May 31, 2014

Sudanese woman sentenced to die for Christian faith to be freed, report says

The Sudanese woman sentenced to death earlier this month after refusing to renounce her Christian faith will reportedly be freed in the next few days.
A foreign ministry official told the BBC that Meriam Ibrahim, 27, is guaranteed religious freedom in the country, despite a judge's earlier ruling that she should be hanged for apostasy.
Ibrahim gave birth to a girl early Tuesday at a prison clinic in Omdurman, near Khartoum, one of her attorneys told by phone.
She also faces 100 lashes for adultery – for being intimate with her husband, Daniel Wani, who fled to the United States as a child to escape the civil war in southern Sudan, but later returned.
International outrage against Ibrahim’s sentence has grown significantly in recent weeks, as more than a million people signed online petitions protesting the sentence. One such effort on has garnered more than 630,000 signatures as of Friday, and Amnesty International officials have characterized the punishment doled out by a judge to be a “flagrant breach” of international human rights law. It’s also a violation of Sudan’s own Constitution, according to the State Department.
It is not clear what diplomatic pressure the U.S. can bring to bear on Khartoum. Although American taxpayers send roughly $300 million per year in economic aid, the help is largely in the form of food and medicine. Cutting it off would only hurt the people, and not the regime of President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted as a war criminal by the International Criminal Court.
Fox News' Joshua Rhett Miller contributed to this report

1 in 6 American Men Between Ages 25-54 Are Not Working

9:39 AM, MAY 30, 2014 • BY DANIEL HALPER
Startling charts from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee about male participation in the labor force, particularly men between the ages of 25-54:
"There are currently 61.1 million American men in their prime working years, age 25–54. A staggering 1 in 8 such men are not in the labor force at all, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work. This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955. An additional 2.9 million men are in the labor force but not employed (i.e., they would work if they could find a job). A total of 10.2 million individuals in this cohort, therefore, are not holding jobs in the U.S. economy today. There are also nearly 3 million more men in this age group not working today than there were before the recession began," the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee claim.
"Although defenders of the current economy attribute shrinking labor force participation to the increasing pace of retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, these new statistics above confirm a trend that Barron’s recently diagnosed: 'The ratio of those over 55 in the workforce actually ticked up'—in other words, older Americans are being forced to return to work in a poor economy to make ends meet while many younger Americans simply aren’t working at all. In short, there is an unprecedented supply of working-age Americans who do not hold jobs."

May 30, 2014

Dinesh D'Souza's 'America' warns Hillary Clinton will 'finish off' the country


Dinesh D'Souza's America Warns Of Hillary Clinton Presidency

Dinesh D’Souza’s new book “America” discusses the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. In the book, D’Souza contends that Hillary’s presidency would be more a continuation of President Obama’s policies...

In his highly anticipated new book and movie "America," conservative author Dinesh D'Souza is warning that Hillary Clinton won't be a clone of her moderate husband, but will instead take the baton fromPresident Obama to continue radicalizing the country and “undo the nation's founding ideals.”
"America -- Imagine a World Without Her," published by Regnery and set for release Monday, charges that as students of radical organizer Saul Alinsky, Obama and Clinton could have enough time to “unmake and then remake America” into a nation the founding fathers wouldn't recognize.
“They may not be responsible for the suicide of America, but they certainly will have helped to finish off a certain way of life in America, and they will leave us with a country unrecognizable not only to Washington and Jefferson but also to those of us who grew up in the 20th century,” wrote D’Souza.
“If they succeed, there may be no going back. Then it will be their America, not ours, and we will be a people bereft of a country, with no place to go,” he adds on page 87.
“America” is D’Souza’s latest book and movie on how he sees progressive politics hurting the nation. He also created the movie “2016: Obama’s America,” which was the second highest-grossing political documentary.
An advance copy of the book provided to Secrets suggests that progressives aim to remake the nation into one that is less powerful, less wealthy and less influential. If that happens, he warns, “We have committed national suicide.”
He focuses on Obama’s and Clinton’s links to Alinsky in a chapter titled “The Plan.” He claims the two followed the radical’s master plan that they hide their views and ideas until they get into power.
“If you see early pictures and video of Hillary, she looks and sounds like a former hippie. Overtime, however, Hillary started dressing like a respectable middle-class mother and speaking in a clipped, moderate sounding voice. Young Barack Obama, too, looked like a bit of a street thug -- in his own words, he could have been Trayvon Martin. Over time, however, Obama started dressing impeccably and even practiced modulating his voice,” the popular author writes.
“Hillary and Obama have both learned the Alinsky lesson that your should aggressively pursue power while pretending to be motivated by altruism,” he added.
“More importantly, Hillary and Obama both adopted Alinsky’s strategic counsel to sound mainstream, even when you aren’t,” wrote D’Souza. “These are the ways in which our two Alinskyites make themselves palatable to the American middle class, which to this day has no idea how hostile Hillary and Obama are to middle-class values.
“If Hillary Clinton is elected in 2016, the baton will have passed from one Alinskyite to another. In this case, Alinsky’s influence will have taken on a massive, almost unimaginable, importance. Obama will have had eight years to remake America, and Hillary will have another four or perhaps eight to complete the job,” he wrote.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted

