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Showing posts from March, 2014

Shape shifting stealth tank developed by Brits and Poles

This is a remarkable tank that has the ability to mask itself from the thermal sensors by using tiles that can change the perceived shape of the tank.  It was thermal sights which gave the US tanks a huge advantage over those of Iraq in the Gulf war.

A single shot from sniper triggers explosion that killed six Taliban

Telegraph:
A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded, The Telegraph has learnt.

The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast.

The incident in Kakaran in southern Afghanistan happened in December but has only now been disclosed as Britain moves towards the withdrawal of all combat soldiers by the end of the year.

Lt Col Richard Slack, commanding officer of 9/12 Royal Lancers, said the unnamed sharpshooter prevented a major attack by the Taliban, as a second suicide vest packed with 20kg (44lbs) of explosives was found nearby.

The same sniper, with his first shot on the tour of duty, killed a Taliban machine-gunner from 1,465 yards (1,340m).
... That is some very special shooting.  I hope he was appropriately rewarded for his efforts.

Obama's phantom red line in Crimea

David Adesnik:
The goalposts moved while you weren’t looking. At the end of February, President Obama warned “there will be costs” for Russia if it invaded any part of Ukraine. Yet while in Europe, Obama has made it clear that there will only be meaningful costs for Russia if it launches a second invasion, targeting some other part of Ukraine. Once again, a red line has vanished.

In his major address in Brussels, Obama waxed eloquent about the unity of the United States and Europe in the face of Russian aggression. ”Together, we have isolated Russia politically, suspending it from the G8 nations and downgrading our bilateral ties,” he said, ”Together, we are imposing costs through sanctions that have left a mark on Russia and those accountable for its actions.”

If one is charitable, one might say the current US and EU sanctions have “left a mark.” In Washington, Ukraine’s staunchest defenders on both sides of the aisle expected the President to go to Brussels and bring back a commitme…

Maduro's random murderers in Venezuela

AP/Miami Herald:
The masked gunmen emerged from a group of several dozen motorcycle-mounted government loyalists who were attempting to dismantle a barricade in La Isabelica, a working-class district of Valencia that has been a center of unrest since nationwide protests broke out last month.

The barricades' defenders had been hurling rocks, sticks and other objects at the attackers, who included perhaps a dozen armed men, witnesses told The Associated Press.

Lisandro Barazarte, a photographer with the local newspaper, Notitarde, caught images of several of the men shooting into the crowd while steadying their firearms on their palms.

"They were practiced shooters," Barazarte said. "More were armed, but didn't fire."

When it was over, two La Isabelica men were dead: a 22-year-old student, Jesus Enrique Acosta, and a little league baseball coach, Guillermo Sanchez. Witnesses told the AP the first was shot in the head, the second in the back. They said neither was…

If you are trying to get Obamacare today, too bad

On the last day to sign up the web site has not functioned properly.  It seems typical for this administration.

LNG to power ships?

International Business Times:
How Liquid Natural Gas May Revolutionize Shipping, And Make Goods Cheaper It could cut shipping cost and emissions.  It makes too much sense to ignore.

Obama thumbs his nose at the rule of law

Washington Times:
68,000 illegal aliens with criminal records caught and released
Immigration agents tried to deport only about a fourth of the cases they encountered in 2013, said a report being released Monday from the Center for Immigration Studies that shows just how much President Obama’s policies have cut down on potential enforcement. I don't think it is happening because of employees not wanting to do their job.  I think it is happening because Obama and his administration do not want the employees to do their job.  What this report shows is that they are not even deporting criminal aliens which was supposed to be their priority.

Congress could have Lerner arrested for contempt

Washington Examiner Editorial:


This may come as a shock to Lois Lerner, but the House of Representatives has the authority to jail her unless she changes her mind about refusing to answer questions about her role in the IRS scandal. Essentially, what is required for that to happen is for a House majority to vote for a motion holding her in contempt and House Speaker John Boehner to then direct the House sergeant at arms to arrest and confine her. Under the Constitution, the House can do that under its “inherent contempt” authority, which was initially exercised in 1795 during the First Congress and on multiple occasions thereafter. Lerner could be held until January 2015 when a new Congress is seated, which could issue another subpoena and throw her in the clink again if she still balks at testifying.

