Despite No Temperature Growth Over Last 17 Years Dem Sen. Diane Feinstein Claims Earth Is Warming Faster Than Ever…
From the Senate Dems all-night “talkathon”:
Via Tom Nelson
From the Senate Dems all-night “talkathon”:
Via Tom Nelson
Whether they are terrorists or not, it’s a little unsettling to see people so easily smuggled onto planes and into Europe.
Via Fox News:
Interpol said Tuesday that the two passengers who used stolen passports to board a Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared early Saturday morning were Iranians seeking asylum in Europe.
Interpol secretary general Ronald K. Noble identified the men as Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29. Noble said that the two men had traveled to Malaysia from Tehran using Iranian passports, but had secured stolen Italian and Austrian passports in Kuala Lumpur for their journey to Beijing and Amsterdam, for which both had tickets and planned to travel together.
Malaysian authorities said that Nourmohammadi planned to proceed from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, Germany, where his mother lives. The woman contacted authorities when her son failed to arrive as planned. The BBC reported that Seyedmohammaderza’s intended final destination was Copenhagen, Denmark.
Via The Hill:
President Obama faced off with Zach Galifianakis in the latest episode of the comedian’s awkward, antagonistic web talk show “Between two Ferns” on Tuesday in the latest bid to promote ObamaCare enrollment for young Americans.
The show features Galifianakis badgering celebrities with awkward and uncomfortable questions about their career and private lives, and the president was no exception.
The “Hangover” star asked Obama whether his presidential library would be located in Kenya. He also asked why the president, who recently told The New Yorker he wouldn’t let his hypothetical son play football, why he assumed his son wouldn’t be a nerd like him.
“Do you think a woman like Michelle would marry a nerd?” Obama, feigning anger, responded. “Why don’t you ask her where she thinks I’m a nerd.”
“Can I?” Galifianakis responded.
“No,” Obama said. “I’m not going to let her near you.”
Asked by the comedian if he desired a third term, Obama swiped back again.
“If I ran a third time it would be sort of like doing a third ‘Hangover’ movie – didn’t really work out very well, did it?” the president asked.
Another game of guess the political party
Via FOX News
A broker who says he gave $36,000 to Arkansas’ former treasurer to help her during a rough patch testified at her federal corruption trial Monday that he received around $2.5 million in commissions for business he did for the state.
Bond dealer Steele Stephens said he gave money to then-Treasurer Martha Shoffner as a friend, and her lawyer worked Monday to illustrate that the money was given to her as a friend and not with the intent to bribe her. Stephens said he knew the payments were wrong.
Shoffner faces 14 counts alleging bribery and extortion. She has pleaded not guilty and said during a court hearing last May that she did not steer any extra state business toward Stephens because of his generosity. Stephens had testified Friday that he wanted to help Shoffner years ago after her mother died and she lost an apartment and access to a state vehicle.
What the ….?
Via Daily Surge:
Democrat Rep. Luis Gutierrez really didn’t want to answer questions about President Obama repeatedly changing major portions of Obamacare without congressional authorization. In fact, rather than give his take on the myriad delays issued to the health-care law, Gutierrez instead whistled strange melodies to himself and scurried to his vehicle.
“If the Affordable Care Act is so affordable, why does the White House keep delaying it without congressional approval?” Daily Surge publisher Jason Mattera asked the Illinois Congressman.
The usually verbose Gutierrez had nothing substantive to say: “Call the office” and “I don’t have time” were his initial responses. Gutierrez was also asked if individuals, not just the business community, should be granted relief from Obamacare’s onerous mandates.
Via Turkish Daily News:
Turkish ruling party lawmaker and former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan has said he would understand if a Jew or an atheist were behind the Dec. 17 graft operation, questioning how a Muslim could undertake such an operation.
