Meet the Pelosi family! Using Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Judicial Watch uncovered thousands of pages of travel documents related to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of military aircraft.
What hasn’t been revealed so far is that military aircraft are being used to shuttle Pelosi’s kids and grandkids between DC and San Francisco without any Congressional representatives even onboard! Put simply, the United States Air Force is serving as a multi-billion dollar chauffeur- and baby-sitting service for Nancy Pelosi’s kids and grandkids—presumably because commercial travel is beneath the families of the autocrats.With the economy in a shambles and teetering on the brink of disaster thanks to the insane policies of the Democrats, this kind of waste is an outrage. Nancy Pelosi—Air Force Documents
These documents were produced by the U.S. Air Force in response to a FOIA request for documents regarding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of Air Force transportation for Congressional Delegation (CODEL) travel.
AGAIN…PATRIOT FREEDOM SAYS Pelosi needs to resign as Speaker.
The scandal-plagued Speaker of the House has alienated nearly half of the country, earning an all-time low approval rating that makes her the least popular member of the Democratic Party.
President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan has created 42,000 jobs in Michigan in the past six months and deserves a chance to succeed, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said.
Granholm, who appeared Sunday on political talk shows on CBS and CNN, said Obama’s initiatives to create jobs and reward new U.S. manufacturing jobs with tax credits is creating hope among Michigan and other manufacturing-dependent states that have been hit hard by job losses.
"Now we see over 3 million jobs being created by the stimulus," she said on CBS’ "Face the Nation. "And just quickly, one of the things that is unique to Michigan and maybe to some other states who have our problem with the loss of manufacturing jobs, what he has done is given us hope to transform and diversify."
Granholm, speaking on CNN’s "State of the Union," noted Michigan is "the poster child of the global shift in manufacturing jobs."
She praised Obama’s remarks last week that he would reward domestic manufacturing job creation with tax credits and take them away from U.S. companies that are moving manufacturing jobs overseas.
"He said he would enforce trade agreements to ensure that we have a level playing field, that he would have an export initiative. That tells me, that tells us here that that means we’re going to be making stuff in this country," Granholm said.
"We shouldn’t be in a position where we are giving away the store to other countries. We are allowing them to beat the pants off of us in this trade war. We don’t even enforce the darn agreements we have and then we enter into ones that give advantages to the other side," she said.
Granholm, a Democrat who can’t run for re-election this year because of Michigan’s term limits law, said she’s glad not to be on the ballot this year, given the anger among voters.
"I wouldn’t want to be an incumbent on the ballot," she told CNN. "… I know that Democrats are taking more of the heat on this, but honestly, I think it’s incumbents that are really the endangered species, or at least about to become more endangered.
"Anybody who is in office will suffer the wrath of the voter because they want it fixed and they haven’t seen it fixed, so let’s try somebody new," she said.
Open Carry gun advocates in the Bay Area are easy to spot. With unloaded firearms strapped to their sides, they meet at coffee shops and other places to protest exercise their right to bear arms, drawing plenty of attention from the media, cops and bystanders along the way. A group of proponents converged at a local Starbucks in November. Earlier this month, members of Bay Area Open Carry gathered at a Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Livermore, triggering a 911 call. Cops responded and frisked one man during his interview with ABC7 (see video below). And last week’s meeting at the Peet’s in San Ramon caused quite a stir among customers who both disapproved and praised the heat-packing patrons, according to The Oakland Tribune.
VIDEO: Police frisked Open Carry proponent Walter Stanley during an interview with ABC7 earlier this month.
Days after the San Ramon confab, a TV station in Sacramento discovered that a local Peet’s posted a policy banning customers from openly carrying guns. A company spokesperson confirmed the rule in an email to The Scavenger:
While Peet’s Coffee & Tea respects and values all individuals’ rights under local, state and federal laws, our policy is not to allow customers carrying firearms in our stores or on our outdoor seating premises unless they are uniformed or identified law enforcement officers. Like most other private businesses, particularly retail establishments, we believe this policy is in the best interests of all of our customers, regardless of their personal beliefs. In no way does this policy conflict with or discriminate under the law, and it does not take a position on the law.
Meanwhile, a planned Feb. 6 meeting at the California Pizza Kitchen in Walnut Creek was nipped in the bud by CPK’s crackdown. Sarah Grover, Chief Communications Officer of the LA-based company, sent us this statement:
CPK does not allow guests other than uniformed officers to display firearms in our restaurants. CPK is a family oriented restaurant and the comfort and well being of our guests is a top priority. We are concerned that the open display of firearms would be particularly disturbing to children and their parents.