According to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report, inherent contempt has the unique advantage that it doesn’t require “the cooperation or assistance of either the executive or judi…

Enthusiasm gap dogs Democrats

Andrew Kohut:
Early national polling is supporting the prevailing view in Washington that Democrats are in trouble in the 2014 midterm elections. While Democrats are more popular than the GOP among the general public, the party faces a number of challenges in November.

First, there's an enthusiasm gap. Typically, but not always, Republicans vote at higher rates than Democrats in congressional elections. And at this early stage, that seems likely to happen again, perhaps at an even greater rate than usual. One telling indicator came in December, when the Pew Research Center found that Republicans are much more optimistic about their party's electoral prospects than Democrats are. Fully 55% of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters expect the GOP to do better in 2014 than the party has in recent elections, while only 43% of Democrats expressed such confidence.

Recent national surveys of registered voters by the Pew Research Center, the Washington Post/ABC News and th…

Kerry's Middle East delusions

Jackson Diehl:
During a tour of the Middle East in November, Secretary of State John F. Kerry portrayed the region as on its way to a stunning series of breakthroughs, thanks to U.S. diplomacy. In Egypt, he said, “the roadmap” to democracy “is being carried out, to the best of our perception.” In Syria, a peace conference would soon replace the Assad regime with a transitional government, because “the Russians and the Iranians . . . will make certain that the Syrian regime will live up to its obligation.”

Last but hardly least, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was on its way to a final settlement — by April. “This is not mission impossible,” insisted the secretary of state. “This can happen.”

Some people heaped praise on Kerry for his bold ambitions, saying he was injecting vision and energy into the Obama administration’s inert foreign policy. Others, including me, said he was delusional.

Four months have passed, and, sadly for Kerry and U.S. interests, the verdict is in: delusional. Eg…

Hispanics disappointed in Democrats

Image
NY Times:
Hopes Frustrated, Many Latinos Reject the Ballot Box Altogether Matthew Staver for The New York Times Lizeth Chacon of Aurora, Colo., who signs up Latinos to vote, reports growing disinterest in registration. Across the country, immigrant-rights advocates report disillusionment with both parties among Latinos, enough to threaten recent gains in voting participation that have reshaped politics to Democrats’ advantage nationally. They are really disillusioned with Obamacare and its costs.   Some are also annoyed because of the failure to get amnesty for others in their tribe, but I don't think that is the primary reason for their lack of enthusiasm for Democrats.  They are finally figuring out that the party is just using them, but then pitting them against other constituent groups when dividing up the spoils.

I have never understood why people who are already citizens and have all the rights that it entails would be more than mildly interested in giving those rights to som…

Did government ownership of GM lead to conflict of interest in dealing with defects?

NY Times:
Regulators Declined Inquiry Into G.M. Flaws, Memo Says
A House subcommittee will open hearings on Tuesday looking into why federal investigators never realized there was a problem with certain General Motors ignition systems. They may have been trying to keep the company solvent during a period of time when there was active hostility to "Government Motors."  Contrast their treatment of these defects with their bully treatment of Toyota.  With the Obama administration's Chicago Way of dealing with regulation it is a plausible concern.

Fine tuning the fracking

Fuel Fix:
...
Houston-based MicroSeismic uses instruments called geophones on the surface or buried underground to capture and analyze sounds from a well while it’s being fractured. The technology, called surface microseismic, allows operators to customize the fracturing while it’s in progress, improving the efficiency of the resulting hydrocarbon extraction.
...
It can tell an operator where the reservoir is draining and what part of the reservoir he doesn’t need to worry about. Knowing both of these things can tell him where to put the next well. If he drills too many wells, he stands to lose his profit. If he doesn’t drill enough wells, he leaves hydrocarbons behind, so this information is extremely valuable.  In the old days, operators would do tests on a couple of wells and develop a formula from those tests for all the wells in a field. But we are finding in the shales that the rocks are not as uniform over huge areas. With this technology, you can watch the fractures grow in real …

Importing Mexican wind energy

Fuel Fix:
The historic overhaul of Mexico’s energy sector could shift the direction of its nascent wind power industry to the huge market north of the border.

