says the F-22 is ready for war, should it be called. “If our nation needs a capability to enter contested air space, to deal with air forces that are trying to deny our forces the ability to maneuver without prejudice on the ground, it will be the F-22 that takes on that mission,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Noel Jones, Director of Operational Capability Requirements, said at a special briefing at the Pentagon in March. “It can do that right now and is able to do that without hesitation.”Read the full story here.
1.6 million Saudi women seek work.(BM).CAIRO: Fahd bin Sulaiman Al-Tikhaifi, assistant secretary of the Ministry of Labor, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said there are more than 1.6 million unemployed Saudi women.
His statement to the press went on to say many of those are with PhDs and Master’s degrees.
“These unemployed women have submitted their CVs to the ministry’s employment sites applying for suitable jobs,” he said during a presentation at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Al-Tikhaifi explained the applicants included 78 holders of Ph.D. degrees and fellowships, 2,250 with Master’s, 11,000 with high diplomas and more than 380,000 with bachelor’s degrees.
He said women with diplomas number 74,000 and those with high secondary school certificates were more than 530,000. He added there were 224,000 with intermediate school certificates and 240,000 elementary school certificates, according to a report in the Arab News.
“More than 178,000 could be considered illiterate,” he said.
The official said 16,000 women have applied for jobs in the construction sector, 78,000 in the security sector and 113,000 in the hospitality and services sector.
He also said it was not uncommon for large Saudi companies to have no women employees at all.
2011 Saudi population numbers: 15-64 years: 67.6% (male 9,980,253/female 7,685,328).Read the full story here.
More about this 'outsourcing' on my previous post : A Spanish Company Known As Scytl Will Be Reporting Election Results For Hundreds of U.S. Jurisdictions.Who or what is Scytl?
Russia - Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin chairman of Dep for Relations Between the Church and Society:" I support introduction in Russia of shari’a law and of laws drawn from other faiths."
Russia - Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin chairman of Dep for Relations Between the Church and Society:" I support introduction in Russia of shari’a law and of laws drawn from other faiths."(RN).By Konstantin von Eggert.A few years ago the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams suggested in an interview that “elements” of shari’a law could “possibly” be incorporated into the juridical practice of the UK, with its substantial Muslim population.
Despite being uttered while the politically correct Labour party was in power, Williams’ words created a furore that for a brief moment united conservative Anglicans, Catholics, Jews, atheists and even some Muslims in opposition. Introducing religious dogma into what is essentially neutral civic law can have far-reaching consequences – and tear society apart.
Now the Russian Orthodox Church seems to have landed in a situation similar to the one the Archbishop of Canterbury found himself in – but in a much more difficult context. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, who is chairman of the Synodal Department for Relations Between the Church and Society, said in an interview that he supports introduction in Russia of shari’a law and of laws drawn from other faiths. He said that in fifty years’ time this will be the norm in Russia and the EU.
Chaplin was reacting to incendiary statements made on a TV talk show by Dagir Khasavov, a Chechen Muslim lawyer, who happens to work as a legal advisor for the Russia’s upper house of parliament. “If shari’a is not introduced, we’ll make the streets of the cities run with blood,” Khasavov shouted during a heated exchange in the studio.
For a Christian cleric to support shari’a is a bizarre thing to do at the very least. It flies in the face of Christian practices and ideas (acceptance of polygamy in Islam is but one major difference). Many Russians are generally suspicious of Islam and Muslims, despite having lived side by side with them for hundreds of years.
The church’s official stance is that Islam is its natural ally in a fight against “godless liberalism.” However, it is one thing for the patriarch and the bishops to state that all of Russia’s “traditional” religions share their views on abortion, pre-marital sex and euthanasia. It is something else entirely for a leading church representative to call for a radical overhaul of Russia’s legal system. In a twist of irony, one of Russia’s best-known imams criticised Chaplin’s suggestions.
He said that religiously neutral law ensures everyone’s equality before the law. Chaplin’s musings on the usefulness of shari’a follow a previous proposal to introduce an “Orthodox dress code” for Russia and assertions that Mozart was a mediocre composer.
This could have been written off as one eccentric’s views. However, he is one of the most famous priests in Russia (if ‘fame’ is an appropriate word here) and in the eyes of the public he speaks for the whole church. His remarks provoked a firestorm. Intellectuals accuse the church of intending to turn Russia into an Orthodox version of Saudi Arabia.
Gay activists, who have been repeatedly refused the right to stage gay pride parades in Moscow, compare the situation to Nazi persecution of homosexuals. Atheists claim that in some Russian regions being “outed” as a non-believer could result in ostracism at work.
The church, in its turn, says it is under attack from aggressive secularists who want to marginalize Christianity and make it just another lifestyle choice. When it comes to religion, the atmosphere in the educated segments of Russian society borders on the hysterical and accusations on both sides of the invisible barricade verge on the grotesque. And yet public opinion surveys show the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Kirill enjoy popularity ratings between 60 and 70 percent – something most European churches could only dream of. At the same time although up to 80 percent of Russian citizens describe themselves as Orthodox, only 65 percent say they believe in God, and fewer than 10 percent partake in communion and go to church at least once a month. In the absence of distinct post-imperial identity Orthodox Christianity turns out to be the only spiritual tradition and cultural phenomenon that defines the elusive quality of “Russianness” – without necessarily making people closer to Christian ideals of love, humility, charity and spiritual freedom.Hmmm.......Господи Помилуй.Read the full story here.
Republicans seek to hold attorney general in contempt over Fast and Furious.(LATimes).By Richard A. Serrano.WASHINGTON — Republican House leaders have drafted a proposed contempt of Congress citation against Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. in which they charge that he and his Justice Department have repeatedly "obstructed and slowed" the Capitol Hill investigation into the ATF's flawed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation. The 48-page draft citation is being drawn up by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Top committee officials recently met for most of a day in the House speaker's office and were given the green light to proceed toward a contempt citation, according to sources who declined to be identified. If adopted by the GOP-led House, the contempt resolution would be sent to the U.S. attorney's office in Washington or perhaps an independent counsel in an attempt to force the Justice Department to provide tens of thousands of internal documents to the committee. A contempt resolution would also escalate a political feud between Issa and the Obama administration. Earlier this week Issa called the Obama White House "the most corrupt in government history."
