Saturday, July 9, 2011
( Glacier NPS ) WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park officials announced today that the entire 50 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is anticipated to be available for vehicle traffic on Wednesday, July 13th. Opening the upper section of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is always a challenge, but this year was compounded by extremely heavy winter snows and unseasonably cool spring weather. Snow continued to fall at high elevations well into June
Media Attacks Rep. Ryan Over Price of Wine
So, apparently, Paul Ryan has expensive tastes in wine.
Susan Crabtree for TPM ("Rep. Ryan Tastes The Grapes Of Wrath"):
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), a leading advocate of shrinking entitlement spending and the architect of the plan to privatize Medicare, spent Wednesday evening sipping $350 wine with two like-minded conservative economists at the swanky Capitol Hill eatery Bistro Bis.
1. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo remains the most expensive location in the world despite the human and economic cost of the earthquake and tsunami which hit the city in March.
2. Oslo, Norway
Once again Oslo is in second place in the list, with a slight rise in the cost of living keeping the European city between the Japanese centres Tokyo and Osaka.
4. Paris, France
Between 2006 and 2009 Paris was the second most expensive city in the list, overtaken in recent years by the two Japanese cities.
5. Zurich, Switzerland
6. Sydney, Australia
10. Singapore, Singapore
To determine the next boom towns in the U.S., Forbes, with the help of Mark Schill at the Praxis Strategy Group, took the 52 largest metro areas in the country (those with populations exceeding 1 million) and ranked them based on various data indicating past, present and future vitality.
Many of our top performers are not surprising. No. 1 Austin, Texas, and No. 2 Raleigh, N.C., have it all demographically: high rates of immigration and migration of educated workers and healthy increases in population and number of children. They are also economic superstars, with job-creation records among the best in the nation.
Of course, Texas metropolitan areas feature prominently on our list of future boom towns, including No. 4 San Antonio, No. 5 Houston and No. 7 Dallas, which over the past years boasted the biggest jump in new jobs, over 83,000. Aided by relatively low housing prices and buoyant economies, these Lone Star cities have become major hubs for jobs and families.
And the Losers:
Sadly, several of the nation’s premier economic regions sit toward the bottom of the list, notably former boom town Los Angeles (No. 47). Los Angeles’ once huge and vibrant industrial sector has shrunk rapidly, in large part the consequence of ever-tightening regulatory burdens. Its once magnetic appeal to educated migrants faded and families are fleeing from persistently high housing prices, poor educational choices and weak employment opportunities. Los Angeles lost over 180,000 children 5 to 17, the largest such drop in the nation.
Many of L.A.’s traditional rivals — such as Chicago (with which is tied at No. 47), New York City (No. 35) and San Francisco (No. 42) — also did poorly on our prospective list. To be sure, they will continue to reap the benefits of existing resources — financial institutions, universities and the presence of leading companies — but their future prospects will be limited by their generally sluggish job creation and aging demographics.
ETHANOL FOLLIES? Automakers to void warranties on older cars burning E15 gas. “Fuel with a 15 percent concentration of ethanol is headed to America’s pumps soon and buyers with older vehicles may want to steer clear. Pumps dispensing E15 will be identified by a large orange sticker and the fuel is only approved for use in vehicles that are from the 2001 model year or newer. Using the 85-percent gasoline mix in older cars, lawnmowers or boats is prohibited by law because the fuel may cause damage to vehicle systems. That’s pretty rough, but according to Consumer Reports, that’s still not enough for many car companies. According to the institute, nine automakers thus far have made it clear that they won’t honor warranties of older vehicles found to be running E15 through their systems. Toyota, General Motors and Chrysler are all among those manufacturers.”
Obama: Don’t Look at Me… It’s the Earthquake, Tornado, State Budget Cuts, Gas Prices, Local Budget Cuts, Greece’s Fault
Barack Obama spoke to reporters this morning after the dismal jobs report was released.
The far left president blamed: earthquakes, tornadoes, state budget cuts, gas prices, local budget cuts and Greece for the latest spike in the unemployment rate.
Gin and Tonic - Gin has been around since the 17th century, but didn’t gain its reputation as a hot weather cure-all until the English used it to mask the bitter flavor of quinine – the only effective anti-malaria “drug” the empire had access to as it expanded across several tropical climates. The quinine was dissolved in carbonated water, giving rise not only to the gin and tonic, but also to the realization that a good dry gin in combination with the right ingredients is bracingly refreshing stuff.
The Tom Collins – First mixed up by the legendary American bartender Jerry Thomas in 1876, the Tom Collins is a tasty mix of gin, lemon juice, soda and simple syrup. It’s light and has a bright sweetness that’s perfectly balanced by the juniper and herbs of the dry gin and the mouth-puckering citrus. In other words, it puts Mike’s Hard Lemonade to shame six ways to Sunday.
