Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Obama spending helps economy – in Kenya!

Flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to land of his father surging

By: Jerome R. Corsi

As Americans tightened their belts to pay federal taxes on time, the Obama administration is exploring what appears to be every way possible to use U.S. taxpayer dollars to stimulate the economy – in Kenya.

According to U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor, the White House has increased the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to Kenya, the land of his father’s birth.

“Kenyan businesses lately are increasingly becoming recipients of U.S. government largesse, as the Obama Administration, among pursuing other endeavors aims to expand ‘livestock-related economic opportunities’ in that nation,” the watchdog newsletter wrote April 14.

Amid the “spike of activity” in Kenya is a U.S. government contract committing to a five-year effort to “improve the inclusiveness and competitiveness” of the livestock industry in Marsabit and Garissa counties in Kenya.

On April 12, U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, published a pre-solicitation for the Resilience and Economic Growth in the Arid Lands-Accelerated Growth program, or REGAL-AG, under the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative.

“REAL-AG is intended to be a five-year activity which deepens USAID investment in Marsabit and Garissa, Kenya,” the program pre-solicitation read. “The procurement will improve the inclusiveness and competitiveness of the livestock value chain in these two counties, while furthering diverse livestock-related economic opportunities.”

While the pre-solicitation neglected to say how much money would be awarded in the REAL-AG program, the contracting office was listed as the USAID office in Nairobi, Kenya.

On April 12, USAID also listed a separate pre-solicitation for the Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises program, or KAVES, also with the contracting office listed as the USAID office in Nariobi.

Again, the pre-solicitation neglected to give program specifics or to say how much money would be awarded in the KAVES program in Kenya.

The website of Carana Corporation, a USAID consultant and contractor based in Arlington, Va., notes that the KAVES project “will focus on increasing agricultural productivity within staples, dairy and horticulture value chains.”

The Carana website further suggested Kenyan nationals would be hired to manage the program as “Value Chain advisors” to work with micro-finance institutions and banks to provide financing to “farmers, farmer groups, agro-enterprises and a wide range of local and regional partners to enhance the quality, availability and utilization financial services oriented toward agriculture.”

The USAID “Fact Sheet” for Kenyan foreign assistance appropriations indicates that the total for Fiscal Year 2011 has increased to $714 million from the Fiscal Year 2008 total under President George W. Bush of $684 million.

The U.S. Trade Monitor listed the following additional foreign aid program support for Kenya:
  • The USAID country page for Kenya indicates USAID support for microenterprises through Development Credit Authority loan guarantees to microfinance institutions.
The USAID Kenya country page features a photograph of a mother who used a USAID-sponsored microfinance loan to buy a dairy cow, noting, “Proceeds from the milk sales are helping pay her children’s school fees.”

‘Yes Youth Can!’
Through a $45 million “Yes Youth Can!” program, which mimics Obama’s 2008 “Yes, We Can!” presidential campaign slogan, Kenyan out-of-school youth “are empowered to develop livelihood opportunities and improve their capacity for a greater voice in national and local affairs.”

Among the economic development projects funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars and featured on the USAID/Kenya webpages are the following:
  • The Kipepeo Butterfly Project that trains Kenyan farmers how to rear butterflies for export to butterfly museums and exhibits in the United States and Europe;
  • The Kisumu Youth Group registers local groups to work with the Bamato Environmental and Sanitation Project in Kisumu to help impoverished urban dwellers collect and recycle garbage; and
The U.S. Trade Monitor noted that other notable U.S.-funded Kenyan projects in 2012 include the launching of a National Institutes of Health-led initiative to hire contractors to conduct genetic research of Kenyans with Type-2 diabetes.

Separately, the U.S. Trade Monitor pointed out, the U.S. Army embarked upon a survey of potential vendors to provide helicopter flight-training simulators to the Kenyan government.

WND previously reported the Obama administration secretly spent $23 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars in 2010 to fund a “Yes” vote on a constitutional referendum that ultimately passed, along with provisions that increased access to abortions in Kenya and established legal status for Islamic law tribunals.

