These are my links for September 13th through September 17th:
Mitt Romney abruptly shifts strategy– Mitt Romney, sensing an opening in the Middle East mess and catching flak from conservatives for giving too little detail about his policy plans, is rolling out a new and broader strategy to make the election a referendum on “status quo versus change,” chief strategist Stuart Stevens told POLITICO.The shift, which is to include much more emphasis on Romney’s policy prescriptions, means he is scrapping the most basic precept of his campaign. From the time he began contemplating running again after his loss in the 2008 primaries, Romney’s theory of the case has been a relentless and nearly exclusive focus on the listless economy.
Daily Number: 79% of Egyptians Have an Unfavorable View of the U.S.– 79% – Most Egyptians Have an Unfavorable View of the U.S.Egyptians express highly negative opinions of the United States and President Barack Obama’s performance in the Pew Global Attitudes Project survey done this spring.Fully 79% say they have an unfavorable view of the U.S., while just 19% offer a favorable one. That is one of the highest unfavorable ratings among the 20 nations in the survey; 86% say this in Jordan and 80% in Pakistan.Most Egyptians also say that the U.S. gives little consideration to their country’s interests when making international policy decisions. Eight-in-ten (80%) say the U.S. considers their interests “not too much” or “not at all.” Again, that is one of the highest among the countries surveyed.About seven-in-ten in Egypt (69%) say they do not have confidence in Obama to do the right thing in world affairs, while 29% express confidence in the U.S. president. That also ranks among the most negative ratings for Obama; 73% say this in Jordan and 68% in Greece
Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled– Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s top strategist, knew his candidate’s convention speech needed a memorable mix of loft and grace if he was going to bound out of Tampa with an authentic chance to win the presidency. So Stevens, bypassing the speechwriting staff at the campaign’s Boston headquarters, assigned the sensitive task of drafting it to Peter Wehner, a veteran of the last three Republican White Houses and one of the party’s smarter wordsmiths.Not a word Wehner wrote was ever spoken.
Swings states remain focus for White House– With just over seven weeks until Election Day, the campaign for the White House has boiled down to just a handful of states and neither campaign is spending time in other places – unless it is to raise money.That was the script followed last week by Mitt Romney, who stopped Thursday and Friday in Virginia and Ohio, sandwiching those events with some fund raising in New York.And that’s exactly what President Obama will do this week – he campaigns on Monday in Ohio, raises money on Tuesday in New York, and makes stops later in the week in Florida and Virginia.When you look at the ten states seen as toss ups right now, the poll averages (as tabulated by Real Clear Politics) are almost all trending in favor of the President (Electoral votes in parentheses):Florida (29) – Obama +1.3%
Ohio (18) – Obama +4.2%
Michigan (16) – Obama +6.3%
North Carolina (15) – Romney +4.8%
Virginia (13) – Obama +0.3%
Wisconsin (10) – Obama +1.4%
Colorado (9) – Obama +3.0%
Nevada (6) – Obama +3.3%
Iowa (6) – Obama +0.2%
New Hampshire (4) – Obama +4.0%
With voting under way, Romney camp faces test from Obama’s ground game– The first votes of the presidential election have already been cast — and in a battleground state.As of Sunday, 602 ballots had been returned by mail to election officials in North Carolina. President Obama won the state narrowly in 2008, becoming the first Democrat to carry it in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter in 1976. It sits near the top of Mitt Romney’s target list this year.By Saturday, almost half the states in the union will be issuing absentee ballots by mail, according to the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College. Among them will be the battleground of Virginia. Yet another key state, Iowa, will allow in-person voting from Sept. 27.
NC Poll Watch: Romney 51% Vs. Obama 45%– Mitt Romney has cleared the 50% mark again in the battleground state of North Carolina despite the presence of the Democratic National Convention there little over a week ago.The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely North Carolina Voters shows Romney with 51% support to President Obama’s 45%. One percent (1%) likes some other candidate in the race, and three percent (3%) are undecided.
