Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Assad is not going anywhere. The best for Syria will be to organize a power sharing government. The more the Shi'ites are attacked the worst it gets. Action vs Reaction. The only thing the Islamic State has accomplished is to create counter threats from other ethnicities. To proceed with anything besides a power sharing government in Syria is completely foolish.

The proximity of threat is too real to ignore. All ethnicities in the Middle East need to believe they are safe. The Islamic State can't stand as any type of power they pose to great a threat to allow any peaceful agreement.

The power sharing government will create stability for the Sunnis. The reason the uprising occurred in the first place in Syria was because the Sunnis have a strong majority.

For the first time, the Sunnis, Kurds and Shi'ites have a lot in common.

There is a 40 percent population of Shia in Yemen. I wonder if the surprise attack of the Islamic State has motivated Shia populations to have control.

There is a segment of the Shia in Yemen in Sana'a. This is new for them. They have been very passive to the events in Yemen before this. 

There are large Shia population throughout the region and the world. They often have many denominations in any single population. I can't help but wonder if the surprise of the attacks by the Islamic State has awoken them to a new reality.

The denomination in Sana'a are the Isma'il Shia.(click here)

So. While Europe and The West react to the surprise of the Islamic State the reaction within the Arab communities is probably very profound. I remember the reaction of the Shi'ites in southern Iraq. They were alarmed and immediately were willing to take up arms.

I think The West is missing 'the proximity' issue when realizing the power struggles currently being carried out. The Shi'ites are finished with being passive. They have been threatened for the last time. 

The denominations within the Shi'ite faithful divide primarily along Imams. I don't believe the denominations see each other as a threat or enemy, just different. 

Presidential leadership is fairly new on a timeline. Yemen has had a president since 1990. That isn't enough to instill confidence in comparison to an Imam.

Ready for this? There was a Shia Calphate. The Fatimid Caliphate. This is the map of the Fatimid Caliphate. It goes through Sana'a. The Shi'ites are looking to protecting themselves based in the Imam's power and a possible return of the old caliphate. There is no war that will solve this. 

Weak sovereignties are going to fall. Their faith is stronger than their belief in democracy or any government, especially Yemen. Get the Americans out of there. Close the embassy. Yemen is too fluid to stop this.

There is a barrier between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. (click here) It has been there a long time. The barrier was put in place to protect from extremists attacks. I would not expect Saudi Arabia to have problems, the Yemenis are too busy finding their way. The barrier is more or less a geographical reference point not really a method of preventing crossings. It defines the border.

Go home, Ms. Ernst, the piggies are waiting for their castration.

Joni Ernst thinks President Obama was SHARING? Give me a break. "Sharing is caring."

What does her history have to do with the USA's problems?

Evidently, the Simpsons have heard about bread bags on feet, too. 

There are no good jobs on the Keystone Pipeline unless it is the one that already exists which needs better pipe.

It wasn't unusual for Moms to put bread bags on their children's feet under their boots to keep their feet dry when they went out to play. I know because my mother did that.

Well, let's hope all Americans are safe from bread bag terrorism. 

I can't believe she went there and now she is smiling about the great men and women in our military. I don't think they use bread bags these days. It is more like body armor.

She is a wacko. I used to work with my daddy to plow the ground and used a divining rod for water.

President Obama's speech is focusing on quality of life and the esteem of the USA internationally.

His two strongest domestic programs is opening up Community Colleges for everyone and supporting the Middle Class with tax deductions for child care. The support the Middle Class gets will provide buyers to the housing market and that is our goal.

The trade deal he wants with Asia have merits so long as they are building their own Middle Class. That is not a requirement in the TPP. We have witnessed many instances where workers are at risk for death because of substandard working conditions and poor pay. I don't see the USA consenting to any of that in a trade partnership.

Mars scares me. I don't believe it will go well. NASA provides little insight to their preparedness and expectations. In the past NASA has been under enormous pressures to perform, I hope that isn't the case in regard to Mars. I disagree the Mars expedition is a one way trip. I don't see it that way.

