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Category Archives: GOOD GUYS AND BAD GUYS

In Obama Watch, Politics & Political Science on November 14, 2008 at 11:19 am

There isn’t any real Obama doctrine as of yet, but what he has discussed during his campaign, which is mostly that the Bush doctrine concerning Iraq was a failure. That has proved to be just political rhetoric and not reality.

The Reagan doctrine, as Dinesh D’Souza wrote back in September 2008 consisted of assisted non-intervention. In other words, troops were to be sent as only the last resort. Of course, there wasn’t a 9/11 during the Reagan administration, but President Reagan

…believed that people in foreign countries should fight for their own freedom. We do not fight for them. … And so in Afghanistan, in Nicaragua, in Angola and to some extent in Ethiopia, Reagan supported rebels who sought liberation from Marxist tyranny. For instance, Reagan supplied Stinger missiles to the Afghani mujaheedin who were fighting to repel the Soviet invasion of that country. Reagan did not, however, send large numbers of American troops to Afghanistan. Now in Bush’s defense it should be said that the Reagan doctrine could not have worked in Iraq. … But from the beginning the administration understood that, even in Iraq, over time the Bush doctrine must metamorphose into the Reagan doctrine. …finally, Iraqis are getting to the position where they can defend their own country and fight for their own freedom. Of course America is going to get out of Iraq. The only question is whether we will leave recklessly, precipitously, with the risk of escalating violence and chaos and perhaps even a return of the Saddamites. This seems to be the approach the Obama Democrats want. The other option is to leave cautiously, deliberately, in a way that leaves Iraq a self-governing society, the only pro-American Muslim democracy in the Middle East.

* The next item is the agenda of the Obama administration in the judicial works of America. Ronald Kessler writes in his article entitled Obama Will Change Balance on Courts Quickly (November 12th, 2008) …

It’s a given that Barack Obama will change the balance on the courts to a liberal judicial outlook. What is surprising is how quickly he could do that. Because Democrats dragged their heels on President Bush’s judicial nominations, 14 seats are open on appeals courts or will be by the end of January. Democratic nominees now are a majority on only one of the 13 federal appeals courts, the ultra-liberal U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco. Within four years, Obama could name enough judges to give Democrats a majority on nine of the 13 appeals courts.

* President-elect was successful with the powerful Internet connection and during his transition period he has activated a website and using it as a tool which will help in achieving his goals and Newsvine reports in an article entitled: Obama to Pioneer Web

Democratic strategist. Joe Trippi was quoted saying:

He’s built the largest network anyone has ever seen in politics, and has ever seen in politics, and congressional Republicans are clueless … Republicans say they’ll be watching for White House Web outreach that appear overly political.
“Hopefully, Obama will be a president for all Americans, not just the political supporters on his e-mail list,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant. Obama’s people know they’ll have to extend their reach. …Obama clearly is poised to become the first truly “wired” president of the digital age.

* And President-elect planned to honor fallen troops on Veterans Day, and like presidents before him have confused Memorial Day with Veterans Day – the former for the fallen, the latter for those that serve and have served. The even occurred with Iraqi war veteran and Illinois State Director of Veteran Affairs, Tammy Duckworth, who placed a wreath at The Bronze Soldiers Memorial in honor of Veterans Day on the Lakefront in Chicago, Illinois. I think my first correspondence with the president-elect is to set his predecessors straight as the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. After all, he has claimed throughout his campaign as being the administrator of change. This would be a time to set this practice straight. He will be officiating these holidays as President for his entire term in office. MSNBC quoted Obama as saying:

Let us rededicate ourselves to keep a sacred trust with all who have worn the uniform of the United States of America: that America will serve you as well as you have served your country,” Obama said in a statement. “As your next commander in chief, I promise to work every single day to keep that sacred trust with all who have served.

* One of the items that Senator Obama campaigned against was the lobbyists and the way lobbying is conducted in Washington. Nedra Pickler, AP writer reports:

Lobbyists can work for Obama’s transition if they stop their advocacy efforts and avoid working in any field that they lobbied on in the last year. They also must pledge not to lobby the Obama administration on the same matters they focused on during the transition for a year after leaving Obama’s service. The ethics policy allows Obama to hire any of the some 22,000 federally registered lobbyists who could be valuable assets because of their government experience, even though Obama railed against their influence on the campaign trail. …
Under recommendations spelled out in Obama’s campaign Web site, no Obama political appointees would be allowed to work on regulations or contracts “directly or substantially related to their prior employer for two years.” And while people who work on the transition would be permitted to lobby the administration on their transition issues after one year, political appointees to administration jobs would be prohibited from lobbying the executive branch for the remainder of the administration, according to Obama’s proposed rules
.

And as far as the controversy over the Second Amendment and firearm control by the Obama administration, Robert Blevins, AB of Seattle writes:

There are recent claims that President-elect Barack Obama is planning to ban guns in America, or severely restrict their purchase and usage. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Obama is only following the proposals he made on his official platform during the campaign. Nothing more, nothing less.

His plan was posted at Changes.gov …

As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor common sense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn’t have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent; as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.’

* President-elect Obama is still considering the policy of closing Guantanamo. The information at MSNBC was pulled (“expired”) for the review of the new administration concerning classified files. Funny that it didn’t seem as important when President GW Bush was performing his job as Commander-in-Chief and media entities like the New York Times didn’t care anything about classified files. I couldn’t find the original information on the story at the Washington Post, as was directed by the website at MSNBC either. I can see “change” already.

* The expensive bailout, A Lemon of a Bailout, as Charles Krauthammer calls it, the Democrats are pushing to include the auto industry in the bailout. Let me see, the produce gas guzzlers and haven’t paid attention to the public or the facts concerning what folks really need, and now they are hurting and want help from the government, which really constitutes the taxpayers. It is already estimated that the bailout is going to cost far more than the $700 billion that was voted for in the emergency legislation that caused so much controversy. What also happened is that more of the banking and investing companies have come under the thumb of government, which provided a leap toward nationalization of private business entities. The Democrats are wired to include the auto industry because they want to protect the unions involved. The Democrats want to nationalize the auto industry, which means restructuring. But as Krauthammer writes:

Which will guarantee the continued failure of these companies, but now they will burn tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. It’s the ultimate in lemon socialism.

Now, can someone tell me why they got so upset when I warned them about having a Democrat president AND a Democrat controlled Congress and its consequences? They are doing the same thing, except on a grander scale, that the Bush administration did with banking institutions. At this rate government will soon own most of the private sector business industries. And Krauthammer nails it right on the head:

Liberals have always wanted the auto companies to produce the kind of cars they insist everyone should drive: small, light, green and cute. Now they will have the power to do it.

It is government in YOUR face. And …

If you think we have economic troubles today, consider the effects of nationalizing an industry of this size, but now run by bureaucrats issuing production quotas to fit five-year plans to meet politically mandated fuel-efficiency standards — to lift us to the sunny uplands of the coming green utopia.

Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:41pm EST

By Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Dozens of Somali Islamist insurgents stormed a port on Friday hunting the pirates behind the seizure of a Saudi supertanker that was the world’s biggest hijack, a local elder said.

Separately, police in the capital Mogadishu said they had ambushed and shot dead 17 Islamist militants, in the latest illustration of the chaos in the Horn of Africa country that has fueled a dramatic surge in piracy.

The Sirius Star — a Saudi vessel with a $100 million oil cargo and 25-man crew from the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Poland and Britain — is believed anchored offshore near Haradheere, about half-way up Somalia’s long coastline.

“Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country and hijacking its ship is a bigger crime than other ships,” Sheikh Abdirahim Isse Adow, an Islamist spokesman, told Reuters. “Haradheere is under our control and we shall do something about that ship.”

Both the U.S. Navy and Dubai-based ship operator Vela International said they could not confirm a media report the hijackers were demanding a $25 million ransom. That would be the biggest demand to date by pirates who prey on boats in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean off Somalia.

A pirate identifying himself as Jamii Adam told the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that negotiations were taking place with the ship’s owners, saying the ransom demanded was not excessive but declining to give a figure.

He said it had cost the pirates $500,000 to seize the vessel. “We bore many costs to hijack it,” he said.

Iran’s biggest shipping firm said gunmen holding a Hong Kong-flagged ship carrying wheat and 25 crew members had set demands for its release, but it did not reveal what they were.

An upsurge of attacks this year has forced up shipping insurance costs, made some firms go round South Africa instead of via the Suez Canal, brought millions in ransom payments, and prompted an international naval response.

Pirates released a commercial vessel with 19 crew on board which had been hijacked in September, Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers’ Association said on Friday.

Mwangura said the crew were Romanians, but the Romanian authorities denied this. Interfax news agency said the crew included six Georgian citizens.

SOMALI NATION ‘AT STAKE’

In Mogadishu, police said they laid in wait and shot dead 17 fighters from the militant al Shabaab insurgent group during an attempted attack on a senior official.

The Islamists have been fighting the government and its Ethiopian allies for about two years. They launch near-daily guerrilla strikes in the capital and control most of the south, including a town just nine miles from Mogadishu.

Islamist leaders deny allegations they collude with pirates and insist they will stamp down on them if they win power, citing a crackdown when they ruled the south briefly in 2006.

Some analysts, however, say Islamist militants are benefiting from the spoils of piracy and arms shipments facilitated by the sea gangs. Analysts also accuse government figures of collaboration with pirates.

The elder in Haradheere port told Reuters the Islamists arrived wanting to find out immediately about the Sirius Star, which was captured on Saturday about 450 nautical miles off Kenya in the pirates’ furthest strike to date.

“The Islamists arrived searching for the pirates and the whereabouts of the Saudi ship,” said the elder, who declined to be named. “I saw four cars full of Islamists driving in the town from corner to corner. The Islamists say they will attack the pirates for hijacking a Muslim ship.”

In Mogadishu, al Shabaab gunmen drove to the home of the local Madina district chairman early in the morning, but found police officers lying in wait, witnesses said.

“We got information before they left their hideouts and we were able to surround them,” said a police spokesman. “Thirteen of the dead bodies lie in the street near the chairman’s house.”

Residents said the al Shabaab fighters wore black scarves round their heads with Arabic script reading “God is great.”

Somalis are traditionally moderate Muslims, and analysts say al Shabaab — which Washington has listed as a foreign terrorist organization with close links to al Qaeda — does not have deep popular support, despite having the upper hand militarily.

Somalia has been without effective central government since the 1991 toppling of a military dictator by warlords.

The capture of the Sirius Star has caused panic around the world, with the rampant piracy threatening to become a further drag on trade at a time of global economic downturn.

Kenya’s Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula summoned foreign ambassadors in Nairobi to appeal for their countries to make all efforts to end the menace. “Act now and not tomorrow,” he said.

