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Showing posts from April, 2010

Blowout preventer failed on Gulf rig

NY Times:

As cleanup crews struggled Friday to cope with the massive oil slick from a leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico, dozens of engineers and technicians ensconced in a Houston office building were still trying to solve the mystery of how to shut down the well after a week of brainstorming and failed efforts. They have continued to focus their attention on a 40-foot stack of heavy equipment 5,000 feet below the surface of the gulf — and several hundred miles from Houston. Known as a blowout preventer, or B.O.P., the steel-framed stack of valves, rams, housings, tanks and hydraulic tubing, painted industrial yellow and sitting atop the well in the murky water, is at the root of the disaster. When an explosion and fire crippled the deepwater drilling rig on April 20, workers threw a switch to activate the blowout preventer, which is designed to seal the well quickly in the event of a burst of pressure. It did not work, and a failsafe switch on the device also failed …

Nicaragua facilitated Colombia drug smuggling

Times:

The head of the Sandinista Government in Nicaragua protected one of the world’s top drug barons and helped him to establish trafficking routes through the country, a former high-ranking officer has claimed. During the 1980s Daniel Ortega, the revolutionary leader and current President, gave Pablo Escobar, the head of Colombia’s Medellín cartel, access to drug corridors as well as sanctuary and a military guard, according to the allegations.Cuba and Panama, then led by Fidel Castro and Manuel Noriega, are also said to have participated in the deal, with Panama acting as a financial and money-laundering centre and Cuba protecting shipments.The claims have been made by Victor Boitano, a former colonel and member of the Nicaraguan Army’s high command. Speaking to The Times this week Colonel Boitano said: “A mechanism was established here in Managua [the Nicaraguan capital] for the use of soldiers for personal protection of Escobar, for his residence and for the shipping …

The GM 'repayment'

Ryan makes a pretty clear case and asks for some answers from the administration. The guy is becoming a real GOP star.

GM tried to cure a problem of sales resistance caused by its bankruptcy and bailout. I think it has compromised its credibility in the process and not solved its problem. If it can hang on and build some good autos it may work its way out of the jam. It want do it by running ads that attempt to mislead the public about its financial situation.

The case for domestic drilling

Sarah Palin:

We’ve all been shocked and saddened by the tragic events in the Gulf of Mexico. My heart breaks for coastal residents who are facing fears of the unknown impacts of the oil spill.

As an Alaskan, I can speak from the heart about the tragedy of an oil spill. For as long as I live, I will never forget the day the Exxon-Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and millions of gallons of North Slope crude poured into the waters of our beautiful Prince William Sound. The spill was devastating to so many Alaskans who, like my own family, make their living on the water from our commercial fishing industry. “Heartbreaking” was the word my husband Todd, an Alaska Native and trained oil spill responder, used to describe the scene as we watched it unfold on land and water that we feel is sacred.

Alaskans understand the tragedy of an oil spill, and we’ve taken steps to do all we can to prevent another Exxon tragedy, but we are still pro-development. We still believe in responsible de…

Left wants tougher sanctions on Arizona than Iran

Mark Steyn:

As I write, I have my papers on me – and not just because I'm in Arizona. I'm an immigrant, and it is a condition of my admission to this great land that I carry documentary proof of my residency status with me at all times and be prepared to produce it to law enforcement officials, whether on a business trip to Tucsonor taking a stroll in the woods back at my pad in New Hampshire. Who would impose such an outrageous Nazi fascist discriminatory law?

Er, well, that would be Franklin Roosevelt.But don't let the fine print of the New Deal prevent you from going into full-scale meltdown. "Boycott Arizona-stan!" urges MSNBC'sKeith Olbermann, surely a trifle Islamophobically: What has some blameless Central Asian basket case done to deserve being compared with a hellhole like Phoenix? Boycott Arizona Iced Tea, jests Travis Nichols of Chicago. It is "the drink of fascists." Just as regular tea is the drink of racists, according to New…

Spain's solar implosion

Bloomberg:

