Friday, June 25, 2010

The Pros And Cons Of Natural Gas Drilling In Pennsylvania and Central New York

This article was updated on: December 8th 2011

I have been wanting for some time to weigh in on the heated debate surrounding natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania and Central New York. This has been a much debated topic as of late, and I really felt that even with the wealth of information available, there was no clear picture as to the benefits and dangers of the on-going and proposed gas drilling that is moving in to the northeast.

With 19 Gas companies now operating in Pennsylvania, with upwards of 34 total gas related companies being actively involved in natural gas drilling and production throughout the region to attempt to tap the vast expanse of natural gas beneath the ground. It is clear that there is enough valuable resources in the earth here to make these companies, whose business spans the globe, to spend billions to get a piece of the action. On the surface there are two distinct sides to the debate. Those in favor of gas drilling tout the fact that with these businesses moving in, it could revitalize stagnating economies, bring with it new jobs, generate massive amounts of tax revenues, and help local businesses keep their doors open. Proponents of Hydraulic fracturing also have some compelling science to back up their claims that gas drilling is safe.

To those opposed to the drilling, they believe that these petroleum barons are bringing with them untold natural and man-made disasters that threaten to destroy the lives of the people in these already hard-hit areas. Toxic chemicals, explosions, destruction of the natural habitat, decimation of the water table, and a plethora of health concerns are on the minds of a large number of people. From documentaries showing sink water that bursts in to flames from the methane seeping in to the water supply, to scenes of horrific destruction to plants and animals due to the havoc wrought from machines and chemicals.

Before we go in to any specifics, let me just point out that, while alot of like to complain about the environmental impact of certain chemicals on the environment, we are the same people who poison ourselves on a daily basis. Here is a quick example. Examples are from Wikipedia.
Phosphoric Acid  ...most citric acid in the food industry is not extracted from citrus fruit, but fermented by Aspergillus niger mold from scrap molasses, waste starch hydrolysates and phosphoric acid. Phosporic acid is found in Cola. Cola consumption has also been associated with chronic kidney disease and kidney stones through medical research.[6] The preliminary results suggest that cola consumption may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.

HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) A pilot study reported that some high-fructose corn syrup manufactured in the U.S. in 2005 contained trace amounts of mercury. The mercury appeared to come from sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid, two chemicals used in the manufacture of high-fructose corn syrup.

In the United States, high-fructose corn syrup has become a sucrose replacement for honey bees. In 2009, a study by Leblanc et al. found that at temperatures above 45 °C (113 °F) HFCS rapidly begins to form hydroxymethylfurfural, which is toxic to the honey bees being fed HFCS.[58]  hydroxymethylfurfural, also known as HMF, HMF is found in naturally occuring amounts in foods like honey, fruit-juice, and high-heat processed milk. Oddly enough it is also present in cigarette smoke.

 I won't go in to all the details about how bad some of this stuff is, do the research yourself. You'll be healthier, and you'll live longer. Here is a link to Halliburton giving some of the chemical makeup of their frac juice compunds FRAC JUICE. Some people claim that high fructose corn syrup is safe, I did some research and decided that since it is in almost every single food product we sell to kids and adults, and we have the largest population of obese people in the world, and children are fatter than ever, I don't think it's safe, and therefore I do not ingest it.

First let's go over some PROS for natural gas drilling.

JOBS: Upwards of a million new jobs in total could be created by natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania and New York.

INCOME: Most of these jobs have an annual income of $40,000 to $98,000 a year. This is a nice wage if your family has been struggling. All of these local, and out of town employees will also patronize local businesses, generating tax revenue, and also stimulating the local economy. Land leases and taxes will generate income for local economies, the state, and for the land owners, who will also receive royalties from 12.5% as high as 25% for the land they lease to these drilling companies.

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: More domestic drilling means less dependence on oil from terror sponsoring countries Like Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and socialist dictatorships such as Hugo Chavez's Venezuela. More domestic drilling also means a boost for the American economy, and helps us make it one step closer to energy independence.

Second we look at the CONS.

WATER CONTAMINATION: The chemicals used in the hydraulic fracture drilling process could leak in to the surrounding water tables and create dangers for humans and animals alike. these drilling companies are reluctant to even divulge the ingredients used in their frac fluid cocktails, so cleaning up these contaminated areas is impossible.

EXPLOSIONS/FIRES: Because we are talking about natural gas, there is always the possibility of a fire or gas explosion. While safety procedures are in place to prevent this from happening, it can, and does happen. Considering that some of the storage tanks, and materials used in the drilling process are located near residential areas, and in one case that I saw, near a School!

NATURAL HABITAT/WILDLIFE: The influx of people and machines can in some cases cause great disturbances in the flow of nature. These can be mild in nature, to downright devastating. Clearing of forests to make roads, and staging areas, chemical run-off contaminating the water tables, forced migration of animals that will sometimes flee as they may see the heavy machinery as a new predator, and with the destruction of their habitat as, these two factors may lead animals to move to another area, which poses it's own problems.

Image from MIT Tech Review

While I am skeptical of some of what I see happening with the oil drilling going on in Pennsylvania, and now in New York, I still feel that this could be a big boon to these long suffering, and economically hard-hit areas. All the facts about the safety of these operations are not clear, and some controversies seem exaggerated, there are many more operations like these operating all over the United States, and most of them have a good track-record of safe, environmentally friendly operations. I think taxing the drilling is a bad idea, however safety regulation need to be changed regarding these companies, and the new regulations need to be strictly enforced. We should also pass the FRAC act of 2009, so we can effectively determine the impact of the chemicals used, and to aid emergency crews in cleaning up of contamination should it occur.

Regardless of what I say, this debate is far from over. I hope, in the long run, we can see more such operations come in to being for our economy, and for the thousands of unemployed people whose benefits run out soon, and the Republicans in congress who fought hard to be frugal with our money(and effectively killed a bill extending benefits), the one time you wish they wouldn't. This is a topic for another time. Actually, I'm writing it now.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Women reveal accounts of forced abortion in Scientology

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Scientology is facing renewed criticism, due to an extensive exposé in the Florida newspaper the St. Petersburg Times which contains revealing accounts of women involved in the organization who say they were forced to have abortions. Multiple different female members of the Scientology group called the Sea Org said they were pressured to have abortions, and were threatened with separation from their families, hard labor, interrogations, and shunning, if they did not comply.