Texas has tapped the Mexican grid several times this year when available Texas power nearly fell short of winter heating demands, and Mexican officials believe the Lone Star State and California are promising markets for renewable energy.

“Most of the time we import from you, but the few weeks you import from us, it is very good for us,” said Maria de Lourdes Melgar Palacios, undersecretary of hydrocarbons at Mexico’s Ministry of Energy, in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.

With constitutional amendments passed late last year, Mexico took the first steps toward opening its nationalized energy industry to private, international investment for the first time since the 1930s.

While much attention has focused on the potential for strengthening Mexican oil production with an infusion of capital and technology, the restructuring al…

Set back for global warming theory

Daily Mail:
And now it's global COOLING! Return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 29% in a year 533,000 more square miles of ocean covered with ice than in 2012BBC reported in 2007 global warming would leave Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013Publication of UN climate change report suggesting global warming caused by humans pushed back to later this month I expect they will switch their pitch to melting ice at the South Pole.  There basic problem is there assumptions have proved invalid and they can't explain why.  They have been having to resort to counter intuitive arguments that make them look less than scientific.

Income inequality not selling with independents

The Hill:
A new political advocacy group has teamed up with former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) to argue that the economic inequality agenda of Senate Democrats is a loser with swing voters.

That may be why some centrist Democrats facing uphill campaign battles have kept their distance from the Democratic leadership’s agenda items.

The group, Each American Dream, which has a starter budget of $1 million, has commissioned a poll showing that 67 percent of swing voters believe expanding businesses and creating jobs is the best strategy for reducing economic inequality, not raising the minimum wage.

Fifty-nine percent of swing voters said reforming the welfare system would best reduce income inequality.
...

The agenda includes the minimum wage boost, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which promotes equal pay between men and women, a plan to improve college affordability, and a tax hike on the wealthy. 
Kyl said those proposals would have little impact on the economy, contrary to the promises of Democra…

Russia demands autonomy in parts of Ukraine

Guardian:
Russia set out a series of tough conditions on Sunday night for agreeing a diplomatic solution to the crisis over its annexation of Crimea, demanding that the US and its European partners accept its proposal that ethnic Russian regions of eastern and southern Ukraine be given extensive autonomous powers independent of Kiev.

Emergency talks between Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, and John Kerry, the US secretary of state, got under way at the Russian ambassador's residence in Paris after a day in which tensions over Ukraine deepened appreciably. Neither man made any substantive comment before the talks began. Suggesting it might be a long session, Lavrov told reporters: "Good luck and good night."

The meeting took place against an ominous backdrop of the massing of an estimated 40,000 Russian troops on Ukraine's eastern border and warnings from Nato and the Pentagon that the Russian military activity, ostensibly relating to routine exercises, wa…

Selling Obamacare on Saturday Night Live

Somethings maybe beyond satire.

The border is not secure

Detroit Free Press:
The load wasn't hard to spot. Officers could see the marijuana bundles peeking out from the back of the SUV. But, as they pulled behind it, the driver turned to follow a school bus dropping off children.

"They take advantage of the school traffic. ... They know we won't initiate a stop when there are students around," said Nat Gonzalez, an investigator for a multiagency drug task force in Starr County, Texas.

Stop by stop, on that Monday earlier this month, the officers followed, watching the driver make calls on his cellphone, until he swerved south toward the Rio Grande.

Before they could catch up, he jumped out, sprinted for the river and swam to Mexico, leaving 1,400 pounds of marijuana behind.