Spain is lancing an 18 billion-euro ($24 billion) investment bubble in solar energy that has boosted public liabilities, choking off new projects as it works to cut power prices and insulate itself from Greece’s debt crisis. Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian is negotiating reductions in subsidies for solar plants that would curb energy costs, a ministry spokesman said this week. Grupo T-Solar Global SA, the world’s biggest photovoltaic plant owner, shelved its Spanish stock offering three days ago. Solar Opportunities SL postponed a 130 million-euro deal due to be signed today. “They’ve put the fear of god into all these investors,” said Paul Turney, chief executive officer of Madrid-based Solar Opportunities. “By the time they’ve finished dithering around, they’ll have hurt their credibility so badly that no one will want to invest.” Spain is battling on several fronts to revive its economy and convince government bondholders it can avoid getting dragg…

BP paying a high price for blowout in Gulf

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Independent:

BP is struggling almost as hard to limit the damage to its reputation over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as it is to bring the leaking well itself under control – which may take three months, it became clear yesterday. Although BP did not own or operate the Deepwater Horizon exploration rig which exploded and sank, leading to the spill, the company had leased the rig and owned the licence to drill in the seabed. That means that under US law it has to take full responsibility for the clean-up operation.This may end up costing the firm as much as $500m (£327m) if the leaking well, which is pouring oil into the sea at a rate of 5,000 barrels a day, cannot be capped and can only be stopped by the drilling of a relief well, which is likely to take two to three months. The present clean-up operation, involving more than 70 vessels, is costing the firm $6m a day, and the relief well may be a $150m operation. Yet the enormous costs are far from the only problem for th…

Republican leads in Murtha's old district

The Hill:

A new poll has businessman Tim Burns (R) leading former Murtha aide Mark Critz (D) 46-40.Republicans appear to have a real opportunity to take over the seat of the late Rep. John Murtha's (D-Pa.), as another poll shows their candidate in the lead.The Research 2000 poll for the liberal website Daily Kos has businessman Tim Burns (R) leading former Murtha aide Mark Critz 46-40. It's the biggest lead yet for Burns, who edged Critz 44-41 in a recent Public Policy Polling (D) survey.The newer poll backs up several key data points from the PPP poll, particularly how unpopular President Obama is in the district. R2000 has Obama's favorable rating at just 38 percent, with 55 percent unfavorable. And Obama isn't just unpopular: Among those 55 percent, more than half say their opinion of the president is "very unfavorable."
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Voteres in the district also favor repeal of the health care law. The Democrat oppose repeal. It is also easy to see why Ob…

Saudi sex cops ban women joggers

Arab News:

The Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) has banned women from jogging and other physical exercise in certain areas of an Asir town, Al-Watan reported on Friday.The Haia’s branch in Al-Mujaradah attempted to justify its decision by claiming it was doing the women a favor.“The Haia did not exactly ban women from physical exercise, it only intervened to guarantee their safety from criminals who frequently harass them as they walk in lonely places,” said Haia spokesman for Asir province Bandar Al-Mufreh....
The women joggers and walkers dispute the allegation that the route was unsafe. My guess is the sex cops were worried about their own impure thoughts at the sight of women exercising. There is a problem of poor impulse control among some Arab men and the women are blamed for seducing them. That is why some women must walk around with a sack over their head.

There does appear to be some progress here though. In the past they would have jus…

Drilling procedure may have caused or allowed Gulf blowout

WSJ:

An oil-drilling procedure called cementing is coming under scrutiny as a possible cause of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that has led to one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history, drilling experts said Thursday.The process is supposed to prevent oil and natural gas from escaping by filling gaps between the outside of the well pipe and the inside of the hole bored into the ocean floor. Cement, pumped down the well from the drilling rig, is also used to plug wells after they have been abandoned or when drilling has finished but production hasn't begun. In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, workers had finished pumping cement to fill the space between the pipe and the sides of the hole and had begun temporarily plugging the well with cement; it isn't known whether they had completed the plugging process before the blast.Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts,…

NoDak oil levels double

Williston Herald:

The Three Forks Formation could yield nearly 2 billion barrels of petroleum, according to a geologic study released today by the North Dakota Geological Survey and Department of Mineral Resources.

Results of the study essentially double the estimated recoverable amount of oil in the Bakken and Three Forks formations. Current estimates now put the amount of recoverable oil from the Bakken Formation at 2.1 billion barrels and the Three Forks Formation at 1.9 billion.

The results of the study were announced this morning in Bismarck by Gov. John Hoeven, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agricultural Commissioner Doug Goehring. Hoeven, Stenehjem and Goehring make up the North Dakota Industrial Commission, which requested the study.

