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Report: Man in Giants gear attacked
A fan wearing San Francisco Giants apparel was beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot following Thursday night's season opener. The man who was beaten is in critical but stable condition, Los Angeles Police Department watch commander Sgt. Sanford
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The U.S. economy continued to add jobs last month, “pushing the unemployment rate to its lowest level in two years and offering the latest signs of an improving economy,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

The unemployment rate edged down to 8.8%, down a full percentage point since November 2010.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – The job market continued to improve in March as strong business hiring took the unemployment rate to its lowest level in two years.

The economy gained 216,000 jobs in the month. That’s better than the gain of 180,000 predicted by economists surveyed by CNNMoney, and also a significant improvement over the 194,000 jobs added in February.

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Humorously, Grist, along with other climate alarmist sites, have been pushing the notion that everyone needs to move to a city for a sustainable lifestyle, yet, there’s a bit of a problem

The world’s cities are going to have to move aggressively to curb their greenhouse-gas emissions, or the whole planet is going to pay for it.

That’s the word in a new report from the United Nations Human Settlement Program, or UN-HABITAT. The report is called “Hot Cities: Battle-Ground for Climate Change,” (you can find a summary and links to purchase the full report here). It paints a dire picture of how an increasingly urban and wealthy global population could mean “potentially devastating effects of climate change on urban populations”:

How so? From the report

According to the report, the world’s cities are responsible for up to 70 per cent of harmful greenhouse gases while occupying just 2 per cent of its land. What goes on in cities, and how they manage their impact on the environment, lies at the core of the problem. It is the combination of urbanization’s fast pace and the demand for development that poses the major threat.

And cities are comprised mostly of …… liberals and Democrat voters! So, liberals are the primary cause of globull warming! It’s mostly their fault!

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March jobs report this morning and the news was a bit better than expected, with 216,000 new jobs created during the month and a drop of .1 percent in the unemployment rate.

There was no drop in labor force participation, which indicates that this is a real drop in unemployment rather than a fake one. The consensus expectation was for 205,000 new jobs, so this figure beats the predictions by a small margin.

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The economy gained 216,000 jobs in March. That breaks down to an increase of 230,000 private-sector jobs and a loss of 14,000 public-sector jobs. It’s … not bad. Particularly given that February was also not bad, with a gain of 194,000 jobs. Two not-bad months in a row are good for business confidence. Just as no one wants to start hiring too early, no one wants to start hiring too late. The recovery is a bit like Tinkerbell; for it to thrive, business has to believe.

But not-bad is also not good enough. Look at the graph atop this post. We’re the light gray line that climbs slowly. At this rate, getting back to the 5 percent unemployment rate we saw in early 2008 will take us till 2018. By any measure, that’s too long. The news, however, isn’t good for those who’d like to move faster. The Federal Reserve remains too cautious. Whatever the final deal between Congress and the White House, it will cut spending at the cost of jobs — a headwind, rather than a tailwind, for the labor market. There’s a good chance the government will shut down, either in a week or when we have to raise the debt limit, and that would do real damage to the economy. And then there are all the threats outside of our control: earthquakes in Japan and debt crises in Europe and slowing growth in China.

On the bright side, such threats were present in February and March, too. It has not been a quiet few months in the world economy. And yet the recovery is grinding along, absorbing bad news with relative calm and uncertainty with relative ease. That’s perhaps the best potential news in this report, and in the market’s performance in recent months: The economy is less fragile than it once was, and job growth might persevere despite bad decisions and bad luck. We’d better hope so, because we can count on plenty of both over the next few months.

Graph credit: Hamilton Project

Ezra Klein

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President Barack Obama, while announcing war against Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi (without Congressional approval) simultaneously went forward with plans for a working vacation to South America.  The contradictory nature of a president initiating a campaign that puts American soldiers’ lives at risk while at the same time taking his wife and kids to the the party mecca of Brazil has left more than a few shaking their heads in disbelief.  As Obama wined and dined with Brazilian leaders, American military were waging war on a third front.  President Obama said very little regarding the Libyan military action prior to flying off to South America, leaving the job of communicating the campaign to others – namely American military personnel.  The absentee environment has only further strengthened the view that President Obama is little more than a shadow president – a man given words, and little to no action.

