Category Archives: Other Things

Misc…things not covered by any other Category…and if you don’t put a tag

The US may have Spec Ops troops in Libya…

It appears the small contingent of Speciual Operators where sent to get a ‘feel of the land’ in the country….

There are reports that the group may have left the country….

OR….

Could still be gathering info in the country…

Their mission is said to be to find groups that are willing to after ISIS forces in Libya and could a pathfinder mission for more ‘advisors’ to arrive in that country…

The Pentagon is considering fresh military action in Libya more than four years after conducting an air campaign that helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Officials are currently “looking at military options” to stop the Islamic State militant group from gaining ground in another oil-rich Mideast nation, said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.

At present, US efforts in Libya are focussed on identifying local allies to work with, for what a senior military officer has envisioned as a “decisive” confrontation with Isis….

Cook acknowledged that the “metastasis” of Isis beyond its primary base in Iraq and Syria has prompted the Pentagon to revisit the question of a renewed war in Libya.

A “small group” of US forces had made contact with Libyan militiamen, “simply to get a sense of who the players are”, Cook said, amid a fractured security landscape with multiple and overlapping combatants.

Although the US personnel are likely to be special operations forces, Cook did not specify how many of them had taken part in the mission, nor if they were still operating in Libya. Cook portrayed the contact as closer to a broad assessment mission than the so-called “shaping operations” that precede imminent combat….

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Facebook/Instagram to ban private gun sale on its sites…

It already bans illegal drug sales on its sites…..

Facebook is banning private sales of guns on its flagship social network and its Instagram photo-sharing service, a move meant to clamp down on unlicensed gun transactions.

Facebook already prohibits people from offering marijuana, pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs for sale, and the company said on Friday that it was updating its policy to include guns. The ban applies to private, person-to-person sales of guns. Licensed gun dealers and gun clubs can still maintain Facebook pages and post on Instagram.

Although Facebook was not directly involved in gun sales, it has served as a forum for gun sales to be negotiated, without people having to undergo background checks. The social network, with 1.6 billion monthly visitors, had become one of the world’s largest marketplaces for guns and was increasingly evolving into an e-commerce site where it could facilitate transactions of goods.

The ban thrusts Facebook into the center of another major societal debate. Discussions over gun control have flared anew after the mass shootings last year in San Bernardino, Calif., and a community college in Oregon, among others. In January, President Obama gave a speech promising to tighten enforcement of laws governing unlicensed gun sales. In response, some individual sellers said they would turn to sites like Facebook, which allowed them to freely advertise guns for sale…..

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FOX debate after action report…Ted Cruz the punching bag…

With out ‘The Donald’?

Ted Cruz was the target rich environment tonight….

And the people on stage went after him with gusto…

Marco Rubio seems to have got the best shots in at Cruz as the two became the main card….

At one point Cruz seem to get really annopyed at the moderator Chris Wallace for seeminly setting him up as a target….

This was a tough one for Ted Cruz….

Trump had his little side show and most of the political media celebs seem to say they missed their Trump fix….

To bad…

The people on stage didn’t….Not one bit….

Ted Cruz finally got his moment in the center of the debate stage — but with Donald Trump absent, he became the main target who had no one else to punch.

As the Republican poll leader commanded a rival event down the road, part of Trump’s boycott of the debate just four days ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Cruz engaged in some shadowboxing while withstanding tough criticism from a number of rivals on the stage.
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Responding to Fox moderator Megyn Kelly’s question about what kind of message it sends the people of Iowa to skip the primetime debate, Ted Cruz vowed to make the state “fly-to country” when he becomes president in 2017, not “flyover country.”

He then launched into a deadpan impression of Trump, his chief rival in the polls. “Now secondly, let me say, I’m a maniac, and everyone on this stage is fat, stupid and ugly. And Ben, you’re a terrible surgeon. Now that we’ve gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way,” Cruz remarked, “I want to thank everyone here for showing the men and women of Iowa the respect to show up and make the case to the people of this state and the people of the country why each of us believes we would make the best commander in chief.”

Marco Rubio, who is rising in the polls and likely to finish third behind Cruz and Trump in Iowa, followed Cruz by turning from Trump, who he dismissed as “an entertainer” and “the greatest show on earth,” to Hillary Clinton, a target who enables him to emphasize his primary selling point—electability.

