Posts

Showing posts from June, 2013

The unpopular Muslim Brotherhood and their President

NY Times:
Egyptians Pour Into Streets, Demanding Morsi’s Ouster
In an outpouring of rage against the president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, a core of demonstrators set fire to the headquarters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement in Cairo. His Islamist allies gathered with clubs, helmets and shields vowing to defend the presidential palace. This is one of the larger general uprisings Egypt has seen.  They will probably have to sustain it for several days to affect the government, but there are so many unemployed Egyptians they do have the time.   An overthrow of the Islamic religious bigots would be a welcome result for those outside the US White House.  Obama has been reluctant to side with the people when they rebel against an oppressive Islamist regime like the Brotherhood or the odious Iranian regime.

Media ignors the consensus opposing abortion in the third trimester

Ben Domenech:
Obviously the overall story about how Americans view the right to marriage is one of ever increasing majorities. From just a few years ago, when Americans were split on the issue at best, they now have marked majorities in favor of same sex marriage – 71% according to some polls, 86% according to others. The argument has been won, and cultural unanimity is virtually complete.

Oh, my mistake. It’s actually around half of Americans who favor gay marriage. Those figures above are for the percentage of Americans who support banning abortion after the first trimester (13 weeks), and after the second trimester (28 weeks), respectively.

But that can’t be possible. Because if that was the case, wouldn’t we have heard about it, from the newspapers? Maybe they just haven’t gotten around to reporting it – a blind spot missed amidst all the other pressing news. Except – it looks like Americans have thought this for almost two decades. The percent supporting a second trimester ban has …

House GOP not into senate immigration bill

LA Times:
Leading House Republicans reiterated their opposition Sunday to the immigration compromise passed by the Senate last week, highlighting the uncertain prospects for enactment of a major overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

“The Senate bill is not going to pass in the House,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” echoing statements made by House SpeakerJohn Boehner (R-Ohio) and other senior GOP lawmakers.
...

Boehner has said that he will not bring up an immigration bill for a vote that does not have the support of the majority of the GOP House caucus.

Goodlatte noted Sunday that the vast majority of Senate Republicans voted against the Senate bill, which would create a system to confer legal status on 11 million immigrants in the country illegally while bolstering border security and tightening employment rules through an electronic system to verify workers’ immigration status known as e-verify.

But many conservative law…

Morsi behind Benghazi attack?

Image
Walid Shoebat:
A Libyan intelligence document has been produced that directly implicates Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Mursi in the attacks on American installations in Benghazi on 9/11/12. Those who attempt to discredit this document run into trouble when it is coupled with real-time video we uncovered on 9/13/12. In that video, gunmen at the scene of the attack can be heard declaring that they were sent by Mursi.

After weeks of attempting to push the narrative that a video was responsible, the Obama administration ultimately had to concede that the attacks in Benghazi were terrorist in nature. A few months after 9/11/12, the top lawyer for the Pentagon stated that the war on terror should be wagedby “law enforcement and intelligence agencies”.

Based on the Obama administration’s standard, the Benghazi attacks should be treated as a crimeinstead of as an act of war. Therefore, let us bring forth the evidence, which implicates the leader of a nation state (Egypt) in the …

Growing crops with less water

Texas Tribune:
Deep in the Texas Panhandle, where the decline of the Ogallala Aquiferhas left farmers fearful for their future, Harold Grall is hoping his field of tiny green corn plants will survive with minimal watering.

“We’re doing everything that we know possible that we can do to conserve water,” Grall, a corn farmer, said as his pickup bounced toward the 120-acre field.

He planted the cornfield later than most, in an effort to capture more summer rainfall and reduce the need for Ogallala water. He also did not water it before planting the corn seeds, a risky move for land parched after three years of drought.