Loopholes have always been a place where Republicans like to focus their votes, so let's get it done.

I like the pencil applause. Europe has always been in a more precarious position than the USA or North America really regarding terrorism. I do believe the current threats and the round up of those planning violence was to be a tipping point. It was going to happen anyway. It was a strong and determined Europe that changed their fate. I am proud to be their ally. 

Europe was too pliable by culture and it was easy to prey on it. Europe is different today and while we all long for the soft and welcoming culture there is also very important security values that have to come first. 

It is time for Cuba. I was pleased Pope Francis worked to bring this chapter of tensions to a close.

The reading on 'the pulse' began to dive with the discussion of Cuba. The American people don't like to think about foreign policy. 

Sorry, we part company on intelligence. I think it got lazy. Computers came to be the focus of our intelligence and that was a huge mistake. Focusing on computers has increased invasion of privacy and prevents nothing.

Africa needs respect for life. The poverty that besets Africa is systemic. It is time for the United Nations to re-evaluate the problems of Africa. Policies haven't lifted them out of poverty or away from violence. Africa deserves global attention to correct it's path.

I think he has the picture regarding the Climate Crisis. It is nothing but bad news. Why First World leaders look the other way is beyond understanding. President Obama has begun profound global leadership when he brought China to an agreement with the USA. Republicans have pointed a finger at China for over a decade starting with George W. Bush. Bush set up a new monitoring station in California to specifically monitor pollution from China. It is time for the Republicans to move forward as President Obama has committed the USA as a partner with China to stem the emissions of greenhouse gases. 

The time to close Gitmo is long past. Gitmo is a recruitment tool.

Yemen’s capital, (click here) Sana’a, appeared to have fallen to Shia rebels on Tuesday, after militants overran the presidential palace and secured control of most other state institutions after two days of deadly clashes.
The fate of the country’s elected president, Abed Mansour Hadi, remained unclear, as the rebels, known as Houthis, rampaged through the city. Hadi was believed to be barricaded in his home in another part of Sana’a, which was being shelled throughout the evening.

I have yet to understand how al Qaeda is assigned as a strong force in Yemen. Al Qaeda is not Shia.

We have all had enough of war, President Obama.

Ah, the ill repair of the political condition in the USA. Good luck. We don't even have Republicans willing to protect the people of this country from air and water pollution. We don't have a Republican from Alaska willing to realize the deadly damage of the Climate Crisis. I admire the President's insight, but, they don't care and I don't expect that to change soon.

Hate is still on the ballot, President Obama.  

Family members are questioning (click here) the death of a 95-year-old WWII U.S. Air Corps sergeant who killed by cops at an assisted living center last month after resisting medical treatment.

It wasn't bad enough a 95 year old man was killed when hit with bean bags from police, but, the right wing media has to march this incident out as racism because there was no black media making this an issue. This didn't the help, but, the fact everyone wasn't up in arms it was a race issue because right wing media demands equal representation to erase their guilt.

"I know because I won both of them."

Oh, yes, you did.  

Let's get this out of the way.

To begin, Senator Feinstein has always voted to support the USPS, never once saw the benefit to dismantle it. There is absolutely no conflict of interest. Many times, brilliant women are married to successful men. I am happy about this simply because I know the buildings will result in a good price for the land which will benefit the post office. If a Republican was involved, it would be conflict of interest and they'd be giving the buildings away to cronies as worthless.

Nice couple.
It was recently learned that the United States has entered into a contract with one firm to sell 56 buildings that currently house U.S. Post Offices. The government has decided that it no longer needs these buildings (many of which are located on prime land in towns and cities across the country).

The sale of these properties will bring in billions of dollars and, with that, millions of dollars in commissions for the one Company that is in charge of handling the sale and negotiation of the new leases.

What makes this such a matter of concern is that the company that the Government has contracted with to conduct the sales (and the corresponding leases for the new locations of the displaced post offices) is owned by Richard Blum.

Does that name mean anything to you? Maybe it should
re-phrased and say that the person who owns the company that is solely in charge of this multi-million-dollar transaction is Richard Blum the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Chicago needs to sue both the Koch Brothers and federal EPA.

