Monthly Archives: April 2012

New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism

Monday, April 30, 2012
Posted by Steve Manning at 9:44 PM

The Obama campaign apparently didn’t look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, “Forward” — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism.

Many Communist and radical publications and entities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries had the name “Forward!” or its foreign cognates. Wikipedia has an entire section called “Forward (generic name of socialist publications).”

“The name Forward carries a special meaning in socialist political terminology. It has been frequently used as a name for socialist, communist and other left-wing newspapers and publications,” the online encyclopedia explains.

The slogan “Forward!” reflected the conviction of European Marxists and radicals that their movements reflected the march of history, which would move forward past capitalism and into socialism and communism.

The Obama campaign released its new campaign slogan Monday in a 7-minute video. The title card has simply the word “Forward” with the “O” having the familiar Obama logo from 2008. It will be played at rallies this weekend that mark the Obama re-election campaign’s official beginning.

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Strong Demand for UDW Drillships Spurs Seadrill to Order One More from SHI (South Korea)

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Seadrill continues to see strong demand for modern ultra-deepwater (UDW) drilling rigs driven by high oil prices and large deep-water discoveries and increased development drilling. Specific interest, mainly from operators in West Africa and the Americas, demonstrate a trend towards higher day rates and longer term contracts.

With yard costs at very attractive levels and Seadrill’s proven track record with respect to successful new build construction the Company today announced the order of a sixth drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) with delivery in the second quarter of 2014. The expected total project cost is less than USD600 million, in line with the 5 units under construction and with delivery in 2013 and 2014. The yard contract was originally between a party related to Seadrill’s major shareholder Hemen Holding and Samsung, as part of a larger shipyard deal, but Seadrill has been given the right to take over the contract at original terms.

Seadrill’s current new build program now includes 17 units: 6 ultra deep-water drillships, 1 harsh environment semi submersible, 5 tender rigs and 5 jack ups, all to be delivered in the period from Q4 2012 to Q1 2015. In addition, Seadrill has received a fixed price option for a further ultra deep-water drillship. The six drillships under construction are of the same design and will have a hook load capability of 1,250 tons and a water depth capacity of up to 12,000 feet targeting operations in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West and East Africa. Also, these units will be outfitted with seven ram configuration of the Blow out Preventer (BOP) stack and with storing and handling capacity for a second BOP.

CEO of Seadrill Alf Thorkildsen says:

“With the available capacity in 2013 and 2014 Seadrill is uniquely positioned among its peers to take advantage of strong demand for drilling services with high dayrates and longer charter contracts. We will continue to aggressively build Seadrill’s earnings and further expansion of the building program is expected in the months to come. Together, these developments provide for continued value creation and an increased dividend capacity.”

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USA: Technip Wins FEED Contract for Mad Dog Phase 2 Project

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Technip was awarded a front end engineering design (FEED) contract by BP Exploration & Production Inc. This contract covers the design of a Spar hull and mooring systems for the Mad Dog Phase 2 Project, located near Green Canyon Block 825 in the Gulf of Mexico.

This first award comes under the framework of the 10-year Spar platform master services agreement signed in 2011.

The Mad Dog Phase 2 Spar will be located near the first Mad Dog Spar delivered by Technip for BP in 2004, and installed on Green Canyon 782. Detailed engineering for the new Spar is scheduled to start during the second half of 2012.

Technip’s operating center in Houston, Texas, will execute the contract with support from the center in Pori, Finland.

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Three Years With No Budget: What, Me Worry?

Today Marks Three Years Since The Senate Passed A Budget; For A President Who Refuses To Lead, That’s Not A Big Deal

THE DEMOCRAT-CONTROLLED SENATE LAST PASSED A BUDGET THREE YEARS AGO TODAY AND IS ACTIVELY FIGHTING AGAINST PASSING ANOTHER

The Senate Last Passed A Budget Three Years, 1,097 Days Ago. (S. Con. Res. 13, Roll Call 173; D 53-3, R 0-40, I 2-0, 4/29/09)

