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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Obama weighing executive actions on housing, gays and other issues

Source: Washington Post

Obama weighing executive actions on housing, gays and other issues

By Zachary A. Goldfarb, Sunday, February 10, 5:15 PM

President Obama is considering a series of new executive actions aimed at working around a recalcitrant Congress, including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants, according to people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues.

One of the first orders is expected this week, when the Obama administration will call for the creation of new standards on what critical private-sector companies should do to protect their computer systems from hackers.

The moves underscore Obama’s increasingly aggressive use of executive authority, including 23 administrative actions on gun violence last month and previous orders that delayed deportations of young illegal immigrants and will lower student loan payments.

These and other potential actions suggest that Obama is likely to rely heavily on executive powers to set domestic policy in his second term. One White House official said that while the president does not see the actions as substitutes for more substantial legislation, he also wants to move forward on top priorities.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-weighing-executive-actions-on-housing-gays-and-other-issues/2013/02/10/e966cc06-7065-11e2-8b8d-e0b59a1b8e2a_story.html

Krugman on Obama’s State of the Union: ‘The less he says about the deficit the better’

“What do you want to hear in the State of the Union?” Hayes asked Paul Krugman, the New York Times economic columnist and Nobel prize winner.

“What I’d like to hear, I’m not going to hear. I’d like to hear a full-throated endorsement of more stimulus.”

He explained instead what he did not want to hear: “This whole business with the sequester, all of this is, this is not the time for any of this, and the less he says about the deficit, the better. I mean I was really gratified by the second inaugural, because he said almost nothing about the deficit. He finally broke out of that beltway obsession with the deficit. So if he talks about other things, the middle class, inequality, climate, and not about what we need to balance the budget, that’s what I’m mostly hoping for.”


Texas church to hold concealed carry classes

Texas church to hold concealed carry classes

A Texas church will add handgun training classes to its fellowship offerings.

The Rev. Brad Foster, senior pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Dumas, took the adage, “the Lord helps those who help themselves,” to heart with an offer to hold firearm safety classes at church facilities so parishioners can obtain concealed carry permits, the Amarillo Globe-News reported.

“There is such an interest right now in the class, self-defense and protecting one’s family,” Foster told the Globe-News. “We are always looking for ways to offer ministry and service to our community, and we never wanted it to be just for church members. People all over the area are expressing an interest.”

The 10-hour class, held in the church’s fellowship hall, will be conducted by a state-certified instructor — not Foster.


Genetically engineered virus kills cancer

Source: Bangkok Post

Genetically engineered virus kills cancer: study
Published: 11 Feb 2013 at 01.44Online news: World
A genetically-engineered virus tested in 30 terminally-ill liver cancer patients significantly prolonged their lives, killing tumours and inhibiting the growth of new ones, scientists reported on Sunday.

A patient undergoes a scanner as radiology technicians look at the exam on a screen, on February 6, 2013, at a medical unit specialised in cancer treatment in France. A genetically-engineered virus tested in 30 terminally-ill liver cancer patients significantly prolonged their lives, killing tumours and inhibiting the growth of new ones, scientists reported on Sunday.

Sixteen patients given a high dose of the therapy survived for 14.1 months on average, compared to 6.7 months for the 14 who got the low dose.

"For the first time in medical history we have shown that a genetically-engineered virus can improve survival of cancer patients," study co-author David Kirn told AFP.

The four-week trial with the vaccine Pexa-Vec or JX-594, reported in the journal Nature Medicine, may hold promise for the treatment of advanced solid tumours.

Read more: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/335320/genetically-engineered-virus-kills-cancer-study

3 words for Senator Graham: "My Pet Goat"

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday suggested that President Barack Obama was “disengaged” and personally responsible for some of the deaths caused by a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 of last year, but seemingly forgot that President George W. Bush read the book “My Pet Goat” for seven minutes as almost 3,000 people died during the 2001 terrorist attacks.


Sen Kaufman "Striking Observation" On JPMorgan Chase: Private Lawsuit Found Evidence the Feds Didn't

Former Sen. Ted Kaufman, whose epic struggle to bring Wall Street to justice was depicted in PBS Frontline's recent episode The Untouchables, made a striking observation on a press call today. "In a private case," Sen. Kaufman said, the Dexia bank's lawsuit "… uncovered reams of emails directly related to the fact that fraud was (allegedly) being committed by JPMorgan Chase."

He was referring to headlines like "E-Mails Imply JPMorgan Knew Some Mortgage Deals Were Bad" in the New York Times and "JPMorgan Hid Reports of Defective Loans Before Sales" in Bloomberg News. Sen. Kaufman added:

"It is just hard to believe that if the Department of Justice had made Wall St fraud a major priority, with the resources they have, they could not have found these same emails and brought these cases."

