Friday, August 24, 2012

'No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate' !

Mitt Romney: 'No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate' 24 Aug 2012 Republican Mitt Romney raised the discredited rumor that President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States, jokingly ['jokingly' is AP-inserted verbiage, added to downplay the controversy] declaring "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate" as he campaigned today near his own Michigan birthplace. The comment came a day after Romney caused another stir by declaring that big business was "doing fine" in the current struggling economy in part because companies get advantages from offshore tax havens.

Romney Said to Use Secretive Data Mining 24 Aug 2012 Mitt Romney's success in raising hundreds of millions of dollars in the costliest presidential race ever can be traced in part to a secretive data-mining project that sifts through Americans' personal information--including their purchasing history and church attendance--to identify new and likely, wealthy donors, the Associated Press has learned. For the data-mining project, the Republican candidate has quietly employed since at least June a little-known but successful analytics firm that previously performed marketing work for a colleague tied to Bain & Co., the management-consulting firm that Mr. Romney once led.

Arrest plan to seize Julian Assange 'under all circumstances' accidentally revealed 24 Aug 2012 Plans to seize Julian Assange "under all circumstances" the moment he leaves the Ecuadorean embassy in London have accidentally been revealed by a police officer displaying restricted documents outside the embassy. The document, pictured under the officer's arm by a Press Association photographer, appears to advocate arresting the WikiLeaks founder whether he leaves the building in a diplomatic bag or in a diplomatic car. The handwritten plan was recorded at a police briefing and only partially covered by the officer's arm as he arrived at the embassy in Knightsbridge on Friday. The brief begins: "BRIEF - EQ. Embassy brief - Summary of current position Re Assange. Action required - Assange to be arrested under all circumstances." It then makes reference to a "dip bag" and a "dip vehicle".

Eleven People Shot by NYPD Outside Empire State Building 25 Aug 2012 A clothing designer who had been fired from a Midtown company shot and killed a former co-worker in the shadow of the Empire State Building on Friday morning and was then killed by the police, in a shootout in which nine bystanders were hurt, the authorities said. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that two officers fired a total of 14 rounds and that he believed some [all but the co-worker] of the shooting victims had been shot by the officers "based on the number of people shot and the capacity of" the gunman's weapon.

Some 'hit by police bullets' in Empire State Building shooting --Police, already on the scene, were actually 'anti-terrorism units.' By Lori Price, 24 Aug 2012 Some struck in NYC's Empire State Building shooting were 'wounded or grazed' [*or killed*] by NYPD bullets. Nine bystanders were injured by 'stray' (read: police) fire. There are conflicting reports on whether Jeffrey Johnson, 53, actually shot at police before the counter-terrorism police officers fired at him. The gunman is among two dead in NYC shootings. [So the purpose of this particular op was to get people acclimated to the notion that the police -- and/or anti-terrorism units, DHS, or other federal agencies -- can open fire on crowds and we're supposed to accept such an action as 'necessary.' --LRP]

NYPD: No evidence yet gunman fired at officers 24 Aug 2012 Investigators say the evidence collected so far suggests that a laid off clothing designer who shot a former colleague near the Empire State Building didn't fire at police. The gunman was shot by police, and nine bystanders were wounded. One witness tells police that Jeffrey Johnson fired at officers, but authorities say ballistics evidence so far doesn't support that. They say Johnson's .45-caliber weapon held seven rounds. He fired five times at Steven Ercolino, killing him. One round was still in the gun, and one was ejected when officers secured it.

NYPD disciplines 17 cops who posted racist Facebook comments --About 150 comments were posted, referring to West Indian Day Parade revelers as 'savages' and 'animals.' 23 Aug 2012 NYPD brass has disciplined 17 cops who posted racist or offensive comments on a Facebook page devoted to last year's West Indian Day Parade, officials said Thursday. About 150 comments were posted on the page, referring to parade revelers as "savages" and "animals." One person, believed to be a cop, went so far as to write: "I say have the parade one more year and when they all gather drop a bomb and wipe them all out." "Kill them all," another person wrote.

