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Showing posts from September, 2013

Why energy companies are leaving the Middle East and investing in the US

NPR has the story:
It is worth listening to.  The Arab spring has made things worse in the Middle East at the same time US development is growing.

He is pretty scary looking

Telegraph:

Car thief sprayed with invisible dye in police trap They know they have their guy when he looks green with Zombie like eyes.

Obama administration allowing abortion coverage for government employees

Washington Times:
Members of Congress and their staffs will be able to buy health plans that pay for abortions, even though the premiums are paid for largely by taxpayer money, the Office of Personnel Management ruled Monday.

Lawmakers and their aides are being required to ditch their government-sponsored plans and buy insurance on state-based health exchanges, though unlike most people on the exchanges, the staffers and members will still have most of the cost of their premiums paid for by their employer — in this case, taxpayers.

Federal law generally prevents taxpayer money being used to pay for abortions, but OPM said that the health care plans offered through the exchange were private. The agency also said it will make sure the money is segregated so that the portion that pays for abortions comes out of the employees’ own contribution, which amounts to about a quarter of the premiums.

“While plans with such coverage may be offered on an Exchange, OPM can and will take appropriate ad…

Marines fire two generals over attack on Camp Bastion

CNN:
In an action unprecedented during 12 years of war in Afghanistan, the commandant of the Marine Corps is firing two top generals for failing to protect troops and their base in southern Afghanistan from a Taliban attack.

Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, has agreed to a finding that Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus and Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant "did not take adequate force protection measures" at Camp Bastion last year, the service said on Monday.

On September 14-15, 2012, Taliban fighters got through an unguarded part of a fence and engaged in a long running gun battle with U.S. and coalition forces.

Two Marines were killed and eight other personnel were wounded. Six aircraft were destroyed by the Taliban, the largest loss of Marine aircraft since the Vietnam War.

There were three investigations of the incident, two of which Gurganus ran, according to a Marine Corps official. But Amos then asked U.S. Central Command for an independent probe. Central Command recommended bo…

Administration's attempt to defund Shabab a failure

NY Times:
Somali Militants Defy Efforts to Stem Their Income The Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the deadly mall siege in Nairobi, makes money through illegal endeavors and even employs a team of accountants. It sounds like the current strategy is not working and they need to develop a new one.  One of the problems is that this administration has not attracted people with the kind of imagination needed to come up with a new plan.  They have in fact alienated some of the best minds in the counterinsurgency, counter terrorism community.  The eagerness for retreat has led to renewed violence in Iraq and no receding of violence elsewhere in the Muslim world.

Wendy Davis will lose because of her advocacy for late term abortions

David Hirsanyi:
Objectively speaking, Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis may champion the least popular political position in the country. Not that you’d know it when reading most accounts of her rise to prominence. Ever since the summer, when Davis filibustered the legislative session to delay the passage of a bill banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, much of the coverage has avoided accurately describing why we know who Wendy Davis is in the first place.

In a recent New Republic piece, Nate Cohn argued that Davis has no shot of winning statewide office Texas — all the time rigorously avoiding any mention of late-term abortion. Time magazine asks: Is she Cinderella or Joan of Arc? In a Politico column, ambitiously titled “Abortion is a winning issue for Wendy Davis,” Jason Stanford, a Democratic consultant from Texas, tells us abortion is a political winner without ever telling us Davis’ position.

Stanford fails to offer much in the way of evidence, though he se…

Marine Corps retaliates against lawyer who challenged Commandant's command influence allegations

Washington Times:
The Marine Corps officer who filed a complaint against the commandant for intervening in the Taliban urination cases against eight Marines is now the target of reprisals from superiors, his attorney says.

Retired Marine Col. Jane Siegel, who is representing Maj. James Weirick, said superiors have subjected the major to retaliations since it became known that he filed a whistleblower complaint against Gen. James Amos, the commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member.

“Headquarters Marine Corps is undercutting a hero,” Col. Siegel said. “He did the right thing, and they are trying to bury it and him.”

Maj. Weirick, a staff judge advocate at the Combat Development Command at Quantico, Va., accuses Gen. Amos of violating the military edict against unlawful command influence by urging guilty verdicts to the general overseeing the cases.

