Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Globe Special: Ralph Reed's Redemption

"Conservative activist courts evangelical vote for Romney" by Jo Becker |  New York Times, September 23, 2012

DULUTH, Ga. — Ralph Reed is clearly relishing his revival.

Just six years ago, the man who turned the Christian Coalition into such a powerful political force that he was called ‘‘God’s right-hand man’’ was all but written off, tarnished by his ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, then trounced in his campaign to become Georgia’s lieutenant governor.

Related: Obama's Justice Delayed

But after several years in political purgatory, Reed has found his way back, and soon he plans to unleash a sophisticated, microtargeted get-out-the-evangelical-vote operation that he believes could nudge open a margin of victory if Romney can keep the race close.

The other day, sitting in an office lined with framed photographs from back in the heyday — here with President George W. Bush at a White House Christmas party, there with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican — the preternaturally youthful Reed, 51, propped his cowboy boots on a coffee table and made what he admits seems an audacious prediction.

He said record numbers of socially conservative evangelical Protestants will turn out for the first presidential election in history without a Protestant on the Republican ticket.

I'm smelling a steal.

‘‘God,’’ he said with a laugh, ‘‘has a sense of humor.’’

How would he know?

That may be, but Reed has a plan. And he has the money to back it up: an estimated $10 million to $12 million from contributors across the Republican spectrum, according to a partial list of donors and people with direct knowledge of his operation.

Three years ago, Reed formed the Faith and Freedom Coalition and began assembling what he calls the largest-ever database of reliably conservative religious voters.

Good for rigging election machines.

In the coming weeks, he says, each of those 17.1 million registered voters in 15 key states will receive three phone calls and at least three pieces of mail. Seven million of them will get e-mail and text messages. Two million will be visited by one of more than 5,000 volunteers. More than 25 million voter guides will be distributed in 117,000 churches.

White evangelicals are a crucial voting constituency, 26 percent of the 2008 electorate and overwhelmingly Republican in recent presidential cycles, exit polls show. With so few truly undecided voters left, bumping up evangelical turnout in swing states like Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio would almost certainly help Romney.

But the success of Reed’s turnout-stimulus campaign will hinge on a variety of factors, not least whether those voters so dislike some of President Obama’s policies that they can overcome their mistrust of Romney’s Mormon faith and reversals on issues like abortion. And in an election dominated by jobs and the economy, it remains an open question whether culture-war hot buttons, like the president’s support for same-sex marriage, will be as potent as in the past.

In 2004, Reed was an architect of an evangelical turnout apparatus that is credited with helping Bush win reelection.

That was one of the narratives for that theft. 

See: Stolen Elections (Part 2)

It's nearly the only time the exit polls were wrong.

Then came the Abramoff influence-peddling scandal. Though Reed was not charged, the work his consulting firm did for Abramoff’s Indian gambling clients by opposing plans for rivals’ casinos sullied his reputation among Christian conservatives, many of whom oppose gambling. Reed acknowledges that he used bad judgment.

‘‘Money and power always find a way to get in the same room, and it’s sometimes hard to resist the allure of that,’’ said Clint Austin, a Christian lobbyist who used to work with Reed. ‘‘I want to say this with humility because I’m not his judge, but there were so many causes for concern, and a lot of us felt like he needed to step back and get himself refocused. And I think that’s what he’s now done.’’

Reed began by aligning himself with Romney during the primary campaign against Senator John McCain, the eventual Republican nominee in 2008, said Reed’s friend Deal W. Hudson, president of the Pennsylvania Catholics Network. Reed distributed a film, ‘‘Amendment 6,’’ that linked the idea of religious tolerance to evangelicals’ acceptance of Mormonism.

‘‘That movie was a great example of how Ralph works,’’ said Matt Towery, a Georgia political analyst. ‘‘I don’t mean this pejoratively, but he is an opportunist. He finds himself an opportunity and he hits it, and he hits it hard.’’

With much of the work once done by party committees and campaigns now outsourced to super PACs and other outside groups, Reed saw another opportunity. In 2008, the Obama campaign won the turnout wars with technology and microtargeting data made available by the growth in online shopping. The Faith and Freedom Coalition, formed in 2009, is Reed’s attempt to do the same on the right.

To identify religious voters most likely to vote Republican, the group used 171 data points.

Names that overlapped at least a dozen or so data points were overlaid with voting records to yield a database with the addresses and, in many cases, e-mail addresses and cellphone numbers of the more than 17 million faith-centric registered voters.


Sunday Globe Special: Berman vs. Sherman

I know who I think will "win," and I'll tell you at the end of the post.

"2 Democrats face off in California race

Representative Howard Berman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House ­Foreign Relations ­Committee, has made more than 150 trips abroad during his three ­decades in Washington.

His opponent in November, Representative Brad Sherman, with more than 15 years in Congress, has traveled mainly within San Fernando Valley, where he has held more than 150 town hall-style meetings.

In the closely watched race between two incumbent ­Democrats — set against each other by redistricting and by a state law that pits the top two primary finishers against each other, regardless of party — nearly the entire California Democratic establishment has lined up behind Berman.

But Berman’s party support has, thus far, found its match in Sherman’s local appeal.

In June, Sherman finished 10 points ahead of Berman in the primary.


Berman not only being backed by Democraps:

"GOP heavyweights back Democrat

WASHINGTON — A longtime House Democrat struggling to win against a fellow Democrat in California has picked up an unlikely endorsement: the backing of two Senate Republicans.

Representative Howard Berman faces Representative Brad Sherman in November thanks to the redrawing of congressional boundaries and California’s primary system.

Two of the GOP’s leading lawmakers on national security — Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham — along with independent Senator Joe Lieberman said Monday they are backing Berman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, called Berman a ‘‘man of determination and honor.’’

Graham said Berman knows how to work on a bipartisan basis.

Berman also is supported by the state’s two Democratic senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.


I predict Berman will win because he is more a tool of Israel (as evidenced by the siameze tripletz there), and because Sherman was the guy who spilled the beans about the Bush administration's threat of martial law if they didn't get the bank bailout.

Sunday Globe Special: How Obama Wins Wisconsin

"Obama works to hold Wisconsin standing" Associated Press, September 23, 2012

MILWAUKEE — It was President Obama’s first visit to Wisconsin since February, and the president was intent on shoring up support in Paul Ryan’s home state. Obama won Wisconsin easily in 2008 and recent polls have him ahead by single digits, but Ryan is popular.

‘‘We’ve always thought that Wisconsin would be harder for us this year than it was four years ago,’’ said Obama campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki.

In advance of Obama’s visit, Mitt Romney’s campaign made the argument that Obama’s failure to turn around the economy had Wisconsin voters looking for a different path. Republican Governor Scott Walker said the president had a ‘‘Wisconsin problem.’’ The state’s 7.5 percent unemployment rate is below the national average, but its manufacturing industry has been hit hard in recent years....

Which is odd because Walker cites the very same statistics as evidence of his positive economic stewardship. 

Romney is dedicating most of this weekend to courting donors in California — a state that he’s not trying to win. He attended a private fund-raiser in suburban San Francisco on Friday night and planned to attend at least two more Saturday in San Diego and Los Angeles.

This perplexes me. Here he is falling behind in the polls and he's out raising money all over the place. 

The GOP nominee is feeling fund-raising pressure: Last month, for the first time, Obama and the Democratic Party raised more than Romney and the Republican Party, $114 million to $111.6 million.

Oh, $o money is $eeing the writing on the wall. 

Romney’s schedule — particularly his focus on fund-raising over traditional campaigning with voters — has caught the attention of conservative opinion leaders.

