Thursday, September 30, 2010

From the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, a new Truther movement is born UPDATE: Troll detected in the comments!

NOTE: Please see the latest post regarding PGI, located here.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Project Gulf Impact.  It’s meme: “From the Gulf Stream to the bloodstream and why what you’re about to read is the alarm bell of the pending Gulf disaster.”

Project Gulf Impact (we’ll shorten that to PGI) is the newest, latest and greatest incarnation of the truther movement.  You know.  “Ask questions.  Seek the truth.”  Then ignore the truth when given, and ask even more asinine questions.  If it sounds familiar, it should.  If PGI sounds a lot like “Loose Change,” it should.

According to this whois.net report, Project Gulf Impact is a website established by Gavin Garrison, a Santa Barbara, California graduate student at USC.  Hmm.  California graduate students sound like natural experts on oil spill impacts in the Gulf of Mexico, don’t they?
If Gavin Garrison sounds a lot like Dylan Avery, he should.  After all, if film school rejects can speak truth to power about collapsing skyscrapers, then film school students in California can speak truth to power about oil spills 1,900 miles away, right?  Right.

Garrison’s filmograghy includes the NOAA-sponsored “Proof or Propaganda.” Want to guess which side the film falls on?

As is usual with new, exciting and scary conspiracy theories, Garrison, PGI and their mentally challenged ilk have developed a rather devoted following.  It’s the usual collection of Black Helicopter watchers, including several Examiner.com nodes and blog websites like Prison Planet and Godlike Productions.  Their latest:  A story alleging that a group of [ahem] California filmmakers were sickened by mysterious poisons while investigating “the truth” about the oil spill in [gag] “Nazi America.”  The film crew was allegedly working for…  guess who?  PGI, of course!

These people take themselves very seriously but apparently don’t investigate their allies very closely.  Upon reaching the Pelican State, the allegedly sickened PGI crew hooked up with one of New Orleans biggest moonbats: Casey Nunez.

Never heard of Casey?  Really?  Maybe you’ve heard him referred to as Casey Kaine, The Psycho Hurricane.  Or Crackhead Frankenstein.  In his own words:


I'm 6"6 245 latent homosexual and come from New Orleans Louisiana USA. My friends call me "Beefy Tits". My grand father was A pitcher with the N.Y. Yankees that's how I came to have the Name Casey and more than likely where I Got the explosive knock out Bone crushing power of my right punches and kicks. My Power high Kick is 96.6 Inches or 8ft. At Age 16 I ran away with The Royal Hanneford circus and have done dates in every State in America over a 20 year period with my personal favorites being Michigan adventure in Muskegon. The ice palace in Tampa Florida, the mid Hudson civic center in Poughkeepsie New York and also the Yonkers raceway during the New York State Fair. My All time Favorite Date however by far would have to be The Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee Wisconsin since Its held during Summer fest so I always got to get in free to see all of the shows with my circus pass. I was a tour Guide here in new orleans on a mule drawn carriage at Jackson square and I also Worked as bouncer at the Tricou House 711 Bourbon Street where I lived in the Haunted 3rd floor attic suite which over looked bourbon street. In 1984 I became friends with Tommy Lee of the Heavy Metal Band Motley crue and Jake e. Lee Lead Guitarist for Ozzy after coming to their aid during a fight at the Dungeon in new Orleans.

Beefy tits?

I swear on a barrel of Corexit, I’m not making this up.

Nunez has a long, sordid history as a YouTube troll.   This is apparently what attracted the PGI crew to Nunez.  He’s also the guy behind this notorious “raining oil” hoax:




Hey, if a troll like Nunez can make a video that fools The Drudge Report and Russia Today, he’s GOT to be the guy PGI hooks up with, right?

What a fine, honest, upstanding bunch of wackos we’ve got here.  Asking questions.  Seeking truth.
I have an honest question—who is the worse group of idiots:  Gavin, Nunez, Dupre, et al, or the fools who believe their garbage?

trollradar

HuffPo Headline of the Day

From Douglas Rushkoff of the Huffington Post:

Literarcy

h/t @kathleensulli and @bdomenech

I know it’s mean to pick on other bloggers’ mistakes because Lord knows I’ve had a few whoppers of my own. But HuffPo’s lefty snobbiness just makes too tempting a target.

Secretariat Salazarovich issues new rules for offshore drilling

Breaking today:  Komrade Interior Secretariat Salazarovich has issued new rules that supposedly “strengthen safety standards” for offshore drilling.  Via al.com:


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has announced new rules requiring that offshore drilling rigs certify that they have working blowout preventers and standards for cementing wells.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today that the new rules will improve safety and reduce the chance of catastrophic blowouts such as the massive BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He said the rules also should improve workplace safety by reducing the risk of human error.

Salazar has said new rules must be in place before the Interior Department lifts a ban on deepwater drilling. The ban is set to expire Nov. 30, but officials have said they hope to end it early.


bp-ken-salazar-2008-12-17-1-33-12 Clap, clap, clap!  Bravo, Secretariat Salazarovich!

WTF took you so long?

There is absolutely nothing in the proposed new rules that could not have been implemented on a rig-by-rig, case-by-case basis between the May 27 imposition of the Deepwater Drilling Moratorium and today’s announcement.

The White House could easily have allowed the safest, best equipped rigs keep working while older, less well equipped rigs were inspected and retrofitted as necessary.  There was never a need to shut off the flow of oil and gas from the Gulf of Mexico, threaten tens of thousands of jobs and cost the nation billions in economic output.

The moratorium has never been about safety, or science.  It’s about politics and ideology.  Though the moratorium is set to expire November 30, who really thinks the regime is going to let all those greedy oil companies get back out there and start punching more holes in Gaia’s skin?

This is America under Obama.  We can’t have companies making money, providing jobs, and maintaining the country’s independence…

Oh, yes they will: McDonald’s WILL DROP health coverage without a medical-loss ratio waiver

image In today’s Wall Street Journal Online edition, the media outlet reports that fast-food giant McDonald’s will be forced to drop coverage for up to 30,000 of its hourly employees, unless the government can grant a waiver of the new Obamacare’s medical-loss ratio requirement.

The story caused an immediate flurry of activity from the company and Democrats eager to extinguish a pre-election prairie fire:


McDonald's Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.