The major also told the Pentagon’s inspector general that Gen. Amos’ legal advisers unlawfully classified most of the evidence, including pote…

Why the GOP attacks on Obamacare are good politics

David Freddoso:
The new New York Times/CBS poll shows President Obama underwater on his job approval, with 49 percent disapproving, 43 percent approving, and no gender gap whatsoever. Independents are even more sour on the president’s performance, at 50-40 unfavorable.
...

Only 18 percent of Americans believe Obamacare will benefit them personally, versus 39 percent who expect to be harmed personally. The group most likely to predict a personal benefit? Democrats, at 31 percent. Right behind them are 18 to 29 year-olds, the least likely to benefit because of the way the law is designed, and the most likely to face large premium increases when the exchanges go online.

Only 10 percent say Obamacare has already helped them, as opposed to 39 percent who say it has already hurt them. People don’t seem that awed at the provisions Democrats talk about most as having helped everyone — free wellness visits, pre-existing conditions, the “slacker mandate” for children up to age 26, bans on coverage…

Was Tip O'Neill a terrorist with his 12 shutdowns?

Congressman Labrador schools Chris Mathews on his former boss's shutdown of the government.

Leaks that hurt

NY Times:
Al Qaeda Plot Leak Has Hampered U.S. Intelligence
The disclosure in August of a terrorist plot by Al Qaeda has caused more damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the vast trove of data from Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. consultant, analysts said. These kind of leads reveal our sources and methods of acquiring intelligence on enemy plans and plots in progress.  That allows the enemy to change their methods of communication and re do their planning for their mass murder attacks.  I cannot think of anything good that comes from leaks of enemy plots.

More guns mean fewer murders

Examiner:
US: Harvard study shows gun control doesn’t save lives What is also interesting is that it is not a new study, but it is one that anti gun left media choose to avoid.  One fact from the study--Luxembourg bans all guns, but has a murder rate nine times higher than Germany which has 30,000 guns per 100,000.

The embedded barbarism within the Muslim culture

Brenden O'Neill:
In Western news-making and opinion-forming circles, there’s a palpable reluctance to talk about the most noteworthy thing about modern Islamist violence: its barbarism, its graphic lack of moral restraint. This goes beyond the BBC's yellow reluctance to deploy the T-word – terrorism – in relation to the bloody assault on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya at the weekend. Across the commentating board, people are sheepish about pointing out the historically unique lunacy of Islamist violence and its utter detachment from any recognisable moral universe or human values. We have to talk about this barbarism; we have to appreciate how new and unusual it is, how different it is even from the terrorism of the 1970s or of the early twentieth century. We owe it to the victims of these assaults, and to the principle of honest and frank political debate, to face up to the unhinged, morally unanchored nature of Islamist violence in the 21st century.

Maybe it’s because we…

2014 breaking bad for Democrats

Glenn Reynolds/USA Today:
So last week, while most of the country was talking about football or fears of a government shutdown, Rasmussen released a poll that should worry everyone -- but especially incumbent Democrats in Congress. According to Rasmussen's survey, most Americans think the IRS broke the law by targeting Tea Party groups for harassment, but few expect it to be punished. Fifty-three percent think the IRS broke the law by targeting the Tea Party and other conservative groups like the voter-integrity outfit True The Vote; only 24% disagreed. But only 17%think it is even somewhat likely that anyone will be charged, while 74% think that criminal charges are unlikely.

So a majority of Americans think that government officials who exercise an important trust broke the law, but only a very small number think anything will be done to punish them.

There are a couple of lessons to draw from this. One is bad for the country in general, but the other is bad for congressional Democ…

Obama invading privacy with consumer and health care programs

Washington Examiner Editorial:
Officials with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are monitoring 80 percent of Americans' credit cards and 95 percent of their mortgages. The Department of Health and Human Services is collecting “social and behavioral” data for patients' health care records. These are the latest additions to the deeply personal information that federal bureaucrats have been empowered to access in recent years under programs initiated by President Obama. Intrusions into the privacy of individuals and families on this scale are without warrant for a government that is supposed to be limited.

