Waddling Back To The Trough

Here comes a squealing Fannie Mae, begging to suck on the taxpayer teat yet again. Hey, I know, let’s throw some more good money after bad.

Fannie Mae Seeks $8.5 Billion in U.S. Aid After Reporting Loss

Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance company operating under U.S. conservatorship, will seek $8.5 billion in Treasury Department aid to balance its books after reporting a $6.5 billion loss in the first quarter.

Fannie Mae is requesting the money to eliminate a net worth deficit of $8.4 billion for the three-month period that ended March 31, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today. The $6.5 billion loss for the quarter compares with an $11.5 billion shortfall in the same period a year ago.

. . .

Fannie Mae’s smaller rival, Freddie Mac of McLean, Virginia, posted a $676 million first-quarter profit on May 4. Freddie Mac reported a net worth of $1.2 billion and didn’t request additional aid.

The two companies, which own or guarantee more than half of U.S. single-family mortgages, have drawn more than $160 billion in Treasury aid since September 2008, when they were seized by the federal government amid losses that pushed them to the brink of insolvency.

See also:
Fannie Mae Falls Back Into the Loss Column
Fannie Mae to ask $8.5bn of Treasury
Fannie Mae seeks $8.5 billion from taxpayers
Fannie Mae Posts Deep Loss
Fannie Mae requests additional 8.5 billion dollars in government aid
Fannie’s Friday Earnings Release: $8.7-Billion Loss

And who’s responsible for this financial black hole?

Why are we continuing to prop up this bull[expletive deleted]? Let Fannie Mae fail. How much worse can the housing market get? In fact, the government’s insistence in meddling in the housing market. led by the Democrats, only prolongs the inevitable and prevents the free market from sorting itself out.

/take away the trough, wean Fannie Mae from the taxpayer teat, vote Republican in 2012, it’s the only way to be sure

When The Cloud Bursts

This is why I keep my own local backups and don’t trust my important data storage to some remote server I can’t see, run by someone I don’t know.

Amazon’s trouble raises cloud computing doubts

The black out at Amazon’s EC2 (Elastic Cloud Computing) data centre has cast a shadow over cloud computing, which has been hailed as a sturdy, reliable and inexpensive storage and network solution, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that cannot afford their own large servers.

On the early morning of April 21 (Pacific Day Time), Amazon’s EC2 data centre in Virginia crashed, taking down with it several popular websites and small businesses that depend on it. These included favoured social networking destinations like Evite, Quora, Reddit and Foursquare, among others. Now, the question is being asked: if an Amazonian cloud giant can crash so badly, what about the rest? Is cloud computing as reliable as we thought?

See also:
Amazon cloud service outage crashes numerous sites
Amazon EC2 Outage Shows Risks of Cloud
Amazon AWS downtime shakes faith in the cloud
Investigation on after Amazon’s cloud nightmare
Amazon gets ‘F’ for communication amidst cloud outage
Seven lessons to learn from Amazon’s outage
Mitigating the Risk of Cloud Services Failure
Lessons From a Cloud Failure: It’s Not Amazon, It’s You
The Amazon Cloud Failure Redux
2nd UPDATE: Amazon Says ‘Majority’ Of Cloud Problems Resolved

Online banking and web file storage is all well and good until, of course, it crashes and the data disappears.

/I sleep better knowing I have paper records and physical backup drives

Splish Splash, Glory Takes A Bath

Apparently, Russia isn’t the only country that can pitch multi-million dollar satellites into the ocean.

NASA’s Glory satellite launch fails

A rocket, standing more than nine stories tall, blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base but failed to lift a NASA Earth-observation satellite into orbit and plummeted into the Pacific Ocean. The failed mission cost $424 million, the space agency said.

It is the second consecutive time that NASA has encountered the problem with the Taurus XL rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va.

NASA scientists believe the launch on Friday failed because the satellite’s protective cover, which opens like a clamshell, did not separate as expected.

“Obviously, this is a terrific disappointment and we feel bad for letting NASA … down,” said Barron Beneski, an Orbital Sciences spokesman. “People have dedicated years of their lives into this.”

NASA’s Glory satellite was designed to help scientists understand how the sun and particles of matter in the atmosphere called aerosols affect the Earth’s climate. It was also built by Orbital in Virginia.

