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Army intel bucks Homeland, warns anew of possible Islamic State attack on U.S. soil

WashingtonTimes

While the Department of Homeland Security downplays possible U.S. threats from the Islamic State, Army intelligence has issued its own warning to military personnel about the possibility of an attack against them on U.S. soil.

The Army Threat Integration Center (ARTIC) issued a special assessment warning on Islamic State threats against the homeland that was more foreboding than recent comments from Homeland Security officials, even while acknowledging the intelligence community has no specific intelligence of a plot on the American soil.

“Given the continued rhetoric being issued by ISIL’s media services and supporters through various social media platforms the ARTIC is concerned of the possibility of an attack. Soldiers, Government Civilians and Family Members are reminded to be vigilant of their surroundings and report suspicious activities to their respective military or local law enforcement,” the declassified assessment says, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

Aim high, Goddard graduating class…

Cop killer, former Black Panther to give commencement address at Vermont college

A convicted cop killer and former Black Panther whose case helped to derail one of President Obama’s top nominees has been chosen to give the commencement address at a Vermont college.

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been selected by undergraduate students at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, as their commencement speaker on Sunday.

Abu-Jamal was convicted in the 1981 slaying of Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner. He was originally sentenced to death, but his sentence was reduced on appeal to life imprisonment.

The inmate’s notoriety helped to sink the nomination earlier this month of Debo Adegbile, who was Mr. Obama’s choice to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. Mr. Adegbile had helped to represent Abu Jamal’s case on appeal while working at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Senators opposed to Mr. Adegbile’s nomination said he went beyond legal representation into political advocacy in the case. Mr. Adegbile withdrew from consideration earlier this month, and Mr. Obama has not announced a new nominee for the post.

The college said Abu-Jamal’s speech has been prerecorded by Prison Radio.

“As a reflection of Goddard’s individualized and transformational educational model, our commencements are intimate affairs where each student serves as her or his own valedictorian, and each class chooses its own speaker,” Goddard College Interim President Bob Kenny said in a statement. “Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”

Well, why penalize him then?

NFL says Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for praying after touchdown

Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah followed in the footsteps of many other players on Monday night when he celebrated his interception return for a touchdown by going to his knees in prayer.

Unlike those other players, Abdullah was penalized for going to the ground under the league’s rules for unsportsmanlike conduct. The only difference between Abdullah and the other players was that Abdullah is Muslim and his prayer therefore looked a bit different than what we’ve seen from others, although that didn’t make it any odder since the NFL doesn’t have rules governing which deity their players are permitted to offer thanks to after a touchdown.

Abdullah said he thought the penalty might have been for sliding to his knees rather than dropping, but NFL spokesman Michael Signora didn’t split any hairs on Tuesday when announcing that the official erred in throwing the flag.

 

‘Politically Correct’ Secret Service Has Allowed 1,000 Security Lapses

NationalReview

An internal Secret Service report revealed more than “1,000 security breaches and vulnerabilities,” according to a House investigator who said that a “politically correct” culture is endangering President Obama.

“There are new details that will come out that — you really have to question if security is their number one objective,” Representative Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that is holding a Tuesday hearing on the Secret Service, tells National Review Online. “They want to be politically correct.”

Chaffetz backs that up by reference to the Secret Service’s statement on the most recent security breach, when a man jumped the White House fence and entered the building before being stopped.

“Although last night the officers showed tremendous restraint and discipline in dealing with this subject, the location of Gonzalez’s arrest is not acceptable,” the Secret Service press release said. (That statement was issued before whistleblowers revealed that the fence-jumper made it all the way to the East Room of the White House, on the second floor.)

“When is that the goal and objective of the Secret Service? ‘Restraint?’ Because he had no apparent weapons?” Chaffetz points out. “In this day and age of ISIS and suicide bombers, we don’t know what he has underneath of his clothing. He could have a dirty bomb or improvised explosive device. You just don’t know. It’s totally unfair for an agent to have to make a split second decision on whether or not to use lethal force. If you can’t get a dog or a person in between the person rushing the White House and the White House itself, you may have to use a more lethal weapon.”

Refugee plan aimed at Central American minors

AP

The Obama administration is initiating a program to give refugee status to some young people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in response to the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Under the program, immigrants from those countries who are lawfully in the United States will be able to request that child relatives still in those three countries be resettled in the United States as refugees. The program would establish in-country processing to screen the young people to determine if they qualify to join relatives in the U.S.

The program would not provide a path for minors to join relatives illegally in the United States.

In a memorandum to the State Department, the White House allocated 4,000 slots for refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

Scientists discover new role estrogen plays in cancer growth

NYDaily

Estrogen may play a larger role than previously thought in the development of breast cancer.

Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discovered that estrogen readies cells to divide, grow and, in some cases, resist breast cancer drugs.

Estrogen has already been known to promote the growth and migration of breast cancer cells.