Obama Is Too drunk On His Celebrity To Understand The Gravity Of The Attacks On America– So, on a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a U.S. ambassador through the streets. Then the president flies to Vegas for a fundraiser.No, no, a novelist would say; that’s too pat, too neat in its symbolic contrast. Make it Cleveland, or Des Moines.The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation.
Amazon buyers can use 3rd-party sellers to avoid tax– Here’s some good news for California bargain hunters annoyed that they’ll have to pay sales tax on Amazon.com starting Saturday: Many of their purchases won’t be affected.Amazon doesn’t plan to collect tax on anything sold by its vast array of third-party sellers – the thousands of retailers, large and small, that use Amazon’s Internet platform to market their goods.It’s no small change. Third-party sellers accounted for about 40 percent of the goods ordered by Amazon buyers worldwide in the second quarter of this year, said Anne Zybowski, an e-commerce analyst with Kantar Retail consulting in Boston.That’s millions of dollars a year in sales in California alone.The percentage has “really started to creep up,” she said. “It’s pretty big.”
Amazon says its stance is perfectly legal – and consistent with how the company handles third-party sales in the seven other states where it collects sales tax.
Worst of West Nile virus season to come in California– California and parts of the Bay Area are expecting the current West Nile virus season to be the worst in at least five years, with almost twice as many cases of the viral infection in humans so far compared with last year.Contra Costa County officials announced the first Bay Area case on Wednesday, in a woman who was infected in mid-August and is recovering now. With the peak reporting weeks still ahead, five people in the state have died from the virus, including a 74-year-old Placer County man whose death was reported Thursday.Beyond California, the United States is in the grip of what may turn out to be the worst outbreak of West Nile since the virus arrived in the country 13 years ago. Although the national outbreak may have reached its peak, public health authorities say they won’t have full reports on the extent of the epidemic for another few weeks.
Nearly one in four California children in poverty, Census Bureau says– California’s poverty rate was 16.9 percent in 2011, the highest it has been in 15 years, according to numbers released by the US Census Bureau Wednesday.Nearly one in four California children lives in poverty, the report said. More than a third of Californians living below the poverty level are age 18 or younger.The increase in the poverty rate between 2010 and 2011 was not statistically significant, but since 2006, the rate has increased by 4.7 percentage points from 12.2 percent. The last time it was as high as it was in 2011 was 1996, when the state was still recovering from an early 1990s recession and just prior to the high-tech boom that improved economic conditions across the board in California.To be classified as poor in 2011, a family of two adults and two children would have had to make less than $22,811. That is a national figure, and many advocates believe it understates the poverty level in California because of the state’s high cost of living.
In Texas, a rising conservative star takes on the establishment– Hoping to build on momentum from Richard Mourdock’s Tea Party-driven victory over Richard Lugar in the Indiana Senate primary earlier this month, the Tea Party is setting its sights on another possible win Tuesday, this time in Texas.In Tuesday’s Texas Republican Senate primary, Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz, a Cuban-American lawyer with strong conservative bona fides, is hoping to force a runoff against David Dewhurst, lieutenant governor to Rick Perry and the longtime establishment favorite. Former Dallas mayor and businessman Tom Leppert is currently running in third, while former NFL running back and ESPN announcer Craig James trails in fourth place. The four candidates are running for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.The winner will go head-to-head with the winner of Tuesday night’s Democratic primary. Paul Sadler, a former state representative, and Sean Hubbard, a first-time candidate, are vying for that spot. In the deeply red state, however, the Republican nominee is expected to prevail in November.
Recent polls show Dewhurst well ahead of Cruz, and the consistent front-runner in the race. But in order to avoid a run-off this July, he needs to earn at least 50 percent of the vote – a threshold he has yet to breach in recent surveys. If Cruz can maintain his second-place positioning and keep Dewhurst under the 50 percent mark, he could build on a recent surge in momentum and publicity.
