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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 25,626

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Plan For Aiding Arid West Includes Idea For Major Water Pipeline From Nation's Midsection

ST. LOUIS — Even as drought-stricken Midwestern states squabble over diminishing water supplies in the region, a new federal-state study raises the idea of constructing a 670-mile pipeline to divert water from one of the Mississippi's major tributaries to help seven arid states in the West.

For two years, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming have been considering ways to provide more water for the growing populations in the West. A plan scheduled for release later this month will include a proposal for a pipeline to ship water west from the Missouri River, along with a number of less ambitious options.

The pipeline proposal, which would cost an estimated $11.2 billion and take 30 years to complete, is expected to intensify the debate over how to ease one growing region's shortages without harming the interests of others.

Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Dan DuBray said the pipeline idea is in the very early stages, a long way from reality.

"The idea of constructing conveyances to move water resources between other basins and the Colorado has been raised before and was once again submitted as an idea in this process," DuBray said. He said the proposal will be evaluated, but that the agency doesn't view it as "among the most practical or cost-effective proposals submitted."



Senate Wants Suit On Filibusters Dismissed

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate asked a federal judge Monday to dismiss a citizen lobbying group's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Senate rules setting a 60-vote threshold for defeating filibusters.

Emmet J. Bondurant, a lawyer representing Common Cause in the case, said the nation's Founding Fathers never intended to allow a minority in the Senate to block a majority from considering a bill. But that's what the rules now allow, he told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.

The Senate's lawyer in the case, Thomas Caballero, said the Constitution gives the Senate the authority to make its own rules.

Sullivan gave no indication when he might rule on the Senate's motion to dismiss the case.



Egypt's Military Assumes Temporary Powers Ahead Of Vote As Country Braces For More Rallies

Associated Press
6:24 p.m. EST, December 10, 2012

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's military assumed responsibility Monday for protecting state institutions and maintaining security ahead of a Dec. 15 constitutional referendum, as the country braced for another round of mass demonstrations by the supporters of the country's Islamist president and the liberal opposition over the disputed charter.

The referendum on a contentious new constitution lies at the heart of a bitter political battle that has deeply polarized Egypt and triggered some of the worst street violence between backers and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi since he took power in June as the country's first democratically elected leader.

So far, Morsi has stood firm on the referendum, refusing to yield to opposition demands that he scrap the vote scheduled for Saturday. The opposition, meanwhile, was still trying to decide late Monday whether to boycott the referendum or rally Egyptians to vote "no" to the draft constitution, and hoping that a massive turnout for a rally Tuesday would force the president to cancel the balloting.

"We still have a chance, with popular rejection, to stop the referendum," said Basil Adel, a former lawmaker and liberal activist.



'Fiscal Cliff': No One Retreating; Talks Seem At Standstill

Source: Associated Press

Updated: Dec 10, 2012 5:33 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - A year-end deadline approaching, negotiations to avoid an economy-rattling "fiscal cliff" appeared at a standstill Monday. Republicans pressed President Barack Obama to name specific spending cuts he will support, while the White House insisted the GOP agree explicitly to raise tax rates on upper incomes.

At a campaign-style event in Michigan, Obama warned his listeners their taxes will rise on Jan. 1 without action by the Congress. "That's a hit you can't afford to take," he declared.

He spoke one day after meeting privately at the White House with House Speaker John Boehner, whose office expressed frustration with the talks to date.

"We continue to wait for the president to identify the spending cuts he's willing to make as part of the 'balanced' approach he promised the American people,'" said a written statement from the Ohio Republican's office.

Read more: http://www.kcautv.com/story/20301640/rank-and-file-question-gop-fiscal-cliff-stance

Michigan: School Districts Closed As Teachers Skip Work To Attend 'Right to Work' Protests

TAYLOR (WWJ) - School has been canceled in two Michigan school districts as dozens, perhaps hundreds, of teachers are expected to call in sick Tuesday to join right-to-work protests in Lansing.

Taylor Public Schools will be closed down because of the high number of staff that have already called in, apparently to attend the demonstrations. Superintendent Diane Allen told WDIV-TV there won’t be enough teachers to cover classrooms. She said she had heard from a principal about where the teachers were going.

Warren Consolidated Schools will also be closed Tuesday, due to number of teacher absences for the same reason.

“The entire district will be closed just like when we have a snow day,” said Warren Consolidated Superintendent Robert Livernois, in a statement. “Will I understand this is somewhat unusual, my number one priority is student safety and without and adequate number of staff members, we cannot hold school.”



Obama Says Michigan Labor Battle About 'The Right To Work For Less Money'

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama weighed in on the contentious labor battle playing out in Michigan, condemning the Republican push to make Michigan a so-called "right-to-work" state as nothing more than a partisan maneuver that will hurt the working class.

"We should do everything we can to keep creating good middle-class jobs that help folks rebuild security for their families," Obama said Monday in a speech at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant.

"And by the way, what we shouldn't do -- I've just got to say this -- what we shouldn't be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions," he added to loud applause from the audience. "We shouldn't be doing that. The so-called 'right-to-work' laws -- they don't have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."

Michigan is set to become the 24th right-to-work state, with Gov. Rick Snyder (R) poised to sign the controversial bill after it was fast-tracked by the GOP-controlled legislature. Thousands of union supporters protested at the state capitol in Lansing last week, and more protests are planned for Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/obama-michigan-right-to-work_n_2272408.html

Intelligence Community: U.S. Out As Sole Superpower By 2030

By BYRON TAU | 12/10/12 9:54 AM EST
A new report by the intelligence community projects that the United States will no longer be the world's only superpower by 2030.

"In terms of the indices of overall power – GDP, population size, military spending and technological investment – Asia will surpass North America and Europe combined," the report concludes.

“Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds" — prepared by the office of the National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — projects that the "unipolar" world that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union will not continue.

"With the rapid rise of other countries, the 'unipolar moment' is over and no country – whether the U.S., China, or any other country – will be a hegemonic power," the report argues.



Krugman: DeMint ‘Took The Think Out Of The Think Tank’

By David Edwards
Sunday, December 9, 2012 13:20 EST

Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is taking “the think out of the think tank” and turning the Heritage Foundation into a “purely political institution” by accepting a job as its president.

The tea party-backed lawmaker announced last week that he would be resigning from the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation because “the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas.”

During a Sunday panel discussion on ABC, Republican strategist Mary Matalin sarcastically noted that her “hero,” British economist John Maynard Keynes, had said that “ideas drive history, ideas drive progress and Heritage has long been the fount of so many great ideas.”

“As a conservative, as a constitutionalist, that was a brilliant move — a good move for us, a brilliant move for him,” she insisted.



Oil Giant Says August Cyber Attack Targeted Whole Saudi Kingdom

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, December 10, 2012 3:44 EST

Oil giant Saudi Aramco said on Sunday that an August cyber attack on its computer network targeted not just the company but the kingdom’s economy as a whole.

The interior ministry, which joined Aramco’s investigation into the attack that affected some 30,000 of the firm’s computers, said it was carried out by organised hackers from several different foreign countries.

“The attack targeted the whole economy of the country, not just Aramco as an entity,” said Abdullah al-Saadan, who headed the company’s inquiry team.

“The aim was to stop pumping oil and gas to domestic and international markets,” he told reporters.



Perhaps I've missed it but has anyone heard of 'defense cuts' or curtailing our military adventures

in all the budget crisis debate?

Foreign aid? Nary a mention from what I can tell...
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