Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Results of Cornell Natural Gas Study a Foregone Conclusion

Yesterday, I noted a study coming out of Cornell University that states that natural gas development and use is as dirty or dirtier than oil and coal. It is my contention that this peer reviewed article is a worthless piece of doctored data produced for the express purpose of using it to inhibit the drilling of natural gas in New York. I thank the Lonely Conservative and Left Coast Rebel for picking up on the story and adding an interesting, yet not surprising aspect that I didn't know about. More on this later.

It was also my contention that this study would be used by environmental leftist's as a, see I told you so lets end the debate right here, canard. Right on cue the articles start flying. I will link only a few as examples. There are more and can easily be found with a google search, but they all say the same thing. NYT, HuffP0, and Democratic Underground. I offered my rebuttal here. See Energy in Depth for much more detailed information.

The whole affair reminds me of the APG hoax. Where an outcome was pre-ordained and all that was needed was some data to support it. So statistics are manipulated to show something that doesn't exist, or that exists only as a natural phenomenon. In this case we have a undoubtedly brilliant scientist who needed data and a study to support his contention and belief that hydraulic fracturing was inherently unsafe. Why do I say pre-ordained? Sam Foster, at Lonely Conservative has unearthed a video showing lead author Dr. Robert Howarth leading a rally of environmentalists condemning natural gas drilling while touting the findings of his yet to be published study. This was in September 2010. Either Dr. Howarth is woefully slow in getting studies published or he knew what the results would be before he ever looked at the numbers.

Need I say: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics!


Here he is, in April 2010 boldly predicting that natural gas has a far greater "carbon footprint" than oil/coal. Interestingly his initial report on the subject had to be pulled because of a major error of not including the methane leaks from coal mines in the data, prompting the author to admit, "I blew it". A second try is viewable at Technology Review, titled Preliminary Assessment of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Natural Gas obtained by Hydraulic Fracturing. The first report has been removed. A few things jumped out at me as I read this report, "This estimate is highly uncertain...", "These numbers should be treated with caution." This sounds a lot like what we are hearing from this most recent study. I refer you to the video embedded below. Posted to Youtube this month, it is a presentation by the authors regarding the study which is to be released tomorrow. Thanks to Energy in Depth for the transcription....

  • Howarth: “They are limited data. These are not published data. These are things teased apart out of PowerPoint presentations here and there. So rather than try to extrapolate based on any complicated formula, we’ve ended up simply taking the mean of those values.” (Howath presentation to colleagues, 22:30, March 15, 2011)
  • Howarth: “A lot of the data we used are really low quality, but I’m confident that they are the best available data.” (38:50)
  • Howarth: “Let me just as an aside say that, again, the quality of the data behind that number [methane emissions during well completion] are pretty lousy. You know, they’re these weird PowerPoint sort of things.” (44:15)
  • Ingraffea: “We do not intend for you to accept what we have reported on today as the definitive scientific study in respect to this question, clearly it is not. We have pointed out as many times as we could that we are basing this study on in some cases questionable data.” (38:20)
  • Ingraffea: “I hope you don’t gather from this presentation that we think we’re right.” (57:15)
  • Howarth: “We did not look as carefully at coal. … We didn’t put anywhere near the amount of effort into them [coal numbers], but I’m sure they are lower than natural gas.” (39:10 – 40:08)

I shouldn't have to tell a scientist that if the information you are using to draw conclusions is crap, the results of your analysis will be crap! President Obama was supposed to usher in the Age of Science, instead we are left with scientists (and doctors) using their position and prestige to advocate their own political agenda.

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Tim Pawlenty: I am Running For President



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New Mexico Mayor, Police Chief Arrested on Gun Smuggling Charges


[Columbus, NM/Palomas , Chihuahua Border Crossing: Photo- Through Gates of Grace blog]
The mayor (of conspicuously indeterminate political affiliation), chief of police and village trustee of a small New Mexico border town were arrested by federal law enforcement officers last month on charges of illegally transporting firearms they had purchased to Mexico. The Federal indictment alleges that at least a dozen of the guns purchased were recovered in Mexico while Vega used his law enforcement credentials to purchase body armour and other tactical gear unavailable to the general public and re-sell it to Mexican criminals.
The defendants charged in the 84-count indictment include Angelo Vega, the Columbus chief of police; Eddie Espinoza, the mayor of Columbus; and Blas Gutierrez, a village trustee in Columbus. Ten of the 11 defendants were arrested without incident Thursday morning by teams of federal, state and local law enforcement officers, and will make their initial appearances Friday in the federal courthouse in Las Cruces, N.M.

