The answer to 1984... is 1776

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


(EDITORS NOTE: This bloomberg article tries to tie in RAND PAUL with the tea party. don't be fooled. he's against wars of aggresion and he's FOR the constitution, Sarah Palin has no chance thank god.)

By John McCormick and Catherine Dodge

May 18 (Bloomberg) -- Rand Paul, a favorite of the Tea Party, won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, demonstrating the movement’s ability to convert anger toward Washington into a political win.

In other races today, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was seeking to overcome anti-incumbent sentiment in his primary race for re-nomination, as was two-term Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln. Early returns from the Associated Press showed each was locked in tight contests

Results from primaries in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Arkansas will collectively offer a broad measurement of the mood of voters ahead of this November’s midterm elections.

Paul, 47, defeated Secretary of State Trey Grayson, 38, who was backed by Kentucky’s Republican establishment, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

An ophthalmologist and son of Representative Ron Paul of Texas, Paul called the mandate of his victory “huge,” as he embraced Tea Party activists and their quest to promote a limited-government agenda.

‘Day of Reckoning’

“Washington is horribly broken,” he said in his victory speech tonight. “We are encountering a day of reckoning and this movement, this Tea Party movement, is a message to Washington that we’re unhappy and that we want things done differently.”

Paul was winning 59 percent of the vote, while Grayson had about 34 percent, with about 90 percent of precincts reporting, according to AP.

Specter, 80, was running against Representative Joe Sestak, 58, who has questioned Specter’s commitment to Democratic causes.

Last year, Specter switched parties and, at the time, gave Democrats the crucial 60th vote needed to thwart Republican stalling tactics in the chamber.

Lincoln, 49, faced a primary challenge from Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, 49, who has been supported by labor unions and the liberal activist group

Halter gained favor among Democratic activists when Lincoln in March voted against landmark health-care-overhaul legislation. Since then, Lincoln pushed a derivatives provision into the financial-overhaul bill before Congress that would require commercial banks to wall off their swaps-trading desks. It has been among the bill’s most contentious issues.

Possible Runoff

The presence of a third primary candidate, businessman D.C. Morrison, may force a June 8 runoff between the two top finishers if nobody wins at least 50 percent of today vote.

A Specter or Lincoln loss would be the third for a congressional incumbent in less than two weeks and underscore potential difficulties for lawmakers in both parties in November’s general election. The Utah state Republican convention’s May 8 vote ended three-term Senator Bob Bennett’s re-nomination bid. Democratic Representative Alan Mollohan, a 14-term incumbent from West Virginia, lost in a May 11 primary.

With nationwide unemployment at 9.9 percent, Republicans are hoping voter discontent will enable them in November to reduce Democratic House and Senate majorities -- or perhaps take control of one or both chambers. Democrats control the Senate, 59-41, and the House, 254-177.

Special House Election

Another race that could offer insight into the midterm elections is in a coal-mining area of western Pennsylvania, where a special election was held today for the House seat vacated by the death of Democratic Representative John Murtha. The district is the kind of setting Republicans will need to win in November, if they are to take control of the House.

Democrats have about a 2-to-1 advantage in voter registration in the district, where Mark Critz, 48, a Murtha aide, and Republican businessman Tim Burns, 42, are battling. The district is the only one in the nation where 2004 Democratic presidential nominee Senator John Kerry won and where Obama lost in 2008.

In the Pennsylvania Senate primary, Pat Toomey, a former congressman, won the Republican nomination.

When Specter switched parties in April 2009, he said his decision was based in part on his slim prospects of winning the Republican nomination in 2010. At the time of the switch, President Barack Obama pledged to back his re-election. Specter used the president in his advertising, although Obama didn’t campaign in the state in the race’s closing days.

Obama in Ohio

As voters were casting their ballots, the president flew over Pennsylvania on his way to an event highlighting the administration’s efforts on the economy. He made no mention of the primaries during his appearance today in Youngstown, Ohio.

Paul will be the favorite in Republican-leaning Kentucky this November to fill the seat of retiring Republican Jim Bunning. His father once ran for president as the Libertarian Party candidate and, as a Republican House member, for years has sought the abolishment of the Federal Reserve. McConnell has said he will support the party’s nominee.

Paul had the backing of 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, as well as that of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, a Republican who is donating funds to more conservative candidates within the party.

Democrats in Kentucky picked between Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack Conway for their Senate nominee. Conway had a slim lead with about 90 percent of the vote counted, according to AP.

In Oregon, where term limits prevent Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski from running again, voters are selecting Democratic and Republican candidates for that office. The nine- candidate Republican field includes Chris Dudley, a former National Basketball Association player for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Is the War in Afghanistan Justified by 9/11?

By David Ray Griffin

Posted May 03, 2010

“Whereas it is widely recognized that the US-led war in Afghanistan is illegal under international law, because it was never authorized by the UN Security Council, most Americans have believed that it was morally justified as a response to the 9/11 attacks, and many believe it is still justified as a necessary means to prevent another attack originating from that region. My lecture will present evidence showing that both of these beliefs are untrue, so that the 9/11 Truth Movement and more traditional Peace and Anti-War groups should be able to combine forces to oppose this illegal and immoral war.” - David Ray Griffin
David Ray Griffin speaks to a full house in Chicago, IL on April 27, 2010
(Part 1)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gulf Oil Leaks Could Gush for Years

Christine Dell'Amore
Published May 13, 2010
If efforts fail to cap the leaking Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico (map), oil could gush for years—poisoning coastal habitats for decades, experts say.