Speaking during a public rally on Saturday, Çağlayan, who resigned after being implicated in a highly publicized corruption operation launched on Dec. 17, 2013, said in Mersin’s Tarsus district that the primary target of the corruption investigation is to halt the settlement process aimed at ending decades-old conflict between the Turkish state and a terrorist organization.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and people around him have described the investigation as a “coup against an elected government” and have vowed to “bury the allegations in the ballot box” in the March 30 municipal elections.
“The nation sees very well what kind of mentality we are fighting against. There are many things that I can tell you. But I would understand if a Jew, an atheist, a Zoroastrian would do all these things to us. Shame on them if these things are done by those who claim to be Muslim. How can a Muslim do this?” Çağlayan was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera Turk.
They can thank his policies.
Via The Hill:
The election is coming, the election is coming!
That’s the message coming from President Obama as he tries desperately to rouse Democrats out of a midterm election stupor that could cost his party control of the Senate — and bury his agenda once and for all.
Obama has increasingly sounded like the nerdy kid in a bad horror movie constantly warning his friends to stay out of danger as he’s called on the Democratic base to not be complacent in 2014.
“You’ve got to pay attention to the states,” he begged at a recent fundraiser for the Democratic Governors Association. Obama lamented that Democrats don’t think state-level races in the 2014 midterms are “sexy enough.”
Raising cash for Senate Democrats in Virginia, Obama said Democrats tend to get “a little sleepy” and “distracted.”
“We’re good at Senate and House elections during presidential years — it’s something about midterms,” Obama said. “I don’t know what it is about us.”
And at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Boston, Obama said poor turnout could lead the party’s candidates to get “walloped.”
“It’s happened before and it could happen again,” said Obama, who remembers all too well the shellacking his party took in 2010, when it lost control of the House.
A $4 million ransom was reportedly paid to the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front for the release of 13 Greek Orthodox nuns that were held by the rebel group for four months, Lebanese media reported on Monday.
In addition to that, some 150 imprisoned Syrian women were to be released in exchange for the nuns from Syrian government jails, along with three other women were taken from their convent in the Christian-dominated town of Maaloula during clashes in December.
The nuns’ release was reportedly delayed because the kidnappers added further conditions before agreeing to hand over the hostages.
They were released early Monday in a rare deal between the Syrian government and rebels of the Nusra Front, mediated by the Gulf country of Qatar, traditionally a rebel supporter.
The freed nuns arrived in Damascus on Monday morning, where they received a warm welcome at the Church of the Cross in the predominantly Christian neighborhood of Qassaa, official news agency SANA reported.
“All of Syria is happy today (for their return),” Bishop Luka al Khoury told Reuters. “These are women who do nothing but pray…They don’t have weapons or bombs. On the contrary, they pray for people to be safe and secure.”
Giving and not taking
Via Allen B. West
The reason why I make such a dogged and determined stand for America is because of what this country has done for me.
When I consider the incredible opportunities this great nation has afforded me over my entire life, it just makes my chest swell with pride — and unlike First Lady Michelle Obama, this isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way.
Sunday evening I landed at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut and was driven to Old Saybrook where I’m here to do the audio recording for my book Guardian of the Republic.
But what is so amazing is where I’m staying: the Deacon Timothy Pratt Bed and Breakfast in the lovely antique Library Room. In 1746 when this home was constructed no one could have ever imagined that 268 years later I would be sitting here documenting this phenomenal experience. Yet, here I am the kid from the Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta chilling out at Deacon Pratt’s place.
This morning I took a nice run down Main Street to the Connecticut River, crossed over Bridge Street and gazed towards the South Cove.
This, ladies and gentlemen is the true America. The exceptional America. Not the contrived “social justice” and “equality of outcomes” America into which Barack Obama seeks to transform our Republic. This is the America that says there are no limits on what you can do or what you can become as an individual.
What a shame.
Via Daily Mail:
A British rapper who joined rebels fighting the Syrian regime has claimed he was kidnapped, tortured and robbed by members of rival Islamic terror groups.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, walked out of his family’s £1million home in Maida Vale, west London, last year to join militant groups, telling them he was ‘leaving everything for the sake of Allah’.