A protester holds a sign which reads: "C[hurch] o[f] S[cientology] forces its female members to get abortions"
(February 10, 2008)
Image: Martin Poulter
Women that came forward to the St. Petersburg Times said that those who did not wish to undergo an abortion were shunned by others within the Sea Org group, and were labeled as "out ethics" and "degraded beings". The Sea Org consists of 6,000 members of Scientology, who sign billion-year contracts to work for the organization for multiple lifetimes. Joining the Sea Org is considered a high calling within Scientology.

L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, stated his appreciation for families within the Sea Org. Scientology's subsequent leader, David Miscavige, issued an order that children were to be banned in the Sea Org. The mandate by Miscavige asserted that children hampered the productivity of the Scientology order.
Cquote1.svg There is no church policy to convince anyone to have an abortion, and the church has never engaged in such activity. Cquote2.svg
Tommy Davis, Scientology spokesman
Scientology representative, Tommy Davis denied all of the assertions made by the women. "There is no church policy to convince anyone to have an abortion, and the church has never engaged in such activity. The decision to have a child or terminate a pregnancy is a personal decision made by a couple. That applies to all Scientologists. If any current or former Sea Org member ever 'pressured' someone to have an abortion, they did so independently, and that action was not approved, endorsed or advocated by the church," stated Davis to the St. Petersburg Times.
Another woman is suing the Scientology organization in United States federal court, and stated she was threatened with severe repercussions if she did not have an abortion. Claire Headley, 35, a member of the Sea Org when she was in Scientology, told the St. Petersburg Times, "The policy was if a staff member became pregnant, that they were to have an abortion."

In 1991, Headley became a member of the Sea Org at age sixteen, and began work with the division of the organization in Los Angeles, California. She married at age seventeen, while a member of the organization. Headley said that officials within Scientology leadership pressured her to have two abortions: one at age nineteen, and another at age 21. Headley believed she had "no choice", as she had witnessed other women that refused to have abortions instructed to perform manual labor, with one pregnant woman ordered to dig ditches. Headley said that during pressure to have her second abortion she was forbidden to phone her husband to discuss the decision. She spent a total of thirteen years in the Sea Org.

Cquote1.svg The policy was if a staff member became pregnant, that they were to have an abortion. Cquote2.svg
—Claire Headley
Laura Dieckman, 31, said that she was enthusiastic about beginning a family when she became pregnant within Scientology at age seventeen, but was instructed to have an abortion. In a federal lawsuit against Scientology, Dieckman stated she joined with the Sea Org at the age of twelve, and at age sixteen she married another member of the group, Jesse DeCrescenzo. She said she was pressured to have an abortion in 1996.
Dieckman said to the St. Petersburg Times: "I was pounded for two days by the top person in my organization ... about how the baby wasn't a baby yet, it was just tissue and it wouldn't matter if I aborted the baby." Dieckman left Scientology in 2004. In a video posted to the website of the St. Petersburg Times, Dieckman emotionally recounted how she had immediately regretted going through with the procedure, "They will do an ultrasound before the procedure so you see the heartbeat. ... I'm lying there ... and I was like, 'No.' But it's too late. I'd already done it."

Natalie Hagemo said that 20 years ago at age nineteen, she was pressured by Scientology officials to have an abortion, but she resisted. Hagemo gave birth to Shelby on August 20, 1990. Hagemo's daughter was recruited into the Sea Org at age 14. Shelby contacted her mother a week later wanting to leave the Sea Org; Hagemo had a difficult time getting Shelby out of the group. It was not until this year that Hagemo told her daughter about experiencing pressure from Scientology officials to have an abortion.
The St. Petersburg Times received sworn depositions from additional women including Sunny Pereira, who said they were intimidated into having abortions they did not wish to undergo. "They put you in this position where you're weighing the lives of all these people you're supposed to be saving against this one little tiny speck of nuisance that's growing inside of you," said Pereira. Spokesman Tommy Davis stated the women were accusing Scientology of forced abortions because of choices they now "appear to regret".

In Nevada, Republican party candidate for the United States Senate, Sharron Angle, was the focus of criticism for her support of a Scientology-associated program. Angle's opponent, incumbent Senator and Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid, took out a 30-second negative political ad critical of Angle for supporting "a Scientology plan to give massages to prisoners". The prison program Angle had supported was based on techniques developed by Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Angle had previously been the subject of a similar ad in the Republican primary, generated by the campaign of her opponent Sue Lowden. Sharron Angle is pro-life, and The New York Times columnist Ramesh Ponnuru noted her position against abortion helped her win the Republican primary. "Angle would not have been able to unite populist conservatives and beat the party establishment’s candidate had she been pro-choice," noted Ponnuru.

From Wikinews

An open letter from actor Jon Voight to President Obama

An open letter from actor Jon Voight to President Obama:
June 22, 2010
President Obama:
You will be the first American president that lied to the Jewish people, and the American people as well, when you said that you would defend Israel, the only Democratic state in the Middle East, against all their enemies. You have done just the opposite. You have propagandized Israel, until they look like they are everyone's enemy — and it has resonated throughout the world. You are putting Israel in harm's way, and you have promoted anti-Semitism throughout the world.
You have brought this to a people who have given the world the Ten Commandments and most laws we live by today. The Jewish people have given the world our greatest scientists and philosophers, and the cures for many diseases, and now you play a very dangerous game so you can look like a true martyr to what you see and say are the underdogs. But the underdogs you defend are murderers and criminals who want Israel eradicated.
You have brought to Arizona a civil war, once again defending the criminals and illegals, creating a meltdown for good, loyal, law-abiding citizens. Your destruction of this country may never be remedied, and we may never recover. I pray to God you stop, and I hope the people in this great country realize your agenda is not for the betterment of mankind, but for the betterment of your politics.
With heartfelt and deep concern for America and Israel,
Jon Voight
© Copyright 2010 The Washington Times, LLC.

Obama Expands Family Medical Leave Act to Cover Gay Employees

The Labor Department is poised to announce new regulations this week that order U.S. employers to give gay employees equal treatment under the law, allowing those workers unpaid time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The announcement comes as the President Obama declares June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender month, with a celebration Tuesday night at the White House.

