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Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Grand Jihad, a new book by Andrew McCarthy




Andrew C. McCarthy III is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. A Republican, he is most notable for leading the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others. The defendants were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and planning a series of attacks against New York City landmarks.

He also contributed to the prosecutions of terrorists who bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He resigned from the Justice Department in 2003. He is currently a columnist for National Review.
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Vocals -- Robert Palmer








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As The Arab Spring Rolls On. . .

Remind me which fucking side we're on this week. . .

New York Times:

Deadly Attack on Syrian City Adds to Push for U.N. to Act

By and
Published: February 4, 2012

UNITED NATIONS — A United Nations Security Council effort to end the violence in Syria collapsed in acrimony and a veto by Russia and China on Saturday, hours after the Syrian military attacked the ravaged city of Homs in what opposition leaders described as the bloodiest government assault in the nearly 11-month-old uprising.

The Security Council voted 13 to 2 in favor of a resolution backing an Arab League peace plan for Syria, but the measure was blocked by Russia and China, which opposed what they saw as a potential violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

Pressure had mounted on the Security Council to act as Syrian opposition leaders said more than 200 people were killed in the attack in Homs, and the White House accused Syria of having “murdered hundreds of Syrian citizens, including women and children.”

While the casualties were impossible to confirm, and were denied by Syria, reports of the bloodshed drew widespread international condemnation, and moved the Security Council toward a vote on an Arab League peace plan, despite new objections by Russia.

President Obama condemned what he called “the Syrian government’s unspeakable assault against the people of Homs,” saying in a statement that President Bashar al-Assad “has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community.”

The French foreign minister, Alain Juppé, said, “The massacre in Homs is a crime against humanity, and those responsible will have to answer for it.”

Protests broke out Saturday at Syrian embassies around the world, including in Egypt, Germany, Greece and Kuwait, and Tunisia expelled Syria’s ambassador there.

Security Council members met Saturday morning to try to resolve disagreements with Russia, Syria’s main ally, which had promised to veto any resolution that could open the way to foreign military intervention or insist on Mr. Assad’s removal.

But the resolution’s sponsors pushed the measure to a vote anyway, virtually daring Russia to exercise its veto and risk mounting international opprobrium for preventing action to stanch the escalating death toll in Syria. In the end, both Russia and China exercised vetoes.

Russia’s last-minute changes appeared to be another attempt to create equivalency between the Syrian government and the armed elements in the opposition, including by removing all the wording that detailed human rights violations by the Assad government.

Arab and Western ambassadors said they had compromised enough to meet the demands of Russia and other skeptics. The resolution that was defeated said that the Council “fully supports” the Arab League plan, which calls for Mr. Assad to cede power to his vice president and a unity government to lead Syria to democratic elections. But specific references to Mr. Assad’s ceding power and calls for a voluntary arms embargo and sanctions had been deleted from the Security Council resolution, and language barring outside military intervention was added.

Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said that Moscow still had two objections to the latest revised resolution: that it did not place sufficient blame for the violence on the opposition, and that it unrealistically demanded that the government withdraw its military forces back to their barracks.

He told a security conference in Munich that adopting the current resolution would risk “taking sides in a civil war.”

But Security Council members, citing the killings in Homs, pointedly disagreed.

“The scandal is not to act,” Peter Wittig, the German ambassador to the United Nations, said. “The scandal would be failure to act.”

There were contradictory reports on the violence from Homs, which has been largely inaccessible to journalists and difficult to reach by phone. But videos smuggled out of the city and reports by opposition activists described a harrowing barrage of mortar shells and gunfire that left hundreds more wounded in the city.

“It’s an unprecedented attack,” said Mohammed Saleh, an opposition activist from Homs who recently fled to a nearby town to escape the mounting strife.

The Syrian National Council, which has sought to act as an umbrella group for the opposition, said more than 260 people had been killed. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the toll in Khaldiya and the other Homs neighborhoods was 217. Both groups, along with other activists, said hundreds were wounded, though again, there was no specific number.

One opposition activist said the Syrian military suffered casualties, too.