At a hearing in December, he compared Holder to disgraced Atty. Gen. John Mitchell from the President Nixon era, a comment that prompted Holder to fire back in language reminiscent of the bitter Senate hearings led by former Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.): "Have you no shame?" Holder and other Justice Department officials insist they are cooperating with congressional investigators. Holder said the department had responded to more than three dozen letters from members of Congress and facilitated numerous witness interviews. The department has submitted or made available more than 6,400 pages of documents, he said. Issa and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, contend that they have received far more documents from ATF whistle-blowers than have been turned over by the Justice Department.
"The department's refusal to work with Congress to ensure that such a mistake [as Fast and Furious] is never repeated is inexcusable and cannot stand," said a copy of the draft report obtained by the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau. "Those responsible for allowing Fast and Furious to proceed and those who are preventing the truth about the operation from coming out must be held accountable for their actions."
Holder has sharply denied that he or other Justice Department officials were aware that the ATF purposely allowed illegal weapons to circulate on the border. As soon as he learned of the "gun-walking tactics" used in Fast and Furious, he said, he called for a Justice Department inspector general investigation.Issa's draft report outlines evidence collected by the committee that contends some top Justice Department officials knew the ATF had allowed about 2,500 guns to be illegally purchased in Arizona — guns that were later "walked" to Mexican drug cartels. The draft describes a 2010 meeting in the office of then-acting Deputy Atty. Gen. Gary G. Grindler in which charts were presented showing 31 people had illegally paid cash for 1,026 weapons. Also shown were the locations of "stash houses" before the weapons were moved to Mexico. "Despite receiving all this information ... Grindler did not order Fast and Furious to be shut down, nor did he follow up with ATF or his staff about the investigation," the draft says. Grindler, however, has told congressional investigators that he was not advised at the meeting about the unusual tactics used by ATF agents in allowing the guns to be illegally sold under Fast and Furious.Hmmmmm......These boots will keep on 'walking'...one day they'll walk all over you?"Read the full story here.
The 'Obama factor' - Nearly 1 Million Public School Crimes Not Reported To Police.(JW).In a frightening revelation, the government has conceded that nearly 1 million violent crimes committed at public schools throughout the United States are not reported to police, probably to shield perpetrators from disadvantaged and minority communities.
What else could it be? Why wouldn’t administrators responsible for keeping kids safe in a learning environment call police when a violent crime is committed on their campus? The unbelievable statistic comes straight from a report published jointly by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE).
Incredibly, it covers only one academic year, 2009-2010. American public schools say that 1,183,700 violent crimes were committed on campus yet only 303,900 were reported to local law enforcement. That means an astounding 879,800 violent crimes were not reported to police!
This includes rape, robbery, attacks with weapons and sexual battery. At school! What on earth keeps a teacher or principal from speed-dialing police?
Here is a breakdown; of 725,300 physical attacks only 194,200 were reported to police, according to the feds. Even when “serious violent incidents” were committed, law enforcement was only contacted about half the time, in 23,500 out of 52,500 cases. These events are defined as rape, attempted rape, sexual battery or crimes involving weapons.
Of 3,600 sexual batteries that occurred in public schools during the year, only 2,200 were reported to police and more than 100 rapes went unreported. Attacks involving weapons were also covered up at an alarming rate, the schools admit in the report. Only 4,400 out of 14,300 were reported to police and less than half of the 19,200 threats of physical attack with a weapon were reported.Back to the theory behind not reporting school crimes to police, the Obama Administration has applied tremendous pressure to cut back on disciplining minorities because they are disproportionately suspended in public schools. In fact, the administration launched a special program last summer to discourage the expulsion of delinquents in order to eradicate a “school-to-prison pipeline” composed mainly of blacks and Hispanics.Hmmmm.......Obama: "All the Choices We've Made Have Been the Right Ones".Read the full story here.
Canada - New Loonies makes vending machines and parking meters 'Go Loony'.(Yahoo).If you're having trouble getting a vending machine or parking meter to accept your shiny new loonie, don't kick the machine, blame the high-tech coin.
The Royal Canadian Mint's new generation of loonies and toonies apparently are getting spit out regularly by coin-operated devices.
The coins, issued this month, use multi-ply steel technology that makes them cheaper to produce and provides more security features. But they also weigh slightly less than the older alloy coins and often get rejected by vending machines and parking meters.
"This one didn't work," Verinder Kumar told the Toronto Star after a new loonie landed in a city parking machine's reject slot.
The Toronto Parking Authority estimates that at about $345 per machine, it will cost about $1 million to upgrade almost 3,000 machines to accept the new coins, the Star reported.
Calgary's Parking Authority is already spending about $30,000 to recalibrate its 770 parking machines.
Vending machine operators are also bracing for an added cost to modify their equipment."
I don't know if the new coins will fit in our machines," Simo Caffe owner Jessica Seguin told the Calgary Herald. "If they don't fit, it will cost $300 to $600 per machine to upgrade the coin mechanism."
The mint has been using the multi-ply steel technology in smaller coins for about a decade, causing headaches for the vending industry.
The Bank of Canada began issuing the new plasticized currency last year, starting with $100 and $50 notes, with the more common $20 coming this fall and $10 and $5 bills next year.
Like the coins, the new plastic currency is being touted as more durable and less vulnerable to counterfeiting. But users have reported the bills tear easily once they're creased or nicked and can melt if exposed to heat.
But the mint is already preparing an alternative to coins and small bank notes for so-called micro-transactions.
The MintChip would be a form of secure digital currency that would allow people to transfer value from one chip to another and via devices such as smartphones.As already being used in some European countries.Read the full story here.
