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Showing posts from March, 2013

Projecting results of tax policy

Opinion Journal:
Congress has a dreadful record predicting the economic impact of its policies, in part because it relies on computer models that are as reliable as tarot cards. So it's a good sign that before going on recess a majority of the Senate endorsed "dynamic scoring" of changes in tax law.

For decades the official forecasters at the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation have assumed that changes in tax rates have little impact on how businesses and households behave or on the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. In this alternative universe, people work nearly as much at a 60% income tax rate as they do with a 30% rate, and investors don't care all that much if the tax on capital gains is 15% or 30%.

This often leads to crazy results. In January 2003, for example, the modelers predicted that capital gains revenues would be $68 billion in 2006 and $73 billion in 2007. In May 2003 Congress cut the capital gains tax rate to 15% from 20%, an…

Israel will have to choose what to defend with Iron Dome

Guardian:
Israel's vaunted missile defence system is likely to leave the civilian population exposed to an incoming barrage of rockets in the event of a war as it is deployed to protect key strategic and military sites, according the country's commander of the home front.

Despite the success of the Iron Dome anti-missile batteries at intercepting rockets launched from Gaza during November's eight-day conflict, the five units currently operational are insufficient to protect against the superior firepower of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"I will recommend protecting the country's functional continuity and the ability to maintain an [Israeli Defence Forces] offensive effort over time, until the war is won," Major General Eyal Eisenberg, head of the home front command, said in an interview with Haaretz.

"That means protecting power plants and the air force bases before the big cities."

Israel needed more than 10 batteries to protect the civilian population in the t…

Review of case files will become more intense

CBS News:
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland took no chances after one of his assistant prosecutors was assassinated two months ago. McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere he went and took extra care when answering the door at his home.

"I'm ahead of everybody else because, basically, I'm a soldier," the 23-year Army veteran boasted in an interview less than two weeks ago.

On Saturday, he and his wife were found dead in their home just outside the town of Forney, about 20 miles from Dallas, killed in an attack for which authorities have given no motive.

Sources told CBS affiliate KTVT in Dallas that the DA was shot multiple times with what is believed to be an assault rifle, while Cynthia McLelland was only shot once. Sources also say that there were no signs of forced entry.
...

McLelland himself, in an Associated Press interview, raised the possibility that Hasse was gunned down by a white supremacist gang. McLelland, elected DA in 2010, said that Hass…

Bloomberg's gun control backfire agenda

John Dickerson: ...

Bloomberg's effort risks turning a discussion about guns into a war of competing cultures. People in North Carolina and Virginia don't want people from out-of-state telling them what to do. They especially don't want a New York City mayor telling them what to do. That is what Sen. Pryor was getting at when he said, “I don’t take gun advice from the mayor of New York City. I listen to Arkansans.”

The ads financed by the Bloomberg group neatly encapsulate the problem of whether the message can survive the messenger. In one ad, a man holding a shotgun is wearing plaid flannel and a camouflage cap. He sits on the tailgate of a pickup truck while children play behind him. He says, “I support comprehensive background checks so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can’t buy guns.”

The message reflects coordination: frame background checks as a way to protect the public from criminals and the mentally ill, not an attempt to infringe on the rights of innocent…

Austin does not appear to be within range

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The chart is from the Federation of American Scientists and the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, via Foreign Policy.  The Washington Post has a story on the limits of the Known capability of North Korea.

The illusory climate crisis

Paul Driessen:
America faces a climate crisis, we are repeatedly told, and must do everything possible to avert it.

It’s true. However, the crisis has nothing to do with alleged human contributions to planetary climate systems that have always been chaotic, unpredictable and often disastrous: ice ages, little ice ages, dust bowls, droughts and monster storms have ravaged and sometimes even toppled cities and civilizations.

Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and British Meteorological Office now recognize that average global temperatures haven’t budged in almost 17 years. Little evidence suggests that sea-level rise, storms, droughts, polar ice or other weather and climate events and trends are statistically different from what our Earth has experienced over the past 100-plus years.

The real man-made climate crisis is our responses to the illusory crisis.

