Blame it on Bush, No, Wait, I already did…

Comments Off

So, can he “double” blame Bush? He will never admit it, but by the time November gets here, he will have NOTHING to campaign on. Mitt Romney can all but sew it up by asking “Are You Better Off Than You Were 4 Years Ago”? The same question Ronald Reagan asked can put him in office as well. And, I guess THAT can be blamed on Bush as well….from Bloomberg…

Obama Fails to Stem Middle-Class Slide He Blamed on Bush

Barack Obama campaigned four years ago assailing President George W. Bush for wage losses suffered by the middle class. More than three years into Obama’s own presidency, those declines have only deepened.

The rebound from the worst recession since the 1930s has generated relatively few of the moderately skilled jobs that once supported the middle class, tightening the financial squeeze on many Americans, even those who are employed.

 

Job Fair

A job seeker during a job fair hosted by the State of New York on April 12, 2012 in Brooklyn, New York. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 

“It started long before Obama, but he hasn’t done anything,” said John Forsyth, 58, a railroad-car inspector and political independent from Lebanon, Ohio. “He kept pushing this change, change, change, and he hasn’t done anything.”

Underlying the erosion of the middle class, defined by some economists as the middle 60 percent of income earners, are trends that stretch back decades, including competition from lower-wage workers overseas and technological advances that allow factories and offices to produce more with less labor.

As a candidate in 2008, Obama blamed the reversals largely on the policies of Bush and other Republicans. He cited census figures showing that median income for working-age households — those headed by someone younger than 65 — had dropped more than $2,000 after inflation during the first seven years of Bush’s time in office.

Yet real median household income in March was down $4,300 since Obama took office in January 2009 and down $2,900 since the June 2009 start of the economic recovery, according to an analysis of census data by Sentier Research, an economic- consulting firm in Annapolis, Maryland.

1% Get 93%

A president who attacked Bush’s policies for favoring the rich has overseen a recovery in which the wealthiest 1 percent captured 93 percent of per-capita real income gains in 2010, according to an analysis of tax data by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

On average, families in the top 1 percent saw their inflation-adjusted incomes rise by $105,637 that year from 2009, according to Saez.

While there is no settled definition of middle class, the middle 60 percent of households nationwide in 2010 earned between $20,000 and $100,000, according to the U.S. Census.

In and around Dayton, Ohio, a region that has endured a wrenching shift from dependence on the auto industry to new sources of growth such as distribution warehouses and information technology, disappointment with Obama is often balanced by wariness of his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

“I don’t know if there’s anybody I’m going to vote for,” Forsyth said of the candidates.

Limited Opportunity

While the U.S. unemployment rate fell from a peak of 10 percent in October 2009 to 8.2 percent in March, the jobs data that dominate public discussion obscure a shift that has limited opportunity for workers such as Forsyth.

Ninety-five percent of the net job losses during the recession were in middle-skill occupations, such as office workers, bank tellers and machine operators, according to research by economists Nir Jaimovich of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and Henry Siu of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

The job growth since has been clustered in either high- skill fields inaccessible to workers without advanced education or low-paying industries, they found.

In March, 3.2 million fewer Americans held sales and office jobs than five years earlier, and 1.2 million fewer were employed in transportation and production fields, all areas that typically pay middle-income wages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dayton’s Dreams

By contrast, the number of better-paid managerial and professional employees grew by almost 2 million over that period and employment in lower-paying service jobs expanded by 1.5 million.

In Dayton — the birthplace of aviation and such inventions as the mechanical cash register, the self-starting car engine, the stepladder and cellophane tape — these trends have diminished incomes and curtailed dreams.

Mandy Copeland, a 34-year-old occupational therapy assistant, and her husband, a heating and ventilation technician, have given up hope of trading their three-bedroom ranch house for a home with a basement that they could turn into a recreation room for their three children.

Eighteen-year-old Alex Ray recently decided he would wait on attending a four-year college and instead spend his first year at a local community college. His father, Tom Ray, a 47- year-old information-technology project manager who only recently regained a wage cut his employer imposed during the recession, praised his son for a “very mature” choice that he estimated would save $20,000.