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"Knowing that there are additional recoverable deposits in the Bakken will help us attract new investments, build infrastructure and continue oil development in sustainable ways over the long term," said Hoeven.

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While …

Murtha ship protest

Andrew Malcolm:

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As the former owner of a car wash in Johnstown, it's only natural that Murtha's name would go on a combat amphibious transport dock as the first not named for a city. Actually, what.......Obama appointee Mabus likely had in mind was Murtha's several years in the Marines. Murtha was, in fact, the first House member who served in combat in the Vietnam War, which was unfortunately lost. He received a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.The keel-laying for the Murtha ship is still a year away, and it won't be doing anything worthwhile for three years after that.But there's a problem. And it's growing. Back in 2005 as part of Murtha's late-breaking opposition to the Iraq war he was for before he was opposed, when a few fellow Marines were accused of killing some Iraqi civilians in Haditha, ex-Marine Murtha announced the soldiers had done it "in cold blood."
Never mind that there hadn't been a full investigation yet, let a…

Video shows Canadian building bombs in Afghanistan

Washington Post:

During a pretrial hearing here Thursday, military prosecutors played a 25-minute video that showed Canadian detainee Omar Khadr building roadside bombs in Afghanistan with several reputed al-Qaeda operatives. "Allah willing, we will get a good number of Americans," said a voice on the poor-quality tape, which U.S. forces seized from the rubble of a compound where Khadr was wounded and captured in July 2002. For the government, the video is a key piece of evidence that shows Khadr conspiring to kill U.S. service members. But the defense views it as illustrating Khadr's youth and that he was in thrall to a group of adults. Khadr, who was 15 at the time he was captured, was first taken to Pakistan and Afghanistan when he was 10 by his father, an Osama bin Laden associate. The video cuts among various scenes, including one showing Khadr and others wiring Russian anti-vehicle mines and some that show him sitting in a compound by an AK-47 assault…

The coming health care crash

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DeRoy Murdock:

Just five weeks since the president of the United States signed Obamacare into law, it already resembles an overweight airplane lumbering down the tarmac, poised to crash and burn soon after takeoff. Obamacare's excess cargo of broken promises threatens such a catastrophe.

"The plan I'm announcing tonight," President Barack Obama promised a joint session of Congress last Sept. 9, "will slow the growth of health-care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government."

Not so fast, warns Medicare's Office of the Actuary. In a devastating, independent, 38-page analysis released on April 22, Chief Actuary Richard Foster forecast, "The growth rate reductions from productivity adjustments are unlikely to be sustainable on a permanent annual basis . . . We show a negligible financial impact over the next 10 years for the other provisions intended to help control future health-care cost growth.""This is an object…

A Tea Party win

Charles Hurt:

Tea Party invaders have finally scaled the high walls and taken their first stronghold inside the GOP castle. The defection of Florida's governor from his own Republican Party in the race for the US Senate is an enormously significant victory for this sprawling movement of ragtag patriots. As an independent, Gov. Charlie Crist is finished. The de facto GOP nominee, Marco Rubio, is already ahead of Crist and the presumptive Democratic nominee in the polls. His numbers will only rise with additional rank-and file GOP supporters in the wake of Crist's abandonment of the party. The Tea Partiers have never managed to win anything this big. Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts was a bigger prize, but Brown was more establishment Republican than Tea Partier. For Democrats across the country, the Tea surge in Florida should be a startling wake-up call that these people are not the wild-eyed angry mobsters Democrats desperately try to portra…

The Democrats problem with older voters

McClatchy:

Democrats have glimpsed their biggest threat this fall, and she is Grandma. One reason President Barack Obama and other party leaders are rolling out campaigns this week to energize young and minority voters for November's elections is that they've seen the polling data on senior citizens, and it's ugly. Democrats once counted on voters older than 65, but many seniors' loyalties changed in the past decade. That's partly because of the parties' stands on policy such as fiscal and personal responsibility, and partly, experts said, because the demographic changed. Many of today's seniors started voting in the 1950s, when Republican Dwight Eisenhower was president. The number of seniors whom FDR converted to Democrats in the '30s is shrinking fast. A majority of seniors backed Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona over Obama in 2008. The seniors' current tilt toward Republicans is being reinforced by Obama's …

Are Taliban getting stronger?

