Tuesday February 16th

[Please note: links to news articles and accompanying headlines and text were valid and accurate at the time of posting but content often changes or is deleted by the original publishers for reasons they feel are warranted…ed]

Support Lt. Colonel Allen West for Congress representing Florida’s 22 district! He doesn’t need any stinking teleprompter!

Dollar Up as Europe Reels

A dramatic turn in sentiment in favor of the dollar and against the euro continued Monday, with lingering fears of a possible European debt crisis pushing the greenback to its highest point in nine months. Among investors, the question a few months ago wasn’t whether the U.S. dollar would decline in value, but rather how far and how fast. The currency’s surge is throwing a monkey wrench into the plans of corporations and investors who were betting on a weak dollar. The euro extended recent declines Monday, slipping to $1.36 from $1.3618. That came on the heels of last week’s fifth-straight weekly gain by the U.S. currency. The dollar is up more than 5% against the euro this year. [Hurry up and take that long awaited European vacation before the dollar and euro flip again…jarg]

Unionized Rhode Island Teachers Refuse To Work 25 Minutes More Per Day, So Town Fires All Of Them

A school superintendent in Rhode Island is trying to fix an abysmally bad school system. Her plan calls for teachers at a local high school to work 25 minutes longer per day, each lunch with students once in a while, and help with tutoring. The teachers’ union has refused to accept these apparently onerous demands. The teachers at the high school make $70,000-$78,000, as compared to a median income in the town of $22,000. This exemplifies a nationwide trend in which public sector workers make far more than their private-sector counterparts (with better benefits). The school superintendent has responded to the union’s stubbornness by firing every teacher and administrator at the school. [Well it’s about time someone stood up to these damn teachers’ unions! I hope this spreads across the country so we can get back to educating students instead of spreading left wing propaganda and touchy feely emotional nonsense in the classrooms day in and day out…jarg]

Democrats Reeling Under Losses of Veteran Lawmakers, Declining Poll Numbers

Facing one of the angriest electorates in decades and a growing number of retirements from veterans in supposedly safe seats, Democrats are bracing for huge losses this year and the possible loss of both the House and the Senate to the GOP. In Indiana, the retirement of Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh gives the Republicans a stronger chance of seizing a seat that was on their radar only recently. With the popular Bayh off the ballot, CQ Politics changed the rating of the Indiana Senate race to “Leans Republican” Tuesday, superseding the previous rating of “Leans Democratic.” (SNIP) Charlie Cook, publisher of the independent Cook Political Report, said, “Capitol Hill is not a happy place these days.” Democrats’ majority in the Senate after November “will likely be razor thin,” Cook said. In addition, “there is an increasing likelihood that Democrats will lose the House.” [Excellent news indeed…jarg]

Five ways to lose the Senate majority

Sen. Evan Bayh’s stunning decision Monday to pass on a reelection campaign in Indiana is the latest blow to a Senate Democratic majority that is suddenly within striking distance for the GOP. While the retirements of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) had a clear political logic to them—both involved vulnerable incumbents badly trailing their prospective opponents, according to publicly released polling—Bayh’s calculus was less obvious since he had a comfortable double-digit cushion and a nearly $13 million head start. Either way, the two-term senator’s departure now places 10 Democratic-held Senate seats at risk—if all are swept under by a November GOP wave, Republicans are back in control of the Senate. [No, here’s five way the Democrats WILL lose control of the Senate come November: Nominate then fervently push an unqualified empty suit for president on this country. Select lying back-room deal makers as Senate majority leader/Speaker of the House. Pass 2000+ page bills that the American people have said repeatedly they do not want under cover of darkness with ZERO Republican support. Demonize and try and silence dissent from the Republicans in Congress and taxpayers. Conspire with a willing lamestream media to hide compelling evidence that none of the legislation is based on any reasonable facts or principles…jarg]

Sens. seek Obama boost on campaign trail

President Obama kicks off what might be called his “Save the Senate” tour this week, heading west to campaign for two embattled Democrats trailing badly against Republican challengers – including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. With high-profile Democrats already bailing out of re-election campaigns – Sen. Evan Bayh’s decision on Monday to drop out of the race in Indiana brings the number of retirees to five – Mr. Obama is putting his popularity and fundraising prowess on the line as he tries to help his party hold the majority in the Senate. Local Republicans are salivating at the prospect of Mr. Obama dropping into town to campaign for their opponents. [Obama campaigning for Democrats in blue New Jersey, REALLY really blue Massachusetts and kinda sorta blue Virginia sure worked out well didn’t it?…jarg]

