Posts

Perry questions subsidy effects on reliability of power grid

The Hill:
When Energy Secretary Rick Perry requested a study of electric grid reliability, wind and solar energy lobbyists were predictably alarmed. Perry wanted to know how federal policies were shaping wholesale electricity markets and whether public policies were responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants.

The government has long had a role in the electric power industry, so asking for a survey of its effects should not be controversial.

The reason for the alarm? The request mentioned government mandates and subsidies, which have driven wind and solar energy's growth, as possible drivers of reliability concerns. The industry lobbyists are right to be sensitive. Despite constantly touting the rapidly falling cost of wind and solar, industry growth over the next decade depends on mandates and subsidies.
...
While low natural gas prices due to fracking have figured into the closure of coal fired power plants, a rise in regulatory compliance costs is …

All they need to do now is persuade the Norks

Reuters:
China, U.S. agree on aim of 'complete, irreversible' Korean denuclearization The real question is, what is China willing to do to ensure this outcome.

The Democrats all too brief vacation from its 'GOP are killers' rhetoric

Derek Hunter:
It was a different time, a crazy time, all those…days ago…way back at the end of last week. I remember it like it was, well, just last week, when Democrats suggested that maybe, just maybe, the political rhetoric in the country was a little too heated after one of their own tried to murder as many Republican Congressmen as possible. Like I said, it was a different time.

After less than two weeks, that time is done and the political left is back at their lying, hateful rhetoric about how Republicans are hoping to kill as many Americans as possible. It actually took a little longer than I thought it would.

Putting aside the hypocrisy for a second, how dumb must Democrats think their base is to believe the other political party’s election strategy is to hasten the deaths of millions of people? How idiotic is the idea that one party’s plan to continue to win elections across the country is the screw as many people as possible out of something?

Moreover, Democrats are telling…

Those behind the dirty dossier are Democrats?

Paul Sperry:
...
The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House.

What is the company hiding? Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” But congressional sources says it’s actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda.

“These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”

Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an un…

How Obama got Trump elected

Michael Goodwin:
The rapid pace of change in American life does not exempt politics. Witness how fast Democrats are cycling through scapegoats.

First came Hillary Clinton. When she emerged to gripe about all the reasons she lost last year, except herself, party activists told her to be quiet and go away. She has, for now.

Next came Nancy Pelosi. When Republicans won four contested special elections for House seats, disgruntled Dems turned their fire on their minority leader, telling Pelosi it was time to get out of the way. She refuses, for now.

And now comes Barack Obama. The former president, shredding what was left of his promise not to interfere with his successor, is joining the fight against the repeal of ObamaCare. He called the Senate bill an example of “meanness,” and pledged to campaign for the Democrat in the Virginia governor’s race.

For Republicans, luck can’t get much better. While Clinton and Pelosi were hardly innocent bystanders in the historic rout of Democrats at ev…

Muslims were responsible for one of the largest mass murders in history in India and they wonder why they are not loved?

Washington Post:
‘How can they hate us so much?’ asks father of Muslim teen brutally killed in attack on train in India

The slaying of a 16-year-old was the latest in a string of anti-Muslim attacks in India during the Islamic holy period of Ramadan. Tensions have risen since the Hindu nationalist government restricted the sale of cattle for slaughter. Some 400 million Hindus were alleged to have been killed during the attempted Muslim conquest of India.
...
From the time of the Umayyad Dynasty (711AD) to the last Mughal, Bahadur Shah Zafar (1858), so widely praised as great leaders by Indian historians themselves, entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves. Every new invader made (often literally) his hills of Hindus skulls. Thus, the conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush, i.e…

The problem with the Senate healthcare bill for Republicans

Washington Post: Senate health-care bill faces resistance from GOP moderates

Fears that proposed cuts would fray the social safety net are creating anxiety for Republican moderates whose states have benefited from the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid. Those centrists may pose just as much an obstacle to the bill’s passage as their colleagues on the right.

Koch network won’t endorse Senate GOP’s health-care measure in its current form

One group wants a “more dramatic” reversal of the Affordable Care Act. An official with the Koch network said the debate has focused too much on the number of insured people and not enough on outcomes. Most of the criticism I see is closer to what the Koch network is saying than what so-called moderates are saying.

