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Hot Time In The Mosque

April 15, 2014

The economic mess that Egypt finds itself is only deepening.  Since the coup that toppled a duly elected president there has been no real good news to report concerning the nation’s future growth, or even how to maintain current levels of despair.

But as the press is reporting this morning things are about to get even worse.

Egypt, facing the worst energy shortages for years, has set limits for electricity use at mosques as part of government efforts to ease the impact of power cuts already affecting homes and factories.

The religious endowments minister has ordered mosques not to run air conditioners before May 15 and after that date to use air conditioning only during prayer time and half an hour before and after the call to prayer.

Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said in comments reported by state newspaper Al-Ahram that he would also ensure that electricity meters were installed at mosques that do not have them.

Widespread blackouts are expected this summer when Egyptians crank up their air conditioning and increased demand stresses the aging power grid, forcing the government to take measures to cut energy use.

The trade, industry and investment ministry has banned the making or importing of air conditioners that can be set lower than 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit).

Calling Hate Crime For What It is

April 15, 2014

This is how the three main networks started out their news broadcasts last evening when it came to reporting on the dreadful shooting in Overland Park, Kansas this weekend.

NBC’s Brian Williams: “The deadly rampage outside a Jewish community center and what’s now being called a hate crime: Tonight, an incredible show of strength from the woman who lost her son and father in the attack.”…ABC’s Diane Sawyer: “Hate crime: Who is the shooter who silenced the voice of a young American boy? We have new video of the man accused of opening fire at the Jewish centers in the heartland and will take you inside his shadowy world tonight.” …CBS’s Scott Pelley: “The FBI brands it a hate crime: A 14-year-old is among those killed in what police say is an attack on Jews.”…

I am glad that this nation recognizes the importance of calling out hate crimes and alerting the public to the fact they exist.  I have always applauded the use of the extra penalty provisions law enforcement and prosecutors use to convey societies revulsion to crimes committed which are  motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudices.

 

Establishment Republicans Putting Notice Out To Tea Party

April 15, 2014

Enough, already!

Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Sharron Angle in Nevada are the only names establishment Republican need to voice to give reason as to why Tea Party members need to settle down.   The crazy idea of placing just any name on a ballot to make a point makes no sense, and just creates dreadful results when the votes are counted.

So the power players in the GOP–or the mature ones as I like to term them–are making it clear they are not wanting more of the same from the Tea Party.  Republicans wants their votes, just not their lunacy.  And to some degree it is working this election cycle.

Mr. Portman ticks off a series of states where the lack of a bitter establishment vs. tea party primary battle has made the road smoother for Republicans. In Tennessee, for example, there was an early expectation that Sen. Lamar Alexander would face a primary fight from a tea-party opponent with ample outside financing.

Not so. As the nonpartisan Cook Political Report notes: “Despite proclamations from Tea Party activists early in the cycle that Sen. Lamar Alexander is a top target for them this cycle, the competitive primary they promised has not materialized.” Mr. Alexander has primary opponents, but none pose a serious threat, enhancing his chances to emerge in good shape to take on a Democratic foe.

Similarly, some of the air has gone out of the tea-party challenge to Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. And in West Virginia, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is cruising, largely unimpeded, to the party’s nomination, just as leaders hoped.

But the two best examples of the tea-party dog that isn’t barking are Colorado and North Carolina. In Colorado, where the GOP hopes to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, party officials say they worked directly with tea-party favorite Ken Buck, who tried and failed in a 2010 Senate run, to forgo an attempt this time and instead agree to a kind of swap: Mr. Buck now is running for a House seat being vacated by Rep. Cory Gardner, clearing the way for Mr. Gardner to seek the Senate nomination.

Congressman Vance McAllister Should Not Resign

April 14, 2014

There has been a great deal of rancor within the Republican Party concerning the fate of Congressman Vance McAllister.  The Louisiana official is facing demands for his resignation after a leaked video last week showed him passionately kissing a woman who was not his wife.