Obama The mask comes off and the Long Knives Come Out.(Cato).By Roger Pilon
Today POLITICO Arena asks:
Is Common Cause’s complaint against The American Legislative Exchange Council valid, or is it a smear against a successful conservative advocacy group?My response:
Common Cause has joined such bully-boys as the discredited former White House aide Van Jones and his “Color of Change” to do what the Left does best—smear those who oppose their political agenda.
The American Legislative Exchange Council is a reputable organization of thousands of conservative and libertarian state legislators from across the country. They meet periodically to develop legislative proposals aimed at pro-growth solutions to problems facing their various states. ”Stand Your Ground” and voter-ID laws have constituted only a small part of ALEC’s agenda over the years.
But this is an especially important election year, so all the stops are out for the Left. And it starts at the top. For a chilling account of the tactics to which Obama is now stooping, read Kim Strassel’s piece in this morning’s Wall Street Journal. At an Obama campaign website we find ”Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors.” Its purpose is plain as day: to expose and shame private citizens who’ve had the temerity to donate to the Romney campaign. “Quite a few,” the post charges, have been “on the wrong side of the law.” Their “crimes”? One is a lobbyist, another a hedge-fund manager, another outsourced jobs.
We haven’t seen such tactics since the days of Nixon’s “enemies list.” This is Axelrod and Chicago politics, and it’s not going to get any better, because Obama can’t run on his record. So brace yourself for the politics of personal destruction.Hmmm......."Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." President Barack Obama..........."Thugocracy in it's natural habitat"?Read the full story here.
Turkish Kurd militants threaten Turkey if it enters Syria.(Stratrisks).ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Kurd militants threatened on Thursday to turn all Kurdish populated areas into a “war zone” if Turkish troops entered Syria, a sign the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has allies in Syria may be taking sides in the conflict there.
A renewed alliance between Damascus and the PKK would anger Turkey and could prompt it to take an even stronger line against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his brutal repression of anti-government protesters.
PKK field commander Murat Karayilan said Turkey was preparing the ground for an intervention in Syria.
“The Turkish state is planning an intervention against our people,” the Europe-based Firat news agency, close to the militants, quoted him as saying.
“Let me state clearly, if the Turkish state intervenes against our people in western Kurdistan, all of Kurdistan will turn into a war zone,” he said.
Western Kurdistan is the term Kurdish nationalists use to describe Kurdish areas of northeast Syria, while by Kurdistan they mean the Kurdish areas of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said last week that setting up a “safe zone” or a “buffer zone” along the border with Syria to protect civilians from Assad’s forces was among the options being considered should the stream of refugees turn into a flood.
Setting up such a zone would involve troops entering Syria to secure territory. Turkey has turned sharply against its former friend Assad and has taken a lead in trying to forge international agreement on the need for stronger action on Syria.
While Syrian government forces are clashing daily with insurgents demanding the downfall of Assad, Syrian Kurdish areas have remained relatively calm, despite many Kurds’ long-standing opposition to the government.
Some Syrian Kurdish groups opposed to Assad have formed their own umbrella group after complaining of being sidelined by the main opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), which they say is dominated by Arab nationalists.
But the comparative calm in Syria’s Kurdish northeast may also be related to what some Kurdish analysts say is the growing influence of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish group allied to the PKK which has kept away from the opposition.Turkish officials say they are watching closely for signs Syria may renew its support for the PKK, which it dropped in late 1998 after Turkish tanks massed on the Syrian border. Damascus was forced to deport PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan who was later seized by Turkish special forces in Kenya.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has repeatedly said Syria “would not dare” make such a mistake again.Kurds make up at least 10 percent of Syria’s population. Like the majority of Syrians, they are Sunni Muslims, but have struggled to assert their ethnic identity under 40 years of Arab nationalist Ba’ath Party rule.Read the full story here.
Kazakhstan - White camel Sacrificed to end Suicides on Imams advice.(RN).Locals in a town in southern Kazakhstan sacrificed a white camel in a bid to end a suicide epidemic blamed on an evil spirit, regional Otyrar television reported. Some 200 residents of the town of Karabulak, which has a population of some 40,000, attended the sacrifice ceremony, the channel said on Thursday. The white camel was slaughtered on advice from the village elders some time after two middle school students hung themselves, the report said. Three more teenagers were recently prevented from committing suicide at the last moment, and dozens more sought help of the imams of the local mosque, the report said. The total death toll from suicides in 2011 in the town stood at 14, most of them adolescent boys. The surviving boys said they saw a vision of an old man clad in white who told them life is pointless and showed them a rope around his neck, imam Abdurrafi Rakhmatullayev said. “That was the Devil in human guise,” Rakhmatullayev said. A similar incident took place in Karabulak 60 years ago, but the suicides were ended after one of the elders, or aqsaqals, advised a white camel sacrifice, town head Alimzhan Nishankulov said. In the 1950s, Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet Union, but Nishankulov did not elaborate on what the Communist Party, notorious for its militant atheism, said about the ritual. No suicide attempts were reported in Karabulak after this week’s sacrifice.Hmmmm.......The Devil is a white camel?Read the full story here.
U.S. Secret Service Visited Strip Club in Moscow.(RN).U.S. Secret Service agents visited a downtown Moscow nightclub known for raucous parties in 2000, ahead of a state visit to Russia by then-President Bill Clinton, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing an informed source. Secret Service staff and White House advance staff preparing for Clinton's state visit to Russia attended events at the Hungry Duck nightclub, the Wall Street Journal said. A Clinton spokesman declined to comment on the matter. The Hungry Duck, which opened in the mid-1990s in the center of Moscow, featured performances by strippers and patrons, the newspaper said. It was set up by a Canadian, Doug Steele, together with several partners from Georgia. They sold their interest in 1998 following a dispute with a number of influential Russian officials. The nightclub closed down for good in 2009. As many as 920 women supposedly once took part in a mass striptease at the Hungry Duck. Reports that Secret Service and White House personnel visited the nightclub follow revelations that Secret Service members visited prostitutes in Colombia in April during President Obama's visit. Twelve Secret Service agents, who were supposed to ensure the safety of the American leader during his visit to Colombia for a diplomatic summit, as well as twelve military members of the delegation, were suspended from their duties and sent home for “inappropriate behavior.” The agents allegedly visited a strip club there and some brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms, the newspaper said.Hmmmm......."Protection covered now by Obamacare".Read the full story here.