The officers also executed 10 search warrants at eight residences, one business and the Columbus Police Department office.

The indictment is the result of an intensive yearlong investigation initiated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and ICE Homeland Security Investigations, that later expanded to include the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Las Cruces Branch Office.

The indictment alleges that, between January 2010 and March 2011, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to purchase firearms for illegal export to Mexico. The defendants allegedly obtained firearms from Chaparral Guns by falsely claiming they were the actual purchasers of the firearms, when in fact they were acting as "straw purchasers" who were buying the firearms on behalf of others, according to the indictment.

[You can read the full indictment (PDF file) here]

According to the El Paso Times Chief Vega has had prior run-ins with the law over the last 16 years.

in 1996, he was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of extortion, a third-degree felony, and two counts of intimidation of a witness, a fourth-degree felony. The charges stemmed from a 1995 incident in Lincoln County when Vega allegedly threatened a woman who had been wrongfully arrested a day earlier, telling her that she would be prosecuted unless she agreed to work as an undercover narcotics officer and sign a written apology in which she agreed that her arrest was appropriate. Vega made the threats even though he knew at the time that paperwork was being prepared to dismiss charges against the woman, according to the grand jury record. He eventually reached a plea agreement with then Attorney General Tom Udall in which he pleaded guilty to one count of false imprisonment, a misdemeanor.

In 1998 he was appointed police chief by Carrizozo Mayor Manny Hernandez. After being arrested in 2001 on stalking and harassment charges, which were later dropped, Vega departed in early 2005 to accept a job with the New Mexico Juvenile Justice Division. It was in 2006 that then state Sen. Lee Rawson publicly voiced concerns about Vega's criminal background, even bringing his concerns to then Gov. Bill Richardson.

"I think this is a personal attack toward me, and it's very unfortunate," Vega said at the time.

After resigning for "personal reasons" in June 2006 as director of the J. Paul Taylor Juvenile Justice Center, the state's Southern New Mexico juvenile jail west of Las Cruces, Vega moved up to the top law enforcement position in Mesilla, town marshal, on March 12, 2007.


Several months after a dispute with former Mayor Michael Cadena, Vega was removed from office March 11, 2008, a day short of what would have been one year in office. He was reinstated that June, but resigned the next February to become the village chief of police in Columbus.

Columbus trustees unanimously approved his hiring.

Columbus as seen from Pancho Villa State Park: Image- Wikipedia
The village of about 1700 abuts the town of Palomas in the northern portion of the Mexican state of Chihuahua and is perhaps best known for being raided by Pancho Villa in 1916. Presently it is home to the nearby Pancho Villa State Park. Over the last five years, however, Columbus has had no less than 8 police chiefs, with mayor Espinoza disbanding the entire police force at one point.

After the arrests of Vega and Espinoza, the Luna County Sheriff Raymond Cobos had recommended to the Columbus board of trustees that they suspend the remaining three police officers on the force until they could be independently vetted and cleared of any wrongdoing.

George Allen Raises $1.5 Million

Former U.S. Senator George Allen, who announced his campaign to reclaim his old Senate seat in January, has raised about $1.5 million in the campaign's first quarter of fundraising, which equals to nearly $150,000 raised per week. News of the successful fundraising efforts by Allen has made Republicans giddy.

Quite impressive.

Senator Allen is likely to face off against former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine next November in what political pundits are predicting to be a world class dogfight in the midst of another expensive and close Presidential election.

Incumbent Senator James Webb, a freshmen pro-military Democrat, is retiring.

What say you?

Mubarak Heart Attack

 There is word that former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak has suffered a heart attack. The former strongman is 82 and was reportedly in poor health before the popular uprising that threw him out of power earlier this year.
 From FoxNews:

The ex-leader was taken to a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh two days after reports that he was about to be summoned for questioning.

"Mubarak was admitted to the Sharm el-Sheikh International Hospital this afternoon, amid a very heavy security presence in the town," a security source said.

A hospital source refused to comment on the news and said that "the minister of health will make an announcement" shortly.

Mubarak was admitted by his bodyguards to the VIP wing of the hospital, state television reported, adding that the hospital was not accepting any patients except for emergency cases.

Police cars and ambulances surrounded the hospital, as well as a heavy military police presence, state television said.


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Obama Budget Speech Live, April 13, 2011


Live Broadcast by Ustream.TV

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Introducing Pundit Picks

 We here at Pundit Press pride ourselves at being able to provide you with the latest political and world news. We offer insight and breaking news before many other sources carry it.

