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Largest petrochemical plant in world planned for Houston Ship Channel--2,500 construction jobs

Houston Chronicle:
The Houston petrochemical company LyondellBasell said it will move forward with its most expensive project ever, a $2.4 billion plant near the Houston Ship Channel that would become the largest factory of its kind in the world.

The project, which would create some 2,500 construction jobs and 160 permanent positions at the plant, represents a continuation of the petrochemical boom along the Gulf Coast fueled by cheap and ample natural gas liquids and supported by access to foreign markets through the growing export terminals at the Port of Houston and other Texas ports. The American Chemistry Council, a trade group, estimated the Texas Gulf Coast accounts for about $70 billion of the $185 billion in petrochemical plants completed since 2010 or planned through 2023.

The Houston area today boasts one of the world's greatest concentrations of petrochemical plants, in many ways the result of the shale-drilling boom that produced large amounts of natural gas liquids - …

Rush--Obamacare is like cable where they make you pay for something you don't want or need

Rush Limbaugh:
...
RUSH: Well, you know, you may have performed an experiment which proves that point. Let me ask you what… Is the clip that you played for them my comparison of bare-bones, stripped-down cable coverage and comparing that to health care and how both make sense?

CALLER: That’s exactly right.

RUSH: And that resonated with ’em?

CALLER: It really did.

RUSH: See? I knew it. I knew it would. I knew it would. ‘Cause they hate cable, and when you accurately explain what’s bad about cable and why they dislike it; then say, “It’s the same thing that’s going on in health care. They’re making you buy things you don’t need and would never buy on your own,” it had to click. Well, I really owe you big time. I’m happy to give you that iPhone since you took the time to do that.
... That is an interesting comparison.  It strikes at the heart of the mandate issue and it demonstrates how popular Ted Cruz's consumer freedom agenda will be if Republicans pass it.

Left's war on free speech expands to attack criticism of Paris deal

Washington Post:
EPA chief Pruitt accused of breaking the law by criticizing Paris deal

A watchdog group zeroed in on a meeting he had in April with a lobbying group for the mining industry at which Pruitt reportedly “bashed” the climate accord, according to media reports at the time. Such a reading of the law is absurd on its face and unconstitutional.   Millions of people have criticized this deal and it really does not matter who their audience was.  A political figure cannot be muzzled by special interest groups who support a different policy.

I have to say that this is typical conduct for the anti-energy left and the true believers of global warming.  They have often tried to shut down debate with name calling and other means.  This looks like another fascist attack on the Constitution.

Unsubstantiated claims of losing healthcare coverage effecting attitudes toward Obamacare

NY Times:
They Hated the Health Law — Until the Idea of Repeal
Sentiment in a Pennsylvania county has tracked with a national shift in opinion about Obamacare amid fears that millions could lose coverage. The goofy CBO numbers and the scare headlines in the media are having an effect on people's opinions about Obamacare.  It is still a very bad law that has harmed millions.  The allegations of lost coverage appear to be grossly misleading.  There only roughly nine million people who have purchased Obamacare through the exchanges, yet the people who will supposedly love coverage are estimated at around 30 million.  The math does not add up.

Most people still have employer provided healthcare which is not effected by the reform legislation.  Those with coverage by government programs are also largely uneffected.  The numbers don't make sense.  In addition, the Health and Human Services Department estimates that the Cruz amendment actually increases coverage by two million.

FBI still investigating discredited dirty dossier

Washington Times:
The FBI is routinely asking witnesses in its Russia investigation about the accusations in a dossier against Donald Trump, further expanding the reach of a discredited opposition research paper sourced from the Kremlin and financed and distributed by Democrats.

A source close to the investigation described the dossier as a checklist agents tick off as they go over numerous unverified charges denounced as fabrications by President Trump and his aides.

The source called it strange that a gossip-filled series of memos is guiding the way the bureau is conducting the investigation.

The memos were used not only to try to surreptitiously influence the November election, but congressional Democrats also used them to attack the president.

The FBI is using the checklist approach even though former Director James B. Comey referred to the memos from ex-British spy Christopher Steele as “some salacious and unverified material” when he testified in June on his firing by Mr. Trump.
...

Media is out of touch on issues Americans care about

Erick Erickson:
...
According to Bloomberg’s polling, the media is giving 75% of its attention to the Russia investigation and only 6% of Americans think that is the most important news of the day. 35% of Americans think healthcare is the most important news and the media is giving that only 4% of its attention. On top of that, 10% of the public thinks immigration is the biggest issue and the media is giving zero coverage to that topic.