The CFPB, the ironically named entity created by the Dodd-Frank Act within the Federal Reserve, is conducting its intrusive activities through a data-mining program that Wisconsin Republican Rep. Sean Duffy described during a recent House Financial Services Committee hearing as a “step closer to a Big Brother form of government.” Bureau Director Richard Cordray refused to…

Were Democrats trying to get Darrell Issa killed or get him to cancel his Libya trip as part of their Benghazi cover up?

Daily Caller:

Issa feared targeted by terrorists after Democrats revealed secret Libya trip The State Department said the release of information about the trip put Issa's life in danger as did Libyan officials. Issa was not deterred and fortunately was not attacked during his trip.

The failure of careful deliberation before passing Obamacare

Michael Barone:
Many Democrats are genuinely puzzled about Republicans' continuing opposition to Obamacare. It is the law of the land, these Democrats say. Critics should accept it, as critics accepted Medicare.

They should work constructively and across the aisle with Democrats to repair any flaws and make the law work to help people.

Historical analogies are often useful but can be misleading. Certainly so in this case: Republicans, like it or not, are behaving differently from the way they behaved after the passage of Medicare in 1965.

To understand why there is continued resistance to Obamacare, and why majorities of voters continue to oppose it in polls, a different historical analogy is helpful.

It is an example of a law that was bitterly opposed but that was accepted by opponents to a much greater extent than even many of its advocates expected: the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The most controversial provision of the law was Title II, prohibiting racial discrimination in public acc…

If Obamacare is so great, why isn't the government using it?

Judge Jeanine finds problems, and on the street interviews show New Yorkers don't understand the thing.

The 915 day countdown to disaster that is Obamacare is upon us

Joseph Curl:
On March 30, 2010, President Obama signed the non-ironically named Affordable Care Act. That was 915 days ago.

From the moment the last of the 22 pens he used to sign the bill into law left the parchment, the federal government has been gearing up — and, of course, collecting cash — for Day One, non-ironically set 915 days in the future, Oct. 1, 2013.

In the meantime, though, the community organizer from Chicagoland exempted everyone in his administration from the new law (as well as lawmakers and staffers in Congress). Lots of campaign donors and business buddies in blue states got waivers, too. But everyone else has to fall in line and get set for the federal government to gain an unfathomable degree of control over their lives.

Well, not everyone. Months ago, the government that could hardly administer a Cash for Clunkers program had to bail on the “employer mandate,” pushing the start date back to Oct. 1, 2015. That means businesses with more than 50 full-time employees …

Sen. Ted Cruz makes his case on Meet the Press

David Gregory was over matched in this interview with Sen. Cruz.  Harry Reid was not represented in the contest, but Cruz made it clear who was responsible for a government shutdown.

Government admits Obamacare not ready for Oct. 1 opening

NY Times:
Health Insurance Exchanges Scramble as Launch Nears
Officials are warning that despite fevered efforts, the new online markets where people can shop for health plans will not be fully operational at first. They should acknowledge the obvious and accept the one year delay proposed by the GOP House.

Boehner puts the onus on Reid

Daily Caller: ...
“If the Senate stalls until Monday afternoon instead of working today, it would be an act of breathtaking arrogance by the Senate Democratic leadership,” Boehner said. “They will be deliberately bringing the nation to the brink of a government shutdown for the sake of raising taxes on seniors’ pacemakers and children’s hearing aids and plowing ahead with the train wreck that is the president’s health care law. The American people will not stand for it.”
... That si a pretty apt description of what the Democrats are up to.

Democrats' refusal to compromise will lead to government shutdown

The Hill:
The Republican leading the fight to defund President Obama's healthcare law called Democrats “absolutist” on Sunday for refusing to budge as a government shutdown looms.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told NBC's "Meet the Press" that Senate Democrats have offered “zero” compromise and will be the ones responsible if the government shuts down Tuesday. The Republican-led House approved early Sunday a government spending bill that delays the healthcare law for a year, which Senate Democrats say is a non-starter.