Falling Birthrate

Fewer children are being brought into the world; the birthrate in Montgomery County, where Dayton is located, has fallen every year since 2007, in keeping with a national trend. Even the rituals of death have changed.

To save money, families are increasingly choosing cremation over burial, said Anne Dunbar, co-owner of a funeral home in the Dayton suburb of Springfield. Others are forgoing memorial services for simple graveside ceremonies. Rather than flowers or donations to a charity, 15 to 20 families a year now ask that newspaper obituaries include a plea for contributions toward funeral expenses, she said.

‘The Real Majority’

The challenges facing residents in this Ohio city about 60 miles north of Cincinnati have been emblematic of the issues that have moved centrist swing voters ever since the 1970 publication of “The Real Majority,” a top-selling political analysis. Authors Richard Scammon and Ben Wattenberg created a mythical 47-year-old Dayton housewife to argue that her most pressing concerns had the potential to turn presidential elections.

Today, the most pressing concern for Lisa Meeks, 47, is making herself “more marketable” to potential employers. Meeks, who left her pre-school teaching position because her hours were reduced, now rides the bus to Sinclair Community College in the morning and then boards another bus to get to her new job, working the evening shift as a call-center manager.

“I’m still seeing people struggling,” said Meeks. “You hear people saying, ‘I’ve put in four job applications and I haven’t heard anything back. What am I doing wrong?’”

Though the scale is greater, the workplace shifts that Dayton and the rest of the country are seeing parallel the Bush- era job trends that Obama criticized four years ago, when he said that during President Bill Clinton’s administration “the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of go down $2,000, like it has under George Bush.”

Stopping Downturn

Arriving in the White House during a financial crisis, Obama concentrated on stopping a downturn that many economists feared could turn into a depression. He pressed for an $831 billion stimulus package and an auto-industry bailout. He cut taxes for middle-class workers and backed a health-care overhaul that he said would help middle-income families by keepingmedical costs down and easing access to insurance coverage.

To promote a skilled workforce, the Obama administration has stressed support for education, including aid to local schools to reduce teacher layoffs. It has emphasized infrastructure improvements to promote competitiveness and backed clean-energy technologies that could provide future jobs.

Romney says deficit spending to finance the stimulus, uncertainty generated by the health law, and tighter regulation of the financial industry have deterred businesses from hiring. He backs reductions in government spending and tax cuts, including for wealthy “job creators” to spur investment.

Nothing Obama has accomplished in office so far has stopped what Siu calls “the hollowing out of the middle.”

No Overnight Fix

Just 19 percent of registered voters believe the president’s policies favor the middle class, compared with 25 percent who say they benefit the rich, according to a CBS-New York Times poll conducted Feb. 8-13. Still, asked to choose which candidate would do a better job protecting the middle class, 49 percent say Obama and 39 percent Romney, according to an April 5-8 ABC News-Washington Post poll.

“The economic crisis, deep recession and wage stagnation weren’t created overnight and they won’t be solved overnight,” Amy Brundage, a White House spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “While we are making progress and the economy is growing and creating jobs, too many middle class families are still struggling to recover from the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes caused by the reckless economic policies of the past.”

Fundamental Forces

Siu and other economists attribute the phenomenon to such fundamental forces as the movement of production offshore to lower-cost countries and technological gains that have made U.S. companies more efficient. Even with 5.2 million fewer Americans employed since January 2008, the U.S. is turning out more goods and services than before the recession, one reason corporate profits hit record levels and wealthy investors prospered.

Robots are replacing factory workers. Airport kiosks are taking the place of ticket agents. Intuit Inc. (INTU)’s TurboTax software performs the work of accountants.

“This is early days. We see the next 10 years as being more disruptive than the last 10,” said Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the MIT Center for Digital Business and co-author of the book “Race Against the Machine.” He cites developments in artificial-intelligence technologies such as those in Google Inc. (GOOG)’s experimental self-driving car, International Business Machine Corp. (IBM)’s Jeopardy-playing Watson computer, and Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Siri voice-recognition software.

