Memo to Retiring General McChrystal and everyone else…There is no ‘off the record’ anymore……’Check your six’

It appears…. as we move past the immediacy of the self sacking of General Stanley McChrystal (McC) ….that all the stars were alined against the General….

Most of the damaging interviews occurred during the time the Volcano in Europe stuck McC and his staff in Europe……

The author of the piece, Michael Hastings, was a 5 year war reporter….who didn’t really like the war….

Hastings seems to be appalled at the freewheeling operation of McC’s staff…

And the media had just wound down from it Oil Spill coverage after Obama’s address to the country……


I said it before in along post…

McC knew what he was saying wasn’t the soldier’s to say in public…

Privates and even Sergeants  could get away it….

General’s could not…..


Hastings was from Rollings Stone for goodness sake!..

The Anti-Establishment Haven..

WTF was McC and his staff thinking?

Off the record???

While McC actually had a lot in common with the underlining anti-establishment ideology of the Magazine (he was a hell raiser at West Point )

(Speciel Operators follow orders….but are taught from day one to be able to think outside the box….and for that reason they are not very well liked by regular army officers…

the feeling is mutual I’m led to believe)

He WAS a general officer!


In the end Hastings just became the vehicle to have the other political players have McC walk the plank….

Off the record….

Bull Shit

He  and his staff should have done their homework….

And known better…….

as they say in the military

‘Check your six’

Cover your rear

Gen. Stanley McChrystal

The general and his aides had faced down terrorists and the enemies of America. They had welcomed into their midst journalists from top news outlets. The result had been stories that mostly made the men running the war in Afghanistan look like a bunch of can-do warriors.

But Team McChrystal and its leader met their downfall this week because they failed to recognize, as soldiers like to say, that the opponent, and the situation on the ground, had changed.

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Since the last time McChrystal and his men popped off to gain political advantage, the president of the United Stated had made it abundantly clear he wanted more team play. Sensitivity about the war had increased, as the U.S. deployment and casualties climbed.

Most important, the Rolling Stone reporter they invited in to write a profile, Michael Hastings, didn’t have to tussle with the competing priorities of the mainstream beat reporters who had come before him. If McChrystal and his men had thought it through, they might have realized that Hastings was in for just one hit. Hastings didn’t need to play nice in hopes of getting access to McChrystal down the road. The piece, as a result, was no-holds-barred.

Merely by reading his online bio they would have learned that this journalist they invited into their inner sanctum was something more than the “dirty Rolling Stone hippie” who Jon Stewart suggested had such an easy path to outdoing the dunderheaded mainstream media.

Hastings, 30, had already covered America’s wars for five years. He had made plain his skepticism about the chances of victory in Afghanistan. He had boldly written about the death of his fiancée in an ambush in Iraq, turning aside critiques from some journalists that he was too ready to dissect a personal tragedy.

In one Web posting, the Vermont native and NYU grad wrote of his admiration for “writers who live their lives with integrity and without compromise.” By phone from Kabul Thursday, Hastings said that in some ways he admired the renegade McChrystal. Recalling the darkly evocative fiction that McChrystal wrote as a West Point cadet (including one story in which the protagonist assassinates the president), Hastings commented: “His attitude was, like, [stick it to] ‘The Man.’ And those sorts of attitudes exist in me, on a certain level.”

It appears now that the hardheaded, make-my-own-rules military man didn’t recognize that the latest in a series of interlocutors was not like the others. Michael Hastings was the most dangerous kind of adversary — a kindred spirit.

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President Obama will host a celebration of Africa’s 50th year of independence in Washington, in August….

Obama to mark 50th anniversary

The President released the announcement yesterday June 25th……

A senior administration official Friday night on the African leaders’ meeting today at the G8 summit: “The president will host an event later this summer in Washington, in early August, that will not just kind of mark the 50th anniversary of their independence, but will really look forward in trying to get young leaders from each of those countries to discuss the future as well?… [there] “were lots of disappointments, lots of frustrations, now 50 years later we want to make sure that we get this on the right track.”