New poll, endorsements bolster Romney

By the CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) -- A new poll Tuesday showed voters are willing to give Mitt Romney a fresh look now that he is the certain Republican presidential nominee, and the former Massachusetts governor picked up public backing from the top GOP leaders in the House and Senate.

The good news came as Romney's campaign offered a mild rebuke to right-wing rocker Ted Nugent's for his latest inflammatory rhetoric against President Barack Obama, seeking a middle ground between condoning divisive language and alienating conservatives who like Nugent's firebrand politics.

Obama, meanwhile, unveiled a new plan to limit oil market speculation as a way to address high gas prices angering Americans as the campaign for the November election heats up.

The CNN/ORC International poll showed that Romney's popularity is starting to rebound now that the divisiveness of the Republican primaries appears to be all but over.

According to the survey, 44% of people questioned said they have a favorable view of Romney, up 10 points from February, while 43% said they have an unfavorable opinion, down 11 points, and 13% were unsure.

According to the poll, 53% of Americans plan to give Romney a second look when the primaries are officially over, with 45% saying they already know enough about Romney to decide whether he would be a good president.

The survey indicates Romney's popularity still lags well behind Obama's: 56% have a favorable view of the president, with 42% saying they see Obama in a negative light.

"The Republican Party's favorable rating has also rebounded now that the nomination fight is all but over, from 35% in March to 41%," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That still puts the GOP several points behind the Democratic party's 46% rating, but it is an indication that the wounds have started to heal from the primary season."

Both House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Tuesday they back Romney's nomination. The statements a few hours apart were intended to show growing Republican support for Romney despite mistrust among some conservatives over his moderate policies when he was Massachusetts governor.

"I will be proud to support Mitt Romney and do everything I can to help him win," Boehner told reporters after he met with House Republicans to discuss the November election.

Romney still needs several hundred delegates to formally secure the GOP nomination, but the withdrawal from the race last week by his main conservative challenger, Rick Santorum, left Romney's path unobstructed.

McConnell later told reporters he also is backing Romney, which is no surprise but represents a formal endorsement after the Kentucky senator previously said Romney would be the party's nominee and "an excellent candidate."

Nugent, another Romney supporter, raised eyebrows this weekend when he said at an NRA convention that if Obama wins re-election in November, "I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year."

He accused the government of "wiping its ass with the Constitution" and labeled members of the Obama administration, including the vice president, attorney general and secretary of state, "criminals."

"We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November," Nugent said.

Responding to the comments by Nugent, who announced his support for Romney last month, campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said: "Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from."

"Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil," Saul added.

Her reaction followed a call from Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida for Romney to denounce comments she called "despicable, deplorable and completely beyond the pale."

"Romney's surrogates should know better than to rally the troops with outrageous rhetoric that is unacceptable in our political debate," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

Obama said Tuesday that the new measures he announced to limit speculation in oil markets will make amends to consumers for congressional Republicans blocking an end to subsidies for oil corporations.

"A few weeks ago, Congress had the chance to stand up for families already paying an extra premium at the pump, but congressional Republicans voted to keep spending billions of Americans' hard-earned tax dollars on more unnecessary subsidies for big oil companies," Obama said in his announcement in the Rose Garden. "So here's a chance to make amends."

Senate Republicans three weeks ago blocked a Democratic measure championed by Obama to end tax breaks for the major oil companies, which he said are enjoying record profits. Four Democrats crossed party lines to vote against the bill, but even if it had passed the Senate, it was given little chance in the Republican-controlled House.

Obama's proposal would require traders to put up more of their own money for transactions. It also would ask for more funding for market enforcement and monitoring, and increase penalties for manipulating markets.

Obama and Republicans have drawn lines over oil prices since they started to rise to near-record levels earlier this year.

Republicans say Obama hasn't done enough to stem the rise and advocate opening up more areas for drilling and approving projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to refineries in Texas. But analysts say such measures would have little effect on the current price of oil and gasoline.

Most Americans blame big oil for the spike in prices -- a recent CNN/ORC International poll showed that the majority blamed the oil companies while 24% blamed Obama and 21% blamed Republican policies.

Obama's announcement came a day after one of the elements of his tax policy was blocked by Republicans in the Senate.