The cartel smugglers know a great deal about how law enforcement here operates, and they have turned the Rio Grande Valley into one of the busiest marijuana corridors in the United States. Texas still trails Arizona in the volume of pot being seized by the …

Is Obamacare working?--Not very well

Ed Rogers:
...

Substantively, the administration is refusing to acknowledge a few essential points. One, the original definition of “success” — the CBO number they adopted as their own —was 7 million enrollees. And next, an estimated 20 percent of the alleged 6 million enrollees have not paid their premiums, which means they do not actually have insurance. That leaves us with 4.8 million enrollees at best, without discounting duplicate enrollments, unfinished applications and any other factors that would diminish the number who have actually signed up for Obamacare.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius continues to stonewall Congress and to claim that HHS does not know how many people have paid their premiums. In response, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) wrote her a letter saying, “We have recently obtained information that suggests your most recent testimony before the Ways and Means Committ…

The Democrats' war on the young

Pete DuPont:
...

First is the war on children, waged by Democrats and their allies in the teachers unions. The tools of the school choice movement—vouchers, scholarships and charter schools—are simply about giving a reprieve to low-income children sentenced to failing schools. Many public schools provide excellent environments for learning, but not all do.

Giving all families the ability to pursue a better education for their children—the same ability the president, members of Congress, and wealthy liberals have—is American to the core. A "good for thee but not for me" approach, evidenced in administration attacks on choice programs in the District of Columbia and Louisiana, seems the ultimate in hypocrisy.

The Democrats' loyalty to the teachers unions is understandable since the union money, votes and volunteers are so important to their electoral prospects. But that does not make the damage any less significant for the children stuck in failed schools.

Republicans should a…

Obama owns the results of his bad policies

Micheal Goodwin:
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Obama’s sixth year in the White House is shaping up as his worst, and that’s saying something. He’s been in the Oval Office so long that it is obscene to blame his problems on George W. Bush, the weather or racism. Obama owns the world he made, or more accurately, the world he tried to remake.

Nothing important has worked as promised, and there is every reason to believe the worst is yet to come. The president’s casual remark the other day that he worries about “a nuclear weapon ­going off in Manhattan” inadvertently reflected the fear millions of Americans have about his leadership. Not necessarily about a bomb, but about where he is taking the country.

We are racing downhill and he is stepping on the gas. Will he stop before the nation crashes?
... The view from his faculty lounge has no space for reality. Anything that doesn’t fit the grand plan is dismissed as illegitimate. So while global hot spots multiply and the world grows dangerously unstable, the president …

Keystone XL would hurt Russian allies

Diane Francis:
...
Clearly, the two must gear up for battle by deploying oil and natural-gas weaponry. The most immediate retaliatory blow would be the approval of Keystone XL from Canada. This oil pipeline would add 830,000 barrels a day into the US oil market, more than enough to replace the 755,000 barrels a day of oil imports from Russia’s western hemispheric ally Venezuela.  A Keystone bomb would deliver several payloads: punishment toward anti-American Venezuela; proceeds toward Canada which buys more goods and services from the US than the European Union does; punishment toward Russia by casting into the markets more Venezuelan oil; replacement of Venezuelan oil with Canadian oil that is $30 a barrel cheaper (roughly 30 percent less) and even an improved environmental outcome.
... The Venezuelan crude is actually more than twice as dirt as Canadian oil sands.  But the geopolitical aspects of the move should make it a no brainer, except that many on the global warming movement can…

Military looking for more cyber warriors

Stars and Stripes:
To meet manning requirements for cyber warfare that will skyrocket in the coming years, the Pentagon will focus on recruiting and training people already in uniform, even those without any cyber background or knowledge, defense officials said Friday.

“Our nation’s reliance on cyberspace outpaces our cybersecurity,” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Friday at Fort Meade, Md., during the retirement ceremony for Gen. Keith Alexander, the outgoing commander of U.S. Cyber Command.

The Defense Department currently has about 1,800 people in its Cyber Mission Force. That number is scheduled to jump to 6,000 by the end of 2016, according to DOD. There are currently 17 teams engaged in cyber operations, and the Pentagon wants to field 133 of those teams by the end of fiscal 2016, Alexander said in written testimony to a House Armed Services subcommittee earlier this month.