15,400 metric pounds of pet(roleum) coke per day.

KCBX owned by Koch Brothers.

October 18, 2013
By Meleah Geertman's Blog

... Petroleum coke (click here) is a waste product of oil refining; refining tar sands, in turn, produces significantly more pet coke than refining lighter crudes. For example, the pet coke production at BP’s Whiting Refinery, which is undergoing a nearly $4 billion expansion to enable tar sands refining, will go from about 700,000 tons per year to over 2 million annually. All of this waste has to go somewhere – and that somewhere is in communities throughout the Midwest and elsewhere, en route to dirty power plants in the U.S. and overseas....

This is a perfect example of the crony priorities of the current majority Republican Party. They are promising bipartisan participation in their legislative priorities, but, Democratic amendments including the use only of USA steel in the pipeline are defeated. 

The Republicans are paying the Koch Brothers back for their political donations.

Once the City of Chicago files lawsuits, there will be many others that will join in. This is typical of Republicans, their garbage is dumped among the most vulnerable in the USA that have no ability to fight the industrial abuse.

Update as of 3:55 p.m. EST: The Senate (click here) voted Tuesday to table two of three amendments to a pro-Keystone XL pipeline bill. A proposal from Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to require U.S. iron and steel be used to build the pipeline failed by a vote of 54-46. Senators voted 57-42 to kill an amendment from Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., which would have mandated that all oil shipped via the Keystone XL be excluded for export. However, a third proposal from Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., passed by a vote of 94-5. The measure promotes energy efficiency in commercial and federal buildings....

July 26, 2014
By Michael Hawthorne

Escalating a fight with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a company that stores enormous mounds of petroleum coke on Chicago's Southeast Side is threatening to sue unless city officials allow the gritty piles to remain uncovered for another four years....

The Koch Brothers wants to sue Chicago regarding the city's new regulations to improve air and water quality currently making citizens ill. It is all too obvious why the Koch Brothers put their monies where they do. Democrats can't be bought.

KCBX Terminals, (click here) a firm controlled by industrialists Charles and David Koch, is pushing to delay the construction of storage sheds for two years past a 2016 deadline imposed by the Emanuel administration in response to complaints about black dust blowing into surrounding neighborhoods.
The company also wants to raise the maximum height of its piles to 45 feet rather than the 30-foot limit required under new city regulations, according to documents filed by KCBX that seek several exemptions, known as variances, from the Chicago Department of Public Health.
"If the department denies the variances, KCBX's only recourse would be to challenge the department in court," the company's lawyers wrote in an 88-page request that repeatedly describes the Emanuel rules as an "unreasonable hardship."
KCBX is in the midst of dramatically expanding its storage of petroleum coke, or petcoke, from the nearby BP refinery in Whiting and other refineries across the Midwest. State officials last year cleared the way for the company to handle up to 11 million tons a year of petcoke and coal at its sprawling open-air terminal off Burley Avenue between 108th and 111th streets....

The Democrats are not playing politics and pandering to cronies, this health risk is real and the Dems want real solutions. This is not about votes, although the morality within the actions of the Dems will draw attention by those so inclined to care for those unable to care for themselves. This is not pandering for votes. These are real lives and Koch Industries disregards their importance to this country. The Kochs don't care about the lives they impact, they care about wealth and power and more of both, at any cost.

Lisa Murkowski states it is important to bring these amendments to the Senate floor to debate. There is no debate anywhere else in the entire world regarding the CURRENT dangers of greenhouse gases, except, in the US Senate. The Republicans in the US Senate are bought and paid for. It is obvious and they threaten the global climate because of the dollars that are important to them,

Oh, what a joke. Murkowski states the USA has to be economically secure through the exploitation of fossil fuels, Is that a joke or what? Current costs of the climate crisis in the world is causing economic insecurity. Either Murkowski is completely disinterested in the truth or she can't give up the money. Her own Alaskan Native Americans have lost vast amounts of lands because of the melting. So, who does she represent, those in Alaska or those that back her voluntary corruption for the benefits of profits?