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Senator Mikulski of Maryland to Retire

I’ve just heard from an impeccable source that Barbara Mikulski, the Democratic Senator who is up for reelection this November, will choose to retire. Mrs. Mikulski is expected to make her formal announcement in the next few days. Mrs. Mikulski seriously fractured her right ankle last fall just prior to Edward M. Kennedy’s death. Due to the severity of the fracture, she had to have open reduction surgery, that included the insertion of pins, as well as the use of special surgical boots, during recovery. She had tried to arrive in time for Mr. Kennedy’s funeral but was turned away. Her recovery has been exceptionally slow and she is evidently still in a great deal of pain. Reportedly, she has told her physician that she does not desire to seek reelection. Additionally, friends and family have been saying in the near future she will announce her retirement. Because of the very slow recovery, she has been forced to use a wheelchair, a walker or a cane in order to get around. [Not sure if this is legit or not but the story has been making the rounds with a bit of fervor since Senator Evan Bayh announced he was retiring at the end of his term. One less far left politician in the Senate sure would be nice though…jarg]

Let’s Get Real: Barbara Mikulski Does Not Fear a Loss This Year.

Many, many readers are excited about the rumor, eminating from The Vail Spot blog, that Sen. Barbara Mikulski will retire. Mike Memoli of RealClearPolitics and Chris Cillizza of the Post are both reporting from unnamed sources that the rumor is not true. A note: Mikulski is 73 years old. She has been in the House or Senate since 1977. Usually when a member serves into their 70s, it is a sign they plan to serve until they die or their health no longer permits it. (The account in the Vail Spot mentions a slow recovery from an ankle fracture.) But it’s entirely conceivable that Mikulski might want to do something else with her life after 33 years in Congress. [Maybe the rumor is true maybe not. We’ll have to sit back and see what happens in the next few months…jarg]

Sen. Lautenberg undergoes procedure for ulcer

A bleeding ulcer was behind the hospitalization of longtime New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg this week, an aide said Tuesday. The 86-year-old Democrat underwent a successful endoscopy procedure, spokesman Caley Gray said. Lautenberg is expected “to make a full recovery and will be back to work soon,” Gray said. [Another Democrat dinosaur goes down for the count. Why in the hell don’t these people give it up when they are this far past their prime and spend their days knitting and fishing instead of screwing our country up?…jarg]

Democratic Indiana candidate says White House secretly backing Baron Hill

Hoosier politics took an unexpected turn Monday night when Democratic Senate candidate Tamyra d’Ippolito accused the White House of conspiring with party officials to secretly draft Rep. Baron Hill to run against her. As the only other Democrat in the field, d’Ippolito became the presumptive front-runner for the Democratic nomination when Sen. Evan Bayh announced Monday that he would not seek re-election. Indiana Senate candidates must collect 4,500 signatures to appear on the ballot, including 500 from each of the state’s nine congressional districts. As of 9:30 p.m. Monday d’Ippolito told The Daily Caller she was 1,000 signatures short and had volunteers across the state planning to work through the night to accomplish the goal before the noon deadline on Tuesday. [Secretive backroom shenanigans from this administration? C’mon lady, obviously you haven’t heard, this is THE most transparent bunch in history!…jarg]

GOP hopes to capitalize on Latino disappointment with Obama

As one of the first Latinos in the nation to endorse Barack Obama, Democratic state Sen. Gilbert Cedillo of Los Angeles campaigned hard for the president, but he’s disappointed now. The reason: Obama has yet to do anything on a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws, as he promised to do when he ran for president. “I think he’s in danger of breaking the spirit of solidarity and hope,” Cedillo said. “More than a broken promise, it’s the danger of breaking people’s sense of hope in the Latino community.” While the president carried the Latino vote by large margins 15 months ago, many Republicans are out to capitalize on Latino dissatisfaction with Obama and Washington’s Democratic leaders. They think that could help them immensely in the 2010 elections. [The way the GOP can capitalize on the Latino community’s dissatisfaction with Obama is to do nothing. They aren’t going to be defecting to the party in big numbers anyway because freebies, handouts and blanket amnesty for people who have broken the laws of our land are not part of the platform. I’m sick and tired of all these different groups demanding their issues be addressed before what is best for OUR country and it’s high time the U.S. “reform” immigration policy by following MEXICO’S own laws!…jarg]

