Tag: Planning

Ruskies: Turkey Secretly And Intensively Planning Military Invasion Of Syria

Russia Says Turkey Secretly And Intensively Planning Military Invasion Of Syria – Right Scoop

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Russia is warning the world that Turkey is planning to invade parts of Syria in the coming days/weeks are are working intensively and secretly toward that goal:
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RT – Developments on the Turkish-Syrian border give serious grounds to suspect that Ankara is planning a military invasion in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“We have serious grounds to suspect intensive preparations by Turkey for a military invasion on the territory of the sovereign state of Syria,” Major General Igor Konashenkov, Defense Ministry spokesman, told journalists.

“We are recording more and more signs of concealed preparations by the Turkish military,” he added.

The spokesman reminded that Moscow had previously provided the international community with irrefutable video evidence of Turkish artillery firing on Syrian populated areas in the north of Latakia Province.

“We are surprised that the talkative representatives of the Pentagon, NATO and numerous organizations allegedly protecting human rights in Syria, despite our call to respond to these actions, still remain silent [on the shelling by Turkey],” he said.

Turkey is supplying terrorists in the Syrian cities of Idlib and Aleppo with manpower and weaponry, Konashenkov said.

The spokesman showed the media a photo of the Reyhanli checkpoint, saying that “through this very border crossing – mainly at nighttime – the militants, who seized the city of Aleppo and Idlib in northwestern Syria, are being supplied with arms and fighters from the Turkish territory.”

Turkey is trying to conceal its illegal military activity on the border with Syria and has canceled an agreed Russian observation flight over its territory because of that, Konashenkov said.

“Such steps carried out by a country, which is a NATO member state, in no way contribute to the strengthening of trust and security in Europe,” the spokesman told journalists.

Konashenkov called the cancelation of the Russian observation flight over Turkish territory “a dangerous precedent and an attempt to conceal illegal military activity near the border with Syria.”

The violation of the Open Skies Treaty by Ankara won’t go without a proper response from Moscow, he said.

Konashenkov also said Russia has boosted all kinds of intelligence and surveillance activities in the Middle East.

“So if someone in Ankara thinks that the cancelation of the flight by the Russian observers will enable hiding something then they’re unprofessional.”

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Apart from getting his new caliphate system, one of the top goals of Erdogan has always been the ousting of Assad in Syria. And since the Syrian civil war didn’t do it and Erdogan’s partnership with Obama didn’t do it, Erdogan is probably going to have to undertake the task himself.

And I should point out that as president, Erdogan has full control of the deployment of the military, both domestically and internationally.

Problem is, Russia is now there, so an invasion of Syria means war with Russia. And since Turkey is a lot closer to Syria that Russia, they have a huge advantage with respect to supply lines.

This has to be worrying Russia, which is why I suspect they are sounding the alarm over this. But will the world stand against Erdogan’s invasion of Syria and subsequent war with Russia? That remains to be seen, but I doubt it. Most in the world thinks Assad needs to go anyway because of his alliance with Iran.

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Corruption Update: Obama’s Census Bureau Planning To Cook Obamacare’s Books Before Midterm Elections

Obama’s Census Bureau Officially Plans To Cook Obamacare’s Books – The Federalist

In a bombshell article, the New York Times reported earlier today that the U.S. Census Bureau planned to radically alter its method of calculating the number of people without health insurance in the U.S. The result? The changes will be so radical that “it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.”

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From the NYT:

The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.

The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.

An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.

You know what else is due this fall? A big election in which the effects of Obamacare are sure to weigh on voters’ minds.

Don’t worry, though. Census officials said the timing of the change was “coincidental” and “unfortunate.” The latter is most certainly the case, but unfortunate for whom? Certainly not the White House, which mere days ago was bragging, Mission Accomplished-style, about how amazing the Obama implementation was going. Does anyone actually believe this White House would want to change and obscure favorable numbers in the weeks and months ahead of an election?

It turns out the suspiciously timed changes aren’t the only remarkable aspect of that NYT story. Apparently the government’s statisticians knew for some time that the old method of collecting data on the uninsured significantly overstated their numbers:

Census officials and researchers have long expressed concerns about the old version of insurance questions in the Current Population Survey.

The questionnaire traditionally used by the Census Bureau provides an “inflated estimate of the uninsured” and is prone to “measurement errors,” said a working paper by statisticians and demographers at the agency.

