Friday, May 10, 2013

Release - PHOTOs: Niagara Coast Guard station accepts new, more capable response boat

News Release

PHOTOs: Niagara Coast Guard station accepts new, more capable response boat


Click the below thumbnails for higher-resolution images
Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium underway

The crew of Coast Guard Station Niagara, in Youngstown, N.Y., test out their new 45-foot Response Boat-Medium in Lake Ontario, May 9, 2013.

Coast Guard crewmembers from Station Niagara officially accepted the RB-M, a more capable platform for search and rescue, and law enforcement allowing Coast Guard crews to get on the scene of a maritime emergency safer and faster.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Patrick Kern
 
Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium

A new Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium is moored pierside at Coast Guard Station Niagara in Youngstown, N.Y., May 9, 2013.

The new 45-foot RB-M is a more capable platform for search and rescue, and law enforcement and will allow Coast Guard crews to make it on the scene of a maritime emergency safer and faster.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Patrick Kern
 
CLEVELAND — The crew of Coast Guard Station Niagara in Youngstown, N.Y., took delivery May 9, 2013 of the station's new 45-foot Response-Boat-Medium.

Media note: The station crew will now begin getting familiar with the operation of the new boat and will promote an opportunity to host media and conduct ride-alongs and interviews at a later date.
The RB-M can respond faster than previous boats of similar size with a top speed in excess of 40 knots, has advanced search capability with an installed forward-looking infrared search technology. Additionally, with twin jet propulsion, the vessel is able to respond in shallower water.

"This new boat will enhance our capabilities to perform all of our missions," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Dennis O'Connell, the officer-in-charge of Station Niagara. "We are excited to begin training our crews on the boat, enabling them to better respond to emergencies."

The boat has a deep-V double-chine hull, which provides a balance of performance and stability. The vessel is also self-righting; if it capsizes in rough seas, the boat is designed to right itself.
It can handle heavy seas and waves up to 12 feet and carry up to 24 people.

The RB-M is being added to Station Niagara's current craft complement, consisting of one 33-foot Law Enforcement Special Purpose Craft and one 25-foot Response Boat-Small.

With a top speed of more than 40 knots, the highly capable RB-M allows crews to arrive on scene faster. Station Niagara's crew will continue to use its SPC-LE until the RB-M becomes fully operational and steps have been made to divest the SPC-LE.

The RB-M was built by Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis.

###

Release: Coast Guard Cutter Eagle to depart New London for summer training

News Release

Coast Guard Cutter Eagle to depart New London for summer training


NEW LONDON, Conn. — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle is scheduled to depart New London Saturday, May 11, 2013, to begin a summer of training for more than 600 U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets.

Eagle serves as a training platform for the cadets, where they will learn navigation, engineering and sailing principles.

"We are excited about this summer and playing this integral role in the development of these young men and women," said Capt. Wes Pulver, Eagle's commanding officer. "Sail training not only exposes the cadets to the sea, but more importantly, it plays a key role in fostering the leadership and teamwork skills they will need as future officers in the Coast Guard."

The crew of Eagle thanks the City of New London for the warm welcome and support while moored at City Pier. Eagle has hosted more than 2,300 guests for tours while moored in downtown New London over the past three weeks.

At 295 feet in length, the Eagle, known as “America’s Tall Ship,” is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in U.S. government service. Constructed in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German Navy, the Eagle was taken by the United States as a war reparation following World War II.

With more than 23,500 square feet of sail and six miles of rigging, the Eagle has served as a floating classroom to future Coast Guard officers since 1946, offering an at-sea developmental experience. A permanent crew of seven officers and 50 enlisted personnel maintain the ship and guide the trainees through an underway and in-port training schedule, dedicated to learning the skills of navigation, damage control, watchstanding, engineering and deck seamanship.

Eagle will make port calls in St. Maarten; Aruba; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Florida; Bermuda; St. Pierre; Nova Scotia; Massachusetts; and New Hampshire before returning to New London Aug. 9, 2013.

To follow the Eagle's cruise, visit the ship's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CoastGuardCutterEagle.

###

Sen. Ron Johnson: Weekly Report from Washington D.C.

May 10, 2013

Benghazi Was the 3:00 A.M. Call

During the 2008 Democratic Presidential primaries, former Secretary Clinton ran an ad attacking nominee Barack Obama for his lack of wisdom and experience in a foreign crisis – and touting her own. It has become known as the '3:00 A.M. call.'
 
I commend Chairman Issa for holding Wednesday's hearing to try to bring more clarity to what actually happened in Benghazi. As more and more facts regarding Benghazi are painfully extracted from the Obama administration, this much can be ascertained: Benghazi was a failure of leadership by President Obama – before, during, and after the pre-planned terrorist attack that killed four Americans. Absent evidence to the contrary, it appears President Obama failed to fully engage, take command and act - instead delegating his responsibilities as Commander in Chief to others. His administration then embarked on a narrative for the attack that was disconnected from reality and initially misled the American public. Benghazi was President Obama’s 3:00 A.M. moment and he failed that test of leadership. What difference, at this point, does it make? Leadership - or lack thereof - before, during, and after a crisis, always makes a difference.