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madashell.com

Obama’s Whining and Attacks on Free Speech are Getting Tiresome


By Guest: Mary Mostert on Oct 14, 08

Rep. John Lewis’ attack on Gov. Sarah Palin and Senator John McCain over the week-end, Senator McCain’s response, combined with the amazing 900 plus rise in the Stock Market on Monday seem to have unleashed a barrage of just plain whining and attacks on free speech in the Obama camp.
By way of background, the first we heard about John Lewis in this race was in August during the Saddleback Church interviews of the candidates. The Rev. Warren asked John McCain to name the “three wisest people that you know that you would rely on heavily in an administration” and without hesitation McCain named Gen. David Petraeus, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), and eBay CEO Meg Whitman. It struck me at the time that it was quite a nice compliment to Rep. Lewis for McCain to have named him, a democrat, a black man and a Civil Rights leader during the Selma March as a “wise” man. However, it appears that Rep. Lewis not only does not reciprocate McCain’s respect and admiration, but would like to stop him from speaking freely.
On Saturday Rep. Lewis issued the following statement about McCain and Palin:
“As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.”
“During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.”.
“As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.”
By pointing out that “four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama” was John Lewis, perhaps, suggesting something similar might happen to Sarah Palin if she didn’t shut up? Or, was Rep. Lewis suggesting that Sarah Palin and John McCain might end up like Governor George Wallace, who was shot five times by a would be assassin, which left him paralyzed and in constant pain for the rest of his life?
When John McCain heard Lewis’ statement, he literally stopped what he was doing and immediately issued a statement in defense of Governor Palin and himself as follows:
“Congressman John Lewis’ comments represent a character attack against Governor Sarah Palin and me that is shocking and beyond the pale. The notion that legitimate criticism of Senator Obama’s record and positions could be compared to Governor George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign. I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I’ve always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track.
“I call on Senator Obama to immediately and personally repudiate these outrageous and divisive comments that are so clearly designed to shut down debate 24 days before the election. Our country must return to the important debate about the path forward for America.”
What, exactly, was Rep. Lewis talking about? What comments made by Gov. Palin or Sen. McCain did he consider to be “sowing the seeds of hatred and division?” Why didn’t he tell us what he was talking about?
The most quoted statement used by Obama’s apologists in the media following Lewis’ statement have identified a comment made by Gov. Palin as “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” The Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn wrote: “Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday accused Democrat Barack Obama of ‘palling around with terrorists’ because of his association with a former 1960s radical, stepping up the campaign’s effort to portray Obama as unacceptable to American voters.
“Palin’s reference was to Bill Ayers, one of the founders of the group the Weather Underground. Its members took credit for bombings, including nonfatal explosions at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, during the tumultuous Vietnam War era four decades ago.”
Now, exactly what part of Sarah Palin’s comment was either inaccurate or “sowing the seeds of hatred and division?” Bill Ayers WAS one of the founders of the Weather Underground, a terrorist organization in the 1960s and 1970s. His wife, Bernadine Dohrn, served time in prison after being convicted as a terrorist and after refusing to apologize for her activities as a terrorist. To this day, they freely take credit for bombing the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol during the 1960s.
In the 1990s, Bill Ayers and Barack Obama were neighbors in the Hyde Park area of Chicago and both were involved in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995-1999. Obama was founding chairman and president of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge during those years and Ayers was a co-chairman of the Chicago School Reform Collaborative that received, and spent, Annenberg’s $49.2 million in grants given to him by Obama’s board to improve Chicago public schools.
It was in 1995 that Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn hosted a gathering at their home in Hyde Park to launch and raise money for Barack Obama’s first political campaign for the Illinois State Senate in 1995. In my 60 years in politics, I never knew of ANYONE helping to launch a political campaign for someone they barely knew. It was also 1995 when Barack Obama’s first book Dreams of My Father was written. Some believe it was either ghost written by Bill Ayers, or heavily edited by Bill Ayers, since the writing is very similar to Ayers’ books and different from the style from Obama’s writing.
What, exactly were the results of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, funded by billionaire Walter Annenberg, distributed under Barack Obama’s chairmanship in grants to Bill Ayers’ School Reform board to improve Chicago public education between 1995 and 1999? According to an August 2003 final technical report by the Consortium on Chicago School Research, the schools supported by the Annenberg Challenge while Obama was its chairman and Ayers group was getting the grants “had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence.”
Whenever anyone looks for or asks for some kind of proof that Barack Obama actually has some kind of record of success in bringing about change for the better in his past endeavors, what we get in response are accusations that Obama is being attacked because of his “race” – which, incidentally, is mostly white and Arabic, with something like 6% actually black African. He was raised by his white mother and his white, American grandparents. He is a graduate of Harvard. It is a bit silly for him, or his supporters, to try to protect him by accusing anyone who questions his competency of being “racist.”
All we are asking is – where ARE his records of actual accomplishments? If elected, are we going to have to listen to him whine for the next four to eight years about how he is being mistreated because of his “race” every time the public expects him to actually DO something?
Mary Mostert

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In Defense of “The Rich”
Larry Elder
Thursday, October 09, 2008

So, what do “the rich” pay in federal income taxes? Nothing, right? That, at least, is what most people think. And Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wants to raise the top marginal rate for “the rich” — known in some quarters as “job creators.”

A recent poll commissioned by Investor’s Business Daily asked, in effect, “What share do you think the rich pay?” Their findings? Most people are completely clueless about the amount the rich actually do pay.

First, the data. The top 5 percent (those making more than $153,542 — the group whose taxes Obama seeks to raise) pay 60 percent of all federal income taxes. The rich (aka the top 1 percent of income earners, those making more than $388,806 a year), according to the IRS, pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 1 percent’s taxes comprise 17 percent of the federal government’s revenue from all sources, including corporate taxes, excise taxes, social insurance and retirement receipts.

Now, what do people think the rich pay? The IBD/TIPP poll found that 36 percent of those polled thought the rich contribute 10 percent or less of all federal income taxes. Another 15 percent thought the rich pay between 10 and 20 percent, while another 10 percent thought the rich’s share is between 20 and 30 percent. In other words, most people thought the rich pay less — far less — than they actually do. Only 12 percent of those polled thought the rich pay more than 40 percent.

Let’s try this another way. A U.S. News & World Report blogger went to the Democratic National Convention in Denver and conducted an informal poll of 24 DNC delegates. He asked them, “What should ‘the rich’ pay in income taxes?” Half the respondents said “25 percent”; 25 percent said “20 percent”; 12 percent said “30 percent”; and another 12 percent said “35 percent.” The average DNC delegate wanted the rich to pay 25.6 percent, which is lower than what the rich pay now — both by share of taxes and by tax rate!

Thirty percent of American voters pay nothing — zero, zip, nada — in federal income taxes. And, not too surprisingly, compared with taxpaying voters, they are more likely to support spending that benefits them. The majority of the 30 percent who don’t pay federal income taxes agree with Obama’s $65 billion plan to institute taxpayer-funded universal health coverage. But the majority of the 70 percent who pay federal income taxes are opposed to Obama’s health care plan.

Non-taxpayers support Obama’s plans for increased tax deductions for lower-income Americans, along with higher overall tax rates levied against middle- and upper-income households. The majority of non-taxpayers (57 percent) also favor raising the individual income-tax rate for those in the highest bracket from 35 percent to 54 percent. And the majority (59 percent) favors raising Social Security taxes by 4 percent for any individual or business that makes at least $250,000.

Obama calls increasing taxes and giving them to the needy a matter of “neighborliness.” Vice presidential running mate Joe Biden calls it a matter of “patriotism.”

Yet when it comes to charitable giving, neither Obama (until recently) nor Biden feels sufficiently neighborly or patriotic to donate as much as does the average American household: 2 percent of their adjusted gross income.

Liberal families earn about 6 percent more than conservative families, yet conservative households donate about 30 percent more to charity than do liberal households. And conservatives give more than just to their own churches and other houses of worship. Conservatives, especially religious conservatives, give far more money and donate more of their time to nonreligious charitable causes than do liberals — especially secular liberals.

In 2007, President George W. Bush and his wife had an adjusted gross income of $923,807. They paid $221,635 in taxes, and donated $165,660 to charity — or 18 percent of their income. Vice President and Mrs. Cheney, in 2007, had a taxable income of $3.04 million. And they paid $602,651 in taxes, and donated $166,547 to charity — or 5.5 percent of their income.

Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, earned between $200,000 and $300,000 a year between 2000 and 2004, and they donated less than 1 percent to charity. When their income soared to $4.2 million in 2007, their charitable contributions went up to 5 percent.

Joe and Jill Biden, by contrast, made $319,853 and gave $995 to charity in 2007, or 0.3 percent of their income. And that was during the year Biden was running for president. Over the past 10 years, the Bidens earned $2,450,042 and gave $3,690 to charity — or 0.1 percent of their income.

So let’s sum up. The “compassionate” liberals — at least based on charitable giving — show less compassion than “hardhearted” conservatives. The rich pay more in income taxes than people think. Voters, clueless about the facts, want the rich to pay still more.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.


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Camp Followers

By Patrick Buchanan

Perhaps the only institution in America whose approval rating is beneath that of Congress is the media.

Both have won their reputations the hard way. They earned them.

Consider the fawning indulgence shown insider Joe Biden with the dripping contempt visited on outsider Sarah Palin.

Twice last weekend, Biden grimly warned at closed-door meetings that a great crisis is coming early in the term of President Obama:

“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. … Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said … we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

A “generated crisis”? By whom? Moscow? Beijing? Teheran?

This is an astonishing statement from a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee who has access to the same intelligence as George Bush. Joe was warning of a crisis like the Berlin Wall of July 1961, where JFK called for a tripling of the draft and ordered a call-up of reserves, or the missile crisis where U.S. pilots like John McCain were minutes away from bombing nuclear missile sites in Cuba and killing the Russians manning them.

Is Russia about to move on the Crimea? Is Israel about to launch air strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites? What is Joe talking about?

If one assumes Joe is a serious man, we have a right to know.

Instead, what we got was Obama’s airy dismissal of Joe’s words as a “rhetorical flourish” and a media — rather than demanding that Joe hold a press conference — acting as Obama surrogates parroting the talking points that Joe was just saying that new presidents always face tests.

Had John McCain made that hair-raising statement, he would have been accused of fear mongering about a new 9/11. The media would have run with the story rather than have smothered it.

Contrasting McCain with his hero, Joe declared a few weeks back, “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and … said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.'”

Nice historical reference. Except when the market crashed in 1929, Hoover was president, and there was no television.

Can one imagine what the press would have done to Sarah Palin had she exhibited such ignorance of history. Or Dan Quayle?

Joe gets a pass because everybody likes Joe.

Fine. But Joe also has a record of 36 years in the Senate.

Has anyone ever asked Joe about his own and his party’s role in cutting off aid to South Vietnam, leading to the greatest strategic defeat in U.S. history and the Cambodian holocaust? Has anyone ever asked Joe about the role he and his party played in working to block Reagan’s deployment of Pershing missiles in Europe, and SDI, which Gorbachev concedes broke the Soviets and won the Cold War?

In the most crucial vote he ever cast — to give Bush a blank check for war in Iraq — Joe concedes he got it wrong.

Is Joe’s record of having been wrong on Vietnam, wrong in the Cold War, wrong on the Iraq War, less important than whether Sarah Palin tried to get fired a rogue-cop brother-in-law who Tasered her 10-year old nephew to “teach him a lesson”?

“I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know,” says Joe humbly. Given his record, it is understandable Joe has forgotten so much of it.