The Gimlet – A slight variation in ingredients can produce a wildly different effect in many cases. The Gimlet is one of those cases. Substituting lime for lemon and leaving club soda out of the mix, the Gimlet mixes up the Tom Collins formula to some seriously good effect. The cocktail’s origins are cloudy at best, but it has been around since the early 20th century, at least, and is commonly made with Rose’s Lime juice, though the best versions drop the sweetened lime juice for fresh lime and simple syrup. It’s tangy and refreshingly bitter, with the herbal gin coming through far more loudly and clearly without any carbonation in the way. And without that club soda diluting the alcohol, the Gimlet tends to be a bit more pointed argument, so to speak, for a designated driver.
Senate Democrats have drafted a sweeping debt-reduction plan that would slice $4 trillion from projected borrowing over the next decade without touching the expensive health and retirement programs targeted by President Obama.
Instead, Senate Democrats are proposing to stabilize borrowing through sharp cuts at the Pentagon and other government agencies, as well as $2 trillion in new taxes
With debt-reduction talks under way between Obama and congressional leaders, Senate Democrats are unlikely to adopt the blueprint. However, it has gained broad support among those eager to chart a path to solving the nation’s budget problems without making politically painful cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
“The very strong feeling was we needed to get this into the conversation, because it provides an alternative view,” said a Senate Democrat familiar with the blueprint, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not been publicly released. “What’s striking is how modest the changes need to be to get us back on track.”
That's the title of a fascinating essay by Aaron at FP. (link fixed). A quote:
... a moral resurrection was essential. This meant not merely an overhaul of the Soviet political and economic systems, not merely an upending of social norms, but a revolution on the individual level: a change in the personal character of the Russian subject. As Mikhail Antonov declared in a seminal 1987 essay, "So What Is Happening to Us?" in the magazine Oktyabr, the people had to be "saved" -- not from external dangers but "most of all from themselves, from the consequences of those demoralizing processes that kill the noblest human qualities." Saved how? By making the nascent liberalization fateful, irreversible -- not Khrushchev's short-lived "thaw," but a climate change. And what would guarantee this irreversibility? Above all, the appearance of a free man who would be "immune to the recurrences of spiritual slavery." The weekly magazine Ogoniok, a key publication of glasnost, wrote in February 1989 that only "man incapable of being a police informer, of betraying, and of lies, no matter in whose or what name, can save us from the re-emergence of a totalitarian state."
The Beer Archaeologist
By analyzing ancient pottery, Patrick McGovern is resurrecting the libations that fueled civilization
“Dr. Pat,” as he’s known at Dogfish Head, is the world’s foremost expert on ancient fermented beverages, and he cracks long-forgotten recipes with chemistry, scouring ancient kegs and bottles for residue samples to scrutinize in the lab. He has identified the world’s oldest known barley beer (from Iran’s Zagros Mountains, dating to 3400 B.C.), the oldest grape wine (also from the Zagros, circa 5400 B.C.) and the earliest known booze of any kind, a Neolithic grog from China’s Yellow River Valley brewed some 9,000 years ago.
Widely published in academic journals and books, McGovern’s research has shed light on agriculture, medicine and trade routes during the pre-biblical era. But—and here’s where Calagione’s grin comes in—it’s also inspired a couple of Dogfish Head’s offerings, including Midas Touch, a beer based on decrepit refreshments recovered from King Midas’ 700 B.C. tomb, which has received more medals than any other Dogfish creation.
Is Muslim ‘Zakat’ Charity Actually a Front for Jihad?
Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood are among the charity's affiliations.
Are all charities as innocent as they seem, or are some actually fronts for more sinister activities — even jihad? That is the questionbeing raised by FrontPage Magazine about one Muslim charity, the Zakat Foundation, that reportedly has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to FrontPage, there are three ways you can tell if a Muslim charity is a front for jihad, and the first one lies in the identity of the Muslim thinkers the foundation promotes. For Zakat, that profound thinker is allegedly Yusuf al-Qardawi, a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
FrontPage reports that in 2009 al-Qardawi announced his greatest wish — that before dying, even if “wheelchair-bound,” he would “shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom.”
84 percent cited illegal drugs as the most serious offense under investigation
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/#ixzz1RcU2yEcm
The Growing Enemy Within
July 9, 2011: Last month, inflation went from 5.5 percent in May, to 6.4 percent. Food prices were increasing at the rate of over 14 percent. This causes more unrest, despite the fact that the economy is still expanding at the rate of 9.7 percent a year. This, combined with the corruption, has apparently driven the popular unrest to record levels. The government used to report the number of popular demonstrations (legal, or illegal gatherings of 50 or more people). In 2006 there were 60,000. The next year, that jumped to 80,000, and the government said this data would not be made public in the future. But the data for 2008 leaked, and you can see why, as there were 127,000 demonstrations. Thus, the number is likely close to 200,000 demonstrations a year. The largest demonstrations do make it into the news, like a recent one in Hong Kong, that brought out several hundred thousand people and led to 231 arrests. No wonder the government makes such a big deal about fighting corruption, and trying to control inflation. There are also fears that the corruption has created a huge number of bad bank loans, which could cause a banking crises.