See also:
Pesky Nose-Cone Problem Downs NASA’s Glory Satellite
NASA’s Glory Satellite Crashes in Pacific; Agency Blames Nose Cone
NASA science satellite lost in $424 million launch failure
NASA’s ‘Glory’ research satellite plunges into the sea
Glory climate satellite fails: information & reactions$424 million satellite mission deemed a failure
NASA research satellite plunges into the sea
Climate-Tracker Satellite Crashes During Launch
New Satellite Crashes Into Ocean After Launch
NASA’s Glory mission fails to reach orbit (photos)
Kentucky satellite lost in rocket failure
Glory (satellite)
Glory Mission
Glory

Gee, you’d think NASA would have figured out what the problem was after the first time it happened. It’s more than embarrassing, not to mention incredibly expensive, to have the exact same failure occur twice in a row.

/oh well, I suppose it could have been worse, at least it wasn’t a human payload

Confirmed Sniper On The Loose

Here we go again. It’s a sure bet that whoever’s doing these shootings won’t stop until they get caught.

FBI Links 3 Military Shootings in DC Area

The FBI has confirmed all three military related shootings in the Washington D.C. area are connected, saying Thursday ballistic evidence shows the same weapon was used at each site.

The latest shooting occurred at a vacant Marine recruiting station in Chantilly, Virginia sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

In the early morning hours of October 19 police and FBI investigators responded in force when six shots were fired into the south side of the Pentagon, leaving bullets embedded in two different windows. Just two days earlier police in Quantico, Virginia responded to a similar attack on the Marine Corps Museum, where bullets were also fired at windows in the early morning hours.

At the time of the Pentagon shooting police said the weapon used was believed to be a high-powered rifle.

So far the FBI has yet to identify any suspects and no one has been injured in any of the attacks. An investigation is being headed up by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

See also:
FBI: Same Gun Shot at 3 D.C. Military Buildings
Tests Show the Same Weapon Used in 3 Shootings, Including Pentagon
FBI links shooting at recruiting center to 2 others
Shootings at Pentagon, Marine museum, recruiting station linked
Mysteries abound in shootings of D.C.-area military buildings
FBI: Same Gun Used In Military-Related Shootings
3rd shooting at military building linked
FBI links shots fired at Pentagon, Marine museum
Recent shootings raise concerns about Marine Corps Marathon
Security heightened for Marine Corps Marathon

Obviously, whoever it is doesn’t like the U.S. military, or at least their buildings. Let’s just hope our mystery sniper(s) don’t graduate to shooting at people, although, at this point, that wouldn’t be much of a leap. It’ll be interesting to see who law enforcement eventually catch.

/not to speculate or anything, but the last D.C. snipers were arguably Muslim jihadis and certainly terrorists, just sayin’

It’s A Two Day Jihadi Streak!

For the second day in a row, another Muslim jihadi pops up, arrested for attempting to carry out mass casualty attacks on his fellow Americans. The FBI is on a roll!

Arrest in FBI Terror Sting

Federal agents on Wednesday arrested a Pakistani-American man in a sting operation, accusing him of helping scout out potential targets for bombings of Washington’s Metrorail subway system.

The suspect, 34-year-old Farooque Ahmed, of Ashburn, Va., believed he was part of an al Qaeda bombing conspiracy, but the purported plot was actually set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a federal grand-jury indictment in Virginia’s eastern district.

The indictment says that from April to October, Mr. Ahmed tried to aid what he believed was a plot to carry out multiple bombings at Washington-area subway stations. He recorded video of stations in Arlington, Va., on four occasions and drew diagrams of three stations in Arlington, according to the indictment.

He provided suggestions for where to place bombs in attacks that were supposedly to be carried out next year, it says. Mr. Ahmed is charged with attempting to provide support to terrorists and assisting in planning a terrorist attack on transit.

See also:
Pakistani-born Virginian held in Metro terror plot
Va. man accused of plot to bomb the D.C. subway
Man charged over Washington subway ‘terror plot’
Man arrested over ‘plot to bomb Washington DC Metro’
FBI Arrests Man For Allegedly Plotting To Bomb D.C. Subway Stops
Farooque Ahmed: Neighbors describe the Metro plot suspect
More homegrown terrorism as FBI makes arrest in D.C.-area plot
FBI nabs former Staten Island man charged in plot to bomb Washington D.C. subway system
Man charged with plotting DC Metro bombings
Man Arrested in Plot to Bomb Arlington Metro Stations
Virginia Man Arrested in Washington Metro Bombing Plot

Don’t panic, just because Islam is cranking out a steady stream of American Muslims that are hell bent on killing you, your family, and your neighbors, that’s no excuse to be politically incorrect. There is no Muslim problem in the United States, nothing to see here, move along.

/or wake up and smell the reality, it’s Islam and the Jihad stupid!

Must Be Election Season

Oh, sure, it’s cheap political theater, but it’s the thought that counts and it’s got Democrats howling, so it serves its purpose.

