Tuesday, April 26, 2011



The Obama Administration is clearly the most antienergy administration ever. Will Collier has a noteworthy item up today over at PajamasMedia on soaring gasoline prices and the Obama Administration's hypocritical policy of paying lip service to increased oil production at home while doing everything possible to hinder any real increase in domestic oil production. (For example, Greg Pollowitz notes over at NRO's Planet Gore that the Obama EPA has once again denied an operating permitfor Shell Oil to begin drilling offshore in Alaska--where there is an estimated 27 billion barrels of crude to be had--on a lease where Shell has shelled out over $6 billion to get started.)
Collier points out that the last time world oil prices surged, to $145 a barrel in July 2008, President Bush ended the moratorium on additional offshore drilling by executive order, and oil prices began falling the next day. Coincidence? Collier thinks not, and makes a strong case.
But there's two other aspects of our current moment that bear noting. First, remember that Obama said that under his energy policy prices "would necessarily skyrocket." Okay, he was talking about electricity prices, but keep in mind that his Energy Secretary, Stephen Chu (who, we are always reminded is a Nobel Prize winner--almost as often as we're reminded that John Kerry served in Vietnam) said back in his earliest days for Obama that gasoline prices in the U.S. should rise to European levels. 

What Dems do

THE DIGNITY OF THE MEDIA: Former Air America Host Arrested After Heckling Rep. Allen West at Town Hall.



A zinger

Frank Luntz: I’ll bet $10,000 that Trump doesn’t run

“He’s a game-show host.”

11th Day

The U.N. may be mankind's biggest joke

Despite Reports of Brutality Toward Civilians, Syria to Join U.N.'s Human Rights Council

WikiLeaks: The Iraq-Al Qaeda Connection Confirmed, Again

Don't expect the MSM to report this information.

A former Guantanamo detainee “was identified as an Iraqi intelligence officer who relocated to Afghanistan (AF) in 1998 where he served as a senior Taliban Intelligence Directorate officer in Mazar-E-Sharif,” according to a recently leaked assessment written by American intelligence analysts. The former detainee, an Iraqi named Jawad Jabber Sadkhan, “admittedly forged official documents and reportedly provided liaison between the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq.”

An Elegant Option ...From Paris

If I were designing Kate's wedding dress, I'd go in this direction. A different neckline, but a full skirt, followed by a very long train.

The platinum satin (shown on the headboard), or perhaps shades of platinum for the bridesmaids, and simple bouquets of purple orchids, would complete my recommendation   

The end of SETI

Government Powers Down SETI

SETI, the massive, international scientific effort to listen for life outside of earth, won't be finding that life anytime soon, the Mercury News reports—too broke to continue, the project's Allen Telescope Array is hanging up indefinitely.

Royal Wedding Dress Predictions ...From Paris

Here's my prediction for Kate's wedding dress:  Her dress will NOT be like any of these.  If I had to pick one to favor, it would be the first one, only think of it on steroids.

Kate is slender, and the church is enormous.  She will easily be able to pull off a grand gown of such stunning proportion, that it will set a wedding dress trend for a decade.   

Who is John Galt

Obama administration attempting to force out CEO over marketing violations

Who is John Galt

Union Case Against Boeing Called 'Unprecedented'

Ex-labor board chairman says bid to stop Boeing from using non-union site

Celebrating ...From Paris

Although I'm not quite ready to pull out the lyrics from" Kool And The Gang's "Celebration:, I do want to celebrate and toast my DailyBrisk blog buddies Bill, Yossarian and Deep In The Heart D.

DailyBrisk has happened quite by accident.  (Okay. It might have started by a taunt between Bill and I)

DailyBrisk remains the kind of sparkling crisp, visually intense, informative, unfiltered, opinionated blog we would seek, if we weren't behind the scenes gathering stories and moments of interest for you.