Now Bary – whose music has featured on BBC Radio 1 – has posted on Twitter that he and another Briton were abducted and robbed, with their money, phones and guns stolen by other jihadists.
Bary, who posts under the name ‘Terrorist’, said: ‘Me & Abu Hussein al britani got kidnapped /tortured by FSA/IF scum they stole our 4 ak’s and a 7mm, my vechile & our phones and cash.’
The tweet was posted last month. A Foreign Office spokesman said he had no details on the claims.
Maduro waning …
Constitutionally-enshrined affirmative action.
Via Campus Reform:
The University of California may be able to consider race, gender, and national origin when selecting students for admission if a state constitutional amendment passes this November.
The proposed amendment, SCA-5, would nullify restrictions imposed by Proposition 209, which restricts admission standards on the basis of “race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.” Proposition 209 was originally approved in 1996 in order to prohibit state institutions from giving preferential treatment to select individuals for public employment, public contracting, or public education.
SCA-5 has to pass the California State Assembly to appear as a referendum on the ballot in November. State Senator Edward Hernandez (D) authored the legislation as a response to the decrease in minority enrollment within the UC system.
The UC Board of Regents will only take a stance on SCA-5 if it makes it to the ballot, Shelly Meron, a spokeswoman for the UC Office of the President, told The Daily Nexus, UC Santa Barbara’s student-run newspaper.
Additionally, any policy changes would have to go through a long implementation process in the UC system, where it would be have to be reviewed and approved by the by the Board of Regents and Academic Senate, she said.
Originality continues to elude the left.
Via LA Times:
[A]nd all those fabricated Obamacare horror stories wholesaled by Republican and conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act and their aiders and abetters in the right-wing press? Their purpose is to sow doubt about the entire project of healthcare reform; if the aim were to identify specific shortcomings of the act, they’d have to accompany every story with a proposal about how to fix it.
Proctor came to the study of agnotology through his study of the Nazi scientific establishment and subsequently of the tobacco industry’s defensive campaign.
Early in his career, he told me, he asked an advisor if Nazi science was an appropriate topic of research. “Of course,” he was told. “Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is scholarship.” As part of his scholarship, Proctor says he ”watches Fox News all the time.” [...]
As Stanton A. Glantz of UC San Francisco documented last year, the tobacco industry was deeply involved in the evolution of the tea party movement, which promoted some of the industry’s cherished aims, such as fighting tobacco taxes and anti-smoking laws.
“The Tea Party of the late 2000s has become the ‘movement’” envisioned by a Reynolds executive 10 years earlier, Glantz concluded, “grounded in patriotic values of ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’ to change how people see the role of ‘government’ and ‘big business’ in their lives.”
Given the torrent of misinformation washing about the public space and the multiplicity of pathways for its distribution, is there any hope for beating back the tide? Agnotologists are divided. “I don’t see any easy out,” says UCLA’s Wise. “All of the forces are on the side of undermining public trust in science.”
Nuclear scientists escaping the Israeli assassins.
The tickets of the two men traveling with fake passports on Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 were purchased by an Iranian man in Tehran, according to a report by The Financial Times on Monday.
The tickets for the flight, which disappeared off the coast of Vietnam on Saturday, were booked by a Mr. Ali through the Thai travel agency Horizon Travel. The agency has stated that Mr. Ali was a businessman who has worked with them for the past three years.
Originally Mr. Ali asked to book both tickets for “friends” on the cheapest flights – two separate flights at the time. However, he did not confirm the purchase and was forced to re-order.
The travel agency said that the second time both tickets were booked on Malaysia Airlines because they were the cheapest flights at the time. The end destination for both passengers was Europe.