“In A Stunning Backtrack,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) Canceled A Scheduled Vote On A FY2013 Budget Bill. “In a stunning backtrack that virtually guarantees Congress for the third year will be unable to produce a budget, Senate Democrats’ top budget writer Tuesday canceled this week’s expected votes on a 2013 fiscal blueprint.” (Stephen Dinan, “Democrats Punt On Senate Budget Bill For 3rd Year,” The Washington Times, 4/17/12)

  • Conrad “Bowed To Pressure From Fellow Democrats” And Postponed Considering A Budget Until After The Election.Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) bowed to pressure from fellow Democrats on Tuesday and postponed a committee vote on a 2013 budget resolution, most likely until after the November elections.” (Erik Wasson, “Sen. Conrad Backs Off Plan to Vote On Budget,” The Hill, 4/17/12)
  • It Was A “Surprise” To Democrat Leaders That He Wanted To Pass A Budget At All. “So it was a surprise to Democratic leaders when Conrad indicated in a Fox News interview April 8 that he wanted to mark up a 10-year plan to guide the lame-duck session after the elections when major decisions such as expiring taxes will need to be addressed.” (Humberto Sanchez, “Conrad Budget Plan Puzzling,” Roll Call, 4/16/12)

THE WHITE HOUSE HAS “NO OPINION” ON WHETHER DEMS SHOULD PASS A BUDGET AND NO PLANS TO PROPOSE A BUDGET THAT CONTROLS OUR DEBT

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Says The White House Has “No Opinion” On Whether The Senate Should Pass A Budget. ABC NEWS’ JAKE TAPPER:The White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget? The president’s going to introduce one. The Fed chair says not having one is bad for growth. But the White House has no opinion about whether – ” JAY CARNEY:I have no opinion — the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.” (White House Press Briefing, 2/8/12)

President Obama “Has Been All-Too-Willing To Avoid Making Tough Decisions.” “One of President Obama’s political weaknesses in his first term has been that he’s all-too-willing to avoid making tough decisions, hesitant to expend political capital for potential long-term gain.  Throughout his first term in office, he’s had a cautious governing style, and has avoided taking on some of his party’s core constituencies.” (Josh Kraushaar, “Obama Trying To Have It Both Ways,” National Journal, 11/30/11)

  • Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Admitted That The Administration Doesn’t Have A Plan, But “We Don’t Like Yours.” GEITHNER: “What our budget does is get our deficits down to a sustainable path over the budget window. Why do they take off again? Why do they do that?” REP. PAUL RYAN: “Because we got 10,000 people retiring every day, and healthcare costs going up…” GEITHNER: “That’s right. We have millions of Americans retiring every day, and that will drive substantially the rate of growth of healthcare costs. You are right to say we’re not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is, we don’t like yours.” (Committee On The Budget, U.S. House Of Representatives, 2/16/12)

According To CBO, The Massive Deficits Produced By Obama’s FY2013 Budget Will Reduce Economic Output. “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Friday that President Obama’s 2013 budget will hurt the economy in the long term, arguing the larger deficits it would produce would reduce the amount of capital available to businesses. After five years, the CBO says, the Obama proposals would reduce economic output by between 0.5 percent and 2.2 percent.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO Estimates Obama 2013 Budget Will Hit Economic Growth,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 4/20/12)

Obama’s FY2013 Budget Increases The Deficit More Than His FY2012 Budget And Will “Have A More Negative Long-Run Effect.” “The effects of the 2013 budget differ from those of the preceding budget in four main ways. In particular, the proposals for 2013 would do the following: Increase deficits by a greater amount, largely because of a greater increase in spending compared with that in CBO’s baseline. Those larger deficits would provide a bigger short-run boost to output but then have a more negative long-run effect.” (“The Economic Impact Of The President’s 2013 Budget,” Congressional Budget Office, 4/20/12)

“Larger Deficits Caused By The Budget Would Cause The Government To Issue More Bonds, Sucking Up Private Capital To Finance Its Debts And Thereby Reducing The Funds Businesses Could Use To Expand And Hire, The CBO Said.” “Larger deficits caused by the budget would cause the government to issue more bonds, sucking up private capital to finance its debts and thereby reducing the funds businesses could use to expand and hire, the CBO said. An increased tax on capital gains included in the president’s plan would also tend to reduce private capital, it says.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO Estimates Obama 2013 Budget Will Hit Economic Growth,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 4/20/12)

  • “Slower Economic Growth Tends To Increase Deficits By Reducing Tax Collection And Increasing Spending On Items Like Unemployment Insurance.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO Estimates Obama 2013 Budget Will Hit Economic Growth,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 4/20/12)
Read more:

Three Years With No Budget: What, Me Worry? | RNC: Republican National Committee | GOP.