If the President gets his wall and gets a GOP win on healthcare, he probably thinks he can do whatever he wants on the Russia investigation. Like it or not, he is going to be President for a while and as the media continues to chase this story, the public continues to not give a damn about it.

So many, myself included, truly thought Trump could not win last November. But he did. Perhaps he actually understands the American people better than us and knows he can continue to ride public apathy for a story only the media and left seem to truly care about.

Restoring constitutional rights to college men

streiff:
When the history of the the Obama administration is written it will be a story of the deliberate atrophy of American influence abroad, the weaponization of law enforcement and administrative agencies to punish political opponents, and a calculated rejection of the Bill of Rights. One of the most outrageous acts was carried out by the “civil rights” office of the Department of Education. Responding to a demonstrably bogus claim of a “rape culture” on campus, DOE demanded that colleges and universities create Star Chambers to investigate students, primarily men, who were accused of some kind of sexual assault. Institutions that refused stood to lose federal money and eligibility for federally guaranteed student loans. That’s right, marginally educated social justice warriors were given a hunting license to pursue male students and harry them from campus on the flimsiest of evidence… or even no evidence at all. Just a few features of the system (read the full horror story) were:…

North Korean drought has not slowed its nuclear program

BBC:
North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought since 2001, a report from the United Nations says.

Crop production in the country has been hampered by a prolonged dry period and food imports are now urgently required to fill the gap, the UN has warned.

The most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly, will be worst hit.

In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died during a widespread famine.

The latest drought is serious, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday, because bilateral food aid to the country has dramatically fallen in recent years.

This is due in part to sanctions implemented to punish North Korea over its weapons development programme. The UN's World Food Program (WFP) has also seen a steep drop in contributions, the agency says.

A persistent lack of rainfall in North Korea in recent months has decimated staple crops such as rice, maize, potatoes and soybean, which man…

Texas man arrested on charges of threatening life of Ted Cruz and his family

San Antonio Express-News:
A San Antonio-area man has been charged with threatening to kill U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and members of his family.

The official that James Amos Headley, 59, is accused of targeting is not identified in court records, other than by the initials T.C., and prosecutors and the FBI won’t name him. The San Antonio Express-News confirmed that it is Cruz through other sources.

“Pretty soon you’re gonna be runnin for your life, just hope your family is not with ya because I’m not gonna insult them, I’m gonna kill them, right after I shoot you right in front of them,” court documents quote Headley as saying in a July 11 voicemail left at the official’s office at the U.S. Capitol.

Agents quietly arrested Headley last week on a federal felony charge of threatening to assault and murder a public official with intent to impede, intimidate and interfere with the official and his duties. Headley remained in jail Thursday, and his court hearing this week was postponed u…

Media too busy attacking Trump to notice the regulatory state is being trimmed dramatically

Chris Queen:
The Trump administration is apparently cutting enough red tape to start a ticker tape parade. Tasked with a goal of cutting two regulations for every new one enacted, the administration has gone on a tear, slashing rules at a rate of 16 to one in its first six months.

Neomi Reo, the new administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget, has called this first half-year’s actions “a beginning” and noted that the OMB is going after the “regulatory state.”

The 2017 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, the OMB’s guidelines covering regulations, reiterates the administration’s commitment to reducing onerous burdens on businesses:

By amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the Administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty.
Fulfilling longstanding principles to review and assess existing regulations, the Agenda includes the…

Hypervelocity rail gun could protect the fleet in future

Loren Thompson:
If U.S. warships are going to survive in the Persian Gulf or Western Pacific through mid-century, they will need defenses that consist of something more than conventional gun munitions with limited range and missiles that cost millions of dollars each. Commanders can't count on a naval air wing always being nearby.

Recognizing that tomorrow's threats to U.S. sea power will be far more demanding than those faced in the past, the Navy has been pursuing a trio of programs that might deliver much greater survivability and lethality to warships at affordable prices. One such program is developing high-power lasers that can inexpensively destroy distant targets at the speed of light. Lasers might revolutionize naval warfare, but their energy can be dissipated by environmental factors like dust and precipitation.

The other two programs are developing next-generation smart munitions and guns with far greater reach than existing weapons. The smart munition is called the…

Escaping California and moving to Texas

LA Times:
Emails poured in from across California.