Over the past three years, the Tides Foundation and Center alone poured $335 million into environmentalist climate campa…

Its complicated--Israel's gas exports

AP/Houston Chronicle:
Recent discoveries of massive offshore natural gas deposits, set to begin flowing in the coming days, are turning into a mixed blessing for Israel.

The deposits are expected to provide Israel enough natural gas for decades and transform the country, famously empty of natural resources, into an energy exporter. Yet selling this gas overseas will require Israel to navigate a geo-political quagmire that risks angering allies and enemies alike. Amid this uncertainty, Israel still has not formulated an export policy.

“Instead of being an ingredient which serves to calm the tensions of the eastern Mediterranean, (the discoveries) provide instead another impetus for rivalry,” said Simon Henderson, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “There is a reason this is often called diplomatically trapped gas.”

Israel discovered two large fields, Tamar and the heftier Leviathan, in 2009 and 2010. Tamar, which holds an estimated 8.5 trillion cubic feet, is set t…

Killer cold a bigger threat than global warming

Sunday Telegraph:
A few months ago, a group of students in Oslo produced a brilliant spoof video that lampooned the charity pop song genre. It showed a group of young Africans coming together to raise money for those of us freezing in the north. “A lot of people aren’t aware of what’s going on there right now,” says the African equivalent of Bob Geldof. “People don’t ignore starving people, so why should we ignore cold people? Frostbite kills too. Africa: we need to make a difference.” The song – Africa for Norway – has been watched online two million times, making it one of Europe’s most popular political videos.

The aim was to send up the patronising, cliched way in which the West views Africa. Norway can afford to make the joke because there, people don’t tend to die of the cold. In Britain, we still do. Each year, an official estimate is made of the “excess winter mortality” – that is, the number of people dying of cold-related illnesses. Last winter was relatively mild, and still…

Egypt can't feed its people

NY Times:
Short of Money, Egypt Sees Crisis in Fuel and Food
The cash shortage is raising questions about Egypt’s ability to keep importing wheat that is essential to the food supply, stirring fears of an economic catastrophe. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist in Egypt have ruined the tourist trade that used to sustain the Egyptian economy.  They have also cut off oil that was being sold to Israel and Jordan with attacks on the pipelines to carried the oil.   Political support for US aid has evaporated with the rise of the Islamist.  Egypt is on the verge of going from political riots to food riots because of the incompetence of Muslim Brotherhood rule.

Texas leads US in February hiring

San Antonio Express-News:
Texas led the nation in hiring for February, adding 80,600 nonfarm jobs, according to reports Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Texas Workforce Commission.

The San Antonio-New Braunfels area was part of that surge, with some 9,000 hires, reflecting seasonal norms as well as overall growth. The gains brought the region's unemployment rate down to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in January.
...


TWC said Texas employment grew 3.3 percent over the year, with 11 major industries showing growth.

Highlights included the production sector, made up of construction, mining and logging, and manufacturing jobs, which added 21,200 jobs over the month. The professional and business services sector added 24,500 jobs.

“The Texas economy continues to expand, and the addition of 80,600 jobs in February is good news for job seekers,” TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar said in a news release.
...  Austin had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.4 percent.  Texas continues to b…

Another business fleeing California

LA Times:
California dairies eye greener pastures
Other states are courting California farmers, who are hurting from high feed costs and low milk prices. The pitch: cheaper land, lower taxes and fewer regulations. Even businesses tied to the land are under pressure because of the liberals in California.

Norks declare 'state of war

Fox News:
North Korea said Saturday it had entered "a state of war" with South Korea in its latest threat aimed at the United States and its ally after two American B-2 bombers flew a training mission in the region.

"From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly," said a statement carried by the official North Korean news agency, according to a Reuters report.

The joint statement by the government, political parties and organizations said North Korea will deal with all matters involving South Korea according to "wartime regulations." It also warned it will retaliate against any provocations by the United States and South Korea without "any prior notice."

... The danger for North Korea with this declaration is that they have given South Korea and its allies the green light for a preemptive strike against their military targets.  It is a…

Women Marines still struggle with infantry course

NY Times:
A group of Marine second lieutenants, all men, stood before the ropes on an obstacle course. They looked exhausted, though the day was far from done. One by one, they took their shots at scaling the line. One by one, most of them dropped short of the top. They were already three hours behind the front-runners in their class.