The so-called Buffett Rule -- named after billionaire Warren Buffett, who says the tax rate he pays should be no lower than that of his secretary -- failed to get the necessary 60 votes to go to the Senate floor. The measure would have raised the minimum tax rate to 30% for those making more than $1 million a year.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that Obama, by pushing the Buffett Rule, shows that the incumbent is "out of ideas" on the economy.

Speaking to the Tax Day Tea Summit in Philadelphia on Monday night, Romney cited a calculation that the measure, which would have raised the minimum tax rate to 30% for those making between $1 million and $2 million, would have paid for "11 hours of government."

"This is not exactly a grand idea," Romney said. "This is a man who is out of ideas, he's out of excuses and in 2012 we're going to make sure he gets put out of office."

However, a CNN/ORC poll released Monday found that seven in 10 respondents said they favored the bill.

Romney's wife, Ann, was to be the guest of honor later Tuesday at a birthday celebration/fundraiser being held for her by Donald Trump's wife, Melania, at the couple's residence in Trump Tower in New York. 

Trump spokesman Michael Cohen said about 400 people were invited to the event, which was expected to bring in "well in excess" of $600,000.

Cohen said Trump will stop by the fundraiser to wish Ann Romney, who turned 63 on Monday, a happy birthday and he expects to host another fundraiser for the campaign at Trump Tower once Romney officially clinches the nomination.

First lady Michelle Obama will also be raising cash on Tuesday. She will speak at a Democratic National Committee event in Nashville, followed by two DNC fundraisers in Pittsburgh.

Romney could cross paths with the first lady when he holds a midday campaign roundtable at a community center in the Pittsburgh suburb of Bethel Park.

Loyal Labrador Who Stayed by Dead Dog’s Side Is Reunited With Family

by Fox News Insider

Loyal Labrador Stays by Dead Dog's Side
 The Associated Press

A loyal Labrador retriever named Maggie, who was videotaped as she guarded the body of a yellow Lab hit and killed by a car in Southern California, was reunited with her family Monday.

A good Samaritan saw what was happening on Hacienda Boulevard in La Puente last Wednesday, called officers, put traffic cones around the dogs and took the video that touched hearts across the country as it made its way around the Internet.

Before Maggie’s family claimed her Monday, the dog was spayed and microchipped. The name of the family was not released.

Dozens of people called or visited the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control shelter in Baldwin Park offering to adopt the sweet-natured dog. The good Samaritan was the first to fill out paperwork.

Officers were getting the dogs out of the street at the same time Maggie’s family was at the shelter looking for her, said Capt. Aaron Reyes, deputy director of the department.

Maggie is expected to go home Tuesday after shelter workers inspect her home, Reyes said.

No one knows who the yellow Lab belonged to or where Maggie met him, Reyes said. He had no license or microchip.

Maggie’s loyalty to the dead dog was so poignant and so risky that shelter workers nicknamed her Grace, as in “Amazing Grace.” The video shows traffic speeding by just a few feet from the dogs.

Maggie is about 2 years old and the family’s only dog, Reyes said. The family includes children.

Maggie’s family wasn’t the first to show up at the shelter Monday claiming the dog belonged to them. But it was the first family to have papers to prove it and to call the dog Maggie. Shelter workers remembered the family.

Even though she was groggy from surgery, the dog responded immediately to her name and the family, Reyes said.

The family will be issued citations for having an unregistered dog and allowing it to run loose and will have to pay nominal room and board costs, Reyes said, but the shelter did the surgery and implanted the microchip for free.

The good Samaritan who had hoped to adopt Grace was notified, Reyes said, and his reaction was “understandably bittersweet.”

“He had a lot of the same questions we did. How could they not have a license? Had Maggie had an ID tag or microchip, she could have been spayed and been back home last week,” Reyes said.

See the video of the story here:

…..And the Lord spoke to Noah and said:

“In one year, I am going to make it rain and cover the whole earth with water until all flesh is destroyed, but I want you to save the righteous people and two of every kind of living thing on earth. Therefore, I am commanding you to build an Ark.”

In a flash of lightning God delivered the specifications for an Ark. In fear and trembling, Noah took the plans and agreed to build the ark.

