News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Donald Trump takes lead in Wisconsin, Marquette Poll, 9/24-9/28/15. Trump gets largest share of departed Walker voters

Dates, 9/24-9/28/15 (Th-Mon). 321 Republicans and independents who lean R. Margin of error 6.5%.

Trump 20
Carson 16
Rubio 14
Fiorina 11
Bush 7
Cruz 5
Christie 3
Huckabee 3
Kasich 3

Chart below: Where Walker supporters went:

Chart from Fox6now, Milw.

9/30/15, "MU Poll: Trump takes over lead in Wisconsin,", Milwaukee
"With Gov. Scott Walker out of the race, the Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday showed 20 percent of Republicans favor Donald Trump for president, followed by Ben Carson at 16 percent and Marco Rubio at 14 percent. Related Carly Fiorina has 11 percent of the support followed by Jeb Bush with 7 percent, Ted Cruz with 5 percent, and Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and John Kasich each at 3 percent.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton was ahead with 42 percent followed by Bernie Sanders at 30 percent and Joe Biden, who hasn't announced a run, with 17 percent.

The questions about partisan preferences for president had smaller sample sizes and larger margins of error - 6.5 percentage points for Republicans, 5.9 percentage points for Democrats....

Walker abruptly dropped out on Sept. 21. He said he was not interested in taking a Cabinet position and is undecided about seeking a third term....

The poll of 803 registered voters was done between Sept. 24 and Monday. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points [for all voters combined]."


9/30/15, "Marquette Law School poll: Gov. Walker job approval rating at 37%, a new low,", Milwaukee

"In another blow to the governor, many supporters of his failed presidential campaign said they had shifted their support to Donald Trump. Walker on Sept. 21 said he was quitting the race -- and calling on other candidates to do the same -- in the hopes of another Republican defeating Trump.

Instead, 22 percent of Walker's supporters moved to Trump's camp, enough to vault Trump into first place among Wisconsin Republican primary voters.

"Ironically, he`s provided a reservoir of additional support for Trump," said Charles Franklin, director of the MU Law poll....

Independent voters have abandoned Walker as the governor shifted to the right during the presidential campaign. The contentious state budget may have also played a role, Franklin said.

"The question I think is more one of whether he can reassemble the public support he had," Franklin said, noting that independent voters carried Walker to each of his gubernatorial victories.

In the GOP presidential race, Trump leads in Wisconsin with 20 percent. Ben Carson is second with 16 percent, then Marco Rubio at 14 percent and Carly Fiorina at 11 percent.

The remainder of the field includes Jeb Bush at 7 percent, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul each at 5 percent, and Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie and John Kasich each at 3 percent. No other candidate received more than 1 percent support.

Trump shows a significant gain from August when he was supported by just 9 percent of Wisconsin Republicans. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has opened a slightly wider leader over Bernie Sanders. Clinton got 42 percent, while Sanders had 30 percent and Joe Biden had 17 percent. No other candidate received more than 1 percent support....

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 803 registered Wisconsin voters, by both landline and cell phone, from September 24-28, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4.1 percentage points for the full sample. For Republicans and independents who lean toward the Republican Party, the sample size is 321, with a margin of error of +/- 6.5 percentage points. For Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party, the sample size is 394, with a margin of error of +/-5.9 percentage points. Republican and Democratic presidential primary items were asked of the corresponding party samples.

The partisan makeup of this sample, including those who lean to a party, is 40 percent Republican, 49 percent Democratic and 9 percent independent. The long-term estimate over the previous 29 statewide Marquette polls, with 25,121 respondents, is 43 percent Republican and 47 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup excluding those who lean to a party is 25 percent Republican, 30 percent Democratic and 41 percent independent, compared to the long-term estimate of 27 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 38 percent independent.

The entire questionnaire, full results, and breakdowns by demographic groups are available at"

Image above from 


Donald Trump strengthens lead in USA Today national poll, 9/24-9/28/15, up six points from July. Jeb Bush falls to 5th place-USA Today

9/24-9/28/15, 380 Likely Republican voters, margin of error +-5

Trump 23
Carson 13
Fiorina 13
Rubio 9
Bush 8
Cruz 6
Huckabee 2
Kasich 2
Paul 2
Christie 1
Graham 1
Jindal 1
9/30/15, "Poll: Donald Trump still on top as outsiders Fiorina, Carson rise," USA Today, Susan Page and Paulina Firozi

"Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has strengthened his lead at the top of the USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll while two other outsider candidates, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, have gained ground over rivals with electoral experience.

Jeb Bush, who two months ago was second to Trump in the USA TODAY survey, has tumbled to single digits and fifth place. The third-place finisher last time, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, suspended his campaign entirely this month.

"Unfortunately, I'm leaning toward Trump, only because he's a non-political figure," says Ginger Mangam, 58, a customer-service representative from Little Rock, Ark., who was among those surveyed. Asked about his lack of electoral experience, she replies: "I don't think it's a problem; I think it's a message."

Anthony Edelen, 37, a small-business owner from Vermillion, S.D., likes what he hears from Trump and Fiorina. "I just want somebody who is going to move our country in a direction different from where it is currently," he said in a follow-up interview.

