Posts

North Korea threatens to kill former South Korean leader

Guardian:
North Korea has threatened to impose the death penalty on the South’s former president Park Geun-hye over an alleged plot to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un.

Park had “pushed forward” a supposed plan by Seoul’s intelligence services to eliminate the North’s leadership, Pyongyang’s security ministries and prosecutors said in a joint statement carried by its official Korean Central News Agency.

“We declare at home and abroad that we will impose the death penalty on traitor Park Geun-hye,” it said.

The former director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) Lee Byung-ho would meet a similar fate, it added, along with “their groups”.

They “can never make any appeal even though they meet a miserable dog’s death any time, at any place and by whatever methods from this moment”.

The declaration comes after the killing of Kim’s estranged half-brother Kim Jong-nam by two women using the banned nerve agent VX at Kuala Lumpur international airport in February. Both Mala…

Susan Rice plays the race card in response to her unmasking project

Fox News:
'WHY ME?': Susan Rice links race and gender to ‘unmasking’ backlash I find it disgusting that she would even think such a thing.  I have no empathy for someone playing the victim after they take actions that look like a real abuse of power and an unconstitutional invasion of American's privacy for political purposes.

Texans appreciate a guy who is willing to work and will walk three miles to the job

CBS News:
Strangers buy car for 20-year-old Texas man who walks 3 miles to work every day When the guy who gave him a lift posted on Facebook about the guy, the community came together with donations to help him buy a car a dealer discounted a used car for him  They presented it to the young man at work and he tearfully thanked those responsible.

Media tries to downplay revealing video that shows anti-Trump bias

Washington Post:
Sarah Huckabee Sanders lambastes fake news — and then promotes a journalist accused of deceptive videos

In the span of a few seconds, the deputy White House press secretary attacked the media for inaccuracies and then turned around and urged them to watch a new video from conservative undercover video journalist James O'Keefe, who has been accused of deceptive editing and tactics. I think it is misleading to suggest that O'Keefe's video might be deceptive.  It is what it is.  It reveals the institutional bias at CNN and he could probably find a similar bias at the Post.  

You can tell it in the visceral hatred media outlets like CNN and the Washington Post have for the President.  From headline writers to assignment editors there is an ongoing attempt to denigrate the President.  It is a focus on the petty and at times factual errors that could have been prevented that were not because they fit the narrative.  The media sometimes acts like high school age m…

Trump administration gets a start on border wall

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NY Times:

Homeland Security Will Start Building Border Wall Prototypes This Summer


An official said the wall would not span all 1,900 miles of the border, but the Department of Homeland Security has identified some key areas for construction. The prototype will be built as an extension of the current wall near San Diego.  There are parts of the border where there is a natural boundary which may not need a border wall.  It is also possible that a virtual wall may be put in place in some areas such as along the Rio Grade where Ranchers need access to the water.

Port of Corpus Christi expanding to meet export opportunities for Texas crude

Bloomberg:
Late last month, an oil tanker that measures three football fields long and six stories high moved slowly through the port of Corpus Christi, Texas, to test the waters of America’s booming crude-export industry.

After navigating the Aransas pass around 7 a.m. on May 26, the vessel, Euronav NV’s Anne, didn’t pick up any oil. But its arrival in the humid air of South Texas marked the first time ever a tanker of that size had called on a U.S. terminal in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Anne docked at Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s terminal to determine if some of the world’s biggest carriers could start ferrying oil from Texas to foreign buyers. The shipping upgrade is necessary after a surge in production from U.S. shale fields like the Permian Basin brought more oil than Gulf Coast refiners could handle. And Corpus Christi is vying to become America’s main export hub.

“Corpus Christi was the No. 1 port for U.S. crude exports last year, and this trend is continuing,” said John LaRue, t…

LNG exporter from US looking to expand its business

Bloomberg:
Sixteen months after finishing a terminal and sending the first cargo of U.S. shale gas overseas, Cheniere Energy Inc. is already preparing for its next round of export projects.

Cheniere is looking at new ways to finance more terminals that chill gas to a liquid and ship it across the globe, including skipping banks altogether and seeking out other capital sources, Chief Executive Officer Jack Fusco said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Houston. The company has room to grow: It’s leased additional acres at its flagship Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana and has the option to purchase more land at a Corpus Christi, Texas, site, where another export project is under construction.

Cheniere’s looking to build more LNG plants even as supplies from the U.S. to Australia are flooding the global market, expanding a glut of the fuel and prompting investors to back new export facilities at the slowest pace since 1999. But a second round of projects is emerging on spec…

Trump outpaces Obama in spurring black employment

PJ Media:
Black Unemployment at Lowest Rate in 17 Years The next challenge should be to increase the labor participation rate to get many who have quit looking for work back in jobs.  Trump campaigned on improving results for blacks in America.

