Keystone XL-Little Environmental Impact
by Juliet Eilperin; Steven Mufsin,
March 1, 2013
The State Department released a draft environmental impact assessment of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline Friday, suggesting that the project would have little impact on climate change.
Canada’s oil sands will be developed even if President Obama denies a permit to the pipeline connecting the region to Gulf Coast refineries, the analysis said. Such a move also would not alter U.S. oil consumption, the report added.
The lengthy assessment did not give environmentalists the answer they had hoped for in the debate over the project’s climate impact. Opponents say a presidential rejection of the project would send a powerful message to the world about the importance of moving away from fossil fuels and make it more difficult for Canada to export its energy-intensive oil.
But the detailed environmental report — almost 2,000 pages long — also questions one of the strongest arguments for the pipeline, by suggesting that America can meet its energy needs without it. The growth in rail transport of oil from western Canada and the Bakken formation on the Great Plains and other pipelines, the analysis says, could meet the country’s energy needs for the next decade, even if Keystone XL is never built.
In a news conference Friday, Kerri-Ann Jones, assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs, said the department had not made any final conclusions about the project. “We feel that we need to have a public debate,” Jones said.
The president is not likely to make a decision [....]
Roddin' @ Random-1969 Camaro Z/28
Automotive Archeology-Monk's Z-28
by Ryan Brutt,
February 1, 2013
I’m working on a huge find that you’ll read about in the next issue, but this time it’s just a little discovery. There was a story circulating in my club about a local guy who had an original ’69 Camaro Z/28 tucked in his garage for more than a decade, but all anyone knew was the guy was known as “Monk.” I looked around for a year and never found the guy. Then, at a club party, the topic turned to my barn-find expeditions. One guy spoke up, mentioning that he had a ’69 Z/28 that had been sitting for a decade or two. It was the elusive Monk! He purchased the car in the late ’70s with the non-original motor but the original transmission. He discovered the hard way that someone had replaced most of the valvesprings when the one original spring let loose, dropping the valve through the piston. He [....]
All Senators are equal, but their classes aren't
Why 2014's map is most favorable to the Republicans, and why it might not matter
by Kyle Kondik, Political Analyst-U.Va Center for Politics
February 28, 2013
Make no mistake — this year’s Senate elections are being waged on Republican turf. But that’s not uncommon.
A third of all Senate seats are on the ballot every other November, which means that two-thirds of the Senate remains the same even after a federal election (special elections prompted by vacancies can create a bit more turnover). This is in stark contrast to the House, where every member is up for reelection every two years. The Senate “classes” predate the popular election of senators, which was enacted through the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913.
As we’ve noted before, Democrats have to defend 21 Senate seats this cycle to the Republicans’ 14, and compounding their problems is that in the past four elections, the Democratic presidential candidate received an average of just 46.6% of the two-party presidential vote in the 33 states that have a Class 2 Senate seat, which are the ones up for election this year (the special elections coming up in Hawaii and South Carolina next year are not included because those seats are typically contested as part of different Senate classes).
That’s the most Republican-tilting of the three Senate classes. Class 1, the Senate map from last year, is the most Democratic: The Democratic candidate won an average of 50.7% of the two-party vote over the past four presidential elections in the 33 states that had Senate races last year. Meanwhile, the Democratic candidate won 48.2% of the two-party vote in 2010’s 34-state Senate map (Class 3), which makes it, on paper, the most purple map of the three.
Wait a second, though [....]
Michelle obama too good to talk to the common people
by 'Bungalow Bill,'
February 28, 2013
About 1:00 today, I sat in the parking lot of Subway at Sunshine and Kansas Expressway looking up at the rumble in the sky. That airplane is larger than those that normally land at Springfield Branson National Airport. Then I remembered as I saw the powder blue belly and the US flag on the plane noting this would serve as Air Force One if the tyrant was on board. Rather it was his wife coming to shop at a Walmart today.
It wasn't a Walmart though. During the past month Springfield, Missouri, has been in a heated debate about the addition of another Walmart Neighborhood Market on Campbell Street (the fifth). Coincidentally, Michelle Obama's visit to Springfield was at one of these Walmart Neighborhood Markets with its puke colored yellow walls. I, as well as some friends of mine don't feel it was by coincidence at all.