May 29, 2014

That West Antarctic melting couldn’t be caused by volcanoes could it?

We’re all doomed:
West Antarctic ice sheet collapse ‘unstoppable’[ABC]
Irreversible Changes Now Affect Antarctica and the World[Live-science]
‘Nothing can stop retreat’ of West Antarctic glaciers[BBC, By Jonathan Amos]
West Antarctic ice collapse ‘could drown Middle East and Asia crops’[The Guardian, Suzanne Goldenberg]
Antarctica’s ice collapse threatens metres of sea level rise within decades [The Ecologist]
Global warming: it’s a point of no return in West Antarctica.[The Guardian Eric Rignot]
“Last week saw a ‘holy shit’ moment in climate change science. A landmark report revealed that the collapse of a large part of Antarctica is now unstoppable”

What else is going on in West Antarctica? Oh. Look where those volcanoes are…

Guess which science correspondent mentioned the word “volcano”? None of the above. Did any of those responsible publicly funded climate scientists mentioned it in their press releases? (A gold star to anyone who can find one). Lucky Antarctic volcanoes are not hot.
Thanks especially to Janama, Jaypac, John, Sophocles and Tom. That is what comments are for!
Locations of volcanoes in Antarctica known to have been active since the peak of the last ice age (the Last Glacial Maximum)
Map Source: The Conversation.  See also: Subglacial volcanoes
Despite the 95% certainty of doom, it’s not like we have all the data on heat sources in Antarctica either. Until  November last year we didn’t even know one particular volcano was smoldering under a kilometer of ice in West Antarctica.
Do volcanoes melt much ice? Could be…
“Eruptions at this site are unlikely to penetrate the 1.2 to 2-km-thick overlying ice, but would generate large volumes of melt water that could significantly affect ice stream flow.” Lough et al 2013
The fastest warming areas of Antarctica — the Peninsula and West Antarctica are part of the Pacific Rim of Fire. Not worth a mention in any “news” service? Not the right kind of propaganda…
Remember — if it’s broadcast on the ABC, BBC or CBC, the whole chain of one-sided-information is fully government funded. They have specialist science units trained not to ask hard questions.

Antarctic Doom in a nutshell:

  • The Cryosat study telling us melting was twice as fast as expected had only 3 whole years of data.
  • Longer studies (800 years) show that this has all happened before.
  • The same areas that are warming the fastest happen to be over areas of volcanic activity. (Compare the warming below to the volcano’s above).
Warming Trends in Antarctica NASA, Earth Observatory 1957 – 2006. In the same location as the volcanic chain above. Hm?
[NASA] This image, based on the analysis of weather station and satellite data, shows the continent-wide warming trend from 1957 through 2006. Dark red over West Antarctica reflects that the region warmed most per decade. Most of the rest of the continent is orange, indicating a smaller warming trend, or white, where no change was observed. The underlying land surface color is based on the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) data set, while the topography is from a Radarsat-based digital elevation model. Sea ice extent in the Southern Ocean surrounding the continent is based on data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) collected on May 14, 2008 (late fall in the Southern Hemisphere).
Coming soon: Yale / UWA / UQ study looking at whether a carbon tax can reduce volcanic activity… ;-)
I see Anthony Watts pointed out this coincidence a long time ago.


