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Archive for November, 2011

Obama Confuses “English” with “British”

Yeah, this won’t go over well on the other side of the pond.

 One last time, “England” is a part of the “British Isles” or, as it’s most commonly called, “Great Britain.”

Oh, I’ll just let an actual British subject explain, here’s Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation.  He heads the think tank’s “Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom,” which deals with North Atlantic and European studies as well as other world conflicts in the Anglosphere.  Gardiner also once worked with Lady Thatcher in her government.

In a press conference this evening, the president referred in stumbling fashion to the “English Embassy” in Iran instead of the British Embassy. One can only imagine the kind of howls of derision that would greet any presidential contender if that kind of basic error were made before, say, the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. You can watch the video above.

In case the president is unaware, England forms part of Great Britain, which also includes Scotland and Wales, though not Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. There is no such thing as an “English” embassy anywhere in the world, and there hasn’t been one for several centuries.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this latest slip-up by President Obama. After all he recently described France as America’s closest ally, and famously declared that he has traveled to no less than 57 states. But it would be nice if the leader of the free world bothered to look at a map once in a while, or even paid a visit to the British Embassy in Washington, currently housing the Churchill bust that Mr. Obama unceremoniously threw out of the Oval Office soon after his inauguration.

Obama’s latest gaffe also raises questions about his overall approach to the Special Relationship. This has been a presidency that has significantly downgraded traditional US alliances, from Britain and Israel to eastern and central Europe, while appeasing brutal enemies like Iran as well as strategic adversaries such as Russia. All too often, Washington’s allies have been taken for granted, and even undermined. As a senior State Department official put it in 2009, in the eyes of the current administration: “there’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.”

From siding with Argentina on its call for UN-brokered negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falklands, to placing “a boot on the throat” of BP, Britain’s largest company, the Obama administration has downgraded relations with America’s closest friend and partner on the world stage. The Special Relationship still matters greatly on several key fronts for the United States, from the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan to the global war against Islamist terrorism. US-British military and intelligence cooperation remains vital to the defense of the free world, and cooperation between London and Washington will be imperative in standing up to an increasingly aggressive Iran. The White House will no doubt dismiss this latest faux pas by the president as a slip of the tongue, but it cannot disguise the fact that it has on many occasions treated Britain and other key allies with an air of disdain, and even contempt.


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Deer Hunt Numbers Up from 2010

Good news and good luck for a number of hunters out there.

The state Department of Natural Resources says the number of deer harvested during the recently concluded gun season was up this year.

According to a survey of about 600 registration stations across the state, an estimated 226,260 deer were killed during the nine-day gun hunting season. Those figures are up about 3.6-percent from 2010, when just over 218,144 deer were killed.

The preliminary tally shows hunters harvested almost 103,000 bucks and over 123,000 antlerless deer.

While the gun hunt is done for the year, muzzle loader and archery seasons continue into December. Harvest numbers from this fall will be used to make population estimates, which help set the deer hunting season structure for 2012.


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No Sexual Harrassment Complaint Ever Filed at DWD

Yeah, just another moment why no one should ever believe a word MAL types…

(Would be interesting to know how he got the “scoop” of a non-complaint leaked to him though.)

Madison – A woman who claimed she filed a harassment complaint with the state Department of Administration against former Workforce Development Secretary Manny Perez in fact never did so, records show.

Allison Rozek, until recently a top official with the Department of Workforce Development, claimed in an Oct. 19 email to her supervisor that she had filed a harassment complaint about Perez with the Department of Administration.

The Journal Sentinel asked for all documents related to any such complaint under the state’s open records law. The Department of Administration released its response Tuesday, showing the only document it received from Rozek was the Oct. 19 email, which Rozek had copied to an administration lawyer.

Rozek was dismissed from the department about a month after sending the email. No reason has been given publicly, and none was required because she was a political appointee.

In an email to the Journal Sentinel, Perez flatly denied harassing Rozek.

“I did not engage in harassment against Allison Rozek,” his email said. “I am proud of my service as Wisconsin’s secretary of workforce development and our accomplishments during that time.”

