Posts

Showing posts from August, 2016

Medical breakthrough gives hope to those suffering from Alzheimer's

Telegraph:
Alzheimer's breakthrough: Drug that halts mental decline hailed as 'best news for dementia in 25 years'

The first drug that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease is finally on the horizon after scientists proved they can clear the sticky plaques from the brain which cause dementia and halt mental decline.
... This is terrific news for those whose family members suffer from this disease.

Did Russia finally hit a meaningful ISIL target?

Washington Post:
Russia claims responsibility for airstrike that killed senior Islamic State militant

Russia’s claim could not be independently verified. It also came after the Pentagon said it had targeted Abu Muhammad al-Adnani in an airstrike in a different location in Aleppo, and was still assessing the results of the attack. Aleppo seems a little off the ISIL reservation, but if the story is true it is a good get for Russia and the forces that oppose ISIL.  This is especially the case for Europe and the US where this guy has been sending mass murderers.

The US says it killed al-Adnani with a drone strike and disputes the Russian account.

Trump in Mexico, not the disaster opponents hoped for

Washington Post:
Trump meets with President Peña Nieto in Mexico ahead of key speech

In his first formal international trip as the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump visited a country where he is broadly despised for his vilification of illegal immigrants. Elsewhere in the Post:
Trump’s high-risk, low-reward trip to Mexico is sort of baffling

Given the low gains for Trump and the high possibility that something might go wrong, there’s a decent chance that the politician for whom this trip is most beneficial is Hillary Clinton. I think Nieto and Trump surprised most of the liberal pundits by not having a mud wrestling argument.  They discussed border security but did not discuss who would pay for a wall.  At this point, it looks like he probably helped himself if his speech does not resort to insults of the Mexicans.

The trip allows Trump to look somewhat Presidential and that probably helps him since on many occasions he has looked less than Presidential.

President Nieto call…

Obama omits the role of fracking in reducing CO2 emissions

Washington Times:
...
“For those of you who are not breathlessly following the most recent data that has come out, I would note recent data that we’ve seen suggests or finds that for the first half of 2016, energy sector emissions in the United States are actually down 6 percent from last year, and 15 percent from 2005,” said Mr. Deese. “And they’re at their lowest level in nearly 20 years.”

He said nothing about the U.S. natural gas boom, an omission that critics say has become par for the course as the Obama administration highlights renewable energy and emissions restrictions without acknowledging the role of fracking in natural gas extraction.

“To add dishonesty to injury, his administration is bragging about the reduced CO2 emissions of [the] U.S. industry without crediting the fracking for natural gas, a fossil fuel, that largely caused it,” said Alex Epstein, author of the book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.”

Indeed, the U.S. leads the world in greenhouse gas reductions, a t…

Want to get paid for doing nothing?--Get a job at the US Patent Office

Image
Washington Post:
Attendance fraud at patent office cheated taxpayers out of millions, watchdog finds

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was billed at least $18.3 million for almost 300,000 hours that employees never worked, according to an independent probe. The findings are not expected to result in repercussions for any no-show employees. Why isn't the DOJ filing criminal charges against this kind fo theft?  Does the Obama administration just not care?   If it were a taxpayer who was cheating the government, wouldn't the IRS be going after the money?  Why not deduct the overpayment over time from their paychecks?

The Koch brothers and Harry Reid do battle over his successor in Nevada

NY Times:
Harry Reid and Koch Brothers Wage Proxy War for a Nevada Senate Seat
The battle to choose Mr. Reid’s successor is pitting him against Charles G. and David H. Koch, who are trying to flip a Democratic seat and help Republicans seal control of the Senate. Reid is a guy with few inhibitions when it comes to politics.  He will say and do almost anything to win regardless of the facts.  He has insulted the Koch brothers on the senate floor for exercising their right to engage in the political process.  

The country and the world will be a better place if they win this one.

Despite wider distribution there is still no global pricing for natural gas

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
Natural gas is rapidly becoming one of the most traded global commodities, but that doesn’t mean it will have a global price, according to Royal Dutch Shell.

While the fuel can be transported anywhere on liquefied natural gas carriers, it will probably remain regionally priced for the time being, with some contracts continuing to track oil, said Roger Bounds, senior vice president for global gas at Shell. Prices will depend on location, regulation and infrastructure, as some countries replace coal in electricity generation to cut carbon emissions.

RELATED: Gulf Coast booming with propane, butane and now LNG exports

“I shouldn’t say it’s not possible, but what would it take for such a price to be possible?” Bounds said in an interview in Stavanger, Norway. “We have some way to go.”

For a global gas price to emerge, pipelines would need to shed some interstate regulations like in the U.S., trade data would need to be more transparent and widely available and buyers and s…

There is little evidence that the Navy's green energy project saved any money

Washington Free Beacon:
The U.S. Navy handed out a $334 million contract for solar power without having a good way to determine whether the project would be cost effective.

The Pentagon’s inspector general recentlyaudited three of the Navy’s large-scale renewable energy projects at installations supervised by the U.S. Pacific Command, finding that federal employees tasked with carrying out cost-effectiveness assessments of these projects did not have the documentation to back up their calculations or conclusions.