Texas Primary: What to Watch – Everything’s bigger in Texas, and today’s state and presidential primary is no exception.
Mitt Romney is expected to reach (and surpass) 1,144 delegates tonight–the magic delegate number needed to officially win the GOP nomination. With 155 delegates at-stake, Texas’s GOP primary is the largest delegate prize in the contest so far–the second largest overall. California will offer the most delegates on June 5.
Bigger than the delegate math however, is the Republican Senate primary, which is so far the most expensive Senate race in this election cycle. Some $25 million has been spent on behalf of the candidates seeking to fill the seat left open by Kay Bailey Hutchison’s retirement. Although the list of candidates on the ballot is long, the race is mostly considered to be contained to David Dewhurst, the state’s lieutenant governor, and Ted Cruz, the former solicitor general.
The Dewhurst/Cruz race has been largely framed as an establishment vs. Tea Party battle, with Dewhurst labeled as the establishment candidate, and Cruz appearing to claim the tea-party mantle. Cruz has received endorsements from national tea party figures like Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint, but Dewhurst has numerous conservative endorsements as well such as Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee.
Why Obama’s Senior Strategists Think He’ll Beat Mitt Romney – David Plouffe sits in his White House office, just a few steps from the Oval, staring at an oversize map of these United States. It’s late afternoon on May 9, two hours after Barack Obama’s declaration that his evolution on gay marriage has reached its terminus. The president is down the hall and on the phone, discussing his decision’s theological implications with several prominent African-American pastors—while Plouffe is being queried about its political dimensions by a querulousCaucasian reporter. The map at which Plouffe is gazing isn’t the electoral kind with the states shaded blue and red; as a federal employee, he notes wryly, “I’m not permitted to have one on the wall.” But given the way his head is hardwired, I’m pretty sure Plouffe is seeing those colors regardless
Christie’s Vice Presidential Skills– The most striking thing about the current Republican vice presidential field is its striking superiority to the Republican presidential field of six months ago. Former Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rob Portman are among the more accomplished, knowledgeable, ideologically balanced political figures in American politics. The same could not be said of Rick Perry, Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann.The untested, of course, are also unwounded. It is easier to appear qualified and dignified when you haven’t been stripped, prodded with sharp sticks and forced to perform tricks on dozens of debate stages.But there is more at work in this obvious stature gap. Part of the explanation is structural. Presidential candidates are largely self-selected, which favors ambition and self-regard above, well, all other traits. A vice presidential field results from a party’s consensus on talent and competence
Backers See Huckabee Filling VP Niche– If Mitt Romney’s most pressing consideration in selecting a running mate is to find someone who can expand his appeal among independents or a critical demographic that remains up for grabs, several candidates would likely fit the bill better than Mike Huckabee.But if the former Massachusetts governor instead concludes that his right flank is not as secure as it needs to be, Huckabee may be among his best options.
Scott Walker recall: Wisconsin governor keeps low profile before vote– With a slim lead in the polls and just a week to go until the June 5 recall election, Scott Walker isn’t taking any chances.The Wisconsin governor is running under the radar in an attempt to freeze the race where it stands and limit the chances of a momentum-shifting mistake.
Saudis Demand Punishment for McDonald’s Toy They Say “Insults Muhammed”– Saudi Arabians are angry at a McDonald’s toy which they say mocks their prophet Muhammad. According to a report appearing today (5/27/12) on the Arabic news website, Kermalkom.com,the McDonald’s fast food restaurant “abused the Prophet Muhammad by placing his name at the base of a toy that is being distributed as part of the Happy Meal, a toy which steps on the name ‘Muhammad.'”The toy consists of a blue superhero figurine (apparently a Power Ranger Samurai; click here for pictures). It stands on one leg, and, when the lever is pressed, it pounds on the base with the other leg. According to the Saudis, the designs that appear all around the base, where the figurine stomps its foot, is really the name “Muhammad” written several times in circles.
