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The Russia Uranium Story Is A Chance For Our Useless Attorney General To Finally Step Up To The Plate

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Our thus-far useless Attorney General Jeff Sessions will likely finally be put on the spot today, as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is expected to question Sessions about his knowledge of a Russian bribery scheme that took place during the early Obama years, and involved kickbacks to government officials and massive Russian money going to the Clinton Crime Family fake Foundation, along with millions of dollars in “speaker’s fees” to former President Bill Clinton.
  • The payoff for the Russians was, of course, the awarding of a federal permit to buy Uranium One, a company that controls about 20% of U.S. uranium assets, by a Russian firm in which Vladimir Putin owns an interest.  The approval of that permit was made by what the Obama Administration called the Committee On Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), on which both Attorney General Eric Holder and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were members.  Imagine that.
  • We’ve all known the basics of this scam for years, but assumed that James Comey’s FBI and Holder’s Justice Department simply looked the other way and allowed then-Sec. Clinton to coordinate all this money laundering with impunity.  But it turns out that the FBI actually did investigate this matter during 2009-10, and found criminal wrongdoing before Holder and likely then-President Obama put a halt to it.
  • All of that and more is contained in a story broken on Tuesday by reporters John Solomon and Alison Spann for The Hill.  Grassley apparently became aware of this situation last week, and sent letters to all relevant federal agencies who had members on CFIUS, demanding they produce documentation that would indicate whether their representative on the committee had knowledge of this FBI investigation when they voted to approve the sale of Uranium One to Russia.
  • Grassley, who is famously plain-spoke when he is angry, had this to say about the matter on Tuesday:  “It has recently come to the Committee’s attention that employees of Rosatom were involved in a criminal enterprise involving a conspiracy to commit extortion and money laundering during the time of the CFIUS transaction.  The fact that Rosatom subsidiaries in the United States were under criminal investigation as a result of a U.S. intelligence operation apparently around the time CFIUS approved the Uranium One/Rosatom transaction raises questions about whether that information factored into CFIUS’ decision to approve the transaction.”
  • It is into this breach that our thus-far useless Attorney General steps today.  Mr. Sessions has to this point very conveniently recused himself from anything having to do with Russia – because he had a meeting with the Russian Ambassador during the presidential campaign – as a means of facilitating his reluctance to deal with all of the rampant lawlessness that took place during the Obama Administration.  It is this baseless recusal that led to the appointment of Special Counsel Bob Mueller, and to the continued stonewalling of several congressional investigations and court cases by the FBI.  While many conservatives who support President Trump – myself included – were excited about the Sessions appointment when it was made, he has turned out to be one of the most disappointing hires made by this President.
  • While the fake news media – other than The Hill – are doing their best to ignore this story, given that it involves wrongdoing by so many of their Democrat heroes, today is actually a very pivotal moment for the Trump Administration.  If Mr. Sessions continues his posing as having a reason to recuse himself from Russia matters, even as they have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump presidential campaign, then that should be cause for the President to fire him and replace him with someone who really is interested in doing this job.
  • What this story shows us clearly is that the entire “Russia Collusion” fantasy play foisted on the public by the Democrats, the fake news media and willing Republican sympathizers in congress since last November is nothing but another classic case of Clintonian projection strategy.  The Clintons – and the Obama Administration – were involved in collusion with the Russian government throughout Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, and, when Trump won the election, knew that all of this would likely come to light.
  • The Clintonian strategy in situations like this has always been to get ahead of such revelations by accusing their opponents of the very same kind of wrongdoing first, in order to divert public attention away from their own actions.  The real collusion here has been between the Clintons, the Obamas, the fake news media and swamp-dwelling Republicans who have facilitated their projection strategy, even to the point of creating a special counsel to investigate the fantasy.
  • Today is Jeff Sessions’ chance to prove his is up to the job he’s held since February.  I’m looking for a reason to think he will prove worthy of the task, but am having a really hard time finding one.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Just another day in Russia Collusion America.