“It’s a real massacre in every sense of the word,” said a resident in Khaldiya, who gave his name as Abu Jihad. “I saw bodies of women and children lying on roads, beheaded. It’s horrible and inhuman. It was a long night helping people get to hospitals.”

the rest

Al Arabiya:

Obama asks Assad to ‘step aside,’ condemns mass murder in Homs

President Barack Obama on Saturday accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government of murdering civilians in an “unspeakable assault” in the city of Homs, and demanded that Assad step down, a day after more than 400 civilians across the country.

“Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now. He must step aside and allow a democratic transition to proceed immediately,” Obama said in a statement.

The U.S. president’s blunt condemnation came amid reports that more than 200 civilians were killed by Syrian forces in a night of shelling of residential areas in the flashpoint city of Homs.

More than 200 others were reported killed by security forces elsewhere in the country.

“Yesterday the Syrian government murdered hundreds of Syrian citizens, including women and children, in Homs through shelling and other indiscriminate violence, and Syrian forces continue to prevent hundreds of injured civilians from seeking medical help,” Obama said.

“I strongly condemn the Syrian government’s unspeakable assault against the people of Homs and I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones,” he said.

Obama said the Security Council “now has an opportunity to stand against the Assad regime’s relentless brutality and to demonstrate that it is a credible advocate for the universal rights that are written into the U.N. Charter.”

Western diplomats at the United Nations said they were determined to vote Saturday on a resolution condemning the bloodshed in Syria, despite strong Russian objections.

Obama, meanwhile, pledged to work with the Syrians “toward building a brighter future,” for the country.

“Every government has the responsibility to protect its citizens, and any government that brutalizes and massacres its people does not deserve to govern,” he said.

“The Syrian regime’s policy of maintaining power by terrorizing its people only indicates its inherent weakness and inevitable collapse.

“Assad has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community,” Obama said.

The Syrian regime denied responsibility for Friday’s mass killing, blaming saying that “armed groups” for attacking civilians across the country.

Residents said Syrian forces began shelling the Khalidiya neighborhood at around 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Friday using artillery and mortars. They said at least 36 houses were completely destroyed with families inside.

“We were sitting inside our house when we started hearing the shelling. We felt the bombardment was falling on our heads,” said Waleed a resident of Khalidiya.

As Syrians rushed to aid victims and carried on with funerals in Homs, Assad forces continued with attacks, Al Arabiya correspondent said, adding that nail bombs were used during the shelling campaign against the city.

It was not immediately clear what had prompted Syrian forces to launch such an intense bombardment at a time when diplomats at the U.N. Security Council are discussing a draft resolution on an Arab League plan calling for Assad to give up power.

The Telegraph:

Libyan militia accused of torturing to death ambassador to France

One of Libya's many new militias has been accused of detaining and apparently torturing to death a former ambassador to France, the latest allegation of brutality to mar the victorious revolutionaries' reputation since the fall of Col Muammar Gaddafi.

Human Rights Watch said that Omar Brebesh, a career diplomat who was cultural attache and then ambassador to France between 2004 to 2008, was brought in for routine questioning in Tripoli over his work for the former regime.

His body turned up at a hospital in Zintan, the town two hours' drive to the south-west that was a hub of last year's revolution, beaten, bruised and with some of its toenails removed.

The allegation will be particularly alarming because Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former dictator, is also being held in Zintan. Although the two international organisations allowed to visit him – Human Rights Watch and the International Committee of the Red Cross – both reported he was being well treated, the interim government has refused to disclose details of the process by which he will be put on trial.

The Zintan Brigade, one of the revolution's most powerful militias, has clashed with rivals in Tripoli. Most recently, members fought for control of the former beach compound of Saadi Gaddafi, another of the dictator's sons, with members of the Misurata Brigade, once seen as a Zintan ally in Libya's complex patchwork of regional rivalries.

It was a smaller Zintan-based outfit, called the Al-Shohada Ashura Militia, that demanded Mr Brebesh come in for questioning on January 19, his son, Ziad, told HRW. He was still working as a lawyer in the foreign ministry at the time.

The next day, his body was found by Ziad's brother Mohammed at a hospital in Zintan. Photographs of his body "revealed welts and extensive bruising on the abdomen, lacerations on both legs, and a large wound on the sole of the left foot," HRW said. "Some of his toenails appear to have been removed."

It said that, according to an official report, an unnamed suspect had confessed to the killing.