SWATting the Ericksons | RedState– Last week we spent a lot of time writing about Brett Kimberlin and the incident involving blogger Patterico where someone spoofed his phone number and told 911 he had shot his wife.Tonight, my family was sitting around the kitchen table eating dinner when sheriffs deputies pulled up in the driveway.Someone called 911 from my address claiming there had been an accidental shooting.
It wasn’t nearly the trauma that Patterico suffered, but I guess the Erickson household is on somebody’s radar.
Luckily it was two sheriffs deputies who knew me and I had already, last week, advised the Sheriff’s Department to be on the look out for something like this.
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, flanked by his wife Karen, right, and daughter Elizabeth, addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012
These are my links for February 9th through February 13th:
Congressman wants Afghanistan study group – Citing an Army lieutenant colonel’s claims that there is no progress being made in Afghanistan, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., is urging Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to create an independent study group to review U.S. strategy in the sandbox.
In a letter dated Friday, Wolf wrote he is deeply troubled by the conclusions reached by Lt. Col. Daniel Davis and asks Panetta to immediately create an Afghanistan/Pakistan Study Group.
In 2010 and 2011, Davis traveled to Afghanistan on assignment with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, an organization tasked with getting urgently needed equipment to soldiers in the field.
“What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground,” Davis wrote in an opinion piece titled “Truth, lies and Afghanistan,” published online Feb. 5 by Armed Forces Journal.
Rather than the gradual progress described by top U.S. officials, Davis wrote he saw, “the absence of success on virtually every level.”
During a yearlong deployment that began in late 2010, Davis wrote, his job sent him around the country to talk, travel and patrol with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces. It was his fourth combat deployment, and his second in Afghanistan.
Davis wrote a classified and unclassified report. He has not released either report publicly. On his website, he says he will publish the full unclassified version as soon as Army public affairs completes its review and grants permission for release.
On Feb. 10, Rolling Stone magazine published a copy of the unclassified version on its website.
Davis has provided the reports to members of Congress — both Democrats and Republicans, senators and House members. He has also sent his reports to the Defense Department’s inspector general.
He declined to comment for this story.
The Pentagon maintains that the security environment in Afghanistan continues to improve.
During a briefing this week, Army Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, deputy commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, described steady progress in the country, from local and national government to the development of Afghan security forces. Responding to a question about Davis’ report, Scaparrotti said, “it’s one person’s view of this,” adding that he thought the Defense Department’s outlook is accurate.
Wolf has written similar letters to Panetta over the past several months.
The congressman is the author of the legislation that created the Iraq Study Group and has been pushing for the Obama administration to conduct a similar review of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Santorum surges into the lead – Public Policy Polling – Riding a wave of momentum from his trio of victories on Tuesday Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP’s newest national poll. He’s at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul.
Part of the reason for Santorum’s surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney’s favorability is barely above water at 44/43, representing a 23 point net decline from our December national poll when he was +24 (55/31). Gingrich has fallen even further. A 44% plurality of GOP voters now hold a negative opinion of him to only 42% with a positive one. That’s a 34 point drop from 2 months ago when he was at +32 (60/28).
Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as ‘very conservative,’ he’s now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney. Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney.
It used to be that Gingrich was leading with all these groups and Romney was staying competitive enough with them to hold the overall lead. No more- a consensus conservative candidate finally seems to be emerging and it’s Santorum.
Shrinking Senate Hopes – for 2012 – Three other Democratic seats are vulnerable. No state has trended Republican in recent years more than Missouri. John McCain narrowly beat Obama in Missouri in 2008. Roy Blunt won the open Senate seat there in 2010 by 14 percentage points. So it’s no surprise that Democratic senator Claire McCaskill is in deep trouble this year. The Republican Senate primary is August 7.
Wisconsin is more Democratic, but it offers Republicans a great opportunity. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, the Democratic candidate, is gay, liberal, and a zealous campaigner. Either of the GOP candidates, former governor Tommy Thompson or ex-House member Mark Neumann, could beat her. When Neumann gave up his House seat in 1998 to run (unsuccessfully) for the Senate, by the way, he was replaced by Paul Ryan.
