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August 2015

Campaign 2016: Where Are The Candidates on Energy? By Michael McDonald

As the U.S. Presidential campaign starts its inevitable ramp up, one issue investors should consider is each candidate’s views on energy especially since energy policy has been consistently important in recent elections.

For all of the talk about clean energy, the reality is that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have come down primarily as a result of shale gas and oil displacing coal. Solar power is only just now getting to the point where it is cost effective versus conventional fossil fuels, and wind power is a bit further along, but still has a ways to go before it becomes a reliable generation source. Presidential candidates, especially on the left, prefer to talk more about clean energy than the benefits of fracking, but investors need to consider both aspects of energy policy.

On the Republican side, there are so many candidates that the nuances of most individual views have been lost amongst the shuffle. Nonetheless, a few trends do stand out. For instance, from front-runner Jeb Bush on down through the pack, most of the Republican group is skeptical about the impact man-kind is having on the Earth’s climate. Just about all are in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline and presumably would be supportive of more domestic fossil fuel production in general.

There are a few differences here and there, however.

For example, as governor of Florida, Bush did support various conservation efforts such as the Florida Forever Program, which focused on acquiring and preserving environmentally significant properties.

Other Republicans have offered varying degrees of opinion and proposed action on energy policy. For instance, Scott Walker of Wisconsin has come out clearly in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline as well as fracking, but he has also expressed support for a devolved set of EPA powers. The EPA as currently constructed is a national institution, but there are also state-level equivalents throughout all 50 states. Walker is in favor of removing powers from the EPA and putting them in the hands of individual states in order to create a more customized and tailored regulatory environment by region. Walker’s view is that devolving these powers would lead to greater authority at the local level and more accountability to the residents impacted by those decisions.

Gen. Curtis LeMay, an Architect Of Strategic Air Power, Dies at 83

Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, the former Air Force chief of staff who was an architect of strategic air power and insisted that the nation be willing to use nuclear weapons when necessary, died yesterday in a California military hospital. He was 83 years old and lived in Moreno Valley, Calif.

The retired four-star general died of a heart attack at the 22d Strategic Hospital at March Air Force Base, an Air Force spokesman said.

General LeMay, who directed the air assault over Japan in the final days of World War II and relayed the Presidential order to drop nuclear bombs, years later wrote that a solution to the Vietnam War might be to bomb North Vietnam ”back into the Stone Ages.”

After World War II he commanded the Berlin airlift, then for many years was the commander of the Strategic Air Command. He entered politics briefly in 1968 as the running mate of George C. Wallace in the former Alabama Governor’s unsuccessful campaign for the Presidency.

Years after relaying the orders from President Harry S. Truman to drop nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, General LeMay said the actions were not necessary.

‘Truman Told Me to Do It’

”We felt that our incendiary bombings had been so successful that Japan would collapse before we invaded,” he said in a 1985 interview with the Omaha World Herald. ”We went ahead and dropped the bombs because President Truman told me to do it. He told me in a personal letter.”

He was hawkish on the Vietnam War and an outspoken advocate of manned air power based on a willingness to use nuclear weapons.

When Mr. Wallace introduced him as his running mate in 1968 on the American Independent Party ticket, General LeMay called for use of any available means, including nuclear weapons, to end the war. Later, he visited Vietnam on a fact-finding mission and called for renewed bombing of North Vietnam, especially the harbor at Haiphong.

Hiroshima By John Hersey August 31, 1946 Issue

At exactly fifteen minutes past eight in the morning, on August 6, 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Miss Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning her head to speak to the girl at the next desk. At that same moment, Dr. Masakazu Fujii was settling down cross-legged to read the Osaka Asahi on the porch of his private hospital, overhanging one of the seven deltaic rivers which divide Hiroshima; Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura, a tailor’s widow, stood by the window of her kitchen, watching a neighbor tearing down his house because it lay in the path of an air-raid-defense fire lane; Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, a German priest of the Society of Jesus, reclined in his underwear on a cot on the top floor of his order’s three-story mission house, reading a Jesuit magazine, Stimmen der Zeit; Dr. Terufumi Sasaki, a young member of the surgical staff of the city’s large, modern Red Cross Hospital, walked along one of the hospital corridors with a blood specimen for a Wassermann test in his hand; and the Reverend Mr. Kiyoshi Tanimoto, pastor of the Hiroshima Methodist Church, paused at the door of a rich man’s house in Koi, the city’s western suburb, and prepared to unload a handcart full of things he had evacuated from town in fear of the massive B-29 raid which everyone expected Hiroshima to suffer. A hundred thousand people were killed by the atomic bomb, and these six were among the survivors. They still wonder why they lived when so many others died. Each of them counts many small items of chance or volition—a step taken in time, a decision to go indoors, catching one streetcar instead of the next—that spared him. And now each knows that in the act of survival he lived a dozen lives and saw more death than he ever thought he would see. At the time, none of them knew anything.


There is nothing that corrupts conservatives quite as much as the need to be nice.

Conservatives are natural optimists who see the world as being basically a nice place. They are nice because they think that the world is nice. That worldview is not reciprocated by the other side.

