Archive for August, 2010

Obama: U.S. Combat Mission in Iraq Has Ended

Posted: August 31, 2010 by The STR in NEWS & LOCAL NEWS
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President Obama is poised to announce Tuesday night in a rare Oval Office speech the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, closing a long and divisive chapter of American history.

“Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended,” Obama said in prepared remarks to be delivered in only his second Oval Office speech.

Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country,” he said. “This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office.”

Obama, who swept into office partly on his pledge to end the war, said it is time for the U.S. to move on after making such a huge sacrifice on behalf of freedom in Iraq.

“Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility,” he said. “Now, it is time to turn the page.”

Obama said now the “most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to.”

“We must jumpstart industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil,” he said. “This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as president.”


I am on the fence when it comes to this topic, I mean unless you are a 100% Native Indian then you are descended from some kind of heritage “OUTSIDE” The USA. Now coming here illegal yes I think that needs to be addressed but as far as refusing to grant someone the opportunity to become an American citizen is just plan wrong – Steven Bravo

In Florida, Bill McCollum’s Primary Loss Shows Limits of Immigrant Bashing

While most analysis of immigration politics has focused on Arizona lately, both parties should take note of the results of last Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary in Florida.  In states with a significant Latino presence, there is a steep price to pay for ugly immigration politics.

Here’s what happened: Attorney General Bill McCollum was the favorite in the GOP gubernatorial primary, with a moderate record on immigration and strong support from Latino Republicans.  His opponent Rick Scott, a political newcomer and self-funded multi-millionaire, decided to make a name for himself by riding the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment so popular with a segment of the Republican base.  He emphasized his strong support for an Arizona-like immigration law in Florida and painted McCollum as soft on illegal immigration.  Still, once McCollum started attacking Scott as a shady businessman, he regained the lead and was expected to win.

In what proved to be the fatal move of his campaign, McCollum introduced his own version of an Arizona-type law less than two weeks before the primary.  McCollum called on the Florida state legislature to enact it in September and bragged that the bill was tougher than Arizona’s.

Turns out, McCollum’s strategy of trying to outflank Scott on immigrant bashing backfired.  McCollum rapidly lost support from Latino leaders, and faced a backlash in the press.  On Tuesday, many Latinos in Miami-Dade County stayed home.  Turnout in what was expected to be a McCollum stronghold was less than 17%, while statewide turnout was 21%.  Scott raced over the finish line and pulled off the come-from-behind upset.

The organization I head, America’s Voice, hosted a post-election conference call to hear from a bipartisan panel of political pros as they analyzed what happened in Florida.

GOP consultant Ana Navarro, who had been an advisor to McCollum until he pandered on immigration, explained what derailed the campaign:

“It’s not what (Hispanics) did against Bill McCollum; it’s what they didn’t do for Bill McCollum,” Ana Navarro said of the veteran pol’s loss to mega-wealthy newcomer Rick Scott.

Navarro who has advised leading Republicans such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sen. John McCain, said McCollum alienated many of his key Hispanic supporters when he hustled out proposed legislation that would crack down on illegal immigration two weeks before the election.

“He antagonized some of his top Hispanic advisers, his Hispanic voters and his Hispanic surrogates,” she said, “And the backlash was perhaps much larger than what he envisioned.”

As reported in the Miami Herald’s blog, Naked Politics Florida pollster Fernand Amandi said this:

“You look at a three point loss and the county with the biggest number of Hispanic Republicans being Miami-Dade underperformed,” Amandi said. “Several factors were in play but how could one of them not have been the 11th hour move on immigration…which alienated a significant amount of his Hispanic Republican supporters.”

Arturo Vargas of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Education Fund made it clear that immigrant bashing was not only a bad strategy for McCollum in the primary, but that it could hurt Scott in the general.

With Latinos comprising over 15 percent of the state’s voting population in 2008, as well as almost 50 percent of the recent population growth, it is dangerous and even fatal to underestimate the power of this growing voting bloc.  According to a NALEO’s recent poll 55% of Florida Latinos said that the current immigration debate made them more likely to vote in the November 2010 elections and 60% of Florida Latinos said they were certain, very likely, or somewhat likely to vote against a political party or candidate who took a disagreeable position on immigration, even if they agreed with that candidate/party on most other issues.

As the 2010 primary season wraps up, Republican candidates who tacked hard right on immigration during the primaries are struggling to figure out how to come back to the center in the general election, so they can compete for Latino and other swing voters.  Meg Whitman in California is Exhibit A, and Bill McCollum would have been Exhibit B, if he didn’t lose his shirt over the issue in the primary.

The impact of Latino voters on 2010 races will be a major storyline this cycle, as documented in an America’s Voice polling shows that many Latinos are disillusioned by the failure to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform in Congress (something that should worry the Democrats in charge of Congress and the White House), the recent controversies over the Arizona SB1070 immigration law and the way that some candidates have embraced punitive immigration policies have also re-energized many Latino voters (something that should worry the Republicans this fall and beyond).

(AP) – 2 hours ago

RALEIGH, N.C. — Federal officials say evacuations may be required in the U.S. if Hurricane Earl tracks too close to the East Coast.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate said Tuesday that people along the eastern seaboard should be prepared in case evacuations are necessary later this week.