Ah yes, the joys of getting rid of a political appointee, who serve at the pleasure of the executive until either the executive leaves or the executive doesn’t want them there anymore.  I fully expect the Left to still try and make political hay out of it, because it’s what they do, but legally, there’s really not much else one can do to find out “the Why” for her termination.

For all we know, she may have just gotten under everyone’s nerves.

Maybe all the liberal blogs in the state can jump on that one after they explain why Bill Clinton fired all the U.S. Attorneys in late January 1993 with something beyond, “because he wanted to and had the authority to do so.”

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Cartoon of the Day

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NFL Could Finally Get First Pakistani-Borne Owner

Two stories attached to this news.  First, the Jacksonville Jaguars have fired head coach Jack Del Rio, a former all-pro linebacker.

It also has been sold to Shalid Khan, an Illinois-based businessman who runs the auto parts company “Flex-N-Gate,” which according to its website, makes bumpers, fenders, and other interior car parts.  For Packers fans this news is interesting for pretty much one reason only:  Khan has agreed to not move the team out of Jacksonville.  This takes “the Jags” out of the running as one of the possible teams which could relocate to Los Angeles.

So that dream of the Los Angeles Vikings still lives on and haunts every Minnesotan.

Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver announced Tuesday that coach Jack Del Rio has been fired and that he is selling the team to businessman Shahid Khan, who will keep the team in Jacksonville.

Khan, who lives in Illinois, was born in Pakistan in 1950 and moved to the United States when he was 16. Weaver said Khan plans to buy a home in Jacksonville. The sale must be approved by the NFL’s 32 owners.

Weaver said there is no signed agreement that Khan has to keep the team in Jacksonville but he said he was comfortable agreeing to the sale because Khan “has a passion” for the area. “I’ve had calls from California that I’ve refused to take,” Weaver said of other potential buyers.

“I have known Wayne for some time and have long admired his spirit, which nearly 20 years ago — against all odds — helped make the Jaguars and the National Football League a reality for Jacksonville and North Florida,” Khan said in a statement on the team’s website. “Wayne’s legacy will be lasting, and I will always be grateful for Wayne’s trust and confidence in my commitment to the Jaguars, the NFL and the people of the Jacksonville community.”

Khan actually was part of the winning bid to buy the St. Louis Rams in 2010, but a clause in the previous ownership agreement allowed any member of the old ownership group to match any offer on the table; which Stan Kronke — who owns the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and NBA’s Denver Nuggets — did

The sale to Khan could go into affect at the next NFL owners meeting, which will likely be sometime around the Super Bowl.

The Jaguars are currently 3-8.

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Biden’s Hometown Loses the Love for His Boss

Scranton just not pulling the love for the Obama-Biden ticket it once did I guess.

When Hillary Clinton was on the campaign trail in 2008 and spoke at Scranton High School, the line to get tickets a few days before her appearance stretched about 1,000 people long.

Monday’s line to grab the available free tickets to President Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday was noticeably shorter — about 225 people were waiting when the doors opened for the distribution.

“It’s a little disappointing to see that,” said Cathy Kneeland, 64, of Scranton, who showed up more than three hours early to stand in line and found herself second. “You would think more people would want to see the president speak.”

Wednesday’s scheduled speech will be Obama’s first stop in northeastern Pennsylvania since he campaigned for president in 2008.

Obama supporters, however, don’t seem to be wavering. George Childs, 61, of Scranton, is on the front lines of the jobs debate, having been unemployed since January when he lost his six-year job as a stockroom employee. Before that, he worked at a slaughterhouse for 10 years before it closed.

“I would like to see what he has to say about jobs,” Childs said from his spot first in line. “I want to see what he has to offer someone like me.”

225?  That’s it?

Come on, there’s got to be some young folks not in their 60s they could have interviewed to remind the world Obama appeals to the youth of America, right?  A kid at a local community college needing credit for a class or to write a term paper?

Alright, there is!

Friends Jess Guzzi, 19, of Mayfield, and Courtney Buchman, 20, of Hazleton, had a choice. The two Lackawanna College students could either get to the speech Wednesday, or they could watch it online when it becomes available Thursday.