“My boys’ minds have been taken over by the liberal teachings of the schools here,” wrote a woman from Westlake Village who works in the courts. “I would like to try to save my younger son before it’s too late.”

“I for one wish to not be a part of this control and socialist environment,” said a woman from Vacaville who home-schools her children and complained that California liberals ridiculed her for praying before meals.

“I’m done,” announced a financial planner from Monrovia who complained she was struggling to find common ground with her co-workers. “I want my next chapter in life to be one where I’m in an environment where people are like-minded.”

Fed up with life in the Golden State, the emailers wanted out.

So they turned to Paul Chabot, a 43-year-old Republican who says he’s discovered the perfect place for them: Collin County in north Texas.

He moved there late last year, bailing on his native California after a second failed…

Nearly 40 years of appeasement have left Iran on the brink of nuclear weapons and missiles

NY Times Editorial:
Avoiding War With Iran
Once again, hawks seek action that could lead to disaster. The case can be made that inaction and appeasement have led to a disaster that will be far worse than it would have been to take action earlier.  Iran is still led by genocidal Islamic religious bigots and it is a mistake to let them continue on their current track.  By the time the bad deal Obama made runs its course, Iran will have launch vehicles for the nuclear weapons they will build.  It has to be the worse deal in history.

57 percent say media coverage of Trump is too negative

MSN:
A majority of Americans feel mainstream media coverage of President Trump is "too negative" according to a poll released Wednesday.

A Zogby Analytics poll showed that 57 percent of likely voters found the coverage of the president to be too negative, while 44 percent disagreed.

The poll is predictably split along party lines, with 87 percent of Republican voters saying the coverage is too negative and just 32 percent of Democrats agreeing.

Among independent voters, 54 percent believe coverage of Trump is too negative.

Fifty-five percent women and 51 percent of African-Americans, two groups that don't normally give high marks to Trump, also told pollsters that coverage is too negative.
...

The Zogby poll comes on the heels of an NPR-PBS Newshour-Marist poll this month that found that 91 percent of Republicans and 93 percent of Trump supporters don't trust the media.
... The media acts like it is on a mission from God to destroy Trump and they are not likely to be…

Blue collar voters sticking with Trump--Blame Democrats for lack of progress

Washington Times:
Big-rig mechanic Salvatore Pirozzi hadn’t cast a ballot in a presidential election for most of his life until he got excited about voting for Donald Trump, and his support isn’t wavering.

Like many other blue-collar voters across the Rust Belt who confounded pollsters and pundits to deliver Mr. Trump an upset win in November, Mr. Pirozzi isn’t feeling buyer’s remorse as the president hits the six-month mark this week.

“He could be doing better, but he’s up against a lot of opposition,” said Mr. Pirozzi, 48. “I don’t regret it as far as voting is concerned. He’s our last hope.”

For now, he will overlook the president’s failure to score a major legislative win and the unrelenting stream of negative news stories to focus instead on Mr. Trump’s success in dramatically altering the direction of the country.

After putting Pennsylvania in the Republican column for the first time in nearly three decades, working-class voters said they are still happy that they took a gamble in s…

Victim of Canadian terrorist lashes out at Trudeau's generosity to al Qaeda operative

Family Security Matters:
"What Sick and Twisted Ivory Tower Do You Live In?" Marine Blinded in Attack Rips Canada's Trudeau The Marine is being interviewed on Tucker Carlson's show.  The victims of this attack have a judgment against the guy and I suspect they will try to collect it now that he has been made a millionaire by Canada.

Pictures emerge of the 'secret' conversation between Trump and Putin?

Image
This shows how hilarious the media and the Democrats have become.  Trump Derangement Syndrome appears to be growing worse.

Trump's cuts CIA anti-Assad support for groups that have been arming al Qaeda

streiff:
Trump Ends Support Of Anti-Assad Rebels For A Lot Of Very Good Reasons

...
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the quaint little regional war that Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power fomented in Syria during the “Arab Spring” with the idea of overthrowing Bashar Assad was as chuckleheaded an idea to come out of any administration since Bay of Pigs. What had started out as war on the cheap mutated into a very ugly and protracted war and a humanitarian nightmare that is still in full swing.

