Minnesota Governor Vetoes Abortion Clinic Bill

MINNEAPOLIS, (UPI) — Minnesota’s governor Thursday vetoed a bill that would have required the state to license abortion clinics.

Sponsored by state Sen. Claire Robling, a Republican, the legislation would have required the state to license any clinic that does 10 or more abortions a month, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported

Gov. Mark Dayton, a member of the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, said in his veto letter the bill would have imposed “inappropriate and unworkable” new requirements on the clinics, and was so vague, complaints could have been filed for any reason.

Clinics would have been monitored for “conduct or practices detrimental to the welfare of the patient,”

The governor said the state’s six abortion clinics are among 1,250 outpatient clinics in the state that operate without requiring a state license, the Star Tribune reported.

But the regular clinics operate under strict oversight, the newspaper said.

Supporters said the measure was common-sense and it was absurd for the state to license tattoo parlors and hair-braiding salons, but not abortion clinics.

Dayton responded that if the issue was health and not just abortion politics, then the state should license all 1,250 outpatient clinics, not just the six abortion clinics, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, a bill to require a physician be present when abortion pills are prescribed or taken passed the Legislature Thursday morning.

Politicians Avoiding Questions Pertaining To Policy

I still remember the yellow tint of the dodgeball that crushed my face in seventh grade. Had I been more like a Senate or House candidate, I would have been able to avoid the pugnacious projectile altogether.

Vacillating on political issues gives opponents fodder for campaigns. Attack ads are filled with clips of the same person espousing different viewpoints.

Perhaps candidates for the Senate and House are catching on. If you refuse to let people know your plans and ideas by dodging the issues, then your political enemy can never say you contradicted yourself. On the other hand, if you refuse to reveal your plans and ideas, why would anyone vote for you?

Enigmatic, ambiguous obscurity is what this year’s Senate and House races are made of. Or maybe it’s just plain ol’ ignorance.

You might say it’s a bipartisan effort. Finally, both parties are taking the same route.

When Senate candidate Sarah Steelman, a Republican from Missouri, was asked about the Violence Against Women Act, she responded: “I’m not sure what that is, because I’m not serving right now.”

Democratic candidate Heidi Heitkamp, running for Senator of North Dakota, wants to get well established in the race before talking about policy: “There will be a lot of months ahead to talk about the details.”

Representative Connie Mack (R-Fla.), who is running for re-election, was asked by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd about student loan interest rates and he gave this answer: “If you don’t mind, Chuck, I want to talk about what’s happening here in the state of Florida.”

Democrat Christie Vilsack, a candidate for Representative of Iowa, isn’t concerned about things that have happened in the past. When asked about Obama’s healthcare law she retorted: “I don’t go back and try to figure out what I would have voted for.”

I guess they figure it’s better to keep your mouth closed and have people believe you’re ignorant than to open it and remove all doubt.

‘Even Obama Is Doing Worse Under President Obama’

Thanks for the laugh, Jay. Jay Leno cracked me up last week with this observation in his opening monologue: “President Obama released his tax returns. It turns out he made $900,000 less in 2011 than he did in 2010. You know what that means? Even Obama is doing worse under President Obama.”

Fudging the unemployment numbers. Barack Obama’s supporters have been bragging that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent in March. But a closer look at the numbers reveals that only 120,000 new jobs were created last month – 58 percent fewer than experts had predicted. The reason the unemployment rate dropped is that 164,000 discouraged Americans quit looking for work at all. Heck, if every unemployed person would stop looking for work, the unemployment rate would drop to 0.

Lost luggage drops dramatically. Here’s good news for frequent flyers: Your luggage is a lot more likely nowadays to arrive at your final destination when you do. SITA, a Swiss airline consulting firm, says the rate of mishandled bags has fallen from 18.88 per 1,000 passengers in 2007 to just 8.99 last year: a 52.4 percent decline. And most bags that go astray are found and delivered within 48 hours. It’s no surprise that the more connections you have, the more likely that you and your luggage will get separated.

Talk about bias in the media. Media Matters for America, the leftwing organization funded by George Soros, says it was formed to oppose the “biased” national media. And just what biases will it counter? The group’s application for tax-exempt status read: “It is common for news and commentary by the press to present viewpoints that tend to overly promote corporate interests, the rights of the wealthy, and a conservative, Christian-influenced ideology.” Right. Is there anyone anywhere who actually believes the national media are biased in favor of free enterprise and “conservative, Christian-influenced” values?

–Chip Wood

Burger King Agrees To Use Cage-Free Eggs And Pork

The burgers at Burger King may be double-stacked, but the pigs and chickens used to produce their products won’t be.