The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers' health plans as the law ripples through the real world.

Trade groups representing restaurants and retailers say low-wage employers might halt their coverage if the government doesn't loosen a requirement for "mini-med" plans, which offer limited benefits to some 1.4 million Americans.

The requirement concerns the percentage of premiums that must be spent on benefits.

While many restaurants don't offer health coverage, McDonald's provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.

Last week, a senior McDonald's official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain's insurer won't meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.


The push-back from McDonald’s—and the White House—was swift and sharp.  McDonald’s Senior VP Steve Russell and Heath and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius both trotted out to breathlessly deny the accuracy of the Wall Street Journal Story:


McDonald's and the Obama administration are firing back at a Wall Street Journal report saying that the fast food giant is considering dropping its "mini-med" health insurance for hourly workers because of the new health care reform law.

"Media reports stating that we plan to drop health care coverage for our employees are completely false," said Steve Russell, a senior vice president and head of human resources for McDonald's, in a written response to the article. "These reports are purely speculative and misleading."

That sentiment was echoed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today.

"The McDonald's story is flat out wrong, and I am sorry that they were not more accurate in their reporting," she said.


They can deny that McDonald’s is “planning to drop health care coverage,” as Russell did.  They can complain that “the medical loss ratio isn't even settled yet,” as Sebelius did.  But what they can’t evade is the fact that because of high turnover and low spending on claims, the costs of administering the so-called “mini med” plans are higher than the costs of plans that cover large numbers of salaried employees in industries with low turnover.

They are so much higher, that it is impossible for most of these plans to get under the proposed 15% to 20% and for their providers to remain profitable.  McDonald’s and the insurance companies are in business to make profits and increase shareholder value.  If they can’t do that, they won’t provide the goods or services they once provided, whether its an entry-level job for a pimply faced teenager or a health insurance plan for hourly employees. Business doesn’t work that way, people.

The Wall Street Journal provides quotes from the McDonald’s memorandum, and the facts are inescapable:


“[It] would be economically prohibitive for our carrier to continue offering the mini-med plan unless it got an exemption from the requirement to spend 80% to 85% of premiums on benefits.

"Having to drop our current mini-med offering would represent a huge disruption to our 29,500 participants.  It would deny our people this current benefit that positively impacts their lives and protects their health—and would leave many without an affordable, comparably designed alternative until 2014."


Mickey D’s isn’t the only company in this boat, either.  There are dozens of restaurants, retailers and leisure services companies also offering mini-med programs, and all of these will have to meet the 2011 regulatory requirements, too.  Companies like Home Depot, Starbucks, Best Buy, Ruby Tuesday and Disney will either have to seek a waiver or drop the mini-med programs.

If they don’t get the waiver, THEY WILL DROP THE COVERAGE.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey at Hotair.com has a similar analysis, and reaches a similar conclusion:


What happens if they don’t get the waiver?  They’ll have to dump the plan, regardless of the hedging today by McDonald’s.

And so we come to another problem with ObamaCare: regulatory uncertainty.  The “loss ratios” should have been set by Congress as part of the bill (or not set at all, and left to the market) so that employers could plan for coverage options — which have to be settled by about this time to get enrollments set for 2011.  It’s been more than six months since ObamaCare’s passage, and no one can tell employers yet what the rules are?  Apparently, no one in the government understands the bill, nor do they understand that employers have to negotiate with insurers for plans months ahead of enrollment to budget properly for the next year.

And Democrats wonder why businesses aren’t hiring.


Admiral Thad Allen officially steps down as Oil Spill National Incident Commander

image Admiral Thad Allen, the man Obama tapped as the Gulf Oil Spill National Incident Commander, officially steps aside tomorrow, October 1. 

Allen was chosen as the NIC 11 days after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, caught fire and sank, and the Macondo well it was drilling began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  Allen  was chosen because he was the veteran of Katrina and Rita recovery operations.

Allen took a lot of heat from local and state politicians (it’s an election year, after all).

I know some people may disagree with this assessment, but overall, Admiral Thad Allen did an excellent job, given the task, the resources and the political environment he had to work in.  His (almost) daily briefings were informative.  He always sounds like he knows what he's talking about, regardless of the subject's technical difficulty.  Whether its booming, skimming and beach cleaning activities or complex engineering and physical characteristics of a runaway oil well and malfunctioning mechanical devices, Allen communicated exactly what was going on and why. 

That shows a penchant for listening to the people working for him, and making decisions based on the best information he has available.  He had no agenda and since he was already officially retired, job security was not an issue.

While Allen’s leadership was completely apolitical, the biggest challenge he faced was making decisions in an environment completely controlled by a White House for which every decision was run through the political sieve. He got things done anyway.  Maybe not always at the speed the locals liked, maybe not always choosing the path the White House wanted.  But he got stuff done.

Admiral Allen should go into retirement knowing that his was a job (mostly) well done.

Are Democrat candidates using Social Media to harass and threaten opponents?

The evidence strongly suggests that they are.  And, not just a few Democrats in bottom-of-the-ballot races, either.  In an exclusive, wide ranging and compelling report, blogger and Twitter user Greg W. Howard lays out the case.  He has assembled a preponderant body of evidence that documents a coordinated effort by activists to bully, harass and threaten conservatives and Tea Party activists online:


Nexus Of The Strategy

Meet Neal Rauhauser, (pictured on the left) a Founder of Progressive PST (PPST). Rauhauser is a Community Organizer, a network manager with Cisco ratings, a political activist, a radical environmentalist, an extreme-leftist blogger and on Twitter as @StrandedWind, @NealRauhauser, and formerly as @WingNutWatch, a now defunct account which was detailed in the prior investigation. Rauhauser admitted on DailyKOS he had created this account. KosAdmission

Beth Becker is a co-founder of PPST and on Twitter as @SpedWhyBabs, @BethABecker and @RealSped. Beth quotes on her site that she attended “Netroots Nation 09, where the ‘Blog Workers Industrial Union’ and ‘Progressive PST’ were born.” 

Their company twitter account is @ProgressivePST. Together, Neal and Beth are doing everything they can; taking a no holds barred approach, while pushing and shoving people into submission toward progressive transformation and straight off the proverbial cliff. 

