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Archive for September 17th, 2009

What’s the Equation for Life?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

What’s the Equation for Life?
Seeing as we’re not doing so well with our planetary preservation program here on Earth, it might be prudent to consider the possibility of shopping around the universe for a new home at some point in the not-too-distant future. But how do we know which heavenly bodies are ripe for the human ruination treatment? Well, an enterprising team of scientists is working on an equation, combining all the key elements and variables that support life, that will ideally give them a relatively quick way to rank planets according to their habitability potential.  —KA MSNBC’s “Cosmic Log”: “To be honest, it’s really difficult to find a way forward here,” said Axel Hagermann, a planetary scientist at The Open University in Britain who is raising the habitability issue at this week’s European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany. Hagermann and a university colleague of his, Charles Cockell, are aiming to develop a single indicator that combines all the factors thought to make life as we know it possible. “What we’re looking at is, ‘If you’ve got this, and that, and the other, you’ve got life. Otherwise, you can’t have life,’” Hagermann told me. Based on their study of earthly examples, scientists generally list three factors: the presence of liquid water, chemical compounds that can be combined in organic reactions, and an energy source to fuel those reactions. But is it possible to quantify the factors behind habitability to such an extent that you can give Mars a habitability index of 0.5, the ice-covered moons of Jupiter and Saturn a 0.2, or the faraway planet called CoRoT-7b a 0.001? Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

outer space

Seeing as we’re not doing so well with our planetary preservation program here on Earth, it might be prudent to consider the possibility of shopping around the universe for a new home at some point in the not-too-distant future. But how do we know which heavenly bodies are ripe for the human ruination treatment? Well, an enterprising team of scientists is working on an equation, combining all the key elements and variables that support life, that will ideally give them a relatively quick way to rank planets according to their habitability potential.? —KA

MSNBC’s “Cosmic Log”:

“To be honest, it’s really difficult to find a way forward here,” said Axel Hagermann, a planetary scientist at The Open University in Britain who is raising the habitability issue at this week’s European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany.

Hagermann and a university colleague of his, Charles Cockell, are aiming to develop a single indicator that combines all the factors thought to make life as we know it possible. “What we’re looking at is, ‘If you’ve got this, and that, and the other, you’ve got life. Otherwise, you can’t have life,’” Hagermann told me.

Based on their study of earthly examples, scientists generally list three factors: the presence of liquid water, chemical compounds that can be combined in organic reactions, and an energy source to fuel those reactions. But is it possible to quantify the factors behind habitability to such an extent that you can give Mars a habitability index of 0.5, the ice-covered moons of Jupiter and Saturn a 0.2, or the faraway planet called CoRoT-7b a 0.001?

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Mitchell Bard: Baucus Debacle Shows Why Democrats Have to Stop Trying to Woo Republican Lawmakers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Mitchell Bard: Baucus Debacle Shows Why Democrats Have to Stop Trying to Woo Republican Lawmakers
What Baucus, and the rest of the Democrats in Congress, have to realize is some exceptionally simple math: 60 seats in the Senate + 256 seats in the House + 365 electoral votes = They get to do what they said they would do during the campaign. It really is that simple. Make the Republicans vote against the bills. Make them filibuster what they oppose. Expose them for what they are: the Party of No that puts political games and corporate interests ahead of what is best for the American people.

Frank Dwyer: Political Haiku: Progressives Defend Max
No fair for DC cops to haul in Max Baucus and let the johns walk!…

Kenneth C. Davis: Don’t Let ‘Elites’ Lock the Doors to the Library
Public libraries, like schools or the fire department, are not luxuries. The public library is more than just our soul. It is our lifeblood.


Fox News reports fake murder story from ACORN video as fact

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Fox News reports fake murder story from ACORN video as fact

After Andrew Breitbart posted a video of an ACORN employee in San Bernardino, California, claiming that she had killed her ex-husband, Fox News’ Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Greta Van Susteren, and Sean Hannity promoted it without fact-checking it or indicating that they had contacted ACORN for a response to the claim. In fact, ACORN stated that the employee made up the story because she recognized that the actors in the video “were clearly playing with” her so she “matched their false scenario with her own false scenarios,” and, indeed, the San Bernardino Police Department has said her claim is false.