Either way, both sophomores had to write a three-page paper on the event for their Effective Speaking class — due Friday.

“So we’re here now so we can see it Wednesday,” Guzzi said.

Curse you streaming video!

In the kids defense, they tell the reporter they probably would have been in line anyway, paper to write or not.

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Is There a Link Between Abortion and Breat Cancer?

Just remember as you’re reading this, it’s the Democratic Party which claims to be “The Party of Science.”

Pro-life advocates have argued for years that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer — due to hormonal changes during pregnancy which leave breasts more vulnerable to cancer. Despite their advocacy, the Department of Health and Human Services denies that there is any link.

On Monday the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer pointed to a new study which found a nearly 3-fold increase in the risk of breast cancer among Armenian women who had an abortion as yet another reason women should steer clear of the procedure.

The report, “Influence of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and Prolonged Estrogen Exposure on Risk of Breast Cancer Among Women in Armenia” published in Taylor & Francis was authored by Lilit Khachatryan of the Department of Public Health at the American University of Armenia. The study included researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania.

The research found that induced abortions increased a woman’s risk of beast cancer 2.86 times — they claim however that “most evidence … points to no effect.”

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer contends that political correctness was the reason the researchers claimed there is no link.

Baruch College biology and endocrinology professor Joel Brind — an advocate of the breast cancer/abortion link — criticized the findings, explaining in a statement that the researchers “did not — and perhaps were not allowed to — characterize their findings honestly in the politically correct atmosphere of the U.S. and Europe. The good news is that they were able to report their findings in a prominent peer-reviewed journal at all.”

Karen Malec of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer pointed out that, though they deny a link, the researchers’ finding — that women who had an abortion were 2.68 times more likely to have breast cancer — was not a surprise as, according to Malec, 51 of 67 epidemiological studies since 1957 show a link.

51 out of 67 studies comes to just over 76.1 percent of the studies.  That’s roughly three out of every four papers which have been issued on the subject.

Is there a link?  I honestly don’t know, but to say the body doesn’t react in some way to an abrupt stop to the hormone process associated to the termination of a pregnancy (natural or otherwise) would be idiotic to deny.  They are called hormone swings for a reason after all.

Is political correctness having an effect in this regards on the scientific community?  That I wouldn’t doubt.  Universities are rather picky about who gets the grant money these days.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Monday Quick Hits

Stalin’s Daughter Dies in Wisconsin

Honestly had no idea she was living in Wisconsin, and in Richland Center of all places.  Her NYT’s obituary is here.

It reads like her life was a Russian novel, full of no real love from her father, multiple marriages (some just to piss off her father), exile and defection from her homeland, her children not wanting any part of her, and her eventual final days in the Badger State.

May she Rest in Peace.

Former Chief Obama Economic Advisor: “Opponents of Keystone XL are ‘Naive.'”

I think he’s right.  Naive really would describe everything James Rowen’s written regarding Keystone XL.

People in the U.S. opposing TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline are being “naïve,” said Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

“It’s a bit naïve to think the tar sands would not be developed if they don’t build that pipeline,” said Goolsbee, speaking today in Toronto at the Economic Club of Canada. “Eventually, it’s going to be built. It may go to the Pacific, it may go through Nebraska, but it’s going to be built somewhere.”

TransCanada and Nebraska announced Nov. 14 they would collaborate on a new path for the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline, intended to deliver crude from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries and ports on the Gulf of Mexico. Opponents said the original path threatened an aquifer under the Nebraska Sandhills that provides drinking water to 1.5 million people.

If we don’t build it, the Chinese will; and Canada seems more than willing to make waves with Beijing than the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Campaign Associates of Governor Indicted

Oh, sorry.  My bad, not our Governor.

It’s that nutty Democrat down in North Carolina.

RALEIGH — Three associates of Governor Beverly Perdue were indicted Monday on felony charges related to her election campaign.

Trawick Hamilton “Buzzy” Stubbs and Juleigh Lee Sitton face obstruction of justice and filing false reports charges. Peter Anthony Reichard faces a single count of filing a false report.