Sarah Palin files defamation case against the NY Times

Daily Caller:
Sarah Palin is suing The New York Times for defamation, according to documents filed in federal court Tuesday that were obtained by The Daily Caller.

The lawsuit has to do with an editorial the NYT ran on June 14 that falsely smeared Palin as inciting the 2011 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords by a mentally ill man. There is no evidence to support the NYT’s implication that Palin played a role in inciting the Giffords shooting. (RELATED: NYT Uses GOP Shooting To Falsely Attack Sarah Palin With Debunked Conspiracy Theory)

“Mrs. Palin brings this action to hold The Times accountable for defaming her by publishing a statement about her that it knew to be false: that Mrs. Palin was responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011,” Palin’s suit states.

“Specifically, on June 14, 2017, The Times Editorial Board, which represents the ‘voice’ of The Times, falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared L…

Acting FBI chief faces inquiries on past conduct

John Solomon and Sara Carter:
FBI chief McCabe faces three separate federal inquiries into his behavior One of the inquiries relates to a sex discrimination case mentioned in a post yesterday.  That case is the one where Gen. Mike Flynn weighed in on behalf of the accuser and some argue the FBI investigation of Flynn was payback.

Another has to do with his apparent campaigning on behalf of his wife when she sought office in Virginia.  It is alleged that this may have violated the Hatch Act which restricts campaign activities by government employees.

The DOJ Inspector General is also investigating whether McCade properly disclosed campaign contributions to his wife and whether he should have recused himself from the Clinton investigation.

Stolen police chopper used to attack Venezuelan Supreme Court

BBC:
Venezuela crisis: Helicopter launches attack on Supreme Court Sime grenades were dropped and shots were fired but no injuries were reported.  The attack does demonstrate the continued dissatisfaction with the Maduro government and his court-packing scheme to disenfranchise the legislature after voters put the opposition in charge.

Mexico losing over $1 billion annually to fuel thefts from pipelines

Fuel Fix:
Thieves are tapping into the pipelines of Mexico’s state-owned oil and gas company, Pemex, with such frequency and taking so much gasoline, the company is losing well more than $1 billion a year, leaving some U.S. companies with second thoughts about entering the market, a Rice University expert said this week.

The number of pipeline taps has risen from about 200 in 2006 to nearly 7,000 last year — almost 20 break-ins a day — according to an analysis of Pemex figures by Rice postdoctoral fellow Adrian Duhalt.

Losses have risen from under $1 billion in 2009 to $1.7 billion last year.

Mexican authorities have long taken a “hands-off approach,” Duhalt said in the paper, “Looting Fuel Pipelines in Mexico.”But the problem’s gotten in worse in recent years. Three years ago, Mexican officials deregulated the country’s oil and gas market and broke Pemex’s monopoly, inviting outside companies to take part, with hopes of spurring exploration and production and boosting the country’s sagg…

Obama's Russian screw up

Eli Lake:
Obama Choked on Russia Long Before the 2016 Election

It's no wonder Putin thought he could meddle in the U.S. He had gotten away with everything else he tried.

...
Rather than asking why Obama didn't do more to stop Russian meddling, the better question is why President Vladimir Putin thought he could get away with this interference in the first place. In every respect, the U.S. is more powerful than Russia. It has a much larger economy. Its military is superior. Its cyber capabilities are greater. Its diplomatic position is stronger. So why did Putin believe he could treat America like it was Estonia?

The answer is that Obama spent the first six years of his presidency turning a blind eye to Russian aggression. In his first term, Obama pursued a policy of "reset" with Moscow, even though he took office only five months after Russia had occupied two Georgian provinces in the summer of 2008. In the 2012 election, Obama mocked his Republican opponent, Mitt Rom…

Sound suppressors for rifles could give US troops a tactical advantage in firefight

Military Times:
Two squads of infantryman approach an enemy position, one from each side. The commander orders the squad on the enemy’s right flank to attack.

Rifles and machine guns open fire.

The cacophony of the firefight pulls the enemy in that direction as they return fire.

Meanwhile, the second squad charges the opposite flank, sound suppressors ­attached to their rifles and machine guns. They begin shooting.

The enemy commander has no idea he’s taking casualties on that side until it’s too late. His position is overrun. His unit is wiped out.

It is a potential scenario and capability in the not-too-distant future that seasoned Marine and Army infantry experts are working toward as they gather data, test new technology and experiment with innovative tactics.

The Army and Marine Corps are both interested in expanding the use of suppressors, possibly even beyond semi-automatic rifles to include machine guns — even .50-cals. Some have called it the “stealth technology” fo…

Does Google manipulate its search results?

