Archive for August 16, 2011
WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Tuesday against budget cuts that could force an abrupt pullout of the US security presence in the Pacific at a time when China’s power is rising.
The debate over reducing the US debt “does cast a pall over our ability to project the kind of security interests that are in America’s interests,” Clinton told officers at the National Defense University.
“We need to have a responsible conversation about how we are going to prepare ourselves for the future and there are a lot of issues that are not in the headlines but are in the trendlines,” she said.
“We are asserting our presence in the Pacific. We are a Pacific power. That means all elements of our national security team have to be present,” the chief US diplomat said in a conversation with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
“And we can’t be abruptly pulling back or pulling out when we know we face some long-term challenges about how we are going to cope with what the rise of China means,” she said in the conversation moderated by CNN television.
Experts said the deal to avert a US debt default should have little effect on the Pentagon’s huge budget in the short term, but leaves the door open to sharp cuts that could force a strategy overhaul.
The deal signed into law by Obama on August 2 calls for at least $2.1 trillion in cuts in government spending over 10 years.
The White House said military spending will fall by $350 billion in the first round of $917 billion in cuts, in line with Pentagon expectations.
A special congressional committee has been created to come up with a second round of $1.5 trillion in further cuts from all areas.
But if the bipartisan committee fails, then cuts of $1.2 trillion would automatically come into force — divided evenly between military and non-military spending.
State’s change to concealed-carry law doesn’t have effect many predicted
But one year later, the Richmond Times-Dispatch did a study to see if the gloomy prognostications came true.
According to state police records, not only did gun violence in bars and restaurants not increase under the new law, it decreased by 5.2 percent.
In fact, of the 145 reported crimes with guns that occurred in Virginia bars and restaurants in fiscal 2010-11 (compared to 153 incidents in the year before the new law took effect), only two of the aggravated assault cases were related to concealed-carry permit holders. In one incident, the crime took place at a restaurant that didn’t serve alcohol – thus unrelated to the new law – and in the other, the weapon was neither discharged nor withdrawn from its holster.
“The numbers basically just confirm what we’ve said would happen if the General Assembly changed the law,” Philip Van Cleave, president of the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League, told the Times-Dispatch. “Keep in mind what the other side was saying – that this was going to be a blood bath, that restaurants will be dangerous and people will stop going. But there was nothing to base the fear-mongering on.”
State Sen. A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico, remains opposed to the law, arguing one year’s statistics don’t prove anything.
“Most folks obey the law, and that’s a good thing,” said McEachin. “But I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out that just like drinking and driving doesn’t mix, guns and drinking don’t mix.”
But the Cato Institute’s David Rittgers told the Times-Dispatch that years of data from the other 42 states that allow concealed carry in bars demonstrate loosening gun laws like Virginia has done not only fails to generate violence, it often decreases it.
“The worst that you can say about these laws is that they are statistically value neutral” in terms of impacting the crime rate, Rittgers said.
Rittgers added that other states with concealed-carry restrictions in alcohol-serving establishments have – like Virginia – relaxed those over time “because of the lack of violent incidents that might be connected with persons carrying concealed [weapons] with a permit.”
When guns were tied to crime
Further analysis of police data reveals the details of those few crimes in Virginia last year that were related to concealed-carry permit holders and alcohol-serving establishments:
In one incident, the Times-Dispatch reports, a drunken customer at a deli in York County allegedly sexually harassed a female waitress and, at one point, placed his hand over his legally concealed gun so the waitress could see its outline. After he left the deli, police charged him with driving under the influence, brandishing a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon while drinking, still a crime in Virginia despite the new law.
In another incident, a concealed-permit holder at a Lynchburg restaurant reached into his pocket to pay for his beer tab and accidentally discharged the gun there, shooting himself in the thigh. He was convicted, the paper reports, of recklessly handling a firearm and lost his concealed-carry permit for a year. His gun was confiscated.
Tom Lisk, a lobbyist who represents the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association and who opposes Virginia’s lifting of the restriction on firearms in bars, told the Times-Dispatch that while the new law has not led to “random bloodshed in restaurants,” he believes his concerns have been validated by the “few incidences of permit holders using bad judgment – drinking and then, in unfortunate circumstances … shooting themselves or accosting a waitress.”
“I promise you that the waitress that had the gun brandished at her by someone who was drunk and sexually aggressive – to her that was a serious offense,” McEachin added. “And when someone gives themselves a self-inflicted wound, that just underscores the fact that guns and drinking don’t mix. I don’t know if there’s anything disproven by those numbers.”
But Van Cleave believes he and other supporters of the law deserve an apology – especially those who “screamed the end of the world was coming with this.”
Stewart reviewed the Sunday morning talk show talking points, and found that, universally, Bachmann, Romney, and Perry were considered the “top tier.” “You’re not forgetting anyone?” Stewart asked, referring to Rep. Paul, who had come in second. Rep. Paul managed to be ignored over Rick Santorum– “he lost to the guy who lost so bad he dropped out of the race”– and Jon Huntsman, who got 69 votes. “If all of Jon Huntsman’s supporters met at the Ames, Iowa Quiznos, the fire marshal would say, ‘yeah, that’s fine, here are some more seats.’” Stewart found it bewildering that Rep. Paul had become “the 13th floor of a hotel,” culminating with a clip of a CNN anchor requesting a reporter leave out the Ron Paul reporting if they found any juicy Sarah Palin stuff– saying, in Stewart’s words, “I mean, f*ck that guy, right?”