The shifting landscape underscores an electorate that is fed up with politics-as-usual and willing to embrace contenders who promise to shake things up. Some presidential hopefuls with significant political experience — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham among them — have failed to gain traction and now score at 1% or below, a standing that may make it harder for them to raise money and command a spot on stage in future televised debates.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has risen to fourth place, backed by 9% of those surveyed.

The poll of 380 likely Republican primary voters, taken Thursday through Monday, has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points. The full sample of 1,000 likely voters has an error margin of 3 points....

He (Trump) continues to lead the field at 23%, up 6 points from the July survey. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, and Fiorina, an ex-CEO, tie for second at 13%, both big jumps the last poll. That means about half of the GOP electorate now backs candidates who have never served in elective office.

No other candidate breaks into double digits. Rubio is at 9%, Bush at 8%, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 6% and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 2%. Not a single respondent backs former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum or former New York governor George Pataki.

"I support Donald Trump because...he's the only one that has what it takes to stand up to people," declares Nina Neece, 56, of Turlock, Calif. "He's not afraid of offending anybody."

Jordan Penegor, 21, a barista from Reno, Nev., is following Carson on Facebook and likes what she reads. "He's not a politician so he doesn't look at the political views," Penegor says. "He just looks at helping the American people as a whole."...

Six in 10 say the country is on the wrong track, and just 30% say the Democratic and Republican parties do a good job of representing Americans' political views. A 53% majority say a third party or multiple parties are necessary.

Meanwhile, most Americans say it's not possible for a Muslim to be elected president, an issue that arose when Carson expressed skepticism on NBC's Meet the Press about whether an observant Muslim could meet the job's constitutional requirements. By 53%-39%, those surveyed say a Muslim couldn't be elected. However, by 49%-40%, they also say they would vote for a qualified Muslim themselves."...

Statement of Methodology: This survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted between September 24 and September 28, 2015, and is based on live telephone interviews of adults 18 years of age or older, residing in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and who intend to vote in 2016. Quota and demographic information -- including region, race, and age -- were determined from 2010 Census data. Samples of both standard landlines (65 percent) and cell phones (35 percent) were called using a probability-proportionate-to-size method, which means that the phone numbers assigned to each state were proportional to the number of adult residents in each state. States were grouped into four general regions. Respondents in the households were selected by initially asking for the youngest adult. Surveys were administered in English and Spanish. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Error margins increase for smaller subgroups in the cross-tabulation document that follows. All surveys may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. The margin of error for the Republican primary subset of 380 voters is +/- 5.03 percentage points."


Links to USA Today poll: Marginals, Tables


Added: The Republican Establishment nomination racket plays on:

9/23/15, "Band (of consultants) paid on: Explaining Scott Walker," Washington Times, Ed Martin

"Mr. Walker failed because in every Republican cycle, the establishment needs some guys to run and to fail. The Establishment needs the money and employment, and they need candidates to play along with the rigged Republican nomination process. Mr. Walker bought the Establishment plan and he ran the same playbook that the Republican establishment has been using for nearly two decades. That is, raise a boatload of money and spend it on consultants and staff (especially in early states) and then raise more money and run ads in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Media buyers get 10 percent for the ad buys, and the media in Iowa and New Hampshire love the cash too!) Pollsters must be paid big money to parse positions and “sharpen” the candidate.

Mr. Walker went along with it all. He imported a campaign manager (Rick Wiley) directly from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus' staff. And the hiring began. Here in St. Louis, a prominent consultant was hired to do grassroots/conservative coalitions…paid thousands of dollars but that needle never moved (except down). Great quote from Mr. Reince’s guy who ran the Walker campaign: “We didn’t have a spending problem - we had a revenue problem.” Everyone wins except Scott Walker.

Next, Mr. Walker started dancing on his positions as pollsters demand and it made him look weak and confused - immigration is the best example. And the band (of consultants) paid on as the ship slipped sideways.

This a racket that has worked well for the consultants with campaigns. (By the way, don’t worry about the consultants and staffers - they are being snapped up by other campaigns running the Establishment plan like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush! And Reince can put them back on the payroll, too.)

However, voters are sick of ​the D.C. racket.​ Voters care less if candidates have served in office (Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson) or if they understand the nuances of foreign policy (again, Mr. Carson, Mr. Trump). No, the voters - in fact, most Americans - want someone who is authentic and who will fight for them not for a political office but for their future. If Mr. Walker understood this, he could have kept his staff to a minumum and his spending light. He could have announced, “I plan to run until the end and make a big argument for Americans.” He easily could have become the consensus choice in late March or April when the others stumble.

Instead, his staff gathered Wednesday night at a microbrewery near their Wisconsin headquarters. I suspect toasted their good fortunes: “Here’s to us and to our next stop on another campaign.”"


Gov. Scott Walker knew he was part of a sham:

Gov. Scott Walker said he knew before Wed., 9/16 CNN debate even took place, the narrative was in place saying Fiorina won the night:

"We knew the narrative no matter what" was going to be that Fiorina won the night:

9/17/15, "Scott Walker: Media Would’ve Said Fiorina Won Debate ‘No Matter What’," MediaIte, by Andrew Desiderio

"Wisconsin Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker went after the media following CNN’s GOP debate, telling radio host Glenn Beck on Thursday that members of the political press were going to spin the debate as a win for Carly Fiorina “no matter what.”