In run-up to Nov. vote, GOP unveils ‘Pledge to America’

House Republican leaders vowed to reverse the course of Washington and “realign our country’s compass” in a wide-ranging agenda unveiled six weeks before the fall elections.

The 21-page “Pledge to America,” released Thursday at a Virginia hardware and lumber store, focused largely on government spending, the economy and ways to roll back ideas proposed by President Obama, including the new health care law.

“Government is out of control,” said House GOP leader John Boehner, sounding a theme repeated throughout the plan. “And we need to rein it in.”

An anti-Washington mood has endangered dozens of House Democrats this year, bolstering the GOP’s hopes that they can recapture the majority in the November elections. To do so, the party would need to win back 39 seats.

Democrats called the plan a retread: “The Republican agenda … will take us right back to the exact same agenda that failed middle-class families,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said.

Read the pledge:

A Pledge to America

/Michael Ramirez

See also:
A Pledge to America – The Fall 2010 GOP Agenda
The GOP makes its “Pledge to America”
Pledge to America: good policy, good strategy
GOP’s ante: The pledge
Republicans unveil Pledge to America, but where was Paul Ryan?
Will the “Pledge to America” Produce a Single GOP Vote in November?
Democrats on the Pledge to America
GOP ‘Pledge to America’ infuriates some conservatives

Well, the “Pledge” certainly has provoked reactions from all sides, which I guess was the point. Whether you believe this is a serious document or a gimmick, it really doesn’t matter. Even if the Republicans take back the House and, by some miracle, manage to retake the Senate, as long as Obama is still sitting in the White House with his veto pen, the Pledge to America is going nowhere fast.

/the best Republicans can hope for, with control of the House, is to kill funding for the agenda the Democrats have already passed and try and starve it to death, which is certainly much better than a sharp stick in the eye

Clean Sweep, Three For Three

Justice is served.

Not guilty verdict in Navy SEAL case

A military jury in Virginia found a Navy SEAL not guilty Thursday on charges of punching a suspected Iraqi terrorist.

Jurors deliberated about an hour and 40 minutes before returning their verdict in the court-martial of Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe.

The 24-year-old Perrysburg, Ohio, man was tried at Naval Station Norfolk on accusations of assaulting Ahmed Hashim Abed, who is suspected of plotting the 2004 slayings of four U.S. contractors in Fallujah.

The prosecution’s key witness had testified he saw McCabe deliver a right cross to Abed’s midsection. However, several defense witnesses contradicted portions of that testimony.

A Navy prosecutor said in closing arguments that SEALs were trying to protect one of their own.

“They circled the wagons,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Grover. “They don’t want Petty Officer McCabe to be held responsible for this.”

A defense lawyer said he found that suggestion offensive.

Several defense witnesses contradicted the testimony of Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin DeMartino, who said he saw McCabe slug the detainee in the stomach. Those witnesses also testified that McCabe, a decorated SEAL, was known for strong character, integrity and truthfulness.

“Don’t be blinded by medals,” Grover told the jury. “Everyone is equally accountable to do the right thing.”

Defense attorney Haytham Faraj said the prosecution was asking the jury to take the word of a terrorist and a sailor who admitted initially lying about the incident over the testimony of numerous other witnesses.

See also:
Navy SEAL McCabe Found Not Guilty
Navy SEAL found not guilty of assaulting suspected terrorist
Va. military jury finds Navy SEAL not guilty
Navy SEAL Found Not Guilty of Assaulting a Suspected Terrorist
SEAL found not guilty of assaulting suspected Iraqi terrorist
Navy Seal Matthew McCabe Found Not Guilty!
BREAKING: Navy SEAL McCabe Found Not Guilty
Navy Seal Matthew McCabe Not Guilty on All Counts
But Did They Read The Terrorist His Miranda Rights?
Who Does He See To Get His Reputation Back?
Two Down, One To Go

So, the prosecution’s case was so weak that they lost all three times and none of the triers of fact took very long to render a not guilty on all counts result in any of the cases, the word of decorated SEALs versus the word of a terrorist trained to lie, no brainer. It kind of makes one wonder why the Navy insisted on pursuing these bogus charges in the first place?

/could it have been because of unlawful command influence?

Who Does He See To Get His Reputation Back?

Navy SEAL not guilty of charges in Iraq

The first of three Navy SEALs accused of mishandling a suspect in the high-profile killings of contractors in Iraq was found not guilty at a court-martial Thursday.

A military jury cleared U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas of all charges, a military spokesman said.