Regime change has not been our policy in Syria since at least January 2016. There is ample evidence the decision was made earlier but it was fait accompli once Russia and Iran intervened on Assad’s behalf in a major way. In the Geneva talks in 2015/2016, the Obama administration accepted the Russian position that Assad did not have to leave and could stay until a “transition” at some unspecified point in the future. Once regime change stopped being US policy there was no reason…

Futile gesture alert--The Democrats are just the ones to do it

The Hill:
Dems launch ‘no confidence’ resolution against Trump They provide a list of things they don't like about President Trump and around 23 Democrats signed on to the futile "no confidence" motion.   Their problems are many, but the biggest one has to be the lack of confidence voters have in Democrats, to begin with.

Fracking sand business continues to grow as drillers are using 20 times more sand per well

Fuel Fix:
Oil prices may remain weak, but business is booming for oil in Texas shale plays, especially in West Texas' Permian Basin.

That means the demand for sand is skyrocketing to churn out oil and gas as part of the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process.

The industry is moving quickly to produce more sand than ever to meet the demand of an oil and gas sector that is using up to 20 times more sand per well than it did during the peak of the last energy boom.

Across the state, already home to nearly 10 frac sand mines, operators are moving to expand or open new facilities, setting the stage for Texas to become a bigger player - and competitor - in an industry long dominated by purer Wisconsin and Minnesota sands.
... At the link above you can check out how the mining process works.

Of course, the anti energy left thinks deserts are "pristine" and they oppose any aspect of oil and gas production.  The number of mines shows just energetic the oil business is in the Perm…

Cruz amendment would increase coverage by over 2 million people, reduce cost by $7,000 a year

Washington Examiner:
Sen. Ted Cruz plans to unveil to Senators at a White House meeting on Wednesday an analysis from the Department of Health and Human Services showing his healthcare Consumer Freedom amendment would lower costs and raise individual enrollment, including those considered "high risk."

The report comes as President Trump attempts to revive talks on a healthcare bill that has failed to garner the support of 50 GOP senators, in part because they fear any change in Obamacare will reduce coverage and raise premiums.

"One way or another, this amendment is going to lower premiums and make people better off," a source close to Cruz told the Washington Examiner.

The Congressional Budget Office, which said a previous version of the Senate healthcare bill would leave 22 million fewer Americans with insurance, has yet to release an analysis of the Cruz amendment, and Republicans had said they may rely on an analysis from Trump's HHS instead.

Cruz, R-Texas,…

The 'trust me, I am a scientist' dog whistle

Washington Post Opinion:
I’m a scientist. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration. The left wing has been trying to politicize science and also attempted to weaponize it for use in its fight for liberalism more than for actual science.  This headline is typical of the genre.

Fighting ISIS on the cheap

CNBC:
ISIS fight shows US military can use lower-cost weapons with lethal results


The fight against the Islamic State is seen as a learning opportunity for the U.S. military as it looks to a future of a new kind of opponent in urban settings.Low-cost solutions, whether in precision weapons or lighter attack aircraft, provide advantages in an era of constrained budgets.Anti-UAV technology in demand as enemy develops more weaponized uses for drones. The military is looking at some off the shelf alternatives to expensive military platforms.  It is also looking at smaller munitions for dealing with attacks on ISIS targets.

Texas Democrats still in the toilet

Kevin Williamson:
...
That’s what Texas Democrats apparently mean by “star power” — losing in the polls but winning the Washington Post style section.
...
Texas politics is in the midst of a kind of double civil war. The Democrats have not yet figured out that being the party of little old liberal white ladies with a fanatical dedication to defending the abortion license is a thing of the past for a party whose future is younger and browner than its present. The Democrats are torn between being the party of Elizabeth Warren and the party of the guy who cuts her grass, and it is inevitable that the people who provide the Democrats with their votes and manpower are going to eventually start asking why it is that their policy agenda, which is economically focused, is being held hostage to the excretory and sexual obsessions of a relatively tiny cabal of Wellesley graduates and puffed-up assistant vice principals.
... There is much more.

The toilet reference is to the "bathroom"…

Shale producers still have room for growth

Fujun Wu:
North American shale taking over the world?

...
US shale has become the world's swing producer because it sits lower on the cost curve and has a shorter lead time than other global producers (six to eight months versus three years). For these reasons, US exploration and production (E&P) companies are becoming more important in global oil supply and will provide significant production growth. Within US shale, the Permian Basin has been at the forefront of the revolution. In fact, Rystad Energy stated that the US could now hold more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia due to the potential resources in the Wolfcamp area of the Permian Basin; estimates suggest more than 150 recoverable billion barrels of oil equivalent remain.

