Friday, April 24, 2009

In Reversal, Army Ends Delay on Lightweight Armor (NY Times)

The Army has ordered that $3 million in new, lighter combat gear be sent immediately to two battalions preparing for Afghanistan, officials disclosed Friday.

The decision lifts a hold that the Army had ordered last month on the experimental effort, when it halted a shipment of the lighter equipment intended for troops already in the war zone. The turnabout came after The New York Times reported last Saturday on the decision to halt the shipment and recall an advance team that had been sent to Afghanistan, and after Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates asked the Army to explain the delay.

Military Agency Referred to 'Torture,' Questioned Its Effectiveness

The document was included among July 2002 memoranda that described severe techniques used against Americans in past conflicts and the psychological effects of such treatment. JPRA ran the military program known as Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE), which trains pilots and others to resist hostile questioning.

Michigan Heritage Bank fails; 27th of year

Michigan Heritage Bank of Farmington Hills, Mich. was closed by the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Friday, making Michigan Heritage the 27th bank failure of 2009, and the 52nd of the recession. Level One Bank of Farmington Hills, Mich. will assume all of the deposits, except $50 million in brokered deposits held by Michigan Heritage. As of Dec. 31, Michigan Heritage had total assets of about $184.6 million and total deposits of $151.7 million. Earlier in the day, American Southern Bank of Kennesaw, Ga. became the 26th bank of 2009 to fail.

KNX - Another Bank Failure in SoCal

Another Bank Failure in SoCal

(courtesy of

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approved the payout of the insured deposits of First Bank of Beverly Hills, Calabasas, California. The bank was closed today by the California Department of Financial Institutions, which appointed the FDIC as receiver.
KNX - Another Bank Failure in SoCal

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Obama signed off on taking out pirates (Politico)

President Barack Obama issued a standing order to use force against pirates holding an American captain hostage – including giving a Navy commander the authority to act if he believed the captain’s life was in danger, two senior defense officials said Sunday night.

Navy snipers aboard the USS Bainbridge on Sunday shot and killed three of the pirates after the Bainbridge’s commander gave the order, when a pirate was spotted aboard the lifeboat pointing an AK-47 rifle at Capt. Richard Phillips, one defense official said.

Shut down of the New Frontier Bank - 23rd bank in the nation; the second in Colorado

Regulators have shut down the New Frontier Bank in Greeley, making it the 23rd bank in the nation and the second in Colorado to fail this year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver.

Regulators closed New Frontier at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The FDIC on Monday will reopen the bank, along with its branches in Longmont and Windsor, for 30 days to give depositors time to transfer their accounts to other banks. Regular deposit accounts are insured up to $250,000.
-- George Howard, far left, and other claims representatives talk to people in front of New Frontier Bank in Greeley on Saturday. (Travis A. Heuser/The Coloradoan)

Ex-CIA operative tied to Cuba bombings

This is a followup to the terrorist let in the US by the past Administration. From is from UK Reuters most of the articles of Cuba has been from UK sources .

A federal grand jury has accused anti-Castro Cuban exile and former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles of lying to U.S. authorities about his role in bomb attacks against tourist sites in Cuba in 1997.

In an indictment filed against Posada by the grand jury in El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday, he is accused of seeking to "obstruct and impede" the work of the U.S. government by lying during an immigration interview about his role in the attacks.

-- Luis Posada Carriles during a 2005 press conference in Miami.

Money is the root of all evil! - 1 Timothy 6:10

10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

East Texas lawmaker tells Asian-Americans to get whole 'nuther name (Miami Hearld)

I get it. Everyone should change their names to accommodate Betty Brown.

Posted on Fri, Apr. 10, 2009
East Texas lawmaker tells Asian-Americans to get whole 'nuther name

Bud Kennedy
McClatchy Newspapers

Every session, somebody in the Texas Legislature says something so phenomenally stupid that America takes note of it.
This session, that task has fallen to Rep. Betty Brown, a Terrell, Texas, Republican who came from her East Texas ranch to tell a Chinese-American lawyer at a "voter ID" hearing that if Asian-Americans can't get accurate IDs, they should pick new names that are "easier for Americans to deal with."