Remember,” said the Lord: “You must complete the Ark and bring everything aboard in one year.”

Exactly one year later, fierce storm clouds covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard weeping.

“Noah,” he shouted…“Where is the Ark?”

“Lord, please forgive me,” cried Noah. “I did my best, but there were big problems: First, I had to get a permit for construction, and your plans did not meet the building codes. I had to hire an engineering firm to redraw the plans”.

“Then I got into a fight with the Fire Marshall and OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a sprinkler system and approved floatation devices. Then, my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the local planning commission. Then, I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the Spotted Owl…but, I finally convinced the U. S. Forest Service that I really needed the wood to save the owls. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service won’t let me catch any owls, so, no owls.”

“Then the carpenters formed a union and went on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or hammer. Now, I have 16 carpenters on the Ark, but still no owls. When I started rounding up the other animals, an animal rights group sued me. They objected to me taking only two of each kind aboard mumbling something about “Obama and fairness”".

“Just when I finally got the suit dismissed, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn’t take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the Creator of the Universe. Then, the Army Corps of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed new flood plain. So I sent them a globe”.

“Right now, I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking Godless, unbelieving people aboard. The IRS has seized my assets, claiming that I’m building the Ark in preparation to flee the country and not pay taxes. I then got a notice from a state revenue agent that I owe them some kind of user tax because I failed to register the Ark as a “recreational water craft.” And finally, the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it’s a religious event, and, therefore, “unconstitutional”. I really don’t think I can finish the Ark for at least…another five or six years.”

Noah then waited for a response from the Lord…

The sky began to clear, the sun began to shine, and the seas began to calm. A rainbow arched across the sky.

Noah looked up hopefully.

“You mean you’re not going to destroy the earth, Lord?”

“No,” He said sadly.”

“I don’t have to. The government already has.”
The End of an Era   
By: Diane Sori

As I sat in front of my TV this morning watching the shuttle Discovery being carried to its forever home at the Smithsonian, I could not help but to remember all those amazing journeys into space and the brave astronauts who risked their lives to take them.  I could not help but to remember all the scientific discoveries made, and all the hopes and dreams for America’s bright future in space...everything that was one small part of our American exceptionalism. 

As I watched the Challenger being carried to its final home I cursed Obama for taking a part of our exceptionalism away, for basically taking our space program away, and for leaving America’s future in space a question mark and nothing more. 

While I know that some unmanned missions will still go forward, the thrill of human exploration, the inner quest inherent in man’s need to explore the unknown, has indeed been taken away, at least for now, by this man so he can funnel those cut funds to those whose votes he is trying to buy.  

Mr. Obama, by doing what you did you also dishonored the words of presidents who came before; presidents like John F. Kennedy, who in 1961, set a goal of reaching the moon by the end of that decade.  That mission was accomplished.  You dishonored President Bush who set a goal of going back to the moon by this decade's end.  You took the monies needed to attain that goal away just so you could garner more votes for yourself come November.

By doing what you did, Mr. Obama, you ruefully and deliberately halted certain aspects of scientific progress critical to the American people, for great advances were made by NASA during the years of space exploration that you thankfully had no part in it.   

Mr. Obama, if we did not go to the moon 40 years ago the medical field would not have ultrasound scanners, MRI's, digital breast imaging, laser angioplasty, programmable pacemakers, voice-activated wheel chairs, and the list goes on.  From these advances alone, millions of lives have been saved.

Mr. Obama, without NASA computer technology would still be in its infancy because it was the space program that gave us microcomputers, data-based management systems, expert system software, structural analysis, virtual reality, laser surveying, and again, the list goes on.  

Mr. Obama, without NASA, the Regenerable Biocide Delivery Unit, a municipal water treatment system critical for developing nations, would never exist.  Microspheres, telemetry systems, radiation insulation, earthquake warning systems, wireless communications, compact discs - the list of applications derived from our space program is endless, and now you have taken future possibilities and discoveries away, again just to garner votes for your arrogant, narcissistic self.