Rauhauser recently wrote that the entire Republican Party, the Koch brothers, everyone with Citizens United and each person with the Tea Party are all racists who want “economic ethnic-cleansing in Arizona’s District 05.” Rauhauser’s rationale for such a statement is “SB1070 and the ugly mood in Arizona overall, but I really think that was the in-district calculus.’” He actually used the term “in-district calculus,” while blaming others for controlling society. This seems to reveal a cold and calculating desire to win, regardless of consequences. 

One might think that Rauhauser’s above hateful rhetoric is a rarity—maybe not since Hitler employed this tactic has it been so public and linked to politicians (listed below) — that is, until one examines the rest of the evidence and the associations that have come to light with the “volunteer group of social activists” and those that appear to be paid to harass and threaten private citizens. 


Mr. Howard’s investigative report goes on to document the implementation of the coordinated effort, collecting a large number of despicably graphic tweets, some suggesting that conservatives’ and Tea Party activists’ children might become targets of sexual violence.

Howard doesn’t stop there, though.  He concludes his piece by documenting which candidates (all Democrats, not surprisingly) have hired or consulted with Rauhauser’s vile organization:


Candidates/Clients

According to the PPST site client page, the following are listed as clients and have hired Neal Rauhauser’s company to represent their message and to handle their social-media interests: 

Rodney Glassman Candidate For Senate, AZ

David Cozad Candidate For TX-06

Billy Kennedy Candidate For NC-05

Lois Herr Candidate For PA-16

Hank Gilbert Candidate For TX Agriculture Commissioner

Brett Carter Candidate For TN-06

Lance Enderle Candidate For MI-08

NetRoots For the Troops

NetRoots Nation 2010

Peanut Butter PAC

Scott McAdams Candidate For Senate, AK

Manan Trivedi Candidate For PA-06

John Bottoroff Candidate For IN-09

Ryan Bucchianeri Candidate For PA-12

Joe Hoeffel Candidate For Governor, PA

Connie Saltonstall Candidate For MI-01


Mr. Howard’s investigation and blog post provide compelling evidence that a very desperate group of Democrats—searching for anything that will help them avoid the November bloodbath—have stooped to the lowest level.  This kind of activity has no place in a public, civil discourse. They have elected to abandon legitimate debate on the issues because the voters are against them on everything they stand for.  So, they’ve gone below the belt in a despicable attempt to bully, harass and silence opponents.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FBI releases video of the Times Square Bomb attempt

The FBI has released a video showing a simulation of the Times Square Bombing attempt by Faisal Shahzad (who pled guilty and will be sentenced next week).  The effects of such a bomb—had it been assembled and detonated correctly—would have been devastating.

In his statements to investigators following the May 1 attack, Shahzad said he believed his device would have killed about 40 people. 

Judging from the video released today by the FBI, which is urging that the Federal Court sentence him to the maximum of life in prison, 40 people may have been the low side of the estimate.

Watch the whole thing.  This video belongs right next to the word “scary” in Webster’s Dictionary.


View more news videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video.


The Alabama Crimson Tide will CRUSH the Florida Gaytors

image

Five reasons why Alabama should win this weekend’s rematch of the 2009 SEC Championship game, going away.

  • Defense.  Last year’s Alabama defense would simply maul you like a bear.  This year’s Alabama defense plays more like a big cat predator.  It is physical, but it is much more opportunistic.  You make a mistake, you pay with your life.
  • No Tebow.  Brantley is a great Quarterback and will be playing football on Sundays in a few years.  But he is no Tim Tebow, and neither is the freshman Trey Burton.  Neither one of these QB’s have faced such a talented, well-coached and experienced defense like the Alabama defense.
  • Mark Richardson Trent Ingram.  These two Tailbacks are as interchangeable as a Borg’s body parts.  They run over you, around you, through you and past you.  Alabama will have more than 300 yards on the ground by the final whistle, and Florida’s defensive backfield will get up looking through their helmets’ earholes.
  • Greg McElroy.  He’s not flashy.  He’s not seven feet tall.  He doesn’t weigh 275 lbs.  All he does is beat you, and he’s been doing it since puberty.
  • Nick Saban is a better game prep coach than Urban Meyer.  No one outworks Alabama head football coach Nick Saban.  He already knows which plays Florida will run out of which formations, and he’s already coaching Dont’a Hightower on how to sniff out what’s coming.

Your wild card sixth reason: Bama fans don’t wear jorts.

There ya go.  I said it.  Alabama will CRUSH Florida on Saturday and if I’m wrong, I’ll be here Sunday morning to admit it. 

ABC News: Credible but “not specific” threat of Mumbai-style terrorist attack

ABC News is reporting that US and European authorities have uncovered a plot to carry out “Mumbai-style” commando terrorist attacks against soft targets in Europe and North America.


 
 

A senior US official said that while there is a "credible" threat, no specific time or place is known. President Obama has been briefed about the threat, say senior US officials.

Intelligence and law enforcement authorities in the US and Europe said the threat information is based on the interrogation of a suspected German terrorist allegedly captured on his way to Europe in late summer and now being held at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

US law enforcement officials say they have been told the terrorists were planning a series of "Mumbai-style" commando raids on what were termed "economic or soft" targets in the countries. Pakistani militants killed 173 people with guns and grenades during the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.


The Obama White House has consistently shown a weak hand to those in the islamofascist arena.  From stating a willingness to speak with Iran without preconditions, to promising a Gitmo shutdown (an unkept promise, to date); from the arguably premature pullout of combat troops from Iraq to stubbornly sticking to a similar pullout in Afghanistan. And a recent revelation that Obama believes the US could absorb another 9/11

This is a projection of weakness.  It’s a clear demostration that this administration has no stomach for the fight.  Our allies don’t honestly believe they can trust us and our enemies don’t believe we’ll fight back.

Such a stance invites attacks like the ones described above.

If you’re going to a big football game this weekend, or if you’re going shopping or planning to visit a tourist destination or theme park, keep your eyes open and your finger on the safety switch.

The End of the Deepwater Horizon Incident Oil Spill Timeline

On September 19, 2010 the Macondo well was officially proclaimed "dead." The Deepwater Horizon Incident Timeline, which ran from the April 20 explosion, fire and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon through the “bottom kill” procedure of the relief well, contains just over 600 entries.  Most of the entries are linked and sourced, and the timeline describes the slow motion disaster of the Gulf Oil Spill in about as much detail as you’ll find anywhere on the web.