The official said that Obama said: “we’ll be hosting an event with new African leaders, commemorating the 50th anniversary in August. I’ll be 49 in August.” Obama said his father was one of the first generation Africans who came to the United States.

More….

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A breakdown of the New Financial Reform Bill

From the Washington Post……..

GRAPHIC

Reinventing financial regulation

By Brady Dennis and Alberto Cuadra
The Washington Post

The landmark legislation approved by the Senate on Thursday evening represents the most profound restructuring of financial regulation since the Great Depression. Here are some of the highlights of the bill, which was born out of the wreckage of the recent financial crisis, and the problems it is designed to address.

Risk to the global financial system

The problem:

Ahead of the crisis, there was no agency in the government responsible for monitoring the financial system as a whole and looking for potential threats to its health. So officials were largely blind to potential time bombs such as insurance giant AIG, which had grown so large and interconnected with other companies that its collapse in September 2008 put the global economy in jeopardy.

How the bill tries to solve it:

  • A Financial Services Oversight Council, composed of a handful of existing regulators and chaired by the Treasury secretary, would be set up as an early warning system.
  • The council would seek to identify systemic risks posed by large, complex financial firms, as well as focus attention on certain practices and products that magnify risks facing multiple companies.
  • It could also encourage regulators to tighten rules for companies that grow so big or interconnected that they threaten the nation’s financial stability.

Derivatives

The problem:

The market for financial derivatives — essentially bets on the future price of something else — exploded in recent years, growing into a $600 trillion industry largely without federal oversight. When the financial crisis hit, investors panicked because they didn?t know whether parties on the other side of the bets would be able to pay. This uncertainty amplified the upheaval, because thousands of firms were bound together in a disastrous web of potential defaults.

How the bill tries to solve it:

  • Nearly all derivatives deals would have to be conducted through central clearinghouses, so investors could be confident about settling their bets, and firms would have to raise money to cover any unexpected losses.
  • In addition, most derivatives would be traded on public exchanges, not in private side deals. A few exceptions would be granted for special derivatives contracts.
  • One of the bill’s most contentious provisions essentially would force Wall Street banks to spin off some of their trading of derivatives.

Too Big to Fail

The problem:

When large financial firms began to falter in 2008, federal officials faced an unenviable choice: let these companies fall into a messy and drawn-out bankruptcy, which would upend markets around the world, or use taxpayer money to bail them out. Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail and the result was nearly a worldwide depression, while American International Group was bailed out by the government with nearly $200 billion in loans, investments and guarantees.

How the bill tries to solve it:

  • The government would be given the power to seize and close down large failing firms in an orderly fashion, just as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. can shut down ordinary banks that run into trouble.
  • The Treasury, FDIC and the Fed would agree to seize and liquidate a faltering company, and the FDIC would close it down.
  • Shareholders and unsecured creditors would bear losses, and management would be removed.
  • In addition, a new council of regulators could recommend that large, complex companies hold more capital to cover potential losses and limit borrowing.

Consumer Protection

The problem:

In the lead up to the financial crisis, seven regulators shared responsibility for looking out for consumers with mortgages, auto loans and credit cards, but none treated consumers as a top priority. The result was that home loans grew ever more risky and complex — precipitating the mortgage meltdown — credit card interest rates and banking fees ballooned, and non-bank lenders such as mortgage brokers and auto finance companies operated virtually without federal oversight.

How the bill tries to solve it:

A new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be set up to safeguard borrowers.

  • The new agency would have the power to write and enforce new rules governing mortgages and other financial products.
  • Banks with more than $10 billion in assets would be subject to examination.
  • While it would be housed inside the Federal Reserve, the bureau would have an independent head appointed by the president and a dedicated source of funding.
  • Opponents warn that the agency could impose burdensome regulations and increase costs for consumers.
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Why aren’t the Gulf States Governor’s using more National Guard Troops?

The President has released  up to 42,000 National Guard troops to their state governors for duty on the Gulf Spill….

Yet most states have mobilized only small amounts of the troops…

And digg this….

BP WILL pay for their sevices….

Hummmmm???

Nearly two months after the governor requested – and the Department of Defense approved the use of 6,000 Louisiana National Guard troops – only a fraction – 1,053 – have actually been deployed by Jindal to fight the spill.