And as Obama preened and postured in South America, he further expanded upon the increasingly contradictory and anti-American quality that is the essence of the Obama presidency by declaring it was his intention to increase America’s dependence upon foreign oil.  As the Obama administration declared fossil fuels to be an obsolete, dirty and dangerous form of energy when produced in the United States, this same president tells the Brazilians, “We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.”

Let that statement by Obama sink in.  This is the same president who has initiated a seven-year offshore drilling ban in oil-rich coastal areas such as Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.  He has shown little interest in opening up exploration and development of the near-TRILLION barrels of oil sitting within vast shale formations in the United States.  The Obama administration continues to push for vast expansions of the EPA powers in order to proceed with anti-global warming initiatives that would bypass regulatory oversight by Congress, further crippling domestic energy production.

Obama’s own previous words have repeatedly marked deep sea oil drilling as a dangerous and undesirable venture – and a tactic whose virtues he simply does not believe in, as is so clearly indicated by candidate Obama in 2008:

In light of Obama’s most recent encouragement of Brazil to commence with its own offshore oil drilling plans, and his willingness to spend American taxpayer dollars to help develop and later purchase that Brazilian oil, we are once again left confounded by the ongoing contradictory nature of President Obama.  It appears that while President Obama is capable of reading the script – he has little understanding of the actual words.

Enjoy all the oil Brazil – courtesy of President Barack Obama…


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Tour Report: Walker first to hit 8 under
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Leave it to Texan Jimmy Walker to clean up around the Redstone Course. The 32-year-old — winless in 119 starts — just birdied the par-4 sixth — his 15th hole of the day — to get to 8 under. Walker has already had a big year.
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As the might of the American military prepared to engage the pro-Qaddafi forces in Libya, President Barack Obama joked with Brazilians about Carnival and the World Cup, preened and strutted at various parade functions, and wined and dined among the South American elite. 

In Obama’s absence, prominent figures within the Obama administration gave often contradictory views on the Libyan agenda, (most notably from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) while at the same time, White House officials explained that President Obama’s insistence to continue his Libyan “working” vacation was to convey the message that the Libyan conflict was not a major military action – therefore unworthy of redefining the President’s vacation plans.  What the administration was clearly unprepared for was the onslaught of criticism and ridicule leveled against the president on several fronts.  Democrats were outraged at Obama’s disregard for receiving both Congressional input and approval for the Libyan military action, while both Democrats and Republicans shared disbelief at Obama’s seeming shrug of the shoulders as American soldiers were being put in harms way on now a 3rd front in the Middle East.

President Obama has already been rebuked for his persistent refusal to offer any semblance of leadership regarding the nation’s budget crisis – again receiving strong criticism from within his own political party.  Obama continues to ignore calls for Social Security reform.  And now as American military forces comply with the request of the leader of the free world to wage war in Libya, President Obama is seen kicking soccer balls with children in South America.  Do not forget that a foreign trip was delayed twice by Obama back in 2010 so that he could remain in Washington DC to help secure passage of Obamacare, and then later to attempt to show leadership during the Gulf oil spill.  Apparently it is the view of the current president that sending his own soldiers into war rates far lower than health care reform and oil spills.

Enjoy that vacation Mr. President.

See you in 2012…



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Recently, an independent report was released documenting the spending habits of the annual college football Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona. Investigators found that several Arizona lawmakers accepted gifts from Fiesta Bowl lobbyists. One of the politicians embroiled in the controversy is Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce (R). The state lawmaker who rose to the limelight after introducing Arizona’s tough immigration law is reportedly among the public figures who were flown out to football games and accepted thousands of dollars worth of free tickets. The Arizona Republic reports:

The Fiesta Bowl investigative report clearly states, however, that Fiesta Bowl employees paid for and were reimbursed for non-Fiesta Bowl tickets given to Pearce in 2007 and 2008. The September 2007 tickets for the Navy/Air Force matchup were valued at $ 2,140. The September 2008 tickets to the University of Southern California/Ohio State matchup were valued at $ 4,060, the report said.