According to Malasyian Minister of Defense Hishamuddin Hussein, photographs of both of the men traveling under false identities were been revealed to US officials in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Speculation has been raised as to the possibility of a terror-motivated hijacking, although no supporting evidence has been discovered. The fact that some of the electronic signal evidence shows the plane may have attempted to turn back towards Kuala Lumpur points to a technical problem rather than terrorism.
Political correctness rears its ugly head. Update to a previous story
A military judge ruled Monday that the U.S. Army improperly interfered with a decision to reject an offer by Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair to plead guilty to lesser charges in his sexual assault case.
The judge, Col. James C. Pohl, ruled that Army officials exerted “unlawful command influence’’ when a three-star general turned down Sinclair’s offer before the trial. He gave defense attorneys the option of renewing Sinclair’s original plea offer or a different plea offer; in any case, the judge said, the case must be overseen by a new command authority.
Evidence of command decisions in the case did not come to light until after Sinclair’s accuser, a fellow Army officer, testified Friday that Sinclair sexually assaulted her and threatened to kill her and her family if she disclosed their three-year sexual affair.
Defense attorneys learned of the new evidence over the weekend, when Army lawyers turned over emails from Army lawyers and the three-star general.
“We’re in a rather unusual place,” the judge said Monday.
The defense has contended that the Army trumped up charges against Sinclair in response to intense political pressure to show that it is cracking down on sexual abuse. Sinclair was charged at a time of heightened political and public concern about a surge of sexual violence in the military.
Pohl last week dismissed an earlier defense motion to drop all charges because of unlawful command influence. But that was before the incriminating emails were aired in court Monday morning.
Probably the least shocking thing you will read all day.
Via Christian Post:
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” fails to use objective criteria in determining which organizations should be labeled a “hate group,” George Yancey, professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, finds in a new study, “Watching the Watchers: The Neglect of Academic Analysis of Progressive Groups,” published in the January issue of the journal Academic Questions.
SPLC’s list dubiously lists Family Research Council as a hate group while ignoring anti-Christian groups that use similar rhetoric, which demonstrates that the list is more about mobilizing liberals than providing an objective source for hate groups, Yancey argues. SPLC has escaped critical analysis of its work in academia because of a liberal bias among academicians, the study additionally claims.
SPLC’s Hatewatch has become the definitive guide among some scholars, authors and media organizations to what is, or is not, a “hate group.” Conservatives have long criticized the list for labeling social conservative organizations, such as Family Research Council, as hate groups.
FRC’s appearance on the list gained national attention in 2012 when a gunman, Floyd Corkins, entered FRC headquarters with the intent of killing everyone there. FRC’s building manager, Leo Johnson, subdued Corkins and was shot in the process. Corkins targeted FRC after finding the group on Hatewatch. SPLC has continued to label FRC a hate group even after the shooting.
All the groups listed on Hatewatch, with the exception of black separatists, Yancey notes, are either political or religious conservatives. Yancey believes this is because SPLC is a liberal organization and it is using subjective criteria to choose which groups belong on the list.
“The subjective nature of the criteria for determining a hate group provides a conceptual structure more vulnerable to social bias than an objective criteria applying to groups across a wide political, cultural, and religious spectrum,” he wrote.
Yes, the bossiest woman in America wants you to stop using the word bossy.
Note who Mooch uses a picture of . . . Mooch.
Update to this story.
Via Catholic Online:
More and more Iranian women are doing away with their national dress code, and more are being seen without their mandated head coverings, hijabs. The campaign group Justice for Iran, or JFI says nearly half a million other girls and women have been warned by special police patrols. More are denouncing this as “a systematic and widespread human rights abuse.” There are numerous accounts of girls and women who have been harassed, arrested or beaten for daring to go without.
Activists say that hijab laws violate numerous international treaties as well as Iran’s own constitution. Two notable examples are when Iranian film actress Marzieh Vafamehr appeared with her head uncovered in “My Tehran for Sale,” an Australian film critical of her home country. She was sentenced to three months in jail and a hefty fine.