“If you ask any Louisianan, if you said ‘If you had those troops, do you think they could be put to good use? Is there anything they can do in your parish?’ I think they’d all tell you ‘Absolutely,'” Louisiana state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, said.

As of today, the federal government has authorized a total of 17,500 National Guard troops across four Gulf states, all to be paid for by BP.

But CBS News has learned that in addition to Louisiana’s 1,053 troops of 6,000, Alabama has deployed 432 troops of 3,000 available. Even fewer have been deployed in Florida – 97 troops out of 2,500 – and Mississippi – 58 troops out of 6,000.

Those figures prompted President Obama to weigh in.

“I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible,” Mr. Obama said.

It’s believed officials in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi and are reluctant to use more troops because their presence could hurt tourism. In hardest-hit Louisiana, however, Jindal is pointing fingers.

“Actually we asked the White House to approve the initial 6,000,” Jindal said. “What they came back and said is the Coast Guard and BP had to authorize individual tasks.”

But Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander in charge of the government’s response to the spill, said Jindal is just flat wrong.

“There is nothing standing in the governor’s way from utilizing more National Guard troops,” Allen said.

More…..

Update……

In a statement sent to ProPublica, Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin said that Louisiana would “call up more National Guard troops as the Adjutant General tells us he needs them.”

He followed up with a harsh criticism of the federal government’s response efforts.

“We spend more time fighting red tape and bureaucracy than we ever should have to if the federal government understood this oil spill as the war that it is.”

Jindal’s statement doesn’t address the specific question of why Louisiana is using only 1,053 of the 6,000 National Guard troops available to the state. The governor said that he would “deploy every resource” available to win the war against the BP oil spill, and complained that Coast Guard and BP authorization were required for individual tasks, which apparently slowed down the deployment of National Guard troops. However, the governor’s office told CBS News that he has not specifically asked for more National Guard troops.

More…..

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Closing the Gitmo Prison isn’t gonna happen anytime soon….

This is another one the Dog called…

In a nother example of it’s easy to make promises as a candidate….

Hard to keep them as a President….

The Terrorist detention center move thing is dead….

I mused at this site …

WTF would you want to move it?

Sure under Bush II every country around the world was have demo’s against the place….

But Geroge Bush is a private citizen …

Who cares about him ?

Leave the detainees there…..

Why spoil a good thing?

“There is a lot of inertia” against closing the prison, “and the administration is not putting a lot of energy behind their position that I can see,” said Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and supports the Illinois plan. He added that “the odds are that it will still be open” by the next presidential inauguration.

And Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who also supports shutting it, said the effort is “on life support and it’s unlikely to close any time soon.” He attributed the collapse to some fellow Republicans’ “demagoguery” and the administration’s poor planning and decision-making “paralysis.”

The White House insists it is still determined to shutter the prison. The administration argues that Guantánamo is a symbol in the Muslim world of past detainee abuses, citing military views that its continued operation helps terrorists.

“Our commanders have made clear that closing the detention facility at Guantánamo is a national security imperative, and the president remains committed to achieving that goal,” said a White House spokesman, Ben LaBolt.

Still, some senior officials say privately that the administration has done its part, including identifying the Illinois prison — an empty maximum-security center in Thomson, 150 miles west of Chicago — where the detainees could be held. They blame Congress for failing to execute that endgame.

“The president can’t just wave a magic wand to say that Gitmo will be closed,” said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking on a sensitive issue.

More…..

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The Zeigeist (economic data ) for the week of June 26….

The Zeigeist ( economic data ) From the Atlantic Magazine for the week of June 28……

Pollster.comObama Average Job Approval
45.5%
Pollster.comObama Favorability
51.7%
Pollster.comRight Direction / Wrong Track
30.9% / 62.2%
Pollster.comCongressional Approval
18.5%
National Federation of Independent BusinessesSmall Business Optimism Index
92.2 (up 1.6% from April)
ABC News/Washington PostConsumer Comfort Index
43 points below zero
U.S. Department of LaborInitial Weekly Jobless Claims
457,000
RealtyTracNewly foreclosed properties in April
322,920
U.S. Department of LaborUnemployment
9.7%
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The left steps up it’s attacks on Obama and the war……

This from MyDD and Andrew Sullivan over at the Atlantic …….