That is all.

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So You’ve Screwed Up Your Life? Blame Trump!

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Is it just me, or does it seem like everybody – and I do mean everybody – who has done something to screw up their life in any way, shape or form has taken to blaming President Donald J. Trump as a coping mechanism for their own failures?  Think about it.
  • Take Harvey Weinstein as an example – what was this repugnant tub of goo’s first instinct when the NYTimes published its expose’ on his quarter century of abusing women?  If you remember, he thought he could innoculate himself from any fallout from his 100% leftwing Hollywood peers by taking a leave of absence from his company so he could dedicate himself to fighting the NRA (virtue signal related to the Las Vegas massacre that had taken place six days earlier) and …wait for it…Donald Trump!
  • But – oops! – it turns out that promising to go around playing the “Blame Trump” card doesn’t inoculate you against 25 years of soiling potted plants and blackmailing ambitious young ingenues into having sex with you in exchange for movie roles.  It turns out that even Hollywood has some standards, and who could have ever guessed that?
  • Then there’s Bowe Bergdahl, that traitorous Army deserter who Barack Obama and Susan Rice consider to be a great American “hero”.  Obama thought so highly of Bergdahl that he was willing to trade five terrorist scum in order to get this “hero”  – who had cost six truly brave American soldiers their lives as they searched Afghanistan trying to find him – released by the Taliban.  After pleading guilty to desertion in his court martial, Bergdahl said he was doing so because he felt he could not get a fair trial due to things said by …wait for it… Donald Trump!  Yeah, none of it’s your fault, bud.
  • NFL Football players and owners – The pre-game protests by NFL players of the flag and national anthem went on for well over a year without a word about it coming from the very busy mouth of candidate Trump or President Trump.  NFL ratings were tanking and game attendance dying throughout the 2016 season as a result, and that tanking continued into the 2017 season before the President had anything to say about it.  But when the President decided to go off on these players and owners and commissioner Roger Goodell, why, suddenly it was all about Trump.
  • The players, who let’s be honest, really had pretty much no idea why they were kneeling out there other than some vague multi-millionaire game player’s notion of being “oppressed”, suddenly decided that their demonstrations were all about Trump.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  Many of the owners joined in because, well, they just had to show “solidarity” with their players because…because, ummm,welllll…because TRUMP!  Yeah, because Trump! That’s what it is!  Meanwhile, Goodell is thrilled by it all because everyone’s blaming Trump instead of him.  The Trump boogeyman works for all parties in this one.
  • The Most Corrupt Woman In America – Then there’s our very favorite leftwing slinger of nonsense and sleaze, Hillary Rotten, er, Rodham Clinton.  This pathetic woman has parlayed abject corruption into a net worth of more than $200 million, and has spent the year blaming her 2016 election loss and everything else that is wrong with the world on – who else? – President Trump.  Even the broken toe she claims to have suffered on Saturday while running up the stairs is no doubt the President’s fault – the vodka and diet Dr. Pepper had nothing to do with it.
  • Then there is San Juan’s Crazy Little Marxist Mayor, Carmen Cruz, who has now completely discarded all pretense of not being a communist and has taken to dressing up as Che Guevara in her press availabilities.  The government of Puerto Rico in general and in San Juan in particular has been a cesspit of corruption forever, and Ms. Cruz has done nothing to remedy any of that.  The Island’s infrastructure, thanks in large part to government officials siphoning off money for themselves and their friends – as all good Marxists do – was in horrible shape before Hurricane Maria hit, and was basically destroyed completely by the storm.
  • Despite the fact that the U.S. government has come into the island with literally thousands of military, FEMA and other recovery workers, massive amounts of supplies, and more generators than anywhere else on the face of the earth, progress has been slowed by the fact that the local trucker’s union decided this tragedy was a great time to go on strike, an action the crazy little Mayor supports.  So, when the people of your island are suffering mainly due to your own corruption and ideological stupidity, what do you do?  Why, you get in front of any CNN camera you can find and blame Trump!  Works like charm.
  • Finally, there’s the repugnant John McCain, literally the worst person who has ever served in the United States Senate.  In receiving some “Liberty Medal” from his ideological sympatico Joe Biden on Monday, McCain had this to say:  “To abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe” and “refuse the obligations of international leadership … for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems” is “As unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”
  • So, putting America  and Americans first, ahead of McCain’s and Biden’s globalist, open borders ideology, is “unpatriotic”, in McCain’s view.  He didn’t say which government – the U.N. perhaps? – it is “unpatriotic” towards.
  • But this is McCain’s swan song, blaming Trump for preventing him from “solving problems.”  Think about that – can you think of a single problem John McCain ever solved in his entire 30+ years in government?  Neither can I.
  • That’s not Trump’s fault.  Trump’s just the boogeyman.