Grall’s cornfield is part of a closely watched demonstration project aimed at showing farmers how to use less irrigation water on their crops. It was put together by a groundwater authority in the Panhandle that strictly limits the amount of Ogallala water each farmer can pump. The project reflects the harsh reality that has taken hold across the drought-stricken state: farme…

Much of Eagle Ford oil is moving by barges

EagleFordShale.com:
Port of Corpus Christi Has Barges Waiting To Move Eagle Ford OilMore Than One-Third Of Eagle Ford Oil Production Moving By Ship The port is building new terminals to handle barges that can carry as much as  30,000 barrels.  Private docks are scaling up to service ships carrying 500,000 barrels.  The oil is headed to refineries in Texas and Louisiana.

What Wendy Davis is standing for?

Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames.

US News
  |
George Zimmerman Trial
  |
More ABC News Videos

A majority of Americans want to ban late term abortions.  Requiring standards is a way of preventing Gosnell type horror stories.

Winey feminism is not persuasive

Houston Chronicle:

Wendy Davis skewers Texas leadership for ‘bullying women’ She needs to get over herself.  Opposing abortion is about principals and not about bullying.  Many women oppose it too.

Washington in the worst of hands

Mark Steyn:
Just another day in a constitutional republic of limited government by citizen representatives:

First thing in the morning, Gregory Roseman, deputy director of acquisitions (whatever that means), became the second IRS official to take the Fifth Amendment, after he was questioned about awarding the largest contract in IRS history, totaling some half-a-billion dollars, to his close friend Braulio Castillo, who qualified under a federal "set-aside" program favoring disadvantaged groups — in this case, disabled veterans.

For the purposes of federal contracting, Mr. Castillo is a "disabled veteran" because he twisted his ankle during a football game at the U.S. Military Academy prep school 27 years ago. How he overcame this crippling disability to win a half-billion-dollar IRS contract is the heartwarming stuff of an inspiring Lifetime TV movie.

Later in the day, Sen. John Hoeven, Republican of North Dakota and alleged author of the Corker-Hoeven Amendment to t…

In lieu of no fly zone Qatar sends shoulder fired missiles

NY Times:
Sending Missiles to Syrian Rebels, Qatar Muscles In
In an effort that underlines its outsize role in the region, Qatar is using a shadowy arms network to move shoulder-fired missiles to Syria, ignoring American warnings that they could fall into terrorist hands. Since Russia and Obama have effectively blocked a no fly zone by the West, for the rebels to have a fair shot against the Assad regime they need an effective means of dealing with his air force.  Without the missiles their cause is looking hopeless.  This story indicates the rebels have had some success in shooting down a Syrian chopper.

Gang of Eight bill suspends immigration enforcement for 2.5 years

Breitbart:
A provision in the “Gang of Eight” bill would amount to a 2.5-year-long law enforcement holiday, during which time law enforcement will be forced to suspend deportation efforts against criminal illegal aliens and allow them to apply for legalization.

What that means is that while illegal immigrants "come out of the shadows," as Gang of Eight members like to say, and fill out their applications for legalization or amnesty, enforcement of America's interior immigration laws will be suspended completely. Essentially, the bill's provisions create a few-year-long period of suspeneded immigration enforcement immigration while illegal aliens apply for legalization.

The provision, which applies to all illegal aliens who would seek legalized Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status and to all “blue card” status applicants for illegal immigrant farm workers, has been in the bill since its introduction. As the Gang of Eight and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a…

US accused of supporting Egypt's Islamist government

Algemeiner:
While protests have erupted across Egypt, the country’s secular and Christian opposition factions are calling for Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s resignation as well as accusing the U.S. government of supporting Morsi’s Islamist government at their expense, Al-Ahram reported.

The protests began in Alexandria on Friday afternoon and then spread to other cities around Egypt. Several of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Freedom and Justice Party’s headquarters were torched by protestors, the Egypt Independent reported.

Cairo’s International Airport was flooded with an unprecedented amount of departures, the Associated Press reported. According to anonymous Egyptian officials, many of those leaving are families of government officials, foreign diplomats and Egyptian Christians.