In addition, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was forbidden from flying to Italy to receive a human rights prize. She sent a video-taped acceptance speech — and was summarily fined for not wearing a hijab in the recording.
More than 30,000 women and girls have been arrested over the last decade for violating the law. Some detainees were as young as 12 years old — and in fact many of those detained are under 18. In a new report, police statistics from 2010 show almost 47 percent of those arrested for hijab violations were aged between 16 and 20.
Human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr, co-author of the report says that the number of girls and women who disobey the law shows the strong resistance to forced hijab, especially among the younger generation.
“Iran spends millions of dollars a year in enforcing these laws. It’s a serious and ongoing battle between the authorities and women,” Sadr says, who lives in exile in London.
“I know a lot of women who have been arrested for hijab. They have left Iran because they feel they cannot tolerate this any more.”
Once the Democrats are done with tonight’s seance, the ice will have melted.
Via Ice Age Now
“The only open water within miles is attracting thousands of ducks and bald eagles looking to eat the ducks.”
Located mainly along the shores Vermont and New York, but partially situated in Quebec, Lake Champlain is the 6th largest lake in the United States.
As of February 13, the National Weather Service in Vermont estimated that Lake Champlain was 99 percent frozen over.
National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Loconto said it’s the most ice on the lake since 2007, the last time the lake is believed to have frozen over completely.
Update as of 9 Mar 14
As of today, “Lake Champlain is frozen solid, except for two stretches of open water where two ferries carry passengers between Vermont and New York,” according to the Associated Press. “The only open water within miles is attracting thousands of ducks and bald eagles looking to eat the ducks.”
A century ago the lake would routinely freeze over during the winter. In the 1990s it froze completely only three times.
Although it is smaller than the Great Lakes of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior, or Michigan, Lake Champlain is a large body of fresh water. Approximately 1,269 km2 (490 sq mi) in area, the lake is roughly 201 km (125 mi) long, and 23 km (14 mi) across at its widest point.
Would anyone be even the slightest bit surprised if the NLRB granted them their wish?
Having lost an election at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant, the United Auto Workers are charging unfair political interference and demanding another vote. Though the union’s case is dubious, the union-friendly referees at President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may grant a replay anyway as part of its larger campaign to muffle anti-union political speech.
The UAW has filed an election objection with the labor board alleging that Republican politicians conducted “a coordinated and widely-publicized coercive campaign” to deprive “workers of their federally-protected right” to “support and select the UAW as their exclusive representative.” The union says intimidation by third parties should void the results based on the constitutionally shaky doctrine known as “laboratory conditions.”
The NLRB invented this doctrine in the 1948 General Shoe case when it assumed responsibility to provide “a laboratory in which an experiment may be conducted, under conditions as nearly ideal as possible, to determine the uninhibited desires of the employees.” The board ruled that, “When, in the rare extreme case, the standards drop too low” then “the experiment must be conducted over again.”
Note the words “rare” and “extreme.” The NLRB has traditionally been reluctant to invoke that doctrine, even in cases of egregious misconduct. In 2010 the NLRB overruled Downtown Bid Services Corporation’s charge that pro-union workers had upset laboratory conditions by threatening employees with job losses. The board said the threats were mitigated by Downtown’s assurances that employees would not be fired regardless of the election’s outcome.
I’m guessing we will be seeing more of this.
Alaska Sen. Mark Begich will release his first television ad Monday, an attack on the conservative Koch brothers’ group Americans for Prosperity for the ads it’s been running against Begich this year.
“First it was a D.C. actress pretending to be an Alaskan,” says a narrator in the ad, which was shared early with POLITICO. “Now ads attacking Mark Begich on a carbon tax have been called false and not true.”
The ad refers to two previous anti-Begich spots from AFP: the first came under fire for featuring a Maryland actress. The second was panned by PolitiFact and FactCheck as misleading on the issue of whether Begich supported a carbon tax.
