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Here come the Jihad Watch readers

Greetings, zombies! Terry Glavin writes so elegantly and compellingly, it is seems almost a shame to disagree with him. Unfortunately, expressing something beautifully does not make it so.

“Middle East myths drop like dominos,” by Terry Glavin in the National Post, February 28 (thanks to Gilles):

[...] Along with the now lifeless Edward Said there are also the undead. Consider Robert Spencer, whose biography reads a little like Edward Said’s, in its way. Like Said was, Spencer is a scholar, a widely published author, and an American of Middle Eastern Christian extraction with legions of fans. Like Said, Spencer is widely regarded in his circles, as was Edward Said in his own, as an authority on the imaginary frontiers that cleave the world between “west” and “east.” The Czar Gaddafi insists that the Libyan protests are the result of Al Qaida putting hallucinogens in everybody’s Nescafe. Not to be outdone:

They may be pro-democracy insofar as they want the will of the people to be heard, but given their worldview, their frame of reference, and their core assumptions about the world, if that popular will is heard, it will likely result in huge victories for the Muslim Brotherhood and similar pro-Sharia groups.
- Robert Spencer, on Libya’s revolutionary democrats, 2011.

In light of everything we are witnessing from Casablanca to Isfahan, the miserable and allegedly “progressive” viewpoint taken by Edward Said’s followers is matched by and coupled with Spencer’s lurid “conservative” cynicism in a symbiotic death grip, each parasitic upon the other, both offering nothing but the ravings of demented Americans. Everything is being swept away – it is 1989, it is 1917, it is 1848, as you like. As it is with Edward Said’s followers, Spencer’s fan base now betrays itself as an assortment of specimens from the Upper Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era. They are yesterday’s men. They are zombies.

It is not just to the price of oil that the rebellions are proving so terribly inconvenient. All the evidence, from Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Egypt and Iran, shows that democracy, freedom, work, wages and a “normal” life are exactly what the people are demanding. The people are not clamouring for the immolation of the Jews anymore than they are hollering for the appointment of Norman Finkelstein as the defence minister.

They aren’t? Really? Demonstrators interviewed in Egypt during the uprising against Mubarak said that they hated him because “he is supporting Israel. Israel is our enemy…If people are free in Egypt…they gonna destroy Israel.” Video here. Also, attackers in Tahrir Square shouted “Jew! Jew!” during their brutal sexual assault of “60 Minutes” reporter Lara Logan. These open-minded secular democratic protesters also drew Stars of David on photos of Mubarak, thereby demonstrating their considered rejection of Islamic antisemitism.

In Egypt, the April 6 Movement that started it all is root and branch a movement of trade unionists, secularists, and young intellectuals, all committed democrats. The Muslim Brotherhood was completely marginalized by it. The Ikhwan failed utterly in its attempts to hijack the uprising and now the aging Brethren sit in their solitary chairs with the rest of the Egyptian establishment, studying ways to mollify the revolt.

And yet Sheikh Qaradawi, godfather of the “marginalized” Brotherhood, recently made a triumphant appearance in Tahrir Square to a massive crowd, while secular liberal Wael Ghonim was barred from the stage. So which group is really marginalized?

In Libya, the February 17 movement has been consistent in its intentions for a secular democracy. The Libyans who have been pleading for our help have heard only cynical incoherence and self-gratifying expressions of outrage, but even so, even the Libyan imams have pleaded for the February 17 demands and continue to assert their faithfulness to the same secular cause.

Yeah, they “continue to assert their faithfulness to the same secular cause” in between drawing Stars of David on images of Gaddafi, chanting “no god but Allah,” and establishing an Islamic Emirate.

In Tunisia last week, 15,000 demonstrators gathered to condemn the Islamists who mobbed a synagogue and murdered a Polish Catholic priest in an obscene attempt to hijack the Tunisian uprising. The pro-democracy banners in Tunis read: “Nous sommes tous Musalmans, nous sommes tous Chretiens, nous sommes tous Juifs.” On it goes like this, in Morocco, across Iran, and in little Bahrain….

And yet also in Tunisia, demonstrators swarmed outside a synagogue, chanting a genocidal Islamic battle cry, and jihadists recently murdered a Catholic priest. Evidently not quite tous are Chretiens or Juifs.

Look, I would love to be proven wrong here, and Terry Glavin proved correct. I’d love to see genuine secular democracy blossom all over the Middle East. But Glavin cannot, unfortunately, point to any organized secular democratic movements of any significance in any of the countries in question, while in all of them, Islamic supremacist pro-Sharia groups are sizable, organized, and energetic.

I can’t see how this will end well, but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised, and retire back to my undead coffin in peace.

Kaffir Kanuck weighs in on this here.

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Will the last wealthy Person leaving New York State please shut the lights? While the progressives are still tied up in their underwear trying to find ways to punish success with over-taxation, New York State has been losing taxpayers at an alarming rate. Actually its not all tax payers just the ones who pay the highest taxes.

Most of the individual state coffers in this country are on the edge of insolvency, New York is closer to the edge than most of the other states.  Being one of the “bluest” of blue states in 2009, New York’s  lawmakers  adopted a surcharge on personal income taxes for those making more than $ 200,000. As The Partnership for New York City  an organization dedicated to maintaining NY City as the world’s business center, explains it

This surcharge increased the top personal income tax rate by 31%. It was intended as an emergency measure to help the state through the economic recession of 2008–2010, when tax receipts plummeted. The surcharge was structured to sunset after three years, at the end of 2011, to mitigate the impact of this significant tax increase on affected taxpayers, who tend to be major contributors to job creation and employment in the state

Today, the Downstate New York economy has substantially recovered and tax receipts are up, but New York State’s underlying fiscal problems are worse than ever. As a result, interest groups that depend on state spending are pressing for permanent extension of the surcharge, which they dub a “millionaire’s tax,” even though 76% of the people who pay the surcharge are not millionaires.

New York already has the second-heaviest state tax burden in the country, according to the Tax Foundation and making the rate hike permanent will also lock in a disturbing trend, the “rich” been leaving the state for “places where the tax burden is less” for years.

