Showing posts from February, 2013

Ultra deep well shows 13.000 barrels a day for Chevron

Fuel Fix: Chevron said Thursday that a test well it drilled through a thick layer of salt more than 5 miles below sea level had a high rate of oil production, an indicator of the promise of an emerging field in the Gulf of Mexico. The test well at the St. Malo field, located about 280 miles south of New Orleans, had a production rate of more than 13,000 barrels of oil per day, the company said. The well was drilled in waters 7,000 feet deep and reached 20,000 feet below the seafloor. At a total depth of more than 5 miles, the well is part of a growing effort by energy companies to reach for more challenging reserves in layers of rock that are difficult to read and massively expensive to target. Seismic readings of deep geologic formations located under thick layers of salt are especially challenging to produce and analyze. And drilling at extreme depths involves the high expenses of ultradeep-water drillships and the challenges of high pressure and heat in underground rock formations

Texas students outperform the other 8 largest states

DeVore's point about cost of living and expenditures is one that should have come up at the recent trial.  The standardized test scores are also something you don't hear about.  In terms of blacks and Hispanics  they out perform people of similar ethnic makeup in the other states too.

The goofy Obama response to authorizations to ease pain of sequester

Opinion Journal: If you're reading this after midnight on Friday, March 1, the dreaded Beltway hour of doom known as the "sequester" has arrived and the news is that the world has not ended. You can pinch yourself to make sure. This does not mean there won't be more political histrionics, but the beginning of applying reason to Washington is understanding that it is possible to cut at least some federal spending. President Obama's goal, by contrast, is not to cut any spending in the here and now, only sometime in the "out years," to use the Washington phrase, presumably when he'll be out of office. That's the only way to comprehend the White House statement Thursday that the President will veto any Republican bill to give him more flexibility to minimize any sequester damage. We think the President already has more than enough authority to avoid harm to air traffic control, national parks and the like, as we wrote earlier this week ("The S

AG for corporate jet hater Obama lives large

Daily Mail: Attorney General and FBI chief spend $11MILLION flying in luxury jets bought for counter-terrorism missions between 2007 and 2011 They took over 700 "non mission" flights.  I think one of those flights was to Austin, Texas where he spoke at the LBJ school about Johnson's opposition to vote fraud.  That was a real howler since Johnson was first elected to the Senate because of a ballot stuffing scheme in Duval County. This looks like one of those places where spending can be cut.

Houston homeowner captures 3 burglars in house

Daily Mail: Homeowner subdues three burglars and holds them until police arrive... but they didn't know his gun was NOT loaded Randy Magdeleno stumbled on the three teens in his Houston house on Wednesday and grabbed his rusty .22-caliber rifle. The Texas castle doctrine probably made these guys surrender, since they likely knew they could be shot by the homeowner.  In countries like the UK the homeowner would be the one arrested.

Rationed health care's trust deficit

Telegraph: Doctors don't trust their own hospitals Up to two-thirds of doctors and nurses at some hospitals would not recommend that their family and friends are treated where they work, internal NHS figures disclose on Friday. That is what happens with socialized medicine.  It is interesting that the profit motive forces hospitals in the US to compete on cleanliness and care.  In the UK there is no incentive for either and it shows.

Killer environmentalism

Dennis Prager: Last week, Bjorn Lomborg, the widely published Danish professor and director of one of the world's leading environmental think tanks, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, published an article about the Philippines' decision, after 12 years, to allow genetically modified (GM) rice — "golden rice" — to be grown and consumed in that country. The reason for the delay was environmentalist opposition to GM rice; and the reason for the change in Philippine policy was that 4.4 million Filipino children suffer from vitamin A deficiency. That deficiency, Lomborg writes, "according to the World Health Organization, causes 250,000 to 500,000 children to go blind each year. Of these, half die within a year." During the 12-year delay, Lomborg continues, "About 8 million children worldwide died from vitamin A deficiency." "Golden rice" contains vitamin A, making it by far the most effective and cheapest way to get vitamin A into Third World

