Massachusetts Governor Declares State Of Emergency, Institutes Travel Ban (+video)

Photo Credit: Paul and Linda MorrisGov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts Friday afternoon for the blizzard that could bring up to 3 feet of snow.

He also announced he has signed an executive order to ban all travel on all roads in the state starting at 4 p.m. Friday.

There are some exceptions to the ban, including emergency workers, those who work in hospitals and media, and others required to be at their jobs.

The governor said rapid snowfall of 2-3 inches per hour will make for, “extremely dangerous conditions,” and will “make safe travel nearly impossible.”

This is the first time that a Massachusetts governor has issued an executive order like this since the Blizzard of 1978.

Read more from this story HERE.

Video: Joe Biden Caught on Camera Admitting Gun Control Will Not Stop Mass Shootings

After pontificating about the government’s ‘moral obligation’ to push for more gun control, the Vice President has now been caught on camera saying that the new measures being pushed by the White House won’t diminish the possibility of more mass shootings.

Wow – a stunning reversal. It makes one wonder whether this was even a good faith effort on the part of the Administration in the first place.

Never mind the fact that the Democrats rolled out their pre-packaged bills as soon as they had a pretext. This latest gaffe by Joe Biden is rather morally problematic, if I may follow the Vice President’s lead in the invocation of categorical imperatives.

See video:

Panetta: Sequestration Would Make U.S. ‘Second-Rate Power’

Photo Credit: U.S. Army AfricaSecretary of Defense Leon Panetta used a hearing on the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on Benghazi to plead with Congress for a budget agreement that would prevent sequestration cuts to the Department of Defense.

During his testimony before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on Thursday, Panetta said his greatest concern as defense secretary is the fiscal uncertainty hanging over Washington.

“I cannot imagine that people would stand by and deliberately hurt this country, in terms of our national defense, by letting this happen,” he said.

Ultimately, sequestration cuts would erode the military’s capabilities and threaten its world standing, Panetta asserted.

Read more from this story HERE.

Oregon Man Claims IRS Agent Coerced Sex By Threatening Tax Penalty (+video)

Photo Credit: KVALEUGENE, Ore. — A Fall Creek resident filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Government and an IRS agent that he alledges pressured him into sex by threatening a tax penalty.

The law firm representing Vincent Burroughs filed the suit with the U.S. District Court in Eugene on Jan. 25 “as a result to coersive conduct by Defendant (Dora) Abrahamson,” an Internal Revenue Service agent from Cottage Grove.

Burroughs claims that in August of 2011 Abrahamson called him and said he would be audited by the IRS. He claims that at the time he didn’t know her.

Burroughs says that he had not met Abrahamson before those calls, nor had he heard that he was being audited by the IRS.

“She was sending me texts that she wanted to come out, give me massages because she needed to help me relax,” Burroughs said in a phone interview with KVAL News.

Read more from this story HERE.

Currency Wars Return, 1930s Style

As countries try to weaken their currencies to boost exports, the risk of a currency war similar to events seen in the 1930s has heightened, and policymakers are making sure they are on the winning side, according to Morgan Stanley.

The balance of power now rests with Japan, according to the bank, as Japan’s policy-makers’ more dovish approach looks set to bring the world a step closer to a currency war.

The Bank of Japan doubled its inflation target to 2 percent in January and made an open-ended commitment to continue buying assets from next year. This follows a leadership change, with new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe openly calling for aggressive monetary stimulus from the country’s central bank.

This move, Morgan Stanley said, is a “game changer” as Japan tries to invigorate its stagnating economy .

“If a weaker yen is an important pillar of the strategy to make this export-oriented economy more competitive again, it brings into the picture something that was missing from earlier interactions among central banks of the advanced economies – competitive depreciation,” it said in a research note.

Read more from this story HERE.

Video: General Says of Benghazi, ‘We Never Received a Request for Support from the State Department’

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the State Department never requested “support” in Benghazi:

“Why didn’t you put forces in place to be ready to respond?,” Senator John McCain asked the general.