By 2017, Burger King plans to buy all its eggs and pork from cage-free facilities.

“We believe this decision will allow us to leverage our purchasing power to ensure the appropriate and proper treatment of animals by our vendors and suppliers,” said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, chief brand and operations officer.

Those who push for the humane treatment of animals are pleased that Burger King is raising the bar.

“For every cage-free egg or piece of bacon from a gestation-free pork system that Burger King sells, animals have been spared lifelong confinement in a cage so small they can barely even move,” said Matthew Prescott, the Humane Society of the United States food policy director.

In times past, animals “were going to be slaughtered at some point, but they could have a decent life,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of HSUS. Pacelle believes that the treatment of food animals has worsened in the past 50 years.

Recently, Hellman’s, Sonic, Subway, Ruby Tuesday and Kraft Foods have increased the percentage of cage-free eggs they use in their products.

But not everyone thinks the trend is a positive one. Those who oppose cage-free facilities believe that it causes disease occurrence, as well as prices, to increase.

Pacelle disagrees: “When you are good to animals, there are often good outcomes the rest of the way,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

So Now It’s Doggiegate?

Last week in this space, I predicted that this year’s Presidential contest would be the dirtiest in our history. Guess I should have added that some of the attacks against Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, would also be among the silliest we’ve seen.

The latest example — and I’m sure there will be many more to come — is the “Seamus scandal.” In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s based on a vacation trip the Romney family took to Canada more than 20 years ago.

Not wanting to put Seamus, the family dog, in a kennel while they were gone, but not having room for him in the family car, Romney built a special box for the Irish setter and tied it to the roof of the car.

When I first heard the story, all I could think of was the image of Aunt Edna (played by Imogene Coca) strapped in a rooftop rocker in “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” But in the movie, Aunt Edna was already dead. In real life, Seamus made the trip back and forth in complete safety.

Nevertheless, some of President Barack Obama’s fierce defenders have latched onto the story, convinced it proves that Romney is a heartless, uncaring elitist. New York Times columnist Gail Collins has written about the incident more than 50 times! Obama strategist David Axelrod has taken to tweeting pictures of dogs. There is even a website devoted to “Crategate.” The Facebook page Dogs Against Romney has more than 50,000 friends.

I don’t know how much damage the story has actually done to Romney’s reputation. But out of all of the fuss and bother has come an even weirder tale. It seems that when Obama was a child growing up in Indonesia, he and his family actually dined on dog.

I kid you not. Bloggers are having a field day with the allegations. There are rumors that Obama eats “pup tarts” and loves “chicken poodle soup.”

Can the campaign get any weirder than this?

Yes, it can. And if the Supreme Court declares that any part of Obamacare is unConstitutional, it probably will.

The Court is expected to issue its ruling sometime this summer. Most analysts predict that, at a minimum, the insurance mandate — the very heart of Obamacare — will be struck down. Many analysts expect all 2,700 pages of the law to be rejected.

Obama has already gone on the offensive against the Court. In a speech last month, he declared:

Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.

Of course, there would be nothing unprecedented at all by the Court issuing such a ruling. Obama’s comments revealed such a patently distorted view of history that even many of his supporters were appalled. The funniest reaction may have come from Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), who wrote:

His comments belie a grasp of constitutional concepts so lacking that perhaps the University of Chicago Law School should offer a refund to any students “taught” constitutional law by then-Professor Obama!

Ann Coulter pondered whether Obama actually passed any of the courses he took on the U.S. Constitution, writing: “I guess now we know why Obama won’t release his college and law school transcripts!”

Conservative columnist Thomas Sowell was even more blunt. He wrote:

There is no way that Barack Obama has never heard of it or really believes it to be “unprecedented” after two centuries of countless precedents.

In short, he is simply lying.

… On this and on many other issues, you would have to know what the facts are to know that he is lying. He is obviously counting on the fact that, in this era of dumbed-down education, many people have no clue as to what the facts are.

He is also counting on something else — namely, that the pro-Obama media will not expose his lies.

Can I hear an amen?

One Federal appeals court judge has put the Justice Department squarely on the hot seat over the President’s remarks. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments recently in another case challenging certain aspects of Obamacare. As Dana Kaersvang, the government’s attorney, began arguing in favor of Obamacare, Judge Jerry Smith interrupted.

“I want to be sure that you are telling us that the Attorney General and the Department of Justice do recognize the authority of the federal courts through unelected judges to strike acts of Congress or portions thereof in appropriate cases,” Smith said. He ordered Kaersvang to write him a letter stating the position of the U.S. attorney general and the Justice Department on the concept of judicial review.