“It is the Democrats who have taken an absolutist position,” Cruz said. “I'd like to repeal every word of the law. But that wasn't my position even in this fight – my position in this fight was, we should defund it, which is different from repeal.”

Cruz suggested that he could get on board with a simple delay of the law if the Senate takes up the House bill.

“Even now what the House of Representatives has done is a step removed from defunding – it's…

Iranian spy caught with photos of US embassy in Israel

AFP:
Israel's Shin Bet security service on Sunday announced the arrest on September 11 of an Iranian "spy" carrying photographs of the US embassy in Tel Aviv.

News of the arrest was released just hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for Washington and New York, determined to expose what he described as "sweet talk" by Israel's arch-foe Iran.

The suspect, holding a Belgian passport, was sent to Israel by Iran's elite Republican Guards and arrested at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion international airport, Shin Bet charged in a statement.

The domestic intelligence service identified him as Ali Mansouri, 58, and said he had enrolled in a "special operations unit of the Revolutionary Guards responsible for numerous terrorist attacks around the world."

He had been using the fake identity Alex Mans after being recruited last year, the agency said, naming his four alleged handlers as senior Iranian officials.

The Shin Bet said that under questioni…

Saturday Night Live spoofs the Obamacare rool out

This si pretty funny stuff, and that is because it contains a grain of truth in each story.

Why the anger directed at Ted Cruz

Matthew Continetti:
...

The emotions generated by Cruz are of a degree not normally found in debate. The closest parallel is the reception of liberals and moderate Republicans to Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination in 2008. On the surface Cruz and Palin could not be more different: he a Princeton- and Harvard-educated lawyer, she a small-town mayor and Alaska governor whose record, let us recall, was nowhere as conservative as her later television persona. But the two are now allies—Palin endorsed Cruz in his primary last year—in the populist conservative wing of the Republican Party.

That wing of the party is much smaller than one might assume based on reading the newspapers and magazines, watching television, and listening to radio. Populists are the minority of a minority, in the U.S. Senate in particular. Funny, that this minority persuasion arouses such ire from the writers and producers and politicians at the top of the bipartisan food chain.

What makes the populists the obj…

The unpersuasive UN report on the climate

Nigel Lawson:
Climate change: this is not science – it’s mumbo jumbo  The IPCC’s call to phase out fossil fuels is economic nonsense and 'morally outrageous’ for the developing world Their assumptions have been proved invalid, yet they double down on them.  While they call those who disapree with them "deniers" the people responsible for the UN report are in deep denial about the failure of their computer models which had predicted significant warming when there has been none.

Obama looks small on foreign policy and inept at home

Michael Goodwin:
Anybody wanting to lampoon the Obama presidency is out of luck — there is no way to top the real thing. From being outmaneuvered by Russia to erasing red lines in Syria and getting snubbed by Iran, September was the cruelest month.

That’s only half the bad news. For as small as the president looked abroad, he looked downright childish at home.

He is following his failure to negotiate successfully on the world stage with a refusal to negotiate at all at home. His message to Republicans on both the debt ceiling and ObamaCare is the same: nyet, nyet.

Call him confused about who the enemy is.

The dynamic is startling. The more the world pushes Barack Obama around, the more he pushes back at home. It reminds me of a Mort Sahl joke from the Cold War: Every time the Soviets lock up an American, we retaliate by locking up an American.

And so Vladimir Putin and his evil spawn in Syria and Iran can mess with Obama all day long, but House Speaker John Boehner can’t get the time of da…

Spending binge before shutdown?

Washington Post:
As Congress fights over the budget, an agency spends $562,000 on artwork
It’s “use it or lose it” time as agencies make a blitz of expensive decisions in an attempt to spend their allotted funds by Sept. 30. This should be an embarrassment to the Democrats, but probably will not be.  It is an example of the fact that there are large potential saving in every aspect of government.  The sequester has not stopped the bleeding and Nancy Pelosi's suggestion that there is nothing left to cut looks ridiculous.

Then there is this:
Army Paid $16 Million to Deserters, AWOL Soldiers, Audit Finds

Where if you like your healthcare plan you can't keep it

Daily Caller:
Ten states where Obamacare wipes out existing health care plans Thousands of people in the 10 states listed are not going to be able to keep their current health plan under the Obamacare monstrosity.