Lawmakers are required to report any single gift or accumulated gifts in excess of $ 500 or more in personal financial-disclosure statements. However, in many cases they did not appear to properly follow those reporting rules.

Pearce, for example, stated on a financial-disclosure statement covering May 2007 through May 2008 that he received a gift from the Insight Bowl. But more recent reports do not list any such line items. Pearce’s older reports were not immediately available for inspection, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Pearce prides himself as being a defender of the rule of law. In fact, he has often claimed that his moral rectitude is deeply intertwined with his Mormon faith. Yet, as the Arizona Republic notes, Pearce may have broken the law. Arizona state statutes prohibit state employees and elected officials from accepting tickets or “admission to any sporting or cultural event” for free. Pearce is also a tea party conservative who assumed his post promising a “bottom-up approach that listens to the people’s will on fiscal accountability issues.” As chairman of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, he has stated, “I am the gate keeper not the gift giver.” Apparently just a gift receiver.

He has not responded to numerous requests for comment.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ) are also implicated in the Fiesta Bowl controversy.

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Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) is taking the lead in fighting a stealth unionization drive, one that of course is being encouraged by the Obama administration. A union organizing voting rule effecting the railway and airline industries that has been in place for 75 years was changed by a little-known government panel, the National Mediation Board.

When the Democrats took over Congress in 2007, they tried to enact Big Labor’s Holy Grail, card check, which would replace secret ballot elections when workers decide on joining a union with a “free to peek” petition drive. The bosses never got their grail, but in a blogger conference call yesterday, Gingrey called the NMB maneuver an “end-around card check.”

As I reported on Monday, the machinists’ union “won” an election to represent AirTran Airways reservations and fleet employees. A majority of those who voted-but not a majority of these workers-voted for the union. This may not seem like a big deal, current law covering airline and railway union members makes it almost impossible to decertify their union.

Which is why Gingrey and other members of Congress are urging a “Yes” vote on the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 which will, get this, allow the lawmakers write laws. Specifically, it will reverse the NMB decision. Of the “unelected bureaucrats” on the NMB, in the conference call the Georgian told us, “It’s not their job to make law or usurp law.”

The vote on what Gingrey says is a “hugely important bill” will probably occur today or tomorrow.

Related post:

Obama union payback continues: This time it’s the National Mediation Board

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Fiesta Bowl report: Trouble may lurk for Arizona officials
Arizona lawmakers who accepted tickets from Fiesta Bowl lobbyists to attend football games in Chicago, Boston, Pasadena and other cities may have violated state law. Since 2000, state statutes have included an
Barfknecht: Fiesta Bowl's scandal a stunnerOmaha World-Herald
Fiesta Bowl Spending and Donations QuestionedNew York Times (KNXV-TV) –Yahoo! Sports –Dallas Morning News
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Don’t worry about Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, the economy – Obama’s got this…

From the folks who attempted to change the word terrorist attack into “man caused disaster”, the folks over at Obamaland have now reached deep into their Orwellian words-are-not-really-words bag of tricks and marched out a stunner of a definition for what is actually going on in Libya.  As American missiles and fighter planes rain down terror upon pro-Gaddafi forces, and as on-the-ground Marines prepare to engage the enemy upon yet a 3rd front in the Middle East, Obama officials are running away from calling these military actions as war. 

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, while taking questions from the press aboard Air Force One (that means President Obama was on the plane, but hiding in the back) aggressively downplayed the Libyan campaign as anything remotely resembling the classification of “war”.  Yes, we have military forces engaged in battle against other military forces.  Yes, casualties are resulting…but this in NOT war.  What is it then?

According to Rhodes, “I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone,” Rhodes said.  “Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end.”

