The Islamist Extremists Kerry Calls ‘Moderates’; Obama’s House Problem On Syria; The EPA’s Clean-Water Cops; Unemployment Up; Viking Bicyclists From Hell – Thursday Morning News Roundup 9-5-2013

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Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • Secretary of State John Kerry’s public assertions that moderate Syrian opposition groups are growing in influence appear to be at odds with estimates by U.S. and European intelligence sources and nongovernmental experts, who say Islamic extremists remain by far the fiercest and best-organized rebel elements. Source: Reuters… 

 

  • As members of Congress consider President Obama’s request to authorize military force in Syria, following evidence that President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons killed over 1,400 people, a ThinkProgress analysis of the public statements of 400 Representatives found that 200 lawmakers have either decisively ruled out supporting the measure or say they are unlikely to back it. Just 49 of the 400 members of the House of Representatives said they will definitely or likely vote in favor or the resolution. Source: ThinkProgress…

 

  • When agents with the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force surged out of the wilderness around the remote community of Chicken wearing body armor and jackets emblazoned with POLICE in big, bold letters, local placer miners didn’t quite know what to think. Did it really take eight armed men and a squad-size display of paramilitary force to check for dirty water? The EPA has refused to publicly explain why it used armed officers as part of what it called a “multi-jurisdictional” investigation of possible Clean Water Act violations in the area. Source: Alaska Dispatch… 

 

  • A Gallup measurement of the unadjusted unemployment rate for the U.S. workforce was 8.7% in August, up from 7.8% in July and from 8.1% in August 2012. The U.S. workforce participation rate in August was 66.4%, a decline from 67.7% in July, and down from 68.1% in August 2012. The seasonally adjusted U.S. unemployment rate for August was 8.6%, up from 7.4% in July. Source: Gallup… 

 

  • The NYPD says thugs are beating and mugging bike riders on a popular Manhattan bike path, stringing up ropes to clothesline the unsuspecting bikers, beating them with brass knuckles and then making off with their pricey rides. Investigators said they think the attackers could be targeting people with high-end bikes. Source: CBS New York… 

 

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Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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