I think going in, we knew the narrative no matter what was going to happen was that they were going to say Carly had a big night, no matter what, and obviously they said that,” Walker said."...


Islamic island of Maldives in Indian Ocean that flogs women per Islamic law says US taxpayers should give it money to fight Islamic terrorism-Bloomberg

""What's there to discuss about flogging? There is nothing to debate about in a matter clearly stated in the religion of Islam. No one can argue with God," he (Maldives Minister Naseem) said."..."Wahhabist Islamic scholars, most schooled in madrassas in Pakistan, are radicalising Islam in the Maldives," 1/7/2012. Maldives island "is the only Islamic nation where Islamic Sharia has been practiced uninterrupted for 700 years.
9/29/15, "Maldives Wants U.S. to Help It Fight Terrorism," Bloomberg, Josh Rogin, commentary

"The Maldives is calling on the United States to help it respond to an attack on its president, potentially opening the newest front in the war on terror.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Sunday narrowly escaped an explosion on his boat. His wife was injured. Investigators have converged on the island nation in the Indian Ocean to determine whether the blast is related to organized terrorism. The government is already rethinking its security and defense practices; top officials say terrorist recruiting has been on the rise there.

Maldivian Foreign Secretary Ali Naseer Mohamed told me Tuesday that officials are still piecing together what happened.

“No group has claimed responsibility," he said. "But we believe it was an attack directed to the president. That’s the first time the president has been attacked in that way.”

Ali was in the United States this week for the UN General Assembly, and he said his government has been tracking an increased flow of its citizens traveling to Iraq and Syria to fight there, at least 40 so far. Some are coming back to the Maldives.

“That is actually the biggest threat that we face as a nation-state and as a society. That is our biggest fear,” he said. “And that’s where our security forces are finding quite a challenge.”

An unidentified Islamic extremist group last month threatened terrorist attacks and attacks against the president in a YouTube video that featured the flag of the Islamic State. But Ali said that until this week, there had been no credible information that any terrorist group was operating in the Maldives. Now the government is reevaluating that.

“Some of the terrorist groups operating in South Asia and the Middle East have been able to penetrate to certain individuals," he said. "We know Maldivians are being recruited. Social media is they key instrument being used.”

The Maldives cannot tackle Islamic extremism comprehensively on its own. The government wants more intelligence cooperation, more security assistance and more engagement from its international partners, especially the United States.

“There is a need to cooperate," he said. "And while the Maldives is one of the smallest countries, the challenges we face are not small.”

The Maldives, dependent on tourism, doesn’t want its image as a paradise destination for honeymooners altered by the presence of armed guards everywhere. But Ali said officials are upgrading security at airports and tourist destinations.

Ali said the government now has no choice but to give law enforcement new tools to find those who are planning to travel abroad for jihad and jail them before they can leave. New anti-terror legislation has prompted opposition from human rights groups and the opposition party.

“There is an urgent need to criminalize not only the actual activity you do, but the intention of traveling to these places to engage in warfare,” he said. “I hope this attack will be a wake-up call to the entire society and create a sense of urgency for everyone.”

There is also a broader argument for increased cooperation between the United States and the Maldives. The Indian Ocean will be key to geopolitical balance in the coming decades. China is increasingly making its presence known there, challenging India’s traditional dominance.

The status quo in the Indian Ocean favors the U.S. The two nations' common interest in preventing terrorism
could refocus Washington's attention to the Maldives, securing that foothold -- if Washington chooses to respond.".....................

"This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners."


Comment: The US government has provided the finest in modern weapons specifically to those most likely to be angry and prone to violence. Where does the author get the information that the US is interested in preventing terrorism?



Maldives speaks of "shaming" money out of US taxpayers at the Durban 'climate' conference but isn't ashamed of flogging women:

11/26/11, "What's there to discuss about flogging? There is nothing to debate about in a matter clearly stated in the religion of Islam. No one can argue with God," he (Maldives Minister Naseem) said."...Below, angry Maldives Islamists protest UN Human Rights Commissioner suggesting they should not flog women, 11/25/11, Haveeru


Maldives practices female circumcision and flogging of women:

"The Maldives constitution obliges all Maldivians to be Muslim but the nation also faces a rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism."

1/7/2012, "That sinking feeling," Sydney Morning Herald, Ben Doherty

"The country also has a serious drug problem. An epidemic of cheap heroin has swept through the archipelago and taken root in Male´ in particular. The UN has estimated 40 per cent of the country's youth use hard drugs.

The Maldives constitution obliges all Maldivians to be Muslim but the nation also faces a rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism.

Wahhabist Islamic scholars, most schooled in madrassas in Pakistan, are radicalising Islam in the Maldives. Female circumcision is practised and is reportedly on the increase. Across the archipelago, there are calls for the return of amputation for crimes and for the banning of music and dancing.
  • Women are flogged for having extramarital sex.
Every effort to resist this gathering radicalisation is painted by Nasheed's political opponents as an attack on Islam." ...


"Police are investigating a violent attack on a ‘silent protest’ calling for religious tolerance, held at the Artificial Beach to mark Human Rights Day.