Senator Johnson Calls for New Senate Hearings on Benghazi

During the hearing on Benghazi before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, I asked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton why she made no effort to personally speak with participants who were on the ground during the course of the assault. She responded in part, ‘What difference at this point does it make?’ I think it makes a huge difference, then and now. In fact, eight months after Benghazi, too many important questions remain unanswered regarding the level of security leading up to the Benghazi assault, the Administration’s response during the attack and how the State Department and Administration reacted publicly after the attack.

Press reports indicate that whistle-blowers who were on the ground have substantial information that can bring clarity to what happened in Benghazi for the American people. There are also news reports that some people feel intimidated by the Administration to remain silent.

I was shocked that President Obama, in his press conference last week, revealed that he was ignorant of these developing events. This leads me to believe that this administration has no interest in providing answers to the American people. The House conducted hearings on May 8th. I strongly urge the Senate to hold new hearings on Benghazi and include in those hearings people who were on the ground in Libya during the attacks.

Senator Johnson Announces Staff Mobile Office Hours

I announced earlier this week that my staff would be available for mobile office hours at the dates and locations listed below. These office hours allow constituents to meet with my staff to request assistance with a federal agency or regarding other federal matters.

Wednesday, May 15th, 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Princeton City Hall
531 South Fulton Street, Princeton, WI 54968


Wednesday, May 15th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Packwaukee Public Library
N3511 State Street, Packwaukee, WI 53953


Wednesday, May 15th, 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
Hancock Public Library
114 South Main Street, Hancock, WI 54943

 
Thursday, May 16th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Chaseburg Village Hall
400 Depot Street, Chaseburg, WI 54621


Thursday, May 16th, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Yawkee Hall
9805 Yawkey Street, Hazelhurst, WI 54531


Friday, May 17th, 9:00 am - 10:00 am
North Bay Village Hall, Meeting Room
3615 Hennepin Place, North Bay, WI 53402


Friday, May 17th, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Monticello Village Hall, Village Board Room
140 North Main Street, Monticello, WI 53570


Friday, May 17th, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Twin Lakes Village Hall, Board Room
108 East Main Street, Twin Lakes, WI 53181


Friday, May 17th, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Menominee Nation Executive Building
W2908 Tribal Office Loop Road, Keshena, WI 54135

Sen. Tom Tiffany's E-Update

May 10th, 2013

Recap From Session

Both the Senate and the Assembly were in session this week. On Tuesday the Senate voted on the following:
  1. AB 82: The "Food Stamp Bill" passed through the Assembly on a bipartisan vote in April and passed the Senate with another bipartisan vote of 28-5. At the behest of the federal government, we came up with this legislation to prevent the illegal trafficking of food stamp program benefits. Earlier this year, a Wisconsin man was found guilty of defrauding the program of $778,000 from 2010-2013. This bill clears up uncertainty in the law and is a message to both taxpayers and program recipients alike that Wisconsin is serious about prosecuting these crimes. Fraud undermines the integrity of the program and hurts those who truly need the benefits. The legislation will now go to Governor Walker's desk to be signed into law.
  2. SB 135: As a cosponsor of this bill, I was pleased to see it pass through the Senate unanimously. This expands the reach of trucks with a Michigan-style axle configuration to Florence County. It also raises the weight limits on these trucks (like the ones currently running on Hwy 2) to conform with Michigan's current standards. The different weight limits will directly help those companies that ship wood products from this area of our district. The bill's next step is a vote in the Assembly.
  3. SB 75: Current law generally prohibits an individual from operating a vehicle on a highway while towing two or more vehicles, with a couple of exceptions. This bill provides further exceptions for those wishing to operate three-vehicle combinations and will be beneficial to those pulling recreational vehicles. This bill also passed unanimously and is now up in the Assembly for a vote.
  4. Gary Zimmer: The Senate voted to confirm the appointment of Laona-native Gary Zimmer to the Natural Resources Board after he was appointed by the Governor in April. It was another unanimous vote. Congratulations again to Gary!

Mining Update

The Department of Natural Resources announced late yesterday that they have received an exploratory drilling application from Gogebic Taconite, LLC for mining activities related to the Penokee/Gogebic deposit located in Ashland and Iron counties.

The application about the project is available for viewing on the DNR’s new web page. A link is available on the website for anyone wishing to receive updates on the progress of the application.

According to Ann Coakley, DNR Waste and Materials Management Program Director, the agency will review and make a decision regarding the application within 10 business days per Wisconsin Act 1 (Senate Bill 1), the mining bill I authored that was signed into law in March.

The Penokee/Gogebic deposit is generally defined as the 21-mile western end of the 60-mile long Gogebic Iron Range, which stretches east to west from Lake Gogebic, Michigan, to Mineral Lake, Wisconsin.

For more information feel free to contact Ann Coakley at 608-516-2492 .

Wisconsin's Business Ranking Improves Again

Chief Executive magazine announced this week that Wisconsin ranks 17th on its “Best/Worst States for Business 2013” survey, the third consecutive year Wisconsin has improved its position among the nation’s best states for business. Wisconsin improved three places from 20th in 2012, and it recently saw the largest gain of any state in the history of the survey, moving seventeen places from the bottom ten, from 41st in 2010 to 24th in 2011.