Fox News figures fail to fact-check ACORN employee’s claim she killed her ex-husband

Beck: “I’m not a lawyer. I’m not a jury. But gosh, even to me, it seems like this is a potential admission of murder.” After airing video of Tresa Kaelke stating that she shot her ex-husband, Beck stated, “This is twisted, bizarre, macabre — I mean, is this theater? I’m not a lawyer. I’m not a jury. But, gosh, even to me, it seems like this is a potential admission of murder. And the way she was describing doing some groundwork beforehand, you know, so everybody in town knew exactly what was going on, a case might be made for premeditated murder.” Beck later added, “[W]e we haven’t been even able to confirm from the state of California whether Tresa’s husband from 10 years ago was killed, or if he’s dead, or if she even had a husband. Did she make the story up? I don’t know. Nobody’s asking questions.” [Glenn Beck, 9/15/09]

Rove: ACORN must have “terrific … human resources department to hire people like that.” Karl Rove stated that Kaelke “admitted to — or claimed to have killed her husband because she thought he was going to abuse her at some point. So, she’s claimed that she shot him in the head. I mean, this is an organization that really must have a terrific human relations — human resources department to hire people like that.” [On the Record, 9/15/09]

Hannity: “[S]he’s on tape admitting that she plotted to kill and had her husband killed, but we don’t know if it’s true yet.” Hannity asked Hannah Giles, the woman who posed as a prostitute, “Have you ever checked to see if in fact she had a husband who was killed?” Giles stated, “We’re working on that.” Hannity later stated, “So she’s on tape admitting that she plotted to kill and had her husband killed, but we don’t know if it’s true yet.” During a later segment, country music singer John Rich said, “[W]hat kind of screening process are they going through that they let a lady who admits to killing her husband standing right there?” [Hannity, 9/15/09]

ACORN: Employee “matched” actors’ “false scenario with her own false scenarios”

Fox News figures don’t indicate that they contacted ACORN for a response. During their discussions of the story, Beck, Rove, Hannity, and Van Susteren did not state that they had contacted ACORN for a response to Kaelke’s claim in the video from San Bernardino that she had killed her ex-husband.

ACORN: Kaelke said she decided to tell actors “outrageous things with a straightface.” According to an ACORN press release, Kaelke stated of the actors who filmed her, “They were not believable. … Somewhat entertaining, but they weren’t even good actors. I didn’t know what to make of them. They were clearly playing with me. I decided to shock them as much as they were shocking me. Like Stephen Colbert does — saying the most outrageous things with a straightface.” The press release also stated: “When the actors approached Ms. Kaelke with their provocative costuming and outlandish scenario, she could not take them seriously. So she met their outrageousness with her own personal style of outrageousness. She matched their false scenario with her own false scenarios.”

Police report confirms employee did not actually kill her ex-husband

San Bernardino PD: Investigators found former husbands “alive and well.” In a September 15 news release, the San Bernardino Police Department stated that Kaelke’s claim that she shot and killed her ex-husband does “do[es] not appear to be factual”:

DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT:

An undercover video reportedly filmed in the San Bernardino office for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was recently released on the Internet. The film depicts a worker talking about her past involvement in prostitution and the alleged self-defense killing of her former husband.

The San Bernardino Police Department is investigating the claims made regarding the homicide. From the initial investigation conducted, the claims do not appear to be factual. Investigators have been in contact with the involved party’s known former husbands, who are alive and well.

Fox News’ recent ACORN attacks rely on Drudge protégé Andrew Breitbart

Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com first posted ACORN video. In a September 15 post for biggovernment.com, James O’Keefe, who made the video in which Kaelke appears, posted “Part I of the ACORN San Bernardino expose.” Clips from this and other ACORN videos pushed by Breitbart have been featured on numerous Fox News programs.

