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Showing posts from March, 2016

Trump's breaking of loyalty pledge could cost him South Carolina delegates

The Hill:
When Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he would no longer abide by a pledge he signed to support the party’s nominee, he may have cost his campaign at least 50 delegates, according to a Time report.

The Republican Party in South Carolina, whose entire 50 delegates were awarded to Trump for his victory in February, required candidates to make the pledge in order to be on the state’s primary ballot. Now that Trump has said he would break his promise, state party officials are exploring a legal challenge to withhold delegates from him.

“Breaking South Carolina’s presidential primary ballot pledge raises some unanswered legal questions that no one person can answer,” South Carolina GOP Chairman Matt Moore told Time. “However, a court or national convention Committee on Contests could resolve them. It could put delegates in jeopardy.”
... This is an interesting development in what is becoming a very tight race.  It is possible they would be re…

Renewable energy incapable of replacing fossil fuels

Kathleen Harnett White:
Conspicuously missing from public chatter about the climate issue is recognition of the staggering costs and likely insurmountable engineering challenges of these grand plans to decarbonize human society within several decades.

Policymakers intent on imposing a swift end to the era of fossil fuels, such as President Obama and Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are either unaware or indifferent to the colossal scale, futility and economic risks of a forced transition from energy-dense fossil fuels to the relatively diluted renewable energy sources (wind, solar and biomass).
The U.N. pact sealed in Paris, as well as the climate goals of the EU, California and the White House, assume that carbon dioxide emissions — a ubiquitous byproduct of human activity — can be reduced 95 percent by 2050.

For a dose of reality, consider master energy number-cruncher Vaclav Smil's estimate of a cost approaching $2.5 trillion to build e…

The Trump train wreck

Washington Post:
Trump would be most disliked major-party nominee in three decades
A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Trump has an overall 67 percent unfavorable rating — making him less popular than any major-party nominee in the 32 years the survey has been tracking candidates. With women, his unfavorable rating is even higher.  His followers have managed to alienate much of the rest of the GOP and seem to think they can win an election with the backing of only a fraction of the party.   I continue to be puzzled by his appeal, his nasty followers who think insults are a substitute for logic and their delusional belief in victory.

Liberals failure to protect the people impacting elections in Europe

NY Times:
A Terror Attack, Then Far Right Moves In
Amid terrorist attacks and a mounting migrant crisis, Europe’s far-right parties are gaining momentum. In France, we followed a candidate of one such party, the National Front. Any any counterinsurgency effort the first priority is to protect the people.  So far Europe has a spotty record at best in that regard.  The Muslim invasion of Europe has also pushed for cultural changes  and in some cases, the governments are surrendering, telling women what to wear and separating the sexes to avoid the Muslim rape culture.  In those circumstances, it is not surprising that parties promising to protect the indigenous culture and protect a way of life show political gains.

In this country, the reaction of liberals to what appear to be common sense measures proposed by Ted Cruz shows just how out of touch the establishment is in dealing with Islamic religious bigots pushing a weird culture.

Ted Cruz doing as well with women as men

Byron York:
Before taking a break from the Wisconsin race with a West Coast fundraising-and-Jimmy-Kimmel swing, on Wednesday Ted Cruz held what his campaign billed as a "'Women for Cruz' Coalition Rollout with Ted and Heidi Cruz, Eleanor Darragh, and Carly Fiorina." Darragh is Cruz's mother, so the event featured the candidate's wife, mother, and top female endorser, as well as cameos from Cruz's two young daughters, Caroline and Catherine. Conservative faith-and-family author and commentator Rebecca Hagelin rounded out the group as moderator.

Campaign sources say the "Women for Cruz" event had been contemplated for quite a while, but only came together in Wisconsin. More skeptical sorts might suggest the recent National Enquirer story alleging, without evidence, that Cruz has had a number of extramarital affairs had something to do with the scheduling. Plus, presenting Cruz with the women in his life extolling his fine qualities could only heig…

Poll shows Cruz, Kasich doing significantly better than Trump against Clinton in Wisconsin

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Red States:
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Pretty amazing. Ted Cruz is running even with Hillary Clinton is a Blue/Purple state like Wisconsin. Kasich does better than Cruz but not so much better as to support his narrative, his Unique Selling Proposition, that he, alone, can beat Hillary outside traditional GOP areas.

And Donald Trump, America’s animated hairball, gets beaten like a rented mule. This is very much in line with the RCP national head-to-head average that has Clinton beating Trump by 50-38.
... It gives you an idea of just how bad a candidate Trump is in the general election and how delusional his followers are in pushing his candidacy.

Californians investing in large new refinery in North Dakota

Fuel Fix:
Plans are moving forward to build the biggest new refinery in 40 years in the U.S. at a time when gasoline consumption is expected to break an all-time record in 2016.

California-based Meridian Energy Group is expected to begin construction soon on the planned Davis Refinery in North Dakota that would take advantage of the Bakken shale play and process up to 55,000 barrels of oil a day. The project comes on the heels of the 2015 opening of the 20,000-barrel-a-day Dakota Prairie Refinery that represented the nation’s first new refinery since 1976.

“The Davis Refinery will be one of the most modern, efficient and environmentally-compliant refineries in the U.S. in more than 50 years,” Meridian Chairman and CEO William Prentice said in a prepared statement, noting that Houston-based BASIC Equipment is contracted for fabrication and construction services.