Those who cling too closely to the current Obamacare formula are likely to be the biggest losers because they are not going to mollify Democrats who are determined to keep the sorry status quo at any cost and they will lash out at anyone who opposes …

Special ops raids give a picture inside ISIS operations

NY Times:
One late afternoon in April, helicopter-borne American commandos intercepted a vehicle in southeastern Syria carrying a close associate of the Islamic State’s supreme leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The associate, Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, was a rare prize whom United States Special Operations forces had been tracking for months: a midlevel but highly trusted operative skilled in raising money; spiriting insurgent leaders out of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s besieged capital in Syria; and plotting attacks against the West. Captured alive, Mr. Uzbeki could be an intelligence bonanza. Federal prosecutors had already begun preparing criminal charges against him for possible prosecution in the United States.

As the commandos swooped in, however, a firefight broke out. Mr. Uzbeki, a combat-hardened veteran of shadow wars in Syria and Pakistan, died in the gun battle, thwarting the military’s hopes of extracting from him any information about Islamic State operations, leaders and strategy.

N…

Immigrants in Houston react to presidential politics in US

This being from the NY Times, it has been edited to present those who think we are on the road to becoming Syria first, but there are some real insights from some of the more optimistic people interviewed and I will focus on what they said.
...
Steve Le was born in South Vietnam and was 7 years old when he boarded a ship the day before the fall of Saigon in 1975 with his family and other refugees. They resettled in Houston, and Mr. Le became a family physician and the third consecutive Vietnamese-American to represent District F on the Houston City Council. Mr. Le, a Republican who speaks with a subtle Texas twang, said he has never seen America more deeply divided, but added that nothing happening now compares to the world his parents knew in Vietnam. Watching the testimony of James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, was but one example, he said.

“In how many other countries can you call the top elected official in the country a liar and get away with it?” said Mr. Le, 50. “Althou…

UK burdened by terroists' rights apparatus that prevents deportations

Sunday Telegraph:
More than 40 foreign terrorists have used human rights laws to remain in the UK, according to an unpublished report delayed by the Home Office.

The study highlights the near insurmountable problem for the Government in deporting dangerous jihadists and follows a series of Islamic State-inspired attacks in the UK.

In the court cases, lawyers - typically funded through legal aid - have successfully prevented foreign-born terror suspects from being sent back to their home countries.

At a time when Britain’s security services are fully stretched, the additional burden of monitoring so many foreign terrorist inevitably adds to the strain.
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Prof Walker said: “My research suggests there are more than 40 foreign terrorists convicted in the UK who have avoided deportation using the human rights act. The figure is much larger than was previously thought.”

Among those understood to have used the Human Rights Act to resist deportation including jihadists with links to the fai…

The toxic language on the left

Marc Theisen:
...
Case in point: A few weeks before the Alexandria shooting, Hillary Clinton gave a commencement speech at Wellesley College where she declared that Trump’s budget is “an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us, the youngest, the oldest, the poorest” (emphasis added). No, it is not. Using nerve agent on the innocent is “an attack of unimaginable cruelty.” Putting a hapless college student into a coma is an “attack of unimaginable cruelty.” Reducing the growth of government spending is not.

Think for a moment what Clinton was saying: It’s not simply that Democrats and Republicans have an honest disagreement about how best to help the most vulnerable among us. In Clinton’s telling, Republicans are waging war on the vulnerable. That is toxic.

No doubt, Trump has contributed mightily to our descent into the culture of contempt. (For example, the media is not the “enemy of the American people,” Mr. President). But since Trump’s election, the scope and…

Democrats continue to make the same mistake Hillary Clinton made in the campaign--It is all about Trump

Washington Post:
Beyond opposing Trump, do Democrats have a message?

Perhaps Democrats thought things would be easier because of Donald Trump’s rocky start. His presidency has produced an outpouring of anger among Democrats, but will that be enough to bring about a change in the party’s fortunes? Some savvy Democratic elected officials doubt it. Their anti-Trump fantasies are not working for them.  Anger is not a plan or a policy.  It only feeds those they already had and does not expand their base.  If anything, it further alienates them from voters they need.  This is because they not only hate Trump, they also hate those who voted for him.  "I hate you because you did not vote for me" is a tough sale.

Yet another absurd claim by Trump opponents

Washington Post:
Could Trump’s White House tapes ruse get him in legal trouble?

Legal experts doubt the president would actually be accused of witness tampering. But some of them said it could feed into the obstruction of justice case. There are several things wrong with this "analysis."  What Trump said was not a definitive statement that there were tapes.  He said something that he believed would force Comey to tell the truth about their conversations and it apparently worked.  After Comey testified Trump felt exonerated.