Mr Brebesh's is just the most high-profile documented case of the thousands of former regime associates and others allegedly detained and beaten by militias. The ICRC says it has evidence of at least 8,500 inmates, held by 60 separate militias.

The government has promised to bring the militias under control, but they have refused to hand in their weapons until there is a central security force that they say they can trust. The fact that the defence minister, Osama Jueili, is also head of the Zintan Brigade, suggests they are unlikely to be forced to do so any time soon.

The Misurata and Zintan Brigades were once seen as natural allies, as secular units based on cities near Tripoli hostile to its Islamist fighting forces. However, there are increasing signs of turf wars between them.

The battle between the two on Wednesday, which rumours said concerned anything from control of the beach to the fate of a girl kidnapped by the Misurata side, involved small arms and machine guns, but ended without anyone being killed, according to the authorities.

France 24:

Riots over football deaths rage outside Cairo ministry

Protesters clashed with police outside Egypt's Interior Ministry for a third day on Saturday amid anger over the deaths of 74 people at a football match earlier this week. Officials say nine more people have died in the recent unrest.

By News Wires (text)

AFP - Police fired tear gas and birdshot at protesters on Saturday in a third day of deadly clashes in Cairo, as anger at Egypt's ruling military boiled over after 74 people died in football-related violence.

The police responded after dozens of protesters threw stones at officers guarding the interior ministry hundreds of metres (yards) from the capital's iconic Tahrir Square.

Some protesters later intervened and stood between their comrades and police, ending the violence.

In the canal city of Suez, two people died from birdshot wounds sustained in clashes overnight, medics said. Hospital officials said nine people have been killed in Cairo and Suez since the violence erupted.

Five people were also wounded in overnight clashes outside police headquarters in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, state media reported.

Marchers had taken to the streets nationwide on Friday to demand that Egypt's ruling generals cede power immediately after a night of violence in several cities.

The official MENA news agency on Saturday cited the health ministry as saying 2,532 people have been injured.

A reporter for the state-owned Nile News television station was wounded in the eye by birdshot, the channel reported.

The interior ministry said 211 policemen were wounded, including a general who lost an eye, and said 16 conscripts were wounded by birdshot.

Protesters, many of them organised supporters of Cairo's main football clubs known as the Ultras, held up a huge banner to the police that read: "Those who didn't deserve to die have died at the hands of those who don't deserve to live."

Many of the dead in Wednesday's football riot in the northern city of Port Said were thought to have been Al-Ahly supporters, set upon by partisans of the local Al-Masry side after the Cairo team lost 3-1.

The Ultras played a prominent role among anti-regime elements in the uprising that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak a year ago, and commentators and citizens have suggested pro-Mubarak forces were behind the massacre, or at least complicit.

In the ongoing aftermath, rocks and stones flew in all directions on Friday as police vans in Cairo repeatedly charged demonstrators.

At one point, police clubbed protesters just metres away from the interior ministry. Across the street, a building housing the Tax Authority burned, state television reported.

A soldier injured outside the interior ministry on Thursday died in hospital on Friday, MENA said.

In a sign of increased insecurity, gunmen carrying automatic weapons stormed a police station in east Cairo, freeing detainees before torching it.

And in the Dokki neighbourhood, a group of men attacked a police station, taking weapons from the building.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) blamed the unrest on "foreign and domestic hands targeting the country."

In a statement on Facebook, it urged "all political and national forces of this great nation to take a national and historic role and intervene... to return stability."

Wednesday's clashes between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly fans marked one of the deadliest incidents in football history, and came amid claims by witnesses the security forces did little to prevent the it.

After the final whistle, victorious Al-Masry fans invaded the pitch, throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at Al-Ahly supporters, causing panic as players and fans fled in all directions, witnesses said.

State television reported on Saturday that the Egyptian Football Association's board of directors tendered their resignations.

On Friday, the prosecutor general slapped a travel ban on Samir Zaher, head of the association -- a day after he was sacked -- and on ex-Port Said governor Mohammed Abdullah, who quit after the clashes.

Egyptians have become increasingly angry with the military junta, which they accuse of failing to manage the country and of human rights abuses.

For months, they have taken to the streets to demand the ouster of the SCAF and its chief, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who was Mubarak's defence minister for two decades.