Indeed, from a cost curve perspective, the Permian Basin was the only US major shale formation to see production growth since the downturn began in November 2014. We continue to expect strong growth out of the Permian Basin, from around 2 MMb/d today to …

The women who killed healthcare reform

NY Times:
The 3 Republican Women Who Doomed a Senate Repeal of the Health Law Senators Shelley Moore Capito, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins shared objections to Medicaid cuts, but also had concerns specific to their states. To make matters worse Capito and Murkowski even refused to support the same repeal bill they voted for two years ago.  It suggests they have been lying about their opposition to the most hated law in history all along.   This opposition is unlikely to be forgotten if they stand for reelection.

The fraudulent claim that there were Medicaid cuts is also maddening.  They are siding with the Democrat fraud that slowing the growth while increasing the net amount of money spent is a cut.  This is a long standing fraud Democrats have used to grow government spending.  Congress should outlaw the "current services" budget mechanism that is used to perpetrate this fraud on the tax payers.

Ther is already considerable blowback against all those who killed the repea…

Proposed budget is the best one in decades

Washington Free Beacon:
House Unveils Budget That Balances, Achieves $9 Billion Surplus, Increases GDP to 2.6%

Budget's implementation of tax reform and repealing and replacing Obamacare aims to increase economic growth Democrats will hate this budget, even though it gives them another opportunity to claim the Republicans want people to die.

Healthcare spending is main driver behind US deficit

US News:
The status quo of federal spending is unsustainable. Reform is the only option.

After doubling to $20 trillion since 2009, the national debt is now projected to soar to an unfathomable $92 trillion over the next 30 years. At that point, depending on interest rates, between 60 and 100 percent of all individual income taxes will go towards paying the interest on this debt.

What is driving the federal budget into bankruptcy? Health care spending.

The problem is not tax revenues (they will continue growing above historical averages), nor other spending programs (Social Security is the only other major category growing as a share of the GDP).

Rather, health care is devouring the budget.

Remember this as Congress debates Obamacare and Medicaid reform. Critics denounce Republican attempts to "slash health care spending." In reality, their proposals would slow the growth of health care spending relative to the current baseline projections – projections that are completely unsus…

Russia's costly battle with neighbors is causing a strain

Strategy Page:
Ukraine and the “war against NATO” is becoming an expensive distraction for Russia. While Russian backed rebels still hold parts of eastern Ukraine (the Donbas) it is costing Russia a lot of money to support the civilians there and the heavy-handed discipline (assassination and so on) required to keep rebel leaders in line also requires more efforts to keep foreign journalists out. Too many people in Russian occupied Donbas are willing to talk with foreign reporters. In the rest of Ukraine security measures and increasing popular hostility towards Russia has made it more difficult and expensive to carry out covert operations. Making matters worse is the fact that no matter how much Russia threatens Ukraine the Ukrainians become more determined to develop stronger economic, cultural and military ties with nations to the west, especially NATO and the EU (European Union). Every month Ukrainians are reminded that Ukrainian soldiers are still dying while confronting the Russ…

Abbott in strong position for reelection campaign for Texas Governor

Resurgent:
The Republican Governors Association certainly has its hands full in the upcoming election cycle. Counting the off-year elections this November and the 2018 midterms, 38 gubernatorial seats are up for grabs – 27 of those seats are currently held by Republicans. GOP governors will be mostly playing defense while Democrats will try to use the gubernatorial races as a stepping stone to rebuilding their party.

But there is one Republican governor who has nothing to sweat about.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has amassed a nearly $41 million campaign war chest – a record setting number. Even for the behemoth Lone Star State, this is a jaw-dropping amount. The governor raised $10 million in the last 12 days of June alone. While promising to keep Texas in conservative hands, Abbott officially announced his intention to seek re-election Friday in San Antonio.

The state’s top executive apparently has no real competition in sight. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the only possible candidate to mount a fo…

Perry pressing North American energy strategy

Fuel Fix:
Energy Secretary Rick Perry is bullish the United States can come to a deal on a "new North American energy strategy, " saying he discussed the prospect during his visit with officials in Mexico City last week.

At the core of the discussions is working together on increasing the United States, Canada and Mexico's energy production and exports, while working together on improving security on the countries' power grids, pipelines and "energy systems" at-large.