To meet these ambitious goals, DOD wants to recruit people who are already in the military to fill thes…

Liberals worried about getting people to the polls on time?

NY Times:
Measures by G.O.P. Aim to Limit Voting in Swing States
The bills, laws and administrative rules — some of them tried before — shake up fundamental components of state election systems, including the days and times polls are open and voting locations. This is a weird argument.  Elections have always been on a specific day during specific  times.  In recent years there have been times set aside for absentee balloting.  Reducing the time period should be of little inconvenience to almost all voters since there is still more than adequate time to vote if you can't vote on election day.  There have been abuses of the absentee ballot that have resulted in vote fraud.  There are very recent cases of that happening in Texas in local elections.  Almost always it is the Democrats engaged in the vote thefts.

What the liberals seem concerned about is a process that will make it harder for them to cheat.  To them cheating to get Democrat elected is a right.  Recently a woman convicte…

Putin targets Finland

International Business Times:
One of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest ex-advisers has claimed that the ex-KGB agent ultimately wants to reclaim Finland for Russia.

Andrej Illiaronov, Putin's economic adviser between 2000 and 2005 and now senior member of the Cato Institute think tank, said that "parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership."

"Putin's view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors," he said.

When asked if Putin wishes to return to the Russia of the last tsar, Nicholas II, Illiaronov said: "Yes, if it becomes possible."

Illiaronov admits that Finland is not Putin's primary concern at present but, if not stopped in other areas of Eastern Europe, the issue will one day arise. Russian troops are currently massing on the eastern border of Ukraine, following Russia's recent annexation of Crimea.

"Putin said several times that th…

Democrat use Obamacare data for voter registration fraud

10 News:
A local couple called 10News concerned after they received an envelope from the state's Obamacare website, Covered California. Inside was a letter discussing voter registration and a registration card pre-marked with an "x" in the box next to Democratic Party.

The couple – who did not want their identity revealed – received the letter and voter registration card from their health insurance provider Covered California, the state-run agency that implements President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

They have lived in La Mesa for years and they have always been registered to vote Republican. Now, they are perplexed as to how the voter registration card pre-marked Democrat ended up in their mailbox.

“I'm an old guy and I never would have noticed it, except I have an accountant that notices every dot and dash on a piece of paper as a wife,” said the man who received the mailer.

Covered California began mailing out voter signup cards to nearly 4 million enrollees last…

Going green made Europe more vulnerable to Russia

William O'Keefe:
The Ukraine crisis and the possible use of natural gas as a weapon against the Ukraine and Western Europe is an unintended consequence of EU excessive focus on emissions reduction and green energy. By focusing on its green agenda to the exclusion of energy and economic security, European nations have made their current energy problem much worse. Dieter Helm of Oxford recently observed, “The curious feature of the energy policy that emerged from the middle of the last decade is just how little serious effort has been put into security – in particular Eastern security,”

Twice in the past 10 years, Russia has curtailed gas to the Ukraine and in doing so gas to the Western Europe. This should have been a wake up call to Western European nations. Although some steps have been taken to by-pass the gas pipeline through the Ukraine, there has been no high priority strategic plan to diversify away from excessive dependence on Russia. Europe depends on imports for more …

Some farmers nervous about 'green data' revolution

AP/Houston Chronicle:
Farmers from across the nation gathered in Washington this month for what has become an annual trek to seek action on the most important matters in American agriculture, such as immigration reform and water regulations.

But this time, a new, more shadowy issue also emerged: growing unease about how the largest seed companies are gathering vast amount of data from sensors on tractors, combines and other farm equipment.

The increasingly common sensors measure soil conditions, seeding rates, crop yields and many other variables, allowing companies to provide farmers with customized guidance on how to get the most out of their fields.
...

Farmers worry that a hedge fund or large company with access to "real-time" yield data from hundreds of combines at harvest time might be able to use that information to speculate in commodities markets long before the government issues crop-production estimates.

