Friday, October 5, 2012

Exit Polls Canceled in 19 States !

Guantanamo mold, rats could force Sept. 11 case delay [RATS forced the September 11 case in the first place, but those rats scurried and escaped trial.] 04 Oct 2012 Concerns about mold and rats at the U.S. base in Guantanamo in Cuba could prompt another delay in the Sept. 11 case. Defense lawyers have long complained their offices are filled with moldy, dusty air and infested with rats. Several have gotten sick. Now, health officials at the base have declared the offices unfit for working and have ordered repairs. A lawyer for accused terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed says the repairs may not be finished in time for the next round of pretrial hearings, set to start Oct. 15.

Exit Polls Canceled in 19 States [to facilitate the coup] 04 Oct 2012 Breaking from two decades of tradition, this year's election exit poll is set to include surveys of voters in 31 states, not all 50 as it has for the past five presidential elections, according to multiple people involved in the planning. The decision by the National Election Pool - a joint venture of the major television networks and The Associated Press - is sure to cause some pain to election watchers across the country. The lack of data may hamper election night analyses in some states, and it will almost certainly limit post-election research for years to come. The states that will be excluded from coverage are Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Campaign Gains a New Intensity in Debate's Wake 05 Oct 2012 President Obama and Mitt Romney confronted what one feared and the other hoped was an altered campaign on Thursday, pounding new urgency into what was shaping up as a wide-open final sprint to Election Day. A day after the first debate, in which Mr. Obama was almost universally judged to have underperformed and Mr. Romney to have seized his opportunity, the president resolved to do what he did not do the night before: He went straight at the challenger with a forceful argument that Mr. Romney's words of moderation masked extreme conservative policies. "The man onstage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for the real Mitt Romney's decisions and what he's been saying for the last year," the president said at a rally, looking more energetic than he was at his lectern Wednesday night.

First presidential debate: Obama hit with left hook on TV, online 03 Oct 2012 Left-leaning commentators hit President Barack Obama hard on TV and the Internet after the first presidential debate in Denver on Wednesday night, saying GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney handily defeated his more experienced opponent. MSNBC hosts were "stunned" by Obama's performance, suggesting the president was rusty for not having debated in four years. "I don't think he explained himself very well on the economy. I think he was off his game. I was absolutely stunned tonight," Ed Schultz said. "Where was Obama tonight?" Chris Matthews asked. [Did Barack Obama cut a deal -- make history, serve one term, clear the plate and the 2008 ill-tasting GOP palette, pardon the Bush era war criminals, then turn the reigns of power back over to a (more obvious) Wall Street guy? Note that key elements of Obamacare don't take effect until 2014. Yes, 'health care reform' was born with a 'suicide gene' so that Obama's successor could overturn it 'on Day One.' And what about, in the words of Howard Fineman, the 'criminally negligent' moderator [sic], Jim Lehrer? Lehrer could not bring his useless self to ask a single question regarding Mitt Romney's '47 Percent' comments or that fact that GOP leaders met on Inauguration Day 2009 to 'submarine' Obama's presidency and plot a path to ensure that Barack Obama would be a 'one-term president.' --LRP]

Feds indict self-proclaimed Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown on retaliation, conspiracy charges 04 Oct 2012 Barrett Brown, the self-proclaimed spokesman for the affiliation of worldwide hackers known as Anonymous, has been indicted on three federal charges: making an online threat, retaliating against a federal officer and conspiring to release the personal information of a U.S. government employee. Authorities raided Brown's apartment and arrested him last month while he was chatting online with Anonymous folks. The bulk of the evidence against Brown in the indictment consists of threats he allegedly tweeted and YouTubed in the weeks leading up to his arrest -- most of them aimed at his longtime FBI foil, Agent Robert Smith.