Since you got your way, Mr. Obama, NASA is now expected to use its greatly reduced budget to encourage private companies to build, launch and operate their own spacecraft for NASA's benefit, basically privatizing outer space.  Because of you, Mr. Obama, NASA will now have to pay those private companies to carry U.S. astronauts into space or worse yet, will have to continue to pay the Russians exorbitant amounts of money to carry our astronauts into space.
And Mr. Obama, you have not even considered the ramifications of what privatizing space exploration means. For example, who would own the rights to scientific discoveries, and any future applications, occurring from these missions?  Would it be NASA itself, or would it be the private companies paid by NASA to build and operate the spacecraft?  And what about safety issues?  Would private companies, whose bottom line is profits, be as concerned about the safety issues of going into space if those issues cut into their profit margins?  I think not but then again Mr. Obama, you could care less about that.

And Mr. Obama, as you continue to lie about how your policies have created jobs and cut the unemployment rate, your cutting funds for programs that were supposed to return us to the moon put thousands of more people out of work, not only along Florida's Space Coast, but in space-related industries in California, Texas, Alabama and Arizona as well. 

Mr. Obama, you never took any of this into consideration for all you cared about was funneling NASA’s funds into your vote buying operation.

Mr. Obama, thanks to you, the loss in scientific knowledge, jobs, and our lead in space exploration might never be recouped.  And thanks to you, the old adage of ‘he who controls space will control the world,’ will now go to either China or Russia for they are smart enough NOT to cut their space programs no matter how poorly their economies might be doing.

Hopefully come November, instead of cutting more from NASA’s funding, Mr. Obama, ‘We the People’ can cut you right out of a job, and then return this one small part of American exceptionalism...our future in space...back to her!
A nuclear Iran...it's only a matter of time  
From: We Stand with Israel / info@westandwithisrael.org

The long anticipated negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program started and ended on Saturday with nothing more than an agreement to talk again in over a month.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “freebie” for Iran, as they are able to delay for more negotiations while continuing their path forward.

European and American diplomats, including Catherine Ashton, head of the EU delegation, called the meeting “constructive and useful” even though no details or positions on either side were negotiated.  Basically the talks were successful only in producing more talks and giving Iran a public relations victory and more time to sort out their nuclear program while inspectors are locked out of the country. 

While Iran used this platform to tell the world of its peaceful nuclear intentions, other Iranians were in North Korea to witness the failed rocket launch on FridayWhy would Iranian officials witness first hand a rocket launch from a rogue nuclear nation if they have no intention of making a nuclear weapon?

The high-profile rocket launch...was reportedly attended by 12 officials from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHID).

The organisation, which is the subject of a number of international sanctions, attended in order to witness the launch at first hand, according to Yonhap news agency reports.

"The Iranians undoubtedly were there to observe the missile launch and receive test data from North Korea," a diplomatic source as quoted as telling the news agency.

News of North Korea's guests from Iran is likely to cast the spotlight onto the suspected relationship between the two nations in terms of the exchange of ballistic missile technology.

One such indication of their collaboration is the Shahab-3 ballistic missile developed by Iran's SHID which is widely believed to be a replica of North Korea's mid-range Nodong missile.
                                                                                                           The Telegraph, U. K.

These events in North Korea should be a wake-up call to American diplomats bent on curtailing Iran’s nuclear program.  Negotiating with a rogue nation does not work.  President Obama gave North Korea food aid in negotiations just a month ago, but the North went ahead with the rocket launch anyway, costing a starving nation a chance to feed its citizens. 

But the President believes that Iran is different, that sanctions on its government will force its hand at the nuclear table.  But Iran has continually made clear they believe they have a right to all nuclear technology and will not bow to pressure from the West. 

While the headlines in America will be positive in relation to Iran and continued negotiations, it is imperative you know what is going on behind the news. 

While the heavy sanctions have taken a toll on the people of Iran, the leaders are not hurting and the country continues to export oil.  They have taken their oil tankers off radar so as their deliveries will not be detected by international observers

All of this because Iran will not blink in the face of Western pressure and they realize that the longer talks drag out the closer they become to North Korea, which one day announced to the surprise of the world that they indeed have nuclear weaponsWill a similar course play out in Iran?  Only time will tell, time that Obama hopes goes past November.