(See satellite pictures of the Gulf oil spill's evolution.)
Last week the joint federal-industry task force charged with managing the spill tried unsuccessfully to lower a 93-ton containment dome (pictures) over one of three ruptures in the rig's downed pipe.
Crystals of methane hydrates in the freezing depths clogged an opening on the box, preventing it from funneling the spouting oil up to a waiting ship.
Watch video of the failed attempt to cap the leaking pipe.

Yesterday a smaller dome was laid on the seafloor near the faulty well, and officials will attempt to install the structure later this week.
But such recovery operations have never been done before in the extreme deep-sea environment around the wellhead, noted Matthew Simmons, retired chair of the energy-industry investment banking firm Simmons & Company International.
For instance, at the depth of the gushing wellhead—5,000 feet (about 1,500 meters)—containment technologies have to withstand pressures of up to 40,000 pounds per square inch (about 28,100 kilograms per square meter), he said.
Also, slant drilling—a technique used to relieve pressure near the leak—is difficult at these depths, because the relief well has to tap into the original pipe, a tiny target at about 7 inches (18 centimeters) wide, Simmons noted.
"We don't have any idea how to stop this," Simmons said of the Gulf leak. Some of the proposed strategies—such as temporarily plugging the leaking pipe with a jet of golf balls and other material—are a "joke," he added.
"We really are in unprecedented waters."
Gulf Oil Reservoir Bleeding Dry
If the oil can't be stopped, the underground reservoir may continue bleeding until it's dry, Simmons suggested.
The most recent estimates are that the leaking wellhead has been spewing 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons, or 795,000 liters) of oil a day.
And the oil is still flowing robustly, which suggests that the reserve "would take years to deplete," said David Rensink, incoming president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
"You're talking about a reservoir that could have tens of millions of barrels in it."
At that rate, it's possible the Gulf oil spill's damage to the environment will have lingering effects akin to those of the largest oil spill in history, which happened in Saudi Arabia in 1991, said Miles Hayes, co-founder of the science-and-technology consulting firm Research Planning, Inc., based in South Carolina.
During the Gulf War, the Iraqi military intentionally spilled up to 336 million gallons (about 1.3 billion liters) of oil into the Persian Gulf (map) to slow U.S. troop advances, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Hayes was part of a team that later studied the environmental impacts of the spill, which impacted about 500 miles (800 kilometers) of Saudi Arabian coastline.
The scientists discovered a "tremendous" amount of oiled sediment remained on the Saudi coast 12 years after the spill—about 3 million cubic feet (856,000 cubic meters). (See "Exxon Valdez Anniversary: 20 Years Later, Oil Remains.")
Oil Spills Create Toxic Marshes
Perhaps most sobering for the marsh-covered U.S. Gulf Coast, the 2003 report found that the Saudi oil spill was most toxic to the region's marshes and mud flats.
Up to 89 percent of the Saudi marshes and 71 percent of the mud flats had not bounced back after 12 years, the team discovered. (See pictures of freshwater plants and animals.)
"It was amazing to stand there and look across what used to be a salt marsh and it was all dead—not even a live crab," Hayes said.
Saudi and U.S. Gulf Coast marshes aren't exactly the same—Saudi marshes sit in saltier waters, and the Middle Eastern climate is more arid, for example. "But to some extent they serve the same ecological function, which is extremely important," he said.
As the nurseries for much of the sea life in the Gulf of Mexico, coastal marshes are vital to the ecosystem and the U.S. seafood industry.
It's also much harder to remove oil from coastal marshes, since some management techniques—such as controlled burns—are more challenging in those environments, said Texas Tech University ecotoxicologist Ron Kendall.
"Once it gets in there, we're not getting it out," he said. (See pictures of ten animals threatened by the Gulf oil spill.)
Gulf Coast Should "Plan for the Worst"
Depth isn't the only factor that can stymie attempts to plug an oil leak.
The 1979 Ixtoc oil spill, also in the Gulf of Mexico, took nine months to cap. During that time the well spewed 140 million gallons (530 million liters) of oil—and the Ixtoc well was only about 160 feet (49 meters) deep, noted retired energy investment banker Simmons.
Efforts to contain the Ixtoc leak were complicated by poor visibility in the water and debris from the wrecked rig on the seafloor.
Also, the high pressure of oil in the well ruptured valves in the blowout preventer, a device designed to automatically cap an out-of-control-well. Recovery workers had to drill relief wells nearby before divers could cap the leak.
(See "Rig Explosion Shows Risks in Key Oil Frontier.")
In general, Simmons added, officials scrambling to cap the Deepwater Horizon well should be working just as hard to protect the shorelines in what could become a protracted event.
"We have to hope for the best," he said, "but plan for the worst."