 Between 1998 and 2008, a net total of more than 1.7 million New Yorkers chose to relocate, taking with them their wealth and talent. More income has left New York than any other state in the nation — $ 71.7 billion from 1993 to 2008. For every dollar that migrated into New York from other states during that period, $ 1.71 left — the highest of any state.

Between 1999 and 2008, according to a study by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, the average net worth of households leaving New York State was roughly $ 338,000. For those households moving from New York to Connecticut and New Jersey the average net worth was about $ 625,000 and nearly $ 653,000, respectively.

A significant portion of the relocation from New York was to Florida and Texas, two states with no state or local income taxes, a very low cost of living, and a reasonable and predictable regulatory environment in which to conduct business. Both states have prospered as a result.

 Since the “millionaires tax” was passed things have gotten worse. The number of New York taxpayers worth $ 1 million or more fell 9.4% from 2007 to 2009, from 381,786 to 345,892. It will only grow worse if the surcharge is made permanent.

The report does show that some wealth moved into New York between 1993 and 2008, but it was not enough to replace what was lost. For every dollar of income the state gained, $ 1.71 left. No other state had a worse ratio.

The part of the “soak the rich” strategy that progressives never consider is that the upper incomes they want to over-tax can afford to pick up their toys and go elsewhere. And with their “toys” they bring their tax revenue,  their job creating businesses, and the best hope to fix the economy with them.


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Online supporters of the hitherto obscure Wisconsin Senate Democrats have raised, through ActBlue, almost $ 250,000, enough for quite a few nights at an Illinois Best Western.

That doesn’t mean they win, but it’s an echo of the online excitement on the left around Howard Dean and around the Obama campaign.

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One of the most important facts about present-day American politics is that poor people have essentially no political “voice” in Washington. They do, however, vote. And they’re also human beings with moral worth and interests who count. What often winds up happening is that you get liberal bloggers, whose opinions about things are easy to find out since we publish them on the Internet, used as a generalized proxy for a huge swathe of the electorate. Hence this kind of thing from Michael Shear:

One liberal supporter who listened to the [conference] call described it as “mostly boring,” an indication that the president’s base was not particularly upset about the budget. During the call, Mr. Plouffe also offered some comfort to the bloggers by suggesting that Mr. Obama is not interested in big reductions in Social Security.

As a colleague of mine snarks, “because if one thing is indicative of how poor people feel about cuts, it’s white upper class bloggers.”

Right. As best I can tell the electoral base of the Democratic Party continues to be low-income people and racial minorities. Obviously better-off white people with idiosyncratic ideological motivations also play an important role in progressive politics on a practical level. But I often thought during the health care debate that poor people would be saying “hell no I’m not going to give up this Medicaid expansion so you can hold out indefinitely for a public option.” Conversely, the political tactics of calling for an overall discretionary budget freeze while insisting on investments in energy, infrastructure, and education has a lot of merit but it necessarily entails taking the hammer to programs that subsidize consumption for poor people. I kind of doubt that all that many LIHEAP recipients eagerly downloaded the budget yesterday morning and then blogged about it in the afternoon and got on a press call in the evening.


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On Tuesday's "Daily Show," liberal comedian Jon Stewart flashed a smirk and wondered why the conservative base of the Republican Party is "so easily ignitable." The comedian hosted former Republican Party chair Michael Steele, who recounted the story of how he had to go about "re-igniting our base" after the party lost the White House and fell further into the minority in Congress in 2008.

"Why is it so easy to ignite your base?" Stewart asked with a smile. Amidst laughter from the audience, Michael Steele played along and quipped "they're an excitable bunch." Stewart kept at it. "They are so flammable, your base," he remarked, and added "so easily ignitable."

The remarks seem to echo Stewart's calls for civility in discourse, where he has focused much of his invective toward what he feels to be inflammatory political rhetoric. Earlier in the show, Stewart mocked "political hypochondriacs" on the Right who fear America will suffer the destructive fates of certain European and African countries; Stewart then lampooned Leftists who try to "cheer the hypochondriac up" by wishing America was in fact like certain European or Asian countries.

Shortly after, Steele talked about the party's efforts to be fiscally responsible and return to its conservative roots in "going back to Reagan." Stewart then chimed in that "even with Reagan – Reagan ran big deficits, Reagan raised taxes."

While it's true that Reagan did raise taxes and run big deficits during his presidency, he is best-known for lowering tax rates, simplifying the tax and regulatory codes, and running considerably smaller deficits than, say, President Bush or President Obama.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on February 1 at 11:22 p.m. EST, is as follows:

MICHAEL STEELE: We came in, we put our heads down to figure out a strategy that began with re-igniting our base, talking to our base, reconnecting with them –

JON STEWART: Why is it so easy –

STEELE: – and began building from there.

STEWART: Why is it so easy to ignite your base?


STEELE: They're an excitable bunch.

STEWART: They are so flammable, your base.

STEELE: They're an excitable bunch.


STEWART: So easily ignitable.

STEELE: And that's a good thing.

STEWART: The passion of 'em.

STEELE: But you know – but honestly, and that's a very good point, that's a very fair point. But you see it on both the right and the left among conservatives and Democrats. During the Bush years, you saw a very well-organized – and I thought well-communicated – strategy by folks on the Left about the war in Iraq. Now you have, in the Age of Obama, President Obama's time, you've got the economy, which is something that Republicans feel very strongly about and have been articulating, so I think you see this ignites –

STEWART: They are selling themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility.

STEELE: Yeah, and I think – I think historically that has been where the root of the party is, and certainly in the last ten years we've gotten into big government Republicanism, which really ticked off a lot of people in the base, turned away a lot of those independent voters who supported Republicans, going back to Reagan, because we weren't true to what we were saying we would do. And so, you know –

STEWART: Have you ever, though, you know, even with Reagan – Reagan ran big deficits, Reagan raised taxes. For the most part –  

STEELE: There's a blind spot when it comes to some of what President Reagan did as governor and as president. I mean, admittedly so. I mean, there –
STEWART: Doesn't that speak to the core, though?

STEELE: But I think there's also a very strong sense of, you know the ideal. The party, a lot of the activists in the party do strive towards the ideal, and it's true for both Democrats and Republicans. It's not just centered on the right side of the political spectrum.


STEWART: Well, let's talk about theory in practice.