Israeli protesters warn against war as government appears to prep Iran strikes --Parallel demonstrations took place in Haifa and Jerusalem 24 Aug 2012 A persistent group of anti-war protesters gathered in front Israel's Ministry of Defense in Central Tel Aviv on Thursday, chanting "We don't want another war!" and warning the government against striking Iran's nuclear facilities. Around 100 demonstrators carried signs declaring "No War" and "Don't bomb, talk!" Some lay on the ground and wrapped themselves in white sheets to simulate war casualties. 

U.S. sends aircraft carrier back to Gulf to face Iran, Syria 23 Aug 2012 The U.S. Navy is cutting short home leave for the crew of one of its aircraft carriers and sending them back to the Middle East next week to counter any [fabricated] threat from Iran, according to the official Navy News Service. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told sailors aboard the USS Stennis in their home port of Seattle on Wednesday they were needed back in the Middle East soon, after approving calls from the U.S. Central Command for Stennis to return to the region. "Obviously, Iran is one of those threats," the U.S. military news service quoted Panetta as saying during a send-off event at a military base on the U.S. West Coast. "Secondly, it is the turmoil in Syria," he said. "We're obviously following that closely as well." ['Following?' LOL. Try *fomenting.*]

US Navy sending back warship to Persian Gulf 23 Aug 2012 The US Navy has cut short home leave for crew of aircraft carrier USS Stennis by four months to send the warship back to the Middle East and Persian Gulf next week. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notified the USS Stennis crew in Seattle on Wednesday that they are needed in the Middle East region, following the requests forwarded by the US Central Command. The Stennis had departed from the US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain in January and was due to be redeployed next to the Pacific towards the end of 2012, Reuters reported.

France backs Syria no-fly zone 24 Aug 2012 France indicated Thursday that it would consider supporting a partial no-fly zone over Syria, turning the screws on President Bashar al-Assad's government as fighting rages in Damascus and second city Aleppo. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian however warned that shutting all of Syria's air space would mean "going to war" and would require a willing international coalition that has not yet materialized. Speaking on France 24 television, Le Drian called for considering a partial closure of Syria's air space, as suggested by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

US drone attack kills 18 in North Waziristan, despite Pakistan protests 24 Aug 2012 American missiles targeting suspected militants in Pakistan along the Afghan border killed 18 today, just one day after Pakistani authorities met with a United States diplomat to protest drone strikes in the country. The US drone campaign has been a serious contributor of tension between the US and Pakistan, and today's attacks were the fourth in one week, reports the Associated Press. All of this week’s attacks took place in North Waziristan, an especially restive area where the Pakistani military has yet to conduct any operations against militants. [Obama: drone-bombing you can believe in!]

Facebook-posting Marine veteran released from hospital 24 Aug 2012 The shifting fortunes of Marine veteran Brandon J. Raub moved in his favor Thursday after a Hopewell judge criticized his forced relocation to a veterans hospital in western Virginia for mental treatment and then ordered him released. Hopewell Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett found that a document ordering Raub's transfer this week from a Hopewell hospital to the Salem VA Medical Center was faulty and "so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy." Raub, 26, was released from the Salem hospital shortly after 5 p.m.

Judge orders release of US Marine detained for Facebook posts --They detained him without charge and admitted him to a local hospital for 'evaluation.' 23 Aug 2012 On the basis that there was zero reason to detain a retired Marine and commit him to a medical facility for psychiatric evaluation, a Virginia judge has demanded that Brandon Raub be released from custody immediately. Raub, 26, had his home visited one week earlier by FBI, Secret Service and local law enforcement agents who expressed concern over a series of Facebook posts he had made on his public social networking profile.

