Posted by: maboulette | August 27, 2014

STOP FRACKING IN OUR NATIONAL PARKS


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Big oil and gas companies will stop at nothing to frack American soil, and our favorite parks are no different. They are already fracking in some national forests like the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, and on lands next to National Parks like Sequoia and Kings Canyon in California.
Our national treasures should be protected, but the oil and gas industry wants to keep opening new areas to fracking. We’ve seen time and time again that they’ll cut corners at the expense of our health and the environment in order to turn a bigger profit. And our own government agencies openly admit that 40 percent of high risk wells on public lands are not even being inspected.

Fracking is inherently unsafe. We can’t rely on regulation to protect the water we drink, the air we breathe and the health of our communities. Ask your Senators and Representative to introduce a bill to ban fracking on public lands.

Our U.S. parks and public lands are truly precious. Not only do they give us a place to hike, swim and enjoy the great outdoors, many also protect critical drinking water sources. The George Washington National Forest in Virginia is home to the headwaters of the Potomac River, the primary source of drinking water for Washington, D.C. Right now, the industry wants to open the park to fracking, and if they win, it could put all of that at risk — including your Congress member’s drinking water.

A year ago this August, Food & Water Watch and our allies hand delivered over 650,000 public comments against new rules by the Obama administration that would allow fracking on public lands.³ But to this date, the Obama administration has done nothing to protect the parks, and has continued to pursue drilling and fracking at the expense of our public health.

 

That’s why we’re working to introduced a bill in Congress to ban fracking on public lands. All parks are special to someone, and future generations deserve a chance to experience them too.

Posted by: maboulette | August 26, 2014

DICK CHENEY IS STILL A HYPOCRITE


Former vice president Dick Cheney resurfaced again this week, to sharply criticize President Barack Obama for being on vacation when ISIS murdered American journalist James Foley.
During a Wednesday night appearance on Fox News’ Hannity, Cheney reiterated his belief that President Obama doesn’t understand foreign policy, and slammed him for playing golf after making a statement condemning Foley’s killing and denouncing ISIS as a “cancer.”
“Every day we find new evidence that he’d rather be on the golf course than he would be dealing with a crisis that’s developing rapidly in the Middle East,” Cheney insisted.
Cheney is not the only person to criticize President Obama for taking a working vacation, nor is his criticism the most ridiculous (for example, The Hill recently criticized the president for taking a walk while “the White House grapples with crises at home and abroad”). But the complaints are especially galling coming from the 46th vice president.
For starters, Cheney’s former boss blew Obama out of the water in terms of time spent away from Washington. To date, President Obama has spent about 150 days on vacation. During his two terms, according to accepted presidential vacation expert Mark Knoller of CBS, George W. Bush spent 1,020 days: 487 at Camp David, 490 at his Crawford, Texas ranch, and 43 at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.
But guess who Cheney thinks was better at dealing with crises in the Middle East (never mind the question of who’s responsible for them)?
Cheney himself has some experience with executive branch vacations. Back in 2005, Cheney hesitated to cut his own vacation short after Hurricane Katrina struck, and then pointedly turned down President Bush’s request that he lead a task force designed to speed the recovery effort (White House advisor Dan Bartlett reportedly backed the decision, noting that the vice president “doesn’t do touchy-feely“).
For its part, the White House insists that, like his predecessors, President Obama is perfectly capable of doing his job from outside of Washington. But that won’t stop the media from obsessing over his vacation. After all, punditry is hard during the dog days of summer — and overeager critics like Cheney are always ready for their closeups.


Information CNN and Reuters

A former CIA officer said Thursday he has no doubt Islamic State (ISIS) sleeper cells are already planted on U.S. soil.

An unnamed U.S. intelligence official told CNN there’s already an indication of ISIS sleeper cells in Europe that could target U.S. embassies and other American interests.

But former CIA officer Bob Baer told that network ISIS is even now on this side of the Atlantic.

“I have been told with no uncertainty there are ISIS sleeper cells in this country,” he said.

Though CNN said two U.S. officials had rebutted the claim, they’re worried ISIS militants with passports might travel to the United States to launch attacks on American soil, CNN reported.

One ISIS fighter already has hinted as much.

In numerous telephone conversations with a Reuters reporter over the last several months, Islamic State fighters suggest their leader, Iraqi Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is planning something for the West – and that attacks could take place through sleeper cells in both Europe and the United States.

“The West are idiots and fools,” one fighter mocked, according to Reuters. “They think we are waiting for them to give us visas to go and attack them or that we will attack with our beards or even Islamic outfits.