Witnesses said a group of men threw rocks at the 15-30 demonstrators, calling out threats and vowing to kill them.

One witness who took photos of the attacked said he was “threatened with death if these pictures were leaked. He said we should never been seen in the streets or we will be sorry.”
Among those injured in the attack was Ismail ‘Khilath’ Rasheed, a controverisal blogger whose website was recently blocked by the Communications Authority of the Maldives (CAM) on the order of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Rasheed suffered a head injury and was rushed to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

“They started hitting us with bricks. They were aiming at our heads – we could tell they were serious and wanted to kill us,” Rasheed told Minivan News from hospital. “I was taken on a motorcycle to IGMH, but I could see them behind me still hitting my friends.”

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said police attended the scene after the attackers had departed, and were currently investigating the cause of the violence. No arrests had yet been made, he added.
The protesters, calling themselves ‘Silent Solidarity’, had earlier issued a press release stating that their intention was to “make the Maldives and the international community aware of the rising religious intolerance in the Maldives, and to condemn the Constitutionally endorsed suppression of religious freedom. We also denounce the increasing use being made of Islam as a tool of political power.

“Silent Solidarity will be protesting against discrimination of all races, gender, sexual preferences and religious beliefs and supporting freedom of thought and expression. In our silence, we speak volumes,” the group’s statement said.

The Maldives has come under increasing international scrutiny following an apparent rise in religious intolerance.

Several monuments gifted to the Maldives by other SAARC countries during the recent summit in Addu have been defaced or stolen on the grounds that they are idolatrous. Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari has condemned the monuments while the opposition has hailed the vandals as “national heroes”.

Protests also erupted last month after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay spoke in parliament calling for the government and the judiciary to issue a moratorium and debate on flogging as a punishment for extra-marital sex.

“This practice constitutes one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women and should have no place in the legal framework of a democratic country,” Pillay said. “The issue needs to be examined, and therefore I called for a countrywide discussion. It is much better if the issue is transparent and debated.”

Pillay also stated that requirement under the Maldivian constitution that all Maldivians be Muslim ”is discriminatory, and does not comply with international standards. I would urge a debate again on the issue to open up entrance of the constitution to all.”

Challenged by a local journalist that the Maldives was obliged to protect the religion of Islam, she replied: “You have a constitution which conforms in many respects to universal human rights. Let me assure you that these human rights conform with Islam.”

She added that the Maldives had signed international treaties that are legally-binding obligations, “and such a practice conflicts with these obligations undertaken by the Maldives.”

The following day protesters gathered outside the UN building, carrying placards stating “Islam is not a toy”, “Ban UN” and “Flog Pillay”, and called on authorities to arrest the UN High Commissioner.

MPs roundly condemned Pillay’s statements.

‘”What we should be worried about holding discussions against the fundamentals of Islam in a 100 percent Muslim country such as the Maldives is that we may start questioning about worshipping God Almighty tomorrow,” said opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Afrashim Ali.

Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed said the Maldives “will never ever open doors for religions other than Islam in the Maldives. We’ll not give the opportunity to speak against the fundamentals and principles of Islam in the parliament.”

MP Riyaz Rasheed, from the opposition-aligen Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) condemned the Speaker Abdulla Shahid from allowing Pillay to complete her address.

“There is a good chance for us to directly say that Abdulla Shahid has made a good deal with this government to wipe out the religion of Islam from this country,” MP Rasheed said.

President Mohamed Nasheed has meanwhile said that Maldivians “should have the self-belief and resolve not to have our faith shaken by listening to statements or opinions expressed by others.”
“That the punishments and rulings of Islamic Sharia are not inhumane is very clear to us,” Nasheed said. “We have the opportunity to show the whole world how noble and civilised Sharia is. That is because we are the only Islamic nation with a democratically-elected government.

“Wasting that opportunity in a Jihadi spirit” with the claim of “defending Islam” was unacceptable, Nasheed said. “Opposition parties will always attack us by using religion as a weapon. [But] I believe that this country is the only Islamic nation where Islamic Sharia has been practiced uninterrupted for 700 years.”

Religious sentiment in the Maldives can often be vocal and heated, but has rarely led to physical violence.

In late May 2010, well-known Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik visited the Maldives and delivered a sermon in the capital Male’. During a question-and-answer session 37 year-old Mohamed Nazim stood up and declared himself “Maldivian and not a Muslim”.

Nazim’s declaration angered the 11,000 strong crowd, and he was escorted from the venue by police and officials from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs amid calls for his execution.

After two days of religious counselling in police custody, Nazim appeared before television cameras at an Islamic Ministry press conference and gave Shahada – the Muslim testimony of belief – and apologised for causing “agony for the Maldivian people” and requested that the community accept him back into society.

In July 2010, 25 year-old air traffic controller Ismail Mohamed Didi was found hanged from the control tower of Male’ International Airport in an apparent suicide, after seeking asylum in the UK for fear of persecution over his stated lack of religious belief.

“Maldivians are proud of their religious homogeneity and I am learning the hard way that there is no place for non-Muslim Maldivians in this society,” Didi wrote in a letter to an international humanitarian organisation, prior to his death."