STEWART: The RNC, you know, is now 21 or 23 million dollars in debt. The party of fiscal responsibility is that –

STEELE: But that's not the same –


STEWART: It's – you are – the RNC is –


STEWART: Well, I want to hear it – I want to hear it – let him –

STEELE: It's a fair point, because as the transcripts in the budget committee hearing – meeting – showed, I didn't want to spend the money. I was very hesitant about committing ourselves to additional lines of credit. But it is part of –

STEWART: You raised your debt limit.

STEELE: We raise – exactly. And look, and it will get paid off, there's no doubt about that. And certainly the new chairman wasted no time during his tenure working with me, asking for money to help them in his state –

STEWART: Exactly.

STEELE: So maybe he should give back some of that money, and help them pay down that debt.

STEWART: I'm not suggesting that the Republicans are going to be foreclosed on. I'm saying that is it hard for a party to say we run as the party of fiscal responsibility, but we're running a huge debt –

STEELE: But that's every party, both parties have debt right now, Democrats and Republicans. So you're saying the Democrats are showing their true colors by spending wildly with abandon?


STEELE: Okay. Well –

STEWART: I think nobody would suggest that the Democrats were –

STEELE: The difference is, we won. - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

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by Conor Friedersdorf

Cheryl Miller has been arguing that "the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell represents an enormous opportunity to repair the breach between the university and the military." I think she's right, and that if possible Ivy League campuses without ROTC programs should re-institute them, as she's been arguing.

Andrew Exum wonders if it is possible:

It's easy to demonize the "elite" universities for not having more ROTC programs, but the reality is that the U.S. military has been the one most responsible for divesting from ROTC programs in the northeastern United States. It's hardly the fault of Columbia University that the U.S. Army has only two ROTC programs to serve the eight million residents and 605,000 university students of New York City. And it's not the University of Chicago's fault that the entire city of Chicago has one ROTC program while the state of Alabama has ten. The U.S. military made a conscious decision to cut costs by recruiting and training officers where people were more likely to volunteer. 

Miller basically concurs, and sums up as follows:

The military will have to be ready to make a number of cultural adjustments… Within its ranks, there are some who feel considerable bitterness (some of it justifiedsome not) toward elite schools and the largely "blue" enclaves in which they are situated; others whose otherwise healthy anti-elitism has caused them to discount the benefits of expanding ROTC's reach, and finally, those who are ambivalent about the value of a liberal arts education to the officer corps. The resulting policy has been to limit ROTC scholarships for students at elite schools, conserving costs but also ensuring limited interest among a student group military leadership considers "short-timers" and whose strengths ("sensitivity, abundant intelligence, and creativity") have been seen as inimical or irrelevant to junior officer development. (All this is recounted in depressing detail in the Army Cadet Command history.


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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

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World energy use could be slashed over 70% by efficiency alone

Simple changes like installing better building insulation could cut the world’s energy demands by three-quarters, according to a new study.

Discussions about reducing greenhouse gas emissions usually concentrate on cleaner ways of generating energy: that’s because they promise that we can lower emissions without having to change our energy-hungry ways. But whereas new generation techniques take years to come on stream, efficiency can be improved today, with existing technologies and know-how.

To calculate how much energy could be saved through such improvements, Julian Allwood and colleagues at the University of Cambridge analysed the buildings, vehicles and industry around us and applied “best practice” efficiency changes to them.

Changes to homes and buildings included triple-glazing windows and installing 300-millimetre-thick cavity wall insulation, using saucepan lids when cooking on the stove top, eliminating hot-water tanks and reducing the set temperature of washing machines and dishwashers. In transportation, the weight of cars was limited to 300 kilograms.

They found that 73 per cent of global energy use could be saved by introducing such changes.

US Marines Use Solar Power to Cut Forward Operating Base Fuel Use By 90%

While the RAND Corporation says the US military won’t directly benefit from switching to renewable fuels-that is, it’s own operations won’t benefit, even if the nation will-another just released study says otherwise. The Office of Naval Research, in partnership with the Marine Corps, says it has solid evidence of the benefits of switching to renewable energy at forward operating bases.

The argument in favor of using more renewable energy is one that has been made several times before, in the words of Rear Admiral Nevin Carr, chief of naval research,

By doing so there is the potential for the Marine Corps to cut back the number of resupply convoys to these remote locations and save lives by keeping Marines clear of IED attacks. (Science Daily)

Examples from Afghanistan include using solar panels to charge batteries (in the military’s alphabet soup, SPACES or Solar Portable Alternative Energy Systems) the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines have been able to conduct extended patrols without the need for resupply. Using GREENS (Ground Renewable Energy Networks, a photovoltaic battery system) fuel for generators at Marine Corps forward operating bases testing the system was reduced by 90%.

Siemens Plans Record R&D Spending in 2011 to Harness Clean-Energy Demand

Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, plans to raise spending on research and development to 4.5 billion euros ($ 6.2 billion) in 2011 as it pours more money into its range of energy-saving equipment.

This year’s budget represents a record when adjusted for disposals, and is a 17 percent increase over last year’s 3.85 billion euros, spokesman Ulrich Eberl said in a Jan. 26 phone interview. The budget for wind-energy products has tripled in the past two years, Rene Umlauft, head of Siemens’s renewable energy division, said in an interview.

Siemens has invested “hundreds of millions” of euros in wind energy since entering the industry with an acquisition in 2004, Umlauft said. The division plans to add at least 2,000 employees to its current 7,000-strong force to help work through a 10 billion-euro backlog.

“We are going to spend a lot of money,” Umlauft said.

The German company, based in Munich, is going head to head with General Electric Co. in the market for turbines, products for the renewable energy industry, and scanners and equipment used in healthcare.

GE, Conoco, NRG Commit $ 300 Million to Venture to Support Clean Energy

General Electric Co., ConocoPhilips and NRG Energy Inc. have committed $ 300 million in capital to a joint venture that will invest in emerging energy technology companies.

The investment company, Energy Technology Ventures, will back about 30 startups over the next four years, they said in a joint statement today.

Collaborating with other major energy companies “enables us to pool our financial resources and technological expertise - - along with our extensive relationships — to provide more than money to emerging energy technology companies,” Kevin Skillern, managing director and leader of venture capital at GE Energy Financial Services, said in the statement.

