Apr 142012

“SkyNews9 and News 9 StormTrackers spotted a huge rotating wall cloud Saturday evening that spawned two vortexes in northwestern Oklahoma.

The twin tornadoes formed just after 7 p.m. and ripped across a rural area near Bouse Junction, just southeast of Waynoka. The tornadoes kicked up a lot of debris in the area. It may have also hit an oil tank battery and sparked a large fire.

There were also reports of power lines down east of Waynoka.

Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer said Saturday the storm near Woodward damaged a metal outbuilding and a camper, but no injuries were reported.

In Woods County, a tornado was confirmed 4 miles northwest of Freedom. Emergency Management Director Steve Foster said he hadn’t received any injury or damage reports.

Officials were concerned about the more than 5,000 people attending a rattlesnake hunt at Little Sahara State Park in Woods County, but Foster said most were evacuated and others took shelter at the park.”

Apr 142012

Chasers capture tornadoes on the southern most cell during the severe weather outbreak

Also See Jim’ Hoft’s Report: TORNADOES SWEEP MIDWEST – Iowa Hospital Hit

Apr 142012

The potent mix of severe weather ingredients continues after darkness, putting several Midwestern and Plains states on high alert.

Earlier, for only the second time in U.S. history, the Storm Prediction Center issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance, said Russ Schneider, director of the center, which is part of the National Weather Service. The first time was in April 2006, when nearly 100 tornadoes tore across the southeastern U.S., killing a dozen people and damaging more than 1,000 homes.

Forecasters say life-threatening tornadoes are likely beginning this afternoon. Storms will also bring large hail and damaging winds.

Severe Weather Tracker

Watch the Storm Chasers Here: David Ruffini Follow here @SvrTroposphere

Big weather day in store for the Nation’s mid-section where the SPC has outlined a high risk for severe weather across the area including the eastern half of Nebraska, eastern half of Kansas, and a chunk of northern Oklahoma. Of course, the high risk areas are surrounded by a moderate risk area as well. CAPE values expected to reach into the range of 2500 to 4000, so tremendous instability. Helicity values also climbing into the 300 to 600 range, so the recipe for severe weather seems to be coming together

Looks like our best chances for rain will come late in the day on Monday and into Tuesday. While there is some risk of severe weather for Monday and early Tuesday, SPC did not outline a specific area for a slight risk. Main threat should be in the form of damaging wind with embedded severe thunderstorms. Rainfall amounts late Monday and into Tuesday could be respectable with 1 to 2 inch amounts possible with the stronger storms.

The upper trough moves by Tuesday taking the rain east of us and returning us to a dry pattern on Wednesday. James Spann

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Along with the National Weather Service alerts, WeatherBug issues additional more localized alerts.

Saturday April 14

EX: an 7 is a 70% chance of a tornado within 50 miles of a location in the specified area…Per TWC, reported Dr. Forbes may go to Tor-Con 9 in some places later today. I will update if Tor-Con levels change right here…

IA northwest 3 – 4
IA southwest – 5
IA south-central – 4
IA northeast night – 2
IA west night – 7
KS central – 9

KS east – 5
KS central, northeast night – 9
KS near Wichita night – 7

MN extreme southwest – 2
MN south night – 4
MO northwest, west-central – 4
MO northwest night – 7
NE south – central – 9

NE north – central – 5
NE central night – 8
NE east – 7
NE east – 6, night – 7
OK northwest – 9
OK southwest, central – 7

OK northeast – 5
SD southeast – 2
SD southeast night – 3
TX east panhandle – 7
TX northwest east of Midland to Wichita Falls – 4
TX northwest near San Angelo to Wichita Falls night – 5
WI west-central,southwest night – 2

Apr 142012

HD Video of the Timken, KS tornado. Opens with shot of tornado as fire truck peels out of town. Various shots of the tornado.

Timken is approx 35 miles south/southwest of Russell, KS.

Apr 142012

As you will see from the press release below, the state of Nebraska, via its legislature, is moving forward with “support for an expected new route for TransCanada Corp’s Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL crude oil pipeline that would bypass an environmentally sensitive region in the state.

