July 7, 2010

Cox Reporter Rips Right-Wing Luminaries for ‘Rumor’ About Offshore Drilling Plans in Cuba, Burns Herself

CubaOilDrillingWaters0610Rush has spent a considerable portion of today’s broadcast ripping into this article by Christine Stapleton of Cox Newspapers, and rightly so, for the first three of the four opening paragraphs that follow:

Despite the warnings of Dick Cheney, George Will, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, the Russians are not drilling for oil off Cuba. Neither are the Chinese. In fact, no one — not even Cuba — is drilling for oil off Cuba.

The pesky and persistent rumor, bubbling back up with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, is still nothing more than a pesky and persistent rumor — aired in 2008 by former Vice President Cheney (who got the misinformation from conservative columnist Will), repeated on Fox News and recently revived by conservative radio commentator Limbaugh, who told his listeners 10 days after the spill: “The Russians are drilling in a deal with the Cubans in the Gulf. The Vietnamese and Angola are drilling for oil in the Gulf in deals with the Cubans.”

However, as oil from BP’s exploded well continues surging from the Gulf floor and washing onto Panhandle beaches, the rumor is poised to become fact.

Repsol, a Spanish company, expects to begin drilling off Cuba in 2011, according to published reports and oil-industry analysts. Companies from at least 10 other countries, including Russia and China, are negotiating or already have signed lease deals to drill off Cuba.

It’s as if Cheney, Limbaugh, and Will have been making things up out of thin air all along, nothing at all has happened until now, and they’re all of sudden just getting lucky. Horse manure.

Stapleton’s comeback would more than likely be, “I’m right, because no one is drilling right at this very moment.”

Well, ma’am, if you’re going to get that technical, I will too. This Wall Street Journal story notes that Repsol did some drilling in 2004, and then stopped after results were disappointing. So the Spanish company isn’t about to “begin” drilling, it’s going to “resume” doing so.

And while we’re at it, Ms. Stapleton, a person doesn’t issue “warnings” about what is happening, they do so about what’s coming. So when you try to claim that the conservative trio was claiming that substantial drilling was already occurring two years ago, anyone reading and listening in context knew that they meant that the Russians, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Angolans — and for that matter, Petrobas, the Brazilian-owned oil company in which George Soros has hundreds of millions of dollars invested (how did she miss that?) — are attempting to work out and in several cases have worked out arrangements with the Cuban government that would or will lead to drilling operations.

The linked article also notes that:

Cuba’s portion of the Gulf of Mexico has been divided into 59 blocks, of which 17 have been contracted out to companies including Spanish oil giant Repsol and its partners, Malaysia’s Petronas, Brazil’s Petrobras, Venezuela’s PDVSA and PetroVietnam.

Shazam! They already have contracts (for what that’s worth in dealing with Fidel Castro’s communist workers’ paradise).

Rush also pointed to this Associated Press item from July 2006 carried at the Washington Post.

From here on out, say a growing chorus of experts, America will pay a price for maintaining its 45-year trade ban with the communist nation — a strategic and economic price that will have negative repercussions for the United States in the decades to come.

What has changed the equation?

Oil.

To be more specific, recent, sizable discoveries of it in the North Cuba Basin — deep-water fields that have already drawn the interest of companies from China, India, Norway, Spain, Canada, Venezuela and Brazil.

This, in turn, has reheated debate in the U.S. Congress and the Cuban-American community on an old question:

Has the time finally come to shelve the embargo — given America’s need for more sources of crude at a time of rising gas prices, soaring global demand and the outbreak of war in the Middle East?

Thus, there has been interest in Cuba’s oil for four years. This, along with the contractual arrangements cited above, makes the existence of plans to drill in Cuba far more than the “pesky and persistent rumor” Ms. Stapleton cited.

Ms. Stapleton should have put a hold on the bashing and stuck to reporting the relevant facts. Instead she chose to insult informed readers’ intelligence by taking cheap and ineffective shots at people who have been proven right time and time again — including this time.

Your loss, ma’am.

Graphic found at the Palm Beach Post.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Examiner’s Byron York: The NASA-Muslim Outreach Story ‘Has Not Made the Cut’

June 28, 2011, 2:00 p.m. Note: Photobucket, my photo/graphics storage provider, took it upon itself sometime early this afternoon Eastern Time to delete a photo which originally appeared in the original post below. The company did not contact me it did move the pulled graphic to the front of my album so I would be aware of its deletion.

Fortunately, I was able to find the original of this post at archive.org, and have added a portion of it at the top of this post. This time, I’m storing the graphic at my web host, so that Photobucket can’t purge it.

Because its web page layout has until recently been much narrower, this post’s cross-post to NewsBusters never included the graphic Photobucket has deleted.

Absent satisfactory resolution, if it’s technologically feasible, I’ll be looking for another photo storage provider at anniversary time.

June 29, 2011, 3:00 p.m. Note: Photobucket’s ultimate response, when prodded, is as follows — “The other image was a violation of our terms of use and will remain removed. The image contains hateful content that we do not allow.”