“They think they can distinguish us these days – they are fools and more than that they don’t know we can play their game in intelligence. They penetrated us with those who pretend to be Muslims and we have also penetrated them with those who look like them.”

About 100 Americans are being tracked by the FBI because of their travels to Syria, some to join ISIS, analysts say. And ISIS is aggressively recruiting Westerners and European Muslims who could easily enter the US.

“Clearly ISIS, if you’re interested in that ideology, that’s the most exciting thing to go and join right now,” CNN analyst Peter Bergen told CNN.

But Haras Rafiq of the Quilliam Foundation told CNN al-Baghdadi is “a narcissistic psychopath” on a barbaric mission.

“He wants to be bigger than Osama bin Laden, and one of the ways he will measure that is how effective and how big the terrorist activities he can carry out in the West are compared to what bin Laden was able to do,” he said

Posted by: maboulette | August 15, 2014

TEXAS TRENDING BLUE


imagesChris Bowers, Daily Kos wrote a very interesting article yesterday that says the demographics don’t lie and that Texas is trending blue.

Could this really be true – yes it can with the steady growth of the Latino population-and rapid shift of the Latino population from Democratic-leaning to solidly Democratic-Texas is turning from red to purple. If the Democrats can win in Texas, Republicans have no workable path to the White House.

He further writes that turning Texas to a purple state is going to require strong Democratic netroots – a place for progressive activists to read the news and form an activist community statewide.

Thankfully, Texas Democrats have the Burnt Orange Report.
The Burnt Orange Report is wanting to launch a new version of the site to make it bigger and better, which is exactly what Texas needs in the long-term fight to turn Texas blue.

The Burnet Orange Report is one of the best statewide progressive blogs in the nation and they are on the front lines of right-wing nuttery, always ready to point out Republican hypocrisy and abuses.

Building a statewide powerful netroots is important in every state but it is especially important in red states, where some Democrats feel they are all alone.

They are not alone and blogs like the Burnt Orange Report prove it.

Posted by: maboulette | August 7, 2014

TIME FOR FOX TO STOP


A new bipartisan report reportedly found no intentional wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration. Will Fox News finally let the Benghazi Hoax go? Let it go – Let it go!

Posted by: maboulette | August 7, 2014

PRAY FOR THESE CHRISTIANS


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Reuters ROME just reported that Pope Francis appealed to leaders around the world on Thursday to help end the humanitarian crisis in northern parts of Iraq after a sweeping advance by radical Islamic state militants forced thousands of residents of Iraq’s biggest Christian town to flee their homes.

“His Holiness addresses an urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, to act to protect those affected or threatened by violence and to provide aid, especially for the most urgent needs of the many who have been forced to flee and who depend on the solidarity of others,” the Vatican said in a statement.
France stated Monday that it was ready to accept Christians from Northern Iraq after they were told by al Qaeda off shot group that is now in control of the region, that they either convert to Islam, pay a religious penalty or face death.

Posted by: maboulette | August 4, 2014

WHAT MAKES A GOOD PARENT


Yesterday I watched a PBS special on JFK from his life as a student to his assassination. One of the parts of the special was about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was well done and I could almost feel the fear that our country went through. I remember several years after that incident, talking with my mother because I didn’t know that there was that much fear and I wanted to know why she kept it from me.

At that time my mother was a 42 year old new widow, single parent of a 15 year old and she was also taking care of my dad’s mother. She didn’t want me to be scared. She took her closet in the bathroom and started gathering food, can goods, water, powdered milk and she did all of this without me knowing. She also had rolls of masking tape.

When the missiles when off she knew that it would take time for the radiation to get to Brady, and she was going to get us in that closet, tape the bathroom door and window and then tape the closet door shut. She was going to save me by putting us in that closet. We were to stay in the “small” closet until the radiation was gone or we ran out of food.

Of course, we didn’t have to get in the closet and I was completely oblivious to everything going on. I can’t imagine how scare she was and I would guess other parents were also. It was several years later that we talked about it – we had started to use the food in the closet – “Mary Ann, go get me a can of beans out of the closet”. You had to figure I was eventually going to ask why there was food and water in the closet.

So she told me what she went through; that President Kennedy and his administration thought everything from the panhandle of Texas and through the south and as far as Washington D.C. was going to be destroyed by blast or radiation. So she made her plan to put everything that closet and tape it up. After about a week, she thought it would be safe to come out of the closet and live in that bathroom until it was safe to venture out – until nuclear winter was over.