The SCAF has pledged to cede full powers to civilian rule when a president is elected by the end of June, but its opponents believe it intends to hold on to power behind the scenes after a transfer to civilian rule.

In the Sinai, the brief abduction on Friday of two US tourists and their guide by masked gunmen dealt a new blow to Egypt's already hard-hit tourism sector, despite their release unharmed several hours later.

The kidnappers intercepted their tour bus on its way from the historic St Catherine's monastery to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, security officials told AFP.

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Video: The Grand Jihad

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Moments later the snow rabbit appeared severely injuring the sled rider


Moments later the snow rabbit appeared severely injuring the sled rider

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IRAN WARNS WORLD OF COMING GREAT EVENT .. MAHDI as a result of war? You tell me


“In light of the realization of the divine promise by almighty God, the Zionists and the Great Satan (America) will soon be defeated,” Ayatollah Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader,is warning.
Khamenei, speaking to hundreds of youths from more than 70 countries attending a world conference on the Arab Spring just days ago, told a cheering crowd in Tehran that “Allah’s promises will be delivered and Islam will be victorious.”
The countries represented included Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia, all of which have been involved in the Arab Spring.
In his remarks, Khamenei advised the youths to remain vigilant, stating that the Islamic awakening in the region has delivered several blows to the enemies of Islam and that all Muslims, despite their own historical and social differences, remain united in opposing the “evil hegemony of the Zionists and the Americans.”
Khamenei then claimed the current century as the century of Islam and promised that human history is on the verge of a great event and that soon the world will realize the power of Allah.

Many clerics in Iran have stated that Khamenei is the deputy of the last Islamic messiah on earth and that obedience to him is necessary for the final glorification of Islam.

Khamenei has been heard to say that the coming of the last Islamic Messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam Mahdi, is near and that specific actions need to be taken to protect the Islamic regime for upcoming events.

Mahdi, according to Shiite belief, will reappear at the time of Armageddon. Selected forces within the Revolutionary Guards and Basij reportedly have been trained under a task force called “Soldiers of Imam Mahdi” and they will bear the responsibility of security and protecting the regime against uprisings. Many in the Guards and Basij have been told that the 12th Imam is on earth, facilitated the victory of Hezbollah over Israel in the 2006 war and soon will announce publicly his presence after the needed environment is created.

That’s right Dr. Paul, we can treat these mullahs just like we did the Politburo.
That’s right, Pres. Obama, we can assume that which dumped MUbarak will embarrass these guys to hold real elections, with no Ulema/’guardian’ council based pre-picking of suitable candidates, or that reason and sanctions will cause them to give up getting OR USING nukes.
The mullah regime has, over and over, stated and restated that they are UNLIKE any other govt or leadership on earth and taken chances NO ONE ELSE would take because they BELIEVE they are sheltered by the almighty.
Other govts have seen this fantastic behavior and back away from action because the mullahs are liable to do ANYTHING if provoked.
After all, the former PM of Iran and some of his cabinet are STILL wanted for mass murder in Argentina (no less) for blowing up a CIVILIAN target there killing 86 and wounding 200+.
The mullahs may harbor some inner doubts as they fall asleep, but you can bet that as soon as they have breakfast together, there is no doubt in their collective mind that the support of god makes up for any lack in the balance of weapons, and that they WILL WIN.
The strategic target is the mullahs and their support system the IRGC and BASIJ, NOT the tactically difficult target of a nuclear weapons construction process.
No american army presence is required.
We need a remorseless decapitation campaign against a national govt whose aim is TO BRING ABOUT AN APOCALYPTIC WAR for the express pupose of bringing on their messiah.
They are INSANE.
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Fox News, Muslim victim's family front for honor murderer

Watch how the friend, who knew Jessica was murdered because, according to her father, "she was not following Islam", lies and attempts to gloss over the whole thing.

It is clear the only reason the friend, Kayla, is doing this is because she does not want shame to come upon Islam.

Given what Muslims do next when shame is induced, perhaps we ought to worry that this liar, this Kayla, is now going to murder someone?

Probably not. But, maybe her brother will, huh?

This is why we rarely find "moderate Muslims" speaking out against the radicals in their midst. They believe that individuals who are Muslim are representative of Islam, whether they are good people or not. And, as such, it brings shame upon their religion, if someone speaks badly of a fellow Muslim.