Medication tied to rare meningitis outbreak reached 23 states 04 Oct 2012 A steroid medication linked to the death of at least five people from rare fungal meningitis may have been administered to patients in 23 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said on Thursday, raising fears the rare outbreak could spread. In a briefing for reporters, the CDC said five people had died so far and 35 had taken ill from fungal meningitis in six states. The outbreak was first reported in Tennessee, where three people have died and 25 of the cases have been reported.

Superweeds linked to rising herbicide use in GM crops 04 Oct 2012 A study published this week by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops - cotton, soybeans and corn - has actually increased. This counterintuitive finding is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service. Benbrook's analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HT) crops on pesticide use.

Federal appeals court extends stay on order blocking indefinite detention law 03 Oct 2012 The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday extended a stay on a lower court order that barred enforcement of a law allowing the indefinite detention of suspected terrorists. The Second Circuit's order allows certain provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), specifically Section 1021(b)(2), to remain in force pending appeal. This provision affirms the authority of the president under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to detain indefinitely any "person who was a part of or substantially supported al Qaeda [al-CIAduh], the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces."

Court extends stop on order blocking indefinite detention law --All three judges on the motions panel were appointed to the appeals court by President Barack Obama. 02 Oct 2012 A federal appeals court has extended a temporary stay of a district court judge's order barring the government from using an indefinite detention provision in a defense bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama late last year. A three-judge [Denny Chin, Raymond Lohier and Christopher Droney] motions panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit issued the order Tuesday afternoon, indicating they saw flaws with the scope and rationale for U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest's original order blocking the disputed provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011.

DHS Counterterror Centers Produce 'a Bunch of Crap,' Senate Finds 02 Oct 2012 They're supposed to be "one of the centerpieces of our counterterrorism strategy," according to Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In practice, not so much. The Senate's bipartisan Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found no evidence that DHS's 70-plus fusion centers - places where state, local and federal law enforcement analyze and share information - uncovered a single terrorist threat between April 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010... Unnamed DHS officials told the panel the fusion centers produce "predominantly useless information" and "a bunch of crap." An internal 2010 assessment, which DHS did not share with Congress, found that a third of all fusion centers don't have defined procedures for sharing intelligence - "one of the prime reasons for their existence." At least four fusion centers identified by DHS "do not exist," the Senate found.

DHS 'fusion centers' portrayed as pools of ineptitude, civil liberties intrusions 02 Oct 2012 An initiative aimed at improving intelligence sharing has done little to make the country more secure, despite as much as $1.4 billion in federal spending, according to a two-year examination by Senate investigators. The nationwide network of offices known as "fusion centers" was launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But after nine years — and regular praise from officials at the Department of Homeland Security - the 77 fusion centers have become [cess]pools of ineptitude, waste and civil liberties intrusions, according to a scathing 141-page report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs permanent subcommittee on investigations.

DHS Issued False 'Water Pump Hack' Report; Called It a 'Success' 02 Oct 2012 When an Illinois fusion center distributed a report last year stating that hackers from Russia had broken into a water district's SCADA system and sabotaged a water pump, the Department of Homeland Security stepped in publicly to denounce the report as false, blaming the regional fusion center for spreading unsubstantiated claims and sowing panic in the industrial control system community. But while DHS was busy pointing a finger at the fusion center, its own Office of Intelligence and Analysis had been irresponsibly spreading the same false information privately in a report to Congress and the intelligence community, according to a Senate subcommittee investigation released late Tuesday. The DHS report was issued five days after the fusion center report was issued.

Attention small UAV designers: DHS wants you for a homeland security surveillance flyoff 26 Sep 2012 Officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington are asking industry to participate in a fly-off evaluation of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and integrated UAV sensor payloads for potential use by local civil authorities maritime border and maritime security, law enforcement, search and rescue, fire, and hazardous material spill response. The DHS Science and Technology (S&T) directorate issued a request for information (DHS13-01) Monday for the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) program, which seeks to conduct flight testing and evaluation of airborne sensors and small UAVs for potential transfer to its customers.