Gosh. East Texas is full of fine people.

I have no idea why some of them can't run for the elective offices.

Instead, we get stuck with lulus such as Brown and:

-Mineola Republican Bryan Hughes, who's introduced a resolution declaring Texas "sovereignty" and "states rights," harking back to the last George Wallace campaign.

- Center Republican Wayne Christian, who says that schools are heading in a "heinous" direction and wants science courses to teach "weaknesses" of evolution instead of just "all sides."

Read the complete story at
Texas Rep web site.

Palin says she'll accept stimulus money under conditions, is willing to compromise on parental notification (ADN)

Gov. Sarah Palin told news media here this morning she’s willing to accept the federal economic stimulus money -- if legislators agree to use some of it to replace state spending.

Palin said she still has problems with the stimulus money but it’s clear to her that legislators want to take it all. Palin could still veto or refuse to spend the money if she wanted, but she doesn’t seem inclined to do so at this point.

Palin said her administration has identified $250 million in state spending that could be replaced with stimulus money. She said she plans to meet with legislators this afternoon to argue that doing so would be legal and technically feasible.

On abortion, Palin said she’s now willing to compromise on a bill that would require parents to give their permission before girls under age 17 could get an abortion.

Palin said she’s willing to drop the requirement for consent and just accept a bill that would require parents to be notified about their teenager’s plan to have an abortion.

"That's disappointing lawmakers have chosen not only to not discuss and vote in public but disappointed that a very experienced, educated, young dynamic Native leader was not accepted by the Senate Democrats," she said.


"I know the truth about my family. I know details about whether Levi Johnston was allowed to live with my teenage daughter or not. By the way, it would be over my dead body that a kid would live with my teenage daughter," Palin said.

Cape Fear is 22nd bank to fail in '09

Cape Fear is 22nd bank to fail in '09

Wilmington, N.C.-based Cape Fear Bank was closed by regulators Friday, marking the 22nd bank failure of the year as the effects of the financial crisis spread throughout the economy.
Charleston, S.C.-based First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston has agreed to assume all of the failed bank's deposits, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said in a statement. Cape Fear Bank's eight offices will reopen Monday as branches of First Federal, the FDIC said.

Friday, April 10, 2009

From Conspiracy Theories to Cable News

More tea baggers - Gay Activists Plan Their Own Tea Party At Boston Harbor (from HuffPo)

Gay Activists Plan Their Own Tea Party At Boston Harbor

April 10, 2009 at 06:37 PM

Read More: Boston Tea Party, LGBT Community, Tax Day Tea Parties, Politics News

Tea party protests won't be limited to the rightward-leaning, anti-spending, anti-tax crowd come April 15. In Massachusetts, the LGBT community is planning to reenact the Boston Tea Party to protest the tax code's unequal treatment of same-sex couples. Similar protests are also planned for post offices across the country.

The press release:

LGBT COMMUNITY DEMANDS EQUAL TAXATION Boston Tea Party Re-enactment Planned for Tax Day
BOSTON, MA - On April 15th, thousands of same-sex couples across the United States will be reminded of their second-class status when they file their federal tax return form. Despite living in committed relationships, same-sex couples--even those married in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California--must file as individuals, forgoing over 1,100 federal rights granted to heterosexual married couples.
- website

For Tea Protesters - Boston Tea Party!

As LGBT Americans, we work hard, take care of our families, and pay our taxes every year. Yet, our families are not included in the very policies we help fund. Our loved ones are treated like legal strangers and denied the economic protections given to our heterosexual counterparts.
It is time to take a stand. This April 15th, we will rally at post offices across the nation. All the materials you need to host your own event are on this website. Sign up today. We can change this world.


Yes - I;m looking for dirt (Obama releases Reagan records)

President Barack Obama is ordering the release of nearly a quarter of a million pages of records from the Reagan White House that were kept from the public during a lengthy review by President George W. Bush.