Islamist supporters of Morsi also held counter-protests in Cairo. Larger protests as part of an anti-Morsi petition movement organized by the activist group Tamarod are also scheduled on Sunday, igniting fe…

The House offshore drilling mandate

Fuel Fix:
The House on Friday passed legislation that would expand offshore drilling by forcing the federal government to sell new oil and gas leases along the coasts of California, South Carolina, Virginia and any other states where governors say they want the work.

But the measure, which passed on a mostly party-line vote of 235-186, is not expected to advance in the Democrat-controlled Senate, much less clear the chamber with enough support to overturn a threatened veto by President Barack Obama.

Beyond targeting California, South Carolina and Virginia for offshore oil drilling, the bill would limit environmental reviews of the mandated lease sales, forcing federal regulators to study the implications of oil exploration in all three areas simultaneously, rather than with separate, area-specific studies.

At the same time, it would force the Interior Department to focus all future oil and gas leasing plans to areas with the most potential. Regulators would have to sell leases in areas e…

A new agricultural revolution

Walter Russell Mead:
Drones that spray pesticide; special soil sensors linked to iPads; devices that detect crop contamination. These are just a few of the innovations wielded by a new Silicon Valley -Big Ag partnership that hopes to rationalize farming. The FT reports that a “coalition of top technology and agricultural firms” has created the Steinbeck Innovation Cluster to test out a new form of “smart farming” in the Salinas Valley. Through entrepreneurship and technological innovation, the Cluster hopes to pioneer a scaleable model of high-yield, high-efficiency farming that can meet the needs of a growing world population.

This is huge news. The industrial revolution transformed agriculture, massively increasing farm productivity and bringing new areas into cultivation. By creating a global transport and food processing system it enabled a new kind of agricultural market. Frozen lamb from New Zealand could be served for dinner in Norway.

The information revolution is going to have …

Doing the math on immigration reform votes

David Weigel:
Imagine you’re a CEO. First of all, congratulations! Second, whether or not you can keep this job now depends on biennial shareholder votes. The day you take the job, there are 100 shareholders, and 60 of them support you. But on your second day, you get a proposal that would expand the shareholder pool over time, and you know that two out of three of the new additions would vote to remove you. Because you’re not an idiot, you deposit this plan in the circular file.

Now do you understand the plight of the Republican members of Congress? Immigration reform has been dumped in front of their doors like a USA Today in a midpriced family hotel. Most of them have no political reason to support it, and never will.

Until now the conversation about the bill’s congressional prospects has been a Lindsey Graham monologue with occasional Ted Cruz footnotes, as if the House didn’t have its own priorities and math.

This is the math.

Republicans currently control 234 of the House’s 435 voti…

China bluster targets Philippines

Reuters:
China's state media warned on Saturday that a "counterstrike" against the Philippines was inevitable if it continues to provoke Beijing in the South China Sea, potentially Asia's biggest military troublespot.

The warning comes as ministers from both countries attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Brunei, starting Saturday, which hopes to reach a legally binding code of conduct to manage maritime conduct in disputed areas.

At stake are potentially massive offshore oil reserves. The seas also lie on shipping lanes and fishing grounds.

Both China and the Philippines have been locked in a decades-old territorial squabble over the South China Sea, with tensions flaring after the Philippines moved new soldiers and supplies last week to a disputed coral reef, prompting Beijing to condemn Manila's "illegal occupation".