UK - Siege on Tottenham Court Road ends: Police arrest man who stormed office building 'with gas canisters strapped to his body
UK - Siege on Tottenham Court Road ends: Police arrest man who stormed office building 'with gas canisters strapped to his body.(DM).The man who bought the heart of London to a standstill today when he stormed a building allegedly strapped with gas canisters and taking four men hostage has been arrested. The man has been arrested and was seen being taken shirtless into a police van at around 3pm, as officers begin methodically checking the building in Tottenham Court Road for explosives. Thousands of people were evacuated at around midday after after the man, said to be carrying gas canisters and a blow torch, stormed the offices of an HGV firm and threatened to spark a deadly blast. The man, who identified himself as Michael Green, is understood to have taken four hostages after entering the offices of the training firm amid claims he had twice failed HGV driving tests and wanted his money back. He apparently stormed into the logistics office yelling: ‘I have nothing more to live for.’
Officers, including marksmen, explosives experts and police negotiators, rushed to the scene shortly after noon and ordered the evacuation of at least 1,000 office workers and many more shoppers and tourists in the area. As they cordoned off the scene, the man started hurling objects - including computers and filing cabinets - came flying from a fifth-floor window as terrified workers left the building with their hands up. The man was in the building for two-and-a-half hours, and negotiators are believed to be talking to him by telephone.
A police spokesman said: 'Officers are in attendance at an incident in Tottenham Court Road where a man, believed to be aged 49, is causing a disturbance. 'Police were called at 11.59 on Friday 27 April to an office building. Items, including electrical equipment, have been thrown out of a fifth-floor window. 'A 300m cordon has been put in place and a negotiator is on scene.' Abby Baafi, 27, the head of training and operations at Advantage, a company which offers HGV courses, said the man had targeted her offices and was currently holding four men hostage. The hostages are believed to include including the company director and three salesmen. She told the Huffington Post: 'We were in the office and someone came in. I recognised him because he was one of our previous customers. 'He came in with big gasoline cylinders strapped to his body and threatened to blow up the office. 'He said he doesn’t care about his life, he doesn’t care about anything, he just wants to blow up the office. ‘He was specifically looking for me but I didn’t say my name was Abby and he let me go because I am three months pregnant.' She later said the man had taken mobile phones from the hostages.
A KFC worker, Arti Pal, 23, said: 'It all kicked off at about 12.30. Police came in and told customers they could no longer order food and that they had to get out. Ms O'Meara said the atmosphere had been 'tragi-comic' until the police arrived and it turned serious. 'He was throwing stuff out of the windows, it looked like someone with a grievance,' she added. 'But then the police arrived and started telling everyone: "This is serious, this is for your own safety. He has got gas".' A police cordon was in place from Store Street to the south of the incident. Dozens of onlookers watched and took photographs with their mobile phones. Five marked police cars and vans could be seen lining Tottenham Court Road, as well as four ambulances. Unmarked police vehicles also drove up to the scene and three London buses were stopped in the road with their amber lights flashing. A police negotiator was seen speaking to the officers guarding the cordon, and he was given directions to the scene. 'Abby Baafi told us she told suspect she was three months pregnant to escape. 'Abby told us she'd met suspect before.'Read and see (Video's) the full story here.
A Spanish Company Known As Scytl Will Be Reporting Election Results For Hundreds of U.S. Jurisdictions.Who or what is Scytl?
A Spanish Company Known As Scytl Will Be Reporting Election Results For Hundreds of U.S. Jurisdictions.Who or what is Scytl?(AP).By Michael Snyder.Do you know who is going to be counting the votes on Election Day 2012? Most Americans never even think about this. Most Americans just assume that their votes will count and that the government will ensure that the counting process is done honestly and fairly. But is this really the case?
Sadly, the vast majority of people never take the time to "look behind the curtain" to see how things really work. If they did, they might find themselves extremely upset about what they would find.
The integrity of our voting process is of the utmost importance. If we do not have the ballot box, then what avenues for changing our government do we have left? Unfortunately, the integrity of our elections has been called into question quite a few times in recent years, and now a Spanish company known as Scytl will be involved in reporting election results for hundreds of jurisdictions across the United States this upcoming election day. Will those election results be accurate?
It is absolutely amazing that a foreign company has been able to gain such control over the reporting of election results in the United States without it ever making a significant splash in the mainstream media.
You would think that there would be a law against this sort of thing, but apparently there is not.
So how did this all come about?
SOE Software was founded in 2002 and has been involved in reporting election results in 25 U.S. states....
Founded in 2002, SOE Software (SOE) has been working in 25 states to provide election management tools that include online pollworker training and election night reporting solutions to over 900 state and local election jurisdictions.SOE Software was purchased by a company based in Barcelona, Spain known as Scytl earlier this year. This combination of the two companies has produced a giant firm. Scytl now has a dominant market position in the election software market....
With the acquisition of SOE Software, Scytl is now the industry leader in the election software market with a full range of solutions that cover the whole election process and include secure online ballot delivery, Internet voting, electronic pollbooks, election night reporting, and online pollworker training.Scytl will be involved in reporting election results in more U.S. jurisdictions than any other company.
In fact, the new combined company will be involved in reporting the election results in 30 U.S. states....
The combined organization is the largest pure election software company in the United States and will be serving customers in over 1,100 jurisdictions in 30 states, including 15 state-wide customers.So exactly how does all of this work?
Why should we be concerned about what Scytl does with our votes?Bev Harris of blackboxvoting.org has studied voting systems in the United States extensively. According to her, the combination of SOE Software and Scytl is going to make it much more difficult for observers to independently verify the integrity of the voting results in many jurisdictions. The following is an extended excerpt from a recent article by Bev Harris. It is a bit technical but it does a great job of breaking down how things have changed now that Scytl has acquired SOE Software....
In a major step towards global centralization of election processes, the world’s dominant Internet voting company has purchased the USA’s dominant election results reporting company.