11/26/2011, "Maldives won't allow debates on anti-Islamic issues: Foreign Minister," Ahmed Hamdhoon, Haveeru News Service


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trump expands lead to 26 in North Carolina Public Policy Poll, 9/24-9/27/15. Jeb Bush falls to 7th place: 'Not only are voters not supporting him (Bush), but they don't even like him.' PPP, 9/29/15

9/29/15, "Trump Steady in North Carolina; Biden Polls Well," Public Policy Polling, Tom Jensen

Trump 26
Carson 21
Fiorina 12
Rubio 10
Cruz 9
Huckabee 6
Bush 5
Kasich 4
Christie 2
Jindal 1
Santorum 1
Graham O
Pataki O
Paul O

Poll dates 9/24-9/27/15, 576 Republican primary voters, 4.1 margin of error. "PPP's newest North Carolina poll finds that Donald Trump is holding his ground- at least compared to where he was in the state six weeks ago....Trump's 26% is almost identical to his 24% standing from mid-August....

2 candidates have noticeably headed in the wrong direction in North Carolina over the last month. Jeb Bush has gone from being in third place at 13% to being in seventh place at 5%....Most concerning for Bush might be that not only are voters not supporting him,  but they don't even like him....In June Rand Paul was polling at 12% in North Carolina. By July, that was down to 7%. In August that was down to 3%. And now he has so little support that it rounds down to O....

Public Policy Polling surveyed 1,268 voters from September 24th to 27th, including 605 Democratic primary voters and 576 Republican primary voters. The margin of error for the overall survey is +/-2.8%, for the Democratic primary voters it’s +/-4.0%, and for the Republican primary voters it’s +/-4.1%. 80% of participants responded via the phone, while 20% of respondents who did not have landlines conducted the survey over the internet."...

"North Carolina was a Super Tuesday state, but recently moved their contest back by two weeks due to a GOP rule that prevented them from being a winner-take-all delegates state before March 15th. [In return for making rule changes to help Jeb Bush, NC Republican delegates have been increased from 12 to 72].

Now North Carolinians will vote on the mini-Super Tuesday alongside Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and Florida."...
9/28/15, "[NC] State GOP switches to proportional representation; selects new executive director,", Danielle Battaglia  


9/29/15, "Trump Widens Lead In North Carolina – RNC Changes Rules To Benefit Jeb Bush – Battles Continue",… The Conservative Treehouse, sundance 


Saudi Arabia inflicts punishments similar to those enacted by the Islamic State, is about to behead a 21 year old and hang him from a cross. After that the Saudis will become head of the UN Human Rights Council-Australia Broadcasing Co., J. Sparrow

9/29/15, "Why the West turns a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's brutality,", (Australia) Jeff Sparrow, opinion 

"Saudi Arabia inflicts punishments every bit as obscene as those enforced by the Islamic State. But it's also a reliable and convenient ally, and that matters more to the West than the life of a democracy protester, writes Jeff Sparrow."

"One of the iconic photos from the presidency of the second George Bush shows Dubya at his Texas ranch, holding hands with the Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

The image encapsulates the West's longstanding relationship with a regime currently preparing to crucify a young man for his non-violent support of democratic reform.

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested as a teenager: the court that imposed a capital sentence said he had "encouraged pro democracy protests (using) a BlackBerry". If the punishment goes ahead, al-Nimr will be beheaded and his body tied to a cross for public display.

This ghastly spectacle will take place only a few weeks after the election of Saudi Arabia's ambassador at the UN in Geneva to head the panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council.

Yes, that's right: the Human Rights Council.

The Saudi regime regularly enforces punishments of remarkable cruelty. Its courts order floggings and the amputation of hands and feet. They impose the death penalty with abandon, using it for offenses such as apostasy, adultery, homosexuality and sorcery.

Executions are often public; some prisoners are stoned to death. The most recent annual report by Amnesty International notes that, in 2014:
The government severely restricted freedoms of expression, association and assembly, and cracked down on dissent, arresting and imprisoning critics, including human rights defenders. Many received unfair trials before courts that failed to respect due process, including a special anti-terrorism court that handed down death sentences.
New legislation effectively equated criticism of the government and other peaceful activities with terrorism ... Torture of detainees was reportedly common; courts convicted defendants on the basis of torture-tainted "confessions" and sentenced others to flogging.
Yet, rather than being held to account, the Saudis are put in charge of human rights at the UN.

There's no mystery as to why.

Last week, journalists asked Mark Toner, a spokesman for the US state department about Saudi Arabia. The transcript ran as follows:
QUESTION: Yesterday, Saudi Arabia was named to head the Human Rights Council, and today I think they announced they are about to behead a 21-year-old Shia activist named Muhammed al-Nimr. Are you aware of that?
MR. TONER: I'm not aware of the trial that you - or the verdict - death sentence.
QUESTION: Well, apparently, he was arrested when (he) was 17 years old and kept in juvenile detention, then moved on. And now, he's been scheduled to be executed.
MR. TONER: Right. I mean, we've talked about our concerns about some of the capital punishment cases in Saudi Arabia in our Human Rights Report, but I don't have any more to add to it.
QUESTION: Well, how about a reaction to them heading the council?
MR. TONER: Again, I don't have any comment, don't have any reaction to it. I mean, frankly, it's - we would welcome it. We're close allies.
That close alliance meant that, in 2014, the US approved more than $2.2 billion worth of weapon sales for Saudi Arabia - and seems set to green light billions more in military helicopters. The deals come in the context of the murderous Saudi intervention in Yemen, which has already left 3,000 people dead, nearly half of whom were civilians. Most recently, Saudi Apache helicopters are said to have killed 25 civilians in a Yemeni village.