Pointing at the announcement last week of a historic billion-barrel crude discovery off the Mexican coast, Perry said, "Mexico is going to be a massive influence in the energy markets going forward."

"I'm excited they're our partner, and we look forward for many decades of economic prosperity for this region."

The prospect of turning North America into an energy powerhouse to rival the Middle East has been discussed wishfully by U.S. politicians for years. Since the adv…

Kubota Tractors moves its North American headquarters from California to Texas

Dallas Morning News:
Less than two years after starting work on the project, Japan-based Kubota Tractor Corp. has opened its new North American headquarters in Grapevine.

Almost 300 people work in the two-building complex located just off State Highway 121.

Like auto giant Toyota, Kubota has moved its U.S. base from Torrance, Calif to Texas.

Kubota - which is one of the world's largest manufactures of tractors, construction equipment and other machinery products - expanded into the U.S. in 1972 with a small office in Southern California.

"There were only 18 employees and the company sold 2,000 units in its first year," said Masatoshi Kimata, Kubota Corp. president who was in Grapevine Friday for the opening. "Now we employ nearly 4,600 hard working Americans."

Kubota sells more than 150,000 of its products in North America each year.
... The tractors have a good reputation.  The Dallas area is a more central location, not to mention the benefits of the Texas economy …

If Democrats want to fix Obamacare they are going to have to come up with a deal acceptable to Trump

Fox News:
President Trump said Tuesday he's prepared “let ObamaCare fail” after the collapse of Senate Republicans' latest health care bill, indicating he's willing to move on to tax reform and other issues – and deal with an Affordable Care Act fix down the road.

“I think we're probably in that position where we'll just let ObamaCare fail,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll let ObamaCare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us."
...
The White House focused its ire Tuesday on Democratic lawmakers, suggesting they'll regret their opposition.

"The failure of ObamaCare rests solely on the shoulder of the Democrats. They pushed it through, and they need to own the failure of it," Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
... So far I have seen nothing from Democrats that remotely solves the pro…

Trump out polls Hillary Clinton

The Hill:
President Trump is viewed more favorably than his 2016 Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton, according to a new poll.

A Bloomberg News survey finds Clinton is viewed favorably by just 39 percent of Americans, compared to Trump, who is viewed favorably by 41 percent of Americans.

Fifty-eight percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Clinton, compared to a slightly lower majority — 55 percent — who have an unfavorable view of Trump.

The poll also finds more than one-fifth of those who voted for Clinton in the 2016 presidential race have an unfavorable view of her. In the last Bloomberg poll before the election, just 8 percent of likely Clinton voters reported having an unfavorable view of the former 2016 Democratic nominee.
... I doubt that it will slow down the "resistance."  But it is probably a more realistic assessment of her true popularity than pre elections polls were.

Is a woman in a miniskirt a threat to Saudi containment of modernity?

NY Times:
Saudi Religious Police Search for Woman in Miniskirt
A video clip, and the debate that followed about the strict dress code for women, exposed a rift below Saudi Arabia’s tightly controlled surface. The Saudi sex cops are on the hunt.  They continue to be an embarrassment to the regime.  Having seen the clip, it is hard to say this woman is a threat to anything other than an attempt to keep women covered from head to toe.  It seems to be a cultural thing in a place where men are not held responsible for controlling their own libido.

Many North Korean troops are starving

UPI:
Malnutrition is soaring in the North Korean military, and the parents of troops are stepping in to supply their children with food provisions, according to a Japanese press report.

Asia Press reported Monday North Korean authorities are responsible for the dire food situation in the Korean People's Army as Kim Jong Un presses forward with provocations, most recently a Fourth of July missile test.

Multiple sources in North Korea said in the wake of the state's "neglect," families are sending food to hungry soldiers.

"Because of the poor food situation in the military, parents are increasingly providing food for children in the service, instead of the state," the report says.

One source in a northern region of the country said there is evidence soldiers are going hungry.

"Sons and daughters who served in the military are very often returning home, owing to malnutrition," the source said. "The health of border guards in my area is weakening…

A comprehensive take down of the mainstream media

John Nolte:
Our Corrupt Media Is Now Haunted By All The Precedents They Set While Colluding With Obama

Barack Obama trafficked guns to Mexican drug lords, secretly delivered pallets filled with billions in cash to Iran's America/Jew-hating mullahs, left four Americans to die in Benghazi and then lied about it, allowed his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to exchange government favors for hundreds of millions of dollars slushed into the Clinton Foundation, sic'd his IRS on everyday, law-abiding Americans, and used a trillion dollars in "stimulus" funds to pay off his cronies, like those behind a boondoggle called Solyndra.