Washington Post:
E.U. announces record $2.7 billion fine against Google, accusing it of manipulating search results

The landmark ruling sets up a major clash about whether government regulators can shape the behavior of one of the world’s most powerful companies. Google is expected to appeal the decision. The EU tends to have an oppressive regulatory regime that strikes out at non-EU entities it sees as too powerful.  It is a system based on "experts" who act as control freaks.

That being said, I have heard complaints in the US that Google logarithms have a built-in liberal bias.  Some conservative bloggers saw their hits took a dive because of their support for President Trump.  Others have seen an increase for the same reasons.  I suspect that some on both the left and the right game the Google system to get hits.

While Google is still a dominant search engine, it is getting competition from social media such as Facebook that drives almost as much traffic these days.  It is…

Does this explain why Congress is no longer eager to hear from Carter Page on Russia story?

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Washington Post:
FBI questioned Trump campaign adviser Carter Page at length in Russia probe


Over a series of five meetings in March, Page denied wrongdoing when asked about allegations that he may have acted as a go-between for Russia and the campaign, according to a person familiar with Page’s account. Page seems eager to testify and clear his name.  What is becoming clearer is that the Russian collusion story is cratering and the FBI's use of a FISA warrant against Page is looking like an abuse of power based on the dirty dossier put together by a Democrat opposition research team.  It is looking like the Obama administration mislead the FISA Court to spy on its domestic political opposition.

Is 'losing insurance' calculation based on removal of individual mandate?

NY Times:
Health Bill Is in Peril as G.O.P. Support Wanes After Report
Senators Susan Collins and Rand Paul said they would vote against even debating the measure after the Congressional Budget Office said it would cause 22 million people to lose insurance.Senator Mitch McConnell, the chief author of the bill, must change the minds of reluctant Republicans, withdraw the bill or let it be defeated. I suspect the removal of the individual mandate, i.e. the tax on those who do not buy insurance, is the main reason for the "loss of coverage" calculation.  I think the Senate has replaced this with a penalty that gives people an incentive to buy insurance without the regressive tax imposed by Obamacare.  If that is the case the Republicans have not been able to break through the media hostility to their plan to explain it.

As Reason points out in the link above the mandate has been replaced:
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Instead of a fine for going uncovered, as in Obamacare, the Senate GOP bill now includes…

OPEC shaken by its inability to control the market for oil

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
It may be too soon to write OPEC's obituary, but the oil producer club appears in urgent need of late-life care. It shows little understanding of where it is, how it got there or where it's going. While it still manages to collect new members here and there, its core group looks more fragile than at any point in nearly 30 years.

The historic output agreements, put together so painstakingly last year, are failing. Nearly 12 months of shuttle diplomacy culminated in two deals that would see 22 countries cut production by nearly 1.8 million barrels a day. Implementation has been better than for any previous output cut, with compliance put at 106 percent in May. A resounding success? Hardly.

We're now in the final month of those deals and oil prices are lower than when they were agreed. Not only have producers sacrificed volume, but they earn less for each barrel they do produce.

The recent extension of the deals just leaves output restraint in place for anoth…

Was retaliation behind the FBI Flynn probe?

Circa.com:
Secret memos show Trump adviser roiled bureau by intervening in agent’s discrimination case before he was targeted in Russia case.

The FBI launched a criminal probe against former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn two years after the retired Army general roiled the bureau’s leadership by intervening on behalf of a decorated counterterrorism agent who accused now-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other top officials of sexual discrimination, according to documents and interviews.

Flynn’s intervention on behalf of Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz was highly unusual, and included a letter in 2014 on his official Pentagon stationary, a public interview in 2015 supporting Gritz’s case and an offer to testify on her behalf. His offer put him as a hostile witness in a case against McCabe, who was soaring through the bureau’s leadership ranks.

The FBI sought to block Flynn’s support for the agent, asking a federal administrative law judge in May 2014 to keep Fl…

The lack of civility on the left

Susan Wright:
When they say they want “acceptance” and “tolerance,” you should always be prepared to read between the lines.

To the LGBT community, it will always be “Tolerance for me, but not for thee.”

Hypocrisy is, after all, considered a virtue on the lunatic fringe.

On Sunday, New York City held its Pride Parade.

That wouldn’t be pride in the resilience of the human spirit, pride of actual accomplishments, or pride in anything that would otherwise move the nation to a higher level of achievement and general well-being.

It’s a celebration of what goes on in their bedrooms – something homosexuals used to adamantly insist that we stay out of.

And they’re nasty about it.

Case in point would be the treatment of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Leaving lunch on Sunday, with her young son in tow, Haley says she was subjected to boos and “hateful things” by the revelers.
... There is more.

