Tags: Palin | Pipeline

Sarah Palin's Pipeline Protects U.S.; Army Begins Homeland Tours

Sunday, 19 Oct 2008 03:34 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Schumer Eyes Filibuster-Proof Senate
2. Palin’s Pipeline Counters Natural Gas Cartel
3. Army Taps Brigade for Homeland Defense
4. McCain Campaign Making Strides on YouTube
5. Report: Bush Offers Golan Deal to Cut Syria-Iran Ties
6. We Heard: Obama, Hamas, Tim Mahoney

 

1. Schumer Eyes Filibuster-Proof Senate

Democrats are setting their sights on winning enough Senate races in November to reach 60 seats, which would give them a filibuster-proof majority — and their chances of achieving that have been steadily improving.

The Democratic caucus currently has 51 members. And of the 11 seats that the Web site Real Clear Politics (RCP) indicates are most likely to switch parties, all are either open or held by Republicans.

Asked if the Democrats will secure a 60-seat majority, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer recently said the chances are “better than they were two weeks ago,” adding, “The wind is more strongly at our back than ever before.”

According to RCP, the open seat in Virginia is the one most likely to fall into Democratic hands. Mark Warner is squared off against Republican Jim Gilmore in the race to replace Republican John Warner, and RCP’s composite of several polls has Warner ahead by 28 percentage points.

In the New Mexico race for the seat formerly held by Republican Pete Domenici, Democrat Tom Udall has a 15-point edge over his GOP rival Steve Pearce, according to RCP.

And the open seat in Colorado formerly held by Republican Wayne Allard appears likely to be won by Democrat Mark Udall, who holds a nearly 8-point lead over the GOP candidate, Bob Schaffer.

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, is currently on trial on federal corruption charges, and he trails Democrat Mark Begich by 3.2 percentage points.

Incumbent Republican John Sununu trails Democrat Jeanne Shaheen by nearly
6 points in New Hampshire, and in Oregon, Democrat Jeff Merkley holds a slight edge over his GOP rival Gordon Smith.

Even in North Carolina, historically a strong red state, incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole is in danger of losing her seat.

“Dole is caught in dangerous political crosscurrents this year,” ABC News reported. “An unpopular war, a battered economy, and a tattered Republican brand leaves North Carolina voters — like those in states across the nation — particularly hostile to Republicans.”

Republican Norm Coleman is fighting for his political life in Minnesota, where Democrat Al Franken holds a slight lead, and GOP incumbents Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia are clinging to narrow advantages in the polls.

The environment for Republicans in November “is not favorable,” acknowledged National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher. But she added: “I don’t think the bottom’s dropped out of our races.

“I don’t believe candidates will lose just because they have Rs behind their names.”

Editor's Note:



2. Palin’s Pipeline Counters Natural-Gas Cartel

With Russia and Iran seeking to form a natural gas cartel along the lines of OPEC, one project will likely insulate the U.S. against higher gas prices — the $40 billion pipeline Gov. Sarah Palin pushed through in Alaska.

“If OPEC strikes you as a bad group, the new cartel for natural gas, led by Russia and Iran, will be even worse,” Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) stated in an editorial.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin last year said “a gas OPEC is an interesting idea,” and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently drew up the proposed organization’s charter, which he will soon take to Moscow.

Iran’s Gas Exporting Countries Forum will first seek to gain control of reserves through state firms in 14 nations, including Venezuela, with an ultimate goal of controlling production. That will kill competition and “bodes ill for the global gas market,” according to IBD.

As of now, the U.S. is fairly self-sufficient in natural gas. Demand is certain to increase, but “Palin effectively beat back the ambitious petrotyrants 10 years early” with her 1,715-mile pipeline across Canada that will bring 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas to the lower 48 states — almost one-fifth of projected needs — within a decade, the editorial discloses.

“Palin mowed down 30 years of legislative squabbling in the Alaska Statehouse and then triumphantly signed off on the pipeline in August,” IBD noted.

“Heading off the gas cartel is an important move, and Palin deserves recognition.”