The TPP is at the top of the list for passage through the USA legislative process.

There is one reason to promote the TPP that sincerely bothered me. It is being stated, the TPP will position the USA with Asian countries to effect the national defense of the USA. In other words, a strong economic venue for the USA with 20 countries or so will diminish any threat.

Sounds good, right? But, the method of securing those dynamics is to provide munitions to Taiwan, including submarines, while adding Taiwan to the TPP as a sovereign country. That is not USA policy and places Taiwan in the lens of danger. Taiwan should not be a threat to China. The USA has a One China Policy. 

Those statements were made on a panel at the Heritage Foundation. The Neocons are on the loose. 

President Obama has been promoting better relations with all these countries without tying a national defense and/or Wall Street scheme to that relationship. The TPP is a mistake. The WTO already exists and should not be subverted by Wall Street. 

Countries go through a rigorous process to become a member of the WTO, why do we need anything else?

September 20, 2015
By Siri Srinivas

The Trans Pacific Partnership (click here) is a trade agreement so significant and important, its details can’t be disclosed.
The TPP, sure to make an appearance during tonight’s State of the Union, is a 21st-century trade agreement involving 11 Asian countries along the Pacific Rim, and said to cover 40% of the world’s economy.
The TPP is a subject close to the heart – and the economic plans – of President Obama. In a November trip to Beijing, he urged other world leaders to finalize the agreement, calling it a “high priority” that would strengthen American leadership in the Asia-Pacific region and lead to growth, investment and job prospects for more workers.
The administration has argued that the deal will allow lower tariffs for American exports, in an environment of increasing competition, especially from China. Obama is also touting the deal as a boon for small businesses. When 98% of the US’s exporters are small businesses, new trade partnerships will help them create even more jobs, he proclaimed in last year’s State of the Union address. “Listen, China and Europe are not standing on the sidelines. Neither should we.”...

The next outing for Republican presidential candidates is with Koch.

The first stop in the primaries was with Sheldon Adelson, but, the Kochs won't be undone as the most corruption corporation to effect American elections.

Democrats would not ever conceive of such an idea, yet alone consent to it. Candidates are responsible for their own fund raising. The reason this methodology is so corrupt is because elections are suppose to highlight the candidates people willingly donate funds to further their campaigns.

When Republicans over reach with this as an example, it negates the voters and establishes a "Election for Sale" paradigm. The more monies poured into elections the more likely the election will reflect that investment into buying Congressional and in this case presidential votes and vetoes.

January 20, 2015
...An invitation-only group of 2016 hopefuls (click here) will travel to a resort near Palm Springs, Calif., for the Koch brothers’ annual winter seminar, kicking off the so-called Koch primary.
“What they’ve built is incredibly impressive,” said Phil Cox, who has worked for the Koch-affiliated group Americans for Prosperity and recently served as executive director of the Republican Governors Association under Mr. Christie as chairman. “The invitation to the seminar is a big deal. It’s important entree to those donors and potential donors, and having Charles or David or other leaders in the network say good things about any particularly candidate at one of these seminars is a big deal.”
Mr. Cruz, Mr. Paul and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida have all received invitations to the event and are expected to attend. Other invited Republicans include Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, who is not expected to make it because of a scheduling conflict.
Unlike groups on the left like the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the Kochs do not hand out traditional endorsements. But their network spans roughly 300 donors, many of whom are wealthy business owners and entrepreneurs, and allows candidates to tap individuals who are conservative but not part of the traditional Republican donor establishment. In 2012, Americans for Prosperity spent more than $120 million in an effort to defeat President Obama and congressional Democrats....

This is unconstitutional and I don't care what the Robert's Court states. This directly removes the voter and replaces it with huge funding machines to influence the outcomes of elections.

I really feel bad for US Senators that don't have their facts straight.

US Senator Hoven from North Dakota. "If the USA doesn't build the KXL then Canada will ship the oil to China." So, what? There is nothing to say Canada won't export to China anyway. They are already building a pipeline to their west coast.