Saturday, the New York Times did a takeout on Cindy McCain that delved back into her problem with prescription pills. Yet when Hillary’s campaign manager, Mark Penn, brought up Obama’s cocaine use on “Hardball,” he was savaged by folks for whom the Times is the gold standard.

The people apparently had a “right to know” of Bush’s old DUI arrest a week before the 2000 election, but no right to know about how and when Obama was engaged in the criminal use of cocaine.

The media cannot get enough of the “Saturday Night Live” impersonations of Palin as a bubblehead. News shows pick up the Tina Fey clips and run them and run them to the merriment of all.

Can one imagine “Saturday Night Live” doing weekly send-ups of Michelle Obama and her “I’ve never been proud” of my country, this “just downright mean” America, using a black comedienne to mimic and mock her voice and accent?

“Saturday Night Live” would be facing hate crime charges.

How do we know? When the New Yorker ran a cartoon of Michelle in an Angela-Davis afro with an AK-47 slung over her shoulder, New Yorker editors had to go on national television to swear they were not mocking Michelle, but the conservatives who have so caricatured Michelle and The Messiah.

Is there a media double standard? You betcha.

Copyright 2008, Creators Syndicate Inc.

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New at SoFIR::Research & Analysis
Why Nicky Reilly matters




Internet
I’m sure there’s a Information Operations strategy in here somewhere…
AQ scuttled their own sites?
Cyber-attack theory as al-Qaida websites close
Convergence of the depraved

OSINT
“Freedom of Speech in Jihad Analysis: Debunking the Myth of Offensive Words” [22 Oct 2008]
Home in Helmand [22 Oct 2008]
The following entities… [22 Oct 2008]

HaYishuv
I’m pretty sure the road to Tehran passes through Damascus
Colombia Smashes Drug Ring with Hizbullah Ties
gratuitous IDF tank pic of the day
US weapons transfers to Hizballah resume




I’m sure there’s a Information Operations strategy in here somewhere…

…and quite a bit to inspire specific actions as well.

Early links in this chain of discussion are here:

In Conversation…

That’s for background, in case you missed it earlier, and deals largely with the issue of how people make good on their jihadi ambitions, how they go from being just another hothead to being a hothead with TATP and/or an AK.

Now the conversation seems to be turning to information, which for our purposes can be viewed as a kind of line of communication. Lines of communication are what we work against, in the broad sense of “work against” and not necessarily the narrow, kinetic, “let’s blow shit up” sense. Blowing shit up is easy. Getting the other guy to blow his own shit up, without his knowing that he’s working on our behalf – now that’s art. But I digress 🙂

Marisa posts about some newer items:

Perhaps a reason, Marisa Urgo, 22 October 2008.

Will drives home one particular point, but the discussion is still in binary terms: this or that, yes or no.

Influence of Jihadi Forums, Will McCants, 20 October 2008.

Forums are important for the usual reasons, and they are important for the reasons Will cites. And they are also important for all the things many analysts don’t usually see or consider – like the private messaging, or the importance of being involved in the operation of a forum, or the distribution of information more generally, as an entry point, a kind of “starter terrorism,” which is what I was trying to get at here:

Regarding “Anatomy of a Modern Homegrown Terror Cell: Aabid Khan et al.”

My own recent bit about Nicky Reilly, the Big Friendly Terrorist™ is a bit off-topic, as it deals more with targeting, who to target, what to look for and where. I’ll mention it here because I think I’ve done a better job of explaining what I mean by ‘differential jihadization’, especially the core concepts of association and opportunity, both of which are susceptible to shallow definition. The theory is still very much a work in progress – identity is an issue, and I’m not sure whether it’s within motivation, or is best considered on it’s own, for example – but I think I may be onto something, so I’m pushing it out from under the porch to see how it plays with the other dogs.

Returning now to Marisa, she cites some earlier discussion from Tim and also a very interesting journal article:

“It Flows Narrow and Deep”, Marisa Urgo, 20 May 2008.

Global Information Flows, Tim Stevens, 25 April, 2008.

The journal article is the following, and if you pursue no other link here (and you’re involved in IO) READ THIS ONE:

“Tracing information flow on a global scale using Internet chain-letter data”, Liben-Nowell, D. and Kleinberg, J., 2008, PNAS.

Now, coming back around to Marisa, I like this piece:

Dismantling the Curve, Marisa Urgo, 12 October, 2008

Here’s a quote:

Jihadis may like to fancy themselves different from their kuffar enemy, but in reality they behave identical to every one else when it comes to their information habits. There’s a common misconception that online jihadi information is a vast, immeasurable, uncontrollable amount of internet data. This idea may make for poetic presentation statements (and excellent justifications for government program money), but it has little bearing in reality. Up until very recently, the vast majority of the OSINT jihadi material cycled through about ten or fifteen internet forums. An analyst monitoring those forums could have a handle on about 80% of the information flow within the jihadi online world. Since the beginning of September the jihadi powerlaw curve that had essentially existed since 2004 has been systematically dismantled. By what or whom I don’t know. I’ve worked in a wide range of subject areas since receiving my Master’s degree in the mid-90s, and I’ve been using and managing information years prior to that. I’ve seen fadish subjects come and go in popularity, shrinking the amount of available new information, but I’ve never seen a subject’s power law curve simply disappear.

Reminds me of a time when I was riding in the back of a 4×4 going up a narrow trail in a ravine near the border between Israel and the Sinai as sunset was fast approaching. The Englishman on board, an older gentleman from a military background, looked about and said:

“My, what a splendid place for an ambush.”

I’ll close this linkfest with something a bit more esoteric from Tim, quoting Virilio regarding cyberspace:

The development of information superhighways confronts us with a new phenomenon: disorientation. A fundamental disorientation which completes and perfects the social and financial deregulation whose baleful consequences we already know. Perceived reality is being split into the real and the virtual, and we are getting a kind of stereo-reality, in which existence loses its reference points. To be is to be in situ, here and now, hic et nunc. But cyberspace and instantaneous, globalized information are throwing all that into total confusion. What is now underway is a disturbance of the perception of the real: a trauma. And we need to concentrate on this. Because no technology has ever been developed that has not had to struggle against its own specific negativity. The specific negativity of information superhighways is precisely this disorientation of alterity, of our relation to the other and to the world. It is quite clear that this disorientation, this ‘de-situation’, will bring about a profound disturbance with consequences for society and, in turn, for democracy.

Disorientation, while it may be a problem if we suffer from it, is also a good thing to cause in the minds of our adversaries – who happily enough find themselves rather deeply embedded in cyberspace. [back to contents]




AQ scuttled their own sites?

Gee, I wonder where he got that idea

[back to contents]




Cyber-attack theory as al-Qaida websites close

The label of “vigilante” that people have put on me for years is both demonstrably false, and arguably libelous. But at least in this case I get the last word.

[back to contents]




Convergence of the depraved

One could make too much of this, and wind up grasping at straws, but such convergences as this have been observed over the past seven years, and they will continue to come up from time to time.

As just one example, the founder of the original Global Islamic Media Centre – which was later superseded by the Global Islamic Media Front (operated by a team of individuals with little or no connection to the founder) – was last reported awaiting trial in Canada on charges of possession of child porn. How Abu explained this to his daughter Banan I don’t know…

In the UK, authorities have taken notice of a certain overlap between extremists and paedophiles. Quote:

Through glimpses of these characters, a pattern can be seen: the same kind of obsessive, sometimes paranoid, individual who becomes skilled in locating the rotten fruit of the internet, from bombmaking instructions to child pornography.

[back to contents]

Haganah

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ההגנה
Haganah

A Haganah poster from the 1940s.
Active 1920-1948
Country Yishuv, British Mandate of Palestine
Israel
Type Paramilitary (pre-independence)
Unified armed forces (post-independence)
Role Defense of Jewish settlements (pre-independence)
Size Average: 30,000
Engagements Palestinian Arab revolt
World War II
Palestine Civil War
1948 Arab-Israeli War (for two weeks).
Disbanded May 28, 1948

Haganah (Hebrew: “The Defense”, ההגנה) was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.

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Origins

The predecessor of Haganah was Hashomer (השומר, The Guild of Watchman) established in 1909, itself a successor of Bar-Giora, founded in 1907. It was a small group of Jewish immigrants who guarded settlements for an annual fee. At no time did the group have more than 100 members.

After the 1920 Arab riots and 1921 Jaffa riots, the Jewish leadership in Palestine believed that the British (whom the League of Nations had given a mandate over Palestine in 1920) had no desire to confront local Arab gangs over their attacks on Palestinian Jews. Realizing that they could not rely on the British administration for protection from these gangs, the Jewish leadership created the Haganah to protect their farms and Kibbutzim. In addition to guarding Jewish communities, the role of the Haganah was to warn the residents of and repel attacks by Palestinian Arabs. In the period between 1920–1929, the Haganah lacked a strong central authority or coordination. Haganah “units” were very localized and poorly armed: they consisted mainly of Jewish farmers who took turns guarding their farms or their kibbutzim. Following the Arab massacres of 1929, the Haganah’s role changed dramatically. It became a much larger organization encompassing nearly all the youth and adults in the Jewish settlements, as well as thousands of members from the cities. It also acquired foreign arms and began to develop workshops to create hand grenades and simple military equipment, transforming from an untrained militia to a capable underground army.

Haganah members in training (1947)

Haganah members in training (1947)

In 1936 the Haganah fielded 10,000 mobilized men along with 40,000 reservists. During the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, it participated actively to protect British interests and to quell Arab rebellion using the FOSH, and then HISH units. Although the British administration did not officially recognize the Haganah, the British security forces cooperated with it by forming the Jewish Settlement Police, Jewish Auxiliary Forces and Special Night Squads, which were trained and led by Colonel Orde Wingate. The battle experience gained during this time was to become very useful in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Many Haganah fighters objected to the official policy of havlagah (restraint) that Jewish political leaders (who had become increasingly controlling of the Haganah) had imposed on the militia. Fighters had been instructed to only defend communities and not initiate counter attacks against Arab gangs or their communities. This policy appeared defeatist to many who believed that the best defense is a good offense and, in 1931, the most militant elements of the Haganah splintered off and formed the Irgun Tsva’i-Leumi (National Military Organization), better known as “Irgun” (or by its Hebrew acronym, pronounced “Etsel”). In 1940, the Irgun also split over the issue of whether or not to attack the British during World War II and their off-shoot became known as the “Lehi” (Hebrew acronym of Lochamei Herut Yisrael, standing for Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, widely known as the “Stern Gang” after its leader, Abraham Stern).

By 1939, the British had severely restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine and were importing Arab labor from other parts of the Middle East. In response, the Haganah built up the Palmach as the Haganah’s elite strike force and organized illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine. (The Palmach had actually been formed with the British as a response to the threat of German invasion by Rommel’s forces. It went underground after it felt betrayed by the British at the end of 1942 following Rommel’s defeat) Approximately 100,000 Jews were brought to Palestine in over one hundred ships during the final decade of the Ha’apala. The Haganah also organized demonstrations against British immigration quotas.