The joint venture will focus on companies that are developing technology for renewable energy, smart grid, energy efficiency, oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, emission controls, water and biofuels.

Energy Technology Ventures’ first investments are in Santa Clara, California-based solar photovoltaic cell maker Alta Devices; Centennial, Colorado-based coal-to-methane technology company Ciris Energy Inc. and CoolPlanetBiofuels, a Camarillo, California-based non-food biofuels developer, according to the statement. It did not say how much money it has provided to them.

Extra U.N. climate talks set for April in Bangkok

Climate negotiators from almost 200 nations will hold an extra session in Bangkok in April to try to unblock work on a successor to the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol for slowing global warming, officials said on Friday.

They said that 2011 is likely to mark a slowdown in the overall number of U.N. meetings about climate change after a rush of talks since 2007 failed to come up with a treaty.

“The session…will be held in Bangkok from April 3 to 8,” according to an official who took part in a video conference meeting this week. The Bangkok talks will gather senior government negotiators.

The meeting adds to an existing schedule of a June session in Bonn, Germany and annual talks among environment ministers in Durban, South Africa, at the end of 2011. Another session is likely to be added between Bonn and Durban.

In Mexico last month, ministers agreed steps including a deal to set up a new fund to channel aid to developing nations as well as a goal of limiting any rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times.

Officials say talks in 2011 will try to fill in the details of many of those plans, including greenhouse gas cuts meant to help avert ever more floods, heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels predicted by the U.N. panel of climate experts.

Calderon and Zuma urge US to step up on climate change

Presidents Felipe Calderon of Mexico and Jacob Zuma of South Africa, hosts of global climate change summits, on Thursday urged the United States to take stronger action on the issue.

In a debate before business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the leaders regretted that their US counterpart Barack Obama had not once mentioned climate change in his State of the Union address this week.

“The world needs action from the United States,” said Calderon, who last month hosted a climate change summit in Cancun at which countries agreed to deep cuts in carbon emissions in order to slow climate change.

Zuma, who has been working with Calderon and will host the next UN-backed climate summit in Durban before the end of the year, agreed, saying: “We need action in the context of what the world has agreed to do.”

Both men agreed Obama faces domestic political opposition to his taking the lead on the emissions cutting agenda, and said they thought him serious about the issue. But both called for faster action from Washington.

UN climate talks in focus at Davos forum

U.S. businesses must do more to pressure Congress to act on climate change and realize that China is “winning the green race,” world leaders and climate change experts said Thursday at the World Economic Forum.

In a panel discussion at Davos, where some 2,500 business leaders and politicans are gathered, U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres said China “is going to leave us all in the dust” in the transition toward a more energy-efficient global economy.

The Chinese, she said, “are not doing it just because they want to save the planet. They are doing it because it’s good for the economy.”

European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said it’s time that American businesses realize that “it’s bad business to not be among the front-runners” in that race.

There is serious concern about how to keep the global economy moving forward while, at the same time, ensuring that people in the developing world are not denied a chance to better their lives without contributing to factors that have caused global warming.

Sen. Barrasso to introduce legislation to block Environmental Protection Agency

Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming plans to introduce legislation Monday to preempt the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to regulate carbon emissions, The Daily Caller has learned. It is the latest move by congressional Republicans who view the agency’s rules as a backdoor attempt to implement a cap and trade system.

“Barrasso’s bill stops this backdoor attempt to enact Obama’s cap-and-trade agenda through EPA and the rest of the federal bureaucracy,” said Barrasso spokesperson Emily Lawrimore. “The Barrasso bill restates and reaffirms the will of Congress as the sole authority over federal climate change policy.”

The bill, however, will go beyond just blocking the EPA. It will stop all federal agencies from implementing new energy taxes that could have a negative effect on employment and energy costs.

Barrasso’s bill builds off an amendment introduced last spring by then-Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich that would have blocked the EPA and individual U.S. states from regulating greenhouse gases.

While Voinovich’s amendment and the climate bill it was attached to never passed, Barrasso has used the Voinovich amendment as a template for his standalone bill. According to Lawrimore, the specifics of the bill are still being worked out.

New Mexico Supreme Court Overrules Tea Party Governor Fighting Climate Law

The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that new Tea Party Governor Susana Martinez violated the state constitution when she prevented New Mexico’s democratically-approved rule reducing carbon pollution from being published as codified state law.

Essentially their supreme court said “no one is above the law.”

The lawsuit was filed by the environmental nonprofit New Energy Economy, and reflects growing claims that Gov. Martinez tried to suppress the rule in an attempt to appease major carbon polluters who contributed heavily to her gubernatorial campaign, and that her suppression was arbitrary and illegal. Preventing its publication was not discretionary, the court ruled. According to eyewitnesses, it seemed as if this New Mexico Supreme Court ruling took just 30 minutes to decide.

Since Governor Martinez is actually a former assistant state attorney, the illegality of her action brought up a question in my mind. I asked Mariel Nanasi, the Executive Director of NEE, wouldn’t she know that was illegal? Nanasi laughed as if this was obvious, saying; “pretty much any attorney in that position would know that this suppression was illegal.”

Senator Who Shot Cap-and-Trade Bill in Ad Named to Energy Panel

The Senate committee with primary jurisdiction for U.S. energy policy added Joe Manchin, the former West Virginia governor who won office after using climate-change legislation for target practice in a 2010 ad.

Manchin will join the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, according to an e-mail yesterday from Bill Wicker, a committee spokesman. The panel, led by Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, plans to draft legislation that sets guidelines for how much electricity comes from sources such as coal, natural gas, wind and sun.

West Virginia is the second-biggest coal-producing state after Wyoming, according to Energy Department data. In his commercial, Manchin loads a rifle and fires a single bullet into a copy of the cap-and-trade bill backed by President Barack Obama that would penalize utilities for using coal.

“Manchin getting a seat on the energy committee is just an indication of the role that coal will play in the energy debate in the coming months,” said Tyson Slocum, energy director of the Washington-based advocacy group Public Citizen. “Coal is going to have its say in all of this.”