Mass murder for Allah attack kills 50 in Nigeria

BBC:
Suspected Islamist gunmen have attacked a college in north-eastern Nigeria, killing up to 50 students.  They were shot dead as they slept in their dormitory at the College of Agriculture in Yobe state.

North-eastern Nigeria is under a state of emergency amid an Islamist insurgency by the Boko Haram group.

Boko Haram is fighting to overthrow Nigeria's government to create an Islamic state, and has launched a number of attacks on schools.

Casualty figures from the latest attack vary, but a local politician told the BBC that around 50 students had been killed.

The politician said two vanloads of bodies had been taken to a hospital in Yobe's state capital, Damaturu.

One hospital source told Reuters news agency that 26 bodies had been brought there.

College provost Molima Idi Mato, speaking to Associated Press, also said the number of dead could be as high as 50, adding that security forces were still recovering the bodies and that about 1,000 students had fled the campus.

A militar…

Chinese banks used to launder money for Hamas

Haaretz:
Shin Bet probe reveals scope of Hamas money laundering through Chinese banks It is an interesting twist on how the death cult is funded.

Challenging the legitimacy of 2012 election

Wayne Allen Root:
It is increasingly clear that the 2012 elections, both presidential and senate, were stolen by Obama, the Democratic Party, the IRS, and government employee unions. It’s right out of a mob movie like “The Godfather.”

The Obama Crime Family could give the mob lessons. Don Obama plays for keeps. The Don gets what he wants and when he found himself in danger of losing his power and control, Obama went to his enforcers – the IRS.

In a story reminiscent of the mob fixing union elections, the IRS enforcers conspired to destroy Don Obama’s main competition – the Tea Parties and other conservative fundraising groups.

Lois Lerner was only one of many IRS big shots in DC who gave orders to IRS offices across the U.S. to “kill” the Tea Parties and other conservative groups. Their goal – steal the election. As if only days ago, the “fall gal” retired from the IRS. We can only guess what kind of massive payoff she received from Obama’s donors.

The 2010 elections were the biggest emba…

Transportation bottlenecks lowering drilling investments

Fuel Fix:
Despite rising production and commodity prices, investing at North American oil fields has turned sluggish.

This year marked only the third time in more than a decade that North American producers budgeted less than their cash flow forecasts allowed, reversing a trend that buoys sales in the U.S. oil field services sector and job creation in energy hubs, including Houston.

At first glance, it’s strange: No unexpected surge in prices pushed up cash flows, as in 2005, and no dead stop in the credit markets hit spending, as in 2008.

Oil and gas remains a robust industry chasing the fruits of triple-digit oil prices.

But the spending downturn of 2013 had several catalysts — last year’s lower expectations for commodity prices, increased shareholder pressure for financial discipline and the retrenching of Chesapeake Energy, which was the largest driller in the nation two years ago.

A further roadblock is the lack of viable energy transportation infrastructure between new shale plays a…

Democrats falling into 2014 GOP trap

Robert Costa:
House GOP insiders acknowledge a shutdown is increasingly likely, due to House conservatives’ aversion to passing a “clean” continuing resolution that simply funds the government. But the leadership isn’t ready to concede defeat, and, behind the scenes, Speaker Boehner and his allies are finalizing their strategy for the eleventh hour.

Here’s how it could play out, according to sources familiar with the leadership’s closed-door deliberations.

First, the House passes a CR today that delays Obamacare’s implementation for one year and repeals the medical-device tax. This legislation will almost certainly die a quick death in the Senate.

Should that happen, the House will send another bill back — and here’s where it gets interesting. The leadership is mulling several options. At the top of the list is a revised CR that includes the Vitter amendment, authored by Senator David Vitter (R., La.), which would eliminate Obamacare subsidies for congressional staffers and members.

The l…

Congress and its illegal and unethical exemption from Obamacare

CNS News has the story.