Fuck that kind of Medieval, Tribalist thinking. It has no place in the America. Go live in a god damned desert, if you want to think, and live, that way.

From Jihad Watch:



Fox News Detroit ran an incredibly irresponsible, unfair and biased piece on TV last night (video above), along with a similarly flawed news article. The thrust of both is that the Mokdad family is angry about our Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference, coming up April 29 in Dearborn, Michigan. They're insisting that Jessica's murder was not an honor murder, and Fox reporter Alexis Wiley gives the impression that the only person saying it was an honor killing is Pamela Geller. Wiley doesn't bother to present any of the evidence that it was an honor killing.
So Pamela Geller posted the facts here. She also went into the comments field of the news article and left some of that evidence. What happened then was quite revealing:
Pamela Geller · New York, New York
The evidence that this was an honor killing was left out of this story. The last recorded dispute between Jessica Mokdad and her stepfather was over over the wearing of the hijab (head scarf) (http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=4322), which he originally forced her to wear (just as in Aqsa Parvez's honor killing). She didn't want to wear it, thereby bringing shame on him and the family. This report is typical for the mainstream media and unworthy of FOX, which, while not perfect, is generally much better than its competitors: Alexis Wiley doesn't bother to give even a shred of the evidence that it was an honor killing, and instead gives the impression that it is something I am making up. She doesn't mention that initial reports were quite clear -- a shocking thing for the mainstream media -- that her stepfather killed Jessica because she "wasn't following Islam" (report from TwinCities.com reprinted here: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/05/jessica-mokdad-islamic-honor-killing-in-michigan.html) and was "not adhering to Muslim customs" (http://www.startribune.com/local/121175819.html).

The Daily Mail reported: "Devout Muslim stalks his step-daughter over four states 'before killing her for being too Western'.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1383603/Devout-Muslim-stalks-step-daughter-states-killing-Western.html#ixzz1lIMmyrp3.

The Daily Tribune Reported: News.
Stepfather charged with murder in Warren, upset victim didn't adhere to Muslim customs.

http://www.dailytribune.com/articles/2011/05/03/news/doc4dbff0f36037f544732591.txt

And Alexis Wiley's own report for FOX Detroit reported it as an honor killing as well: Wiley reported, "He forced her to wear a traditional head scarf instead of allowing her to make that decision on her own, and when she stopped wearing a scarf, friends say he became furious."

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/alexis_wiley/20-year-old-woman-dead;-stepfather-charged-with-murder

But Wiley gives no hint of the existence of these reports or her own. Why? Who is paying off Alexis Wiley? Or is it that she is scared, intimidated, afraid to "offend Islam"? Or is it that her political correctness makes it impossible to think of Muslims as anything but victims?
  • Kayla Chuba · Henry Ford Community College
    ok u need to leave her name out find another story! She meant alot to me and hearing this is just bull crap she is in heaven now just leave her name out of everything.You honestly have no clue what your talking about
  • Pamela Geller · New York, New York
    Kayla Chuba You were her friend. You do know.

    FOX News, April 11, 2011 reported you saying the following:

    "He forced her to wear a traditional head scarf instead of allowing her to make that decision on her own, and when she stopped wearing a scarf, friends say he became furious.

    "She just wants to express herself the way she wants and not what he wants," said friend Kayla Chuba.

    That's why her friends helped her escape.

    "She packed up all her stuff. She told me she put it in a bush. She acted like she was taking out the garbage so he wouldn't see all her stuff packed," Chuba said.
  • Kayla Chuba · Henry Ford Community College
    yes i know what i said but of course they didnt put everything I said. There is more to the story and its not right to use her name. Jessy loved Islam and she was very proud to be a muslim. That girl meant alot to me and to alot of people and you are hurting her family and friends this is not right and I will fight for her no matter what.
Why did Kayla Chuba change her story? And if "they didn't put down everything [she] said," what else could she have possibly said that would mitigate the fact that he was angry with Jessica for refusing to wear the hijab (which was also the immediate cause of the honor murder of Aqsa Parvez)? Did someone speak to Kayla Chuba and tell her she needed to change her story? And why was Alexis Wiley so compliant in putting together a story that exonerated Islam from any role in the killing -- even though her new story contradicts her old one?
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Friday, February 03, 2012

