Sep 20, 2014

Russian Head Narcissist Gameplayer Putin Buzzes Western Airspace with His Nuke Bombers

Russian strategic nuclear bombers carried out air defense zone incursions near Alaska and across Northern Europe this week in the latest nuclear saber rattling by Moscow.

Six Russian aircraft, including two Bear H nuclear bombers, two MiG-31 fighter jets and two IL-78 refueling tankers were intercepted by F-22 fighters on Wednesday west and north of Alaska in air defense identification zones, said Navy Capt. Jeff A. Davis, a spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. Two other Bears were intercepted by Canadian jets on Thursday.

“The group of Russian aircraft flew a loop south, returning westward toward Russia,” Davis told the Free Beacon.

A day later two more Bear bombers were intercepted by Canadian CF-18 jets in the western area of the Canadian air defense identification zone near the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, he said.

The Russian bombers did not enter U.S. airspace but flew within 63 miles of the Alaskan coast and 46 miles of the Canadian coastline, Davis said.

In both instances, the Russian bombers did not enter sovereign airspace, he added, noting the Russian aircraft flew within about 55 nautical miles of the Alaskan coastline, and within about 40 nautical miles of the Canadian coastline.

One defense official said the Russian bomber activity appeared timed to the visit to the United States and Canada by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The Ukrainian leader was in Ottawa for meetings with Canadian leaders on Wednesday. He met with President Obama on Thursday.

Ukraine is locked in a battle with Moscow over the Russian military annexation of Crimea and continuing backing of pro-Russian Ukrainian militias in eastern Ukraine.

Over Europe on Tuesday, two Bear H bombers conducted practice strategic bombing runs on Tuesday and were met by interceptor jets from Norway, Denmark, Britain, and Netherlands, defense officials told the Free Beacon.

“NATO jets … were scrambled to visually identify unknown aircraft approaching allied airspace,” said a NATO military officer who confirmed details of the incident.

“The approaching aircraft were identified as two Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers,” he said. “The Russian flights originated in the Barents Sea and went through international airspace down to the North Sea off the Dutch coast.”

The Russian aircraft flew in international airspace “close to NATO territory” but did not violate allied airspace, the officer said.

The NATO jets were scrambled as a response to the approach of unidentified aircraft, the officer said.

The type of NATO jets involved in the intercepts was not provided. The Telegraph reported that British Royal Air Force Typhoon jets took part.

“This is a standard procedure because these flights also pose a potential risk to civil aviation given that the Russian military often do not file flight plans, or use their on-board transponders,” he added. “This means civilian air traffic control cannot identify these aircraft nor ensure there is no interference with civilian air traffic.”

The officer said similar intercepts have taken place in the past. “NATO jets routinely identify, intercept, and escort Russian military planes that fly unannounced in international airspace but close to allied borders,” he said, noting the missions are “entirely defensive.”

“The event that occurred on 16 September shows NATO aircraft from several allies cooperating and coordinated by national and allied air command and control centers in a mission that reflects NATO’s readiness and determination to ensure collective security,” he said.

In a related development, Sweden’s military on Friday confirmed that two Russian Su-24 fighter-bombers violated the country’s airspace on Wednesday. A Gripen jet fighter was scrambled to intercept the jets.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt called the Russian jet incident “the most serious aerial incursion by the Russians during my years as foreign minister,” Sweden’s news outlet The Local reported Friday.

Russia’s strategic aviation forces have sharply increased flights in recent months in Asia, near Alaska, Canada, and the United States and Europe.

The flights were carried out amid growing tensions with Russia over its military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and continuing covert military destabilization of eastern Ukraine.

The NATO alliance announced earlier this month that it is creating a rapid response military force in Eastern Europe to counter the growing threat of Russian intervention.

“Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine have fundamentally challenged our vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace,” NATO said in a concluding statement Sept. 5.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former Alaskan Air Command commander with experience in Russian strategic flight incursions, said the increased bomber activity appears related to nuclear activities.

“They are having a very aggressive nuclear readiness exercise now as a show of force,” McInerney said. “Whereas the U.S. has been on a path of nuclear zero which they think is ridiculous.”

McInerney added: “The Russians sense weakness in American leadership and they are trying to intimidate us and show us that our nuclear deterrent forces are vulnerable to Russian nuclear forces.”

Other recent Bear bomber incidents included a practice cruise missile attack by two bombers off the coast of Canada earlier this month. That incident appeared timed to the NATO summit meeting in Wales.