The Davis Refinery is more substantial than the smaller, “teapot” Dakota Prairie project, said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum …

Trump's 'big brain' misfires on dealing with abortion issue

The Hill:
Ted Cruz lashed out at Donald Trump on Wednesday for saying that women who get abortions illegally should be punished.

“Once again Donald Trump has demonstrated that he hasn’t seriously thought through the issues, and he’ll say anything just to get attention,” Cruz said in a statement.

“On the important issue of the sanctity of life, what’s far too often neglected is that being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child; it’s also about the mother — and creating a culture that respects her and embraces life.

"Of course we shouldn’t be talking about punishing women; we should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift they have to bring life into the world,” he added.

Trump was asked what a nationwide ban on abortion would look like in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

“The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment,” Trump said.

“For the woman?” Matthews asked.

“Yeah, there has to be some form,” Trump responded.

Trump's comments sparked a firesto…

The liberal war against religious liberty

Daniel Horowitz:
There are times in history when American patriots need to call a time out and bring all hands on deck to deal with a raging fire. We are now living through one of those times.

Imagine if a prophet were to approach Sam Adams before the revolution and warn that in less than 250 years state governors would ban official travel to states that don’t allow men into women’s bathrooms?

Imagine if someone told James Madison, the man who referred to religious conscience as the “most sacred of property,” that individuals would be forced to use their own property and livelihood to service something that violates their consciousness and is condemned by every major religion?

Our founders could never have imagined a person’s private property becoming the national property of a pagan inquisition, and federal and state governments, which were intended to encourage religious virtue (although not coerce it), serve as a conduit for compulsory servitude to the idols of hedonism. Yet, that …

Obama's partisan approach to regulations

Paul Bedard:
Obama regulations whack GOP states, go easy on liberal states Texas was one of the states hardest hit by the regulations while states like Massachusetts, Vermont and Maryland got a pass.  In all the states hardest hit were the states who voted against Obama.

This is Chicago Way politics of the most corrupt variety.

The Turk tyrant comes to America to open huge mosque

Eli Lake:
When Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Washington this week, it will be an opportunity for President Barack Obama, as well as most of the Washington foreign policy establishment, to ponder how they so misread a man they had touted only a few years ago as a great reformer.

Until 2013, Obama himself boasted of his close personal friendship with the Turkish leader. In 2013, the last time Erdogan visited Washington, Obama praised his Turkish counterpart for his efforts to normalize relations with Israel and for a cease-fire with Kurdish separatists. Obama even thanked Erdogan for his child-rearing tips.

This time it will be much different. Erdogan will get no formal meeting with Obama this week when he will be in town for a nuclear security summit, though he will be officially meeting with Vice President Joe Biden. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that he expects Obama and Erdogan will have an “informal discussion" instead.

The Wall Stree…

Cruz expands lead in Wisconsin

The Hill:
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has opened a 10-point lead over rival Donald Trump in Wisconsin, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

Cruz has 40 percent support, with Trump at 30 percent, the Marquette Law School poll found. John Kasich followed with 21 percent.

The Texas senator's lead comes just days before Wisconsin's primary next Tuesday.
... Trump has had a bad week and is finally getting pressured on some of his positions and his outrageous conduct toward Heidi Cruz.

At this point what Republican would want Trump's support

NY Times:
Trump Revokes His Pledge to Support the G.O.P. Nominee
Asked at a forum hosted by CNN if he still pledged to support the nominee if someone else wins, Donald J. Trump said, “No, I don’t anymore,” adding that he had not been treated fairly. In recent days, Trump has shown the temperament and logic somewhere between that of a five-year-old and a middle school bully.   Even some of his most ardent supportive have called him "mental."  His tendency to deny the obvious is becoming hard to ignore.  He has shown the ability to respond to what should be a minor incident into a Defcon One drama.  That he still has supporters who defend him is the real miracle.  His sense of fairness is as warped as he logic in dealing with the give and take of a campaign.

The Democrats' delusional argument about the court vacancy

NY Times:
Democrats See Split Supreme Court Decision as a New Tool to Fill Vacancy
The court’s 4-to-4 tie on an important labor case gave Democrats a rare double victory. Not only did they get to celebrate the union win made possible by the result, they also got a fresh opportunity to remind Americans that the stalemate over the vacancy will limit the court’s ability to act. When the court would be enacting the liberal agenda that is an argument against putting an Obama nominee on the court.  The ruling allows the Democrats and the unions to continue their inherent conflict of interest in negotiating contracts with government workers.  That is a ruling that can be reversed much easier than one where liberals have the majority on the court.

Republicans should support Ted Cruz and feel good about the choice

Ed Rogers:
There is still a lot of foot dragging and paralysis among Republicans as they contemplate supporting Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.). But Republicans can support Cruz and feel good about it. It is unfair to suggest that between himself and Donald Trump, Cruz is the “lesser of two evils.” For months now, I have been bewildered as to why Cruz and Trump are always referenced together, as if they have some similarities.

Cruz has real intellectual depth, and it’s not just that he has a sufficient IQ or good educational credentialing — he’s a student of government and of history. You can bet that everything from his personnel selections to his policy positions would be informed, thoroughly thought through and defensible.