But while some say recognizing gay parenthood is important to the LGBT community, there are other more prominent issues those in the community would like to see progress on, like recognizing same-sex marriage.
Obama has said he does not support same-sex marriage, but Carrie Gordon Earle of Focus on the Family says the latest effort by the Labor Department is a unilateral move by the Obama White House designed to eventually bypass the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

"This is just one more example of where the Obama administration is really bypassing the Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as one man and one woman," Earle told Fox News. "And they're trying to redefine marriage and family by these arbitrary policies with no debate by congress, no public discussion about it."
Brian Moulton of the Human Rights Campaign, a group working on behalf of the LGBT community, says the latest move by the administration is a step in the right direction, toward perhaps an eventual repeal of DOMA.
"Certainly it's not medical leave to take care of a partner, it's not repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. It's a small step, but it's an important one," he said.

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to take care of loved ones or themselves. The 1993 law, which also allows employees to take time off for adoptions, has previously only been applied to heterosexual couples.
The Family Medical Leave Act is not the only issue the Obama administration is handling that pertains to the gay community.
Earlier this month, Obama issued orders for government agencies to extend child care services and expanded family leave to their workers. Obama's order for federal employees, though, covers only benefits that can be extended under existing law, without congressional action. Legislative action would be required for a full range of health care and other benefits.

Last year, Obama gave federal workers' same-sex partners a first round of benefits including visitation and dependent-care rights. He also authorized child-care services and subsidies; more flexibility to use family leave to attend to the needs of domestic partners and their children; relocation benefits; giving domestic partners the same status as family members when federal appointments are made; and access to credit union and other memberships when those are provided to federal workers.

The White House is also focused on the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy -- something the president said he would work on in his State of the Union address earlier this year. Yet the gay community is losing patience with Obama after he made a campaign promise to repeal the ban.
Moulton said he'd like to see the repeal happen as soon as possible.
"I think we keep moving along a pace and the Pentagon will finish its review and we are hopeful and confident president is going to move toward that certification as soon as possible." Moulton said.
Eve Zibel
June 22, 2010

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Obama Wants 15 Million For New Commission To Investigate BP Oil Spill

BP LogoImage via Wikipedia
CNN is reporting that the president wants 15 million dollars to form a special commission to investigate the oil spill. This will take time and in effect to nothing to speed the cleanup of said oil spill. President Obama has already turned down aid from at least 13 countries, including the Dutch, who had ships outfitted with skimmers that would have cleaned up the oil quite nicely.
*Update*(June 17th)President Barack Obama, after 54 days of indecision has finally accepted the aid of the Dutch.

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday asked Congress for $15 million in emergency funding for the new national commission investigating the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. "The Administration asked Congress to consider an emergency budget amendment of $15 million for the Department of Energy to fund the activities of that commission," an administration official told CNN on condition of not being identified. "This amendment would fund necessary expenses, including personnel costs, authorized travel, research and investigation costs, reimbursement to federal agencies for operational and logistical support, and other costs in carrying out the mandate of the commission," the official said. The seven-member commission will report back by the end of the year on the causes of the disaster, as well as "options for safety and environmental precautions necessary to prevent a similar disaster from happening again," Obama wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting the funds.

We don't need another commission, board, group, council, or any other name you can put on a waste of resources. You can use FEMA to investigate this, because well, that's their job. According to FEMA's website they specialize in: Disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, education, and references. Sounds like they might be qualified to investigate this 'disaster' and to 'mitigate' it quite nicely. Instead our president wants to make a new commission to do FEMA's job. It would probably cost the same amount of money to have FEMA assemble a team of experts, have them investigate, and report back to the president on this.

I'd like to point out that this is simply another attempt by our president to look pro-active in the face of a complete and utter failure on the part of the Federal Government to do anything useful while Billions of dollars of damage are done, industry and tourism are destroyed ,and untold natural habitats are wiped out. When someone tells you they can prevent the destruction of habitat by using a simple device to stop the oil, and your response is you need to investigate the environmental impact of the device on said habitat, you are a moron. That is just what the president did when Governor of LA, Bobby Jindal asked for permission to use booms to stop the oil from invading the Louisiana coastline. Now the ecosystem there is being destroyed.

Since the Obama Administration turned down assistance from The Netherlands at least 125 miles of Louisiana coastline has been ruined by the BP oil spill. Tar blobs began washing up on Florida’s white sand beaches near Pensacola days ago. And, crude oil has also been reported along barrier islands in Alabama and Mississippi.

This, along with a host of other missed opportunities and outright failures of reason on the part of President Obama are the reason people are so upset. People are now even taking matters in their own hands to be prepared for future disasters that our government will fail to address properly. Check out this article on PRWEB for details.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Democrat Congressman Bob Etheridge Attacks Student Outside Of Nancy Pelosi Fundraiser

A couple of Days ago Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge attacked a  college student outside of a Nancy Pelosi fundraiser. In the video you hear a student ask the question "Hi, Congressman. How are you? Do you fully support the Obama agenda?" At this point Mr. Etheridge repeatedly asks "Who are you?" The students reply that they are well, students, and are here for a project. He continues to ask the same question, at one point smacking the camera out of the hand of one of the students involved. Etheridge than grabs the hand of the student who originally asked the congressman the question that started the whole affair.

The students attempt to diffuse the situation, but to no avail. The congressman grabs at the head of the student whose hand he is still holding, eventually getting a good hold, he than pulls the student in close and appears to be attempting to give him a hug. What? There were multiple cameras taking footage and the video can be seen from a couple of different angles. The congressman is visibly agitated, although it is unclear how a student asking a simple question could have gotten him so upset.

There is, as expected, statements from the left attempting to defend the congressman's actions, and accusations that the whole thing was a setup. Mediaite offers this bit of insight in an attempt to defend Congressman Etheridge's insane actions.

Now, Etheridge's actions are only partially defensible. He need not have gotten physical with the students who asked him the provocative question regarding his support of the "Obama Agenda" (honestly, that sort of opening question is straight from the Jason Mattera school of inflammatory interview techniques.)

But little is known about these "students." The YouTube video is published under an account titled TonyManization, and even more damning is that the faces of the individuals asking the Congressman questions are blurred out. Hmmm...nothing like the courage of the anonymous protester.
Which brings us back to Etheridge's response. Yeah - he comes off as a jerk, but...when in Rome. It will be interesting to follow how this story plays out in the news media. Will it be a big story? Probably not, but apparently being prepared for ambush interviews from eager college kids is the next phase of media training for many on Capitol Hill.