A large percentage of the news story links are from the Mobile Press-Register (via al.com) and the New Orleans Times-Picayune (via nola.com), two regional newspapers that provided outstanding, round-the-clock coverage of the event.  Those two papers deserve all the awards they’ll win for their coverage, and then some.

While it won’t be updated anymore, the timeline will stay online as a resource for news hounds, researchers, and others interested in chronicling the disaster.  It is inevitable that some of the links will “die” as sites update their archives.  If you happen upon a broken link, please identify it and if a suitable alternative exists, it’ll be corrected.

To all of the visitors who used the document to stay up to date, to all the bloggers who linked to the page and to all of the folks who commented and sent tips and suggestions via email, a heartfelt thank you!

Contessa Brewer vs. Alan Grayson: Liberal hack vs. liberal wack

That Grayson would even stoop as low as he did with the “Taliban Dan” ad is bad enough.  But the ridiculous attempt to defend the ad shows that this man has no business in Congress.

Contessa Brewer fits right in at MSNBC.  She’s an unabashed liberal hack.  But you have to give credit where credit is due, and she gets props for not letting Grayson off the hook, here.



Fortunately, Grayson’s sleaziness isn’t completely lost on the Orlando area voters in his District.  A new Sunshine State News Poll shows “Taliban Dan” Webster sporting a seven-point lead.

What surprises me is that there are 36% of the voters in that District who either don’t know how slimy this Grayson creature is, or they know full well what kind of scum he is and are willing to support him, anyway.

Orlando, you can do so much better than Alan Grayson.

Poll: 50% of Americans don’t know who John Boehner is

The headline on this WSJ/NBC News Poll story is that Bill Clinton enjoys the highest rating for political figures. But the most interesting result is that half of Americans don’t know House Minority Leader John Boehner.

image

image

While at the same time, current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi garners a 50% negative rating (14% somewhat negative, 36% very negative).

This poll comes after weeks of near continuous attacks on Boehner by the White House, Democrat Party and its public relations department. Despite all of the coordinated efforts—which have stooped so low as to suggest marital infidelity—Boehner remains nearly unscathed.  If anything, the relentless assault has improved Boehner’s reach.  Absolutely no one knew who he was this  time last year.  Now, about half the people do know who he is and despite the White House assault, neither his positives nor his negatives have barely budged.  This shows that the public is not interested in the White House’s attempts to get the spotlight off its dismal record.  By trying to cast a presumptive speaker Boehner as the same old, same old Republican, they’ve attempted to make Americans forget that the last two years even happened.  It hasn’t worked.

Indeed, it has probably backfired, and badly so.  The last thing in the world the Democrats would want to do is to nationalize this election.  But by going after Boehner so loudly and so publicly, that’s just what they’ve done.  It’s reminded Americans that the Democrats have been in power since 2006 and that Boehner has had little to do with the mess the country is in.

Polls like this should make Republicans even more confident going into the November elections. 

Report: Desperate Iran seeks outside help in dealing with Stuxnet

A report late last week suggested Iran had successfully gotten the Stuxnet worm under control.  This report, via DEBKafile, suggests otherwise:


image Tehran this week secretly appealed to a number of computer security experts in West and East Europe with offers of handsome fees for consultations on ways to exorcize the Stuxnet worm spreading havoc through the computer networks and administrative software of its most important industrial complexes and military command centers. debkafile's intelligence and Iranian sources report Iran turned for outside help after local computer experts failed to remove the destructive virus.

None of the foreign experts has so far come forward because Tehran refuses to provide precise information on the sensitive centers and systems under attack and give the visiting specialists the locations where they would need to work. They were not told whether they would be called on to work outside Tehran or given access to affected sites to study how they function and how the malworm managed to disable them. Iran also refuses to give out data on the changes its engineers have made to imported SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems, mostly from Germany.

The impression debkafile sources gained Wednesday, Sept. 29 from talking to European computer experts approached for aid was that the Iranians are getting desperate. Not only have their own attempts to defeat the invading worm failed, but they made matters worse: The malworm became more aggressive and returned to the attack on parts of the systems damaged in the initial attack.

One expert said: "The Iranians have been forced to realize that they would be better off not 'irritating' the invader because it hits back with a bigger punch."


The official story from Tehran echos the SoftPedia report:  That the Stuxnet infestation is not as bad as reported and that the Bushehr nuclear facility is on schedule.

The spread of the virus, with nearly 60% of reported infections coming out of Iran, strongly suggests that it was indeed the intended target of Stuxnet. Computer and national security experts continue to insist that the complexity of the system and its ability to exploit previously unknown weaknesses in the Microsoft Windows operating system means it was developed with a specific target in mind. It’s unlike anything seen before.

Pure speculation of course, but perhaps the existence of Stuxnet is the reason why Israel allowed the Bushehr facility to be fueled last August. A window of opportunity to launch an air strike on the facility closed when the rods were inserted into the reactor.  An airstrike afterwards would almost certainly result in a release of radioactive material into the environment, a devastating collateral impact.  Perhaps Israel—or one of its allies—developed a quieter, more devious way to prevent Iran from developing its nuclear capability, or destroy the facility in a way that could be blamed on lax Iranian security protocols.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Conflicting reports on FBI investigation of former SEIU President Andy Stern

Are they, or are they not?  That is the question.

Reports are conflicting this morning regarding a possible criminal probe by the FBI and the Dept of Labor, over a corruption probe of Service Employees International Union, the powerful union once led by Obama buddy, Andy Stern.

Fox News:


WASHINGTON -- The FBI and the U.S. Labor Department are investigating prominent labor leader Andy Stern in their probe of corruption at the Service Employees International Union, according to two people who have been interviewed by federal agents.

The two organized labor officials met with federal agents this summer to answer questions about a six-figure book contract that Stern landed in 2006 and his role in approving money to pay the salary of an SEIU leader in California who allegedly performed no work.


But SEIU and company are denying any such probe exists:


An SEIU spokeswoman flatly denied an Associated Press and Los Angeles Times reports today that the union and its former president Andy Stern are subject to an FBI investigation.