Obama's media accomplices in sequester distortions

Richard Benedetto: The mainstream news media can be a powerful ally in the fight against budget cutting, and President Obama knows it. Too often, instead of challenging the president's sequester fear-mongering, journalists have amplified his voice as he pushes back against looming cuts to federal discretionary spending of about 5%. With all the best intentions of looking out for the little guy, we in the news media are vulnerable to dramatic stories of people being hurt by forces over which they have little control. Whenever someone proposes to cut budgets, we run to those affected and report in vivid detail about the suffering that will occur if the money flow is reduced even a penny. The arc of one such claim over the last week reveals just what the diminished ranks of reporters are up against when they deal with the statements of top government officials that they must cover. Last Thursday under the headline " U.S. schools brace for federal funding cuts," TheWashingt

Al Qaeda's growing operational strength

Washington Free Beacon: Al Qaeda affiliates have spread throughout the Middle East and Africa, transforming al Qaeda into an increasingly dangerous global network, research analysts at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) said during a panel Wednesday. “Al Qaeda is stronger at an operational level than it has been for many years” and the prospects of al Qaeda strengthening are more likely, AEI senior research analyst Katherine Zimmerman said. Even though the United States successfully found and killed Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda movement has spread to Yemen, North Africa, Syria, Somalia, and other areas in the Middle East. Al Qaeda is “not defeated or on the verge of defeat,” Zimmerman said. With the outbreak of the Arab Spring, local affiliated al Qaeda groups have infiltrated unstable locations in the Middle East. Zimmerman pointed to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA), Al Shabaab in Somalia, and splinter groups in

French kill al Qaeda Mali commander

Reuters: French forces in Mali have killed Abdelhamid Abu Zeid, a leading field commander of al Qaeda's north Africa wing AQIM, Algerian Ennahar television reported on Thursday. The station said 40 militants including Abu Zeid were killed in the region of Tigargara in northern Mali three days ago. A French Defence Ministry official declined to comment on the report. Algeria did not confirm the killing. ... Abu Zeid has been regarded as one of AQIM's most ruthless operators. He is believed to have executed British national Edwin Dyer in 2009 and a 78-year-old Frenchman, Michel Germaneau, in 2010. Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, in an account of his kidnapping by another Islamist cell in the Sahara, recounted how Abou Zeid refused to give medication to two hostages suffering from dysentery, one of whom had been stung by a scorpion. The story does not describe the operation, only the results.  I believe that Tigargara is the mountainous area where al Qaeda retreated after bein

Chicoms target gas pipelines for sabotage purposes

Christian Science Monitor: Cyberspies linked to China ’s military targeted nearly two dozen US natural gas pipeline operators over a recent six-month period, stealing information that could be used to sabotage US gas pipelines, according to a restricted US government report and a source familiar with the government investigation. From December 2011 through June 2012, cyberspies targeted 23 gas pipeline companies with e-mails crafted to deceive key personnel into clicking on malicious links or file attachments that let the attackers slip into company networks, says the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report. The report does not mention China, but the digital signatures of the attacks have been identified by independent cybersecurity researchers as belonging to a particular espionage group recently linked to China’s military. The confluence of these factors – along with the sensitive operational and technical details that were stolen – make the cyberbreaches perhaps among the m

This maybe Hagel's biggest challenge

Washington Post: Hagel pledges straight talk, loyalty to troops on first day at Pentagon Watching him try to explain what he had said in the past and then having to repeatedly back track during his confirmation questioning makes you wonder if Hagel is really capable of "straight talk."  How can he claim loyalty to the troops when he has denigrated their efforts in Iraq?   A guy who was dead wrong about the surge and then could not even admit it is incapable of straight talk. The troops deserve better than Chuck Hagel.