However, after months of intentional delays, roadblocks, and prevarications by our president on Keystone, Canada is moving forward with plans to sell their glut of oil to China:

CALGARY—Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP KMP +0.23% said Thursday it will begin a $5 billion expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, nearly tripling the capacity of crude oil it can ship to Canada’s west coast—the latest project aimed at moving the country’s rising oil production to markets outside the U.S.

Currently, almost all Canadian crude exports travel to the U.S. While Canadian oil output has been climbing fast, pipeline capacity to move it from the country’s biggest oil patch in landlocked Alberta to U.S. refining markets is stretched.

If we had a president who had expressed commitment to Keystone, and to expand commerce with our very friendly neighbor to the north, that oil would be coming our way—and reducing our gas prices. Instead, the Canadians, getting nothing but a smack in the face from our president, have decided to facilitate sale of their oil to China.

It’s almost as if the president wants high gas prices here in the U.S.


Apr 142012

Three large earthquakes today … 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Vanuatu (Vah-new-AHHH-to) before anyone armchair critiques pronunciations..

Location with respect to nearby cities:
79 km (49 miles) NW (319 degrees) of Isangel, Vanuatu
147 km (92 miles) SSE (160 degrees) of PORT-VILA, Vanuatu
295 km (183 miles) NNE (18 degrees) of Tadine, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia

6.1 in the Drake Strait south of South America just north of Antarctica…

Location with respect to nearby cities:
358 km (223 miles) SSE (151 degrees) of Ushuaia, Argentina
603 km (375 miles) SSE (147 degrees) of Punta Arenas, Chile

Also a *5.9m via USGS* in Indonesia…

157 km (98 miles) S (176 degrees) of T.-Telukbetung, Sumatra, Indonesia
161 km (100 miles) W (272 degrees) of Sukabumi, Java, Indonesia
173 km (107 miles) WSW (241 degrees) of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia


119 km (74 miles) E (97 degrees) of Visokoi Island, South Sandwich Islands
250 km (156 miles) NNE (17 degrees) of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

SEE OUR Earthquake Map

Apr 142012

A well-known, mainstream media-vetted college professor named Dr. Boyce Watkins states that it’s time for Trayvon Martin’s parents to “step to the side,” out of an apparent fear that “being honest” could negatively affect the race-baiting political agenda that Obama allies like Al Sharpton have carefully crafted.

Dr. Watkin’s stark admonishment, “Get her off the stage right now,“ came in a recent blog post that shows the goal of the politicization of the Martin shooting is not truth or justice.

Who is Dr. Boyce Watkins? He’s a professor at Syracuse University and his website shows that he’s been a frequent guest on cable news shows, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. He is also a frequent speaker on black issues, and his site shows his speeches have earned high praise from well-known leaders of the resentment-driven civil rights movement, including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Michael Eric Dyson.

In his bluntly-titled article, Note to Trayvon’s Mother: It’s Time for You to Step to the Side, Dr. Watkins referred to the recent Today Show appearance by Trayvon Masrtin’s mother where she said:

One of the things that I still believe in, a person should apologize when they are actually remorseful for what they’ve done. I believe it was an accident. I believe that it just got out of control and he couldn’t turn the clock back. I would ask him, did he know that that was a minor, that that was a teenager, and that he did not have a weapon?”

Dr. Watkin’s reaction is pretty stunning:

When I heard these words, I froze in my tracks. I couldn’t believe that Trayvon’s mother would make a statement that was in such stark contradiction to the charges being brought forth by the prosecutor. In fact, there’s a big part of me that wonders why she was on the show at all.

Note that Dr. Watkins is not concerned with the veracity of the statement but rather how the statement affects the politically motivated prosecution of George Zimmerman. In fact, later in the article Dr. Watkins explicitly says that even if the assessment of the shooting as an accident was honest, it should not of been said.

God bless Sybrina for being honest (if that is what she meant to say), but there are some things better left unsaid. For the mother of the victim to make a statement in national media that directly contradicts the efforts of the prosecution is nothing short of disastrous.