‘‘The logic of Romney’s fundraising has seemed, for some time, slightly crazy,’’ conservative Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote recently. ‘‘He’s raising money so he can pile it in at the end, with ads. But at the end will they make much difference?’’ 

Not in a fair election as limited as these chosen choices are. 


With just six weekends left before Election Day, both men were also devoting considerable time to raising campaign cash to bankroll the deluge of ads already saturating hotly contested states. Baseball great Hank Aaron was supplying the star power at two Obama fundraisers in Milwaukee while Romney headed to San Diego and Los Angeles to tap into West Coast cash, if not votes.

With running mates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan campaigning in New England and Florida, respectively, the presidential campaign was spread far and wide — both geographically and strategically. Biden revved up union activists poised to canvass for votes in New Hampshire [saying] it was because of unions that the United States has a strong middle class, while Ryan appealed to Hispanic voters in Miami and talked space policy in Orlando....

Go blow, Joe.

The article then degenerated into a discussion about Cuba.


Obama Fracking Up His Chances For Reelection

Doesn't look like it is going to cost him in Colorado, Pennsylvania, or Ohio....

"Obama’s stance on natural gas carries risks" by Christopher Rowland  |  Globe Staff, September 27, 2012

LONGMONT, Colo. — President Obama’s plan to boost domestic drilling for natural gas carries the promise of new jobs and provides a convenient pivot away from his lurching bid to transform America’s energy economy with wind and solar power.

As someone once said, leave me alone don't want your promises no more.

Yet in pockets of the nation, including the communities around Colorado’s pristine mountains, such a shift carries a political price. The spike in fossil fuel production in this crucial swing state has generated a backlash, as neighborhood activists and environmentalists decry the key means of producing the energy: hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, of rock deep below ground, releasing reserves of natural gas or oil.

Wait until you see why.  Of course, the empire's thirst for energy must be slaked at all costs -- with certain $pecial intere$t$ to benefit as alway$. 

Obama’s move also bears economic uncertainties. His promise at this month’s Democratic convention to create 600,000 natural-gas-related jobs in the next decade is running headlong into a new reality: Overproduction of natural gas has stifled new drilling, and thus hiring.

The result is the president risks alienating a component of his base, while possibly overselling the potential for new jobs.

The argument, of course, is where else they gonna go? As for me, I'm voting Nader again. Given the level of corporate control over this government, if there was ever a time for a guy to be president it's his.

In his pursuit of natural gas production, Obama is banking on an industry that has provided an economic bright spot and bolstered the possibility of greater energy self-sufficiency....

Yeah, it's all good.

Fracking generates more than employment opportunities and profits, however. It creates gushers of local controversy. The process requires huge volumes of pressurized, chemical-laden water to break apart rock. Not only does it consume scarce water resources, a particular concern in the West, but it poses a threat of contamination if the fracking water is spilled or migrates into aquifers. The industry insists such risks are nearly nonexistent.

That is a fancy way of saying your DRINKING and BATHING WATER may be TAINTED and TOXIC.

In the western part of Colorado, preservationists worry that scenic federal lands will be threatened by energy companies eager to take advantage of fracking technologies. On the east side of the Rockies, north of Denver, where there are more voters, entire suburban communities are rising against what they consider a potentially hazardous industrial activity in their backyards. The water used in fracking often contains chemicals known to cause cancer and other human health problems.

Hey, ANYTHING for a BUCK, right?

“We’re disappointed in President Obama. He led us to believe that he would look out for us in this region, and he hasn’t really delivered,’’ said Kaye Fissinger, a self-described progressive and part of a citizens group in suburban Longmont that has forced an antifracking amendment onto the local ballot in November.

You can get at the end of a very long line after the last four years. 

Environmentalists have been especially dismayed that Obama’s Department of the Interior, in new fracking regulations that apply to leases on federal lands, required drillers to publicly reveal the contents of fracking fluid only after drilling operations have taken place, not before.

Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat and key western ally of the president, said in an interview that Obama’s new stance has thrust the president more firmly into the state’s longstanding debates, where Colorado’s identity as a home to scenic wilderness conflicts with its traditions of mining and economic booms.

“In some ways he has not gone far enough to satisfy the oil and gas industry, and in some ways he has alienated some of his strongest supporters,’’ said Hickenlooper. “In Colorado, it’s harder and harder to find places where you don’t encounter some level of ‘not in my backyard.’ ’’

Maybe you would like it outside your taxpayer-funded government mansion. Or maybe you would like a nuke reactor. Whatever.

Hickenlooper, a former energy industry geologist who supports fracking, has ordered state regulators to sue the City of Longmont over a set of strict drilling regulations the city adopted, saying such a move will foster a hodgepodge of local rules and chaos if other communities follow.

The governor is threatening to sue again if the community passes its ban on fracking in November.

That's the kind of abuse I'm told Republicans exercise. Just goes to show you both parties serve the $ame inter$t$.

Hickenlooper maintained that the relatively low risks of fracking are worth the goals of energy self-sufficiency and cleaner air that will come with greater natural gas production.

He also acknowledged that the nation needs to encourage greater demand for natural gas, through the development of more natural-gas burning power plants and more automobiles that run on the cleaner-burning fuel.

That’s because economic forces appear to be at least temporarily working against Obama’s vision. Plentiful supplies of natural gas have flooded the market and lowered prices, which significantly dampened interest in gas exploration in the last two years.

The continued recovery in drilling is now being led by fracking for oil, not natural gas, according to federal government data.... 

Forget all the guilt-tripping fart mist as selling point then. 

During his last campaign, Obama promised to create 5 million jobs in “green energy’’ fields over 10 years. 

The actual number generated by such energy producers as wind and solar has been much lower. Wind energy companies have recently been shedding jobs as federal tax credits begin to expire and China floods the US market with subsidized components. 

Yeah, yeah, blame it on the Chinese (sigh).

The economic realities facing Obama and the solar and wind advocates he courted in 2008 could not be more starkly illustrated than along an interstate frontage road in the Front Range region of Colorado. A solar panel manufacturing facility owned by Abound Solar sits idle, bankrupt, despite the $400 million green-energy loan guarantee Abound secured through Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package. 

See:  Solar $hortout$

Even as the solar factory awaited a trustee’s auction, nearby fields were dotted with dozens of fracking wells.

The streets of Fort Lupton in Weld County crawl with rigs, water tankers, and trucks bearing pipes and chemicals. Fracking wells dot lots next to schools, golf courses, churches, and tracts of suburban homes. Plans are in the works to ring the banks of a reservoir with wells. 

No, I'll pass on the glass of water, thanks. 

A number of drilling rigs are operated by locally owned businesses and subcontractors who contend Obama’s support for their industry seems late. Obama mentioned natural gas as an important source of energy in 2008 but did not give it the same emphasis he does now....

Certainly Obama’s support of natural gas production in his convention speech was not quite the same as “drill, baby, drill,’’ the chant of delegates at the 2008 Republican convention. But the change in emphasis was clear. The move makes it easier for him to pivot away from such embarrassments as Abound and Solyndra, the California solar panel company that went bankrupt despite receiving a $500 million, government-guaranteed loan under the stimulus package. 

Related: Obama's Ro$e-Colored $ungla$$e$

Also see: Obama Reflects Sunshine Back Into Romney's Eyes

Solar Stimuloot Went to Goldman Sachs

Even if we had all the money wasted on the wars back it would still be going to the wrong places. System is broke, folks. 