Props for the Piers Morgan monologue on scary guns

Erik Wemple: Piers Morgan, gun-control thug Wemple goes through all the interruptions of guest John Lott by Morgan and his closing where Morgan says he respects Lott's right to have an opinion, he just does not want to give him the opportunity to express it.

Obama economy a dud for another quarter

NY Times: U.S. Economy Barely Expanded in Last Quarter, Data Show Gross domestic product grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate, below the long-term average but above the original estimate. If it is hard to bury a story on page one of the NY Times, this one comes pretty close.  It is in smaller type near the middle of the online addition.  Liberalism is just not working for the US economy and blaming poor results of George Bush or House Republicans is not a sign of leadership, but of excuses which this administration never seems to run out of.  Mitt Romney would be doing better.

Does Iran already have a nuclear bomb?

James Robbins: During Secretary of State John Kerry's listening tour of the Middle East, one troubling regional issue might go unspoken: the possibility that Iran already has nuclear weapons capability. That will certainly change when President Obama lands next month in Israel, where the issue is at the top of the agenda. The emergence of an Iranian atomic bomb would represent a U.S. foreign policy failure of historic proportions. It is not the kind of crisis that Kerry would like to face in his first month on the job or that Obama would like to shape his second term. Fortunately for them both, if Tehran does have the bomb, odds are it will keep it under wraps, at least for the time being. So far, the case that Iran already has the bomb is largely circumstantial. Shortly after North Korea announced this month that it had successfully carried out its third underground nuclear test , Saudi Arabian news media reported that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, a leading Iranian nuclear scie

Covering up Chinese espionage at NASA?

Washington Examiner: Congressional leaders are challenging a U.S. Attorney's denial that the Justice Department shut down a federal espionage investigation involving the illegal transfer of U.S. space defense weapons technology to foreign countries, including China, The Washington Examiner has learned. Melinda Haag, the U.S. Attorney for Northern California, also denied that she had ever requested authority to prosecute anybody as a result of the espionage investigation. But Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, and Representatives Lamar Smith, R-TX, and Frank Wolf, R-VA, say Haag's denials don't square with evidence they've reviewed and they wonder if Justice Department or White House officials interfered with a potentially explosive espionage investigation or if "politics played a role in the prosecutorial decisions made in this case." "Your statement conflicts factually with information we received from federal law enforcement," Wolf, Smith and Grassley

White House threatened Washington Times over article

Breitbart: Lanny Davis, who served under President Bill Clinton as special counsel to the White House, told Washington, D.C.'s WMAL this morning that the Obama White House had threatened the Washington Times over his column, warning that the Times would suffer limited access to White House officials and might have its White House credentials revoked. Davis, a centrist Democrat, is sometimes critical of the Obama administration's policies. Davis was speaking with Breitbart News editor Larry O'Connor, who co-hosts a morning show on WMAL. Davis said he had never spoken publicly about the threats before, but they seemed relevant after the White House told legendary reporter Bob Woodward that he would "regret" insisting that the White House had come up with the idea of the budget sequester, which President Barack Obama is now urging Congress urgently to revoke. The White House has vehemently denied the claim in Woodward's book, though the claim has been in the pu

The green jobs bust in California

Conn Carroll: It was supposed to be the next big thing. California built decades of broad-based prosperity from the Gold Rush, then Hollywood, then aerospace, and later Silicon Valley. At the turn of the century, "green jobs" were supposed to be the wave of the future. "This is not just a challenge, it's an opportunity," then-candidate Barack Obama said during a 2008 presidential debate. "Because if we create a new energy economy, we can create 5 million new jobs, easily, here in the United States." President Obama, of course, has completely failed to deliver on this promise of 5 million new green-collar jobs. The entire U.S. economy has created only 1.2 million jobs since Obama was sworn into office, many of them in the fossil fuel extraction, production and distribution sector. But in Obama's defense, most of his green jobs agenda was killed. Cap-and-trade and renewable electricity mandates never made it through Congress. High-speed rail was ki

The inhumanity of Shariah Law

Daily Mail: 'Rape victim', 15, sentenced to 100 lashes in the Maldives for engaging in pre-marital sex Civilization bypassed this Islamic country where the victims are punished for completely involuntary events.