How could getting a witness to tell the truth be considered witness tampering?  That is absurd on its face.  It is a technique used by trial lawyers in cross-examinations from time to time.  Even Abraham Lincoln is said to have used it.

Why is the Washington Post even giving credence to such a ridiculous theory?  There seems to be no limit on what the left and the media will stoop to in their attempt to justify a coup against the President.

Navy has yet to reveal why watch system did not work to avoid collision of Fitzgerald with freighter

NY Times:
A U.S. Destroyer Failed to Dodge a Cargo Ship. Why?
Lookouts and radar operators on the Fitzgerald should have spotted the freighter it collided with, and the captain should have been alerted. But none of that happened, and seven sailors died. While the radar system should have alerted the crew, a person on watch should have been able to identify the potential collision by seeing the running lights on the cargo ship.  They should have been able to see the port side red lights on the ship as it approached.  The Navy needs to determine if the watch was distracted by something internally on the destroyer or was asleep at the wheel.

Reports indicate the cargo ship was on autopilot.  I suspect the Fitzgerald was too.  But both ships should have had a watch posted and both had a responsibility to avoid a collision.

Documents reveal Qatar ties to Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish despot

Shoebot.com:
Secret Documents Reveal A Grand Conspiracy Behind Qatar And Turkey For A Muslim Brotherhood Takeover What I do not understand is why the US State Department is insistent on supporting this Islamist organization even against the allegations of other Muslims.  The claim that labeling them a terrorist organization will alienate Muslims seems to be belied by the fact that so many Muslims reject the group.

Canada demonstrates how rationed healthcare works

CTV News:
Healthcare wait times hit 20 weeks in 2016: reportA survey by the Fraser Institute found a median wait of 20 weeks for “medically necessary” treatments and procedures in 2016 – the longest-recorded wait time since the think tank began tracking wait times.
... There is more.

This is what you get with the single payer system the Democrats are pushing.  This is not to mention the loss of innovation in medicine that is created by the single payer system that free rides on US pharmaceuticals where most of the new drugs are created.

The left and its terrorist movement

Red States:
Trump Supporter Savagely Attacked At Sanctuary City Protest In California

We’re barely six months into the so called #RESIST movement and the Left has already engaged in more violence than they ever falsely accused the Tea Party of committing. In California a demonstration over the sanctuary cities issue ended with a man being run down and stabbed nine times in what certainly looks like another racially or politically motivated attack. At this rate, left wing extremists are going to be a bigger security threat than ISIS.
... Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.  It has become routine especially in California where the left controls all the levers of government and it seems to have no interests in going after violent fellow travelers.  It appears opponents of liberalism are the victims of hate crimes in that state.

Congress should investigate the investigators

Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows:
Former FBI Director James Comey misled the American people during last year’s presidential campaign when he referred to the Clinton email scandal as a “matter,” not an investigation. He did it willfully. He did it intentionally. And he did it at the direction of Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Mr. Comey misled the American people in the early weeks of the Trump administration by furthering the perception that President Trump was under investigation, when in fact he was not. He again did this willfully and intentionally.

Comey recently admitted that, after being fired from the FBI, he had a friend leak an internal FBI document to the New York Times detailing a conversation Comey had with President Trump. Comey testified under oath that he ordered the leak to help create public momentum for the appointment of a special counsel, which we now know is Comey’s mentor and predecessor, Robert Mueller.

The American people want justice to be blind. They w…

Democrat colusion allegation scam replaced by obstruction scam

Andrew McCarthy:
The “collusion” narrative was a fraud, plain and simple. We know that now. Hopefully, it won’t take another six months to grasp a second plain and simple truth: Collusion’s successor, the “obstruction” narrative, is a perversion.The Left loves narrative. The ever-expanding story manipulates time, space, and detail to fit a thematic framework. Political narrative has some surface appeal, but it is deeply flawed. It obscures plain and simple truth.So let’s stick with the plain and simple: The essence of obstruction is to frustrate the search for truth. Its antithesis is to demand the exposure of fraud.Donald Trump’s political enemies are trying to build an obstruction case on the antithesis of obstruction: the president’s insistence that the collusion fraud be exposed.
... There is more.

The Democrats have been engaged in the politics of fraud and they keep getting caught.  But rather than shrinking from their scheme they double down with another preposterous assertion an…

Will California state universities have to forfeit out of state games in certain states?