In 1944, after the assassination of Lord Moyne, (the British Minister of State for the Middle East), by members of the Lehi, the Haganah worked with the British to kidnap, interrogate, and in some cases, deport Irgun members. This action was called The Saison, or hunting season, and was directed against the Irgun and not the Lehi possibly due to the perceived political threat the Irgun presented to David Ben Gurion‘s position of leadership. Future Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek was later revealed to be the official most responsible, under the code name Scorpion, for turning Irgun activists over to the British authorities. Many Jewish youth, who had joined the Haganah in order to defend the Jewish people, were greatly demoralized by operations against their own people. The Irgun, paralyzed by the Saison, were ordered by their commander, Menachem Begin, not to retaliate in an effort to avoid a full blown civil war. Although many Irgunists objected to these orders, they obeyed Begin and refrained from fighting back. The Saison eventually ended due to perceived British betrayal becoming more obvious to the public and Haganah youth becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to the policy.

Haganah troops on parade

Haganah troops on parade

The Saison officially ended when the Haganah, Irgun and the Lehi formed the Hebrew Resistance Movement. Within this new framework, the three groups had different functions, which served to drive the British out of Palestine and create a Jewish state. As Menachem Begin stated in a 1944 meeting: “In fact, there is a division of roles; one organization advocates individual terrorism (Lehi), the other conducts sporadic military operations (Irgun) and there is a third organization which prepares itself to throw its final weight in the decisive war.” This united effort lasted for a total of nine months until the Irgun bombing of the King David Hotel‘s south wing. Although the Haganah had sanctioned the operation and the Irgun phoned in two warnings to the British, the hotel was not evacuated and 91 people were killed in the explosion. Shocked by the death toll and worried about the negative image this would generate, the Haganah quickly distanced itself from both the Irgun and the Lehi.

World War II participation

to the flag!"

A British recruitment drive poster for the Jewish Brigade from the 1940s reads: “Soldiers of 1915-1918: to the flag!”

Despite the 1939 White Paper which deeply angered the Zionist leadership in Palestine, Ben-Gurion, then chairman of the Jewish Agency, set the policy for the Zionist relationship with the British: We shall fight the war against Hitler as if there were no White Paper, and we shall fight the White Paper as if there were no war. The Irgun, however took a more extreme stance starting in 1944 and began bombing British installations.

In the first years of World War II, the British authorities asked Haganah for cooperation again, due to the fear for an Axis breakthrough in North Africa. After Rommel was defeated at El Alamein in 1942, the British stepped back from their all-out support for Haganah. In 1943, after a long series of requests and negotiations, the British Army announced the creation of the Jewish Brigade Group. While Palestinian Jews had been permitted to enlist in the British army since 1940, this was the first time an exclusively Jewish military unit served in the war under a Jewish flag. The Jewish Brigade Group consisted of 5,000 soldiers and was deployed in Italy in September 1944. The brigade was disbanded in 1946.

All in all, more than 30,000 Palestinian Jews served in the British army during the war.

On May 19, 1941 the Haganah created the Palmach (an acronym for Plugot Mahatz—strike companies), an elite military-like section which focused on providing training to youngsters. It was never large — by 1947 it amounted to merely five battalions (about 2,000 men) — but its members had received not only physical and basic military training, but also acquired leadership skills that, in retrospect, would allow them to take up command positions in Israel’s future army.

After the war

A leaflet signed by Haganah Commander in Tel-Aviv, addressed "To the thugs", warning Irgun not to engage in blackmail and other violent criminal acts, or face severe measures (1947)

A leaflet signed by Haganah Commander in Tel-Aviv, addressed “To the thugs”, warning Irgun not to engage in blackmail and other violent criminal acts, or face severe measures (1947)

After the war, the Haganah carried out anti-British operations in Palestine, such as the liberation of interned immigrants from the Atlit camp, the bombing of the country’s railroad network, sabotage raids on radar installations and bases of the British Palestine police. It also continued to organize illegal immigration.

On May 28, 1948, less than two weeks after the creation of the state of Israel on May 15, the provisional government created the Israeli Defense Forces which would succeed the Haganah. It also outlawed maintenance of any other armed force.

Famous members of the Haganah included: Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rehavam Zeevi, Dov Hoz, Moshe Dayan, Yigal Allon and Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

The Museum of Underground Prisoners in Jerusalem commemorates the activity of the underground groups in the pre-state period, recreating the every day life of those imprisoned there.

References

  • Bregman, Ahron. Israel’s Wars: A History Since 1947. London: Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0-415-28716-2.
  • Niv, David. The Irgun Tsva’i Leumi. Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization (Department for Education and Culture), 1980.
  • “Text of the British White Paper Linking Jewish Agency to Zionist Terrorism in Palestine,” The New York Times, July 25, 1946, p. 8.
  • Zadka, Dr. Saul. Blood in Zion, How the Jewish Guerrillas drove the British out of Palestine. London: Brassey’s, 1995. ISBN 1-85753-136-1.
  • Jim G. Tobias, Peter Zinke. Nakam – Jüdische Rache an NS-Tätern. Konkret Literatur Verlag, Hamburg 2000. 173 Seiten, ISBN 3-89458-194-8 (German, about 1944-1947)
  • Bergman, Ronen. Kollek was British informer. Ynet news. March 29, 2007. [1]

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:





Environmental Groups Skirting Illegality: ‘Every dollar spent has been aimed at helping Democrats’
1 message


Morano, Marc (EPW) <Marc_Morano@epw.senate.gov> Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 11:02 AM

To: “Morano, Marc (EPW)” <Marc_Morano@epw.senate.gov>

Senator Inhofe Quotes: “Environmental organizations have become experts at duplicitous activity, skirting laws up to the edge of illegality, and burying their political activities under the guise of non-profit environmental improvement.”

“Campaigns to ‘save the cuddly animals’ or ‘protect the ancient forests’ are really disguised efforts to raise money for Democratic political campaigns.”

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=262204fd-802a-23ad-48d8-a7704ecc91a6

Update: Environmental Groups Exposed: “Every dollar spent has been aimed at helping Democrats”
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Posted By Marc Morano – 3:36 PM ET – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov

Update: Environmental Groups Exposed: ‘Every dollar spent has been aimed at helping Democrats’

This report is part of an ongoing oversight investigation into the funding and partisan political activities of environmental groups.

Link to Blog

An article in the trade publication Greenwire reaffirms the findings of Senator James Inhofe’s (R-OK) ongoing oversight investigation into the multi-million dollar funding and partisan political activities of environmental groups. The Greenwire article by reporter Alex Kaplun reported that “since the start of the fall campaign, every dollar spent by these organizations has been aimed at helping Democrats.”

Greenwire‘s article on October 22 echoed Senator Inhofe’s report, detailing how environmental groups are essentially a funding and advocacy arm of the Democratic Party. The article noted the partisan activity of major environmental groups in battleground political campaigns and concluded, “In every instance, the environmental groups are backing the Democrat.”

A September 25, 2008, Inhofe report exposed the questionably overt political activities of environmental organizations that are often misleadingly disguised as non-partisan environmental causes. See: Inhofe Report Exposes Environmental Groups as ‘Massive Democratic Political Machines’ & Follow up to Report:  Defenders of Wildlife’s Partisan & Misleading Ads on Aerial Wolf Hunt – October 15, 2008 & LCV’s ‘Environmental Scorecard’ Marred by Partisan Politics, Inhofe Says – October 17, 2008

Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said on September 25, “Campaigns to ‘save the cuddly animals’ or ‘protect the ancient forests’ are really disguised efforts to raise money for Democratic political campaigns.” Inhofe added, “Environmental organizations have become experts at duplicitous activity, skirting laws up to the edge of illegality, and burying their political activities under the guise of non-profit environmental improvement.” (LINK)

Greenwire excerpt: With the 2008 campaign in the homestretch, major environmental groups are spending money and time on a half-dozen or so congressional candidates who figure to play prominent roles in future Capitol Hill energy and conservation debates. The charge is being led by the League of Conservation Voters, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club. While the three have endorsed dozens of congressional candidates, each has focused on just a couple of contests. The environmentalists have spent more than $3 million in congressional races on “independent expenditures” — essentially campaigns the groups are running to assist or attack a particular candidate, campaign finance records show. That amount does not include campaign contributions given directly to the candidates, though those dollars tend to represent only a small percentage of the amount the organizations actually spend in a typical election year. And while environmental groups have endorsed a number of Republican candidates, since the start of the fall campaign, every dollar spent by these organizations has been aimed at helping Democrats.

The Greenwire article also reported:  One other contest that has crept onto the radar of at least one environmental group is the Minnesota Senate race between Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and comedian and talk show host Al Franken (D). Environment America has in the last week spent roughly $200,000 on mailings there. The other contests in which environmentalists have spent money in recent weeks, though not in overwhelming amounts: the Oregon Senate race between Sen. Gordon Smith (R) and former state House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D), the North Carolina Senate race between Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) and state Sen. Kay Hagan (D), the Alaska House race between Rep. Don Young (R) and former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz (D), and the contest for the New Mexico 1st District seat currently held by Rep. Heather Wilson (R). In every instance, the environmental groups are backing the Democrat.

According to Federal Election Commission records, the groups have spent just over $2 million on that contest. LCV leads the pack, with over $730,000 spent on the presidential race, with the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife trailing — each having spent more than $500,000. Environment America has also spent about $140,000. The Sierra Club is the only one of those major environmental groups that has actually spent more money — in fact, the overwhelming majority of it — on the presidential race rather than congressional contests. And campaign finance records show that in many instances the environmentalists’ efforts in the White House contest overlap with their efforts in the congressional races, as much of their money has been spent in the states of Colorado, New Mexico and New Hampshire — all three have been considered battlegrounds.

[…]

Indeed, the only Republican to see any support this year in the form of independent expenditures is Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland, who lost his bid to fend off a primary challenge.  Much of the environmentalists’ activity has been centered on Colorado and New Mexico, where the groups have spent heavily on both the Senate contests and one House race in each state. In fact, the two Colorado races are currently the top targets for environmentalists’ money, and they appear poised to stay that way through the election. The League of Conservation Voters has poured roughly $1 million into the Senate race between Rep. Mark Udall (D) and former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R), with more than a third of that money having been spent just since Labor Day. A couple of other groups have dropped a small amount of money into the contest, but their spending pales in comparison to LCV’s. The Colorado Senate race has been ground zero for outside group spending, as not only environmentalists but also business groups and other organizations have poured millions into the contest.

[…]

Oddly enough, the other race that has received the most money is not a high-profile Senate race or even one of the more closely watched House races. Defenders of Wildlife has poured roughly $1 million into their effort to topple Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R), whose 4th District covers much of the eastern half of the state.

The group had long ago announced that it would launch a campaign effort to beat Musgrave akin to the one it used two years ago topple former House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), a three-term incumbent (E&E Daily, July 9).

Musgrave has not been particularly visible on environmental issues during her time in Congress, having focused much of her effort on social policy. But environmentalists have said that because of the nature of her district, it was important to replace what they view as a staunchly anti-conservationist vote with a pro-conservationist one.

Indeed, the group appears to have backed up its promises with cash, spending heavily on both advertising and direct voter outreach methods.