I told everyone the media and the left are going to not let any troop issue go past summer 2011….

Obama has in the last two days tried to make alway from a hard summmer 2011 troop withdrawl from the Afghan War….

Obama’s gamble

by Jerome Armstrong

Agree with pretty much everything that Andrew Sullivan writes in a post:

Obama’s gamble on somehow turning the vast expanse of that ungovernable “nation” into a stable polity dedicated to fighting Jihadist terror is now as big as Bush’s in Iraq – and as quixotic. It is also, in my view, as  irrational, a deployment of resources and young lives that America cannot afford and that cannot succeed. It really is Vietnam – along with the crazier and crazier rationales for continuing it. But it is now re-starting in earnest ten years in, dwarfing Vietnam in scope and longevity.

One suspects there is simply no stopping this war machine, just as there is no stopping the entitlement and spending machine. Perhaps McChrystal would have tried to wind things up by next year – but his frustration was clearly fueled by the growing recognition that he could not do so unless he surrendered much of the country to the Taliban again. So now we have the real kool-aid drinker, Petraeus, who will refuse to concede the impossibility of success in Afghanistan just as he still retains the absurd notion that the surge in Iraq somehow worked in reconciling the sectarian divides that still prevent Iraq from having a working government. I find this doubling down in Afghanistan as Iraq itself threatens to spiral out of control the kind of reasoning that only Washington can approve of.

This much we also know: Obama will run for re-election with far more troops in Afghanistan than Bush ever had – and a war and occupation stretching for ever into the future, with no realistic chance of success. Make no mistake: this is an imperialism of self-defense, a commitment to civilize even the least tractable culture on earth because Americans are too afraid of the consequences of withdrawal. And its deepest irony is that continuing this struggle will actually increase and multiply the terror threats we face – as it becomes once again a recruitment tool for Jihadists the world over.

This is a war based on fear, premised on a contradiction, and doomed to carry on against reason and resources for the rest of our lives.

Click the highlights there is more…..

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The suspense of watching the World Cup Soccer games!….

Yep……. it has this young women’s full attention!

And ours …also!

A Paraguayan fan bites her nails as she watches her national soccer team play New Zealand during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, in downtown Asuncion.

Day in Photos: June 24, 2010

A paraguayan fan bites her nails as she watches her national soccer team paly New Zealand during the 2010 World Cup in Soth Africa, in downtown Asuncion…….
Update…..
The young lady in the photo is named Larissa Riquelme……Here’s more about her…….( With more pictures )
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Old Posts…..

The last few posts where originakky posted several months ago…they were in the old data files that are not available at this time from March 2010 to May 2010….

They are all timely except for the ‘None Vote’…

The Healthcare Bill is law

Enjoy them!

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Counterpoint….would the House ‘None vote’ move be legal?

The Dog isn’t a lawyer…but I don’t think the Democrats would even talk about this if they didn’t think it was legit……

This from Politicalwire…..

Will Health Care Vote Be Constitutional?

Constitutional law scholar Michael McConnell says that if House Democrats attempt to pass the Senate health care bill without actually voting on it, they may open the door to a Supreme Court challenge.

“These constitutional rules set forth in Article I are not mere exercises in formalism. They ensure the democratic accountability of our representatives. Under Section 7, no bill can become law unless it is put up for public vote by both houses of Congress, and under Section 5 ‘the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question . . . shall be entered on the Journal.’ These requirements enable the people to evaluate whether their representatives are promoting their interests and the public good. Democratic leaders have not announced whether they will pursue the Slaughter solution. But the very purpose of it is to enable members of the House to vote for something without appearing to do so. The Constitution was drafted to prevent that.”

Rick Hasen: “If I were working for the Democrats in Congress, I would take his concerns here very seriously. Could it really be that the Democrats want to give the Supreme Court a way to strike down the health care bill on a technicality, without even having to reach the merits?”