She was going to save her only child and our dog – how brave that was– and I didn’t have a clue. Watching that documentary yesterday brought all of that back. The love of a parent for their child is so amazing – love with no conditions attached. Then when they are ready to leave the nest, the parents have to let them go so the child can build their own life and make their own mistakes. And if something goes wrong and they need to come home for a while the parents welcomes them with open arms until they are ready to face the world again. That is the parent’s purpose in life, the most important purpose.

Of course there are exceptions, when the child has to go home to take care of the parents or when the child dies before the parents.
Point of this article – it takes a strong person to be a really good parent! And my mother was a super parent! (I don’t thing she thought through the dog in the closet with us thing)!!!!

Posted by: maboulette | July 28, 2014

PICTURE OF MIDDLE EAST FROM SPACE


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German astronaut Alexander Gerst is midway through his six-month stay aboard the International Space Station. Gerst has tweeted a number of stunning images of the ISS, as well as of Earth as seen from space.
The image he posted on Wednesday was by far his most retweeted photo, and its subject was grim.
Captioned “My saddest photo yet,” the image shows an aerial view of Israel and Gaza, where ongoing tensions have turned deadly in recent weeks.

 

He adds, “From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israel.” The photo has been retweeted more than 27,000 times. Web viewers have also stepped in to provide context for the photo.
Redditors overlaid maps and text noting the boundaries and cities involved in the conflict. One disputed the idea that anyone could see rockets or explosions from space, much less the photo. He surmised that the lights were more likely flares used to brighten dark areas in Gaza. Regardless of whether the photo was lit up with explosions or flares, Gerst captured the conflict from a rarely seen perspective.

Posted by: maboulette | July 26, 2014

WYOMING CAVE WITH FOSSIL SECRETS TO BE EXCAVATED


This is what is new and has my attention!

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS – WYOMING For the first time in three decades, scientists are about to revisit one of North America’s most remarkable troves of ancient fossils: the bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at least 30 feet deep at the bottom of a sinkhole-type cave.

Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming is 85 feet deep and almost impossible to see until you’re standing right next to it. Over tens of thousands of years, many, many animals — including now-extinct mammoths, short-faced bears, American lions and American cheetahs — shared the misfortune of not noticing the 15-foot-wide opening until they were plunging to their deaths.

Now, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is preparing to reopen a metal grate over the opening to offer scientists what may be their best look yet at the variety of critters that roamed the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains during the planet’s last glacial period around 25,000 years ago.

 

Cave entranous

Des Moines University paleontologist Julie Meachen said she has been getting ready to lead the international team of a dozen researchers and assistants by hitting the climbing gym.

The cave is perpetually cold and clammy, with temperatures in the mid-40s and humidity around 98 percent. Even Bureau of Land Management regional paleontologist Brent Breithaupt, who isn’t one to get the willies from lots of animal bones, describes it as a tad creepy.

Some mammal remains from the cave could be over 100,000 years old, Breithaupt said.

The remote site is exceptionally well preserved. It’s far too challenging and dangerous to have been trammeled in by casual spelunkers. The Bureau of Land Management installed the grate to keep people and animals out in the 1970s.

A mound of dirt and rock containing layer upon layer of animal bones rises from the floor of the 120-foot-wide, bell-shaped chamber. Meachen hopes the remains are sufficiently preserved in the cold, sheltered environment to contain snippets of genetic information.

Starting Monday, scientists plan to re-explore the cavern, dig and extract as many fossils over a two-week period as possible. The researchers will dig by lights powered by a generator at the surface.

Posted by: maboulette | July 14, 2014

REPUBLICAN MYTH HAS BEEN KILLED


This has been the week to kill the Republican myth that Obamacare isn’t really getting the uninsured covered, that the law is failing in its primary mission. So much for that. There was the Urban Institute: “Number of Uninsured Adults Continues to Fall under the ACA: Down by 8.0 Million in June 4th 2014

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Then the Commonwealth Fund:
The uninsured rate for people ages 19 to 64 declined from 20 percent in the July-to-September 2013 period to 15 percent in the April-to-June 2014 period. An estimated 9.5 million fewer adults were uninsured.

 

And Gallup:
The uninsured rate in the U.S. fell 2.2 percentage points to 13.4% in the second quarter of 2014. This is the lowest quarterly average recorded since Gallup and Healthways began tracking the percentage of uninsured Americans in 2008.

 

And RAND:
Using a survey fielded by the RAND American Life Panel, we estimate a net gain of 9.3 million in the number of American adults with health insurance coverage from September 2013 to mid-March 2014. […] [T]he survey estimates that the share of uninsured American adults has dropped over the measured period from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent.

 

Add to that last month’s finding by the Kaiser Family Foundation that 57 percent of the people with Obamacare had previously been uninsured, and you’ve got a very dead Republican talking point.

 

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