Behind them, two more Marines, both women, prepared to start the course. One, a former enlisted Marine who was shivering in the 40-degree breeze, tried repeatedly to surmount the first bar, but failed. The second, a recent Naval Academy graduate, did better, meticulously, sometimes ingeniously, working her way through many of the obstacles.

But as she was determinedly attempting the ropes, a captain walked briskly up to deliver bad news: Neither woman had met a time limit. Silently, they shouldered their packs and trudged into the woods, their chances of becoming the first women to complete the Marine Corps’ demanding Infantry Officer Course summarily ende…

Behind China's cyber war against US

Opinion Journal:
For several years, Washington has treated China as the Lord Voldemort of geopolitics—the foe who must not be named, lest all economic and diplomatic hell break loose. That policy seemed to be ending in recent weeks, and Timothy Thomas thinks it's about time.

The clearest sign of change came in a March 11 speech by Tom Donilon, President Obama's national security adviser, who condemned "cyber intrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale" and declared that "the international community cannot tolerate such activity from any country." Chinese cyber aggression poses risks "to international trade, to the reputation of Chinese industry and to our overall relations," Mr. Donilon said, and Beijing must stop it.

"Why did we wait so long?" wonders Mr. Thomas as we sit in the U.S. Army's Foreign Military Studies Office, where the 64-year-old retired lieutenant colonel has studied Chinese cyber strategy for two decades…

Norks show their desires

Washington Post:
The latest round of threats exchanged by North Korea and the United States is dragging on longer and taking on a more virulent tone than in the past, provoking deep concerns among American officials and their allies.

Following blustery warnings by Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s 30-year-old leader, and videos depicting North Korean attacks on the United States, the Obama administration took the unprecedented step this week of sending two stealth bombers to South Korea as part of an ongoing military training exercise.

But despite the escalating tensions, U.S. officials said they have focused more closely on what North Korea is doing than on what it is saying.

“Putting on a show is not the same as taking action,” said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the volatile situation. “Describing the situation as akin to war is not to be remotely confused with wanting a war, let alone going to war.”

The senior official and others said th…

Muslim Brotherhood infiltrates Egyptian army

Washington Times:
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated government recently allowed members of the Brotherhood and hardline jihadists to join Egypt’s military academy for the first time as part of what U.S. officials say is a covert effort to impose Islamist rule in the key Middle East state.

According to U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports, the government of President Mohamed Morsi is covertly taking steps to take control over the pro-Western military and the police forces as part of a campaign to solidify Islamist control.

SEE RELATED: Egyptian cleric says American aid is a mandatory tax

Egypt for decades had banned the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist groups from both the military and police academies after Islamic terrorists in the military assassinated Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat in 1981.

The Egyptian military also for decades has maintained close ties to the U.S. military. Analysts in the U.S. intelligence community and the military are viewing the introduct…

PolitiFact's Ted Cruz slander

Houston Chronicle:
Yesterday, Texas on the Potomac posted coverage of PolitiFact’s assessment of freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. The Pulitzer Prize-winning news source rated Cruz as being untruthful in his statements 50 percent of the time.

Readers reached out, questioning the truthfulness of the fact-checkers themselves. Ted Cruz’s office contacted us with similar concerns.

“PF is a liberal editorial outfit not a neutral fact checker. You must see that when you read items like yesterday’s Cruz/Obamacare item, which is ridiculous to the point of hilarity. Not a single substantial fact of Cruz’s is rebutted — in fact, his analysis was confirmed — but PF reached its preferred conclusion regardless — not just doubtful or half true but ‘pants on fire,’” Cruz spokesman Sean Rushton said.

This isn’t the first time PolitiFact has taken heat from conservatives. During the 2012 presidential campaign, PolitiFact declared a claim from the Romney campaign as “false” and received a fiery email from the…

Now that is going too far!

Washington Times:
Kim Jong Un tosses his weight around; vows North Korea rocket strikes on Washington and Texas The tubby tyrant in Pyongyang insists “the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation.” Texas?  What about all those liberals on the West coast who are much closer?  If he tries to hit Texas he is going to be in a heap of trouble.