The policies didn’t exactly go over well with Open Carry proponents. On an online forum, they called for boycotts of Peet’s and CPK. Someone even posted a protest sign (below).
Open Carry rules vary from state to state. In California, an open carrier’s firearm must be unloaded and holstered. The ammo must be kept separate from the gun. Cops are allowed to inspect the weapon but cannot search for the gun’s serial number. And as one recently San Jose man discovered, it is illegal to possess a gun within 1,000 feet of any public or private school.
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Armed men stormed a party in this violent Mexican border city, killing 13 high school and college students in what witnesses said was an attack prompted by false in formation.
About two dozen teens and young adults were hospitalized after the late Saturday assault in Ciudad Juarez, a drug cartel-plagued city which is one of the deadliest in the world.
Grieving witnesses and family members told The Associated Press on Sunday they thought the victims, mostly residents of the housing complex where the attack occurred, had no ties to drug traffickers, .
"It must have been a huge mistake," said Martha Lujan, who lives at the housing complex.
The young adults had gathered to watch a boxing match, Lujan said, when two trucks pulled up loaded with armed men who opened fire.
Ten people were killed at the scene and other three died at local hospitals, Chihuahua State Attorney Patricia Gonzales said.
The bodies of the victims, whose ages ranged from 15 to 20, lay scattered around the house where the attack happened.
A witness to the attacks said he was just outside when the gunfire broke out. Hector, who only gave his first name because he feared retaliation, said the party was an innocuous gathering of friends who must have been targeted incorrectly.
"I think there was some confusion," he said. "We’re seeking justice."
Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million people just across the border from El Paso, Texas, is home to several drug cartel bosses who are battling for turf as thousands of troops and federal police try to stop them.
More than 2,250 people were killed there last year alone.
Violence also rocked the oceanside Mexican community of Lazaro Cardenas overnight. Police in the southwestern city said that just after midnight Saturday, about 20 heavily armed gunmen riding in trucks with tinted windows attacked a police station with grenades and assault rifles, killing a police officer and two civilians — a mother and her son who had come to pay a fine.
Also early Sunday morning, three women and two men, all identified as Mexican citizens, were murdered while driving in their van with California license plates near the western Mexican city of Navolato.
The bodies of the five victims, including a 16-year-old girl, were found riddled with bullets, said Martin Gastelum, attorney general for the state of Sinaloa, where Navolato is located.
Sure they were innocent. Aren’t all Mexicans? Yeah, never mind that every witness has given a different account of the incident. The innocent Mexicans were just watching a boxing match. . No no, they were watching a soccer game. No no, they weren’t watching t.v. at all, they were all holding hands and singing I’d like to sell buy the world some coke. I sure hope Mexicans are given ‘official’ amnesty in the U.S. because nothing would please me more than to have the U.S. turned into a Mexico.
Like Calderon said: Wherever there is a Mexican, there is Mexico.
NANGAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — As his commander greeted a local leader in a district government building one day recently, Air Force Technical Sgt. Tyler Woodson, 20, scurried past them and ran up three flights of stairs to the roof.
There, Woodson, of Macon, Ga., surveyed the town. He saw children playing soccer in an adjacent field, trucks traveling on the main throughway and, several hundred yards away, a glorious range of mountains touching the sky.
He knew that was the best place to drop a bomb from an F-16 — where there was no chance of striking anyone or anything.
"See over there," he said, pointing. "It’s flat, so there’s no chance of debris falling on anyone."
This is the new U.S. air campaign in much of Afghanistan.
Six months after Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S commander in Afghanistan, issued a tactical directive urging troops to walk away from a fight rather than risk killing civilians, the Air Force is engaging in a campaign of restraint. Instead of airstrikes, airmen increasingly are searching for places they can drop bombs that can be heard and felt, but where they’re unlikely to damage buildings or hurt people.
It isn’t a universal effort. In Afghanistan’s Khost and Helmand provinces, Afghanistan’s most violent, U.S. jets more frequently drop bombs that are intended to maim and kill.
In less conflicted areas such as Nangahar, however, soldiers are increasingly seeking tactics other than air attacks to get them out of hairy situations. Among the alternative uses of air power: buzzing enemy positions in a show of force, and shooting flares or dropping warning bombs instead of directly engaging the enemy.
Privately, ground troops see that the restraint is putting them in greater danger, and so far, they aren’t seeing results.
Afghans still seem no more willing to provide information to U.S. forces, the troops say, despite the U.S. efforts to minimize civilian casualties, even in a province such as Nangahar, where education levels are relatively high. A senior military officer acknowledged in a December briefing with reporters that the Taliban have expanded their shadow government to nearly every Afghan province, a sign of complicity and fear among law-abiding Afghans.