Heavy Hitters: Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2014

This list includes the organizations that have historically qualified as "heavy hitters" — groups that lobby and spend big, with large sums sent to candidates, parties and leadership PACs. Individuals and organizations have been able to make extremely large donations to outside spending groups in the last few years. While contributions to outside groups like super PACs do not factor into an organization's designation as a "heavy hitter" (a listing of about 150 groups), those numbers are included for the roster below.
For example, this list does not include casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. He and his wife Miriam donated nearly $93 million in 2012 alone to conservative super PACs — enough to put him at No. 2 on this list. Similarly, the list excludes former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has donated more than $19 million in the past two years, largely to groups that support gun control. Neither Adelson nor Bloomberg — or the organizations they report as their employers — qualifies as a "heavy hitter" under our current definition. It's also important to note that we aren't including donations to politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers, or the liberal group Patriot Majority — because these groups hide their donors; see a list of top donors that we've been able to identify to such groups. We are working to revise this list to take into account the new realities of campaign finance created by the Citizens United decision, but as it currently stands, there are significant omissions.
It is also worth noting that certain organizations, such as ActBlue and Club for Growth, are included although they function for the most part as pass-through entities: individual donors give to them with the contributions earmarked for specific candidates.
LEGEND:   Republican    Democrat    On the fence