This is the rendition of Europe, which Fischer says, "Reminds me of the cover art for King Crimson's Islands":
A father's grief: Devastated dad collapses as he learns of death of daughter at the hands of crazed gunman who killed seven in bloody rampage
The agony etched on his face as he collapsed to the ground at the scene of his daughter's murder paints a poignant picture of the atrocity of the chain of events which saw a crazed gunman shoot himself and seven others, including Marissa Emkens, pictured inset, during a bloody rampage in Michigan. Rodrick Dantzler's victims are also believed to include his wife, daughter and ex-girlfriend.
She's a California girl! David Beckham welcomes Royal couple to LA with a splash of red, white and blue as U.S. goes Kate-mad
- William and Kate were welcomed to Los Angeles by David Beckham who had left Victoria, normally never one to miss a party, at home with her feet up awaiting the birth of their first daughter. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a busy schedule in the U.S., which will take them from the glamour of Hollywood to the poverty of Skid Row.
Time is running out on President Obama’s self-imposed deadline to rescue the nation’s slumping economy by his third year in office or risk losing re-election — a cavalier pronouncement punctuated yesterday by dismal jobless figures that prompted even Democrats to second-guess the president’s audacious 2009 assertion. Obama told TV titan Matt Lauer during a Feb. 1, 2009, MSNBC interview that he would be “held accountable” to improve the economy by the American public and, “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
“He said it. He can’t go back and un-say it,” declared Washington, D.C.-based Democratic consultant Tom Ochs. “(The Obama campaign is) going to have to fight to the death on the economy, and I think they know that.”
HOW BAD ARE THOSE JOBS NUMBERS? THIS BAD: May-June Hiring Pace Just 10% That Of February-April.
Weak economic reports usually contain glimmers of hope. Friday’s jobs report was just grim.
Employers added a scant 18,000 workers in June, the Labor Department said, far below views for 80,000. May’s gain was cut to 25,000 from the initial estimate of 54,000. It’s the starkest evidence of an economic soft patch: The May-June hiring pace was just 10% of the 215,000 average in February-April.
“It was an abysmal report,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
The jobless rate ticked up 0.1 point to 9.2%, the third straight increase, even though the labor force declined by 272,000.
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY ON THE ATF’S GUNRUNNING SCANDAL: The Stimulation Of Murder.
Clearly somebody is lying here. At a House oversight hearing last month, three federal firearms investigators testified they wanted to “intervene and interdict” the guns at the border, but were repeatedly ordered to step aside and let the traffickers proceed.
Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, in closed-door testimony in front of Rep. Darrell Issa’s committee, said administration officials sought to control and limit his communications with Congress, including withholding documents that made Melson “sick to his stomach” after he reviewed them.
On Dec. 14, Terry was fatally shot in the Arizona desert while patrolling one of the region’s most dangerous drug- and human-smuggling corridors. He was shot in the back with an AK-47 assault rifle. Two weapons that were allowed to cross the border as part of Project Gunrunner were found at the scene.
The evidence suggests that Agent Terry’s death was financed by the president’s stimulus package with the full knowledge and support of Attorney General Holder.
Former first lady Betty Ford has died at age 93, the Director of the Ford Museum and Library says.
Betty Ford was the wife of former president Gerald Ford. She married Mr. Ford two weeks before he was elected to his first term in Congress. Gerald Ford died in December 2006, after undergoing surgery for an undisclosed ailment in April 2007.
Good grief, where to start with the weekly climate follies? Debunking the “green energy/clean energy” scam has already gone beyond the point of reductio ad absurdum/ad nauseam, but there is this curious item on Forbes.com about how “renewable” energy sources produced more power than nuclear power in the first quarter of 2011. Expect this to become a talking point among greenies—if they notice the data at all—about how rapidly we are making “progress” with green energy, while ignoring the inconvenient truth that over half of the growth of “renewable” output came from decidedly non-green dams (oops), and this only because of the heavy rainfall this spring that caused Washington state to shut down most of its windmills because they had too much power from the dams (double oops). And never mind that the winter months are when many nuclear plants shut down or scale down for maintenance before the peak summer months. Expect nuclear to sprint away from renewables over the summer.
There’s also a terrific article in The Washington Quarterly, a fairly establishment-oriented journal, debunking “The Climate Wars Myth.” I have found the climate campaign’s claim that climate change would lead to more armed conflict utterly snort-worthy from the first, especially since they miss the irony of seizing upon Pentagon speculation (usually by outside consultants) that climate change might lead to conflict. Since when has the left ever believed anything that came out of the military industrial complex? The default position of the left is usually to say that Pentagon threat claims are just excuses for a larger defense budget. Hey—there’s an idea: Republicans should argue that we can’t cut the defense budget because we’ll need the troops to fight the climate wars.