Musgrave was already viewed as exceedingly vulnerable heading into the election, having received the lowest vote percentage of any winning candidate in the 2006 campaign. And most recent polls show her trailing Betsy Markey, a former State Department employee and aide to Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.).

There are other races in which environmentalists have spent tens of thousands of dollars, though none reach the level of spending in the two Colorado contests.

Since Labor Day, environmentalists have dropped roughly $80,000 into the New Mexico Senate race between Rep. Tom Udall (D) and Rep. Steve Pearce (R). The groups spent heavily there over the summer, but their spending has tailed off in recent weeks as Udall has moved out to a comfortable lead, with polls showing the Democrat holding a lead of 15 percent or more.

Additionally, environmental groups — both LCV and the Sierra Club — have in recent weeks started spending significant amounts in New Hampshire’s Senate race on behalf of former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D), who is making a bid to topple Sen. John Sununu (R). In September and October, the groups have spent roughly $80,000 on various door-to-door efforts as well as phone banks and direct mail. Shaheen has consistently led in the polls in that contest, though recent polling has shown that the race has tightened slightly.

[…]

Presidential spending

Though environmentalists have also remained active in the presidential contest between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, as of this week, their overall spending in that race trails what they have spent in the congressional races.

Full October 22, 2008, Greenwire article here: http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2008/10/22/3 (Subscription Required)

Related Links:  LCV’s ‘Environmental Scorecard’ Marred by Partisan Politics, Inhofe Says – October 17, 2008

Inhofe Report Exposes Environmental Groups as ‘Massive Democratic Political Machines’ – September 25, 2008

Weblink to Inhofe’s full 2008 report: Political Activity of Environmental Groups and their Supporting Foundations

Follow up to Report:  Defenders of Wildlife’s Partisan & Misleading Ads on Aerial Wolf Hunt – October 15, 2008

INHOFE DISMISSES LCV’S ATTACK AS “WASHINGTON POLITICS AT ITS WORST” – September 9, 2007

Boxer’s Math Does Not Add Up: Letter Reveals 10 Democratic Senators Opposed Climate Tax Bill  – June 6, 2008

Inhofe: Dems Running on Empty – Oped in Human Events – June 16 , 2008

# # #


Democrats Sink to New Low in Ohio Legislative Race

Posted by Bobby Eberle
October 27, 2008 at 6:29 am

To say that we are in troubling times is a huge understatement. We have an organization like ACORN running around the country in a blatant attempt to steal an election. We have a Democrat presidential candidate garnering huge support by talking about “hope” and “change” while never being questioned about his socialist agenda. We have the media carrying his water. And, of course, we have the media, whose blatant bias for Barack Obama throws the integrity of the whole profession into question.

There is another problem which has been seen over and over again with the Democrats, and it has now shown up in a legislative race in Ohio. That problem is the double standard that the media and Democrats hold Republicans too. How dare anyone question Barack Obama’s associations. It doesn’t matter that one of his chief financial backers is a convicted felon, or that one of his political mentors is an
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There is another problem which has been seen over and over again with the Democrats, and it has now shown up in a legislative race in Ohio. That problem is the double standard that the media and Democrats hold Republicans too. How dare anyone question Barack Obama’s associations. It doesn’t matter that one of his chief financial backers is a convicted felon, or that one of his political mentors is an unapologetic terrorist, or that his long-time spiritual advisor engages is America bashing. All that is off limits. However, as we see in the race between Ohio State Rep. Josh Mandel and his Democrat opponent Bob Belovich, nothing is out of bounds for the Democrats, including attacking Mandel’s service in Iraq and his religion.

As noted in a column by Joel Mowbray, Josh Mandel has become a top target of the Democrats since winning his seat in 2006 in a highly Democrat district. Already a veteran of the Iraq war, Mandel received a call from the Marines asking him to serve in Iraq again.

As Mowbray writes, Mandel said, “I didn’t join the Marine Corps to say no when my country called.”

Now, not only that service, but Mandel’s religion is being used by the Democrats to try to oust Mandel from office.

Even Mr. Mandel’s motives for serving in Iraq are being questioned. Mrs. Belovich claimed in an interview with this columnist that Mandel “put his personal ambitions ahead of his constituents.” Asked why anyone would enter a war zone out of “personal ambition,” Barbara Belovich replied curtly, “Certainly he wasn’t serving our needs.”

Mowbray also reports on comments made by Belovich and his wife at a party, when they were discussing Mandel:

As Mowbray notes, “The obvious implication is that by serving in Iraq, Mr. Mandel was a do-nothing legislator. Yet he was one of the two people who lead the successful fight to force Ohio’s multi-billion dollar pension funds to divest from companies doing energy-related business in Iran and Sudan. Pension fund managers agreed to start divesting when legislation co-sponsored by Mr. Mandel and Rep. Shannon Jones was poised for passage.”

The real problem here is the double standard to which the media treats Republicans and Democrats. Where is the outrage?!?! Someone puts their life on the line to serve our country in Iraq, and that service is used against him? This is disgraceful, and the use of religion is equally pathetic.

“I really believe that no matter how someone feels about the war, just about everyone truly supports the troops,” says Mr. Mandel in Mowbray’s column. I hope he is right, because attacks like this, as well as actions by left-wing groups, show that the Democrats will do anything to win, and the media will let them.

, or that his long-time spiritual advisor engages is America bashing. All that is off limits. However, as we see in the race between Ohio State Rep. Josh Mandel and his Democrat opponent Bob Belovich, nothing is out of bounds for the Democrats, including attacking Mandel’s service in Iraq and his religion.

As noted in a column by Joel Mowbray, Josh Mandel has become a top target of the Democrats since winning his seat in 2006 in a highly Democrat district. Already a veteran of the Iraq war, Mandel received a call from the Marines asking him to serve in Iraq again.

As Mowbray writes, Mandel said, “I didn’t join the Marine Corps to say no when my country called.”

Now, not only that service, but Mandel’s religion is being used by the Democrats to try to oust Mandel from office.

Even Mr. Mandel’s motives for serving in Iraq are being questioned. Mrs. Belovich claimed in an interview with this columnist that Mandel “put his personal ambitions ahead of his constituents.” Asked why anyone would enter a war zone out of “personal ambition,” Barbara Belovich replied curtly, “Certainly he wasn’t serving our needs.”

Mowbray also reports on comments made by Belovich and his wife at a party, when they were discussing Mandel:

As Mowbray notes, “The obvious implication is that by serving in Iraq, Mr. Mandel was a do-nothing legislator. Yet he was one of the two people who lead the successful fight to force Ohio’s multi-billion dollar pension funds to divest from companies doing energy-related business in Iran and Sudan. Pension fund managers agreed to start divesting when legislation co-sponsored by Mr. Mandel and Rep. Shannon Jones was poised for passage.”

The real problem here is the double standard to which the media treats Republicans and Democrats. Where is the outrage?!?! Someone puts their life on the line to serve our country in Iraq, and that service is used against him? This is disgraceful, and the use of religion is equally pathetic.

“I really believe that no matter how someone feels about the war, just about everyone truly supports the troops,” says Mr. Mandel in Mowbray’s column. I hope he is right, because attacks like this, as well as actions by left-wing groups, show that the Democrats will do anything to win, and the media will let them.

Person Barbara Belovich
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Gore in Tin-Foil Hat? – Warming


Morano, Marc (EPW) <Marc_Morano@epw.senate.gov>

Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 1:56 PM

To: “Morano, Marc (EPW)” <Marc_Morano@epw.senate.gov>

Gore in Tin-Foil Hat? – Warming Goes ‘Poof!’ – ‘Scientific Malpractice’ at UN– ‘Collapse’ of Environmentalism? – Arctic Ice Up 31%! – Warming ‘Bubble’ – Round Up

Sampling of articles in past few days – October 20, 2008

Must see video: Al Gore Spoof – Complete with Gore wearing Tin-Foil Hat! – By impressionist Frank Caliendo of Frank TV

Excerpt: Impressionist Frank Caliendo does his best Al Gore basically admitting that, “it’s the sun, stupid” – but Gore goes all alarmist, of course. […] We don’t normally consider Al Gore a laughing matter — but what the heck else can you do with him? Frank TV: New Al Gore Movie – Supernova! It’s comin’ y’all! – Impressionist Frank Caliendo does his best Al Gore basically admitting that, “it’s the sun, stupid” – but Gore goes all alarmist, of course.

http://www.climatechangefraud.com/content/view/2513/218/

Global Cooling? – ‘Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof’ – National Post – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement. Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures — they’re going down, not up. […]  It may be that more global warming doubters are surfacing because there just isn’t any global warming.

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/10/20/lorne-gunter-thirty-years-of-warmer-temperatures-go-poof.aspx

UN IPCC = ‘Worst case of scientific malpractice in history’ says Climate Scientist Dr. Spencer
[ Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Roy W. Spencer, formerly a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, is currently principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. ]
Spencer Excerpt: I find it astounding that the IPCC has ignored the potential role of natural climate variability in global warming.  In any other realm of science we are careful to look for alternative explanations for some phenomenon…but today, mankind is the only allowable reason for climate change.

I predict that the IPCC experience will end up being the worst case of scientific malpractice in history.  Not that the scientists are at fault, I think they have just been led around by some politically savvy, almost charismatic, leaders.

http://thechillingeffect.org/2008/10/19/exclusive-bestselling-climate-conference-author-talks-with-chilling-effect/

MIT Climate Scientist Exposes ‘Corrupted Science’ in Devastating Critique – Sep 24, 2008

Excerpt: MIT Meteorology Professor Richard S. Lindzen, confirms how Al Gore and his minions used Stalinist tactics to subvert, suborn and corrupt a whole branch of science, citing chapter and verse in his report entitled “Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?” His answer:  A resounding “NO!”

Detailing the corruption, he names a series of names.  Until reading this I did not know that: “For example, the primary spokesman for the American Meteorological Society in Washington is Anthony Socci who is neither an elected official of the AMS nor a contributor to climate science. Rather, he is a former staffer for Al Gore.” Page 5

Although a bit lengthy, this very important report is highly readable and revealing.  While some of the paragraphs are a bit technical, I encourage AT readers to wade through them because their purpose is to provide specific examples of how a radical cabal is forcing scientists to ignore or amend measurements that undermine the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Scientists are literally forced to include sentences in their papers that indicate their support of AGW, even if these sentences are non-sequiturs, or even if they conflict with the overall thrust of the paper. In this way, Al Gore’s uneducated political commissars are able to deliver the “consensus” he so craves.