The Permian Basin is still a winner for oil production

Daily Finance:
If you're an aficionado of oil and gas, their respective histories, and investing in the companies that produce them, you know all about the newly hot Eagle Ford play in South Texas and the Bakken/Three Forks in North Dakota and Montana. For my money, however, the most colorful and geologically fascinating of the plays in the onshore U.S. is the Permian Basin.

Whereas the Eagle Ford is a mere kindergartner at five years old, and the Bakkenis more senior, with production dating back more than half a century, the Permian is a nonagenarian play that's recently become friskier than ever. As you likely realize, the Permian region which covers much of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico through a 250-mile by 300-mile expanse, has, like the Bakken, found new life through the development of hydraulic fracturing and other technological wrinkles.

The Permian's first commercial well was spudded in 1921 in Mitchell County, Texas, on the eastern extremity of the play. T…

Media points out Obama's unwillingness to reach a deal with GOP

It is exactly how he got the Obamacare fiasco passed to begin with by rejecting Republican ideas.  He just lacks basic leadership skills.

The non argument on the left in defense of Obamacare

Jonah Goldberg:
‘It’s the law of the land”: This is rapidly becoming the preferred shorthand argument for why criticism of ObamaCare is just so, so wrong. It also serves as the lead sentence of a larger claim that all attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act are really symptoms of a kind of extremist right-wing lunacy.

For instance, here’s Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who walked out of the painting “American Gothic” to deliver this homespun wisdom: “We’re not going to bow to Tea Party anarchists who deny the mere fact that ObamaCare is the law. We will not bow to Tea Party anarchists who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare is constitutional.”

Where to begin? For starters, I know a great many self-described members of the Tea Party, and I’ve yet to meet one who wouldn’t acknowledge — admittedly with dismay — that ObamaCare is the law. Nor have I met one unwilling to concede that the Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare is constitutional.

Lurking beneath su…

Obamacare--Reinvigorating the Tea Party

Washington Post:
Tea party gets a boost from Obamacare
The movement born to oppose the health-care law is gaining momentum, but its resurgence poses political risks for the GOP. The political risk for the Republicans is if they ignore the passions of the people who got the majority in the House to start with.  One way they can lose is if they attack Ted Cruz because of his keeping of a promise to fight Obamacare.

Liberal media has lost control of the narrative

NY Times:
Thanks to the Digital Revolution, a Conservative Uprising Can Rally Its Troops
A fervent group of conservatives is harnessing the power of the Internet, determined to tell the story of the current budget showdown on its terms. It is harder for Democrats to suppress the conservative narrative on events.  The administration and many of its supporters have resorted to name calling an insults.  Note the graphic in a post below comparing their description of Ted Cruz and conservative Republicans to their description of the Fort Hood shooter.

This suggest the administrations claim of a market catasrosphy is overstated

Reuters:
Government shutdown. Federal default. These looming political threats to the U.S. economy might scare investors to buy more U.S. Treasuries in the coming days as they seek a shelter for their cash.

While a protracted government shutdown, and particularly a default, could harm to the image of Uncle Sam's debt, its safe-haven appeal looks unchallenged in the short term.

Worried about rising chances that federal workers and contractors won't get paid if much of the government shuts down on October 1 amid a political standoff in Washington, investors are expected to go by the conventional crisis playbook - dumping assets perceived to be higher-risk and rushing into those seen as lower risk.
... The government will slash spending before it would default on its debt.  The markets know that and they still see treasuries as a safe investment.  If Obama actually challenges that assumption the debacle would be on him.

Reaction to Wendy Davis's pending run for governor

Rebekah Maxwell:
Remember when a political leader rose to prominence based on their experience, strength of character, moral integrity, and leadership ability?

Me neither. But it was once generally considered bad for one’s career to publicly extol the virtues of murdering innocent children.

Now, it seems one woman (a term I use loosely) is attempting to break the golden-domed ceiling, and run for governor…based solely on her passion for killing babies.

Wendy Davis is a “celebrated state senator,” if you read the NY Times. But her sole claim to fame rose from this summer’s fight over abortion regulations in Texas…remember, the pro-abortionists’ tampon bombings, hate-filled mob protests, “Hail Satan,” etc.?