This is of course, a pathetic and completely par for the course from the agents of evil on the left. Regardless of the actions of the Democrat involved, there is always something shady, or suspicious about the person on the other end of the controversy. We all remember how James O'Keefe and his female companion Hannah Giles were at first ignored completely, than vilified by the press when they exposed the vile underbelly of ACORN.

Mediaite tries to cast doubt on the authenticity of the 'students' involved by asking the question, why are their faces blurred out, and no official source given. Well, perhaps they aren't glory hounds. maybe they want to graduate college, and not have to deal with any of the fallout from the school project that got them assaulted by an elected official.

The loony comments from the left don't stop there.

DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse addressed the video in a statement Monday:
"Motives matter, and I think you can see who was behind this," Woodhouse said. "This was a Republican party tracking operation. If it wasn't a party tracker or intern, why is the face blurred and why is the source hidden? You know if it had been a right wing blog, they'd identify themselves and they'd be booking this person on TV all day. Republicans know if they admit their involvement in this game of gotcha it will undermine their credibility. One minute this guy is interviewing a member of Congress on camera and the next a video is released with his face blurred out? If that doesn't tell you this is a Republican Party hatchet job nothing will."

Republican Party hatchet job? The same way the Tea Party protesters and their cheap signs made with magic markers and poster board are really a well funded 'astro-turf' fake movement controlled by big corporations and the Republicans? Let's put this in to a clear and concise perspective. regardless of the intent of the student(s) in question, they made no statement, or committed any action that should have caused Congressman Bob Etheridge to assault them. Yet he did assault them. He refused to accept their explanation as to the how's and why's of their being where they were, and why they decided to ask him a question. Regardless as to what angle you view this video from, on thing is clear. Etheridge is dead wrong on this, and he should be arrested and charged with assault.

Congressman Etheridge has since apologized for his actions.

UPDATE: Etheridge held a press conference today to once again apologize, calling his actions "unacceptable."

"No matter how partisan and no matter how difficult things get sometimes, that's no excuse for my response," he said. "I came today to say I'm sorry."
Etheridge said the confrontation happened after he came out of a meeting in Washington, D.C.
"The truth is, I had a long day, it was the end of the day -- but that's not the issue," he said. "I've been through a lot of tough situations... I've been spat at, pushed on and threatened before, and that's no excuse for... not walking on by."

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bob Dobes:Scared of the Tea Party

Apparently, being mentally deficient is an art from in Santa Rosa Beach.
A gentleman calling himself Bob Dobes wrote a letter to the Editor in a recent edition of the Walton Sun. In it he describes an archeological discovery on Easter Island. Here is a snippet of that article.

This suggests a discovery similar to the Rosetta Stone. When translated, the unnamed log described a culture obsessed with the fear that an unknown neighbor would infringe upon their land and culture.....

....The scripture ended with the phrase "Irrational Fear Robed Us Of Our Morality".
Upon completion of this translation one scientist exclaimed, "My Lord, we have discovered the cultural origin of the Libertarian Tea Party."
Wow Bob. Thanks for being a complete and totally ignorant douche. We love you for your insight.
I also came across another article in which Mr. Dobes appears where he makes an even more illogical and lame brained statement.

Bob Dobes of Santa Rosa Beach said taking oil from local waters would not help Floridians at the gas pump; it would help corporations based elsewhere.
“We’ll be buying back our own oil at a premium price,” Dobes said.

Thanks for you insight, Bob. Now go take your meds and get back in the padded room.

I love how Bob tries to claim that Tea Partiers are irrational, and fear mongering by making irrational and fearful statements about them.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Binghamton High School Food Fight Escalates Into Violence:Leaves 2 School Officials and 2 Police Injured

BINGHAMTON -- Changes will be made at Binghamton High School following a melee Thursday between students, school officials and police -- an incident Superintendent Peggy J. Wozniak called "unacceptable behavior."Nine students were arrested, and four adults -- two assistant principals and two police officers -- were injured at the school when a food fight in the cafeteria escalated into a brawl outside the building.
The incident happened on the last full day of classes -- a day when seniors have traditionally have staged a run through the corridors of the high school as they throw Silly String and bang on lockers and blow air horns to celebrate the completion of their school careers. Although no seniors were involved in the incident with police, school district officials will be evaluating end-of the-year security procedures to make sure Thursday's disturbance doesn't repeat itself, Wozniak said.
"There will undoubtedly be changes," Wozniak said. "We don't want this to happen again."

While the senior run was not part of Thursday's problems, it will be part of the discussion, she said.
There were no reported injuries among students, but all four injured adults received treatment in the aftermath: Associate Principal Martin Klein was hit in the face with a cell phone; Assistant Principal Gerry Lynch wrenched his back; School Resource Officer Lisa Zikuski suffered a scratch on her arm; and Sgt. Donald Burke reportedly was punched.
Immediately after things calmed down, rumors were rampant. Many of them had the incident starting with the senior run.
However, Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski was quick to point out that wasn't the case and underscored this point: "There were no seniors involved."
"They had nothing to do with it," the chief said. "The seniors had their run and they left school. Probably by 9:30, they had left the school grounds. The ages of those arrested shows these weren't seniors."
According to police reports, in addition to four juveniles -- three females and one male -- those arrested were:
* Ryan Weathers, 17, assault in the second degree, a felony.
*Daquan Hooks, 17, disorderly conduct, a violation, and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.
* Shaquille Espinal, 16, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
* Josh Martin, 16, disorderly conduct.
* Jamel Warren, 16, disorderly conduct.
Though police and school officials do not condone "senior prank day" or "senior run day," Zikuski said it's something they deal with at the end of every year and is usually "all in good fun." To be sure, Zikuski assigned two officers to the school on Thursday and had extra patrol cars near the school during lunch period.
"Every year we deal with this and nobody gets arrested," the chief said.
This year, when the seniors had left for the day, the tone changed.
According to Zikuski, this is what unfolded:
The incident started in the cafeteria with a food fight. School officials got those involved out into the courtyard.
In the courtyard, however, a fight broke out among students, and when an assistant principal (Klein) tried to intervene, a female student hit him in the face with a cellphone she was holding in her hand. Klein went down, and while others were coming to his aid, another scuffle broke out nearby.
At that point, a second assistant principal (Lynch) got knocked to the ground, and as police attempted to help, they found themselves getting punched in the back and in the head.
"There were well over 100 kids with a mob mentality at that point," Zikuski said. "They were out of control and (school officials and police) were well outnumbered. That's when they put out a call for help."
Scanner traffic around that time directed all available police to the scene, and though no actual numbers are available, officers from the Broome County Sheriff's Department, state police, Binghamton, Vestal and Johnson City quickly arrived on the scene.
"Once they got there, it took about a half-hour to disperse the crowd," Zikuski said. "But I truly believe the show of force prevented some serious injuries."