[CIM Comment: Again, it is time to hit the MSM advertisers to voice our lack of support? Remember that while there may be six super rich entities that control all the media we receive, each little entity, like FOX, must be self sufficient and are reviewed strictly on their P&L statement. Time to add to the losses!]
[CIM Comment: I remember in 2007 when FOX "news" trashed Ron Paul we flooded the email accounts of FOX's advertisers, isn't it that time again? This time let us not leave out the other MSM government scripted talking head organizations and their advertisers as well!]
According to a whole host of polls and surveys, the American people are incredibly angry right now. The American people are hopping mad at the government, the American people are hopping mad about the economy and the American people are hopping mad about the direction that this country is headed.
Never before in modern U.S. history have the American people been this angry. There is vast disagreement about what the solutions to our problems actually are, but what everyone can agree on is that the American people are absolutely seething with anger right now.
The statistics that you are about to read are mind blowing. We used to be such a happy country. Once upon a time we were one of the happiest places on earth. But as the economy has fallen to pieces anger has been steadily growing. If something is not done to turn the economy around eventually this anger is going to erupt in frightening and unpredictable ways.
The American people are not equipped to handle hard times. We are incredibly spoiled. Most of us have only known good times, and most of us have been taught that we will have endless prosperity all of our lives because we live in the greatest nation on earth.
Well, “the greatest nation on earth” is about to get a massive wake up call. We are up to our eyeballs in debt and we are bleeding jobs, businesses and wealth at an astounding pace.
Our economy is dying right in front of our eyes, and most Americans have been so “dumbed-down” that they don’t even realize what is happening.
But what most Americans do know is that things are “bad” and they want someone to “fix” things. They know that something is “not right” and they want things to go back to the way things used to be. The longer it takes for things to return to “normal”, the angrier they are going to get.
The following are 16 statistics which prove that the American people are absolutely seething with anger right now….
#1 A new Washington Post poll has found that a whopping 78 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the way this country’s political system is working”.
#2 That same poll found that only 26 percent of Americans believe that the federal government can solve the economic problems that we are now facing.
#3 Gallup says that Barack Obama’s job approval rating has hit an all-time low of 39%.
#4 According to a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, Congress has a disapproval rating of 82%.
#5 A new Rasmussen survey has found that 85 percent of Americans believe that members of Congress “are more interested in helping their own careers than in helping other people.”
Did someone create a company for the sole purpose of giving to a political action committee trying to boost Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign?
That’s what it looks like. As The Ticket reported earlier this week, three firms gave $1 million apiece to Restore Our Future, a conservative “super PAC” planning to spend millions to help Romney’s White House bid.
One of those companies was W. Spann LLC, a mysterious New York-based company that apparently closed up shop last month shortly after its contribution to the pro-Romney PAC. As NBC News’s Michael Isikoff reports, the company was formed in March by Boston estate tax lawyer Cameron Casey and listed a midtown Manhattan address where the landlord says there’s no record of the firm being a tenant.
The company gave $1 million to Restore Our Future on April 28, and according to records obtained by Isikoff, dissolved on July 12th, just two weeks before the pro-Romney PAC disclosed its donors to the Federal Election Commission. There’s no indication in the records of what the company did or who its owners or principals were.
Casey did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Ticket.
As Isikoff notes, Rope & Gray, the law firm where Casey works, has previously done work for Bain Capital—where Romney used to work—but the company denies any involvement with W. Spann. The now-defunct LLC listed its address as 590 Madison, the same address where Bain’s New York offices are based.
But W. Spann isn’t the only mystery about big contributions to Restore Our Future. As The Ticket previously reported, two other $1 million donations came from two equally mysterious companies: Eli Publishing and F8 LLC. The two entities list the same Provo, Utah, address, according to FEC records, but there’s no indication of what the companies do.
Still, there are hints at who the companies are affiliate with. Steven Lund, head of the anti-aging company Nu Skin, is listed as the registered agent for Eli Publishing, according to Utah corporate records. Lund has been a major financial supporter of Romney’s previous campaigns.
Brittany Gross, a spokeswoman for Restore Our Future, offered no further information on W. Spann LLC or any of the committee’s donors. “Restore Our Future has fully complied with all FEC regulations, including publicly disclosing donors on our July 31 report,” she said in an email.
[CIM comment: Possible connection to Romney's trip to the Uk to gain support? Romney, you are not running for Queen, yet, why is support from the UK needed? Related: Republican Romney to tap ex-pat wealth in London ]
My dad’s birthday is coming up on August 20th, and I can’t think of a better follow-up to his amazing finish in Ames than receiving a strong message from his supporters on that day that they are ready to WIN this race with him.
Full message found here :http://www.oakparkrepublic.com/2011/08/message-from-rand-paul.html