The Forgotten Man



story here

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Johnny Winter
Dust My Broom

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The Godfather of the Tea Party Gets It

Santelli at CNBC



you know what i said at 830 eastern? we want a million jobs an hour. that's what we want. what we got looked like a good report. i said let's get the calculator out and i did. so did my sources and big blogs many people read like zero hedge. the labor force participation rate if you look at nonseasonally adjusted, a fresh low going back to april of '83. if you look at seasonally adjusted a fresh low participation rate going back to december of '81. what does that mean in english? shrinkage. shrinkage. 1.2 million people are now not considered unemployed anymore. they just have left the system. we need to concentrate on the internals and eventually we want to watch the fixed income market to see if some of this sets in as people do their ciphering. back to you.

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European Muslims Declare Jihad On All Dogs

A few of the graphics from Bare Naked Islam's post about the jihad against dogs in Europe...

Dog poisoned by Muslims:



Cover up those offensive canine paws:



The Muslim version of a guide dog
:
Go read the entire post at Bare Naked Islam.

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Will Americans Suck Up The Swill?

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The Jinn. Again.


You can't make this nonsense up. From this source (hat tip to Weasel Zippers):
A Saudi defence lawyer has asked court to summon a jinn (genie) claimed to have possessed a judge who has been arrested on corruption charges, the Saudi Arabic language daily Okaz reported on Saturday.

The lawyer, Salim bin Atteyya, told court that the jinn must be present in court to testify in the case of the corrupt judge in Madina...

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First Iranian Attack On Israel

February 2013

h/t Shenandoah


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Lies, Damned Lies and Labor Statistics



Drudge points it out:

Record 1.2M Fall Out Of Labor Force...
Participation rate falls to 63.7%...
30-year low...

Zero Hedge has the truth:

Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low
Tyler Durden's picture


A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. No, that's not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month! So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation. As for the quality of jobs, as withholding taxes roll over Year over year, it can only mean that the US is replacing high paying FIRE jobs with low paying construction and manufacturing. So much for the improvement.

Chart below shows it all - that jump is not a fat finger!

And Labor Force Participation:

This is the largest absolute jump in 'Persons Not In Labor Force' on record...and biggest percentage jump in 30 years.



The American chimes in as well:

Why the official 8.3 percent unemployment rate is a phony number — and what it means for Obama’s reelection
By James Pethokoukis
February 3, 2012, 11:47 am

The January jobs report is out and it seems pretty strong, at least superficially. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent from 8.5 percent, the lowest rate since February 2009. And the economy added 243,000 jobs, the most since April 2011.

But does anyone believe an “official” unemployment rate of 8.3 percent really gives an accurate picture of the U.S. labor market? Even though the unemployment rate fell, so did the labor force participation rate (as more Americans became discouraged and gave up looking for work). Here’s what that means:

1. If size of the U.S. labor force as a share of the total population was the same as it was when Barack Obama took office — 65.7 percent then vs. 63.7 percent today – the U-3 unemployment rate would be 11.0 percent.

2. But let’s not go all the way back to January 2009. In January 2011, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent with a participation rate of 64.2 percent. If that were the participation rate today, the unemployment rate would be 8.9 percent, instead of 8.3 percent. As an analysis from Hamilton Place Strategies concludes, “Most of the shift of the past year is due not to the improvement in the labor market, but the continued drop in participation in the labor force.”

3. Now to be fair, some of the decline in the participation rate is aging Baby Boomers dropping out of the labor force. But taking that into account still doesn’t get us very far, as HPS notes:

Demographic projections expect that participation rate to be at 65.3 percent. If that full participation rate is the goal, our economy is “missing” 3.8 million workers, up from the 3.4 million we noted in the white paper. The unemployment rate in that context has not budged at 10.4 percent.

4. Then there’s the broader, U-6 measure of unemployment which includes the discouraged plus part-timers who wish they had full time work. That unemployment rate is still a sky-high 15.1 percent.

5. If the participation rate does level off at its current rate, according to HPS, the economy would need to generate 231,000 jobs per month to get below 8 percent unemployment by Election Day. If the participation rate continues its downward slide, however, that number would be much lower — perhaps as low as 131,000 jobs a month (see below chart). But such a decline wouldn’t necessarily be good news.