CNN:
California adds 4 states to travel ban for laws it says discriminate against LGBTQ community I suspect the ban may breach the constitution prohibition on interference with interstate commerce.  But it would be interesting to see if California would damage the ability of state school sports programs to compete.

Saudis say they foiled terror attack against holy site

Reuters:
Saudi security forces foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca - state TV

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Al Arabiya said security forces had found two groups of terrorists in Mecca and a third group in the city of Jeddah. The foiled attack targeted worshipers at the mosque, it said.
... This sounds like an ISIS operation, but the Saudis have also recently foiled plots by Iran too.   If they managed to capture the plotters whey will likely find out who was behind the operation.

There is an Islamic civil war going on and the terrorists are not limiting their attacks to non-Muslims.

Narrowing the list of leakers--Trey Gowdy responds to a question about an intelligence briefing

Image
There were apparently eight people in the room beside the witness.  He eliminates two counting himself which suggests the leaker was one of six congressmen.  I suspect the list can be further narrowed to who among the six were Democrats.

High tech drilling is making US producers more efficient

Reuters:
In today's U.S. shale fields, tiny sensors attached to production gear harvest data on everything from pumping pressure to the heat and rotational speed of drill bits boring into the rocky earth.

The sensors are leading Big Oil's mining of so-called big data, with some firms envisioning billions of dollars in savings over time by avoiding outages, managing supplies and identifying safety hazards.

The industry has long used sophisticated technologies to find oil and gas. But only recently have oil firms pooled data from across the company for wider operating efficiencies - one of many cost-cutting efforts spurred by the two-year downturn in crude oil CLc1 prices.

ConocoPhillips (COP.N) says that sensors scattered across its well fields helped it halve the time it once took to drill new wells in Eagle Ford shale basin of South Texas.

By comparing data from hundreds of sensors, its program automatically adjusts the weight placed on a drill bit and its speed, accelerating…

Obama wimps out on what media calls the 'crime of the century'

Washington Post:
Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault

In political terms, Russia’s interference was the crime of the century. It was a case that took almost no time to solve and was traced to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But because of the ways President Barack Obama and President Trump handled it, the Kremlin has yet to face severe consequences. Through interviews with more than three dozen current and former U.S. officials, The Post tells the inside story of how the Obama administration handled the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. The story buries the real lead near the end of the story where they admit that the "crime of the century" had no effect on the outcome of the election.   This appears to be another attempt by the media to keep the Russian angle alive in their complicity in a coup attempt against Trump since their collusion narrative has been totally discredited.

Apparently, Obama was a source for some of the mater…

Many on the left don't get the enormity of Democrats literally targeting Republicans they disagree with

Mary Katherine Ham:
Aftermath Of Alexandria Shooting Showed The Left’s Cultural Bullying At Its Worst

The behavior of many on the Left this week sent a message that not only do they not 'get' the other half of the country, they don’t want to. That's a recipe for losing elections.
...

National media covered the incident voraciously for several hours, but within a day, most had moved on to another leak in the Russia story. Less than 48 hours after a multiple assassination attempt on members of Congress, there were no media vans or cameras at the Alexandria baseball field where it occurred. Just for perspective, when Republican staffer Elizabeth Lauten committed the offense of writing something critical of President Obama’s daughters on her private Facebook page, news cameras were camped on her parents’ lawn staking her out for the better part of a week.
...

Less than a week after the shooting, there was a high-profile House election in Georgia—the most expensive House race in…

The meanness of Obamacare and the President who pushed it

Washington Post:
‘Meanness at the core:’ Obama jumps back into fray to criticize Trump, GOP on health care

Barack Obama had pledged to recede from the limelight, but in defending his White House legacy he is setting up a high-stakes confrontation between a former and current president that is virtually unprecedented in modern times. This is from a guy who probably has not read the bill he is criticizing.   The meanness at the core of Obamacare required him to use lies to sell it.  It imposed great burdens on small business and especially on people in the individual market where healthcare premiums for lousy insurance went through the roof so Obama could bestow his generosity on Democrat voters.

He drove up the cost by mandating coverage of crap people did not want or need.  It was one of the worse laws ever passed and earned the wrath of the voters who rejected the Democrats who supported the travesty.

Senate healthcare bill would reverse the wealth transfer portion of Obamacare

NY Times:

Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill The bill is aligned with long-held Republican values, jettisoning Obamacare taxes. But it would also reduce funding for the care of low-income Americans. This story appears to be written to suggest that allowing some people to keep their own money is a wealth transfer when it is just the opposite.