However, while Jack Balkin says McConnell’s concerns “are textually well founded,” he notes there is a way Democrats could proceed constitutionally.

“The House may do this on a single vote if the special rule that accompanies the reconciliation bill says that by passing the reconciliation bill the House agrees to pass the same text of the same bill that the Senate has passed. That is to say, the language of the special rule that accompanies the reconciliation bill must make the House take political responsibility for passing the same language as the Senate bill. The House must say that the House has consented to accept the text of the Senate bill as its own political act. At that point the President can sign the two bills, and it does not matter that the House has passed both through a special rule.”

Hooey on Healthcare Reform from Michael McConnell

This from Jonathan Singer @ MyDD.com….

Writing today in the opinion page of The Wall Street Journal (full text here), former Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Michael McConnell argues that it would be unconstitutional for Democrats to utilize the “commonly used” tactic (the words of The Washington Post, not my own) of a self-executing rule to package a vote on the Senate’s healthcare reform bill along side fixes to that bill. According to McConnell, such a move would violate Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution, which states that “in order for a ‘Bill’ to ‘become a Law,’ it ‘shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate’ and be ‘presented to the President of the United States’ for signature or veto.”

Yale constitutional law professor Jack Balkin does a good job of slapping down this argument:

Despite Judge McConnell’s concerns, which are textually well founded, there is a way that “deem and pass” could be done constitutionally. There have to be two separate bills signed by the President: the first one is the original Senate bill, and the second one is the reconciliation bill. The House must pass the Senate bill and it must also pass the reconciliation bill. The House may do this on a single vote if the special rule that accompanies the reconciliation bill says that by passing the reconciliation bill the House agrees to pass the same text of the same bill that the Senate has passed. That is to say, the language of the special rule that accompanies the reconciliation bill must make the House take political responsibility for passing the same language as the Senate bill. The House must say that the House has consented to accept the text of the Senate bill as its own political act. At that point the President can sign the two bills, and it does not matter that the House has passed both through a special rule. Under Article I, section 5 of the Constitution, the House can determine its own rules for passing legislation. There are plenty of precedents for passing legislation by reference through a special rule.

If that weren’t sufficiently clear, not all that long ago, a group of Congressmen filed suit in federal district court to have declared invalid the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which, as a result of an error by a clerk, was not actually passed in the same form by both the House and Senate — then under Republican control. Citing the 1892 Supreme Court decision in Marshall Field v. Clark, the federal district court for the Eastern District of Michigan threw out the Congressmen’s challenge:

Each of the courts that have addressed the identical issue presented here have held that enrolled bill rule announced in Marshall Field still applies today. Thus a claim of unconstitutionality for violation of Article I, Section 7, is not legally cognizable where an enrolled bill has been signed by the presiding officers of the House and Senate as well as the President. [internal quotation marks omitted]

In layman’s terms, the court held, following more than a century of Supreme Court precedent, that individual Members of Congress have no valid federal claim where a bill has been certified as passed by both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, and then signed into law by the President of the United States. If a court upheld as law a bill not passed into law in the same form by both chambers of Congress, it’s hard to see how a court would strike down a bill passed by the majority vote of both Houses.

And to add just one more wrinkle, it is unclear just who would have standing to bring a suit challenging healthcare reform legislation. In order for a law to be successfully challenged, a plaintiff must not only have a valid claim — which, as discussed above, is far from apparent — he also must have the judicially recognized capacity to sue. McConnell doesn’t touch this issue, and it is unclear why. Courts have been loath to extend standing to minority lawmakers believing themselves to be aggrieved by the tactics of the majority, and the Democratic Congressmen who filed suit in the Conyers v. Bush decision discussed above were found to lack standing (in addition to be lacking on the merits). If challengers to the healthcare reform legislation could prove that they had a majority of either chamber on their side on the issue they might be deemed to have standing — but considering that healthcare reform, if it does pass, will have garnered at least a 216-vote majority in the House and a 50+1 majority in the Senate, it’s hard to see how they would have standing to sue.