Anyway, Michelle Obama came to Springfield today to [....]
The Rise of a new Nigerian Militant Group
by Matthew Bey; Sim Tak,
February 21, 2013
In the past week, 14 foreigners have been kidnapped in northern Nigeria and Cameroon in two separate attacks. No group has claimed responsibility for the second attack, which occurred Feb. 19 in Cameroon, but the location is adjacent to Boko Haram's core territory in northeast Nigeria. Ansaru, a splinter group of Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the first attack and could be responsible for the second since, unlike Boko Haram, it has a history of kidnapping foreign nationals. If Boko Haram conducted the second attack, it would signal a significant shift in the group's targets and tactics.
As Stratfor noted, Boko Haram's capabilities in 2012 were limited to soft targets near the group's base of operations in northeastern Nigeria. Ansaru has emerged over the past year and appears to have surpassed Boko Haram in its range of tactics and targets. Ansaru has relied on armed attacks and kidnappings rather than suicide bombings. Ansaru's targets have included foreigners and those involved with the intervention in Mali, while Boko Haram's targets have been Nigerian.
Nearly all of the Ansaru attacks [....]
The Rise of a New Nigerian Militant Group | Stratfor
College creates plenty of debt, little skill
February 25, 2013
Our children’s opportunities to learn based on technological advances has been more than offset by the loss of appreciation of literature and the humanities – including history,theology,philosophy and even economics. Our old friend Jon T. Barton,a classical violinist wrote an 800 page 2 volume work called “The Bible in Western Literature.” He co-authored with attorney John Whitehead a 1981 book,“Schools on Fire” – a prophetic work warning of the now deplorable and unnecessarily expensive condition of American education.
I met a young man recently with a degree in “Environmental Studies” from screwball UCal/Santa Cruz,home of the Banana Slugs. His student loan is $90,000 and he still can’t get a job. His girlfriend has a degree in Psychology and is only $60,000 in debt and can’t get a job either. In a two class society,only the wealthy and their satraps will be able to get a college education.
My Grandson’s Saudi ex-roommate at [....]
China Tests Japanese and U.S. Patience
by Roger Baker,
February 26, 2013
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned Beijing that Tokyo is losing patience with China's assertive maritime behavior in the East and South China seas, suggesting China consider the economic and military consequences of its actions. His warning followed similar statements from Washington that its patience with China is wearing thin, in this case over continued Chinese cyberespionage and the likelihood that Beijing is developing and testing cybersabotage and cyberwarfare capabilities. Together, the warnings are meant to signal to China that the thus-far relatively passive response to China's military actions may be nearing an end.
In an interview The Washington Post published just prior to Abe's meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, Abe said China's actions around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and its overall increasing military assertiveness have already resulted in a major increase in funding for the Japan Self-Defense Forces and coast guard. He also reiterated the centrality of the Japan-U.S. alliance for Asian security and warned that China could lose Japanese and other foreign investment if it continued to use "coercion or intimidation" toward its neighbors along the East and South China seas.
Abe's interview came amid warnings on Chinese cyberactivity from Washington. Though not mentioning China by name in his 2013 State of the Union address, Obama said, "We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems." Obama's comments, and [....]
China Tests Japanese and U.S. Patience | Stratfor
America's Number One Terrorist
February 26, 2013
My father served in the Korean War. And he served in the Vietnam war. His time in Vietnam overlapped with my first of two combat tours in Vietnam.
And when I came “home” after my last tour,I could not legally buy a beer or vote because I was not yet old enough.
And I could not get a “real” job because I was labelled as a “drug-crazed baby killer”. Someone interviewing me for a job actually asked me about how many babies I had killed. So I reenlisted in the military until such time as it was possible for me to slip back into the mainstream workforce unnoticed.
And I raised a family,started and ran my own business for a couple of decades,hired and fired people,and always tried to do “the right thing”…which had a tendency of getting me fired from time to time. But on the upside,that provided the incentive to start my own business.
And despite the way I and my brethren Vietnam Vets were treated,I have always insisted on flying the American Flag in front of my home.
And when I [....]
Taliban Attacks not down after all
by Robert Burns,
February 26, 2013
The American-led military coalition in Afghanistan backed off Tuesday from its claim that Taliban attacks dropped off in 2012, tacitly acknowledging a hole in its widely repeated argument that violence is easing and that the insurgency is in steep decline.