Which begs the question: disastrous to what? Being honest and telling the truth is certainly not disastrous to the goal of actual justice. However, justice is clearly not the goal of men like Sharpton and Watkins. In fact, as Watkins admits in the final paragraph of this piece, this really isn’t about Trayvon Martin at all. He says:

Trayvon’s parents have done their work and they’ve done it well. They’ve achieved the first steps toward justice for their son, and now it’s time for them to try to rebuild their lives in private. Rev. Sharpton has done a wonderful job of highlighting the racial dimensions of this highly unfortunate incident. At this point, the conversation about black men in the justice system must grow beyond Trayvon Martin, and the prosecution should be allowed to do its work. The family, as well all associated racial advocates, need to strategize in private, listen to the evidence and just stop talking.

In other words, thanks for letting the professional race-baiters like Al Sharpton use your son, but his death has now served our purpose, so please shut up.


Apr 142012

Hilary Rosen, a Democratic lobbyist and pundit for CNN, found herself caught up in 24-hour news cycle controversy after she made some inflammatory comments about Ann Romney’s work as stay-at-home mom. Rosen has apologized for her off-the-cuff comments.

But the entire story may set off a greater, more substantive inquiry about the nature of Rosen’s consulting firm, SKDKnickerbocker, an unregistered lobbying firm that has become one of the biggest names in the influence business by using its ties to President Obama and leaders in Congress.

Predictably, Republicans have noticed that Rosen is a frequent visitor to the White House. While Democrats are arguing that Rosen is not an advisor to the Democratic Party or President Obama’s reelection campaign, then what are the meetings about? Today in the Politico’s “Morning Money,” reporter Ben White flags a deeper concern:

Per a senior Dem: “Serious Dem operatives are aghast at Hilary Rosen’s misguided attack on Ann Romney’s work history. She and others at PR firm SKD Knickerbocker have represented many clients that have raised hackles with senior White House staff. It’s an open secret in the Dem consultant community that SKD has been signing up clients based on ‘perceived White House access’ tied to prior relationships and employment.

As we’ve reported, SKDKnickerbocker is led by a team of former Democratic operatives and key White House figures. But instead of promoting a progressive agenda, or even an Obama agenda, these consultants score huge contracts by helping corporate interests lobby for policies that are not in line with the public interest. Many SKDKnickerbocker employees, including Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director, are also frequent White House visitors.

We’ve compiled a partial list of SKDKnickerbocker’s clients. Since the firm refuses to register as an ordinary lobbying firm, we don’t know their full roster of clients:

-– SKDKnickerbocker was hired by Kaplan Education to block Obama’s reforms on for-profit college companies, an industry plagued by low quality education, false promises to students, and fraudulent business practices.

-– SKDKnickerbocker was hired to push for billions in tax breaks for already profitable corporations. As Bloomberg reported, SKDKnickerbocker manages a lobbying campaign called “Win America,” an effort by companies like Google and Pfizer to receive hundreds of billions in tax breaks on profits made overseas.

-– SKDKnickerbocker was hired by a coalition of food manufacturers to fight the Obama administration’s proposals on food nutrition standards. As the Washington Post reported, the firms paying Dunn include General Mills and PepsiCo.

– SKDKnickerbocker consults for Students First, a lobbying group aimed at destroying collective bargaining, and replacing public education with a mix of charters, private schools, and online learning companies. According to documents revealed the blog At The Chalk Face, Students First helped craft bills in Michigan to break teachers unions by severely limiting collective bargaining.

– SKDKnickerbocker previously worked with the Association of American Railroads, a group representing large railroad companies. When the railroad industry was in a pitched battle with their respective labor unions, SKDKnickberbocker produced ads for the railroad lobby.

~ Now HERE is an important paragraph:

A proposal leaked two months ago showed that a group of political consultants, including SKDKnickerbocker’s Anita Dunn, worked up an effort to find hedge funds to pay them to kill efforts to enact the “Buffett Rule.” In the memo, Dunn clearly advertised her ties to the White House.