Breitbart has repeatedly attacked progressives. Breitbart, whom Beck has called one of the “great journalists of our time,” has made several incendiary statements about progressives, claiming for instance that Democrats depend “on the ability to keep blacks in fear”; that Ted Kennedy is a “villain,” a “duplicitous bastard,” and a “prick”; and that “Democrats would distribute needles, methadone, medical marijuana and biscotti in voter goodie bags if they could get away with it.”

Transcripts

From the September 15 edition of Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:

VAN SUSTEREN: And tonight: How much worse can it get for ACORN? Well, a lot, apparently. There’s another undercover tape, number four. Now, number four tape shows an ACORN employee giving advice to a very young woman who’s pretending to be a prostitute. All four videos, shot by a filmmaker and his associate, have been given to Fox News. Here is tape number four shot in California.

[begin video clip]

KAELKE: [inaudible] service. Really. Yeah. Well, Heidi Fleiss is my hero. … So do you know how you want to run it? If you had a case — well, if you have a building —

HANNAH GILES (posing as a prostitute): I was thinking — I mean, OK, first, I’ll say that I would need to want to do it under the cover of a spa.

KAELKE: Yeah.

GILES: I know there’s a lot of home salons and things like that.

KAELKE: Yeah.

[…]

KAELKE: Me, what I would do — and this is what I did. I would disguise it. … I, in my life, have been abused also, I mean, just with an ex-husband, you know, that just beat the hell out of me, you know, a few times and then, you know, I killed him. But it — you know, I don’t think that that’s a nice thing. I don’t think —

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You killed him emotionally?

KAELKE: No, I shot him. I shot him.

GILES: In self-defense?

KAELKE: Yeah.

[end video clip]

VAN SUSTEREN: Karl Rove joins us live. Well, Karl, this organization’s sure getting the prize — four tapes, and each one is more stunning than the last one.

ROVE: Yeah. Today’s was particularly unusual. She admitted to — or claimed to have killed her husband because she thought he was going to abuse her at some point. So, she’s claimed that she shot him in the head. I mean, this is an organization that really must have a terrific human relations — human resources department to hire people like that.

From the September 15 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: Not only does she admit to, if I heard her correctly, running a prostitution ring, “Heidi Fleiss is my idol” — is that the right phrase?

GILES: Yeah, her hero.

HANNITY: Her hero. OK. Specifically, now she goes into this scenario about her husband and the killing of him.

GILES: Yeah.

HANNITY: Why don’t you explain exactly ’cause I want to make sure people understand it.

GILES: So this is exactly what happened. She said she was abused by her husband and that she killed him. Now, if a woman’s getting abused, she has a right to defend herself. And I went ahead and I asked her, “Oh, was he abusing you when you killed him?” And she goes, “No, not right that instant,” which is huge.

HANNITY: All right. So she’s saying she killed her husband —

GILES: Yeah.

HANNITY: — or created the plot that killed her husband. Is that —

GILES: Right. And then after we asked — she goes, well, that she tried to cover up for saying she didn’t kill him in self-defense and said she went around to the community and let different groups know that she was being abused. And so, it’s basically like she set up the murder of her husband.

HANNITY: Have you ever checked to see if in fact she had a husband that was killed?

GILES: We’ve — we’re working on that.

HANNITY: You haven’t gotten to the details on that.

BREITBART: There’s — well, look, there’s so much stuff coming in. We have — there are more than four cities.

HANNITY: So, she could have been — she could have just — in fairness, she could have just been —

BREITBART: She certainly does exist, and, if you look on the Internet, you can see that she’s also involved on the other side of ACORN — ACORN political side.

HANNITY: Right.

BREITBART: So she is a community organizer in the political sense, as well.

GILES: There is a criminal record also for her if you look her up in different things, and then you have to —

HANNITY: So you’re really investigating that now. And —

GILES: We’re working on that.

HANNITY: So she’s on tape admitting that she plotted to kill and had her husband killed, but we don’t know if it’s true yet.

