Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Altered flu virus research suspended; Maryland considers legislation against rat trafficking; Fancy, healthy, mandated school food being trashed; Canada may export oil to China; Government investigations of electric cars ended; Chief of criminal division of U.S. atty's office to take the fifth; Obama lies in first campaign ad; Solyndra trashes $2 million in parts; Congress may pass Keystone without Obama; Michigan considering free college for all; Did Obama give $88 billion in American cash and assets to Honduras?; Michigan debates Obamacare exchanges; Obama's poverty trickerations; Ron Paul would eliminate TSA

The NY Times writes: The scientists who altered a deadly flu virus to make it more contagious have agreed to suspend their research for 60 days to give other international experts time to discuss the work and determine how it can proceed without putting the world at risk of a potentially catastrophic pandemic. Suspensions of biomedical research are almost unheard of; the only other one in the United States was a moratorium from 1974 to 1976 on some types of recombinant DNA research, because of safety concerns. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/21/science/scientists-to-pause-research-on-deadly-strain-of-bird-flu.html?_r=1&hp
Washington Examiner reports: A Republican delegate in Maryland plans to introduce legislation to protect Maryland's borders not from undocumented workers, but from rodents.
Del. Pat McDonough, R-Baltimore, will at an afternoon news conference roll out his Rat Trafficking Act, which would bar the D.C. government “and any other entity from trafficking rats and other vermin into Maryland.”
McDonough’s move will come after a flurry of attacks against the District's Wildlife Protection Act of 2010, which mandates that animal control companies use humane methods when handling animals. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli set off the firestorm when he publicly worried that the law would lead to a mass relocation by exterminators of D.C. rats into his state.  [The Law of Unintended Consequences....]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CBS LA reports: The revamped school lunches at Los Angeles Unified School District have won awards, commending them for improving the menu at the second largest school district in the nation. Too bad the students don’t agree. Rejecting healthful alternatives like vegetarian curries and tamales, quinoa salads and pad Thai noodles, students are throwing them in the trash by the thousands, bringing junk food from home and buying instant noodles and other decidedly unhealthy fare from the “black markets” that have begun to thrive at campuses across the district, according to the Los Angeles Times. [The Law of Unintended Consequences...] http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/01/19/lausd-students-roundly-reject-healthier-school-lunch-menu/
Bloomberg reports: President Barack Obama’s decision yesterday to reject a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline may prompt Canada to turn to China for oil exports. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-19/canada-pledges-to-sell-oil-to-asia-after-obama-rejects-keystone-pipeline.html
Bloomberg reports: U.S. regulators, who ended their investigation yesterday into the Chevrolet Volt, said electric- powered vehicles do not pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline cars.
“Based on the available data, NHTSA does not believe that Chevy Volts or other electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in an e-mailed statement.
The conclusion by NHTSA came two weeks after General Motors Co. (GM) told Volt owners to bring the vehicles to dealerships for repair. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-20/chevy-volt-battery-fire-investigation-closed-by-u-s-regulator.html
Powerline reports: In an ominous development for the Obama administration, Patrick Cunningham, chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, has told the House Oversight Committee that he will assert his privilege against self-incrimination rather than testify before the committee next week. DOJ officials in Washington evidently have blamed Cunningham for the fact that they provided false information to Congress in what appears to be an effort to cover up the Fast and Furious scandal. Cunningham’s lawyer, in a letter published here, says that blame is misplaced: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/01/holders-united-front-on-fast-and-furious-crumbles.php
News Investors writes: In his very first TV ad of the 2012 campaign, the president is feeding the public false information about America's dependence on foreign fuels. His twisted statistics actually celebrate the Obama recession.Obama's ad dishonestly suggests he's been engineering an alternative energy economic renaissance in America. As hard-hatted workers are shown assembling solar panels, the ad says, "America's clean energy industry? 2.7 million jobs and expanding rapidly."
It's saying Obama created — or "saved" — 2.7 million new clean energy jobs, right? Uh-uh. Turns out that the Brookings Institution report that the ad cites as its source on the 2.7 million was referring to already-existing green jobs.
You'd never know from the Obama commercial that what Brookings actually said was: "Overall, today's clean economy establishments added half a million jobs between 2003 and 2010, expanding at an annual rate of 3.4 %" — a half-million over eight years being a tiny gain. And that "this performance lagged the growth in the national economy, which grew by 4.2% annually over the period." http://news.investors.com/Article/598518/201201201917/obama-energy-claims-celebrate-recession.htm?src=IBDDAE
CBS San Francisco writes: After filing for bankruptcy last year, Fremont solar company Solyndra still owes American taxpayers half a billion dollars. But CBS 5 caught them destroying millions of dollars worth of parts.
At Solyndra’s sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass tubes used in solar panels last week. They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters.
And it’s not a few loads. Hundreds of thousands of tubes on shrink-wrapped pallets will meet a similar demise.
