Monday, October 31, 2011

Ron Paul easily wins Des Moines straw poll

GOP presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) ran away with the National Federation of Republican Assemblies Straw Poll on Saturday in Des Moines, garnering 82 percent of the vote among Iowans.

Businessman Herman Cain came in second with 14 percent. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry each got 1 percent or less. Former Utah Gov. Jon Hunstman and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received no votes.

It was clear from the beginning of the event the majority of attendees came to see Paul, who spoke first. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum also spoke at the event, while former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich addressed the crowd briefly by video.

Paul got a warm reception from the audience of several hundred, saying what the country needs is less government intrusion, more openness in government, a focus on dealing with the national debt and a foreign policy overhaul.

The federal government has invaded peoples’ lives, Paul said, especially through the Patriot Act. He called for repealing the law put in place following 9/11, saying it undermines liberty.

He also wants investigations into the federal reserve, the war in Iraq, the Fast and Furious operation and government loans to Solyndra.

“If there’s any one thing that would benefit us, it is to get more openness in government,” Paul said.

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Sen. Sanborn Endorses Ron Paul

Freshman State Sen. Andy Sanborn has endorsed Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, has learned. Sanborn will assume the role of Paul’s New Hampshire co-chair along with fellow State Senator Jim Forsythe.

Sanborn, a Henniker Republican, is a small businessman from a swing district. This is a big endorsement for Paul. Sanborn had been courted by several presidential candidates. A former Republican State Senator from the same district endorsed Jon Huntsman, a more politically logical choice for the area.

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Beacon Power, Backed by U.S. Loan Guarantees, Files Bankruptcy

Beacon Power Corp., an energy- storage company that received $43 million in backing from the U.S. program that supported failed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, filed for bankruptcy after struggling to raise private financing.

The money-losing company, which makes flywheels that manage energy moving through a power grid, had sought to avoid the fate of Solyndra, which entered bankruptcy last month after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from a U.S. Energy Department program designed to spur alternative energy development. Beacon faced delisting of its shares by the Nasdaq Stock Market and warned in an Aug. 9 regulatory filing that it might not remain a “going concern.”

“The current economic and political climate, the financing terms mandated by DOE, and Beacon’s recent delisting notice from Nasdaq have together severely restricted Beacon’s access to additional investments through the equity markets,” Chief Executive Officer F. William Capp said in papers filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Beacon, based in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, listed assets of $72 million and debt of $47 million in its Chapter 11 petition. Two affiliates also entered court protection.

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U.S. Planning Troop Buildup in Gulf After Exit From Iraq

The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran.

The plans, under discussion for months, gained new urgency after President Obama’s announcement this month that the last American soldiers would be brought home from Iraq by the end of December. Ending the eight-year war was a central pledge of his presidential campaign, but American military officers and diplomats, as well as officials of several countries in the region, worry that the withdrawal could leave instability or worse in its wake.

After unsuccessfully pressing both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government to permit as many as 20,000 American troops to remain in Iraq beyond 2011, the Pentagon is now drawing up an alternative.

In addition to negotiations over maintaining a ground combat presence in Kuwait, the United States is considering sending more naval warships through international waters in the region.

With an eye on the threat of a belligerent Iran, the administration is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. While the United States has close bilateral military relationships with each, the administration and the military are trying to foster a new “security architecture” for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Armed Chinese troops in Texas!