The new approach also could help protect him from accusations by challenger Mitt Romney that he stifled domestic energy production. Romney unveiled proposals in August to expand drilling in offshore sites and federal lands and reduce regulations, while seeking to portray Obama as hostile to new drilling....  

No energy for campaigI simply have no more energy for the campaign, folks. God has spoken, and I am disgusted with the s***-fooley show from Democrats. 

Obama counters that oil production increased 13 percent on federal lands during the first three years of his presidency, while the government offered for sale millions of acres of oil- and gas-rich federal holdings. It says it has streamlined permitting on federal property.

Nonetheless, energy companies poured three times more money into Romney’s campaign coffers — $4.2 million, compared with $1.3 million for Obama — as of Sept. 3, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that reports publicly released data.

Energy executives said the Interior Department rules unveiled in May impose too many requirements on drillers.

“I would like a reasonably balanced approach, which we are not getting from the Obama administration whatsoever,’’ said Kevin P. Kauffman, founder and chief executive of Denver-based KP Kauffman Co. Inc., an oil and gas production company. “It’s a war against us.’’

Ah, Kauffman covered in the slick of hyperbole!


Globe never mentioned the WATER you can LIGHT on FIRE that seems to come with the fucking, 'er, fracking. 

RelatedGlobe $chilling For Shale

What do you expect from a money paper? 

Also seeNew York suit to review fracking rebuffed

Yes, it's a sign all Americans understand no matter what language you speak. 

Obama Takes Early Lead in Iowa

"Iowa is 1st swing state to begin early voting" by Bryan Bender  |  Globe Staff, September 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — The early voting could give an advantage to President Obama....

While Romney is expected to do well in Iowa’s rural areas, nursing student Kim Boggus, 33, who volunteered for Obama in 2008, said the Des Moines polling station had the feel of an Obama campaign rally....

I'll bet Ralph Reed could help out there. 

The Obama campaign is also enlisting actor Jason Alexander, of “Seinfeld” fame, to help roust voters in Iowa....

I'm not sure George Costanza is the best representative for your campaign. 

Early voting will take place in 32 states nationwide over the next few weeks and more than 44 percent of the electorate will have the opportunity to do so.

Both campaigns see the early voting as a way to free up their most active supporters to volunteer on election day.


Obama Ahead in Ohio

"Romney tells Ohio he cares; Obama scoffs at notion" by Ben Feller and Steve Peoples  |  Associated Press, September 27, 2012

WESTERVILLE, Ohio — With under six weeks to go a widening Obama lead in polls in key states such as Ohio, where Obama’s momentum has seemed to be growing. It is also a state no Republican has won the White House without carrying....  

New opinion polls show Obama opening up apparent leads over Romney in battleground states, including Ohio and Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania....  

In Ohio, two surveys show the president crossing the 50 percent mark among likely voters. A Washington Post poll found Obama ahead, 52 percent to 44 percent, among those most likely to turn out, and a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll showed a 10-point Obama lead among definite voters....


Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Orleans Back to Normal

What, the Saints win a football game?

"Weakening Isaac hovers over water-logged Louisiana" by Cain Burdeau and Michael Kunzelman  |  Associated Press, August 31, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — Inside the fortified levees that protected New Orleans, bursts of sunshine streamed through the thick clouds, and life began to return to normal. But beyond the city, people got their first good look at Isaac’s damage: Hundreds of homes were underwater. Half the state was without power. Thousands were staying at shelters.

And the damage may not be done....

At least two deaths were reported....

David Newman was frustrated that the government spent billions of dollars reinforcing New Orleans levees after Katrina, only to see the water inundating surrounding regions.

‘‘The water’s got to go somewhere,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s going to find the weakest link.’’

The sudden call for evacuations so long after the storm made landfall provoked a debate about whether anyone was to blame....

Oh, how little has changed since Katrina

The water rose waist-high in some neighborhoods, and the Louisiana National Guard worked with sheriff’s deputies to rescue people stuck in their homes....



"At least seven people were killed....  There were other signs of life getting back to some sense of normalcy. The Mississippi River opened to limited traffic, the French Quarter rekindled its lively spirit, and restaurants reopened."

Also seeClosed lock jams Mississippi River

"Gulf Coast slowly recovers from Isaac; 400,000 are left without power in Louisiana" by Kevin McGill  |  Associated Press, September 02, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — Gulf of Mexico oil platforms were being repopulated after Isaac forced shutdown of most Gulf oil production....

In New Orleans, the annual Southern Decadence festival, a celebration of gay culture, was underway. And the Superdome, which had minor damage, prepared to host a Saturday night football game between Tulane and Rutgers....

Related: Tulane’s Walker continues to recover after neck injury

To the east, officials pumped and released water from a reservoir, easing the pressure behind an Isaac-stressed dam in Mississippi on the Louisiana border. The threat for the earthen dam on Lake Tangipahoa prompted evacuations in small towns and rural areas....

But everything is back to... sigh.

The National Weather Service said it was bringing more rain and some drought relief to parts of the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service said two tornadoes touched down in rural areas of north-central Illinois.... 


"Days after Isaac, flooding and outages remain" Associated Press, September 03, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — Much of Plaquemines Parish was still covered with flood water Sunday and more than 200,000 people across Louisiana still did not have any power, five days after Isaac ravaged the state. Thousands of evacuees remained at shelters or bunked with friends or relatives. At least seven people were killed by the storm — five in Louisiana and two in Mississippi.

President Obama is to visit Louisiana on Monday, a day before the Democratic National Convention. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney visited the state Friday....


"A televised interlude in the rough and tumble of the political campaign [while] tens of thousands of customers remained in the dark Monday in Louisiana and Mississippi, nearly a week after Isaac inundated the Gulf Coast with a deluge that still has some low-lying areas under water." 

But everything is back to nor... mal.

Despite the hardships, there were signs of progress. 

I'm sorry, readers, but I can't read this positive shit-spinning anymore. 

Workers continued their return to offshore oil and gas production platforms and drilling rigs, electricity came on for hundreds of thousands of people, and an annual gay pride celebration was held in the French Quarter.

At least you Louisiana folk know what is important, 'eh?

But much of Plaquemines Parish, a vulnerable tract that juts into the Gulf of Mexico southeast of New Orleans, remained under as much as 5 feet of water, Parish President Billy Nungesser said. The Category 1 hurricane walloped the parish, and for many, the damage was worse than Katrina in 2005.

‘‘I’ve never seen water come up this quick this fast,’’ he said.

He said there were reports that cattle in the largely rural parish took refuge on porches.


So why did water inundate the surrounding regions so quick and fast?

"Researchers to look at levees’ role in La. flooding; Army Corps says New Orleans walls not to blame" by Cain Burdeau and Stacey Plaisance  |  Associated Press, September 05, 2012

LAPLACE, La. — At the urging of residents who have long felt forgotten in the shadow of more densely populated New Orleans, the Army Corps of Engineers says it will look into whether the city’s fortified defenses pushed floodwaters into outlying areas.

Even when government tries to good it ends in disaster!

However, the Corps has said it’s unlikely scientific analysis will confirm that theory suggested not only by locals, but by some of the state’s most powerful politicians. Instead, weather specialists say a unique set of circumstances about the storm — not the floodwalls surrounding the New Orleans metro area — had more to do with flooding neighborhoods that in recent years have never been under water because of storm surge.

Translation: the government cover-up is going to be deeper than the floodwaters. 

Isaac was a large, slow-moving storm that wobbled across the state’s coast for about 2½ days, pumping water into back bays and lakes and leaving thousands of residents under water outside the massive levee system protecting metropolitan New Orleans. The storm was blamed for seven deaths and damaged thousands of homes on the Gulf Coast.