Apparently, they are proud of their nastiness.  Many in this group have gone …

Democrat attacks on GOP are becoming more illogical

Derek Hunter:
...
Putting aside the hypocrisy for a second, how dumb must Democrats think their base is to believe the other political party’s election strategy is to hasten the deaths of millions of people? How idiotic is the idea that one party’s plan to continue to win elections across the country is the screw as many people as possible out of something?

Moreover, Democrats are telling their zombie army that the GOP’s “secret plan” is to take from the poor and give to the rich. Aside from the abject stupidity of it, what exactly would the rich take from the poor? How, exactly, does one get rich by taking things from the poor? Do they have secret stashes of money they’re unaware of and rich people are sneaking into subsidized housing at night to empty the area under their couch cushions?

Actually, there is a way to get incredibly rich off the poor – it’s by claiming to be their champion. How many liberals have become fabulously wealthy by claiming to be “working for the poor”? They …

CNN reputation takes another hit

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This Project Veritas video catches a CNN producers admitting they have no proof of their allegations against the President and they are doing mainly for the ratings.



This is on the heels of CNN having to retract one of their Russia collusion stories and the resignation of three of the people who worked on the story.  The piece was evidently published without the review of a legal team.



This is happening as the Russian collusion story collapsed from a lack of evidence and the media switched to an obstruction of justice narrative that was equally dubious.

It is hard to imagine a media outlet squandering it viewers' trust like this.  These events play into the President's characterization of the cable news outlet as "fake news."  For Trump supporters, this will be seen as proof of that charge.

Did Obama flunk Constitutional Law at Harvard?

Joe Cunningham:
With the Trinity Lutheran decision offered by the Supreme Court yesterday, we officially reached the end of an era.

That case was the last one the Obama Administration took any part in, having filed an amicus brief to the court supporting the state of Missouri’s decision to withhold funds from the Christian school. The decision, which was overwhelmingly in favor of the school and not the government, is the last beatdown Obama’s administration will receive from the court.

And boy did it receive some beatings.
Overall, Epstein and Posner found, Presidents and government agencies prevailed in about two-thirds of all cases, giving credence to the saying that “when the president goes to court, he wins.”

Except when that President is Barack Obama. Obama’s win rate wasn’t just significantly lower than other administrations, it was the lowest surveyed. The Obama administration won just 50.5 percent of its Supreme Court cases, according to the study. How does this compare to ot…

Leakers pushing a political agenda and harming US national security?

Washington Free Beacon:
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"They [former Obama officials] offer ridiculous explanations about why Obama couldn't act more forcefully, and then they apparently leak even more information about certain U.S. measures they claim have been taken against Russia," said one senior U.S. official who deals closely with the matter. "The publication of this information, if it's true, could do some damage to our national security, but the sources don't seem to mind doing that if it helps advance their political narrative."

The sources leaking this information appear to be the same former Obama administration allies and holdovers behind a months-long series of damaging leaks.

"The sources for this [Post] article are obviously the same Obama holdovers who constantly leak classified information to the Washington Post," said the source, who would only discuss the matter under condition of anonymity. "They went back to the those same reporters and tried t…

Raising minimum wage in Seattle has predictable results

Washington Post:
A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals

Seattle officials wanted to help poor workers when they voted to boost the minimum wage, but a new study says they may have done the opposite. It proves once again that liberals just don't get economics.  The attempt to treat entry-level jobs as something other than that leads to fewer of them and the impact falls disproportionately on the poor and minorities who need this leg up into the job market.  They also hurt small business which is the creator of jobs.

Laser on Apache attack chopper passes first test

Tyler Rogoway:
We reported on the concept and test program over a year ago, and now it has finally happened—a AH-64 Apache equipped with a tactical high-energy laser (HEL) successfully took out targets on the White Sands Missile Range. The test is a major breakthrough in directed energy weapons and rotary-wing air warfare to say the least. Above all else it is a glimpse of what's to come on the battlefields of the near future.
...
"A high energy laser mounted on an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter acquired and hit an unmanned target. The test was conducted by Raytheon and the U.S. Army Apache Program Management Office in collaboration with U.S. Special Operations Command at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

It was the first time a fully integrated laser system successfully shot a target from a rotary-wing aircraft over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds, proving the feasibility of laser attack from Apache.
... It remains unclear exactly how powerfu…

Supreme Court reinstates Trump travel ban, will hear appeal

The Hill:
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the government’s appeal of lower court rulings blocking the immigration order from taking effect nationwide.