So what problems does Cruz really have? He has been a gratuitous irritant to his colleagues in the Senate, and sometimes he crosses the line with personal vitriol and engages in pointless grandstanding. That’s not good, but it’s not disqualifying either. In fact, I think th…

Islam is responsible for more mass murders than Hitler, Stalin and Mao combined

Mike Konrad:
When one thinks of mass murder, Hitler comes to mind. If not Hitler, then Tojo, Stalin, or Mao. Credit is given to the 20th-century totalitarians as the worst species of tyranny to have ever arisen. However, the alarming truth is that Islam has killed more than any of these, and may surpass all of them combined in numbers and cruelty.

The enormity of the slaughters of the "religion of peace" are so far beyond comprehension that even honest historians overlook the scale. When one looks beyond our myopic focus, Islam is the greatest killing machine in the history of mankind, bar none.
The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. -- Will Durant, as quoted on Daniel Pipes site. Conservative estimates place the number at 80 million dead Indians.
According to some calculations, the Indian (subcontinent) population decreased by 80 million between 1000 (conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 (end of Delhi Sultanate). -- Koenrad Elst as quoted on D…

Trump's childish behavior has made support for the winner impossible

Caleb Howe:
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1. Ain’t nobody supportin nobody after the primary: The remaining three candidates have all basically surrendered their vow to support the nominee after the primary is over. They can call it what they like, I’m sure there is spin coming from at least the two who still care about electoral politics in the future, but the bottom line is that these guys are not friends, and aren’t going to be.

Cruz: “I’m not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and my family … I think nominating Donald Trump would be an absolute trainwreck, I think it would hand the general election to Hillary Clinton.”

Trump: “No, I don’t anymore. … [Cruz] was essentially saying the same thing.”

Kasich: “I want to see how this thing finishes out. … All of us shouldn’t even have answered that question [originally].”
I will tell you this, and if you fail to accept it, then you fail at truth: It’s Trump’s fault. Every other candidate would have supported the eventual nominee were it not fo…

Israeli company helped FBI crack terrorist's iPhone

The Hill:
The Israeli mobile forensics firm Cellebrite helped the FBI hack into the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, NBC reports, citing industry sources.

The firm has been rumored to be behind the FBI’s newfound ability to access the device, thanks to a previous and unconfirmed report from an Israeli newspaper.
Neither Cellebrite nor the Department of Justice has confirmed the reports.

The FBI has routinely contracted Cellebrite over the last five years. The company, which publicly boasts of its ability to hack into Apple devices, has received over $2 million in purchase orders from the agency since 2012.

The DOJ on Monday withdrew its case against Apple, telling a federal court it was able to unlock the device without the tech giant's help.

"The FBI has now successfully retrieved the data stored on the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple required by this Court Order,” Justice Department spokeswoman…

Trump, Clinton and the left declare war on free speech

Tim Carney:
The First Amendment appears to be on the wrong side of history, to borrow a favorite phrase of President Obama.

The presidential front-runners in both parties are openly antagonistic towards the freedom of the press and the freedom of political speech. They're not hiding it.

Donald Trump has repeatedly promised that he would "open up" libel laws to make it easier for public figures like himself to go after journalists. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has promised to amend the Constitution so as to curtail free speech as it pertains to politicians — specifically citing the non-profit groups that criticize her.

Against the backdrop of campus radicals across the country demanding the silencing of "hate speech," Trump's and Clinton's war on the First Amendment is cause for worry.

Trump's libel argument is a bit confusing, thanks to Trump's cluttered, inchoate speaking style. But he's expressed his desire to curb press freedom repeatedly,…

Cruz answers question about how government can deal better with drug abuse

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This is a very powerful statement showing both compassion and resolve.

Chicoms launch anti-ship missile from disputed island

Bill Gertz:
Pentagon Concerned by Chinese Anti-Ship Missile Firing

Cruise missile test firing spotted on South China Sea’s Woody Island These missiles are a threat to navigation in the South China Sea and demonstrate China's aggressor status in the area.  They are a direct threat to the US fleet in the area.

The Trump campaign lies when the truth would serve them better

Phillip Klien:
Trump aide called Fields 'delusional' for saying he touched her, police video proves otherwise One of Trump's character flaws is that he never admits mistakes, even when they are obvious.  He has now gone from it never happened , to she touched me too.  He argues like a Middle School bully and compounds his mistakes by rarely apologizing for them.

He does not seem to comprehend how this reflects on his character and with his rabid supporters it probably will not make a difference, but with his high neagatives this is not going to helpo him get to a majority.

Super PAC supporting Cruz hits Kasich in Wisconsin

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Kasich is playing for a spoiler role at the convention and this is an attempt to head him off.

Cruz leading Trump in Colorado delegate selection process

Washington Examiner:
Ted Cruz is well-positioned to beat Donald Trump for delegates in Colorado.

The Texas senator appears to have more supporters than the billionaire front-runner does among delegate candidates. The battle for the Republican presidential nomination looks increasingly likely to leave neither with a majority of delegates at the end of primary season, which could turn the GOP convention into a titanic fight.

The next primary is in Wisconsin on April 5, and after that it's Colorado. There, 34 of the 37 convention delegates up for grabs will be directly elected in a series of local contests beginning early next month. Of those, 21 are elected three per congressional district. Based on a review of the pledged candidates running in two of the districts, Cruz has the edge over Trump.
... This probably reflects the Cruz campaign's superior organizational skills as well as Trump having peaked in recent weeks.