How is this possible you might ask?  Prof. Lindzen gives considerable background history. […] I naively thought that the National Academy of Sciences could impose some quality-control on an errant discipline.  Prof. Lindzen notes that event this august body has been penetrated by eco-activists by exploiting loopholes in its nominating procedures. Fortunately, in science “truth will out”.  The long term faith of the American public in science, a trust built up since WWI is at stake. Next it will be important to see whether a prominent scientific journal publishes this revelation.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/09/corrupted_science_revealed.html

Full Lindzen paper here: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf

New Paper: Global Warming was natural, not man-made! – New Paper from Roy Spencer: PDO and Clouds – Global Warming as a Natural Response to Cloud Changes Associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) – October 19, 2008

Key Quote: “New evidence that most of the warming could actually be the result of a natural cycle in cloud cover”

[ By Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Roy W. Spencer, formerly a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, is currently principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. ]

Excerpt: For those who have followed my writings and publications in the last 18 months (e.g. Spencer et al., 2007), you know that we are finding satellite evidence that the climate system could be much less sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions than the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) climate models suggest. To show that we are not the only researchers who have documented evidence contradicting the IPCC models, I made the following figure to contrast the IPCC-projected warming from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide with the warming that would result if the climate sensitivity is as low as implied by various kinds of observational evidence. The dashed line represents our recent apples-to-apples comparison between satellite-based feedback estimates and IPCC model-diagnosed feedbacks, all computed from 5-year periods (Spencer and Braswell, 2008a): The discrepancy between the models and observations seen in Fig. 1 is stark. If the sensitivity of the climate system is as low as some of these observational results suggest, then the IPCC models are grossly in error, and we have little to fear from manmade global warming. But an insensitive climate system would ALSO mean that the warming we have seen in the last 100 years can not be explained by increasing CO2 alone. This is because the radiative forcing from the extra CO2 would simply be too weak to cause the ~0.7 deg. C warming between 1900 and 2000… there must be some natural warming process going on as well. Here I present new evidence that most of the warming could actually be the result of a natural cycle in cloud cover forced by a well-known mode of natural climate variability: the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/19/new-paper-from-roy-spencer-pdo-and-clouds/

Update: Ice Reality Check: Arctic Ice Now 31.3% Over Last Year, plus Scientists Counter Latest Arctic ‘Record’ Warmth Claims as ‘Pseudoscience’ – 10-18-08

Excerpt: 10/17/2007 5,663,125 square kilometers – 10/17/2008 7,436,406 square kilometers – Δice = 1,773,281 sqkm or 31.3% more than last year – Source data here: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/plot.csv (Excel file)

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/18/ice-reality-check-scientists-counter-latest-arctic-record-warmth-claims-as-pseudoscience/

Scientists Counter Latest Arctic ‘Record’ Warmth Claims as ‘Pseudoscience’ – Comprehensive Arctic Data Round Up – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: Arctic Reality Check: Why isn’t the cooling Antarctic considered ‘an indicator of what might happen to the rest of the world?’

By Climate Scientist Dr. Ben Herman.

Herman Excerpt: First of all, the Arctic sea ice is at its minimum in September, not October or November as the scientists in the McClatchy article states. As Arctic ice experts, they certainly should have known this. Another point is that the Arctic temperatures do not “naturally peak in October or November”. They peak in mid Aug ust generally. Also the article states that since the world’s climates are interconnected, what happens in the Arctic may be an indicator of what will happen in the rest of the world. How about what happens in the Antarctic then? Since its ice area has been increasing, is this also an indicator of what might happen in the rest of the world?

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Scientists_Counter_Latest_Arctic.pdf

Flashback: Alert: National Ice Center says satellites interpreting Arctic ice as open water! – By Andrew Revkin – NY Times Dot Earth Blog – September 6, 2008

Excerpt: And one of the groups focusing most closely on possible Arctic shipping lanes, the National Ice Center operated by the Navy and Commerce Department, says flatly that the satellites are misreading conditions in many spots and that there is too much ice in a critical spot along the Russian coast (highlighted in the smaller image above) to allow anything but ice-hardened ships to get through. In an e-mail message Wednesday, Sean R. Helfrich, a scientist at the ice center, said that ponds of meltwater pooling on sea ice could fool certain satellite-borne instruments into interpreting ice as open water, “suggesting areas that have substantial ice cover as being sea-ice free.” The highlighted area is probably still impassible ice, including large amounts of thick old floes, he said. I sent the note to an array of sea-ice experts, and many, including Mark Serreze at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, concurred.

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Scientists_Counter_Latest_Arctic.pdf

OBAMA’S CARBON ULTIMATUM: “Would-be President intends to blackmail — or rather, greenmail — Congress into falling in line with his climate agenda.”

Excerpt: The coming offer you won’t be able to refuse. Liberals pretend that only President Bush is preventing the U.S. from adopting some global warming “solution.” But occasionally their mask slips. As Barack Obama’s energy adviser has now made clear, the would-be President intends to blackmail — or rather, greenmail — Congress into falling in line with his climate agenda. […] Normally a democracy reaches consensus through political debate and persuasion, but apparently for Mr. Obama that option is merely a nuisance. It’s another example of “change” you’ll be given no choice but to believe in.

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=1ac2500f-802a-23ad-4029-39982b1b8ba0

Paper: ‘The next commodity to collapse will be mass-marketed environmentalism’ – National Post – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: The next commodity to collapse will be mass-marketed environmentalism, which will come to be disdained – Stock market indexes have plummeted from their inflated peaks. Oil and other commodities have likewise plummeted. The next commodity to tumble from unsustainable peak levels: environmentalism. In part, I am making this prediction because, in my 30 years as an environmentalist, I have never seen so many governments and so many corporations so profusely espousing so many environmental causes. Where promoting environmentalism was once seen as daring and counter-cultural, today it has become banal, no longer the exclusive preserve of a Body Shop chain, but of every retailer down to Wal-Mart. For the same reason that clothes go out of fashion after the masses embrace them, mass-marketed environmentalism will come to be disdained. […] A third reason for my prediction that environmentalism has peaked is the instinct for self-preservation among the political leadership. Thinking they could raise revenues while appearing green, opportunistic politicians have been promoting environmental taxes without having a credible case to make. The result, increasingly, is political ruin.

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2008/10/17/wal-mart-environmentalism.aspx

Global Warming Bubble? Investment guru ‘sees a bubble forming around global warming’ – By Self-described “Internet tycoon” and venture capitalist Bob Metcalfe

Excerpt: In energy, government mandates favored the production of corn ethanol, which has created a food versus fuel debate that has brought criticism of biofuels. “When you muck with fuel markets, you are mucking with feeds and fuels also, we just found out,” he said. With the influx of venture capital going to fund clean, or green, tech start-ups, many people are concerned that there is an investment bubble. Metcalfe sees a bubble forming around global warming, where there is a movement of consumers and businesses to address the problem. But bubbles are a good thing, Metcalfe said. “From Internet history, we know that bubbles are normal. Bubbles are an accelerator of technology progress. Bubbles go against the status quo. We should encourage bubbles,” he said.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10070107-54.html

Brazilian Meteorologist Scoffs at Notion Mankind impacts climate more than Sun and Oceans

Excerpt: On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to “a negative PDO” or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs — El Ninos — produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones — La Ninas — produce below average ones. Dr. Hackbart also pointed out that periods of solar inactivity known as “solar minimums” magnify cold spells on his continent. So, given that August was the first month since 1913 in which no sunspot activity was recorded — none — and during which solar winds were at a 50-year low, he was not surprised that Brazilians were suffering (for them) a brutal cold snap. “This is no coincidence,” he said as he scoffed at the notion that manmade carbon emissions had more impact than the sun and oceans on global climate.

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/10/20/lorne-gunter-thirty-years-of-warmer-temperatures-go-poof.aspx

UK Scientist: – ‘Climate change is governed by hundreds of factors, or variables’ Not Just CO2!

By UK Professor Emeritus of Biogeography Philip Stott of the University of London

Excerpt: As I have said, over and over again, the fundamental point has always been this: climate change is governed by hundreds of factors, or variables, and the very idea that we can manage climate change predictably by understanding and manipulating at the margins one politically-selected factor is as misguided as it gets. I wonder if we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the ‘global warming’ nonsense? I really do hope so, although I could do without a cold phase to prove it.

http://web.me.com/sinfonia1/Global_Warming_Politics/A_Hot_Topic_Blog/Entries/2008/8/27_Wot%21_No_Sunspots_At_All%21.html

Oops! Propagandists at RealClimate.org  Let Truth Slip Out! – ‘The actual temperature rise is an emergent property resulting from interactions among hundreds of factors’ – September 20, 2008

Excerpt: The Physics of Global Warming is Complicated: Physicist and historian, Spencer R. Weart, recently penned an article for the popular blog RealClimate.org in which he explained: “Physics is rich in phenomena that are simple in appearance but cannot be calculated in simple terms. Global warming is like that. People may yearn for a short, clear way to predict how much warming we are likely to face. Alas, no such simple calculation exists. The actual temperature rise is an emergent property resulting from interactions among hundreds of factors. People who refuse to acknowledge that complexity should not be surprised when their demands for an easy calculation go unanswered.” This is an admission that we are nowhere near a scientifically proven result with regard to the effect of CO2 on our climate.

http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/09/the-physics-of-global-warming-is-complicated-barry-moore/

MIT Scientist’s study finds: Data may be ‘insufficient to compute mean sea level trends’ – Decadal Trends in Sea Level Patterns: 1993-2004 – By Dr. Carl Wunsch, MIT et al. in Journal of Climate – October 12, 2008

Excerpt: Conclusion: At best, the determination and attribution of global mean sea level change lies at the very edge of knowledge and technology. The most urgent job would appear to be the accurate determination of the smallest temperature and salinity changes that can be determined with statistical significance, given the realities of both the observation base and modeling approximations. Both systematic and random errors are of concern, the former particularly, because of the changes in technology and sampling methods over the many decades, the latter from the very great spatial and temporal variability. It remains possible that the database is insufficient to compute mean sea level trends with the accuracy necessary to discuss the impact of global warming – as disappointing as this conclusion may be. The priority has to be to make such calculations possible in the future.

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/decadal_trends_in_sea_level_patterns_19932004

Scientist shows Medieval Warm Period ‘warmer than 20th-century temperatures’

Excerpt: Also in September, American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modelling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures. Prior to the past decade of climate hysteria and Kyoto hype, the MWP was a given in the scientific community. Several hundred studies of tree rings, lake and ocean floor sediment, ice cores and early written records of weather — even harvest totals and censuses –confirmed that the period from 800 AD to 1300 AD was unusually warm, particularly in Northern Europe. But in order to prove the climate scaremongers’ claim that 20th-century warming had been dangerous and unprecedented — a result of human, not natural factors — the MWP had to be made to disappear. So studies such as Michael Mann’s “hockey stick,” in which there is no MWP and global temperatures rise gradually until they jump up in the industrial age, have been adopted by the UN as proof that recent climate change necessitates a reordering of human economies and societies. Dr. Loehle’s work helps end this deception.

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/10/20/lorne-gunter-thirty-years-of-warmer-temperatures-go-poof.aspx

Prominent Geologist: ‘It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling’

Excerpt: Dr. Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, “It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling,” as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an “almost exact correlation” between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost “no correlation at all with CO2.” An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, “Man-made global warming is junk science,” explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year “equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration … This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.” Other international scientists have called the manmade warming theory a “hoax,” a “fraud” and simply “not credible.”