So not only will the new numbers be close to useless when it comes to using them to figure out if Obamacare has had its intended effect, it turns out the old numbers – which the White House used to cram the law down America’s throat – were bogus as well. Heads they win, tails you lose. But remember: all of this is totally coincidental and really unfortunate.

Unrelated: remember that time the Obama administration tried to force the head of the Census Bureau to report directly to the White House, rather than to the Secretary of Commerce, as required by law?

President Obama has decided to have the director of the U.S. Census Bureau work directly with the White House, the administration said today, a move that comes as the Census Bureau prepares to conduct the 2010 census that will determine redistricting of congressional seats.

We’re sure that was just a coincidence, too.

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Sources Inside Obama’s BLM And LVMPD Say Feds Planning Raid On Bundy Home (Audio)

Exclusive: Sources Inside The BLM And Las Vegas Metro Say Feds Are Planning A Raid On Bundy Home – Ben Swann

As reported yesterday, hundreds of federal agents are still at the Bundy Ranch and the area continues its status as a no-fly zone. Despite major media reports that the Nevada Bureau of Land Management is retreating, the remaining activity that still surrounds the ranch illustrates a different scenario.

Not only is the BLM not actually backing off of Cliven Bundy, Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has revealed stunning information: on Ben Swann’s radio program, Mack said that he has received intelligence from multiple, credible sources inside the BLM and the Las Vegas Metro that there is “no question” that the federal government is planning a raid on the Bundy home and the homes of their children who live on the property.

According to Mack, the so-called retreat was nothing more than theatrics. “It was a ploy to get people to back off, to get people out of the way. They weren’t expecting us to get this amount of people here. They were surprised by the numbers and so they wanted a way to get us out of here. This was a ploy to get us out of here and then they’re going after the Bundys.” Mack said that when he was at the Bundy ranch on Saturday there were an estimated 600 to 800 protesters present when federal agents were releasing the cattle.

“If they do that kind of raid, I don’t believe there’s any way that could happen without bloodshed,” Mack told Swann.

Mack spoke about the tactic that protesters could use by putting women at the front of the line facing the federal agents to make them think carefully before opening fire.

“I would’ve gone next. I would’ve been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here,” said Mack.

Mack said that he had been told by Bundy that the federal government is actively shutting down the ranching industry, specifically in Clark County. He also revealed that there used to be 53 ranches in Clark County. All of those ranchers have been put out of business, except for Bundy who is still trying to hold on. “Every American should be outraged by it,” said Mack. The ranch has been in Bundy’s family since 1877.

Mack decried Nevada governor Brian Sandoval for declaring this situation unconstutional while doing nothing to stop it. “He could have called in the state’s national guard, could have called in the sheriff’s office, could have called in highway patrol, and he’s done nothing except assail what’s going on. That’s easy, that’s cowardly.”

Sheriff Mack also called out media including radio host Glenn Beck who he says is siding with the BLM on this issue.

“I can’t believe that there are some Americans, and some media like Glenn Beck, that are supporting the BLM in this and it’s absolutely disgraceful.”

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Related articles:

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Armed Guards Surround Bundy, Supporters Fear Imminent Threat – KLAS

Local rancher Cliven Bundy may have his cattle back, but his supporters say they are still preparing for an imminent threat.

Militia groups from all over the country say they are flocking to the Bundy ranch to protect the family from a feared federal government raid.

The Bureau of Land Management allowed Bundy to release his cattle Saturday, after they felt threatened.

Bundy now has a whole contingent of armed guards surrounding him 24 hours a day.

“They’re just there, trying to make sure something crazy doesn’t happen to him,” Bundy’s son Ammon Bundy said.

His security detail and family feel he is someone to be protected because of what the federal government could do.

“There were snipers on the hills and armed guards and you know, military forces with cameras all over.” Ammon Bundy said.

Cliven Bundy fears that the government could gather up again because they never reached a formal deal.

He is also trying to determine whether federal agents damaged any of his cattle before they released them.

The BLM only allowed the family to open up the gate of the pen where the animals were being held because officers were afraid of violence. As of now, no one has cleared him to take back his cattle for good.

Taking the stage to address supporters Monday, Bundy was quickly obscured behind his guards. The detail told 8 News NOW they are now patrolling the area 24 hours a day looking for federal snipers.

“You never know, you never know,” Ammon Bundy said.