What Obamacare did was impose new burdens on small business and on people in the individual market whose rates skyrocketed in order to help pay for those who were not paying for their own healthcare insurance.

It was a very unfair system that attacked mainly middle-class people who did not have employer-provided healthcare insurance.

The media and the Democrats continue to show a lack of empathy for those seriously harmed by Obamacare.

The Washington Post has another example of this false narrative:
Senate Republicans ready themselves for a massive theft from the poor In fact, Obamacare was making people in th…

Is National Security Council trying to obstruct the investigation of Susan Rice's unmasking operation?

Washington Times:
House intelligence committee sources say career officials at the National Security Council are slow-walking the delivery of subpoenaed records on former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice’s handling of classified information and the “unmasking” of Trump campaign workers — material from the Russian hacking probe that middle-level NSC managers claim was transferred to President Obama’s library and could “remain closed to the public for five years.”

One source, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, called the transfer curious and appeared to reflect an effort by former administration officials to obscure evidence on whether Ms. Rice and other top officials in the Obama White House illegally tried to identify which Trump campaign and transition aides had been caught up in the U.S. intelligence intercepts of Russian interference in the presidential race.

The two high-level intelligence committee sources told The Washington Times that they are confident the panel…

More on the liberal jihad against Mike Flynn

Power Line:
Yesterday’s big New York Times romp was the inflammatory hit piece “Despite concerns about blackmail, Flynn heard CIA secrets.” The story carried the byline of Matt Apuzzo, Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman.

The thesis of the story was obviously spoonfed to the Times by Senator Ron Wyden (as is pointed out below). The story is based in part on public testimony, but in relevant part I believe it fails to cite a single on the record source. As usual, it seems to draw on classified information. Its apparent purpose is to kneecap CIA Director Mike Pompeo while finding yet another pretext to emit the fog of “collusion.”

Senator Tom Cotton addressed the Times story in a series of 10 tweets. He undermined the story in the first seven and returned with three more for good measure.

Senator Cotton persuades me that there is less to the Times story than meets the eye. And Senator Cotton’s last point — that certain Times reporters “need time to explain to FBI investigators their reveali…

The slippery slope of the legal fight against Trump

Alan Dershowitz:
My academic and political colleagues who insist that President Trump has obstructed justice point to his allegedly "corrupt motive" in firing former FBI Director James Comey after telling him that he "hoped" he would end his investigation of retired Gen. Mike Flynn. They concede – as Comey himself did – that the president has the constitutional authority to fire the director and to order him to end (or start) any investigation, just as he has the authority to pardon anyone being investigated. But they argue that these constitutionally authorized innocent acts become criminal if the president was "corruptly motivated."

This is a dangerous argument that no civil libertarian should be pressing. Nor would they be pressing it if the shoe were on the other foot.

If Hillary Clinton had been elected and Republicans were investigating her for asking the attorney general to describe the investigation of her as a "matter" rather than a &qu…

Financial services company to bring thousands of jobs to Dallas-Fort Worth area

Dallas Business Journal:
Financial giant Charles Schwab to begin work on new 5,000-person regional hub in Westlake Schwab is a California-based discount brokerage firm whose MO in the past is to pay its sales staff a salary rather than the more traditional use of giving them a portion of brokerage fees associated with the transaction.

They already have a large regional hub in Denver and this appears to be part of an expansion move.

China concerned that Democrats may attack them next after Russia scare fizzles

Bill Gertz:
The political hysteria sweeping Washington over allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential election is reverberating in China. The communist government is worried that a similar wave of anti-China sentiment will take hold in the United States.

According to China watchers in and out of government, what Beijing fears most is that special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director, will add White House dealings with China to his investigation of Russian election meddling.

One main effort of the Chinese government is trying to tamp down the fallout from news reports that first surfaced in March revealing a company owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was planning to sell a stake in a Manhattan skyscraper to the Chinese state-connected insurance company Anbang for $400 million.

The proposed sale of 666 Fifth Ave., reported by Bloomberg and The New York Times, has all the trappings of a Chinese influence operation designed to boost China

Before reading healthcare bill Democrat brought out disabled people to use as props as demonstrators

Red States:
Democrat Astroturf Protests Erupt Immediately After Release Of Senate Healthcare Bill Democrats like to act like they are the party of empathy, but they have shown no empathy for the people who have been grievously harmed by Obamacare.  Instead, they use people who have no knowledge of the bill to act like victims.