Officials will be closely monitoring the movement of the Category 4 storm to determine which parts of the coast will face the greatest impact. It’s too early to tell right now what those might be.

Earl is forecast to potentially brush North Carolina late Thursday before running parallel to land up the East Coast on Friday and Saturday.

FEMA already has teams deployed in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and North Carolina. It has advance teams prepared to work with other states up the coast.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos (AP) — Islanders wary of a possible blow from powerful Hurricane Earl pulled boats ashore and packed supermarkets on the Turks and Caicos on Tuesday as the Category 4 storm howled over open seas toward the eastern United States.

The hurricane, with winds of 135 mph (215 kilometers), was expected to remain over the open ocean east of this British territory before turning north and running parallel to the U.S. coast, potentially reaching the North Carolina coastal region by Friday. It was projected then to curve back out to sea, perhaps swiping New England or far-eastern Canada.

“There is still considerable uncertainty as to how close the hurricane will come to the U.S. East Coast,” the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said in a bulletin Tuesday.

Earl delivered a glancing blow to several small Caribbean islands on Monday, tearing roofs off homes and cutting electricity to people in Anguilla, Antigua, and St. Maarten. Cruise ships were diverted and flights canceled across the region. But there were no reports of death or injury.

In Providenciales, Benson Capron was among several fishermen tying their boats to trees lining a beach.

“I hear it is going to pass, but I will not take any chances,” Capron said. “Today I will not go out to fish.”

The Hurricane Center said it was too early to say what effect Earl would have in the U.S., but warned it could at least kick up dangerous rip currents. A surfer died in Florida and a Maryland swimmer had been missing since Saturday in waves spawned by former Hurricane Danielle, which weakened to a tropical storm Monday far out in the north Atlantic.

Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Earl’s approach ought to serve as a reminder for Atlantic coastal states to update their evacuation plans.

“It wouldn’t take much to have the storm come ashore somewhere on the coast,” Fugate said. “The message is for everyone to pay attention.”

The storm’s center passed just north of the British Virgin Islands on Monday afternoon. Despite a few lost fishing boats and several uprooted trees in Tortola and Anegada, there were no reports of major damage or injuries, said Sharleen DaBreo, disaster management agency director.

Early Tuesday, Earl’s center was about 230 miles (370 kilometers) east of Grand Turk island as it headed west-northwest at 13 mph (30 kph), according to the hurricane center. Hurricane strength winds extended up to 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the center, it said.

Tropical storm conditions were expected to spread into the Turks and Caicos by Tuesday afternoon, with a potential for above normal tides and dangerous tides. The territory was under a tropical warning and a tropical storm watch was in effect for the southeastern Bahamas.

Close on Earl’s heels, Tropical Storm Fiona formed Monday afternoon in the open Atlantic. The storm, with maximum winds of 40 mph (65 kph), was projected to pass just north of the Leeward Islands by Wednesday and stay farther out in the Atlantic than Earl’s northward path. Fiona wasn’t expected to reach hurricane strength over the next several days.

The rapid development of Earl, which only became a hurricane Sunday, took some islanders and tourists by surprise.

In Anguilla, several utility poles were down and a couple of roofs had blown away, but it was still too dangerous to go out and assess the full extent of damage, said Martin Gussie, a police officer.

At El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, people lined up at the reception desk, the lights occasionally flickering, to check out and head to the airport. There, more delays awaited.

John and Linda Helton of Boulder, Colo., opted to ride out the storm. The couple, celebrating their 41st wedding anniversary, finished a cruise Sunday and planned to spend three days in Puerto Rico.

“There was a huge line of people checking out as we were coming in, and I thought it was just that summer vacation must be over,” said John Helton, a real estate appraiser. “But we paid for the room, so we might as well stick it out.”

“I don’t think we could get a flight even if we wanted to leave,” Linda Helton added.

In St. Maarten, sand and debris littered the streets, and winds knocked down trees and electricity poles and damaged roofs. But police spokesman Ricardo Henson said there was no extensive damage to property.

In Antigua, at least one home was destroyed but there were no reports of serious injuries. Governor General Dame Louise Agnetha Lake-Tack declared Monday a public holiday to keep islanders off the road and give them a chance to clean up.


The arrests of two men in Amsterdam for questioning in a terrorism investigation comes at a time U.S. law enforcement officials have been on a heightened state of alert to a possible hijacking of U.S. carrier flights from the Middle East, according to one senior U.S. official. In response , in the past several weeks, authorities have greatly ramped up the number of Federal air marshals on overseas flights, especially to Dubai, the official said.

‘Last Exorcism’ Expelled From Top Box-Office Spot

Posted: August 31, 2010 by The STR in Uncategorized
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“Lionsgate didn’t have the No. 1 movie three weeks in a row after all.
After the studio’s “Expendables” topped the North American box office for two consecutive weeks, Lionsgate executives were thrilled on Sunday when their “Last Exorcism” appeared to take over the crown.
But final ticket grosses showed that “The Last Exorcism” ($20.36 million) lost out by a whisker to Sony’s “Takers” ($20.51 million), according to, which compiles box office statistics.”

Looks to be worth watching, hmmmmmmmmmmm movie date?