“If I’m our nominee, we will unite this party and we will win this election,” Rubio said.

Sparring intensified between Rubio and Cruz later during a contentious exchange over immigration reform and the 2013 Gang of Eight legislation Rubio co-sponsored…..

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image…WashPost/AP

Update….

Here for a transcript of the Debate from the WashPost….

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Those Loud booms you heard from Long Island to New jersey where Navy Fighter jets flexing…

F-35C and a F-18 chase plane where testing the F-35C’s juice out over the Atlantic in cleared military airspace…

The sonic booms went on for over an hour….

A series of earthshaking noises that left some residents on the East Coast wondering if they had lived through an earthquake on Thursday afternoon were sonic booms caused by the testing of a fighter jet, officials said.

The Navy said it was conducting supersonic testing of an F-35C stealth fighter from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, in Maryland, in what it called “a cleared military flight area” over the waters off the East Coast. A second aircraft, an F-18 jet, accompanied the F-35C for the test, the Navy said.

The aircraft caused nine sonic booms over the course of an hour and a half, starting shortly before 1:30 p.m., the United States Geological Survey said on its website.

It said that the booms were heard in southern New Jersey, on Long Island and elsewhere on the Eastern Seaboard, and that one occurred at a spot over the Atlantic Ocean seven miles southeast of Atlantic City and nine miles east-southeast of Ventnor City, N.J…

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image of a F-35C …military .com

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California utility regulator’s win a chance to take back Solar energy savings money from the public…

People get Solar panel’s for solar energy to save money and electricity….

THAT money you save ain’t going to your electric company….

In California?

Those energy companies seem to have succesfully got the governemnt to make their citizens to give their solar CONSERVATION savings BACK to utilities ….

Huh?

While the fee’s involve are sold as low….

Methinks that the eneregy companies and vendors will keep at this onec they have their foot in the door…

The proposal’s passage brought cheers not only from the solar industry but farmers and some business owners with solar panels on their roofs.

“We all know that California is a world leader when it comes to being ‘green’,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Assn. “But today’s vote is more than that. It is about California continuing to champion innovation and a different way of doing things, in this case, building a smarter energy grid and allowing individual consumers to generate their own clean electricity.”

At Full Belly Farm in California’s Capay Valley, close to 80% of the packing shed energy usage is offset by solar generation. Co-owner Paul Muller said that the solar-power system “alleviates stress on the grid at peak electricity hours, when our need for cooling and pumping water is greatest. … it’s absolutely essential.”

The new monthly fees are just part of the overhaul of the rules governing the “net energy metering” policy, which allows solar panel owners to sell the extra energy they don’t use back to the electricity grid.

Under the decision, new solar customers will face a one-time charge to tie into the grid. The commission estimates the fee will range from $75 to $150 per solar customer.

In addition, rooftop solar customers will pay a fee estimated at 2 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity used from the utility companies, no matter how much power their solar systems generate. This fee will amount to about $6 more a month for the average solar user.

Utilities also will place new solar customers on time-of-use rates, which rise during periods of high electricity demand.

Solar owners will continue to receive a dollar-for-dollar exchange, or retail value, for the electricity they produce in excess of what they use from the power company each month. But on an annual basis, that benefit gets reduced to a wholesale value for any electricity generated in excess of what the solar owner consumed….

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Note…

The ‘Give Backs’ will only apply to new installs…

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The Oscars Race and Women problems…

The open secret in Hollywood is the  movie industry is owned and ran by white guys….

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards it’s Oscars has been involved in a public relations problem…

This year there has been NOT ONE Black nominee in the acting categories and THAT has not gone by unnoticed …

Nor has many of the productions churned out by the Hollywood club  featured strong roles for Blacks, Latino’s or Asians……

A further look at the  Academy , which IS a private organization, finds its rules and policies , do not encourage  women of age to vote along with younger blacks, browns or yellows either…

When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled 20 all-white acting nominees this month, the furor was immediate. The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, created last year, returned in force, and there was talk of an Oscar boycott. Then, last week, the academy declared that it was doubling its diversity push and ending guaranteed lifelong voting rights.

This time, it was academy members’ turn to react in disbelief and outrage.