When you view your local or state election results on the Internet, on portals which often appear to be owned by the county elections division, in over 525 US jurisdictions you are actually redirected to a private corporate site controlled by SOE software, which operates under the name ClarityElections.com.
The good news is that this firm promptly reports precinct-level detail in downloadable spreadsheet format. As reported by BlackBoxVoting.org in 2008, the bad news is that this centralizes one middleman access point for over 525 jurisdictions in AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, KY, MI, KS, IL, IN, NC, NM, MN, NY, SC, TX, UT, WA. And growing.
As local election results funnel through SOE’s servers (typically before they reach the public elsewhere), those who run the computer servers for SOE essentially get “first look” at results and the ability to immediately and privately examine vote details throughout the USA.
In 2004, many Americans were justifiably concerned when, days before the presidential election, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell redirected Ohio election night results through the Tennessee-based server for several national Republican Party operations.
This is worse: This redirects results reporting to a centralized privately held server which is not just for Ohio, but national; not just USA-based, but global.
A mitigation against fraud by SOE insiders has been the separation of voting machine systems from the SOE results reports. Because most US jurisdictions require posting evidence of results from each voting machine at the precinct, public citizens can organize to examine these results to compare with SOE results. Black Box Voting spearheaded a national citizen action to videotape / photograph these poll tapes in 2008.
With the merger of SOE and SCYTL, that won’t work (if SCYTL’s voting system is used). When there are two truly independent sources of information, the public can perform its own “audit” by matching one number against the other.
These two independent sources, however, will now be merged into one single source: an Internet voting system controlled by SCYTL, with a results reporting system also controlled by SCYTL.
With SCYTL internet voting, there will be no ballots. No physical evidence. No chain of custody. No way for the public to authenticate who actually cast the votes, chain of custody, or the count.So should we trust that whatever election results Scytl gives us are accurate? Of course not. The truth is that there have been all sorts of questions about the integrity of Scytl voting systems.
The following example comes from a recent article posted on westernjournalism.com....
The American advocacy group Project Vote has concluded that SCYTL’s internet voting system is vulnerable to attack from the outside AND the inside, a situation which could result in '…an election that does not accurately reflect the will of the voters…' Talk about having a flair for understatement!There have also been very serious questions about SOE Software. Bev Harris of blackboxvoting.org says that there have been major problems with SOE Software election results in the past....
In Broward County FL, the results reported by Scytl-owned SOE Software in 2008 showed an entire candidate, who was winning, disappear into vapor in the middle of the count, and in Hillsborough County FL and Dallas County TX, votes that had been reported began to disappear.So now we have a combination of SOE Software and Scytl. Considering the questions that have surrounded both firms in the past, it is easy to see why so many voting activists are deeply concerned.
There are a lot of rumors floating around the Internet that George Soros is at least a part owner of Scytl, but so far nobody has come forward with any solid evidence of this.
According to Scytl, the primary investors in the company are Balderton Capital, Nauta Capital and Spinnaker SCR. It is not known at this time whether George Soros has an ownership stake in any of those venture capital firms.
In any event, it is deeply troubling that a Spanish company will have control over the reporting of election results from hundreds of jurisdictions in the United States on election day.
Hopefully there will be no problems and the election results will be 100% honest and accurate.
But what if they are not? Hmmmm.....“Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.” ~ Bruce Coville. Read the full story here.
The Bailout Of The US Postal Service Begins: Cost To Taxpayers – $110,000 Per Union Vote “Saved Or Gained”
The Bailout Of The US Postal Service Begins: Cost To Taxpayers – $110,000 Per Union Vote “Saved Or Gained”.(ZH).A week ago, when reading between the lines of what had heretofore been considered an inevitable USPS episode of austerity in which hundreds of thousands of labor union workers would lose their jobs but in the process would streamline a thoroughly outdated and inefficient US Postal Office bureaucracy, we asked if a US Postal Service bailout was imminent, focusing on the following: “Enter Ron Bloom, Lazard, and the very same crew that ended up getting a taxpayer funded bailout for GM. From the WSJ: “The Postal Service’s proposal to close thousands of post offices and cut back on the number of days that mail is delivered “won’t work“ and would accelerate the agency’s decline, according to the six-page report by Ron Bloom, President Barack Obama’s former auto czar, and investment bank Lazard Ltd., LAZ who were hired by the union in October.” That’s right: after all the huffing and puffing about “sacrifice” and austerity, the labor union took one long look at the only option… and asked what other option is there.” The other option, it turns out courtesy of news from AP, is the first of many incremental bail outs of the US Postal Office, better known in pre-election circles as hundreds of thousands of unionized votes up for the taking, and which could be bought for the low low price of $11 billion in taxpayer money, or $110,000 per vote! And so the latest bailout of yet another terminally inefficient and outdated government entity begins.From AP:
The Senate offered a lifeline to the nearly bankrupt U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday, voting to give the struggling agency an $11 billion cash infusion while delaying controversial decisions on closing post offices and ending Saturday delivery.One would think that the USPS workers would be delighted as a result… One would be wrong. This is merely the beginning:
By a 62-37 vote, senators approved a measure which had divided mostly along rural-urban lines. Over the past several weeks, the bill was modified more than a dozen times, adding new restrictions on closings and cuts to service that rural-state senators said would hurt their communities the most.
The issue now goes to the House, which has yet to consider a separate version of the bill.
“The Postal Service is an iconic American institution that still delivers 500 million pieces of mail a day and sustains 8 million jobs,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., a bill co-sponsor. “This legislation will change the USPS so it can stay alive throughout the 21st century.”
The mail agency, however, criticized the measure, saying it fell far short in stemming financial losses. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said if the bill became law, he would have to return to Congress in a few years to get emergency help.In the meantime, we can now add another zombie to the endless list of insolvent organizations on the government’s dole, whose only saving grace is it has nearly half a million votes that can be bought by the highest bidder.The Senate bill would halt the immediate closing of up to 252 mail-processing centers and 3,700 post offices, part of a postal cost-cutting plan to save some $6.5 billion a year. Donahoe previously said he would begin making cuts after May 15 if Congress didn’t act, warning that the agency could run out of money this fall.