The U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command in August stated that Russian strategic nuclear bombers sharply increased incursions into U.S. air defense zone.

More than 16 bomber flights were tracked and intercepted by U.S. and Canadian jets during a 10-day period that month.

The new aggressive military posture appears to be an element of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policy of seeking to return Russia to its Soviet empire status.

Russia, under Putin, is engaged in a large-scale nuclear buildup that includes new missiles, submarines, and a new bomber.

On Sept. 10, the Russian navy conducted a test firing of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile.

State-run Interfax-AVN news service reported earlier this week that nuclear cruise missile firing Russian Tu-95 Bear Bombers and Tu-22 Backfire C bombers completed missions that involved “snap readiness checks” in the Pacific.

Russian military forces also are bolstering forces in the arctic as part of Moscow’s efforts to secure resources in the region.

Two military bases are being built at Wrangel Island, on the arctic Chukchi Sea north of the Russian Far East, and on Cape Schmidt, also on the Chukchi Sea, the Moscow Times reported Sept. 8.

The report said the bases were part of Moscow’s efforts to restore the Soviet military presence in the resource-rich arctic.

Sep 14, 2014

U.S. intelligence agencies remain uncertain about danger posed by Islamic State

Full Obama speech, if you missed it:

Washington Post Sunday...

Hours before President Obama announced a new U.S. military offensive against the Islamic State, one of his top counter­terrorism officials testified to Congress that the al-Qaeda offshoot had an estimated 10,000 fighters.

The next day a new assessment arrived from the CIA: The terrorist organization’s ranks had more than doubled in recent months, surging to somewhere between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria.

The enormous discrepancy reflects, in part, significant uncertainty among U.S. intelligence agencies over the dimensions of and danger posed by America’s latest Islamist adversary.

But the trajectory of those numbers — and the anxiety that they have induced among U.S. counter­terrorism and military officials — also helps to explain Obama’s decision to go to war against an Islamist group that has yet to be linked to any plot against the United States.

In his speech, Obama laid out a rationale that leaned heavily on what-ifs. The United States has “not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland,” Obama said. But Islamic State leaders “have threatened America and our allies,” he said, and are on a path to deliver on those threats “if left unchecked.”

The emphasis on hypotheticals was notable for a commander in chief who presided over the creation of a counter­terrorism doctrine in which U.S. strikes are supposed to be contemplated only in cases­ of imminent threat of violent attack. Faced with a terrorist group that is expanding faster than U.S. spy agencies can chart it, the “imminent” threshold appears to have been set aside.

Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said in an interview Saturday that the speed at which the Islamic State has grown and amassed re­sources and its efforts to recruit Western fighters have prompted officials to respond differently than they did to terrorist groups elsewhere. “At least at this stage, it’s a really different type of threat that it poses,” she said.

When asked about the revised estimates of Islamic State fighters Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it indicates “that the group has had some recruitment success after the battlefield ad­vances that they demonstrated back in June, and it reflects some better insight that the intelligence community has been able to gain into the activities” of the Islamic State.

Several factors have fed U.S. anxiety. The Islamic State’s seizure of large chunks of territory in Iraq and Syria has been particularly unnerving to U.S. officials and agencies still haunted by the extent to which a haven in Afghanistan served as an incubator for al-Qaeda and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

U.S. officials have also cited the danger posed by the massive flow of foreign fighters into Syria — including at least 2,000 holding Western passports, enabling them to emerge from the Syrian civil war with Islamist contacts, lethal training and the potential ability to travel throughout Europe and North America unimpeded.

There may also be a significant emotional component. The expanded U.S. strikes were ordered just weeks after most Americans were introduced to the Islamic State on the most brutal terms: through the release of videos in which two U.S. journalists were beheaded by a masked militant speaking with a British accent.

Late Saturday, a new video was posted online showing the beheading by Islamic State of British aid worker David Haines, who was abducted in Syria near the Turkish border in March 2013.

Some terrorism experts have questioned Obama’s decision to open a multi­year campaign against the Islamic State — also known as ISIS or ISIL — citing concern that it is being driven more by psychological factors and fear than by evidence that it can significantly harm the United States.

“The American public has come to equate ad­vances in the Middle East by this one group, ISIS, with the danger of another 9/11,” said PaulPillar said that the Islamic State is following a playbook that is in many ways the opposite of al-Qaeda’s and that making the group the target of a U.S.-led campaign risks turning its focus toward the United States.