The most common cri de coeur: The changes were ageist (a possibility) and insulting to blacks (if there’s a black academy member out there who agrees, please do get in touch). Another: “I’m liberal, so I can’t be racist,” a tautological cry that largely misses the point. For what it’s worth, Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith did not utter the dreaded r-word when they announced they were not attending the awards; Ms. Smith wished the academy “grace and love.”

There is, among older academy members, genuine bewilderment in the wake of this tidal shift. Sidney Furie, an 82-year-old member, noted that it was his brethren who made Sidney Poitier the first black man to win best actor, in 1963, and named “In the Heat of the Night” (1967) best picture.

“The very people who voted for those Oscars are now being accused of being the roadblocks to the diversity the academy now seems committed to,” Mr. Furie wrote to the Bagger in an email. Valid, but part of the charge against the academy is how out of touch it is with contemporary black culture.

What many academy members — who, as a Los Angeles Times investigation found, skew heavily older, male and white — do not seem to fully grasp is the deep exasperation around the fact that white dudes continue to serve as Hollywood’s gatekeepers. At last count, about 2 percent of academy members were black, and an even lower percentage were Latinos. The (mostly male) members who publicly assailed the academy’s changes ended up underscoring the crux of the problem by making the issue, yet again, all about them….

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Political Roundup for January 28, 2016…Limbaugh…Media or Trump?…RRH Elections

We will have live coverage tonight of the Republican presidential primary debate regardless if Donald Trump shows up or not…

President

Trump-Quisling Establishment:  Rich Lowery has an excellent piece on how the Republican establishment seems to be willing to accept Donald Trump as its overlord just like the Quisling government accepted the Nazis as overlords of Norway.

Trump-Limbaugh:  Rush Limbaugh cannot figure out who he likes and dislikes more, the media or Trump.  Right now it sounds like the media.

Trump-Endorsement:  Donald Trump has received an endorsement from an elected official over some significance.  South Carolina Lt. Governor Henry McMaster is throwing his support behind Trump.  I suspect his support is tied to the fact that Governor Nikki Haley stuck it to Trump in the State of the Union rebuttal.

Trump-Corporate America:  While we keep hearing stories of how the establishment is getting cozy with Trump, Corporate America is really worried about associating themselves with Trump publicly.  Specifically, hotel chains and others are worried about associating themselves with Trump at the RNC in Cleveland.

Cruz-Donors:  With donors having nothing better to do than make one up bets of donations to charity, a cluster of superpacs backing Senator Ted Cruz have offered veterans charities $1.5 million if Trump agrees to debate Cruz one on one.

Clinton-Fundraising:  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is eyeing a $50 million target for fundraising in the first quarter of 2016.  She is making a big push it increase donations by big Latino donors.  In addition, Buzzfeed has some internal polling from the Clinton campaign…..

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Trump will host the GOP race’s loser’s tonight at his event…

Huckabee and Santorum will skip the ‘B’ card tonight and FOX and try to bask in the light of the Trump counter event…..

I’m sure Trump WILL get good coverage….

After all….He IS an entertainer, Right?

Mike Huckabee, the winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses who has been struggling to gain traction in this year’s race, will appear with Donald J. Trump and an event for veterans that the billionaire businessman has scheduled as counterprogramming to tonight’s debate on Fox News, which he is skipping….

Another low-polling former caucuses winner, Rick Santorum, has also been very aggressively criticizing Mr. Cruz, but not Mr. Trump.

John Brabender, the top strategist for Mr. Santorum, said his candidate would be honored “to help support our veterans” and he also plans to attend…..

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Note….

If Trump makes out REALLY Good tonight?

Why should he attend ANYMORE Debates?

image….the hill.com

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Barack Obama to the Supreme’s?

That’s a thought that Hillary Clinton has advanced if the choice would come her to replace a retiring US Supreme Court Justice…

This is something Democratic voters should conside in November….

Up to 3 memebers of the court COULD be appointed to replace retirements on the court….

At a campaign event in Deocorah, Iowa on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton lit up when a voter asked her if she would consider appointing the president to the Supreme Court should she win the White House.

“Wow, what a great idea. No one has ever suggested that to me, I love that, wow,” the Democratic presidential candidate responded. “He may have a few other things to do but I tell you that’s a great idea.”