The Corps’ study was prompted by the suggestion that Isaac’s surge bounced off the levees and floodgates built since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and walloped communities outside the city’s ramparts.

Blaming the Army Corps of Engineers is nothing new in southern Louisiana, a region that is both dependent on the Corps and distrustful of an agency that wields immense power in this world of wetlands, rivers, and lakes, all of which fall under the agency’s jurisdiction.

The Corps was roundly criticized after Hurricane Katrina, which pushed in enough water to break through the levees that had surrounded New Orleans. Much of the city was left underwater, and since then the government has spent millions rebuilding the system of floodwalls protecting the metro area.

Before that, the Corps was blamed for the unraveling of coastal marshes by erecting levees on the Mississippi River.

In towns like the bedroom community of LaPlace, people want answers. There, neighborhoods were under water even though they had never before flooded because of storm surge....

And WHAT CHANGED in the interim?

On Friday, Republican Senator David Vitter asked the Corps to commission an independent study to determine whether the new floodwalls, gates, and higher levees around greater New Orleans caused water to stack up elsewhere....

The Corps said it expects the study will find ‘‘minimal’’ changes in surge elevation because of its work around New Orleans. It based that assessment on previous modeling. The agency said it would not comment further until the scientific work is done....

Other scientists agreed it was unlikely the fortified defenses caused flooding in neighboring communities. Instead, numerous factors combined to create the flooding conditions. For instance, the storm was virtually stationary for a time and dumped rain far longer than many other tropical systems.

Are you tired of the excuses and lies, Louisiana?


And just in case you have forgotten what lies at the bottom:

"Tests prove oil on La. beaches is from BP spill; Company says buried globs were exposed by Isaac" by Cain Burdeau and Jay Reeves |  Associated Press, September 07, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — Laboratory tests show that globs of oil found on two Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill.

Tests run by Louisiana State University for state wildlife officials confirmed that oil found on Elmer’s Island and Grand Isle matched the biological fingerprint of the hundreds of millions of gallons that spewed from BP’s Macondo well.

On Wednesday, BP PLC said oil from its spill had been exposed by Isaac’s waves and that the company would work to clean it up.

Ed Overton, the LSU chemist who did the state tests, said the oil found on Elmer’s Island had not degraded much while that at Grand Isle had.

‘‘Both were good solid matches on Macondo oil,’’ Overton said.

Two other samples collected from another barrier island did not match the signature of oil from the BP well.

So there is a new leak out there somewhere?

Specialists expected that hurricane waves would stir up oil buried along the Gulf Coast and that Isaac, which made landfall on Aug. 28 and soaked the region in the days afterward, apparently did just that.

I was told it simply disappeared by my government and mouthpiece media, so WTF?

Reports of tar balls washing up on beaches after the storm were reported in Alabama and Louisiana, two states that got hit hard by BP’s massive offshore oil spill.

On Tuesday, scouts found what they described as a large tar mat on the beaches of ­Elmer’s Island, prompting state officials to close a 13-mile stretch of beach and restrict fishing along that shoreline.

Still, Overton said the discovery of the buried oil does not mean that the Gulf is seeing a repeat of the summer of 2010, when oil was spewing from an out-of-control well about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast.

‘‘This is not oil everywhere,’’ Overton said. He said the difference between the amounts of oil being exposed now by Isaac and what the Gulf saw in 2010 is ‘‘night and day.’’

Still, he said more oil was likely buried in other places along the coast, perhaps as deep as 3 feet. He said the difficulty for cleanup crews has been finding and removing buried oil.

About 100 pounds of tar balls collected on the Alabama coast after Isaac are being tested at Auburn University, which has a contract with local government to assess the material. Researcher Joel Hayworth said a full chemical analysis isn’t yet complete, but the new tar deposits appeared ‘‘remarkably similar’’ in composition and consistency to tar found on state beaches during and immediately after the BP spill.

The tar balls are ‘‘clean,’’ he said, virtually identical in size and shape to ones found in 2010, and fragile enough that they fall apart when handled. That indicates material on the bottom of the coast isn’t moving much and is very near the surf line, Hayworth said.

Relatively pristine tar balls have washed ashore with each tropical system that has hit the Alabama coast since the spill, Hayworth said, indicating the material isn’t going anywhere.


RelatedBP posts $1.4b loss in quarter

Oooooh, poor BP!

"A tearful Sheriff Michael Tregre said the episode started when a gunman opened fire for unknown reasons....  Motives for the shootings and how they unfolded have not been released."

"Louisiana suspects had links to extremists" August 20, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — At least some of the seven people arrested in a fatal shootout with Louisiana deputies have been linked to violent anarchists on the FBI’s domestic terrorism watch lists.

Detectives had been monitoring the group before Thursday’s shootout in Laplace, La., in which two deputies were killed and two more wounded, DeSoto Parish Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle said Saturday.

His detectives and other law enforcement discovered the suspects were heavily armed adherents to an ideology known as the ‘‘sovereign citizens’’ movement.

This is smelling like another set-up.

The FBI has classified sovereign citizens as people who believe they are free from all duties of a US citizen, like paying taxes.

The FBI considers the group’s members a danger for making threats to judges and law enforcement, using fake currency, and impersonating police officers....

Related: Mississippi Highway Patrol

That story just drove right down the AmeriKan media memory hole, didn't it?


Yup, New Orleans is back to normal. 

Next Day Update: New Orleans fights for its news

No one likes being lied to and insulted. 

The Amerikan print media is literally dying in front of you. 

Alpine Snow Job

Sure looking like this guy was a MI6 agent and the victim of an intelligence agency hit squad based on the cover story and crap coverage.

"After shooting in France, girl, 4, hid beneath dead kin" by Dan Bilefsky  |  New York Times, September 07, 2012

PARIS — Apparently frozen in terror, a 4-year-old girl crouched silently for eight hours beneath her dead mother and grandmother in the back of a BMW on a forest road in the French Alps while just steps away investigators hunted for clues, officials said Thursday.

The discovery of the girl, alive and unharmed, around midnight Wednesday provided a glimmer of relief after a grisly attack in a wooded area near the village of Chevaline that left four people dead and a 7-year-old girl — thought to be the 4-year-old’s sister — hospitalized with a fractured skull. Three of the dead had been shot in the head, officials said.

Law enforcement officials said the BMW appeared to belong to a British family who had been vacationing at a campground near Lake Annecy, a picturesque area in the Alps not far from the Swiss and Italian borders.

Officials did not release the identities of the victims, but they said the car was registered to a man who was born in Baghdad in 1962 and had a British passport. Reuters, quoting an unidentified source, reported that the man was Saad al-Hilli of Surrey, in southern England. Investigators said they had uncovered no motive for the killings.

The bodies of the four victims were discovered Wednesday by a British tourist, a former air force officer who was cycling by and told the police that he had seen a seriously injured girl lying in front of the BMW, officials said. Officials said the BMW’s ignition was still on, suggesting that the attack had just occurred....

The fourth victim, a cyclist found near the car, has been identified by the French media as Sylvain Mollier, a French father of three in his 40s, who lived a few miles from the scene and was most likely biking by during the attack....

Sure smells like an intelligence operation.

One theory held that the family had ­accidentally disturbed a drug deal....

Oh, now the newspaper is in the business of promoting theories, 'eh?

No arrests were immediately made, and no weapon was found....

Sure smells like an intelligence operation.


So what is the best cover story the intelligence operation knows as the AmeriKan media can come up with?