Afghans say they appreciate the Americans’ more cautious approach, but they continue to fear the Taliban’s return to power.
Some troops say they look for ways around the directive.
"The directive … it’s nice. I read it, but I am going to make sure my guys come back. Period," said one platoon sergeant who requested anonymity to speak more candidly.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen P. Mueller, the director of coordinating air resources in Afghanistan and a McChrystal adviser on Air Force matters, said he’s aware that troops feel less safe and is trying to address that by stressing that they’ll get air support when they need it.
"All we are asking is for the pilot and crew to be a little more judgmental," Mueller said. "We are trying to counter this (notion). But I fundamentally believe it is the best way to go."
The adjustment is part of the Air Force’s effort to find a place for jet fighters in a counterinsurgency campaign. Even precision-guided munitions are best for killing hundreds of enemy troops clustered on a battlefield, not for one or two insurgents running away from a housing compound, Air Force commanders concede. Dropped on buildings to kill a handful of enemy fighters, bombs almost certainly also claim the lives of civilians.
Since McChrystal’s directive, "we have seen … significantly less use in compounds," Mueller said.
Air Force statistics show that non-lethal shows of force have become more common in the months since McChrystal’s directive.
Those statistics show, for example, that U.S. troops came into contact with an enemy 590 times in July, the month McChrystal issued the directive. In 33 percent, or 198 of those cases, they responded with a non-lethal aerial show of force. By November, non-lethal shows of force made up 88 percent of the responses — 110 out of 139 instances of troops facing enemy fire.
Col. Joe Beissner, 45, of Alexandria, Va., vice wing commander of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing who’s served in Afghanistan before, said the military uses less air power now than it did two years ago.
The Air Force is now asking: "Is there a better way we can do this than drop a 200-pound bomb?"
Woodson’s rooftop surveillance in Nangahar province is part of a program designed to provide a bridge between ground forces and pilots in the air. Several hundred Air Force joint terminal attack controllers, or JTACs, are assigned to Army units in Afghanistan to help determine whether to drop a bomb, and if so, what kind.
The JTACs also are responsible for knowing where aircraft are and how long it will take them to arrive at a battle. Once they’ve arrived, the JTACs help negotiate the best use of the aircraft.
The ground commander is often just thinking "I don’t want my guys to be shot anymore," said Air Force Maj. Jayson Schmiedt, an F15C pilot from Colorado Springs, Colo. "So we tell them, ‘Tell us the effects you want, and we will provide it.’ "
It takes three years to train a JTAC, and there’s a shortage — the military hopes to add another 100 among the 30,000 surge troops, bringing the total number in Afghanistan to roughly 300.
Woodson, who’s assigned to accompany the 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, Georgia Army National Guard, spends much of his time in the field looking for places to drop a warning shot, in case soldiers ever come into danger.
As the 108th Cavalry’s commander, Lt. Col. Randall Simmons, 40, also of Macon, met with local officials, Woodson determined the GPS coordinates of the mountain’s flat top and made a note of them. In an attack, there may not be time to look for the best spot, he explained.
There are limits to warning shots, of course, said Capt. Roger Brooks, 36, who hails from Dallas, Ga., and commands the JTACs supporting Simmons’ regiment as part of the 165th Air Support Operations Squadron of the Georgia Air National Guard.
The Taliban are smart and adaptable. If they see only warning shots and flares, they’ll eventually figure out "it’s just an air show," he said.
For now, however, it still works, largely because 30 years of war have taught Afghans to fear death from the sky.
Measuring the gains of restraint, however, is harder to determine. On a late December day, guardsmen were returning from a daylong patrol. Brooks was serving as the JTAC.
Along the main road to the base just outside Jalalabad, the unit was flagged down by a man who said that a policeman had found a roadside bomb up ahead in a busy area of shops, where it should have been difficult to hide an explosive without others knowing.
As Lt. Col. Simmons interviewed the local police chief about how a bomb could have been buried just outside his station, Brooks determined that an F-15 was flying 15 miles to the north. He jumped out of the truck and began trying to find a target.
As he listened to the police chief’s answers, which were growing increasingly evasive, Brooks became antsy. Taliban fighters might be nearby, and the unit was now stopped. He asked the F-15 to drop flares. Ten minutes later it did, sending the villagers running out of fear they were about to be struck.
That was a success, Brooks said. The troops were safer. Still, he sighed.
Under the new tactical directive, Brooks would have to explain why he used the flares.