‘US imposed media ban on Balikatan to avoid riling China’

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By Redempto D. Anda
Inquirer Southern Luzon
12:37 am | Sunday, April 29th, 2012

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—The American side in the just-concluded Balikatan 2012 joint military exercise changed rules unilaterally and imposed a media blackout on major live-fire exercises between the Philippines and United States military.

Live fire exercises were held at Crow Valley in Tarlac and at El Nido in Palawan.

The United States, according to a Philippine military source, made “several changes in the program of activities” apparently to avoid irritating China amid the standoff in the Scarborough Shoal that started on April 10.

“They made many changes to the plans and disallowed media coverage for Crow Valley and El Nido,” said the source, who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak on the matter.

The Crow Valley maneuvers, held on April 26, involved live-fire air and ground maneuvers and should have been open to media coverage as in past exercises, while the oil-rig takeover drill, which took place on April 20, was the first time such a scenario was introduced, a scenario which anticipated a counterattack on an oil facility taken over by hostile forces in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“When the Scarborough standoff happened, they (US Forces) suddenly became very cautious about how media was going to play up those stories.

“Ingat na ingat sila (They were very careful) and they wanted to forgo some of the activities,” the source said.

Western Command spokesperson Maj. Neil Estrella, contacted by phone Saturday, was asked if the El Nido oil-rig takeover exercise was supposed to be open to media coverage. He said the decision to make it off limits was “reached by both sides.”

“There were several considerations why it was not made open to the media. One was safety,” Estrella said.

The source, however, insisted that it was the American side that decided “unilaterally” that the media could not cover the oil-rig event.

“It was obvious the Americans did not want the military maneuvers to hog the limelight as the Philippines and China were in a standoff at Scarborough,” the source said.

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Corpus Christi, Texas: Predator drones (el Mosco) have yet to prove their worth on border

The nine unmanned aircraft are expensive to operate but their results are unimpressive, critics say. But one official says the criticism is shortsighted.

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By Brian Bennett, Washington Bureau
April 28, 2012, 9:16 p.m

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The drug runners call it “el mosco,” the mosquito, and one recent evening on the southern tip of Texas, a Predator B drone armed with cameras buzzed softly over the beach on South Padre Island and headed inland.

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Lyle Belew, the command duty officer in Predator Ops at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the night of April 18, communicates with a Predator pilot. (Brian Bennett, Chicago Tribune / April 19, 2012)

“We’re going to get some bad guys tonight, I’ve got a feeling,” said Scott Peterson, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection supervisory air interdiction agent. He watched the drone’s live video feed in the Predator Ops room at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, about 50 miles away.

As the unmanned plane flew up the winding Rio Grande, which forms the border with Mexico, Peterson fielded excited phone calls. One agent had seen known scouts for a Mexican cartel at a Dairy Queen, suggesting a load of drugs was coming through. Another called in the precise spot where the shipment would land.

Soon the drone’s infrared camera picked up a man hauling bales of marijuana from an inflatable rubber boat into a minivan on the Texas side of the river. Then it spotted a second boat. Agents readied for a major bust.

But the April 18 raid was not the success Peterson had envisioned. He wanted the drone to track the smugglers to a stash house, and perhaps to ranking cartel members. Instead, Border Patrol agents rushed to the riverbank, sirens blaring. They seized half a ton of pot, a 1996 Plymouth Voyager van and a boat. The smugglers escaped and no one was arrested.

The mixed results highlight a glaring problem for Homeland Security officials who have spent six years and more than $250 million building the nation’s largest fleet of domestic surveillance drones: The nine Predators that help police America‘s borders have yet to prove very useful in stopping contraband or illegal immigrants.