Anti energy left has been losing the argument, now using liberal AG's to suppress dissent

Fuel Fix:
Attorneys general from 15 states put the fossil fuel industry on notice Tuesday, announcing they would be exploring investigations into whether companies and industry groups misled the public about climate change and the viability of renewable energy.

“They’re drilling places in the Arctic they couldn’t drill 20 years ago because the ice sheets are melting. Yet they told the public for years there were no competent models, a phrase used by an Exxon executive,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a press conference. “The first amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”

The announcement ramps up an ongoing effort by the New York Attorney General’s Office to prosecute oil and coal companies for efforts to undermine climate change research, bringing into the fold in law enforcement from states from California to Virginia, along with the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In November Schneiderman acknowledged his office was investigating I…

Turkey's 'sensitive' despotic ruler tries to censor the internet

Guardian:
The Turkish government has reportedly ordered the deletion from the internet ofa German satirical video that pokes fun at President Recep Tayipp Erdoğan and condemns his human rights record.

Germany’s ambassador to Turkey, Martin Erdmann, was summoned to the foreign ministry in Ankara last week, according to German media, and asked to justify the contents of the short film made by Extra 3, the popular satirical television programme.

“We demanded that the programme be deleted,” a Turkish diplomat told Agence France-Presse on condition of anonymity.

The complaints centre on a two-minute song, Erdowi, Erdowo, Erdoğan, which was broadcast by the TV channel NDR on 17 March. The lyrics mock the president for everything from his “showy palace with a thousand rooms, built without a permit in a conservation area” to his crackdown on press freedom, and for “jailing journalists for writing things he doesn’t like”.

It also criticises his attitude towards the Kurds, claiming he is “more inc…

Trump continues to act the bully

Politico:
Trump goes after reporter who accused his campaign manager of assault

The real estate mogul strongly defends his top aide, who was charged on Tuesday with simple battery. Donald Trump is the most unpresidential candidates in recent history.  If he were presidential at all, he would say that both sides are entitled to a fair trial, but instead, he is weighing in attempting to put his thumb on the levers of justice.

Dealing with Donald Trump is like wrestling with a pig.  His lack of grace is monumental.  His supporters in many cases are even worse.  They come up with the most vile insults for anyone who disagrees with their guy.  There is little civil conversation to be had with some of these Trump supporters.

His reaction to an event that could have been handled with an apology to Defcon 1 raises serious questions about how he would handle a real confrontation with North Korea or some other miscreant.  Would he launch a nuclear attack over a minor provocation?  His reaction i…

This is one of the things wrong with the Roberts' Court

Washington Post:
Supreme Court suggests way employees could get contraceptive coverage without employer action
The justices also called for additional briefing on alternative ways that employees of religious organizations could receive coverage for birth control without involving the organizations themselves. The new order could mean that the court is deadlocked on the case. This is how they screwed up the original Obamacare decision by trying to fix a mess created by the Democrats rather than just ruling on what they did.  It is not the court's job and their attempts to do so is extra-constitutional.  They are trying to compromise away the 1st amendment right to religious liberty.

Democrats get to keep their inherent conflict of interest

NY Times:
Justices’ 4-4 Split Is Win for Unions in Case They Feared
When the case involving California teachers was argued in January, Justice Antonin Scalia was still alive, and the court appeared ready to hand unions a big setback. These dues are a scam used by Democrats to fund their campaigns and then reward the unions with unsustainable pensions and pay raises.  The states who allow this conduct are the real losers as are the taxpayers of those states.  There is no one at the bargaining table who represents the taxpayers in these sham negotiations.

The more people get to know Trump the less they like him

Politico:
Trump's popularity nosedives in critical stretch


As he inches toward the GOP nomination, Donald Trump is becoming more and more disliked among American voters.

...
The danger for Trump is two-fold: His declining popularity is taking a toll on his standing in the 17 states that will hold primaries between now and the end of the process in early June. Losing some of these states – or even winning fewer delegates in proportional states – makes it more difficult for Trump to secure a pre-convention majority of 1,237 delegates.

That’s where Trump’s horrific poll numbers could haunt him again: If Trump misses the threshold to win the nomination outright in bound delegates, it will be more difficult to convince unbound delegates to put him over the top if they see him as a general election disaster-in-the-making due to his high unfavorability ratings among all voters.

How bad are Trump’s image ratings? The HuffPost Pollster average of recent national polls puts Trump’s favorabil…

It takes more than decapitation strikes to defeat a network

Niall Ferguson:
It takes a network to defeat a network

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The president is so proud of his achievement in authorizing the assassination of Osama bin Laden that he thinks he can decapitate ISIS by the same means. But the point about a network is that you cannot easily decapitate it. It is not a hierarchical structure, with an all-powerful leader at the top.
...
Think of ISIS as the Facebook of Islamic extremism. When it started out in 2004, Facebook was just a bunch of nerdy Harvard undergraduates. Today it has more than 1.5 billion users. When ISIS started out in 2006, it was just a bunch of Iraqi jihadists. Today, according to data from the Pew Research Center, ISIS has a minimum of 63 million supporters — and that is based on opinion polls in just 11 countries.