The Navy has not provided “comprehensive guidance” for evaluating the cost effectiveness of the six large-scale renewable energy projects in the region, according to the inspector general report issued last week. The Pentagon and the Navy also do not have a “formal written definition” of cost effectiveness for large-scale renewable energy projects.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made alternative energy a priority in 2009, directing the service to generate half of its total energy from…

Trump has high hopes for meeting with Mexican President

Washington Examiner:
Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence predicted Wednesday that Donald Trump's meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto could help set the stage for immigration talks between the two nations at some point, and called it "the beginning of a conversation."

"Well, I think it's going to be a meeting between two leaders. I know that Donald Trump was grateful for the invitation, and like any good leader, he knows that good negotiations begin with good relationships, so what I think the American people are seeing today is the kind of decisive president Donald Trump will be," Pence said on CNN.

"He gets an invitation late last week from the president of Mexico and essentially drops what he's doing to sit down, have a private conversation and begin a relationship where we can talk about the issues that we've got to resolve between the United States and Mexico, but also about the issues that we're both strugglin…

Iran has gotten worse since Obama's deal was struck

Fox News:
Under Obama Iran's pattern of defiance is growing more pronounced

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
The Secretary of State said that he expected Iran's conduct to be less hostile if the deal was done. Events have proved him wrong.

Clinton in virtual tie with Trump in unfavorability

Washington Examiner:
Hillary Clinton's unpopularity soared to a record high August, following several weeks of bad news for her campaign in the form of leaked documents showing donors to the Clinton Foundation had access to her when she led the State Department.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll said 56 percent of all adults see Clinton unfavorably, up 6 points over the last three weeks. Just 41 percent see her favorably, the lowest number since the campaign began.

And among registered voters, 59 percent see Clinton unfavorably, about the same as the 60 percent who see Donald Trump unfavorably. These numbers make Clinton and Trump the two most unpopular presidential candidates in the past 30 years.

The numbers show a huge slide for Clinton among the groups that she's counting on to win the general election, including women, independents and Hispanics.
... Reuters poll shows Trump has made up a 12 point deficit in the last five days and is now in a tie.  Polling has been more…

30 Benghazi Clinton emails found that she did not turnover

AP/Daily Mail:
The State Department says about 30 emails that may be related to the 2012 attack on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya, are among the thousands of Hillary Clinton emails recovered during the FBI's recently closed investigation into her use of a private server.

Government lawyers told U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta Tuesday that an undetermined number of the emails among the 30 were not included in the 55,000 pages previously provided by Clinton.

The State Department's lawyer said it would need until the end of September to review the emails and redact potentially classified information before they are released.

Donald Trump's campaign lashed out, asking what else might be lurking among the emails Clinton ordered deleted.

'Today's disclosure that 30 additional emails about Benghazi were discovered on Hillary Clinton's private server raises additional questions about the more than 30,000 emails she deleted,' Trump campaign Senior Commun…

ISIL fighters refuse order to "fight to the death" and retreat in other direction

CNN:
A top US general said Tuesday that ISIS fighters defied their leader's orders to fight to the death in a recent battle, instead retreating to the north.

Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of US forces in the Middle East, said that the refusal to follow orders occurred during the battle for the recently liberated town of Manbij, Syria.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagdadi told fighters in Manbij "to fight to the death" and "they didn't follow his direction," according to Votel, questioning how much command and control ISIS leadership has over its forces.

Still, he said that ISIS, also know as ISIL, has a "strong network" that relies on "guidance from centralized leadership."

Votel, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, said he thinks that the Iraqi security forces "are on track" to recapture the key city of Mosul from ISIS by the end of 2016. But he warned that Mosul will be "a tough fight" now that the coalition is &qu…

French mayor says immigrants must accept French culture

CNN:
The mayor of a seaside town on the French Riviera is sticking by his town's burkini ban, telling beachgoers, "if you don't want to live the way we do, don't come."

"You have to behave in the way that people behave in the country that accepted you, and that is it," Cogolin Mayor Marc Etienne Lansade told CNN.

"If you are accepted in Rome -- do like Romans do," he said, adding, "go in Saudi Arabia and be naked and see what will happen to you."

Lansade, of the right-wing National Front political party, is maintaining the ban despite a ruling by France's highest administrative court that mayors do not have the right to outlaw burkinis.

He's not alone. Several French mayors are also enforcing their bans in the face of Friday's ruling, which concerned the nearby town of Villeneuve-Loubet although it could affect cities around the country.
... I think he is right to defend French culture from the alien culture of failed Mus…

The Congressional leadership screw up gave us Trump as the nominee

Charlie Cook:
­Argu­ably the biggest polit­ic­al story of the past year has been the breadth and depth of the an­ger and ali­en­a­tion among Re­pub­lic­an voters—not just to­ward Pres­id­ent Obama, Hil­lary Clin­ton, and the Demo­crat­ic Party, but also against their own party’s lead­ers.