So in that tradition we have decided to add "Pundit Picks" of important pieces around the net and blogosphere. It's at the right hand column-- check it out everyday.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to send them to punditpress-at-gmail.com.

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Poll: Public Angst at Obama Plans

 The Washington Post has a new poll out showing widespread dissatisfaction with the policies of President Obama and the direction of Washington in general.

The Washington Post/Pew poll also showed other bad news for all parties involved. Asked to define how they viewed the process, the most popular word employed by people who were polled was “ridiculous,” followed by “disgusting.”

The CNN survey suggested that many non-Democrats blamed Obama. His high approval ratings came almost entirely from self-identified Democrats; only 12 percent of them disapproved of how the president handled the budget agreement. Much larger numbers of Democrats (23 percent) didn’t like how Reid managed the issue, and many Republicans (27 percent) did not approve of how Boehner handled it.

Yikes... "disgusting"?

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Bipartisan Marcellus Shale Caucus Formed

Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
Aiming to educate colleagues and constituents, Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, is forming a special caucus on the Marcellus Shale natural gas play.

Joined by co-chair Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., Mr. Critz sent a letter last month to colleagues in Pennsylvania and nearby states that sit atop the Marcellus formation asking them to participate. The duo conceived the idea during a retreat for new members of Congress in January.

"We want to bring industry in and we want to bring in folks who are on the other side of the equation and get the full realm of the discussion going," Mr. Critz said. "Our goal mainly is to dispel any of the myths or untruths that are being talked about."

The "myths or untruths" mostly center on environmental concerns, Mr. Critz said, citing a recent New York Times article on potential radioactive contamination of Pennsylvania rivers that prompted a pushback from the state Department of Environmental Protection, which said its tests showed acceptable radiation levels.

Energy In Depth more details:

Last Thursday evening – with tens of Americans tuned into C-Span – the newly formed bipartisan Marcellus Shale Caucus, co-chaired by Congressmen Mark Critz (D-PA) and Tom Reed (R-NY), took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to highlight the economic, energy, environmental and national security benefits associated with the responsible development of clean-burning, American natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation.

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Trump: I'd Run as an Independent if I Don't Win the GOP Nomination

 Whoa.

This could be a massive, massive deal in the political world. Real estate magnate Donald Trump has made a lot of waves recently, but this may be the biggest.

In an interview, he says that if he does not secure the Republican nomination for President, he would "probably" run for President as an independent.

“I hate what’s happening to the country,” said Mr. Trump, a real estate tycoon and host of the NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice.” He will not formally make a decision until June, however, when this season of his television show is over. “I can’t run during the airing of that show,” Mr. Trump said, “I’m not allowed to.” But he said he would make an announcement “by June” and his candidacy looks increasingly likely.

This could secure another term for Obama if he carries through with it.

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Smoking Gun Audio: Wisconsin Teacher Protest a Coordinated Sick Out


I don't think anyone really considered the actions of the Wisconsin Teachers Union and their members in last months protest of the Wisconsin budget battle as anything other than a sick out. The only thing lacking was proof, but in an odd quirk of fate that is exactly what fell into the lap or voicemail of concerned citizen.

Blaska's Blogs has the sordid details including an audio recording of a pre-meditated, union authorized job action consisting of a phone tree with teachers calling other teachers for the express purpose of closing down schools.

This type of action is prohibited by union contract and illegal under Wisconsin Statute Chapter 111.84(2)(e):(e) To engage in, induce or encourage any employees to engage in a strike, or a concerted refusal to work or perform their duties as employees.

A message received by Vicki McKenna last week started it all.
-----Original Message-----

From: [REDACTED]]
Sent: Fri 4/8/2011 7:04 PM
To: McKenna, Vicki
Subject: Madison teachers coordinating sick out

Hi Vicki,

My name is Matt [redacted]. (I prefer you not use my name on the air.) I live in Madison. Someone left a voicemail in error on my home phone back in February during the Madison school "sick out". At the time I didn't pay much attention to the message, but I didn't delete it. I just went back to listen to it today. Based on the names mentioned in the voicemail, it sounds like a teacher at Falk Elementary accidentally called my number and left a message that was intended for another teacher at Falk. She talks about calling other teachers, meeting at Falk at 7:30, and then meeting MTI on MLK Blvd for a rally at 9:00.

She says that "MTI recommends calling in sick again." Based on the names she mentions, I looked up the staff at Falk and found all of the names:

Amy Covey (she is the one who left the message)
James W. Wilson (This is who she was calling. I looked up his phone number and found it is one digit off from mine, so it makes sense she accidentally called me instead.)
Anne Bauman
Elizabeth Soules
Mathew E. Thompson

I realize that if they had doctors' excuses, there may not be much that can be or will be done to them, but isn't coordinating their absences like this

illegal? I was going to send a note to a couple of school board members asking them about it, but I'm not sure this is the best thing to do.