Only a very small minority of members of the ISIS network need to carry out acts of violence to kill a very large number of people indeed. Naively, the US government talks about “countering violent extremism.” But what makes …

Trump's misguided challenge to the delegate selection process

Rich Lowry:
Donald Trump has made his first threat to sue over the procedures for selecting delegates to the Republican convention. It surely won’t be his last.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Ted Cruz may come out of Louisiana with as many as 10 more delegates than Trump, even though the mogul narrowly beat Cruz in the popular vote there. In a tweet, Trump pronounced it “unfair,” and worthy of litigation.

The Louisiana delegate picture isn’t evidence of anything untoward. Trump and Cruz both won 18 delegates on election night. Marco Rubio, who has since dropped out, won five, and another five are uncommitted. The Cruz campaign has done the nitty-gritty work to see that those delegates are likely Cruz supporters.

The only scandal here is that the Cruz campaign, built on grass-roots organizing muscle, knows the process and is working hard for every advantage. Trump’s plaint is a little like showing up at a Cricket match and crying foul because the opposing team knows the rules an…

US government trying to ignore war against Christians

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Washington Times:
The deadly Easter Sunday attack by a suicide bomber in Pakistan has sent fears soaring of an expanding war on Christianity globally, even as the radical Islamic group behind the strike warned that more assaults on believers were in the works.

“We carried out the Lahore attack as Christians are our target,” Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, told Agence Press-France by telephone on Monday, adding that additional attacks on schools and colleges are planned.


Andrew T. Walther, vice president of communications for the Knights of Columbus, which has warned of a “genocide” targeting Christian communities in the Islamic world, said the slaughter of adults and children during the Eastercelebration “highlights that Christians, especially in countries where they are a small minority, are often targeted.”

“And, as a whole, Christians are the most persecuted religious group in today’s world,” said Mr. Walther, citing a recent Pew Research Center study …

ISIL had been planting the infrastructure of terror in Europe for two years

NY Times:
How ISIS Built the Machinery of Terror Under Europe’s Gaze
Two years before the Paris and Brussels assaults, a special branch of the Islamic State was churning out smaller attacks that the authorities repeatedly discounted as isolated or random acts. The Europeans discounted the attacks in much the same way that Obama has attempted to do so in this country.  Meanwhile, the cancer spread and was unleashed in large mass murder attacks as ISIL became under more pressure in the caliphate.  ISIL generally responds to pressure at home with attacks elsewhere to distract and stay relevant with its followers.  This infrastructure facilitated that response.

Refineries and storage of oil consolodated in places like the Gulf Coast

Fuel Fix:
The recent drive to build massive, sophisticated refineries have changed the way that oil and gas moves around the globe, the international storage giant CEO of Royal Vopak N.V. said in a recent interview.

As refineries have grown larger, they’ve increasingly been consolidated in a handful of places, said Eelco Hoekstra, such as along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The concentration has made the infrastructure near those areas more important, as it is tasked with handling a larger share of the world’s petroleum, he said.

“The refineries constructed now are substantially larger in volume, in complexity and in price. This has helped to concentrate refining in fewer areas of the world, and that in turn has concentrated storage and shipping traffic in those areas,” he said. “We looked at the data from the three big ports – Singapore, Fujairah and Rotterdam – and we’ve seen that the volume through those ports in petroleum products has quadrupled in 15 years. The whole supply chain has chan…

Ted Cruz challenges New York leaders on community policing in Muslim neighborhoods

Ted Cruz:
Ted Cruz replies to Bill Bratton on NYPD's demographics unit and the fight against Jihadist terrorism This op-ed by  Cruz wrecks the argument put forward by the left in response to his policy position on preventing Islamic terrorism.  It is a good example of why the left fears Cruz.  He does not cower under attack but responds with a reasoned argument to their charges.

Late night Twitter rants are no substitute for real leadership

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Ted Cruz in Wisconsin responds to questions about Trump's incivility.

ICE rounds up some gang members

Washington Examiner:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested more than 900 criminal gang members in a recent sting operation that targeted those associated with drug trafficking, human smuggling, sex trafficking, murder and racketeering.

The federal agency announced Monday evening it apprehended 1,133 people in the five-week operation from Feb. 15 to March 21, nicknamed "Project Shadowfire" by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations unit.

Twenty percent of those arrested were foreigners from countries in Central America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. Of those 239 individuals, 132 were charged with immigration violations as a result of the raids. The majority of those arrested were affiliated with gangs including MS-13, Sureños, Norteños, Bloods and several prison-based gangs. About 200 were not gang members.
... It will be interesting to see how long they actually hold them this time or if they do deport them.  It is hard to have any confidence in ho…

Can Trump even pretend to act 'Presidential'?

Dan Spencer:
Even Trump Supporters are Shocked by His Attack on Heidi Cruz I would have qualified that headline by inserting "some" between Even and Trump.   The fact is that if you wander into Twitter you will come across some of the more vile creatures in the country who support Trump's nastiness and even embellish it.

However the Washington Examiner does report this:
Coulter: Defending 'mental' Trump like constantly bailing 16-year-old out of prison She has been one of his staunchest supporters.

Trump failing to close the deal with delegates

Politico:
Trump’s delegate danger

He’s beating Cruz at the ballot, but he’s months behind in the battle to make those wins count at the convention.