he nine students were arrested on the spot.
Even with that situation under control, students still in the building were told to remain there; those already outside were instructed to disperse and were not allowed back inside. Binghamton High has an open lunch period that allows students outside of the building during that time.
Away from the school, Zikuski said pockets of people were gathering on corners or in parking lots, but police, some with dogs, were able to move them along.
Additionally, Zikuski said police were checking information that there might have been some outside influences at work trying to start an altercation.
Eye witnesses to the melee described a wild scene that involved some 100 students, some fighting, and some watching.
"It looked like one of those old riot movies. It was crazy. It was just like people fighting cops, people screaming and stuff," said J.J. Jones, a student at the school.
Gary Lind, an adult who works across the street, said the events started as a regular fistfight inside the gate on the Main Street side of the building and escalated.
 "More kids started throwing food at the cops, and they started fighting with the cops. That's all that I saw," Lind said.
Other students described students put in handcuffs after swinging at school officials, and students being tackled to the ground by officials.
"There was a huge group of people, and the cops were going in and arresting everybody," said Gianna Sindon, a student at the school.
School officials felt they had adequate security at the high school Thursday to deal with the end-of-the-year celebration, Wozniak said.
Extra administrators were at the school, and officials searched students bags at they entered the building in the morning, she said.
"I'm very disappointed with what happened," Wozniak said, noting the school recently held its prom and post-prom with no problems.
There had been no serious problems at the high school this school year until Thursday, she said.
While not prejudging possible changes, Wozniak said actions will have to be taken to avoid a repeat.
Board President David Hawley said the district will need to do an investigation.
Zikuski, the police chief, agreed that Thursday's events were disappointing.
"A small group of bad apples ruined it for everybody," he said.
By George

13 Countries Offer Oil Cleanup Help. Obama Says No.

 Five weeks ago Escambia County officials requested permission from the Mobile Unified Command Center to use a sand skimmer, a device pulled behind a tractor that removes oil and tar from the top three feet of sand, to help clean up Pensacola’s beaches. County officials still haven’t heard anything back. Santa Rosa Island Authority Buck Lee told The Daily Caller why: “Escambia County sends a request to the Mobile, Ala., Unified Command Center. Then, it’s reviewed by BP, the federal government, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard. If they don’t like it, they don’t tell us anything.”

Keeping local governments in the dark is just one reason why the frustration of residents in the Gulf is so palpable. State and local governments know their geography, people, economic impacts and needs far better than the federal government does. Contrary to popular belief, the federal government has actually been playing a bigger and bigger role in running natural disaster responses. And as Heritage fellow Matt Mayer has documented, the results have gotten worse, not better.

And when the federal government isn’t sapping the initiative and expertise of local governments, it has been preventing foreign governments from helping. Just three days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Dutch government offered to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms and proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands. LA Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) supported the idea, but the Obama administration refused the help. All told, thirteen countries have offered to help us clean up the Gulf, and the Obama administration has turned them all down.

According to one Dutch newspaper, European firms could complete the oil spill clean up by themselves in just four months, and three months if they work with the United States, which is much faster than the estimated nine months it would take the Obama administration to go it alone. The major stumbling block is a protectionist piece of legislation called the Jones Act which requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens. But in an emergency this law can be temporarily waived as DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff did after Katrina. Each day our European allies are prevented from helping us speed up the clean up is another day that Gulf fishing and tourism jobs die.

And then there are the energy jobs that the Obama administration is killing with its over-expansive ban on offshore energy development. Experts–who were consulted by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar before he issued his May 27 report recommending a six-month moratorium on all ongoing drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet–now tell The New Orleans Times-Picayune that they only supported a six-month ban on new drilling in waters deeper than 1,000 feet. A letter from the experts protesting the use of their names to support a ban they actually oppose reads: “A blanket moratorium is not the answer. It will not measurably reduce risk further and it will have a lasting impact on the nation’s economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill. We do not believe punishing the innocent is the right thing to do.”

And just how many innocent jobs is Obama’s oil ban killing? An earlier Times-Picayune report estimated the moratorium could cost Louisiana $2.97 billion in revenue and 7,590 jobs directly related to the oil industry. President Obama still has the power to save many of the jobs. He could reverse his decision and lift the ban. But political considerations make that impossible. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the President was the largest single recipient of campaign contributions from BP and its employees over the past twenty years. Therefore, the President has to put distance between himself and BP, which may be why President Obama has not spoken with BP CEO Tony Hayward one single time since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April. The problem is, vilifying BP’s corporate leadership does nothing to stop the spill or quicken the cleanup.

After the Obama administration refused help from the Netherlands, Geert Visser, the consul general for the Netherlands in Houston, told Loren Steffy: “Let’s forget about politics; let’s get it done.” It’s sound advice, Mr. President. Let’s free local governments to clean up their shores, waive protectionist laws that keep out foreign help, and let the oil workers who can safely do so get back to work. Let’s get it done.

 Author: Conn Carroll

Obama's Failure's In The Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup

The first and foremost lie by BP coddled, encouraged and used by the Obama administration is the phrase, OIL SPILL.

The Gulf Coast catastrophe is NOT AN OIL SPILL. Stop using the phrase. The phrase might roll off the tongue better but it is not a spill. Let's say Old Faithful is hot water spill.

In an LA Times investigation, a dozen experts with knowledge of offshore drilling, including one who has seen BP investigation documents, agreed that, deep in the well, cement, or pipes encased by cement, had to have failed first.

    Several have specifically fingered BP's design for that cement job, which used relatively little cement and relied on an unusual configuration that made it harder to test for imperfections, they said.

    Cementing is supposed to form an impenetrable seal to keep the hot, gassy oil from surging up the well. But a single flaw in that seal, perhaps a crack the size of a human hair, can be enough to unleash a volcano of petroleum.

The Gulf Coast disaster is an unmitigated man made deep water volcanic vent of crude oil and gas.

A spill is what you call your kid's accidental tipping of a glass of milk. Maybe it's you accidentally dropping the synthetic oil can as you're changing your car's oil. Those are oil spills. Oil spill is a public relations term that now has successfully permeated the public's collective psyche.