Clinton went on to talk about how the next president could have to appoint up to three Supreme Court justices, but she then circled back.

“I would certainly take that under advisement,” she told the crowd of 450 people inside a ballroom at the Winn Hotel about a potential Justice Obama. “I mean he’s brilliant, and he can set forth an argument, and he was a law professor, so he’s got all the credentials.”

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iPhone sales go up LESS THAN 1% from last year….

Anybody surprised at this?

This Dog ain’t…..

I have an iPhone 6 Plus…..

Good phone….

Why would I go out and spend money on a iPhone 6S?

Despite Apple’s ads…..

There is virtually NO difference between my 6plus and 6S plus…..

Seems like a LOT of people have done the same thing I have….

Saved their money…..

With big screen phones?

Why get a iPad?

Actually I have an Android Table that I don’t use anymore since I got the 6 Plus….

I’m waiting for the faster CPU for the iMac I’m typing on ….

THAT i’ll buy….

But no watch…..

I have a $40 Timex that doesn’t need a phone to work with and don’t cost 10 times more….

Apple needs to go back to being a Computer company for my money….

Cars, Watches and TV’s are something they need to have someone else make….

They just aren’t what a computer outfit should be wasting money on….

Oh, and did you know they are building this monster building as their new HQ?

REALLY?

Are they still a computer company?

With the iPhone’s sales growth flattening, other products did not pick up the slack. Sales of the iPad tablet dropped 25 percent from a year earlier in terms of units, while Mac computers declined 4 percent.

The company did see growth in services, where revenue rose 26 percent, while revenue from a category known as other products — which include the Apple Watch — increased 62 percent.

Mr. Maestri said that Apple would continue to raise money in debt markets in the United States and abroad to continue to return money to investors in the form of dividends and stock buybacks. Because Apple houses the majority of its $216 billion in cash overseas, it has borrowed money over the last three years to pay out more than $9 billion to investors.

As Apple matures, Mr. Maestri said, the company could also become a business that delivers steady financial advances through its huge installed base of one billion active devices currently used by consumers. He pointed in particular to the potential of the services business, which includes the iTunes Store, the App Store and Apple Music….

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FBI and Oregon State police take militia leaders in…One dead…One injuried…

Finally there is some action on this…..

One person died and at least seven others were taken into custody Tuesday when authorities confronted an armed protest group responsible for a nearly month-long occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon, officials said.

Shots were fired, and self-styled protest leader Ammon Bundy was among a group of five people arrested on a state highway, officials said. One other person was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The incident began at 4:25 p.m. on State Highway 395 when agents of the FBI and Oregon State Police “began a law enforcement action” to take into custody those associated with the armed occupation of the refuge, authorities said in a statement.

The person who died was not identified, and no information was given on the cause of death. Officials said that this suspect “was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest.”

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In a Twist, Planned Parenthood sneak video pair are charged criminally…

Surprise!….

Their antic’s seem to have back fired….

And by a Grand Jury in Texas, no less…

Their finding is a pushback at the Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who was critical of Planned Parenthood and seeked to go after the women’s help agency criminally , has had the tables turned….

A grand jury in Houston, Texas announced criminal charges against a pair of anti-abortion activists, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, for their roles in creating now-viral videos attacking Planned Parenthood, according to multiple local reports.

The jurors had spent two months reviewing undercover footage produced by Daleiden’s group, the Center for Medical Progress, at the request of Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R).

Daleiden claimed that his footage showed Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of aborted fetal organs as part of the organization’s fetal tissue donation program in some states.
As Patrick announced the criminal probe last August, he was deeply critical of Planned Parenthood, suggesting that the group was “dismembering aborted babies” and “selling babies fully intact.”

“The people of America and the people of Texas will not accept this callous attitude toward human life, and I will not accept it,” Patrick said during a press conference at the State Capitol in August, according to local news station KXAN.

But jurors said Monday they did not find evidence of illegal activity by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast…..

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Iowa (and New Hampshire)…Two Little White states that have oversized political influence…

There are more people probably in one of NYC’s boro’s than in ALL of BOTH states combined….

The states are NOT diverse….

But they DO start a process for picking a President for 313 Million Americans…..