The overseas edition of the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, said in a fron…

Going after Pryor in Arkansas

Image
Townhall:
If the GOP has any prayer of winning back the Senate next year -- they need to net six seats -- they must take advantage of Obamacare as a winning issue. It's been clear for years that the American people loathe the law. Will Republicans (again) persuade voters to punish Democratic incumbents who enabled its passage, this time as the law rolls out? Because Harry Reid needed every last votefrom his caucus to jam the "Affordable" Care Act through, any single Senator in that coalition can be accurately described as the "deciding vote." David Freddosoflags a solid attack ad that merges several potent anti-Obamacare narratives. Its target? Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor:



"Deciding vote," Pelosi/Obama, job losses. Good morning, good afternoon, good night. Unable to dispute the devastating contents of the ad, Pryor is assailing the small businessman who stars in it....
... I think Pryor is vulnerable.  Arkansas has finally swung to the GOP.  It is a…

Apologist from media wrong about IRS scandal

Peggy Noonan:
'Documents Show Liberals in I.R.S. Dragnet," read the New York Times headline. "Dem: 'Progressive' Groups Were Also Targeted by IRS," said U.S. News. The scandal has "evaporated into thin air," bayed the excitable Andrew Sullivan. A breathlessly exonerative narrative swept the news media this week: that liberal groups had been singled out and, by implication, abused by the IRS, just as conservative groups had been. Therefore, the scandal wasn't a scandal but a mere bungle—a nonpolitical series of unhelpful but innocent mistakes.

The problem with this story is that liberals were not caught in the IRS dragnet. Progressive groups were not targeted.

The claim that they had been rested mostly on an unclear, undated, highly redacted and not at all dispositive few pages from a "historical" BOLO ("be on the lookout") list that apparently wasn't even in use between May 2010 and May 2012, when most of the IRS harassm…

Egyptians quickly tired of Muslim Brotherhood

Deroy Murdock:
Muhammad has had it with the Muslim Brotherhood.

From the moment we meet, it takes the 30-something Egyptian three minutes, tops, before he expresses his crashing disappointment with his government.

‘‘On June 30, you will see another revolution,” he predicts, as we approach the Egyptian Museum. “Millions of Egyptians will fill Tahrir Square and other squares around the country. We want the Muslim Brothers out!”

As we admire sarcophagi, masks and mummies in this legendary palace of antiquities, Muhammad barely can contain his frustration with current events.

‘‘The Muslim Brothers,” as he and others here call them, “have craved power for 85 years. Now they have it, and they cannot run anything. We were happy to be rid of Mubarak, but right now, we would take him back.” Egyptians rallied for 18 days in early 2011 until their autocratic president stood down. Now 85, Hosni Mubarak is on trial for corruption and complicity in killing protesters during the uprising.

Muhammad is in…

Christie says Obama can't figure out how to lead

NJ.com:
Gov. Chris Christie veered to the right this morning, twice touting himself as a “conservative Republican” and taking a shot at President Obama within the first 10 minutes of a town hall meeting in Sussex County.

Unlike his famous praise of Obama’s leadership during Hurricane Sandy, Christie today said Obama is not an effective leader.

“I know when you look at Washington right now, you shake your head at a president who can’t figure out how to lead, at a Congress that only 11 percent of the people in the last poll I saw approve of the job they’re doing,” Christie told hundreds inside the Vernon Township High School gym.

“That’s what happens when you have someone in the executive office who is more concerned about being right than he is concerned about getting things done," Christie said. "But I’m not going to be that kind of leader of New Jersey.”

As he seeks re-election, Christie continues to walk a fine line in hopes of winning by a large margin in a blue state in Nove…

NFL avoids divisive association with Obamacare

NY Times:
N.F.L. Won’t Promote Enrollment in Health Insurance Under New Law
The National Football League is not participating in an effort with the Obama administration to help promote enrollment in health insurance plans under the new health care law. This is a smart move.  A business would be unwise to alienate over half its fan base.  Obama care is one of the most hated laws in history.  Being associated with it just makes no business sense.

Texas is where the drilling action is

Fuel Fix:
Texas continues to have an enormous slice of worldwide drilling activity, as companies hunt for crude oil and natural gas in formations across the state.

The state has 843 drilling rigs – about 48 percent of U.S. drilling rigs and 26 percent of rigs worldwide, according to the latest Baker Hughes Rig Count.

