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Ilya Somin is a Professor of Law at the George Mason University School of Law and is also a regular contributor at The Volokh Conspiracy, a group law blog.
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Published on Jul 12, 2012
Negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program is a “waste of time” and it should be pushed forward towards time-limited talks says Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Fisal
News and Info on the Israel-Saudi pact aimed against “the evil” Iran/ Saudi Arabias nuclear ambitions
Beside the Israel-Saudi Arabia agreement on flyover rights and ground-supply for Israel Air- and Specialforces in case of a possible attack on iranian nuclear-facilities, the really scary thing, which should concern everybody whos against nuclear proliferation, is the fact that that the nasty Saudi Kingdom is deeply involved in the nuclear program of the Al-Qaida terrorist-breeding facility called Pakistan……Saudi Arabia payed nearly half of its costs and it seems in return the Saudis might get a shipment of nuclear warheads derived from the pakistani-nuclear program.
Shania Twain – Dance With The One That Brought You
Why Obama chose the Iran talks to take one of the biggest risks of his presidency
By Greg Jaffe
Much of President Obama’s foreign policy agenda has been foisted upon him during his six years in office. He inherited two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, neither of which he’s been able to end. He’s had to react to chaos in the Middle East and a Russian incursion in Ukraine.
The negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program are different. They are Obama’s choice, and he’s fought to keep them moving forward since the beginning of his presidency despite setbacks and second-guessing from Republicans, fellow Democrats and longtime foreign allies.
The latest setback came when the White House agreed to suspend its self-imposed March 31 deadline for an agreement with Iran and keep talking in the hope that remaining differences might soon be resolved. Significant gaps, however, remained.
The president’s desire to keep negotiating reflects both the importance he has placed on the talks and his particular view of how American leadership, persistence and engagement with determined enemies can change the world.
Obama often talks about moments in which American leadership can “bend the arc of human history.” An Iran accord represents exactly such an opportunity, as well as one of the most risky foreign policy gambles of his presidency.
The talks revolve around an issue — nuclear proliferation — that has been a major focus for Obama since he first arrived in Washington. As a senator, he called for a world without nuclear weapons. As president, his first foreign policy speech focused on the dangers that a terrorist group, such as al-Qaeda, might someday acquire a nuclear bomb.
“If we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable,” he told a crowd of thousands in Prague’s main square, “then in some ways we are admitting to ourselves that the use of a nuclear weapon is inevitable.”
The Iran negotiations also reflect Obama’s abiding belief that the best way to change the behavior of hostile governments with spotty human rights records isn’t through isolation or the threat of military force, but persistent engagement. In recent years, Obama has pushed to open up trade and diplomatic relations with countries such as Cuba and Burma.
“He believes the more people interact with open societies, the more they will want to be part of an open society,” said Ivo Daalder, Obama’s former NATO ambassador and head of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Iran, a longtime enemy and sponsor of some of the world’s most potent militias and terror groups, is the biggest and boldest test of Obama’s theory. “It’s not like we are all waking up in a cold sweat worried about Burma and Cuba,” said Julianne Smith, a former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Biden and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. “This is the crown jewel of six years of diplomatic effort, and the president has worked it.”
Even if the United States and its allies secure a deal with Iran, the accord could backfire. Iran could cheat, although evading intrusive inspections will be difficult for the Islamic republic, said White House officials. If U.S. allies, such as Saudi Arabia, think that the accord doesn’t do enough to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, they could start their own program, triggering an arms race in one of the most dangerous and unstable regions of the world.
The most immediate concern is that an emboldened Iran will use the financial windfall that comes with the easing of economic sanctions to boost support to its proxy militias in a region that’s already being torn to pieces by sectarian war.
Obama has acknowledged those risks but insists that the alternatives to an Iran deal — tighter sanctions or military strikes — would be much worse. As the negotiations have progressed, Obama has become more personally involved in the talks, said current and former aides. He can describe in minute detail the number and type of centrifuges that Iran would be allowed to retain under a deal.
In public comments, he often has put the chances of striking an accord at less than 50 percent. Privately, aides said, he has demanded briefings on every minor setback and reversal.
His personal involvement demonstrates how important the negotiations have become to his presidency.
Obama and senior aides have bemoaned the tendency in Washington to look first to the military to solve America’s most vexing foreign policy problems. “The debates around the Middle East don’t seem to recognize that the Iraq war took place,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to the president. There continues to be “an instinctive reach for military solutions as the only sign of America’s seriousness,” he said.
The Iran negotiations, for Obama, offer a new model. The talks have played down threats of U.S. military force and instead placed a heavy emphasis on American diplomacy and statecraft. The United States has acted as part of a broad international coalition that includes Russia and China, a change from an earlier era in which Obama insisted the United States had too often ignored its allies and tried to go it alone.
The negotiations are also personal for the president. Obama was dismissed as dangerously naive in 2007 by then-candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton for suggesting that he would engage in “aggressive personal diplomacy” with Iran. More recently, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of Congress, where the Israeli leader leveled the same charge. Netanyahu’s speech infuriated the White House. Two weeks later, 47 Republicans sent an open letter to Iran’s leaders saying that they would seek to undo any agreements that the administration and its partners reached with Tehran.
“There’s a determination to prove the Republicans wrong,” said Smith, “and to prove the world wrong.”
A successful accord with Iran also would give credence to Obama’s core belief that the United States must be open to negotiations with its enemies. In 2007, then-presidential candidate Obama said it was a “disgrace” that the Bush administration hadn’t done more to talk with America’s enemies in the Middle East. “The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous,” he added.
In Iran, Obama has chosen to negotiate with one of America’s biggest and most destabilizing enemies. Iranian money, weapons and combat advisers have helped President Bashar al-Assad cling to power in Syria. In Lebanonand Yemen, Iranian-backed militias have sown unrest against U.S. allies. Iran’s support has helped Hamas launch deadly attacks on Israel, America’s closest ally in the region.
Although Iran is working alongside the United States in Iraq to destroy Islamic State insurgents, Iranian-backed militias were responsible for some of the deadliest attacks on U.S. troops prior to 2011.
It is Iran’s potential as a stabilizing force in the region that gives it such allure. “They’re a big sophisticated country with a lot of talent,” Obama said in an interview with the New York Times in the summer. Even a moderately less threatening Iran could pay big dividends at a time when the Middle East’s post-World War I order is coming apart.
“With all this turmoil in the Arab world, you need a workable relationship with the other side,” said Shawn Brimley, a former director for strategic planning in the White House. “You can’t argue with Iran’s importance in the region. That’s why Obama is taking this extremely seriously.”
U.S. says enough progress made to merit staying until Wednesday
By LAURENCE NORMAN
Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers crashed through another deadline on Tuesday, casting doubt about whether the two sides can reach a final deal to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
In the early morning hours Wednesday, there were some signs of progress toward building a framework outlining elements of a final nuclear deal to be reached by June 30. “We’ve made enough progress in the last days to merit staying until Wednesday,” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf. “There are several difficult issues still remaining.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also said work would resume on Wednesday morning. “I hope that we can finalize the work on Wednesday and hopefully start the process of drafting,” Mr. Zarif said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the sides reached agreement in principle, according to his spokeswoman. The parties would try to finalize a text later on Wednesday, she added.
But people involved in the talks have said many tough details would still be left over even if a framework agreement is reached.
The two big sticking points were the timetable for lifting United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iran and the question of what nuclear work Tehran would be permitted to do in the final years of an agreement. Late Tuesday night, diplomats said some inroads had been made but differences on these points remained.
Still the Obama administration was forced to accede to the third delay in less than a year in the talks, stoking new criticism from Congress about the direction of the White House Iran policy.
The deadline has been seized on by U.S. lawmakers who have warned that they would push for fresh sanctions legislation on Iran if a framework agreement isn’t reached on time.
Many lawmakers—Republicans and Democrats—believe the terms of the deal won’t go far enough in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Senate Republicans are pushing legislation in April that would give Congress the power to approve, amend or kill any deal announced by the Obama administration.
“The decision to extend the nuclear negotiations in the face of Iranian intransigence and duplicity proves once again that Iran is calling the shots,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.). Mr. Cotton penned a letter to Iran’s leadership in March, signed by 47 Republican senators, that said Congress had the power to overrule any agreement signed by the White House.
U.S. officials and other senior Western diplomats have said in the past few days that with Congress out on recess, they had a few days more political space to hammer out the details.
The talks have encountered few successes since they began in early 2014.
Negotiators failed to meet two deadlines in July and November last year, setting Tuesday as the final day to reach a framework of an agreement and the end of June as the deadline for a comprehensive deal.
President Barack Obama in February said he saw little point to any further delays.
An Iranian diplomat told state-run television on Tuesday that some progress had been made on the sanctions issues.
“We don’t want an agreement at any price. We want to guarantee the Iranian people’s honor and rights…Our goal is this. Time won’t stop us,” said the senior negotiator, Hamid Baeedinejad.
The U.S. and its European partners at the talks have long said Iran would only win phased sanctions relief with some U.N. restrictions on nuclear-related trade remaining in place. However, Iran was pushing for sanctions relief up front.
Iran was also doubling down on its insistence that after 10 years, it would have no tight restrictions on its nuclear program, including its research work, Western diplomats said. U.S. and European officials have said some of those constraints must stay in place.
After an official said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius could leave early Wednesday morning, a senior U.S. official said there was no discussion of giving Iran an immediate ultimatum to make concessions or end the diplomacy.
The Obama administration has made an Iranian nuclear agreement its main foreign-policy goal, hoping both to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power and thaw the deeply hostile relationship between the two countries since the 1979 Iranian revolution.
However, over the past 18 months, as the diplomacy heated up, the U.S. and its partners have dropped a number of conditions they once set for a deal.
As the diplomacy has dragged on, skepticism has risen in Washington and elsewhere that a strong deal can be reached.
Critics of the diplomacy say the U.S. and other powers have accepted terms that will embolden Iran in regional power struggles and do little over time to prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons. Fueling that debate will be the many questions an agreement will leave unanswered.
U.S. officials have said the deal is a good compromise which will meet its central goal of blocking any of Iran’s paths to an atomic weapon.
Western officials say they believe they can achieve their central demand that Iran will be at least a year away from amassing enough nuclear fuel for a bomb for at least a decade.
Missing Tuesday’s deadline has no automatic consequences for the talks. The interim agreement reached in November 2013 remains in effect until the end of June.
At various points in the past decade, the negotiations have appeared on the brink of collapse, raising the prospect of a military conflict with Iran.
While diplomats had appeared confident earlier in the day that a deal could be reached Tuesday, officials described discussions as hard-going as the talks dragged on.
A German delegation official said the negotiations had been very tough.
“Whether it will succeed remains open,” said the official.
—Jay Solomon in Washington and Asa Fitch in Dubai contributed to this article.
Corrections & Amplifications
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the sides reached an agreement in principle, according to his spokeswoman. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said it was his spokesman.
Foreign ministers from major powers kicked off a scheduled day of talks aimed at securing the outlines of a nuclear deal with Iran by a midnight deadline. Pictured, Secretary of State John Kerry, left, before the opening of the plenary session at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 31.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Negotiators meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, are working to meet a deadline on Tuesday — give or take — for a nuclear agreement with Iran aimed at resolving more than a dozen years of friction. Here is the latest state of play:
Is Tuesday the big day or not?
It’s a big day because it’s the target date set by Iran and six world powers for a deal. Everybody’s watching to see if they arrive at an agreement by midnight in Switzerland (or 6p.m. Eastern Daylight Time). They could come up short, and they could also try again tomorrow or next week. More on this later.
What’s the objective here?
The U.S. along with its negotiating partners — Germany, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia — want an agreement that will leave Iran at least a year away from being able to purify enough nuclear fuel to create a bomb. Iran denies that it is pursuing a nuclear weapon and insists its nuclear program is for peaceful civilian purposes, but the West has long suspected that Iran has harbored nuclear weapons ambitions.
Iran has four potential pathways to a bomb: the secret underground facility called Fordow; the Natanz enrichment facility; Arak, a plutonium heavy water reactor; and lastly, a covert path, encompassing clandestine efforts and facilities not on the radar of the U.S. and its negotiating partners.
The world powers want a deal to address these pathways, limit Iran’s nuclear activity, and provide for inspections intrusive enough to tell them what’s going on with Iran’s program. In exchange, the U.S. and five world powers will further ease sanctions on Iran, which have crippled its economy.
So, what’s the deal with the deadline?
The deadline to reach a “framework” — essentially a political agreement that leads to a comprehensive deal — is Tuesday, March 31. But it’s a self-imposed deadline andnegotiators aren’t totally wedded to it. With little to enforce the deadline except a skeptical U.S. Congress, it’s possible that the Tuesday deadline could slip by as much as two weeks, because Congress is on one of its recesses and doesn’t return to Washington until April 13.
U.S. officials, at least, say that they take the Tuesday deadline seriously and want to deliver some sort of framework by then as a sign of progress. Lawmakers, including many Democrats, are itching to introduce and vote on legislation in April that gives them influence over the deal, whether by introducing additional sanctions if the deal falls through or by voting on the final agreement to ensure it passes muster. The White House has threatened to veto these bills. But lately, it has signaled that it’s open to finding some sort way for Congress to weigh in.
Is there a harder deadline?
The deadline for a final agreement, which will include lots of technical details and diplomatic “annexes,” is the end of June. If negotiators reach a framework accord by day’s end Tuesday — or a little later — it would be a signal that they’re on their way to a full-fledged, detailed agreement. But there will be lots more to discuss if they are able to clear this initial hurdle.
What’s left to figure out for Tuesday’s agreement?
There are several main issues that have been under round-the-clock negotiations: how quickly Iran would get relief from the punishing economic sanctions; how rapidly world powers would “snap back” sanctions if Iran reneges; the scope of Iran’s future nuclear activities; and the degree to which international inspectors will be able to access Iran’s nuclear and military sites.
Tuesday’s announcement is expected to outline the broad strokes of the deal, so it’s likely the finer points of these differences will be kicked over to the remaining months of talks.
Will the deal “dismantle” Iran’s nuclear program?
It will not. However, the president has said the effort has prompted Iran to “roll back” its nuclear program. In November 2013, Iran and world powers agreed on a process of negotiations called the “Joint Plan of Action,” or JPOA, that imposed controls on Iran’s uranium enrichment and fuel programs, but did not eliminate them. For agreeing to limits, Iran was given some relief from the sanctions.
What becomes of the nuclear material still in the country?
Under the 2013 “joint plan of action,” the Iranians may only process uranium to low levels of purity, suitable for use in civilian power reactors. Iran has to stop producing medium-level enriched uranium, under the 2013 plan, and must dilute its existing stocks of medium-level uranium or convert it into an oxide that can’t be used for weapons.
Have they done any of that?
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency, Tehran has complied.
Is there any other way of addressing the uranium stockpiles?
Yes. It could ship its stocks to another country — Russia has offered — to be converted into fuel rods for civilian power use. That would be seen as a reassuring step. But over the weekend, an Iranian negotiator seemed to rule out such a step. Whether that’s the government’s final word on that question remains to be seen. In any case, the U.S. says this isn’t the only way that Iran can get rid of its stockpile, citing dilution and conversion as other methods.
Have sanctions been eased already?
Yes, as part of the Joint Plan of Action, Iran has been allowed to recoup $700 million a month, each month, in money held, frozen, overseas. This has been underway basically since early 2014, so Iran has recouped nearly $10 billion in frozen money — along with other funds it has been given access to.
That’s a lot of money!
Yes, but there much more still frozen that Iran would like to get as part of a final deal, up to $130 billion by some estimates.
What makes the West so suspicious of Iran?
The U.S. and its partners have outstanding questions about Iran’s past nuclear work. The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, has had little success in a probe of Tehran in addressing these concerns. This is another issue that likely will be kicked into the next phase of talks.
Is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the biggest critic of a deal?
He’s a big one, but has a lot of company among Obama administration critics at home and abroad. A veto-proof majority of House lawmakers last week sent President Barack Obama a letter warning that they must be convinced a nuclear agreement closes off all pathways to a bomb before they consider voting on legislation to permanently lift sanctions.
Earlier this month, 47 Republican senators, led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark., sent a letter to Iran’s leaders warning that Congress would have a say in any final accord. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) said he will schedule a vote on his bill to give Congress an up-or-down vote on the deal on April 14, as soon as Congress returns from its recess. Sens. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) have drafted legislation that would introduce sanctions if the U.S. and Iran don’t reach an accord by the end of June.
Abroad, Israel and the U.S.’s partners in the Persian Gulf are also worried about the nuclear negotiations and the prospect of an emboldened Iran. Mr. Netanyahu didn’t stop after he addressed a full session of Congress in early March to urge them to scuttle a deal. He said Sunday that the agreement being discussed in Switzerland was worse than he had previously feared.
Persian Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, are wary of Iran’s influence in the Middle East and fear a nuclear deal and sanctions relief could embolden Iran to have an even heavier hand in the region.
How long have negotiations with Iran been going on?
This iteration of diplomacy dates to September 2013, when Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. In November 2013 came the Joint Plan of Action.
The JPOA was initially set to expire in July 2014, and has been extended twice along with negotiations, this time through June 2015.
Nuclear negotiations with Iran and world powers have gone on in some form or another for over a decade. U.S. diplomacy with Iran appeared to get a fresh start in June 2013, when Hasan Rouhani was elected president of Iran after campaigning on the promise to improve ties with the West. Now, 18 months into this round of talks, officials say they’re closer than ever to an agreement. But it’s still an unknown if they’ll get there.
Possible Failure of Iran Nuclear Deal Divides U.S., Israel
White House fears collapse of talks would imperil sanctions, while Netanyahu envisions better accord
By GERALD F. SEIB
As profound as the disagreement is between Israel and the U.S. over the substance of the nuclear deal being negotiated with Iran, the two countries disagree just as fundamentally over the consequences of failing to complete such a deal.
In fact, this disagreement is central to the wildly divergent calculations being made by President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The heart of the dispute is simply this: If the talks fail to produce an agreement now, Israel believes the continued pressure of economic sanctions can compel Iran to agree to a much better deal later on. The Obama administration’s fear is that if the U.S. simply walks away from the talks, that could cause the collapse of the sanctions regime—and the end of any real pressure on the Iranians.
This dispute is crucial as negotiations reach their climax this week. After months of diplomatic feints and jabs, the self-imposed deadline for reaching the outlines of a deal arrives Tuesday. And while talks may slip past that point, diplomacy has reached its critical juncture.
As this climactic moment arrives, the Obama administration’s eagerness for a deal is becoming clear. The president and his aides appear to believe a deal can not only curb Iran’s nuclear program short of the ability to produce a weapon, but can open the door to a more productive relationship that reduces broader Iranian misbehavior over time. Israel deeply disagrees on both points, arguing that a deal will only enshrine Iran’s nuclear program and that the desire to preserve such a hard-won agreement will give the U.S. a powerful incentive to look the other way when Iran misbehaves.
All sides agree that the main reason Iran is at the negotiating table in the first place is its desire to win relief from oppressive international economic sanctions in any deal. The dispute between the U.S. and Israel, then, is over whether those sanctions are a perishable commodity.
The administration’s view is that the rest of the world bought into sanctions against Iran in service of diplomacy, not in lieu of it. In other words, the international partners—particularly the more balky ones such as Russia, China and India—agreed to put the heat on Iran precisely to drive forward the negotiations that are under way now, not as some kind of permanent situation.