Plant Closing

That disruption is being felt in the Dayton area. Thousands of auto workers and employees at related parts manufacturers and machine-tool makers lost their jobs after General Motors Co. (GM) closed its plant in nearby Moraine two days before Christmas in 2008. Less than six months later, NCR Corp. (NCR), once called National Cash Register Co. and founded in Dayton in 1884, said it would move its headquarters to Duluth, Georgia, taking more than a thousand jobs with it.

Unemployment in the Dayton metropolitan region reached 12.4 percent in January 2010, though the jobless rate had come down to 8.7 percent in February.

Some of the lost manufacturing and office jobs have been replaced by growth in warehouse centers that take advantage of the area’s location near the intersection of two interstate highways, said Richard Stock, director of the Business Research Group at the University of Dayton.

Caterpillar Logistics, a unit of Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), and Carter Logistics LLC opened distribution centers in the area. Employees at those and other warehouses are paid “above a living wage, but they’re definitely for the most part lower-middle-income jobs,” Stock said.

High Skills Needed

The other major sources of growth have been in information technology, exemplified byTeradata Corp. (TDC), headquartered in Dayton, and Reed Elsevier Plc (REL)’s Lexis Nexis unit, which has a facility in the area, Stock said

Aeronautics and advanced materials manufacturing have also expanded around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, home of the Air Force Materiel Command and Air Force Research Laboratory, Stock said. GE Aviation, a unit of Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric Co. (GE), broke ground last year on a $51 million research center in Dayton.

“Those jobs are at the very high-skilled end, jobs that require quite a bit of education,” Stock said. “There are not too many jobs in the middle.”

As a result, pay has declined. Real average weekly earnings in the metropolitan area dropped to $800 last year from $817 in 2007, according to U.S. Labor Department data analyzed by Stock.

Sitting on a metal bleacher watching her 7-year-old son at an early evening baseball practice, Mandy Copeland reflected on the expectations she and her husband had six years ago when she finished the coursework that qualified her for her occupational therapy job.

“We had pretty high hopes,” she said. “Now we’re just happy we have jobs.”

Romney Wouldn’t Have Killed Bin Laden…I did it!

Comments Off

Why is it that you have to read a news story with truth about our country from outside our country? Could it be because we have no news outlets in today’s liberal media. I have already told you about Fox News selling itself to the left. Will anyone actually step up and change their vote because this man places himself above the people who protect and serve? He has not served…he has “glorified” himself to his lovers….from the Mail Online…

 

SEALs slam Obama for using them as ‘ammunition’ in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

Besides the ad, the White House is marking the first anniversary of the SEAL Team Six raid that killed bin Laden inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan with a series of briefings and an NBC interview in the Situation Room designed to highlight the ‘gutsy call’ made by the President.

 

Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden's death as a campaign toolTaking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden’s death as a campaign tool

Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.

‘I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,’ Mr Obama said. ‘If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.’

Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

‘I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice – it was a broader team effort.’

Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid. ‘The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition. It was predictable.’

 
Target: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year agoTarget: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year ago

 
Mission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compoundMission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compound

Mr Obama has faced criticism even from allies about his decision to make a campaign ad about the bin Laden raid. Arianna Huffington, an outspoken liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room… all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’

Campaigning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mr Romney responded to a shouted question by a reporter by saying: ‘Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.’

A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.

‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it. 

‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot. 

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’

 
Rival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the sameRival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the same

Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command. 

Mr Kyle added: ‘He’s trying to say that Romney wouldn’t have made the same call? Anyone who is patriotic to this country would have made that exact call, Democrat or Republican. Obama is taking more credit than he is due but it’s going to get him some pretty good mileage.’

A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

‘In the end, Obama was forced to make a decision and do it. He knew that if he didn’t do it the political risks in not taking action were huge. Mitt Romney would have made the call but he would have made it earlier – as would George W. Bush.’

Brandon Webb, a former SEAL who spent 13 years on active duty and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said: ‘Bush should get partial credit for putting the system in place.

‘Obama inherited a very robust package with regards to special ops and the intelligence community. But Obama deserves credit because he got bin Laden – you can’t take that away from him. 