I am not an attorney and this should not be read as legal advice. But at least from my vantage, McConnell’s argument appears to be hooey, and nothing more than another political argument to try to make it harder for the Democrats to pass meaningful healthcare reform.

Note…..This is a reprint of an earlier Political101 post……

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Daniel…..The Senate is still in play for Republicans …….

Hello Folks!

Just this week after PPP released an Pennsylvania Senate Survey “The Dog” pronounced the Democrats would hold the Upper Chamber. They may indeed be favoured doing so BUT “The Senate” is still in play for Republicans.

There are 3 crucial Senate Races who will determine if Republicans could take over the Chamber:

Washington State

Incumbent Senator Patricia Lynn “Patty” Murray (D-WA)  –  Dino Rossi (R-WA)

Latest Poll: Murray (D)  47 %  ,  Rossi (R)  47 %  (Rasmussen Reports Survey)

Wisconsin

Incumbent Russell Dana “Russ” Feingold (D-WI)  –  Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Latest Poll: Feingold (D)  46 %  ,  Johnson (R)  45 %  (Rasmussen Reports Survey)

California

Incumbent Barbara Levy Boxer (D-CA)  –  Carly Fiorina (R-CA)

Latest Poll: Boxer (D)  48 %  ,  Fiorina (R)  43 %  (Rasmussen Reports Survey)

Rating Changes:

Charlie Cook moves Illinois Senate from “Lean Republican” into “Toss-Up” ; Moves Iowa Senate from “Solid Republican” into “Likely Republican”

Daniel G.

The Democrats are looking better every day…

The Dog….

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People do live at New York Airports…….

JFK homeless

Way back when…the police discouraged them from staying at the airports knowing that their efforts where never really successful…..

Then someone did a movie about a fictional inhabitant…..The Terminal….

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has tried to move away from the law enforcement angle with the ‘visitors’ that stay….

Here’s a piece on the program…..

There is a certain knack for spotting an airport vagrant. He may be well dressed, striding urgently, with neat luggage in tow. He may be a familiar sight — perhaps too familiar.

“We call it ‘the sophisticated traveler’ look,” said Mike Noel, an outreach worker who covers both Kennedy International and La Guardia Airports. “They have a wheelie suitcase, a nice carry-on. But suddenly, you realize, ‘Hmm, didn’t we see him yesterday?’ ”

Mr. Noel, 59, was explaining this as he and his partner, Howard Cunningham, walked through Terminal 4 at Kennedy last Friday, sweeping the crowds for homeless people trying to pass for travelers, and collecting news from airport employees.

Suddenly, they made such a sighting in the arrivals hall: a man reclining along the metal vents at the base of the floor-to-ceiling windows, leaning on his backpack like a pillow and charging his cellphone in the outlet. The man told Mr. Noel he was waiting for a friend to pick him up.

“Well, we saw you here yesterday,” Mr. Noel replied. “We want to help you, because sleeping here is not an option.”

The man said that his name was Johann, age 36, and that he had arrived on a one-way ticket here from Turkey a month ago and had already spent the $1,000 he brought with him.

Vagrants are generally not removed from the airports. Instead, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey contracts with Volunteers of America-Greater New Yorkfor a four-member outreach team — Mr. Noel and Mr. Cunningham work days and another two people work nights — to seek out the homeless who tend to gather in areas outside the secure boarding areas.

“It’s warm, it’s safe, it’s quiet, and all you have to do is look like a passenger,” Mr. Cunningham, 58, explained. The homeless are attracted to the seats, benches, bathrooms and carpeted areas, he said.

More…….

Note…..This is a reprint of an earlier Political101 post……

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GOP Attorney general’s are going to sue the Congress to stop the Healthcare Bill?

Dear Attorney General McMaster and McCollum

THANK YOU for defending liberty by petitioning to defeat this health CONTROL bill

COLUMBIA — Top prosecutors in South Carolina and Florida said Friday they are ready to sue if health care reform legislation passes this weekend as expected.

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster said he and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum will file a federal lawsuit challenging the bill’s constitutionality.

“We are ready to kill it,” McMaster said. “When the national government and Congress start going wild, it’s up the states to rein them in.”