Chief Executive magazine noted Wisconsin is moving in a positive direction declaring “Gov. Walker’s reelection was a positive signal business leaders were seeking.”

Below is an excerpt from the report:

More and more states are getting the pro-growth message. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s position is typical of this new thinking. “I’ve never seen a store get more customers by raising its prices, but I’ve seen customers knock down doors when they cut prices,” he says.

Read the full report here: Chief Executive’s Best/Worst States for Business 2013

Some Seasonal Road Weight Limits Lifted
Lincoln County Highway Commissioner Jerry Jagmin advised that weight limits will be suspended at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, May 13th on all Lincoln County Highways except the gravel portion of CTH E, which will remain posted until further notice.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation North Central Region announced today the schedule for removing the springtime posted road weight restrictions on some of the region’s state highways. Posted road weight restrictions on the following highways will be removed at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 13:

• WIS 52, Langlade and Forest County, from the WIS 55 to Smith Road (Forest County)
• WIS 107, Marathon and Lincoln County, from Marathon County A to WIS 64
• WIS 107, Lincoln County, from Matthew's Road to Lincoln County S
• WIS 153, Marathon and Shawano County, from Marathon County J to US 45

Class II roadway weight restrictions are still in effect. Additional information and updates for weight restrictions can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Web site at: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/truck/weightrestrictions.htm

Release: McConnell Calls on Obama Administration to Conduct Government-wide Review in Wake of IRS Admission of Harassment

McConnell Calls on Obama Administration to Conduct Government-wide Review in Wake of IRS Admission of Harassment

‘Today, I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views.’
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell today called on the Obama administration to do a government-wide review in the wake of the IRS’ acknowledgement that they targeted conservative groups during last year’s national election:
 
“Today’s acknowledgement by the Obama administration that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups in the heat of last year’s national election is not enough. Today, I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views. Last year, amid reports that the Obama administration was using the levers of executive power to harass conservative political groups in Kentucky and elsewhere, I issued a very public warning to the administration that the targeting of private citizens on the basis of their political views would not be tolerated. Today’s apology by the IRS is proof that those concerns were well founded. But make no mistake, an apology won’t put this issue to rest. Now more than ever we need to send a clear message to the Obama Administration that the First Amendment is non-negotiable, and that apologies after an election year are not an sufficient response to what we now know took place at the IRS. This kind of political thuggery has absolutely no place in our politics.”
 
Background:
 
In February 2012, Tea Party organizations reportedly received letters from the regional IRS office in Cincinnati, demanding hundreds of pages of documents with little indication of the criteria being applied.
 
On March 14, 2012, Sen. McConnell joined ten other GOP senators in sending a letter to IRS Commissioner Shulman seeking assurance that “this recent string of inquiries has a sound basis in law and is consistent with IRS’s treatment of tax-exempt organizations across the spectrum.”
 
“We have received reports and reviewed information from nonprofit civic organizations in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas concerning recent IRS inquiries perceived to be excessive. It is critical that the public have confidence that federal tax compliance efforts are pursued in a fair, even-handed, and transparent manner—without regard to politics of any kind. To that end, we write today to seek your assurance that this recent string of inquiries has a sound basis in law and is consistent with the IRS’s treatment of tax-exempt organizations across the spectrum. … It is imperative that organizations applying for tax-exempt status are able to rely on a consistent and foreseeable review structure from the IRS.” (Twelve Republican Senators, Letter To IRS Commissioner Shulman, 3/14/12)
 
“Given the potentially serious implications of selective or discriminatory enforcement, we request that you hold further IRS-initiated demands for information from 501(c)(4) applicants beyond the extensive information already required of all applicants (in Form 1024 and Schedule B...” (Twelve Republican Senators, Letter To IRS Commissioner Shulman, 3/14/12)
 
On June 15, 2012, Sen. McConnell spoke on the issue at the American Enterprise Institute (video here), singling out the IRS actions for special criticism.
 
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “the tactics I’m describing extend well beyond the campaign headquarters in Chicago. To an extent not seen since the Nixon administration, they extend deep into the administration itself. … Earlier this year, dozens of Tea Party-affiliated groups across the country learned what it was like to draw the attention of the speech police when they received a lengthy questionnaire from the IRS demanding attendance lists, meeting transcripts, and donor information. One of the group’s leaders described the situation this way: ‘[groups like ours] either drown … in unnecessary paper work … or you survive, and give them everything they want, only to be hung.’ The head of one national advocacy group has released documents which show that his group’s confidential IRS information found its way into the hands of a staunch critic on the Left who also happens to be a co-chairman of President Obama’s re-election committee. The only way this information could have been made public is if someone leaked it from inside the IRS. And just last week we learned of an IRS decision revoking the tax-exempt status of small political nonprofit groups that undoubtedly foreshadows an effort to do the same to bigger groups on the Right that the Obama Administration regards as a threat to its campaign. ... let’s be very clear: no individual or group in this country should have to face harassment or intimidation, or incur crippling expenses, defending themselves against their own government, simply because that government doesn’t like the message they’re advocating.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks At AEI, 6/15/12); (Video Here At Minute 11:15)
 
On June 15, 2012, Sen. McConnell published an op-ed in POLITICO.
 