This week, I was look­ing through a 65-page Power­Point present­a­tion that Re­pub­lic­an poll­ster Neil Ne­w­house gave earli­er this month to the Kan­sas City Cham­ber of Com­merce. For the un­ini­ti­ated, Neil is one of the bright­est and most tal­en­ted poll­sters in either party, with more 30 years ex­per­i­ence tak­ing the tem­per­at­ure of Amer­ic­an voters. His re­cord in­cludes ser­vice as Mitt Rom­ney’s poll­ster and work for Jeb Bush’s su­per PAC this year, along with dozens of sen­at­ors and gov­ernors over the years. One par­tic­u­lar page was fas­cin­at­ing.

On the left side of the page was a com­pil­a­tion of res­ults from 2016 NBC News exit polls of Re­pub­lic­an primar­ies in 17 stat…

Why the healthcare exchanges failed

Rich Lowry:
For years, ObamaCare supporters have been telling critics of the law to shut up and fall in line. Now, they are urging them to come to its rescue.

A key part of President Obama’s domestic legacy is sputtering so badly that even the law’s boosters are admitting that the federal government needs to do more to prop it up.

The ObamaCare exchanges were supposed to enhance choice and hold down costs — and are doing neither. Abandoned by more and more insurers, the exchanges — once billed as robust “marketplaces” — are becoming pitiful shadows of themselves.

In most or all of the following states — Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Tennessee — probably only one insurer will offer insurance through the exchanges next year, reports The Wall Street Journal. One large county in Arizona may have no exchange insurer at all. An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 31 percent of US counties will have one insurer and another 31 percen…

The Russians are coming after election records

Washington Post:
Russian hackers breached a computer used by election officials in Arizona

The FBI alerted Arizona officials in June that Russian hackers had targeted its voter registration system, a state official said. The system was later found to have not been compromised, but the user name and password of a county official was stolen. The news comes amid heightened concerns over Russian hacks of Democratic Party organizations and possible meddling in the presidential election. It is not clear to me what the value is of a state's voter registration system  is to a foreign country.  It would be difficult for them to use the data without being caught in an audit of the results.  Perhaps they are just messing with the US.  Perhaps they may be looking for a way to target Sen. McCain who they see as an adversary.

Hillary will try to throw Trump in the brier patch during debates

Image
NY Times:
Hillary Clinton Piles Up Research in Bid to Needle Donald Trump at First Debate Richard Perry/The New York TimesDonald J. Trump at a Republican presidential debate in March in Detroit. Mr. Trump spent hours with his debate team the past two Sundays, but he said, “I believe you can prep too much for those things.” Mrs. Clinton’s team is gathering insights into Mr. Trump’s personality to pinpoint weaknesses, but he prefers a freewheeling approach to avoid sounding “scripted or phony.” That strategy did not work out so well for Sen. Rubio in the GOP debates.  She will be playing in his sandbox and it is not likely to work.   She would be better served to stick to the issues and claim she is the serious candidate in the race.

DOJ shaking down the banks for contributions to liberals

Wall Street Journal:
Look Who’s Getting That Bank Settlement Cash

Tens of millions of dollars disguised as ‘consumer relief’ are going to liberal political groups. Instead of wasting money on liberals and their backers, the money should instead go to the treasury to pay down the debt incurred in the bailout of the banks during the financial meltdown.  What is happening under this program is a political shakedown for underserving liberals.

Internal documents show chaos inside ISIL

Daily Beast:
What appear to be internal documents from the administration of the so-called Islamic State, obtained exclusively by The Daily Beast, show the terrorist organization under strain from financial misappropriation, embezzlement, alleged infiltration by anti-ISIS spies, and bureaucratic infighting.

These documents, originally captured by a Syrian rebel group near Damascus, are stamped by official ISIS “ministries.” They show the dollar salaries ISIS paid to its jihadist fighters, at least as of a year ago, in addition to other income earmarked for those fighters’ dependents.
...
They also yield more proof of the extraordinary amount of red tape (and somewhat comedic human frustration) involved as ISIS leaders try to regulate everything from the requisition of weapons and ammunition to the allowance of vacation time.

The entire file was shared by Maher al-Hamdan, a media spokesman for the Ahmad Abdo Brigade. This Syrian rebel group receives ammunition and financial support fr…

Army developing its own tilt-rotor chopper with F-35 technology

Image
Nationa Interests:
A new Army-led effort to engineer a next-generation tiltrotor aircraft for the 2030s includes the integration of a high-tech 360-degree sensor suite quite similar to the one used on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter called a Distributed Aperture Systems, or DAS, developers explained.

“Instead of having sensors mounted to the turret, you have sensors that are mounted to the aircraft – so essentially you have sensors staring in 360-degrees around the aircraft at any given time. Those images are stitched together so it appears as one continuous image to the pilot. Both pilots can make use of the same system,” Vince Tobin, Vice President of Advanced Tiltrotor Systems, Bell Helicopter, told Scout Warrior in an interview.

This technology will also allow troops riding in the back of the aircraft to wear goggles or a helmet giving them a view of the surrounding sensor feeds as they transit to a mission, Tobin added.

The DAS system will also form the basis a small-arms enemy fi…

Was Clinton trying to hide her email destruction scheme?