Officials said the Obama administration’s quick verdict on the documents was prompted by an executive order Obama signed in January that gives the incumbent president 30 days to make such a decision, unless he sets a longer period. By contrast, Bush’s executive order on presidential records set no time limit on the White House’s review.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

President Obama - Improving Our Veteran's Health Care

Improving Our Veteran's Health Care

The President announces a plan to improve the health care system for America’s veterans along with Secretary Gates and Secretary Shinseki. In attendence were patients and health care providers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda) and the DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In addition, the leaders from Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) and Military Service Organizations (MSO) were present.

Improving Our Veterans' Health Care from White House on Vimeo.

Rep. Bachus: 17 House members are socialists

The Hill reports:

Rep. Bachus: 17 House members are socialists

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Wing Nuts!! - Bachus tells city and county officials he's worried about socialists in Congress

Bachus tells city and county officials he's worried about socialists in Congress

Posted by jwgray April 09, 2009 10:52AM (Birmingham News)

Touring his Birmingham-area district today, U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus started the day in Trussville, where he treated a breakfast of municipal and county leaders to his thoughts on guns, socialists and the federal budget.

APU.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, shown here in Washington, spoke to city and county officials at a breakfast in Trussville today.
As for President Barack Obama, the Vestavia Hills Republican said he has "some hope."

"He's a better listener than George W. Bush," Bachus said. "He tries to get ideas from people."

But he said he is worried that he is being steered too far by the Congress: "Some of the men and women I work with in Congress are socialists."

Asked to clarify his comments after the breakfast speech at the Trussville Civic Center, Bachus said 17 members of the U.S. House are socialists.

Bachus did not support small city officials who asked if he would oppose all gun bans. Instead, he said, it may be necessary to support some assault weapon bans in order to keep all guns from being outlawed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

USS Bainbridge - President Obama


For U.S. Exporters in Cuba, Business Trumps Politics (NY Times 2007)

John Parke Wright, a Florida cattle farmer, rode with a Cuban farmer, one of the diversions for visitors to the trade fair in Havana last week.
Just weeks after President Bush delivered an address calling on the world to isolate Cuba, officials from Minnesota, Alabama and Ohio — and more than 100 American businesses — were working the giant Havana International Fair, trying to secure part of the $1.6 billion the Cuban government spends each year to import sugar, wheat, livestock, poultry and beans, among other staples.
HAVANA, Nov. 11 — A trade fair in Communist Cuba is perhaps the last place you would expect to find a Republican governor from the American heartland. Yet last week, Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska was here to sign a deal to export $11 million worth of his state’s wheat to the island.

Asked the obvious question about whether longstanding American trade sanctions should be lifted, Governor Heineman ducked and weaved like a professional boxer. “Well, I try not to get into that, because that’s up to the president and the Congress, but I will say expanding trade relationships is good for Nebraska and altogether good for America,” he said.

Republican Governor of Nebraska -2007 in Cuba

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
- Gov. Dave Heineman, Republican of Nebraska, center, with Pedro Álvarez Borrego, who is in charge of Cuban food imports, below, signed an $11 million deal with Cuba. Expanded trade is “good for America,” Mr. Heineman said.

Wasilla Trailer Park Chronicles - 08 Apr 09 - Levi Johnston: Palin is lying

Levi Johnston: Palin is lying
By: Andy Barr
April 8, 2009 01:38 PM EST

The father of Sarah Palin’s grandchild accused the Alaska governor on Wednesday of lying about him and his family.

Levi Johnston said during an interview on CBS’s “Early Show” that he moved into the governor’s house a few weeks before Bristol Palin gave birth to their child.

Palin’s camp has denied the claim, but Johnston insisted the governor is not telling the truth. “They said I didn't live there,” he said. “I was like, 'OK, well, whatever you want to call it. I had my stuff there.'”

Asked if the Palin was lying about him, Johnston simply said: “Yes.”

Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton lashed out at the 18-year-old over the weekend, prior to his appearance Monday on the “Tyra Banks Show.”

“We’re disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration and even distortion of their relationship,” Stapleton said. “It is unfortunate that Levi finds it more appealing to exploit his previous relationship with Bristol than to contribute to the well-being of the child.”

Johnston denied Wednesday that he is trying to “exploit” his relationship with the governor’s family.