And this is from the Republican coveted "Wall Street Journal." 

April 12, 2015
CALGARY— Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (click here) said Thursday it will begin a $5 billion expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, nearly tripling the capacity of crude oil it can ship to Canada's west coast—the latest project aimed at moving the country's rising oil production to markets outside the U.S....

The reason TransCanada wants to make it to the USA's refineries in the south is due to their status as "Free Trade Zones." That status is to sell internationally TAX FREE.

Now a word from the Progressive side of the aisle.

...Canada doesn’t have nearly enough oil to fill (click here) existing pipelines going to the United States. However, existing Canadian oil pipelines all go to the Midwest, where the only buyer for their crude is the United States. Keystone XL would divert Canadian oil from refineries in the Midwest to the Gulf Coast where it can be refined and exported. Many of these refineries are in free trade zones where oil may be exported to international buyers without paying U.S. taxes...

So, everyone, should get their facts straight. The KXL has nothing to do with providing domestic oil to the USA, it is completely about skirting the international structure in regard to oil sales. Otherwise, why build it? There are plenty of other pipelines. Far too many actually.

Setting aside the huge environmental burden this pipeline would provide, the real question is; "What will this pipeline do to international relationships with the USA?" The KXL is about cheating. That doesn't play well in international relations.

The final destination of the KXL is Port Arthur and Houston in Texas.

This is the law:

§ 81c. Exemption from customs laws of merchandise brought into foreign trade zone (click here)

This is the reason for the law:

The FTZ program encourages U.S.-based operations by removing certain disincentives associated with manufacturing in the United States (click here) 

There are several Foreign Trade Zones in Port Arthur and Houston, Texas. (click here)

The Republicans do not have their pulse on the nation in regard to Keystone XL.

The Washington Post has conducted a poll asking Americans if the review should be completed.

January 19, 2015
By Aaron Blake

...Just 34 percent of Americans say, (click here) 'Build it now.' An additional 61 percent are happy to allow the review process to play out.
Even among Republicans, 43 percent want the review to run its course. Just more than half -- 53 percent -- insist it's time to move forward....

The Keystone XL pipeline has become a political icon for the Republicans. It is important to their base and nothing else. 34 percent is the Republican base. Case in point. Republicans don't govern, they play politics the entire time they are in office. Cronies.

As much as Democrats get blamed for passing legislation that is political, nothing is farther from the truth. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was discussed for decades and when there were many Americans dying from lack of health care insurance it was time to act. 

The KXL is not necessary and endangers lives along it's route due to it's danger to the aquifer and the quality of life of Native Americans. This violates their values. They have a right to peaceful use of their lands.

January 20, 2015
By Emily Atkin

Nebraska landowners (click here) have launched two separate lawsuits that, if successful, could serve to delay or even stop the construction of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
The lawsuits, filed last week, represent Nebraska property owners’ second attempt to challenge the constitutionality of a law that gave the Keystone XL pipeline a legal route through the state and, by extension, their property. The landowners claim that TransCanada — the Canadian company that wants to build Keystone XL — made direct threats to use eminent domain and seize their land if they did not consent to having the pipeline run though it.
“We stand with landowners to protect property rights and a constitutional pipeline routing process,” said Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, a group that has been at the center of the state’s Keystone XL opposition movement. “While we fight to ensure TransCanada and the state of Nebraska do not run roughshod over farmers and ranchers, we also call upon President Obama to reject Keystone XL now.”
The law that is being challenged is called LB1161. The landowners say it is unconstitutional because it allows pipeline companies, like TransCanada, to bypass the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) when seeking approval of their route through the state and go directly to the Governor....

This pipeline is more evidence to the disregard by the American-Canadian petroleum industry. It ignored the glut of oil they were sending into the market place which allowed prices to collapse of the commodity. The truth be known, this industry should not be expanding it's footprint. There is no market for their products. The demand for oil has been shrinking which also speaks to fall in commodity price. They care nothing, but, money. Life is bigger than that.