Most of the rigs are operating in five major plays across the state.

The Permian Basin in West Texas has 399 rigs, the Eagle Ford in South Texas has 227 rigs, the Granite Wash in the Panhandle has 43 rigs, the Barnett Shale in North Texas has 36 rigs and the Haynesville Shale in East Texas has 19 rigs.
... I think there will also be growth in the Cline formation in West Texas near the Permian Basin.  It looks like it will have more oil than the Eagle Ford.  In Contrast, California only has 37 active rigs despite having a huge Monterey shale formation.  It is a good demonstration of the negative effects of the anti energy left where they control the politics.

Turning the tables on Ecuador

Fuel Fix:
Faced with a $19 billion fine for polluting Ecuador’s rainforest, Chevron Corp. has done a remarkable job of turning the tables on its foes.

The lawyers who sued Chevron in Ecuador, winning that eye-popping judgment, have come under non-stop attack from the oil company. Chevron has hauled them into court in New York, accusing them of fraud and extortion. The company has gone after Ecuador’s judicial system as well, claiming judges there conspired with the other side.

That aggressive strategy has worked wonders, putting Chevron’s opponents on the defensive and convincing many people that the Ecuador suit is a sham.

And you can trace much of that strategy back to a 2008 memo by San Francisco’s master of crisis communications, Sam Singer.

Singer has built up an impressive practice of counseling companies, public agencies and government officials facing controversy. In October 2008, he sent Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson a four-page memo outlining steps the company could take to c…

New mapping shows Lee could not see depth of union forces at Gettysberg

Smithsonian Magazine:
...
Altogether, our mapping reveals that Lee never had a clear view of enemy forces; the terrain itself hid portions of the Union Army throughout the battle. In addition, Lee did not grasp – or acknowledge – just how advantageous the Union’s position was. In a reversal of the Battle of Fredericksburg, where Lee’s forces held the high ground and won a great victory, Union General George Meade held the high ground at Gettysburg. Lee’s forces were spread over an arc of seven miles, while the Union’s compact position, anchored on several hills, facilitated communication and quick troop deployment. Meade also received much better information, more quickly, from his subordinates. Realizing the limits of what Lee could see makes his decisions appear even bolder, and more likely to fail, than we knew. Check out the interactive map at the link above.  I would also add that the machinery of warfare had given the defensive an advantage that was to last through the early days…

Who aided and abetted Snowden's theft of US communication secrets

Edward Epstein:
In March 2013, when Edward Snowden sought a job with Booz Allen Hamilton at a National Security Agency facility in Hawaii, he signed the requisite classified-information agreements and would have been made well aware of the law regarding communications intelligence.

Section 798 of the United States Code makes it a federal crime if a person "knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States" any classified information concerning communication intelligence.

Mr. Snowden took that position so he could arrange to have published classified communications intelligence, as he told the South China Morning Post earlier this month. The point of Mr. Snowden's penetration was to get classified data from the NSA. He subsequently stated: "My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of mach…

Beretta turns down move to W. Virginia because of Manchin legislation

The Republic:
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's role in the gun control debate has cost his home state the chance to host a major firearms maker.

Legislators and other West Virginia officials had invited Beretta USA to relocate from neighboring Maryland. The company objects to gun control proposals in that state.

A Beretta USA executive cited Manchin in turning down those offers this week.
... Manchin is sticking by his background check proposal and reacted angrily to the rejection.   I thought his proposal was pretty ineffective in dealing with the problem of crazy people making a decision to engage in mass murder.  I would start with doing away with gun free zones.  Those only help the mass murderers.

Flying drugs into California from Mexico

Susan Ferrechio:
In one California border town, at least four drug-laden, ultralight airplanes from Mexico land each night on U.S. soil, dropping off hundreds of pounds of narcotics then flying back to Mexico, all the while eluding a $100 million detection system funded by American taxpayers.