The anti-Koch brothers theme is one that national Democrats are pushing as well. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said last week that Republicans have a “Koch problem,” and the
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched a paid advertising effort on the topic as well.
The second half of the ad features Alaskan voters talking about the Kochs — and hitting them for the closure of the Flint Hills Resources Refinery, an Alaska oil refinery owned by Koch Industries.
Pathetic that it took them this long.
Via Times of Israel:
The Obama administration publicly rebuked Iran on Monday over a shipment of Gaza-bound missiles that was intercepted last Wednesday in the Red Sea by the Israeli Navy
Given the five days it took for the White House to issue an official condemnation, it appeared as though the administration needed time to reconcile evidence of Iran’s state-sponsorship of terrorism with the ongoing diplomatic push to reach a deal on capping Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
“It is important to make clear that even as we continue efforts to resolve our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program through diplomacy, we will continue, in coordination with our partners and allies, to push back against Iranian support for terrorism, threats against our friends and partners, and violations of human rights,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at a briefing.
Carney said Washington had started working with Israel, through intelligence and military channels and at the national security adviser level, as soon as it knew that the shipment was on the move.
“We were very clear about our views on the ship that was interdicted and the fact that we condemn in the strongest terms Iran’s efforts to supply terrorist organizations operating in the region with weaponry,” he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the international community Monday for clinging to what he said was the illusion of a changed Iran. He made the comments surrounded by a cache of missiles seized aboard the Klos-C.
NSA grant money? Hi, Ned.
Via Business week
Jason McInerney and his wife, Melissa, recently tapped their lunch orders onto a touchscreen at the entrance to the Be Our Guest restaurant at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort and were told to take any open seat. Moments later a food server appeared at their table with their croque-monsieur and carved turkey sandwiches. Asks McInerney, a once-a-year visitor to Disney theme parks: “How did they know where we were sitting?”
The answer was on the electronic bands the couple wore on their wrists. That’s the magic of the MyMagic+, Walt Disney’s (DIS) $1 billion experiment in crowd control, data collection, and wearable technology that could change the way people play—and spend—at the Most Magical Place on Earth. If the system works, it could be copied not only by other theme parks but also by museums, zoos, airports, and malls. “It’s a complete game changer,” says Douglas Quinby, vice president for research at PhoCusWright, a travel consulting firm.
That would suit Disney just fine, as it expands its global empire of theme parks and kicks up efforts to fend off rivals. The most formidable is Comcast’s (CMCSA) Universal Studios, which this summer will unveil a massive expansion of its hit Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at its parks near Walt Disney World.
Via NY Times:
CALIFORNIA is now in the midst of the third year of one of its worst droughts on record. As our planet gradually warms from our rampant burning of fossil fuels, it’s only natural to wonder what role climate change has played in California’s troubles.
The answer is this: At present, the scientific evidence does not support an argument that the drought there is appreciably linked to human-induced climate change.
The drought has many attributes of historical droughts over that region — in particular, a lack of storms and rainfall that would normally arrive from the Pacific Ocean with considerable frequency. It resembles the droughts that afflicted the state in 1976 and 1977. Those years were at least as dry as the last two years have been for the state as a whole.
In short, the drought gripping California has been observed before. And it has occurred principally because of a lack of rain, not principally because of warmer temperatures. Indeed, it should be quite familiar to anyone who lived in California in the mid-1970s, as I did. We can also say with high confidence that no appreciable trend toward either wetter or drier conditions has been observed for statewide average precipitation since 1895. This drought is not part of a long-term drift toward reduced precipitation over the state.
What’s different this time, however, is that the demand for water has greatly increased in the state, and it may very well be that the current stress created by the failed rains is more severe than for similar rainfall deficits 40 years ago. It is at least intuitive that growth patterns, population increases and the rising value of the state’s agricultural sector have increased California’s vulnerability to drought and reduced its resiliency — that is, the state’s ability to adapt and cope with less precipitation.