Audit finds US census preparations wasted millions

The Census Bureau wasted millions of dollars in preparation for its 2010 population count, including thousands of temporary employees who picked up $300 checks without performing work and others who overbilled for travel costs. Federal investigators caution the excessive charges could multiply once the $15 billion headcount begins in earnest next month unless the agency imposes tighter spending controls, according to excerpts of a forthcoming audit obtained by The Associated Press. On a positive note, investigators backed the Census Bureau’s decision to spend $133 million on its advertising campaign, saying it was appropriate to boost public awareness. The spending included a $2.5 million Super Bowl spot that some Republicans had criticized as wasteful. The findings by Todd Zinser, the Commerce Department’s inspector general, highlight the difficult balancing act for the Census Bureau as it takes on the Herculean task of manually counting the nation’s 300 million residents amid a backdrop of record levels of government debt. [Just think of all those ACORN workers who got those $300 checks spending them within the local economy and perhaps this news will be a little bit less maddening…jarg]

Lake Erie Frozen over; First Time in 14 Years

Following a cold snap in the Northeast, Lake Erie’s surface is virtually frozen over for the first time in about 14 years. The ice ranges in thickness between paper thin along the northern shore and several inches along the southern shore, where many people are ice skating. GoErie.com reports that the lake hasn’t completely frozen since the winter of 1995-1996. [Global warming hucksters say this ice that hasn’t been seen in 15 years is due to man made climate change. Honest, these maroons are still out there and they’re sticking to their story…jarg]

Now IPCC hurricane data is questioned

More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported. Les Hatton once fixed weather models at the Met Office. Having studied Maths at Cambridge, he completed his PhD as metereologist: his PhD was the study of tornadoes and waterspouts. He’s a fellow of the Royal Meterological Society, currently teaches at the University of Kingston, and is well known in the software engineering community – his studies include critical systems analysis. (SNIP) The IPCC continues: “It is more likely than not (> 50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity.” But, as Hatton points out, that conclusion comes from computer climate models, not from the observational data, which show no increase. “The IPCC goes on to make statements that would never pass peer review,” Hatton told us. [The man made global warming farce is falling apart in big hairy chunks on a daily basis…jarg]

ConocoPhillips bails out of climate coalition

ConocoPhillips announced Tuesday that it is abandoning the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a major coalition of corporations and environmental groups that’s pushing Congress to approve cap-and-trade legislation. ConocoPhillips, the country’s third-largest oil company, said that the major House and Senate climate change bills would harm oil companies. “House climate legislation and Senate proposals to date have disadvantaged the transportation sector and its consumers, left domestic refineries unfairly penalized versus international competition, and ignored the critical role that natural gas can play in reducing GHG emissions,” CEO Jim Mulva said in a statement announcing that ConocoPhillips would not renew its membership. “We believe greater attention and resources need to be dedicated to reversing these missed opportunities, and our actions today are part of that effort. Addressing these issues will save thousands of American jobs, as well as create new ones,” he added. [The first of what I hope will be several companies jumping off this stupid debunked climate change fraud that is costing American consumers a fortune…jarg]

BP will leave USCAP too

BP America is also leaving the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. A spokesman said the oil company, like ConocoPhillips, will not renew its membership in the coalition of corporations and environmental groups pushing Congress to approve cap-and-trade legislation. Spokesman Tom Mueller said BP informed USCAP today of its decision. [We have two energy companies now, who’s next?…jarg]

Not expanding drilling may cost U.S. $2.4 trillion

The U.S. economy will lose $2.4 trillion over the next two decades if the federal government does not allow oil and natural gas drilling in restricted onshore lands and in offshore areas previously closed to energy companies, according to a new study released on Monday. The report, prepared for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, also said U.S. imports of crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas would increase by $1.6 trillion over the period without access to the energy resources. In particular, the United States is expected to pay the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) $607 billion for an extra 4.1 billion barrels of crude, the report said. [Dump the climate change BS. Put the stupid foreign made windmills and solar panels on the back burner and drill here, drill now so this country can get back to work and back to prosperity…jarg]

Eric Holder, Pathetic … And His Pathos Is Right There On The Front Page Of The Times.