Obamacare a winning issue for GOP senate candidates

Jennifer Rubin:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is blasting out e-mails about vulnerable Democratic incumbents, calling them to account for their votes for Obamacare. A sample: “CNN’s Wolf Blitzer reported that the ‘Obama administration is conceding that some people, yes some people, will have to pay more’ for health care premiums due to ObamaCare. But Kay Hagan also misled North Carolinians on Obamacare.” (The only variation in these is the name of the embattled Senate Democrat.) Can the GOP win back the Senate on Obamacare?

Well, it is a good place to start. From the ballooning costs of insurance to the loss of the insurance you were told you could keep to the drag on employment, Obamacare is proving to be one of the most ineptly designed and counterproductive pieces of legislation in modern times. The first word of the legislation — “affordable” — was an unfortunate choice, given the reality of cost escalation.

It is of course lucky for the GOP that every Democratic sena…

Obama resorts to the victim props in gun debate

NY Times:
Months After Massacre, Obama Seeks to Regain Momentum on Gun Laws With relatives of shooting victims standing behind him, President Obama on Thursday implored lawmakers to act on new gun measures even as resistance continues to stiffen. This is a tried and true ploy of the anti gun left.  They want to play on emotions and use victims and relatives of victims as props for pushing their agenda and avoiding a debate on the effectiveness of their agenda.  Some call it dancing on the graves of the victims while they try to punish the innocent.

Cyber destruction growing

NY Times:
Cyberattacks Seem Meant to Destroy, Not Just Disrupt
Corporate leaders have long feared hacking in service of fraud or spying, but now a new threat has taken hold: attackers, possibly with state support, who seem bent on destruction. That appears to be the intent of Iran with its attacks in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.  Those attacks followed attacks by the US and Israel to destroy equipment in Iran's nuclear program.  What the US needs to develop is a counter attack strategy similar to missile defense that intercepts the cyber attack and destroys the computers used to launch it.  It has to be able to get past the zombie computers used in the attack to the place where the attack originated.

Racist Democrats and the liberal's big lie about GOP

Michael Walsh:
In order to escape their truly wretched past (click on the link for my short book on the subject), modern Democrats have has adopted as an article of faith the bedtime story that, thanks to Tricky Dick Nixon’s “southern strategy,” the racists who had been the backbone of their party for the better part of a century suddenly switched to the GOP en masse some time around 1968, with the happy result that now all the racists are on the right. Presto — instant virtuousness and a clean slate!

It’s a lie, of course. But don’t take it from me, take it from my National Review colleague Kevin Williamson, who addressed this issue brilliantly last year:
Worse than the myth and the cliché is the outright lie, the utter fabrication with malice aforethought, and my nominee for the worst of them is the popular but indefensible belief that the two major U.S. political parties somehow “switched places” vis-à-vis protecting the rights of black Americans, a development believed to be roughl…

Democrats return to tax and spend policies

Phillip Klein:
President Obama and his fellow Democrats have called for higher taxes, but tax revenue is already expected to exceed its historical average over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

The problem is that historically high tax revenue will be swamped by historically high government spending.

“CBO projects that revenues will average about 19 percent of GDP during the coming decade under current law, above their 18 percent average of the past 40 years,” CBO director Doug Elmendorf wrote in a blog post. “CBO also projects that outlays will average 22 percent of GDP over the next 10 years under current law, above their 21 percent average of the past 40 years. Thus, both outlays and revenues are projected to be higher than their historical average shares of the economy’s total output.” ...  It is another example of the high cost of liberalism and Democrat vote buying schemes.  Clearly we need a bigger sequester.

ICE leaders appears deceptive on sequester

Michael Volpe:
The claim made by the Obama administration that sequester was the reason for releasing thousands of suspected illegal aliens onto America’s streets starting mid-February 2013 has come under further scrutiny due to new revelations. Recently it has come to light that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency overseeing the release, didn’t follow proper protocols for managing their budgets after the prisoner population increased for a period during the months of October, November, and December of 2012.