Thanks

Matt

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Bottom's Up



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Real Political Courage: Burning a Koran in Iran.

Koran burning seems to be catching fire (pardon the pun) in some unlikely places.


(The Washington Times) Two anonymous young men in Iran, one Iranian and one Afghan, have burned a Koran in protest. This seven-and-a-half minute long video shows the two men, their faces obscured, holding the Muslim holy book and reading prepared statements. They say that Arabs have foisted this book and their homelands and because of it they have gone backwards for 1400 years. They say they dislike the Koran and want it to disappear, adding "Viva freedom!"

Afterwards they stand the Koran on a flat rock, douse it alcohol and light it. One of them hoots and laughs. The book burns fiercely, and after a few moments one of them sprays more alcohol into the flames. The video ends with them warming their hands over the blazing book.

H/T Weasel Zippers

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Budget Deal Better Than it Might Seem at First Glance

I have been in a bit of a war with some facebook friends who are pissed that Speaker Boenher didn't hold out for $100 billion in cuts from the budget that was promised and while I agree that $38 billion is a rather paltry sum in a trillion dollar budget there are some intangibles to the deal that makes it much better.

Healthcare BS makes the case for me:

First, the cuts were actually deeper than those Boehner had originally proposed. That’s not a bad thing. But the deal also includes a number of features that our friends in the “news” media neglected to mention:

The agreement reached with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care in its entirety.

A Senate debate and a vote on ObamaCare debate would never have happened without this deal. And Boehner’s deal will also require variety of ObamaCare audits, not the least being:

A full audit of all the waivers that the Obama Administration has given to firms and organizations—including unions—who can’t meet the new annual coverage limits.

This is a much bigger thing than most realize. As I pointed out in my most recent column for the American Spectator, these waivers are in some ways more dangerous than the individual mandate.

So, the budget deal will shine some sunlight on the corruption that underlies the ObamaCare waivers and force the Senate Democrats to go on record as supporting a health care law the voters want repealed.

Not a bad day’s work, Speaker Boehner.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Republicans Criticize Romney Video Announcement

Former Governor Mitt Romney has announced the long awaited formation of a 2012 presidential exploratory committee, but instead of discussing whether he can win next year - Republicans are criticizing his campaign announcement for lacking passion and theatrics.

You've got to be kidding me.

With the first state primaries under ten months away, individuals within our movement are actually more annoyed by the way he announced his campaign than whether it has substance, or if he can remove the "Romneycare" monkey from his back, which is becoming more and more unlikely.

Has the world gone insane?

Until the late 1800's it was considered immoral for someone to want the highest office in the land - it had to want them. Now, it seems, the person must release a well made campaign video to accompany his run, or else he is not really serious about governing the greatest nation on earth, and in fact is insulting the office.

I am completely bewildered by this newfound obsession with campaign vanity.

Abe Lincoln, well known rail splitter, is rolling in his grave.

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The Cardiac Cycle Simplified

Been through this cycle more than once. Clarity added....



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Natural Gas is Dirty, Cornell Has the Data!

In February of this year Steven Hayward warned us that the Green's would double cross natural gas and he was right. According to the "Hayward's First Law of Green Thermodynamics", "There is no source of energy, no matter how clean, that the left-environmentalists won't oppose if it becomes practical to scale up." The man is evidently prescient as he saw this coming more three months ago. As an example, take Henry S. F. Cooper, Jr., now Chairman of Otsego 2000, a group of useful and vocal idiots opposing any and all drilling of natural gas in upstate New York.

In 2007 he penned an editorial for the New York Times titled appropriately, Idiot Wind. In it he makes the argument, not that wind power isn't clean, but that it is too cumbersome, inefficient. Too much of a stain on the natural beauty of things to go into full scale production. He wonders aloud if imposing moratoriums on wind farm development might be an appropriate antecedent prior to eliminating the practice altogether. He bemoans the need to include environmental factors, including visual impacts, the effects of wind turbines on noise pollution and the tragic death and dismemberment of bats and birds. That wind power is too "iffy" a resource for him and his ilk to sacrifice for such a their expensive view for energy independence. Never mind, that "Wind provides 35% of all new generation since 2005", or that the Pennsylvania game commission documents low bird and bat impact for PA wind energy.

