The crisis in Crimea is heralding the rise of a new era of American energy diplomacy, as the Obama administration tries to deploy the vast new supply of natural gas in the United States as a weapon to undercut the influence of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, over Ukraine and Europe.
The crisis has escalated a State Department initiative to use a new boom in American natural gas supplies as a lever against Russia, which supplies 60 percent of Ukraine’s natural gas and has a history of cutting off the supply during conflicts. This week, Gazprom, Russia’s state-run natural gas company, said it would no longer provide gas at a discount rate to Ukraine, a move reminiscent of more serious Russian cutoffs of natural gas to Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
The administration’s strategy is to move aggressively to deploy the advantages of its new resources to undercut Russian natural gas sales to Ukraine and Europe, weakening such moves by Mr. Putin in future years. Although Russia is still the world’s biggest exporter of natural gas, the United States recently surpassed it to become the world’s largest natural gas producer, largely because of breakthroughs in hydraulic fracturing technology, known as fracking.
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson
On this final, frenetic afternoon of the 3 day binge-orgy of conservative politics (an oxymoron if there ever was one) that is the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, there I was, poverty-stricken cheapskate that I am, trying to figure out whether I’d have to try sneak in to the main event hall, or cough up just enough clams for access to the last day’s central attractions/speakers. Then I happened into the revelation that my status as a Clash columnist gets me a media access badge. Eureka.
So hello Clashers, your friendly correspondent here, typing at a table in the back of the 2014 CPAC grand auditorium. I’m reeling a bit from the overwhelming intensity of my very first CPAC experience. Now I’ll compose for you all a harmless little journalistic jag about my overall impressions of the whole thing. I’ll try to be coherent, given the star-studded delirium which has overtaken me…
First of all, the complex where this thing is being held is mind-blowing. Either that, or for some reason I’m just easily impressed. It’s at the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center, a massive — truly staggeringly massive — sparkling new palace of vast halls and colossal glass atriums, restaurants, and magnificent, sometimes maze-like, breathtaking architecture overall. It sits majestically astride the National Harbor complex on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, right on the lower edge of the District of Columbia.
So much for the extravagant (antithesis of conservative) setting. The actual conference itself is another case of a mind being blown here–mine, anyway. I can’t stop being reminded just a little bit of the late Hunter S. Thompson’s fantastic, deranged tales of bad craziness in places like Las Vegas and the Kentucky Derby.
Why do I say that? It has to do with the freak-show which an event like this amounts to. An event which attracts the most ardent,
enthusiastic, and eagerly ambitious hardcore of the conservative Republican elites has a certain edgy weirdness and over-the-top, pressure-cooker, non-conservative aspect to it. The extremely dedicated of our movement are of course somewhat extreme, they aren’t (conservatively) non-extreme.
As a highly passionate amatuer, I’ve worked pretty intensely on various Republican political campaigns over the years, in local and national races. I’ve been a party precinct captain and a state GOP convention delegate. I’ve attended Republican parties, picnics, events and confabs of various types. But I have to say that I’ve always been a little uncomfortable around large, boisterous groupings of the Republican professional political class–the types of people that get dressed up in power suits and power ties, and in skin-tight dresses and high heels, to go to these events, to “network” and hand out their business cards.
An event as huge as CPAC turns into a giant hardcore Republican job fair or meet market or something, with everyone on edge, trying to position themselves for maximum recognition, pictures of themselves with the rock stars of the conservative movement, hustling their next campaign consulting gig, whatever. Whew.
Maybe it’s the intense energy of all the young Republicans (turns out CPAC is overwhelmingly comprised of them), the throngs and throngs of hundreds of college-aged conservative political animals all decked out in their best clothes, trying to make impressions on each other and on the older established pols who might hire them after graduation, frenziedly working their devices, and all of the romantic intrigues flying around among them that you can just sense, as they explore whether or not they’ll meet and/or woo their future mate at this CPAC thing.
