The threat of military strikes on Iran has upturned the quiet and comfortable lives once enjoyed by many Iranians, ushering in a new era of struggle and fear.
Like many Iranians, Maryam Sofi says the West and Iran are locked in a dangerous game. “I don’t think we can know just yet if war will break out, but I am concerned for my family and my country,” says university teacher Sofi, 42, a mother of two.
“I cannot sleep at night, thinking about destruction and bloodshed if Israel and America attack Iran.”
The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities if diplomacy fails to resolve a dispute over a program they suspect is aimed at developing atomic weapons.
In Washington on Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States was considering all options on Iran and would work with allies to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
(11 ALIVE) A west Georgia business owner is stirring up controversy with signs he posted on his company’s trucks, for all to see as the trucks roll up and down roads, highways and interstates:
“New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone.”
“Can’t afford it,” explained the employer, Bill Looman, Tuesday evening. “I’ve got people that I want to hire now, but I just can’t afford it. And I don’t foresee that I’ll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C.”
Looman’s company is U.S. Cranes, LLC. He said he put up the signs, and first posted pictures of the signs on his personal Facebook page, six months ago, and he said he received mostly positive reaction from people, “about 20-to-one positive.”
But for some reason, one of the photos went viral on the Internet on Monday.
And the reaction has been so intense, pro and con, he’s had to have his phones disconnected because of the non-stop calls, and he’s had to temporarily shut down his company’s website because of all the traffic crashing the system.
Looman made it clear, talking with 11Alive’s Jon Shirek, that he is not refusing to hire to make some political point; it’s that he doesn’t believe he can hire anyone, because of the economy. And he blames the Obama administration.
“The way the economy’s running, and the way my business has been hampered by the economy, and the policies of the people in power, I felt that it was necessary to voice my opinion, and predict that I wouldn’t be able to do any hiring,” he said.
Looman did receive some unexpected attention not long after he put up his signs and Facebook photos. He said someone, and he thinks he knows who it was, reported him to the FBI as a threat to national security. He said the accusation filtered its way through the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and finally the Secret Service. Agents interviewed him.
“The Secret Service left here, they were in a good mood and laughing,” Looman said. “I got the feeling they thought it was kind of ridiculous, and a waste of their time.”
So Bill Looman is keeping the signs up, and the photos up — stirring up a lot of debate.
“I just spent 10 years in the Marine Corps protecting the rights of people… the First Amendment, and the Second Amendment and the [rest of the] Bill of Rights,” he said. “Lord knows they’re calling me at 2 in the morning, all night long, and voicing their opinion. And I respect their right to do that. I’m getting a reaction, a lot of it’s negative, now. But a lot of people are waking up.”
(THE HILL) President Obama has allowed environmental extremists to take over White House policy, according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
Environmental groups have frequently battled the Obama administration and launched a protest Sunday at the White House gates, but Paul insisted the president has allowed them to take over government.
“My concern is that the president has allowed radicals to take over the administration, has allowed environmental extremists to take over policy — and as a consequence we are losing jobs,” the Tea Party favorite said in a floor speech.
Paul went on to accuse Democrats of engaging in the sort of “hysteria we don’t want to drive policy.”
“[I] am afraid what has happened is we have opened up the White House and this administration to environmental extremists, the kind of people who say, ‘Well the polar bears are drowning,’” he said.
Paul’s floor comments come ahead of a Senate vote on controversial legislation the senator has proposed to roll back an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that penalizes states for allowing air pollution to drift into bordering states. In his speech Paul argued that air quality has improved drastically during the last decade without the onerous rule, which is expected to cost energy producers billions of dollars to reach compliance.
At one point Paul questioned the American Lung Associations’ (ALA) conclusion that pollution is behind a rise in asthma and suggested the $5 million in funding it takes from the EPA each year might be bending the results of its studies.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) demanded an apology from Paul for the ALA assertion.
“I think the senator owes an apology to the ALA for making it sound like they are for air pollution rules because they are getting some sort of payoff,” she said, her voice rising. “It’s an outrage, a complete outrage.”
Boxer said the rule Paul seeks to wipe out prevents early deaths, asthma attacks and lost work and school days.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), however, argued the EPA is grossly overstating the health effects of pollution.
“Are we to believe that 10 percent of all United States deaths are attributable to pollution from power plants?” Sessions asked. “[I]t’s clear that the EPA … they’re playing fast and loose, and they’re manipulating data, it seems to me, pretty clearly.”
Paul’s resolution is not expected to win approval.
(ABC) From Hurricane Irene, which soaked the entire East Coast in August, to the Midwest tornadoes, which wrought havoc from Wisconsin to Texas, 2011 has seen more billion-dollar natural disasters than any year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
And as America’s hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and wildfires set records this year, so too has President Obama in his response to them.
During the first 10 months of this year President Obama declared 89 major disasters, more than the record 81 declarations that he made in all of 2010.
And Obama has declared more disasters — 229 — in the first three years of his presidency than almost any other president signed in their full four-year terms. Only President George W. Bush declared more, having signed 238 disaster declarations in his second term, from 2005 to 2009.
But while the sheer number of bad weather events played a big role in the uptick in presidential disaster declarations, Obama’s record-setting year may have something to do with politics as well.