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “One thing that has always distinguished America is the enthusiasm with which its citizens have organized around issues they believe in. Alexis de Tocqueville observed this more than 175 years ago, ‘In no country in the world,’ De Tocqueville wrote, ‘has the principle of association been more successfully used or applied to a greater multitude of objects than in America.’ Recent events, however, suggest that this principle is under serious threat — not only from some left-wing groups, which have resorted to intimidation to grind their critics into submission, but by an administration that has used the tools of government to do the same.” (“Fighting For The First Amendment,” Politico, 6/15/12)
 
McConnell: “Dozens of tea party-affiliated groups across the country learned earlier this year what it was like to draw the attention of the speech police when they received a lengthy questionnaire from the Internal Revenue Service, demanding attendance lists, meeting transcripts and donor information. As the leader of one organization described it: ‘[Groups like ours] either drown … in unnecessary paperwork … or you survive, and give them everything they want, only to be hung.’” (“Fighting For The First Amendment,” Politico, 6/15/12)
 
On June 18, 2012, Sen. McConnell joined a letter with ten other GOP senators to IRS Commissioner Shulman, reiterating their concerns with the IRS’s inquiries and stressing that Congress has made privacy the rule not the exception.
 
“‘Congress has made privacy the rule, and not the exception,’ wrote the Senators. ‘A list of donors who have given money to specific charitable organizations is something that carries great value to certain interested parties, as trading of personal information about private citizens has become common practice. Unfortunately, the public release of private donor information exposes citizens to possible harassment and intimidation by those who oppose the goals of the charitable organization.’” (Ten Republican Senators, Letter To IRS Commissioner Shulman, 6/18/12)
 
“… the IRS is requesting the names of donors and contributors to organizations that apply for tax exempt status. In doing so, the IRS appears to be circumventing the statutory privacy protections that Congress has long provided donors.” (Ten Republican Senators, Letter To IRS Commissioner Shulman, 6/18/12)

 
# # #

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

PHILIPPINE SEA (Sept. 2, 2012) A CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship of the only forward-deployed amphibious ready group. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Adam D. Wainwright/Released)

IRS admits targeting Tea Party groups - The Hill

IRS admits targeting Tea Party groups - The Hill

Rand Paul Calls Hillary Clinton Unfit for ‘High Office’

Rand Paul Calls Hillary Clinton Unfit for ‘High Office’: ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, whose trip to Iowa this weekend is already stoking speculation about a potential 2016 presidential bid, is once again taking Hillary Clinton to task for her handling of last year’s terrorist attacks in Libya. In advance...

STRATFOR: Italy's Geographic Challenge


Exclusive: Benghazi Talking Points Underwent 12 Revisions, Scrubbed of Terror Reference

Exclusive: Benghazi Talking Points Underwent 12 Revisions, Scrubbed of Terror Reference

GOA Alert: Senator Joe Manchin Steps up his Campaign of Lies

Gun Owners of America

Senator Joe Manchin Steps up his Campaign of Lies
Don’t let your Senator fall for his "superficial" changes!
 
Recently, we alerted you to the intense pressure that pro-gun Senators are experiencing right now. You guys unleashed a torrent of grassroots activism in response, and we are starting to get great feedback as to where Senators currently stand.

Within the past 48 hours, we have seen clear evidence that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and his staff have openly lied about the status of talks with two Republican Senators.

Manchin is claiming that two Senators who originally opposed his background-registration check amendment would flip their votes if "superficial changes" were made to the text.

But at the request of Gun Owners of America, a prominent constituent spoke with his U.S. Senator in regard to the allegations that Manchin was making about that particular Senator. The constituent reported that his Senator called Manchin's representations a "lie."

In a separate case, Manchin claimed to have been in talks with a particular Senate office; but three staffers who would have been part of those talks denied the truth of Manchin's public representations.

Since Manchin had earlier lied about the status of talks with Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, a standard operating procedure is becoming clear: Manchin is obsessively lying in order to create a false sense of momentum.

Manchin is not the only Bloomberg puppet in the Senate. On Tuesday, California Senator Barbara Boxer filibustered an amendment that would extend firearm owners' protection in national parks to Army Corps of Engineer projects.

But, in a Senate where a senator's word has traditionally been regarded as sacred, the first-full-term West Virginia senator has shown a tremendous willingness to engage in open fraud in order to destroy the Second Amendment.

Manchin is now circulating a list of bribes he is trying to use to buy off Republican votes which GOA predicted would happen. Some of these bribes, like an amendment which would supposedly ameliorate the nasty implications of his amendment for rural states like Alaska, are merely superficial and ineffectual.

Others, like opening the NICS list to local police, are just massive violations of individual rights allowing many names to be inserted into the NICS system without due process.

ACTION: Click here to contact your U.S. Senators. Warn them that, in violation of the Senate's most sacred traditions, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is engaging in fraud, lies, and bribes in order to advance gun control.