He closes his treatise with this improbable plea:
Wind has a role to play, but perhaps not as strong a one as other clean energy sources, especially those like safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal, which provide not erratic but constant energy. We need to think carefully about where we place wind farms and whether the benefits outweigh the losses. But more important, we can’t let wind power, and projects like the Jordanville one, distract our attention and financial resources from better solutions for saving our planet. Wind may be something of a red herring hidden inside a pork barrel.
Safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal? I would like to hear his thoughts on this now, a mere three years later. Of course, I don't need to ask, I know the answer. Otsego 2000 is a vocal opponent to natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale formation. Natural gas was always considered a clean burning fuel. That is until it became practical for large scale development. In February, Steven Hayward warned that the Green lobby would turn on natural gas and he was absolutely correct.

I have followed the debate and propaganda regarding Marcellus shale development closely over the past few months and it is no surprise that a "study" from Cornell University was released today purporting that natural gas development is more harmful to the environment than oil and coal. The Hill published an article this morning titled, "Study: Gas from 'fracking' worse than coal on climate." Since then, a press release has been issued, stating that "Methane Leaks Can Make 'Dirtier' Than Coal and Oil".

As environmental groups mobilize to ban natural gas production in New York look for this to be argument du jour. It will be like the arguments presented in the New York Times by Henry S. F. Cooper, Jr regarding wind energy. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Already there is push back regarding the validity of these results and they come from the authors of the study. I refer you to Energy In Depth, an invaluable and honest resource to anyone interested in the this issue. The Cornell has yet to be issued, yet is generating lots of press, here and here. Which is why some perspective must be vigorously presented and vociferously defended.

  • The Methane made me do it: The Studies conclusions rely almost entirely on the application of a Global Warming Potential (GWP) that is almost 45% higher for natural gas than the one cited by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007
  • Faulty data leads to faulty analysis and even the study's authors admit their data is "lousy"
  • Lost and Unaccounted for Gas (LUG) relies on non peer reviewed Texas trade magazine that is no longer in circulation
  • The author's estimates on pipeline leakage relies on data and assumptions that are completely irrelevant to the Marcellus shale
  • Politics and science don't mix, but I repeat myself
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Communist Cuba To Expand Gulf Oil Drilling

Comrades!!!!!!

Communist Cuba has announced plans to expand drilling in their own Gulf oil reserves, which are estimated to hold 20 billion barrels worth of sweet crude, within the next two years*. Over half of Cuba's annual oil consumption comes from oil imported by Venezuela.

My mouth nearly hit the floor.

Because this comes as the United States government continues to stonewall our oil companies via the permit process, and federal regulations, from drilling in American waters, even though we use more oil in just three days than Cuba uses in one entire year.

This is absolutely enraging.

I wonder if President Obama will promise to import Cuba's oil reserves as well.

* - America's Gulf oil production has actually declined since last year.

Video- Mitt Romney Running for President, Launch Video

No big shock:  Mitt Romney is running for President.  Here's his launch video:


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Seattle School Renames Easter Eggs 'Spring Spheres'

In the "What the..." category comes this new story:  A Seattle Elementary school has renamed Easter eggs "Spring Spheres" so as to not offend an, as yet, unnamed group of students.

Now, personally, I don't know why a bunny delivers Easter eggs, and I certainly don't believe in such a thing, but I certainly don't find it offensive to me.  And here's another idea: if you don't want to call eggs "Easter eggs," why don't you just call them "eggs?"

More from this news site:
A sophomore at a local private high school thinks an effort to make Easter politically correct is ridiculous. 
Jessica, 16, told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson Show that a week before spring break, the students commit to a week-long community service project. She decided to volunteer in a third grade class at a public school, which she would like to remain nameless. 
"At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that," Jessica said.
She was concerned how the teacher might react to the eggs after of a meeting earlier in the week where she learned about "their abstract behavior rules." 
"I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay," Jessica explained. "She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat 'spring spheres.' I couldn't call them Easter eggs."
Now called "Spring Spheres" by a school in Seattle

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NATO Strikes Save Ajdabiyah

Ever since Muammar Gaddafi's forces were able to repel Rebel advances in his home town, Sirt, the conflict has gone from bad to worse for the NATO backed insurgents, despite recent efforts to launch more air strikes on Gaddafi forces, which inclucdes Libyan tanks and military installations.

However, there is some excellent news from Ajdabiyah - where the Rebels have been under fierce siege in one of their last strongholds West of Benghazi - and it involves another barrage of air strikes saving the Rebel mission at their weakest moment.