Speaking in front of the House Judiciary Committee on March 19, 2013, ICE Director John Morton told the committee that in the months of October, November, and December of 2012, the detainee population in ICE facilities ballooned to between 35,000 and 37,000. ICE was only appropriated to hold an average of 34,000 detainees. Morton claimed that this increase in the population was the main reason, along with the sequester, that thousands of detainees were released st…

Alternative energy leads to Brits freezing in the dark

Ron Arnold:
As freezing temperatures, gales and blizzards of deadly "100-year, record-smashing" spring storms battered Europe this past month, the energy gap I've warned about for years hit the headlines: "It's payback time for our insane energy policy," snarled London's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

Hypothermia has killed thousands, losses to the economy have soared into the billions, and the wintry spring has wrought mayhem on the roads, closed businesses and smashed power lines.

Last weekend, the head of the United Kingdom's second-largest energy supplier announced that the nation had barely 48 hours' worth of stored natural gas left to keep the population warm. "Our generating capacity has fallen so low that we can expect power cuts to begin at any time."

Why? Because instead of developing its vast natural gas resources to fuel gas-fired generators, Britain has been building wind turbines, which provide almost no electricity during frig…

Study confirms Democrats responsible for destroying economy

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Washington Examiner:
A new study from the widely respected National Bureau of Economic Research released this week has confirmed beyond question that the left's race-baiting attacks on the housing market (the Community Reinvestment Act--enacted under Carter, made shockingly more aggressive under Clinton) is directly responsible for imploding the housing market and destroying the economy.

The study painstakingly sorted through failed home loans that caused the housing market collapse and identified an overwhelming connection between them and CRA mortgages.

Again, let's review:

-President Bush went to Congress repeatedly for years warning them that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were going to destroy the economy (17 times in 2008 alone). Democrats continuously ignored him, shut down his proposals along party lines and continued raiding the institutions for campaign contributions on their way down. Timeline shows Bush, McCain warning Dems of financial and housing crisis; meltdown

-John Mc…

Only 43 percent support path to citizenship for illegals

Conn Carroll:
According to a new Pew Research poll, a majority of Americans, 55 percent, oppose granting citizenship to immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. An even bigger majority, however, 71 percent, believe illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country legally.

Perhaps most surprisingly, no demographic is more supportive of granting citizenship to illegal immigrants than blacks. In fact, at 52 percent, blacks are the only demographic of which a majority supports granting illegal immigrants citizenship. Only 49 percent of Hispanics, 48 percent of Democrats, and 47 percent of college graduates back citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Republican, 38 percent, and whites without a college degree, also 38 percent, are the least supportive of citizenship benefits for illegal immigrants.

Unlike most polls, Pew did not force a false choice on respondents between a path to citizenship or deportation. Instead they offered, “should not be allowed to stay in the country legally…

The faulty climate models assumptions fail history test

IBD:
The alarmists want to place the world in servitude to the models that are predicting global warming. But those models can't even reconstruct the past.

A researcher at Sweden's University of Gothenburg analyzed climate models to see how closely their predictions fit with history, in this case, precipitation in China from 1961 to 2000. What Tinghai Ou found should crimp the alarmists' plans to establish regimes that punish and limit man's use of fossil fuels.

"Only a few climate models were able to reproduce the observed changes in extreme precipitation in China over the last 50 years," says the university's Department of Earth Sciences.

Ou himself said that the "results show that climate models give a poor reflection of the actual changes in extreme precipitation events that took place in China" during the period he examined.

"Only half of the 21 analyzed climate models were able to reproduce the changes in some regions of China," he s…

Why pipelines are safer

Daily Mail:
Massive oil spill in Minnesota as freight train carrying haul from Canada derailed and spilled 30,000 GALLONS of crude Pipelines are the safest means of transporting crude oil, but the anti energy left is forcing more oil into rail cars by blocking pipelines like the Keystone XL.

Norks escalate by putting rockets on standby to hit US bases

Guardian:
North Korea put its rocket units on standby on Friday to attack US military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula in a rare show of force.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed off on the order at a midnight meeting of top generals and "judged the time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists in view of the prevailing situation", the official KCNA news agency said.

On Thursday, the United States flew two radar-evading B-2 Spirit bombers on practice runs over South Korea, responding to a series of North Korean threats. They flew from the United States and back in what appeared to be the first exercise of its kind, designed to show America's ability to conduct long-range, precision strikes "quickly and at will", the US military said.

The news of Kim's response was unusually swift.

"He finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic …

Marines to get anti drone laser?