“We're not cashing in on their name,” he said.“I'm just trying to get my side of the story out there and letting people know who I am.”

Looking back at his time in the spotlight, Johnston said the biggest misconception about him is “that my family’s white trash.”

Baracknophobia - Obey

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fascism - President Fujimori's Death Camps

LIMA, Peru — Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday for death squad killings and kidnappings during his 1990s struggle against Shining Path insurgents.

Alaska is a sovereign state? - Wasilla Trailer Park Chronicles - 07 Apr 09

Governor Palin

I am deeply concerned with North Korea’s development and testing program which has clear potential of impacting Alaska, a sovereign state of the United States, with a potentially nuclear armed warhead,” Governor Palin said. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that we continue to develop and perfect the global missile defense network. Alaska’s strategic location and the system in place here have proven invaluable in defending the nation.”

President Obama - Iraq with Soldiers

U.S. delegation says Cuba wants better relations (Reuters)

HAVANA (Reuters) - Members of the U.S. Congress who held a lengthy meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro, said on Tuesday they were convinced he wants to end 50 years of hostility between the two countries.

U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, leader of the delegation, said the six Democrats would return to Washington after the 4 1/2-hour meeting on Monday night with a simple message: "It's time to talk to Cuba. The moment is now."

Monday, April 6, 2009

Media witness arrival of Soldier's remains (video)

Fallen airman returns home 2:59 The body of Staff Sergeant Phillip Myers, who was killed in Afghanistan.

Media See Return of US War Dead

Media See Return of US
War Dead

Right-wing’s false claims that Obama will take away guns ‘has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms.’ (from Think Progress)

Right-wing’s false claims that Obama will take away guns ‘has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms.’

In Pittsburgh today, a gunman wearing a bulletproof vest opened fire on police officers who were responding to a domestic disturbance call, killing three of them. Many bloggers have noted that the shooter, 23-year old Richard Poplawski, irrationally feared for “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.” In a presciently-timed op-ed, Charles Blow warns of the disturbing escalating rhetoric of right-wingers like Chuck Norris, Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, and others:

Lately I’ve been consuming as much conservative media as possible (interspersed with shots of Pepto-Bismol) to get a better sense of the mind and mood of the right. My read: They’re apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their “leaders” seem to be trying to mold them into militias. […]

At the same time, the unrelenting meme being pushed by the right that Obama will mount an assault on the Second Amendment has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms. According to the F.B.I., there have been 1.2 million more requests for background checks of potential gun buyers from November to February than there were in the same four months last year. That’s 5.5 million requests altogether over that period; more than the number of people living in Bachmann’s Minnesota.

Coincidence? Maybe. Just posturing? Hopefully. But it all gives me a really bad feeling. (Where’s that Pepto-Bismol?!)

John Cole wrote, “Sure, crazy people do crazy things. But that doesn’t make it responsible to encourage them, which is what a lot of really foolish people are doing right now for purely political reasons.”

Re-education camps for young people; Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

Bachmann: The Serve America Act will lead to ‘re-education camps for young people.’

Last week, Congress passed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which expands AmeriCorps and increases volunteer opportunities at home and abroad. Appearing on Minnesota’s KTLK this weekend, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) joined in the right-wing frenzy over the bill, claiming that it could lead to “re-education camps for young people“:

I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically-correct forums.

Listen here:

Bachmann’s over the top rhetoric isn’t new. During the presidential campaign, when then-Sen. Barack Obama was promoting a national service plan, Investor’s Business Daily and National Review’s Candace de Russy claimed that Obama was seeking to create “re-education camps.” (HT: Dump Bachmann)

Wasilla Trailer Park Chronicles - 06 Apr 09

Palin camp responds to Levi Johnston

Bristol Palin's ex boyfriend and father of her baby, Tripp, went on the Tyra Banks show this week and spilled secrets, including that he thinks Sarah Palin knew the two were together in the biblical sense. This, obviously, did not go over well with the Palin camp who released the following:

"Bristol did not even know Levi was going on the show. We're disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship," says the statement from the Palin family rep, Meghan Stapleton.