The researchers’ work, published in the journal Oncogene, could help in the development of new breast cancer treatments and help determine which patients need the most intensive treatment.

Biochemistry professor David Shapiro and his colleagues discovered that estrogen pre-activates a cellular process called the unfolded-protein response (UPR). In healthy cells, the UPR helps cells respond to stress. But in cancerous cells, activating the pathway spurs their division and subsequent expansion, and helps the cancer cells resist anticancer drugs.

America About to Dethrone Saudi Arabia as Liquid Petroleum King

AmericanInterest

The U.S. shale boom is about to hit another big milestone, as it looks like fracking will propel American liquid petroleum production (that includes oil and natural gas liquids) past Saudi Arabia for the first time in nearly a quarter century. The FT reports:

US production of oil and related liquids such as ethane and propane was neck-and-neck with Saudi Arabia in June and again in August at about 11.5m barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency, the watchdog backed by rich countries.

With US production continuing to boom, its output is set to exceed Saudi Arabia’s this month or next for the first time since 1991. [...]

Rising oil and gas production has caused the US trade deficit in energy to shrink, and prompted a wave of investment in petrochemicals and other related industries. [...] It is also having an impact on global security. Imports are expected to provide just 21 per cent of US liquid fuel consumption next year, down from 60 per cent in 2005.

The natural gas liquids portion is largely a byproduct of drilling for shale gas, and are used as a feedstock for petrochemical companies (like BASF, which recently decided to move more of its operations into the United States). Take those NGLs out of the equation, and Saudi Arabia and Russia both edge out the United States on crude production. But American oil output is expected to break 9 million barrels per day sometime this year, edging closer to Russia’s 10.1 million b/d and Saudi’s 9.7 million b/d.

With productivity continuing to rise, the United States has a chance to become the single biggest producer of crude oil sometime in the near future. If you had said that a decade ago, you would’ve been laughed at and called a fool. What a difference fracking makes.

The brilliance of Obama’s White House…

Obama Invites Indian Leader to Dinner While He Is Observing Religious Fast

The Obama administration was grilled on Monday for inviting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a state dinner while he is fasting as part of a Hindu religious observance, a move that has been criticized by some as insensitive.

Obama will host Modi Monday evening at the White House “for a private dinner” that will also be attended by Vice President Joe Biden, the White House announced Monday morning. The event is closed to the press.

However, the administration appears to have forgotten that Modi is in the middle of carrying out a religious fast in observance of the Hindu navratri, in which the faithful abstain from food, according to reports.

The administration’s seeming insensitivity to Modi’s religious observance caused a tense back-and-forth during the State Department’s daily briefing with reporters.

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki was forced to defend the decision to hold the dinner on the holy day.

“I’m just wondering if anyone thought it was really that much of a good idea to host and dinner and lunch for the visiting president who is the middle of a fast,” asked Associated Press reporter Matt Lee.

“We certainly understand that and recognize it and respect it, his fast. It’s a way of honoring an individual,” Psaki responding.

“Are these people going to be actually eating in front of him?” Lee followed up.

That accounts for some of his debacles…

Obama Has Missed over Half His Second-Term Daily Intel Briefings

A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.

The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.

The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” said Obama.

According to Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake, members of the Defense establishment were “flabbergasted” by Obama’s attempt to shift blame.

“Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” a former senior Pentagon official “who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq” told the Daily Beast.

On Monday, others in the intelligence community similarly blasted Obama and said he’s shown longstanding disinterest in receiving live, in-person PDBs that allow the Commander-in-Chief the chance for critical followup, feedback, questions, and the challenging of flawed intelligence assumptions.

“It’s pretty well-known that the president hasn’t taken in-person intelligence briefings with any regularity since the early days of 2009,” an Obama national security staffer told the Daily Mail on Monday. “He gets them in writing.”

The Obama security staffer said the president’s PDBs have contained detailed threat warnings about the Islamic State dating back to before the 2012 presidential election.

Congress has abdicated its constitutional responsibility in delayed war vote

CSM

Late last week, House Speaker John Boehner endorsed the idea of holding a Congressional vote to authorize the President’s war against the Islamic State, but said that he preferred waiting until the new Congress takes office in January to do so:

With American airstrikes in Syria continuing, Speaker John A. Boehner is increasingly convinced that Congress must hold a full debate on granting President Obama the authority to use military force against terrorists.

“I have made it clear that I think the House and the Congress itself should speak,” the speaker said in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with First Draft.

But Mr. Boehner believes a post-election, lame-duck session is the wrong time for such a weighty decision.

There’s just one problem with Speaker Boehner’s position, and it has to do with the fact that he could have scheduled a vote before the midterm elections, or even reconvened Congress before Labor Day to give members time to adequately debate this issue, if he wanted to.

So, in some sense, Boehner is right that it should be the 114th Congress that decides this issue at this point, but because of his own failure to bring this matter before Congress sooner that debate will be essentially meaningless anyway.

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