Indeed, there were great fears, notably in Israel, that an interim nuclear agreement struck with in late 2013—which has frozen some elements of Iran’s nuclear program in place in return for limited sanctions relief while talks continue—would imperil the sanctions regime by opening a crack in it that some nations would then rush through. That hasn’t happened, but U.S. officials doubt that the pressure to stick with sanctions can be sustained forever.
In this view, withdrawing from talks without a deal would give Russia, China India and some European nations a perfect reason to walk away from sanctions, leaving the U.S. and Israel with the worst of all worlds: no negotiated limits on Iran’s nuclear program and no remaining pressure to win them later.
Mr. Netanyahu’s view was encapsulated in his controversial address to a joint meeting of Congress three weeks ago. “Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil,” he said.
In the Israeli view, the glue that could keep economic sanctions in place even if talks collapse is a credible military threat against Iran. Other nations so fear the consequences of an American or Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities if sanctions collapse that they would stick with the sanctions just to forestall the possibility.
Moreover, Israel believes, the most important and effective economic sanction is the one blocking Iran’s access to the international banking system. That is one the U.S., as the center of the international financial system, has the power to keep in place all by itself, regardless of whether allies agree or not.
And at a time when oil prices are so low, the argument continues, it doesn’t take as much pressure to produce economic pain.
Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at the Carnegie Endowment, thinks that, in the end, neither side may be entirely right—or entirely wrong. Allies are more eager to retain good economic ties with the U.S. than with Iran, which means they may hang in with Washington on sanctions, he says. On the other hand, he adds, Iran senses its international isolation slowly easing, so it won’t feel the need to “capitulate” to continued sanctions to avoid a collapse of its regime.
What is clear is that this disagreement lies at the heart of the U.S.-Israeli split as talks reach the finish line.
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“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
John, Chapter 8
Catechism of The Catholic Church
Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
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In Defense of Indiana
by RICH LOWRY
The anti-RFRA backlash is a perfect storm of hysteria and legal ignorance.
Indiana is experiencing its two minutes of hate. It is doubtful that since its admittance into the union in 1816, the heretofore inoffensive Midwestern state has ever been showered with so much elite obloquy.
Indiana’s sin is that its legislature passed and Governor Mike Pence signed into law a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, setting out a legal standard for cases involving a clash between a person’s exercise of religion and the state’s laws. To listen to the critics, you’d think the law was drafted by a joint committee of attorneys from the Ku Klux Klan and Westboro Baptist Church. The enlightened are stumbling over themselves in their rush to boycott Indiana. Seattle and San Francisco are banning official travel there, and Connecticut is following suit. In a Washington Post op-ed, Apple CEO Tim Cook pronounced the Indiana law part of a “very dangerous” trend that allows “people to discriminate against their neighbors” (never mind that his company is happy to do business in Communist China). The anti-Indiana backlash is a perfect storm of hysteria and legal ignorance, supercharged by the particularly censorious self-righteousness of the Left.
All the Indiana law says is that the state can’t substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, unless there is a compelling governmental interest at stake and it is pursued by the least restrictive means. The law doesn’t mandate any particular outcome; it simply provides a test for the courts in those rare instances when a person’s exercise of religion clashes with a law.
Nineteen other states have similar protections, and they are all modeled on a federal version of the law that passed Congress with near unanimity in 1993 (Indiana’s law is arguably a little more robust than the federal version, because it also applies to private suits). If these Religious Freedom Restoration Acts were the enablers of discrimination they are portrayed as, much of the country would already have sunk into a dystopian pit of hatred.
Legal historians a century from now may be mystified by how a measure that was uncontroversial for so long suddenly became a mark of shame. They will find their answer in the Left’s drive to crush any dissent from its cultural agenda, especially on gay marriage.
The religious-freedom laws once were associated with minorities that progressives could embrace or tolerate — Native Americans who smoke peyote as part of religious ceremonies, Amish who drive their buggies on the roads, and the like. That was fine. It is the specter of Christian small-business people — say, a baker or a florist — using the laws to protect themselves from punishment for opting out of gay-wedding ceremonies that drives progressives mad.
Why? It’s a large, diverse country, with many people of differing faiths and different points of view. More specifically, the country has an enormous wedding industry not known for its hostility to gays. The burgeoning institution of gay marriage will surely survive the occasional florist who doesn’t want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding for religious reasons.
As a practical matter, such a dissenting florist doesn’t make a difference; the affected couple might be offended but can take its business elsewhere. But for the Left, it’s the principle of the thing. For all its talk of diversity, it demands unanimity on this question — individual conscience be damned. So it isn’t bothered when religious wedding vendors are sued or harassed under anti-discrimination laws for their nonparticipation in ceremonies they morally oppose.
It’s not clear that Religious Freedom Restoration Acts will shield these kinds of business people (they haven’t, to this point). It might be that more specific exemptions are necessary. But the mere possibility that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act might protect a baker opposed to gay marriage is enough to create a furious, unhinged reaction.
Yes, there is intolerance afoot in the debate over Indiana, but it’s not on the part of Indianans.
He then appeared on an opposition television channel based in London to say he no longer saw any “sense” in his profession as a journalist as he could only write what he was told.
“There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations,” he told Irane Farda television. “But they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels.
“My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.” Mr Mottaghi was a journalist and commentator who went on to use social media successfully to promote Mr Rouhani to a youthful audience that overwhelmingly elected him to power.
But he was also subject to the bitter internal arguments within the Iranian regime. One news website claimed he had been forced in to report to the ministry of intelligence weekly, and that he had been tipped off that he might be subject to arrest had he returned to Tehran.
ISCA, which has come under fire from regime hardliners critical of Mr Rouhani, issued a statement denying that Mr Motaghi was in Lausanne to report for it.
“Amir Hossein Motaghi had terminated his contribution to ISCA and this news agency has not had any reporter at the nuclear talks, except for a photojournalist”, it said.
However, critics said Mr Mottaghi was “prey of the exiled counter-revolutionaries” and had gone to Lausanne with the sole purpose of seeking refugee status in Switzerland.
In his television interview, Mr Mottaghi also gave succour to western critics of the proposed nuclear deal, which has seen the White House pursue a more conciliatory line with Tehran than some of America’s European allies in the negotiating team, comprising the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.
“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blasted the impending nuclear deal between the P5+1 world powers and the Iranian regime, calling the accord a historically bad agreement that lets Iran race towards nuclear weapons development.
“The deal emerging in Lausanne [Switzerland] sends a message that there is no cost for aggression, and in turn, that there is a reward for Iran’s aggression,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli Prime Minister vowed to continue fighting against vital threats to the national security of his country.
He added: “We will never close our eyes and we will continue to operate against every threat in every generation, and of course in this generation.”
Netanyahu predicted that many countries in the region would be immediately affected by a bad deal.
“Moderate, responsible countries in the region, primarily Israel but other countries as well, will be the first to be harmed by this agreement,” he said.
On Sunday, the Israeli Prime Minister expressed concern with the Iranian regime’s growing sphere of influence and control.
“After the Beirut-Damascus- Baghdad axis, Iran is carrying out a pincer movement from the south to take over and occupy the entire Middle East. The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity and it must be stopped,” Netanyahu said on Sunday at his weekly cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu suggested in the meeting that the impending nuclear deal likely “paves Iran’s way to the [nuclear] bomb.”
The foreign ministers of Iran and the entire P5+1 world powers met in Switzerland on Monday in hopes to secure a basic framework for a nuclear deal by Tuesday’s March 31 deadline. This marked the first time that all of the negotiating foreign minister’s gathered together at the same event.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the media, “I think it is possible to reach a deal by [Tuesday] night. The gaps are narrowing. I am always optimistic.”
“Our deadline is tomorrow night so obviously we are working very hard,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters.
The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….
The Treaty Clause has a number of striking features. It gives the Senate, in James Madison’s terms, a “partial agency” in the President’s foreign-relations power. The clause requires a supermajority (two-thirds) of the Senate for approval of a treaty, but it gives the House of Representatives, representing the “people,” no role in the process.
Midway through the Constitutional Convention, a working draft had assigned the treaty-making power to the Senate, but the Framers, apparently considering the traditional role of a nation-state’s executive in making treaties, changed direction and gave the power to the President, but with the proviso of the Senate’s “Advice and Consent.” In a formal sense, then, treaty-making became a mixture of executive and legislative power. Most people of the time recognized the actual conduct of diplomacy as an executive function, but under Article VI treaties were, like statutes, part of the “supreme Law of the Land.” Thus, as Alexander Hamilton explained in The Federalist No. 75, the two branches were appropriately combined:
The qualities elsewhere detailed as indispensable in the management of foreign relations point out the executive as the most fit in those transactions; while the vast importance of the trust and the operation of treaties as laws plead strongly for the participation of the whole or a portion of the legislative body in the office of making them.
Another reason for involving both President and Senate was that the Framers thought American interests might be undermined by treaties entered into without proper reflection. The Framers believed that treaties should be strictly honored, both as a matter of the law of nations and as a practical matter, because the United States could not afford to give the great powers any cause for war. But this meant that the nation should be doubly cautious in accepting treaty obligations. As James Wilson said, “Neither the President nor the Senate, solely, can complete a treaty; they are checks upon each other, and are so balanced as to produce security to the people.”
The fear of disadvantageous treaties also underlay the Framers’ insistence on approval by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. In particular, the Framers worried that one region or interest within the nation, constituting a bare majority, would make a treaty advantageous to it but prejudicial to other parts of the country and to the national interest. An episode just a year before the start of the Convention had highlighted the problem. The United States desired a trade treaty with Spain, and sought free access to the Mississippi River through Spanish-controlled New Orleans. Spain offered favorable trade terms, but only if the United States would give up its demands on the Mississippi. The Northern states, which would have benefited most from the trade treaty and cared little about New Orleans, had a majority, but not a supermajority, in the Continental Congress. Under the Articles of Confederation, treaties required assent of a supermajority (nine out of thirteen) of the states, and the South was able to block the treaty. It was undoubtedly that experience that impelled the Framers to carry over the supermajority principle from the Articles of Confederation.
At the Convention, several prominent Framers argued unsuccessfully to have the House of Representatives included. But most delegates thought that the House had substantial disadvantages when it came to treaty-making. For example, as a large body, the House would have difficulty keeping secrets or acting quickly. The small states, wary of being disadvantaged, also preferred to keep the treaty-making power in the Senate, where they had proportionally greater power.
The ultimate purpose, then, of the Treaty Clause was to ensure that treaties would not be adopted unless most of the country stood to gain. True, treaties would be more difficult to adopt than statutes, but the Framers realized that an unwise statute could simply be repealed, but an unwise treaty remained a binding international commitment, which would not be so easy to unwind.
Other questions, however, remained. First, are the provisions of the clause exclusive—that is, does it provide the only way that the United States may enter into international obligations?
While the clause does not say, in so many words, that it is exclusive, its very purpose—not to have any treaty disadvantage one part of the nation—suggests that no other route was possible, whether it be the President acting alone, or the popularly elected House having a role. On the other hand, while the Treaty Clause was, in the original understanding, the exclusive way to make treaties, the Framers also apparently recognized a class of less-important international agreements, not rising to the level of “treaties,” which could be approved in some other way. Article I, Section 10, in describing restrictions upon the states, speaks of “Treat[ies]” and “Agreement[s]…with a foreign Power” as two distinct categories. Some scholars believe this shows that not all international agreements are treaties, and that these other agreements would not need to go through the procedures of the Treaty Clause. Instead, the President, in the exercise of his executive power, could conclude such agreements on his own. Still, this exception for lesser agreements would have to be limited to “agreements” of minor importance, or else it would provide too great an avenue for evasion of the protections the Framers placed in the Treaty Clause.
A second question is how the President and Senate should interact in their joint exercise of the treaty power. Many Framers apparently thought that the President would oversee the actual conduct of diplomacy, but that the Senate would be involved from the outset as a sort of executive council advising the President. This was likely a reason that the Framers thought the smaller Senate was more suited than the House to play a key role in treaty-making. In the first effort at treaty-making under the Constitution, President George Washington attempted to operate in just this fashion. He went to the Senate in person to discuss a proposed treaty before he began negotiations. What is less clear, however, is whether the Constitution actually requires this process, or whether it is only what the Framers assumed would happen. The Senate, of course, is constitutionally authorized to offer “advice” to the President at any stage of the treaty-making process, but the President is not directed (in so many words) as to when advice must be solicited. As we shall see, this uncertainty has led, in modern practice, to a very different procedure than some Framers envisioned. It seems clear, however, that the Framers expected that the Senate’s “advice and consent” would be a close review and not a mere formality, as they thought of it as an important check upon presidential power.
A third difficult question is whether the Treaty Clause implies a Senate power or role in treaty termination. Scholarly opinion is divided, and few Framers appear to have discussed the question directly. One view sees the power to make a treaty as distinct from the power of termination, with the latter being more akin to a power of implementation. Since the Constitution does not directly address the termination power, this view would give it to the President as part of the President’s executive powers to conduct foreign affairs and to execute the laws. When the termination question first arose in 1793, Washington and his Cabinet, which included Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, embraced this view. All of them thought Washington could, on his own authority, terminate the treaty with France if necessary to keep the United States neutral.
A second view holds that, as a matter of the general eighteenth-century understanding of the legal process, the power to take an action (such as passing a statute or making a treaty) implies the power to undo the action. This view would require the consent of the President and a supermajority of the Senate to undo a treaty. There is, however, not much historical evidence that many Framers actually held this view of treaty termination, and it is inconsistent with the common interpretation of the Appointments Clause (under which Senate approval is required to appoint but not to remove executive officers).
The third view is that the Congress as a whole has the power to terminate treaties, based on an analogy between treaties and federal laws. When the United States first terminated a treaty in 1798 under John Adams, this procedure was adopted, but there was little discussion of the constitutional ramifications.
Finally, there is a question of the limits of the treaty power. A treaty presumably cannot alter the constitutional structure of government, and the Supreme Court has said that executive agreements—and so apparently treaties—are subject to the limits of the Bill of Rights just as ordinary laws are. Reid v. Covert (1957). InGeofroy v. Riggs (1890), the Supreme Court also declared that the treaty power extends only to topics that are “properly the subject of negotiation with a foreign country.” However, at least in the modern world, one would think that few topics are so local that they could not, under some circumstances, be reached as part of the foreign-affairs interests of the nation. Some have argued that treaties are limited by the federalism interests of the states. The Supreme Court rejected a version of that argument in State of Missouri v. Holland (1920), holding that the subject matter of treaties is not limited to the enumerated powers of Congress. The revival of interest in federalism limits on Congress in such areas as state sovereign immunity, see Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida (1996), and the Tenth Amendment, see Printz v. United States (1997), raises the question whether these limits also apply to the treaty power, but the Court has not yet taken up these matters.
Turning to modern practice, the Framers’ vision of treaty-making has in some ways prevailed and in some ways been altered. First, it is not true—and has not been true since George Washington’s administration—that the Senate serves as an executive council to advise the President in all stages of treaty-making. Rather, the usual modern course is that the President negotiates and signs treaties independently and then presents the proposed treaty to the Senate for its approval or disapproval. Washington himself found personal consultation with the Senate to be so awkward and unproductive that he abandoned it, and subsequent Presidents have followed his example.
Moreover, the Senate frequently approves treaties with conditions and has done so since the Washington administration. If the President makes clear to foreign nations that his signature on a treaty is only a preliminary commitment subject to serious Senate scrutiny, and if the Senate takes seriously its constitutional role of reviewing treaties (rather than merely deferring to the President), the check that the Framers sought to create remains in place. By going beyond a simple “up-or-down” vote, the Senate retains some of its power of “advice”: the Senate not only disapproves the treaty proposed by the President but suggests how the President might craft a better treaty. As a practical matter, there is often much consultation between the executive and members of the Senate before treaties are crafted and signed. Thus modern practice captures the essence of the Framers’ vision that the Senate would have some form of a participatory role in treaty-making.
A more substantial departure from the Framers’ vision may arise from the practice of “executive agreements.” According to the Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, the President may validly conclude executive agreements that (1) cover matters that are solely within his executive power, or (2) are made pursuant to a treaty, or (3) are made pursuant to a legitimate act of Congress. Examples of important executive agreements include the Potsdam and Yalta agreements of World War II, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which regulated international trade for decades, and the numerous status-of-forces agreements the United States has concluded with foreign governments.
Where the President acts pursuant to a prior treaty, there seems little tension with the Framers’ vision, as Senate approval has, in effect, been secured in advance. Somewhat more troublesome is the modern practice of so-called congressional–executive agreements, by which some international agreements have been made by the President and approved (either in advance or after the fact) by a simple majority of both houses of Congress, rather than two-thirds of the Senate. Many of these agreements deal particularly with trade-related matters, which Congress has clear constitutional authority to regulate. Congressional–executive agreements, at least with respect to trade matters, are now well established, and recent court challenges have been unsuccessful. Made in the USA Foundation v. United States (2001). On the other hand, arguments for “complete interchangeability”—that is, claims that anything that can be done by treaty can be done by congressional–executive agreement—seem counter to the Framers’ intent. The Framers carefully considered the supermajority rule for treaties and adopted it in response to specific threats to the Union; finding a complete alternative to the Treaty Clause would in effect eliminate the supermajority rule and make important international agreements easier to adopt than the Framers wished.
The third type of executive agreement is one adopted by the President without explicit approval of either the Senate or the Congress as a whole. The Supreme Court and modern practice embrace the idea that the President may under some circumstances make these so-called sole executive agreements. United States v. Belmont (1937); United States v. Pink (1942). But the scope of this independent presidential power remains a serious question. The Pink and Belmont cases involved agreements relating to the recognition of a foreign government, a power closely tied to the President’s textual power to receive ambassadors (Article II, Section 3). The courts have consistently permitted the President to settle foreign claims by sole executive agreement, but at the same time have emphasized that the Congress has acquiesced in the practice. Dames & Moore v. Regan (1981);American Insurance Ass’n v. Garamendi (2003). Beyond this, the modern limits of the President’s ability to act independently in making international agreements have not been explored. With respect to treaty termination, modern practice allows the President to terminate treaties on his own. In recent times, President James Earl Carter terminated the U.S.–Taiwan Mutual Defense Treaty in 1977, and President George W. Bush terminated the ABM Treaty with Russia in 2001. The Senate objected sharply to President Carter’s actions, but the Supreme Court rebuffed the Senate in Goldwater v. Carter (1979). President Bush’s action was criticized in some academic quarters but received general acquiescence. In light of the consensus early in Washington’s administration, it is probably fair to say that presidential termination does not obviously depart from the original understanding, inasmuch as the Framers were much more concerned about checks upon entering into treaties than they were about checks upon terminating them.
Story 1: No Body Does It Better– Israel Spies On Iran and USA Nuclear Talks — Provides Details of Terrible Deal To Congress — Show The American People The Deal or Kill The Deal! — Stop Iran From Getting The Bomb — The Neutron Bomb — An Humane Weapon — and The Neutronium Bomb — The Doomday Device — Let The Sunshine In — Video
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Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon ( Theme from the Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me)
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When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
And peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding
No more false hoods or derisions, golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelations, and the mind’s true liberations
When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
And peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine
Ally’s snooping upset White House because information was used to lobby Congress to try to sink a deal
March 23, 2015 10:30 p.m. ET
Soon after the U.S. and other major powers entered negotiations last year to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, senior White House officials learned Israel was spying on the closed-door talks.
The spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal, current and former U.S. officials said. In addition to eavesdropping, Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said.
Soon after the U.S. entered negotiations last year to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, senior White House officials learned Israel was spying on the closed-door talks. Photo: Getty
The espionage didn’t upset the White House as much as Israel’s sharing of inside information with U.S. lawmakers and others to drain support from a high-stakes deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program, current and former officials said.
“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter.
The U.S. and Israel, longtime allies who routinely swap information on security threats, sometimes operate behind the scenes like spy-versus-spy rivals. The White House has largely tolerated Israeli snooping on U.S. policy makers—a posture Israel takes when the tables are turned.
The White House discovered the operation, in fact, when U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted communications among Israeli officials that carried details the U.S. believed could have come only from access to the confidential talks, officials briefed on the matter said.
Israeli officials denied spying directly on U.S. negotiators and said they received their information through other means, including close surveillance of Iranian leaders receiving the latest U.S. and European offers. European officials, particularly the French, also have been more transparent with Israel about the closed-door discussions than the Americans, Israeli and U.S. officials said.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and President Barack Obama shown during a meeting at the White House in October. The leaders disagree over the negotiations with Iran. Photo: GettyPHOTO: REUTERS
Mr. Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer early this year saw a rapidly closing window to increase pressure on Mr. Obama before a key deadline at the end of March, Israeli officials said.
Using levers of political influence unique to Israel, Messrs. Netanyahu and Dermer calculated that a lobbying campaign in Congress before an announcement was made would improve the chances of killing or reshaping any deal. They knew the intervention would damage relations with the White House, Israeli officials said, but decided that was an acceptable cost.
The campaign may not have worked as well as hoped, Israeli officials now say, because it ended up alienating many congressional Democrats whose support Israel was counting on to block a deal.
Obama administration officials, departing from their usual description of the unbreakable bond between the U.S. and Israel, have voiced sharp criticism of Messrs. Netanyahu and Dermer to describe how the relationship has changed.
“People feel personally sold out,” a senior administration official said. “That’s where the Israelis really better be careful because a lot of these people will not only be around for this administration but possibly the next one as well.”
This account of the Israeli campaign is based on interviews with more than a dozen current and former U.S. and Israeli diplomats, intelligence officials, policy makers and lawmakers.
Distrust between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Obama had been growing for years but worsened when Mr. Obama launched secret talks with Iran in 2012. The president didn’t tell Mr. Netanyahu because of concerns about leaks, helping set the stage for the current standoff, according to current and former U.S. and Israeli officials.
U.S. officials said Israel has long topped the list of countries that aggressively spy on the U.S., along with China, Russia and France. The U.S. expends more counterintelligence resources fending off Israeli spy operations than any other close ally, U.S. officials said.
A senior official in the prime minister’s office said Monday: “These allegations are utterly false. The state of Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel’s other allies. The false allegations are clearly intended to undermine the strong ties between the United States and Israel and the security and intelligence relationship we share.”
Current and former Israeli officials said their intelligence agencies scaled back their targeting of U.S. officials after the jailing nearly 30 years ago of American Jonathan Pollard for passing secrets to Israel.
While U.S. officials may not be direct targets, current and former officials said, Israeli intelligence agencies sweep up communications between U.S. officials and parties targeted by the Israelis, including Iran.
Americans shouldn’t be surprised, said a person familiar with the Israeli practice, since U.S. intelligence agencies helped the Israelis build a system to listen in on high-level Iranian communications.
As secret talks with Iran progressed into 2013, U.S. intelligence agencies monitored Israel’s communications to see if the country knew of the negotiations. Mr. Obama didn’t tell Mr. Netanyahu until September 2013.
Israeli officials, who said they had already learned about the talks through their own channels, told their U.S. counterparts they were upset about being excluded. “ ‘Did the administration really believe we wouldn’t find out?’ ” Israeli officials said, according to a former U.S. official.
Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer met with U.S. lawmakers and shared details on the Iran negotiations to warn about the terms of the deal.PHOTO: CNP/ZUMA PRESS
The episode cemented Mr. Netanyahu’s concern that Mr. Obama was bent on clinching a deal with Iran whether or not it served Israel’s best interests, Israeli officials said. Obama administration officials said the president was committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Mr. Dermer started lobbying U.S. lawmakers just before the U.S. and other powers signed an interim agreement with Iran in November 2013. Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Dermer went to Congress after seeing they had little influence on the White House.
Before the interim deal was made public, Mr. Dermer gave lawmakers Israel’s analysis: The U.S. offer would dramatically undermine economic sanctions on Iran, according to congressional officials who took part.
After learning about the briefings, the White House dispatched senior officials to counter Mr. Dermer. The officials told lawmakers that Israel’s analysis exaggerated the sanctions relief by as much as 10 times, meeting participants said.
When the next round of negotiations with Iran started in Switzerland last year, U.S. counterintelligence agents told members of the U.S. negotiating team that Israel would likely try to penetrate their communications, a senior Obama administration official said.
The U.S. routinely shares information with its European counterparts and others to coordinate negotiating positions. While U.S. intelligence officials believe secured U.S. communications are relatively safe from the Israelis, they say European communications are vulnerable.
Mr. Netanyahu and his top advisers received confidential updates on the Geneva talks from Undersecretary of State for Political AffairsWendy Sherman and other U.S. officials, who knew at the time that Israeli intelligence was working to fill in any gaps.
The White House eventually curtailed the briefings, U.S. officials said, withholding sensitive information for fear of leaks.
Current and former Israeli officials said their intelligence agencies can get much of the information they seek by targeting Iranians and others in the region who are communicating with countries in the talks.
In November, the Israelis learned the contents of a proposed deal offered by the U.S. but ultimately rejected by Iran, U.S. and Israeli officials said. Israeli officials told their U.S. counterparts the terms offered insufficient protections.
U.S. officials urged the Israelis to give the negotiations a chance. But Mr. Netanyahu’s top advisers concluded the emerging deal was unacceptable. The White House was making too many concessions, Israeli officials said, while the Iranians were holding firm.
Obama administration officials reject that view, saying Israel was making impossible demands that Iran would never accept. “The president has made clear time and again that no deal is better than a bad deal,” a senior administration official said.
In January, Mr. Netanyahu told the White House his government intended to oppose the Iran deal but didn’t explain how, U.S. and Israeli officials said.
On Jan. 21, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) announced Mr. Netanyahu would address a joint meeting of Congress. That same day, Mr. Dermer and other Israeli officials visited Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers and aides, seeking a bipartisan coalition large enough to block or amend any deal.
Most Republicans were already prepared to challenge the White House on the negotiations, so Mr. Dermer focused on Democrats. “This deal is bad,” he said in one briefing, according to participants.
A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington, Aaron Sagui,said Mr. Dermer didn’t launch a special campaign on Jan 21. Mr. Dermer, the spokesperson said, has “consistently briefed both Republican and Democrats, senators and congressmen, on Israel’s concerns regarding the Iran negotiations for over a year.”
Mr. Dermer and other Israeli officials over the following weeks gave lawmakers and their aides information the White House was trying to keep secret, including how the emerging deal could allow Iran to operate around 6,500 centrifuges, devices used to process nuclear material, said congressional officials who attended the briefings.
The Israeli officials told lawmakers that Iran would also be permitted to deploy advanced IR-4 centrifuges that could process fuel on a larger scale, meeting participants and administration officials said. Israeli officials said such fuel, which under the emerging deal would be intended for energy plants, could be used to one day build nuclear bombs.
The information in the briefings, Israeli officials said, was widely known among the countries participating in the negotiations.
When asked in February during one briefing where Israel got its inside information, the Israeli officials said their sources included the French and British governments, as well as their own intelligence, according to people there.
“Ambassador Dermer never shared confidential intelligence information with members of Congress,” Mr. Sagui said. “His briefings did not include specific details from the negotiations, including the length of the agreement or the number of centrifuges Iran would be able to keep.”
Current and former U.S. officials confirmed that the number and type of centrifuges cited in the briefings were part of the discussions. But they said the briefings were misleading because Israeli officials didn’t disclose concessions asked of Iran. Those included giving up stockpiles of nuclear material, as well as modifying the advanced centrifuges to slow output, these officials said.
The administration didn’t brief lawmakers on the centrifuge numbers and other details at the time because the information was classified and the details were still in flux, current and former U.S. officials said.
The congressional briefings and Mr. Netanyahu’s decision to address a joint meeting of Congress on the emerging deal sparked a backlash among many Democratic lawmakers, congressional aides said.
On Feb. 3, Mr. Dermer huddled with Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, who said he told Mr. Dermer it was a breach of protocol for Mr. Netanyahu to accept an invitation from Mr. Boehner without going through the White House.
Mr. Manchin said he told Mr. Dermer he would attend the prime minister’s speech to Congress, but he was noncommittal about supporting any move by Congress to block a deal.
Mr. Dermer spent the following day doing damage control with Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, congressional aides said.
Two days later, Mr. Dermer met with Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the SenateIntelligence Committee, at her Washington, D.C., home. He pressed for her support because he knew that she, too, was angry about Mr. Netanyahu’s planned appearance.
Ms. Feinstein said afterward she would oppose legislation allowing Congress to vote down an agreement.
Congressional aides and Israeli officials now say Israel’s coalition in Congress is short the votes needed to pass legislation that could overcome a presidential veto, although that could change. In response, Israeli officials said, Mr. Netanyahu was pursuing other ways to pressure the White House.
This week, Mr. Netanyahu sent a delegation to France, which has been more closely aligned with Israel on the nuclear talks and which could throw obstacles in Mr. Obama’s way before a deal is signed. The Obama administration, meanwhile, is stepping up its outreach to Paris to blunt the Israeli push.
“If you’re wondering whether something serious has shifted here, the answer is yes,” a senior U.S. official said. “These things leave scars.”
A neutron bomb, officially known as one type of Enhanced Radiation Weapon, is a low yield fission-fusion thermonuclear weapon (hydrogen bomb) in which the burst of neutrons generated by a fusionreaction is intentionally allowed to escape the weapon, rather than being absorbed by its other components. The weapon’s radiation case, usually made from relatively thick uranium, lead or steel in a standard bomb, is, instead, made of as thin a material as possible, to facilitate the greatest escape of fusion produced neutrons. The “usual” nuclear weapon yield—expressed as kilotons of TNT equivalent—is not a measure of a neutron weapon’s destructive power. It refers only to the energy released (mostly heat and blast), and does not express the lethal effect of neutron radiation on living organisms.
Compared to a pure fission bomb with an identical explosive yield, a neutron bomb would emit about ten times the amount of neutron radiation. In a fission bomb, at sea level, the total radiation pulse energy which is composed of both gamma rays and neutrons is approximately 5% of the entire energy released; in the neutron bomb it would be closer to 40%. Furthermore, the neutrons emitted by a neutron bomb have a much higher average energy level (close to 14 MeV) than those released during a fission reaction (1–2 MeV). Technically speaking, all low yield nuclear weapons are radiation weapons, that is including the non-enhanced variant. Up to about 10 kilotons in yield, all nuclear weapons have prompt neutron radiation as their most far reaching lethal component, after which point the lethal blast and thermal effects radius begins to out-range the lethal ionizing radiation radius. Enhanced radiation weapons also fall into this same yield range and simply enhance the intensity and range of the neutron dose for a given yield.
History & deployment to present
Conception of the neutron bomb is generally credited to Samuel T. Cohen of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who developed the concept in 1958.Testing was authorized and carried out in 1963 at an underground Nevada test facility. Development was subsequently postponed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 following protests against his administration’s plans to deploy neutron warheads to ground forces in Europe. On November 17, 1978, in a test the USSRdetonated its first similar-type bomb. President Ronald Reagan restarted production in 1981. The Soviet Union began a propaganda campaign against the US’s neutron bomb in 1981 following Reagan’s announcement. In 1983 Reagan then announced the Strategic Defense Initiative, which surpassed neutron bomb production in ambition and vision and with that the neutron bomb quickly faded from the center of the public’s attention.
Three types of enhanced radiation weapons (ERW) were built by the United States. The W66 warhead, for the anti-ICBM Sprint missile system, was deployed in 1975 and retired the next year, along with the missile system. The W70 Mod 3 warhead was developed for the short-range, tactical Lance missile, and the W79 Mod 0 was developed for artillery shells. The latter two types were retired by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, following the end of the Cold War. The last W70 Mod 3 warhead was dismantled in 1996, and the last W79 Mod 0 was dismantled by 2003, when the dismantling of all W79 variants was completed.
In addition to the two superpowers, France and China are known to have tested neutron or enhanced radiation bombs. France conducted an early test of the technology in 1967 and tested an “actual” neutron bomb in 1980. China conducted a successful test of neutron bomb principles in 1984 and a successful test of a neutron bomb in 1988. However, neither country chose to deploy the neutron bomb. Chinese nuclear scientists stated prior to the 1988 test that China had no need for the neutron bomb, but it was developed to serve as a “technology reserve,” in case the need arose in the future.
Although no country is currently known to deploy them in an offensive manner, all thermonuclear dial-a-yield warheads that have about 10 kiloton and lower as one dial option, with a considerable fraction of that yield derived from fusion reactions, can be considered capable of being neutron bombs in actuality if not in name. The only country definitively known to deploy dedicated (that is, not Dial-a-yield) neutron warheads for any length of time is Russia, which inherited the USSRsneutron warhead equipped ABM-3 Gazelle missile program, this Anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system contains at least 68 neutron warheads of yield 10 kiloton and it has been in service since 1995, with inert missile testing approximately every other year since then (2014). The system is designed to destroy incoming “endo-atmospheric” level nuclear warheads aimed at Moscow etc. and is the lower-tier/ last umbrella of the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system (NATO reporting name: ABM-3).
Considerable controversy arose in the U.S. and Western Europe following a June 1977 Washington Post exposé describing U.S. government plans to purchase the bomb. The article focused on the fact that it was the first weapon specifically intended to kill humans with radiation.Lawrence Livermore National Laboratorydirector Harold Brown and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev both described the neutron bomb as a “capitalist bomb”, because it was designed to destroy people while preserving property. Science fiction author Isaac Asimov also stated that “Such a neutron bomb or N bomb seems desirable to those who worry about property and hold life cheap.”
Use of neutron bomb
Neutron bombs are purposely designed with explosive yields lower than other nuclear weapons. Since neutrons are absorbed by air, neutron radiation effects drop off very rapidly with distance in air, there is a sharper distinction, as opposed to thermal effects, between areas of high lethality and areas with minimal radiation doses. All high yield (more than ~10 kiloton) “neutron bombs”, such as the extreme example of a device that derived 97% of its energy from fusion, the 50 megatonTsar Bomba, are not able to radiate sufficient neutrons beyond their lethal blast range when detonated as a surface burst or low altitude air burst and so are no longer classified as neutron bombs, thus limiting the yield of neutron bombs to a maximum of about 10 kilotons. The intense pulse of high-energy neutrons generated by a neutron bomb are the principal killing mechanism, not the fallout, heat or blast.
The inventor of the neutron bomb, Samuel Cohen, criticized the description of the W70 as a “neutron bomb” since it could be configured to yield 100 kilotons:
the W-70 … is not even remotely a “neutron bomb.” Instead of being the type of weapon that, in the popular mind, “kills people and spares buildings” it is one that both kills and physically destroys on a massive scale. The W-70 is not a discriminate weapon, like the neutron bomb—which, incidentally, should be considered a weapon that “kills enemy personnel while sparing the physical fabric of the attacked populace, and even the populace too.”
The Soviet/Warsaw pact invasion plan, “Seven Days to the River Rhine” to seize West Germany. Under such a scenario, neutron bombs, according to their inventor, would hopefully blunt the Warsaw pact tank, and more thinly armored BMP-1 thrusts, without causing as much damage to the people and infrastructure of Germany as alternative higher fission fraction & higher explosive yield tactical nuclear weapons would. They would likely be used if the mass conventional weapon NATO REFORGER response to the invasion had yet to find time to be organized or found ineffective in battle.
Although neutron bombs are commonly believed to “leave the infrastructure intact”, with current designs that have explosive yields in the low kiloton range, the detonation of which, in a built up area, would still cause considerable, although not total, destruction through blast and heat effects out to a considerable radius.
Wood frame house in 1953 nuclear test, 5 psi overpressure, complete collapse
Upon detonation, a 1 kiloton neutron bomb near the ground, in an airburst would produce a large blast wave, and a powerful pulse of both thermal radiation and ionizing radiation, mostly in the form of fast (14.1 MeV) neutrons. The thermal pulse would cause third degree burns to unprotected skin out to approximately 500 meters. The blast would create at least 4.6 PSIout to a radius of 600 meters, which would severely damage all non-reinforced concrete structures, at the conventional effective combat range against modern main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers (<690–900 m) the blast from a 1 kt neutron bomb will destroy or damage to the point of non-usability almost all un-reinforced civilian building. Thus the use of neutron bombs to stop an enemy armored attack by rapidly incapacitating the crew with a dose of 8000+ Rads of radiation, which would require exploding large numbers of them to blanket the enemy forces, would also destroy all normal civilian buildings in the same immediate area ~600 meters, and via neutron activation it would make many building materials in the city radioactive, such as Zinc coated steel/galvanized steel(see Area denial use below). Although at this ~600 meter distance the 4-5 PSI blast overpressure would cause very few direct casualties as the human body is resistant to sheer overpressure, the powerful winds produced by this overpressure are capable of throwing human bodies into objects or throwing objects-including window glass at high velocity, both with potentially lethal results, rendering casualties highly dependent on surroundings, including on if the building they are in collapses. The pulse of neutron radiation would cause immediate and permanent incapacitation to unprotected outdoor humans in the open out to 900 meters, with death occurring in one or two days. The lethal dose(LD50) of 600 Rads would extend to about 1350–1400 meters for those unprotected and outdoors, where approximately half of those exposed would die of radiation sickness after several weeks.
However a human residing within, or is simply shielded by at least 1 of the aforementioned concrete buildings with walls and ceilings 30 centimeters/12 inches thick, or alternatively of damp soil 24 inches thick, the neutron radiation exposure would be reduced by a factor of 10.
Furthermore the neutron absorption spectra of air is disputed by some authorities and depends in part on absorption byhydrogen from water vapor. It therefore might vary exponentially with humidity, making neutron bombs immensely more deadly in desert climates than in humid ones.
Questionable effectiveness in modern anti-tank role
The Neutron cross section/ absorption probability in barns of the two natural Boron isotopes found in nature (top curve is for 10B and bottom curve for 11B. As neutron energy increases to 14 MeV, the absorption effectiveness, in general, decreases. Therefore for boron containing armor to be effective, fast neutrons must first be slowed by another element by neutron scattering.