Why is that? Because the unemployment rate would be falling because the economy remained weak with not many jobs created. That also means weak income growth, which is even more influential on presidential election results than the unemployment rate. If people don’t sense their own economic situation improving very much, it won’t matter what some distorted statistic from a government agency says about the economy. Or what Obama says, either.

One of the most accurate election forecasting models doesn’t even look at the unemployment rate. It looks at per person GDP growth, which correlates with income growth. If you plug a 2 percent GDP forecast for 2012 into the model of Yale’s Ray Fair, the algorithm predicts a close election, but still an Obama defeat with the incumbent president getting just 47.8 percent of the two-party vote.

Bottom line: The unemployment rate is dropping because economic growth continues to be so anemic that nearly 4 million Americans have quit looking for work and have been disappeared by the Labor Department. This still isn’t much of a recovery.


I've been saying it for a long time.

Obama and his minions will use the tragedy of people losing their benefits, giving up looking fr work, losing their homes and falling off the books to taut economic recovery and make themselves look better for the election year.

Think about that. 1.2m people gave up looking for work in January.

257,000 new jobs.

1,200,000 lost vs. 257,000 gained = good news?

Even Reuters can't avoid the truth no matter how furiously they spin.

Job growth surges, jobless rate near 3-year low

(Reuters) - The economy created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to a near three-year low, giving a boost to President Barack Obama as campaigning heats up ahead of November elections.

Nonfarm payrolls jumped 243,000, the Labor Department said on Friday, as factory jobs grew by the most in a year. The jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent - the lowest since February 2009 - from 8.5 percent in December.

The gain in employment was the largest since April and it far outstripped the 150,000 predicted in a Reuters poll of economists. It could lessen the likelihood of further action from the Federal Reserve to spur a stronger recovery.

"If six months ago, (I) told you the unemployment rate was going to be 8.3 percent when all those vampire economists...were telling us the economy was about to die again...you'd have told me I was a crackpot," Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh, told Reuters Insider.

The payroll gains were widespread - from retail to temporary help, and from construction to manufacturing.

A survey of households showed the unemployment rate declined even as new job seekers flooded into the labor force. Economists had expected the jobless rate, which has now fallen 0.8 percentgage point since August, to hold steady.

"The report was much better than expected in terms of indicating fundamental strength in the economy," said Pierre Ellis, senior economist at Decision Economics in New York.

U.S. stocks opened higher on the report, while U.S. Treasury debt prices fell sharply. The dollar rose against the yen.

The report contrasted with a fairly glum assessment of the economy offered by the Fed last week.

Officials at the U.S. central bank have been debating whether to buy more bonds - a program dubbed QE3 - to drive interest rates lower. After a policy meeting last week, they said they would likely hold overnight interest rates near zero at least through late 2014.

"This is the kind of data that will challenge the Fed's wisdom of putting a late 2014 date on prospective tightening," said Alan Ruskin, head of G10 currency strategy at Deutsche Bank in New York. "The data plays strongly against QE3, although the Fed will surely keep it in the wings."

REVISIONS ALSO SHOW STRENGTH

The tenor of the report was strengthened by revisions to November and December data, which showed 60,000 more jobs were created during those months than previously reported.

In addition, average hourly earnings rose four cents, which should help to support spending. The report suggested that expectations of a slowdown in U.S. economic growth in the first quarter were not yet impacting on companies' hiring decisions.

Employment in the private sector surged 257,000 - the largest gain since April. Government payrolls fell 14,000, the least since September.

U.S. economic growth quickened to a 2.8 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2011, but it was widely expected to slow as businesses ease back on efforts to rebuild inventories and exports slip amid a likely recession in Europe.

Some economists cautioned that January's jobs figures could overstate the pulse of the recovery.

"Consumer confidence, income and spending remain lackluster," said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at the Conference Board in New York. "For this to mark an upturn in the labor market, then businesses will have to continue to hire on this scale throughout the winter."

While employment growth has quickened there are no jobs for three out of every four unemployed people and 19.3 million Americans are either out of work or underemployed.

Still, there are signs the economy continues to enjoy decent momentum.

A separate report on Friday showed service sector activity quickened last month to a near one-year high, auto sales have been buoyant, factory activity strong and new claims for jobless benefits have been trending lower.