The Gulf Coast disaster is a dangerous uncontrolled vent from an underwater volcano of crude oil and gas. It's time to call it what it is.


1) Insisting this is BP's problem is not a solution. It is an abject failure to pass the the command and control to BP. These are US waters, US land and US wildlife and American livelihoods at stake. The surrender of command and control to BP is a failure of leadership.

Mr. President, you're in-charge. It's not British Petroleum. BP is a UK company. BP is responsible to its share holders. They are not responsible to the American people or the United States government. If this becomes too much for them to bear, they will declare bankruptcy and walk away and the US taxpayer will end up paying. They could care less about you.

James Carville said:

    "I think they actually believe that BP has some kind of a good motivation here," he said. "They're naive! BP is trying to save money, save everything they can... They won't tell us anything, and oddly enough, the government seems to be going along with it! Somebody has got to, like shake them and say, 'These people don't wish you well! They're going to take you down!'"

2) The US has failed to build any deep sea exploration exploration subs or robotic systems. We build nuclear bombs, space ships and super computers and atom smashers yet we have failed miserably in deep sea research. How is possible that we have failed in our collective imaginations? We know we have hundreds, perhaps thousands of shallow and deep water rigs yet the nation has no capability to respond.

Our coast guard and navy is left emasculated helplessly watching a disaster unfold with no equipment, training or response capability. What good is a trident missile for this tragedy? What value does an aircraft carrier have in this emergency? None, nada, zero, zilch --- If that is not a total failure of imagination, it is abject dereliction.

3) NOAA has failed miserably. The NOAA flagship research vessel was in Africa and was not summoned to the gulf till a week ago. This is an abject dereliction of duty on the part of the NOAA administrator. Shame on her. As a marine biologist and oceanographer herself, she should have known better.

Of the 19 research vessels owned by NOAA, 5 are in the Gulf of Mexico and available for work on the spill, NOAA admnistrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco said, counting a newly commissioned boat. The flagship of the NOAA fleet, the research vessel Ronald H. Brown, was off the coast of Africa when the spill occurred on April 20, and according to NOAA tracking logs, it was not redirected until about May 11, three weeks after the disaster began. It is sailing toward the gulf.

Why did it take till May 11 to call back the Ronald Brown from the coast of Africa?

In a New York Times article, Rick Steiner, a marine biologist and a veteran of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, said NOAA had been derelict in analyzing conditions beneath the sea.

    Mr. Steiner said the likelihood of extensive undersea plumes of oil droplets should have been anticipated from the moment the spill began, given that such an effect from deepwater blowouts had been predicted in the scientific literature for more than a decade, and confirmed in a test off the coast of Norway. An extensive sampling program to map and characterize those plumes should have been put in place from the first days of the spill, he said.

    "A vast ecosystem is being exposed to contaminants right now, and nobody's watching it," Mr. Steiner said. "That seems to me like a catastrophic failure on the part of NOAA."

Sylvia Earle, a famed oceanographer, said Wednesday on Capitol Hill that the government has failed to make public a single test result on water from the deep ocean nor has NOAA done anything to investigate the underwater oil plumes in the gulf. Scientists say the administration has been reluctant to demand an accurate analysis of how many gallons of oil are flowing into the sea from the gushing oil well.

4) Failure to ask the Japanese, French, Chinese and Russians for assistance. Only these four nations have deep sea submarine and robotic systems that can work in depth of one mile or greater.

5) Failure to demand full and public information from BP from day one. To this day, information about the spill has been obfuscated. With all the super computing power in the hands of BP, knowledge of the pipe's circumference, knowing flow rate, BP still lies beyond anyone's imagination refusing to budge from the 5,000 barrel a day pronouncements.
Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at

Included in this failure is the most basic of information --- How much oil is spewing from this underwater deep sea crude oil volcano?

    In a McClatchy News article by Marisa Taylor, Renee Schoof and Erika Bolstad, they explain the nuance of this utter failure.

    BP, and the Obama administration, have said they don't want to take the measurements for fear of interfering with efforts to stop the leaks. That decision, however, runs counter to BP's own regional plan for dealing with offshore leaks. "In the event of a significant release of oil," the 583-page plan says on Page 2, "an accurate estimation of the spill's total volume . . . is essential in providing preliminary data to plan and initiate cleanup operations."

    Legal experts said that not having a credible official estimate of the leak's size provides another benefit for BP: The amount of oil spilled is certain to be key evidence in the court battles that are likely to result from the disaster. The size of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, for example, was a significant factor that the jury considered when it assessed damages against Exxon.

    "If they put off measuring, then it's going to be a battle of dueling experts after the fact trying to extrapolate how much spilled after it has all sunk or has been carried away," said Lloyd Benton Miller, one of the lead plaintiffs' lawyers in the Exxon Valdez spill litigation. "The ability to measure how much oil was released will be impossible."

    "It's always a bottom-line issue," said Marilyn Heiman, a former Clinton administration Interior Department official who now heads the Arctic Program for the Pew Environment Group. "Any company wouldn't have an interest in having this kind of measurement if they can help it."

6) Failure to have any response capability of any sort. It is evident that BP. the US Government or the entire world wide oil industry is clueless on how to respond to this catastrophe.

First it was the failure of the blowout preventor at all levels.

Second, it was the failure of the robotic systems to even turn a screw.

Third, it was the 4-story containment dome that was buoyed up by frozen methane.

Fourth, it was the top hat.

Fifth was the "straw" pipe inserted into the larger volcanic pipe. Sure it worked somehow then BP sends out a press release that they were suctioning 5,000 barrels. Well duh! BP said earlier that the crude oil volcano was only 1,000 barrels then 5,000 barrels then they suck in 5,000 barrels... opsss... caught in a lie! Another press release. We only capture 2,000 barrels!

Sixth, the junk shot... could we be more ludicrous?

So we go on... the top kill, loss circulation material, two relief wells and on and on...

Clearly there was no plan. There was never a plan and I assert that it is criminal negligence not to have a plan.

Now Mr. President, what do we do if the surface oil slicks and underwater oil plumes hit the gulf loop current and contaminate Florida's 130 desalination plants? Many of these plants are deep well brackish water plants that mostly draw seawater. What is the plan to stop the destruction of a major source of drinking water for Florida? Desalination plants like Florida's Acciona probably cannot process Corexit mixed with light Louisiana crude.