GILES: Yeah, we don’t know if it’s true. And she also threatened to kill someone else.

[…]

HANNITY: And we continue now with our “Great American Panel.” So we’ve been running this ACORN video every night, and you’ve got, you know, a group that gets — it has gotten tens of millions, on track to get billions, of taxpayer dollars.

And we have, you know, this young girl, 20 years old, young guy, 25 years old, act as a pimp and a prostitute. And every city they go to, you know, they’re willing to engage in discussions, the ACORN people, about importing young girls from El Salvador for a prostitution ring. You know, what human being with a soul doesn’t say, “Let me — excuse me a moment. Let me go call the police”?

JOHN RICH (country music singer): I think, you know, as the election was going on, there were little hints that something weird was going on with ACORN, you know. You’d pick up on little things and go, “Something about that doesn’t seem right.” But I don’t think in anybody’s imagination you could even come up with the level of what they’re dealing with now — what’s — and of course, they’re not all that way. That’d be crazy to say they’re all that way.

HANNITY: Every city they went to, they got —

RICH: There is a lot of — I mean, what kind of screening process are they going through that they let a lady who admits to killing her husband standing right there?

From the September 15 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

BECK: If you didn’t think that there should have been an investigation before, what I’m going to show you tonight will boggle your mind, and, if at the end of the hour, you still don’t think there should be a rigorous investigation and you wonder why, if we want to figure out how the president wants to community organize, why he’s surrounding himself with members of ACORN, well, then, I don’t know what else to do.

For the remainder of the hour, we’re going to take this video apart piece by piece, because, this one, not only involves prostitution, illegal aliens, tax corruption, and fraud, but also an admission of a woman killing her husband. Remember, this is now the fourth city.

[…]

[begin video clip]

KAELKE: He came at me and I let him throw me around a little bit, you know. And I just picked up the gun and said [bleep] you and I shot him. And he died right there. And — but before that, I had done some — laid some groundwork. You know, I went to the domestic violence shelter and I pleaded my case to them. And, so everybody in town was knowing that this was happening, you know, ’cause I’ve seen too many movies about — The Burning Bed, I love Farrah Fawcett in that movie. You know, that guy got his — oh, my God.

GILES: Well, you had to go through a lot more stuff than [unintelligible].

KAELKE: Well, yeah. Yeah. Right. Then — so, I don’t agree with — I never — I don’t believe in corporal punishment for children when you’re raising them. I never spanked my kids for anything.

[end video clip]

BECK: OK. Let’s see if I have this right. She’s — she never spanked her kids, but she did shoot her husband dead. She doesn’t spank her kids, but you can bring in 13-year-old illegal aliens and have them be hookers.

I mean, where do you even begin, America? This is twisted, bizarre, macabre — I mean, is this theater? I’m not a lawyer. I’m not a jury. But, gosh, even to me, it seems like this is a potential admission of murder. And the way she was describing doing some groundwork beforehand, you know, so everybody in town knew exactly what was going on, a case might be made for premeditated murder.

In fairness, I don’t understand people who stay in abusive relationships. I don’t. I get it. I get it. And maybe a jury might conclude that it was justifiable homicide. I don’t know, but we haven’t been even able to confirm from the state of California whether Tresa’s husband from 10 years ago was killed, or if he’s dead, or if she even had a husband. Did she make the story up? I don’t know. Nobody’s asking questions. See if the mainstream media will follow this one.


Kentucky GOP Pol Found With Slit Wrists After Shooting Death Of Ex-Fiancée

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Kentucky GOP Pol Found With Slit Wrists After Shooting Death Of Ex-Fiancée
A former Kentucky gubernatorial candidate is arrested after being found with slit wrists. This morning, his former fiancee, with whom he has a troubled history, was found dead of gunshot wounds.