Just another day in Blame Trump! America.

That is all.

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Harvey Weinstein Is Not A Joking Matter

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Yesterday morning I told you that the Clinton Crime Family Foundation was not going to give up one thin dime of the quarter million it received from disgraced former Hollywood high muckety-muck Harvey Weinstein.  As if like clockwork, by the day’s end, a spokesman for the big slush fund tweeted that – guess what? – not one thin dime of Weistein’s hush money would be returned or given to a real charity.  And hey, if you’re the Clintons, why pretend to be anything other than the clawing, grasping, money-hoarding sleazebags everyone knows they are?  It’s gotten them this far, the fake news media will cover for them, and a week from now this will all be as forgotten in the national consciousness as the death of Vince Foster.
  • Speaking of Harvey Weinstein, it appears to me that the nation reached “Peak Weinstein” over this past weekend.  The clearest indicator of that reality is the edict in pop culture that you cannot joke about Harvey Weinstein and his crimes.  Un-funny late night TV host James Corden, with whom I am so unfamliar that I had to google his name to get the spelling right, found this out the hard way when he was lambasted in social media and later, the legacy media for telling a bunch of not funny Weinstein jokes during a gig hosting a charity event Saturday evening.
  • After Actor/Producer/Director Rose McGowan led the Twitter-based roasting of Corden, the comic issued a formal apology for his offending remarks.  Given that Ms. McGowan alleges that she was raped by Weinstein and then black-balled by his Hollywood sex offender support group that pervades Hollywood’s debased culture, it’s easy to see why she and other women who Weinstein abused during his 30-year reign of terror don’t think any of this is a laughing matter.  That seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it?
  • Welllllllllllllllll, not if you’re veteran sportscaster Al Michaels, apparently.  By the time Micheals went on the air Sunday night, the Corden controversy had been swirling for a good 20 hours, but he must’ve missed the NBC memo about the whole dust-up.  Or maybe NBC’s management didn’t sent out a memo, assuming their sportscasters wouldn’t be making on-air jokes about a big Hollywood muckety-muck’s travails, preferring instead to focus on things like maybe which team had the most attention-seeking players taking a knee for the national anthem.
  • But no, Michaels decided it would be really cool right in the middle of the game to compare the week the New York Giants had had to Weinstein’s week, to which his more-alert partner Chris Collinsworth responded with about six seconds of radio silence.  Yikes.  Naturally, Michaels then obviously got his memo from higher-ups at NBC, and soon after the broadcast ended he also issued a formal apology for telling a stupid joke about a subject that is not funny.
  • So, a note to all you comics and aspiring comics out there, longing to whip out your repertoire of Harvey Weinstein jokes:  Stop.  Just stop.  Nothing about what Harvey Weinstein did is funny.  Oh, there is tons of irony in this situation, as it applies to Hollywood’s larger depraved culture and to all the Democrat politicians – especially anyone named Clinton or Obama – who are desperate to find ways to keep Weinstein’s hush money, but none of this is funny.  Women were raped here, abused in heinous ways, their careers and lives destroyed by an out-of-control monster who everyone in Hollywood knew about for years and did nothing to stop him.
  • What the Weinstein scandal is, is tragic.  The most tragic aspect of it is that Weinstein is far from the only monster out there, and in fact most likely is just a representative of an overall culture of abuse that probably will be allowed to continue to exist as the fake news media, which is desperate to shift the public’s attention off of its Democrat benefactors who bathed in Weinstein’s money, moves on to other, faker news.
  • Thus, within a few weeks, it will most likely be business as usual for all the harassers, rapists and pedophiles who dominate Hollywood culture, and the average American with the attention span of a field mouse will go right back to paying six bucks for a 64 oz. Diet Coke while watching mediocre films at their local cineplex.
  • That, friends, is no joking matter.