Where conservatives see a country store, liberals see an oppressive outpost of capitalism. Where conservatives see a family, liberals see abusive patriarchy, oppressive gender norms, religious indoctrination and apple pie. Our current broken family society is the outcome of a cultural war waged against families based on that viewpoint.

The left is convinced that the world is an evil place, that people are basically terrible and that they are the only thing standing between us and the return of human slavery.

It’s no wonder that liberals are so nasty.

Olivier Guitta: The Iran nuclear deal has bolstered the Islamic State’s propaganda war

While almost everything has been said and written about the consequences of the recent P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, not much has been covered about how the deal will impact the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL). Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy who took part in the negotiations with Iran, believes that the nuclear deal is a disaster for ISIL. She is sadly mistaken.

Contrary to what Mogherini and other diplomats think, the Iran nuclear deal has made the West much less safe, largely because it strengthens ISIL. To understand why, one has to look at the propaganda war ISIL has been waging against the West since 2013.

The lack of intervention against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria in the summer of 2013 was the first Western gift to ISIL. It allowed jihadists to recruit many young Westerners who wanted to help their fellow Muslims fight the bloody dictator.

The second gift was handed ISIL in August 2014, when U.S. President Barack Obama decided to intervene militarily in Iraq against ISIL, in support of the region’s Shia population. ISIL quickly made the case that a Sunni life was worth nothing compared to a Shia life for the West.

Donald Trump and the American Id By Kevin D. Williamson

Oh, you’re goddamned right this is Vegas, baby! because the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino is the only truly appropriate venue for a show like the one we have right here. For your consideration: the carefully coiffed golden mane, the vast inherited fortune, the splendid real-estate portfolio, the family name on buildings from Manhattan to the Strip, the reality-television superstardom, the room-temperature-on-a-brisk-November-day IQ. The only thing distinguishing that great spackled misshapen lump of unredeemed American id known as Donald Trump from his spiritual soul mate, that slender lightning rod of unredeemed American id known as Paris Hilton, is — angels and ministers of grace, defend us! — a sex tape. The gross thing is, you can kind of imagine a Trump sex tape: the gilt pineapples on the four-poster bed, the scarlet silk-jacquard sheets, the glowing “T” in the background, the self-assured promises that this will be the classiest sex tape the world has ever seen — that it’s yuuuuuuuge! — the cracked raving 69-year-old Babbitt analogue barking inchoate instructions . . . no, no more, that way madness lies.

Is This Seriously a Line from a Speech by the President of the United States? By Patrick Brennan

From Obama’s pitch for his Iran deal today:

Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those . . .


In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.

Directly accusing your opponents of allying with wannabe-genocidal, anti-Semitic, authoritarian nutjobs. Very presidential, that’s the way to win ’em over.

Mark Krikorian: Jeb Bush’s Pro Amnesty Immigration Plan, Brought to You by Chuck Schumer

In preparation for this week’s debate in Cleveland, Jeb Bush this week posted his immigration plan: “Securing the Border and Enforcing Our Immigration Laws.” It’s basically a six-page summary of the Schumer–Rubio bill passed by the Senate in 2013, though without the other 1,194 pages of details.

It outlines six enforcement steps that he says must accompany — accompany, not precede — amnesty. He makes this explicit in the concluding paragraph, which begins (my emphasis):

These six proposals, when combined with a rigorous path to earned legal status, would realistically and honestly address the status of the 11 million people here illegally today and protect against future illegal immigration.

The beginning makes this clear, too, where he says illegal aliens will “obtain a provisional work permit” and then, “over an extended period of time earn legal status.” This con is so old that it’s hard to believe Team Jeb still thinks it will sell; as everyone figured out years ago, the “provisional work permit” is the amnesty. The only thing the former illegal aliens would “earn” is the right to upgrade from green-card lite to green-card premium.

A Safe Pair of Hands by Mark Steyn

The most remarkable accomplishment of the Hillary Campaign is this:

A mere four months ago the idea of Joe Biden as a viable presidential candidate was regarded by Democrats as a joke.Then Hillary launched.And now he’s their white knight in shining armor.

Great job, Hillary! If Joe says no, they’ll be digging up Robert C Byrd and propping him up for the New Hampshire pancake flip.

I have a modest preference for Biden over Clinton in that he is not as personally, ravenously, rapaciously sleazy and corrupt as the Clinta Nostra. So there’s that.

Obama Defends Iran Deal with Falsehoods and Slurs : Joseph Klein

Answering the top lies in the president’s speech at American University.

Remember President Obama’s outright lies as he was selling Obamacare? He is now lying on an even larger scale as he tries to sell his fatally flawed nuclear deal with Iran to a skeptical Congress, and to the American people, who currently oppose the deal by a large margin.

In an address that Obama delivered on August 5th at American University, Obama deliberately misrepresented the terms of his deal and slurred those who dare to question it. In a highly offensive and partisan tone, he accused the Republican caucus of being in “common cause” with Iran’s hardliners opposed to the deal, ignoring the serious reservations to the deal among many in his own party and the American public at large.

At the outset of his speech, Obama claimed that “we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”