States face $1.26 trillion pension shortfall

Bloated Big Government leads to bloated, unfunded retirement benefits. In good and bad economic times Big Government overspends and overpromises.
State funds that pay pension and health care benefits to public workers faced a $1.26 trillion shortfall at the end of the 2009 fiscal year, according to a Tuesday report from the Pew Center on the States. The funding gap increased 26 percent over the previous year, a surge caused by a combination of inadequate state contributions, an aging population and recession-driven market losses.

States faced a $660 billion pension funding gap and a $604 billion health-care liability gap in FY2009, according to the report, which drew from state financial reports. The gap reflects the failure of a number of state policy choices, including a failure to make annual payments for pensions systems at the levels recommended by their own actuaries and the expansion of benefits and cost-of-living payments at an unsustainable level.

Perhaps most troubling is the fact that states’ larger fiscal prospects are dim for the near future; declining property values have shrunken revenues, and the recession has driven up the need for benefits among the poor and unemployed.

Does he act American? Does he act like he has America's best interests in mind?

Rich Lowry writing for the National Review:

When Barack Obama said he’d conduct our affairs with more humility, little did we know he meant he’d humiliate us.

Under Obama, we’re making a practice of accumulating national embarrassments. The dollar is in decline. The state of the nation’s fiscal house is so shoddy that Standard & Poor’s warns that a downgrade in our AAA rating may be in the offing. Saudi Arabia is furious at us and is not playing ball on oil production. We have to depend on foreign creditors to keep operating our government, $14 trillion in the red. We endure lectures from Communist China about sound finance.

For his sophisticated defenders, Obama is ushering in the long-overdue post-American world. For the rest of the public, for whom national pride still means something, it may feel like the 1970s again, when a self-impressed Democratic president last tried to get us to accept our supposedly inevitable diminishment. Jimmy Carter made his era synonymous with American weakness and decline.

Ralph Lauren will lend some of his car collection to Paris exhibit

Fashion designer Ralph Lauren owns a remarkable collection of automobiles and a selection of cars from that collection goes on display this week at the Les Arts Decoratifs museum in Paris.
Among the cars chosen for the exhibit will be this Mercedes-Benz once by owned the Italian Count (and race car driver) Carlo Felice Trossi.

1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK "Count Tossi"

'Double Dip' for home prices

Home prices in February sank 3.3% to just above the post-crisis lows reached in April 2009. It was the seventh straight month of declines.

Home values are down 32% from their peak set in May of 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 cities.

The World’s Biggest Cave Found In Vietnam

world's biggest cave

More at: http://nedhardy.com/2011/04/25/the-worlds-biggest-cave-found-in-vietnam/

Conventional Wisdom that is wrong.

The more money we put into education, the better our schools will perform.

We see the exact same scenario repeated again and again in this country. We hear claims that education is underfunded and it's causing our schools to perform poorly. We respond by ramping up spending dramatically. There's no improvement in performance. A few years later, the cycle repeats.

Of course, if money were really the problem, we'd already have at least the second best schools in the world.

According to the most recent OECD figures (2007), the Koreans spent $5,437 per primary-school pupil; we spent $10,229. For education as a whole, the Koreans spent $7,325 per pupil; we spent $14,269. They not only “outpace our kids in math and science”; they do it by only spending half as much. ....We spend more than anyone but the Swiss on education, and by any rational measure at least half of it is entirely wasted.

Soaring Gas Prices

Gas prices rise for 35th straight day...

Climb 6 cents overnight in Michigan...

We could try capitalism…American people can still fix this.

Dollar tumbles to all-time low vs. Swiss franc...

Geithner defends 'strong dollar' policy...

Fed approaches crossroads as growth slows...

michael ramirez

The car company that government didn't bail out has a 22% jump in profits

Ford Motor Co., showing little impact from rising gasoline prices or the Japan earthquake, said its first-quarter profit rose 22%, fueled by higher vehicle sales and pricing, especially in North America, its most important region.

An expanded portfolio of fuel-efficient vehicles helped the company grab more consumers as rising gas prices pushed shoppers in March away from larger cars and pickups to smaller vehicles, such as the Fiesta subcompact, the company said.