The U.S. Border Patrol’s inability to find and catch these planes, operated by the Mexican drug cartels and sometimes piloted by armed dealers, is among the emerging border security threats a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing will tackle on Thursday.

The panel wants to highlight growing border security problems as Congress debates immigration reform legislation that includes provisions aimed at bolstering border security, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told the Washington Examiner.

Chaffetz, who will oversee the hearing as chairman of the panel’s subcommittee on national security, says he has doubts that pouring more money into the border will adequately improve security if the b…

How many of these low information people voted for Obama?

Gallup:
In U.S., 43% of Uninsured Unaware They Must Get Coverage They are in a rude shock next year when they do their taxes and find out they owe for being uninsured.

Why do liberals claim an abortion is about a woman's health?

Jonah Goldberg:
When your grandmother gets some bad news, do you tell her: "Well, at least you have your abortion rights"?

Why not? Maybe it's because whatever you think of abortion, the right to have one is not synonymous with a woman's health.

But don't tell that to the liberal group Think Progress. On Twitter, it recently teased some shocking news: "Why 2013 is shaping up to be the worst year for woman's [sic] health in modern history."

When I followed to the linked story, there was nothing about a spike in cervical or breast cancer rates. Nothing about occupational safety for female workers and no mention of female life expectancy either. Instead, the story was about how the ACLU says anti-abortion laws are on the rise across the country.

Of course, this sort of thing is all over the place. Under the headline "Losing the Global Fight for Women's Health," Luisita Lopez Torregrosa, the "Female Factor" columnist for the internat…

Say what?

Rolling Stone:
Big Oil's Lies About Alternative Energy I read the piece and could not find one example of a lie by "Big Oil."  The piece seems upset that oil and gas companies are not investing more in alternative energy, but to my mind that is just a rational business decision because the current state of alternative energy is just too inefficient to ever be profitable and it makes more sense to direct your resources toward activities that will produce profits.

BTW, I am not in any way associated with "Big Oil"  I have never worked for an oil company although I do use their products in my F-150.  Windmills and solar panels just are not practical forms of motor fuel.  The marketplace has rejected electric autos and most people would rather have lower electric rates than buy alternative sources of energy.

I believe the administration is making a mistake by blocking development of more of our oil and gas resources on federal sites.  They are also wasting money inv…

The Democrats ugly spectacle in Austin

Tim Carney:
Democratic state senator Wendy Davis last night did a standing, talking filibuster of a bill that would ban abortions on fetuses 20 weeks in development and older. The bill would also hold abortion clinics to the same standards as similar non-abortion medical facilities.

Wendy Davis and her allies will paint this as a Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington moment, and sure some of that drama is there. It took real willpower to stand and talk and run out the clock. The thousands of Austinites who showed up to support her certainly feel that protecting late-term abortion is a civil rights issue.

I’m going to venture a guess here, though. I think that from the perspective of a few decades from now, Wendy Davis’s filibuster isn’t going to look so pretty.

Think about it this way:

The babies at issue here are not formless blobs of cells. Here’s how one mommy website preps pregnant mothers for the 20-week ultrasound: “If Baby cooperates, you can see fingers, toes, spines and even a little fac…

Special ops wary of adding women

Rowan Scarborough:
Publicly and privately, U.S. commandos are casting doubt on the sexual revolution looming over Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Delta Force and Green Berets.

The Pentagon staged a press briefing last week to announce a two-year study to refine combat physical standards and find the best way to install women in the male bastion of infantry, armor and special operations. A decision on which combat roles will be open to women is expected in 2015.

It is the special “ops” group — with its secretive isolation in small teams where physical stamina matters most — that has commandos the most nervous.

“The only option now is to offer reasons why they can’t do it,” said an Army special operations veteran who believes U.S. Special Operations Command will cave to White House demands to include women. “I haven’t heard that anyone has the courage to say they can’t do it, either. Maybe the new [military occupational specialty] can be 18P — Special Forces camp follower. Is that PC enough?”