Cleveland Kidnapper Forced Victim to Have Abortion Five Times

Cleveland Kidnapper Forced Victim to Have Abortion Five Times

ReasonTV: 3 Reasons Benghazi Still Matters

Radio Maria sets up global fundraiser to begin broadcasts in Haiti, China and India

The Benghazi Scandal Grows

The Benghazi Scandal Grows

Thursday, May 09, 2013

STRATFOR: The Venezuelan President's Mercosur Tour

Ted Cruz Understands The Law: No Amnesty! : The Last Resistance

Ted Cruz Understands The Law: No Amnesty! : The Last Resistance

Martyrs of Otranto, entire village that chose death instead of renouncing their faith

NASA Image of the Day

Sunrise Over the South Pacific Ocean

The sun is about to come up over the South Pacific Ocean in this colorful scene photographed by one of the Expedition 35 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station between 4 and 5 a.m. local time, May 5, 2013.

The space station was at a point above Earth located at 27.4 degrees south latitude and 110.1 degrees west longitude, a few hundred miles east of Easter Island.

Image Credit: NASA

Texas Seabees Help with Special Olympics

Texas Seabees Help with Special Olympics

By Chief Utilitiesman Scott Kristek, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Learning Site Detachment, Sheppard Air Force Base Public Affairs
ARCHER CITY, Texas (NNS) -- Students and staff from the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE) Learning Site Detachment, Sheppard Air Force Base (SAFB) assisted in the annual North Texas Area 9 Special Olympics Spring Games, May 4.

Utilitiesman 1st Class Charlie King, an instructor at the Utilitiesman "A" School, led a group of 17 CSFE detachment students in assisting competitors and coaches and setting up and tearing down assistance stations and events.

"It's a privilege to be able to come out and help cheer on the participants." said King. "Although they have special needs or disabilities, they have the biggest hearts and admiration towards our services."

King's team of Seabees arrived at the event early in the morning to set up stations for activities like tug-of-war, potato sack races, three-legged races, an over-size inflatable lawn bowling game, an art project area, several snack venue stations and an athlete village where families and competitors could cool-down and enjoy snacks, beverages, and games.

The Navy students were actively engaged with the competitors. Six of the Sailors were paired as special partners with athletes, helping to motivate and assist them with reaching each station and ensuring everyone had fun.

"You can see the excitement in the Olympians' eyes when you come up to help them out or cheer them on," added King.

Once the competitions began, volunteers and family members stood side-by-side cheering everyone on with homemade posters, banners, and noisemakers.

"There was non-stop enthusiasm on behalf of the athletes and their partners," said student volunteer Utilitiesman Constructionman Jason Noel.

The Assistant Officer in Charge of CSFE Det SAFB, Senior Chief Construction Electrician Joseph Johnson, noted that service projects like the Special Olympics are just one of the ways Seabees stay involved in the community.

"The Seabees have a strong heritage of compassion for others," said Johnson. "We're all proud of our students and staff that volunteer to spend their time doing events like this. It not only shows that their spirits are in the right place, but that we have a strong set of future leaders joining our ranks, which will keep our legacy alive."

Student volunteers echoed the sentiments of Johnson and appreciated what their services added to the event.

"Being a part of the Special Olympics was a humbling experience," said Constructionman Utilitiesman Sydney Thorne. "Seeing the athletes all excited to receive a medal around their neck, regardless of finishing position, made me remember to always cherish the little things in life."

For more information on the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Learning Site Detachment Sheppard Air Force Base, visit their website: https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/csfe/sheppard/.
>
For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit
www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Test Fires Closed-In Weapon System

Joint Chiefs Chairman Discusses Sexual Assault; USS Pioneer Returns to San Diego

Judge Napolitano: Hillary Clintong Could Be Prosecuted Over Benghazi Testimony



h/t: Eduardo89rp

PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Representative Massie Votes No on Full Faith and Credit Act

For Immediate Release Contact:
Thursday May 9, 2013 (202) 225-3465
U.S. Representative Massie
Votes No on Full Faith and Credit Act
“I voted against the Full Faith and Credit Act today because it is a stealth debt limit increase”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Massie has released the following statement regarding his vote against the Full Faith and Credit Act.

“I voted against the Full Faith and Credit Act today because it is a debt limit increase, and I think many do not realize that,” said Rep. Massie. “While I support the idea of debt prioritization, this bill does not do that.”

The original prioritization language was replaced in committee with language that allows the federal government to further increase the nation’s debt. By exempting interest payments and many principal rollovers from the debt limit, this bill now permits, and even incentivizes, the federal government to continue issuing trillions of dollars of new debt.

“Instead of helping to bring the national debt under control, this bill will only make a bad problem worse,” continued Massie.

###

Pioneer Returns to San Diego

Pioneer Returns to San Diego

KHALIFA BIN SALMAN PIER, Bahrain (Feb. 24, 2013) Mine countermeasure ships USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and USS Warrior (MCM 10) rest atop merchant vessel Super Servant III as it slowly rises to the surface during a heavy lift operation. Super Servant III will provide long distance transport to a new location for both U.S. Navy ships. Pioneer and Warrior were assigned to Commander, Task Force 52 and promoted mine counter-measure operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Scichilone/Released)


By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rosalie Garcia, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Avenger-class Mine Countermeasures Ship USS Pioneer (MCM 9) was off-loaded from heavy lift ship MV Super Servant 3 at Naval Base San Diego, May 5, after completing an eleven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).

"Pioneer performed superbly throughout the deployment, completing every assigned mission as tasked, and attained the highest operational availability of any MCM throughout the period of deployment" said Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 3, Capt. Steve Mucklow.