According to the BLM, Bundy has allowed his cattle to graze public land illegally for the past 20 years. Following two court orders, the feds started rounding up the cattle last week.

The agency also says Bundy owes more than $1 million in grazing fees for trespassing on federal lands since the 1990s.

Saturday, the BLM agreed to pull out of the area but hundreds of protesters flooded a BLM holding station, aiming to release hundreds of Bundy’s cattle.

Monday, Bundy says he never told his supporters to flood a federal cattle pen, using weapons. Members of Bundy’s security details say more militia groups are on their way and will be there for weeks to come.

Ammon Bundy says he was awake last night fearful the feds were going to come in and arrest his family.

No law enforcement have talked about arresting anyone in this dispute, and there is still no clear resolution to the fact that Bundy is grazing cattle on federal land without paying fees.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Harry Reid On Bundy Ranch Situation: ‘It’s Not Over’ – National Review

Clive Bundy may have prevailed over the weekend in his standoff with the Bureau of Land Management regarding his Nevada ranch and disputed ranch, but that’s just the first phase, according to Harry Reid.

“Well, it’s not over,” he told Reno’s KRNV. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and just walk away from it, so it’s not over.”

Last week, the BLM began rounding up Bundy’s cattle amid controversy over whether he owed the federal government millions in grazing fees for his cattle being on their land. Bundy and his supporters, who gathered in Bunkerville, Nev., say that the rancher and his family have had rights to the land for over a century.

With tensions high, the BLM and federal agents backed off on Sunday, prompting some to think Bundy had prevailed. Reid’s comments may mean the government’s withdrawal was temporary, or that it will take a different approach to addressing the situation.

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Another Broken Promise: Obama Planning To Close ICBM Squadron

Despite Promises, Obama Planning To Close ICBM Squadron – Washington Free Beacon

The Obama administration has drafted a plan to shutter an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) squadron three years after it assured hesitant lawmakers that the New START U.S.-Russia arms reduction treaty would not lead to deep cuts in the ICBM force.

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A new timeline prepared by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon maps out a strategy to eliminate an ICBM squadron – and destroy its missile silos – by Dec. 5, 2017. An environmental assessment would begin next month.

The document says the reductions are necessary to “meet the New START Treaty compliance date by closing an ICBM squadron and eliminating the associated Launch Facilities.”

Several Democrats on the Senate ICBM coalition voted for New START, vowing that the treaty would maintain a strong ICBM force. Sens. Max Baucus (D.) and Jon Tester (D.), both from Montana, the home of many ICBMs, issued a press release in 2010 backing New START and saying that the missiles would “continue to play a key role in U.S. national security for decades to come.”

“There was some talk around this town about making deep reductions to the ICBM force,” Baucus said in the press release. “We made it clear to the president that was unacceptable, and fought hard to make sure the START Treaty recognized the critical role that ICBMs play in U.S. national security.”

Baucus and Tester did not respond to requests for comment.

According to the OSD timeline, the military would begin removing ICBM missiles from their silos next October, after the environmental assessment is complete. The silo elimination would begin in May 2016 and is estimated to take 19 months.

Analysts say they are particularly troubled by the proposed destruction of the missile silos, a likely permanent move that is not required by New START. They say the silos would be difficult to rebuild if the military needs to bolster its ICBM force in the future.

“If you destroy the silos, it would be much harder to rebuild them […] and very politically difficult,” said Michaela Dodge, a defense analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

Dodge said the New START requirements could be met simply by removing the ICBMs and maintaining the empty silos in reserve status.

The administration’s plan would also shrink the ICBM force below the mandated numbers. The Air Force previously said it planned to reduce its number of ICBMs from 450 to a baseline of 420 under New START.

Shutting down a squadron would eliminate 50 ICBMs, 66 percent more than the prior Air Force proposal.

Republican members of the Senate ICBM coalition said they were alarmed by the proposal.

“America’s nuclear deterrent helps keep Americans safe and our country free,” Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) told the Free Beacon. “As countries that are not our friends grow closer to modernizing their nuclear weapons programs, it would be irresponsible for us to weaken our own program.”

“If the president is serious about protecting Americans and our allies, he should immediately drop any plans for his Administration to further reduce our ICBMs,” he said.