An

Mexico is short on alternative solutions to migration problem

Washington Post:
In Mexico, dismay for the border ‘surge’ proposed in U.S. Senate immigration bill They don't like the fence but they offer no real alternative stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the US.  They do nothing to stop those riding on the top of Mexican trains from Central America to the Texas border.   Mexico actually has a much tougher immigration law.  Perhaps it should be substituted for the Gang of Eight bill and we could see how they react to that.

I respect the Mexican border.  It is too bad the Mexican government does not have the same attitude about the US border.

Romney should have been more aggressive defending his business success

The Atlantic:
A lot has been said about why Mitt Romney lost the presidential election, fromhis failure to turn out more white working-class voters to his failure to win more of the Latino voters who did turn out. Republican strategist Karl Rove offered the latest take Thursday in remarks detailing how he tried, from his perch at an outside group forbidden by law from coordinating with the campaign, to signal to Romney's team that they should make changes in course and defend their candidate more fiercely.

"No election can be blamed on one single thing ... that's not the way politics works," Rove said during an Aspen Ideas Festival conversation with AtlanticEditor in Chief James Bennet. At core, however, "This was a tactical failure."

The Obama campaign had decided in March and April, Rove said, that it couldn't win on the basis of the economy, Obamacare, or the president's prospective vision -- so it made "a grand bet: We have to take a fifth of…

Iran's new President charged with plagiarism

Telegraph:
Iranian activists have analysed passages of Mr Rouhani's Glasgow Caledonian University PhD thesis, titled The Flexibility of Sharia (Islamic Law) with reference to the Iranian experience, that closely match sentences written in a book by an Afghan author.

Behdad Morshedi, a London-based writer, said Mr Rouhani appeared to have lifted segments from a book by Mohamad Hashem Kamali, the chairman of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies.

"Mr Kamali is closely associated with the regime but his book was published in his own name and the extracts are virtually identical," said Mr Morshedi (a pen name). "We will be submitting a petition calling on the university to cancel the PhD."

Charles McGhee, a spokesman for Glasgow Caledonian University, said its staff had received the allegations from another activist in the US and would be looking into the matter.

He said the university library had already established that the thesis references Kamali&#…

How the IRS won the election for Obama by thwarting the Tea Party groups

DC Clothesline:
Stan Veuger, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute did an article for Real Clear Politics, in which he analyzed the 2012 election and the effects of the IRS in constraining the Tea Party. He believes that the IRS cost Romney the presidency.

“Some conservatives suspect . . . the levers of government were used to attack an existential threat to the president’s 2012 reelection.”

“The president and his party dismiss this as a paranoid fantasy. The evidence, however, is enough to make one believe that targeting tea party groups would have been an effective campaign strategy going into the 2012 election cycle.”

That about sums up the feelings of many Americans, especially those who spent all that time in a futile attempt to get a tax exempt status, that would have allowed them to take a much more active role in the election. In 2010, the Tea Party was able to drive out 3 to 6 million voters, which led to a rout by the Republican Party. Obama couldn’t afford th…

Left disappointed IRS did not target their groups too?

Matthew Clark:
In a letter sent to congressional investigators yesterday the Treasury Inspector General that exposed the targeting of Tea Party groups confirmed that conservative Tea Party groups, not “progressive” groups, were intentionally targeted by the IRS.

IG George wrote:

From our audit work, [TIGTA] did not find evidence that the criteria … labeled “Progressives,” were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe we audited. The “Progressives” criteria appeared on a section of the “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) spreadsheet labeled “Historical,” and unlike other BOLO entries, did not include instruction on how to refer cases that met the criteria. While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that “progressives” was a term used to refer c…

Iran testing ICBM

Bill Gertz:
U.S. intelligence agencies recently detected Iran conducting a static ground test of a large rocket motor that could be used for a future intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to U.S. officials.

