Six Canadian CF-18s Headed To Europe To Bolster NATO Forces Response To Ukraine

Canada

Hey, don’t outshine Barry, he is sending “comfort items”

Via Calgary Herald

Canada announced Thursday it will contribute six CF-18 jet fighters to a NATO air-policing mission in response to the crisis in Ukraine, just as top diplomats from the troubled east European country, the U.S. and Russia announced steps that could ease tensions.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the military contribution, which included the dispatch of up to 20 staff officers to bolster the Canadian presence at NATO headquarters.

NATO requested Canadian participation, the prime minister said.

“This is in response to the situation that is developing there and frankly more generally to the concern that we have on what really is expansionism and militarism on the part of Russia under the presidency of Mr. (Vladimir) Putin,” Harper said.

“I believe this to be a long-term, serious threat to global peace and security and we’re always prepared to work with our allies in NATO and elsewhere.”

At the same time, an intense round of diplomacy in Geveva has produced a tentative agreement that puts on hold — at least temporarily — additional economic sanctions the West had prepared to impose on Russia if the talks were fruitless.

It’s unclear where the fighters will be based.

It was earlier reported early Thursday that the jets and their ground support staff will be based in Lask, Poland, where the U.S. is planning a major military exercise later this year. The air base, located southwest of Warsaw, is central and would allow the fighters to participate in a variety of missions.

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Finally: Scientists Unveil Latest Weapon Against Global Warming, Cow “Fartpacks”…

We’re saved!

Via Daily Mail:

On Friday, the Obama administration stated that it would make a multi-pronged attack on cow flatulence, in an attempt to cut methane emissions.

As a result, windy cows have come under renewed scrutiny by scientists, who plan to capture their harmful emissions and convert them into ‘green’ energy.

But scientists in Argentina believe they have come up with a solution – cow backpacks that can be used to trap the animal’s natural gas.

The ‘fartpacks’ extract 300 litres of methane a day from a tube inserted into the cow’s digestive tract and convert it into enough energy to run a car for 24 hours.

The tube running to the animals’ stomachs collects the gas inside the backpacks, which are then hung from the roof of the corral for analysis.

The systems have been under development by Argentina’s National Institute for Agricultural Technology (INTA) for a number of years and are still at proof-of-concept stage.

Video: Airstrike On Taliban Mortar Team…

Nice new clip.

Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run For Governor

Beau Biden

Beau is a legacy

Via The Daily Mail

Vice President Joe Biden’s eldest son, Beau Biden, said Thursday that he has decided not to seek reelection as Delaware attorney general this year and instead plans to run for governor in 2016.

‘Over the past few months, as I’ve been planning to run for re-election, I have also been giving a great deal of thought to running for governor in 2016,’ Biden said in an e-mail to supporters Thursday morning.

‘What started as a thought — a very persistent thought — has now become a course of action that I wish to pursue.’

Biden, who underwent surgery at a Texas cancer center last year, had said previously that he would seek a third term as attorney general.

‘After careful consideration, I have concluded that it is not right to ask for your support in 2014, knowing that my focus would be divided between doing my job as attorney general while at the same time running as a candidate for governor,’ he said in the statement.

‘Therefore, I am announcing today that I will not seek re-election as your attorney general this November.’

The announcement by Biden, 45, caught Delaware’s political establishment off guard. He was seen as a virtual shoo-in for re-election.

‘I don’t want to use the word disappointed. I’m surprised, as everybody else is,’ John Daniello, chairman of the Delaware Democratic Party, said in a phone interview.

‘But on the other hand, I truly believe that he’s an honest young man in terms of just telling everybody what his ambitions are,” Daniello added. “I just admire the hell out of him for looking at the situation and saying ‘I’m going to play this thing straight up.”

Molly Magarik, a campaign spokeswoman for Biden, said the attorney general was not available for comment Thursday.

Magarik said Biden had been planning to run for a third term until recently but that he also has been mulling a run for governor.

‘He talked to his family, and they came to the decision that yes, that’s what they want to do,’ she said.

Biden, who suffered a mild stroke in 2010, was hospitalized last August after becoming weak and disoriented during an Indiana vacation. He was later flown to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, where doctors removed what was described as a small lesion.

Biden has refused to discuss his latest health scare, but the Texas center’s head of neuro-oncology gave him ‘a clean bill of health’ in November.