NATO, which has recently come under scrutiny for not strongly supporting the anti-Gaddafi forces, launched numerous strikes and destroyed 11 Libyan tanks on the verge of attacking yesterday. The attacks most likely saved the Rebels in Ajdabiyah, because it allowed them to capture Gaddafi's men within the city and regain control of the crucial intersections.

Our allies in Libya cannot defeat Gaddafi unless we're in it to defeat him as well. We must stop pussyfooting around, and authorize absolute war to remove the despot from power before he succeeds in destroying the honorable opposition.

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France to Enforce Burqa Ban Today

It in now a crime to wear a burqa in public in France. Women will be forced to show their faces in public. Cue riots in 3, 2, 1...



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Alone in the dark (with new tsunami footage)

75 year old Japanese man found living in his farmhouse weeks after tsunami hit.

No electricity, no running water, dead pigs in the front yard. His neighbors evacuated when the tsunami hit, but he was unable to because he could barely walk to his front gate. The only thing he had was a battery-powered radio.

He doesn't even know what happened to his wife. Did she leave before the tsunami, or afterwards? Is she even still alive? At this point, no one even knows. Maybe we will never know at all.

There's more here at this link, although it is most notable for the video of the tsunami waves hitting the sea wall.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Conscience Opposition Protected in Illinois

From Secondhand Smoke:
An attempt by the State of Illinois to force pharmacists to dispense emergency contraceptives against their personal religious beliefs has been thwarted by an Illinois Circuit Court. This is an important case because of its potential U.S. Constitutional implications as its potential impact the broader medical conscience issue going forward.
Good!

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More Election Shenanigans in Wisconsin?

The Journal Sentinal, Milwaukee's newspaper, reports that the Milwaukee District Attorney's office and the state Government Accountability Board will hold a joint news conference tomorrow, 4/11/11 at 2pm, to discuss the results of a "significant investigation." The comments section is ripe with speculation that this is related to the Supreme Court race, but there is no indication to that as yet.

Readers of this blog know that Wisconsin has been the site of significant voter fraud by democrat operatives in recent years.

Blogger Randy Melchert, reports that the "Director of Government Accountability Board confirms tomorrows investigation announcement is NOT related to last week's election."

Should be interesting, regardless....
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Federal Workers Worried About a Shutdown Should Do What Doctors Do....

Go to work anyway.

Disaster narrowly averted, the government is still operating and federal workers have nothing to worry about, but the argument holds. In a interesting article Dr. Edwin Leap, posting at KevinMD asks some interesting questions about how healthcare providers are treated and what their underlying motivations. It is worth your time to read the whole thing, but an excerpt:

It is ironic, but hardly surprising, that the government suddenly so concerned with being unfunded continually demands unfunded work from hospitals and medical providers. Or at best, expects underfunded work.

I ask you, friends and colleagues in the world of medicine, how many physicians see patients at the markedly reduced Medicare rate, the criminally reduced Medicaid rate or the tyrannical EMTALA rate of zero!

How many physicians, in attempting to do the right thing, find their care denied by Medicare on technicalities, or suddenly find themselves targeted for fraud for misunderstanding the complexities of the already inappropriately low compensation the government pays them?

Federal workers are better paid, with better compensation packages, than their private sector counterparts. Yet, when there is a risk to livelihood there is no benevolence. Why?Please bookmark!

Wave of a Lifetime?


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Marcellus Shale Gas May Head Overseas

H/T Washington Examiner via the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review

Drilling companies rapidly expanding their U.S. operations in places such as Pennsylvania's vast Marcellus Shale formation repeatedly tout they are providing American jobs and securing the nation's energy future.

Yet, a Tribune-Review examination found foreign companies are buying significant shares of these drilling projects and making plans for facilities to liquify and ship more of that natural gas overseas.

A leading player in the natural gas grab is China, whose thirst for energy to fuel its industrial explosion is growing rapidly. Others include the governments of South Korea and India, and companies in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Japan and Australia.

"They're going to come in, extract all this stuff for next-to-nothing, and make global profits off it," said Pittsburgh Councilman Doug Shields. "This is beads for Manhattan, in a global sense."

Much of the salesmanship to promote gas exploration nationwide, and especially in Pennsylvania, pressed the point that the country must become less dependent upon foreign energy sources.

It avoided discussion about exporting that gas overseas.

"The implications are great," said Paul Cicio, president of Industrial Energy Consumers of America, which represents large U.S. manufacturers. He believes exporting newfound natural gas is a strategic blunder that will cost American manufacturing jobs by hiking the price of gas here.

"This is not good for our country," he said.

Bill Newman, a New York lawyer who often represents foreign clients, sees things differently. "We have a shortage of capital in this country," he said. "In the 19th century, the railroads almost broke us." He said he believes foreign investment in the United States can work like it did in supporting the railroads.