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Carson’s trip is the Trump campaign’s highest profile play yet for delegates, and it comes as the mogul arrives at a perilous moment: He may be lapping Ted Cruz at the ballot box, but Cruz is outmaneuvering him in the quieter — and equally crucial — hunt for loyal delegates.

Trump is virtually certain to arrive in Cleveland with millions more votes than Cruz or John Kasich, but he could still fall short of clinching the nomination outright. That would throw the contest to the delegates — and if Cruz packs the arena with supporters, Trump could watch the nomination slip away from him. And he knows it.
... It just shows how disorganized the Trump effort is.  He has been focused on attacking other candidates rather than winning the delegates he needs.  The guy who claims to be such a  great manager is doing a poor job of managing his own c…

Trump in denial about his own words?

Mediate:
NY Times Produces Audio of Trump Endorsing Tariff He Swears He Never Endorsed I suspect he is denying it because he intends it to be a bluff.  He bases the 45 percent tariff on his calculation of the effect of Chinese currency manipulation, but he is not very articulate in explaining it.  I have described this ploy as similar to Sheriff Bart in Blazing Saddles trying to halt a riot by taking his gun out and pointing it at his own head telling them to stop or he will shoot.

Talk radio host in Wisconsin corners Trump on his tweets and policies

The Right Scope:
Donald Trump was on with Charlie Sykes in Wisconsin this morning for a radio interview and it’s a doozy. Charlie Sykes began the interview holding Trump’s feet to the fire for his retweet attack on Ted Cruz’s wife which clearly made Trump uncomfortable.

At one point Trump even attacks Sykes suggesting that he thought this was over until he came on Sykes’ show, and that he’d rather talk about policy.

So then they talked about policy and it didn’t get any better.
... You can listen to the interview at the link above.  I have wondered why other interviewers have never nailed him down on this stuff.

Tallying the attacks by Islamic religious bigots in the last 30 days

Religion of Peace.com:
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During this time period, there were 147 Islamic attacks in 25 countries, in which 1165 people were killed and 3221 injured.
... The list attempts to be comprehensive, but some attacks may not have been posted.  You can go to the site at the link above and see where each attack happened and the death toll and injuries from teh attacks.

Is there something about Islam that causes some of its followers to believe that mass murder is required of those who do not agree with their weird beliefs.

When is Obama and Hillary Clinton going to say that mass murder of non-Muslims is inconsistent with our values?

Obama administration misled Congress about Iran sanctions relief

NY Post Editorial:
President Obama’s Iran policy can be summed up in four words: All carrots, no sticks.

Endless carrots, too — even ones his team told Congress the Iranians would never get.

In the drive for Senate approval of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, the administration repeatedly said Tehran would be denied access to the US financial system.

Looks like it’s about to get it after all.

The move would not only give Iran financial resources well beyond the $150 billion it’s already pocketed under the nuke deal, it would also leave all the remaining economic sanctions in tatters.

The Associated Press reports the administration is getting set to open new sanctions-relief doors — including long-forbidden access to US markets. Asked about it, the Treasury Department responds only that it continues to “analyze the sanctions lifting.”

And Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says outright that new action by Washington is ahead to ensure Iran “gets relief.”

All because Iran has been complaining t…

Data works against Obama's amnesty arguments in Supreme Court

Washington Times:
Obama amnesty undercut by sky-high applications approval rate for Dreamers

...
For Mr. Obama, the key to his argument is that he is not rewriting the law but only offering guidance on how to prioritize enforcement. He insists his officers still have discretion in every case to grant or deny amnesty, even if someone meets all the criteria for the program, known in governmentspeak as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

But his opponents say the 93 percent approval rate undercuts that argument.

“It tells me that they’re rubber-stamping DACA applications. Any program that four years after its initiation is still approving 93 percent of applicants is a program that doesn’t have very high standards,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for an immigration crackdown.
... As the court hears this case, a tie would go against the administration's efforts because the Fifth Circuit has already upheld the c…

Trump benefited from GOP's failure to heed Ted Cruz's warning

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NY Times:
How the G.O.P. Elite Lost Its Voters to Donald Trump
Eric Thayer for The New York TimesDonors to the Republican National Committee gathered this month in Miami Beach. Republicans describe a party that has lost touch with less-affluent voters. The party establishment abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar workers who faced economic pain while donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered. The Democrats had abandoned these votes first, but the GOP squandered their advantage by telling them they would oppose Obamacare and amnesty while cutting spending and then engaged in show votes they knew were meaningless while capitulating to Obama and Harry Reid.  Ted Cruz may have been a little rough in his description of their motives, but their conduct seemed to confirm his criticism.  That Trump has exploited their mistakes is a real shame for the country and the party.

Trying to save the GOP establishment from itself is hard work for Ted Cruz

NY Times:
Ted Cruz Names Friends, but Silence From G.O.P. Brass Deafens
As Ted Cruz tries to unite Republicans opposed to Donald J. Trump, the senator is seeking the support of the party establishment that he has long criticized. They did not want to hear him criticize their show votes and their capitulation of Obama's ridiculous spending priorities, and they are still reluctant to admit they were wrong regardless of what the voters are telling them.  They know Trump is a disaster, but their pride will not let them admit what Cruz has been trying to tell them from the beginning is true.  As a long time supporter of the GOP, I am deeply disappointed in their leadership and their failure to rally to the only candidate who can defeat Trump.  They got their majorities by promising to oppose the Democrats and then decided that the best way to beat Harry Reid is to give the Democrats all they want.  The irony may be that their failure to endorse Cruz may be his advantage going forward.