The court also granted the government's request to reinstate part of Trump's travel ban, which would affect people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

As a result of the decision, people who do not have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States would be barred from entry. People who can show they have a relationship to a person or entity will be allowed to enter the country.
The unsigned order putting part of the ban in place would be effective within 72 hours.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, along with the newest Justice, Neil Gorsuch, Trump's nominee to the court earlier this year, wanted to lift the entire ban, according to the order.
... This is a win for the Trump administration and it could get even better when the case is finally heard.  The previous co…

A 'hold my beer moment' for the Democrats

Kurt Schlichter:
Advice To Help Our Beloved Democrat Friends Win In 2018 This does a pretty funny job of taking the Democrats current approach and wrapping it into a somewhat coherent approach that will assure continued failure.

Petrochemical business a top beneficiary of the shale gas revolution

Wall Street Journal:
The Shale Revolution’s Staggering Impact in Just One Word: Plastics

Petrochemicals, once simply a cheap byproduct, are powering a U.S. manufacturing boom and export bonanza The petrochemical companies have invested billions in new facilities along the Texas Gulf Coast and many of them are just now coming into operation.  They are creating thousands of jobs and a huge export potential that will directly impact the US balance of trade.  Exxon and Dow have invested heavily in the new plants and the Saudis have also joined the competition.

Cargo ship captain claims it gave warning to Fitzgerald and tried to steer to avoid before collision

Reuters:
A U.S. warship struck by a container vessel in Japanese waters failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive action before a collision that killed seven of its crew, according to a report of the incident by the Philippine cargo ship's captain.

Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are under way into how the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17.

In the first detailed account from one of those directly involved, the cargo ship's captain said the ACX Crystal had signalled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald "suddenly" steamed on to a course to cross its path.

The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship, but hit the Fitzgerald 10 minutes later at 1:30 a.m., according to a copy of Captain Ronald Advincula's report to Japanese ship owner Dainichi Investment Corporation that was seen by Reute…

Tillerson being ill served by State Department bureaucracy

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NY Times:
Tillerson Finds His Role Undercut by the Oval Office
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson has found himself out of sync, especially on Middle East policy, with President Trump and his top advisers Jared Kushner and Stephen K. Bannon. I think he is getting bad advice from the career State Department employees who seem to have an unrealistic assessment of situations like that in Qatar.  They are also giving bad advice on the Muslim Brotherhood.  Trump seems to have a more realistic approach to the situation.

It is time to move past the failed policies of the past that have allowed the Islamist cancer to spread in the Middle East.  With allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt expressing a more realistic approach to the problem. the US should seize the opportunities presented to rid themselves of trolls like Qatar's leaders.

Obama's Russian chopper deal for Afghanistan is a failure

Washington Times:
The Donald Trump Pentagon, in so many words, is saying that the Obama administration’s decision to waive punitive sanctions and buy combat helicopters from Russia was a bad deal.

The Pentagon’s first congressionally required report on Afghanistan under President Trump says the Russian Mi-17 chopper has proved a failure in the long war and will be phased out in favor of American-made UH-60 Black Hawks.

The Obama administration came to realize the failure in its last weeks in office and stopped the deal.

The report this month on “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan” marks official confirmation that the Russian model broke down too often for the Afghan air force logistics system to keep up.

“Along with the increased expense and difficulty in maintaining the Mi-17 helicopter fleet, utility helicopters are in high demand and the required maintenance exceeds current capacity and capability, leading to maintenance backlogs and a reduced number of aircraft available,…

Sen. Schumer said Trump was under investigation and he knew that was not true

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This is a good example of the politics of fraud as practiced by Democrat politicians.  Sen. Grassley correctly calls Schumer on his lies and his attempt to stall a Supreme Court nomination based on the lie.

FBI clears Mike Flynn over his contacts with Russian ambassador

NY Post:
The FBI has reviewed intercepted phone calls between national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the US and has found no evidence of wrongdoing, it was revealed Monday.

The calls were made in late December and picked up as part of routine electronic surveillance of Russian officials. They did not reveal any illicit ties between Flynn and Russia, according to the Washington Post.
... This also raises serious questions about the Obama administration officials who said Flynn was "compromised" because of the talks.  I have been saying that the talks were perfectly legal and in no way compromised Flynn.  It also damages the Democrats assertion that Trump was "obstructing justice" when he asked Comey to "let the Flynn case go."

Drop in oil price begins to have effect to impact break even because of increased service company charges

Fuel Fix:
Crude prices have fallen to a level that makes drilling most oil wells in the Permian Basin too expensive as service costs continue to rise in West Texas.

The average oil well in the prolific region now breaks even at about $43 a barrel – the price at which U.S. oil settled on Friday – up from about $39 a barrel at earlier this year, according to energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.

That's because oil field service companies have raised prices for equipment and crews that drill wells and bring them into production amid a surge in drilling and equipment there.

"They definitely can't maintain the trajectory they're on," said Ben Shattuck, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie. "For a lot of these pad wells to work, you need those ultralow service prices, and that doesn't happen when you have more than 300 rigs in the Permian."