And all along, over eight terrible years, our media did a whole lot more than just let Obama get away with it. They wholeheartedly colluded. They allowed Obama to persecute them through the Department of Justice and to lie to our face (remember: I just now read about it in the newspaper, the IRS did nothing wrong, you can keep your insurance). And …

Desperate Democrats willing to throw Obama under the bus to push Russia story

Noah Rothman:
0 shares A At the root of the Democratic Party’s attacks on Donald Trump’s Russia policy is a crippling contradiction. The logic of their assault on Trump’s posture toward Moscow leads the observer to conclude that Democrats believe Trump should act more aggressively to avenge Vladimir Putin’s attack on American sovereignty in 2016. It follows, then, that the president’s predecessor failed in his most sacred charge: defending the United States from the designs of foreign adversaries.

If Trump’s most prominent liberal critics on the matter of Russia hope to maintain their credibility, they must cleanse themselves of their hypocrisy. In the pursuit of atonement, some prominent Democrats are starting to throw Barack Obama under the bus. “We Dems erred in ’12 by mocking Boot/Romney Russia worry,” declared Hillary Clinton’s former press secretary, Brian Fallon, last week. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Barack Obama, agreed. “I’m willing to say that in 2012 when we all…

Outside the beltway the Russia conspiracy theories are not moving voters

Washington Times:
With new revelations every week, the Russian election meddling story has made Washington dizzy for months, but pollsters in swing states are having a hard time seeing its impact beyond the Beltway — leaving forecasters of the midterm elections torn over the story’s potential impact.

“There is some bubble syndrome,” pollster Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research told The Washington Times.

Mr. Coker’s firm conducted significant polling in swing states during election season last year. Like other leading public opinion professionals, he argues that the murkiness of Russian activity and the lack of a clear “smoking gun” have not convinced voters far from the nation’s capital — especially the unaffiliated.

But pollsters also note that history favors Democrats — at least in the House of Representatives.
... The pollsters have been notoriously bad at finding Trump voters so it is hard to gauge how effective they were with this one too.

How North Korea has evaded sanctions in the past

Daily Caller:
The man who spent most of his career serving a clandestine division of the North Korean government tasked with managing the country’s legal and illegal economic activities overseas revealed in a recent interview why sanctions have failed to stop Pyongyang from developing deadly weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them to distant targets.

Ri Jong Ho is a defector who previously spent more than thirty years funneling millions of dollars into North Korea despite international sanctions. He served as an official in the secretive Office 39, which was created to manage the finances of the ruling Workers’ Party, generate foreign currency, and oversee the country’s production and trade. He stressed that sanctions have failed because there have always been ways to get around them.

“We were never in pain or hurting in our trade business because of the sanctions,” Ri explained to The Washington Post. “I used to be sanctioned, as a North Korean who led trade at the …

Iran deal is hanging by a thread

Eli Lake:
Trump Just Came Very Close to Killing the Iran Deal

At the last minute, the president nearly told Tillerson not to certify Iranian compliance. In the next 90 days, it will be interesting to see if the administration prepares Congress for a noncertification.  Trump is definitely leaning in that direction.

The Trump administration is also hitting Iran with new sanctions.

Susan Rice decides it is sexist and racist to ask her about unmasking Trump campaign officials

streiff:
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But not now.

Susan Rice is no longer expected to visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a meeting with the House committee probing allegations she “unmasked” President Trump associates in Russian meddling probes.

Rice had been expected to face tough questions on her role in the matter while serving as then-President Barack Obama’s national security adviser. Trump alleges Rice may have committed a crime by asking government analysts to disclose the names of his associates documented in intelligence reports.

Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan last week told Fox News that he wants Rice to answer the basic question: “Did you unmask the names and if so why?
(Answer for Rep. Jordan, she unmasked Trump staffers for the same reason a dog licks its crotch — because it can.)

This is not unexpected. She’s recently been hinting that racism and sexism are the reasons, not the fact that she was National Security Adviser (btw, anyone who has qualms about Jared and Ivanka advising the president should…

Alpine High town doesn't mind the money that comes with oil field workers

Fuel Fix:
Oil and gas men filled La Cueva de Oso at lunchtime on Monday. Nine American pickup trucks parked side-by-side out front. A side room was blocked off for a team working Apache Corp.’s Alpine High, the oil field that, at least initially, divided this small town.