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/10/20/lorne-gunter-thirty-years-of-warmer-temperatures-go-poof.aspx

Prominent Climate Scientists: ‘Variations in global temperatures since 1978 … cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide’

Excerpt: While not stooping to such name-calling, weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month. For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA’s eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, “variations in global temperatures since 1978 … cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide.” Moreover, while the chart above was not produced by Douglass and Christy, it was produced using their data and it clearly shows that in the past four years — the period corresponding to reduced solar activity — all of the rise in global temperatures since 1979 has disappeared.

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/10/20/lorne-gunter-thirty-years-of-warmer-temperatures-go-poof.aspx

EU climate change push in disarray – Countries rebel against costly plans

Excerpt: Europe’s commitment to ambitious green goals became the latest victim of the global financial crisis yesterday when a growing number of EU countries rebelled, claiming that the plans were now too expensive. Plans for binding European legislation by December were dropped as the EU watered down the carbon dioxide blueprint that it had announced with a fanfare 18 months ago. The revolt by eight countries, led by Italy and Poland, left the EU’s self-proclaimed mission to shape a global, postKyoto agreement on greenhouse gases in disarray. President Sarkozy of France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, led the way in appealing to all 27 countries to stick to their targets. But tempers flared at the quarterly European Council in Brussels, with Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, clearly furious at the pressure being applied. During a stand-up row behind the scenes, he told Mr Sarkozy that the targets would crucify Italian industry. “Our businesses are in absolutely no position at the moment to absorb the costs of the regulations that have been proposed,” Mr Berlusconi said later.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article4957408.ece

Global warming leads India tigers to village attacks

Excerpt: KOLKATA (Reuters) – The number of tiger attacks on people is growing in India’s Sundarban islands as habitat loss and dwindling prey caused by climate change drives them to prowl into villages for food, experts said on Monday. Wildlife experts say endangered tigers in the world’s largest reserve are turning on humans because rising sea levels and coastal erosion are steadily shrinking the tigers’ natural habitat.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081020/india_nm/india360510

LCV’s ‘Environmental Scorecard’ Marred by Partisan Politics, Inhofe Says – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: .S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today commented on the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) 2008 National Environmental Scorecard. “The LCV is one of the most liberal partisan special-interest groups that make up the Democratic Party,” Senator Inhofe said. “It should come as no surprise that I and many fellow Republicans have never received high marks from this Washington, D.C., liberal special-interest group. LCV simply measures the greenness of politicians by how many federal laws they impose on the American people.

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=0beb0325-802a-23ad-4d7f-9eba79eeff5b

Russia skeptical that carbon trading will slow climate change – Greenwire – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: Russia doubts carbon trading will solve global climate woes because recent swings in stocks and commodities markets show the volatility of global markets amid the current financial crisis, according to an official Russian document. The document, outlining views on a new U.N. climate pact to be adopted in December 2009, also expressed skepticism at the tough international targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, saying any deal should not punish violators.[…] “The latest events in the global stock market or food market show that we have not entered yet an era when the global market can become a reliable regulative mechanism of the international efforts in answering global challenges of … mankind.” Many industrialized nations are having second thoughts about costly commitments to fight climate change amid the global financial crisis. Many countries view carbon trading as a cornerstone to a future treaty.

http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/rss/2008/10/20/6 (subscription required)

Another Dissenter: Ecologist says CO2 revealing ‘close to zero correlation with temperature’ – October 18, 2008

By Dr John R Etherington, formerly Reader in Ecology at the University of Wales.  B.Sc., A.R.C.S., Ph.D., D.I.C.

Excerpt: Ian Baxter cites the Nasa temperature record in accusing me of propagating a myth of no recent global temperature increase. (Letters October 15).

The Meteorological Office’s Hadley Centre data show that from 2002 to 2007, the annual anomaly versus the long-term average has been about plus 0.4C with no statistical trend. This is only a few years and no conclusion could be drawn about temperature trend, but what Mr Baxter ignores is that carbon dioxide, supposedly the major driver of man-made climatic warming, has inexorably and uniformly risen in concentration for every one of these years, with close to zero correlation with temperature. The previous three years 1998-2000 also show no temperature correlation with change, but 1998 was an atypically warm El Niño year. We are making some of the most expensive global decisions ever, on the basis of what atmospheric physicist James Peden has described as “computerized tinker toys with which one can construct any outcome he chooses”.

http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Climate-debate-hots-up.4605439.jp

Cold Reality: ‘Warm mongers are rapidly losing credibility’ – Investor’s Business Daily – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: But unlike climate projection models, which are often wrong but endlessly thrown in our faces as examples of hard science, they are real world events wholly contrary to the story the alarmists have been spreading. Global warm mongers are rapidly losing credibility. Mainstream journalists will still believe them because climate change fits the narrative they’ve so carefully nurtured. But eventually the error will have to admitted. It won’t happen publicly, though, because by the time they come to their senses, the issue will have been long forgotten by the public.
http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=309135716919866

‘We still have a blank sun’ – AccuWeather.com – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: We still have a blank sun. Image from earlier today, courtesy of SOHO. As you can see from the image above, the sun remains very inactive in terms of sunspot activity. This has been a common image of the sun for quite some time now. The chart below shows the individual years over the past century with the highest total of spotless days. This particular chart was dated in late September, so 2008 in now solidly in fifth place all by itself.

http://global-warming.accuweather.com/2008/10/the_quiet_sun_and_some_great_p.html

UK Climate Researcher Lord Monckton urges candidate to abandon ‘scientifically discredited’ global warming views – American Thinker – October 18, 2008

Excerpt: At both Poles, it was warmer only half a century ago than it is today. For temperatures in the Arctic, see Soon et al. (2004). For the Antarctic, see Doran et al. (2002). During the Maunder Minimum, a period of more than half a century ending in 1700 when there were no sunspots on20the surface of our Sun, a Little Ice Age occurred all over the world (Hathaway, 2004). In 1700 there began a recovery in solar activity that has continued ever since, culminating in the 70-year Solar Grand Maximum that seems recently to have ended. During the Grand Maximum, the Sun was more active, and for longer, than during almost any previous similar period in the past 11,400 years (Solanki et al., 2005; and see Usoskin et al., 2003; and Hathaway, 2004). A symposium of the International Astronomical Union [2004] concluded that it is the Sun that was chiefly responsible for the warming of the late 20th century.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/an_open_letter_from_the_viscou_1.html

Danish Alarmist asked to apologize for using incorrectly using Greenland glacier as “proof” of global warming – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: Connie Hedegaard (Danish Climate minister) was asked to apologise to the 21 world leaders she “tricked” into believing that the gletcher retreat was caused by AGW, but she says she will carry on showing the “effects of global warming”. From Nature.Com Published online: 28 September 2008: Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters by David M. Holland1, Robert H. Thomas2, Brad de Young3, Mads H. Ribergaard4 & Bjarne Lyberth5 Observations over the past decades show a rapid acceleration of several outlet glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica1. One of the largest changes is a sudden switch of Jakobshavn Isbræ, a large outlet glacier feeding a deep-ocean fjord on Greenland’s west coast, from slow thickening to rapid thinning2 in 1997, associated with a doubling in glacier velocity3………..Here we present hydrographic data that show a sudden increase in subsurface ocean temperature in 1997 along the entire west coast of Greenland, suggesting that the changes in Jakobshavn Isbræ were instead triggered by the arrival of relatively warm water originating from the Irminger Sea near Iceland.

http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1967

Solar activity the primary driver of global temperature rise – By Dr. Kelvin Kemm, formerly a scientist at South Africa’s Atomic Energy Corporation – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: The period of global warming that we have experienced on our planet over the last century, which has seen a rise in temperature of some 0,6 oC, does not correlate at all with a rise in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), but is does correlate with solar activity. Indications are that solar activity is the primary driver of the variation in global temperature. Even more compelling is the fact that there exists a well-documented Roman Warm period from the time of the Roman Caesars, and a Medieval Warm Period, both of which correlate with solar activity, but certainly can have nothing whatever to do with CO2 produced by any human industrial activities.

http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1965

Church of Global Warming: Hydro-climatologist accuses scientists of making ‘spectacular leaps of faith’ for ‘doctrine of climate change’ – Hydro-climatologist Stewart – September 12, 2008

By Hydro-climatologist Stewart Franks, an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Newcastle in Australia whose research has focused flood and drought risk and seasonal climate prediction. Franks is president-elect of the International Commission on the Coupled Land – Atmosphere System. Franks is featured in the U.S. Senate report of over 400 – now over 500 and growing dissenting scientists – More than 10 times number of UN IPCC scientists who worked on Summary for Policy Makers – See: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport ]

Excerpt: Numerous politicians, environmentalists and especially scientists have made spectacular leaps of faith in their adherence to the doctrine of climate change over recent years, too many to document here. However, the most literally fantastic claim on climate change must go to Kevin Rudd, who has guaranteed that rainfall will decline over coming decades; one can only assume he’s based his view on deficient climate models and bad advice. […]  Given the uncertainty of El Nino and La Nina behaviour, one clearly cannot predict the future. There is no direct evidence of CO2 impacts on the drought, nor is there any rational basis for predicting rainfall in 30 years time. One just hopes that sensible and sustainable management from our leaders will enable struggling rural communities to weather the vagaries of climatic and political extremes.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24331854-7583,00.html

Skeptical AUSTRALIAN CLIMATE SCIENCE COALITION LAUNCHES

Excerpt: AUSTRALIAN CLIMATE SCIENCE COALITION LAUNCHES Announcing the official launch of the Australian Climate Science Coalition (ACSC). Over the weekend, guests at the Australian Environment Foundation’s (AEF’s) third Annual Conference were among the first to be introduced to the newly formed coalition.

With its mission to promote open scientific debate on the causes of climate change, the ACSC has been formed by a group of professional people interested in encouraging continued scientific research into the world’s climate and, in particular, into the effects of increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

http://www.auscsc.org.au/images/PDF/climatesciencelaunch.pdf

R.I.P. carbon tax, a bad idea badly sold – The Hill Times, October 20th, 2008
Excerpt: Carbon tax anyone? It was a bad idea and badly sold – Yet newsroom enthusiasts promoted the carbon tax with platitudes plucked from campaign literature. As backdrop there was global warming and ‘catastrophic predictions from a sometimes hysterical mass media,’ as The Mennonite Brethren Herald put it. Displaying start of article containing 959 words – R.I.P. carbon tax, a bad idea badly sold. It is in the graveyard of doomed political schemes alongside national daycare (died in 2006), Senate reform (1993) and tax-deductible mortgages (1980). With Stéphane Dion as its spokesman it never had a chance. “The man has the charisma of Jell-O,” sighed The Chatham Daily News.

http://www.thehilltimes.ca/members/login.php?fail=2&destination=/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=2008/october/20/korksi/&c=2

Seattle to Fund Climate Change Art – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: What a waste of cash.  I hope all the residents of Seattle call your mayor about this one.  The city of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in conjunction with Seattle Public Utilities, is hosting a competition for artists in Washington state to submit art to bring attention to global warming and its effects on water supply and drainage utilities.  From the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs web page: “in 2007, the city invested nearly $1.7 million to support 243 artists and cultural organizations.”  So the city would rather spent your tax money on starving artists to create scenes of doom-and-gloom instead of spending the cash on something that may solve the problem if it even exists?  That, my friends, is a government that has stretched its tentacles too far into your lives.

http://www.skepticsglobalwarming.com/global-warming-myth/government-intervention/seattle-fund-climate-change-art

Carbon Dioxide Regulation Under the Clean Air Act – Heartland Institute

Excerpt: At time when the financial markets are crashing and a downturn in the economy looms, this plan will end free enterprise as we know it. It is bad for American taxpayers and a blow to democracy.