U.S. oil prices settled at $43.01 a barrel on Friday, down from more than $50 a barrel last month. The number of active oil rigs …

Perry questions subsidy effects on reliability of power grid

The Hill:
When Energy Secretary Rick Perry requested a study of electric grid reliability, wind and solar energy lobbyists were predictably alarmed. Perry wanted to know how federal policies were shaping wholesale electricity markets and whether public policies were responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants.

The government has long had a role in the electric power industry, so asking for a survey of its effects should not be controversial.

The reason for the alarm? The request mentioned government mandates and subsidies, which have driven wind and solar energy's growth, as possible drivers of reliability concerns. The industry lobbyists are right to be sensitive. Despite constantly touting the rapidly falling cost of wind and solar, industry growth over the next decade depends on mandates and subsidies.
...
While low natural gas prices due to fracking have figured into the closure of coal fired power plants, a rise in regulatory compliance costs is …

All they need to do now is persuade the Norks

Reuters:
China, U.S. agree on aim of 'complete, irreversible' Korean denuclearization The real question is, what is China willing to do to ensure this outcome.

The Democrats all too brief vacation from its 'GOP are killers' rhetoric

Derek Hunter:
It was a different time, a crazy time, all those…days ago…way back at the end of last week. I remember it like it was, well, just last week, when Democrats suggested that maybe, just maybe, the political rhetoric in the country was a little too heated after one of their own tried to murder as many Republican Congressmen as possible. Like I said, it was a different time.

After less than two weeks, that time is done and the political left is back at their lying, hateful rhetoric about how Republicans are hoping to kill as many Americans as possible. It actually took a little longer than I thought it would.

Putting aside the hypocrisy for a second, how dumb must Democrats think their base is to believe the other political party’s election strategy is to hasten the deaths of millions of people? How idiotic is the idea that one party’s plan to continue to win elections across the country is the screw as many people as possible out of something?

Moreover, Democrats are telling…

Those behind the dirty dossier are Democrats?

Paul Sperry:
...
The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House.

What is the company hiding? Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” But congressional sources says it’s actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda.

“These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”

Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an un…

How Obama got Trump elected

Michael Goodwin:
The rapid pace of change in American life does not exempt politics. Witness how fast Democrats are cycling through scapegoats.

First came Hillary Clinton. When she emerged to gripe about all the reasons she lost last year, except herself, party activists told her to be quiet and go away. She has, for now.

Next came Nancy Pelosi. When Republicans won four contested special elections for House seats, disgruntled Dems turned their fire on their minority leader, telling Pelosi it was time to get out of the way. She refuses, for now.

And now comes Barack Obama. The former president, shredding what was left of his promise not to interfere with his successor, is joining the fight against the repeal of ObamaCare. He called the Senate bill an example of “meanness,” and pledged to campaign for the Democrat in the Virginia governor’s race.

For Republicans, luck can’t get much better. While Clinton and Pelosi were hardly innocent bystanders in the historic rout of Democrats at ev…

Muslims were responsible for one of the largest mass murders in history in India and they wonder why they are not loved?

Washington Post:
‘How can they hate us so much?’ asks father of Muslim teen brutally killed in attack on train in India

The slaying of a 16-year-old was the latest in a string of anti-Muslim attacks in India during the Islamic holy period of Ramadan. Tensions have risen since the Hindu nationalist government restricted the sale of cattle for slaughter. Some 400 million Hindus were alleged to have been killed during the attempted Muslim conquest of India.
...
From the time of the Umayyad Dynasty (711AD) to the last Mughal, Bahadur Shah Zafar (1858), so widely praised as great leaders by Indian historians themselves, entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves. Every new invader made (often literally) his hills of Hindus skulls. Thus, the conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush, i.e…

The problem with the Senate healthcare bill for Republicans

Washington Post: Senate health-care bill faces resistance from GOP moderates

Fears that proposed cuts would fray the social safety net are creating anxiety for Republican moderates whose states have benefited from the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid. Those centrists may pose just as much an obstacle to the bill’s passage as their colleagues on the right.

Koch network won’t endorse Senate GOP’s health-care measure in its current form

One group wants a “more dramatic” reversal of the Affordable Care Act. An official with the Koch network said the debate has focused too much on the number of insured people and not enough on outcomes. Most of the criticism I see is closer to what the Koch network is saying than what so-called moderates are saying.