Sugar a predictor of diabetes

Guardian: ... Obesity is usually cited as the main driver of diabetes. But a new study by US medical researchers identifies sugar as a predictor of diabetes separately from obesity. ... The study "provides the first large-scale, population-based evidence for the idea that not all calories are equal from a diabetes risk standpoint", and suggests sugar has "a direct, independent link to diabetes", he added.  The more sugar was available in a country, the more diabetes it had, Basu's team found. For every extra 150 calories people in that country had from all sources, the prevalence of diabetes rose by 0.1%. But if those 150 calories came from sugar – about the amount in a 12-ounce can of soft drink – then the proportion of people with diabetes rose much more, by 1.1%. ... This does not surprise me at all.  One of the first things the doctors told me when I was diagnosed with diabetes was to drastically limit my sugar intake.  In my case the pancreas had sto

White House threatens Woodward for telling the truth

Business Insider: Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a "very senior person" at the White House warned him in an email that he would "regret doing this," the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester . CNN host Wolf Blitzer said that the network invited a White House official to debate Woodward on-air, but the White House declined. "I think they're confused," Woodward said of the White House's pushback on his reporting. Earlier today on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Woodward ripped into Obama in what has become an ongoing feud between the veteran Washington Post journalist and the White House. Woodward said Obama was showing a "kind of madness I haven't seen in a long time" for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns. The Defense Department said in early February that it would not deploy the U.S

Obama acts like an innocent bystander in release of illegals

Washington Times: White House: ICE to blame for release of illegals When it came to his dreamer regulations Obama did not have any trouble taking responsibility, but he acts like he is surprised at the release of people in detention.  This is another example of his irresponsible approach to the sequester.

Court squares off on 'racial entitlement'

Washington Post: The Supreme Court’s conservative justices strongly suggested Wednesday that a key portion of the Voting Rights Act is no longer justified and the time had come for Southern states to be freed from special federal oversight. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asked Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. whether it was the federal government’s contention that “the citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North.” Verrilli said that was not the government’s argument but that Congress decided in 2006 that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was still needed to protect the voting rights of minorities. The section requires nine states, mostly in the South, and local governments in other states to “pre-clear” any changes in voting laws with federal authorities. Justice Antonin Scalia responded by saying flatly that he thought it was “not the kind of question you can leave to Congress,” because it was impossible for elected representatives to vote against su

Obama playing games with defense cuts

LA Times: Only days before the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman was due to leave Norfolk, Va., for the Persian Gulf this month, the Pentagon abruptly canceled the deployment, pleading poverty. With cuts in the federal budget scheduled to take effect Friday, Pentagon officials said they feared that sending the carrier on a six-month cruise to the Middle East would empty their operations accounts. President Obama on Tuesday alluded to the decision to hold back the Truman. "The threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to cancel the deployment," he said in a speech in southeastern Virginia, a few miles from the Norfolk naval base. He sought to lay the responsibility for the imminent cuts on Congress , adding that "only Congress has the power to pass a law that stops these damaging cuts and replaces them" with more sensible alternatives. But on the same day that the Defense Department cuts are to begin, one of the Navy's newest vessels, the littoral combat ship

Al Qaeda hides in Mali hills

Fox News: Al Qaeda has established a vast mountain stronghold in Mali's lawless north, launching attacks and then melting into the rugged hills, which they vow will become an Afghanistan-style quagmire for North African governments and Western militaries, according to experts. Like Tora Bora, the mountain labyrinth in Afghanistan where Al Qaeda evaded Western militaries for years under Usama bin Laden, Mali's Tigharghar Mountain chain allows terrorists to strike within the region and then vanish when pursued, according to a new report by Stratfor, a Texas-based intelligence firm. Caves, tunnels and land mines have made the jagged mountains an impenetrable safe haven for the terrorists, who authorities say were behind last month's attack on an Algerian gas plant and yesterday's car bombing that killed six in Kidal, a key city in northern Mali. The terrorist groups are believed to be behind a month-old insurgency in Mali, which the government is fending off with help fr

Obama's carrier 'move' is madness

Bob Woodward is really taking on the Obama administration and its handling of the sequestration.

