Obama’s Iraq disaster By Marc Thiessen

When Obama took office he inherited a pacified Iraq, where the terrorists had been defeated both militarily and ideologically.

Militarily, thanks to Bush’s surge, coupled with the Sunni Awakening, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI, now the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS) was driven from the strongholds it had established in Anbar and other Iraqi provinces. It controlled no major territory, and its top leader — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — had been killed by U.S. Special Operations forces.

Ideologically, the terrorists had suffered a popular rejection. Iraq was supposed to be a place where al-Qaeda rallied the Sunni masses to drive America out, but instead, the Sunnis joined with Americans to drive al-Qaeda out — a massive ideological defeat.

Obama took that inheritance and squandered it, with two catastrophic mistakes:

First, he withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq — allowing the defeated terrorists to regroup and reconstitute themselves.

Second, he failed to support the moderate, pro-Western opposition in neighboring Syria — creating room for ISIS to fill the security vacuum.

Read more at Washington Post

The Natural Gas Boom: Questions and Complications By Vaclav Smil

Complex changes do not bring unalloyed benefits, and rather than adhering to a simplistic infatuation with new riches, we should recognize a number of already obvious complications and ask a number of necessary questions.

America has been buoyed by an abundance of natural gas. The bulk of its vast resources of this precious fuel is locked in shale formations under more than 20 states, unable to escape without drilling horizontal wells through the most promising layers and fracturing the rocks surrounding the bores with highly pressurized mixtures of water, chemicals, and sand. Use of this process, decades in the making, expanded rather suddenly after 2007, and it has become widely known by the rather unappealing term “fracking.”

The facts are easy to summarize. Thanks to a rapid expansion of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the United States in 2009 again became the world’s top producer of natural gas. Gas imports (mainly by pipelines from Canada) peaked as recently as 2007 at nearly 20 percent of the total supply; in 2013 they were just 11 percent. In 2013, the gas supplied 27 percent of the country’s primary energy use (compared to about 23 percent a decade ago), and its combustion generated 30 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2012 and 27 percent in 2013 (compared to about 18 percent a decade ago). Coal-fired steam turbo-generators are being shut down as the capacity of gas turbines, the preferred machines for generating electricity from a fossil fuel, keeps on expanding.

Dreams of potential benefits are, as befits a gaseous substance, properly inflated. While nobody is repeating the famous claim advanced about nuclear energy in the 1950s (that it would be too cheap to meter), the fuel is predicted to remain inexpensive even as its domestic consumption rises and as intercontinental exports help to reverse America’s balance of payments, to undercut the dominance of Russian exports to the European Union, to provide Asia with a cheaper alternative, and to assure America’s strategic supremacy for decades to come. And domestically the cheap fuel — in 2013 its monthly averages fluctuated between $3.3-4.2/million Btu while the EU paid $11-12/million Btu for its imports and spot prices have recently surpassed $20/million Btu in East Asia — will attract not only petrochemical industries, but also energize America’s manufacturing renaissance and create large numbers of jobs.

There are certainly great benefits to such a boost in recoverable supply of the cleanest of all fossil fuels (especially after decades of slowly declining and stagnating extraction of conventional gas…

Read more at the American

Cuccinelli: Cantor’s Loss a Reminder that Hillary ‘Juggernaut’ Is Vulnerable

Quote of the Day 06/19/14

“There never was an idea stated that woke men out of their stupid indifference
but its originator was spoken of as a crank.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) American Poet

What would Teddy Roosevelt Do? By the Bear

You can read a complete Teddy Roosevelt bio here…

Well, one thing I know for sure is “Teddy” aka Mr. “rough and ready” was a man’s man, the kind of guy that wouldn’t take no s***t from anyone especially the Taliban and Mexico. These two issues have set off an alarm button in the back of my pea brain, 1) the Taliban Five and 2) Mexico’s treatment of jailed Marine Andrew Tahmooressi who Mexico is now saying that he could face a long jail sentence. This marine has been beaten, handcuffed to his bed and been deprived of water.

Now, Mexico has a long history of treating American citizens this way and many families have paid a ransom to these border guards in exchange for family members. In my opinion Mexico needs to be taught a lesson in good neighbor policy (more like a good kick in the ass) because this is becoming a sore spot with me and many American citizens.

Tourism is a major component of Mexico’s economy, contributing roughly 9 percent of the gross domestic product. It is the third-largest source of revenue after oil and what I do would is ban all tourism to Mexico until further notice. Additionally, I would close the border to all Mexican trucks (4,800 a day) and let’s see how their economy handles this.

And what has Mexico done for us? They send their poor and sick to the United States to care for, they let the drug cartels operate open and freely along our borders that commit heinous crimes and extort ransom money from American citizens.

Now I know this is wishful thinking on my part because we need a man’s man in the White House that shows strength and what we have is a girly man that is weak and timid that draws lines in the sand with disappearing ink.

What would Teddy Roosevelt Do if he where President today? He would go get that marine and he wouldn’t take any if’s ands or buts from Mexico and he would show them whose boss.

So, when God created a man and a woman he had something specific in mind. So how did we end up with a ‘girly man’ … “Only God knows!”