Pelosi Pushes Amnesty By Washing Feet of Immigrants…

Groan-inducing.

HT: Twitchy

Internet Gets Serious: Police Raid Woman’s Home For Impersonating Politician On Twitter

twitter_dead

What? I gotta delete @B4R4cK0b4m4 now too?!

Via ArsTechnica:

Illinois police seized computers and mobile phones while raiding a house whose owner was suspected of parodying the town mayor on Twitter.

In all, five people following the Tuesday evening raid were taken to the Peoria Police Department station for questioning, local media report.

“They just asked me about the Twitter account, if I knew anything about it,” Michelle Pratt, 27, told theJournal Star.

She said she was in the shower when officers arrived.

“They brought me in like I was a criminal,” she added. “They said they had a search warrant and took all the electronic devices that had Internet access. They said there had been an Internet crime that occurred at this residence.”

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Assploding Hypocrite: NYT’s Paul Krugman, Who Makes $25K Month To Do Nothing, Whines About “Extreme Inequality”…

krugman

And that $25,000 per month is on top of his NYT salary.

Via Raw Story:

Americans may be living in the most unequal society that has ever existed, said economist Paul Krugman.

The New York Times columnist and Princeton University professor said Thursday there is zero evidence to suggest extreme inequality is good for economic growth but plenty to suggest it’s not.

“Nobody wants us to become Cuba (but) the question is, do we have to have levels of inequality that are getting close to being the highest levels anywhere, ever,” Krugman told Bloomberg News. “We’re really starting to set new records here. Is that a good thing for anybody?”

The Nobel Prize winner said this troubling trend began around 1980, when President Ronald Reagan was elected and began implementing supply-side economic policies that promised more wealth for everyone if tax burdens were lifted for the rich.

“The fact of the matter is, since inequality began soaring, around 1980, the bottom half of America has pretty much been left behind,” Krugman said. “There has not been a rising tide that raised all boats.”

But he said American political leadership had throughout history set corrective paths whenever wealth became too unbalanced.

“If we could have modern politicians speaking forthrightly about the danger of high concentration of wealth, as Teddy Roosevelt did in 1910, we would be a long toward a good solution for this,” Krugman said, “and I guess I believe that America has a tremendous redemptive capacity and ability to take a look and say, ‘OK, in the end, what are our ideals? What do we want our society to look like?’”

Pic Of Day: Obama The Third Grader

President Obama Welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in Washington, D.C.

At least he was at a Wounded Warrior event.

This is our President…Save us all.

Obama Accuses States Resisting Obamacare of “Political Spite”…

More petty insults from the pettiest president in history.

Via CNS News:

Republicans “still can’t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working,” President Obama told a news conference on Thursday. He also took aim at states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs:

“This does frustrate me — states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid for no other reason than political spite. You got 5 million people who could be having health insurance right now at no cost to these states — zero cost to these states — other than ideological reasons they have chosen not to provide health insurance for their citizens.”

But some governors, pointing to President Obama’s own broken promises, simply don’t believe the government funding will be there.

Keep reading…

Sharpton Links Anyone Who Doubts Obamacare Enrollment Numbers To 9/11 “Truthers” And “Birthers”…

Says the dumbest man on cable news.

Via Newsbusters:

On Wednesday, MSNBC’s Al Sharpton scoffed at the latest allegations that the White House is trying to cook the books on ObamaCare numbers by changing the census questions.

“I mean, who else is in this latest conspiracy, the Easter Bunny?” he quipped, in an interview with former Democratic Ohio governor Ted Strickland. He said those disputing the current ObamaCare enrollment figures were like “birthers” and “truthers.”

FRIDAY OPEN THREAD…

Happy Good Friday!

Open

Crossing SC/NC Border For Health Care Not As Simple As It Seemed On BlueChoice Network

NC Border

They wouldn’t listen. Wait until you go on vacation out of State and have to purchase travel insurance

Via The State

S.C. resident Daniel Martin picked a BlueChoice HealthPlan insurance policy through the new Health Insurance Marketplace in part because his North Carolina primary-care physician was on the provider list.

Martin and his physician’s office even made calls to BlueChoice to confirm it, and his first visit to the doctor was covered.

Then, last week, Martin was diagnosed with a ruptured disc in his lower neck and scheduled for immediate surgery, only to find the S.C.-N.C. state line was a huge hurdle.