Hagel's insulting remarks about India still roil

Washington Post: The appointment of Chuck Hagel as the new U.S. secretary of defense Tuesday may have overcome fierce Republican opposition in the Senate, but it has stirred a fresh controversy here. A video clip of a speech Hagel made in 2011, which shows him being critical of India’s role in war-torn Afghanistan, was released by the Washington Free Beacon and is now being circulated among Indian foreign policy analysts. “India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border,” Hagel remarked in his speech at Oklahoma’s Cameron University. Officials in Islamabad have often accused India of using its consulates in Afghanistan for spying and for financing separatist rebels in Pakistan. Indian officials can be extremely touchy about their role in Afghanistan, a cautious and difficult balancing act of engaging with Kabul without upsetting its neighbor and nuclear rival Pakistan too much.

Is Karzai trying to lose war with Taliban?

Ralph Peters: In his latest act of ingrate treachery, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered US Special Forces out of Wardak Province, the back door to Kabul. His demand came two weeks after he halted US close air support for the Afghan National Army, crippling his own military’s capabilities. And that came atop multiple incidents when “our man in Kabul” blamed US troops for everything that went wrong in his wretched country. That’s what you get for $600 billion these days. Without our support and protection, Karzai would have been swinging from a lamp post years ago — just as his predecessor Najibullah did in 1996. But stuck in our strategic battered-wife syndrome, we’ve continued to make excuses every time Karzai lashed out at us. The decisive point came in 2009, when we let him steal the presidential election, discrediting all our rhetoric about democracy and the rule of law. After that, Karzai must’ve figured he had us by the “stacking swivel,” as my drill sergeant used to say

Who knew?

NY Times: Austerity Kills Government Jobs as Cuts to Budgets Loom The federal government is cutting back at a pace exceeded in the last half-century only by the military demobilizations after the Vietnam War and the cold war. And the reductions are set to deepen. Of course the idea is to cut spending which cuts government jobs, which have grown by absurd proportions under Obama.   After World War II Republicans cut spending by 40 percent and the economy boomed.  We should try that again.

There is no political advantage for GOP in voting for immigration reform

Center for Immigration Studies: Pro-Immigration Congressional Republicans Do Not Perform Better Among Latino Voters Why should we help those who hate us?

Not much...

Byron York: With cuts looming, what has Obama done to reduce cost of presidential travel? In fact, he would rather be campaigning than governing so he keeps leaving Washington with his expensive entourage.  Air Force One alone cost $180,000 an hour to use, then there are all the back up planes and transports to carry his limo and all of the entourage.  He certainly acts like he is not going to stop profligate spending.

China moves mobile missiles near islands Japan claims

Bill Gertz: United States intelligence agencies recently detected China’s military shifting road-mobile ballistic missiles closer to its southern coast near the disputed Senkaku Islands amid growing tensions between Beijing and Japan over the islands dispute. U.S. defense officials said the movements are being watched closely as China’s military is also holding large-scale military exercises that some fear could be a trigger for a conflict with Japan that could involve U.S. forces. The officials did not provide details of the missile movements that were tracked by U.S. aircraft, ship-based, and satellite surveillance systems in the region. Disclosure of the missile movements comes as White House national security adviser Tom Donilon on Monday met in Seoul with China’s state councilor Liu Yandong. The two were in South Korea to attend the inauguration of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Tensions remain high between Japan and China over Tokyo’s nationalization last year of several