Wired:
Navy Wants Lasers on Marines’ Trucks to Shoot Down Drones It is certainly one way of dealing with small drones.  I think anti aircraft weapons can be used against the larger drones.   The Navy has been a leader in laser technology for ships that could contain the kind of power supply needed for the larger units.  They apparently feel capable of mounting a power supply to deal with the smaller lasers.

Obama nominee wants to triple price of energy

Daily Caller:
President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Energy Department said the U.S. should put a price on carbon dioxide emissions to push more clean=energy use in the country.

The Washington Examiner reported that MIT professor Ernest Moniz said putting a price on carbon would be necessary to double or even triple the price of carbon, which would push the U.S. to use more clean energy technologies and increase energy security.

“Ultimately, it has to be cheaper to capture and store it than to release it and pay a price,” Moniz told the Switch Energy Project last year. “If we start really squeezing down on carbon dioxide over the next few decades, well, that could double; it could eventually triple.”

“I think inevitably if we squeeze down on carbon, we squeeze up on the cost, it brings along with it a push toward efficiency; it brings along with it a push towards clean technologies in a conventional pollution sense; it brings along with it a push towards security,” Moniz added. “Be…

Fracking goes to brackish water and water-less process

The Texas Tribune has a couple of stories on the use of alternatives to freshwater fracking by drillers.  The first discusses the use of brackish water which is still pretty plentiful in West Texas.  It lies in aquifers that require drilling and pumping it to the surface tanks.  The other process uses propane to break the tight oil formations. ...

Academics see a number of challenges associated with propane fracking, which few if any companies are experimenting with in Texas, apart from GasFrac. First, according to Yoxtheimer, “you’ve got to truck in a lot of propane,” which can be expensive. He also said the propane “works less effectively in deeper formations where you need to build up more pressure.”  Tudor disagrees that these issues pose problems. He pointed out that the virtually all the propane — which is a byproduct of natural gas processing and oil refining — gets reused. Supplies of propane come from Corpus Christi, he said, and the fuel is "easily available" in So…

B-2's do a practice run over Korea

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Washington Post:
Two B-2 “Spirit” aircraft, nuclear-capable stealth bombers that are as wide as a 17-story building is tall, took off early on Thursday from an air force base just outside of Knob Noster, Mo. They flew across the Pacific Ocean, past the Korean peninsula, to a small island in the Yellow Sea, where they dropped some inert munitions before flying all the way back to Missouri.

Such exercises are rare, or at least rarely publicized: after it was over, the U.S. military announced the practice bombing run, the first time it has ever acknowledged a B-2 mission over the Korean peninsula, according to a New York Times story.

Why conduct such an elaborate exercise? A big part of the answer is, of course, as a deterrent to North Korea’s recent provocations, which have included severing emergency communication lines with the South, announcing a state of readiness for war and threatening “pre-emptive” nuclear strikes on the U.S.

But there may be something more going on here. Pyongya…

Dairy business powered by cow poop

NY Times:
Here at one of the largest dairy farms in the country, electricity generated using an endless supply of manure runs the equipment to milk around 30,000 cows three times a day.

For years, the farm has used livestock waste to create enough natural gas to power 10 barns, a cheese factory, a cafe, a gift shop and a maze of child-friendly exhibits about the world of dairy, including a 4D movie theater.

All that, and Fair Oaks Farms was still using only about half of the five million pounds of cow manure it vacuumed up from its barn floors on a daily basis. It burned off the excess methane, wasted energy sacrificed to the sky.

But not anymore.

The farm is now turning the extra manure into fuel for its delivery trucks, powering 42 tractor-trailers that make daily runs to raw milk processing plants in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Officials from the federal Department of Energy called the endeavor a “pacesetter” for the dairy industry, and said it was the largest natural gas fleet us…

The massive failure of the Unaffordable Care Act

Ted Cruz:
Three years after the Affordable Care Act passed, it's proved to be neither affordable nor caring.

Insurance premiums are skyrocketing. Seniors are losing health care choices. Millions of Americans are being pushed into a struggling and ineffective Medicaid system. Americans are grappling with scores of new taxes. Employers are slashing jobs and hours to avoid complying with Obamacare requirements.