Those who believe that dhimmitude isn’t a problem had better wise up.

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CensoredNASAmuslimsPostTop070710

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(Original post, with censored graphic at right)

nasa4(Graphic via Moonbattery)

At the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog (HT Instapundit), Byron York documents the results of some Lexis Nexis searching:

  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program in the New York Times: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program in the Washington Post: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on NBC Nightly News: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on ABC World News: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on CBS Evening News: 0.

As a supplement, here are the results of a search on “Charles Bolden” (not entered in quotes), NASA’s Director, done at 9:00 a.m. ET at the Associated Press’s main site:

APsearchOnCharlesBolden070710

Additional AP site searches on “NASA” and Bolden’s last name only return nothing relevant to the controversy described at this Monday Fox News story (bolds after headline are mine; internal links are in original):

NASA Chief: Next Frontier Better Relations With Muslim World

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a recent interview that his “foremost” mission as the head of America’s space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world.

Though international diplomacy would seem well outside NASA’s orbit, Bolden said in an interview with Al Jazeera that strengthening those ties was among the top tasks President Obama assigned him. He said better interaction with the Muslim world would ultimately advance space travel.

“When I became the NASA administrator — or before I became the NASA administrator — he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering,” Bolden said in the interview.

The NASA administrator was in the Middle East last month marking the one-year anniversary since Obama delivered an address to Muslim nations in Cairo. Bolden spoke in June at the American University in Cairo — in his interview with Al Jazeera, he described space travel as an international collaboration of which Muslim nations must be a part.

For all the new media controversy Bolden’s outreach remarks have generated — which, by the way amounts to about 130 items in a Google News search on “Charles Bolden” (in quotes) done at 9:20 a.m. ET — this later paragraph in Fox’s report is in its own way even more offensive:

He said the United States is not going to travel beyond low-Earth orbit on its own and that no country is going to make it to Mars without international help.

Apparently, that would be too “unilateral” or something. Maybe one of the early “beyond low-Earth” missions will be to the moon to remove that offensive American flag that Neil Armstrong’s crew planted there.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Institutionalized Gangster Government

TeaPartyGangsterGovernmentProtest04The rule of law is losing out to tyranny.

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Note: This column went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Monday morning. I have also added a few extra links in the BizzyBlog version below to provide interested readers with more historical perspective.

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Someone I’ve known for a long time who formerly didn’t follow current events or politics very closely used to ask me, “Are we still okay?” when particularly disturbing news items would make the headlines. My response until the late 1990s was usually a slightly overconfident, “Sure. This is a great country. We can handle this.”

That person hasn’t asked me that question for many years. We both know, as do millions of other Americans, that we haven’t been okay for some time, and that the foundations supporting what has made this country so exceptional for so very long are crumbling.

We stopped being okay over a decade ago. In 1998, the country’s president repeatedly lied under oath in front of the American people. As George Will correctly asserted in January 2001: “There is no reasonable doubt that he committed and suborned perjury, tampered with witnesses and otherwise obstructed justice.” Additionally, credible allegations surfaced that, as Will noted, made it “reasonable to believe that he was a rapist 15 years before becoming president.” The failure of the United States Senate to remove Bill Clinton from office was a landmark defeat for the rule of law. Clinton himself didn’t merely survive impeachment; he has since thrived not in spite of it, but arguably because of it.

From that point forward, those whose stated agenda is to undermine this country’s essence knew that if they could only achieve sufficient power, they could probably get away with just about anything.

Meanwhile, over at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Democratic Party cronies were already a half-dozen years into executing the first prong of their strategic offensive targeting the ruin of the housing industry, the financial sector, and ultimately the economy. Beginning in 1993, Fan and Fred systematically deceived the bond rating agencies and defrauded investors by seriously exaggerating the quality of the mortgage loans underlying their debt securities. Then, mere months after the Senate failed to carry out its constitutional duty with Mr. Clinton, Fannie Mae announced that it would begin serving as a conduit for loans to unqualified and undeserving borrowers. Fan and Fred, which followed a short time later, facilitated hundreds of billions of dollars in such risky loans.

Thus, in November 2008, assisted by the crisis Fan and Fred primarily created (which conveniently had come to a head just two months earlier), millions of dollars in unaccounted-for campaign contributions (many of them more than likely from foreign sources), an ineffective opponent, and a derelict Fourth Estate, Barack Obama won the presidency.

After only seventeen months in office, the rule of law, where it hasn’t been routed, hangs by a mere thread.

One of the earliest assaults came when the administration and its car czars took control of financially insolvent General Motors and Chrysler, and  then orchestrated bankruptcy plans that deliberately shortchanged disfavored creditors to the benefit of the companies’ unions. Columnist Michael Barone characterized the campaign of intimidation against certain of Chrysler’s secured lenders as an “episode of Gangster Government,” and that it was “likely to be part of a continuing series.”

Sadly, Barone has been vindicated in more ways than can be counted. The most visible, and most risible, is the $20 billion BP shakedown.