Absentee ballot fraud in Florida

Fox News: A Florida case could signal the wave of the future in voter fraud. South Florida election officials have reportedly foiled a plot to fraudulently apply online for thousands of absentee ballots in three 2012 primaries, but the masterminds remain at large amid concern that they could be successful the next time around by making minor adjustments. Officials in the state’s Miami-Dade region said they blocked the effort to get 2,552 absentee ballots in three August primaries because the requests rolled in just minutes apart on July 7, 2012, according to The Miami Herald , which conducted its own investigation. A six-month grand jury probe found the requests were made under the cover of international Internet provider addresses and were limited to three races --- a congressional race in which the hackers tried to request absentee ballots for Democratic voters and two state legislative races in which they tried to get ballots for Republican voters. But the newspaper found at least

Unions ruined California schools

Conn Carroll: "Nothing is more determinative of our future than how we teach our children," California Gov. Jerry Brown said in his January State of the State address. "If we fail at this, we will sow growing social chaos and inequality that no law can rectify." Bad news, governor: California is already failing its children. And it wasn't always this way. According to RAND Corp., as late as the 1970s California's public schools still had an "excellent" reputation. Then, in 1975, Brown (in his first stint as California's governor) signed the Rodda Act, giving government unions the power to take money directly out of government employees' paychecks. The California Teachers Association quickly poured this new revenue stream into an organizing drive, more than doubling the union's ranks. The Golden State's politics have never been the same since -- nor has the quality of its public schools. Between 2000 and 2010, the CTA spent more th

Sequester and governors looking at 2016 election

Terry Jefflrey's make the case for honesty in dealing witht he sequester blame game, and Scott Walker looks like he is in a good strategic position if he chooses to run for President.

AG Abbott wants objective criteria for determining if border is secure

Mark Tapscott: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told a gathering of reporters in Washington, D.C. today that he would consider using state-owned drones in securing his state's border with Mexico. Asked if Texas should buy its own drones for use in border security, Abbott said "I would, it would be something to think about because with the drone you can actually see what is happening on the ground and it could help establish whether those objective criteria were being met." Abbott acknowledged the potential for invasion of privacy problems with drones but said he believed those worries could be satisfied. Earlier in the discussion, Abbott listed having objective criteria for determining whether a border area is sufficiently safe and secure for residents as a pre-requisite for resolution of immigration issues currently being debated in Congress. ... I think there are going to be excess drones available for use by the states with the withdrawal from Afghanistan.   While

Democrat effort in Texas more hype than reality

Austin American-Statesman: With a splash of national media attention, Democrats on Tuesday launched Battleground Texas, an effort to turn bright red Texas blue. The effort is the brainchild of some veterans of President Barack Obama’s campaign who hope to bring their political organizing and social media skills to a state that Jeremy Bird, a former national field director for the Obama campaign, acknowledged hasn’t elected a Democrat in 100 statewide races dating back to 1996. Hyped by a front-page story in Politico last month that generated a lot of buzz, what Battleground Texas actually unveiled Tuesday was very modest: a website and two on-the-ground organizers. The executive director is Jenn Brown, a native Californian who worked on both Obama presidential campaigns, serving as his field director in the critical battleground state of Ohio in 2012. The digital director is Christina Gomez, who is returning to her hometown of Austin from a stint in Washington as a digital strategist

Hezballah acts as Iran's clandestine force in Europe

Washington Post: The Israeli tourists on Arkia Airlines Flight 161 from Tel Aviv could not have known it, but their arrival in Cyprus July 6 was watched closely. A pair of trained eyes counted each passenger as the group exited the plane and boarded a shuttle, headed for resorts that had also been carefully studied and mapped. The bearded foreigner who silently tracked the Israelis had done his work well. He knew where the visitors would sleep, shop and eat. He knew how many security guards patrolled their hotel parking lots and how long it would take police to arrive from the station down the street. But the watcher was being watched. When Cypriot police picked him up, the Hezbollah operative quickly acknowledged what he was doing, although he claimed not to know why. “I was just collecting information about the Jews,” he told police, according to a sworn deposition. “This is what my organization is doing, everywhere in the world.” The arrest of Hossam Yaakoub, a Lebanese-born Swedi