Obama orders CIA and Navy SEALS to hunt down terrorists who attacked US consulate in Libya 02 Oct 2012 President Barack Obama has ordered the CIA and the Pentagon to hunt down the terrorists who attacked the US consulate in Libya. It's unclear what the president plans to do once the perpetrators of the September 11 assault in Benghazi are found, but he has mobilized the military's Joint Special Operations Command to help carry out the mission. Once the targets and their locations are confirmed, Obama could order any number of actions -- from drone strikes to commando raids to joint operations with the Libyans.

US says will stand by Turkey over border tensions with Syria 03 Oct 2012 Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the US has assured him of full backing at NATO and the UN over a deadly Syrian mortar attack on Wednesday that killed five people in southeast Turkey. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the assurances to Davutoglu in a phone call, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Turkey continues to shell Syrian military positions: Media 03 Oct 2012 Turkey reportedly continues to shell military positions on the Syrian soil despite the fact that Damascus said it respects the sovereignty of its neighbors and demanded its own sovereignty be respected in return.

Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says 03 Oct 2012 Three unusual earthquakes that shook a suburb west of Dallas over the weekend appear to be connected to the past disposal of wastewater from local hydraulic fracturing operations, a geophysicist who has studied earthquakes in the region says... Before a series of small quakes on Halloween 2008, the Dallas area had never recorded a magnitude-3 earthquake, said Cliff Frohlich, associate director and senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Geophysics... Frohlich said he doesn't think it's a coincidence that an intensification in seismic activity in the Dallas area came the year after a pocket of ground just south of (and thousands of feet below) the DFW airport began to be inundated with wastewater from hydraulic fracturing.

Activists push for international ban on legal trade in polar bear items --US and Russian groups unite to lobby governments after concerns over rise in poaching and melting Arctic ice 01 Oct 2012 Environmental activists in the United States and Russia have come together to push for unprecedented protection for the polar bear, hoping to stave off the decline of its already dwindling population. With Arctic Sea ice at record low because of climate change, polar bears have been deprived of a key habitat and feeding ground. Legal trade in polar bears, mainly in the form of trophy skins and furs, remains legal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), leading to the death of hundreds more each year.

Urgent: Stop the Polar Bear Rug Trade 02 Oct 2012 Adding to polar bears' already bleak prospects from climate change, risky offshore drilling and toxic contamination, the international trade in endangered species parts is booming. The price for polar bear fur reached a record high last year as the bears' numbers shrink along with their sea-ice habitat. The Obama government is considering pushing for greater protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species... This year the Russian Federation has promised to support a trade ban on polar bear parts if the United States introduces the resolution. The deadline for introducing the resolution is this week. Please contact the White House now and ask President Barack Obama's government to take a stand for polar bears and champion these urgently needed trade restrictions.

Time for a ban on the commercial trade in polar bear parts --A breakthrough for polar bears if we can mobilize today 01 Oct 2012 Last Friday the Russian Federation sent a letter to the Obama Administration promising that Russia would support a resolution to ban the international polar bear fur trade if the U.S. government introduces it. Now we must prevail on the Administration to seize this extraordinary opportunity -- and we must do it quickly. The deadline for our government to submit a resolution is this Thursday, October 4. The White House needs to hear from you immediately.

Pirate Bay Founder Remains Locked Up Without Charges 30 Sep 2012 Gottfrid Svartholm will be kept in detention for at least two more weeks on suspicion of hacking into a Swedish IT company, Logica, connected to the country's tax authorities. According to Prosecutor Henry Olin the extended detention is needed "to prevent him from having contact with other people." The Pirate Bay co-founder is not allowed to have visitors and is even being denied access to newspapers and television... After a request from Prosecutor Henry Olin this term was extended for another two weeks mid-September, and last Friday the District Court decided that Gottfrid could be detained for another two weeks. 