Washington Examiner:
Clinton's use of BleachBit avoided 'money trail' in email destruction While she may have lied about what was destroyed, she never really denied the fact that she was destroying emails.  Many of these emails show a pattern of pay for play activities where she used her position as Secretary of State to reward donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Anti-trade Democrats backing Trump?

Breitbart:
Meet the ‘Trumpocrats’: Lifelong Democrats Breaking with Party Over Hillary Clinton to Support Donald Trump for President Perhaps there is an active #NeverHillary movement out there , but it is mainly a single issue group who do not understand the benefits of trade and its jobs creation potential.

Clinton corruption mail reveals the secret to state dinner invitations

Washington Examiner:
New emails show Clinton Foundation donors got seats at State Department events

...
Huma Abedin, then Clinton's deputy chief of staff, coordinated with Doug Band, then a foundation executive, about which donors would attend the State Department events and even where those donors would sit upon arrival.
... There are certainly no free meals for the donors who pay handsomely to the Clinton's "favorite charity"  in order to set by high administration figures.  This is another aspect of the Clinton's pay to play scam.

Fracking phobia fails in Colorado vote

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
Oil and natural gas explorers from Anadarko Petroleum to Synergy Resources have escaped a vote in Colorado that would’ve limited drilling and threatened to halt about $10 billion worth of oil and natural gas production a year.

A proposal known as Initiative No. 78, which would’ve restricted drilling near homes, fell about 21,000 valid signatures short of the total needed to qualify for a ballot vote, based on a projection in a statement from Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. A measure allowing local governments to ban fracking also failed to attract enough valid signatures. Synergy, a Colorado oil and gas explorer, rose the most in more than seven months on the failed ballot initiatives.

The measures had threatened to wipe out oil and gas drilling in Colorado, the sixth-largest gas producer among U.S. states, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis. Initiative No. 78 alone could’ve barred drilling across 90 percent of the state, where explorers ext…

Terror connections bar Clinton donor from entering US

Image
Daily Mail:

A top donor of the Clinton Foundation, Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, is no longer allowed to enter the United States, having his visitor's visa denied last summer under terrorism grounds It has been alleged that Clinton's ties to Chagoury were the main reason why she was reluctant to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization.  The group specialized in the mass murder of Christians and focused on schools because it believed that studying anything other than the Koran was banned by Islam.

Hillary Clinton has never given a satisfactory answer as to why she blocked the designation despite the efforts of some in Congress to find out.  Many in the media have tried to avoid the issue, but a few have published the fact of the donation and her reluctance to designate the Islamic religious bigots as terrorists.

Democrats have a lot of experience at supporting liars

Marc Thiessen:
Where are the #NeverHillary Democrats? Of curse, Bill was "an unusually good liar."  Hillary seems to be an unusually bad one.  But she is all they got at this point so they are going to stick with her.

US tells Turks to quit attacking the Kurds

BBC:
The US says fighting between Turkey, pro-Turkish rebels and Kurdish-aligned forces in northern Syria is "unacceptable" and must stop.

Clashes in places where so-called Islamic State (IS) was not present were a "source of deep concern", the US envoy to the anti-IS coalition tweeted.

Turkish forces have attacked what they say are Kurdish "terrorists" since crossing the border last week.

But the Kurdish YPG militia says Turkey just wants to occupy Syrian territory.

Ankara says it aims to push both IS and Kurdish fighters away from its border.

Turkish forces and allied factions of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) forced IS out of the Syrian border city of Jarablus on Tuesday and have since pounded neighbouring villages held by Kurdish-led, US-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF).

The Turkish military carried out 61 artillery strikes around Jarablus over the past 24 hours Reuters news agency reported on Monday,
Turkey has insisted Kurdish militia, which it…

Trump is just dead wrong about NAFTA

John Cornyn:
Free trade has taken a lot of hits this campaign season. Candidates from both parties have argued that this core tenet of capitalism should be completely rewritten, if not entirely erased. The reasoning goes something like this: If we open up our economy and cut trade deals with other countries, we run the risk of sending American jobs overseas. That may sound convincing, but those claims are often exaggerated and ignore the tremendous benefits trade provides folks here at home. And it flies in the face of what we've experienced here in Texas and across the United States.

With about 95 percent of the world's consumers outside of our country, in today's globalized world, staying competitive means looking beyond our borders. As the country's No. 1 exporter, our state's producers do that remarkably well. More than 40,000 companies in Texas sell their goods and services abroad. And of those, more than 90 percent are small and medium-sized businesses. In ot…

Obama's 'peace initiatives' have put the US Navy at risk

NY Post Editorial:
President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran sure keeps paying dividends — negative ones. The latest: Tehran has begun confronting and harassing US warships in a series of incidents the Pentagon warns carry “a risk of escalation.”

Then again, that’s a risk only if the Obama administration would actually respond to these in-your-face provocations.

But, as Iran well knows, Team Obama isn’t about to do anything that might endanger the nuke deal and expose the futility of the president’s insistence that Iran will become “a member of the family of nations.”

And it’s not just Iran: In other corners of the world, Russian and Chinese jets this year have been buzzing US ships in a clear-cut test of Washington’s resolve — a test this president is flunking.