‘My friends that work in Special Operations Command (SOCOM) that have been on video teleconferences with Obama on these kill or capture situations say that Obama has no issue whatsoever with making decisions and typically it’s kill. He’s hitting the kill button every time. I have a lot of respect for him for that.’

But he said that many SEALs were dismayed about the amount of publicity the Obama administration had generated about SEAL Team Six, the very existence of which is highly classified.

‘The majority of the SEALs I know are really proud of the operation but it does become “OK, enough is enough – we’re ready to get back to work and step out of the limelight.” They don’t want to be continuously paraded around a global audience like a show dog.

‘Obama has a very good relationship with the Special Operations community at large, especially the SEALs, and it’s nice to see. We had the same relationship with George W. Bush when he was president.’

It was ‘stretching a little much’ for Mr Obama to suggest only he would have made the decision. ‘I personally I don’t think Romney would have any problem making tough decisions. He got a very accomplished record of making decision as a business professional. 

‘He may not have charisma but he clearly has leadership skills. I don’t think he’d have any problem taking that decision.’

Clint Bruce, who gave up the chance of an NFL career to serve as a SEAL officer before retiring as a lieutenant after nine years, said: ‘We were extremely surprised and discouraged by the publicity because it compromises the ability of those guys to operate.

‘It’s a waste of time to speculate about who would and wouldn’t have made that decision. It was a symphony of opportunity and intelligence that allowed this administration to give the green light. We want to acknowledge that they made that decision.

‘Politicians should let the public know where they stand on national security but not in the play-by-play, detailed way that has been done recently. The intricacies of national security should not become part of stump speeches.’

Navy SEALs slam Obama for using them as ‘ammunition’ in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

Comments Off

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

Besides the ad, the White House is marking the first anniversary of the SEAL Team Six raid that killed bin Laden inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan with a series of briefings and an NBC interview in the Situation Room designed to highlight the ‘gutsy call’ made by the President.

Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.

‘I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,’ Mr Obama said. ‘If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.’

Continue reading

New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism

Comments Off

The Obama campaign apparently didn’t look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, “Forward” — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism.

Many Communist and radical publications and entities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries had the name “Forward!” or its foreign cognates. Wikipedia has an entire section called “Forward (generic name of socialist publications).”

“The name Forward carries a special meaning in socialist political terminology. It has been frequently used as a name for socialist, communist and other left-wing newspapers and publications,” the online encyclopedia explains.

The slogan “Forward!” reflected the conviction of European Marxists and radicals that their movements reflected the march of history, which would move forward past capitalism and into socialism and communism.

The Obama campaign released its new campaign slogan Monday in a 7-minute video. The title card has simply the word “Forward” with the “O” having the familiar Obama logo from 2008. It will be played at rallies this weekend that mark the Obama re-election campaign’s official beginning.

There have been at least two radical-left publications named “Vorwaerts” (the German word for “Forward”). One was the daily newspaper of the Social Democratic Party of Germany whose writers included Friedrich Engels and Leon Trotsky. It still publishes as the organ of Germany’s SDP, though that party has changed considerably since World War II. Another was the 1844 biweekly reader of the Communist League. Karl Marx, Engels and Mikhail Bakunin are among the names associated with that publication.

East Germany named its Army soccer club ASK Vorwaerts Berlin (later FC Vorwaerts Frankfort).

Vladimir Lenin founded the publication “Vpered” (the Russian word for “forward”) in 1905. Soviet propaganda film-maker Dziga Vertov made a documentary whose title is sometimes translated as “Forward, Soviet” (though also and more literally as “Stride, Soviet”).

Conservative critics of the Obama administration have noted numerous ties to radicalism and socialists throughout Mr. Obama’s history, from his first political campaign being launched from the living room of two former Weather Underground members, to appointing as green jobs czar Van Jones, a self-described communist.

Washington Times

Is there a drone in your neighbourhood?

Comments Off

Rise of spy planes exposed after FAA is forced to reveal 63 launch sites across U.S.