Former Pirate Bay hoster raided, and shut down by DDoS attack 02 Oct 2012 Former Pirate Bay host went down in the middle of a police raid on Monday, affecting hundreds of hosted sites and thousands of users of PRQ's other services. But the raid and the outage are unlikely to be related, according to PRQ's owner. All PRQ's services went down on Monday during a police raid, Mikael Viborg, owner and director of the Swedish hosting service, said on Tuesday. The police raided the hosting service because they want to seize four servers that are linked to three or four sites, he said. "I can tell from the order that it is copyright-related," said Viborg.

Pennsylvania voter ID law enforcement halted by judge 02 Oct 2012 A Pennsylvania judge Tuesday ordered state officials not to enforce the commonwealth's tough new voter ID law in the coming election, saying there was not enough time to ensure that some voters would not be disenfranchised. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said elections officials could still ask voters for a photo ID, but could not turn away otherwise qualified voters who had not been able to obtain one. An appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is possible. That court ordered Simpson, who had earlier declared the law constitutional and said it could go into effect this fall, to again review the state's revamped procedures for providing photo IDs to those who lack them.

G.O.P., Koch Brothers Aim to Remake Florida Supreme Court 03 Oct 2012 In a bid to remake Florida's judiciary, Republicans are asking voters to oust three state Supreme Court justices and give the Legislature greater power over Supreme Court appointments and judicial rules of procedure. The campaign against the justices by Republican state party officials, a conservative group founded by the Koch brothers, and a grass-roots group is similar to the successful push by conservative activists in Iowa during the 2010 election.

Obama poised to betray electorate - Krugman 02 Oct 2012 Bowlesing Toward Betrayal By Paul Krugman Right after I warn about the risk that Democrats, including the president, might betray the mandate they seem likely to get for preserving the safety net, we learn that Senate leaders are at work on a plan based around, well, you guessed it: If those efforts failed, another plan would take effect, probably a close derivative of the proposal by President Obama's fiscal [cat food] commission led by Erskine B. Bowles, the Clinton White House chief of staff, and former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a Republican. Those recommendations included changes to Social Security, broad cuts in federal programs and actions that would lower tax rates over all but eliminate or pare enough deductions and credits to yield as much as $2 trillion in additional revenue. Just to say, this would be politically stupid as well as a betrayal of the electorate.

Presidential debate seen as potential turning point for Romney --Candidates spend day preparing, touring debate site 03 Oct 2012 U.S. Republican candidate Mitt Romney gets his first chance on Wednesday evening to go head-to-head in a debate against President Barack Obama, and potentially turn the tide of a campaign that has seen him trailing for weeks. The 90-minute encounter could reach 60 million people on television, a far bigger audience than watched either candidate speak at the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Todd Akin In 2008: Doctors Give Abortions to Women Who Aren't Pregnant 02 Oct 2012 Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin sparked national outrage in August when he justified his opposition to abortion by claiming that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." However, the Republican congressman's now-infamous remarks are not the first time he's made a scientifically questionable statement on abortion. As Slate reported Tuesday, Akin gave a speech on the House floor in 2008 denouncing abortion providers as "terrorists," claiming that they sometimes perform abortions on women who "are not actually pregnant." [Do they perform brain surgery on Representatives whose skulls are actually empty? --LRP]

Detroit workers striking in defiance of federal court order: 'We're not going anywhere' 01 Oct 2012 Striking water department workers continued to picket Monday afternoon despite being ordered back to work by a federal judge. "The strike will continue," said AFSCME Local 207 Secretary Treasurer Michael Mulholland in a statement. "We are fighting to stop the contracting out of over 80% of our jobs... The workers have been demanding better staffing, training and equipment to improve water quality for years, and management has always lent a deaf ear. Now, with the disingenuous claim of 'environmental protection' they are simply union busting and privatizing."

Dean of NCCU University College arrested in alleged assault 03 Oct 2012 The dean of University College at North Carolina Central University is facing charges in connection with an alleged assault on a colleague. ABC11 has learned Ontario Wooden was arrested and charged with assault on a female last Friday. According to the arrest warrant, the alleged incident happened Sept. 24 on NCCU's campus, but it did not say specifically where on campus.

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