In the latest incidents, Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels last week twice veered dangerously close to US warships in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, forcing one to actually fire warning shots.

But that’s as far as…

Coal country has good reason not to trust Democrats like Clinton

NY Times:
Coal Country Is Wary of Hillary Clinton’s Pledge to Help
Mrs. Clinton is promising $30 billion to create a new economy by retraining miners and investing in technology, but locals have heard promises before. Why should they trust the very people who deliberately set out to ruin their livelihood?  The Democrats have this belief in the magic of alternative energy, but too many of their schemes have turned out to be boondoggles that cost the government billions and jobs that go away.  I wouldn't believe her either.

Are Muslims seeking exclusive burial grounds in some US jurisdictions?

NY Times:
Muslims Seek New Burial Ground, and a Small Town Balks
Cemetery proposals by Muslim groups have been greeted with swells of opposition around the country, raising the specter of exclusion even for the dead. Why isn't the question about whether Muslims are entitled to  their own burial area rather than using the currently available cemeteries?  So are the current plots a problem for some reason?

Why isn't Trump talking about the Obamacare price hikes?

Washington Examiner:
Many states that have released Obamacare price information for next year are showing double-digit price hikes that are steeper than in years past.

More Obamacare rate increases will trickle out over the next few weeks, with the healthcare law's fourth enrollment season set to begin Nov. 1. The Obama administration is expected to release the biggest rate increases sometime next month, after reviewing plan information insurers had to submit by Aug. 23.

Some of the heftiest price hikes so far are from smaller insurers who cover just a tiny fraction of people without employer-sponsored coverage who buy individual market plans. But in some states, the biggest insurers are massively increasing their prices, creating a much broader impact on consumers, especially those eligible for small federal subsidies or none at all.

Here are four states where at least one in four people — and usually many more — covered with Obamacare plans or other individual market plans will …

Clinton's bad week

Image
The RNC produced a video with a quick summary of how it went wrong for the Democrat nominee.

Will Burkini ban turn Muslims into terrorists?

The Hill:
The former director of the National Counterterrorism Center on Sunday said France's efforts to ban the so-called burkini, or Muslim swimsuit for women, could result in people connecting with the message of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"Banning the burkini doesn't produce terrorists," Michael Leiter said on ABC's "This Week."
But he said people who already feel somewhat disconnected with their society could be drawn to the terrorist group.

"It does make the people who are already alienated, who are already disenfranchised, in many cases, economically disenfranchised in a place like France, in many of those neighborhoods, and make them say, 'Ah, ISIS's message is true and real,' " he said.

"We can't be French and Muslim at the same time. And that's exactly what ISIS wants that population to think."
... This is another one of those statements that suggest that many Muslims are just a few funn…

US oil exports increase in 2016

USA Today:
U.S. crude oil is increasingly finding markets around the world now that government restrictions on exports have been dissolved.

That’s good news for U.S. producers who had sought more access to global oil markets for years, though it’s too early to tell how much of a trend is developing.

Nonetheless, exports of U.S. crude averaged 501,000 barrels a day for the first five months of 2016, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, citing the most recent data available.

That’s 43,000 barrels a day — or 9% — more than the average for all of 2015, when government regulations limited crude oil exports mostly to Canada.

“U.S. crude oil exports have occurred despite relatively small price spreads between international crude oils and domestic crude oils, as well as other factors that should reduce crude oil exports, such as falling U.S. crude oil production and added cargo export costs,” the EIA said.

Canada remains by far the biggest foreign market for U…

Is the oil glut fading?

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
For all the feverish speculation of OPEC action that’s roiling oil markets, the real reason for crude’s recent recovery probably lies elsewhere.

Oil futures have rallied more than 10 percent since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would hold informal talks in Algeria in late September, fueling expectations it could revive a pact on freezing production. Banks from Citigroup to Bank of America Merrill Lynch see a simpler explanation for the rebound: The global oil oversupply is finally dissipating.

A narrowing discount — also known as contango — on immediate supplies of Brent crude is the “clearest indicator” that the two-year glut is fading, Credit Suisse Group said. The spread between the first monthly Brent futures contract and the sixth has contracted more than 40 percent in the past month, data from the ICE Futures Europe exchange show.

“OPEC remains very dysfunctional,” Francisco Blanch, head of commodities research at Merrill Lynch in N…

Is the US betraying the Kurds who fought ISIL?

Washington Post:
Clashes between U.S.-backed groups intensify in northern Syria

Rebels seized villages from Kurds while Turkish warplanes pounded Kurdish positions, killing dozens. The fresh fighting suggested that Turkey and its Syrian proxies are increasingly focused on stopping Kurdish forces from gaining more territory. Why are the Turks and the Syrian rebels fighting the one force that has been able to stand up to ISIL?  Is it because Erdogan and the Turks are more fearful of an independent Kurdistan they are of the ISIL Islamist mass murderers?

The artful liars of Russia

NY Times:
A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories
Using both conventional media and covert channels, the Kremlin relies on disinformation to create doubt, fear and discord in Europe and the United States. They are probably better at this than Hillary Clinton is.  Her false stories do not hold up nearly as well.

This is a key part of the Russian strategy to try to make up for the weakness of their military equipment and their troops.