More evidence emerges of Comey leaks to media

Breitbart:
James Comey may have misled senators on May 3, when he testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had never been an anonymous source in news reports related to the Russia investigation.

By that time, he had already leaked several private conversations he had with President Trump to his friend Benjamin Wittes, editor-in-chief of the blog Lawfare and former editorial writer for the Washington Post.

Wittes wrote in a piece on May 18, only nine days after Comey was fired, that the former FBI director had shared those conversations “over the previous few months.” He wrote:

Comey never told me the details of the dinner meeting; I don’t think I even knew that there had been a meeting over dinner until I learned it from the Times story. But he did tell me in general terms that early on, Trump had ‘asked for loyalty’ and that Comey had promised him only honesty. He also told me that Trump was perceptibly uncomfortable with this answer.

Wittes also wrote that he had lunch with …

Trump asked intelligence heads to tell the truth about Russian collusion allegations

Daily Mail:

Two top intelligence officials told the Special Counsel's team, and senators, that President Trump asked them to refute reports of collusion between the Russians and his campaign. Trump correctly stated that there was no collusion and it is hard to see anything inappropriate in asking officials to acknowledge the fact they were already aware of.  The Democrats had been running a scam with votes claiming there was collusion and setting the record straight rather than allow the fraud to fester makes sense.

Sniper sophistication leads to record long shot

Fox News:
A Canadian sniper set what appears to be a record, picking off an ISIS fighter from some 2.2 miles away, and disrupting a potentially deadly operation by the terror group in Iraq.

Shooting experts say the fatal shot at a world-record distance of 11,316 feet underscores how stunningly sophisticated military snipers are becoming. The feat, pulled off by a special forces sniper from Canada’s Joint Task Force 2, smashed the previous distance record for successful sniper shots by some 3,280 feet, a record set by a British sniper.

"The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,540 metres [2.2 miles]," the Canadian military said in a statement.

While officials would not say where the shot took place, the statement noted the command "provides its expertise to Iraqi security force to detect, identify and defeat Daesh activities from well behind the Iraqi security force front line in Mosul.&q…

How to kill fire ants

Washington Post:
A terrifying threat from tropical depression Cindy: Floating masses of deadly fire ants

Floodwaters won’t kill the notoriously tough insects, which are just as dangerous when they’re wet as they are dry, according to Alabama officials. One of the best ways to deal with fire ants is to sprinkle instant grits over their mound when it is dry.  The ants eat the grits and the moisture in their stomach causes the grits to expand and kill them.

Democrats have a problem and it is them

NY Times:
Democrats Seethe After Georgia Loss: ‘Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump’ A demoralizing special-election defeat has left some Democrats questioning the leadership and political strategy of Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader. Pelosi is not their main problem.  Their media cohorts are so extreme in their anti-Trump rage and agenda that it makes it difficult for a candidate in a non-liberal district to present a more nuanced message.

Ossoff could talk a more moderate theme, but it was hard to overlook the vitriol coming from Democrats and media analyst at CNN and MSNBC.  That was enough to motivate Republicans to get out in high numbers and vote against the liberal media's favored candidate.

By casting the election as the "resistance" versus Trump they made it easier for Republicans to win.  Republicans may not be that happy with Trump, but they definitely do not want to support the agenda of the "resistance."

If Democrats are concerned about their br…

Democrats also refused access to Homeland Security to deal with hacks

Washington Examiner:
Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday the Democratic National Committee decided it didn't need the department's help when it was hacked by the Russians and instead opted to rely on a private cybersecurity firm.

"This was a question I asked repeatedly when I learned of [the hacking]—what are we doing? Are we in there? Are we helping them discover the vulnerabilities, because this was fresh off the OPM experience and there was a point at which DHS cybersecurity experts did get in to OPM and help them discover the bad actors and patch some of the exfiltrations, or at least minimize some of the damage," Johnson said referencing the hack at the Office of Personnel Management.

"I was anxious to know whether our folks were in there, and the response I got was the FBI had spoken to them. They don't want our help. They have CrowdStrike," he said. "That was the answer I got after I asked the question…

A major difference in the new Afghan policy

Eli Lake:
How Trump's Afghan Policy Is Different From Obama's

A new approach would aim to empower the government without telegraphing a withdrawal date for U.S. troops. One of the real weaknesses in the Obama policy was its artificial deadline for pulling troops out of the country.   You win a war by persuading the enemy that his cause is hopeless.  Pulling troops out before the enemy reaches that conclusion gives him hope that you will just leave.  It is the opposite of a winning strategy.