I admit that I myself get a bit of a rush when various “rock stars” of the conservative movement are standing near me here at CPAC, in conversation with whoever, or pass by. Or when I get a chance to make conversation with one of them, when I meet in the flesh someone whose books I’ve read, videos and news clips I’ve surfed and studied, and with whom I’ve corresponded only via the internet for months or years leading up to this stellar weekend. But that’s sort of my main point.
It’s all “a bit much,” and those of us who profess conservative values, those of us of the grassroots especially, are not really about hustling for glitz, glamour, and a gala-supreme experience when it comes to advancing our values in society. We are, after all, conservatives.
If we say we are conservative, shouldn’t we mainly act that way–not given to excess and extravagance? But as binges and orgies go, in terms of Republican political happenings, CPAC is where it’s at. It’s a blast. Sarah Palin comes on stage in just a few minutes, for the final speech of the weekend.
Now that I think of it, I suppose that the whole point of being conservative in the first place is so that we actually have something stored up, in reserve, for when we do have to, choose to, have a blast.
John Kerry Calls On All U.S. Diplomats As “Our Brave Men & Women On The Front Lines.” You’ll Never Guess Why.
The brinksmanship going on between Russian and the United States right now is frightening. This isn’t Iraq or Afghanistan. We’re dealing with a nuclear power.
So I’m not surprised that John Kerry felt he needed to give out, as Yahoo News reports, “his first department-wide policy guidance statement since taking office.” I am sure all the ambassadors of the United States government need to be focused and active in working toward a resolution to this crisis.
So what did Kerry tell them?
According to the Yahoo News site:
In his first department-wide policy guidance statement since taking office a year ago, he told his 70,000 staff: “The environment has been one of the central causes of my life.”
“Protecting our environment and meeting the challenge of global climate change is a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat,” Kerry said in the letter issued on Friday to all 275 US embassies and across the State Department.
“It’s also a critical mission for all of you: our brave men and women on the frontlines of direct diplomacy,” he added in the document seen by AFP.
He urged all “chiefs of mission to make climate change a priority for all relevant personnel and to promote concerted action at posts and in host countries to address this problem.”
The clarion call comes ahead of key UN-led talks in Paris next year when the international community is due to try to set new emissions goals for greenhouses blamed for global warming.
So in the middle of a crisis involving a major nuclear power, Kerry is more concerned of a meeting that is many months away.
What does that mean?
If you want to believe his “personal testimony” about how much he cares about the issue, have fun in your world. Kerry was chosen to do a job as Secretary of State. He is doing it. Powerful people want Global Warming pushed, even when we are going head-to-head with Russia.
The story tells us something about these “key UN-led talks in Paris next year” and the “new emissions goals” they will set.
The emission levels will be applicable to all countries, not just the developed world, and will come into effect in 2020.
The new agreement will replace the Kyoto treaty which is due to expire in 2015.
The United States, which along with China is the world’s top polluter, did not ratify the Kyoto Treaty arguing that developing countries should also be obligated to cut greenhouse gases.
So you can understand why Kerry needs to give our “brave men and women” encouragement. Our government is sending its servants to countries that aspire to our standard of living and telling them to throttle back on the most basic elements of energy and industrial production. Our message to the teeming masses to the world is “Stay poor so you don’t pollute.”
It is a message those countries have been resisting.
That is John Kerry’s high priority.
Last weekend, I reported on Connecticut John Cinque’s 2013 warning to lawmakers that he would not comply with their attempts to force the citizens of Connecticut to register their semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines. Since that time, the video, though a year old, has gone viral. However, in a recent video between Mr. Cinque and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Joe Viconti, Cinque reveals that a Branford, Connecticut police officer told him, “I Cannot Wait to Get the Order to Kick Your Door In.”
View the video in its entirety here.
Cinque was explaining last year’s account to Viconti. Specifically he referenced a phone conversation with Connecticut State Representative David Yaccarino. In that questioning, Cinque said that the thing that really stuck with him was the fact that when he asked Yaccarino why there was a Second Amendment, he responded that it was put in place so that the Colonists could attack the British. No, seriously, that is what was said. Never mind that the Second Amendment was written long after the Revolutionary War.
