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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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DWD">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">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">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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