US is much weaker now than when Obama took office

Washington Times:
Beneath the positive press the military receives for preparing to mold women into the nation’s first female ground warriors this year, there is another story far more basic to war fighting.

Some lawmakers are warning that budget cuts, a troop drawdown and a decade and a half of wars have created spotty combat readiness, overburdened forces, more fatal accidents and beat-up weapons.

Weeks of congressional testimony from the top brass on next year’s $524 billion defense budget shows that many Army brigades and Air Force squadrons are less ready. The Marine Corps lacks sufficient aircraft to fully train pilots. The Army and Marine Corps can wage small wars but doubt they can meet the demands of a major conflict against, say, China or Russia, in a time frame called for in official military strategy.

After this sober news, the House Armed Services Committee sounded the alarm: “Concerns are growing louder and more frequent about the real-life consequences of cuts to person…

Obama is historically illiterate when it comes to history

Robert Spencer:
5 Ways Muslims Have Contributed to 'Building the Very Fabric of Our Nation'

...
This one predates the United States as a nation, but without it, the United States would not exist. Every schoolchild knows, or used to know, that in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America while searching for a new, westward sea route to Asia. But why was he searching for a new route to Asia? Because the fall of Constantinople to the Muslims in 1453 closed the trade routes to the East. This was devastating for European tradesmen, who had until then traveled to Asia for spices and other goods by land. Columbus’s voyage was trying to ease the plight of these merchants by bypassing the Muslims altogether and making it possible for Europeans to reach India by sea.

So the bellicosity and intransigence of Islam ultimately opened the Americas for Europe – and made the United States possible.
... Muslim slave traders were also largely responsible for supplying…

Iraqi troops already in retreat?

Daily Beast:
At first, Iraqi soldiers involved in an operation to capture villages close to Mosul on Friday were in good spirits. “Allah Akbar,” Arabic for “God is Great,” they shouted after they hit an alleged Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomber with US-provided mortars. But just one hour later many of them fled, fearing ISIS would strike back.

Early in the day, there were already signs of trouble. A sergeant named Hussein from the artillery battalion told The Daily Beast, “There has been some delays in what we expected, but it’s mostly because of their heavy use of sniper fire and of IEDS. We have not been really advancing today, but that is not part of our plan as of yet, but in coming hours, we are planning to move forward.”

The first challenge was to capture the strategic little village of Nasr that would open the road for the Iraqi military to take the rest of the area. The ultimate short-term aim is to cross the Tigris River and take Qayarrah. This would open the road to the ci…

Trump is losing his war on women

Dan Spencer:
...
So now the legacy media is reporting on Trump losing his war on women. CBS reports that Donald Trump’s denigration of Heidi Cruz and his other misogynistic comments about women, are turning off women voters:

A CBS News/New York Times poll in October found that 57 percent of registered women voters had an unfavorable view of Trump. Now, it’s up to 63 percent.

In a head-to-head match-up with Hillary Clinton, Trump trails 50 to 40 percent. The reason is women, who give Clinton a whopping 20 point advantage over Trump — 55 to 35 percent.
According to the Associated Press, in a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 70 percent of women had a negative opinion of Trump. Nearly three quarters of women overall, and 39 percent of Republican women, had an unfavorable view of him in a recent CNN poll.

The fall out from Trump’s losing war on women gets worse. The New York Times reports, that Trump has shown a particular weakness among female voters, who favored Mrs. Clinton 55 percen…

The unserious war against Islamic religious bigots in Europe

Daniel Greenfield:
BELGIAN SOLDIERS DEPLOYED TO FIGHT TERRORISTS HAD NO BULLETS IN RIFLES At least, Andy Griffith's deputy was allowed to carry one bullet in his pocket.  In Belgium the show of force after a terror attack on Jews  really was just a show.

'Free energy' is not cheap

Bloomberg:
The $2.5 Billion U.S. Power Line That No State Can Stop

A $2.5-billion transmission line carrying wind power to the U.S. Southeast is coming -- whether state regulators there like it or not.

On Friday, the U.S. Energy Department used a decade-old statute to clear Clean Line Energy Partners LLC’s 705-mile (1,134-kilometer) power line for construction over any objections from the states involved.

The Energy Department’s approval of the line, proposed to carry 4,000 megawatts of power from the wind-rich Oklahoma panhandle through Arkansas and into Tennessee, marks the first time the 2005 statute has been used to bypass state approval and push through an interstate transmission project.
... There is more.

It highlights the additional hidden cost in the wind energy projects that goes well beyond the tax incentives used by the wind energy producers to make their offerings look more competitive with traditional energy.

Trump's fine whine about the unfairness of following the rules

Redstates has a video of Trump complaining about the fact that Ted Cruz followed the rules and got more votes from Louisiana despite Trump's narrow win in the state.