Iran to get no free ride in next Hezballah attack against Israel

Jerusalem Post:
'IF HEZBOLLAH FIRES ROCKETS ON ISRAEL, IDF SHOULD HIT IRAN’S INFRASTRUCTURE'

Former deputy defense minister Ehpraim Sneh warned that Israel should be prepared to react to unforeseen aggression from Lebanon by hitting it where it hurts the most. While Iran probably should be a target in such a war, I would focus on more strategic targets like their weapons production facilities and their missile program.

The end game against ISIS is getting messier

Reuters:
Western-backed Syrian rebels holding a strategic swathe of the desert southeast stretching to the Iraqi border said they came under major attack on Tuesday from government forces and allied Iranian-backed militias backed by Russian air power.

They said hundreds of troops with dozens of armored vehicles including tanks had surged into the Bir Qassab area some 75 km (45 miles) southeast of Damascus towards the Badia region that skirts the borders with Jordan and Iraq.

Bir Qassab straddles the route to the eastern suburbs of Damascus, near the Dumeir air base, that is also a key rebel supply line towards areas they control further southeast.

Bir Qassab fell to Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels after it was abandoned a few months ago by Islamic State (IS) militants beating an eastward retreat to reinforce their urban bastion, Raqqa, against a U.S.-backed coalition offensive, and Deir al Zor province against a thrust by Syrian government forces.

Bir Qassab had given Islamic State a sp…

Democrats lashing out in frustration at their losses

Peter Hack:
...
... the problem extends beyond Democrat lawmakers and party leaders. It’s also the messaging of the party’s public spokesmen in media. When a wealthy white man defeated female Hillary Clinton for the presidency, feminists were outraged. When female Karen Handel defeated a wealthy white man for a congressional seat, feminists were outraged. It belies the entire movement and Americans see it and tire of it.

And the Times itself is culpable. The day before they ran this article on Democrat seething, they ran Democrat author Jill Filipovic’s assertions that excused her party and blamed the voters:

“At what point is this not a failure of Democrats, but toxic, vindictive voters willing to elect hateful bigots?”
She really wrote that. Karen Handel is a “hateful bigot.” Why? Because she disagrees with Jill Filipovic? Because she’s a Republican? And there was more:

“Maybe instead of trying to convince hateful white people, Dems should cater to our base – ppl of color, women – t…

Polls showing Georgia Democrat in the lead pushed GOP turnout

Politico:
Jon Ossoff was on a trajectory to defeat Karen Handel narrowly, poised to deliver a humiliating blow to the White House in a race billed as a referendum of Donald Trump’s early months in office. Then the Republican voters in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District unexpectedly showed up in droves.

Pollsters say sky-high turnout drove Handel, the GOP nominee, to a nearly 4-point victory on Tuesday, despite most pre-election surveys showing Ossoff with a small-but-shrinking lead.

... in the end, the Georgia contest represented yet another election in which the Democratic candidate either led or was tied in public polls — and was overtaken by the Republican when all the votes were counted.

Unlike in some other races, however, it wasn’t because Democratic voters didn’t show up. More than 259,000 votes have been tallied as of Wednesday afternoon, considerably more than the 193,000 votes in the first round of voting in April.

In fact, turnout was much higher than for other off-year s…

30 % of illegal immigrant 'children' have ties to transnational criminal groups like MS-13

Washington Times:
Nearly 30 percent of the illegal immigrant children the U.S. is holding in its dormitories have ties to criminal gangs, the government revealed Wednesday, suggesting that the Obama-era surge of Central Americans has fed the country’s growing problem with MS-13 and other gangs.

Federal officials refused even to guess at the true scope of the problem, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that they can give only small snapshots of what they see. But they said the devastation on communities across the country is clear: killings and chaos, particularly among other immigrants — both legal and illegal.

The Border Patrol identified 160 teens who were known or suspected gang members when they first showed up at the border, but whom the Obama administration said it had to admit under U.S. law.

Meanwhile, a spot check this month of 138 teens being held by the federal Health and Human Services Department identified 39 with gang ties. Four of them were forced into cooperating w…

Democrats and media cohorts dealing with the agony of defeat

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The GOP put this montage together so you would not have to stay up and listen to it.  There are lots of sad faces.