Obamacare is the failure that critics said it would be

Washington Post:
Health-care exchange sign-ups fall far short of forecasts

The law requires every American to get health coverage or pay a penalty, but even getting the uninsured to enroll has been a challenge. Because of financial losses for insurers, more than 1 in 4 counties risk of having a only single insurer on its exchange next year, according to one estimate. Some critics of the plan think Obamacare was designed to fail so that Democrats could use that failure as an excuse to push a single payer rationed healthcare scheme.   Whatever their motive, the Democrat healthcare scheme has not provided the affordable care that they promised.  For those not on the Medicaid roles, it is costlier with fewer choices.

Power Line gives a good example of how the single payer system has worked out for Britain.

Clinton resorts to the big lie in response to Trump's outreach to blacks

NY Times:
Hillary Clinton Ad Pushes Issue of Race Against Donald Trump
A new ad titled “Everything” offers an answer to Mr. Trump, who has sought support from minority voters by asking, “What the hell do you have to lose?” This is absurd.  While Trump is a candidate prone to overstatement, this ad does the same from the Democrat perspective and it is typical of the way they have pandered to blacks and kept them on their plantation.  Does she really think that blacks are not entitled to feel safe in their on neighborhoods?  Does she really think that Democrat programs haven't destroyed the black family structure?

Trump has many glaring weaknesses as a candidate, but his outreach to blacks is probably his move of the campaign and it is scaring Democrats like nothing else he has done.

Fact checkers fail on the question of Hillary Clinton's stamina

Newsbusters:
...
Alas for Messrs. Kessler and Borchers, they appear not to have checked in with one of the most famous and informed reporters in the entire history of the Washington Post. That would be one Carl Bernstein, famously of Nixon Watergate Woodward and Bernstein fame. Carl (full disclosure a CNN commentator colleague of mine) writes books these days, and way back there in the ancient time of 2007 wrote a great biography titled: A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton. And what do we find on page 313? This, bold print supplied by me:

"More than Bill, she was physically exhausted; she lacked his stamina and was losing weight. A newspaper story noted archly that Hillary 'looks thinner than ever, even though she confesses that her exercise regimen has gone the way of the middle-class tax cut since she moved into the White House.' On trips to the Hill, her aides noticed how she would perform perfectly during an appointment, then immediately afterward b…

Private equity firm investing heavily in Permian Basin drilling business

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
If you happen to find a battered, exhausted oil baron slumped in a dark corner (and who doesn’t from time to time?), just whisper this one word in their ear to revive them:

“Permian.”

This shale basin, which stretches across northwestern Texas and into a portion of New Mexico, is rapidly becoming a Narnia-like place for the exploration and production sector. There, profits can still be made and growth can be had. For an industry savaged by job losses and bankruptcies, that sort of escapism is a good thing. Until, of course, it becomes a bad thing.

Blackstone is offering the latest affirmation of the Permian’s attractions where it counts: money. The private equity firm is deploying more than $1 billion in partnerships to buy up land in this shale sweet spot. Earlier in the week, PDC Energy paid $1.5 billion for two E&P companies with Permian acreage. More money has changed hands buying and selling Permian assets this year than in the all the other major U.S. sha…

State Department slow rolling out Clinton calendar despite judges order

AP/KXAN:
Seven months after a federal judge ordered the State Department to begin releasing monthly batches of the detailed daily schedules showing meetings by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, the government told The Associated Press it won’t finish the job before Election Day.

The department has so far released about half of the schedules. Its lawyers said in a phone conference with the AP’s lawyers that the department now expects to release the last of the detailed schedules around Dec. 30, weeks before the next president is inaugurated.

The AP’s lawyers late Friday formally asked the State Department to hasten that effort so that the department could provide all Clinton’s minute-by-minute schedules by Oct. 15. The agency did not immediately respond.

The schedules drew new attention this week after the AP analyzed the ones released so far. The news agency found that more than half the people outside the government who met or spoke by telephone with Clinton whil…

What are the Democrats who run Chicago doing about the murders?

Image
Daily Mail:

Chicago, with a population of 2.7 million, has more shootings and homicides than any other U.S. city, according to FBI and Chicago police data. Tyjuan Lewis (pictured) was fatally shot last year. It takes community policing to cut the murder rate and neither the city or many of the residents of the most at-risk neighborhood want more cops on the street, at least according to Black Lives Matter.  They are just not willing to do the things needed to stop the killing.  It takes a high force to space ratio and cops on the streets and sidewalks and not just patrolling in cars.

The Turks are more concerned about the Kurds than the ISIL Islamic religious bigots

Washington Post:
Turkey’s incursion into Syria threatens to open a hornet’s nest

The animosities risk pitting two groups of American-aided forces against each other, potentially taking their attention away from fighting the Islamic State. The Turks have mainly themselves to blame for the success of the Kurds in resisting ISIL.  If Turkey had moved in to defend the Kurds and others under attack by ISIL They would be in a much stronger position.   I get the feeling Erdogan was hoping that ISIL would destroy the Kurdish forces and save him the trouble.