Ringuette said she'd had "not a single report of a federal inquiry" from the union's staff. "Andy hasn't been contacted" by the FBI, she said.

"We have no idea what thees unnamed souces are talking about, but we have not been contacted by any federal agency on this matter," she said, blaming the story on the union's bitter California rivals.

"We did talk to [the FBI] a year ago, but we weren't the subject of investigation. We helped them unearth info about Stephens," Ringuette said.


What we know for sure is this:  SEIU has been the focus of a very high profile investigation regarding several financial scandals in the last two years.  In 2008, the LA Times meticulously described a scheme in which California SEIU boss Tyrone Freeman allegedly swiped a few hundred large from union coffers. The embarrassed union deep-sixed Freeman and demanded restitution.

In April of this year, Stern abrubtly left his post as President two years before the end of his term, claiming “personal life” matters were more pressing.

And what we can speculate on, is this from the Fox News report:


One person who spoke to federal agents twice, in May and June, said they asked about a 2006 contract in which Stern received a $175,000 advance from Simon & Schuster to write the book "A Country That Works." The SEIU and its locals bought thousands of copies of the book after it was published. The union also paid thousands to fact-check and promote the book, but Stern pocketed the advance.


Follow the bouncing money ball.  Stern writes a book and gets a sweet advance payment.  The book hits shelves and the union membership buys it up, does its own “fact-checking” and uses thousands in union funds to promote the book.  SEIU engages in a little self-adulation, Stern walks away with a six-figure sum.  Maybe it’s not corruption per se, but it sure doesn’t pass the smell test.

How stupid is this? DGA to spend 700 large on ad buy against… Rick Perry

image How stupid is this?  Very.

Texas hasn’t had a Democrat in the Governor’s Mansion since Dubya put the silver boot up Ann Richards’ ass.  Perry enjoys approval ratings that have never slipped below 50% and polling shows him with a consistent six to eight point lead in statewide surveys of likely voters.

The state of Texas has such a business-friendly climate that it has hardly felt the impacts of the recession at all, and a big part of that is the tort reform Perry signed into law five years ago.  Texas is good for business and bad for trial lawyers.

But that isn’t stopping the Democratic Governors Association, which announced plans for an ad buy of up to $700,000 in the Dallas – Ft. Worth area.

Perry’s opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White, can’t even establish a solid majority of support in the metro area he once led. Houston area businesses (some of whom are my clients) were so glad to see him go that they’ve embraced the city’s first openly gay Mayor as a breath of fresh air.


The latest poll in Texas, conducted by Blum & Weprin Associates for a consortium of Texas newspapers, gave Perry a seven-percentage-point lead, 46 percent to 39 percent. The poll was published on Sunday. Perry's lead was consistent with other surveys taken in September.

The public poll showed White and Perry running about even in the Houston area, where White is well known. But Perry held a solid lead in the Dallas area. The DGA hopes its ad campaign will cut into that margin there, which could be the key to White's hopes of winning.

Perry became governor in December 2000 after then-governor George W. Bush resigned to become president. He has been reelected twice to four-year terms and is now the longest-serving governor in the state's history.

In a year in which incumbents of both parties have found themselves on the defensive, Democrats hope to turn Perry's long tenure against him. The ad concludes by saying, "Twenty-five years as a politician has changed Rick Perry alright - for the worse."


If this is the story line, then the DGA has fallen for the media meme that the 2010 election is “anti-incumbent.”  It is not.  The 2010 election cycle represents a center-right backlash against the statist establishment, and despite claims to the contrary during the primary, Rick Perry’s conservative credentials are solid gold.  Democrats have about as much of a chance of picking him off as would a coyote on the jogging trail.

But by all means, DGA.  Spend that money. 

Sources: Rahm Emanuel to let the crisis go to waste; quitting Chief of Staff post

image According to sources, says Fox News.

Shame on him.  His boss—President Barack Hussein Obama—is “enjoying” the lowest approval ratings of his term in office. His party is facing such a bloodbath in the upcoming November 2 midterm election that they’re going after each other’s campaign donors.

The Democrats and  the White House are in the biggest political crisis they’ve seen since seizing the levers of power in January 2009.  And what happens? The man who famously said that “you never want a serious crisis go to waste” is doing just that.

Instead of helping to right the ship, Brave Sir Rahm is running away.  He could stay on post and help Obama craft a Clintonesque “triangulation.”  Instead, he’s gonna go run for the arguably the most corrupt job in American politics.

Mayor of Chicago.

Good bye, Good riddance, and Good luck with that Chicago thing.

It’s a dog eat Blue Dog world: Dems competing against each other for campaign cash

Hah.  See that countdown over there at the top right, just below the header?  Election Day is seven weeks away, and there is a sense of panic gripping the Democrats.  It’s gotten so bad that Senate Democrat operatives are urging donors to abandon maintaining the House majority as a lost cause and make a last-ditch defense in the Senate:


One House Democratic fundraiser said that some Senate operatives are telling big donors and union officials, “The House is lost; you have to save the Senate.”

While top Senate Democrats insist they don’t use that line, some House strategists are playing their own angle. Their money pitch: House Democrats have worked overtime to pass President Barack Obama’s sweeping agenda, parts of which have been stymied in the intractable Senate.

The intense intraparty competition in the final weeks of the campaign shows that “everybody is frantically trying to raise money,” said Tony Podesta, a well-known Washington lobbyist and a top fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).


Following Christine O’Donnell’s upset victory in the Delaware GOP Senate Primary over liberal, establishment favorite Mike Castle, the media was all abuzz over an alleged rift in the Republican Party between the establishment and the conservative, Tea Party grassroots movement.

Not so much, anymore.  The money flow has a definite center-right swirl to it, as labor unions and the liberal base are losing enthusiasm.  Big money, third-party orchestra conductors like Karl Rove and Haley Barbour are also steering a lot of outside cash towards the Republican side. Campaign coffers that are stuffed with cash tend to smooth over any differences, despite the leftist media’s attempts to fan the flames of controversy.