Davis is the one who filibustered for 11 hours to stop Texas from raising the standard of medical care in their state clinics…because it makes it harder on abortion clinics to scrape by. She spent 11 hours pontificating on the necessities of baby-murder. Oh, and she wore pink sneakers to…

Texas Tea Party strongly backs Ted Cruz opposition to Obamacare

San Antonio Express-News:
Tea party and GOP activists in Bexar County joined Friday to condemn the federal Affordable Care Act and urge voters to support Sen. Ted Cruz's efforts to defund the program.

They also shared their dismay with Sen. John Cornyn, the other Texas Republican in the Senate, for not sufficiently backing Cruz, who this week gave a 21-hour Senate speech against the insurance program known as Obamacare.

Ray Wilkinson, a businessman and San Antonio Tea Party board member, said “with Obamacare, an established business is having to change its successful model in order to deal with this mandate, and that's unfair.”

He said voters “are being misled down the road by the Democratic party through this socialism that is occurring in our country, and Obamacare is just another part of that.”

Wilkinson, who operates landscape and irrigation businesses, said the legislation “is having us consider strongly using outside subcontractors to perform the work.”

Cruz, he said, “is the…

Who this administration deems terrorist and those they do not

Image
Michelle Smith posted this image on Facebook:
That is a pretty good summary of where this White House is in dealing with real terrorist and in engaging in insulting name calling rather than rational debate with those who disagree with their policies.

UK looks to Texas for investment in energy sector

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy:
Houston is the energy capital of the world. And word has spread internationally that the energy in Texas is far greater than fossil fuels alone. From hydraulic fracturing to wind generation to carbon capture and storage, Texas is a leader in innovation.

Houston is increasingly delivering the low-carbon energy solutions that nations worldwide are seeking, and we in the United Kingdom are no exception. We have long been a partner of choice in Texas with many British energy companies calling Houston home. The U.K. is the largest foreign investor in the state and U.K.-owned businesses are responsible for over 70,000 Texas jobs.

Now, with the U.K. Energy Bill, we are opening a new connection with Texas for partnership in energy prosperity. We have brought forward this major energy legislation to meet the U.K.’s future energy needs. With a significant proportion of the U.K.’s electricity generation capacity set to close over the next decade, the U.…

Natural gas power without combustion?

AP/Fuel Fix:
E-commerce giant eBay Inc. is doubling up a data center in South Jordan and deploying new technology to power it.

San Jose, Calif.-based eBay is opening a new addition at the data center and using Bloom energy cells that convert natural gas into electricity without combustion.

The company plans to generate even more electricity off-site by capturing the waste heat of a nearby natural-gas compressor station, in a partnership with geothermal company Ormat. That power plant will be operating in about 18 months.
... The story does not give many details but it sounds like an interesting technology.  If it could be scaled for home use at a reasonable cost, it would be a real game changer.

You really ought to go home

Bill Whittle describes the importance of a military confrontation over international waters in the Arabian Gulf.

Kenya mall terror attack a long term project

Guardian:
Kenyan police have arrested eight people in connection with the attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi in which at least 67 people died. Three others have been released after questioning, said the interior minister, Joseph Ole Lenku.

"Police are holding eight suspects as they seek to unmask the faces behind the terror attack," he said. All eight are being held under counter-terrorism legislation, which allows detention for long periods without charge.

The government also said that an international arrest warrant issued on Thursday for the Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, while not linked directly to the Westgate attack, was part of the ongoing security operation. "In view of the security situation, the level of Interpol alertness has been raised in respect to known global terrorists including the British woman Samantha Lewthwaite," a statement said.

Ole Lenku said investigators trying to identify the attackers were searching through the rubble of th…

War on women in Afghanistan is not yet won

Laura Bush is still pushing to help the Afghan women.

Former Army sergeant breaks bad as cartel muscle?

CNN:
A former Army sergeant is under arrest in a federal sting operation that focused on a team he allegedly supervised in international drug trafficking and planned killings, according to the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.

Joseph Hunter, 48, led a "security team" of former soldiers from around the world to assist Colombian narcotic traffickers, federal authorities allege.