LA Times:

A Pentagon report presented a sobering new assessment Wednesday of the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, saying that its abilities are expanding and its operations are increasing in sophistication, despite recent major offensives by U.S. forces in the militants' heartland.

The report, requested by Congress, portrays an insurgency with deep roots and broad reach, able to withstand repeated U.S. onslaughts and to reestablish its influence, while discrediting and undermining the country's Western-backed government.

But the Pentagon said it remained optimistic that its counter-insurgency strategy, formed after an Obama administration review last year, and its effort to peel foot soldiers away from the Taliban will show success in months to come.

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The new report offers a grim take on the likely difficulty of establishing lasting security, especially in southern Afghanistan, where the insurgency enjoys broad support. The conclusions raise the prospect that t…

What we could do with Iran militarily

IBD:

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'If I were an Iranian leader I'd be very worried," former NATO commander and Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark said at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday. "I'd be paying close attention."There may not have been much to like about the former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe's 2004 run for the White House, notably his lack of commitment to the liberation of Iraq. But this week he reminded people of his can-do days when he commanded the Clinton administration's interventionist (and, for the most part, ill-advised) military operations in Bosnia and Kosovo."I know what our military capability is, and I know what we could do," he told conference attendees. "We're not gonna occupy Iran; it's too big."But can we strike every air defense location? Can we take out those missile boats in the Gulf? Can we take out every bit of missile manufacturing capability? Can we…

Venezuela grinding to a halt under socialism

Washington Post:

Every day for the past three months, government-programmed blackouts have meant the lights flicker and go dark in a city that once bustled with commerce. And Fifth Street, with its auto parts stores and car repair shops, has ground to a halt. "We just stop," said Jesus Yanis, who paints cars. "We don't work." Neither does the rest of Venezuela, where a punishing, months-old energy crisis and years of state interventions in the economy are taking a brutal toll on private business. The result is that the economy is flickering and going dark, too, challenging Venezuela's mercurial leader, Hugo Chávez, and his socialist experiment like never before. No matter that Venezuela is one of the world's great oil powers -- among the top five providers of crude to the United States. Economists say Venezuela is gripped by an economic crisis that has no easy or fast solution, even if sluggish oil production were ramped up and profligate …

Money not critical in some Senate races this year

Washington Times:

The power of ready cash in politics is proving a mixed bag in a collection of tight races that many expect could decide control of the Senate this fall. In just four of the eight races that analysts consider critical to control of the Senate in November, the candidate winning the money race is also clearly ahead in the early polls. The candidate with the country's biggest bankroll - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat - is trailing a slew of Republican challengers seeking his job. "Incumbents try to build a big war chest as a disincentive for people to challenge, so Mr. Reid can indeed run the Cadillac of campaigns," said Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor for the Cook Political Report. "But the real issue is whether challengers can meet the basic threshold of money required to run a competitive race." Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, had a similar analysis. "What&#…

Immigration law hysteria hits the Chron

Houston Chronicle Editorial:

The adjectives used by critics to describe Arizona's immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, have ranged from draconian to inhumane to authoritarian. It would authorize state and local police to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally unless those under suspicion can prove otherwise — whether or not they have committed any other offense.

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But it has already brought the long-running debate over federal immigration reform off the back burner and back into the national spotlight.In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has been uncharacteristically silent on the issue, perhaps because controversy could invigorate Hispanic support in November for his Democratic opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White. Other Republican lawmakers, however, including Tomball state Rep. Debbie Riddle, are vowing to introduce an Arizona-style measure in next year's legislative session.Estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants currently in Houston …

The coming court fight over Arizona law

Byron York:

We know one thing for sure about the fight over Arizona's new immigration law. Civil-rights groups will file a lawsuit trying to kill the law and will ask a federal judge to issue an injunction to keep it from taking effect as scheduled this summer. What we don't know is how those proceedings will be affected by the Obama Justice Department, which is contemplating the highly unusual step of filing its own suit against the state of Arizona. Also unknown is the influence of President Obama himself, who has gone out of his way to raise questions -- some of them strikingly uninformed -- about the law.The drafters of the law knew the lawsuit was coming; a lawsuit is always coming when a state tries to enforce the nation's immigration laws. What the drafters didn't expect was Obama's aggressive and personal role in trying to undermine the new measure."You can imagine, if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona ..." the president said Tue…

Descent into fascism?