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Carbon_Dioxide_Regulation_Under_the_Clean_Air_Act.pdf

Mind-Reader Morano [Edward John Craig] – Monday, October 20, 2008 – National Review’s – Planet Gore

Excerpt: I was just about to post another National Post item — this one, from Lorne Gunter — when it popped in from Marc Morano. An excerpt below . . . […]Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, “It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling,” as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an “almost exact correlation” between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost “no correlation at all with CO2.”

http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzE0NzczMzY0NDg0ZGVkZmQ0OGQ0M2Q2MzkzNzQwYzU=

Our Orwellian Future? –  Meteorologist Art Horn on Icecap.US

Excerpt: Barack Obama has let it be known that he will allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon Dioxide as a dangerous pollutant if elected president. Last years supreme court ruling makes this possible. The court ruled that the EPA may use the Clear Air Act of 1990 to regulate carbon dioxide as “pollution”. This was of course a terrible ruling. Carbon dioxide is essential for life on earth as we know it. If carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere fall below about 200 parts per million trees stop growing and agriculture grinds to a halt. Carbon dioxide is plant food. If you own a greenhouse and you want your plants to glow faster you pump in three times as much carbon dioxide as exists in the air, up to 1000 parts per million. Something in the air that brings life to the world is not pollution.

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/our_orwellian_future/

Advocacy Journalism! – Green Journalism At Society of Environmental Journalists Conventions

Excerpt: The Society of Environmental Journalists conducts its annual conference this week in Roanoke, Va., and the best thing that can be said about it is that this bunch won’t be on the beat somewhere trying to report something — especially about global warming. But then again these journalists couldn’t call it that since the planet’s mean surface temperature has not increased over the last eleven years. Instead they’ve adopted the catchall identifier used by their fellow alarmism activists: “climate change.” It’s all over SEJ’s web page for members, which they call “A guide to the information and disinformation.” This is allegedly where they tell their members how to do a fair and balanced job.

http://www.spectator.org/archives/2008/10/16/green-journalism

More Skeptics Speaking Out Almost Daily – Officials Should Look Deeper At Climate Change – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: Number of Dissenting Scientists Rapidly Increases As Earth Fails To Warm! For sampling of recent views of man-made global warming dissenters also see this October 2008 report: More Skeptics Speaking Out Almost Daily – http://icecap.us/images/uploads/More_Skeptics_Speaking_Out_Almost_Daily.pdf

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/More_Skeptics_Speaking_Out_Almost_Daily.pdf

1) Another Prominent Dissenter: ‘Earth has Cooled Since 1998’ – ‘in defiance of the predictions by the UN-IPCC’ – October 14, 2008 (Climatologist Dr. Richard  Keen) (LINK)

2) Another Dissenter: Finnish Scientist who was former Greenpeace member says ‘no proof’ CO2 is driving global temps! – October 10, 2008

http://www.factsandarts.com/articles/no-significant-global-warming-since-1995/ & http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/5582

3) Another Dissenter: Chemist declares himself ‘skeptic’ – ‘No uncontrolled, runaway greenhouse effect has occurred in the last half billion years’ – June 2008

Chemist Dr. Kenneth Rundt, a bio-molecule researcher and formerly a research assistant and teacher at Abo Akademi University in Finland

http://www.factsandarts.com/articles/global-warming-man-made-or-naturalm/

4) Another Dissenter: We ‘do not know enough about the atmospheric changes’ to ‘draw any conclusions about global warming’ says Prof. Hocking

[ University of Western Ontario physics professor Wayne Hocking heads the Atmospheric Dynamics Group and co-editor of the 1990 book “The Earth’s Middle Atmosphere”

http://communications.uwo.ca/com/western_news/stories/global_warming_change_part_of_bigger_picture_20081009442923

5) Scientist: Climate fear promoters ‘woefully misinformed’ – September 27, 2008

[ Walter Starck is one of the pioneers in the scientific investigation of coral reefs. He grew up in the Florida Keys and received a PhD in marine science from the University of Miami in 1964

http://www.newsweekly.com.au/articles/2008sep27_g.html#

6) New Study: Algerian Scientist: ‘We think that natural climatic oscillations contribute more to earth climatic disturbances’ – Presented July 2008 at the Global Conference On Global Warming, July 6-10, 2008 in Istanbul, Turkey – By Prof. Ahmed Boucenna of the Physics Department and Science Faculty at Ferhat Abbas University in Setif, Algeria

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0808/0808.0897.pdf

7) Another Dissenter: Atmospheric Scientist says’It does not follow logically that CO2 emissions drive a warming trend’ – October 6, 2008

Charles Clough is an atmospheric scientist and was Chief of the Atmospheric Effects Team with the Department of the Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground from 1982 until 2006. Air Force serving as a meteorologist. He retired from the position as Chief of the Aberdeen Test Center Meteorology Team

http://www.dcexaminer.com/opinion/columns/guestcolumnists/Officials_should_look_deeper_at_climate_change.html

For a full report on the growing dissent see 2007/2008 U.S. Senate Report on over 400 (now 500 and growing) skeptics. See: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport ]

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CLIMATE SCIENCE IN AN ERA OF NEGATIVE DISCOVERY – PRESENTATION

October 7, 2008 (uploaded to ICSC site 20/10/08): Hear ICSC Executive Director Tom Harris’ presentation at the 13th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Waterborne Transportation (read excerpts from program).  View slides shown during the talk.

http://www.climatescienceinternational.org

Scientist develops software to understand aliens from outer space! – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: Alien Life Form is a software package that compares alien language sounds with those of 60 human languages in the hope that there is a common thread. John Elliott of Leeds Metropolitan University said his software will decipher the structure of their language and be the first step in understanding what any space creatures are saying.His theory is that even an alien language far removed from any on Earth is likely to have recognizable patterns that could help reveal how intelligent the life forms are.

http://www.itexaminer.com/scientist-develops-software-to-understand-aliens.aspx

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Marc Morano

Communications Director

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Inhofe Staff

202-224-5762

202-224-5167 (fax)

marc_morano@epw.senate.gov

www.epw.senate.gov

Defenders of Wildlife’s Partisan & Misleading Ads on Aerial Wolf Hunt

Follow up to Report Exposing Green Groups as Democratic Party ‘Machines’

This report is part of an ongoing oversight investigation into the funding and partisan political activities of environmental groups.

In September 2008, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund launched a graphic television ad condemning Senator McCain’s Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, and her support for aerial wolf hunting.  This ad has been both a virtual cash machine for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, as well as a targeted attack at one of their political adversaries.  The group claims to have raised $600,000 in the first six hours after the ad was released. To date they have raised a total of $1 million from the ad. [See September 25, 2008 report about the questionable political activities of environmental organizations that are often disguised as environmental causes. Inhofe Report Exposes Environmental Groups as ‘Massive Democratic Political Machines’]

Defenders of Wildlife’s 2005 IRS 990 form, the most recently available, shows the organization’s total revenue in 2005 was $1.7 million and total expenses were $2.1 million. With one political campaign ad, the organization has raised over half of their 2005 budget in less than one month. This is a significant source of income from a politically driven campaign.

The facts presented in the ad are questionable. Here is an excerpt from the ad:

    • “The more voters learn about Sarah Palin (R-AK), the less there is to like.  As Alaska governor, Sarah Palin actively promotes the brutal and unethical aerial hunting of wolves and other wildlife,” the narrator says.

    • “Using a low-flying plane, they kill in winter, when there is no way to escape.  Riddled with gunshots, biting at their backs in agony, they die a brutal death.  And Palin even encouraged the cruelty by proposing a $150 bounty for the severed foreleg of each killed wolf.  And then introduced a bill to make the killing easier,” the narrator says.  “Do we really want a vice president who champions such savagery?”

Though the ad is graphic, it provides an incomplete picture, and attempts to place doubts in voters’ minds about electing Sarah Palin as Vice President. The ad presents a clear example of environmental groups engaging in political activity, with only the veil of an environmental cause.

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund is registered as a 501(c)(4), operating as a tax- exempt organization. Unlike 501(c)(3) organizations, donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax deductible. Under the scope of promoting the general welfare, the 501(c)(4) organizations can engage in political activities with fewer restrictions than a 501(c)(3). For example, a 501(c)(4)’s general lobbying efforts are almost unlimited.  Additionally, a 501(c)(4) can promote a candidate for office, as long as campaigning is not the organization’s primary purpose according to the IRS.

It appears Defenders of Wildlife’s purpose is political campaigning. From looking at the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund IRS Form 990’s and their publicly available information on their website, it is not clear that they spend any of the money they raise on behalf of wolves actually helping wolf populations.

‘Replace Problem Officials’ in DC

The group’s own website highlights their political activities, stating that the organization focuses on stopping the alleged anti-conservation policies of the Bush administration and, in the past, the alleged anti-conservation policies of the Congress. It educates the public about the legislative records of members of Congress through its Conservation Report Card. According to their website, the group lobbies to defeat bad policies and enact good ones, and runs public education campaigns designed to hold Representatives and Senators accountable for their actions.

Rodger Schlickeisen, CEO of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, says it best, “In this political era, the worst enemy of responsible environmental protection and conservation continues to be our elected leaders in Washington. It is not enough for the environmental community to focus on persuading elected officials to be good stewards of our land, air and water; it must hold accountable and replace problem officials themselves [emphasis added]. The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund does just that.”

Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund receives an IRS tax-exempt status, despite the fact that the group is dedicated to “replac[ing] problem officials” – those they do not agree with.  These basic facts raise the question of how an organization can generate so much of its funds from political campaigns and make political statements and NOT be primarily focused on political campaigning. According to the IRS, 501(c)(4)s can promote a candidate, as long as campaigning is not the organization’s primary purpose.

Defenders of Wildlife is not acting in isolation as these types of activities have become quite common among many environmental organizations.

The recently released funding report, which focused on the financial intricacies and political ties of major environmental activist groups, found a number of incidents where activities were questionable and the trail of money were tied closely to inherently political activities. [See: Inhofe Report Exposes Environmental Groups as ‘Massive Democratic Political Machines’] Many of these organizations are registered as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) non-profit groups but are clearly and substantial involved in partisan politics.

Because the IRS does not require 501(c) organizations to detail election spending or to list contributors, it is difficult to track their political activity.

Defenders of Wildlife appears to be far more interested in partisan politics than environmental causes. Stay tuned for further investigations of this growing problem in the coming days and weeks.

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Related Link:

Inhofe Report Exposes Environmental Groups as ‘Massive Democratic Political Machines’ – September 25, 2008

# # #

Marc Morano

Communications Director

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Inhofe Staff

202-224-5762

202-224-5167 (fax)

marc_morano@epw.senate.gov

www.epw.senate.gov