In response to Associated Press inquiries about its latest series of statistics on security in Afghanistan, the coalition command in Kabul said it had erred in reporting a 7 percent decline in attacks. In fact there was no decline at all, officials said.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is among the senior officials who had publicly repeated the assertion of an encouraging drop-off in Taliban attacks last year, was disturbed to learn [....]
In WFB's Footsteps
Bill Buckley died five years ago, but his presence in the lives of his friends is everlasting.
by Larry Perelman,
“A few days passed, and young Hans Castorp had now spent seven months up here, whereas Joachim, who already had five months to his credit when his cousin first arrived, could now look back on twelve months, one round year — round in the cosmic sense, as well, for in the time since the small, sturdy locomotive had dropped him off up here, the earth had returned to its starting point, having completed one orbit around the sun.”—Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
This is one of my favorite passages from this extraordinary novel. I feel it’s appropriate to the occasion, as we have now all completed five orbits around the sun since Bill Buckley died on February 27, 2008. Things are unequivocally different for us all. Four years ago, on the first anniversary of Bill’s death, Christopher Buckley wrote a remembrance in which he stated, “Jews observe a formal period of one year’s mourning for a parent, called an avelut. We aren’t Jewish, but I get, and like, the idea, even though I don’t suppose the mourning ever really ends, until one’s own time comes.” I wrote to Christo to reiterate my condolences. He replied: “Dear Larry, Thanks so much. Yes, hard to believe that almost a year ago you were about to put on a concert at Wallacks Point. I have his appointments diary beside me as I type, and the last entry in it, in his impenetrable [....]
Declining U.S. influence may be inevitable, but the world won't be better off.
by Victor Davis Hanson,
February 28, 2013
Republicans and Democrats are blaming one another for impending cuts to the defense budget brought about by sequestration. But with serial annual deficits of $1 trillion–plus and an aggregate debt nearing $17 trillion, the United States — like the insolvent Rome and exhausted Great Britain of the past — was bound to reexamine its expensive overseas commitments and strategic profile.
The president’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary was a sort of Zen-like way of having a Republican combat veteran orchestrate a reduced military. In fact, Barack Obama has nurtured a broad and diverse constituency for his neo-isolationist vision. Budget hawks concede that defense must suffer its fair share of cuts. Libertarians want their republic back and hate [....]
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The NRA is unveiling a new Pro-Gun Contributor
by Jonathon Seidl,
March 1, 2013
The media is going to have a hard time stereotyping the National Rifle Association (NRA) after the organization just announced its latest contributor to NRA News. TheBlaze was tipped off to the announcement and introduction of the man who calls himself an “urban gun enthusiast,” Colion Noir.
Noir — a young, enthusiastic gun supporter that wears baseball hats and t-shirts — has somewhat of a cult following on social media. His Facebook page, which has over 25,000 likes, is riddled with fans and comments and he has 174 videos on YouTube where he breaks down the latest gun arguments in simple-to-understand terms, reviews gun-related equipment, and even shows off at the range.
“Just A normal guys perspective of concealed carry, guns, 2nd Amendment and the Law,” his profile says. And on Friday morning, he’ll officially [....]
What's Next for Ben Carson?
by Mark Davis,
March 1, 2013For a man unknown to most of America a month ago, Dr. Ben Carson is suddenly everywhere.The Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon is now a viral phenomenon, with a half-hour National Prayer Breakfast speech that has found its way to millions of inboxes.
That address, covering topics from personal responsibility to education to taxes to health care, landed him on a smattering of political shows in the days following, as questions sprang forth:
Why did he address such specifics with President Obama seated two chairs away?
Does he envision running for office himself?
What is the meaning of his sudden popularity?
All good questions. And this week, over lunch, he answered them.
It’s a world of connections, and I am very fortunate to be close to James and Betty Robison, whose “Life Today” evangelical broadcasts reach millions of viewers over religious and secular stations alike from their Texas headquarters.
James was kind enough to invite me to the Thursday taping of an interview with Dr. Carson, which will air in a few weeks. His answers during that taping and at a private lunch thereafter might be [....]
Part 3 MAY follow....