Kinetic military action?  So does that mean that Obama is not really a true American president, but rather, a kineticAmerican president – that he walks like a duck, talks like a duck, but is actually something far removed from a duck? 

Perhaps the American people will do well to vote this kinetic president out of office in 2012.  Duck or no duck – this guy Obama has got to go…


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On a day when a poll found President Barack Obama getting his lowest polling numbers ever, and as the big political story playing out is whether or not there will be a government shutdown, a new story has surfaced via an exclusive report that promises to spark a new extensive debate. And it already has — a debate sweeping like lightning through the Internet and on cable news and cable talk shows:

Reuters reports that Obama has authorized secret help for Libya rebels:

President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Obama signed the order, known as a presidential “finding”, within the last two or three weeks, according to government sources familiar with the matter.

Such findings are a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency. This is a necessary legal step before such action can take place but does not mean that it will.

As is common practice for this and all administrations, I am not going to comment on intelligence matters,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. “I will reiterate what the president said yesterday — no decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition or to any group in Libya.”

The CIA declined comment.

News that Obama had given the authorization surfaced as the President and other U.S. and allied officials spoke openly about the possibility of sending arms supplies to Gaddafi’s opponents, who are fighting better-equipped government forces.

The United States is part of a coalition, with NATO members and some Arab states, which is conducting air strikes on Libyan government forces under a U.N. mandate aimed at protecting civilians opposing Gaddafi.

Interviews by U.S. networks on Tuesday, Obama said the objective was for Gaddafi to “ultimately step down” from power. He spoke of applying “steady pressure, not only militarily but also through these other means” to force Gaddafi out.

News agencies, news websites and often partisan political blogs are already jumping on the story. Here’s a cross section of news reports and viewpoints so you can make up your own mind on whether this was justified, legal, illegal, a bad move, a smart move or the kind of behind-the-scenes action that may not be unusual except for the fact that it has come out into the political light of day:
ABC News confirms the story:

President Obama has a signed a secret presidential finding authorizing covert operations to aid the effort in Libya where rebels are in full retreat despite air support from U.S. and allied forces, a source tells ABC News.

The presidential finding discusses a number of ways to help the opposition to Moammar Gadhafi, authorizing some assistance now and setting up a legal framework for more robust activities in the future.

The finding does not direct covert operatives to provide arms to the rebels immediately, although it does prepare for such a contingency and other contingencies should the president decide to go down that road in the future.

The White House press office issued a statement saying it does not comment on intelligence matters.

“I will reiterate what the President said yesterday – no decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition or to any group in Libya. We’re not ruling it out or ruling it in,” the statement said. “We’re assessing and reviewing options for all types of assistance that we could provide to the Libyan people.”

The revelation of the finding comes as Washington is debating whether to arm the rag tag army trying to oust Libya’s long time strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

The ABC News TV report:

The New York Times:

The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and to contact and vet the beleaguered rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials.

While President Obama has insisted that no American military ground troops participate in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi’s military, the officials said.

In addition to the C.I.A. presence, composed of an unknown number of Americans who had worked at the spy agency’s station in Tripoli and others who arrived more recently, current and former British officials said that dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives have been directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering intelligence about the whereabouts of Libyan government tank columns, artillery pieces and missile installations, the officials said.

American officials hope that similar information gathered by American intelligence officers — including the location of Colonel Qaddafi’s munitions depots and the clusters of government troops inside towns — might help weaken Libya’s military enough to encourage defections within its ranks.

Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin:

Obama’s Bush-like (which is not to say “Bush-lite”) national security practices have long included a reliance on covert operations to deal in some of the darker corners of the world. Anyone who is surprised that Obama would do this hasn’t been paying attention.

Donald Douglas:

As always, the fear is that Islamists may end up in power, and thus the U.S. will have backed a (new) regime opposed to American interests and those of our allies, especially Israel. Not only that, the administration’s been all over the map, with confused and contradictory statements, and of course a Jello policy on regime change or not. More on that from Melanie Phillips, “Humpty in Toytown and the Arab Boomerang.”