Others are concerned that GPS-linked farm data could be obtained…

The country gets a second chance with Rick Perry?

Daily Beast:

...
Of all the governors with presidential ambitions, Perry is among the most active and vocal proponents of the Republican philosophy of smaller government and less regulation. Perry claims his governing philosophy has resulted in Texas leading the way in economic growth and job creation. The Lone Star State is currently the fastest- growing large state in the United States and Austin, Dallas and Houston are three of the nation’s top five fastest-growing cities.

Texas is booming and Perry takes much personal credit for that, but he still has two major problems. First, the Texas governor will have to explain away the manifold gaffes and failures from his last presidential campaign.

Perry’s explanation is a good one. It has been well-documented that Perry was recovering from experimental back surgery involving his own adult stem cells only six-weeks before making his official presidential announcement at the conservative RedState Gathering on August 14, 2011. Then, throughout…

Obama comes face to face with his Middle East muddle

American Interest:
President Obama met with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Friday to discuss U.S. and Saudi policy towards Syria and Iran. It’s hard to know exactly what was said and done in the room where the 90 year old Saudi monarch, using an oxygen tube, spoke to a U.S. president whose foreign policy lately has seemed to be on life support. But based on the reports we’ve gotten about the meeting so far a few key things do seem to be happening. WSJ:

U.S. officials said after the meeting that the administration was willing to increase the level of assistance it supplies to Syrian rebels, a main request of the Saudis, who have place a high priority on ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
We’ve speculated in the past that the U.S. and Saudis have been dancing around each otheron Syria. The Saudis appeared willing to more carefully control where their aid to Syria rebel groups went. In return, the U.S. offered modest increases in our own backing for Assad’s enemies. That now seems …

Wisconsin Democrats' attempt to criminalize political diferences with Walker not working

Wisconsin Reporter:
If Democrats see the seemingly endless John Doe investigations as a big gun in their political arsenal against Gov. Scott Walker, the latest poll numbers suggest this not-so-secret weapon isn’t hitting the mark.

Mike Tate and crew at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin haven’t merely been rooting for bombshell revelations against Walker in the secret probes, they’ve been using the investigations as one of their major narratives this election year.

“You can assume they’re finding serious acts of wrongdoing,” Tate, the chippy chairman of the state Dems, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice in November, following news the Democrat-led Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office had launched another John Doe into conservatives.

“Every released document has only served to reinforce that Walker has been aware of this criminal activity since at least May of 2010,” Tate told reporters at a Democratic Party news conference last month.

The presser was held on the same d…

Why Americans do not trust Democrats on voter ID

Robert Knight:
The Ohio poll worker was sentenced last July to five years in prison after being convicted of voting twice in the 2012 election and voting three times — in 2008, 2011 and 2012 — in the name of her sister, in a coma since 2003, according to USA Today.

This might be below Chicago graveyard standards, but it’s still impressive. Ms. Richardson has become a heroine to the left, which is working with its legal arm — the U.S. Justice Department — to kill voter photo-ID laws in order to ensure that creative voting continues.

“Richardson was previously convicted of threatening to kill a witness in a criminal case against her brother; of stealing; of drunken driving; and of beating someone in a bar fight,” The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. When sentenced for vote fraud, she was unbowed, claiming to be a victim of racism.

Assistant prosecutor Bill Anderson, however, saw it differently: “[She] is an ideologue who was hell-bent on stuffing the ballot box with as many Obama votes as pos…

Obama has alienated three main allies in Middle East

The Hill:
The United States is at odds with its three most important allies in the Middle East, raising fundamental questions about the White House’s ability to shape regional events as President Obama arrives in Riyadh on Friday.

Under Obama, a chill has settled on the U.S. relationships with Saudi Arabia and Israel, which both opposed U.S. efforts to reach a nuclear accord with Iran. And in Egypt, Obama has an uncertain partner, given the toppling of two governments since 2010.