This isn't what was promised. Americans were told if Obamacare was made law, they would be able to keep their health plans, taxes wouldn't go up, premiums would go down, and more jobs would be created. But the law isn't living up to its label. And it's hurting working families, young people, poor minorities and seniors the most.

Before Obamacare was adopted, President Barack Obama pledged that American families would pay $2,500 less for their insurance premiums by the end of his first term. Today, they are paying $3,000 more - a $5,500 swing between what was promi…

Border security scam

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This is almost too perfect for the politicians who favor a path to citizenship.  It looks like it could have been staged.  The fact is that illegal immigration has changed dramatically from the fence climbers.  It is now run by the drug cartels who sneak the illegals into the country and transport them in box trucks and stolen pickups.  They take them to the large cities where they are put in stash houses while they look for jobs or before moving on to another city.  Those who claim the border are secure have no clue nor does DHS which admitted he did not have the metrics on border crossings by illegals.

The other question I would ask of these politicians is what is their plan for the next amnesty?

Border Patrol cutbacks political folly

Dallas Morning News:
Sen. John Cornyn isn’t happy about the Department of Homeland Security’s plans to cut back the hours and overtime pay of Border Patrol agents.

“The Obama administration’s actions amount to nothing short of a calculated, willful neglect of what should be a President’s top priority: protecting the homeland and keeping Americans safe,” the Republican lawmaker said ina written statement today.

The secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, told Congress in February that the department would have to cut hours equivalent to the salaries of 5,000 Border Patrol agents and 2,750 Customs and Border Protection officers because of the recent federal budget cuts known as the sequester.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued furlough notices to its employees this month. They could be out of work for up to 14 days from the end of April through September.

Cornyn and other conservatives say the cutbacks will make the border with Mexico even more vulnerable.

“The fact that th…

Iraq war not responsible for Obamacare

Noemie Emery:
"Can the GOP recover from Iraq?" asked Peggy Noonan last Friday. The answer is yes, it's doing it now.

No, Iraq was not the one thing that gave us Obamacare. It caused the 2006 congressional wipeout, but in 2008, John McCain, the man more associated with the war than any one except Bush himself, stayed close to Obama throughout the summer and actually led him by two or three points in September before the financial implosion kicked in. (It was this fiscal collapse that gave us Obamacare, along with a number of various oddities: "macaca;" the 200-plus felons who voted in Minnesota; and the Club for Growth running against Arlen Specter, which pushed him into the Democrats' arms.)

Conservatives are right to criticize many things in regard to Iraq, but there is a significant quotient of crisis inflation quite in excess of the practical evidence. We didn't lose in Iraq. Saddam is dead, as are his sons. Iraq has a government and a future.

Faint pra…

North Dakota, Texas lead in income growth

Fuel Fix:
While no state came anywhere close to North Dakota for average personal income growth last year, Texas was a respectable second-place finisher, according to estimates released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

North Dakota, which is enjoying an energy boom and, consequently, a building boom, led the nation in personal income growth in 2012, according to the bureau. Personal income is the before-tax income received by every resident from all sources, including wages, rents and transfer payments.

Average personal income in North Dakota increased by 12.4 percent in 2012, compared with 2011. That marks the fifth time in the past six years that North Dakota has recorded the nation’s fastest-growing personal income.

Skills shortage: Major workforce shortage pounding energy industry

In Texas, average personal income increased by 4.8 percent in 2012, making it the second-fastest in the U.S.

For Texas, the biggest contributor to earnings growth came from the construction …

Obama's invalid assumptions of health care revealed

IBD:
News this week that ObamaCare will cause a huge spike in insurance claims in the individual market — and result in sky-high premium hikes — was bad enough. Worse still was the administration's response.

A study released Tuesday by the Society of Actuaries said that health claims will shoot up an average 32% under ObamaCare. Some states will see claims rise as much as 80%, while just five states could see them drop a little.

The reason, the report says, isn't just that millions of uninsured will get coverage, which the actuaries estimate will cause them to double their health spending.

Also driving claims higher is that many employers will dump coverage for workers once ObamaCare kicks in, and those workers will be far more expensive to insure than people already in the individual market.

Either way, the result will be higher premiums for millions of Americans.

This is just the latest in a series of recent reports all pointing in the same direction. Namely that, despite Preside…