Texas has top cities for finding good jobs

Forbes: Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a quick tour of California to remind business owners that life’s a whole lot easier in the Lone Star State. Perry’s California critics called him “Governor Oops” for his miscues during the presidential debates, and Gov. Jerry Brown dismissed the Texan’s recruiting drive as “not a burp,” and barely even a certain bodily release of gas. Laugh away, Californians. But Perry is playing the stronger hand here. Texas trounced the rest of the country our latest survey of the Best Cities for Good Jobs , with five metropolitan areas in the Top Ten, including the four best cities to find jobs in the next few years. (See Also: How We Picked The Best Cities For Jobs ) This year’s winner is Dallas , which shrugged off the Nov. 2011 bankruptcy of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. to rack up 2.1% job growth last year and is projected to continue adding jobs at a 2.8% rate through 2019 – more than 300,000 on top of the 2.1 million already in

F-22 causing pilot coughing fits

Daily Mail: The Air Force's stealth fighter pilots have been experiencing coughing fits in the cockpits of F-22's, a problem for which officials say they have no clear solution. Newly released congressional records show that the F-22's oxygen system, which has been criticized for causing hypoxia - which causes choking and leads to confusion, memory loss and blackouts - has also been reported to cause a condition called 'acceleration atelectasis.' 'Acceleration atelectasis results from pilots breathing high concentrations of oxygen (above 60 percent) while wearing anti-G trousers, and exposure to G-forces,' Maj. Gen. Gharles Lyon, who headed an investigation into the Air Force's Raptor steal fighters, wrote in response to questions following a September testimony before a House subcommittee. The condition causes chronic coughing, Lyon said. F-22 pilot Maj. Jeremy Gordon has described situations where a group of F-22 pilots will be gathered in single roo

Wikileaks material found in bin Laden raid

Guardian: The US government is planning to call an American, possibly one of the 22 Navy Seals involved in the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden , to give evidence at the trial of Bradley Manning about how he discovered digital material later revealed to contain WikiLeaks disclosures, a military court heard on Tuesday. Prosecutors intend to bring to the witness stand an anonymous man they are calling "John Doe" who would testify how he entered a room in the al-Qaida leader's hideout in Pakistan, grabbed three items of digital media and removed it. Later, four separate files of information were off-loaded with WikiLeaks contents on them. The testimony would be used, the prosecution said, to show that Bin Laden had actively sought access to the material Manning had passed to WikiLeaks. That in turn would provide supporting evidence for the most serious charge against the soldier – that he had "aided the enemy". Ashden Fein, the lead prosecution lawyer

Taliban attacks understated in NATO report

BBC: US-led military forces in Afghanistan have admitted that an error led them to mistakenly claim a fall in the number of attacks by the Taliban last year. A report posted on the website of the Nato-led Isaf force had claimed that there had been a 7% drop in Taliban attacks in 2012. However, after being queried the figure was removed from the site. The error is likely to embarrass Isaf which has been insisting the militants are in decline, correspondents say. The Associated Press news agency reports that it inquired about the missing figures when they were taken down from Isaf's site without explanation. Isaf spokeswoman Erin Stattel told the BBC that "during a quality control check, Isaf recently became aware that some data was incorrectly entered into the database that is used for tracking security-related incidents across Afghanistan. ...  Jennifer Griffin of Fox News reported this evening that the error was caused by failing to include data from the Afghan National

Iran to pursue plutonium reactor for bomb making?