While I think McAllister is a hypocrite and a cad I do not think he should resign.

There is no doubt that any politician who uses his family in a religious context for a campaign is on the same par as attorneys who advertise on television.  To gain the backing of socially conservative Republicans McAllister acted as if his family was slated to seat on the right-hand of Jesus.  So when the video was played of him kissing one of his staffers who happened to be the wife of a close friend it sent ripples through his district and the GOP.

But the Republican Party is filled with hypocrites, and so it was rather amusing to me when many of them started to call for McAllister to resign.  It seemed strange to have so many in the GOP jump on this case when Louisiana Senator David Vitter was not told to resign following his prostitution scandal.  But I repeat the GOP is filled with hypocrites.

There is also no doubt that McAllister is a cad, and if I were advising his wife, Kelly, it would be to scatter his clothes and personal belongings out on the lawn and then call the press for a story and picture.  While it may be popular among some to act as McAllister did there are also those of us who know we do not treat the ones we marry and love in such a fashion as did which was caught on video.  She was used for a campaign and now is treated liked yesterday’s newspaper.

While I find the behavior of McAllister out-of-line I do not think it rises anywhere near that of the likes of Wisconsin’s own drunken groper and soon to be felon Bill Kramer, the former highly conservative state assembly majority leader who made his first appearance in court Monday.  What McAllister did was wrong and worthy of the voters taking a turn on him come the next election.  But he should not resign just to save the Republican party some bad PR.

 

How To Watch Tonight’s Total Lunar Eclipse

April 14, 2014

First have a clear sky.

This first total lunar eclipse of 2014 is set to begin tonight (April 14) into the wee hours of Tuesday morning (April 15). The lunar eclipse is set to begin at about 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT), and it should last about 3.5 hours. The eclipse should be visible, weather permitting, through most of North America and part of South America

total-lunar-eclipse-april15-lro

After that……here is what you need to know.

“That Will Not Help The Defense”

April 14, 2014

Jake Tapper on CNN gave the best line of the day while reporting the horrible story of the shooting that killed three people in Overland Park, Kansas.

The suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, faces charges of premeditated first-degree murder after he allegedly opened fire at two Jewish centers. Organizations that track hate groups describe Cross, who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, as a long-time white supremacist. Investigators say they plan to pursue federal hate crime charges against him.

When placed into a police car Sunday afternoon the gunman shouted “Heil Hitler” to which Tapper then added, “that will not help the defense.”

 

West Point Cadets Bemoan Lack Of War(s) To Fight

April 14, 2014

This attitude from West Point cadets is simply disgusting.

First, and foremost, as my Dad knew all to well being a World War II veteran, “war is hell”.   He did not come back home with stories that he wanted to share, or memories that he wanted to relive.  He also was aware that the volunteer soldier should not think of the military as a career.    West Point cadets might consider a real job in the real world.

It is with those thoughts in mind that I cringed while reading the front page story in The New York Times this morning that should make those of us who pay for the defense needs of this country totally dismayed that these wanna-be-soldiers may have to get use to a time in our country where we are not fighting a war.

For Cadet Yu and the rest of the class of about 1,100 cadets, there may be few, if any, coveted combat patches on their uniforms to show that they have gone to war. Many of them may not get the opportunity to one day recall stories of heroism in battle, or even the ordinary daily sacrifices — bad food, loneliness, fear — that bind soldiers together in shared combat experience.

The end of the war in Iraq and the winding down of the war in Afghanistan mean that the graduates of the West Point class of 2014 will have a more difficult time advancing in a military in which combat experience, particularly since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has been crucial to promotion.

“If you joined the military in the last decade, you joined because you were willing to go to war,” said Peter D. Feaver, a professor of political science at Duke University who specializes in national security and defense. Now, he added, “that door is shutting. And those with combat experience have a leg up over those that don’t.”

Oh, cry me a (bleeping) river!

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