Now of course this is yet another leak of classified info for political gains. But who did it and why? It could be an Obamanaut making sure the country knows he is not a complete muppet. It could also be someone trying to derail the multinational hugs and love fest (with a few bombs) that Barry had sent our military over to run. If we are covertly, well I guess more overtly now, helping the rebels then the whole bold-faced lie he told on television was a bold-faced lie. I mean you can call it misdirection or discretion and you would be correct. But you can dang sure call it a prime time prevarication and it makes it impossible to pretend we are just refueling some planes for our buddies the French.

So I am against whoever leaked it doing so to either help or hinder Obama. I think it is kinda interesting that there are reasons for both to do so. But hey let’s enjoy this rare moment of transparency and just be happy that O is willing to allow the skulking about with satchels of cash and supressed weapons that really makes the best diplomacy. I just assume his aides are reading B5 for their strategery needs.


I wonder if this finding has anything to do with the Libyan expat resident of Northern Virginia, 10 miles from Langley, showing up in Benghazi to command the rebel army?

So this “debate” looks like a clown show. Maybe Obama will officially authorize arms shipments under the UN resolution and maybe he will show “restraint.” But as Hosenball says, the pieces are in place for Obama to permit weapons to funnel to the rebels under the covert action. He may have to give a follow-up assent – known as a “Mother May I” finding – but that’s not too difficult. Arming and training insurgents falls within the scope of this order, the President need only give the go-ahead.

Apparently the proper way to go about this, according to the White House, is to authorize first and ask questions later….

No More Mister Niceblog:

If Gaddafi is overthrown, then Obama wins in 2012 (albeit with an all-GOP Congress), and if there’s any jihadist presence whatsoever in the new Libyan government, would Republicans try to impeach Obama for precisely this — giving materil aid to terrorists? Hell, if he wins again, they’re going to try to impeach him for something, right? This seems as likely a cause as any.

The Moderate Voice

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Before it was fashionable, at least in conservative circles, to challenge the veracity of man-made global warming, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) was blowing, excuse me, cold air on environmentalists’ assertions on this subject. Read about it here and here.

Global warming, Inhofe says, is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

Early this afternoon Inhofe hosted a bloggers’ conference call. The topic was the Environmental Protection Agency and the McConnell Amendment, which if enacted, will prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. It’s similar to legislation the Oklahoman originally drafted.

After President Obama’s election, his administration and the then-Democratic majority in Congress tried to ram cap and trade into law. They failed-now the White House is using the EPA and the regulatory route to implement their Plan B. Inhofe says their goal is “to do away with fossil fuels.”

Inhofe commented on Obama’s Georgetown speech in which he pledged to cut our oil imports””>congressional research service report that the United States “has more the world’s largest recoverable reserves of oil, [natural] gas, and coal of any place in the world. “

But how much is that? Fifty years of oil for our nation, ninety years of natural gas. Inhofe said. The United States has 28 percent of the world’s coal reserves, including I’d like to add quite a bit in Illinois. Inhofe didn’t cite how many years’ supply of coal we have in our reserves, but more than 200 years-worth is a generally-agreed upon figure.

Inhofe isn’t confident that Obama will change his energy policy. While keeping an eye on Illinois politics, I’ve learned that it is important to follow the money. Which is what Inhofe is doing. Of the president, Inhofe remarked, “He’s got to cater to the new people who are the financial backbone of the Democratic Party-that is the party of the environmentalists.” Those “new people” include George Soros, Hollywood celebrities, Michael Moore, and the Al Gore wing. And of those new people, Inhofe declared, “[Obama] can’t lose that base.” Which is why the senator believes the president won’t give up the fight on having the EPA regulate greenhouse gases.

Inhofe also discussed the Republican Party’s prospects in 2012, he predicts a GOP takeover of the Senate.

Slightly related post:

My Kansas Kronikles: Oklahoma’s strange panhandle

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