Yaccarino finished the conversation with Cinque and then the phone was hung up, and Cinque was determined to go to the meeting (you can see the video of his comments here if you missed them).
According to Viconti, Governor Malloy’s signing the gun registration bill, was what got him in the race for governor. “I got into the race April 4th, as the governor was signing the bill, because for me, it was the last straw,” he told Cinque.
Cinque was asked how he felt as well.
Mr. Cinque was angry over the fact that these elected officials were claiming that they did great things for the citizens of Connecticut and saved their rights, when he believed what they were doing was violating their oath of office.
Both representatives are Republicans. “I’m a Republican,” Cinque said in response to Visconti’s affirmation that he also is a Republican.
“But I don’t trust the Republicans either, at the state or the federal level,” Cinque continued. “This whole Progressive movement has bitten everyone, and that’s what it comes down to.”
Visconti interjected that it hasn’t bitten everyone, affirming that it had not bitten him, and Connecticut gun owners seem to agree with him. Visconti not only wants to fight the current gun law, but the entire progressive agenda. “What are we gonna do about this gun law in Connecticut, because they are not going to stop?” he asked.
Cinque agreed with Visconti. “Anytime you hear ‘common sense gun laws’ or ‘common sense gun restrictions,’ it means ‘confiscation’ to them,” he told Visconti. “That’s the only ‘common sense’ thing to the people who are spewing this out. It means confiscation in the end.”
When asked what Cinque thinks will happen, he said, “Well, if the governor is re-elected, it’s gonna be uh….not just on the Second Amendment…it’s gonna be a whole lot of changes. I have zero doubt they’re gonna go full speed ahead.”
Then he delivered the bombshell. “I can speak from my own experience, that the video that was posted….in which I said ‘I’m not going to comply’… and I stand by my words… I’ve had contact with a police officer in my home town…I live in Branford, and his words straight out were ‘I Cannot Wait to Get the Order to Kick Your Door In.’”
A call to the Branford, Connecticut Police Department simply led to me calling on Monday, which I will do, to speak to the Police Chief. Also, an email to John Cinque has not been returned at the time of publishing. The article will be updated with any new information.
John is among hundreds of thousands of Connecticut citizens who are exercising mass civil disobedience against not only a violation of their rights expressed in the Second Amendment, but also in the Connecticut State Constitution. They are not registering their weapons and they aren’t surrendering them as instructed. As has been pointed out by a Cuban immigrant to America, gun registration is the step immediately before gun confiscation. In fact, the man I’m referencing, Manuel Martinez‘s son, contacted Freedom Outpost to reiterate that we should refer to all “gun control” legislation as a form of “gun confiscation,” which Cinque indicates that is exactly what is on the progressives mind, both Democrat and Republican.
This is what that people of Connecticut are up against. They are up against tyrants; tyrants that believe they are the master of the citizens, not the other way around.
God bless these patriots, and may He continue to grant them courage and victory in this desperate hour.
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The post CT Cop to Gun Owning Patriot: “I Cannot Wait to Get the Order to Kick Your Door In” appeared first on Freedom Outpost.
A year after his 13-hour filibuster won the hearts of young conservatives just a week ahead of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, the fandom for Sen. Rand Paul here has only grown. Paul gave a speech Friday before the first standing-room-only crowd at the conference so far, asking a cheering audience, “Will you, America’s next generation of liberty-lovers, will you stand and be heard?” Following his typical style, Paul’s speech focused largely on personal freedom, the Fourth Amendment, and […]
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Sarah Palin took a cue from Sen. Ted Cruz during her keynote speech at CPAC, reciting a modified version of “Green Eggs and Ham” to a packed audience.