“For them to seize and maintain territory is a major digression from terrorist operations in the West, rather than a facilitation of such operations,” Pillar said.
U.S. strikes can certainly degrade the organization, but “there will be a revenge factor,” he said. “The killing of the two captive journalists was depicted by the group explicitly as retaliation for strikes that had already occurred.”

Attention to that issue and others has been scarce in the limited Washington debate so far over the Islamic State, a debate that has often been dominated by more dire projections.

“There is no contain policy for ISIL,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said this month. “They’re an ambitious, avowed genocidal, territorial-grabbing, Caliphate-desiring, quasi-state within a regular army. And leaving them in some capacity intact anywhere would leave a cancer in place that will ultimately come back to haunt us.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote in a recent op-ed that “the threat ISIS poses cannot be overstated.” She went on to describe the group as “the most vicious, well-funded and militant terrorist organization we have ever seen.”

Although aspects of Kerry’s and Feinstein’s characterizations are accurate, confusion about the group stems to a large degree from the difficulty in extrapolating its danger to the United States from such adjectives.

The Islamic State emerged from the remnants of an al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq that was largely dismantled before U.S. forces left the country in 2011. But the organization has taken advantage of the chaos in Syria’s civil war and sectarian tensions in Iraq to regroup.

Beyond its swelling ranks of fighters, the organization has amassed resources at a rapid rate. Its seizure of cities in Iraq this year has enabled it to build an arsenal that includes U.S.-provided weaponry. It also generates an estimated $1 million a day in revenue from black-market oil sales, kidnappings and other criminal enterprises. Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said recently that the Islamic State has vastly eclipsed al-Qaeda in its use of the Internet to spread propaganda and entice recruits.

The White House considered that targeting the Islamic State directly could intensify its motivation to strike the United States, Monaco said, which is part of why the president and others have made a point of questioning its religious credentials and overall legitimacy. But she noted that the group has already made clear its intent to target the country.

“We conduct that analysis, but they’ve already shown their brutality,” she said.
The threat the Islamic State poses to the region is in some ways more insidious than direct. Its fighters have swept through Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria where local security forces­ were already weak or disinclined to fight. It would be harder to take on the loyal armies of other countries in the region.

Of greater concern is the flow of foreign fighters, including thousands of Saudis, Jordanians and Tunisians who have probably learned lethal skills in Syria and been drilled in extremist ideology. There have already been demonstrations in support of the Islamic State in Jordan; its flag flutters over some Sunni communities in Lebanon; and Saudi Arabia has conducted sweeps to detain dozens of suspected supporters.

For Saudi Arabia and other gulf nations, there is little incentive to join a military assault on the Islamic State, said Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist who runs the Al-Arab News Channel. “Nobody wants to be in the middle of a bloody sectarian war,” he said. “And if we go into Syria, do we side with the rebels” or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad?

---Washington Post

3:05 PM CDT
It's good the intelligence community is more careful now than they were with BUSH, or is it that unlike with BUSH, Obama's not telling them what to conclude this time?

Hope Obama remains strong and we don't have another ground war. Let the ARABS put a little skin in the game against ISIS/ISIL. They like to hire foreigners to do heavy lifting because they don't like to work too hard. Not this time. Let them pay for our smartbombs, etc. Cash would be best.

While I have you on the horn here, someone needs to tell NY Post/Fox owner Rupert Murdoch to quit messing with our government and our foreign policy. If we truly are at war, maybe he needs to be tossed out of the US as he was with Britain where he misbehaved.

That guy and his media tools are ENEMIES of the STATE and we should treat him as such.

Sep 12, 2014

Just a little weekend ditty.

Click it and wait for it to load...

Post by 95.5 the ROCK.

Sep 11, 2014

Just who are the boogiemen trying to buy the Government: Kochs or Soros?

 If you spend any time on political sites on the Internet, you have no doubt run into Joe or Jane Conservative who believes that the Koch brothers are just good public citizens who get picked on because they contribute their money to conservative causes. If you have the patience or the inclination to try to educate them by presenting facts, there is also a low chance of acceptance of the truth.

About a New Republic article written by John Judis, “The Shutdown is One of the Worst Crises in American History, a commenter wrote:

“The hysteria over the Koch bros always reminds me of Soros, who spends FAR more money and has his fingers in more pies than the Koch bros could ever dream of. The man gives millions of dollars to over 30 “news” outfits. If you pull the strings at nearly every left-wing outfit, you find they lead to him and his money. So I have to laugh whenever a liberal whines about the Koch bros and the improper influence of money since they seem to find Soros just a harmless old philanthropist.”