Just another day in short attention span America.

That is all.

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Yes, CNN, Trump Is Reversing Obama’s “Legacy”. That’s Why He Won.

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • So, the members of the Motion Picture Academy, a large portion of whom are no doubt sexual abusers of one form or another themselves, voted to kick Harvey Weinstein out of the membership of their illustrious group.  Boy, that’ll show him.
  • Late night talk show host and un-funny comic Jimmy Kimmel, fresh off of being proclaimed to be “America’s moral conscience” by some idiot writing for CNN, told a CNN fake journalist on Friday that “I am not America’s moral conscience.”  Can somebody please let me know when this particular debate is over?  Thanks.
  • If you’re thinking the Clinton family is really going to return any of that Weinstein hush money they received over the last 20 years, watch the video at this link of Chelsea Clinton fleeing to the safety of her car to avoid answering any questions about it on Saturday.  Not one thin dime of that quarter million that went into the Clinton Crime Family Fake Foundation will go anywhere else.  Forget about it.
  • Don’t look now – ok, go ahead and look – but the fake journalists who infest CNN are waking up to the fact that President Donald Trump (I still never get tired of typing that) is – gasp! – focusing his efforts on reversing the anti-American legacy of Barack Obama.  Why, the nerve!
  • Writing on CNN’s website on Friday, that keeper of the Obama flame Chris Cilizza says that “The key to understanding Trump’s motivations here are entirely contained in the ACA’s shorthand nickname: Obamacare. It’s named after the man — former President Barack Obama (duh) — who shepherded it into existence. And that’s exactly why Trump wants to get rid of it.”  Yes, to the nitwits who pretend to be reporters and opinionists at Obama Central, Trump’s dismantling of an utterly failed government takeover of 1/6th of the nation’s economy has literally nothing to do with the undeniable fact that it is horrible policy that has taken many millions of Americans completely out of the health insurance system, and is 100% because Trump just doesn’t like Obama.
  • This is what CNN calls “insightful analysis.”  My goodness.
  • Cilizza cannot bring himself to acknowledge the truth about Trump’s order to rescind Obama’s executive order that gave hundreds of millions in subsidies each year to insurance companies, which is that Obama’s order was patently unconstitutional.  The Constitution clearly requires that all federal spending must be authorized by congress, and congress never authorized those payments.  The fact is that Trump’s order is simply one piece of his ongoing campaign to return this country to the rule of law, a concept that was studiously ignored during Obama’s 8 years in office.
  • So yes, the Trump presidency has thus far been largely focused on reversing the legacy of lawlessness that preceded it.  this used to be known as responsible governance.
  • And what a success this effort to erase the Obama legacy from our midst has been thus far.  With the reversal of literally thousands of terrible, economy-killing regulations and dozens of patently illegal executive orders, Trump’s administration has demonstrated that the Obama “legacy” was almost entirely built on a foundation of matchsticks that would go up in flames with the election of any president who actually cares about the country.
  • While the fake news media has done its best to ignore it, President Trump’s reversals of Obama’s failed legacy have also extended to the War on Terror, and the destruction of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, which is largely complete.  Literally thousands of ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq have surrendered over the past few weeks with barely a mention on the nightly newscasts, and ISIS is on the verge of defeat in the key strongholds of Raqqa and Mayadeen, leaving Boukamal as the terror group’s lone remaining harbor.
  • Thus, just 9 months into his presidency, Trump’s military leaders have, working with Syria and others, almost wiped out the terrorist group that Obama fooled around with and allowed to grow throughout his second term in office.  Chris Cilizza is no doubt horrified by this as well.
  • But out here in Flyover Country, us Normals are pretty happy to see ISIS being wiped out, the stock market setting records almost every day, the economy booming, our manufacturing industries investing tens of billions of dollars in new plants and equipment, and even about having a President who is willing to refer to Christmas as “Christmas.”
  • Chris Cilizza and the rest of the Obama-worshippers at CNN will never understand it, but all of this is exactly why Donald Trump is our President today.