Florida has some gas fired power plants that use a special type of wet cooling systems that use sea water. These power plants will probably shut down if the oil and dispersants reach the power plants' cooling systems. What's the plan for that Mr. President?

7) Failure to clean house at the corrupt Minerals Management Service where cocaine, lurid sex and cash favors were a way of life.

Despite the discoveries of the most egregious behavior, there was no top-to-bottom change in the MMS which continued to issue permits even after the BP volcanic vent disaster.

8) Allowing BP to control all access to the location and data including the use of U.S. coast guard to restrict media access. On BP's orders, the US Coast Guard is refusing to allow press boats to come close to the spill site to document the disaster.

This is another lie. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was even more emphatic in supporting this PR line. "There's nothing that we think can and should be done that isn't being done. Nothing."

How about allowing reporters and independent scientists access to the spill site and scientific information instead of a cloak and dagger secret war room which only BP controls?

After four weeks of misinformation and lack of cooperation, the Obama Administration has finally demanded daily reports of all efforts to deal with the disaster, as well as all information related to the disaster, from British Petroleum.

9) Allowing BP to ignore US EPA orders and still using hundreds of thousands of gallons of their old stock of highly toxic dispersant, known to be deadly to marine life, when they had a far less toxic brand available. What's the point of an EPA that oil companies can ignore?

Allowing the use of toxic dispersants that make the ocean look a little better on the surface -- where most people are -- but make circumstances a lot worse under the surface, where most of the life in the ocean actually is.

If you read the instructions for Corexit, the dispersant approved by the EPA to make the ocean look better warn that it is an eye and skin irritant, is harmful by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed, and may cause injury to red blood cells, kidney or the liver. People are warned not to take Corexit internally, but the fish, turtles, sea birds, copepods and jellies have no choice. They are awash in a lethal brew of oil and butoxyethanol."

BP has used a little more than 670,000 gallons of Corexit, an unprecedented application and for a duration and at depths also without precedent.

BP PLC said Saturday it wants to keep using a contentious chemical dispersant to fight the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, despite orders from federal regulators to use something less toxic.

The chemical dispersant at issue, Corexit 9500, is "the best option for subsea application," BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency. Tests showed Corexit was among the most effective agents at dispersing the oil, Suttles said.

The EPA raised concerns about the agent Thursday, saying the long-term effects remain unknown. The letter ordered BP to identify an alternative and start using it within three days of its approval by regulators.

"Because of its use in unprecedented volumes and because much is unknown about the underwater use of dispersants, EPA wants to ensure BP is using the least toxic product authorized for use," the agency has said.


BP is now threatening to sue to block the EPA from publishing its written response to the order to stop using Corexit, citing commercial confidentiality. The US EPA is therefore "evaluating all legal options" to force them to reconsider, "so Americans can get a full picture".

10) Finally, refusing to force and lead congress to increase the liability limits for oil companies from $75 million to an unlimited amount. Instead President Obama and Senate majority leader Reid allowed Senators Murkowski and Shelby to filibuster raising the liability limits for oil companies.

Can't you ask the Democratic party to bring in the cots and let the Republicans filibuster and defend BP? It is nothing but legislative cowardice and capitulation.

President Obama, these are your administration's failures. This is not George W. Bush's Katrina. It is uniquely your administration's failure. The buck stops at your desk.

Come on... take charge!

Share this article with a friend with my nifty shortener:


If you live anywhere in the gulf and have a digital photographic or video camera, take a picture of the damage. Note the time and place.

Documentation of the damages is going to be critical to the people of the gulf coast.

For most still and video cameras, you can turn on the time and date stamp function. Afterwards, upload the pictures or videos to our site:

We are archiving all the pictures and video for full public use. We will soon have full search capabilities on all relevant pictures and video care of our friends at EdgeCase.


We have also built capabilities for most smart phone cameras. Our Android version is now ready for download. The iPhone version is also ready. Thanks to our friends at Intridea for helping rush out the Android and iPhone app.

The RIM Blackberry (built by Haemish Graham developer of RIM app PhotoNote) will be ready by early next week. Please come back to download them if you have an iPhone or Blackberry and live anywhere along the gulf coast.

We are rushing out a special Twitter client by to help organize all the tweets and other social network information on the spill. This should be out before the end of this week.

Volunteer and Cleanup Actions:

One of the most unusual and novel volunteer opportunities is donating human hair, dog fur and pantyhose. Though I was cynical at first, a second look revealed that there might be some promise with this method of capturing oil slicks. A Matter of Trust, a small grassroots community-based organization is leading this effort.
People band together to try everything in their power to develop solutions

People band together to try everything and anything in their power to develop solutions including stuffing hair and pet fur into BP-approved oil boom netting.

Hair is stuffed into BP-approved oil boom netting and then deployed to defend against oil slicks. The hope is oil binds on to the hair and fur cuticles and the booms are later retrieved and safely disposed of. People and communities will try whatever works.

Contact Lisa Craig Gautier at or call her at 415-235-2403 to arrange sending hair, fur and discarded pantyhose to Matter Of Trust volunteers in the gulf coast.

Oxfam America is working to help affected communities with financial assistance, as well as protect local wetlands and marshes. Make a tax-deductible donation to Oxfam America.

You can register through to volunteer or join a cleanup organization.

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network is providing volunteer information, though help from private citizens is not being requested at this time.

Global Green plans to spend the coming months working to protect injured wildlife and to lobby Congress to enforce tougher regulations on the oil and coal industries. Volunteer with Global Green or donate to support these efforts.

The National Audubon Society is asking concerned citizens to donate or volunteer. Sign up to get trained and volunteer to help local birds.

The National Wildlife Federation has a message you can send to President Obama to urge restoration of Louisiana's Coastal Wetlands. They're also asking for residents to upload photos to flickr and tag them SPILL_NW10.

Mobile Baykeeper, and affiliate of Waterkeeper Alliance, is dedicating resources to educate potential volunteers on how to help and address the long term environmental change needed in the Gulf region. Make a donation to these efforts.

The International Bird Rescue Research Center is coordinating a professional rescue team to help birds covered in oil. You can help by reporting wildlife affected by the oil spill to the organization by calling 866-557-1401. You can also make a donation to support their work.

The Sierra Club is gathering volunteers to help with the cleanup efforts on the Gulf Coast. Sign up online to volunteer and the Sierra Club will help you find the right opportunities for you.