Palin: I do not like reporters' smug replies when I complain about their lies. She, ah, seems to be enjoying herself—
(@HowardKurtz) March 08, 2014
Sarah Palin: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke—
KGarrison (@kgarrison) March 08, 2014
Sarah Palin on how cultural issues: We are pushing back against these “panties in a wad people"—
Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston) March 08, 2014
Palin plays the Duck Dynasty card. Says A&E canned Phil Robertson for expressing his "devout Christian views"—
(@HowardKurtz) March 08, 2014
Sarah Palin is on a roll at CPAC. Buck up or stay in the truck…great line..—
Kirk Pagenkopf (@kirkpagenkopf) March 08, 2014
On Duck Dynasty fight, Sarah Palin says "We pushed back and we won" …—
Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston) March 08, 2014
Palin says Dems define women by their body parts: "Honey that’s not liberation that’s subjugation & this sisterhood fights against that"—
Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston) March 08, 2014
Palin was interrupted by a chant of “Run, Sarah, run!”
CPAC to Palin: 'Run, Sarah, Run!'—
™»ѵ¥૮Ƭѳ૨«™ (@NapsterFlow) March 08, 2014
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to add video.
A young mother is furious after Facebook banned photos of her son born with a severe birth defect.
Grayson James Walker lived just eight hours after he was born on Feb. 15. He had anencephaly, a fatal condition in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull.
Heather Walker recently posted photos of Grayson without his hat on, igniting an apparent firestorm by doing so.
“Not long after, Facebook deleted them because of the content,”
“They allow people to post almost nude pictures of themselves, profanity, and so many other things but I’m not allowed to share a picture of God’s beautiful creation.”
To protest Facebook’s actions, Walker and her friends re-posted the photos — earning Walker a 24-hour ban from the site.
Watch this beautiful Video of Grayson’s short time with his family.
The post Facebook Bans Mother For Posting Photos Of Her New Born Son Who Was Born With Severe Birth Defect appeared first on We Are Change.
Remember: Harry Reid assured us that Obamacare is wonderful and that all the “horror stories” about the Affordable Care Act are lies.
Looks like the casino workers in Las Vegas disagree. They don’t want it.
On Feb. 20, thousands of housekeepers, porters, cooks, cocktail servers, and others represented by Nevada’s largest union, the Culinary Union Local 226, voted to end a contract extension the workers agreed to last summer. The union wants to maintain its current benefits — including health care coverage at no cost to workers, pensions, and guaranteed 40-hour workweeks.
Rising health care costs due to provisions in the Affordable Care Act could put those benefits in jeopardy, the union says.
“The biggest hurdle to reaching settlements in Vegas is the new costs imposed on our health plan by Obamacare,” Donald “D” Taylor, president of Unite Here, the parent union of CU Local 226, told BuzzFeed in a statement. “Even though the president and Congress promised we could keep our health plan, the reality is, unless the law is fixed, that won’t be true.”
On March 20, workers will have the opportunity to decide whether or not they would want to walk off the job at several hotels, including the Stratosphere, the Riviera, and the Plaza.
The vote won’t implement an immediate strike but it would give the union leaders the authority they need to call a strike at any time.
So if Obamacare is so great and beneficial, why aren’t all these unions thanking the administration and supporting the law rather than striking over it? Are union members especially vulnerable to “lies” from Republicans? Do hotel and casino workers constitute a big segment of Fox News audience to learn their political opinions? Do they listen to Rush Limbaugh and believe what he says?
Or is the Affordable Care Act a poisonous piece of oppression and Harry Reid a lying sack of garbage?
In the meantime, this gives us more hope for 2014. Allow me to remind us of a Washington Post story from a few weeks back:
Labor leaders who have spent months lobbying unsuccessfully for special protections under the Affordable Care Act warned this week that the White House’s continued refusal to help is dampening union support for Democratic candidates in this year’s midterm elections.
Leaders of two major unions, including the first to endorse Obama in 2008, said they have been betrayed by an administration that wooed their support for the 2009 legislation with promises to later address the peculiar needs of union-negotiated insurance plans that cover millions of workers.
So what we can hope and pray for is that the unions don’t get what they want and continue to feel betrayed.
And, of course, that the Republicans don’t damage themselves right in front of the finish line.
The post Union In Harry Reid’s State Threatening To Go On Strike Because Of Obamacare appeared first on Political Outcast.