The border drones require an hour of maintenance for every hour they fly, cost more to operate than anticipated, and are frequently grounded by rain or other bad weather, according to a draft audit of the program last month by the Homeland Security Department‘s inspector general.

Last year, the unmanned fleet flew barely half the number of flight hours that Customs and Border Protection had scheduled on the northern or southern borders, or over the Caribbean, according to the audit.

And the drones often are unavailable to assist border agents because Homeland Security officials have lent the aircraft to the FBI, Texas Rangers and other government agencies for law enforcement, disaster relief and other uses.

The audit slammed Homeland Security for buying two drones last year and ordering an additional $20.5-million Predator B system in Cocoa Beach, Fla., this year, saying it already owns more drones than it can utilize. Each drone costs about $3,000 an hour to fly.

“The big problem is that they are more expensive than traditional methods” of patrolling, said T.J. Bonner, former president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union of border agents.

To help pay for the drones, Customs and Border Protection has raided budgets of its manned aircraft. One result: Flight hours were cut by 10% for the P-3 Orion maritime surveillance planes that hunt smuggling ships on the West Coast and in the Caribbean.

The amount of illicit drugs seized in Predator raids is “not impressive,” acknowledged Michael Kostelnik, a retired Air Force major general who heads the office that supervises the drones.

Last year, the nine border drones helped find 7,600 pounds of marijuana, valued at $19.3 million. The 14 manned P-3 Orions helped intercept 148,000 pounds of cocaine valued at $2.8 billion.

In an interview, Kostelnik dismissed criticism of the border drones as shortsighted. He sketched out scenarios, such as a nuclear plant meltdown or detonation of a dirty bomb, where the drones could help assess damage without endangering a pilot.

If a major terrorist attack occurred in Washington or New York City, Kostelnik said, he could put drones overhead in five hours, assuming they could be flown up from Florida or carried on a cargo plane, to help first responders and policymakers.

“It is not about the things we are doing today,” Kostelnik said. “It is about the things we might be able to do.”

The recent raid on the Rio Grande showed some of the pros and cons of the border drones.

Inside the Predator Ops center, the crew watched as the minivan filled with marijuana drove away on a dirt road. The Predator’s camera followed. Suddenly, a figure raced in front of the minivan, waving his hands for the driver to turn back.

“He’s spooked!” said Lyle Belew, the mission commander. “Stay on him!” he ordered the camera operator as the van did a quick U-turn.

Instead of risking a potentially violent standoff in a nearby residential neighborhood, the agents on the ground decided to cut the operation short and try to seize the drugs at the river.

A Border Patrol SUV suddenly appeared on screen, chasing the minivan back to the riverbank. Then six figures jumped out of the minivan and into the water, taking one of the two rubber boats. Several Border Patrol agents ran down the beach in pursuit.

In the Ops Center, Border Patrol liaison Hector Black worried that cartel gunmen might open fire on his agents from the far side of the river.

“Ask them to pan [the drone camera] to Mexico to make sure nobody starts shooting at our guys,” Black said. “See if there are guys with long arms,” meaning rifles.

The banks looked empty, but the camera clearly showed six figures and a rubber boat drifting down the dark river and back into Mexico.

brian.bennett@latimes.com

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

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Biofuel mandates could close more refineries, officials warn

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WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 27
04/27/2012
By Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

Philadelphia area refinery closures will be only the beginning of shutdowns nationwide if the federal government does not change several key regulations, two oil industry officials warned on Apr. 26. Ethanol mandates in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act pose a particular threat, they told the US Senate-House Joint Economic Committee.

“The recent refinery closures that have occurred or are currently pending are the tip of an iceberg,” said Thomas D. O’Malley, chairman of PBF Energy Co. LLC, which operates refineries in Delaware City, Del. (190,000 b/d), Paulsboro, NJ (180,000 b/d), and Toledo, Ohio (170,000 b/d).

“If the fuel substitutions from 2012 to 2022 mandated under [EISA] are maintained, we will lose over that time period an additional 10% minimum of US capacity and the thousands of jobs this important industry provides,” O’Malley said.