The real rift is in the Democrat Party,  where the fractious coalition of constituencies is not only starting to come apart along the ideological seams, but also between Democrats in the two legislative chambers.  House Democrats are furious at the Senate for not going along with its much more liberal agenda items (Cap and Trade, Amnesty, DADT, ad nauseum); and Senate Dems are irritated at the House for pushing too hard, too soon and alienating the Vast Main Street Wing Conspiracy that became the Tea Party.

The next five weeks are going to be fun to watch.

House Dems: Stuff that Lame Duck! UPDATE: House agenda confirms no WRDA

From The Hill:


The array of bills competing for floor time shows the sense of urgency among Democratic lawmakers to act before the start of the 112th Congress, when Republicans are expected to control more seats in the Senate and House.

But, given the slow pace of the Senate, it also all but guarantees that Democrats will be hard-pressed to pass even a small part of their lame-duck agenda.

The highest-profile item for November and December is the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, passed under President George W. Bush, which expire at year’s end.

Democrats have promised they will not allow tax rates to rise for families making less than $250,000 a year.

Democratic leaders have also prioritized the defense authorization bill, which includes a repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that bans gays from serving openly in the military.

Democrats and gay-rights activists fear repeal could prove impossible if Republicans control the House or additional Senate seats.

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the chamber’s second-ranking Democrat, has promised to push for a vote on the DREAM Act, which would give the children of illegal immigrants a chance to earn legal residence.

That bill would have much less chance of passing if Republicans controlled the House.

Democratic leaders also view an extension of unemployment insurance benefits and a freeze in scheduled cuts to doctors’ Medicare reimbursements as must-pass legislation.

Lawmakers could spend much of the lame-duck session haggling over these two expensive proposals, which sucked up weeks of time in the Senate earlier this year.


The so-called “doc freeze” and extension of unemployment benefits are non-starters with Republicans, who will no doubt be energized and run out the clock.

Not likely to see a floor vote: The Water Resources Development Act of 2010.  The traditionally biannual authorizing legislation sets water resource development policy and authorizes flood control, navigation and ecosystem restoration projects in all 50 states.  It’s usually passed in even years, for the most obvious reason:  House and Senate members have the opportunity to earmark funds for home-district and home-state projects that they can take home and campaign on.  But another key aspect of WRDA is its implications on water resource policy and longer range strategies.  WRDA 1986, for example, established cost-sharing rules that put more decision-making power in local and state hands.  WRDA 1998 established rules to speed up the bureaucratic process by which projects are studied and approved.  The legislation is a rare example of good government.

WRDA has also traditionally been a legislative agenda item that enjoys broad bipartisan support, but this has been anything but a Congress of bipartisan spirit and cooperation.  Instead of proceeding with legislation that both parties support, and which really does have tangible, positive effects on the economy, the Democrat leadership in both houses are going to continue to push liberal darlings like meaningless “child nutritition,” the dangerous DREAM Act, and extending unemployment benefits beyond the current (almost) two-year limit.

It’s another reminder why November 2, 2010 is such an important mid-term election day.  Getting rid of this bunch could mean getting government back to serving its people instead of serving the leftwing constituencies and special interests.

UPDATE: Via Jamie Dupree’s blog, here’s the House agenda for the week, and WRDA isn’t on it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More on Stuxnet, its intended target and its potential genesis.

A Newsy.com video recommended by an IBCR reader. 

 

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

In her email, the reader asks a very good question:


I just read your blog post on the Struxnet virus. I really enjoyed learning more about the background of this powerful worm. If the intended target was indeed Iran’s nuclear power plant, then should we view the bug as successful execution of cyber warfare? After all, the best way to stopping your enemies is by hindering their ability to wage war.

We may be asking if Iran’s nuclear facility was the worm’s intended target, but shouldn’t we also be asking who was responsible for creating a virus capable of potentially wiping a nation’s defense system?


Whoever developed this code had a big target in mind. 

Suggestions are that the Stuxnet worm came either from the U.S., or Israel, on the basis that the worm targets specific systems and utilizes specific weaknesses in the Windows operating system that your garden variety hacker probably wouldn’t have the resources to exploit. Iran has already been affected. However, this site suggests that Iran’s problems with Stuxnet have now passed, and that the worm has begun infecting systems elsewhere on the Asian continent.

What leads me away from this thing having an American genesis is the potential for collateral damage.  The intended target runs a software-and-hardware combination that is similar in plants around the world.  The sophistication of the development team necessitates that they would recognize this, and such risk-taking just doesn’t jive with my sense of this administration.  Your mileage may vary.

Stay tuned.  I don’t think this story is over by a long shot.  Somewhere in the world, a very dangerous facility is being run by a bunch of careless idiots.  Stuxnet is likely to find its way there, and the damage could be spectacular.

UPDATE: It looks like Iran is having more trouble with Stuxnet than the softpedia.com site suggests.

It’s come to this: Obituary urges donation to Obama’s 2012 opponent

obit-Obama

 

h/t @JPoor007 and @ed_molchany (via Twitter)

Unemployment may increase even WITH growth

It’s a creeping malaise caused by stagnant to slightly positive growth in economic output accompanied by sluggish hiring in the labor market.  It’s a long, painful economic illness, it is always and everywhere the product of leftist economic ideology, and it’s probably already here.

In today’s Wall Street Journal Online edition:


The strong likelihood of tepid economic growth through next year suggests unemployment may rise, rather than fall, as many forecasters currently predict.

In a paper published Monday, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco warn business cycle analysis generated within the central bank system is pointing to growth that will be “at or below potential” growth levels.

This modest rate of advancement won’t be enough to generate the needed level of job growth, which suggests “the unemployment rate could rise by as much a 0.5 percentage point during this period,” moving from the current level of 9.6% to 10.1%. The paper’s authors, economists David Lang and Kevin Lansing, observe “such a scenario would take the unemployment rate back to the peak recorded in October 2009.”


In a post late last week, I explained some of the reasoning behind such a sluggish labor market.  It’s primarily a climate of uncertainty that kills confidence and makes businesses think twice about expanding production and adding new employees.  On the other side of the labor market is supply.  Depending on which economic forecasts you read, the economy needs to add between 150,000 and 225,000 new jobs every month just to keep up with population growth.  If the economy is growing at a rate too slow to support that level of job creation, the unemployment rate rises as new people enter the job market.