Patrick Henderson, senior adviser on energy matters to Gov. Tom Corbett, said the possible export of Marcellus gas overseas "doesn't hurt the argument that we need to develop the resource." He said it underscores that the United States needs to develop technology that uses natural gas.

"Exporting is generally a good thing, though our first choice would be to use it here," he said. Corbett doesn't believe Pennsylvania should tax Marcellus Shale gas aimed for overseas because it would be difficult "to craft a tax" based on where the gas is used, he said.

The relatively new technology called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to free gas from deep shale formations is helping America move from importing natural gas to potentially supplying it to the world.

Foreign companies generally are investing in Marcellus Shale because they want a good return, rather than assets, said Kathryn Klaber, president of Marcellus Shale Coalition.

"We should be celebrating the foreign investment that is helping to finance domestic energy production and that is benefiting Pennsylvanians in the prices they're paying for energy," Klaber said.

Pennsylvania sits above the sweet spot for one of the world's largest natural gas deposits, trapped in a rock layer a mile below the surface known as Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry trade group, issued a report last week saying the United States could take advantage of that gas by converting more vehicles to use it. Many vehicles in South Korea, for example, are powered by natural gas instead of gasoline.

The United States could become an exporter of liquified natural gas because supply and demand determines gas sales here, whereas sales in Asian markets and Europe are formulated on the price of oil. Sometimes, Cicio said, that works in the United States' favor when oil is cheap, but it can hurt when oil rises in price.

Foreign countries will do what it takes to get natural resources they need, said Mel Packer, an organizer with Marcellus Protest, a citizens group based in Washington, Pa., that opposes drilling because of environmental concerns.

"They're going to buy them where they can get them," Packer said. "If that means buying whole Corp.s to get the assets, that's what they're going to do."

Two companies — Cheniere Energy Partners and Freeport LNG Development — are seeking government permits to export liquified gas, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

A Chinese firm, ENN Energy Trading Co., signed a memorandum of understanding to send 1.5 million tons of natural gas from Cheniere, a Houston-based company operating the Sabine Pass port in Louisiana.

"We are excited to participate in supplying natural gas to China," Cheniere CEO Charif Souki said in a news release.

Two other port companies are expected to seek permission soon, said Biliana Pehlivanova, a natural gas analyst with Barclay's Capital investment bank in New York.

One is Virginia-based Dominion Resources, which has Pittsburgh offices and owns a liquified natural gas terminal and port in Cove Point, Md. The facility could be converted into an export facility for Marcellus Shale gas by 2015, but spokesman Dan Donovan said the company has not decided whether to do so and has not sought export permits.

"We are talking to our producers," he said.

Dominion's Cove Point facility takes in imported liquified natural gas from BP in Great Britain, Shell in the Netherlands and Statoil in Norway. Statoil and Shell are investing heavily in the Marcellus formation.

Last year, Warrendale-based East Resources sold its Marcellus interests to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion. Last month, Statoil, which has a $3.375 billion partnership agreement with the largest Marcellus leaseholder, Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy, said it might drill as many as 17,000 Marcellus wells over two decades.

Other foreign companies with Marcellus Shale interests are Mitsui and Sumitomo from Japan, the BP group from Great Britain, Atinum from South Korea and Reliance Industries from India.

The Chinese National Offshore Oil Corp. tried to break into the American energy market in 2005, when it bid $18.5 billion to take over Unocal. It withdrew the offer after a political firestorm on Capitol Hill.

In 2009, CNOOC succeeded in entering the American market, if not exactly on land. It partnered with Statoil on four oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico. This time, no one protested.

In November, Chesapeake announced it would sell a third of its holdings in a Texas shale oil field called Eagle Ford to CNOOC for $2.2 billion. Statoil and Korea National Oil Corp. recently invested in Eagle Ford.

This year, CNOOC took a one-third share of Chesapeake's leases in two oil and gas fields in Colorado and Wyoming for $1.27 billion in direct costs and drilling expenses.

The Chinese have more connections to Chesapeake, but the extent isn't known. Chesapeake spokesman Jim Gipson said the company generally limits disclosures to those required by regulators.

Last year, Chesapeake said it sold $600 million in convertible preferred shares to "investors in Asia," without specifying countries. The company disclosed a separate sale of preferred stock to investors including affiliates of the China Investment Corp., the sovereign fund of the People's Republic of China.

Even though China has interest in American gas, it has untapped shale gas reserves that are 12 times higher than its traditional gas reserves, the U.S. Energy Department said last week.