In Hawaii, Democrat Dan Akaka is stepping down after three terms, and there’s only one Republican with a realistic chance of winning his seat, former governor Linda Lingle. Fortunately for Republicans, Lingle is running. She didn’t have to buck a Democratic tide in a presidential year when she won the governorship in 2002 and 2006. With Obama, a native of Hawaii, leading the ticket, she’ll have to overcome a strong partisan headwind.
Where does this leave us? Duffy projects a Republican gain of three to six seats. The Rothenberg Report says two to five. A year ago, I’d have said four to seven. Today, three to six seems about right, with emphasis on the three. But my rule of politics is that the future is never a straight line projection of the present. In November, Republican prospects may look better—or worse.
The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn’t Want You to Read – Earlier this week, the New York Times’ Scott Shane published a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military’s top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going. “How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding?” Davis boldly asks in an article summarizing his views in The Armed Forces Journal.
Davis last month submitted the unclassified report –titled “Dereliction of Duty II: Senior Military Leader’s Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort” – for an internal Army review. Such a report could then be released to the public. However, according to U.S. military officials familiar with the situation, the Pentagon is refusing to do so. Rolling Stone has now obtained a full copy of the 84-page unclassified version, which has been making the rounds within the U.S. government, including the White House. We’ve decided to publish it in full; it’s well worth reading for yourself. It is, in my estimation, one of the most significant documents published by an active-duty officer in the past ten years.
Teachers union defends endorsement of Falk – The state’s largest public teachers union is standing behind its endorsement of Kathleen Falk for governor despite controversy among Democrats and some union members.
Some complained the endorsement came too early: A recall election hasn’t been ordered, and many expect other prominent candidates to join the race. Others felt the unions shouldn’t play kingmaker before a primary or give the impression that the election is about only collective bargaining rights.
Mary Bell, Wisconsin Education Association Council president, said she understood the passionate feelings but said the recommendation was made with input from union leaders throughout the state.
“It’s not surprising,” she said. “Our members have a lot invested in what’s happening.”
Though acknowledging other candidates may enter the race, Bell said she is confident the former Dane County executive is the best choice to beat Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Bell said the short and uncertain time frame of a recall made it necessary to put out a recommendation early.
Mike Tate, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said the party is proud to work closely with organized labor – which he called “the backbone” of the party – though he said the election is about much more.
“A million Wisconsinites signed a recall petition; each one has their own reason,” he said. “There’s a number of reasons to recall Scott Walker.”
He shrugged off the significance of the WEAC decision.
“Unions make endorsements,” Tate said Thursday. “That’s what they do.”
Kathleen Falk, the candidate from WEAC, says she wants to “undo the harm” that Governor Walker has done and is apparently willing to devastate Wisconsin in order to advance her agenda.
Want to see what “undoing the harm” would look like?
A year ago Pat Quinn, the ultra-liberal Governor of Illinois, faced many of the same challenges that Scott Walker faced. Instead of standing up to public employee unions and reining in spending, Quinn pushed for massive tax increases and business as usual.
So how did that work out?
In contrast to Governor Walker (who has an approval rating over 50%), Quinn has an approval rating of 30%! That’s right! 30%.
Let’s be real clear. Kathleen Falk is a slightly more opportunistic version of Pat Quinn with a Madison mailing address. The policies of Quinn have decimated Illinois. There’s absolutely no reason to think that they’d work any better in Wisconsin under Kathleen Falk.
Want to see what Wisconsin would look like one year after Kathleen Falk became Governor? Just look at Illinois today.
It’s not a pretty sight.
Nearly 1 in 20 US adults over 50 have fake knees – Nearly 1 in 20 Americans older than 50 have artificial knees, or more than 4 million people, according to the first national estimate showing how common these replacement joints have become in an aging population.