The questionable effectiveness of ER weapons against modern tanks is cited as one of the main reasons that these weapons are no longer fielded or stockpiled. With the increase in average tank armor thickness since the first ER weapons were fielded, tank armor protection approaches the level where tank crews are now almost completely protected from radiation effects. Therefore for an ER weapon to incapacitate a modern tank crew through irradiation, the weapon must now be detonated at such a close proximity to the tank that the nuclear explosion‘s blast would now be equally effective at incapacitating it and its crew. However this assertion was regarded as dubious in a reply in 1986  by a member of theRoyal Military College of Science as neutron radiation from a 1 kiloton neutron bomb would incapacitate the crew of a tank with a Protection Factor of 35 out to a range of 280 meters, but the incapacitating blast range, depending on the exact weight of the tank, is much less, from 70 to 130 meters. However although the author did note that effective neutron absorbers and neutron poisons such as Boron carbide can be incorporated into conventional armor and strap on neutron moderating hydrogenous material (hydrogen atom containing substances), such as Explosive Reactive Armor can both increase the protection factor, the author holds that in practice combined with neutron scattering, the actual average total tank area protection factor is rarely higher than 15.5 to 35. According to the Federation of American Scientists, the neutron protection factor of a “tank” can be as low as 2, without qualifying the tank statement is for a light tank(tankette) ormedium tank/main battle tank.
A composite high density concrete, or alternatively, a laminated Graded Z shield, 24 units thick of which 16 units are iron and 8 units are polyethylene containing boron (BPE) and additional mass behind it to attenuate neutron capture gamma rays is more effective than just 24 units of pure iron or BPE alone, due to the advantages of both iron and BPE in combination. Iron is effective in slowing down/scatteringhigh-energy neutrons in the 14-MeV energy range and attenuating gamma rays, while the hydrogen in polyethylene is effective in slowing down these now slowerfast neutrons in the few MeV range, and boron 10 has a high absorption cross section for thermal neutrons and a low production yield of gamma rays when it absorbs a neutron. The Soviet T72 tank, in response to the neutron bomb threat, is cited as having fitted a boronated, polyethylene liner, which has had its neutron shielding properties simulated.
However as some tank armor material contains depleted uranium(DU), common in the US’s M1A1 Abrams tank, which “incorporates steel-encased depleted uranium armour”, a substance that will fast fission when it captures a fast, fusion generated neutron, and therefore upon fissioning it will producefission neutrons and fission products embedded within the armor, products which emit amongst other things, penetrating gamma rays. Although the neutrons emitted by the neutron bomb may not penetrate to the tank crew in lethal quantities, the fast fission of DU within the armor could still ensure a lethal environment for the crew and maintenance personnel by fission neutron and gamma ray exposure,largely depending on the exact thickness and elemental composition of the armor – information usually hard to attain. Despite this, DUCRETE – which has an elemental composition similar to, but not identical to the ceramic 2nd generation heavy metal Chobham armor of the Abrams tank- DUCRETE is an effective radiation shield, to both fission neutrons and gamma rays due to it being a graded Z material. Uranium being about twice as dense as lead is thus nearly twice as effective at shielding gamma ray radiation per unit thickness.
Use against ballistic missiles
As an anti-ballistic missile weapon, the first fielded ER warhead, the W66, was developed for the Sprintmissile system as part of the Safeguard Program to protect United States cities and missile silos from incoming Soviet warheads by damaging their electronic components with the intense neutron flux.Ionization greater than 5,000 rads in silicon chips delivered over seconds to minutes will degrade the function of semiconductors for long periods. Due to the rarefied atmosphere encountered high above the earth at the most likely intercept point of an incoming warhead by a neutron bomb/warhead, whether it be the retired Sprint missile’s W66 neutron warhead or the still in service Russian counterpart, the ABM-3 Gazelle, at the Terminal phase point(10–30 km) of the incoming warheads flight, the neutrons generated by a Mid to High-altitude nuclear explosion(HANE) have an even greater range than that encountered after a low altitude air burst, where there is a lower density of air molecules that produces, by comparison, an appreciable reduction in the air shielding effect/half-value thickness.
However, although this neutron transparency advantage attained only increases at increased altitudes, neutron effects lose importance in the exoatmosphericenvironment, being overtaken by the range of another effect of a nuclear detonation, at approximately the same altitude as the end of the incoming missile’s boost phase(~150 km), ablation producing soft x-rays are the chief nuclear effects threat to the survival of incoming missiles and warheads rather than neutrons. A factor exploited by the other warhead of the Safeguard Program, the enhanced (X-ray) radiation W71 and its USSR/Russian counterpart, the warhead on the A-135 Gorgon missile.
Another method by which neutron radiation can be used to destroy incoming nuclear warheads is by serving as an intense neutron generator and to thus initiate fission in the incoming warheads fissionable components by fast fission, potentially causing the incoming warhead to prematurely detonate in a Fizzle if within sufficient proximity, but in most likely interception ranges, requiring only that enough fissionable material in the warhead fissions to interfere with the functioning of the incoming warhead when it is later fuzed to explode(see related physics:Subcritical reactor).
Lithium-6 Hydride(“Li6H”) is cited as being used as a countermeasure to reduce the vulnerability/”harden” nuclear warheads from the effects of externally generated neutrons.Radiation hardening of the warheads electronic components as a countermeasure to high altitude neutron warheads, somewhat reduces the range that a neutron warhead could successfully cause an unrecoverable glitch by the TREE(Transient Radiation effects on Electronics) mechanism.
Use as an area denial weapon
In November 2012, during the planning stages of Operation Hammer of God, it was suggested by a British parliamentarian that multiple enhanced radiation reduced blast (ERRB) warheads could be detonated in the mountain region of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border to prevent infiltration. He proposed to warn the inhabitants to evacuate, then irradiate the area, making it unusable and impassable. Used in this manner, the neutron bomb(s), regardless of burst height, would releaseneutron activated casing materials used in the bomb, and depending on burst height, create radioactive soil activation products.
In much the same fashion as the area denial effect resulting from fission product (the substances that make up the majority of fallout) contamination in an area following a conventional surface burst nuclear explosion, as considered in the Korean War by Douglas MacArthur, it would thus be a form of Radiological warfare. With the difference with that of neutron bombs producing 1/2, or less, of the quantity of fission products when compared to the same yield pure fission bomb. Radiological warfare with neutron bombs that rely on fission primaries would therefore still produce fission fallout, albeit a comparatively “cleaner” and shorter lasting version of it in the area if air bursts were utilized, as little to no fission products would be deposited on the direct immediate area, instead becoming diluted global fallout.
However the most effective use of a neutron bomb with respect to area denial would be to encase it in a thick shell of material that could be neutron activated, and use a surface burst. In this manner the neutron bomb would be turned into a “salted bomb“, a case of Zinc-64, produced as a byproduct of depleted zinc oxideenrichment, would for example probably be the most attractive from a military point of view, as when activated the Zinc-65 that is created is a gamma emitter, with a half life of 244 days.
Neutron bombs/warheads require considerable maintenance for their capabilities, requiring some tritium for fusion boosting and tritium in the secondary stage (yielding more neutrons), in amounts on the order of a few tens of grams (10–30 grams estimated). Because tritium has a relatively short half-life of 12.32 years (after that time, half the tritium has decayed), it is necessary to replenish it periodically in order to keep the bomb effective. (For instance: to maintain a constant level of 24 grams of tritium in a warhead, about 1 gram per bomb per year must be supplied.) Moreover, tritium decays into helium-3, which absorbs neutrons and will thus further reduce the bomb’s neutron yield.
Story 1: Fed Desperate To Rise Above the Near Zero Fed Funds Rate Target Range — Need Three Months Of 300,000 Plus Per Month Job Creation, Wage Growth and 3% First Quarter 2015 Real Gross Domestic Product Growth Numbers To Jump to .5 – 1.0% Range Fed Funds Rate Target — June 2015 Launch Date Expected — Fly Me To The Moon — Summertime — Launch — Abort On Recession — Videos
Amazing seven year old sings Fly Me To The Moon (Angelina Jordan) on Senkveld “The Late Show”
Forrest Gump JFK “I Gotta Pee” Scene
Fed Decision: The Three Most Important Things Janet Yellen Said
Press Conference with Chair of the FOMC, Janet L. Yellen
Monetary Policy Based on the Taylor Rule
Many economists believe that rules-based monetary policy provides better economic outcomes than a purely discretionary framework delivers. But there is disagreement about the advantages of rules-based policy and even disagreement about which rule works. One possible policy rule would be for the central bank to follow a Taylor Rule, named after our featured speaker, John B. Taylor. What would some of the advantages of a Taylor Rule be versus, for instance, a money growth rule, or a rule which only specifies the inflation target? How could a policy rule be implemented? Should policy rule legislation be considered? Join us as Professor Taylor addresses these important policy questions.
Murray N. Rothbard on Milton Friedman pre1971
On Milton Friedman | by Murray N. Rothbard
Who Was the Better Monetary Economist? Rothbard and Friedman Compared | Joseph T. Salerno
Joseph Salerno “Unmasking the Federal Reserve”
Rothbard on Alan Greenspan
Milton Friedman – Money and Inflation
Milton Friedman – Abolish The Fed
Milton Friedman On John Maynard Keynes
Hayek on Keynes’s Ignorance of Economics
Friedrich Hayek explains to Leo Rosten that while brilliant Keynes had a parochial understanding of economics.
On John Maynard Keynes | by Murray N. Rothbard
Hayek on Milton Friedman and Monetary Policy
Friedrich Hayek: Why Intellectuals Drift Towards Socialism
Capitalism, Socialism, and the Jews
The Normal State of Man: Misery & Tyranny
Peter Schiff Interviews Keynesian Economist Laurence Kotlikoff 01-18-12
Larry Kotlikoff on the Clash of Generations
Extended interview with Boston University Economics Professor Larry Kotlikoff on his publications about a six-decade long Ponzi scheme in the US which he says will lead to a clash of generations.
Kotlikoff also touches on what his projections mean for the New Zealand economy and why Prime Minister John Key should take more attention of New Zealand’s ‘fiscal gap’ – the gap between all future government spending commitments and its future revenue track.
Thomas Sowell on Intellectuals and Society
Angelina Jordan – summertime
Angelina Jordan synger Sinatra i semifinalen i Norske Talenter 2014
Release Date: March 18, 2015
For immediate release
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat. Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate. A range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish. Household spending is rising moderately; declines in energy prices have boosted household purchasing power. Business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow and export growth has weakened. Inflation has declined further below the Committee’s longer-run objective, largely reflecting declines in energy prices. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, with labor market indicators continuing to move toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate. The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced. Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term, but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of energy price declines and other factors dissipate. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.
To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress–both realized and expected–toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. Consistent with its previous statement, the Committee judges that an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April FOMC meeting. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term. This change in the forward guidance does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range.
The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.
When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent. The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Jeffrey M. Lacker; Dennis P. Lockhart; Jerome H. Powell; Daniel K. Tarullo; and John C. Williams.
Note: Projections of change in real gross domestic product (GDP) and projections for both measures of inflation are percent changes from the fourth quarter of the previous year to the fourth quarter of the year indicated. PCE inflation and core PCE inflation are the percentage rates of change in, respectively, the price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and the price index for PCE excluding food and energy. Projections for the unemployment rate are for the average civilian unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of the year indicated. Each participant’s projections are based on his or her assessment of appropriate monetary policy. Longer-run projections represent each participant’s assessment of the rate to which each variable would be expected to converge under appropriate monetary policy and in the absence of further shocks to the economy. The December projections were made in conjunction with the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on December 16-17, 2014.
1. The central tendency excludes the three highest and three lowest projections for each variable in each year. Return to table
2. The range for a variable in a given year includes all participants’ projections, from lowest to highest, for that variable in that year. Return to table
3. Longer-run projections for core PCE inflation are not collected. Return to table
Figure 1. Central tendencies and ranges of economic projections, 2015-17 and over the longer run
Central tendencies and ranges of economic projections for years 2015 through 2017 and over the longer run. Actual values for years 2010 through 2014.
Change in real GDP Percent
Upper End of Range
Upper End of Central Tendency
Lower End of Central Tendency
Lower End of Range
Unemployment rate Percent
Upper End of Range
Upper End of Central Tendency
Lower End of Central Tendency
Lower End of Range
PCE inflation Percent
Upper End of Range
Upper End of Central Tendency
Lower End of Central Tendency
Lower End of Range
Note: Definitions of variables are in the general note to the projections table. The data for the actual values of the variables are annual.
Figure 2. Overview of FOMC participants’ assessments of appropriate monetary policy
Appropriate timing of policy firming
Number of participants
Note: In the upper panel, the height of each bar denotes the number of FOMC participants who judge that, under appropriate monetary policy, the first increase in the target range for the federal funds rate from its current range of 0 to 1/4 percent will occur in the specified calendar year. In December 2014, the numbers of FOMC participants who judged that the first increase in the target federal funds rate would occur in 2015, and 2016 were, respectively, 15, and 2.
Appropriate pace of policy firming: Midpoint of target range or target level for the federal funds rate Number of participants with projected midpoint of target range or target level
Midpoint of target range
or target level (Percent)
Note: In the lower panel, each shaded circle indicates the value (rounded to the nearest 1/8 percentage point) of an individual participant’s judgment of the midpoint of the appropriate target range for the federal funds rate or the appropriate target level for the federal funds rate at the end of the specified calendar year or over the longer run.
Janet Yellen Isn’t Going to Raise Interest Rates Until She’s Good and Ready
The key words in Janet L. Yellen’s news conference Wednesday were rather pithy, at least by central bank standards. “Just because we removed the word ‘patient’ from the statement doesn’t mean we are going to be impatient,” Ms. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, said.
With this framing, Ms. Yellen was putting her firm stamp on the policy of an institution she has led for just over a year — and making clear that she will not be boxed in. Her words and accompanying announcements conveyed the message that the Yellen Fed has no intention of taking the support struts of low interest rates away until she is absolutely confident that economic growth will hold up without them.
Ms. Yellen’s comments about patience versus impatience were part of that dance. But the dual message was even more powerful when combined with other elements of the central bank’s newly released information, which sent the signal that members of the committee intend to move cautiously on rate increases.
By eliminating the reference to “patience,” Paul Edelstein, an economist at IHS Global Insight, said in a research note, “The Fed did what it was expected to do.”
“But beyond that,” he added, “the committee appeared much more dovish and in not much of a hurry to actually pull the trigger.”
Fed officials’ forecasts of how high rates will be at year’s end for 2015, 2016 and 2017 all fell compared to where they were in December. They marked down their forecast for economic growth and inflation for all three years, implying that the nation’s economic challenge is tougher and inflation risks more distant than they had seemed a few months ago.
Particularly interesting was that Fed officials lowered their estimate of the longer-run unemployment rate, to 5 to 5.2 percent, from 5.2 to 5.5 percent. With joblessness hitting 5.5 percent in February, that implied that policy makers are convinced the job market has more room to tighten before it becomes too tight. Fed leaders now forecast unemployment rates in 2016 and 2017 that are a bit below what many view as the long-term sustainable level, which one would expect to translate into rising wages.
In other words, they want to run the economy a little hot for the next couple of years to help spur the kinds of wage gains that might return inflation to the 2 percent level they aim for, but which they have persistently undershot in recent years.
Apart from the details of the dovish monetary policy signals Ms. Yellen and her colleagues sent, it is clear she wanted to jolt markets out of any feeling that policy is on a preordained path.
At times over the last couple of years, the Fed had seemed to set a policy course and then go on a forced march until it got there, regardless of whether the jobs numbers were good or bad, or whether inflation was rising or falling. That is certainly how it felt when the Fed decided in December 2013 to wind down its quantitative easing policies by $10 billion per meeting, which it did through the first nine months of 2014 with few signs of re-evaluation as conditions evolved.
In her first news conference as chairwoman a year ago, Ms. Yellen had suggested that rate increases might be on a similar preordained path by saying that she could imagine rate increases “around six months” after the conclusion of quantitative easing. (That comment increasingly looks to have been a rookie mistake, and she later backed away from it.)
There are likely to be plenty of twists and turns in the coming months. After this week’s meeting, Ms. Yellen reinforced the message she has been trying to convey that the committee really will adapt its policy to incoming information rather than simply carry on with the path it set a year ago.
If the strengthening dollar and falling oil prices start to translate into still-lower expectations for future inflation, the Fed will hold off from rate rises — and the same if wage gains and other job market indicators show a lack of progress.
Conversely, if the job market recovery keeps going gangbusters and it becomes clear that inflation is going to rise back toward 2 percent, Ms. Yellen does not want to be constrained by language about “patience.”
“This change does not necessarily mean that an increase will occur in June,” Ms. Yellen said, “though we cannot rule that out.”
She has now bought herself some latitude to decide when and how the Fed ushers in an era of tighter money. Now the question is just how patient or impatient American economic conditions will allow her to be.
In economics, a Taylor rule is a monetary-policy rule that stipulates how much the central bank should change the nominal interest rate in response to changes in inflation, output, or other economic conditions. In particular, the rule stipulates that for each one-percent increase in inflation, the central bank should raise the nominal interest rate by more than one percentage point. This aspect of the rule is often called the Taylor principle.
The rule of was first proposed by John B. Taylor, and simultaneously by Dale W. Henderson and Warwick McKibbin in 1993. It is intended to foster price stability and full employment by systematically reducing uncertainty and increasing the credibility of future actions by the central bank. It may also avoid the inefficiencies of time inconsistency from the exercise ofdiscretionary policy. The Taylor rule synthesized, and provided a compromise between, competing schools of economics thought in a language devoid of rhetorical passion. Although many issues remain unresolved and views still differ about how the Taylor rule can best be applied in practice, research shows that the rule has advanced the practice of central banking.
As an equation
According to Taylor’s original version of the rule, the nominal interest rate should respond to divergences of actual inflation rates from target inflation rates and of actual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from potential GDP:
In this equation, both and should be positive (as a rough rule of thumb, Taylor’s 1993 paper proposed setting ). That is, the rule “recommends” a relatively high interest rate (a “tight” monetary policy) when inflation is above its target or when output is above its full-employment level, in order to reduce inflationary pressure. It recommends a relatively low interest rate (“easy” monetary policy) in the opposite situation, to stimulate output. Sometimes monetary policy goals may conflict, as in the case of stagflation, when inflation is above its target while output is below full employment. In such a situation, a Taylor rule specifies the relative weights given to reducing inflation versus increasing output.
The Taylor principle
By specifying , the Taylor rule says that an increase in inflation by one percentage point should prompt the central bank to raise the nominal interest rate by more than one percentage point (specifically, by , the sum of the two coefficients on in the equation above). Since the real interest rate is (approximately) the nominal interest rate minus inflation, stipulating implies that when inflation rises, the real interest rate should be increased. The idea that the real interest rate should be raised to cool the economy when inflation increases (requiring the nominal interest rate to increase more than inflation does) has sometimes been called the Taylor principle.
During an EconTalk podcast Taylor explained the rule in simple terms using three variables: inflation rate, GDP growth, and the interest rate. If inflation were to rise by 1%, the proper response would be to raise the interest rate by 1.5% (Taylor explains that it doesn’t always need to be exactly 1.5%, but being larger than 1% is essential). If GDP falls by 1% relative to its growth path, then the proper response is to cut the interest rate by .5%.
Alternative versions of the rule
While the Taylor principle has proved very influential, there is more debate about the other terms that should enter into the rule. According to some simple New Keynesian macroeconomic models, insofar as the central bank keeps inflation stable, the degree of fluctuation in output will be optimized (Blanchard and Gali call this property the ‘divine coincidence‘). In this case, the central bank need not take fluctuations in the output gap into account when setting interest rates (that is, it may optimally set .) On the other hand, other economists have proposed including additional terms in the Taylor rule to take into account money gap or financial conditions: for example, the interest rate might be raised when stock prices, housing prices, or interest rate spreads increase.