Those who cling too closely to the current Obamacare formula are likely to be the biggest losers because they are not going to mollify Democrats who are determined to keep the sorry status quo at any cost and they will lash out at anyone who opposes …

Special ops raids give a picture inside ISIS operations

NY Times:
One late afternoon in April, helicopter-borne American commandos intercepted a vehicle in southeastern Syria carrying a close associate of the Islamic State’s supreme leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The associate, Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, was a rare prize whom United States Special Operations forces had been tracking for months: a midlevel but highly trusted operative skilled in raising money; spiriting insurgent leaders out of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s besieged capital in Syria; and plotting attacks against the West. Captured alive, Mr. Uzbeki could be an intelligence bonanza. Federal prosecutors had already begun preparing criminal charges against him for possible prosecution in the United States.

As the commandos swooped in, however, a firefight broke out. Mr. Uzbeki, a combat-hardened veteran of shadow wars in Syria and Pakistan, died in the gun battle, thwarting the military’s hopes of extracting from him any information about Islamic State operations, leaders and strategy.

N…

Immigrants in Houston react to presidential politics in US

This being from the NY Times, it has been edited to present those who think we are on the road to becoming Syria first, but there are some real insights from some of the more optimistic people interviewed and I will focus on what they said.
...
Steve Le was born in South Vietnam and was 7 years old when he boarded a ship the day before the fall of Saigon in 1975 with his family and other refugees. They resettled in Houston, and Mr. Le became a family physician and the third consecutive Vietnamese-American to represent District F on the Houston City Council. Mr. Le, a Republican who speaks with a subtle Texas twang, said he has never seen America more deeply divided, but added that nothing happening now compares to the world his parents knew in Vietnam. Watching the testimony of James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, was but one example, he said.

“In how many other countries can you call the top elected official in the country a liar and get away with it?” said Mr. Le, 50. “Althou…

UK burdened by terroists' rights apparatus that prevents deportations

Sunday Telegraph:
More than 40 foreign terrorists have used human rights laws to remain in the UK, according to an unpublished report delayed by the Home Office.

The study highlights the near insurmountable problem for the Government in deporting dangerous jihadists and follows a series of Islamic State-inspired attacks in the UK.

In the court cases, lawyers - typically funded through legal aid - have successfully prevented foreign-born terror suspects from being sent back to their home countries.

At a time when Britain’s security services are fully stretched, the additional burden of monitoring so many foreign terrorist inevitably adds to the strain.
...
Prof Walker said: “My research suggests there are more than 40 foreign terrorists convicted in the UK who have avoided deportation using the human rights act. The figure is much larger than was previously thought.”

Among those understood to have used the Human Rights Act to resist deportation including jihadists with links to the fai…

The toxic language on the left

Marc Theisen:
...
Case in point: A few weeks before the Alexandria shooting, Hillary Clinton gave a commencement speech at Wellesley College where she declared that Trump’s budget is “an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us, the youngest, the oldest, the poorest” (emphasis added). No, it is not. Using nerve agent on the innocent is “an attack of unimaginable cruelty.” Putting a hapless college student into a coma is an “attack of unimaginable cruelty.” Reducing the growth of government spending is not.

Think for a moment what Clinton was saying: It’s not simply that Democrats and Republicans have an honest disagreement about how best to help the most vulnerable among us. In Clinton’s telling, Republicans are waging war on the vulnerable. That is toxic.

No doubt, Trump has contributed mightily to our descent into the culture of contempt. (For example, the media is not the “enemy of the American people,” Mr. President). But since Trump’s election, the scope and…

Democrats continue to make the same mistake Hillary Clinton made in the campaign--It is all about Trump

Washington Post:
Beyond opposing Trump, do Democrats have a message?

Perhaps Democrats thought things would be easier because of Donald Trump’s rocky start. His presidency has produced an outpouring of anger among Democrats, but will that be enough to bring about a change in the party’s fortunes? Some savvy Democratic elected officials doubt it. Their anti-Trump fantasies are not working for them.  Anger is not a plan or a policy.  It only feeds those they already had and does not expand their base.  If anything, it further alienates them from voters they need.  This is because they not only hate Trump, they also hate those who voted for him.  "I hate you because you did not vote for me" is a tough sale.

Yet another absurd claim by Trump opponents

Washington Post:
Could Trump’s White House tapes ruse get him in legal trouble?

Legal experts doubt the president would actually be accused of witness tampering. But some of them said it could feed into the obstruction of justice case. There are several things wrong with this "analysis."  What Trump said was not a definitive statement that there were tapes.  He said something that he believed would force Comey to tell the truth about their conversations and it apparently worked.  After Comey testified Trump felt exonerated.

How could getting a witness to tell the truth be considered witness tampering?  That is absurd on its face.  It is a technique used by trial lawyers in cross-examinations from time to time.  Even Abraham Lincoln is said to have used it.

Why is the Washington Post even giving credence to such a ridiculous theory?  There seems to be no limit on what the left and the media will stoop to in their attempt to justify a coup against the President.