Fortunately, it turned out the Kurds were the most competent fighters in the region when it came to resisting ISIL.  Ever since, when Turkey has gotten involved, it has been mainly as an excuse to attack the Kurds and not ISIL.

ISIL back to being the JV team?

LA Times:
The Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies now view Islamic State as a shrinking and increasingly demoralized military force, a sharp shift from the seemingly invincible extremist army that declared an Islamist caliphate two years ago.

The revised assessment comes after surprisingly swift and relatively bloodless victories this summer near Syria’s border with Turkey and in the Sunni heartland of Iraq, two areas where Islamic State had appeared entrenched.

The rapid recapture this week of Jarabulus, the militants’ last garrison by the Turkish border, helped close off a boundary region that was crucial for movement of recruits, supplies and money in and out of the group’s quasi-state.

It also was the latest fight to suggest the Sunni militants no longer are willing to fight to hold territory against a sustained assault. Only one fighter was reported killed in the assault led by Turkish tanks. Several hundred others apparently fled.

Partly as a result, U.S. officials have hint…

Hillary's more of the same economic plan a bust already

Stephen Moore:
The new GDP numbers are terrible. No wonder Hillary won’t talk about the economy

...
The consumer is keeping the economy out of negative territory, but that's only because we are spending more than we are earning.

How long can that go on? About as long as the housing bubble could inflate without bursting.

For years the polls have shown that Americans are hyper-concerned about the economy and job security. That was when the economy was growing at a meek 2 percent. Now at 1 percent, we aren't just treading water, more families are being plunged underwater.

This is some recovery. Under Reagan we had growth rates quarterly of 5, 6 and even 7 percent. Economists in the '80s worried about overheating. Too much growth. Now growth is nowhere to be seen - except for those at the very top of the income ladder.
... Rather than focus on real issues like this Trump is busy "counterpunching against nonsense and Hillary Clinton is doing her best to act like &qu…

An airman thought dead and left behind by SEAL's fought on

NY Times:
SEAL Team 6 and a Man Left for
Dead: A Grainy Picture of Valor

An airman with the unit is being considered for the Medal
of Honor after new video analysis suggested that he
fought alone bravely in a 2002 battle on an Afghan peak. It would be the first Medal of Honor based solely on  technical evidence and not eyewitness reports.
...
Now, more than 14 years after that brutal fight, in which seven Americans ultimately died, the Air Force says that Chief Slabinski was wrong — and that Sergeant Chapman not only was alive, but also fought on alone for more than an hour after the SEALs had retreated. The Air Force secretary is pushing for a Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award, after new technology used in an examination of videos from aircraft flying overhead helped officials conclude that the sergeant had killed two fighters with Al Qaeda — one in hand-to-hand combat — before dying in an attempt to protect arriving reinforcements.
... It is an interesting story That speaks…

US using standoff weapons to attack ISIL in run up to Iraqi efforts to retake Mosul

War Is Boring:
American Artillery is Pounding Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

U.S. troops are prepping the battlefield around Mosul They are attempting to counter the US weapons that ISIL took from Iraqi forces when they left weapons supplied by the US behind during their disorderly retreat.

'Balanced Rebellion' makes the case for voting for Gary Johnson

You can see the video here.  It is really pretty clever.  The premise involves taking away the "binary choice" argument which attempts to get you to vote for one of the two bad candidates by saying things like not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary.

Bangladesh storms hideout for group behind mass murder for Allah attack at restaurant, killing leader

BBC:
Bangladeshi police say they have stormed a hideout near Dhaka and killed the suspected planner of a cafe attack last month that left 22 people dead.

"Tamim Chowdhury is dead," said senior police officer Sanwar Hossain, referring to the Bangladeshi-Canadian suspected mastermind.

Three other suspected militants were killed by police during the raid.

The cafe attack began on 1 July when the militants entered the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka.

They held hostages for 12 hours before police stormed the cafe, rescuing 13, killing six gunmen and arresting another.

Twenty hostages and two police officers were killed in the attack, the worst in the country's history.
... Good riddance.  ISIL claimed credit for the mass murder, but Bangladesh disputes that saying the mass murderers were from a local group of Islamic terrorists.

The 'Ready for Hillary' movement that wants to name women's prisons after her

Image
Dan Spencer:

The secret group that recently erected a “Ready for Hillary” sign in front of North Carolina’s largest women’s prison is now advocating re-naming one of the most famous penal facilities in New York State after Hillary Clinton.

“The Suspect Hillary Clinton is still at large,” said the spokesperson for the group Justice for All, citizens outraged that Hillary Clinton got off scott free for her reckless endangerment of US national security when others guilty of far less have received prison sentences.

“We do not expect her to turn herself in with a plea bargain offer of admitting to any crime or crimes in exchange for less time in prison,” said the spokesperson. “Even if she said she would, everybody knows you can’t believe a thing she says. But we, like most Americans who still believe in equal justice under the law, think she still could – and should – be indicted as a result of either, or both, the pay-to-play scandal surrounding her and the Clinton Foundation or perjury …

Trump is the ADHD candidate who lets 'counter punches' get in the way of genuine issues

Erick Erickson:
The bill for Obamacare is coming due and voters in swing states are not happy.