Pittsburgh geologist Greg Wrightstone said China falls behind when it comes to technology to recover the gas and could learn by partnering with an experienced firm such as Chesapeake.

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao addressed that problem in a formal statement announcing the "U.S.-China Shale Gas Resource Initiative" in 2009.

"The United States is a leader in shale gas technology and developing shale gas resources in a way that mitigates environmental risks," they said. "Bringing this expertise to China will provide economic opportunities for both the U.S. and China."

How long will we persist in squandering our natural resources!



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State GOP Push Incentives For Natural Gas Growth

New York, Are you listening? At least Pennsylvania is demonstrating leadership in tough economic times and are reaping the rewards....
To encourage that the clean energy be used within the commonwealth rather than be shipped to other states, a group of state lawmakers is proposing legislation to create business incentives.
The package of seven House bills, known as Marcellus Works, would use tax credits and grants to expand the number of natural gas-powered vehicles on the state's roads.

The legislation includes a proposal by state Rep. Kathy Watson, a Warrington Republican, to create a revolving loan program available to large mass transit agencies to cover the incremental cost of natural gas buses.

Other bills - House Bills 1083-1089 -- are designed to create tax credits for private fleet vehicles; establish a grant program to assist smaller mass transit systems, school districts and local municipalities; ensure that some new buses purchased by large mass transit systems use natural gas; and offer tax credits to encourage construction of natural gas fueling stations along the state's major highways.
Wake up New York!

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Jerusalem Speaks

An open letter to the world, penned in 1969 is as applicable today as it was 42 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


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Good to the Last Drop

Making coffee in Afghanistan is not as easy as it sounds, but the good men of the US Armed Forces make it look easy. Be forewarned, the F-bombs fly and tobacco is smoked so if you are at work or around your children, watch and listen with care....


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Groping Children by TSA

If this occurred in nearly any other situation someone would be going to jail, but the TSA has been given a job to do. It is a thankless and worthless endeavor that makes no one safer.

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Obama's missing Birth Certificate: Gary Aldrich, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky Redux

The year was 1996. An FBI Agent named Gary Aldrich quit the force after 26 years and released a book called "Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House." He alleged wild sex parties in the White House. He even reported on hot rumors within the White House of the President having Sex with staffers.

He was called a "kook," a "rightwing extremist." His book was written off as pure trash, even though it was a bestseller.

Of course, a little more than a year later, information began to surface that President Clinton had had a longtime illicit affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. More allegations soon came out of wild sex acts within the Oval Office involving cigars, and other "sex toys."

Aldrich was completely vindicated. But he never really got credit outside of conservative media circles. No mea culpas from the liberal media. No media types stepped forward to admit they were wrong. No big interviews for Aldrich on the major networks congratulating him for being right all along.

Rather he just faded into obscurity.

Fast forward to 2011. For years, going way back to the 2004 US Senate race in Illinois there have been serious allegations about Barack Hussein Obama's mysterious background. Documents seem to be missing; college transcripts, published articles of editorials, even a missing birth certificate.

Democrats and liberal media claim "it exists," it's just not accessible due to Hawaii law. Yet, newly-elected Governor Neal Abercrombie failed to locate the document after an extensive search. He had vowed that he would "put an end to the issue once and for all."

Liberals lie. In 1996 and '97 the liberal media circled the wagons around Clinton. Til the bitter end they insisted that the President couldn't have possibly had sex with "that tramp Monica."

When it all finally came out that Clinton had been lying all along they just got mum. They moved along to other matters quicker than you could say "Montecristo."

Today the liberal media and Democrat politicians are lying through their teeth over the missing Obama birth certificate. They are now in full-fledged attack mode against Donald Trump (Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann). Like they labeled Aldrich, they are calling Trump and others asking questions about Obama's highly suspicious background, as "far-out kooks," and fringe figures who shouldn't be believed.

Par for the course. But worse are the so-called conservatives and libertarians who are siding with the liberal media and politicians on the birth certificate issue.

Take your average Ron Paul supporter for instance; largely silent on Obama's background. Even worse, some Ron Paulists are even joining in with the trashing of Trump, Palin and Bachmann.

One wonders what the Paulists, and other so-called conservatives and libertarians who believe Obama's story hook, line and sinker, will say when Trump and others finally expose the truth.

It will be Aldrich redux. The only difference this time is that Trump will not fade away. He's more likely to be elected our next President.

Eric Dondero is a former senior congressional staffer from Texas. He is currently a political consultant specializing on ballot access and initiatives. And is publisher of LibertarianRepublican.net