It's not just that the government wasn't bringing a case against JPMorgan Chase. Everybody in Washington from the President on down was praising its CEO, Jamie Dimon, claiming he was our nation's smartest and most ethical banker. So were a lot of reporters. Roger Lowenstein's flattering profile of the dyspeptic Dimon remains a classic of the Wall Street flattery genre.



What. What. What. New wingnut conspiracy theory: John Brennan is a secret Muslim sleeper agent

From ground zero of Obama era conspiracy theories comes the conspiracy theory to top them all: that CIA nominee John Brennan is himself a Muslim.

What. What. What.

Okay, a little explanation. This claim originated with ex-FBI agent John Guandolo, who left the FBI in disgrace afterbedding a witness in Rep. William Jefferson's corruption case. Subsequently he's become a major anti-Islamist, in no small part thanks to the support of uber-neocon Frank Gaffney, who claimed he was actually fired for opposing Sharia law. And yesterday he went on the radio show of anti-Islamist Tom Trento and made the claim about Brennan. It promptly jumped to WND.com, which laid out his whole claim:

"Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia," Guandolo told interviewer and radio host Tom Trento.

"That fact alone is not what is most disturbing," Guandolo continued. "His conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him. The fact that foreign intelligence service operatives recruited Mr. Brennan when he was in a very sensitive and senior U.S. government position in a foreign country means that he either a traitor... he has the inability to discern and understand how to walk in those kind of environments, which makes him completely unfit to be the director of Central Intelligence."


And yes, it also occured to me that someone may have been watching too many episodes of Homeland.


Bombshell article about Petraeus and Benghazi, based on e-book to be released Tuesday

SUN FEB 10, 2013 AT 12:06 PM PST
Bombshell article about Petraeus and Benghazi, based on e-book to be released Tuesday
by joanneleon

A bombshell article has been published in the DailyMail about David Petraeus and the circumstances around his spectacular fall and about the reasons behind the attack on the U.S. embassy and CIA annex in Benghazi.

The article is based on an e-book written by two former members of elite U.S. military forces and they claim that Petraeus was taken down by a palace coup of sorts, by high-level CIA officers (with the help of his personal bodyguards and contacts at the FBI) who did not like the way Petraeus was running The Company.

They also claim that the Benghazi attack was retaliation for U.S. Special Operations military raids on Libyan militants, raids of which Petraeus and Ambassador Stevens were not aware. The secret raids, according to the authors, targeted leaders of Al Qaeda affiliated militias in Libya, carried out by "hit squads" and one operation happened days before the attack on the embassy.

All of it appears to be based on anonymous sources, some of whom allegedly refused to speak to anyone else. It was written by former members of Special Operations forces in the U.S. military. If and until there are sources on the record or some other evidence, we will have to decide for ourselves how much trust to place in these accounts.

more plus links:

"My Broken Republican Party"

My Broken Republican Party
by Ezra BA Drissman on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 12:26pm ·

I write this note with sadness and optimism. My local Republican Party is broken. My comments may be harsh at times but are only meant to shine a light on some of our issues in order to make positive changes. I have been involved in Oakland Country Republican's for nearly 10 years. I have run in the past three elections. Two years ago, I made sure that no county commission seat went without someone running. I currently and proudly sit on the Executive Board of the County Party. I am a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republican.

Unfortunately our party has decided by their actions that they do not care about getting all branches of our local communities to vote and be proud to be Republican.

This past Thursday February 7th we had our County Convention. I have seen the conventions become smaller and smaller. I often wonder why I bother myself. Lack of inclusion is the issue at the heart of why we continue to get crushed in elections locally. Oakland Country is made up of voters from all different belief systems and religions. The Republican Party should be about fiscal responsibility, not about the moral views of some.

Inclusiveness is no small issue. We have painted ourselves into a small box. We don't garner the Jewish, Black, Hispanic, Muslim, Gay... and the list goes on. One has to wonder-- is there some truth when we are called a bigoted party?

We used be a big tent. There was lots of different views represented and discussed. We have become single minded, and bent on squashing dissension. People who used to be called Conservative Republican's are now called moderates or “Rhinos”. The Libertarian wing has been marginalized. We have successfully kicked out the log-cabin Republican's. I can't image why Jews and Blacks don't want to associate with our Party.

Change must happen and quickly. If we hope to survive and be a majority party, we must be inclusive.

I would be happy to address any specifics and some thoughts on how to achieve a welcoming party that can compete and win elections.

Ezra Drissman
Executive Board Member
Oakland County Republican Party


The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

The Chance for Peace
by Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 16, 1953
Washington, D.C.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

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