Along with mine countermeasure ships USS Sentry (MCM 3), USS Devastator (MCM 6), and USS Warrior (MCM 10), Pioneer was transported from San Diego to Bahrain June 2012, to support a U.S. Central Command request for additional MCM assets in the 5th Fleet.

While in the U.S. 5th Fleet, Pioneer conducted mine warfare operations and exercises, including the first International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) September 2012, and training mineshape recovery operations in the Gulf of Aden.

"They were tremendous ambassadors. In their execution of IMCMEX '12, they not only integrated smoothly with partner nations at sea, but during the in-port phase, they hosted the entire international officer delegation to discuss U.S. mine warfare capabilities," said Mucklow. "It was truly an outstanding deployment by an outstanding MCM crew."

Pioneer will remain in San Diego to prepare to meet 3rd Fleet AOR mine warfare mission requirements. Sentry and Devastator remain deployed to the 5th Fleet AOR and will participate in IMCMEX, May 13- 22. Warrior completed a 5th Fleet AOR deployment and was heavy lifted with Pioneer and departed Bahrain in March. Warrior was delivered to her new homeport, Sasebo, Japan, in late May as the replacement for the decommissioned USS Guardian (MCM 5) and is assigned to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet in support of mine warfare missions.

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor or follow the Surface Force at www.facebook.com/SurfaceWarriors; and on Twitter, @surfacewarriors.

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnsp/.

17 Air Force Officers Have Nuke Launch Keys Revoked

17 Air Force Officers Have Nuke Launch Keys Revoked

Pro-choice reporter covering Gosnell trial changes mind on abortion | LifeSiteNews.com

Pro-choice reporter covering Gosnell trial changes mind on abortion | LifeSiteNews.com

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

France Will Have to Defend Europe on the Cheap

France Will Have to Defend Europe on the Cheap

Syria's Uncertain Air Defenses

Syria's Uncertain Air Defenses

Pope to religious: You are spiritual mothers

Ted Cruz Lays Down Gauntlet on Immigration Bill | RedState

Ted Cruz Lays Down Gauntlet on Immigration Bill | RedState

Release - VIDEO UPDATE: Coast Guard rescues man from sailboat 70 miles east of Kitty Hawk, NC

News Release

VIDEO UPDATE: Coast Guard rescues man from sailboat 70 miles east of Kitty Hawk, NC


PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard rescued a 72-year-old man Wednesday after he requested a medevac from his 24-foot sailboat approximately 70 miles east of Kitty Hawk, N.C., at approximately 9 a.m.

Rescued was Trevor Wilson of Great Britain.

Wilson activated his 406 megahertz emergency position indicating radio beacon at approximately 6 a.m., which alerted the Coast Guard 5th District watchstanders.

Watchstanders deployed an aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to search the EPRIB's indicated location.

The helicopter crew located the sailboat Erma and made contact via VHF-FM radio. Wilson reported to the aircrew he had been unconscious for seven hours and believed that he had fallen and hit his head.

The aircrew deployed a rescue swimmer who took Wilson off his sailboat and took him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
###

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U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

RED SEA (May 6, 2013) An SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Vipers of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 lands on the flight deck of the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61). Monterey is deployed supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Billy Ho/Released)

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USS Lassen Arrives in Vladivostok

USS Lassen Arrives in Vladivostok

From USS Lassen Public Affairs
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) arrived in Vladivostok May 7, as part of building ties and fostering relationships with the Russian Navy on areas of mutual interest.

"Our goal is to continue building friendship and respect between the people of the United States and Russia while marking an important moment in our shared history," said Cmdr. Scott McClelland, commanding officer of Lassen. "It is also a great opportunity for the crew to make new friends and take part in cultural and recreational activities."

While in Vladivostok, Sailors from Lassen are expected to participate in volunteer events in the area, including visiting children at a local cancer ward, playing games with young people at the Parus Nadezhdy shelter for at-risk youth, meeting and speaking with Russian Veterans and a friendly soccer game with Russian Sailors.

"These events are a good way to interact with people from other countries," said Fire Controlman 1st Class Michael Faas, Lassen's community service events coordinator. "The events with the kids give us a chance to show our care for, and give back to, the people we visit, and being able to visit the Veterans is an honor."

The visit coincides with Victory Day, the Russian celebration of the end of World War II hostilities in Europe. Sailors will also attend Victory Day events and lay a wreath at the Pacific Fleet Battle Fame Memorial.

Additionally, Lassen Sailors will have opportunities to take tours and learn about Vladivostok's history and Russian culture.

"I'm excited to visit Russia," said Faas. "I've been to several countries in the region, but getting a chance to go to Vladivostok is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

The last time Lassen visited Vladivostok was in 2007 when it participated in a naval exercise alongside ships from the Russian Pacific Fleet. It also made a visit in 2003.

"We appreciate the hospitality of the people of Vladivostok and the Russian Navy. As two seagoing nations, our countries and our Sailors share common experiences and special bonds," said McClelland.