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM

The unemployment rate has now declined for five straight months, partly because of unemployed workers giving up the hunt for a job but also because people are finding work.

A broad measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have stopped looking and those working only part time but who want more work, slipped to 15.1 percent in January from 15.2 percent in December.

Annual revisions to the payrolls figure showed job growth had been stronger than previously believed in the year through last March, and the March payroll level was revised up by 165,000.

Mild winter weather boosted employment last month in construction, which added 21,000 jobs after a 31,000 increase in December. Manufacturing payrolls surged 50,000, the largest gain in a year, after rising 32,000 the prior month.

Overall, the goods-producing sector added 81,000 jobs last month, the most since January 2006.

Transportation and warehousing employment increased 13,100 and courier jobs only fell 1,500. Last month, the Labor Department reported a large increase in courier jobs in December, but revisions showed they actually declined.

Retail employment rose 10,500 after gaining 6,200 in December. Temporary help services jumped 20,100 after rising 8,300, a potentially good sign for future permanent hiring



The bobbleheads on Fox ask if this is sustainable?

Well sure, just keep doing nothing. More will fall off the rolls, lose their homes and your numbers will continue to improve.




FUCK YER HOPE AND CHANGE



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posted by midnight rider at permanent link# 8 Comments

DUH…The Obama administration is conducting intense discussions about what an Israeli attack would mean for the United States


WaPo, Ignatius….

Is Israel preparing to attack Iran?

By,Published: February 2

BRUSSELS
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has a lot on his mind these days, from cutting the defense budget to managing thedrawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But his biggest worry is the growing possibility thatIsrael will attack Iranover the next few months.
Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June — before Iran enters what Israelis described as a “zone of immunity” to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon — and only the United States could then stop them militarily.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want to leave the fate of Israel dependent on American action, which would be triggered by intelligence that Iran is building a bomb, which it hasn’t done yet.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak may have signaled the prospect of an Israeli attack soon when he asked last month to postpone a planned U.S.-Israel military exercise that would culminate in a live-fire phase in May. Barak apologized that Israel couldn’t devote the resources to the annual exercise this spring.
President Obama and Panetta are said to have cautioned the Israelis that the United States opposes an attack, believing that it would derail an increasingly successful international economic sanctions program and other non-military efforts to stop Iran from crossing the threshold. But the White House hasn’t yet decided precisely how the United States would respond if the Israelis do attack.
The Obama administration is conducting intense discussions about what an Israeli attack would mean for the United States: whether Iran would target U.S. ships in the region or try to close the Strait of Hormuz; and what effect the conflict and a likely spike in oil prices would have on the fragile global economy.
The administration appears to favor staying out of the conflict unless Iran hits U.S. assets, which would trigger a strong U.S. response.
Iran is literally INCAPABLE of believeing that Israel would attack them without the active support of their main ally the USA.
Iran’s plan WILL INCLUDE:
  1. Block the Straight of Hormuz to strategically break the economies of the west via skyrocketing gas prices and lack of supply
  2. Obliterate Abqaiq and Ras Tanura
  3. Saturation missile attack possibly including WMD on Israel by Hizballah/Syria and from Iran
  4. IRGC commando attacks against military targets and terrorist attacks INSIDE THE USA as well as worldwide
The Iranians have signaled across FIVE presidents that only military action, and only MAYBE THAT, could stop their development of nuclear weapons which they believe is the only way to safeguard the ‘revolution’ and do God’s work in killing the Jews
Every leader of Iran since 1979 has made clear they regard the USA as the guardian of evil and that Israel is the little satan.
EVERY LEADER.
Do we imagine this is a 33 year long bluff?
What is our plan?
The administration appears to favor staying out of the conflict unless Iran hits U.S. assets, which would trigger a strong U.S. response.
US assets?
If Abqaiq and Ras Tanura are significantly damaged, gas prices will be unimaginable. Panic will hit the futures market. Is the US economy a US asset?
‘Strong’ US response?
And then what are we prepared to do?
Only the end of the entire regime of mullahs can possibly change the equation.
Mullhas, IRGC, Basij.
Unsparing decapitation campaign.
Day One.
Is this administration prepared to WIN?
What is winning?
Ending the enemy’s ability to achieve their goals.
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posted by Epaminondas at permanent link# 1 Comments


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