“It is totally inappropriate in these economic times to keep unneeded facilities open. There is simply not enough mail in our system today,” the Postal Service’s board of governors said in a statement. “It is also inappropriate to delay the implementation of five-day delivery.”
The measure would save about half the mail processing centers the Postal Service wants to close, from 252 to 125, allowing more areas to maintain overnight first-class mail delivery for at least three more years. It also would bar any shutdowns before the November elections, protect rural post offices for at least a year, give affected communities new avenues to appeal closing decisions and forbid cuts to Saturday delivery for two years.
At the same time, the Postal Service would get an infusion of roughly $11 billion, basically a refund of overpayments made in previous years to a federal retirement fund. That would give it immediate liquidity to pay down debt to forestall bankruptcy and finance buyouts to 100,000 postal employees.
The agency could make smaller annual payments into a future retiree health benefits account, gain flexibility in trimming worker compensation benefits and find additional ways to raise postal revenue under a new chief innovation officer.
At stake are more than 100,000 jobs, The agency, $12 billion in debt, says it could run out of money for day-to-day operations as soon as this fall, forcing it to shut down some of its services. The mail agency forecasts a record $14.1 billion loss by the end of this year; without changes, it says annual losses will exceed $21 billion by 2016.Yeah, yeah. In the meantime all that matters is that about 100,000 votes have been secured for the incumbent candidate. The cost? Only $11 billion, or $110,000 per vote. To all taxpayers.Hmmmm......Obama: "All the Choices We've Made Have Been the Right Ones".Read the full story here.
Jewish Vigilantes Aid Black and Latino assault Victims in Brooklyn .(Crownheights).In two separate incidents this week, victims of violence were aided by local Orthodox Jewish men in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. On Tuesday, a Jewish man in Crown Heights came to the aid of a latino woman who was being mugged, leading the suspect to flee on foot. The man decided to inform Shomrim – the Jewish civilian patrol group – about the incident, which lead the local police to get involved. Tuesday’s attempted mugging followed an incident on Monday when local students from a Yeshiva witnessed a fight between two African-American boys, which led to one of them being knocked unconscious. While the students were prevented from aiding the injured boy at first, they were able to make their way over and call 911. “They immediately called 911, and stayed with him until an ambulance arrived and took the child to Kings County Hospital. The police arrived at the scene as well, and the Bochurim (orthodox Jewish students) gave a detailed description of what they witnessed for the police report,”Read and see the full story here.
Video - "Farmaggedon" trailer. The Family Farm Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America.
The Family Farm Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America.Read and see the full story here.
Saudis behead and crucify Sudanese national for raping female corpse.(BM).CAIRO: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia beheaded and then crucified a Sudanese national after he was convicted of murdering a Saudi woman and then having sex with her corpse. The man had confessed to murdering the Saudi housewife by strangling her in her sleep. He then had sex with her corpse, stole her money and jewelry and fled after opening the gas cylinder in an attempt to kill the other family members. The court sentenced him to death and crucifixion. He appealed, according to a report in the Saudi Arabian Arabic language daily, Ajel. The appellate court gave him the same sentence, which was upheld by the supreme court and then ultimately endorsed by King Abdullah. The defendant, identified as Abdul Rahman Zain Al Abidin, was given a public execution and crucifixion in the kingdom’s capital Riyadh. The preferred method of execution in Saudi Arabia is beheading by sword.Read the full story here.
Hezbollah boosting Iranian made Ababil ("Swallow") drone unit.(Ynet).Hezbollah has been allocating increased resources towards bolstering its drone unit, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday. The Shiite terror groups reportedly plans to use its unmanned aerial vehicle to attack Israel in case it mounts a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Hezbollah is equipped with Ababil ("Swallow") drones, which are manufactured and provided by Iran. The Ababil has several models, including one that can carry a warhead packed with several dozens of kilograms of explosives. Defense establishment officials expressed concern that Hezbollah would be able to send multiple drones into Israel's airspace and have them crash into targets in the country's north. "Hezbollah is making a specific effort to acquire such (weapons) as part of its offensive lineup against Israel," a security source told Yedioth Ahronoth. "As far as they are concerned, it's a sure thing: The Ababil is a relatively cheap weapon, which the Iranians give them for free, anyway. "It takes a short time to master and its loss doesn't not involve sacrificing human lives. Another advantage for them is that it's a very small aircraft that's hard to detect and shoot down." The first Ababil drones were given to Hezbollah in 2002. The Shiite group had previously launched several of them into Israeli airspace, mostly as a power play. Hezbollah attempted to use the drones during the Second Lebanon War, sending two UAVs, carrying 40-50kg of explosives each into Israeli airspace. The aircrafts were spotted by IAF radars and F-16 jets were scrambled to intercept them. One drone was shot down and the other crashed, causing no harm. IDF sources said that the Air Force's anti-missile lineup has been adapting its defensive doctrines to the increasing threat. Read the full story here.
CISPA passes House in unexpected last-minute vote.(RT).The House of Representatives has approved Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act with a vote count of 248-168. The bill is now headed for the Senate. President Barack Obama will be able to sign or cancel it pending Senate approval.
Initially slated to vote on the bill Friday, the House of Representatives decided to pass Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) Thursday after approving a number of amendments.
Apart from cyber and national security purposes, the bill would now allow the government to use private information obtained through CISPA for the investigation and prosecution of “cybersecurity crime,” protection of individuals and the protection of children. The new clauses define “cybersecurity crime” as any crime involving network disruption or hacking.
“Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cyber security bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a 'cybersecurity crime.' Basically it says the Fourth Amendment does not apply online, at all,” Techdirt's Leigh Beadon said.
Declan McCullagh, correspondent from CNET News, says CISPA will cause more trouble than is immediately apparent.
“The most controversial section of CISPA is the language – that notwithstanding any other portion the of law, companies can share what they want as long as it’s for what they call a ‘cyber security purpose,'" he told RT.