= Between 40% and 59% to both parties
= Leans Dem/Repub (60%-69%)
= Strongly Dem/Repub (70%-89%)
= Solidly Dem/Repub (over 90%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% as money can be given to third party
candidates or outside spending groups and PACs not affiliated with either party.
RankOrganizationTotal '89-'14Dem %Repub %Tilt
2American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees$61,819,92980%1%  
3National Education Assn$58,988,29056%4%
4AT&T Inc$57,026,33541%57%
5National Assn of Realtors$55,559,52841%44%
6Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers$45,572,15191%2%   
7Goldman Sachs$45,270,98553%44%
8United Auto Workers$41,923,42871%0%  
9Carpenters & Joiners Union$41,577,29971%9%  
10Service Employees International Union$38,711,29884%2%  
11Laborers Union$38,401,42083%7%  
12American Federation of Teachers$37,271,82589%0%  
13Communications Workers of America$36,472,77386%0%  
14Teamsters Union$36,355,95788%5%  
15JPMorgan Chase & Co$35,122,56647%51%
16United Food & Commercial Workers Union$34,172,70386%0%  
17United Parcel Service$32,687,49235%64%
18Citigroup Inc$32,519,26248%50%
19National Auto Dealers Assn$32,267,41031%68%
20EMILY's List$31,892,29598%0%   
21American Bankers Assn$31,629,00236%63%
23Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union$31,407,74798%1%   
24American Medical Assn$30,175,38740%59%
25Microsoft Corp$29,718,80155%43%
26Blue Cross/Blue Shield$29,598,02436%63%
27National Beer Wholesalers Assn$29,457,76035%64%
28General Electric$28,600,82347%52%
29National Assn of Home Builders$27,891,84834%65%
30Lockheed Martin$27,655,36942%57%
31Bank of America$27,265,95041%57%
32Morgan Stanley$26,375,89742%56%
33National Assn of Letter Carriers$26,362,10984%9%  
34Verizon Communications$26,025,00740%58%
35Deloitte LLP$25,451,44736%63%
36Plumbers & Pipefitters Union$24,684,39883%4%  
37Credit Union National Assn$24,555,65547%51%
38Newsweb Corp$24,546,87140%0%
39Operating Engineers Union$23,705,72382%14%  
40Ernst & Young$23,596,35142%57%
41International Assn of Fire Fighters$23,304,56079%16%  
42American Hospital Assn$23,203,35152%46%
43Time Warner$23,063,67773%25%  
45Sheet Metal Workers Union$22,676,17895%2%   
46Boeing Co$22,112,18346%52%
47American Dental Assn$22,102,90843%54%
48UBS AG$21,765,98640%58%
49Altria Group$21,548,43229%69%
50Comcast Corp$21,017,23456%43%
51Northrop Grumman$20,330,10142%57%
52Honeywell International$20,214,40044%54%
53AFLAC Inc$20,151,05943%56%
54Pfizer Inc$20,126,26935%64%
55Air Line Pilots Assn$19,923,04782%17%  
56National Rifle Assn$19,894,15317%82%  
57Union Pacific Corp$19,830,64327%72%  
58Natl Assn/Insurance & Financial Advisors$19,592,62441%58%
59Koch Industries$18,446,8238%91%   
60American Assn for Justice$18,337,85880%3%  
61American Postal Workers Union$18,033,40886%2%  
62Club for Growth$17,767,2320%95%   
63Raytheon Co$17,628,03443%55%
64Ironworkers Union$17,626,84092%6%   
65United Steelworkers$17,450,83094%0%   
66Credit Suisse Group$17,411,84041%57%
67United Transportation Union$17,320,75087%11%  
68New York Life Insurance$17,279,35749%50%
69National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn$16,926,89047%52%
70FedEx Corp$16,904,62739%59%
71General Dynamics$16,852,67746%53%
72Akin, Gump et al$16,714,10062%37%
73American Institute of CPAs$16,221,54541%58%
74National Air Traffic Controllers Assn$16,216,80077%20%  
76National Cable & Telecommunications Assn$15,758,51047%52%
78Reynolds American$15,617,04822%77%  
79Exxon Mobil$15,306,37713%85%  
80Wal-Mart Stores$15,234,33232%67%
81KPMG LLP$15,200,90334%65%
82DLA Piper$15,053,27868%31%
83Merrill Lynch$14,881,81737%62%
85CSX Corp$14,613,83034%65%
86News Corp$14,258,06358%41%
87Walt Disney Co$14,253,50768%30%
88Wells Fargo$14,040,36036%62%
89American Financial Group$14,004,23515%73%  
90Indep Insurance Agents & Brokers/America$13,961,40034%64%
91American Health Care Assn$13,900,32851%48%
92Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance$13,868,20439%60%
93University of California$13,813,50989%9%  
94American Crystal Sugar$13,765,20961%38%
95Associated Builders & Contractors$13,710,8321%98%   
96Prudential Financial$13,528,81348%50%
97American Society of Anesthesiologists$13,497,53741%58%
98WPP Group$13,416,73453%45%
99Southern Co$13,308,48928%70%  
100National Restaurant Assn$12,785,39116%82%  
101Securities Industry & Financial Mkt Assn$12,599,59840%59%
102Human Rights Campaign$12,348,40989%8%  
103American Optometric Assn$12,240,68357%42%
104MetLife Inc$12,236,76151%47%
105Home Depot$12,178,41525%74%  
106American Academy of Ophthalmology$12,021,70850%49%
107United Technologies$11,903,19446%52%
108Natl Active & Retired Fed Employees Assn$11,833,70078%21%  
109Eli Lilly & Co$11,770,20531%67%
110Saban Capital Group$11,733,77289%0%  
111General Motors$11,498,73939%60%
112National Assn of Broadcasters$11,420,03944%55%
113Associated General Contractors$11,335,39714%85%  
114Painters & Allied Trades Union$11,327,48085%12%  
115American Maritime Officers$11,161,33146%53%
116Ford Motor Co$10,948,74739%60%
117UST Inc$10,932,39322%77%  
118Exelon Corp$10,822,09542%56%
119Skadden, Arps et al$10,806,20977%22%  
120Independent Community Bankers of America$10,709,33542%57%
121Seafarers International Union$10,566,34383%16%  
123Amway/Alticor Inc$10,511,6130%96%   
124National Cmte to Preserve Social Security & Medicare$10,428,60682%17%  
125Freddie Mac$10,298,60943%56%
126MBNA Corp$10,280,91316%83%  
127Patton Boggs LLP$10,228,95672%27%  
128American Airlines$10,197,70643%56%
129Blackstone Group$10,049,25345%51%
130American Trucking Assns$10,041,06827%72%  
131American Physical Therapy Assn$9,991,48349%50%
132BellSouth Corp$9,804,47943%56%
133National Fedn of Independent Business$9,725,6846%93%   
134Lehman Brothers$9,725,36452%46%
135Greenberg Traurig LLP$9,616,53662%37%
136Amalgamated Transit Union$9,608,71893%6%   
137Harvard University$9,574,35687%12%  
138American Council of Life Insurers$9,567,12838%61%
139Transport Workers Union$9,560,39995%4%   
140MGM Resorts International$9,554,69244%50%
141Archer Daniels Midland$9,451,31742%57%
142Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assn$9,342,51343%56%
143Fannie Mae$9,141,97753%46%
144National Rural Letter Carriers Assn$9,032,10071%28%  
145Wachovia Corp$8,572,24430%69%
146National Cmte for an Effective Congress$8,447,69099%0%   
147Interpublic Group$8,330,01765%33%
148Marine Engineers Beneficial Assn$8,190,17973%25%  
149Bristol-Myers Squibb$7,971,24923%76%  
150MCI Inc$7,659,43645%54%
151Bear Stearns$7,287,97355%43%
153Enron Corp$6,546,52828%71%  
156Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp$5,542,28136%62%
Based on data released by the FEC on April 20, 2014.