Is this right?

For 40 years, a state with an otherwise admirable civic life has been the scene of a quadrennial exercise that is the antithesis of a rational, accessible democratic process. By any measure—participation and representativeness, to mention two—it fails the most basic test of what you would want in an exercise that so dominates the attention and resources of campaigns and the media.
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Iowa looks nothing like the rest of the nation, and its wintry, time-consuming caucuses make participation difficult, if not impossible, for much of the citizenry—especially those with limited economic means. The Democratic caucuses in particular take two of the core principles of a free system—the secret ballot and one-person-one-vote—and throw them away.

Indeed, if you look beyond the color and the pageantry, beyond the county fairs and butter cows, and appreciate the real workings and impact of the caucuses, you realize that Iowa is neither a useful bellwether or an important test for candidates. Moreover, there are baleful consequences of the inflated status of Iowa: It distorts the political process and leads to bad public policy.

Iowa survives and flourishes as a political ritual for the same reason that bad people remain in power and bad policies remain in place: those who benefit from it can make the cost of challenging it too high. If there is no hope of unseating the caucuses from their privileged perch, it’s at least worth understanding how we got here—and at what cost.

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Tuscany..

…from  Talk and Politics…..

It’s been 13 months since we left Florence after living there for over a year. Miss it..

https://500px.com/photo/135763119/peace-in-tuscany-by-legends-of-the-winter-

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Five things to know about the Iowa Caucus…

…from Election Projection…..

In a short while, voters will be able to speak with their votes. After all this time, it’ll be good to get some concrete data on how the election will go. Iowa gets thing started on February 1. Here are five things to keep in mind as the curtains open on Election 2016.

1. Delegates will be awarded proportionally.
Both Democrats and Republicans allocate their Iowa delegates according to the percentage of votes won. While The RNC require all nominating contests held before March 15 to divide delegates proportionally, the Democratic practice is to award delegates proportionally for every primary and caucus. After the proportional period, Republican primaries and caucuses can award delegates in a “winner-take-all” system or a hybrid system. This aspect of the Republican nominating process leads CookPolitical.com’s David Wasserman to declare that “March 15th is likelier than March 1st [Super Tuesday] to determine the race’s destiny.”

The largest single-day delegate jackpot will be March 1st, when 655 delegates will be up for grabs in the seven “SEC” states as well as six others. But the second-largest jackpot will be March 15th, when 373 delegates will be at stake. And thanks to the winner-take-all nature of Florida and Ohio, this day will likely define the race’s end-game more than any other.

The fact that proportional allocation rarely leads to a commanding lead straightaway contributes to our second thing to know about Iowa.

2. There is little to no correlation between who wins in Iowa and who wins the nomination.
Back in December, I took a look at the historical results of the Iowa caucuses for both parties searching for their predictive nature. The conclusion that came from the data indicated that winning the nomination does not require a victory in the Hawkeye Cauc-eye. At the same time, contrary to some people’s assertions, winning in Iowa doesn’t doom a campaign either. Since its creation in 1972, Iowa winners become their party’s nominee at a 50% clip, more or less…..

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Major Winter Storm Jonas making it’s way up North….

Snowfall Potential

It might be a month late, but winter reintroduced itself to the East Coast in a big way Friday…..

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A monster storm lashed parts of the South and the Mid-Atlantic on Friday as it barreled north toward some of the nation’s biggest cities. Roughly a quarter of the U.S. population is in its path, about 30 million of whom are under blizzard warnings.

“This is not a near miss,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. “This is a direct hit.”

Tennessee and North Carolina got hit first early Friday, with snow covering the ground in cities like Asheville, Charlotte and Greensboro. Ice is also a problem in those areas, which have slick roads and well over 20,000 power outages.

Communities to the northeast should get hit even harder. And more than any other place, Washington, D.C., is in the bull’s-eye

Follow the storm on CNN’s interactive storm tracker

Snow should arrive there Friday afternoon, with 2½ feet possible by the time the last flakes fall Saturday night, according to Mayor Muriel Bowser. The snow will be accompanied by sustained winds of up to 30 mph and gusts of 10 or more mph stronger. Gusts could hit 65 mph between 1 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday in Maryland, the National Weather Service warned.

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