Strief comments:
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This is really pathetic. The guy who promised us he’d give us winning until we were tired of winning is, as I noted earlier in the week, being out hustled and out organized by Ted Cruz. The problem isn’t a broken system. The system was well known to everyone before the primary started. The problem is a slovenly, flaccid, elderly candidate who has never worked for a single thing in his entire life decided that all he had to do was show up, buy or rent Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee and Breitbart and Fox News, let his campaign manager push a few girls around, and he’d win the nomination. Now he sees he is cratering in national polls, the blow back from his stupid, juvenile and unmanly attack on Ted Cruz via his butt-buddy at the National Enquirer is going to be horrendous, and as the Republican field …

The magnitude of Obama's ISIL screw up

Marc Thiessen:
CIA director Brennan admits ISIS was “decimated” under Bush, but has grown as much as 4,400% under Obama It now seems clear that the infamous JV team was not ISIL, but the Obama White House.  Has there ever been a president with this magnitude of a screw up in wartime?

Cruz closes the gap with Trump in California

Politico reports that among likely voters Cruz only trails Trump by one point in California.
...
Cruz gains on Trump and makes it a closer race when looking at those who are most likely to vote in the state’s June 7 primary: Trump and Cruz then run neck-and-neck, earning 36 percent and 35 percent support, respectively.

Were Trump to win the presidential nomination outright after California’s primary, more than a quarter of registered Republicans in the state — 27 percent — say they would refuse to vote for him in the general election.
... This is just more evidence of what a disaster Trump would be as the nominee.  He has managed to alienate huge blocks of Republican voters and especially women voters.  He makes the implausible claim that he has great respect for women.

Escape from San Francisco Bay Area

Ed Driscoll:
Gone to Texas Like some other conservative writers and bloggers Ed has found a home in Texas, and as a long-time Texas blogger, I would like to welcome him.  There is still plenty of room in Texas especially for conservatives escaping the blue state blues.  He is an excellent writer and you will enjoy reading about his move.

Following the paper trail of ISIL terrorist in Europe

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Washington Post:
Italy arrests man suspected of providing fake papers to ISIS plotters
The probe of the Brussels bombings widened as officials sought to uncover how militants slipped into Western Europe undetected. This is another example of how the terrorist game the vetting process to sneak in their mass murderers.  President Obama's willful blindness to this problem endangers Americans as he brings in more people he sees as future Democrat voters.   He is as deliberately blind to this threat as he was to the rise of ISIL to begin with.  Obama is a man who ignores intelligence and thinks mass murder attacks are not an "existential threat" so keep on dancing.

Islamic religious bigots latest mass murder of Christians

Washington Post:
At least 60 dead after blast at Pakistan park where families celebrated Easter
More than 100 are hurt in the eastern city of Lahore after an attack that a police official attributed to a suicide bomber. Will Obama and other Democrats ever admit that the problem is not religious bigotry toward Muslims, it is the exact opposite?  There is a strain of Islamic bigotry that wants to wipe out everyone who does not agree with their weird beliefs, and some of them were at it again in this Pakistan human bomb attack on noncombatants.  

I am not aware of a single instance of mass murder attacks on Muslims in this country, yet that seems to be the chief concern of the left in the US.  It is past time they recognize who the real religious bigots are.  BTW, these Islamic religious bigots also attack Muslims who disagree with them.  They are what is wrong in this war yet Democrats like Obama and Hillary Clinton act like they are the victims.

Worst idea of the week

Mic:
Video Campaign Urges U.S. to "See Something, Say Something" About Anti-Islam Bigotry I do not recall one mass murder event where non-Muslims murdered Muslims because of religious bigotry.  None.  On the other hand, Islamic religious bigots have murdered thousands in mass murder attacks from the US to the Middle East.   ISIL and al Qaeda are two large groups of Islamic religious bigots who want to kill everyone who does not accept their weird beliefs.

So where is the video about stopping anti-Christian and anti-Jewish bigotry by radical Islamists?  Isn't that where the real danger is?

California votes for higher unemployment and few opportunities for young minorities

Washington Post:
California lawmakers, unions reach deal for minimum wage of $15 an hour
The proposal, which still must go before the state legislature, would give California the highest minimum wage of any state. Every time the Democrats raise the minimum wage it increases unemployment of minorities trying to enter the workforce.  It has contributed to the ghettoization of many American cities because fewer people can get the experience needed to get on the employment track.  What is really happening is they are giving raises to unions whose salaries are based on the minimum wage rather than productivity.  The move is bad for small business and the economy and is terrible for young minorities.

Trump getting GOP support that he is unlikely to carry in November

NY Times:
Donald Trump’s Secret Weapon: Blue-State Voters
He is showing surprising strength among blue-state Republicans. This shows another problem with the selection process.  The chances that Trump could carry a blue state in the general election are remote.  New York and California are just not in play since most of the smart conservatives have already moved to red states where the taxes are lower and the opportunities are greater.

Trump lead against Cruz crashes to only 3 points

Caleb Howe:
Fox News has tweeted the latest result from their national polling on Saturday and it shows Ted Cruz has narrowed Trump’s previous huge lead from 18% to just 3%!
...
That is a huge, huge result and an enormous gain for Cruz. And there’s more news. It finds that by a margin of 48 to 35 percent, Cruz leads Trump among “very” conservative voters. A 13% lead among base conservatives. Trump still leads among white evangelicals, but only by 5%.
... The narrowing of the field saw most of the support for others evolving to Cruz.  Perhaps this is another explanation for Trump's attacks on Cruz's wife and his buddies at National Enquirer attempting to gen up a sex scandal.