"Family dispute investigated in killings in French Alps" by Jamey Keaten  |  Associated Press, September 08, 2012

ANNECY, France — French investigators focused Friday on a feud between brothers as they searched for a motive in the slayings of a British-Iraqi family vacationing in the French Alps. A French prosecutor said that the brother of the slain man came to British police of his own accord Friday to tell them, ‘‘I have no conflict with my brother.’’

I wasn't buying it anyway. How weak. 

Prosecutor Eric Maillaud said British police have reported that 50-year-old Saad al Hilli may have been feuding with his brother, Zaid, over money. But he did not know if this was linked to British media reports of a possible disputed inheritance. A family friend said the father of the two men died recently — while public records showed the brother had left the victim’s small aeronautics design firm....

Curiouser and curiouser, 'eh?

With the killer or killers still at large, the two children’s security was reinforced Friday.

They seem to have just vanished. 

For the first time in nearly two days, police lifted a roadblock leading to the pitted, single-lane road running along a clear mountain stream. Broken glass and skid marks marred the small parking area where the family was found....  



Sunday was big snow day:

"British authorities search home of couple slain in Alps; Authorities seek motive in deaths of 4 adults in car" by Cassandra Vinograd and Greg Keller  |  Associated Press, September 09, 2012

LONDON — French and British police searched the home in the United Kingdom of a British-Iraqi couple slain while vacationing in the French Alps, as it emerged Saturday that all four people killed in the attack were shot twice in the head. Meanwhile, relatives arrived in France to help care for the couple’s two surviving daughters, one of whom was severely wounded.

Questions remained about potential motive for the killings as well as the identity of one victim, an older woman found dead in the couple’s bullet-riddled BMW. Police have said they are investigating tips of a financial dispute between the slain husband and his brother, but stress they were following all leads. The brother has denied any dispute.

Yeah, sure. When they say that it means they are wrapping up loose ends of the cover story.

The identity of the dead couple — mechanical design engineer Saad al Hilli and his wife, Ikbal — was based partly on the word of their 4-year-old daughter Zeena, who survived unhurt by hiding under her mother’s skirt as some 25 automatic-handgun rounds were fired at the family car.

Her older sister, 7-year-old Zaina, was badly wounded in the attack and lies in a medically-induced coma. Aside from the elderly woman shot to death in the car, French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, whom authorities suspect was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, was also killed in the shooting rampage on Wednesday.

French prosecutor Eric Maillaud, based in Annecy near the site of the killing, told a press conference there Saturday that each of the victims was shot twice in the head — one more time than previously stated — in addition to an undisclosed additional number of times elsewhere.

Autopsies on the bodies were completed late Friday, Maillaud said.

He remained tight-lipped during the news conference, saying he was ‘‘at the limits’’ of what he could publicly disclose. But he confirmed that France has asked Italy and Switzerland to assist in the search for whoever is responsible for the shootings, which took place just a short drive from the borders of both countries.

French investigators arrived in Britain on Friday night, and police took pictures on Saturday of the Hilli home in the village of Claygate, a London suburb in Surrey County. Some officers entered the house in protective suits, while others carried boxes with equipment and evidence bags into an investigation tent set up outside.

Authorities in Britain, too, gave few details. The French police in Surrey spoke only to praise cooperation with their UK counterparts in what they described as a long and complex inquiry.
Surrey’s police force stressed that the investigation is French-led and that the emphasis now is on the victims of the tragedy.


Authorities have been reluctant to discuss what prompted the killings, but investigators are looking into a possible family dispute over money.

No one is buying that. 

After learning about media reports that they may have been fighting over money, Saad Hilli’s brother Zaid came forward to British police Friday and denied any conflict in the family, French prosecutors said.

But Mae Faisal El-Wailly, a childhood friend of the brothers, made available a letter written to her by Saad last year that alluded to a possible inheritance dispute. She said the brothers’ father had died recently, and she described the family as wealthy.

Oh, well, now I'm convinced my newspaper is telling me the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 

But Wailly added that she did not believe Zaid had anything to do with the killings.

‘‘Zaid and I do not communicate any more as he is another control freak and tried a lot of underhanded things even when my father was alive,’’ Saad wrote. The letter was dated Sept. 16, 2011.

‘‘He tried to take control of father’s assets and demanded control,’’ the letter says. “ . . . It is a long story and now I have just had to wipe him out of my life. Sad but I need to concentrate now on my wife and two lovely girls.’’


"British police search for bomb in house of family targeted in Alps" New York Times, September 11, 2012

CLAYGATE, England — In a further twist to a story of murder and mystery that has seized headlines for days in France and Britain, police summoned an army bomb squad Monday to search a workshed at the home of a British-Iraqi family killed last week in the French Alps.

Houses within 300 feet of the home of the victims, the family of Saad al-Hilli, in an affluent village within the London commuter belt, were evacuated during the bomb squad search. The bomb alert ended after four hours with a police all-clear.

A spokesman for the Surrey County police said the bomb unit had been requested after ‘‘a potentially explosive substance was found’’ in a workshed at the rear of the home. But a police statement issued after the search said nothing hazardous had been found.

The bomb alarm came on the fourth day of a police search of the home for clues to the killings in France, in which three members of the family were shot to death. A fourth victim, a French cyclist who appeared to have encountered the killings while in progress, died in the bloody episode near the town of Annecy.

French and British police officers have focused on the crime scene in France and at the Claygate home of the victims — Hilli, 50, his wife, Iqbal, and her mother, 74....


I know the authorities must be "scrambling to hunt down leads since the rampage occurred," but that is the last I've seen of the case in my Boston Globe.

Unfortunately, I do not have the time to dig through the AmeriKan media s***, 'er, snow, and investigate further, but you know it when you smell it.  

Also see: Nuclear link to French Alps massacre: Murdered Saad al-Hilli worked at top-secret British lab

Saad Al-Hilli Assassinated Over Secret Defence Contract?

An Alpine murder mystery - why were the al-Hillis shot dead?

Wounded girl from Alps massacre told police she saw 'one bad man' before returning to Britain

Another lone gunman, yup. 


Connecticut Post Put in a Deep Freeze

It is getting colder at nights now.

"Settlement reported in freezing death" by Dave Collins  |  Associated Press, July 26, 2012

The family of a Connecticut woman found frozen to death in 2009 has settled a lawsuit against a former state lawmaker and a Cromwell tavern. A court document obtained by The Associated Press shows Carol Jean Sinisgalli’s family withdrew the lawsuit on Wednesday against former representative James O’Rourke and O’Leary’s Digger McDuff’s Tavern. Terms of the resolution were not disclosed. A lawyer for Sinisgalli’s family said they are relieved the lawsuit is over. O’Rourke and the tavern owners denied wrongdoing. The lawsuit said Sinisgalli was not wearing a coat or shoes when she was kicked out of the bar in 14-degree weather.


Also see: Conn. motorcyclist killed in Mass. accident

Charlemont is just up road.  

Ex-Greenwich pastor sentenced to 5 months in fraud case

Related: Saying Prayers in the Connecticut Chapel

Wasn't enough, was it?

More arrests in Conn. Donovan campaign finances

Related: Quick Connecticut Post

Ex-Bridgeport mayor Joseph Ganim seeks to regain law license 

Related: Connecticut Lockdown

Humpback whale washes up on beach

"For privacy and safety reasons, Camp Aranu’tiq has never allowed media inside, but recently let a Globe reporter and photographer spend a day at its wooded Connecticut grounds during its weeklong session in late August. "

Hey, summer is over, 'kay?