Telegraph: The Telegraph can disclose details of activity at a heavily-guarded Iranian facility from which international inspectors have been barred for 18 months. The images, taken earlier this month, show that Iran has activated the Arak heavy-water production plant. Heavy water is needed to operate a nuclear reactor that can produce plutonium, which could then be used to make a bomb. The images show signs of activity at the Arak plant, including a cloud of steam that indicates heavy-water production. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been unable to visit the facility since August 2011 and Iran has refused repeated requests for information about the site, which is 150 miles south-west of the capital, Tehran. Western governments and the IAEA have held information about activity at Arak for some time. But today’s exclusive images are the first to put evidence of that activity into the public domain. The details of Iran’s plutonium programme emerged as the w

Sequester survival stories

Phil Gramm: President Obama's message could not be clearer: Life as we know it in America will change dramatically on March 1, when automatic cuts are imposed to achieve $85 billion in government-spending reductions. Furloughed government employees, flight delays and criminals set free are among the dire consequences the president has predicted. If the Washington Monument weren't already closed for repairs, no doubt it too would be shut down. Scare tactics such as these are similar to the ones that were made when I co-authored the first sequester legislation in 1985, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act. The 1986 sequester was triggered anyway, but the predicted disaster never came. The nation survived then. It will now. The president's response to the sequester demonstrates how out of touch he is with the real world of working families. Even after the sequester, the federal government will spend $15 billion more than it did last yea

DHS admits it has not had operation control of over half the border

Terrence Jeffrey: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security no longer uses control of the actual border as a measure of how well the Border Patrol is doing its job, according to written testimony  released today by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO said that by the end of fiscal 2010, the Border Patrol had been able secure “operational control” of only 44 percent of the U.S.-Mexico border. Then, with 56 percent of the border not under “operational control,” DHS simply stopped using “operational control” as a measure of the Border Patrol’s performance. Since then, DHS has counted the number of illegal border crossers the Border Patrol apprehends, and used this count as an “interim” measure of whether the Border Patrol is accomplishing its mission. According to GAO, this “interim” measure limits DHS’s accountability and Congress’s ability to conduct oversight of the department. “At the end of fiscal year 2010, DHS reported achieving varying levels of operational control of 8

The downside of wind energy ... If we were to cover the entire Earth with wind farms, he notes, "the system could potentially generate enormous amounts of power, well in excess of 100 terawatts, but at that point my guess, based on our climate modeling, is that the effect of that on global winds, and therefore on climate, would be severe—perhaps bigger than the impact of doubling CO2." ... The good news is that the wind does not always blow.  What we do know is that alternative energy is not consistent.

Court finds your paranoia does not give you standing to sue

CNN: Justices block lawsuit over foreign intelligence surveillance The court said you had to show you actually had one of your conversations intercepted while talking to a terrorist.  It was a pretty screwy lawsuit and the only thing surprising about the results is that it was a 5-4 vote rather than unanimous.

GAO says Obamacare adds $6.2 trillion to deficit

Sen. Jeff Sessions explains how Obama misled country about the cost of health care law.

Obama travels a long way to avoid talking to Harry Reid about sequester

He want go the 1.5 miles to Reid's office to tell him to pass a plan.

Releasing the Blind Sheik would lead to more killing

NBC News: An FBI informant who has helped catch some of the world's most dangerous terrorists is coming out of witness protection to warn that a terrorist sheik in prison remains a significant threat to the U.S. Emad Salem is urging the U.S. to keep the ailing 74-year-old sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, often known as the Blind Sheik, behind bars and to not transfer him, even as governments overseas continue to press for his release. "He will kill Americans," said Salem. "He will kill anyone who disputes what he says with a fatwa." Salem, a one-time Egyptian military officer, had warned officials about the looming 1993 World Trade Center bombing, but his warnings were ignored after a lie-detector test was inconclusive and he said he would never testify at any trial. After the bombing, Salem agreed to become an FBI informant and managed to become the sheik’s personal assistant and bodyguard. Salem was able to record the sheik ordering the killing of Americans during h