Freshmen set to mix up Senate Energy debate

The new makeup of the Senate Energy Committee – including a diverse handful of Tea Party and potentially centrist Republicans – raises major questions about whether it’s possible to reach common ground on a key “clean energy” production mandate and other energy initiatives President Barack Obama has called for.

Five freshmen GOP senators have joined the panel, led by members of the Tea Party movement: Kentucky’s Rand Paul and Utah’s Mike Lee. A Democratic freshman, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, is another new member and potential wild card on a panel that in the previous Congress proved more effective than most committees in hammering out deals across party lines.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) - who worked closely with Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) in 2009 to include a renewable power mandate in a broader energy package passed by the committee – left the Senate to become governor. Also gone from the panel is Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) - one of four Republicans that gave backing to the energy measure.

It is unclear whether Paul and Lee will veer farther to the right than the men they succeeded both on the panel and in the full Senate – Sens. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) and Robert Bennett (R-Utah).

Coal-country lawmakers ramp up push against EPA permit veto

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is launching fresh attacks against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its recent decision to block a large mountaintop-removal mining project in West Virginia.

Lawmakers from West Virginia and Ohio introduced a measure Wednesday that would prevent EPA from vetoing Clean Water Act permits that have already been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) sponsored the bill, and co-sponsors include Reps. Nick Rahall (W.Va.), the top Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.); and Ohio Republicans Bill Johnson and Bob Gibbs.

Coal-industry allies are furious with EPA over its decision this month to veto the Clean Water Act permit for Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 mine in West Virginia after the large project won approval from the Corps in 2007. The new bill would apply retroactively to the beginning of this year, thus blocking EPA’s veto of the mine, McKinley’s office said.

“For years, the EPA has been bullying coal companies and the workers they employ,” the freshman Republican said in a statement. He alleges that if EPA is able to overturn Corps’s permits, “dozens of heavily regulated industries and hundreds of thousands of American jobs hang in the balance.”

House Bill Would Curb EPA Veto Power, Restore Revoked Mountaintop Mining Permit

A West Virginia Republican filed a bipartisan House bill yesterday that would prevent U.S. EPA from retroactively vetoing water permits as it did earlier this month, blocking the largest-ever proposed mountaintop coal mine in Appalachia.

Rep. David McKinley’s legislation (H.R. 457 (pdf)) also aims to reverse EPA’s permit veto by setting an effective date of Jan. 1.

At issue is EPA’s Jan. 13 veto of a Clean Water Act permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers to the proposed 2,200-acre Spruce No. 1 mountaintop mine, citing damage the project would do to the environment and nearby West Virginia communities (Greenwire, Jan. 13).

West Virginia’s congressional delegation bristled in the aftermath of EPA’s veto. The coal-mining industry directly employs 31,000 in Appalachian states and produces about 11 percent of the nation’s coal.

Trade Groups Target EPA, Labor Rules

Business groups have targeted the Environmental Protection Agency along with workplace-safety laws in response to requests from congressional Republicans to describe regulations they believe are curbing growth.

The new chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), wrote to dozens of trade associations and businesses last month asking them to identify “regulations that negatively impact the economy and jobs.”

Since then, President Barack Obama announced a review of all regulations, and said in the State of the Union address that “when we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them.”

Responding to Mr. Issa’s call, groups representing the petroleum, manufacturing, construction, paper, chemical and farming industries, as well as small and minority businesses, all criticized the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases.

Republicans have said that they will make all of the responses public by mid-February, along with their assessment of regulations that should be jettison or changed.

Soot Crackdown Lags as EPA Wrestles Other Deadlines

U.S. EPA’s air division has made headlines under President Obama for its push to limit greenhouse gases and toxic pollution, but the busy office is running late with new limits on asthma-inducing soot, close observers of the rulemaking process say.

The Obama administration is nearing a decision point on particulate matter (PM), a pollution cocktail that includes run-of-the-mill dust and the chemical-laden soot that is released when fossil fuels are burned. When the current limits were put in place under President Clinton, the changes prompted an intense backlash from lobbyists and Republicans on Capitol Hill — a debate that will likely be reprised should the Obama administration decide to act.

EPA has said it will decide by next month whether health concerns justify any changes to the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for particulates.

The soot standards apply from coast to coast, setting a cap on the acceptable amount of dust and soot in the air that Americans breathe. State and local agencies are required to take action when the air in their neck of the woods isn’t clean enough.

U.S. refiner settles Clean Air Act issue

The second-largest petroleum refinery in the United States agreed to pay millions of dollars in damages for Clean Air Act violations, U.S. regulators said.

Hovensa LLC, which owns the second-largest petroleum refinery in the United States, agreed to pay $ 5.3 million in civil penalties and invest more than $ 700 million in pollution control equipment to settle Clean Air Act violations at its facility in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S Justice Department announced.

“This is another major step in our efforts, alongside EPA, to bring the petroleum refining sector into compliance with our nation’s environmental laws,” Ignacia Moreno, assistant attorney general for the environment and natural resources division of the Department of Justice, said in a statement.

The federal complaint accused Hovensa of making modifications to its refinery that led to increased emissions without getting the approval from the government as required by the Clean Air Act.

The investments made by Hovensa under the deal will result in the removal of more than 8,000 tons of harmful chemicals that lead to acid rain and smog.

The settlement is the 105th for the EPA, which the regulatory agency said indicates that more than 90 percent of the refining capacity in the United States is under agreements with the government to reduce their emissions.

The St. Croix facility is one of the largest in the world, refining more than 525,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

JPMorgan Says OPEC Acts to Slow Oil, May Raise Later

OPEC will have to raise oil prices in coming years to maximize revenue even as it acts to quell crude’s rally toward $ 100 a barrel in the short term, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Indications that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are raising output unilaterally are the first signs of a response to rising prices, said analysts at the second-largest U.S. bank by assets. Crude fell to a five-week low Jan. 24 after Ali al-Naimi, the oil minister of OPEC’s biggest member, Saudi Arabia, said the 12-member group will boost supply this year.

“The producer group does not want oil prices to rise too high, too quickly,” JPMorgan analysts, led by New York-based Lawrence Eagles, said in a monthly report dated yesterday. “But we believe the group has little option but to incrementally raise prices over the coming years to maximize the revenue from each barrel of oil produced.”