The CISPA battleground in numbers
CISPA was introduced in the House last November. Critics chided the bill, saying its broad wording could allow the government to spy on individual Internet users and block websites that publish vaguely defined ‘sensitive’ data.
The White House issued a statement Wednesday saying President Barack Obama would be advised to veto the bill if he receives it. Apparently, Obama will again pose as an opponent by threatening to veto, like he did with NDAA, before signing it under cover of night.The Obama administration denounces the proposed law for potentially giving the government cyber-sleuthing powers that would allow both federal authorities and private businesses to sneak into inboxes and online activities in the name of combating Internet terrorism tactics.Read the full story here.
Breaking! Series of explosions hits Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk, at least 14 wounded.(Video)(RT). Four explosions have shaken the Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk injuring over a dozen people. The blasts struck a series of locations in the city center. Local authorities have begun a terrorist investigation into the incident. The first explosion went off as a crowded tram pulled into a stop injuring five passengers. Local authorities say it was caused by a bomb planted in a nearby rubbish bin. “The explosion was at a tram stop. The shockwaves smashed the tram’s windows, and the doors buckled on two cars passing by. In one car, the airbags popped out. Police were there in a minute, fire fighters arrived in about five minutes,” writes Master_Tyre, a city web forum user. Forty minutes afterwards a second explosion was reported close to the city’s railway station, wounding seven while the third hit a park injuring one woman. There are no details on the fourth explosion. Local Ukrainian site vgorode.ua reports widespread panic in the city where people are afraid where the next explosion will occur. Traffic has reportedly ground to a halt in the city center as people flee their offices in an attempt to get home. The city’s police have warned citizens to stay indoors. Telephone networks have been inundated with calls of people fearing for the safety of their friends and family.It is unclear exactly how many explosions have hit the city with some local media outlets reporting up to eight. Ukraine is set to host the Euro 2012 football championship in June.Read the full story here.
Video - Latma:Here is a heartfelt apology to Andreas Ias, the Danish International Solidarity Movement activist who was assaulted by Lieutenant Colonel Shalom Eisner.HT: IsraelMatzav.
Egypt: Report on refusal to license US NGOs False.(IMRA). By Haitham Tabei.Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Muhammad al-Dimirdash, legal adviser to the Egyptian Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs and vice chairman of the State Council, has denied that Cairo recently refused to grant licenses to foreign or US organizations to operate in Egypt. Al-Dimirdash explains that the media reports on this issue are based on dated figures and information. Al-Dimirdash has stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that only five foreign organizations applied for licenses in 2012, only one of them satisfied the conditions, and it has been granted a license to operate in Egypt. Official Egyptian Middle East News Agency [MENA] published that the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs refused to grant licenses to operate in Egypt to eight US organizations. This has aroused angry reactions in the civil society against Cairo's severe restrictions on the operation of the Non-Governmental Organizations [NGOs] after nearly four months of raising the issue of foreign NGOs operating in Egypt illegally, and their receiving illegal financing. This was the crisis that made the relations between Cairo and Washington tense for a brief period, until Cairo released the foreigners accused in the case at the beginning of March 2012. According to Al-Dimirdash, the published number of the organizations that were rejected is extremely old, and has been done along the past years, and not only recently." Al-Dimirdash continues: "Most of those organizations were rejected because they did not satisfy or adhere to the conditions of the Egyptian law; also some of them were rejected because of national sovereignty considerations." The official news agency attributed to an official Egyptian source: "The organizations were rejected because their activities are not compatible with the sovereignty of the state over its territories." According to Justice Al-Dimirdash, currently there are 74 NGOs operating in Egypt, including 23 US organizations, which have satisfied the conditions of operating according to the Egyptian private organizations law. Al-Dimirdash reveals that five foreign organizations have submitted new applications for licenses to operate in Egypt. Al-Dimirdash says: "The application of the US NGO, Little Lamb, which cares for marginalized groups, and women's affairs in Nile Delta and Upper Egypt, has been accepted." Al-Dimirdash stresses that currently applications by foreign NGOs are being examined and studied in order to decide them in the light of the law and its rulings. Al-Dimirdash explains that none of these new applications has been rejected so far. Observers say that tightening the restrictions on the work of the human rights organizations, which focused on exposing the human rights violations during the era of the previous regime, has continued during the assumption by the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces [SCAF] of the administration of the country, especially after Cairo launched an extensive campaign against the work of some human rights organizations in December 2011 in what is known in the media as the "case of foreign funding of the civil society organizations." In his turn Al-Dimirdash stresses that Egypt does not hinder the work of the NGOs in the way claimed by the media. Al-Dimirdash says: "All the organizations that have been rejected steer up fanaticism and sentiments hostile to the national spirit, such as the slogans of the Coptic citizenship and Nubian citizenship, which contradict the cohesion of the state." Al-Dimirdash continues: "Some of the rejected organizations also call for values and ideas against the ethics of the society, such as programs for supporting perverts and for homosexual marriage." Cairo has rejected the application of the International Nazareth Evangelical Church, which works in the field of humanitarian relief, in addition to the American Security Institute, Global Education Organization, and Seeds of Peace Organization, also the Coptic Orphans Organization, w hose work focuses on social work, finding ways to help orphan children, and raise their standard of living, and US Latter Day Saints Center. Observers say that Cairo is afraid that some of these organizations, most of which are Christian organizations, might practice evangelical activities; however Al-Dimirdash denies this stressing that no evangelical activities have been observed by any foreign organization in Egypt. In the case of "foreign funding of civil society institutions," 43 human rights activists are on trial before the Egyptian criminal court. The 43 activists include 16 US citizens and 14 Egyptians, who belong to five foreign organizations: US International Republican US Institute, National Democratic Institute, US Freedom House, US International Center for Journalists, and German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Al-Dimirdash explains that currently there are meetings between Government sides and representatives of some of these organizations to discuss the resolution of the crisis through some flexibility and understanding on both sides; however Al-Dimirdash stresses that Cairo will not allow these organizations except through the current law, or they can wait until a new law is ratified. An Egyptian official acquainted with the dossier of the civil society organizations has said that regional and international powers are implementing their own agendas in Egypt, and they are spending millions of pounds for this purpose. The source, who stipulated the condition that he is not named, has said: "Naturally, some of these organizations threaten the national sovereignty through infiltrating the fabric of the Egyptian society, and implementing different agendas on the Egyptian soil." The official added that, "the ideology of spying in the traditional form no longer exists. What happens is infiltration of the societies through the civil society organizations." While press reports say that the application of Carter Center, which aims to deploy monitors and observers of the elections to work in teams across Egypt to monitor and assess the pre-elections preparations has been rejected, the Egyptian official says that the Carter Center can continue its work and monitor the elections without obtaining a license to operate in Egypt, because of the difference between the activity of monitoring the elections and opening a bureau for the center in Cairo. Within the same context, Interpol has said that it has erased arrest warrants issued against employees of US human rights organization accused in the case of "foreign funding" from the Interpol database at the international level. The removal of the names has taken place after the Interpol ruled that including these names was primarily a violation of the ban imposed by Interpol of involvement in political cases. Read the full story here.