The Coalition To Restore Coastal Louisiana is also helping to coordinate volunteers. You can register online to volunteer or make a donation.

Posted By: Yobie Benjamin (Email) | May 23 2010 at 04:30 PM

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Republican Women Dominate Midterm Nominations

Five Primary Races Dominated by Republican Women Could Set Course for Midterm Elections


WASHINGTON, June 8, 2010—

In one of the most heavily contested races today, Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle surpassed more than a dozen GOP candidates to become the Republican nominee who will face off against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November.
Republicans in Nevada battled fiercely for a big prize: the chance to take on the Senate seat that Reid has occupied for more than two decades, and possibly render him the second Democratic party leader to be ousted by the Republicans in six years, after Tom Daschle in 2004.
Angle, a former assemblywoman, was in a neck-and-neck race with former state GOP chair Sue Lowden, who was favored by the state's Republican establishment.
What started off as a shoe-string campaign for Angle morphed into a million-dollar push to derail Lowden: The so-called Tea Party Express funneled half a million dollars into Angle's campaign, with hundreds of thousands more coming from other national conservative groups such as the Club for Growth.
Angle is an anti-tax crusader and an uncompromising conservative. She favors abolishing the Departments of Education and Energy, phasing out Social Security and Medicare, and removing the United States from the United Nations.
Reid's campaign views Angle's non-mainstream platform as one that can easily be targeted in the November midterm election.
Even though several incumbents have lost in primaries -- Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons today became the first sitting governor to lose a reelection bid -- not all is lost for incumbents.
Longtime Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln narrowly avoided becoming another casualty of anti-Washington sentiment, barely defeating Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, a favorite of labor unions and environmental groups in a close runoff race today.
Lincoln had slightly more than 50 percent of the votes, with Halter trailing closely behind, according to the Associated Press.
Lincoln's win is a major blow to labor unions and liberal groups, who poured millions of dollars into Halter's campaign, and in a state that normally doesn't garner this much national attention.
"The vote of this senator is not for sale and neither is the vote of the people of Arkansas," Lincoln said in her victory speech, rebuking national labor groups.
Lincoln, who won the support of both President Obama and former President Bill Clinton, was blasted by national labor unions for voting for the federal bank bailout and opposing the option of a government-run insurance plan in the health care bill and the Employee Free Choice Act, or card check, a high priority for the labor movement.
The groups wanted to paint Lincoln as an example of what would happen to Democrats who crossed liberal groups.
Lincoln's win is also a victory for Obama and Clinton, who campaigned for her in the final days of the race.
Lincoln has been in the Senate since 1998, when, at 38, she became the youngest woman to be elected. She serves as chair of several important committees, including Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and the subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure.
Lincoln will face an even fiercer fight in November as Republicans take aim at her Senate record and take advantage of the anti-incumbent sentiment that has ended careers of Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pennsylvania, and Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.
The primaries in 12 states today tested the temperature of the anti-Washington sentiment and marked the latest test for ideological movements within both major parties.
The anti-incumbent sentiment accelerated the momentum among newcomers in ousting established lawmakers in Congress. At the same time, from California to Georgia, it pitted party members against each other, exposing the ideological frays within each party.

Tea Party Favorites Take Center Stage

Tea Party favorite Nikki Haley nabbed a majority of votes in the South Carolina GOP gubernatorial primary, but stopped just shy of the 50 percent of votes needed to avoid a runoff, according to the Associated Press. Nevertheless, the South Carolina primary dealt a blow to the GOP establishment in the state: Both Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and attorney general Henry McMaster, once considered frontrunners in the race, trailed well behind Haley and conservative Rep. Gresham Barrett.
Haley and Barrett will face off again in a runoff election two weeks from today.
The divisive South Carolina gubernatorial primary was dogged by ethnic slurs -- a GOP state senator called Indian-American Haley a "raghead" -- and allegations of marital infidelity.
But Haley's popularity has risen in recent weeks, thanks to endorsements from the Tea Party in general, and Sarah Palin in particular. The former Alaska governor campaigned with Haley and recorded a telephone message calling the allegations against Haley "made-up nonsense."
Tea Party supporters also nabbed a victory in the contested runoff in Georgia, where former state representative Tom Graves defeated former state House member Lee Hawkins in a special election for the U.S. House of Representatives. Graves was backed by the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots and the conservative Club for Growth.
Still, in another key battleground -- Virginia's fifth Congressional district -- the Republican establishment's candidate Robert Hurt flew to an easy victory with 48.4 percent of the votes.
2010 Election Maps: Follow the Senate, House and Governors' Races

California Republican Senate Primary: November Battle of 'Scrappy' Political Women?

Ex-Hewlett Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina defeated Rep. Tom Campbell and state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore in the race to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in November.
Fiorina, as with Haley in South Carolina, received an unexpected endorsement from Palin even though DeVore has been supported by Tea Party groups.
Palin recorded a telephone message for Fiorina, urging voters to "help get our country back on track" by voting for the former executive.
Fiorina spent a lot of her own personal wealth on the campaign, a point likely to be seized upon by Democrats in the midterm elections. Campbell has struggled to keep pace, temporarily withdrawing television advertising last week. A libertarian on most social issues, Campbell has focused his rhetoric on his electability in the final days of the campaign.
All the candidates seized on the nation's anti-incumbent sentiment to attack Boxer, who has served in the Senate for 17 years.

California Gubernatorial Primary: Inheriting Schwarzenegger's Problems

Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman beat state insurance commissioner Steve Poizner for the nomination to succeed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the moderate Republican governor whose tumultuous time in office is coming to an end.
Whitman spent more than $70 million of her money in her campaign to succeed Schwarzenegger, a moderate Republican.
In a bid to win over conservatives, Poizner made immigration the defining issue of his campaign, supporting the controversial Arizona law on illegal immigration and attacking Whitman for opposing it.
Whitman will face Democrat Jerry Brown, the state's attorney general, in the fall. Brown previously served as governor from 1975 to 1983.
Today's primaries could be the last to be held in the state.
A ballot initiative seeks to limit the general election to two members of the same party.
Proposition 14 would replace party primaries with a "top-two" election structure for congressional, statewide and state legislative elections. All candidates would be included in a single primary election open to all voters, regardless of party registration. Candidates would have the option to declare a party preference or appear on the ballot with no affiliation.
The two candidates with the highest vote totals in the primary would then advance to a general election. Write-in votes would be ignored. The November ballot thus could feature two members of the same party as the only options.