“There’s no question about it that the increase in the number of disaster declarations is outstripping what we would expect to see, given what we observe in terms of weather,” said Robert Hartwig, the president and economist at the Insurance Information Institute. “There’s a lot of political pressure on the president and Congress to show they are responsive to these sorts of disasters that occur.”
While the president aimed to authorize swift and sweeping aid to disaster victims, Congress was entrenched in partisan battles over how to foot the bill. When Republicans demanded that additional appropriations for a cash-strapped FEMA be offset by spending cuts, the government was almost shut down over disaster relief funding.
Such budget showdowns have become commonplace in Congress, but a similarly slow response to natural disasters by the president has been met with far more pointed and politically damaging criticism. Former President Bush learned that the hard way after what was seen as a botched initial response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“Ever since that time we’ve seen FEMA try to act more responsively and we’ve seen presidents more engaged in the issues going on with respect to disasters,” Hartwig said.
Mark Merritt, who served as deputy chief of staff at FEMA during the Clinton Administration, said Obama’s record-breaking number of declarations has less to do with politics and more to do with demographics.
People are moving to high-risk areas like beaches and flood plains, more bad weather events are occurring and the country’s infrastructure is “crumbling,” he said.
“It’s not being used any more as a political tool today than it has over the past 18 years,” said Merritt, who is now the president of the crisis management consulting firm Witt Associates. “Everybody can say there’s a little bit of politics involved, and I won’t deny that, but I don’t think it’s a political tool that politicians use to win reelections.”
Politics aside, Obama’s higher-than-ever number of disaster declarations may also have a lot to do with the broad scale of this year’s disasters, which led to more declarations of catastrophes because each state affected by the disaster gets its own declaration.
For example, Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992, cost upwards of $40 billion in damage, but resulted in only one disaster declaration because the damage was almost entirely confined to one state.
Hurricane Irene, on the other hand, pummeled much of the East Coast this summer, causing the president to make 9 disaster declarations, one for each state affected. Although there were 8 more declarations for Irene than for Andrew, the Irene caused about $7 billion in damage, a fraction of the damage caused by Andrew (up to $42 billion in today’s dollars).
Each presidential disaster declaration makes the federal government — specifically FEMA — responsible for at least 75 percent of the recovery costs, relieving cash-strapped state and local governments of the billions in damages caused by this year’s hurricanes, floods and tornadoes.
Richard Salkowe, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of South Florida who studies federal disaster declarations and denials, argued that the trend toward more declarations stems from local governments becoming more aware of the availability of federal funds.
“The local governments and state governments have become more aware of the process and more efficient in using it,” Salkowe said. “I’d say yeah, there are more states that have overwhelming needs, and that may have lead to the Obama administration declaring more disaster areas.”
(The Ulsterman Report) Reports now circulating of an Obama administration working in conjunction with Hollywood producers to release a movie about the Osama Bin Laden mission just weeks before the 2012 election.
When a sitting president cannot utilize the economy as a means of getting re-elected, things tend to get a wee bit worrisome for the campaign team. For Barack Obama, this worry has led to a still sympathetic Hollywood community willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a film whose intent is to show President Obama as a fearless anti-terrorism warrior who bravely led our special forces into battle to kill Osama Bin Laden.
Hyperbole you say? Sadly, no.
Producers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal are this very moment working diligently to bring the killing of Bin Laden to the Big Screen – with a currently scheduled release date a mere three weeks before voters decide if they want to give Barack Obama a second term. Coincidence? Not quite. The Obama administration has been working hand in hand with Bigelow and Boal in forming the soon-to-be released White House approved portrayal of the Bin Laden raid. Mark Boal in particular has reportedly been given an all-access pass to Washington D.C. and even the Pentagon – a situation that has elicited more than a bit of off-the-record grumblings from top military officials.
Besides sharing a slew of far left Big Government ideals, why else is Hollywood so protective of an Obama presidency? Ah, just a bit of investigative peek-a-boo reveals what is perhaps the real motivations for Hollywood’s willingness to deploy a big budget production to try and convince voters Barack Obama is not a detached wimp who so often appears utterly uncomfortable in the presence of the military.
In 2009 President Obama and his fellow Democrats provided Hollywood studios with a quarter BILLION dollar tax break. These same studios had just recorded all-time record profits, but not a word of resentment came from Barack Obama against that fact. No, he instead signed into law a massive tax break for his far left Hollywood pals. Now it appears Hollywood is set to pay Obama back with a pre-2012 election film that will be using the military as pro-Obama propaganda props, while working overtime to portray Barack Obama as the bravest Commander in Chief badass in the history of America.
Obama’s New 2nd in Command at DOD Ashton Carter – CFR, Aspen Group, Goldman Sacks…Connects to 911 False Flag
(DEADLINE LIVE) It can be said that the # 2 in any office is the REAL controller of things… Think Big-time Dick ‘tater’ Cheney, or Webb Hubble (for Janet Reno) or death squad pimp, Iran Contra crook John Dimitry Negroponte under Condi Rice, Paul Wolfowitz under Colin Powell… Even more recently, (newly appointed Chicago Mob Boss), once Obama’s C of S / Rothschild handler, Rhambo Emanuel under cousin Barry… Or the King of second fiddles, George H.W. Bush under Ronald Reagan! (GHWB has continued to handle every president since! He has called Bill Clinton his “son”, and have recently been spotted going through the back door of the Obama White House with his son Jebby in tow).
State Department sympathetic to recognizing rebel terrorists who killed U.S. troops