That the government has incompetently thwarted most attempts to keep the oil from the company’s incapacitated rig from reaching shore is beyond dispute. The most blatant failure was reported at Canada’s Financial Post:

Three days after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, the Netherlands offered the U.S. government ships equipped to handle a major spill … each Dutch ship (had) more cleanup capacity than all the ships that the U.S. was then employing in the Gulf to combat the spill.

… The voracious Dutch vessels … continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. (But) nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million — if water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

Incredibly, U.S. regulators would rather have hundreds of square miles of water and priceless shoreline polluted than contain the spill with equipment that might allow slightly less than perfect water back into the Gulf of Mexico.

When Venezuela’s state-run grocery chain recently allowed tens of thousand of metric tons of food to rot, Hugo Chavez’s “solution” was to conduct raids on privately run grocers, confiscating replacement goods as punishment for trumped-up charges of hoarding and gouging. When the Obama administration by its own inaction allowed a serious problem at a single oil rig to turn into an economic and environmental catastrophe, it conducted a demonizing blitz against BP that culminated with a $20 billion raid on the company’s treasury. Obama’s action is in substance far more lawless than the authoritarian Venezuelan’s.

Meanwhile, the press’s alleged watchdogs have turned into cheerleaders. David Sanger at the New York Times gleefully described Obama’s reestablishment of “command and control,” adoringly celebrated “the use of raw presidential power” against BP, and shamelessly excused the president’s unilateral action:

(The White House) conceded that Mr. Obama had no legal basis to force BP to create the $20 billion fund; they said he was making a moral argument, and used the jawboning power of the presidential pulpit to push the company.

Pravda in its Communist heyday couldn’t have outdone Mr. Sanger.

With the establishment press asleep and the blogosphere still in its investigative reporting infancy, imagine what we can’t see, and won’t see. Mark Levin raised the warning flag about this over a year ago:

Do you know how much of this must be going on in the shadows, with the banks and the financial systems? What must be going on with one business after another, threatening them, warning them, punishing them?

Now imagine what the statists in government can accomplish to further their agenda and stifle dissent in their arbitrary and largely unappealable rulings on what is and isn’t a “grandfathered” employer health care plan; what is or isn’t acceptable executive pay; and now, with the imminent passage of what Investors Business Daily called “Financial Deform,” which “financial services” firms, no matter how currently healthy, should be taken over for taking on too much “risk.”

What we have is Institutionalized Gangster Government. There’s a single word for it — and it’s not okay.

Positivity: Congressional hopeful Lepor reunited with man who saved his life

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 8:28 am

From Roslindale, Massachusetts:

Posted Jul 01, 2010 @ 06:08 AM
Last update Jul 02, 2010 @ 02:28 PM

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Thomas J. McBride of the Navy said that Roslindale’s Keith Lepor doesn’t need to thank him for saving his life during a 2008 firefight in Afghanistan.

“I’m a medic. My job is to be a medic,” said McBride from Lepor’s Roslindale living room last week. It was the first time the two men had seen each other since 2008 in Afghanistan.

At that time, McBride was in the Navy and Lepor, a Republican who is running for U.S. Congress against incumbent Stephen Lynch, D-Boston, was a forward media team leader (not a member of the military), which means he was running a team of Afghan print and radio journalists. With that work, Lepor got to spend time on the front lines. Lepor quickly earned the respect of the military, said McBride, who added he feels like he can trust Lepor like he trusts any combat veteran.

But on that fateful day on Sept. 28, 2008, it was McBride and Nate Cordero, another medic, who pulled Lepor out after he was shot in the chest by a 7.62-round, but thankfully he had a sniper plate on, which stopped the ammunition from piercing into his body.

The firefight happened in the Korengal Valley, a place the military calls “the valley of death.”

“I felt something,” said Lepor. “It flipped me and put me down … I had never been shot before. I got dragged out and was still in direct line of fire. They pulled me another 15 feet and I was behind the barrier … I was pretty useless after I went down. That state I was in, I couldn’t move, if Tom and his guys didn’t grab me — I would’ve come home in a body bag.”

McBride compared getting shot to getting the air knocked out of you in sports — that is, if you have the protective gear that Lepor happened to have on that day.

After being pulled behind the barrier and the fighting continued, McBride checked out Lepor to make sure he was OK because as the medic explained, “Sometimes when people get shot, they don’t realize it.” Luckily, there was no blood on Lepor. He was up on his feet and back to normal within four minutes.

Asked about what he said to the two men who saved his life, “What can you say?

“What can you possibly say?” said McBride, who was injured in fighting on Oct. 16 and had to have the bottom half of his right leg amputated two weeks later. “Everyone who was there knows what happened. I think that’s the one thing that people could get from it. You don’t need to say anything when you go through a life-threatening experience…”

When McBride was injured in October, he still crawled to other wounded soldiers and provided medical support that saved their lives. McBride was presented with a commendation for his effort that day.

Lepor’s time spent on the front lines of wars throughout the world led him to wanting to run for Congress. …

Go here for the rest of the story.