"Bristol's focus will remain on raising Tripp, completing her education, and advocating abstinence," the statement continues. "It is unfortunate that Levi finds it more appealing to exploit his previous relationship with Bristol than to contribute to the well being of the child."

The statement ends, saying, "Bristol realizes now that she made a mistake in her relationship and is the one taking responsibility for their actions."

Apologies on the belated update.

(Source: People.)

HONOR! After 18 years returning Vets ceremony open to public.

Media Witness Return Of War Casualty For First Time In 18 Years

DOVER, Del. — For the first time since an 18-year ban on news coverage of returning war dead was lifted, the media witnessed the arrival Sunday night of a soldier killed overseas.

After receiving permission from family members, the military opened Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to the press. An eight-member team wearing white gloves and camouflage battle fatigues carried the body of 30-year-old Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers of Hopewell, Va., off a military jet in a solemn ceremony on a cool, clear night.

Myers was killed April 4 near Helmand province, Afghanistan, when he was hit with an improvised explosive device, the Department of Defense said.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wasilla Trailer Park Chronicles -04 Apr 09

Todd Palin's half sister is arrested for burglary (from ADN)

WASILLA -- Todd Palin's half-sister was arrested Thursday after police say she broke into a Wasilla home to steal money for the second time this week but ended up getting caught by the armed homeowner. The woman's 4-year-old daughter was nearby, police said.

Todd Palin is Gov. Sarah Palin's husband. He referred questions to a spokeswoman for the governor, who said the family would have no comment.

Police arrested 35-year-old Diana Palin at a house on West Mill Site Circle near Wasilla's Multi-Use Sports Complex.

Homeowner Theodore Turcott told police an unfamiliar gray 1993 Toyota Camry pulled into his driveway Thursday morning, according to a affidavit filed Friday at the Palmer courthouse. Turcott told police he'd been burglarized twice recently: Someone stole $2,200 on March 26, leaving $400 behind, and after another apparent break-in Tuesday, all but $9 was gone.

So, Turcott told police, when he didn't recognize the woman getting out of the Camry, he grabbed a gun and hid in the bathroom to see what would happen, said Wasilla police Deputy Chief Greg Wood.

Palin made straight for the bedroom cabinet where Turcott kept his cash, Wood said.

Turcott confronted her, detaining her until police arrived, he said.

But before officers got there, Palin's 4-year-old daughter came into the house, the prosecutor handling the case said during a Palmer District Court hearing Friday.

"There was a significant safety issue regarding this 4-year-old child," prosecutor Mike Walsh told Judge John Wolfe.

The girl told police she'd been to the house a couple of days earlier, the affidavit stated. Palin, however, said she had never been there before, and mistakenly thought it was a friend's house.

Police arrested Palin on felony burglary charges stemming from the break-ins Thursday and Tuesday, as well as misdemeanor theft and criminal trespass charges. Her tire tracks and footprints appeared to match those in photographs taken earlier by Turcott, police said.

She remained jailed at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility in lieu of $10,000 bail Friday afternoon.

The Palmer District Attorney's office is deciding whether to also pursue child endangerment charges, Wood said. He said other charges could also be filed stemming from the first break-in at Turcott's when the case goes to a Palmer grand jury next week.

At Friday's hearing, Palin appeared shaken but polite, answering, "Yes, please," when Wolfe asked if she wanted a court-appointed, state-funded public defender, a request the judge granted.

How Turcott's house was chosen remains unclear. Palin and her husband, Scott McLean, live in a completely different neighborhood on the other side of Wasilla.

McLean was not at the Friday hearing. Earlier in the day, he said he had learned of his wife's arrest when police called him Thursday morning to come pick up their daughter. He'd assumed Palin had been arrested for driving on a suspended license due to a series of traffic offenses including speeding and expired registration.

He said he didn't recognize Turcott's address, and said he had no idea why his wife would be at a house so far from her own -- the sports complex is on the west side of Wasilla, while the Palin home is halfway to Palmer, near Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

McLean said he was still in shock. His wife, a stay-at-home mom, took good care of their 4- and 6-year-old children, he said.

"Everything seemed normal," he said.

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