The U.S. House plans to vote on the plan Sunday. McMaster and McCollum will argue that it violates state sovereignty because it requires that all Americans have some form of health insurance.

In a rare Christmas Eve vote, Senate Democrats pushed sweeping health care legislation to the brink of Senate passage, crushing a year-end Republican filibuster against President Barack Obama’s call to remake the nation’s health care system. The 60-39 vote marked the third time in as many days Democrats posted a supermajority needed to advance the legislation.

After the vote, McMaster recruited other attorneys general to question the constitutionality of the health care bill because the version that passed included an extra $100 million in Medicaid money for Nebraska, added to win Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson’s support. Democrats have since removed that provision, but the bill still includes extra money for other states.

On Thursday, McMaster said he and McCollum had a conference call with those other attorneys general, whom they expect to sign onto the lawsuit next week.

“It’s essentially a direct tax on the people for which there is no authority,” McMaster said. “It’s the national government requiring a citizen to buy something that he may or may not want to buy. There’s no authority in the Constitution that allows the Congress to do that.”

McCollum’s office confirmed Friday their participation in the legal action.

“Like all of these people, I swore an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution and the constitution of South Carolina,” McMaster said. “It is difficult to understand how the president and the Congress can believe that this is constitutional. It is harmful, and that’s why we’re going to kill it.”

Note…..This is a reprint of an earlier Political101 post……

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Sen. Gregg: Senate will pass financial reform……

From the Hill….

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said Wednesday he is “100 percent” confident the Senate will pass a financial overhaul this year.

Gregg said he was confident the nuances of the bill could be worked out and that it is much more technical and less contentious than the bruising debate on healthcare.

The Senate Banking Committee approved the financial bill on a 13-10 party-line vote in a 21-minute markup on Monday.

More……..

Note…..This is a reprint of an earlier Political101 post……

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Process piece on the Deal between the Russian & and US on nukes…….

[ President Obama, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, spoke at the White House on Friday about the new Start treaty with Russia. ]

Lost in the all the moves that happened this week was one of the most important for the entire PLANET…..

The agreemenet between the planets two biggest owners of nuclear waepons to cut the size of their arsenals…

This START agreement is a huge move ……

While mainaining MADD (Multually Assured Destruction ) the decrease in the total number of warheads can only be a good thing….

Here’s a process piece on the dance and its results…..

If Mr. Obama overestimated his powers of persuasion in reaching quick agreement with the Russians, they misjudged how far they could get him to bend. In the end, they compromised on nonbinding language. And so, after all the fits and starts, all the miscalculations, the vodka toasts that proved premature and the stare-downs that nearly sank the whole enterprise, Mr. Obama hung up the phone again with Mr. Medvedev on Friday, this time having finally translated aspiration into agreement.

The president then stepped before cameras to tell the world that next month the United States and Russia would sign a “new Start” treaty paring back their still formidable nuclear arsenals, cutting the legal limits on deployed strategic warheads by 30 percent and on launchers by half. Just as important, it will establish an inspection regime to replace one that expired in December.

The announcement culminated a negotiation that sprawled across time and space in ways that Mr. Obama hardly expected when he kicked it off, a process that dragged on four months past its deadline and leapt from London to Moscow to Geneva to Singapore to Copenhagen to Washington. For a new president, the effort became a crucible of diplomacy and a tutorial in the complexities of international security.

This account of how Mr. Obama reached agreement is based on interviews with American officials and Russian insiders, many of whom requested anonymity to discuss confidential negotiations. It is a story with twists and turns that included 10 rounds of talks by full-time negotiators in Geneva but ultimately kept coming around to intense personal negotiations between Mr. Obama and Mr. Medvedev, who met or talked by telephone 14 times to hash through disputes…..

More….

Note…..This is a reprint of an earlier Political101 post……

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CD…Texas Political Convention Dates……..

Guys, don’t forget to post this:

Texas Democrats are holding their convention in Corpus Christi from June 24-26th.
http://www.txdemocrats.org/

Texas Republicans will hold their convention at the Dallas Convention Center from June 11-12th.
http://www.txgop.org/

Done!

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