Exxon: Global Gasoline Demand To Fall Over 20 Yrs

There will be 400 million more cars on the world’s roads 20 years from now, yet gasoline consumption will decline, according to a projection from Exxon Mobil Corp. in its long-term energy outlook released Thursday.

The world’s biggest investor-owned oil and gas company expects energy use overall will grow 35 percent by 2030, But that growth would be three times higher if people used as much energy per capita as they do now.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in projections of gasoline demand. People in developing countries, especially China, will drive millions of more cars and gas demand will grow, but the cars will be more efficient than those of the past.

Meanwhile, improvements in fuel efficiency in the U.S. and Europe will create a drop in demand that more than matches Asia’s growth. Demand for fuel for passenger vehicles will decline by 20 percent in the U.S. and by one third in Europe by 2030.

Meanwhile, improvements in fuel efficiency in the U.S. and Europe will create a drop in demand that more than matches Asia’s growth. Demand for fuel for passenger vehicles will decline by 20 percent in the U.S. and by one third in Europe by 2030.

Exxon’s long-term energy analysis, updated and released to the public every year, paints a picture of what Bill Colton, vice president, Corporate Strategic Planning called a “tale of two worlds.”

In developed countries like the U.S., Japan, and the nations of Europe, demand for energy will stay flat even as economic activity increases by 60 percent. In developing countries like China, India and Brazil, demand for energy will rise more than 70 percent as more and more people gain access to electricity and transportation

China to import more fuels despite clean energy drive

* Net coal imports to continue growing after record purchases

* Power use to grow at a slower pace of 9 pct this yr

* Starts building 20 GW hydropower this yr, 10 pct of total

* Adding one-third of wind power capacity in 2011

BEIJING, Jan 28 (Reuters) - China will ramp up conventional fuel imports and production to power its economy in 2011 despite accelerating efforts to develop clean, renewable and alternative energy.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) estimated on Friday that energy demand in the world’s second largest economy will increase steadily but the growth could moderate from last year.

It did not provide an estimate of overall energy demand this year or energy used last year.

“China’s net coal imports ../../tag/base/hit_146_million_tonnes_in_2010._It_could_keep_increasing_in_2011___8221.css; Wang Siqiang, deputy head of general affairs department under the NEA, said in a quarterly press conference.

“Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Columbia and Russia will continue increasing their percentages of exports to China along with their rising coal output in 2011.”

Burning ambitions: What is good news for miners is bad news for the environment

IN RICH countries, where people worry about air quality and debate ways of pricing carbon emissions, coal is deeply unfashionable. Elsewhere demand for the dirty rocks has never been stronger. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reckons world consumption will increase by a fifth over the next 25 years, assuming governments stick to their current climate-change policies. A new age of coal is upon us.

The IEA estimates that China, which generates more than 70% of its electricity with coal, will build 600 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power capacity in the next quarter-century—as much as is currently generated with coal in America, Japan and the European Union put together. Nomura, a Japanese bank, thinks that may be an underestimate. It reckons China will add some 500GW of coal-fired power by as early as 2015, and will more than double its current generating capacity by 2020. It expects Indian coal-fired power generation to grow too—though more slowly.

Even developing countries with vast quantities of coal under home soil will find themselves unable to dig it out quickly enough to meet demand. China, the world’s biggest coal producer by some distance, has turned to foreign suppliers over the past couple of years and is likely to rely on them even more in future. Its voracious appetite for energy and steel means it will need at least 5-7% more coal each year. Citigroup reckons China will import 233m tonnes in 2011. As Daniel Brebner of Deutsche Bank points out, that is considerably more than the annual capacity of Richards Bay in South Africa or Newcastle in Australia, the world’s biggest coal ports.

Energy proposal interests producers

President Barack Obama’s proposed clean energy mandate has more appeal to Iowa industries and electric utilities than do caps on greenhouse gases, but they’ll still be wary of any new policy that could increase power costs.

Obama is calling for the nation to get 80 percent of its power from clean sources by 2035, about double the current level, according to the White House. Nuclear energy and natural gas would count toward the target, as well as wind, solar and clean-coal technology.

The proposal is an alternative to the plan Obama pushed unsuccessfully in the last Congress to cap greenhouse gases and require emitters to buy pollution permits, a provision that Iowa utilities said would force large rate increases. But any kind of power mandate still faces stiff Republican resistance in Congress.

It probably won’t help sell the proposal that it’s coming on top of new environmental regulations that affect utilities.

Europe’s Cap-and-Trade Suspended

The first generation of any innovation—be it a new mobile phone or computer system—always comes with glitches and flaws. But still it’s tough not to feel frustrated this week by news that Europe’s carbon trading market-the first of its kind, and designed as a model for cap-and-trade schemes around the world-has been closed following a digital heist that saw an estimated $ 38 million of carbon credits stolen.

Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was set up in 2005 to help modernize the continent’s greenhouse-gas emitting industries, and therefore reduce Europe’s carbon footprint. From the outset, companies were either allocated free carbon credits or bought them—if they exceeded their emissions quotas they were forced to buy certificates from companies that managed to reduce their carbon output through efficiency measures. On paper, the scheme has been a success: ETS now covers some 12,000 installations in a $ 100 billion-a-year market.

Climate Progress

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Two people who were on their way this weekend to visit Pfc. Bradley Manning, the man accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and other information to Wikileaks, say they were detained at the military base where Manning is being held, apparently without reason.

David House, a hacker from Boston who says he has been visiting Manning since September, and Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake, went to the Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia Sunday afternoon. They were hoping to visit Manning, as well as deliver a petition to the base calling for better treatment for Manning.

Manning’s lawyer has called the brig’s treatment of Manning abusive, as he’s being held in solitary confinement and stays in his cell for 23 hours a day. Last week, his lawyer filed a complaint with the base after Manning was placed on suicide watch, which further restricted his actions in the brig. The UN’s special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, has submitted a formal inquiry to the State Department about Manning’s treatment. Amnesty International has written to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, saying that the military’s treatment of Manning is “inhumane” and “unnecessarily severe.”