Although the Federal Reserve does not explicitly follow the Taylor rule, many analysts have argued that the rule provides a fairly accurate summary of US monetary policy under Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan. Similar observations have been made about central banks in other developed economies, both in countries like Canada and New Zealand that have officially adopted inflation targeting rules, and in others like Germany where the Bundesbank‘s policy did not officially target the inflation rate. This observation has been cited by Clarida, Galí, and Gertler as a reason why inflation had remained under control and the economy had been relatively stable (the so-called ‘Great Moderation‘) in most developed countries from the 1980s through the 2000s. However, according to Taylor, the rule was not followed in part of the 2000s, possibly leading to the housing bubble. Certain research has determined that some households form their expectations about the future path of interest rates, inflation, and unemployment in a way that is consistent with Taylor-type rules.
Athanasios Orphanides (2003) claims that the Taylor rule can misguide policy makers since they face real-time data. He shows that the Taylor rule matches the US funds rate less perfectly when accounting for these informational limitations and that an activist policy following the Taylor rule would have resulted in an inferior macroeconomic performance during the Great Inflation of the seventies.
Jump up^Henderson, D. W.; McKibbin, W. (1993). “A Comparison of Some Basic Monetary Policy Regimes for Open Economies: Implications of Different Degrees of Instrument Adjustment and Wage Persistence”. Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy39: 221–318. doi:10.1016/0167-2231(93)90011-K.
Story 1: The Fed’s Long and Winding Road Back To A Normal Monetary Policy Starting in June 2015 With a .75% Increase in The Federal Fund’s Interest Rate Target — Two Years Too Late — Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah — Imagine, Stand By Me — Videos
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Story 1: Republican Donor Base Says So long it’s been good to know you and Voter Base Says — Hit The Road Jack — Mitt Romney — American Pie — Videos
Woody Guthrie – So long it’s been good to know you
Romney Says He Won’t Run for President in 2016
FULL AUDIO: Mitt Romney explains decision not to run in 2016
Mitt Romney will not run for President
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Why is Rand Paul the right choice for America? Rand Paul 2016.
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Ray Charles – Hit The Road Jack
Don McLean – American Pie
A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a whileBut February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more stepI can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died[Chorus]
So bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey in Rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”[Verse 1]
Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and bluesI was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died[Chorus]
I started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey in Rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”[Verse 2]
Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and meOh, and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returnedAnd while Lenin read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died[Chorus]
We were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey in Rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”[Verse 3]
Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast
Now the halftime air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?
We started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey in Rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend
Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan’s spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
He was singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey in Rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”
I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play
And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey in Rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”
They were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey in Rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die”
Mitt Romney will NOT run for President again: Former Massachusetts governor says he will not mount a third campaign
‘I’m not organizing a PAC or taking donations; I’m not hiring a campaign team,’ he told donors during a Friday morning conference call
Jeb Bush boxed him out of access to big donors by getting in the race early with an exploratory committee
Romney and his wife had told reporters time and time again that he wasn’t running in 2016 but few believed them
CNN aired part of the private call live as Romney thanked his inner circle and said he thought another leader would have the best chance
Romney will have dinner with Chris Christie on Friday night, raising new eyebrows about the aftermath of his bowing out
White House paid him a backhanded compliment for messages about poverty, saying Republicans had used it as ‘a talking point’
By DAVID MARTOSKO, US POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 10:56 EST, 30 January 2015 | UPDATED: 14:38 EST, 30 January 2015
Mitt Romney, who stumbled his way to a lackluster finish in the 2012 presidential election as the Republican nominee, will not make a third run at the political world’s ultimate prize.
The former Massachusetts governor told top donors Friday morning that ‘after putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee.’
‘I’ve been asked, and will certainly be asked again,’ he said, ‘if there are any circumstances whatsoever that might develop that could change my mind. That seems unlikely.’
‘Accordingly, I’m not organizing a PAC or taking donations; I’m not hiring a campaign team.’
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (left) campaigned with Romney in 2012, but he’s the main beneficiary of Mitt’s decidion to drop out of the next race early
That giant noise you hear this morning in suburban New York is the sound of opposition-research binders being shredded in the offices of Hillary Clinton, who was looking forward to taking on Romney in 2016
Mitt Romney will NOT run for president in 2016
Daily Mail Online obtained Romney’s prepared remarks from a consultant close to the former governor.
The White House reacted Friday by paying him a backhanded compliment.
Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said at the beginning of his press briefing that he hadn’t spoken to the president about Romney’ss decision, but offered his own observations.
Romney, he said, is ‘a man of great faith and a man who has tremendous loyalty and commitment to his country’ and ‘is worthy of our respect.’
‘He did say in recent days that he hoped that we can have a more robust debate in this country about what we could do to put in place policies that benefit middle class families,’ Earnest noted, before dismissing Republicans whom he said ‘have used the middle class as a talking point.’
JEB BUSH’S FACEBOOK FAREWELL TO MITT
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush posted this message on Facebook shortly after Romney’s inner-circle conference call ended:
‘Mitt Romney has been a leader in our party for many years. There are few people who have worked harder to elect Republicans across the country than he has. Though I’m sure today’s decision was not easy, I know that Mitt Romney will never stop advocating for renewing America’s promise through upward mobility, encouraging free enterprise and strengthening our national defense.
‘Mitt is a patriot and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over. I look forward to working with him to ensure all Americans have a chance to rise up.
‘Columba and I wish Mitt, Ann and their entire family the very best.’
‘We are seeing more rhetoric from Republicans indicating what was a previously unstated concern for people who aren’t at the top,’ Earnest said.
‘All of a sudden … some Republicans seem to be changing their tune.’
Two weeks ago Earnest seemed to mock reports that Romney would be seeking the White House in 2016, addressing ‘reports that Governor Romney is considering gettng the band back together again.’
Obama drew jeers from Democratic lawmakers on Thursday night in Philadelphia when he said that ‘a former presidential candidate on the other side’ was ‘suddenly … just deeply concerned about poverty.’
‘That’s great. Let’s go. Come on. Let’s do something about it,’ he said.
Earnest dismissed the nation’s momentary fascination with a third Romney run.
‘I’m confident that Governor Romney will be someone whose endorsement will be, um, sought,’ he said Friday.
He also said Obama is ‘not disappointed’ that Romney won’t be part of the 2016 race.
Romney’s decision to end his much-discusion flirtation with another White House run comes just hours after a Fox News poll put Romney at the top of the pack, leading former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and others by a considerable margin
His 21 per cent support among Republican voters was nearly double that of a second-place cluster that included Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, with 11 per cent each, and Bush, with 10 per cent.
Romney’s infamous ‘47%’ comment and his reaction
Bush posted a statement on Facebook shortly after Romney made his announcement.
‘Though I’m sure today’s decision was not easy, I know that Mitt Romney will never stop advocating for renewing America’s promise through upward mobility, encouraging free enterprise and strengthening our national defense,’ he wrote.
‘Mitt is a patriot and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over. I look forward to working with him to ensure all Americans have a chance to rise up.’
Jeb poached a key member of Romney’s poltical organization on Thursday.
David Kochel, an Iowa-based consultant who worked on ROmney’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, went to work for Right to Rise, Bush’s new political action committee.
Romney’s first shot at the presidency came in 2008, when he lost the GOP nomination to Arizona Sen. John McCain.
He risked losing a third time to any of nearly two dozen other potential candidates, although Bush’s entry into the picture last month has caused the most concern – at least from a fundraising perspective.
‘Mitt Romney 3.0 was worried about Jeb Bush 1.0 freezing him out of the big money,’ a GOP campaign consultant in the early primary state of New Hampshire warned Daily Mail Online on Friday morning. ‘That’s why he’s sitting out.’
‘Let’s face it: Jeb has a month-long head start. Mitt was already running out of billionaires who haden’t already made commitments.’
SIX DAYS AGO: Broadcaster Larry King tweeted on Jan. 24 that Romney told him a decision would be forthcoming within two weeks
He seemed to recognize that reality on Friday, but framed his decision in terms of what some in the party had begun to call ‘Romney fatigue.’
‘I feel that it is critical that America elect a conservative leader to become our next president,’ he said. ‘You know that I have wanted to be that president.’
‘But I do not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming that president.’
At the same time, Romney clung to the idea that his financing and organization would have been adequate to the task.
‘Our finance calls made it clear we would have enough funding to be more than competitive and with few exceptions our field political leadership is ready and enthusiastic about a new race.,’ he told supporters.
‘The reaction of Republican voters across the country was both surprising and heartening.’
CNN made waves Friday morning by airing part of the Romney conference call, which was a private conversation and not meant for the press.
Romney would have faced considerable challenges if he had run.
In addition to his complaint in 2012 that ’47 per cent’ of Americans who depend on government benefits to make ends meet would never vote for him, he has said over and over in the past two years that he’s no longer interested in the White House.
‘Oh, no, no, no,’ he told the New York Times twelve months ago. ‘No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. I’m not running again.’
WINNER? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could benefit from Romney’s disappearance in presidential polls as much of his support among self-described ‘moderates’ had swung to Romney – and Romney himself will dine with Christie on Friday night
‘In February 2014, he said on Meet the Press: ‘You know, I’m not Ronald Reagan. And I’m not running for president. We’ve got some very good people who are considering the race. And I’m looking forward to supporting someone who I think will have the best shot of defeating whoever it is the Democrats put up.’
In June 2014 he told another NBC News interviewer that ‘I’m not running for president.’
‘I’m not running, I’m not planning on running, and I’ve got nothing new on that story,’ he told Bloomberg in October.
Ann Romney, the once upon a time would-be first lady, piled on too.
‘Done, completely,’ she said then. ‘Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done. Done. Done. Done.’
Romney jumped back into the presidential discussion on Jan. 10, when he told a small group of former donors in New York that he was eyeing another White House run.
But it’s over for him as of Friday morning, as it became apparent that many of his past supporters and major fundraisers had defected to the Bush camp.
One told the Associated Press this week, ‘I have turned the page.’
Several called other candidates and their campaign consultants, pledgign support to presidential hopefuls including Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Christie got a boost from news that he will have dinner with Romney on Friday night.
That could indicate the Utah Republican’s desire to box Jeb Bush out and help a different moderate alternative rise to take his place.
MITT ROMNEY’S PREPARED STATEMENT TO DONORS
‘Let me begin by letting you know who else is on this call, besides Ann and me. There are a large number of people who signed on to be leaders of our 2016 finance effort. In addition, state political leadership from several of the early primary states are on the line. And here in New York City, and on the phone, are people who have been helping me think through how to build a new team, as well as supporters from the past who have all been kind enough to volunteer their time during this deliberation stage. Welcome, and thank you. Your loyalty and friendship, and your desire to see the country with new, competent and conservative leadership warms my heart.
‘After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee.
‘Let me give you some of my thinking. First, I am convinced that with the help of the people on this call, we could win the nomination. Our finance calls made it clear that we would have enough funding to be more than competitive. With few exceptions, our field political leadership is ready and enthusiastic about a new race. And the reaction of Republican voters across the country was both surprising and heartening. I know that early poll numbers move up and down a great deal during a campaign, but we would have no doubt started in a strong position. One poll out just today shows me gaining support and leading the next closest contender by nearly two to one. I also am leading in all of the four early states. So I am convinced that we could win the nomination, but fully realize it would have been difficult test and a hard fight.
‘I also believe with the message of making the world safer, providing opportunity to every American regardless of the neighborhood they live in, and working to break the grip of poverty, I would have the best chance of beating the eventual Democrat nominee, but that is before the other contenders have had the opportunity to take their message to the voters.
‘I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.
‘I feel that it is critical that America elect a conservative leader to become our next president. You know that I have wanted to be that president. But I do not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming that president. You can’t imagine how hard it is for Ann and me to step aside, especially knowing of your support and the support of so many people across the country. But we believe it is for the best of the Party and the nation.
‘I’ve been asked, and will certainly be asked again if there are any circumstances whatsoever that might develop that could change my mind. That seems unlikely. Accordingly, I’m not organizing a PAC or taking donations; I’m not hiring a campaign team.
‘I encourage all of you on this call to stay engaged in the critical process of selecting a Republican nominee for President. Please feel free to sign up on a campaign for a person who you believe may become our best nominee.
‘I believe a Republican winning back the White House is essential for our country, and I will do whatever I can to make that happen.
‘To all my supporters, friends and family who worked both tirelessly and loyally to support my campaigns in the past, I will always be deeply appreciative. What you have already done is a tribute to your patriotism. We are overwhelmed and humbled by your loyalty to us, by your generosity of spirit, and by your friendship. God bless you all.
Story 1: Obama’s House Organ The Shrinking Readership New York Times Reveals Obama Angry With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — No News Here — Obama’s Failed Foreign Policy Requires U.S. To — Bomb Bomb Bomb Islamic State and Iran — A Twofer — Bombs Away — Beach Boys — Videos
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US Senate committee approves bill for further sanctions on Iran
White House says fresh Iran sanctions “unconstructive”
Boehner Invite of Netanyahu Debated by Fox News Sunday Panel
White House furious over Netanyahu and Boehner meeting
Krauthammer On How Israel Tension Raises Questions On Iran
Obama And Netanyahu Are In Awkward New Territory
GOP Leadership’s Invitation to Netanyahu a Provocation Aimed at War with Iran
White House: Obama will not sit down with Netanyahu
Israeli PM Netanyahu: U.S. is Number 1 Target to ISIS
John Bolton: Iranian President Rouhani is playing Obama like a “violin”
FLASHBACK : Obama rejects Netanyahu snubs meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister (Sept 11, 2012)
The Obama administration is angry with Israel. Here’s the administration’s house organ, the New York Times, this morning:
The Obama administration, after days of mounting tension, signaled on Wednesday how angry it is with Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Republican leaders’ invitation to address Congress on Iran without consulting the White House.
The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.
The official who made the comments to The New York Times would not be named…
Of course, the official who last summer called Prime Minister Netanyahu a “coward” and a “chickens–t” would not be named either. But there is no reason to think those unnamed angry officials do not speak for an angry president.
The Obama White House usually prides itself on not getting angry. Its self-image is that it’s cool, calm, and collected. And it doesn’t get angry at, for example, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Obama White House understands and appreciates the complexities of the Islamic Republic’s politics and history. It is only with respect to the Jewish state that the Obama White House is impatient, peremptory, and angry.
Why has Obama been lashing out? Because he had a dream. He was to be the American president who would preside at, and take credit for, the founding of a Palestinian state. Obama would be to Palestine what Harry Truman was to Israel. Now it’s clear that’s not going to happen during his presidency. Obama’s frustrated that it’s not going to happen. So he lashes out.
But Obama is still pursuing another dream: to be the American president who goes to Tehran, who achieves with Iran what Richard Nixon achieved with China. And he thinks Israel, and Israel’s friends in the United States, stand in the way of achieving that dream. So he has another reason to be angry.
Of course, it’s not Israel but reality that stands in the way of Obama’s dreams. His Cairo speech, and the policies that followed from it, have crashed on the shoals of reality. Obama said in Cairo in June 2009, that he hoped that his administration would end the “cycle of suspicion and discord” between the United States and much of the Muslim world:
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. …
There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, “Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.”
But the truth is that Obama’s policies haven’t ameliorated the crisis in Islam or lessened the discord between Islam and the West. They have worsened the discord and exacerbated the crisis. Obama’s policies of retreat have strengthened radical Islam, and undermined those in the Muslim world who do believe in “justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
It is Obama’s failures that explain his anger—his failures, and his hopes that a breakthrough with Iran could erase the memories of failure and appear to vindicate his foreign policy. Israel stands in the way, he thinks, of this breakthrough. Prime Minister Netanyahu stands in the way. And so Obama lashes out.
It’s of course unseemly. But it’s also dangerous. Neville Chamberlain and the British establishment were far angrier with Winston Churchill, and much harsher in their attempts to discredit him, in the late 1930s when the dreams of appeasement were failing, than earlier, when hope for the success of appeasement was alive. When you think your policies are going to be vindicated, you ignore or dismiss critics. It’s when you suspect and fear imminent failure that you lash out.
So we have an angry president, increasingly desperate for vindication of his failed foreign policy, accelerating both his appeasement of Iran and his attacks on Israel. The good news is that the Republican party and the conservative movement—and most of the American people—stand with Israel and against President Obama. Of major parts of the American Jewish community, on the other hand, one can say no such thing.
For months, the issue of imposing sanctions on Iran split many Democrats from the president, as they feared his posture was emboldening the government in Tehran to further develop itsnuclear program. But Mr. Netanyahu’s planned speech, a provocation of the president that many Democrats found distasteful and undiplomatic, has helped shift the political dynamic.
“For the prime minister to accept made it extremely political, knowing how the invitation played out,” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia and a frequent critic of the White House. Mr. Manchin was one of 10 Democrats who signed a letter agreeing not to vote on a sanctions bill until after the March 24 deadline to have a framework of an agreement in place with the Iranians.
Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, found the invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu off-putting.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
Speaker John A. Boehner’s decision to invite Mr. Netanyahu, and the prime minister’s decision to accept without consulting the Obama administration, Mr. Manchin added, struck some Democrats, like him, as off-putting.
“It didn’t show a lot of class,” Mr. Manchin said. “If it had been George W. Bush or Reagan or Clinton or whoever, protocol is protocol.”
The invitation proved to be opportune for Mr. Obama, who had been making steady progress in persuading Democrats to delay a vote on sanctions to give him some diplomatic breathing room.
The president had been “changing minds,” said Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut.
“I don’t think the invitation has been helpful to the debate in Congress,” Mr. Murphy added, saying he believed Mr. Netanyahu’s speech would only further politicize an issue that should be above partisanship. “My worry all along has been that Republicans are going to oppose this deal simply because it’s President Obama’s deal, and the invitation to Netanyahu confirms that there are some Republicans who simply put politics ahead of what’s best for the country.”
Other Democrats were also quickly lining up behind the president. A group of House Democrats will formally ask Mr. Boehner to delay his invitation to the prime minister until after the March deadline passes. Three Democratic representatives were circulating a letter to the speaker among their colleagues on Wednesday. It was already picking up additional signatures.
The letter accuses the speaker of harming American foreign policy and undermining Mr. Obama. “As members of Congress who support Israel, it appears that you are using a foreign leader as a political tool against the president,” said the letter, which was signed by Representatives Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Maxine Waters of California. “When the Israeli prime minister visits us outside the specter of partisan politics,” the letter continued, “we will be delighted and honored to greet him or her on the floor of the House.”
Getting lawmakers to go on the record criticizing the prime minister will be complicated, however, because many Democrats fear antagonizing Mr. Netanyahu, the powerful pro-Israeli interests aligned with him, and Jewish voters in their districts.
Timeline on Iran’s Nuclear Program
Whether Iran is racing toward nuclear weapon capabilities is one of the most contentious foreign-policy issues challenging the West.
“There’s a lot of people who agree with this letter,” Mr. Ellison said. “Some will put their name on it. Some won’t. But the bottom line is, I haven’t run into anyone on our side who thinks this is a good idea.”
The issue is delicate. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and an ardent defender of sanctions against Iran, insisted Wednesday that Mr. Netanyahu’s speech was not a factor in his decision not to press for an immediate vote.
“It had absolutely no effect,” he said.
Mr. Menendez made the surprising announcement on Tuesday that he and a group of nine other Democrats had written to the president to inform him that they would not vote for a sanctions bill before the March 24 deadline. It was a striking step back for a senator who last week likened the administration’s statements on the negotiations to “talking points that come straight out of Tehran.”