Navy has yet to reveal why watch system did not work to avoid collision of Fitzgerald with freighter

NY Times:
A U.S. Destroyer Failed to Dodge a Cargo Ship. Why?
Lookouts and radar operators on the Fitzgerald should have spotted the freighter it collided with, and the captain should have been alerted. But none of that happened, and seven sailors died. While the radar system should have alerted the crew, a person on watch should have been able to identify the potential collision by seeing the running lights on the cargo ship.  They should have been able to see the port side red lights on the ship as it approached.  The Navy needs to determine if the watch was distracted by something internally on the destroyer or was asleep at the wheel.

Reports indicate the cargo ship was on autopilot.  I suspect the Fitzgerald was too.  But both ships should have had a watch posted and both had a responsibility to avoid a collision.

Documents reveal Qatar ties to Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish despot

Shoebot.com:
Secret Documents Reveal A Grand Conspiracy Behind Qatar And Turkey For A Muslim Brotherhood Takeover What I do not understand is why the US State Department is insistent on supporting this Islamist organization even against the allegations of other Muslims.  The claim that labeling them a terrorist organization will alienate Muslims seems to be belied by the fact that so many Muslims reject the group.

Canada demonstrates how rationed healthcare works

CTV News:
Healthcare wait times hit 20 weeks in 2016: reportA survey by the Fraser Institute found a median wait of 20 weeks for “medically necessary” treatments and procedures in 2016 – the longest-recorded wait time since the think tank began tracking wait times.
... There is more.

This is what you get with the single payer system the Democrats are pushing.  This is not to mention the loss of innovation in medicine that is created by the single payer system that free rides on US pharmaceuticals where most of the new drugs are created.

The left and its terrorist movement

Red States:
Trump Supporter Savagely Attacked At Sanctuary City Protest In California

We’re barely six months into the so called #RESIST movement and the Left has already engaged in more violence than they ever falsely accused the Tea Party of committing. In California a demonstration over the sanctuary cities issue ended with a man being run down and stabbed nine times in what certainly looks like another racially or politically motivated attack. At this rate, left wing extremists are going to be a bigger security threat than ISIS.
... Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.  It has become routine especially in California where the left controls all the levers of government and it seems to have no interests in going after violent fellow travelers.  It appears opponents of liberalism are the victims of hate crimes in that state.

Congress should investigate the investigators

Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows:
Former FBI Director James Comey misled the American people during last year’s presidential campaign when he referred to the Clinton email scandal as a “matter,” not an investigation. He did it willfully. He did it intentionally. And he did it at the direction of Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Mr. Comey misled the American people in the early weeks of the Trump administration by furthering the perception that President Trump was under investigation, when in fact he was not. He again did this willfully and intentionally.

Comey recently admitted that, after being fired from the FBI, he had a friend leak an internal FBI document to the New York Times detailing a conversation Comey had with President Trump. Comey testified under oath that he ordered the leak to help create public momentum for the appointment of a special counsel, which we now know is Comey’s mentor and predecessor, Robert Mueller.

The American people want justice to be blind. They w…

Democrat colusion allegation scam replaced by obstruction scam

Andrew McCarthy:
The “collusion” narrative was a fraud, plain and simple. We know that now. Hopefully, it won’t take another six months to grasp a second plain and simple truth: Collusion’s successor, the “obstruction” narrative, is a perversion.The Left loves narrative. The ever-expanding story manipulates time, space, and detail to fit a thematic framework. Political narrative has some surface appeal, but it is deeply flawed. It obscures plain and simple truth.So let’s stick with the plain and simple: The essence of obstruction is to frustrate the search for truth. Its antithesis is to demand the exposure of fraud.Donald Trump’s political enemies are trying to build an obstruction case on the antithesis of obstruction: the president’s insistence that the collusion fraud be exposed.
... There is more.

The Democrats have been engaged in the politics of fraud and they keep getting caught.  But rather than shrinking from their scheme they double down with another preposterous assertion an…

Will California state universities have to forfeit out of state games in certain states?

CNN:
California adds 4 states to travel ban for laws it says discriminate against LGBTQ community I suspect the ban may breach the constitution prohibition on interference with interstate commerce.  But it would be interesting to see if California would damage the ability of state school sports programs to compete.

Saudis say they foiled terror attack against holy site

Reuters:
Saudi security forces foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca - state TV

...
Al Arabiya said security forces had found two groups of terrorists in Mecca and a third group in the city of Jeddah. The foiled attack targeted worshipers at the mosque, it said.
... This sounds like an ISIS operation, but the Saudis have also recently foiled plots by Iran too.   If they managed to capture the plotters whey will likely find out who was behind the operation.

There is an Islamic civil war going on and the terrorists are not limiting their attacks to non-Muslims.