In nine of 11 states with competitive Senate races, at least one insurer seeks to hike rates for Obamacare customers by at least 30 percent next year: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pennsylvania wants to jack up average premiums by more than 40 percent. In Wisconsin, three insurers have asked for rate hikes of more than 30 percent. In New Hampshire, two of the five carriers want to sell plans with rate increase above 30 percent.

The potential sticker shock — coupled with the likelihood many consumers will have fewer choices next year after major insurers scale back their exchange participation — creates a potential political opening for Republican candidates, especially since the next Obamacare enrollment season starts one week before Election Day.
This is a great issue for Republicans. It is an “I told you so” moment that plays to voters’ concerns about Obamacare, a piece of legislation …

Kurds plan to keep the areas in Iraq they have taken from ISIL

AP:
In the buildup to a long-awaited offensive on the city of Mosul, Kurdish forces are seizing new territory in northern Iraq that they say will become part of their autonomous region. The moves are further straining relations between the Kurds and the Baghdad government and Shiite militias, all ostensibly allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Just east of Mosul, Kurdish engineering teams on a recent day were laying down a 3-meter wide, 20-kilometer long trench and 2-meter high berms, marking the new front line after recapturing the village of Qarqashah and neighboring hamlets from IS earlier this month.

The new de facto borders established by the Kurdish fighters, known as peshmerga, raise the potential for conflict between Iraq's Kurds and Arabs after any eventual defeat of IS — just as in neighboring Syria, where Kurds have also dramatically expanded their zone of control.

"All the areas that have been liberated by the peshmerga forces, our (Kurdish) forces…

Clinton creates celebrity endorsement opportunity

Jonah Goldberg:
...
... I wonder if the CEO of BleachBit is popping the champagne? I mean he’s just gotten the greatest celebrity endorsement of a data-deletion product ever. They should cut an ad immediately. The CEO could say straight into the camera, “BleachBit: It’s so effective, it’s what the Clintons use to hide their ‘Yoga’ e-mails.” (But he would really need to hit the air quotes around “Yoga.”)

Cut to Trey Gowdy: “It’s so good, even God can’t read them!”
... It is the product used by the Hillary team to destroy 30,000 emails she did not want Congress and others to see.  Having to read that many emails about Hillary Clinton's Yoga must have been a painful effort.

ISIL using fake passports in a new wave of attacks against Europe

Image
Daily Mail:

Britain has been warned of a rising threat of terror from Islamic State fighters after it was revealed more and more are using fake passports to enter the country This was likely done before the fall of their route out of Syria.  The Brits have been on the trail of a terrorist plot and have been making arrest as seen in the post below.

Brits rounding up terror suspects and looking for bombs

Telegraph:
Five men arrested by counter terrorism police as bomb disposal team sent to Birmingham It appears to be a large operation near a hotel.
...
The five men are all being held by counter terrorism detectives in the West Midlands on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
...
Officers are also searching a number of properties in the Stoke and Birmingham areas as part of the investigation.
...
Nearby busy roads Bath Row and Holloway Head had also been cordoned off by police vans, in addition to an area outside the Pentahotel on Holloway Head.

Staff and guests at the Pentahotel were advised to stay inside as precautionary measure
... The police indicate that the arrests are part of a broader ongoing counterterrorism operation.  Recent reports indicate that the Brits had foiled a large terrorist operation through the use of intelligence intercepts.

The ethanol and biofuels boondoggle is actually worse for the environment than oil and gas

Telegraph:
“Green” biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are in fact worse for the environment that petrol, a landmark new study has found.

The alternative energy source has long been praised for being carbon-neutral because the plants it is made from absorb carbon dioxide, which causes global warming, from the atmosphere while they are growing.

But new research in the US has found that the crops used for biofuel absorb only 37 per cent of the C02 that is later released into the atmosphere when the plants are burnt, meaning the process actually increases the amount of greenhouse gas in the air.
...
Professor John DeCicco, from the University of Michigan, said his research was the first to carefully examine the carbon on farmland where biofuels are grown.

“When you look at what’s actually happening on the land, you find that not enough carbon is being removed from the atmosphere to balance what’s coming out of the tailpipe,” he said.

“When it comes to the emissions that cause global w…

Data does not support Democrat contention that blacks are better off under Obama

Washington Times:
...
On a range of other government data, blacks are faring worse under Mr. Obama. The black labor force participation rate has fallen from 63.2 percent in 2009 to 61.2 percent last month.

Black homeownership last month was 41.7 percent, down from 46.1 percent in 2009 — a drop of nearly one-tenth.

The percentage of black Americans living below the poverty line has risen from 25.8 percent in 2009 to 26.2 percent in 2014, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. The number of black food-stamp participants increased 58 percent, from 7.3 million to 11.7 million.
...
Although there is little evidence that Mr. Trump’s plea to black voters is changing minds, dissatisfaction among blacks with the lack of progress under Mr. Obama has been no secret.

Broadcaster Tavis Smiley said earlier this year, “Sadly — and it pains me to say this — over the last decade, black folk, in the era of Obama, have lost ground in every major economic category.”

The Urban League’s National …