Facebook posts land Marine vet in psychiatric ward 20 Aug 2012 US police reportedly detained a Marine Corps veteran in a mental hospital over Facebook posts, triggering outrage in the online community. Brandon J. Raub claimed the FBI was concerned about his "calling for the arrest of government officials." Raub, 26, is now being held in the John Randolph Behavioral Health psychiatric ward. Raub was confronted by FBI agents at his home on Thursday and taken away in handcuffs. He was then reportedly questioned over several incendiary Facebook posts he made. "They were concerned about me calling for the arrest of government officials," Raub said. [OMG! I call for same, like, daily! And, I'm not going to STOP asserting the FACT that 9/11 was an inside job, six ways to Sunday. --LRP]

Assange Supporters Hold 24-Hour 'Vigil' Outside Ecuador Embassy 24 Aug 2012 Foreign ministers from Latin America meet in Washington Friday to discuss Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks who has been living inside Ecuador's London Embassy for over two months. Ecuador has granted Assange asylum but Britain has made it clear that the founder of Wikileaks will be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy... Across the street from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, protesters are holding what they call a "vigil" - they say it is a 24-hour watch in order to ensure that Assange is not forcibly removed from the embassy by British police.

We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited --For decades we have campaigned to get rapists caught, charged and convicted. But the pursuit of Assange is political. By Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff 23 Aug 2012 When Julian Assange was first arrested, we were struck by the unusual zeal with which he was being pursued for rape allegations. It seems even clearer now, that the allegations against him are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction.

Capitol Police, FBI probe threats against Mo. Rep. Akin 23 Aug 2012 The U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI are investigating threats against Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin, who has been widely condemned for a comment about "legitimate rape," according to news reports. Citing unnamed officials, St. Louis TV station KMOV says "multiple people have threatened rape and harm against Akin, his staff and family." An Akin spokesperson would not say whether the congressman is receiving additional security.

Ties to Obama Aided in Access for Big Utility 23 Aug 2012 Early in the Obama administration, a lobbyist for the Illinois-based energy producer Exelon Corporation proudly called it "the president's utility." And it was not just because it delivers power to Barack Obama's Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. Exelon's top executives were early and frequent supporters of Mr. Obama as he rose from the Illinois State Senate to the White House.

The Best $1.5 Million Ever Spent In Politics 22 Aug 2012 Democrats spent $1.5 million during the Republican Senate Primary in Missouri in an effort to tilt the election in their favor: There's a reason why Democrats spent over $1.5 million trying to help Akin win his three-way primary. He was the most conservative candidate in the field - and the most unpredictable one... Here's how they [Democrats] pushed the Akin candidacy during the primary.

Jobless Claims Rose Slightly Last Week 23 Aug 2012 There were an estimated 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

New poll, data point to vast social polarization in US 24 Aug 2012 A survey released August 22 by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. adds details to the picture of an American society divided sharply along class lines and dominated by growing social inequality. "Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier: The Lost Decade of the Middle Class" is based on the results of a national poll supplemented by data from the US Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The study begins by noting that on the eve of the 2012 elections the Democrats and Republicans are attempting to court a middle class "that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being." Since 2000, it "has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some--but by no means all--of its characteristic faith in the future."

South African platinum miners' strike spreads 23 Aug 2012 The strike by thousands of South African platinum miners, which led to the police murder of 34 workers August 16 at Lonmin's Marikana mine, is spreading to other companies in the industry. Rock drill operators walked out at the nearby Royal Bafokeng platinum mine Tuesday night, shutting down production at the site that employs 7,000 workers. No one reported for work at either of the mine's two shafts.

Haiti sits in strengthening Isaac's path 23 Aug 2012 As Tropical Storm Isaac swirls in the Caribbean -- becoming more powerful mile by mile -- it threatens to unleash disaster once again on vulnerable Haiti by Friday night. The possibility of stinging rain and tree-bending wind descending on the hundreds of thousands of Haitians living in camps has aid groups in the country on high alert.

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