Dempsey started, “Because we never received a request to do so, number one. And number two, we –“

McCain iterrupted, “You never heard of Ambassador Stevens’s repeated warnings?”

See video:

Read more from this story HERE.

Pyongyang Provocation: North Korea Set For Test Launch Of New Mobile ICBM With Upcoming Nuclear Test

Photo Credit: APU.S. intelligence agencies monitoring North Korea for signs of a third underground nuclear test recently reported that the isolated communist state appears set to conduct the first test launch of a new road-mobile ICBM built with Chinese technology.

U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports said the North Koreans are expected to test fire either a new KN-08 road-mobile ICBM—capable of reaching parts of the United States—or a new medium-range advanced missile called the Musudan, also built on hard-to-detect mobile launchers.

New intelligence on the KN-08, which was showcased for the first time last April during a North Korean military parade atop a Chinese-made mobile transporter-launcher, indicates the North Koreans are preparing to launch one or more of the missiles around the time they conduct a future nuclear test.

Six of the missiles were shown during the parade. The range of the missile is not known because it has not yet been flight-tested. However, intelligence agencies believe it can range Alaska and Hawaii and possibly the U.S. West Coast.

The missile test preparations coincide with new intelligence indicating the North Koreans could conduct a third underground nuclear test at a remote facility in the northern part of the country called Kilju. Earlier nuclear tests were conducted in 2006 and 2009.

Read more from this story HERE.

Catholic Bishops Oppose Revisions To Contraception Mandate

Photo Credit: DougtoneThe U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said Thursday that it remains opposed to the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, arguing Catholic institutions will have “second-class status” under the policy despite recent tweaks to its rules.

The USCCB said the policy will require Catholic institutions to have a hand in healthcare coverage they find immoral.

“Because the stakes are so high, we will not cease from our effort to assure that healthcare for all does not mean freedom for few,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, said in a statement.

The group was initially noncommittal last week after the Obama administration released new regulations on the contraception mandate and its “accommodations” for religious-affiliated institutions, such as Catholic hospitals and universities.

But on Thursday, the bishops said last week’s rules ensure that employees of a religious institution would automatically receive contraception coverage through their insurance companies.

Read more from this story HERE.

The GOP, Fox Political Purge (+video)

Photo Credit: Mike LichtRepublicans and Fox News are moving to purge the controversial political creatures they created.
Both were damaged badly in 2012 by loud, partisan voices that stoked the base — but that scared the hell out of many voters.

Now, the GOP, with its dismal image, and Fox News, with its depressed ratings in January, are scrambling to dim those voices. To wit:

Fox ousted contributors Sarah Palin and Dick Morris, two of the most obnoxiously partisan figures on the network’s air.
Karl Rove, himself sidelined by Fox after the election, has helped start a new super PAC, the Conservative Victory Fund, designed to keep controversial conservatives like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) from winning Senate primaries.

Senate GOP leaders created what amounts to a buddy system with their caucus’s most popular tea party members, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, to get their help in taming anti-establishment conservatives.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been running around the country warning anyone who will listen that Republicans must quit being the “stupid party” that nominates nutty candidates.

Read more from this story HERE.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Shuts Down Possibility Of Direct Nuclear Talks With US (+video)

Photo Credit: APIran’s supreme leader today rejected the possibility of direct talks with the United States, nixing a proposal by Washington to ease the stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program.

Six world powers – including the US – are due to resume nuclear talks with Iran on Feb. 26 in Kazakhstan, after an eight-month hiatus. Few expect a breakthrough, not least because Iran is preparing for elections in June.

But the words of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – who has the final say on all strategic decisions in Iran, as official holder there of the title “God’s deputy on earth” – appear to have scuppered chances of an immediate direct dialogue with the US.

“You [Americans] are pointing the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we will shoot. The Iranian nation will not be frightened by the threats,”Ayatollah Khamenei told Air Force commanders in a speech today.

“Some naive people like the idea of negotiating with America [but] negotiations will not solve the problems,” Khamenei said in the remarks, which were posted on his website. “If some people want American rule to be established again in Iran, the nation will rise up to face them.”

Read more from this story HERE.