This has two effects that are felt right away:  It suppresses wages because there are more people competing for fewer jobs (thus driving the price of labor down), and it creates even more uncertainty by consumers.  Consumer spending drives nearly 70% of the economic output of the U.S.  If consumers have less money to spend because of falling wages, aggregate demand is reduced, which drives down the prices of goods and services produced.

It’s a classic economic catch 22 in that consumers spending less translates into businesses hiring less, further depressing consumer confidence and spending.

So how do you get out of the spiral?

Improve business confidence.  Make it easier and less expensive to do business in the U.S., and American businesses will do what they do best.  There are many ways to improve business confidence:  Getting rid of Obamacare is one way.  De-clawing the immense federal regulatory environment is another.  But the best way to improve the business climate is to send a certain message to the business community: Cut corporate income taxes, eliminate capital gains taxes altogether and stop this stupid class war distinction between the people who create the jobs and the people who work in them.  There is no better relationship on the planet than there is between productive employee and successful small business owner.  The former is always handsomely rewarded for his efforts to improve the latter’s business success, because the latter knows that productive employee is just as good at a competitor’s place of business.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dark Avenger Redux: Stuxnet and the next generation of virtual warfare UPDATE: Target acquired?

Have you ever heard of Stuxnet?  If not, you will soon.  It may be the most destructive piece of code to be released into the wild since the days of the Dark Avenger virus.

When I was running a FidoNet Bulletin Board System (BBS) in 1990, nothing struck dread in the heart of a BBS surfer more than seeing the following string of text, written randomly in sectors on his hard drive:

""Eddie lives... somewhere in time!"

Dark Avenger, nee Vesselin Bontchev (or, Todor Todorov?), is/was a computer programmer from Sofia, Bulgaria who authored the DOS program that bore his name.  The Dark Avenger virus was the seminal code that set off the whole war between virtual warhead and digital armor.  It’s infectiousness and its stealth mode of operation made it difficult to control, detect and destroy. During the debate surrounding researcher Sarah Gordon’s research on the Dark Avenger, there was considerable—and informed—speculation that the virus was developed by a team behind the Iron Curtain.

It’s 2010. Enter Stuxnet. 

Stuxnet is the world’s first virtual super weapon that was intentionally designed to take down a real-world target.  It could be a manufacturing facility, a chemical plant or… a nuclear power plant?


A gradual dawning of Stuxnet's purpose

Stuxnet surfaced in June and, by July, was identified as a hypersophisticated piece of malware probably created by a team working for a nation state, say cyber security experts. Its name is derived from some of the filenames in the malware. It is the first malware known to target and infiltrate industrial supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software used to run chemical plants and factories as well as electric power plants and transmission systems worldwide. That much the experts discovered right away.

But what was the motive of the people who created it? Was Stuxnet intended to steal industrial secrets – pressure, temperature, valve, or other settings –and communicate that proprietary data over the Internet to cyber thieves?

By August, researchers had found something more disturbing: Stuxnet appeared to be able to take control of the automated factory control systems it had infected – and do whatever it was programmed to do with them. That was mischievous and dangerous.

But it gets worse. Since reverse engineering chunks of Stuxnet's massive code, senior US cyber security experts confirm what Mr. Langner, the German researcher, told the Monitor: Stuxnet is essentially a precision, military-grade cyber missile deployed early last year to seek out and destroy one real-world target of high importance – a target still unknown.

"Stuxnet is a 100-percent-directed cyber attack aimed at destroying an industrial process in the physical world," says Langner, who last week became the first to publicly detail Stuxnet's destructive purpose and its authors' malicious intent. "This is not about espionage, as some have said. This is a 100 percent sabotage attack."


SCADA systems automate the controls of everything from a neighborhood package water plant to a massive steel manufacturing facility; from a candy factory to some of the world’s most sophisticated energy facilities:  Nuclear reactors.

As mentioned above, there was a lot of speculation that Dark Avenger and the variants that followed it were coded by Iron Curtain development teams, with the intention of releasing them into the wild and eventually, getting them to find their way across the pond into the nascent virtual networks (like FidoNet) and government networks, like ARPANet (that would be the Internet that Al Gore invented).

So where did Stuxnet come from?  Good question.  The experts say that the elegance of the code, the depth of the encryption and the specific nature of the program’s intended target indicate that it is the product of a program that could only be funded at the state level. 

Just like the same experts were saying about the Dark Avenger.

The real $64 trillion question is: “What facility was Stuxnet designed to destroy?”

UPDATE: Maybe the guided missile has homed in on it’s target. Via Fox News, the W32.stuxnet code has apparently infected computers at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear facility:


A complex computer worm capable of seizing control of industrial plants has affected the personal computers of staff working at Iran's first nuclear power station weeks before the facility is to go online, the official news agency reported Sunday.

The project manager at the Bushehr nuclear plant, Mahmoud Jafari, said a team is trying to remove the malware from several affected computers, though it "has not caused any damage to major systems of the plant," the IRNA news agency reported.

It was the first sign that the malicious computer code, dubbed Stuxnet, which has spread to many industries in Iran, has also affected equipment linked to the country's nuclear program, which is at the core of the dispute between Tehran and Western powers like the United States.

Experts in Germany discovered the worm in July, and it has since shown up in a number of attacks -- primarily in Iran, Indonesia, India and the U.S.

The malware is capable of taking over systems that control the inner workings of industrial plants.

In a sign of the high-level concern in Iran, experts from the country's nuclear agency met last week to discuss ways of fighting the worm.


Eddie lives, somewhere in time.  And maybe he’s figured out his purpose in “life.”

If Stuxnet’s target really is Bushehr, then all I can say is “happy hunting.”

Retired USAF Officers: The Aliens are monitoring our nukes!

It’s Sunday, usually a slow news day.  But then this bombshell drops and suddenly, everything has changed.


Captain Robert Salas was on duty in Montana in 1967 when a UFO shut down the nuclear missiles on his base. And he's hardly the only one to make such a claim.

On Monday, six former U.S. Air Force officers and one former enlisted man will break their silence about similar events at the National Press Club, all centering around unidentified flying objects and nuclear missiles. They plan to urge the government to publicly confirm the incidents, stating that they were ordered never to discuss the events.