Huertas and two other Navy SEALs — Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe and Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe — have been facing charges in connection with the assault of Iraqi detainee Ahmed Hashim Abed.

U.S. authorities accuse Abed of being the mastermind in the slayings and mutilation of four U.S. contractors in Falluja in 2004, one of the Iraq war’s most notorious crimes against Americans.

During Huertas’ court-martial, Abed testified Wednesday that he was handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten.

Huertas and Keefe had been charged with dereliction of duty, based on the allegation that they failed to safeguard the detainee, according to the military. Huertas also was charged with impeding an investigation by attempting to influence the testimony of another sailor.

Keefe’s court-martial was supposed to have opened Monday, but it was delayed after defense attorneys were stuck in Europe because of flight delays due to ash from the Icelandic volcano. That court-martial is expected to begin Friday morning.

McCabe, who is charged with assault, will be tried May 3 in Norfolk, Virginia.

See also:
US Navy Seal cleared over attack on ‘Blackwater killer’
US Navy Seal cleared over beating of Iraqi terrorist suspect
Navy SEAL found not guilty of covering up assault
Local Navy SEAL Cleared in Court Martial
US Navy seal cleared of all prisoner abuse charges in Iraq
Court martial clears US sailor in Iraq: military
Navy SEAL cleared of beating suspect
Sailor not guilty of Iraq charges
Free All The SEALs From Travesty
Support The Navy SEALs who Captured Ahmed Hashim Abed

It’s absolutely disgusting that these three SEALs were, on the word of a scumbag terrorist, charged with these crimes in the first place. Instead of being court martialed, they should have been awarded medals for capturing, and not killing outright, the vile piece of Islamic [expletive deleted] responsible for this:

/one acquittal down, two to go, and this whole sordid episode of military command asshattery had better not ruin their careers either

Meet Al Qaeda’s Lifestyle Coach

What do the 9/11 hijackers, Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, and Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the Underwear Bomber, all have in common, besides being fanatical Muslim terrorists? It turns out that they were all big fans of radical Islamic al Qaeda imam Anwar al-Awlaki, terrorist lifestyle coach, currently holed up in Yemen.

Fort Hood shooting: Texas army killer linked to September 11 terrorists

Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother’s funeral was held there in May that year.

The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.

Hasan’s eyes “lit up” when he mentioned his deep respect for al-Awlaki’s teachings, according to a fellow Muslim officer at the Fort Hood base in Texas, the scene of Thursday’s horrific shooting spree.

As investigators look at Hasan’s motives and mindset, his attendance at the mosque could be an important piece of the jigsaw. Al-Awlaki moved to Dar al-Hijrah as imam in January, 2001, from the west coast, and three months later the September 11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hamzi and Hani Hanjour began attending his services. A third hijacker attended his services in California.

Hasan was praying at Dar al-Hijrah at about the same time, and the FBI will now want to investigate whether he met the two terrorists.

Charles Allen, a former under-secretary for intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security, has described al-Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen, as an “al-Qaeda supporter, and former spiritual leader to three of the September 11 hijackers… who targets US Muslims with radical online lectures encouraging terrorist attacks from his new home in Yemen”.

Investigators Recover SIM Cards During Searches of Homes Tied to Abdulmutallab

On Monday, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula reportedly claimed responsibility for the attempt.

Investigators believe the suspect was radicalized before he went to Yemen, sources told Fox News. According to one source, Abdulmutallab traveled to Yemen sometime near the end of last year or early this year. He was there for several weeks or months, and investigators believe Abdulmutallab was “vetted for the mission” while in Yemen.

Investigators are still working to confirm whether the suspect was trained in Yemen and received explosive material there. Of the device, one source said it’s “very likely that it did” come from Yemen.

The suspect also traveled within the last year to England, the Netherlands, and one other unnamed European country, Fox News has learned. He was also in Nigeria and Togo. One source said he “bounced around a bit.”

Evidence collected shows that Abdulmutallab also was a “big fan” of radical imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, as Web traffic shows Abdulmutallab was a follower of Awlaki’s blog and Web site.

So far no evidence has been revealed that the two exchanged e-mails or talked one-on-one. Awlaki is an American born in New Mexico, now living in Yemen, and is the same imam from whom alleged Fort Hood shooter Malik Nidal Hasan sought spiritual advice.