No Perjury Charges For Schlozman — Schumer Calls Decision “Disappointing”
The Justice Department won’t challenge a decision by the Bush administration not to bring perjury charges against Bradley Schlozman. A DOJ report had found that Schlozman, while a Justice official, violated department rules against politicized hiring, then lied about it to Congress. Chuck Schumer expresses disappointment.


Tales From the FOXholes, Part Three

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Tales From the FOXholes, Part Three


Dodd Inches Back But Still Trails Simmons

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Dodd Inches Back But Still Trails Simmons
A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) leading Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) by five points, 44% to 39%. In July, Simmons led by nine points.

Said pollster Douglas Schwartz: “Sen. Christopher Dodd’s approval keeps edging up, and he is bringing down his high negatives. For the first time in six months, his disapproval is under 50 percent, just barely. But the incumbent has made only slight progress against Republican front-runner Rob Simmons. About 40 percent of voters will vote for anybody but Dodd, as evidenced by their willingness to vote for Republican candidates they haven’t heard of.”

In a Republican primary, Simmons gets 43%, while no other challenger tops 5%. Meanwhile, Dodd leads Merrick Alpert (D), 56% to 13 percent in a Democratic primary.

Senator Dukakis?
With approval to appoint an interim senator expected, the Boston Globe reports former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis looked like he knew something at a dedication ceremony when he was jokingly recognized as “Senator Dukakis.”

“Dukakis, who has been seen as a leading choice for the interim appointment, grinned wide, shook his head, and looked down.”

When asked later, the “normally loquacious former governor dodged numerous questions over whether he is interested in the appointment,” saying “I’m not commenting. Why not? ‘Cause I don’t want to comment.”


Is the U.S. Really on the Brink of Budget Collapse?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Is the U.S. Really on the Brink of Budget Collapse?

Budgetary horror stories trump reality and terrify the public. The reality is not so bad.

Inside Pat Tillman’s Life, and the Bush Administration’s Cover-Up of His Death

Journalist Jon Krakauer's striking new book on the story of the events surrounding Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan covers the emotional depths of war and government cover-up.

Mythmaking 101: Why Millions Have Bought into ‘Death Panel’ Propaganda

The death panel rumor is the real deal: values masquerading as truth, all in service of one heckuva group fantasy.

Would You Know How Survive After the Oil Crash?

Could you get by without your car, food from outside your community, your job? There's a bunch of folks who want to show you how.


What Colin Powell Needs to Convey to Barack Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

What Colin Powell Needs to Convey to Barack Obama
Barack Obama has invited Colin Powell in to see him today — and knowing General Powell’s respect for the Office of the President, whether occupied by Barack Obama or George W. Bush, we aren’t going to have a fully informed…


Sponsored Topics: Barack ObamaGeorge W BushColin PowellUnited StatesAfghanistan

Protecting State Consumer Protection from Preemption in Federal Financial Reform
While the debate on health reform has dominated headlines, Congress is moving forward with marking up federal financial reform legislation. Currently, proposed federal legislation includes language that safeguards the ability of states to take independent action to protect consumers, but…


Sponsored Topics: Consumer protectionUnited StatesCongressGovernmentFinance

The Healing of America
The New York Times reviews Washington Post correspondent T.R. Reid’s new book on Global health care alternatives, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. The review ends with this trenchant reminder. Mr. Reid’s…


Sponsored Topics: T.R. ReidHealth careWashington PostHealthUnited States


Aetna CEO: I’m Focusing On Getting Something Done That’s Good For Us…I Mean, ‘The American People’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Aetna CEO: I’m Focusing On Getting Something Done That’s Good For Us…I Mean, ‘The American People’
Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a pro-reform health care advocacy group, started a new advertising campaign on Tuesday that calls for a public option. “The commercial, entitled ‘How to Get Rich,’ says the insurance industry is motivated by greed.” It references Ronald Williams, chief executive of Aetna, who received a compensation package of $24 […]

Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a pro-reform health care advocacy group, started a new advertising campaign on Tuesday that calls for a public option. “The commercial, entitled ‘How to Get Rich,’ says the insurance industry is motivated by greed.” It references Ronald Williams, chief executive of Aetna, who received a compensation package of $24 million in 2008. Watch the ad:

Appearing at a Morgan Stanley healthcare conference yesterday, Williams said, “I continue to believe that there is not the support, particularly in the Senate, for a government plan.” He told the audience that a public option could affect the health insurance companies’ profits over time. “[E]mployers might very well choose to take advantage of the government rates and that long-term it’s not good for the healthcare system.” By which, Williams means it’s not good for Aetna.