"We're talking about unidentified flying objects, as simple as that," Salas told FoxNews.com. "They're often known as UFOs, you could call them that," he added. Salas, a former U.S. Air Force nuclear missile launch officer, will host the event along with researcher Robert Hastings, author of "UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites.

According to the pair, witness testimony from more than 120 former or retired military personnel points to an ongoing and alarming intervention by unidentified aerial objects at nuclear weapons sites, as recently as 2003. In some cases, several nuclear missiles simultaneously and inexplicably malfunctioned while a disc-shaped object silently hovered nearby.


image

So, they’re out there?  What should we do? 

I know what I would do, if I were Barack Hussein Obama.  He should dial up Agent J and Agent K, make sure their weapons are properly charged, and set’em loose on the little green fookers.  But, that would be alienist.

Update via Hotair: The UN has a different idea, naturally.  That austere organization has already got a plan in place, and is set to designate an envoy to extraterrestrials.

 


THE United Nations was set today to appoint an obscure Malaysian astrophysicist to act as Earth’s first contact for any aliens that may come visiting.

Mazlan Othman, the head of the UN's little-known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), is to describe her potential new role next week at a scientific conference at the Royal Society’s Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire.

During a talk Othman gave recently to fellow scientists, she said: “The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials.

"When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination.”


Mulder?

Redistributing wealth with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility

imagePresident Barack Hussein Obama famously said, “I do think at a certain point, you’ve made enough money.”  This man, this regime is hell bent on making sure the rich suffer the consequences of rapaciously accumulating all of that wealth.  So much so, that they are apparently attempting to redistribute it even with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.  The GCCF is the apparatus that distributes the $20 billion slush fund that the regime arm-twisted out of BP.  The GCCF is administered by none other than the former “Pay Czar,” Kenneth Feinberg.  You know, the guy who said he’d be “uncompensated” for that position but got a six-figure salary, anyway.

In a story from yesterday’s Mobile Press-Register:


Business owners and public officials in Baldwin County say they are alarmed by reports of employees receiving more money for oil spill claims than owners of the businesses they work for.

It is just another aspect of their biggest problem with Ken Feinberg’s Gulf Coast Claims Facility — that business owners near Baldwin County’s once-lucrative beaches get checks that cover only a fraction of losses suffered after the oil spill began keeping tourists at bay.

David Wright is an extreme example. The owner of an Elberta company that builds high-end homes for people who plan to either retire or vacation on the coast, Wright had to lay off his 15 workers when his customers canceled contracts after the April 20 spill.

Rob Manney, a supervisor on Wright’s crew, said he got checks totaling 80 percent of his personal claim with Feinberg’s operation.

Wright’s business claim was denied.

“How do you pay an employee and not the business?” Wright asked. “It’s anti-business.”

Feinberg did not respond to requests for comment made to his media representative.


Feinberg says that the GCCF is not under the direction of BP or the regime.  That, obviously, is a bunch of shit. There is only one reason why Wright’s employees are getting claims checks and business owners like Wright are not—it’s class discrimination.  “Bourgeoisie” business owners like Wright are the people who create the jobs that drive this economy.  But to the Obama regime, men like Wright are guilty of building wealth on the sweat and blood of their employees.  So, when the opportunity arises to “make it right,” they do so.  They deny legitimate claims submitted by business owners while approving the claims of the businesses’ employees.

I am no fan of the $20 billion slush fund.  It’s just another way for the regime to pick winners and losers.  Or, in this case, to pick those who suffer a little and those who suffer a lot. 

The regime’s complete ineptitude in responding to the disaster—as documented in the Deepwater Horizon Incident Timeline on this blog—shows that it is incapable of managing any significant enterprise or effort.  It inevitably allows politics to color its decision-making process, and shamefully allows ideology to pollute what should be a straightforward process of settling claims.

Alabama Crimson Tide – Sunday morning roundup

What they’re saying about the Alabama Crimson Tide’s come from behind win yesterday in Fayetteville, Arkansas:

    • Let’s get physical: Alabama is still the most physical team in the SEC, and it’s not close. Everything with the Crimson Tide begins and ends with being able to mash you up front, and we were reminded of that in the second half Saturday in their come-from-behind 24-20 win over Arkansas on the road.
    • The key in this game? Alabama finally read the book on Mallett, and the book revealed the following: Mallett has a glass jaw.
    • At kickoff Saturday, there was one prime Heisman Trophy candidate in Razorback Stadium. His name was Ryan Mallett. At game's end Saturday, there still was one prime Heisman Trophy candidate in Razorback Stadium. His name was Mark Ingram.
    • On such afternoons are national champions built. Down 20-7 on the road against an Arkansas team that had seemingly written the perfect script for its biggest home win in history, No. 1 Alabama simply would not wilt. No. 1 Alabama would not relent. No. 1 Alabama would not concede anything on a day when it seemed like absolutely everything was against the Crimson Tide.
    • It took Ryan Mallett only 50 seconds to expose Alabama's young secondary Saturday, completing his first two passes for a total of 74 yards and a touchdown.  Fortunately for the Crimson Tide, a football game is 60 minutes long. By the time those 60 minutes were up in Razorback Stadium, those young defensive backs had grown up a bit. Because they did, top-ranked Alabama escaped Fayetteville with a 24-20 win.
    • Two words. Mark Ingram. Any questions? Are we talking the best player on the best team in the nation, even during its worst performance of the season? The answer is Ingram. Are we talking the best player on the field for either of these top-10 teams in the biggest game in this stadium in ages? The answer is Ingram.
    • Mallett picked on Kirkpatrick once too often. More than a few passes from Mallett — who finished with 357 passing yards — were completed in Kirkpatrick’s direction. But with less than two minutes remaining and Mallett trying to engineer a comeback victory, he tried to pick on the Alabama sophomore one too many times.  The result: Kirkpatrick’s second career interception. And Arkansas never took another snap.

I’ll add this:  For the first 30 minutes of yesterday’s game, Alabama looked like a young, inexperienced team playing its first big SEC opponent on the road.  For the second 30 minutes, Alabama looked like a trained killer.  For the first 30 minutes, it was easy to remember that these are just kids.  For the second 30 minutes, you had to remind yourself that these are just kids.  Those kids—especially the really, really young ones in the secondary—grew up awfully fast yesterday.

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