UConn to hire a master planner and architect

Woman pleads guilty to $1.6m food stamp fraud

Linda McMahon, Chris Murphy in rumble for Senate seat

Murphy tries to refocus contentious Senate race

Also seeIn The Corner To My Left....

No saving graces this year.  

Getting Back to the Globe Gaming Table

Plenty of seats still available, but I wouldn't bet on this state. 

"Gaming pick reaction misjudged, emails say" by Andrea Estes  |  Globe Staff, July 20, 2012

The newly created state gambling commission badly underestimated public reaction to the fact that Carl ­Stanley McGee, the man tapped to be executive director of the new panel, had been ­arrested in 2007 in a sexual ­assault on a 15-year-old boy, ­internal e-mails show.

The e-mails, obtained by the conservative blog ­RedMassGroup and given to the Globe, show that the commission’s public relations consultant predicted in one e-mail that the allegations “will be no more than a paragraph deep into an otherwise extremely favorable story about Stan.”

And it was (keep reading). 

When Gaming Commission chairman Stephen Crosby asked the Patrick administration if it had any concerns about the selection of McGee, then part of Patrick’s economic development team, the answer was no.

“I don’t have any immediate concerns with Stan’s candidacy,” Sydney Asbury, then Patrick’s deputy chief of staff in charge of appointments, wrote to Crosby on April 23. “Do you have any concerns about Stan being tied too closely to the governor?”

McGee, a Rhodes Scholar who was the Patrick administration’s authority on gambling, was seen by many as well qualified to lead the independent commission, which was created to license and regulate three casinos statewide. He was forced to resign as acting director of the commission on May 9 amid the uproar over the assault allegations. Florida prosecutors chose not to pursue the charges, but McGee paid a private settlement to the family of his alleged victim....

After the Globe detailed the episode in the steam room of a Florida ­resort and reported that neither the Gaming Commission nor the governor’s office had ever done an independent review of the case, McGee resigned.

Patrick invited McGee to ­return to his old job as assistant secretary for policy and planning in the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

But McGee never came back to work. After taking several weeks of personal time, he ­decided to resign in June, hoping his departure would end the controversy.

The e-mails obtained by the RedMassGroup under the state public records law make clear that the Gaming Commission had considered the potential public relations backlash from choosing McGee, only to dismiss it.

In late April, public relations consultant Karen Schwartzman drafted a background summary of the allegations against ­McGee and concluded McGee’s history would probably not pose a problem for the fledging commission, as long as the public relations were “managed.”

I don't know which is sicker, the alleged conduct or official reaction. 


Initial stories did refer to McGee’s arrest deep in the story....

Just as predicted. 

Though the case ended without criminal charges, e-mails to the commission showed that the public was less forgiving.

“McGee? A PR nightmare,” wrote gambling opponent Kathleen Conley Norbut to Crosby two days after McGee was selected. “I’ll be blunt — the [Gaming Commission] did not get that one right. Skills and knowledge agreed, but I don’t think that this will be brushed aside.” 


Related: Sunday Globe Special: Sex and Gambling in Massachusetts

Didn't they tell you they go hand-in-hand together? 

Next hand.

"Gambling board ready to take casino applications" by Mark Arsenault  |  Globe Staff, August 08, 2012

Beginning Thursday, developers who want to compete for casino licenses in Massachusetts may submit a $400,000 application fee, along with a short certification form, to ­become official applicants for one of the state’s commercial casino licenses, he said. The $400,000 payment is non­refundable.

Though a preliminary phase, the first step is still ­important on several fronts....

The commission did not ­expect to begin the application process until later this year, Stephen ­Crosby, the commission’s chairman, added, but accelerated its process because “there are [developers] who want to get going; they’re public. and they’re making no secret of it.”

Gary T. Piontkowski, president of Plainridge Racecourse harness track in Plainville, is eager to be the first to apply for a license. He sat through the commission’s several-hours- long meeting Tuesday with a $400,000 bank check at the ready, just in case the commission opened the application period even earlier.

“I’ve been waiting 15 years to officially become an applicant,” said Piontkowski. “For my partners and I, we’ve worked very hard to get to this day. It’s like a christening.”


Among the major players ­expected to compete for the gambling resorts are Suffolk Downs in East Boston, in partnership with casino giant ­Caesars ­Entertainment, for the Eastern Massachusetts license.

Western Massachusetts has the most competitors so far, includ­ing the operators of the Mohegan Sun casino for a location in Palmer, and Ameristar, MGM Resorts, Hard Rock International, and Penn National Gaming for various locations in Springfield.

In the third region, Southeastern Massachusetts, commercial casino development is on hold, pending efforts by a federally recognized Native American tribe, presumably the Mashpee Wampanoag, to develop a tribal casino. If the tribe can win federal approval for its plans to build in ­Taunton, the state commission is expected to not issue the one resort license allowed for that region....

No developer can make a detailed development proposal until the project has been ­endorsed by local voters in a referendum. The commission could choose the winning proposals as early as October 2013.


Related: Gaming panel sees 2016 for first Mass. casino

That isn't going to be any immediate help.

And with that I'm dealing you out, readers, because I'm not going to search for the legions of unread stories pushing the casino agenda even now. 

Next Day Update: 

"Revere seeks Wonderland in casino deal; Plans a stadium for Revolution" by Mark Arsenault  |  Globe Staff, October 01, 2012

REVERE — Municipal officials have become extraordinarily powerful figures in the early months of the development of the Massachusetts casino industry. In Holyoke, for instance, Mayor Alex Morse was elected on an anticasino platform and promptly persuaded Hard Rock International to give up plans for a gambling resort in the city.

See: Holyoke's Happy Mayor

In Foxborough, the part-time Board of Selectmen stonewalled a casino proposal from Las Vegas billionaire Steve Wynn. When the May town election strengthened the anticasino tilt of the board, Wynn gave up.

In Springfield, Mayor Domenic Sarno took the opposite path, by inviting gambling companies to his city. Sarno will have as many as four proposals from which to choose, as wealthy casino operators eagerly tailor their projects to fit the city’s every whim, in their rush to win Sarno’s favor....

Also seeSpringfield a magnet for casino hopefuls

State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat and one of the architects of the casino law, said lawmakers gave cities and towns leverage over developers to ensure that the communities are made whole for any negative effects from casino developments or for any added drain on services.

The compensation can come in just about any form: cash payments, new equipment, services, or local preferences in hiring. “We wanted to provide that flexibility,” Rosenberg said.

He's mine, but I never vote for him. 

Wonderland, a former dog racing and simulcast track, fell on hard times and closed in 2010, hurt by a state ban on live dog racing....

Related: Last Race at Raynham

Whadda you know, readers?  I won a bet. 

Also see: Massachusetts Is Going to the Dogs

Globe always seems to line up with the gaming interests.


What's In Your Wallet?

Nothing because Capitol One has cleaned it out:

"CFPB fines Capital One $210m for credit card add-ons" by Carter Dougherty and Dakin Campbell  |  Bloomberg News,  July 19, 2012

WASHINGTON — Capital One Financial Corp. will pay $210 million to settle charges of deceptive marketing of credit card ‘‘add-on’’ products such as payment protection and credit monitoring.

Meaning they probably made about 4x that much on the fraudulent thievery. 


‘‘Today’s action puts $140 million back in the pockets of 2 million Capital One customers who were pressured or misled into buying credit card products they didn’t understand, didn’t want, or in some cases, couldn’t even use,’’ said Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray. ‘‘We are putting companies on notice that these deceptive practices are against the law and will not be tolerated.’’