Editor's Note:



3. Army Taps Brigade for Homeland Defense

For the first time, the U.S. Army has designated an active-duty unit stationed at home to serve as a federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, which has spent 35 of the past 60 months in Iraq, began its new assignment on Oct. 1.

It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home, the Army Times reports. “In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.

“But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts.”

Soldiers with the 1st Brigade Combat Team will be stationed and trained at Fort Stewart, Ga. When its 12-month mission is completed, another yet unnamed active-duty brigade is expected to take over the mission, which will be a permanent one, according to the Army Times.

The unit could be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control, or to deal with the chaos following an earthquake or a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack.

“I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Col. Roger Cloutier, the brigade’s commander.

“We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home.”

Editor's Note:



4. McCain Campaign Making Strides on YouTube

The Barack Obama presidential campaign has been Web-savvy from the outset, but John McCain has been closing the gap and last month actually had more views per YouTube video than his Democratic rival.

Obama has been posting large numbers of videos from appearances around the country, while McCain’s team has been posting “easy-to-digest 30-second and 60-second ads,” according to Advertising Age magazine.

One McCain 30-second spot called “McCain Is Right” was posted right after the candidates’ Sept. 26 debate, and enabled McCain to get more channel views than Obama the following day when the nation was analyzing the debate.

Obama remains dominant on YouTube, with 12.9 million views in September compared to 5.8 million for McCain.

But the Obama camp posted some 200 videos that month, while the McCain campaign posted just 40 spots.

Advertising Age reported that in September, McCain’s average views per video were nearly 151,000, compared to Obama’s 59,253.

Editor's Note:



5. Report: Bush Offers Golan Deal to Cut Syria-Iran Ties

President Bush has reportedly told Syrian President Bashar Assad that he will press Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights if Syria vows to cut its relations with Iran.

According to a story in the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jareida on Friday, Bush made the offer in a handwritten letter delivered to Assad by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Bush is eager to implement the deal to advance the peace process before the end of his term, al-Jareida reported.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, and unilaterally annexed the territory in 1981.

Also on Friday, Israeli President Shimon Peres said the global financial crisis will seriously damage Iran’s economy, saying “the recent drop in global oil prices is a serious blow for Iran.”

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Peres predicted Iran “won’t be able to bear the increased spending on military and continue its nuclear armament all at the same time.”

Editor's Note:



6. We Heard . . . 

THAT the current economic turmoil in the U.S. is “divine punishment,” according to Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Palestinian organization Hamas.

During a sermon at a Gaza City mosque on Friday, Haniyeh asserted that the financial meltdown was God’s retribution for American support of the Israeli-led blockade imposed on Gaza, the Jerusalem Post reported.

"This is divine punishment, because of America's embargo of the Palestinian people," said Haniyeh.

"America raised its big stick in the face of everybody who tried to offer support to the Palestinian people."

THAT while Republicans are widely expected to lose seats in Congress in November, the “most endangered incumbent” in the U.S. is a Democrat, The Hill newspaper reports.

Scandal-scarred Florida Rep. Tim Mahoney now trails his GOP rival Tom Rooney by a margin of 55 percent to 29 percent, with 16 percent undecided, according to a poll conducted for Rooney’s campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

ABC News reported on Monday that Mahoney paid a former mistress more than $120,000 and arranged work for her at a consulting firm after she threatened to sue him.

The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday.

A poll in September had Mahoney ahead by 7 percentage points.

Mahoney was elected in 2006 to fill the seat formerly held by Republican Mark Foley, who withdrew from Congress following disclosures about inappropriate conduct with House pages.

THAT Iranian caviar and other pricey delights were on the menu when Barack Obama and his wife Michelle recently visited New York.

A tipster told the New York Post’s “Page Six” column that while Barack was at a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel on Wednesday, Michelle called room service and ordered lobster hors d'oeuvres, two whole steamed lobsters, Iranian caviar and champagne.

The Post observed: “Though he's battling GOP accusations that he's an Ivy League elitist, Barack Obama has a lifestyle of the rich and famous, like TV show host Robin Leach, who always signed off, ‘Champagne wishes and caviar dreams!’”


Editor's Notes:

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