Of course, the kingdom has oil - and lots of it. But that's only part of the story. Saudia Arabia is important to the West not despite of its brutality but because of it, for the Saudi dictatorship's seen as a buttress against "instability" in a strategic region.

Riyadh's deeply conservative leaders did everything they could to derail the Arab spring, suppressing an upsurge of democratic sentiment that threatened the regimes with whom the West had always done business.

That's why, earlier this year, Western governments, including Australia, lowered their flags to half-mast in tribute when King Abdullah finally died. At the time, the IMF's Christine Lagarde even praised the tyrant as a "strong advocate for women", despite the fact that he ruled the only nation in the world to ban women from driving cars.

We're all familiar with the outrage that politicians display about certain human rights violations in the Middle East - generally, those committed by regimes or organisations we're about to bomb. But the more usual attitude is a realpolitik in which the West either supports or quietly ignores the barbarities of favoured states.

In Syria, for instance, the Australian Government identifies the odious Islamic State with an almost Hitlerite evil. Yet it's now working toward a tacit alliance with the Assad regime - despite the fact that Assad is responsible for nearly 75 per cent of the civilian casualties in the ongoing war.

The same kind of logic holds in respect of Saudi Arabia. The regime might inflict punishments every bit as obscene as those enforced by the Islamic State. But it's a reliable ally, prepared to enforce the status quo in an oil rich region - and that matters more to the West than the life of a democracy protester."

"Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor and broadcaster, and an honorary fellow at Victoria University. His Twitter handle is @Jeff Sparrow."

Image caption: "Ali Mohammed al-Nimr. Saudi Arabia is preparing to behead Ali Mohammed al-Nimr for his pro-democracy protests. Supplied:"


Comment: Interesting article except the part about the US depending on Saudi Arabia to keep the region in line. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. The US wants as much chaos and violence as possible. It has weaponized the worst elements of humanity across the Middle East and much of Africa. To this day billions of US taxpayer dollars are used to buy the finest weapons to arm the world's most desperate in the least civil societies and therefore most likely to resort to violence. The US won't help those who sincerely want to stop ISIS--it's reluctant to sell weapons to Egypt and refuses to sell them to Nigeria to help them fight Boko Haram ISIS. Saudi Arabia funds vicious Wahhabi Islam all over the world. The US knows it will continue doing this and is happy about it. Surely the author must know the Saudis have offered to take none of the thousands if not millions of Muslim refugees fleeing Middle East and African countries, but have offered to build 200 new mosques in Europe for the newly arrived refugees. Finally, the author is living in a 1960s time warp. We all know George Bush and his entire family are Saudi loving monsters, but George Bush has been out of office for many years. The NY Times loves the Saudis too, why not report about that sometime? We in the peasant class are in the midst of trying to prevent Jeb Bush---the worst of them all---from being elected president. 


Monday, September 28, 2015

Trump at 30 is double Republican field in latest Morning Consult poll, Sept. 24-27 poll dates, 637 self-identified Republicans and R-leaning independents

Trump 30
Carson 15
Bush 10
Fiorina 9
Rubio 9
Cruz 5
Christie 4
Paul 3
Pataki 1

9/28/15, "Poll: Biden Broadly Favorable, But Clinton Still Leads," Morning Consult Poll, Reid Wilson


"The Morning Consult tracking poll surveyed 1,543 registered voters between Sept. 24-27, for a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. A subsample of 637 self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning independents carried a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. The subsample of 643 self-identified Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents carried an identical margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points." image from Morning Consult


Comment: No link to actual poll. Morning Consult poll website doesn't state a methodology, eg. online, telephone. I searched for the methodology, but found nothing. I've seen comments that it's an online poll, but found nothing on the topic from the company. The press release doesn't list results of candidates at 5 or below, and the graph provided with 9/27 ending doesn't enable numbers for all of them. Susan


Royal Dutch Shell stops Arctic activity after 'disappointing tests'-BBC

9/28/15, "Shell stops Arctic activity after 'disappointing' tests," BBC
"Royal Dutch Shell has stopped Arctic oil and gas exploration off the coast of Alaska after "disappointing" results from a key well in the Chukchi Sea.

In a surprise announcement, the company said it would end exploration off Alaska "for the foreseeable future".

Shell said it did not find sufficient amounts of oil and gas in the Burger J well to warrant further exploration.

The company has spent about $7bn (£4.5bn) on Arctic offshore development in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

"Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the US," said Marvin Odum, president of Shell USA.

"However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin."

Environmental groups oppose Arctic offshore drilling and say industrial activity and more greenhouse gases will harm polar bears, walrus and ice seals. 

Over the summer, protesters in kayaks unsuccessfully tried to block Arctic-bound Shell vessels in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Shell said it would take financial charges as a result of halting exploration, which it would disclose during its third quarter results. The company has existing contracts for rigs, ships and other assets."