Lassen is part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, to support security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf70/.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

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U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

BREMERTON, Wash. (May 3, 2013) Lt. David Elkins hugs his son on the pier during a homecoming celebration for the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) at Naval Station Kitsap-Bremerton. John C. Stennis is returning from an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jose L. Hernandez/Released)

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PHOTO UPDATE: Coast Guard medevacs man from bulk carrier anchored near Cape Charles, VA

News Release

PHOTO UPDATE: Coast Guard medevacs man from bulk carrier anchored near Cape Charles, VA

http://www.dvidshub.net/image/924974/coast-guard-medevacs-man-bulk-carrier
http://www.dvidshub.net/image/924975/coast-guard-medevacs-man-bulk-carrier http://www.dvidshub.net/image/924976/coast-guard-medevacs-man-bulk-carrier
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard medevaced a 46-year-old man Monday from a 968-foot bulk carrier while the ship was anchored near Cape Charles.
 
The ship's agent of the KM Osaka contacted Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders at approximately 6:45 p.m. reporting a man broke his arm and requested a medevac.

Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders diverted a crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat - Medium from Coast Guard Station Cape Charles to assist.

"The crew was underway conducting training near Kiptopeke when we received the call," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Clements, the officer-of-the-day at Station Cape Charles. "This allowed the crew to arrive on scene within approximately 15 minutes. Due to our close partnership with local emergency medical services personnel, they were waiting for the crew to return to the station, which allowed for a timely transfer of the patient to receive medical treatment."
The man was taken to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Nassawadox.
###
Date: May 7, 2013

Monday, May 06, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz Discusses his Opposition to the Internet Sales Tax with Neil Cavuto

Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton Guilty Of "Dereliction Of Duty" On Benghazi - The Kuhner Report



h/t: Eduardo89rp

'Sea Soldier' Complete: 26th MEU Returns to USS Carter Hall

'Sea Soldier' Complete: 26th MEU Returns to USS Carter Hall

ARABIAN SEA (May 4, 2013) Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) disembark a landing craft utility (LCU) and enter the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50). Carter Hall is a part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 26th MEU, is deployed supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chelsea Mandello/Released)


By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chelsea Mandello, Amphibious Squadron Four Public Affairs
USS CARTER HALL, At Sea (NNS) -- More than 200 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed joint exercise Sea Soldier in Oman and returned to amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), May 4.

Sea Soldier is a two-week bilateral joint training in which the MEU and Royal Omani Army work together during different operational exercises.

"This was a good opportunity to work with another country," said Capt. Raymond Kastor, company commander from the 26th-MEU. "The Marines and the troops worked very professionally together day and night performing long tasks and combined exercises."

The MEU demonstrated tactical maneuvering, weapons handling, urban combat training, night operations and combined arms demonstrations.

"We did a lot of bilateral training, clearing out buildings with the Omani Army, training exercises and night raids," said Lance Cpl. Joshua Rios. "It was a long two weeks of intense, non-stop training, but we had a lot of fun and learned a lot about what we are capable of."

Many of the Marines came back to the ship sun burned and exhausted, but they were happy to be back aboard.
"I love having my Marines back," said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Pilats, communications chief for the 26th-MEU. "After two-weeks, it was a great training opportunity for everyone and a chance to find out what the Marines are capable of and what we need to work on."

Carter Hall is part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and with the embarked Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).

For more news from Commander, Amphibious Squadron 4 or USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) visit:
www.navy.mil/local/phibron4/, http://www.facebook.com/USSCarterHall?ref=hl .

For more news from USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd3/.

USS Chosin Enters U.S. 7th Fleet AOR

USS Chosin Enters U.S. 7th Fleet AOR

PEARL HARBOR (April 30, 2013) The guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled western Pacific deployment. While deployed, Chosin is scheduled to conduct theater security operations with partner nations while providing deterrence, promoting peace and security, preserving freedom of the seas and providing humanitarian assistance/disaster response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dustin W. Sisco/Released)


From USS Chosin Public Affairs
USS CHOSIN, At Sea (NNS) -- The guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) May 4.

While in the U.S. 7th Fleet, Chosin will conduct exercises and port visits to enhance maritime partnerships and promote peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

"It's been just over a year that I had the privilege of assuming command of Chosin and its exceptional crew," said Capt. Patrick Kelly, commanding officer. "We are trained, we are focused, and we are ready to operate forward. It is our privilege to be part of Navy's rebalancing initiative in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. We look forward to operating with our allies, partners and friends in the months ahead; wherever we are needed."

Chosin will join up with the Nimitz Strike Group soon after entering the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR. They will participate in training exercises designed to enhance combat readiness through combined training.

Chosin, an Aegis guided missile cruiser, is capable of executing multiple warfare areas simultaneously to include air, surface, sub-surface and strike. As part of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, Chosin operates forward, maintaining the highest standards of readiness in order to promote stability throughout the region.

Over the past year, Chosin has completed the Basic Phase of Training and participated in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Most recently, the ship successfully completed the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). Chosin departed from its homeport in Pearl Harbor April 30. The ship's last deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet was in 2010.

Chosin follows in the wake of countless ships, aircraft and Sailors that deployed to the region over the past 70 years, continuing the Navy's ongoing commitment to maintain security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. 7th Fleet AOR spans 48 million square miles, from the International Date Line to the Western Indian Ocean.