Democrats said they saw two political issues in play. Domestically, Mr. Boehner and Republicans want to press their point that Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is weak. And in Israel, which holds its elections March 17, Mr. Netanyahu has political incentive to present himself as a man of steely resolve.
The perception that Republicans and Mr. Netanyahu are approaching the debate over sanctions in an overtly political way has helped those who are opposed to further sanctions make their case, Democrats said.
“It’s been building for days,” said Greg Rosenbaum, the chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, speaking about efforts to persuade Democrats to offer the president more flexibility. “But it really let loose this week.”
Typically, policy on Israel has been one area where both political parties agree. And some observers said they feared the Netanyahu-Boehner episode was eroding that.
“When that sense of mutual values and interest starts to be driven apart by partisan politics,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, an Israeli advocacy group, “it works to the long-term harm of the state of Israel.”
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Patriots Press Conference Cold Open – Saturday Night Live
Grumpy Old Men Having a Heat Wave
grumpy old men fence stand off / the great Ice war.
Dean Martin – Baby It’s Cold Outside
The Global Warming Hoax Explained for Dummies
Man Made Climate Change in 7 Minutes
Climate Change in 12 Minutes – The Skeptic’s Case
MAJOR REDUCTIONS IN CARBON EMISSIONS ARE NOT WORTH THE MONEY 4 /14- Intelligence Squared U.S.
Co-Founder of The Weather Channel: GLOBAL WARMING IS A COMPLETE HOAX
Professor Bob Carter torpedoes the “scientific consensus” on the climate HOAX
Professor Bob Carter on Global Warming Science
Global Warming or a New Ice Age: Documentary Film
Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere along with a posited commencement of glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understanding of ice age cycles. In contrast to the global cooling conjecture, the current scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but undergone global warming throughout the twentieth century.
Concerns about nuclear winter arose in the early 1980s from several reports. Similar speculations have appeared over effects due to catastrophes such as asteroid impacts and massive volcanic eruptions. A prediction that massive oil well fires in Kuwait would cause significant effects on climate was quite incorrect.
The idea of a global cooling as the result of global warming was already proposed in the 1990s. In 2003, the Office of Net Assessment at the United States Department of Defense was commissioned to produce a study on the likely and potential effects of a modern climate change, especially of a shutdown of thermohaline circulation. The study, conducted under ONA head Andrew Marshall, modelled its prospective climate change on the 8.2 kiloyear event, precisely because it was the middle alternative between the Younger Dryas and the Little Ice Age. The study caused controversy in the media when it was made public in 2004. However, scientists acknowledge that “abrupt climate change initiated by Greenland ice sheet melting is not a realistic scenario for the 21st century”.
Currently, the concern that cooler temperatures would continue, and perhaps at a faster rate, has been observed to be incorrect by the IPCC. More has to be learned about climate, but the growing records have shown that the cooling concerns of 1975 have not been borne out.
As for the prospects of the end of the current interglacial (again, valid only in the absence of human perturbations): it isn’t true that interglacials have previously only lasted about 10,000 years; and Milankovitch-type calculations indicate that the present interglacial would probably continue for tens of thousands of years naturally. Other estimates (Loutre and Berger, based on orbital calculations) put the unperturbed length of the present interglacial at 50,000 years. Berger (EGU 2005 presentation) believes that the present CO2 perturbation will last long enough to suppress the next glacial cycle entirely.
As the NAS report indicates, scientific knowledge regarding climate change was more uncertain than it is today. At the time that Rasool and Schneider wrote their 1971 paper, climatologists had not yet recognized the significance of greenhouse gases other than water vapor and carbon dioxide, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Early in that decade, carbon dioxide was the only widely studied human-influenced greenhouse gas. The attention drawn to atmospheric gases in the 1970s stimulated many discoveries in future decades. As the temperature pattern changed, global cooling was of waning interest by 1979
The Great Global Warming Swindle Full Movie
Milankovitch Cycles Precession and Obliquity
How Milankovicth cycles can theoretically change Earth’s current orbit and result in cycles of glaciation and warmer periods.
ManBearPig, Climategate and Watermelons: A conversation with author James Delingpole
James Delingpole is a bestselling British author and blogger who helped expose the Climategate scandal back in 2009. Reason.tv caught up with Delingpole in Los Angeles recently to learn more about his entertaining and provocative new book Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors. At its very roots, argues Delingpole, climate change is an ideological battle, not a scientific one. In other words, it’s green on the outside and red on the inside. At the end of the day, according to Delingpole, the “watermelons” of the modern environmental movement do not want to save the world. They want to rule it.
George Carlin on Global Warming
Rush Limbaugh Podcast January 26 2015 Full Podcast
RUSH: We all here at the EIB Network are experiencing a huge void in all of our hearts here today because of a death, one of our staff members, the very first staff member to join me 27 years ago in New York. Christopher Carson, “Kit,” my trusted chief of staff, aide-de-camp, passed away today at 8 a.m. at his home in New Jersey after what really was a four-year battle, really valiant, never-seen-anything-like-it battle with essentially brain cancer.
Barbra Streisand – HD STEREO – Memory – CC for lyrics
Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan
Memory, all alone in the moonlight
I can dream of the old days
Life was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again
Every street lamp seems to beat
A fatalistic warning
Someone mutters and the street lamp sputters
Soon it will be morning
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life and
I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes
Tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin
Burnt out ends of smoky days
The stale court smell of morning
A street lamp dies
Another night is over
Another day is dawning
It is so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you’ll touch me,
You’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun…
Cuomo On Blizzard 2015: Subways To Shut Down At 11 P.M., Travel Ban On Local, State Roads
De Blasio Warns: Non-Essential Drivers Caught On Streets Could Face Arrest, Stiff Fines
As a potentially historic blizzard swept through the Tri-State Area on Monday night, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the entire New York City subway system and other Metropolitan Transportation Authority transportation would shut down at 11 p.m.
In addition, local, state and city roads would be shut down to all but emergency vehicles.
New estimates indicate that wind speeds will gust up to 70 mph, and thus, the state decided to shut down all MTA and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey facilities.
“Getting the subways and the railroad cars in a safe position is key, so that when the weather does leave, we’re in a position for the system to start back up,” Cuomo said.
The shutdown of the system began rolling into effect at around 5 p.m., and was to be completed by 11 p.m.
“A lot of people think of the subways as being completely underground. In fact, a huge proportion of it, probably about 40 percent, of the subway is above ground and is prone to getting icing and snow,” MTA Spokesman Aaron Donovan told WCBS 880.
“We’re going to be spending the whole night monitoring the conditions throughout our service area, monitoring the area. It really depends on what we see the conditions are but we can’t guarantee there will be service tomorrow morning,” he added.
Travel will also be restricted on all roads – whether interstate, state, county, city or town – in 13 counties from Ulster and Sullivan in the northern suburbs to New York City and Long Island, Cuomo said. Only emergency vehicles would be allowed on the roads, and those caught not complying would face penalties, he said.
“This is a serious situation,” Cuomo said. “If you violate this state order, it’s a possible misdemeanor, with fines up to $300, and that will go into effect at 11 o’clock also,” Cuomo said.
A blizzard warning is in effect for the metropolitan area through midnight Wednesday morning. CBS2’s Lonnie Quinn expects snow to fall at a rate of 2 to 4 inches an hour between late Monday night and midday Tuesday, with winds gusting 40 to 60 mph.
The storm could bury some communities in 4 or more feet of snow. Coastal flooding and erosion is also a major threat.
One forecasting model anticipates a grand total of 34.4 inches of snow falling in New York City. More modest models anticipate 17.1 inches.
Northeast Residents Preparing For ‘Crippling’ Blizzard That Could Dump Up To 2 Feet Of Snow Over 250-Mile Stretch
The Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor of more than 35 million people began shutting down and bundling up Monday against a potentially history-making storm that could unload a paralyzing 1 to 3 feet of snow.
More than 5,000 flights in and out of the Northeast were canceled, and many of them may not take off again until Wednesday. Schools and businesses let out early. And cities mobilized snowplows and salt spreaders to deal with a dangerously windy blast that could instantly make up for what has been a largely snow-free winter in the urban Northeast.
Snow was already falling during the morning commute in several cities, including Philadelphia and New York, with Boston up next in the afternoon. Forecasters said the brunt of the storm would hit Monday evening and into Tuesday.
The Weather Channel reports that 28 million people are under blizzard warnings and an additional 11 million are under winter storm warnings.
All too aware that big snowstorms can make or break politicians, governors and mayors moved quickly to declare emergencies and order the shutdown of highways, streets and mass transit systems to prevent travelers from getting stranded and to enable plows and emergency vehicles to get through.
“You cannot underestimate this storm. It is not a regular storm,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio warned in ordering city streets closed to all but emergency vehicles beginning at 11 p.m. “What you are going to see in a few hours is something that hits very hard and very fast.”
Boston is expected to get 2 to 3 feet, New York 1½ to 2 feet, and Philadelphia more than a foot. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for a 250-mile swath of the region, meaning heavy, blowing snow and potential whiteout conditions.
In Hartford, Connecticut, Frank Kurzatkowski stopped for gas and said he also filled several five-gallon buckets of water at his home in case the power went out and his well pump failed.
“I’ve got gas cans filled for my snowblowers,” he said. “I have four-wheel-drive.”
Supermarkets and hardware stores did a brisk trade as light snow fell in New Jersey.
Nicole Coelho, 29, a nanny from Lyndhurst, New Jersey, was preparing to pick up her charges early from school and stocking up on macaroni and cheese, frozen pizzas and milk at a supermarket. She also was ready in case of a power outage.
“I’m going to make sure to charge up my cellphone, and I have a good book I haven’t gotten around to reading yet,” she said.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issued a state of emergency and asked commuters to stay off the roads.
“From the reports I’ve seen, you’ve all been to the supermarket. I don’t know why the rush on bread, but what the heck,” Christie joked.
About half of all flights out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport were called off Monday, and about 60 percent of flights heading into the airport were scratched. Boston’s Logan Airport said there would be no flights after 7 p.m. Monday.
The storm posed one of the biggest tests yet for Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who has been in office for less than three weeks. He warned residents to prepare for power outages and roads that are “very hard, if not impossible, to navigate.”
Wind gusts of 75 mph or more were possible for coastal areas of Massachusetts, and up to 50 mph farther inland, forecasters said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and urged commuters to stay home on Monday, warning that roads could be closed before the evening rush hour, even major highways such as the New York Thruway and the Long Island Expressway.
Similarly, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered a travel ban on his state’s highways, while officials in other states asked residents to avoid going anywhere unless it is necessary.
The Washington area was expecting only a couple of inches of snow. But the House postponed votes scheduled for Monday night because lawmakers were having difficulty flying back to the nation’s capital after the weekend.
On Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange said it will stay open and operate normally on Monday and Tuesday.
A tractor-trailer jackknifed, and a beer truck crashed into the median on Interstate 81 near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, during the morning commute. No injuries were reported.
Some schools were planning to close early or not open at all Monday in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
The Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots expected to be out of town by the time the storm arrived in Boston. The team planned to leave Logan Airport at 12:30 p.m. Monday for Phoenix, where the temperature will reach the high 60s.
This has been an “active” winter, climatologists say, but snowfall totals haven’t set a record for Long Island yet.
Here are monthly snowfall totals recorded by Brookhaven National Laboratory since the winter of 1947-48. The chart shows amount of snowfall for December through February. For 2014, the February total is as of Feb. 20.
A History of New York City Snowstorms (1970 – 2014)
Since 1970 New York has experienced fifteen snowstorms of one-foot or more (more than half of them in the past ten winters). An additional seven storms have dumped between 10 and 12 inches. The summary of storms that follows lists not only these big ones but others in the five to ten-inch range, since even these can be debilitating, especially in Manhattan (these smaller storms often produced greater accumulations in the suburbs). The storms, 56 in total, are arranged by calendar date. If you’d like to see a list arranged by each winter, double click here.
Jan. 1, 1971 – Old Man Winter waited until New Year’s Eve revelers returned home before dumping the largest snowfall of the winter. 6.4″ of snow accumulated between 4AM-4PM, with much of it falling in the storm’s initial three hours. This was the century’s largest New Year’s Day snowfall (and second all-time after a nine-inch snowstorm way back in 1869).
Jan. 2-3, 2014 – A sprawling winter storm moved into the area during the evening with snow beginning in NYC at 6:30 and continuing into the overnight hours. In total 6.4″ fell. Besides snow and gusty winds, there was Arctic cold to contend with as the mercury fell from the upper 20s when the snow started to 18 degrees by midnight and down to 11 by daybreak.
Jan. 4, 1988 – The City woke up to 5.8″ of snow that fell overnight. It was the winter’s biggest snowfall. Four days later a steady light snow fell throughout the day, accumulating an additional5.4″.
Jan. 7-8, 1996 – A crippling blizzard began Sunday afternoon and continued until early afternoon thenext day. It immobilized an area from West Virgina through Massachusetts and dumped 20.2″ on Central Park, the third greatest snow total in NYC history (13.6″ fell on Jan. 7 and 6.6″ on Jan. 8, records for the dates). At one point five inches of snow fell between 5-7PM. Wind gusts of 40-50 mph whipped the snow into three and four-foot drifts on many side streets.
Areas west of NYC reported considerably more snow than Central Park: 32″ in Staten Island; 28″ in Newark; 26″ in Allentown, PA; and 31″ in Philadelphia. Temperatures were also very cold with a high/low of just 22/12 on the 7th and 23/16 on the 8th.
Looking west on Greenwich Ave.
Jan. 11, 1991 – 5.7″ of snow accumulated during the afternoon and evening before changing to rain overnight as temps rose into the mid-30s (close to one inch of rain fell). Despite the changeover it was a record amount of snow for the date.
Jan. 11-12, 2011 – Snow began the night of the 11th (three inches fell by midnight) and was over by daybreak, totaling 9.1″. The 6.1″ that fell during the morning of the 12th was a record for the date.
Photo was napped shortly after midnight in Greenwich Village on 7th Ave. South near Sheridan Square.
Jan. 13, 1982 – A late afternoon/nighttime snowstorm that dumped 5.8″ on NYC was the same winter system that affected Washington, DC earlier in the afternoon when an Air Florida jet crashedinto the Potomac River minutes after takeoff, killing 78. The following day an additional 3.5″ of snow fell from an “Alberta clipper” that moved through in the evening hours.
Jan. 20, 1978 – Snow that began yesterday evening fell at a rate of an inch per hour between 2-7AM, and by 2PM 13.6″ had fallen. This was NYC’s biggest snowfall since the “Lindsay snowstorm” of February 1969. (However, in less than three weeks this storm would be largely forgotten, overshadowed by the great blizzard of February 1978.)
Jan. 20, 2000 – The largest snowfall of the winter, 5.5″, caught forecasters by surprise. The accumulation was held down when sleet and freezing rain mixed in. The same storm buried Raleigh, NC with 20.3″ of snow, the largest snowfall in that city’s history.
Jan. 21, 2001 – A quick-moving snowstorm dumped six inches of snow on Sunday morning, a record for the date. The flakes stopped flying by 8AM.
Jan. 21, 2014 – A wind-driven snow began at around 9AM and fell throughout the day and evening, with 11″ on the ground by midnight – a record for the date (an additional 0.5″ fell after midnight). Besides wind and snow, the storm was made more fierce by Arctic cold, with temperatures in the teens all day. The storm extended from DC to Boston. Its timing couldn’t have been worse for commuters, who had to contend with getting home in the teeth of the storm. Accumulations were even greater on Long Island.
Jan. 22, 1987 – A daytime snowstorm dumped 8.1″ of snow on the City while much of Long Island picked up a foot or more. (Virginia, DC, Maryland, Delaware and South Jersey bore the brunt of the storm.) The City’s accumulation was held down when sleet mixed in. This was NYC’s biggest snowfall in four years and would be the biggest until the March 1993 Superstorm.
Jan. 22-23, 2005 – A weekend snowstorm began early Saturday afternoon and by daybreak Sunday13.8″ had fallen (8.5″ fell on Saturday, 5.3″ on Sunday). After a very cold a.m. low of 9 degrees on the 22nd, the high of 25 was reached at midnight. This was the biggest January snowstorm since the blizzard of 1996.
Jan. 26-27, 2011 – Snow began falling heavily by late afternoon and blizzard conditions developed after nightfall. By midnight close to 13 inches had fallen, and by the time the snow wound down at daybreak on the 27th 19 inches had piled up. (This was just one month after the post-Christmas blizzard socked NYC with 20 inches.) Shortly after midnight I ventured outside to snap photos and found traffic mostly at a standstill on the streets of the West Village, with taxis on Seventh Ave. pointed every which way. The quiet usually associated with a snowfall was broken by the sound of spinning tires. This furious spinning produced an odor of burning rubber that pervaded the air.
The 6.7″ of snow that fell before daybreak on the 27th was a record for the date and brought the month’s snow total to 36.0″ – the most ever in January. (Just one year earlier 36.9″ of snow fell in February.) In the past thirty-three days, beginning with the Christmas blizzard, an incredible 52″ of snow fell. And for the first time NYC had two snowstorms of 19″ or more in one winter.
Jan. 27-28, 2004 – Snow moved in after 8PM and by the time it ended early the next morning 10.3″inches of powdery snow had accumulated (six inches of it fell tonight). January 27 was the fifth day in a row in which high temperatures were colder than 25 degrees.
Feb. 3, 1996 – 7.5″ of snow, which was over by daybreak, fell in advance of the coldest air of the winter. This was the the third snowfall of six+ inches this winter (with one more of that magnitude two weeks later). I had flown down to Key West for vacation the day before thinking I had escaped, but a few days later the Arctic cold penetrated all the way down to the Keys and it felt like more like fall.
Feb. 3, 2014 – One day after the high temperature was 56 degrees, eight inches of heavy, wet snow fell during the morning and afternoon as the temperature hovered around the freezing mark. Today’s snowfall was a record for the date and was the third accumulation of six inches or more this winter (just the eighth winter since 1960 in which this has occurred). Snow began falling less than nine hours after the Super Bowl, played in northern NJ, had ended.
Feb. 4, 1995 – Only 11.8″ of snow fell during the winter of 1994-95 and almost all of it fell today as10.8″ of heavy, wet snow fell furiously on a Saturday morning (close to three inches fell between 6-7AM) before changing over to rain at around 9AM. Then the coldest air of the winter moved in overnight.
Feb. 6-7, 1978 – Less than three weeks after 13.6″ of snow buried the City, an even bigger snowstorm struck. Snow began before dawn and by midnight 15.5″ had fallen in Central Park. An additional 2.2″ fell the next morning. Snow, drifted by wind gusts of 30-40 mph, fell heaviest between 7PM-1AM, when it fell at a rate of more than an inch per hour.
The storm’s 17.7″ accumulation made this NYC’s biggest snowstorm since December 26-27, 1947, when 26.4″ buried the City (later broken in February 2006). This was the first winter in 17 years to have two snowstorms of one foot or more. Snow would be on the ground in Central Park for the next five weeks.