Earlier this week, Williams was interviewed on Fox Business, where he urged President Obama to focus on the “80 percent” of things they can agree on. In an ironically revealing moment, Williams stumbles when he tries to explain his priorities for health reform. “Our focus is really on trying to get something done that’s good for the — American people,” he said, hesitating and pausing with his mouth hanging open before mustering out the last two words. Watch it:

Last month, Williams pledged to pursue profits rather than add or keep enrollment. “We have a clear bias toward profitability over growth,” he told investment analysts.

Full disclosure: HCAN is currently running paid ads on ThinkProgress.

Ignoring Her Own Anti-Union Record, Bachmann Claims ?I Am Not Anti-Union?
Yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Fox Business with former Ambassador Alan Wolff and author Philip Dine to discuss the punitive duties that the United States recently levied on tire imports from China, which China has brought up with the World Trade Organization. During the conversation, Dine, who wrote a book on unions, implied […]

Yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Fox Business with former Ambassador Alan Wolff and author Philip Dine to discuss the punitive duties that the United States recently levied on tire imports from China, which China has brought up with the World Trade Organization. During the conversation, Dine, who wrote a book on unions, implied that the effort may have been the administration trying to “throw something labor’s way” because “they don’t have very much to show” for their support of Obama in 2008.

Later in the segment, Bachmann took “a contrary view,” claiming that “the administration has done a lot for the unions,” citing the stimulus bill. “And I am not anti-union, but I think its clear the unions has a very large say in Washington, DC,” said Bachmann. Watch it:

Responding to Bachmann, Dine said that “it’s absurd to say the unions are running the show in Washington. If they were, their number one priority, the Employee Free Choice Act, would not be languishing in Congress.” Ironically, though Bachmann claims she’s not “anti-union,” she has called their top priority “un-American.”

According to Project Vote Smart, Bachmann’s voting record can hardly be called pro-union. For instance, here is how union groups rated her in 2008:

– Representative Bachmann supported the interests of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees 14 percent in 2008.

– Representative Bachmann supported the interests of the Latin America Working Group 0 percent in 2008.

– Representative Bachmann supported the interests of the Service Employees International Union 16 percent in 2008.

– Representative Bachmann supported the interests of the Utility Workers Union of America 0 percent in 2008.

– Representative Bachmann supported the interests of the United Food & Commercial Workers 6 percent in 2007-2008.

In the same year, Bachmann received a 94 percent rating from the Chamber of Commerce. Though she now claims she’s “not anti-union,” Bachmann has an 85 percent lifetime rating from the Chamber of Commerce, which “earmarked $20 million in 2008 and 2009 to defeat card check, on top of $35 million to elect business-friendly lawmakers in 2008.”


Cap-and-Trade Memos Fire Up the Skeptics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 17th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Cap-and-Trade Memos Fire Up the Skeptics
Climate-change legislation might be on the Senate’s back burner, but the heat’s still on climate politics.

Ethics Panel Probing Reps. Jackson Jr., Graves, Waters
The House ethics committee announced Wednesday that it has launched probes of Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), fresh evidence that the chamber’s disciplinary process has ramped up since it created a new office to vet allegations against lawmakers.

Feuding Between FBI, ATF Agents Persists, Congress Told
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told Congress on Wednesday that turf fights persist between his agents and those of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Carter Cites ‘Racism Inclination’ in Animosity Toward Obama
Former president Jimmy Carter told NBC’s Brian Williams in an interview Tuesday that he believes race is at the core of much of the opposition to President Obama.