“The letter needs to be at least three pages, single spaced, no less and it needs to be specific. It needs to make specific reference to the president’s statements,” the judge said.

We can’t know for certain how the Supreme Court will rule. But there is no question that most Americans want to see the Federal mandate repealed. The latest opinion poll I’ve seen puts the number at 72 percent of Americans who want this part of Obamacare overturned. A smaller majority want the entire measure repealed. And that was even before we saw the latest estimates of what this incredible boondoggle will cost.

Last month, the Congressional Budget Office released new estimates of what the Affordable Care Act will cost us taxpayers over the next 10 years. It turns out it’s not nearly as affordable as Obama and his supporters promised.

In March 2010, the CBO estimated the Obamacare would cost $940 billion over the next decade. Their new number is a staggering $1.76 trillion. Since taxes will cover less than half that amount, Obamacare will add a chunk to our national debt.

It’s now been two years since Obamacare was rushed through Congress. At the time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”

Well, now we know what’s in it. And the more we learn, the less we like it.

Let’s hope that in November, most voters pay attention to issues that really matter — such as their freedom and prosperity — and ignore such frivolous sideshows as doggiegate.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Military Terror Training Ramping Up

Recently, a State Department official quietly announced that the “War on Terror” had officially come to an end, but Americans are still subject to all of its implications.

Terror is now a commonplace theme in American life, used by the ruling class in the decade following September 11, 2001, to strip citizens of liberty and basic Bill of Rights protections.

Americans expect to hear about the “threat of a terrorist attack” and they expect to see drills that involve military vehicles patrolling their communities, even though such obvious militarization of the state has not always been the norm in this country. It has become the norm in other nations throughout history, with tyrannical circumstances.

In the name of safety, societies will do almost anything, even to the detriment of the individuals within; thinkers through the ages have warned us against the very nature of our new “safer” military state:

  • “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” — Benjamin Franklin’s statement was used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania (1759).
  • “In some ways she [Julia] was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connexion to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, ‘just to keep people frightened’. This was an idea that had literally never occurred to him.” — George Orwell writes in his dystopian novel “1984.”
  • “Over-grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.” — George Washington
  • “This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears, he is a protector.” — Plato
  • “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” — James Madison
  • “Terrorism is the best political weapon, for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.” — Adolf Hitler

There are countless other quotations warning of the dangers of allowing domestic military control to become the rule of the state out of fear.

But fear of terror still reigns in the United States. With the warming spring and summer months it appears that Americans throughout the country will witness terror drills conducted by local military and law enforcement agencies.

In May, the United States will invite airborne troops from Russia to hold joint anti-terror drills in Colorado. It will be the first time that the Russian airborne forces have held exercises with the U.S. airborne forces on the U.S. territory.

From Business Insider:

 It’s worth noting the Russians will have access to U.S. military weapons training at the Army’s Fort Carson — “Home of America’s Best” — ahead of the scheduled May 24-31 drills. They’ll also be trained to understand and operate hardware used by U.S. forces in airborne missions including “parachuting, operation planning, reconnaissance, assault operations and evacuations by helicopter.”

If you live in Minnesota, don’t be alarmed if you receive an empty pill bottle in your mailbox on May 6. It is only a test — “Operation Medicine Delivery” — wherein the State’s Postal workers and law enforcement officials are practicing to deliver medicine to about 37,000 households in the event of an Anthrax attack. It’s a strategy that’s been studied nationally since 2004, but has not been tested full scale until now.

At Fort McClellan in Anniston, Ala., a government contractor is seeking people to act as role players in a “mass casualty exercise” on the base from May 8-13.

From an ad posted on Craigslist:

Military Mock simualted disaster role players

Government contractor is seeking individuals to act as role players to participate in a “mass casualty exercise” on the Ft McClellan military installation. Role players will participate in an exercise that will replicate civilians in the anniston area that have been injured during a disaster that is used in the scenario over 6 days. Role players will be medically treated during this exercise at numerous locations on Ft McClellan. The objective of this exercise is to train and assess medical units with regards to civilians that have been injured during a disaster.

It has been speculated by some highly respected intelligence officials that a fabricated crises will arise in the months leading up to the 2012 Presidential election. Some people believe the training exercises are extremely valuable and feel safer, others believe them to be propaganda efforts at best and, at worst, preparation for a false flag event.

Rubio Puts On His Big-Boy Britches And Talks Tough

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-Tea Party sellout) donned his big-boy britches Wednesday and unveiled a hawkish foreign policy that surely endeared him to the military-industrial complex.