Feb. 8-9, 2013 – An intense winter storm developed off the Delmarva peninsula during the day and by nightfall near-blizzard conditions were common in NYC and points north and east. An icy mix of light snow and wind blown sleet began at daybreak and fell throughout the day, becoming steadier and heavier after dark. By midnight, 6.3″ had fallen in Central Park; by the time the snow ended shortly before daybreak on Feb. 9, 11.4″ had piled up. This was the City’s 15th biggest snowfall since 1970. However, this amount was manageable compared to Suffolk County and New England, where accumulations of two to three feet were common.
Feb. 8-9, 1994 – After January saw a large amount of sleet and freezing rain NYC finally got a storm that brought snow as nine inches fell. It came down especially heavy between 9AM-1PM, but the snow predicted for the rest of the day didn’t materialize as it came down as sleet. Snow resumed after midnight and an additional 1.8″ fell.
Feb. 10, 2010 – Four days after a monster snowstorm stopped short of NYC’s doorstep, another one made its presence known today and dumped 10″ of heavy, wet snow. Because the daytime temperature was just above freezing (the high was 34) it prevented main streets from getting much in the way of accumulation.
Feb. 11, 1983 – A monster snowstorm moved in Friday afternoon and continued until the wee hours of the morning on Saturday. The storm really cranked up between 8-11PM when six inches of snow came down. When the last flakes had fallen 17.6″ had piled up. It was the biggest snowfall in NYC since 1978 (when 17.7″ fell on Feb. 5-7) and at the time was the sixth biggest snowstorm in NYC history (it’s now ranked twelfth).
Feb. 11, 1994 – 12.8″ of snow fell during a snowstorm that began shortly before daybreak and continued into Friday evening. This was just three days after a nine-inch snowstorm and was NYC’s biggest snowfall since 1983, which happened to occur on this date as well.
A nearly deserted 5th Ave. near St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the afternoon of Feb. 11, 1994.
Feb. 11-12, 2006 – New York was the bulls-eye for a record-setting amount of snow over the weekend. Beginning the night of the 11th as light snow (2.8″ fell by midnight), it turned heavier after midnight and between 4-10AM Sunday morning the snow was falling at a rate of two inches/hour (between 8:25-9:25 nearly four inches piled up).
When it was over 26.9″ had fallen, a half-inch more than the City’s previous record on Dec. 26-27, 1947. Snowfall totals outside of NYC were also impressive but not nearly as much as what Central Park picked up. This storm accounted for two-thirds of the winter’s total snowfall. Only 1.3″ of snow fell for the rest of the winter.
Snow-buried benches in Washington Square Park.
Feb. 12, 1975 – A quick-moving winter storm delivered the biggest snowfall of the winter, with 7.8″piling up between 8AM-3PM. Snow fell at the rate of one-inch per hour for five consecutive hours. This was the biggest snowfall of the eight winters from 1970 thru 1977.
Feb. 13-14, 2014 – An intense storm system moved up the East Coast and brought with it high winds, heavy snow in the morning (9.5″), rain in the evening (accompanied by thunder & lightning) and more snow after midnight (3.0″). This was the winter’s fourth snowfall of 6 inches or more, something that’s happened in just one other winter since 1950 (in 1958). This snowstorm brought the season’s snowfall to 54.0″, moving it up to 7th on the all-time list.
Feb. 16-17, 1996 – Snow fell throughout the day and by the time it came to and end shortly after 1AM 10.7″ had piled up (9.9″ of it fell on the 16th; the rest after midnight), the third snowstorm this winter of eight-inches or more. It was a fluffy snow with just 0.52″ of water content.
Feb. 16-17, 2003 – After beginning Sunday night (when 3.5″ fell), the brunt of the Presidents’ Day blizzard kicked in and dumped an additional 16.3″ on Monday, making this NYC’s fourth biggest snowfall on record. (Since then three snowstorms during the winters of 2005/06, 2009/10 and 2010/11 have surpassed it.) Ferocious winds gusting over 40 mph created snow drifts of 3-5 feet. And although Monday’s temperatures were quite cold (high/low of 26/14), they were a warm-up from Sunday’s frigid 15/8.
Feb. 19, 1972– A nor’easter packing 40 mph winds brought the biggest snowfall of the winter, 5.7″, but it was part of a sloppy mix of snow, sleet and rain so there was never more than two to three inches of snow on the ground at any given time. Temperatures didn’t go below freezing until evening. In total 1.64″ of precipitation was measured.
Feb. 19, 1979 – A fast-moving snowstorm buried the City on Presidents’ Day with 12.7″ of snow between 4:00AM-noon. However, the storm’s deepest snows, of 18-24″, fell in Virginia, DC, Maryland and Delaware. The storm came in the midst of a deep freeze that saw fifteen of the past nineteen days with high temperatures at the freezing mark or below, averaging 14 degrees below average. Including today’s snowfall, 20.1″ of snow fell during these nineteen days. Another President’s Day storm with even more snow would strike NYC 24 years later.
February 22, 2008 – Six inches of slushy snow fell during the morning into the early afternoon, the biggest snowfall of the winter – and the largest accumulation since NYC’s all-time snowstorm two Februarys ago. Today’s snow was also a record for the date.
February 24, 2005 – Snow moved in during the evening and by 3AM six inches had accumulated.
February 25-26 2010 – After beginning in the morning as steady rain a changeover to snow occurred in the afternoon and developed into NYC’s third major snowstorm of the winter. 9.4″ fell by midnight and an additional 11.5″ of snow fell on the 26th, ending in the early afternoon, bringing the storm’s two-day total to 20.9″. This was the fourth largest accumulation in NYC history – and just 0.1″ shy of the total from the great blizzard of March 1888.
With this storm February’s total snowfall reached 36.9″, the most ever measured in any month. (And this was without getting any snow from the big Mid-Atlantic blizzard of Feb. 4-5 that stopped at our doorstep.) This turned out to be the last snowfall of the winter.
February 26, 1991 – A surprise snowstorm dumped 8.9″ of wet snow, the biggest accumulation in eight years (since 17.6″ buried the City in on Feb. 11-12, 1983 ). Because the temperature was just above freezing for much of the day the snow didn’t accumulate much on the streets or sidewalks. This was the winter’s third snowfall of five inches or more.
February 28-March 1, 2005 – March came in a like a lion camouflaged as a lamb by all of the snow covering him. 7.7″ of snow fell from a storm that began the afternoon of Feb. 28 and ended at daybreak on March 1. It wasn’t a cold storm as the temperature rose into the low 40s after the snow ended. This was the third accumulation of five inches+ in the past ten days. Combined, 18.7″ fell from these snow events.
March 1-2, 2009 – 8.3″ of snow fell from a quick-moving storm that began the night of the 1st (when 1.8″ fell), making this the largest accumulation of the winter (and the most to fall in three years). 12-15″ fell out on Long Island.
March 5, 1981 – A heavy, wet snowfall of 8.6″ was the biggest snow of the winter and a record amount for the date. It also has the distinction of being the second largest accumulation in the month of March in the 1970-2014 period.
March 5-6, 2001 – Call this the storm that couldn’t. The City was put on high alert after 15-24″ of snow was predicted during the weekend. City schools and some businesses were closed on Monday and we waited, but it was in vain as the storm never lived up to its billing. The storm strengthened later and further north than predicted. New York received 3.5″ as a consolation prize. However, Long Island received significant accumulations.
March 8-9, 1984 – Snow moved in the night of the 8th and by daybreak 6.9″ had accumulated (5.1″ of it on the 9th), making this the biggest snow of the winter. It was a powdery snow with just 0.38″ of water content.
March 13, 1993 – The great March Superstorm (also called “Storm of the Century”) paralyzed the Eastern third of the nation and dumped 10.6″ of snow on NYC. The heavy snow changed to sleet and rain later in the afternoon, a Saturday, reducing the predicted snow total by about six inches. The sound of the sleet lashing against my windows, propelled by 40-60 mph wind gusts, was deafening. All told, 2.37″ of precipitation fell. To read a first-person account of the storm double click here.
Plowing down 7th Ave. South, approaching Bleecker St.
March 16, 2007 – An all-day onslaught of sleet and snow dumped 5.5″ of icy precipitation, the biggest snow of the winter. This storm somewhat resembled last month’s severe sleet storm onValentine’s Day, but this one had considerably more snow. The total amount of precipitation was 2.07″, a record for the date. This was the last snowfall of the winter, a winter in which just 12.4″ fell, quite a contrast from the previous four winters, all of which had at least forty inches of snow.
March 19, 1992 – The biggest snowfall of the winter occurred today, a sloppy 6.2″. This tripled the winter’s relatively snowless snow total to 9.4″. Just two degrees separated the day’s high and low (33/31).
April 6, 1982 – Just 1.1″ of snow had fallen in February and March when a blizzard dumped 9.6″ of snow on the City today, less than a week before Easter. More than a foot fell in New Jersey and Westchester County. The storm started as rain in the pre-dawn hours and changed over to snow mid-morning and lasted through late afternoon. By midnight the temperature had fallen to a record low 21 degrees. This was the most snow to fall so late in the season since ten inches fell on April 3, 1915. To read a first-person account click here.
April 7, 2003 – Four inches of snow fell, the biggest April snowfall in twenty-one years. This brought the season’s snowfall close to 50 inches.
October 29, 2011 – An intense nor’easter lashed the area with high winds and outrageously early snowfall. The 2.9″ of heavy, wet snow that was measured in Central Park was the most ever to fall in October (5.2″ fell in Newark and over a foot buried northern NJ, parts of NY state, Connecticut, western Massachusetts and New Hampshire).
Since the temperature never fell below freezing there was no serious accumulation on City streets (except for slush). However, the day’s low of 33, which occurred in the early afternoon, was the coldest reading in October since 1988. Total liquid precipitation from the storm was two inches. Remarkably, twelve weeks would pass before the next measurable snow (4.3″ on Jan. 21, 2012).
November 7, 2012 – Just nine days after the region was raked by hurricane Sandy’s high winds and record storm surge, a nor’easter lashed the area. It moved far enough off the coast to pull cold air into the area, changing the rain to snow by 2PM. This was just the fifth snowfall of one-inch+ to occur in November in the past 40 years – and the first since 1997. 4.7″ fell (4.3″ of it today), making it the earliest 4-inch snowfall on record (the previous record was in 1989 when 4.7″ fell on Nov. 22-23). It was also the largest accumulation of the calendar year, topping the 4.3″ that fell on Jan 21.
November 22-23, 1989 – A Thanksgiving Day snowstorm along the Mid-Atlantic (which began late the previous night) dumped 4.7″ of snow on NYC; however, it was over by the time the Macy’sparade began. Although this wasn’t officially a wintertime snowfall it was larger than any accumulation during the 1989/90 season. The day’s high topped out at just 31, twenty degrees below average.
December 5, 2002 – One year after record warmth occurred on this date (high of 70 degrees) six inches of snow fell, the biggest snow so early in the season since 1938.
December 5-6, 2003 – Snow fell during the afternoon and lasted into early evening, accumulatingeight inches (more than was predicted). This snowfall came one year to the date after six inches fell. It was part of a two-stage storm that brought more significant snowfall the following day. That day, a Saturday, the City was under a blizzard warning for much of the day and an additional six inches of snow fell. The high temperature rose to only 28 after a morning low of 23. Just a week into the month and this was already the snowiest December since 1960, when 19.8 inches fell.
Waverly Place, on the North side of Washington Square Park.
December 9, 2005 – 9.3″ of snow fell in the past six days. The 5.8″ of wet snow that fell on this Friday morning was a record for the date.
December 19-20, 1995 – Beginning today and continuing into tomorrow NYC experienced its biggest December snowstorm since 1960 as 7.7″ fell (10-12″ had been predicted). Less than 10 miles away, La Guardia Airport was buried by 15″.
December 19-20, 2009 – This first snow of the winter was a snowstorm that moved in late in the afternoon on a Saturday. By the time it ended at around 4AM on Sunday 10.9″ had fallen. Long Island received considerably more with parts of Suffolk County buried by more than 20″.
December 26-27, 2010 – Snow began falling during the afternoon and by evening blizzard conditions had developed. When the flakes stopped flying the following morning 20 inches had piled up. The City was largely unprepared for a storm of such intensity (and mayor Bloomberg was on vacation at an undisclosed location).
This was the sixth biggest snowstorm in NYC’s history (and it shared its dates with New York’s landmark 1947 snowstorm that dumped 26.4″). It was the second 20-inch accumulation of the year – the only year to have two storms of such magnitude (the first was on Feb. 25-26 when 20.9″ fell). The blizzard’s bulls-eye was west of NYC where most towns in New Jersey were buried by more than two feet of snow (e.g., Newark measured 24.2 inches).
December 28, 1990 – Today’s 7.2″ snowfall (which began late last night) was the largest accumulation in nearly four years (since January 1987) and the biggest December snowfall since 1960. Snow ended shortly before 11AM.
December 30, 2000 – A foot of snow fell as the year was winding down. It was a record for the date, the most snow since the blizzard of January ’96 and the biggest December snowstorm since 1960. This Saturday snowstorm was a fast mover, lasting just eight hours (5AM-1PM).
Is Mitt Romney becoming a climate change crusader?
During his 2012 presidential bid, Romney was dismissive about Democratic efforts to combat the effects of climate change, and he pushed for an expanded commitment to fossil fuels. But in a speech in California on Monday, Romney, who is considering a third run for president in 2016, signaled a shift on the issue. According to the Palm Springs Desert Sun, the former Massachusetts governor “said that while he hopes the skeptics about global climate change are right, he believes it’s real and a major problem,” and he lamented that Washington had done “almost nothing” to stop it.
For Romney, this is his second about-face on climate change. In his 2010 book, No Apology, he called human activity a “contributing factor” to melting ice caps. And in the run-up to the 2012 Republican primaries, Romney backed a reduction in emissions to curb anthropogenic global warming. “I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer,” he told the Manchester Union-Leader in 2011. “And…I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past, but I believe that we contribute to that. So I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.”
But as the 2012 campaign evolved, Romney reversed course. He said that heopposed curbing carbon dioxide emissions. He declared, “We don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet.” Instead, he pledged to increase coal production and ramp up oil exploration. At the Republican convention in Tampa, he turned climate change into a punch line. “I’m not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet,” he remarked during his nomination speech—a jab at President Obama’s 2008 campaign promise that his victory would mark “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
A Romney spokesman says the former governor’s remarks on Monday are”consistent with what he said on the trail in 2012 about climate change.” Perhaps. It just depends which 2012 comments he’s referring to.
‘I never once doubted his instincts. I had total trust’
An emotional Rush Limbaugh remembers his chief of staff, Kit Carson, who died of brain cancer Monday, Jan. 26. 2015.
Christopher “Kit” Carson, the chief of staff for America’s top-rated radio host Rush Limbaugh, died Monday morning in New Jersey after a four-year battle with brain cancer. He was 58.
“It’s such a void because he loved this job,” Limbaugh said Monday with a heavy heart as he paid tribute for nearly an hour to Carson, who was the first staffer he hired for his show 27 years ago. “He’s just going to be really missed … Even though we knew this was coming for a while … It’s a huge void in everybody’s heart.”
“You knew you were talking to somebody who actively loved being alive and had active respect for being alive,” he continued. “It’s the one bad thing about getting old, because your friends start [getting] old, too.”
“He was such an integral part of this program every day, even though you never heard him. …
“He was irreplaceable and it’s just a very, very, sad, unfortunate thing that happens to everybody, and the way he dealt with it is a lesson in and of itself.”
Kit Carson (courtesy RushLimbaugh.com)
Carson was originally from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area, and his initial career goals led toward Hollywood, Limbaugh explained.
“He wanted to be an actor, and he ended up enjoying what he did here so much, he became 100-percent totally devoted to the program.”
Limbaugh said Kit “became the resident expert on me and the program. He became its number-one champion, defender, evangelist.”
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As far as his presence around the broadcast office, “Kit Carson honest to God never ever had a bad word to say about anybody,” Limbaugh said. “He did not engage in backstabbing.”
Rush recalled the first time Carson showed up for work, saying, “He walked in the room wearing those cargo shorts and the short white socks and the black Keds. He didn’t care if you were laughing at him. It didn’t matter. And everyone laughed.”
Limbaugh noted he had complete trust in Carson.
“He is the one guy … I never once doubted his instincts. I had total trust. … The only thing he cared about was doing whatever to make sure I looked the best I could be.
“He had this innocent exuberance about everybody. … You really had to earn his distrust.”
Limbaugh even admitted, “I stole his opinions sometimes. Sometimes I gave him credit.”
Listen to Rush Limbaugh remembering Kit Carson:
“He did not allow me to be pessimistic or negative. He didn’t allow me to get down in the dumps about anything. And if he sensed that I was, he would do anything that he could that enabled me to get the best out of myself.”
Limbaugh recalled the happiest he ever saw Carson was when Kit first met his future spouse.
“When he met his soon-to-be wife Theresa, he was like a kid in a candy store forever.”
Once married, “He could not believe that he actually convinced this woman to marry him,” Limbaugh said. “It was exactly like a fairy tale.”
“I grabbed his hand and held his hand and said, ‘There’s nobody who can replace you. There’s no one who can do what you do.’”
Limbaugh says Carson had a head that was full of red hair, and even after undergoing cancer treatments, he still retained much of it.
“He loved to go walking down 6th Avenue and Japanese tourists thought he was Conan O’Brien,” Limbaugh said.
Carson had many friends among the news media.
WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah was among them.
“I’ve known Kit Carson for more than 20 years,” Farah said. “I worked with him on the development of a daily column for Rush at the Sacramento Union. I worked with him again during my collaboration with Rush on his mega-bestselling ‘See I Told You So.’ And, over the years, he has always been a gracious help to me – a real gentleman. He will be greatly missed by all – especially Rush, whom he served as chief of staff for so long.”
James Grisham, producer of Sean Hannity’s radio program, told WND: “Kit Carson always took time from a very busy schedule to kid around with us or help if needed. He was a man of faith lived, never talked about much, the kind that I think matter most.”
Carson leaves behind his wife, Theresa, and two sons, Jack and Jesse.
Limbaugh says his own wife, Kathryn, has been spending time with Carson’s family in recent days.
“She thinks we ought to put a chair in [the Palm Beach, Florida, studio] and up in New York, called the Kit Chair, the honorary Kit Chair,” Limbaugh said. “It’s always gonna be there. That chair is always gonna be where he sat. So we’re gonna do that.” http://www.wnd.com/2015/01/rush-limbaughs-right-hand-man-dies/
Story 1: American People Do Not Trust Big Government Democratic and Republican Parties and The Political Elitist Establishment In Washington — New Political Party Formed When Independents Represent 50% or More of Voters — When? 2022 or 2024 — Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Constitutional Government, Consumption Tax Replacing All Federal Taxes, and Stopping All Legal and Illegal Immigration Exceeding 1 Million Persons Per Year, Replacing The Warfare and Welfare State With A Peace and Prosperity Economy — Jobs For Everyone — I Have A Dream — The Winner Takes It All — Part 1 — Videos
ABBA – I Have A Dream (From The Late Late Breakfast Show, England 1982)
U.S. partisanship shifts to net-Republican after midterms
GOP also made gains after 1994 and 2002 midterms
Democrats made gains following 2006 midterms
PRINCETON, N.J. — Since the Republican Party’s strong showing on Election Day last month, Americans’ political allegiances have shifted toward the GOP. Prior to the elections, 43% of Americans identified as Democrats or leaned toward the Democratic Party, while 39% identified as or leaned Republican. Since then, Republicans have opened up a slight advantage, 42% to 41%, representing a net shift of five percentage points in the partisanship gap.