Poor Eric Holder. The fact is that he is none too smart … and none too versed in constitutional issues. Although Ronald Reagan did appoint him Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia! Ah, those were the days when Republican presidents appointed Democrats to judicial office and Democratic presidents appointed Republicans to same. Actually, aside from his graduation from Stuyvesant High School in New York City, “second rate” is what comes to mind when you hear Holder’s name. (SNIP) John B. Bellinger III, the former legal adviser to the State Department during Bush’s second term, has written an op-ed for the New York Times that almost praises Obama’s forced nimbleness in resorting to policies of the previous administration when his own policies have gone down in, well, tatters: Guantanamo, prolonged detentions, military tribunals, international law and international jurisdictions. [Holder has turned the Justice Department into a political tool of the White House but everything he has done has backfired. He is toast. When he has the lefty media coming after him with a vengeance bet the farm his days are numbered…jarg]

USAID Steers No-Bid Haiti Contract to ‘Politically Connected’ Firm of Bill Clinton Friend

The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded another lucrative no-bid contract, Fox News has learned — this time to a “politically connected” lobbyist and high-profile friend of former President Bill Clinton. This marks the second no-bid contract the agency has been found to have awarded since the start of the year, despite a long history of vows by President Obama to crack down on the practice. The first, awarded on Jan. 4 and worth nearly $25 million, was steered to a firm owned by a donor to the Obama presidential campaign, for legal work in Afghanistan. The cancellation of that contract was announced by the State Department shortly after Fox News reported its existence on Jan. 25. [Gee, is this another Obama flip flop (lie)?…jarg]

Don’t listen to what he says, watch what he actually does!

Amy Bishop’s husband said he had gone to shooting range with her recently

The husband of a UAH professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues said today that he’d gone with her to a shooting range recently but that he didn’t know where she got the gun she used for practice that day. James Anderson said his wife, Amy Bishop, didn’t do anything unusual in the days before Friday’s shooting. [This guy is either complicit, fibbing, stupid or trying to protect his wife because she has a well documented violent history…jarg]

Ipswich neighbors recall confrontations with Amy Bishop

On Birch Lane, a family neighborhood where there are almost as many curbside basketball hoops as mailboxes, Amy Bishop, her husband, and their four children did not seem to fit in, former neighbors said today. Bishop, who now stands accused of gunning down three professors at the University of Alabama Huntsville, and her husband, James Anderson, were not always considered friendly neighbors and sometimes had arguments with other families. At least once, Bishop hinted that an ongoing confrontation with neighbors could become violent. The accounts of longtime neighborhood residents, combined with a stack of police reports provided to the Globe by the Ipswich Police Department, paint a picture of conflict between the Bishop/Anderson family and others in town. Bishop, who was referred to as Amy Anderson at the time, called 911 regularly during her short time living in this North Shore community. [Sounds like your typical left wing Obama obsessed murder suspect’s kind of behavior…jarg]

Daniel Rubin: Another case of TSA overkill

Just when I thought I was out of the Transportation Security Administration business for a few columns, they pull me back in. Did you hear about the Camden cop whose disabled son wasn’t allowed to pass through airport security unless he took off his leg braces? Unfortunately, it’s no joke. This happened to Bob Thomas, a 53-year-old officer in Camden’s emergency crime suppression team, who was flying to Orlando in March with his wife, Leona, and their son, Ryan. Ryan was taking his first flight, to Walt Disney World, for his fourth birthday. The boy is developmentally delayed, one of the effects of being born 16 weeks prematurely. His ankles are malformed and his legs have low muscle tone. In March he was just starting to walk. Mid-morning on March 19, his parents wheeled his stroller to the TSA security point, a couple of hours before their Southwest Airlines flight was to depart. The boy’s father broke down the stroller and put it on the conveyor belt as Leona Thomas walked Ryan through the metal detector. The alarm went off. The screener told them to take off the boy’s braces. [Insane, absolutely insane what happened with this four year old boy and his family. Word on the street is the TSA finally apologized but where the hell has common sense gone?…jarg]

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