Solyndra paid at least $2 million for the specialized glass. A CBS 5 crew found one piece lying in the parking lot. Solyndra still owes the German company that made the tubes close to another $8 million.
So why is a bankrupt company that owes a fortune to creditors, including American taxpayers, throwing away millions of dollars worth of assets?
Solyndra is not commenting. But court documents reveal the company received permission from the bankruptcy trustee to abandon the high grade glass, the court agreeing that it was of “inconsequential value” because the cost of storing them exceeds their value. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/01/19/bankrupt-solyndra-caught-destroying-brand-new-parts/
Yahoo News reports: The Congress has the constitutional right to legislate permits for cross-border oil pipelines like TransCanada's Keystone XL, according to a new legal analysis released late on Friday.
The study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service could give a boost to Republicans drafting legislation to overturn a decision this week by President Barack Obama to put the $7 billion Alberta-to-Texas project on ice.
Historically, U.S. presidents have made executive decisions on pipelines that cross borders. But Congress had the power all along to weigh in on the permits, said the study, done by four legislative attorneys with the CRS. http://news.yahoo.com/congress-legal-clout-keystone-pipeline-study-013431403.html
Washington Times reports: In a bid to broaden college access and boost the state’s lagging economy, Democrats in Michigan have proposed a first-of-its-kind entitlement program aimed at giving many young people a free ride through college at taxpayers’ expense.
The proposal, dubbed “the 2020 Plan,” is estimated to cost at least $1.8 billion each year and would offer some students free tuition throughout their college careers at Michigan’s 15 public colleges and universities, with awards based on how long students have lived in the state. Those who spend all of their K-12 years in Michigan schools would be eligible for the full amount, the average tuition rate across the state university system, which is currently about $9,500 per year. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/19/michigan-plan-offers-tuition-free-education/
Sodahead reports: An entry in the March, 2011 report prepared by the Russian Ministry of
Finance for the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) [aka
INTERPOL] designed to track major international monetary transactions
related to the global drug trade lists a US-EU transfer to Banco
Citibank de Honduras, S.A. from Barack Hussein Obama II in the shocking
amount of “$73 Billion in cash and US Securities” and “(estimated) $15 Billion in gold and silver bullion” on the same day the American President (March 22nd) was visiting El Salvadoron his visit to Central America. http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/obama-sends-85billion-to-citibank-de-honduras-re-interpol/question-2103991/
Michigan Capitol Confidential reports: On Thursday, the Michigan House Health Policy Committee held what reportedly will be its final hearing on a state Obamacare exchange before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” in June. While previous hearings were dominated by special interests affected by the law, this one was for “regular” people, about 120 of whom showed up despite semi-blizzard conditions.
Representatives of a few special interests spoke, plus a small handful of individuals who support PPACA, but the testimony was dominated by statements from Tea Party activists and leaders who expressed passionate opposition to both the federal law and creation of a state-level agency to administer its subsidies (the “exchange,” or “MiHealth Marketplace”). “The doctors and health care professionals of Docs4PatientCare are dedicated to the preservation of the doctor-patient relationship. Our primary concern is the health and well-being of our patients. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act neither protects patients nor leads to affordable care.” http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/16338
Patriot Update explains poverty numbers: Barack Obama is manipulating poverty statistics to cover income redistribution on a massive scale. I covered this subterfuge in a previous American Thinker column, Obama’s Poverty Politics. The Census Bureau has redefined “poverty” in a way that vastly increases the ranks of those characterized as living in “poverty” or “near poverty.”  Robert Rector , in Team O’s Poor Trick, wrote about the redefinition and its consequences (one that was barely noticed by the public):
Thus, it was foreordained that, using this new standard, the Census folks “discovered” that almost half the population is living in “near-poverty” conditions. That is, if you define “near poverty” as an income roughly equal to the median, that means that by definition nearly half the population will always be “poor” or “near poor” – regardless of any changes in actual living standards.
Obama’s new poverty measure will produce very odd results. For example, if the real income of every single American were to magically double overnight, the new measure would show no drop in poverty or “near poverty,” because the poverty- and near-poverty income thresholds would also double.
In other words, the president has introduced a statistical trick that gives new meaning to the saying that “the poor will always be with you.”  http://patriotupdate.com/17527/obamas-poverty-politics-trick-to-redistribute-even-more-tax-dollars
The Hill reports:  Ron Paul said after he confirmed the incident involving Rand Paul on his Twitter page that it showed why the TSA should be eliminated. "The police state in this country is growing out of control," the elder Paul said in a statement released by his presidential campaign.

"One of the ultimate embodiments of this is the TSA that gropes and grabs our children, our seniors, and our loved ones and neighbors with disabilities," he continued. "The TSA does all of this while doing nothing to keep us safe. That is why my ‘Plan to Restore America,’ in additional to cutting $1 trillion dollars in federal spending in one year, eliminates the TSA." http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/tsa/205813-white-house-sides-with-tsa-in-rand-paul-standoff

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