The announcement follows an investigation by the Wake County district attorney’s office that has lasted more than a year.

Reichard was Perdue’s campaign finance director. Sitton was director of the Governor’s Western Office until she resigned in August. Stubbs is a New Bern attorney.

The indictments allege that the trio knowingly caused the Bev Perdue Committee to file finance reports that were false in that they did not list all the contributions, loans, and expenditures that they should have.

In August 2010, the North Carolina Board of Elections fined the Perdue campaign $30,000 for “flight irregularities.” The elections board said Perdue made dozens of flights aboard campaign donors’ planes during the 2004 and 2008 elections that weren’t disclosed in campaign-finance reports until 2009.

Stubbs is accused of contributing or paying expenses totaling more than $28,000 through his law firm by paying for flights for the benefit of the Bev Perdue Committee until Nov. 1, 2008, his indictment said. Stubbs prepared documents in October 2008 that purported the flights had been contributed to the state Democratic Party when they actually had gone for the committee, documents said.

You have to love southern political scandals.  They have the best nicknames attached to them.

The Best Economic News All Year

Barney Frank is retiring from Congress.

Anyone who buys his pledge he’s not going to lobby clearly is opposed to Keystone XL.

Sirhan Sirhan Attorneys Try “the CSI Appeal”

Attorneys for Sirhan Sirhan, the Arab nationalist who shot and killed Bobby Kennedy (and shot five others) are trying to say there wasn’t just another shooter, but another gun in their latest attempt to parole the man.

Sirhan they say, was a hypnotized sleeper agent whose sole job was to shoot a gun wildly in the air so the real killer could off Kennedy in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in L.A. after winning the 1968 California primary.

(Oh, the things defense attorneys come up with these days…)

Lawyers representing convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan argue in newly filed court documents that a bullet was switched in evidence at his trial and new forensic details show he is innocent of the 1968 killing of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

In the latest of many appeals filed on behalf of Sirhan, the attorneys are seeking to overturn his conviction. They repeated a previous assertion and presented reports from experts who said Sirhan was programmed through hypnosis to fire shots as a diversion for the real killer.

Prosecutors had no comment, said Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for the California attorney general’s office, which is handling the appeal.

The lawyers, William F. Pepper and Laurie Dusek, also said sophisticated audio tests recently conducted on recordings from the assassination night show 13 shots from multiple guns were fired – five more than Sirhan could have fired from his small pistol.

Authorities have claimed eight bullets were fired, with three hitting Kennedy and the rest flying wildly around the kitchen and striking five other victims who survived.

Pepper was the last attorney of the late James Earl Ray, the man who shot and killed Martin Luther King, Jr, so there’s a bit of celebrity lawyering going on here.

All of Sirhan’s previous appeal attempts have been denied.

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GM, You Have a Volt PR Problem

This is just cringe inducing.

General Motors is contacting every owner of a Chevrolet Volt to assure them the extended-range electric car is safe to allay fears it could catch fire after a crash.

In addition, GM is going to give any owner who still has concerns another GM car while the federal investigation of Volt is underway. The offer came on a conference call with reporters this morning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Friday that it has opened a formal investigation into the Volt. It said it was taking the action after several tests in which the car’s lithium-ion battery heated up or caught fire after a severe crash. But the fire didn’t break out immediately. In some cases, it took weeks, leading to warnings for tow operators and storage yards to make sure the cars are parked away from buildings or other vehicles. No injuries or fires in customers’ vehicles have been reported.

“We are contacting all Volt owners to assure them and reassure them the car is safe to drive,” said Mark Reuss, head of General Motors’ North America. “The Volt is our pride and joy, and we will do all we can to make Volt owners as happy with it as we can.” Reuss says letters to 5,329 owners with the offer are going out starting today.

That’s going to be a lot of letters to GM and Chevy dealerships.

They own the overwhelming majority of Volts after all.  “Sales” in car manufacturer terms only apply to those vehicles which were delivered to dealers, not those which actually leave the lot.

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