“A few years ago, with great clarity, you would certainly say Washington’s closest partners included Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt,” said Simon Henderson, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East policy. “But they are at odds with all of them for one reason or another.”

No one thinks U.S. influence in the Middle East is over as a result of the tensions, but Obama has some fence-mending to do to augment American power.

Experts say Obama doesn’t have the strong personal relationships past U.S. presidents…

Democrats to try to repeat their 2012 message

CBS News:
Senate Democrats this week laid out their legislative and political agenda for this year, making it clear they hope to replicate the electoral success they saw in 2012 by focusing on economic issues that impact the middle class. They expect their economic message to trump the Republicans' large focus on Obamacare.

"We picked up seats in the Senate, we carried the presidency by a large amount" in 2012, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said. "The American people, the majority aren't affected by Obamacare. They want to hear what we're going to do for them -- just go back and look at the 2012 election."

It's unclear whether Democrats will be able to sufficiently mobilize their 2012 supporters -- the CBS News poll released this week shows that Republican voters are clearly more energized about this election. What's more, Senate Democrats this year are defending seats they won in 2008 -- a breakthrough year in which Democrats won eight seats, the m…

CIA testimony on Benghazi inconsistent with eye witness accounts

Fox News:
New allegations are raising additional questions about former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell's involvement in crafting the administration's flawed narrative on the Benghazi attack, ahead of his scheduled testimony next week on Capitol Hill.

Morell is set to testify publicly for the first time on Wednesday about his role in crafting the controversial Benghazi "talking points," which initially blamed a protest for the deadly attack.

The former acting director, and deputy director, was called to testify to explain potentially conflicting testimony he gave Congress about the talking points and the administration's role. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers told reporters this week -- before news of his retirement was made public -- that the rare, open session should "allow Mr. Morell to answer the questions that we know many people have about what he knew and when he knew it."

But another detail is raising questions. Ac…

Blue state Obamacare blues

Washington Post:
Maryland set to replace troubled health exchange
In an acknowledgment its $125.5 million system is broken beyond repair, the state will replace its online marketplace with technology from Connecticut’s exchange. The state exchanges have been worse than the federal in some cases.  Government is just not very good at running these operations.  Democrats can't admit their failures so they will keep on throwing money at a bad situation they created.

Taliban must know they will be rejected

NY Times:
Taliban Attack Election Panel Headquarters Before Afghan Voting
The attack by the Taliban, who have vowed to violently derail the coming election for a new president, was the third in Kabul just this week. These people think any choice other than them is evil and they are not about giving choices.  It also means every vote cast is a vote against the Taliban.

Texas expects to double use of wind energy

Fuel Fix:
New West Texas transmission lines helped Lone Star wind power reach new gusty heights, hitting a record of more than 10,000 megawatts of generation late Wednesday night.

The new West Texas transmission lines – with the unwieldy name of Competitive Renewable Energy Zone lines – cost the state almost $7 billion by the time they were completed last December, but are expected to earn their keep, giving the state the ability to nearly double its use of wind energy.

“These Texas wind records were made possible by the completion of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission lines earlier this year,” said Michael Goggin, the transmission expert for the American Wind Energy Association in a written statement “These power lines connect world-class wind energy resource areas in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle to electricity demand centers in other parts of the state.”

Wind generation accounted for nearly 30 percent of the 35,768 megawatts of electricity at its peak that evening…

So why did he makes threats he knew were unrealistic?

The Hill:
Obama didn’t attack Syria due to US war-weariness Obama said "the United States has limits." Creating imaginary red lines and threatening to strike when he knew he did not have political support for such efforts made him and the US look weak.  I think it invited aggression elsewhere including Crimea.

Democrats politics of fraud exposed by Obamacare

IBD:
ObamaCare Exposes Dems' Lies About the Uninsured At a minimum they exaggerated the problem as well as the desire of uninsured to get coverage.