Soros       Koch
This is classic right wing misinformation. Together, the Kochs have approximately $68 billion dollars combined wealth whereas George Soros has $20 billion. Right away, common sense should prevail upon a conservative afraid of a Soros boogeyman that he doesn’t have the resources of the megalomaniacal brothers. Where does this misguided commenter get such nonsense? Where else but the conservative media-sphere, so well-known for its distortion, it’s become cliché. Visit Fox So-Called News or right wing blogs, and soon you hear that George Soros has spent “$550 million” since 1979 in the United States on liberal causes and fail to note that he has disclosed every dollar, because he believes in a transparent and open society. Conversely, just try and find a record of the Koch brothers’ donations to conservative causes since 1979 without a full-time investigator.

They cry, his media influence is so great he “reaches 300 million people every month” (essentially the entire U.S.). Note: Most claims are made without references or citations. Even if it were true, all of Mr. Soros’s directly-owned media outlets are in Eastern Europe where he has advocated democracy, rather than communism, and an open society for decades. The money he donates to open journalism in the United States is all to organizations that promote news outside the mainstream, such as Think Progress, or Democracy Now.

The only media outlet he has given money to that has any far-reaching audience whatsoever is NPR, and I’m sure they’d be thrilled to hear that they were reaching several hundred million people. So what are the Soros alarmists referring to when they say he has a media empire? Well, apparently, having journalists from mainstream news outlets sit on the board of some of his think tanks is proof that he is influencing mainstream news. Of course, any ordinary person would note that the mainstream media is owned almost exclusively by right wing individuals and corporations, not the least of which is the infamous Rupert Murdoch. But these are the same people who believe there’s such a thing as the “liberal media.” According to Geoffrey Nunberg,

“In newspaper articles published since 1992, the word ‘media’ appears within seven words of ‘liberal bias’ 469 times and within seven words of ‘conservative bias’ just 17 times. If people are disposed to believe that the media have a liberal bias, it’s because the media have been telling them all along.”

It would be just like a conservative media to keep telling the American people that the media has a liberal bias, now wouldn’t it?

      It hasn’t been updated since the 2010 election, but did do a comparison of the relative influence of the Kochs and Mr. Soros. Bottom line, they are spending approximately:

Political Action Committee Spending (1989 to 2010)

Koch Industries: $12.1 million

Soros Fund Management: $0

 SuperPAC Spending (2011-2012)

Koch Brothers: unknown, but they even created their own SuperPAC

Soros:  $2.6 million*

*Alternative source from

Individual donations to federal candidates, parties and political action committees (1989 to 2010)

Koch Brothers: $2.58 million
George Soros: $1.74 million ($3.9 million)*

*Alternative source for 2011-2012, similar numbers for the Kochs through 2012 are not possible to calculate, because post-Citizen’s United, they give their money to their pet groups like Americans for Prosperity who would then donate millions for them. Laundered donations, if you will.

Individual donations to 527 organizations (2001 to 2010)
George Soros: $34.2 million

Koch Brothers: $4.06 million

Lobbying Expenditures (1998 to 2012)

Koch Industries: $79.9 million

Soros Fund Management/Open Society Policy Center (Soros-Funded): $12.8 million

Think Tanks (1979-2013)

Koch Brothers: Multi-untold millions

(funds Freedom Partners, Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Bill of Rights Institute, Institute for Humane Studies, Heartland Institute, Reason Foundation, FreedomWorks,  Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University Foundation, Mercatus Center, Institute for Justice, Institute for Energy Research, Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Center to Protect Patient Rights, Generation Opportunity, American Enterprise Institute, Manhattan Institute, Ayn Rand Institute, The Federalist Society, Competitive Enterprise Institute, etc.)**

**Many of these are dark money groups that also fund elections without disclosing donors

George Soros: $550 million in the U.S., 8 billion worldwide in 70 countries

(Funds Open Society Institute, Center for American Progress, Institute for New Economic Thinking, Center for Public Integrity, Brookings Institute, the Democracy Alliance, Tides Foundation, etc.. These in turn fund numerous liberal causes like National Organization for Women, the Free Press, or

Dark Money Groups (2011-2012)

Koch Brothers: No one knows, but they pledged to spend $60 million on the 2012 election

Soros:  $1 million, given his openness about how he spends his money, likely not more