Just another day in fake news America.

That is all.

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Law Enforcement Has Failed The Las Vegas Massacre Victims

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • It is hard to remember any modern criminal investigation in the United States that was botched as badly in its public communications as the investigation into the Las Vegas massacre has been thus far.  The Orlando night club shootings were a mess, but at least investigators into that terrorist attack had a relatively believable narrative and timeline nailed down within about 48 hours of the incident.  The same was true of the San Bernardino terrorist assault – within a few days of that mass murder, law enforcement appeared to have the salient facts of the case pretty well nailed down and communicated to the public.
  • Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the ongoing (we think, anyway) investigation (such as it may be) into the mass shootings in Las Vegas, which killed 58 innocent people and wounded almost 500.  The investigators in this case still do not appear to have nailed down the simplest, most basic facts of the case, starting with when the shooter checked into the damn hotel.
  • On Friday, Las Vegas Metro PD Sheriff Joe Lombardo seemed to confirm that, after 12 full days of claiming that the shooter checked into the Mandalay Bay Resort on September 28, he and his crack staff of investigators finally got with the hotel’s front desk, had them hit a few keys on their computer, and determined that he actually checked in on September 25.  This is a fact many ordinary people have known for at least a week, thanks to the revelation by hotel employees of both a room service receipt dated September 27, and a valet receipt in the shooter’s name dated – guess what? – September 25.  This really is not that hard, Sheriff.
  • But maybe Sheriff Lombardo didn’t confirm that as an actual fact – it’s almost impossible to tell, given that he is possibly the most nervous, shifty, and inept public speaker in the history of American law enforcement.  Maybe he’s nervous because he isn’t used to this role.  No, wait, that can’t be it, since he has performed the role of public spokesman on hundreds of criminal investigations in the past.  Maybe he’s so nervous because he’s embarrassed that his investigation thus far has been such an abject cluster-you-know-what.  That could be it – the Sheriff does at least appear to be a person with some sense of self-awareness.
  • Or maybe, as is typical of so many public speakers, he’s so extremely, visibly nervous because he doesn’t really believe the narrative he is reciting is actually true.  Maybe he’s so extremely, visibly, tremblingly nervous because of that beady-eyed FBI guy standing just behind his left shoulder monitoring each and every word he says.  That might have something to do with it.
  • Regardless of the reasons for his nervousness before the cameras, somebody needs to get Sheriff Lombardo some lessons in public communications, fast.  Here are some lessons some smart communications professional could teach him:
    • It does not inspire confidence when you break off eye contact every time you recite some “fact” or “timeline” discovered by your investigation.  People who believe what they’re saying typically have no problem looking their questioner or the camera in the eye when they answer;
    • Given the FBI’s recent history of major corruption and defrauding the American public, it does not inspire a lick of confidence when you tell us that “We are standing hand-in-hand with the FBI in the continuance of this investigation”, as you said in your no-questions press conference yesterday.  For informed Americans, that is actually a cause for alarm;
    • Speaking of that press conference, it does not inspire any confidence at all when you hold a press conference, strictly limit its attendance only to press members you approve, and then refuse to take questions;
    • If you feel you have to say “There is no conspiracy between the FBI, LVMPD, or the MGM,” you have a credibility problem of your own doing, from which it is probably impossible to recover; and finally
    • If you hold a press conference at which you say and do all of these things and basically offer no real, new information at all, then you shouldn’t have held the press conference.
  • To be clear, neither I nor anyone else knows if there is any sort of conspiracy among law enforcement to push any sort of false narrative about this horrible crime.  It could just be that Sheriff Lombardo really is the most inept spokesman for any major criminal investigation in modern times.
  • What I do know is that the story we’re being told right now is so filled with holes it could serve as your kitchen collander.  It is simply not believable, for instance, that this shooter was a guest at the Mandalay Bay for a full week and was never captured by any of the hotel’s thousands of security cameras.  Not possible.  Period.  It is simply not believable that his multiple computers contained no useful information about his background or his preparations for this crime, which, if law enforcement is to be believed, spanned months, if not years.
  • The American public deserves better than what law enforcement has delivered related to this investigation thus far.  More to the point, the 58 dead, 500 injured and their loved ones deserve better.  If Sheriff Lombardo and his beady-eyed FBI overseer are incapable of providing that, then perhaps someone else should be put in charge of this case.