In the end, BlueChoice is going to cover his surgery, and its parent company, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, is admitting its online list of providers was confusing, even to its own customer-service agents. The website will be updated, but S.C. customers like Martin who signed up because they thought they could use North Carolina doctors still will face hurdles.

The Columbia-based insurer plans to reach out to BlueChoice members who have encountered similar situations to clarify its provider network and out-of-state policy, said BlueCross BlueShield of S.C. spokeswoman Patti Embry-Tautenhan.

Martin appreciates BlueCross BlueShield has understood his argument. But he is frustrated at the delay in his surgery, which had been scheduled for Monday, was rescheduled for Tuesday when his coverage first was denied and now is scheduled for next Monday.

“This is probably an overstatement, but I could be paralyzed by next Monday,” said Martin, 63, of Lake Wylie. “The neurosurgeon had told me we needed to get this done as quickly as possible. I went in on Friday, and he cleared his schedule to do it on Monday.”

This isn’t the typical tug-of-war with an insurance company to cover a certain procedure. Private insurance companies had to create new products and set up new purchasing procedures for the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. It was inevitable there would be bumps in the road.

The Martin case made it clear that BlueChoice’s online list of provider networks was unclear, even to some of the company’s employees.

“For health insurance to work effectively, there are procedures that must be followed,” Embry-Tautenhan said. “We recognize that especially for people new to health insurance, those rules can sometimes be confusing.”

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Democrats Warned: Don’t Say Word “Recovery”…

Not sure who they think they’re fooling.

Via ABC News:

Election-year memo to Democratic candidates: Don’t talk about the economic recovery. It’s a political loser.

So say Democratic strategists in a blunt declaration that such talk skips over “how much trouble people are in, and doesn’t convince them that policymakers really understand or are even focusing on the problems they continue to face.”

In addition, Stan Greenberg, James Carville and others wrote that in head-to-head polling tests the mere mention of the word “recovery” is trumped by a Republican assertion that the Obama administration has had six years to get the economy moving and its policies haven’t worked.

Coincidentally or not, Democrats have largely shelved the “R” word.

President Barack Obama’s only utterance of it in recent weeks was on April 8, and it was in the context of accusing Republicans of blocking progress on issues that “would help with the economic recovery and help us grow faster.”

Additionally, at a news conference on March 26 where they announced a campaign-season agenda, neither Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., nor most of the other five lawmakers present uttered the word “recovery.”

The strategic advice comes at a time Democrats are working to maximize turnout, particularly among women, for the fall elections, when they face a determined challenge from Republicans vying to add control of the Senate to their seemingly secure House majority.

HT: Drudge

Washington Post: “Sebelius For Senate? It Makes No Sense”

BlXs9VgCQAAJVv5

Likely to be the most unavailable campaign website ever.

Via Washington Post:

The New York Times’s Jeremy W. Peters reports Wednesday that, according to an anonymous source, outgoing Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (D) is looking at a potential run for Senate back in her home state of Kansas.

Sebelius was a popular two-term governor of the state, which has little in the way of a Democratic bench and hasn’t recruited a big name to run against Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).
But Sebelius’s path to victory is, to put it lightly, hard to see. And there seem to be all kinds of reasons for her not to run. Here are a few of them:

Keep reading…

AFL-CIO Chief Calls Socialist Sen. Elizabeth Warren The “Prototype’ of A Good President…

In the old Soviet Union.

Via The Hill:

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Tuesday that “it don’t get no better” than Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) when it comes to possible holders of the Oval Office.

“In my opinion she is the prototype of a person we would want to be president of the United States,” Trumka wrote of Warren in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session Tuesday. “She has a very well defined set of values and unlike many politicians, she actually sticks by those values and fights to implement them. In short, it don’t get no better.”

Warren generates a lot of energy among liberal Democrats, stoking speculation about a 2016 run, but she has said she is not running.

Dozens of Widows Dropped From Their Health Care Due To Obamacare In Alabama…

And Obama wants Dems to “forcefully defend” this train wreck.

Via Weekly Standard:

“More than two dozen widows who were married to retired Madison county employees, lost their health insurance coverage earlier this year. And now one commissioner says it’s time to give it back to them. The change was sparked by the new federal health care law, but whether or not coverage can actually be restored really isn’t clear,” said the anchor.