The Dearborn, Mich., auto maker said it held the line on sales incentives and shoppers outfitted their purchases with more margin-boosting features. In North America, Ford earned $2,806 on average on every vehicle it produced, more than double the year-ago figure.

Cheap Textbooks for College asks a good question. My guess is out the other end. This took about 4 months to do.

Where did they put the soil after digging the hole?

Afghan jailer Ghulam Dastager Mayaar points to the hole that inmates used to escape from inside Kandahar's main jail

Coffee prices hit 34 year high

Analysts say there’s a drop in the supply of high-grade Arabica coffee beans.

Plus, there’s more demand. More people in countries like Brazil are drinking the good stuff.

It means the prices in coffee shops here have nowhere to go but up. Local customers say the price isn’t as sweet as it used to be, but they’ll pay it.

BBC Accused of Al Qaeda Link


By Christopher Hope, Daily Telegraph

The BBC is accused of being part of a “possible propaganda media network” for Al Qaeda, according to the leaked US files on the Guantanamo detainees.

The files, obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph, disclose that a phone number of someone at the BBC was found in the phone books and phones of a number of extremists seized by US forces.

A detainee assessment, dated 21 April 2007, states: "The London, United Kingdom (UK), phone number 0044 207 XXX XXXX was discovered in numerous seized phone books and phones associated with extremist-linked individuals.

“The number is associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).” Analysis by The Daily Telegraph suggests the number is one for Bush House, home of the BBC World Service.

What murder looks like

Gunned down on camera: Cold-blooded execution of 'innocent' man on New York street is captured in harrowing security video

brooklyn shooting

Trevonne Winn, 24, was slain as he stood outside his uncle's fast food restaurant at 2085 Nostrand Avenue, East Flatbush, Brooklyn. CCTV footage shows Mr Winn speaking into his mobile phone outside the Crown Fried Chicken shop when a black-clad man walks calmly over, pulls a pistol and shoots him twice.

Judge orders end of NFL lockout

NFL players saw the labor fight tip in their favor Monday as a federal judge ordered the league to end its lockout, meaning football will continue while owners and players bicker over how to divide more than $9 billion in annual revenue.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in St. Paul, Minn., ordered an end to the 7-week-old lockout, saying she believed the players' argument that the situation was causing irreparable harm to their careers.


The XM2010 sniper rifle is making a name for itself in Afghanistan.  The weapon’s performance has been strong enough to warrant full fielding.

A pure inventory would give sniper teams a big boost. While the XM2010 is technically an upgraded M24 sniper rifle, the upgrades are so significant that the weapon warranted a new designator. Notably, the XM2010 transitioned from the 7.62mm NATO caliber (.308 Winchester) to a .300 Winchester Magnum. This increased a sniper’s effective range from 800 to 1,200 meters.

In addition to greater reach, the rifle comes with the Advanced Armament Corp. Titan-QD Fast-Attach suppressor. The 10-inch suppressor eliminates 98 percent of muzzle flash and 60 percent of recoil and reduces sound by 32 decibels, according to AAC, which recently was acquired by Remington.

20 years between reloads

30mm Replenishment

April 26, 2011: For the first time in twenty years, the U.S. Air Force has placed an order for PGU-13 30mm cannon rounds used in the A-10 aircraft. The A-10 is a 23 ton, twin engine, single seat aircraft whose primary weapon is a multi-barrel 30mm cannon originally designed to fire armored piercing shells at Russian tanks. These days, the 30mm rounds are mostly high explosive, and it has been heavily used in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Libya. The 30mm cannon fires 363 gram (12.7 ounce) rounds at the rate of about 65 a second. The cannon is usually fired in one or two second bursts.

The new $32.5 million contract will not only include new rounds, but refurbishment of older 30mm high explosive rounds still in inventory. Over 200,000 new and refurbished rounds will be delivered within two years. Since 1991, the A-10s have been using up large Cold War era inventories

Thanks to Obama, Gas Jumps in a Flash

Thanks to the left, prices will keep on rising, too.