Valeria Lukyanova is a model from Ukraine who claims to be the "most famous Russian woman on the Russian-speaking Internet." She has posted a multitude of online content, from photos to YouTube videos to outlandish quips on her personal website. Her YouTube channel, Amatue, has over 1.5 million video views.
This is because she has used plastic surgery to make herself into a "real-life Barbie doll." Some claim that the images she has posted on her blog and her Facebook page are actually digitally altered. And she's not the only Russian woman to attempt to look like the iconic doll.Her indulgence in plastic surgery is hardly unique in Russia, however, where clinics have sprouted up since the 1990s and business is booming, especially in Moscow. Some critics call it "one of the most unregulated areas in Russian health care" and there have even been reports of deaths related to plastic surgery gone wrong.
And the trend has produced its share of disasters, which many a Russian site has been happy to document.Read the full story here.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Metal eating bugs discovered on ISS space station.(MN).Source Nathan Toohey. Micro-organisms capable of eating the International Space Station have been discovered aboard the orbiting space base. "We have come across this at the Mir station and seen it on the ISS - the microflora having an adverse effect on of the structure of the station. These microbes damage not only metals but also polymers. They can lead to equipment failure," Interfax quoted the Russian Academy of Sciences vice president Anatoly Grigoryev as saying on Monday.Hmmm......You think they might be present at Fort knox?Read the full story here.
Video - Denying Terror - Barack Obama is wearing rosy glasses when he says the war on terror is over.
Ezra Levant - Jeffrey Addicott looks at how Barack Obama is wearing rosy glasses when he says the war on terror is over.
Hmmm........Does this mean that they will close Guantanamo prison and release the prisoners?
NY Orthodox Jewish Democrat Simcha Felder: " Obama has been a terrible president,".(CSNY).He’s not an Amigo. He’s not an IDCer. He’s Simcha Felder, political free agent. In an interview last night, Fedler, a Democrat, said he had not made a decision about which party he’ll caucus with in Albany if he wins election to the State Senate in November - and that his choice would rest on which party would provide the most resources to his prospective constituents. Felder, an ex-councilman who is the early favorite to win the heavily Orthodox Jewish district, and whose political plans have sparked intense speculation in local political circles, also seemed to suggest that his decision would be influenced by the outcome of the 2012 elections. He noted that the party holding the majority in Albany has historically held onto the capital’s purse strings. “I don’t see myself as someone who is part of either party, and I can say that to you without lying,” Felder said, adding, “You can assume that based on historical factors, whichever party is in the majority, is probably the one that gets the goods.” The chamber is currently divided 32-29 in favor of Republicans, though four members of the Democratic conference have also broken away to form their own faction, the Independent Democratic Conference. With the Senate so closely divided, Felder also called the hypothetical possibility of being the tie-breaking vote to decide Senate leadership a “dream situation,” since it would allow him to leverage the most resources for his potential the Senate district.
But Felder’s political situation has been growing ever-more complex. Some Democrats close to Felder insist that the ex-councilman will conference with the Democrats regardless of who controls the majority. But other reports have emerged in the Borough Park press that the Senate Republicans, who have built a close relationship with the huge Jewish social service organization Agudath Israel, may well clear their line for Felder in some sort of a political deal.
And former Democratic City Councilman Noach Dear is making noise about running for the Senate seat, most likely as a Democrat, which would further complicate Felder’s situation. Felder says he has been given no assurances by Republicans about the party’s line - which would require the party handing over its Wilson-Pakula endorsement - and suggested that the outcome of a March 20 special election between Republican David Storobin and Democratic City Council Lew Fidler, which is dragging through a lengthy court fight, could be a factor. “I think in the end, all I can tell you is that there are too many variables out there,” Felder said, “and they’re going to be out there for awhile.”
Storobin has said he would run as a Republican in the new “Super Jewish” district if elected, though speculation ismounting that Storobin could end running for the Assembly instead. The only other declared candidate in the Senate race is Nachman Caller, a wealthy but politically unknown Republican, whose campaign circulated a photo of Caller voting in Tuesday’s presidential primary for Republican Mitt Romney. That was also meant highlight the fact that Felder voted in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary for Barack Obama - a vote could prove problematic in the Senate race, since Obama is deeply unpopular in Brooklyn’s Orthodox community. Felder says he now regrets the decision, and would not repeat it. “He’s been a terrible president,” Felder said of Obama. “Unfortunately, I was wrong, and I will certainly not be voting for the president in the upcoming election.” Felder, who cracked frequent jokes throughout the half-hour interview, only seemed to bristle a bit once, when asked about tabloid criticism over his decision - enabled through a loophole in the city charter - to keep his well-paid post as first deputy comptroller in John Liu’s office during the Senate campaign. Felder noted that the move was entirely legal, and suggested, tongue firmly in cheek, that he would stop campaigning during his off-hours when President Obama ceased campaigning during work hours.Hmmmm......The Tide is turning it seems.Read the full story here.