"All I can think about is the paperwork," he said. "It will take hours for 15 minutes of air power."
Michelle Obama started a campaign to tackle childhood obesity in the U.S. on a personal vein – with an admission that her own daughters were becoming overweight before a diet nipped the problem in the bud.
The First Lady said that she had been warned by the family paediatrician that ‘something was getting out of balance’ with her two children Malia 11, and Sasha, 8.
‘In my eyes I thought my children were perfect – I didn’t see the changes,’ Mrs Obama said at an event organised by US health officials.
The girls then had to adhere to new ground rules – less burgers, low-fat milk, and fruits and water instead of sugary drinks; the change was significant, she said.
Mrs Obama was accompanied by Regina Benjamin, whose choice as US Surgeon General sparked nationwide debate about the appropriateness – or lack of it – of having an overweight person heading the country’s health department.
Fatass Benjamin with Marxist Manure Barack Hussein Obama
Ms Benjamin also invoked her own struggles with weight gain to enforce their message.
The pair then unveiled the White House vegetable garden, taken care of by local schoolchildren in a bid to promote healthier eating.
U.S. president Barack Obama has also in the past publicly voiced concerns about the habits of their children, saying that Malia had become ‘a little chubby’.
Concerns over obesity has been growing in the U.S. where two thirds of adults and one in three children are overweight or obese, according to experts.
Kathleen Sebelius, US Health and Human Services Secretary, told yesterday’s launch that the US spends nearly $150 billion (£94 billion) a year fighting obesity – more than it spends on cancer and twice as much as it spent on obesity in 1998.
The campaign was launched to deter this problem, and the announcement that Michelle would head it was met with a standing ovation from congressmen and senators.
JAKARTA // Imagine, for a moment, a possible headline in the future: “Osama bin Laden denounces terrorism and renounces jihad.”
What are the odds? Is it even possible to wean an extremist like bin Laden off his violent ideology? The likelihood is hard to envisage.
But the Obama administration is keen to attempt something very close to that. This week, it agreed to give US$11 million (Dh40m) to Yemen to build a militant rehabilitation centre in the Arab state within the next three months for released Guantanamo Bay detainees.
The centre would treat terrorists in much the same way as drug addicts: seeing Islamic radicalism as an anomalous behavioural pattern and treating it with a mix of psychotherapy, counselling and religious re-education, coupled with economic incentives to slowly steer them back into society.
This move, analysts say, underscores the realisation that punitive detention or torture in a dank prison does not necessarily reform extremists. Some militants continue to espouse a virulent hatred for the West even after serving time in prison. Killing them can be counterproductive – many of them seek martyrdom.
The future of fighting extremism around the world may lie in terrorism rehabilitation. [More Nonsense]
Thomas Kent, 18, of west suburban Maywood, was charged with felony aggravated battery to police, one misdemeanor count of reckless conduct and three counts of resisting/obstructing a peace officer.
Seven people were arrested and several police officers were injured during an early Saturday morning street fight involving more than 100 people on the Northwest Side.
Police responded to the large disturbance near the 5600 block of West Grand Avenue around 1:45 a.m., and several officers sustained “non-life threatening injuries” while trying to break up the fight, police News Affairs Sgt. Antoinette Ursitti said.
Several of the suspects refused orders to quit fighting and verbally and physically assaulted officers responding to the disturbance, Ursitti said. Police also used tasers and pepper spray to quiet the disturbance, she said.
One teen was arrested and charged with a felony following the fight, Ursitti said.
Thomas Kent, 18, of west suburban Maywood, was charged with felony aggravated battery to police, one misdemeanor count of reckless conduct and three counts of resisting/obstructing a peace officer.
Six other people, all in their teens or early twenties, were charged with misdemeanors after the brawl.
George Jernigan, 20, of the 1800 block of N. McVicker Ave., was charged with reckless conduct, three counts of resisting/obstructing, and battery
Jeremy Reed, 18, of the 5700 block of W. Ohio St., was charged with reckless conduct and two counts of resisting/obstructing a peace officer
Aramie Kent, 20, of the 2100 block of S. 11th Place, was charged with reckless conduct and two counts of resisting/obstructing a peace officer
Keisha Lemon, 21, of the 700 block of N. Menard Ave., was charged with reckless conduct
Orlando Edwards, 21, of the 5700 block of W. Ohio St., was charged with reckless conduct, battery, and two counts of resisting/obstructing a peace officer
Dishai Reed, 20, of west suburban Bellwood was charged with reckless conduct.
Bond information for Kent was not immediately available.