That just seems so at odds with the wonderfully creative Capital One commercials featuring that wonderfully talented Jimmy Fallon. 


More cases against credit-card companies may be in the works. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have subpoenaed Discover Financial Services amid a probe into that lender’s marketing of fee-based products....

Yeah, look what they found:

Feds order Discover to refund $200M to cardholders

Trying to discover some extra profit, 'eh?

Debt-protection products, also known as credit insurance, are lucrative mainly because of limited competition. Customers can’t get a card from one company and credit insurance from another, according to consumer advocates.


But remember, you are getting 50% more cash.  

UPDATE: Capital One plans banking ‘cafes’

Canadian Landslide

Not much of a post:

"Four people were believed to be missing Friday after a wall of rock, mud, and trees cascaded down the side of a mountain, flattening several homes in this tiny western Canada community."

The Globe also gave me the Quebec killing by "a masked gunman wearing a bathrobe?" 

Also see:

BC suspends professor after arrest in Canada

Canadian auto union says strikes are possible

Canadian auto union reaches deal with Ford

One-Cut Canada

Canadian Quickies

Canadian Mall Collapse

Canadian cable outfit to buy Quincy’s Atlantic Broadband for $1.36b

Officials kill geese at Roger Williams Park

Time to get the flock out of here in more ways than one. 

Next Day Update: 

"Last Western Guantanamo detainee returns to Canada" by Rob Gillies  |  Associated Press, September 30, 2012

TORONTO — The last Western detainee held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay returned to Canada on Saturday after a decade in custody and was transferred to a maximum security prison where he awaits parole, Canada’s public safety minister said Saturday.

Vic Toews said that 26-year-old Omar Khadr arrived at a Canadian military base on a US government plane early Saturday and was transferred to the Millhaven maximum security prison in Bath, Ontario.

The son of an alleged Al Qaeda financier, Khadr pleaded guilty in 2010 to killing a US soldier in Afghanistan and was eligible to return to Canada from Guantanamo Bay last October under terms of a plea deal.

Canada’s conservative government took almost a year to approve the transfer.

The US Defense Department confirmed the transfer in a statement and said 166 detainees remain in detention at Guantanamo Bay.

Khadr was 15 when he was captured in 2002 in Afghanistan and has spent a decade at the Guantanamo prison set up on the US naval base in Cuba to hold suspected terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

He received an eight-year sentence in 2010 after being convicted of throwing a grenade that killed Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer during a 2002 firefight.

‘‘His head is spinning a bit and it’s going to be a real adjustment for him, but at the same time he is so happy to be home,’’ said John Norris, Khadr’s Canadian lawyer.

‘‘He can’t believe that it is finally true. He simply can’t. For very good reason he was quite fearful that the government would not follow through on its word and he’s pinching himself right now not believing that this government has finally kept its word,’’ he said.

That would be a first. 

Norris said Khadr would be eligible for parole as early as the summer of 2013. He said he has been returned to Canada 10 years too late.

Toews said the US government initiated Khadr’s transfer and suggested that Canada had little choice but to accept him because he is a Canadian citizen.

It will be up to Canada’s Parole Board to release him, Toews said.

‘‘Omar Khadr is a known supporter of the Al Qaeda terrorist network and a convicted terrorist,’’ Toews said.

Excuse me, readers.

Toews called for ‘‘robust conditions of supervision’’ if Khadr is granted parole. Toews said in his written decision that he reviewed all the files forwarded by the US government and said the Parole Board should consider his concerns that Omar ‘‘idealizes’’ his father and ‘‘appears to deny ‘‘Ahmed Khadr’s lengthy history of terrorist action and association with Al Qaeda.’’

Toews also said Omar Khadr’s mother and sister ‘‘have openly applauded’’ his father’s ‘‘crimes and terrorist activities’’ and noted that Omar has had ‘‘little contact with Canadian society and will require substantial management in order to ensure safe integration in Canada.’’


Just their way of reinforcing the 9/11 narrative and keeping "terror" on your mind. 

Puerto Rican Pit Stop

Puerto Rico voters reject amendments

Divided vote in Puerto Rico clouds a win for statehood

Costa Rican Quake

"A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake shook a wide swath of Central America Wednesday, collapsing houses, blocking highways, and causing panic and at least one death from a heart attack."

Globe Gets Dewey-Eyed Over Occupy Anniversary

They are what we call crocodile tears -- with insults. 

"Dwindling Boston Occupiers remain resolute; With Dewey Square camp gone, planning for movement’s 1st anniversary isn’t easy" by Martine Powers  |  Globe Staff, September 17, 2012

Nearly a year after the start of the movement known for its defiance has struggled even if they continue to raise hell around Boston — or at least try. They camped in front of the State House to protest MBTA fare hikes, staged demonstrations in front of Bank of America, and last weekend took a road trip to New York City for “S-17” — the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. But many Occupiers attend events only sporadically.

Gee, that's odd. I didn't see any Globe articles in my printed pos that covered those; otherwise, I would have noted it on my pad. 

There’s palpable frustration at the group’s general assemblies, biweekly meetings, the assemblies often drew hundreds of people in raucous, hourslong arguments over camp decisions, fueled by digressions into political theories.

Now, the gatherings are more mundane in tone, more fuddy-duddy in tenor. At a recent meeting, the Occupiers approved funding for Occupy Boston balloons and camera equipment for the New York trip.

It’s a big change, admits Bil Lewis, a lanky, neatly-dressed 60-year-old from Cambridge with the voice of a National Public Radio broadcaster. He discovered Occupy last year on his way home from a Toastmasters meeting. Last December, as protesters awaited eviction, Lewis gazed out over the tents and declared, “This is the life I want to have led. I am so honored to have been here.”

Now, Lewis says he’s nostalgic for the “wild community” of the old camp. But, he has to admit, it’s a lot easier to get things done now.

Related: Occupy Boston Folds Its Tent

“We don’t have people who just need to get up every day and tell their sad life stories anymore, and we don’t have drunkards screaming at us from the back row,” Lewis said. “We’re able to make good decisions much faster now.”

The camp attracted homeless people, registered sex offenders, and drug users. Arguments erupted on whether to allow them inside the Occupy community, highlighting how the camp had become a microcosm of the challenges of modern-day society.

And that’s what made the camp so special, some said.

“It was such a beautiful laboratory of democracy,” said Dana Moser, an Occupier from Jamaica Plain.

But the current exclusion of the homeless — whether by lack of outreach or inconvenient meeting times — means that Occupy is now falling short of its Dewey Square ideals, said Cherie King. A short woman with a heart-shaped face, King was drawn to the camp because it was better than staying in a homeless shelter. But she soon found herself involved in the ideals of the movement.

See: Globe Gift: Occupy is History

Last week, she reflected on how Occupy changed her: By the end, her soft, breathy voice had grown strong, and she could capture the attention of a crowd as she spoke forcefully about the issues facing the city’s homeless population. She remains homeless, and frustrated.

“The thing I miss is that we don’t have that space, and without that space, there’s no movement,” said King. “There’s nothing to remind people that there is injustice.”

That's why there are blogs.

John Ford, 31, agrees that there is nothing to match the encampment.

“I definitely miss the sense that we had already won, that it was going to build and build and build and build,” Ford said. “I miss that momentum-building feeling, where every day the camp got kind of more grand in its scale and more teeming.”

But Ford believes that many are still working toward the movement’s ideals....

And no matter where the protesters are now, they remain connected by their experience.

Related: An Occupy to Remember 

I wonder how those kids are doing these days. 