~ Anita Dunn is a political strategist who served as White House Communications Director from April through November 2009. Also See: Anita Dunn: Not Merely a Liar, but a Foolish One

Earlier this year, I asked Hilary Rosen’s partner, Anita Dunn: “You have a lot of access to the President, from advising his campaign to regular visits to the White House. Do you think its a little bit disingenuous that you’re simultaneously being paid by a lot of corporations to lobby against his reforms?” Dunn scoffed at my question, and replied that she works for “some corporations” because “people have a right to be heard.” But the evidence suggests Dunn isn’t just giving voice to these multinational corporations. She’s also peddling their interests before government, all without registering any of her employees as lobbyists.

White House advisor Anita Dunn defends dual role as a corporate influence peddler

January 2012:

We would like to know more about who is paying Dunn, especially since she has the president’s ear. However, like Newt Gingrich and Ed Gillespie, she exploits weaknesses in current lobbying registration law to avoid revealing her clients.

UPDATE: Politico’s money and politics reporter, Ken Vogel, tweets that Rosen brought one of her lobbying clients, a Microsoft executive named John Kelly,J to a state dinner at the White House in March

- source

~ I JUST wonder HOW much was she paid and by WHO to try & destroy the Romney’s? ~ JP

h/t The Nation

Apr 142012

Blanchard, Michael “Flathead”

Michael “Flathead” Blanchard, middle, rides with friends as a child. Blanchard, 66, died in April, 2011. A year later, in anticipation of a remembrance celebration, his family placed a loving, colorful obituary in The Denver Post. Photo courtesy of Blanchard’s son, who is also named Mike. (The Denver Post | Mike Blanchard)

A proud Republican and National Rifle Association member, Blanchard also took an interest in civil rights and defending those in need. Blanchard’s son said one of his father’s proudest moments was helping to save Dr. Justina Ford’s house in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood from demolition.

1944 ~ 2012

A Celebration of the life of Michael “Flathead” Blanchard will be held on April 14th, 3 pm 8160 Rosemary St, Commerce City. Weary of reading obituaries noting someone’s courageous battle with death, Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors’ orders and raising hell for more than six decades. He enjoyed booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died.

Mike was born July 1944 in Colorado to Clyde and Ethel Blanchard. A community activist, he is noted for saving the Dr. Justina Ford house from demolition and defending those who could not defend themselves. He was a Republican delegate, life member of the NRA, founder and President of the Dead Cats MC. He loved music.

Mike was preceded in death by Clyde and Ethel Blanchard, survived by his beloved sons Mike and Chopper, former wife Jane Transue, brother Stephen Blanchard (Susan), Uncle Don and Aunt Cynthia Blanchard(his favorite); Uncle Dill and Aunt Dot, cousins and nephews, Baba Yaga can kiss his butt.

So many of his childhood friends that weren’t killed in Vietnam went on to become criminals, prostitutes and/or Democrats. He asks that you stop by and re-tell the stories he can no longer tell. As the Celebration will contain Adult material we respectfully ask that no children under 18 attend.

Michael “Flathead” Blanchard, a Colorado citizen and community activist, died this week at the age of 68 — but we sure wish we could have known him when he was alive.

Blanchard’s obituary in the Denver Post is probably the greatest thing you will read all day:

“Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors’ orders and raising hell for more than six decades. He enjoyed booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died.” The obit continues to say that Blanchard was an avid Republican and NRA member.

He also takes jabs at some of his former friends from the grave: “So many of [Blanchard’s] childhood friends that weren’t killed in Vietnam went on to become criminals, prostitutes and/or Democrats. He asks that you stop by and re-tell the stories he can no longer tell.”

The last line of the obituary reads: “As the Celebration will contain Adult material we respectfully ask that no children under 18 attend.”

If you are in the area on April 14, stop by 8160 Rosemary Street in Commerce City at 3 p.m. to celebrate Flathead’s life. It is sure to be a good time.

Also See:

Frank obituary for man who loved booze, women and Fords finds life in cyberspace

h/t Daily Caller