Says the reporter, “Madison county commissioner Roger Jones says no one realized just how much the new federal health care law would change things, especially for the spouses of some of his former employees.”

“A lot of these people are on fixed incomes, low fixed incomes. Some of them are living on Social Security and very little else and health insurance is very important to them,” says the county commissioner.

Keep reading…

Revolutionary War Tunnel Preserved, Explored In Ninety Six, SC

American ingenuity and can do spirit. Click photo for video96 tunnel

Via FOX Carolina

Historians and firefighters are working to preserve a siege tunnel that dates back to the Revolutionary War in the South Carolina town of Ninety Six.

In 1781 Patriots built the tunnel with the plan to burrow underneath the British-controlled Star Fort and plant explosives.

And now in 2014, Greenwood firefighter Russel Cline climbed through the tunnel with specialized breathing equipment and support from above ground to take a look at the tunnel dug more than 200 years ago.

“The air down there is almost as good as the air up here,” Cline said.

His job was to clear the way for researchers from the University of South Florida, who plan to use modern mapping and photographic technology to create new 3D models of the tunnel.

Dr. Lorie Collins is leading the team.

“We can capture whole landscapes in hours, minutes as opposed to traditional archaeology that would be out here for weeks and months,” Collins said.

She said the data will be used to stabilize the tunnel and it will help visitors have a more interactive experience. Though the public can’t go in, she said the tunnel will help bring the past to life for people, telling a big part of the battle and history of the site.

The tunnel was not destroyed as planned because the British troops turned back the siege before explosives could be planted.

John Slaughter with the National Park Service said the tunnel withstood the test of time and is a testament to the bravery of the men fighting during the war and said it is a must-see for anyone in the Upstate.

And those wanting to take a closer look at the work being down at the historic site can visit for a special Archaeology Day on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more info on the event and historic national site.

The Ninety Six National Historic Site preserves the history of the Revolutionary War in the Upstate. Dating back to 1780, loyalists to the King of England began construction on the Star Fort.

The fort was finished in early 1781. The fort’s engineer Lt. Henry Haldane decided that an eight-point star fort would be better for the site than a tradition square fort. The fort’s star shape allowed musket and cannon fire in all directions.

Modern-day visitors can take a look at the fort as it stood more than 230 years ago, as the fort’s walls are a little weatherworn, but they are original. No major reconstruction has been done since its construction and the Battle of Star Fort in June 1781, during the Siege of Ninety Six.

The siege began on May 22 as patriots arrived, hoping to seize the loyalist-held Star Fort, the town of Ninety Six and the Stockade Fort.

Initially, the patriots tried to take the Star Fort first by digging approach trenches. But as the exhaustion and work it took to build them in an effort to take the fort wore on, they took on a second tactic by building a Maham Tower on June 13.

From atop the 30-foot tower, patriot sharpshooters shot down at the loyalist, who tried but could not burn the tower down in defense.

The third patriot tactic was the construction of a mine that traveled underneath the fort so they could blow it up with explosives. The shaft was not completed and is the tunnel that still stands today that researchers are working to map with new technology.

The Patriots stormed the fort on June 18 in the Battle of Star Fort, battling 60 loyalists in hand-to-hand combat, but the assault was called off after 45 minutes of fighting. The siege was ultimately called off and the Patriots retreated as more Loyalists approached from Charleston.

Man Will Get Warning Instead Of Originally Issued $525 Citation For $.89 Drink Refill At VA Medical Center In SC

Citation

The cafeteria is heavily patrolled and secure

Via WCSC

Officials with the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston say a North Charleston man who was initially federally charged with a $525 fine for an $.89 drink refill will instead be given a warning.

“In reviewing the case, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center has determined a warning in lieu of a citation is sufficient in this case,” a statement released by the VA stated on Thursday.

Christopher Lewis, an on-site construction worker, said he didn’t know refills at the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston came at a price, and Wednesday, during his lunch hour, he was originally slapped with federal charges. The ticket was issued by the Federal Police Force at the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston after Lewis refilled his soda without paying the $0.89. A hospital spokesperson on Wednesday called it a “theft of government property.”

“Every time I look at the ticket, it’s unbelievable to me,” Lewis said on Wednesday. “I can’t fathom the fact that I made a $0.89 mistake that cost me $525.”