Andrews Claude was “the sink guy.” With a wide grin, long ponytail, and the demeanor of a friendly lumberjack, he designed and constructed an industrial kitchen sink with a self-contained plumbing system that was meant to revolutionize how Occupiers would do dishes. When he and others tried to carry the sink into camp, a riot ensued, and three were arrested. The sink was detained, too.

The incident became one of the most epic stories of the Dewey Square occupation.

Claude died in April....

Just like the movement itself if you believe the corporate media.

“We only knew him for six months,” one protester said, “but in Occupy time that’s a long time.”

There was a New Orleans-style brass band, too, and the dozens of Occupiers started to dance — spontaneous, raucous, unconquerable.

Yeah, the Globe in general and corporate media in particular have been so kind to Occupy. 


"NYC police arrest 180 on Occupy anniversary; Demonstrators try to cordon off Stock Exchange" by Colin Moynihan  |  New York Times, September 18, 2012

NEW YORK — More than 180 people were arrested Monday as protesters tried to block access to the New York Stock Exchange on the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Demonstrators had planned to converge from several directions and form what was called the People’s Wall around the stock exchange to protest what they said was an unfair economic system that benefited the rich and corporations at the expense of ordinary citizens.

Notice the money media says it is the protesters that say the system is unfair. It's implied that the system is fair first.

Last year, protesters took over Zuccotti Park, not far from Wall Street, setting up an encampment that became an inspiration for similar Occupy campaigns around the world.

But after being evicted from the park in November, the protests lost much of their energy, though their message of economic inequality has resonated in Washington and in the presidential campaign. 

Especially when the corporate media stopped covering them. As for the presidential hot air, that's just what it is. 

On Monday, the police countered the blockade planned by protesters with one of their own, ringing the streets and sidewalks leading toward the exchange with metal barricades and asking for identification from workers seeking access.

Protesters marched through the streets, waving banners and banging drums while accompanied by bands playing ‘‘Happy Birthday.’’

At several points during the morning, crowds of protesters numbering in the hundreds briefly blocked intersections before being dispersed, with arrests in some instances.

Though organizers said more than 1,000 people participated in the demonstration, the roving groups did not appear to cause much disruption on Wall Street.

By early evening, 181 people had been arrested, the police said.

Although officers sometimes surrounded large groups of protesters, they did not appear to make mass arrests.

But on several occasions, officers plunged onto sidewalks packed with protesters and arrested people after saying the crowds were blocking pedestrian traffic.

At one point, at Broad and Beaver streets, a commander grabbed a man from a crowd standing on the corner.

Protesters tried to pull the man back, but officers surged into the crowd and wrested the man away, placing him in handcuffs.

One of the more turbulent episodes took place along Broadway where several hundred people marched.

Officers approached a man who had been yelling objections to the metal police barricades that cordoned off Wall Street.

When the officers grabbed the man, he began shouting ‘‘I did nothing wrong,’’ but they removed him.

As they were leading the man away, a line of officers pushed away a large crowd of people, including news photographers.

One officer repeatedly shoved news photographers with a baton, and a police lieutenant shouted at one point that no more photographs would be permitted, adding, ‘‘That’s over.’’ 

Yup, the game is over. If it wasn't a s*** fooley the AmeriKan media would be screaming about freedom of the press. Instead they are silent on tactics they decry from official enemies. 


Organizers said they had planned the protest to show that the Occupy movement still had vitality and to express continuing frustration with the economic environment.

Among those gathering early Monday was Oren Goldberg, 32, who said he had joined the protest partly because he felt the need to somehow register his conviction that the financial system was not operating properly. ‘‘It’s exciting to see any group of people attempting any sort of change,’’ he said....

As the protesters gathered as early as 6 a.m., police vans were parked on side streets throughout the financial district, and helicopters buzzed overhead.

Workers in suits walking to work passed contingents of officers posted on corners.

Sporadic marches continued through the afternoon, along with arrests.

Several demonstrations took place outside financial institutions. Some people were arrested at a Bank of America branch opposite Zuccotti Park. 

My printed version also mentioned actions at JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and AIG.  It also said that 10 banks were occupied in San Francisco by sit-ins; however, that was all cut for the web reader. 

Later the police arrested about a half-dozen people who sat down in front of Goldman Sachs headquarters on West Street while a crowd chanted ‘‘arrest the bankers.’’

As the police directed the crowd to leave the area, people in the building could be seen gazing down from windows.

Some of the protesters pointed up to the windows and shouted, ‘‘Goldman Sachs, we’ll be back,’’ as they began marching toward Zuccotti Park.


The tears are for the funeral service of Sunday:

"Occupy, Menino, and getting results" by Tom Keane  |  September 23, 2012

The point of politics, one would think, is to get something done.

It’s an idea apparently lost on the Occupy movement, which began just a year ago with its takeover of New York’s Zuccotti Park and then rapidly spread to cities across the United States. Boston’s own version, located on Dewey Square, began Sept. 30. With clever slogans (“the 99 percent”) and novel tactics (such as the encampments), the media were enthralled. Something big, it seemed, was in the wind. When police arrived on Dec. 10 to move the protesters out, they were greeted by these defiant words: “You can’t evict an idea.”

That sure as hell wasn't my my impression all these months.

Or perhaps you can. A year after it began, the Occupy movement is lifeless. Efforts to revive it — one in March and another on its one-year anniversary — were a bust. Occupy’s remnants seem a sad-sack of misfits, longing to find a place in the world, while the public has lost interest. If Occupy is the vanguard of the revolution, the emperor has nothing to fear.

You know, I'm not feeling remembrance now. I'm just feeling rage at the insults. 

Of course, they are right about the lack of interest. The mouthpiece media claims it's impacted the presidential race, and that couldn't be possible because the public doesn't pay interest to newspapers anymore. 

Yup, once again we have s***-slop served up as serious journalism. 

But don’t blame the cops. In part, Occupy went bust because it was oversold and overhyped, more media creation than reality.

Well, that is sure true. The last thing the media reports accurately is reality. 

Yeah, the media created Occupy, right.

One is struck by the credulousness with which it was greeted at the time, as if it truly were a mass movement. Yet the number of campers in New York at best was a few thousand. It was far fewer elsewhere.

More importantly, Occupy seemed — almost deliberately — determined to undermine its own effectiveness. One understood that in general it was about the gaps between the rich and the rest, but pinning down specifics was impossible.

I am so sick of that canard when they put out a list.

The early question to the Occupy protesters — what would it take to get you to go home? — had no answer.

Yeah, it did. End the wars, jail the bankers, and dump the organized thievery known as private central banking. That hasn't happened.

The movement refused to have an agenda or leaders (around which others could rally) and refused to engage in conventional politics (something the Tea Party did extraordinarily well).

That's because the Tea Party was co-opted by big money and turned into a controlled front to further serve corporate interests.

It is certainly conceivable that Occupy could have had a major influence on this November’s presidential election. Instead, it’s irrelevant....

Oh, then they are just like newspapers! 

Like Occupy, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino used soft power — in this case, the bully pulpit that his position gave him — to identify an issue and raise it to national prominence.

No one likes a bully, right?

Unlike Occupy, however, Menino and other politicians made clear what their agenda was and gave the company a way to respond to their concerns.

It’s a striking contrast. Menino saw an opportunity to advance the cause of gay rights, and deftly seized it. The Occupiers had a similar opportunity to advance issues of economic opportunity, and squandered theirs.

The difference being, of course, that the gays have the mind-manipulating media agenda-pushers and the money that is behind them on their side. 


I have no more tears, readers.