Reid, Schumer make up Democrat UnAmerican Activities Committee

Peter Wehner:
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough interviewed Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, asking him about the charge by Majority Leader Harry Reid that the conservative philanthropist David Koch is “un-American.” Scarborough asked Schumer whether he associated himself with Reid’s statement.

Senator Schumer began his answer by ducking and weaving, shifting attention from Reid’s claim to Schumer’s disagreement with the Kochs’ preferred policies.

“But, senator, can’t we have a disagreement about how charity is funded without calling somebody un-American?” Scarborough countered. He continued to press Schumer to answer his question. “Do you think David Koch is un-American?”

Schumer finally said, “The commercials he runs are not part of the American mainstream. No two people [David Koch and his brother Charles] should have such a huge influence on our politics. That’s not First Amendment … I think the commercials he is running are against the American grain and un-American, yes …. I think what Har…

Misleading headline of the day

MSNBC:
Court delivers setback to reproductive rights in Texas The right to reproduce was never impaired.   What may have been inconvenienced is the right to abort a baby in a facility that does not meet certain minimum standards of safety.   Liberals' claims to be concerned about the health of the woman are certainly overstated.

Why Texas is booming: How Low Taxes & Small Government Are Transforming the Lone Star State

Texas Monthly is not a conservative publication, but this writer has done a fair job at finding why Texas works.

The real Reid agenda

Matthew Continetti:
Another man might have assumed, correctly, that launching a campaign of insult and insinuation against two billionaires would result in renewed attention to his own finances. Not Harry Reid. The Senate Democratic leader since 2005, and the Senate majority leader since 2007, is not one to reflect before speaking. His mouth runs far ahead of his brain.

In recent years Reid has declared an American war “lost” while our troops still fought overseas; praised President Obama for his “light” skin and “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”; asserted falsely and without evidence that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes for a decade; and said “Why would we want to do that?” when asked if he would fund cancer research during the government shutdown.

Now, with his majority in danger, his president unpopular, his floor agendaobstructed by members of his own caucus, Reid thrashes about uncontrollably. He calls Obamacare horror stories “untrue.” He says Obamacare numbers a…

The unpopular healthcare law

Washington Times:
PLUNGE: New poll shows Obamacare support at 26% The more people learn about its "benefits" the less they like it.  Democrats' belief that once we found out about it we would like it were misplaced.

Lawfare debate unabated

NY Times:
Conviction of Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Doesn’t Halt Debate Over Terror Trials’ Venue
The verdict in the case of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, has not lessened criticism of the move to prosecute international terrorism suspects in civil court. Trying these cases in civil courts is an advantage for the enemy.  It gives them access to our sources and uses of information about finding and capturing them.   It was the trial of the African embassy bombers that let bin Laden know we were intercepting his satellite phone conversations.  He quit using the phone that could have warned us of the 9-11 attacks.

Healthcare law a failure at central premise

NY Times:
With Deadline Near, Health Signups Show Disparity
With the first open enrollment period set to end Monday, the Affordable Care Act looks less like a sweeping federal overhaul than a collection of individual ventures playing out unevenly, state to state, in the laboratories of democracy. It is a hot mess.  The law is so flawed that the administration keeps making up changes to it without consulting Congress because it knows these changes might lead to other changes they would not like.  But in doing so it locks the responsibility for the hot mess on the Democrats and they should pay a heavy price for it in the coming elections.

Democrats promote member of anti energy left at Interior Department

Washington Examiner Editorial:
Rhea Suh is living the sweetest dream of every radical environmental activist toiling in the trenches of Big Green’s war against fossil fuels. Suh has received a fat salary and extremely generous benefits since 2009 as assistant secretary for policy, management and budget for the Department of the Interior. In that position, she helped shape every major Interior Department policy, including the infamous Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium that was twice rejected by the federal courts. Before that, she was a member of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, which represents 200 major environmental groups that are devoted to halting development of U.S. natural resources, especially in the western states. At the EGA, she absorbed the movements' major ideological obsessions by helping fund them, which was the perfect preparation for the budget and policy job at Interior.

Suh's dream is about to become even sweeter because she will soon step into a n…