When House and Hamsher arrived on the base, they say, military police took their IDs and told them they could neither leave the base or proceed to the brig. The MPs also reportedly would not accept Hamsher’s digital proof of insurance and impounded her car.

They say they were held for two hours and released at 3 p.m. — when Manning’s visiting hours ended. They were not allowed to see him.

“I would not be surprised to learn they were also punishing him [House] for speaking out about Manning’s conditions,” Hamsher said in a blog post about the incident.

A spokesman for the base told the AP that the two were never detained. He said Hamsher’s car was towed after she failed to show proof of insurance, and after MPs determined her car’s license plates were expired.

Manning, who is 23, has been charged with eight crimes related to illegally leaking classified information. Manning is accused of leaking 250,000 diplomatic cables, tens of thousands of military dispatches from the war in Afghanistan and a video that shows U.S. forces opening fire on civilians in Iraq, including two Reuters journalists.

TPM has contacted Quantico to get more details about the incident. We’ll let you know when we hear back.


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In November, President Obama and NATO proposed a new timetable for the end of combat missions in Afghanistan. The White House has said it will begin a gradual withdrawal starting in in July of this year. According to an Afghanistan Study Group survey, two-thirds of Tea Party voters believe that “Washington should reduce troop levels in Afghanistan or withdraw from the region altogether as soon as possible.” 67 percent of Tea Party supporters worried that the war would hamper deficit reduction.

However, after a weekend trip in Afghanistan to be wooed “away from the Tea Party” by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Tea Party victors Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have all decided to ignore the Tea Party and rebuke the idea of any timetable for withdrawal as “artificial”:

- Toomey: Though a “budget hawk” elected on platform of less wasteful spending, Toomey said that, “despite record budget deficits, a skeptical public and corruption within the Afghanistan’s government, the United States can’t afford to shortchange the war effort.” “This is the country from which al-Qaida launched the most devastating attack on America since World War II. The Taliban wants to take control again. Al-Qaida wants to have a safe haven. And that’s what would happen, I’m afraid, if we had a precipitous withdrawal,” Toomey said in Kabul.

- Ayotte: Supporting President Obama and NATO’s withdrawal date of late 2014 as an “aspirational goal,” Ayotte told reporters that “having now been here and visited, an artificial time line for withdrawal is not something we should have. … We’re making progress here and that [sic] we should obviously continue to assess the conditions on the ground.”

-Johnson: While the trip left Johnson “extremely optimistic” about U.S. progress in Afghanistan, the Wisconsin senator said “it was a mistake to announce a withdrawal timetable of 2014.” “We cannot set artificial deadlines,” he said in a conference call. “We’ve got to be committed to this.”

- Rubio: Though believing the U.S. is “on the timeline this year to have some real good news and make some significant progress” in Afghanistan, Rubio rebuked NATO’s withdrawal timeline for U.S. troops as “artificial.” “I think if you attach a date to it…you are really creating a difficult situation. The bad guys, the Taliban and even al-Qaida, must know all they have to do is wait.

While Ayotte supported a withdrawal timetable as a candidate, it appears she is now reversing her stance, even though a timetable is supported by Gen. David Petraeus, the Pentagon, and NATO forces.

For all their anti-spending rhetoric, these senators’ desire to stay longer in Afghanistan would significantly expand the deficit. As it stands, both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have cost the U.S. over $ 1.21 trillion and could top $ 1.3 trillion in FY2011.


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David Frum says that "that there are really only two presidential primaries in the GOP: The evangelical primary and the business primary." After Palin's recent performance, he believes that "Mike Huckabee [is] the presumptive winner of the evangelical primary":

Suppose you are a faith & family voter: strongly socially conservative, strongly opposed to Barack Obama. By now you have thoroughly absorbed the idea that Palin is electorally radioactive. Quietly, you may also have your own reservations about Palin’s character, temperament and judgment. If you didn’t have an alternative, you might have to stick to her. But you do have an alternative: in fact it’s your own first choice from 2008. Easy call, yes?

Does David really believe this about the Palinites? I hope he's right. I fear he's very wrong. Huckabee's fiscal record is liberal and he pardoned a cop-killer. He's a very genial person and would be a powerful antidote to the increasingly angry image of the GOP. But cult-followers do not abandon their icons easily. I still believe the nomination is hers to lose. And fervently hope I'm wrong.

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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

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Given that at least two of my recent web postings on the race for RNC Chair dealing with Reince Priebus’ unsuitability for that particular job have made it into emailed discussion threads among all RNC Committee members, I’d like to respectfully address you as regards what those postings represent and what they do not.

I saw one reference from Mr. Henry Barbour suggesting that open criticisms of the various candidates, obviously including my own, actually represents hating. Truth be told, if they represent anything, it’s love - as in love for our country in perilous political and economic times, with a sincere desire to impact politics to improve the Republican Party, so that we may do what’s right for America, not continue down a path of doing things wrong.

Well, whoever these people are that seem to wake up each morning hating all of our candidates for chairman jumped on my use of the phrase “personal contributions” and are acting like I was somehow trying to mislead folks.

Unfortunately, and with all due respect, in this a Tea Party and New Media age, that is the language of the antiquated and self-appointed back room deal-making pol interested in little more than stifling dissent to his chosen candidate.

The Tea Party, an energized base due to Democrat over reach and the ability for citizen activists to publish their thoughts, has changed American politics. It is for that reason I am writing you. It is so important to the future of the RNC, the GOP and even America, I believe it warrants some thought and careful consideration as you prepare to elect a new Chair.

Later today, I will publish a list of valid reasons why so much of the GOP base finds Reince Priebus unsuitable for Chair. But that is not my purpose with this letter.

With a liberty loving America under threat from what amounts to a Leftist onslaught of Big Government, we need a united and cohesive Republican Party to continue to try and set this country right, just as we began to do in November of 2010. The Tea Party, energized activists, now published and read broadly on the web, are not going away. Still, it is what might be called the political establishment that gets to call the shots, especially as regards the race for RNC Chair. There is nothing wrong with that. You have earned that privilege from all your fine work.

Yet, somewhere there must be a meeting of the minds between the base and establishment if we are to have the unified and energized Republican Party we need going into 2012. By and large, the base has determined that Reince Priebus is unacceptable to them as chair. There are good reasons for that. I will address them later, as stated. But at the same time, both Saul Anuzis and Ann Wagner are acceptable. That is not because Anuzis and Wagner are somehow of us and not of you, the establishment. We are not being uncompromising here.