Exposed: Location of sites where licences have been granted for the use of drones within the U.S. There are 63 active sites based in 20 states. Red flags show active sites and blue show those locations where licences have expired since 2006. click on the image to enlarge

Unmanned spy planes are being launched from locations in 20 states and owners include the military and universities

Julian Gavaghan
The Daily Mail [UK]
24 April 2012
There are at least 63 active drone sites around the U.S, federal authorities have been forced to reveal following a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit.The unmanned planes – some of which may have been designed to kill terror suspects – are being launched from locations in 20 states.Most of the active drones are deployed from military installations, enforcement agencies and border patrol teams, according to the Federal Aviation Authority.

But, astonishingly, 19 universities and colleges are also registered as owners of what are officially known as unmanned aerial vehicles.

It is thought that many of institutions, which include Cornell, the University of Colorado, Georgia Tech, and Eastern Gateway Community College, are developing drone technology…

Unusual: The University of Connecticut – one of 19 educational institutions to own spy planes – is the drone site closest to New York City. The North East is the region with the highest concentration. click on the image to enlarge

The article continues, with additional maps and the list of registered owners of drones, at The Daily Mail.

Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

Comments Off

Folks, this bill is worse if you can believe it can get worse, than SOPA.  Oh, and one more thing…the White House threatens veto of CIPSA cybersecurity bill  is what your hearing as well…..don’t pay any attention to that, Obama said he’s veto the NDAA too, but he didn’t and signed it into law. What is the NDAA? It is indefinite detention of US citizens…..no judge, no jury, no due process….just the word of the President and your gone.

Update: Several people have asserted that Quayle’s amendment actually made CISPA better, not worse. I’ve now posted my thoughts on that.

Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that’s not even the worst part.

The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.

Somehow, incredibly, this was described as limiting CISPA, but it accomplishes the exact opposite. This is very, very bad.

There were some good amendments adopted too—clarifying some definitions, including the fact that merely violating a TOS does not constitute unauthorized network access—but frankly none of them matter in the light of this change. CISPA is now a completely unsupportable bill that rewrites (and effectively eliminates) all privacy laws for any situation that involves a computer. Far from the defense against malevolent foreign entities that the bill was described as by its authors, it is now an explicit attack on the freedoms of every American.

Read more

To see how your representative voted ….click here

Russian Troops To Train On U.S. Soil to target terrorists on Americans soil

Comments Off

You just can’t make this stuff up…..

The Department of Defense has confirmed foreign media reports that Russian troops are set to target terrorists on Americans soil as part of an unprecedented joint drill with the United States which will take place in Colorado next month.

As we reported yesterday, Airborne troops from Russia are set to take part in drills focused around targeting terrorists at Fort Carson between May 24 and May 31. The soldiers will also be mingling with the local community, attending a baseball game in Colorado Springs during their stay.

Although it marks the first time Russian troops will train on U.S. soil, soldiers from a plethora of different nations have been involved in similar drills for well over a decade.

“The Russian soldiers are here as invited guests of the U.S. government; this is part of a formal bilateral exchange program between the U.S. and Russia that seeks to develop transparency and promote defense reform,” Cmdr. Wendy L. Snyder, U.S. Defense Press Officer for policy, told The New American in an e-mail. “This is the first time that American and Russian special operations troops have participated in a bilateral exercise.”

“According to Snyder, the exercises — which she said would last about three weeks in all — will serve to train and improve skills related to terror-war fighting. About 20 Russian soldiers will be participating, with most of the training to take place on the Fort Carson, Colorado, Army base and a mountain training area several hours away.”

The presence of foreign troops on U.S. soil has long caused consternation with many on the American right for a number of reasons, both historical and contemporary, stretching right back to when the British called upon German Hessian soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

Continue reading

Supreme Court leaning to AZ immigration law

Comments Off

The Supreme Court appears ready to allow Arizona to enforce a state law provision that requires police officers to check the immigration status of people they think are in the country illegally.

The justices strongly suggested Wednesday that they are not buying the Obama administration’s argument that the state exceeded its authority when it made the records check part of a controversial state law aimed at driving illegal immigrants out of the state. It was unclear what the court would do with other aspects of the law that have been put on hold by lower federal courts.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer reacted favorably as well after oral arguments (see related AP video report).