Leon de Winter:

This is serious, folks. Overnight one of the fifty states of the glorious U.S. turned into Nazi territory.It may be possible that a policeman in Arizona is asking for your papers.This is like being deported to the gulag.Yesterday, the girl at the Best Buy register did the same. After I gave her my credit card, she asked for my papers. I obliged, fearing extradition to Arizona.A couple of weeks ago, the Gap had this great jeans sale, and I bought three pairs (they were discounted 30% or so). The man at the register asked for my papers after I handed him my credit card. At that time I didn’t know what was going on in Arizona, but I now realize that I escaped an awful fate.It is clear: Best Buy and the Gap are neo-Nazi strongholds. Why would they ask for my papers?I once ran a red light in downtown L.A. — unfortunately, in front of a patrol car. They asked for my papers. It now dawns upon me: it was like being waterboarded.These days, in Arizona, the police can …

Pakistan ready to go into North Wazirstan?

NY Times:

The Pakistani military, long reluctant to heed American urging that it attack Pakistani militant groups in their main base in North Waziristan, is coming around to the idea that it must do so, in its own interests. Western officials have long believed that North Waziristan is the single most important haven for militants with Al Qaeda and the Taliban fighting American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan has nurtured militant groups in the area for years in order to exert influence beyond its borders. The developing shift in thinking — described in recent interviews with Western diplomats and Pakistani security officials — represents a significant change for Pakistan’s military, which has moved against Taliban militants who attack the Pakistani state, but largely left those fighting in Afghanistan alone. That distinction is becoming harder to maintain, Pakistani and Western officials say, as the area becomes an alphabet soup of dangerous militant grou…

Belgium bans forcing women to wear a sack over their head

Washington Post:

Belgian lawmakers on Thursday approved a nationwide ban prohibiting women from wearing full-face Islamic veils in public places, the first move of its kind in Western Europe. The unanimous vote came in response to growing irritation in Belgium and other Western European countries over the increasing numbers and visibility of Muslims whose customs and attitudes often present a challenge to the continent's largely Christian heritage. The French government, after months of rancorous debate, has pledged to pass a nationwide ban similar to Belgium's by September, a promise denounced by Muslims as "stigmatization" of their religion. President Nicolas Sarkozy decided last week to introduce the law despite a warning from the country's constitutional court that a blanket prohibition would probably be unconstitutional.
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The requirement that women cover their hair and now their face is based on the belief that Muslim mails cannot control their…

The failure of socialism in Spain

Times:

Spain’s credit rating downgrade, towering public deficit and debt crisis do not mean that much to Santos Yubero. All this 55-year-old from Madrid cares about is getting a job, after two years on the dole. With his unemployment benefits about to end, Mr Yubero — like many others in Spain — is desperate. “Today like every day in the last months, I woke up with the economic news and it does not impress me,” he wrote in a letter to El Mundo newspaper today. “I know that we are going to have more poor and I will never have a job which sustains me. For two months I have had no interview. I could write more but I almost shout — ‘I want to be French’.”
For Mr Yubero this desire to live in richer country such as France is not some flight of fancy. Instead, like perhaps the 4 million others out of work in Spain, he sees little future in his own country. With 20 per cent of the workforce scrambling for fewer and fewer jobs and the country mired in the deepest re…

A boycot Arizona can get behind

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This is something I joked about a few days ago and Michael Ramirez has crated the art work to illustrate the point. The illegals are already talking about leaving and as a bonus, the liberals are also avoiding the state.

Palin effect leads to record number of GOP women candidates for Congress

Washington Post:

Nearly two years after Sarah Palin became the Republican Party's first female nominee for vice president, record numbers of Republican women are running for House seats, driving the overall count of women running for both the House and the Senate to a new high.

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The jump in female GOP candidates mirrors the enthusiasm of Republicans in general, said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who leads efforts to recruit female candidates for the NRCC. "I just think overall candidate recruitment is going well for the Republicans after two cycles where it's been more difficult for us."