In fact, as their more than viable candidacies indicate, both Anuzis and Wagner are very much of the political establishment, not opposed to it. And that’s how it should be.

What they both have done, and Priebus has not, however, is demonstrate that they get it. They made the effort to engage the energized activist base, made their respective cases and have both won hearts and minds. That is, after all, what lower-case “D” democratic politics is all about, is it not?

Meanwhile, Reince Priebus, actually more a child of an old politics, than the fresh, vibrant and genuinely inclusive one the GOP needs to truly succeed today, all but seemed to think he had the thing wrapped up. He played his cards right, used the same old high-billing consultants totally out of touch with the base, his insider influence as General Counsel to win fast friends, made the right deals and, unfortunately, basically turned on a friend, current chair Michael Steele, when the time was right to elevate himself.

That can no longer be what Republican politics represents, unless the goal is to make the party irrelevant.

That is the GOP politics of old that the base and the Tea Party is forcefully rejecting. How many primaries must we have before the political establishment gets the message? We are, in essence, having one, now, are we not? We call on you to reject the corrupted and antiquated politics of old in the person of Reince Priebus and please consider either Ann Wagner, or Saul Anuzis, because they are acceptable not only to most in the base, but most in the establishment, as well.

We are not trying to tell you what to do, but merely asking to be heard. For too long, that has simply not been happening as regards Republican politics. With the continuing rise of the Tea Party, a fired up conservative base and more and more online activism, we will eventually be heard, or we will continue to replace GOP politicians, and perhaps even committee members, who continue to behave as if they, and only they get to call all the shots.

The Constitution begins, “We the people,” not, we the chosen ones. All we the people are asking in this case is to be heard. The stakes are high in American politics just now, please choose wisely as you select a new chair and select a candidate who will make all of us proud as the America loving people and Republicans we all are. This is no time for hating, or using it as a device to quell honest dissent. The Democrats are good at that, let’s leave it to them.

Thank you all for your time and kind consideration in this regard.

Big Government

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**Written by Doug Powers

President Obama was originally hoping the GOP would play to his base (somebody should, I suppose), but the odds that the Republicans will cave and raise taxes, extend unemployment benefits to 2025, shutter Gitmo, make college absolutely free and force Limbaugh off the air and replace him with Ed Schultz are slim… at least in the near future:

Returning from his Hawaiian vacation on Air Force One overnight, President Obama offered a brief assessment of the Republicans who will return to Washington Wednesday, saying that he expects Republicans to “play to their base for a certain period of time.”

But Mr. Obama said he believes the Republicans in the Senate and the new leadership in the House will eventually play down politics in 2011 to focus on improving the nation’s economy.

At least the Republicans can can actually play to their base and improve the economy as opposed to destroying the economy because they’re playing to their base.

The first step: The ultimate Obamacare waiver.

Other cuts begin in their own House:

House Republicans on Tuesday said they would reduce expenses of the House itself by $ 35.2 million to underscore their commitment to slashing government spending across the board.

Representative Greg Walden of Oregon, who has directed the transition for the new Republican majority, said that the reductions would be made in salaries and expenses to leadership offices, committees and individual lawmakers’ office budgets.
“To reverse Washington’s job-killing spending binge, sacrifices will be required throughout the federal government, and we are starting with ourselves,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement praising Mr. Walden’s announcement of the internal cuts. “After taking this step, we will turn our attention to the rest of the federal budget, and the policies that are making it harder for small businesses to get people working again, including the job-killing health care law.”

So far the best shot critics can take is to insinuate that John Boehner must be on drugs or need professional help because he cries. All of a sudden Generation Alda is pining for John Wayne?

I don’t care if Boehner cries so much that kids mistake his face for a slip-n-slide as long as the spending is falls at least as fast as the tears.

(h/t Hot Air)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Michelle Malkin

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The Chicago Tribune reports President Obama’s expected re-election campaign will be based in Chicago, a decision which “would buck recent history. Every two-term president in the last 30 years — George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan — set up re-election campaign offices near the White House or in suburban Virginia.”

“A key factor favoring Chicago’s selection is the anti-Washington climate that has swept the country. Another is the insurgency candidacy anticipated from Obama’s rivals, who are expected to make the case that the times are bad, the nation’s capital is broken, Obama has been captured by Washington — and they offer voters an alternative.”

Nonetheless, ” it may be some time before the campaign emerges publicly. With a large
crop of Republican hopefuls and support yet to coalesce around one,
Obama is expected to adopt a short-term strategy of looking, acting and
sounding presidential — not like a candidate.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

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The Chicago Tribune reports President Obama’s expected re-election campaign will be based in Chicago, a decision which “would buck recent history. Every two-term president in the last 30 years — George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan — set up re-election campaign offices near the White House or in suburban Virginia.”

“A key factor favoring Chicago’s selection is the anti-Washington climate that has swept the country. Another is the insurgency candidacy anticipated from Obama’s rivals, who are expected to make the case that the times are bad, the nation’s capital is broken, Obama has been captured by Washington — and they offer voters an alternative.”

Nonetheless, ” it may be some time before the campaign emerges publicly. With a large
crop of Republican hopefuls and support yet to coalesce around one,
Obama is expected to adopt a short-term strategy of looking, acting and
sounding presidential — not like a candidate.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

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The Chicago Tribune reports President Obama’s expected re-election campaign will be based in Chicago, a decision which “would buck recent history. Every two-term president in the last 30 years — George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan — set up re-election campaign offices near the White House or in suburban Virginia.”

“A key factor favoring Chicago’s selection is the anti-Washington climate that has swept the country. Another is the insurgency candidacy anticipated from Obama’s rivals, who are expected to make the case that the times are bad, the nation’s capital is broken, Obama has been captured by Washington — and they offer voters an alternative.”

Nonetheless, ” it may be some time before the campaign emerges publicly. With a large
crop of Republican hopefuls and support yet to coalesce around one,
Obama is expected to adopt a short-term strategy of looking, acting and
sounding presidential — not like a candidate.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

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