The pre-election results are based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews with 17,259 U.S. adults, conducted between Oct. 1 and Nov. 4. The post-election interviews are based on 12,671 interviews conducted Nov. 5-30.
There have been similar “bandwagon” effects for the winning party in the past, including after the 1994 and 2002 midterm elections, when Republicans benefited, and after the 2006 election, when Democrats made gains.
The most dramatic shift occurred after the 1994 midterms, in which Republicans picked up more than 50 seats in the House of Representatives to gain a majority in that chamber for the first time in 40 years. Before the 1994 elections, Democrats enjoyed a four-point advantage in party affiliation, but after the GOP wave, Republicans emerged with a 12-point margin, for a total shift of 16 points in the gap.
In 2002, Republicans capitalized on the popularity of George W. Bush to accomplish the rare feat of having the president’s party gain seats in Congress in a midterm election. After that strong showing, partisanship moved from a five-point Democratic edge to a four-point Republican margin.
Four years later, with Bush’s job approval rating stuck below 40%, Democrats gained control of both houses of Congress. An already strong Democratic partisanship advantage of 14 points swelled to 22 points after the election.
Not every “wave” election has produced a distinct shift in a party’s advantage. The 1998 and 2010 midterms were also notable for their outcomes, but did not produce any apparent change in Americans’ basic party loyalties. In 1998, Democrats gained seats in the House even with a Democratic president in office. In 2010, Republicans gained a net of 63 seats in the House to win back control of that chamber. That year, the shifts in party allegiances seemed to be in place before the election, with the smallest Democratic edge seen in any recent midterm year. Consequently, in 2010 it appeared that shifts in party allegiances drove the election results, whereas in other years the election results seemed to produce shifts in party affiliation after the election.
The bandwagon effect can largely be explained by the amount of positive publicity given to the victorious party after its success. However, it is unclear why there would be a bandwagon effect following most midterm elections but not all of them.
No Clear Historical Pattern on How Long Post-Midterm Party Gains Last
One key question is how long the effects persist when they do occur. A review of the three elections with obvious bandwagon effects reveals no consistent pattern.
The 1994 Republican surge in partisanship was the largest and the longest lasting. Republicans maintained a healthy eight-point advantage in partisanship through December 1994, and an average four-point advantage from January through March 1995. By April, Democrats had regained a slight edge, and for the most part held it throughout the remainder of the year.
The 2002 Republican gains were fairly short-lived, evident in November and December and largely gone by January 2003. However, when the Iraq War commenced in March, Republicans saw another surge in partisanship.
The 2006 Democratic gains were the most brief, disappearing by December — though that still left the party with a healthy 12-point edge in partisanship.
The 2014 midterms were an unqualified success for the Republican Party. The GOP took control of the Senate and expanded its majority in the House, giving Republicans control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 2006. And that success has caused Americans to view the Republican Party more favorably than the Democratic Party, as well as to say congressional Republicans should have more influence than President Barack Obama over the direction the nation takes in the next year. Americans are also now more likely to align themselves politically with the Republican Party than the Democratic Party.
It is not clear how long these good feelings toward the GOP will last. That could be influenced by what Republicans do with their enhanced power. While they are unlikely to achieve many of their major policy objectives with a Democratic president in office, how they and the president navigate the key issues facing the nation over the next two years will go a long way toward determining where each party stands heading into the 2016 presidential election.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 5-30, 2014, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 12,671 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level.
Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.
Obama job approval among whites aged 18 to 29 is down to 34%
White millennials’ approval only 3 points above older whites’
Obama approval remains much higher among nonwhite 18-29s
PRINCETON, N.J. — President Barack Obama’s job approval rating in 2014 among white 18- to 29-year-olds is 34%, three points higher than among whites aged 30 and older. This is the narrowest approval gap between the president’s previously strong support base of white millennials and older white Americans since Obama took office.
By contrast, the president’s approval rating was nine percentage points higher among younger whites in 2009, and 10 points higher in 2010. Additionally, while the president’s approval among younger whites matched his overall national rating in his first two years in office, it is now eight points below the national average. These data underscore the gradual erosion of the disproportionately strong support Obama received from young white voters as he took office in 2009 and ran for re-election in 2012.
The data are based on yearly averages from Gallup’s Daily tracking, including 2014 data through November.
Obama’s support among white millennials has factored into his two presidential election successes. Exit polls conducted after the 2012 election, for example, showed that Obama received 44% of the vote of white 18- to 29-year-olds, about six points higher than he received among whites aged 30 and older. Obama’s 45% job approval rating among 18- to 29-year-old whites in 2012 mirrored these voting results closely. But the president’s 11-point drop among white 18- to 29-year-olds since 2012 is almost double the six-point drop among the national population and among older whites.
Younger Whites’ Approval Now Closer to All Other Age Groups
From a broader perspective, there is relatively little difference today in Obama’s job approval ratings among whites in any of the four major age groups. Whites aged 30 to 49, as well as those 65 and older, have given Obama a 31% approval rating so far in 2014, with 50- to 64-year-olds coming in at 32% and 18- to 29-year-olds at 34%. The spread among age categories was slightly larger in the earliest years of the Obama administration.
Support Down, but Still Higher Among Nonwhite Than Among White Young People
Although Obama’s approval rating has dropped among black, Hispanic and Asian 18- to 29-year-olds from 2009 to 2014, just as it has among white millennials, the president maintains a much higher level of support among these groups than among whites. Specifically, Obama’s approval is 80% among young blacks, 68% among young Asians, and 55% among Hispanic 18- to 29-year-olds — contrasted with his 34% approval among white young adults.
Age affects Obama’s approval ratings differently among each of these racial and ethnic groups. Obama does slightly less well among black young people than among older blacks, and significantly better among Asians younger than 50 than among those who are older. There is little significant difference in his approval rating by age within the Hispanic population.
While Obama is significantly more popular among nonwhites than among whites, he was able to count on proportionately stronger support from young whites than older whites in his 2008 and 2012 presidential election campaigns. Now, his support among white millennials appears to be waning, and these young Americans give Obama an approval rating that is only marginally higher than that among older whites.
These findings demonstrate the general importance of race and ethnicity when one talks about Obama’s job approval ratings by age. Obama continues to enjoy higher approval ratings among all 18- to 29-year-olds — regardless of race or ethnicity — than he does among the general population, but this is largely attributable to younger age groups in the U.S. being disproportionately composed of nonwhites. In other words, a big part of the age gap in Obama’s approval ratings today is attributable not so much to differences in approval within racial or ethnic groups, but to the fact that the white population in the U.S. skews older, while the nonwhite population skews younger.
The white vote has become an increasing challenge for Democratic presidential candidates in recent years, as well as Senate candidates in many Southern and swing states. Just this past weekend, a lack of strong support among white voters was instrumental in incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s loss in Louisiana’s senatorial runoff election. That loss gives the Republicans control of every southern Senate seat from Texas to the Carolinas. While Democrats are likely to be helped in coming years by a growing Hispanic population, Democratic presidential candidates — and senatorial candidates in many states — will continue to need the votes of a substantial minority of white voters in order to put together a winning coalition. Thus, Obama’s continuing loss of support among younger white voters highlights one of the potential challenges ahead for Democratic candidates in 2016.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey from 2009 through November 2014, with random samples of approximately 355,000 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia for each of the 2009-2012 yearly samples; approximately 175,000 adults for 2013; and 163,847 adults for Jan. 2-Nov. 30, 2014. For results based on the total sample of national adults in each yearly average, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level. The margin of sampling error for each year’s age subgroups varies by sample size.
Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.
Bar Chart Data Source: Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS) published by the U. S. Treasury Department. WE DON’T MAKE THIS UP! IT COMES FROM THE U. S. GOVERNMENT! NO ADJUSTMENTS.
The MTS published in October, reports the final actual expenditures for the previous FY. This chart shows FY2014 actual spending data. Here is the link to download your own copy from the Treasury Department web site.
The chart normally shows the proposed budget line for the next fiscal year (FY2015 started 1 October 2014), but Congress has not passed a “budget” for FY2015; we’re still using continuing resolutions to fund the federal government.
The Congressional Budget Office reported on the Federal Debt and the Risk of a Financial Crisis in this report on the non-budget.
NDAC Challenge: Look at the bar chart to find items that are growing and items that are being reduced. Example: One of the largest growth departments is at the Department of Agriculture; it handles Food Stamps (SNAP). You pay taxes, your money is paying for food stamps.
NDAC studies the Budget Proposals submitted to the U.S. Senate each year by the President of the United States and by the House of Representatives. The budget submissions include Budget Historical Tables published by OMB. Expenditures are shown in Table 4.1, scroll way right to find current years actuals and estimates. Our analysis is discussed on the home page of this web site.
— “Deficit” vs. “Debt”—
Suppose you spend more money this month than your income. This situation is called a “budget deficit”. So you borrow (ie; use your credit card). The amount you borrowed (and now owe) is called your debt. You have to pay interest on your debt. If next month you spend more than your income, another deficit, you must borrow some more, and you’ll still have to pay the interest on your debt (now larger). If you have a deficit every month, you keep borrowing and your debt grows. Soon the interest payment on your loan is bigger than any other item in your budget. Eventually, all you can do is pay the interest payment, and you don’t have any money left over for anything else. This situation is known as bankruptcy.
“Reducing the deficit” is a meaningless soundbite. If theDEFICIT is any amount more than ZERO, we have to borrow more and the DEBT grows.
Each year since 1969, Congress has spent more money than its income. The Treasury Department has to borrow money to meet Congress’s appropriations. Here is a direct link to the Congressional Budget Office web site’s deficit analysis. We have to pay interest* on that huge, growing debt; and it dramatically cuts into our budget.
Cut spending??? What would you cut?
[All federal expenses are shown on the chart above].
And there is a lot of missing money! Where is it?
The Treasury Department has the third largest expense in the federal budget. Only Defense andentitlement programs (run by Departments of Health and Human Services, HUD, and Agriculture (food stamps)) spend more. As the debt increases, so does the interest payment. Entitlement spending is the largest item in our federal budget. Do you have “Compassion” for lower income earners?
In FY2013 the U. S. Treasury Department spent$416 Billion of your money on interest payments to the holders of the National Debt.
Compare that to NASA at $17B,
Agriculture at $156B,
Labor at $80B,
Transportation at $76B!Can the federal budget be balanced? Here’s a video about that.
When you buy something, all the companies involved in producing and delivering it, were charged a wide range of taxes, and those costs are part of the price ofeverything you buy. The price of everything you buy will go up to cover any business tax increases.You are paying those corporate taxes! Read more about the proposed Energy Tax increases. So don’t forget that the price of fuel is in the cost of everything.
The “Economic Stimulus” is shifting us from an “economic crisis” to a debt crisis!Consider this; if businesses could print their own money and give it away to customers so they could buy the products, many folks would be happy for a while; but the businesses would go bankrupt. Well, that’s what our government is currently doing, printing and giving away money.
It has been reported that about 50% of Americans pay no income tax. But, if those folks buy anything, they pay “embedded taxes”*. Here is a video about taxation.
*[About 22% of the price of any product you buy is because of taxation on the companies that were involved in that product being produced and being at a place where it could be bought; and that’s before local sales taxes were added.] Every company must cover ALL its costs (including taxation) in the price of its product; or it will go bankrupt.
Healthcare… some proponents want to pay for the new plan by taxing insurance companies.Insurance companies do not pay taxes. To a corporation, tax is just another cost. So policy premiums will go up to cover the cost.
Government Programs always cost more than originally predicted. What about Healthcare?
**The Government cannot provide anything to anyone without first taking money from someone else to pay for it.
“For society as a whole, nothing comes as a ‘right’ to which we are ‘entitled’. Even bare subsistence has to be produced…. The only way anyone can have a right to something that has to be produced is to force someone else to produce it… The more things are provided as rights, the less the recipients have to work and the more the providers have to carry the load.” Thomas Sowell, quoted in Forbes and Reader’s Digest.
According to Mr. Kneeland, “…all dollars come from the people. Where do [you] think Coca-Cola gets the money to pay its taxes, Exxon gets its money to pay the Exxon Valdez fines, Denny’s gets the money to pay its Justice Department fines, or even Microsoft gets the money to defend itself? It all ultimately can come from only one place, and that’s from individuals.” ED: When you buy a product, the price of that product has to cover ALL the costs to get that product to you.
“A politician cannot spend one dime on any spending project without first taking that dime from the person who earned it. So, when a politician votes for a spending bill he is saying that he believes the government should spend that particular dollar rather than the individual who worked for it.” Neal Boortz.
“There is no such thing as government money – only taxpayer money.” William Weld, quoted in Readers Digest.
“Who will provide the roof to protect you from the rain, the heat to comfort you from the cold, and the coffee to fill your stomach when the damn, greedy capitalists are all gone?” – David Berresford, Thursday, May 20, 2010, Canada Free Press.
SOCIAL SECURITYis not part of the Federal Budget (General Fund). It is a separate account from the General Fund, and has its own source of income (“Payroll Tax”). Social Security payments go in the Social Security Trust Fund (SSTF), and should NOT be counted as general revenue. The SSTF is supposed to be used to pay benefits. But, the Government is under NO OBLIGATION to pay Social Security benefits, and has even borrowed substantially fromtheSSTF for general operations!As of August 2010, there is less being paid into the Social Security Trust Fund than is being paid out to beneficiaries. Social Security is now using its “surplus”.Other Government agencies borrowed from that trust fund, and now have to pay it back. But they already spent it! So how will they pay it back? Through bailouts and taxes. Here is a “must read” about the problem. Your payroll taxes are going into a bottomless hole!The Social Security Administration’s FAQ page about the Trust Fund, and their latestReport (May 2011) explain it well.Beware the term “Social Security Surplus”; there is no such thing. Social Security is aPonzi Scheme, there is never more in the Trust Fund than will ever be needed.
The Government does not have any money, it does nothing to earn money (maybe defense). Government takes money from you and borrows more (from your children), then spends that! The bailouts of 2008 and 2009 are purely deficit spending. Expect to see enormous deficits in the forseeable future, leading to much more debt.Interest payments on that growing debt will become the largest item in the federal budget. On C-SPAN, President Obama boldly told Americans: “We are out of money.”
In 1913, when the Federal Reserve was created with the duty of preserving the dollar, one 20-dollar bill could buy one 20-dollar gold piece. Today, fifty 20-dollar bills are needed to buy one 20-dollar gold piece. Under the Fed’s custody, the U.S. dollar has lost 98 percent of its value. The dollar is the storehouse of our wealth. Has the Fed faithfully safeguarded that storehouse? Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power let us hear no more of trust in men, but bind them down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution.”
A perfect storm of historic dysfunction combined with a lame-duck Congress, a looming power change in the Senate, a budget deadline, the holidays and the countdown to the 2016 elections has not prodded lawmakers to make compromises or to do their basic budgetary work. It has, however, led to a brand-new Washington term. Enter the “cromnibus.”
That’s the name being assigned to a tortured GOP strategy to stick it to President Barack Obama and make a bold statement on immigration and border security – all while avoiding shutting down the federal government right before the holidays, a tactic that didn’t work out so well for the GOP when it happened last year.
Described as a trial balloon, the approach was floated by House Speaker John Boehner at the party’s Tuesday morning meeting last week. The GOP plan goes like this: Congress would pass an omnibus funding bill to keep almost the entire government running into September 2015. However, the Department of Homeland Security – the department that deals with the implementation of Obama’s executive action on immigration, which the Republicans hate – would limp along on a mere continuing resolution that would fund it until sometime next March. That would give Republicans time and opportunity to pressure the Obama administration into backing off its executive action somehow – or at least isolate the DHS budget so Republicans, who next year will control both the House and Senate, could deny the funds needed to implement the action. Meanwhile, House members were given a chance, before recessing for the year, to take what is widely regarded as a show vote to undo the executive action.
This way, lawmakers explained, House Republicans can vent about border security, Obama and the use of an executive action to grant temporary legal status to more than 4 million people in the country illegally, all without suffering the political consequences of another government shutdown.
Boehner acknowledged that there’s no easy way for congressional Republicans to undo Obama’s executive action; rank-and-file members have thrown around ideas ranging from refusing to provide funds to implement the action to a lawsuit or impeachment.
Each has its logistical and political complications: Refusing to fund Homeland Security could make Republicans look like they don’t care about the safety of the nation’s citizens; a lawsuit (even if the House is deemed to have standing to sue) could cause a political backlash; and impeachment could lead to a repeat of 1998, when a similar action against former President Bill Clinton backfired against the GOP.
In countering Obama on immigration, the GOP has to weigh the interests of the Hispanic community against the ideals of the party’s base.
And Republicans must be mindful of two important constituencies in 2016 – the GOP base, which wants the action undone and might reject a presidential primary candidate who won’t commit to doing so, and the Hispanic community, which might align itself even more firmly against Republicans if the GOP commits to a policy that would break up families living here with temporary legal status.
“We’re looking at a variety of options, both for right now and when Republicans control both houses of the Congress next year,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters. “Frankly, we have limited options and limited abilities to deal with it directly.”
Thus, GOP strategists have proposed the “cromnibus,” a compromise that would keep nearly all agencies and programs humming along until next September (since Congress has been unable to pass any of the appropriations bills that make up the federal budget) and avoid a government shutdown that would occur if nothing is done before the current continuing resolution expires Dec. 11.
Meanwhile, Homeland Security would be put on a short budgetary leash until March. By that point, Republicans reason, they will be running both chambers of Congress and will be able to pass legislation excising funding for the part of the department that deals with the new executive action, killing it by starvation.
“The most effective thing we can do is to limit spending,” says Rep. John Fleming, R-La. While Fleming says Obama is assuming excessive powers as the nation’s chief executive, “we’ve got our own power – the power of the purse,” he adds.
But Fleming, like some other House conservatives, is irked by the idea that the House should wait until next year to go full-force against the immigration action – meaning Boehner may need House Democrats to get such a plan approved.
“I don’t think anybody wants a shutdown,” says Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz. But “I think we have significant leverage.”
The simmering rebellion by House conservatives means Boehner is likely to continue to face the same internal divisions he’s had since 2011, when a wave of new tea party-aligned lawmakers gave the GOP the House majority and demanded a rightward turn in the way the party ran things. That pressure largely drove the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 – a development polls showed Americans blamed on Republicans. So would the public also blame the GOP if Homeland Security does not get the cash it needs to keep Americans safe?
“Republicans are blamed for everything, anyway – what difference does it make?” Fleming says.
However, Senate Democrats are determined not to end their reign with a shutdown, even if the GOP gets blamed for it. Getting almost all of the government funded until next fall would be “a big accomplishment,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters.
Moreover, the GOP needs to worry about overreach, Democrats say. Any specific effort to undo the executive action is likely to be vetoed by Obama. That leaves Republicans in the same position as they were with the Affordable Care Act. They could hold a series of votes opposing it or defunding it, but none would get signed into law. And the difference with immigration, notes Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is that the substance of the order (as opposed to the process) is indeed popular with the public, in a way Obamacare is not.
“You’re talking about changing the trajectory of a family’s destiny for generations – that’s deep,” Cummings says.
Opposing Obama’s order as executive overreach might excite the GOP base, but Hispanic families are equally excited about the opportunity to stay intact in the U.S., he adds. For Boehner, the challenge may be keeping his Republican family united.
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