Rubio, who has eligibility issues that rival those of President Barack Obama, unveiled “new proposals on foreign policy” at the Brookings Institution that sound like more of the same empire building and interventionism we’ve seen for the past several decades. In his speech he advocated for a more active and energetic foreign policy and “repeatedly stressed,” according to Human Events, that American engagement has made the world a better, freer and richer place.

In reality, American engagement abroad has made America — and more importantly, Americans — bankrupt and much less free. And there are many in the Mideast particularly, and in other parts of the world generally, that would argue that they are much worse off thanks to American interventionism.

Rubio also pulled out the old Cold War bogeyman that sends tingles down the spines of all neocons: Russia. “[Vladimir] Putin might talk tough, but he knows he is weak,” the speech text reads. “Everywhere he looks, he sees threats to his rule, real and imagined. And so he uses state-owned media to preach paranoia and anti-Western sentiments to Russians. He faces a rising China to the east and hostile Islamic forces to the South, but he tells his people the biggest threat they face is from NATO.”

It turns out threats to Putin’s rule are real and come from U.S.-backed non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which worked to disrupt and delegitimize Russian elections. The mainstream media also created protests that weren’t occurring by using news footage from other countries and claiming it was from Russia. But this is a topic for another day.

“I disagree with voices in my own party who argue we should not engage at all,” Rubio said. “Who warn that we should heed the words of John Quincy Adams not to go ‘abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.’” Rubio, I’m sure, is glad there are so few of those in the GOP. In fact, outside of Ron and Rand Paul I’m at a loss to name any on the national stage.

Warmongering Senator John McCain and his lapdog Senator Lindsey Graham were pleased with Rubio’s speech, I’m sure, as was the Brookings Institution, which is a neocon think tank funded by the fascist global corporations.

According to the Institution’s website, Brookings expert Leo Pasvolsky was instrumental in refining the blueprint for the United Nations. It also brags that, after 9/11, “With remarkable speed, Brookings experts produced influential proposals for homeland security and intelligence operations. They also testified before Congress and used the Institution’s outreach capacity, including its in-house television studio, to explain the new global reality to a frightened public.”

Tea Partiers, you have been duped. Your darling Rubio is another puppet of military-industrial complex. A team of Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio will ensure more years of war and conquest abroad and increased deficit spending and greater tyranny at home.

Conceal In Style

If you carry a concealed firearm, you know that sometimes it can be difficult to remain inconspicuously armed in your everyday clothing.

Sometimes a holster is not an option and can’t be easily concealed.

Iconic clothier Woolrich, realizing this problem, has designed a pair of $65 chino pants that have the clean profile of a standard pair of pants with no external cargo or utility pocketing, but offer the added advantage of a hidden chamber pocket strategically placed for weapons concealment.

The New York Times reports that the company is not alone in creating innovative clothing options for individuals who exercise their 2nd Amendment rights every day, and demand for concealed carry garments for daily wear is on the rise.

The Times reports:

Carriers of concealed guns say the new options are a departure from the law enforcement and military look, known as “tactical,” long favored by gun owners.

The latest styles, by contrast, are called “concealed carry” or “covert fashion.”…

…companies are rushing to meet the demand for concealed-carry clothing. Under Armour, best known for its sports and action gear, will be adding a jacket and a plaid shirt with Velcro pockets for easy gun access.

Increased demand for these types of products could be a good sign for gun rights activists, as it may mean gun ownership for protection is growing in popularity.

Reports indicate that in recent years, gun sales are on the rise. According to figures released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, gun sales jumped from $19 billion in 2008 to $31 billion in 2011. The FBI’s figures show more than 14-million criminal background checks requested for firearms purchases in 2010 and that number has grown. Employment in the firearms industry jumped 30 percent in the same three years.

Student Banned From Prom Because Of Confederate Flag Dress

Texanna Edwards, a high school student in Dyer, Tenn., arrived at the prom but was told she could not enter because of her clothing.

Her dress resembled a Confederate flag.

Edwards, who says she helped make the dress, doesn’t understand why students are allowed to don the rebel flag on clothing during school, but she was not allowed in the door.

“We asked why they thought that, but they kept saying the same thing over and over. We kept asking people walking inside – black and white – and everyone said they loved it. Two black women even went off on the principal. They were upset with the principal. No one was upset with me,” said Edwards.

“Its heritage, not hate,” answered a black student when asked about the fashion statement.

Edwards wore a camouflage dress to a previous school function.

“That’s all I’ve ever wanted is rebel flag and camouflage, and I’m all about my horses,” the senior said in her defense.