Lewis is now out of a job. According to a hospital spokesperson, signs are posted in the cafeteria informing patrons that refills aren’t free. Lewis says he never noticed the signs and admits he had refilled his drink without paying on other occasions. He says after he went back for seconds on Wednesday, a man who identified himself as the chief of police, stopped him.

“As I was filling my cup up, I turned to walk off and a fella grabbed me by the arm and asked me was I going to pay for that, and I told him I wasn’t aware that I had to pay for that.”

Lewis says he tried to pay the $0.89 right there, but wasn’t allowed to. He says he wasn’t given the chance to pay the cashier either.

“I never had an option to make right what I had done wrong.”

He says he was taken to a room, given the $525 ticket for shoplifting and told not to return to the property.

“I’m done there, at the VA hospital. I’m not allowed to go on the premises anymore. I asked him can I still work on the job site and just bring my lunch and not got to the cafeteria and he said he wanted me off the premises.”

A hospital spokesperson says it was her understanding that Lewis was aggressive during the confrontation.

The medical center originally released the following statement on Wednesday:

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is fortunate to have a highly trained Federal police force to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and employees. As Federal police they are responsible for enforcing the law. Today a Federal citation was issued for shoplifting in the VA cafeteria to an individual who stated to VA police he had not paid for refills of beverages on multiple occasions, even though signs are posted in the cafeteria informing patrons refills are not free. Shoplifting is a crime. The dollar amount of the ticket is not determined by VA as it is a Federal citation. The citation may be paid or the recipient may choose to appear in Federal court to contest it.

Lewis and his fiancé have contacted the Internal Affairs Office in Columbia. He says he will contest the fine in federal court.

“It’s about pretty much I guess you would say getting your face back. I want everybody to know that I made a simple mistake, that I’m not a thief, that I’m not dishonest. I’m trying to do the right thing.”

Detroit Homeowner Shoots And Kills Suspect During Home Invasion

Detroit invasion

The tax payer relief shot is becoming a common occurrence in Detroit

Via Detroit FREEP

A man suspected of being a getaway driver is dead after being shot as burglary suspects fled a home this morning on Detroit’s west side and then drove into another house, injuring a woman there, police said.

It appears to be the latest example of Detroiters fatally shooting intruders.

After shots were fired this morning, the suspect’s Dodge minivan punched a large hole in the side of the second house on the southern corner of Glastonbury Avenue and Lancashire Street. Police arrived to find the driver dead on the scene, Detroit Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody said.

Two other suspects fled, Woody said. The suspects had broken through a window on the side of the first home, also on Glastonbury Avenue, earlier.

The residents of the first home who had been playing video games in the basement shot at the suspects as they came downstairs, Woody said. The suspects ran to the front of the house to escape and kicked a locked security door off its hinges on their way out. When they got outside, they turned and fired shots at the residents before entering the van, Woody said.

The residents returned fire, hitting the van and its driver.

“The driver hit the gas and drove over the median into the house across the street,” Woody said.

Tracks could be seen this morning leading from a smashed yield sign through the yard into the second house.

Damon Bradley, 32, said his 29-year-old sister was inside that house when the van drove into it. His sister was injured and taken to a nearby hospital.

“It’s almost like a bad dream,” he said. “You don’t expect to be waking up to a call of this magnitude.”

The part of the home the van hit was a bathroom, Bradley said. He said his sister was near the bathroom when the vehicle plowed through a brick wall. Bradley grew up in the house, which belongs to his family.

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Hillary Clinton Tells Illegal Immigrant She Is “Incredibly Brave” For Being In This Country Illegally…

Sigh…

Via Mediaite:

At the same Clinton Foundation-sponsored event Thursday where Chelsea Clinton announced her first pregnancy to the world, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a question from a young, 19-year-old woman who chose to publicly reveal her status as an undocumented immigrant. “That was incredibly brave,” Clinton told the woman after she shared her story. [...]

She asked Clinton “what in your sense is essential for immigration reform” to help girls like her overcome this very different type of “glass ceiling.”

“Oh Nova,” Clinton responded as the audience applauded. “That was incredibly brave. And I thank you for doing that because it’s important to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. That’s one of the big hopes I have, is that we can get back to being a country where people can understand what others are going through and have empathy for it and really try to help each other.”

Keep reading…

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