Disclosure of the recent rocket engine test comes as Congress is prodding the Obama administration to deploy a third ground-based missile defense interceptor base on the U.S. East Coast.

“This engine could be used for an ICBM,” said one official familiar with the intelligence reports of the test.
... We ignore their ambitions at our own peril.  Ironically most of the targets of these weapons would be cities full of liberals who oppose doing anything about Iran.

Gang of Eight blow the budget

Byron York:
For immigration bill, Senate passes ‘Motion to Waive All Applicable Budgetary Discipline’ The vote required a supermajority, which they easily got.  It is a vote that will come back to haunt many of the senators.  For the Republicans it will probably be an issue in any primary they are challenged.   For Democrats it will probably be a badge of honor.

The diesel advantage

Fuel Fix:
It costs less to own a diesel vehicle than a gasoline-powered one, according to a study that looked at new car prices, fuel economy and resale values.

Owners of diesel vehicles saved average of $6,000 compared with the cost of owning similar gasoline-powered cars over a five year period, according to the study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
...

The main savings came from resale values and fuel costs, according to the study, which also considered repairs, insurance and maintenance expenses.

Diesel: Natural gas faces a long road to overtake diesel

“These new findings that clean diesel vehicles are a more cost-effective investment for car owners reinforces what auto analysts and other comparative studies have determined in recent years,” Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, said in a statement.

Though a gallon of diesel is currently more expensive than gasoline, at about $3.83 nationally, diesel vehicles are far more …

Senate immigration bill is irrelevant to House Republicans

Jonathan Strong:
Perhaps the one thing that’s certain about the House of Representatives and immigration is that the bill that just passed the Senate could never, ever pass the House. Indeed, it’s difficult to overstate how little regard Republicans there have for it, even with the border-security amendment added by Senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven.“Just like all the senators, I haven’t read it yet,” quips Representative Tim Huelskamp of Kansas. The House should “fold it up into a paper airplane and throw it out the window. Oh, is that not the right answer?” jokes Representative Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina. “The Senate is, at this point, irrelevant,” observes Representative Ted Poe of Texas, the chairman of the House immigration caucus.

“If you think that the House is going to cave and bring up the Senate bill,” Representative Devin Nunes of California says, “that is idiotic. Anyone who pushes that is just ultimately trying to kill immigration reform.”

Chief deputy whip Peter Ros…

Many are still falling for the green energy con

Reuters:
The term "green energy" refers to the benign environmental impact of fuel sources, such as wind and solar, that President Barack Obama promoted in a speech on Tuesday. It does not refer to that industry's investment returns, which have been awful over the long haul.

The three U.S. domestic mutual funds that focus on green energy gained more than 20 percent in the 12 months through Tuesday. That still left them with five-year losses ranging from about 50 percent to 80 percent, compared to a decline of just over 10 percent in Energy Select Sector SPDR, an exchange-traded fund that holds traditional energy stocks.

But investors continue to be drawn to the niche, sometimes through private investment vehicles that can be less than legitimate. The North American Securities Administrators Association, a financial regulators' organization, recently warned of a proliferation in "green energy" investment scams.

"In some cases, the promoters may be operatin…

Media hypocrisy watch--Filibuster edition

John Nolte:
In the wake of Sandy Hook, to justify openly pressuring Congress to restrict our Second Amendment gun rights, the national media frequently pointed to polls showing majority public support for laws that would broaden the scope of background checks. When this law failed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate, the media bellyached for weeks about the filibuster and the GOP "obstructionism" that thwarts the will of the people.

This is not a new kind of media attack against the political right. Ever since Obama assumed the presidency, under the guise of reporting, the media have attacked our "do nothing" congress as dysfunctional and incapable of accomplishing anything. According to the media, a legislative body "doing nothing" is a huge problem. As the media push to see millions of Democrats legalized through immigration reform, look for this media narrative to explode at the GOP Congress.

But in reality, we all know that this is wild hypocrisy …