Thais Zuniga, 18 and a brand-new graduate of Balmorhea High, served half the tables. She and her friends talked about the oil drilling at school, she said. One still thinks Apache is going to ruin the community.

RELATED: Balmorhea state park launches intensive monitoring as Apache drills nearby

“But the rest of us, we’re fine,” she said. “As long as they don’t mess with our water.”

Apache, a Houston oil and gas company, announced almost a year ago that it had discovered 15 billion barrels of oil and gas under 350,000 acres here in West Texas. Many worried: Visitors from near and far flock to the famous spring-fed pool at nearby Balmorhea State Park. If oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing broke into the springs a…

US to set up cyber command outside of NSA

Daily Mail:

The administration is finalizing plans to revamp the nation's military command for defensive and offensive cyber operations in hopes of intensifying America's ability to wage cyberwar. While ISIS is an obvious target, the US has been subjected to cyber attacks from China, Russia, and Iran and has shown little ability to counter them to date.  It needs to become more aggressive on all fronts.

The latest collusion story is a dud for anti-Trump media

Washington Post:
Few Americans are newly convinced that Trump Jr.’s meeting illustrates collusion

A Post-ABC News poll finds that most Americans think his meeting was inappropriate — not quite the “smoking gun” that Trump opponents had hoped. I have described this story as another "so what" one.  It is another case of the media crying wolf and doing more damage to their own credibility than it is to Trump or his family.  The anti-Trump left keeps trying to criminalize their political differences with Trump in an attempted coup attempt with each one falling flat from a lack of evidence or substance.

Creative financing keeps shale wells pumping

Reuters:
U.S. shale producers survived an oil price crash and confounded OPEC's efforts to drain a global glut by employing innovative drilling and production techniques. Now, some of these producers are turning to creative investments to pump more oil.

Drilling joint ventures, called "DrillCos" for short, combine cash from investors like Carlyle Group LP (CG.O) with drillable-but-idle land already owned by producers. Investors get a pledge of double-digit returns within a few years, while producers can raise productivity without spending more of their own money.

The total raised by these ventures - at least $2 billion in the last 24 months - is a small part of overall shale financing. But they represent another way for Wall Street and shale producers to increase the flow of oil, and frustrate plans by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to prop up prices.

Private equity this year has showered more than $20 billion on U.S. energy ventures. Driven by sha…

The left is off base on its claims of crime about collecting information for a campaign

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Alan Dershowitz schools the media and Democrats on their misuse of the law.

US Navy hopes to deploy laser weapons on several ships by 2019

Real Clear Defense:
U.S. Navy on the Cutting Edge of Directed Energy Weapons

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There’s a 30-kilowatt laser on USS PONCE right now.

It’s in the Arabian Gulf and it works.

It works very well.

As you know, lasers can be used for communications. They can be used for ISR.

They can obviously be used for non-kinetic effects.

In order to have the higher-end kinetic effect, you have to have the space for the weight of the laser itself, the power for it, and then the cooling-wherever the source.

Obviously, with a ship in the water, you have an unlimited source of cooling water.

Then, in order to have a very, very deep magazine for a laser shot, you either have to have a constant source of fairly high electrical power, or you have to have a very large battery.

We are not waiting until we have what many see as the ultimate goal, a one megawatt laser weapon; we would like to build capability incrementally.

Over time we will be able to field higher and higher power laser weapons.
... There is much…

California housing restrictions have driven up cost along coast, while water restricitions have depressed housing prices inland

NY Times:
Cost of California’s Hot Economy: Severe Housing Crisis
An explosion in costs has emerged as a central problem for the state, and state and local governments are pondering a series of measures to correct course. In Silicon Valley and in the cities California has restricted building and made it much more expensive which mainly benefits the elites who already own houses.  Others are locked out of the market because the price is beyond their reach.

But inland, where the government has made water scarce by refusing to build new reservoirs and causing needed water to be dumped into the ocean the market for housing is depressed because without water the farmers are hurting.  The environmental wackos have more compassion for bait fish than they do for their fellow man who provides food for their table.

Most of the housing stock in the state is old and in many cases small.  You can buy a much nicer home in Texas for a fraction of the cost of one in California because government in T…