Tesla battery production creates massive amount of CO2

Tall Bloke:
Study: Tesla car battery production releases as much CO2 as 8 years of driving on petrol It looks like California's war on CO2 has a new villain and it is not Big Oil.

Israel develops rocket launched from inside a shipping container

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The Drive:


Though the concept has yet to find its big break, defense contractors continue to expand on the idea of highly mobile weapon systems that meet the size and weight restrictions of standard shipping containers. Now, Israel has tested such a system and says it has buyers already in line.

On June 20, 2017, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said it had successfully test-fired its Long-Range Artillery (LORA) system from a containerized launcher on the back of a truck sitting on the deck of a cargo ship. The state-operated firm first unveiled the mobile ballistic missile back in 2006. The experiment, which destroyed a pre-planned target, was part of final trials ahead of “several deals that involve the system,” according to a press release.
... There is much more.

This is a weapon that could be used to launch an attack on Iran from a cargo ship in the Persian Gulf.  If terrorists were able to adapt this technology it could cause havoc.

Lurking behind the strange Comey Clinton investigation there is the appearance of obstruction

Paul Sperry:
Next up: a special counsel to probe Team Obama’s obstruction of justice It is so obvious that it is surprising that people are just getting around to noticing it.  I would go further and investigate why no cases were brought dealing with Fast and Furious and the IRS abuse scandal.

How the Democrats' Russian deception works

Holman Jenkins:
...
Which brings us to today’s question: How did it become widely believed in the first half of 2017 that a U.S. president committed treason with Russia?

Consider what has passed for proof in the media. Tens of thousands of Americans have done business with Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, not to mention before.

In 2009 President Obama made the first of his two trips to Russia with a gaggle of U.S. business leaders in tow.

Of these many thousands, four were associated with the Trump campaign, and now became evidence of Trump collusion with Russia.

Every president for 75 years has sought improved relations with Russia. That’s what those endless summits were about. Mr. Trump, in his typically bombastic way, also promoted improved relations with Russia. Now this was evidence of collusion.

Russian diplomats live in the U.S. and rub shoulders with countless Americans. Such shoulder-rubbing, if Trump associates were involved, now is proof of crime.

The Alar pes…

What is positive for Democrats in losing every election this year?

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NY Times:

Dueling Realities for Democrats: Big Gains but Large Obstacles in 2018
This year’s generally positive special elections results for Democrats are still a reminder that it will be difficult to win in G.O.P. territory next year. With the media almost totally on their side and hostile stories about the President a daily feature and Democrats outspending Republicans by substantial amounts they still could not sell the dog food, the Democrats have been trying to shove down our throats.  Democrats are losing because they are Democrats and they cannot hide it with glitzy ads and celebrity endorsements.  To suggest they have made big gains is delusional.  But keep it up and keep going left Democrats.  It tells voters who you really are.


The overblown 'blackmail' concerns about Mike Flynn

NY Times:
Flynn Heard C.I.A. Secrets Despite Blackmail Worries
Intelligence officials overwhelmingly agreed that Michael T. Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail, yet Mike Pompeo, the new C.I.A. director, continued to deliver sensitive intelligence briefings in his presence. I still find it hard to believe that Flynn's perfectly legal conversations with the Russian ambassador could have led to blackmail.  That has always seemed like an overblown excuse by Democrats and others who were hostile to his point of view to get him fired.

Some in the intelligence community have never forgiven him for being right about the dangers of ISIS when Obama and Central Command were pushing a false narrative about the group being a junior varsity team.

I am not excusing his failure to be candid in speaking with the Vice President which resulted in his being asked to resign, but this jihad against him seems over the top.  I am just not buying the insinuation that he was some kind of a traitor.

Energy Department to cut research budget

Fuel Fix:
Energy Secretary Rick Perry defended President Donald Trump's proposal to slash funding for energy research programs Tuesday as necessary to reduce the government's budget deficit.

During a budget hearing with members of the House Appropriations Committee, Perry said the budgets cuts were necessary to preserve spending for modernizing the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal and other "key missions."

"This budget proposal makes some difficult choices, but it is paramount we execute our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer," Perry told the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Tuesday.

RELATED: Trump's budget a mixed bag for the energy sector

The Trump administration is proposing an 18 percent cut to research programs at the Department of Energy, with renewable energy and energy efficiency facing more than 60 percent cuts. The Advanced Research Projects Administration-Energy, which funds a number of research projects at Texas A&M and ot…