      George Soros has tried to influence American politics by making a great deal of individual donations to 527 groups. These are groups that advocate for candidates like and those that get out the vote like America Votes. His actual direct donations to candidates and lobbying of Congress members are far overshadowed by the Koch brothers. In other words, he doesn’t try to buy the U.S. government. The place where George Soros primarily puts his money is into liberal non-profits that advocate for liberal positions. For example, he gives the bulk of his money to the Open Society Institute, which then gives grants to liberal causes ranging from marijuana legalization and reproductive rights to environmental protection and criminal justice reform. For example, he gave $100 million to Human Rights Watch. This is the mission statement for Human Rights Watch from their website:

 Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable. We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law. We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

      He is particularly focused on using his wealth to uphold principles of democracy and an “open society.” An open society includes principles such as “regular, free, and fair elections”; “a free and pluralistic media”; “the rule of law upheld by an independent judiciary”; and “a market economy.” In addition, he is very open about how he donates his money, and discloses his contributions on the website of the Center for Public Integrity. It’s easy to see why he is the boogeyman of the right. How scary.

       In contrast, the Koch brothers put a huge portion of their cash directly into buying Congress members through lobbying, direct donations to candidates, SuperPACS, dark money groups, and astro-turfing (creating false grassroots movements). They want to play puppeteer to our legislature, and our governors, manipulating their votes on laws, and writing the bills they bring to the floor or those they squash. When they invest their money in non-profits advocating their positions, it’s organizations like Generation Opportunity. They don’t provide a mission statement on their website, but it goes something like this:

Prevent as many young people as possible from signing up for low-cost health insurance that would cover them in the event of a tragic accident or unforeseen illness that would devastate them or their families financially, possibly causing bankruptcy or taxpayer dollars. If necessary, we will ply impressionable college students with free beer to do it.

  The Kochs are particularly focused on taking government assistance away from people living in poverty, denying access to health insurance, spreading polluting energy practices like fracking, not only advocating/promoting the continuing dependence on dirty fossil fuels, but demanding corporate welfare to do it, voter suppression, and union-busting to name a few.

      Whether it is how they spend their money, aiming it all at pulling the strings of Congress or sending out armies of pundits to drone on and on with conservative talking points to the corporate media, how they hide where they spend their money, or the inhumane causes they support, the Koch brothers are menacing. On the other hand, George Soros is a man of personal failings, but when he gives back to society, he spreads democracy, a free press, human rights, a clean & sustainable environment, and he does it all with full disclosure of every dime he donates. All in all, it’s easy to see which are the real boogeymen.


Sep 8, 2014

Winning the Country back depends on the YOUTH VOTE! Tell em!

The future of the country is getting YOUNG PEOPLE TO VOTE...since most don't.   Reach them where THEY read.  Popular facebook sites like MTV, university sites, pop culture pages.

Share this where Americas young people go...Remind them:

Rich Republicans keep the minimum wage down, and they voted against lowering interest rates on student loans. VOTE FOR DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES. The YOUTH VOTE will change the country in November! Tell your friends

Facebook link:

Here's a little BONUS for Reading!
Wanna stay up to date on a TRENDY SITE?   

Sep 7, 2014

Meet the Press is BACK. Too bad The Drudge Report can't just play it without distortion!

Chuck Todd did a nice job with his debut show of Meet the Press, replacing the lackluster and stilted David Gregory.   The interviews were better.  Gone the 'Gotcha Game" that both Gregory and Tim Russert served up every Sunday, playing back old tape to catch guests changing their positions on issues.

And rather than just play beltway talking point politics, MTP aired a useful piece about cities investing in themselves to bring their economies back.  Even a lesson there for capitalists who horde their money instead of putting it to work.

Todd debuted with a relaxed and rounded interview with President Obama... but not how Matt Drudge portrayed it--since he has his right leaning agenda.

Nother case of Matt writing a misleading headline to a legit news story.   I watched it... Obama was very comfortable with Todd.  No squirming.

Same with Obama and immigration.  Nowhere in the story Drudge linked to was the word "Amnesty."    Seems to just be a right wing word because they don't want to authorize non-citizen work permits for people already here with their families.

Moreover, if they have to work for their eventual citizenship, 'amnesty' is a misleading word.  Drudge is good at distortion, sadly.   So unnecessary because his readers aren't Cheap Shot TeaPartiers who think "obummer", and "libtard"  are clever words... Drudge's readers are more educated than that.

Lift yourself up, Matt.   Your readers see through partisan hype.   You don't need to distort the news...or omit big stories that make the right look bad.