Doctors know the number of knee replacement operations has surged in the past decade, especially in baby boomers. But until now, there was no good fix on the total number of people living with them.
The estimate is important because it shows that a big segment of the population might need future knee-related care, said Dr. Daniel Berry, president of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and chairman of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He was not involved in the research.
Many Democrats have high hopes for the Southwest in Election 2012 and some even think that President Obama even has a decent shot to move Arizona from Republican to Democrat in the Electoral College column this November. However, the president may have an uphill fight to achieve that goal as most voters in the Grand Canyon State disapprove of the way he’s done his job.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone poll found that just 41% of Likely Voters in Arizona approve of the way President Obama has performed his role. Fifty-six percent (56%) disapprove. Those figures are significantly lower than the president’s national ratings. They include 28% who Strongly Approve and 48% who Strongly Disapprove.
Romney up in Colorado, close race in Minnesota – Last night’s results in Nevada were bad news for Newt Gingrich and PPP’s first day of polling in Colorado and Minnesota indicates things may only get worse for him in the coming days.In Colorado Mitt Romney looks primed for another big Western win to match his one in Nevada. He leads with 40% there to 26% for Rick Santorum, 18% for Gingrich, and 12% for Ron Paul.
Minnesota looks like a toss up with any of the four candidates having some shot at winning. Santorum holds a small edge there with 29% to 27% for Romney, 22% for Gingrich, and 19% for Paul.
What both states have in common is that Gingrich has fallen precipitously since our last polls in them. In Colorado Gingrich was in first place with a 19 point lead in early December. His support has declined 19 points since then and his net favorability has dropped 33 points from +41 (64/23) to only +8 (49/41). Gingrich has had a similarly large decline in Minnesota, but there it’s much more abrupt. We polled the state only two weeks ago but in that time he’s dropped 14 points from 36% to 22%, and his favorability has 26 points from +34 (59/25) to +8 (47/39). That after glow from South Carolina has worn off real fast.
Romney tops 50% in final Nevada tally – Mitt Romney won Saturday’s Nevada caucuses with his highest portion of a state’s vote yet, just over 50%, according to certified results released Monday by the Nevada Republican Party.Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finished in second place with just over 21% of the vote. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas placed third at 18.7%, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania earned 9.9%.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who also won the state’s GOP caucuses in 2008, received more than twice the votes of his closest opponent.
Obama: I’m getting ‘better as time goes on’ – During an interview that aired Monday on NBC’s “Today” show, President Obama said that he gets “better as time goes on” at his job and that he believes the grassroots movement that propelled him to victory in 2008 will help him win a second term.”What’s frustrated people is that I’ve not been able to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes. But what we have been able to do is move in the right direction,” Obama said.
“And you know what? One of the things about being president is you get better as time goes on,” he added.
Iran mass producing anti-ship cruise missile – Iran has begun mass production of an anti-ship cruise missile, state television’s website said on Saturday.The Zafar missile, as it is dubbed in the report, “is a short-range, anti-ship cruise missile capable of destroying small- and medium-sized targets with high precision.”
It can be mounted on speed boats and other light vessels, can withstand electronic warfare, and is able to fly in low altitudes to avoid detection, the report said.
Iran has a fleet of speed boats that often challenge US and allied warships in the Gulf.
The vessels are usually controlled by the elite Revolutionary Guards and can be equipped with missiles.
Nearly half of California jobless workers considered ‘long-term’ – Not only does California have more than 2 million unemployed workers, but nearly half of them have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, according to new data assembled by the state Department of Employment Development.”Between May 2007 and February 2011, the number of people who were jobless 27 weeks or more in California rose an astounding 620 percent,” says the EDD report.
Those who are called “long-term unemployed” grew from 15.9 percent of the jobless population in late 2007 to 46.8 percent last March, remaining over 46 percent in December.
“The rapid rise in long-term unemployment can be directly tied to the collapse of the housing bubble in California,” the report continues. “This event had dramatic effects on the construction and finance industries and on the duratio