ACLJ, FAIR optimistic

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law & Justice, adds its optimism to AP’s impression following oral arguments today. “What became very clear during the intense questioning is that a majority of the Justices seem to believe that Arizona has a legitimate role in the enforcement of laws designed to protect its citizens and border,” he offered in a press statement.

“It was also important to note that during the arguments, the government, which is challenging the constitutionality of the Arizona law, conceded that S.B. 1070 does not involve racial or ethnic profiling — an argument that’s been repeatedly used to challenge the immigration measure.”

Sekulow concedes that while such cases are always difficult to predict as a result of oral arguments, he remains hopeful the court will conclude that Arizona “acted properly and constitutionally” to protect its citizens and borders.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) adds that attorneys for Arizona presented “compelling legal reasons” why the Supreme Court should reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision to block provisions in the law. Among those reasons, says FAIR, are that states have inherent authority to enforce immigration laws, and that the Ninth Circuit “erred” in accepting the Obama administration’s argument that the Arizona law interferes with its own enforcement “priorities and strategies.” FAIR equates those priorities and strategies as being a “non-enforcement policy.”

Read more

 

 

Amazon.com required to start collecting Tennessee sales tax in 2014 under deal with Haslam

Comments Off

Amazon has begun emailing notices to all its Tennessee customers that they may owe taxes on their purchases.

The action by the online retailing giant easily involves thousands of Tennesseans, and it could spur some people to pay the tax that’s often overlooked or ignored by consumers.

“It would be extra money for the state,” said Billy Trout, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Amazon’s move stems from a provision included in a law signed by Gov. Bill Haslam about a month ago. Haslam and the Seattle-based retailer agreed to a deal over collecting sales taxes on goods sold in Tennessee.

The law compels Amazon to begin collecting sales tax on items sold to Tennessee buyers in 2014. It’s estimated the tax could generate $22.8 million for the state and $9.6 million for local governments. However, the notification provision required of Amazon wasn’t widely known.

Haslam spokesman David Smith said consumers have been required to pay “consumer use” tax to the Tennessee Department of Revenue when making an online purchase from any retailer that does not collect sales tax.

“The notification they may owe the use tax is an in-between step until Jan. 1, 2014, when responsibility for collecting and remitting the Tennessee tax will shift to the company,” Smith said in an email.

Scott Stanzell, an Amazon spokesman, said the notice applies to everyone who lives in Tennessee and bought from the company last year. Amazon has 60 days to issue the notice and comply with the law. Next year and in 2014, the notice is due Feb. 1.

“As you may know, Amazon.com LLC is not required to collect sales or use taxes in Tennessee,” the notice says. “However, the state of Tennessee requires us to provide the following notice to you.”

Continue Reading

Site to which Amazon sends Tennesseans for more information on the use tax and to pay any taxes: https://apps.tn.gov/usetax

Trial begins in suit against proposed Tennessee mosque

Comments Off

Opponents of a proposed new mosque in Tennessee will get to make their arguments at trial beginning today, Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

A legal battle over public notice in Rutherford County’s approval of a mosque site could affect Tennessee’s definition of a newspaper as well as guidelines for how and where governments can advertise their meetings.

In a two-day trial that starts today, plaintiffs will argue that the county government failed to provide adquate public notice of its May 2010 Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission meeting, where officials were to vote on a site plan for a new mosque for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

“In this case, the issue should be whether the published notice should have included more information about the agenda, not which publication,” Frank Gibson, public policy for the Tennessee Press Association, told The DNJ this week.

The public notice published in the Murfreesboro Post did not state that mosque site approval was on the agenda because Rutherford County’s zoning laws allow places of worship to be treated the same as residential developments. No rezoning was required; therefore, no public hearing was needed before the planning commission reviewed the site plan and voted.

Chancellor Robert Corlew III has ruled already that Islam is a religion and that the ICM holds First Amendments rights to build the mosque. Work on the first phase of the building next to Grace Baptist Church on Veals Road off Bradyville Pike, just outside Murfreesboro, started in September 2011 and is nearing completion.

Continue Reading

Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 396 other followers