Hunter, along with Timothy Vamvakias, 42, an American who also served in the U.S. Army; Dennis Gogel, 27, a German national who served in the German armed forces; and two other men acted as the security team that surveyed the transportation of what they believed to be illegal drugs. The men acted as "contract killers" who planned to eliminate anyone who threatened the drug trade -- including law enforcement agents, a press release from the U.S. attorney's office said.

Between 2012 and 2013, according to a federal indictment, Hunter recruited a team of four individuals to assist the "drug tr…

The left's Barbie double standard

Legal Insurrection:
Why is “Abortion Barbie” off limits for Wendy Davis? He does a good history of how the left tagged Sarah Palin as  “Caribou Barbie.”  Why the left thinks her abortion stand will be popular in Texas is a real head scratcher.  Her stand does not have a majority support in the US, much less conservative Texas.  It is also unpopular with Hispanic voters whom she will be hoping to lean on as a Democrat.  The chances of her winning the Texas governor's race are remote.  The best she can hope for is an Obama appointment after she loses.

Chicoms provide mobile ICBMs to Norks

Bill Gertz:
The Obama administration is ignoring China’s transfer of mobile nuclear missile launchers to North Korea as Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday applauded China for announcing new export controls on Pyongyang’s arms programs.

Six Chinese transporter-erector launchers (TELs) were sold to North Korea in 2011 and were first revealed carrying new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) during a Pyongyang military parade in April 2012.

The launchers are now part of North Korea’s newest and most-lethal road-mobile nuclear KN-08 missiles, which are capable of hitting parts of the western United States.

In addition to United Nations sanctions against North Korea, the missile launcher transfers violated the 2000 Iran, North Korea, Syria Nonproliferation Act passed by Congress requiring sanctions to be imposed on states that supply goods restricted for export under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to Iran, North Korea, or Syria. The MTCR prohibition covers missile d…

The hypocrite in chief

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NY Times:
Obama Scorns G.O.P. ‘Blackmail’ on Health Law Doug Mills/The New York Times President Obama addressed a crowd in Maryland on Thursday, discussing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act as well as the recent criticism from the Republican Party. Days before the law’s main elements take effect, President Obama mocked opponents for “crazy” arguments and accused them of trying to “blackmail a president” to stop the law. Does Obama have a short term memory problem.  Even the NY Times seems to have the problem, because when Obama was a senator he tried to do the same thing to stop the Iraq war using the debt ceiling as a way to stop funding.  Only he did not call it blackmail back then.  It was just leverage in a negotiation.

What we are seeing is a dishonest attempt to cut off debate about his priorities.

Making Obamacare apply to Congress

Byron York:
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Back in 2009, when Democrats were writing the massive new national health care scheme, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley offered an amendment. Obamacare created exchanges through which millions of Americans would purchase "affordable" health coverage. Grassley's amendment simply required lawmakers, staff, and some in the executive branch to get their insurance through the exchanges, too.

To every Republican's amazement, Democrats accepted the amendment. It's never been fully clear why; the best theory is they intended to take the provision out in conference committee, but couldn't do so because they lost their filibuster-proof 60-vote majority. In any event, Obamacare --- the law of the land, as supporters like to say --- now requires Congress to buy its health care coverage through the exchanges.  That has caused Democratic panic as the formal arrival of Obamacare nears. Right now, all lawmakers and staff are entitled to enjoy generously-subs…

Supply and demand for government?

John Hayward:
The laws of supply and demand are beautiful things – expressions of logic as elementary as the basic laws of physics, which govern everything except the more unruly subatomic particles, which thumb their noses at laws, dress like slobs, and listen to the kind of music that drives their parent atoms crazy.

Supply and demand even applies to the use of government power, although the highest imperative of socialism is to pretend otherwise. There is always enormous demand for government. Lots of people want State power to be deployed for their benefit, or to punish their competitors. (That’s why Big Business is not at all antithetical to Big Government.) There is a bottomless appetite for “free” goodies. Lots of people will always believe that any given social problem can be solved through the application of coercive force, which they prefer to think of as “political leadership” – smart people rolling up their sleeves and bringing order out of chaos.

Nobody likes chaos, wh…