E-update From Rep. Jeff Mursau



     eUpdate – May 6, 2013
Claims for Jobless Benefits Drop in U.S.

The number of Americans filing new jobless benefits claims fell sharply last week to its lowest level since the early days of the 2007-09 recession, a sign the job market is still healing even though the economy remains weak. Other data on Thursday showed a narrowing of the U.S. trade gap in March, although drops in imports and exports offered warning signs over the strength of domestic and foreign demand.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 324,000 last week, the Labor Department said. The claims report runs counter to a growing number of signals that economic activity softened in March and April, a phenomena economists have dubbed the spring swoon because it also happened in the previous two years.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, plummeted 16,000 to 342,250, close to a five-year low. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they fall below 350,000, it is generally consistent with moderate hiring. But layoffs are only half the equation: Companies also need to be confident enough to add workers for job growth to pick up and lower the unemployment rate. Many have held off adding new workers in recent months, possibly because of concerns about the indecision regarding and impact of federal spending cuts and tax increases.
 
Economists forecast that the economy added 160,000 jobs last month. That's much better than the 88,000 added in March, but below last year's pace of nearly 185,000 per month. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 7.6 percent. Many companies have been advertising more jobs but have been slow to fill them. Job openings jumped 11 percent during the 12 months that ended in February, but the number of people hired declined, according to a Labor Department report last month. Nearly 5 million people received unemployment aid during the week ended April 13, the latest data available.



San Francisco Chronicle: U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to Five Year Low

        Budget Update

The following reductions to the governor’s proposed budget were made by JFC:

1. 8 motions took a (16-0) unanimous vote. Those included opposing the governor’s recommendations on Circus World and transferring positions from State Fair Park to the Department of Administration.

2. Reduced proposed State spending by $32.6 million all funds ~ $7.6 million in GPR funds
48 proposed Full Time Employment positions eliminated
$2.8 million in borrowing/bonding eliminated

3. JFC Democrats proposed and failed to increase State spending by $30.5 million dollars



Circus World

The Governor's proposal to provide funding and positions for the Circus World Museum was voted down by Joint Finance committee members by a unanimous vote of 16-0. Although the state owns all of the assets of the Baraboo attraction, a private foundation, Circus World Museum Foundation, has operated the museum since the 1959. They receive their revenues through fundraising, admissions, donations and museum store sales. It was decided by the committee to have the museum remain a locally-operated private-public enterprise.

A large number of people had concerns with the Governor's proposal to transfer management to the State Historical Society. That plan would have resulted in 10 new state employees and cost the state more than $3.7 million in the next two years.

Transportation

JFC invested $52 million in our Freight Rail preservation ($8 million less than the Governor) and $15.9 million in Harbor assistance programs. JFC also required DOT include on the application form for a driver’s license or identification card a question as to whether the applicant wishes to designate an additions $2 to support efforts of Donate Life Wisconsin.

The committee also deleted in its entirety a proposal to create 28 new positions for inspectors to monitor and enforce overweight fines and motor carriers. Deletion of this proposal saved the state $3.8 million over the biennium.

Veterans

JFC retained the Governor's recommendation to transfer to $5.3 million GPR to the veteran's fund and report to the Joint Finance Committee every other year describing the current condition of the veteran’s trust fund. The committee also voted to create a reimbursement program for veterans that attend tribal colleges, and provide a one-time $500,000 grant to VETransfer, Inc.

WHEDA

Transfer $1 million from Department of Financial Intuitions gifts and grants appropriation and also direct the Attorney General to transfer $2,500,000 in discretionary mortgage settlement funds to WHEDA. This money will be used to fund grants for the demolition of abandoned, blighted properties in Wisconsin.  

With the immigration debate heating up in Washington, D.C., President Obama headed south of the border Thursday, embarking on a three-day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica as he tries to focus discussions on the economic ties between the United States, Mexico and Central America. On his fourth trip to Mexico since becoming president, Obama will engage in conversations with newly installed President Enrique Peña Nieto that are intended to extend beyond security concerns and focus heavily on the economic relationship and immigration issues between Mexico and the U.S.

Countries in Central America have lobbied Washington for years to create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11.5 million immigrants who live illegally in the United States. Many of those illegal immigrants came to America through the Mexican border. Bolstering security along the route is a major concern of Congress, which fears offering a path to citizenship would unleash a flood of illegal border crossings into the United States.

Obama is expected to push for continued cooperation on anti-drug efforts both in Mexico and with the leaders of Central American nations when he met with them in Costa Rica on Friday. A growing number of countries are rethinking the war on drugs. Peña Nieto wants to refocus on economic growth and reforms of the energy and communications sectors, and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos made it an issue in last year's Summit of the Americas, when an isolated Obama said, “legalization is not the answer.”






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Republicans ride on Cruz control - The Hill - covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns and Capitol Hill | TheHill.com

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Bears Buzz Alaska Again

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U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 22, 2013) An MH-60R Seahawk assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 flies near the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1). This is the first fleet MH-60R to operate with a Right Hand Extended Pylon (RHEP) and a full compliment of eight AGM-114 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles as it joins Freedom for sea trials off the coast of Southern California. Freedom, the lead ship of the Freedom variant of LCS, is expected to deploy to Southeast Asia this spring. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James R. Evans/Released)