Bob Greco, the American Petroleum Institute’s downstream and group director, said refiners face an impending “blend wall” where mandates to blend ethanol into gasoline will soon exceed motorists’ ability to safely use the fuels in existing vehicles.

“Moreover, refiners are also required to blend into the gasoline supply advanced biofuels that do not yet exist, or pay a fee when they cannot meet the mandates,” he noted. “This policy is regulatory absurdity, and effectively amounts to a hidden tax on gasoline manufacturers.”

Tier 3 as well

O’Malley said the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 3 gasoline proposal also will close more US refineries. Refiners, including independents that control 60% of US capacity, will need to spend billions of dollars to lower sulfur content from 30 ppm to 10 ppm, he said.

“Under this plan, the total sulfur removed from PBF’s gasoline production of about 4.5 billion gal/year would less than one eighth of what one 300-Mw coal-fired power plant emits in a year,” O’Malley said.

Greco said EPA has yet to demonstrate any air-quality benefits from adopting Tier 3 limits. He cited an analysis by the Baker & O’Brien consulting firm, which API commissioned, that found that implementing the new requirements could increase refinery greenhouse gas emissions because of the use of energy-intensive hydrotreating equipment to remove sulfur from the gasoline.

“Existing refinery regulations and fuel requirements clearly contribute to a cleaner environment and safer workplace,” Greco said. “Unnecessary, inefficient, and excessively costly requirements hamper our ability to provide and distribute fuels to America, while also employing hundreds of thousands of people and enhancing our national security. We have already seen some refineries close, at least in part due to the cumulative impact of government controls.”

O’Malley said, “Refineries in Pennsylvania closed because they didn’t make money. The federal government took away some of their market and gave it to the agriculture industry. The insanity of cellulosic ethanol will take away another 10-15% and make refiners pay $120 million in indirect taxes. This whole system is a house of cards that’s collapsing. Unfortunately, it’s collapsing on the men and women who work in refineries.”

Market concentration

A third witness, Diana L. Moss, vice-president and director of the American Antitrust Institute, said more refinery closures in the US Northeast could result in a market where three refiners accounted for 93% of capacity changing to one where two refiners represent 86%. More products coming by pipeline from the Gulf Coast could replace much of what is lost from closed plants, but proposals to convert some installations to terminals could raise new ownership concentration questions, she said.

The fourth witness, Michael Greenstone, an environmental economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the federal government should encourage policies that recognize the health, environmental, and security costs associated with each form of energy. If this isn’t feasible, he said, research suggests that natural gas should be put on the same footing as renewable fuels under any federal standard and subsidies equal to those for electric vehicles should be offered to those using compressed natural gas.

Others submitted written statements. US Rep. Donna M. Christensen (D-VI) noted that Hovensa LLC’s chief executive, when he testified before the Virgin Islands legislature, said low demand and competitive disadvantages, such as having to fire its units with oil instead of gas, led to the decision to close the 500,000-b/d facility. “Our neighbors in Puerto Rico remain concerned about where they will be able to secure jet fuel that was supplied by Hovensa,” Christensen said.

Industry witnesses kept returning to regulatory problems refiners face. “The ethanol and biofuel mandates need to be adjusted to reflect what the vehicle fleet can use,” API’s Greco said. “As it is, even if E15 became widely used, it would extend the blend wall by only 1-2 years.”

EISA and its mandates were a bad idea in 2007, and a worse one now, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Pres. Charles T. Drevna said following the hearing. “We’re seeing unintended consequence of rushing something through Congress without considering the impacts,” he told OGJ. “Keep corn on people’s tables, and gasoline in their vehicles’ tanks.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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Obama Busted: Admits He Shares Values With Communist Congressman

Published on Mar 13, 2012 by Americanrevolution02

By Cindi on Apr 27, 2012

U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis with communist ties sits on the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security.
Barack Obama a close friend of Danny Davis admits to sharing his values and considers him one of the best Congressman in the country.

Progressive =Communist

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  2. Obama is a Communist: His Actions speak louder than His Words
  3. It’s Not About Their Vision Or Values
  4. Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN) Retiring
  5. The Radical History of Rush

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