See also:
Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan ‘is a hero’: Imam who preached to 9/11 hijackers in Va. praises attack
‘Ticking bomb’ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab kept to himself
Detroit terror attack: ‘There are many more like me,’ bomber warns
Detroit terror attack: Yemen is the true home of Al-Qaeda
New Focus on Yemen in Counter-Terror Fight
Yemeni Groups Increased Aviation Threats
Obama Aide Refuses To Comment On Anwar al-Awlaki And More
Radical cleric is said to be alive after Yemen airstrikes
Al-Awlaki’s house was not attacked, close relatives
The radical worshippers who harm liberal mosque
Anwar al-Awlaki
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group

Well, it appears someone in the U.S. government had the right idea but didn’t use the right tools. It’s pretty clear by now that Anwar al-Awlaki is a top tier worldwide al Qaeda suicide jihadi organizer, already directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. Killing or capturing this vile Islamist dochebag, before he can do more damage, should be one of our top priorities in the “criminal investigation” of these pesky, ongoing “man caused disasters”.

However, apparently the recent airstrikes didn’t kill al-Awlaki or even come close, too blunt an instrument wielded with insufficient intelligence. They say the first question a President asks when there’s trouble somewhere in the world is “where are the carriers”? To me, that’s the wrong question, I would be asking, where’s SEAL Team Six?

/at least the terrorism dots are so damn large now in this case that maybe even Obama and Janet “Jumbo Crayons” Napolitano can figure out how to connect them

A Smart Rat Jumps The Sinking Ship

With Obama’s approval rating at a new low, well under 50%, Congressional job approval under 30%, the generic Congressional ballot favoring Republians, and most Americans against the Democrat Obamacare plan for socialized medicine, Parker Griffith has seen the light, smelled the coffee, and jumped from the sinking Democrat ship. Smart move.

Democratic congressman defects to the GOP

Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican on Tuesday, a startling defection from the majority party in the House that underscores the difficulties facing Democrats in midterm elections next year.

Mr. Griffith, a 67-year-old radiation oncologist, blasted the Democratic leaderships’ health care overhaul, saying the bill is bad for doctors and patients.

“I believe our nation is at a crossroads and I can no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy and drives us further and further into debt,” said the freshman lawmaker form a conservative-leaning district in northern Alabama that includes his hometown of Huntsville.

Mr. Griffith often sided with Republicans on major votes, and his switch does little to deflate House Democrats’ overwhelming majority. But his unusual decision to join the minority party sent a strong message to Democratic leaders.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said Mr. Griffith had betrayed his Democratic colleagues and demanded that Mr. Griffith return campaign funds.

“Mr. Griffith, failing to honor our commitment to him, has a duty and responsibility to return to Democratic members and the DCCC the financial resources that were invested in him,” Mr. Van Hollen said. “His constituents will hold him accountable for failing to keep his commitments.”

Mr. Griffith’s party switch follows retirement announcement from several moderate House Democrats, fueling expectations that Republicans will pick up a significant number of seats in the midterm elections. Democrats maintain a 79-seat majority, 257 to 178. But several polls show a strong majority of Americans disapprove of the Democratic-led Congress’ performance. A Gallup Poll released last week found that 69 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress’ performance.

Republicans welcomed Mr. Griffith, who was considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents, and said his conversion reflected a disconnect between Democrats and most Americans.

“From the massive stimulus bill that wasted billions of dollars and failed to create jobs, to a job-killing cap-and-trade energy tax, to a government takeover of health care – the Democrat majority has pursued an agenda far outside the mainstream,” said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican.

“Democrats are beginning to realize what most Americans did months ago,” he said, “that their priorities are not in line with what Americans want right now, which is job growth, economic security, a safe and secure nation and a fiscally sane Congress that doesn’t spend money that it doesn’t have.”

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said Mr. Griffith’s decision should send a “deafening message” to President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, that their “agenda of borrowing, spending, bailouts and takeovers is being rejected by the American people.”

See also:
House Democrat announces switch to GOP
Rep. Griffith of Alabama leaves Democrats for Republicans
Ala. Dem defects to GOP over health care, policy
Parker Griffith’s departure forewarns Dems
Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith becomes a Republican — and a straw in the wind?
Democratic Representative Griffith to Switch Parties
Parker Griffith, Democratic Representative, Switches Parties to GOP
Griffith Switches Party
A Democrat Defects
Voters speak out on Griffith’s decision to switch political parties
Congressman Parker Griffith : Home
Parker Griffith

It’s extremely rare and takes guts for a politician to switch from the majority to the minority party, it almost exclusively happens the other way around in the form of cynical political opportunism. As a physician, Griffith isn’t stupid, he can see the writing on the wall and the damage Obama and the Democrats are doing to this country, which is making the American public increasingly angry and frustrated.

/the 2010 elections won’t be kind to Democrats, especially since they seem to be hell bent on galloping down the massive deficit spending, expanding socialist government path