Sen. Mike Enzi’s (R., Wyo.) office said he “opposes efforts that would impose arbitrary and unilateral reductions in our nuclear force. He believes this would only increase threats to our national security and have a very visible effect on our deterrence strategy. A strong ICBM force is a critical part of protecting our nation. That’s why he opposed the New START Treaty and other attempts to hamstring the role Wyoming plays in our nuclear deterrent.”

The ICBM coalition introduced an amendment on Friday that would block the administration from destroying emptied ICBM silos.

Defense experts say the proposed eliminations would be detrimental to U.S. national security.

“We see that Russia is modernizing and building up its nuclear weapons program; we don’t have that good of an understanding of how many weapons China has; we had recently a North Korea nuclear weapons test,” Dodge said. “So international trends are against us and we are sending the wrong signal by continuing reduction despite these international developments.”

John Noonan, spokesman for House Armed Services Committee Republicans, said there does not appear to be any strategic justification for the proposed reductions, adding that the United States has a responsibility to maintain a large and disperse ICBM force that will deter large-scale enemy attacks.

“Nuclear deterrence is about balance,” he said “This is something that would put the deterrence equation out of balance.”

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$398 Million Spent On Planning To Replace $245 Million Bridge

$398 Million Spent On Planning To Replace $245 Million Bridge – KREM

For any construction project, planning is key. And to replace the 520 bridge across Lake Washington for safety reasons, the State of Washington has planned, and planned, and planned some more – 14 years of it.

Jonathan Dubman, a Montlake resident, is a die-hard 520 community activist who’s attended hundreds of planning meetings. He’s been there from the beginning leading citizen input.

“This has been an incredibly frustrating process,” Dubman said. “This project had a reputation for being divisive and for inaction about a decade ago. And I never thought that we would still be here in 2011 having these conversations without having really started construction on the project.”

The State of Washington is still having the conversation and spending. The KING 5 Investigators have obtained billing records going back to 1997 when work to replace the bridge first began. The reporters found while nothing significant has been built, plenty has been spent.

So far, taxpayers have paid more than $377 million on studies, planning, buying properties and a small amount of construction. Roughly $20 million has been spent on preparing for tolling. Citizens of Seattle chipped in more. Seattle spent another $1 million for additional studying. All of it totals to $398 million tax dollars spent so far.

“It’s extraordinary!” said Mike Ennis, Washington Policy Center’s Transportation Expert. “The original bridge cost $34 million to build in 1963. Adjusting for inflation, in 2011 dollars, the existing bridge had a total cost of $245 million. They’ve already spent more in just planning and design than the cost of the original bridge structure. You have to ask yourself as a taxpayer, what are they doing to increase these costs?”

The majority of the money has gone to a long list of consultants for engineering, project management and community relations. Consultants are not cheap. The state has paid nearly $7.7 million to one community relations firm, EnviroIssues, to gather public opinion and get the word out about 520.

“I think in today’s climate, a lot of people would be outraged that the state is spending this kind of money without getting any real benefit on the ground,” said Dubman.

Of course with any job, time is money – and the 520 bridge timing got off course. In 2001, after already studying the project for four years, the WSDOT put out these messages for the public: A final design should be in place by winter, 2002. Construction begins in mid-2004, if financing is available. Off-peak tolling would be $0.80.

Those things didn’t happen. Construction is now set to start a decade later, and some off-peak tolls will cost triple that amount.

It’s unusual for KING 5 to do an investigative story with out getting all sides. We tried. This week, the KING 5 Investigators requested an on-camera interview with Secretary of Transportation, Paula Hammond. Instead of granting that request, WSDOT tried a new strategy – putting its own spin on the numbers. Today, WSDOT posted all the financial data that KING 5 requested on its website. That’s why KING is airing the story now, with no interview from the state.

We did reach David Dye, Assistant Secretary of WSDOT, by telephone. He said the money spent so far is reasonable for a multi-billion dollar mega-project. Dye also said early messages to the public were optimistic, but didn’t pan out due to trouble getting the public, politicians and WSDOT to agree on a design and how to pay for it.

Jonathan Dubman said despite years of consensus building, most communities around 520 still aren’t happy.

“I’m especially aghast that after all of these years we still don’t have a project that we can afford that prioritizes public safety, and that really fixes the transportation issues,” said Dubman.

The total budget to replace 520 is now $4.65 billion. About $2 billion of that is still unfunded and will mean tolling on other roads or new taxes to finish the job.

If the state stays on track, they’re hoping to have cars on the new bridge in 2014 — 17 years after the planning began.

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