Sept. 28, 2015, "Shell updates on Alaska exploration,"

"Shell today provides an update on the Burger J exploration well, located in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. The Burger J well is approximately 150 miles from Barrow, Alaska, in about 150 feet of water. Shell safely drilled the well to a total depth of 6800 feet this summer in a basin that demonstrates many of the key attributes of a major petroleum basin. For an area equivalent to half the size of the Gulf of Mexico, this basin remains substantially under-explored.

Shell has found indications of oil and gas in the Burger J well, but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration in the Burger prospect. The well will be sealed and abandoned in accordance with U.S. regulations.
"The Shell Alaska team has operated safely and exceptionally well in every aspect of this year's exploration program," said Marvin Odum, Director, Shell Upstream Americas. "Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the US. 
However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin.”
Shell will now cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future. This decision reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.
The company expects to take financial charges as a result of this announcement. The balance sheet carrying value of Shell's Alaska position is approximately $3.0 billion, with approximately a further $1.1 billion of future contractual commitments. An update will be provided with the third quarter 2015 results.
Shell holds a 100% working interest in 275 Outer Continental Shelf blocks in the Chukchi Sea.
Operations will continue to safely de-mobilize people and equipment from the Chukchi Sea."


Sunday, September 27, 2015

John Kerry and Chris Matthews, how many Syrian refugees can we put you down for in overwhelmingly white Nantucket? How many in the 20 room Kerry ski chalet in Ketchum, Idaho? Howie Carr

Matthews in Nantucket

9/25/15, "Carr: How about Nantucket? Plenty of prime real estate for huddled Syrian masses," Boston Herald, Howie Carr
"So, Mr. Secretary Kerry, how many Syrian refugees can I put you down for?

In case you missed it, earlier this week, Liveshot journeyed to Germany, which is near France. There he proclaimed that “we” must 
admit even more “refugees”--increasing the U.S.’ annual Welcome 
ISIS! Program from 70,000 
currently, to 85,000 next year, to 100,000 in 2017.

What could possibly go wrong?

If history is any guide, approximately 91 percent of this latest huddled refuse of your teeming shores will go onto welfare the 
moment they set foot here in the 
Great Satan.

7/4/13, Kerry in Nantucket

That’s the good news. The bad news is, at least a few of this 
91 percent of foreigners on welfare will also become terrorists. The even worse news is, some of them 
already are terrorists. They’re taking their cues from the Obama 
administration, and never letting a crisis go to waste, so they’ll sneak in to kill us."...

[Ed. note: A 2011 Pew Poll found up to 19% of US Muslims think suicide bombing is justified. By 2014 population estimates, this means approximately 600,000 US Muslims believe suicide bombing is justified at least in some cases (19% of 3 million).]  

(continuing): "John Kerry will welcome them with open arms--in your neighborhood, of course, not his. He’s still running for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Plus, once we get them all registered to vote to protect their handouts and their translators and their free legal aid when they’re charged with blowing up us Zionists and Crusaders, John Kerry will finally go down in history…as the last Democrat to lose an election for president. 

As you know, Liveshot’s second wife’s first husband’s trust fund is quite flush with future homes for the latest tidal wave of alleged victims. There’s his $6.9-million mansion right here in Louisburg Square.

You know what ISIS really needs? A navy. Maybe the Kerrys would like to bivouac a few terrorists down on Nantucket, at Brant Point. Just put out a few Porta-Pottys in the front yard, like with the fat-cat contributors. Let the suicide bombers run a tab at the White 
Elephant around the corner.

7/3/13, Kerry yacht, CBS News
And every morning, 
basic training for the new ISIS navy on the S.S. Isabella. As nice as Nantucket is, though, I know an even better place for the new ISIS naval base--Naushon Island, which 
belongs to Kerry’s mother’s family, the Forbeses. Naushon is an amazing 7.4 square miles with only 30 year-round residents. All they need to make Naushon feel like home is a bomb factory and a Department of Transitional Assistance office.

So many of the proponents of wide-open borders and more Mideast “refugees” have so much to…share. Vice President Biden not only has the 11.8-acre Naval Observatory, but also his own $2.8-million oceanfront mansion in Greenville, Del. Joe’s done well by doing good these last 43 years at the public trough. 

There are also the Chevy Chase, Md., homes of U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and MSNBC anchor Comrade Chris Matthews.

Hillary Clinton said flooding the nation with Syrians is “a good start.” She’s got the Georgetown mansion on Embassy Row and the mansion she and Bill bought in Chappaqua, N.Y., for $2.85 million when they were “dead broke,” which was why they could only put down an $885,000 cash down payment. If possible, Chappaqua is even whiter than Chevy Chase.

Then there’s the Kerrys’ ski chalet in Ketchum, Idaho--20 rooms, 8000-plus square feet, valued at $5 million. Let’s put the Nusra Front terrorists up there--they sometimes jump ugly with our new ISIS friends. We can put up 
al-Baghdadi’s boys in Fox Chapel, Pa., outside Pittsburgh. Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell Kerry III even have a nine-room carriage house there.

Did the trust fund unload the Italian getaway in Como Lake, assessed at $10 million?"



Nantucket is 87.6 white per 2010 US Census.