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"I think there could be some surprises this year," said McMorris Rodgers. Republican National Committee Co-Chairman Jan Larimer, who also heads its women's program, attributed the increase to anger over Democratic domestic policy priorities: "The policies of the Obama administration and a Congress led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have en…

The coming Puerto Rico banking bailout

NY Times:

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The trouble this time is in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean commonwealth whose banks have been laid low by economic woes that make the mainland’s recession seem mild. Now, Washington policy makers, who watch over the territory’s banks as they do its defense and foreign relations, are moving to broker mergers among several major lenders there to head off what could be a series of costly failures. Deals could come as early as Friday. Few people probably realize that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures bank deposits in the 50 states, also insures billions of deposits in Puerto Rico. So if a bank in Puerto Rico goes under, customers are protected. Rising unemployment, sinking real estate values and deteriorating government finances have worsened Puerto Rico’s chronically troubled economy and added new urgency to the efforts to shore up its banks. Loans are scarce, making life even harder for many local businesses. Etienne Cardona, the owner…

A new 'empathy' spray for men

Telegraph:

Researchers in Germany sprayed oxytocin in the noses of 24 men and then showed them emotionally charged images of a crying child, a girl hugging her cat and a grieving man. Their reactions were compared with those of men who had not received the spray.
The empathy expressed by the men who had been sprayed with oxytocin was so high it was on a par with what would normally be expected of women. Oxytocin is a hormone released to trigger labour in pregnant women and also helps bonding with the newborn child.
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It sounds like a mind altering pharmaceutical. There are probably some who would like to douse me in the stuff. On a test one time, my empathy score was so low that a friend suggested I would be good in triage. I suspect that is what makes me an interesting blogger though.

Not too smart

Reuters/Arab News:

A man who thought he was sailing along the coast of southern England had to be rescued by emergency services after his motor boat ran out of fuel while repeatedly circling a small island in the River Thames estuary.The man, who had no nautical guides and only had a roadmap to navigate by, had been trying to sail from Gillingham, about 35 miles east of London, to Southampton on April 19 by following the southern coast of England.But he ended simply doing laps of the 36-square mile Isle of Sheppey a short distance away in the mouth of the Thames.Eventually a lifeboat and coastguard were sent to rescue him after he used up all his fuel and ran aground, officials said on Wednesday. He told them he had been trying to navigate by keeping the coastline to his right....
While I generally put inept criminals under this headline, I think this inept sailor deserves the honor today. If he had been paying attention to a compass he would have noticed something amiss pre…

Dems on wrong side of Arizona immigration law

Politico:

Just more than half of the country is in favor of a tough new immigration law in Arizona, according to a new Gallup poll out Thursday. Fifty-one percent of those polled nationwide who said they have heard of the new law favor the measure, which grants police to right to ask to see proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. Thirty-nine percent said they oppose it. Three-quarters of the Republicans and half of the independents polled said they approve of the law. Only 34 percent of Democrats said the same. ...
Rasmussen found that 68 percent of voters "... say it is more important to gain control of the border than it is to legalize the status of undocumented workers. Only 25% believe it is more important to legalize the status of undocumented workers already in the country...."

When you look at these two polls and put them up against the Democrat generated hysteria about the Arizona law, you see yet another issue where De…

The rule of law in Mexico, US, Arizona

Ralph Peters:

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The rule of law has collapsed from Tijuana on the Pacific's edge to Matamoros and the Gulf of Mexico. Major cities are now "ungoverned spaces," as our diplomats refer tidily to distant trouble spots. More people now die violently on our southern border than in Somalia, Yemen or even Afghanistan. But Washington doesn't know what to do about Mexico. So Washington does nothing much. Our ruling class simply doesn't feel the pain. So the DC elite demonizes Arizona's desperate effort to shove the narco-revolution's disorder back across the border. Murdered ranchers, overwhelmed emergency rooms and soaring crime rates in our border states mean less to the White House than a terrorist detainee's claims of abuse. Our governing elite pretends that illegal immigration, torrential crime where illegals cluster, overcrowded prisons, Mexico's narco-insurgency, legal cross-border commerce and the drug trade are separate issues, to …

Economist agree with voters--Stimulus not so hot

Washington Times Editorial:

Talk about overstating a weak case. President Obama has asserted incessantly that "virtually all" or "all" economists agree that the $862 billion in government stimulus spending was necessary to fix the sputtering economy and that the largesse has spurred a recovery. Hold your horses, Mr. President. If the views of experts in the "dismal science" really matter, a new poll of economists should give pause to White House propagandists. Conducted between March 25 and April 10 by the National Association for Business Economics, the survey of the nation's business economists found that a whopping 73 percent "reported the fiscal stimulus enacted in February 2009 has had no impact on employment to date." Similarly, the newly enacted, if misleadingly titled, "jobs bill" was viewed as ineffectual, too, with 68 percent of economists saying they thought there was no impact. Overall, economists consider…

New leaks in Gulf well

Houston Chronicle:

BP said Wednesday night that a third leak has developed in an undersea oil well and government officials raised their estimate of how much oil is leaking into a growing slick that threatens the Gulf Coast.Rear Adm. Mary Landry, commander of U.S. Coast Guard District 8, said the government has offered BP access to Defense Department technology that may not be available in the commercial sector in its efforts to address the increasingly serious spill resulting from a deadly drilling rig explosion last week.Earlier Wednesday, the Coast Guard set fire to portions of the advancing slick, hoping to limit the amount of crude that reaches this particularly vulnerable coastline.The new leak is near the wellhead 5,000 feet down, and like the other two, is in a now-tangled pipe called a riser that connected the well to the rig on the surface.Officials have been estimating the well is leaking at least 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, every day, but on Wednesday …

Delayed posting today

I have an early doctors appointment today, so there will be more later in the day.

Obama goes soft on Iran sanctions

Eli Lake:

The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from Iran sanctions to companies based in "cooperating countries," a move that likely would exempt Chinese and Russian concerns from penalties meant to discourage investment in Iran. The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act is in a House-Senate conference committee and is expected to reach President Obama's desk by Memorial Day. "It's incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of "cooperating countries" in the legislation. Neither the House nor Senate version of the bill includes a "cooperating countri…

Racisim charges last refuge of liberal scoundrals

Roger Simon:

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The real reason liberals accuse Tea Partiers of racism is that contemporary American-style liberalism is in rigor mortis. Liberals have nothing else to say or do. Accusations of racism are their last resort.The European debt crisis — first Greece, then Portugal and now Spain (and Belgium, Ireland and Italy, evidently) — has shown the welfare state to be an unsustainable economic system. The US, UK and Japan, according to the same Financial Times report, are also on similar paths of impoverishment through entitlements.Many of us have known this for a long time, just from simple math. Entitlements are in essence a Ponzi scheme. Now we have to face that and do something serious about it or our economy (the world economy) will fall apart.Liberals, leftists or progressives — whatever they choose to call themselves — have a great deal of trouble accepting this. To do so they would have to question a host of positions they have not examined for years, if eve…

The blue sky scam

IBD:

While senators froth over Goldman Sachs and derivatives, a climate trading scheme being run out of the Chicago Climate Exchange would make Bernie Madoff blush. Its trail leads to the White House. Lost in the recent headlines was Al Gore's appearance Monday in Denver at the annual meeting of the Council of Foundations, an association of the nation's philanthropic leaders."Time's running out (on climate change)," Gore told them. "We have to get our act together. You have a unique role in getting our act together."Gore was right that foundations will play a key role in keeping the climate scam alive as evidence of outright climate fraud grows, just as they were critical in the beginning when the Joyce Foundation in 2000 and 2001 provided the seed money to start the Chicago Climate Exchange. It started trading in 2003, and what it trades is, essentially, air. More specifically perhaps, hot air.The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) advertises its…

Insurance mandate in trouble?

Randy Barnett:

A"tell" in poker is a subtle but detectable change in a player's behavior or demeanor that reveals clues about the player's assessment of his hand. Something similar has happened with regard to the insurance mandate at the core of last month's health reform legislation. Congress justified its authority to enact the mandate on the grounds that it is a regulation of commerce. But as this justification came under heavy constitutional fire, the mandate's defenders changed the argument—now claiming constitutional authority under Congress's power to tax. This switch in constitutional theories is a tell: Defenders of the bill lack confidence in their commerce power theory. The switch also comes too late. When the mandate's constitutionality comes up for review as part of the state attorneys general lawsuit, the Supreme Court will not consider the penalty enforcing the mandate to be a tax because, in the provision that actually defi…