It must have looked so simple from Barack Obama’s rarely visited Senate office, or Steven Chu’s comfortable digs at Berkeley: if only we stopped taking advantage of all those nasty fossil fuels, everything would be better. Three years ago, when then-Senator Obama was dismissing high energy prices as just another good reason for more government handouts, and Chu was insisting that Americans ought to pay European prices for gasoline, all they heard in return was applause from their core constituencies — academics and the media.

Unfortunately for now-President Obama, the reality of $4-$5-a-gallon gasoline is a much tougher sell to the general public. He’s put himself to work spinning the line that “speculators” are at fault for high prices, but the actual explaination is far more prosaic. Limited supply plus growing demand equals higher prices. That’s a formula so simple, even a community organizer should be able to understand it.

Asian demand for energy continues to rise as nations in the far east region — oddly lacking in “stimulus” spending — continue to boom. Supply, meanwhile, has fallen off, not only as a consequence of the turmoil in Libya and other oil-producing countries, but also thanks to the Obama-ordered moritorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico — and the recenly ordered moritorium on future drilling anywhere else off the American coasline.


Americans Depend More on Government Than at Any Other Time in Nation’s History

Explains why CNN said yesterday this was not an issue.


This is not even close to the expense. Almost all of the “tax” is from sales tax goes into general fund and not real estate which pays for schools.

State & Local Taxes Paid by Households Headed by Unauthorized Immigrants
Immigration Policy Center, Estimates of the State and Local Taxes Paid by Unauthorized Immigrant Households:

The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy has estimated the state and local taxes paid in 2010 by households that are headed by unauthorized immigrants. These households may include members who are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. Collectively, these households paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes. That included $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $8.4 billion in sales taxes.

This use to be almost required of Lotus owners.

Now Miata owners go for the dumbest driver award.

Can you say inflation?

Central banks pump £3 trillion into world economy

The world's central banks have pumped £3 trillion into the global financial system since the crisis, the equivalent of 8pc of the world economy, according to new analysis by Fathom Consulting.

Central banks pump $3 trillion into world economy

Fathom compared the development to throwing lighter fuel on a barbecue

Dozens of Taliban jailbreak prisoners recaptured

Some 65 prisoners, who were among hundreds of inmates to have escaped from a jail in Kandahar as part of an audacious Taliban-led jailbreak, have been recaptured.

Afghan jailer Ghulam Dastager Mayaar points to the hole that inmates used to escape from inside Kandahar's main jail

Afghan jailer Ghulam Dastager Mayaar points to the hole that inmates used to escape from inside Kandahar's main jail

Loves Ramadan…

Obama Blows Off Easter

Liberals often express dismay over the fact that a significant minority of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim--or tell pollsters they do, anyway. On a recent television special, Cokie Roberts and her husband Steve explained that those who say Obama is a Muslim are really racists.

I don't think Obama is a Muslim, but I can understand why many Americans are uncertain about his core beliefs. This year, Obama let Easter pass without issuing any sort of proclamation. That can hardly have been an oversight, as he devoted considerable attention to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, a purely secular event.

Personally, I don't care whether the president takes note of religious holidays or not. It would be fine for President Obama to say that out of respect for the separation of church and state, he will commemorate only secular holidays and remain silent on all matters of religion. But he doesn't do that. On the contrary, he has made a point of issuing Presidential proclamations on the occasion of every significant Muslim holiday--Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha. Here is what he had to say about Ramadan last August:

On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I want to extend our best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem.

Read the rest at: http://www.powerlineblog.com/

Reasonable Quantities of Red Pepper May Help Curb Appetite, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Apr. 25, 2011) — Spicing up your daily diet with some red pepper can curb appetite, especially for those who don't normally eat the popular spice, according to research from Purdue University.

Scientists Create Stable, Self-Renewing Neural Stem Cells

Depicts cultured, self-renewing primitive neural precursors derived from human embryonic stem cells using molecule inhibitors.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 25, 2011) — In a paper published in the April 25 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and colleagues report a game-changing advance in stem cell science: the creation of long-term, self-renewing, primitive neural precursor cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that can be directed to become many types of neuron without increased risk of tumor formation.

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