Above, Chris Matthews and wife Kathleen at their summer residence in Nantucket, Labor Day weekend, 2005, photos Washington Life, Oct. 2005

Oct. 2005, "INSIDE HOMES, NOT JUST FOR SUMMER ANYMORE," "These Washingtonians’ Isle of Choice is Definitely Nantucket"

"Washington Life spent Labor Day weekend on Nantucket taking in the cool island breezes and visiting with many of our readers and friends. Chris and Kathleen Matthews and Barbara Harrison and her husband John Chester Pyles, III recently purchased houses on the island, joining the swelling ranks of prominent Washingtonians who summer there, including: John Kerry and Teresa Heinz, Tim Russert and Maureen Orth, Bill and Alison Paley, Bob and Carol Foley, Robert and Marion Rosenthal, David and Alice Rubenstein, Robert and Mary Haft, Evan and Cindy Jones, Bob and Laurie Monahan, Smith and Elizabeth Bagley, Terry and Margaret Lenzner, Max and Heidi Berry, George and Evelyn Constable, and Molly Raiser

But, as Barbara Harrison explains, Nantucket is “not just for summer anymore” (see an insider’s tour of the new Harrison-Pyles’ compound).

It’s hard to imagine that Kathleen and Chris Matthews, who purchased Joan Bingham’s modest Nantucket-style shingled house on the dunes, ever have time for weekend getaways. Still, the broadcasting power couple somehow manage to regularly retreat to their new home away from home, a major feat given that Kathleen anchors ABC-7 news at Five, hosts “Capital Sunday,” and is working on a new prime time news magazine while her husband is busy with his new “Chris Matthews Show” in addition to hosting MSNBC’s “Hardball.”... 
Meanwhile, in between photos, Kathleen managed to entertain Wayne and Catherine Reynolds and Gahl Burt who stopped by for lunch. 
While Kathleen was teaching her course, “Tower of Babble: Making Sense of News in the New Millennium,” at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, she and Chris, a native Philadelphian, rediscovered Nantucket where they honeymooned 25 years ago. Asked whether they have animated political discussions at home, Kathleen responds, “We have our sparks that fly.” The couple certainly keep the sparks flying on the Washington social scene while helping their many charitable causes, including the Catholic Charities Foundation, Shakespeare Theatre, Black Student Fund and Girl Scouts, among others."…

===================== .......... 
Top image of Chris Matthews and wife from Washington Life Magazine, 2005.

Image source, Kerry yacht:

Wed., 7/3/13, Sec. of State John Kerry on his yacht, seen mid photo, CBS News photo, twitterpic


Image source, Kerry and his kyack near Nantucket Island:

7/4/13, Sec. of State John Kerry offloads from a 1-person kyack near Nantucket Island, photo Ryan Hutton, Boston Herald, 7/5/13


Donald Trump on 60 Minutes: America needs Fair Trade not Free Trade

9/27/15, "Donald Trump: America Needs ‘Fair Trade,’ Not ‘Free Trade’," Breitbart, Alex Swoyer  

"During an interview with 60 Minutes (9/27), GOP frontrunner Donald Trump was questioned about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), calling it a “disaster” and saying America needs “fair trade,” not “free trade.”
Trump told interviewer Scott Pelley that NAFTA is “a disaster” and the agreement shouldn’t exist. Reports and studies have been in conflict for roughly a decade as to whether or not NAFTA caused millions of American jobs to be lost.
President Bill Clinton enacted NAFTA in 1994, but President Obama has criticized the deal, saying that roughly one million jobs have been lost because of it. FactCheck.Org disagreed with the premise that NAFTA has cost jobs, reporting: “Actually, nearly 25 million jobs have been gained. Nearly all economic studies say NAFTA’s net effect on jobs was negligible.”"...
[Ed. note: The FactCheck.Org link above which "disagreed" goes to a July 7, 2008 article. Meaning the past 7 years aren't included. NAFTA has only existed for 21 years so this link excludes one third of its statistics. Many people are busy. If they're lucky enough to have time to read articles like this, they may not have time to click through and find the statistics aren't up to date.]
(continuing): "Despite being critical of NAFTA, Obama has been negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)--a trade deal he planned to introduce to Congress in the Fall.
Trump has been critical of Obama’s trade deal.
Economic Policy Institute’s Rep. Robert Scott (D-Va.) wrote in 2013 about the developing TPP and argued that historically, “no jobs” come from trade pacts. “Claims that trade deals increase exports and create jobs are based on flawed trade models, and on distorted and one-sided interpretations of the findings of those models,” (Rep.) Scott explained.
If you’re president, you’re going to have to live with it,” (60 Minutes') Pelley said to the billionaire businessman during the interview, referencing NAFTA.
Trump fired back: “Excuse me, we will either renegotiate it or we will break it. Because, you know, every agreement has an end.
Pelley said Trump can’t just break the law.
“Excuse me, every agreement has an end. Every agreement has to be fair,” Trump reiterated. Every agreement has a defraud clause. We’re being defrauded by all these countries.
Pelley told Trump that “free trade” is the “plank” of the Republican Party.
Scott, we need fair trade. Not free trade, Trump clarified. “We need fair trade. It’s got to be fair.”"




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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.