Just another day in unbelievable government narratives America.

That is all.

Open post

The Best Solution To The Weinstein Problem? CalExit!

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Democrats everywhere gave her an “A” for effort. – After President Trump issued an executive order that would enable small businesses and individuals to form health insurance associations across state lines and thus demand lower premiums for insurance policies, San Fran Nan Pelosi told reporters that “I don’t know what he’s putting out today, but I do know it’s a sabotage” of Obamacare.  Hey, give her a break:  She didn’t know what was in Obamacare, either, and still doesn’t.  At least Pelosi was able to remember and recite the day’s Democrat/fake media code word – which every Democrat and fake reporters used all day long – related to the President’s executive order, which of course was “sabotage.”  She had no idea why she was using it, but at least she managed to use it.
  • How about “Hobgoblin”?  No?  Ok, what about “Rotten tomato”?  Wait, that’s two words… – Today, the President will very likely terminate U.S. sponsorship of the Obama/Kerry idiotic deal with Iran, and we can only speculate on what the Democrat/media code word will be related to this action.  “Reckless”, perhaps?  “Irresponsible”?  No, that’s too many syllables, Pelosi could never remember it.  “Dark”?  No, they only use that when he’s talking about putting America first.  Hmmmmmm…I’m going with “reckless.”  Let’s sit back and see what happens.
  • Meanwhile, in Harvey Weinstein world… – Stuff got real for Amazon grand poobah Jeff Bezos yesterday afternoon, as director/actor/producer Rose McGowan turned her one-woman war on Hollywood in an unexpected direction.  While she didn’t accuse Bezos himself of any bad sexual behavior, she went off on the head of Amazon’s movie studio with a vengeance, accusing him of covering for Weinstein after she had informed him that Weinstein had raped her.  She ended her tweetstorm by imploring Bezos to “Be the change you want to see in the world.  Stand with the truth.”
  • Interestingly, while every other major media outlet on the face of the earth seems to have run a story on the McGowan/Bezos dustup, the Washington Post, which Bezos owns, apparently did not find this story newsworthy.  Go figure.
  • In response not to McGowan’s accusations, but to a separate accusation made by producer Isa Hackett Dick, Amazon did see fit to suspend the studio chief in question, some guy named Roy Price.  My goodness, what a cesspit of depravity Hollywood is turning out to be, and we haven’t even gotten to the pedophiles.  Yet.
  • CalExit is the solution! – This whole Weinstein deal ought to remind every thinking American out in the 98% of the country that lies outside of the major media centers that there is an organized, dedicated effort to have California secede from the United States, most commonly referred to as “CalExit”.  And lo and behold, the Sacramento Bee carried a story about this effort yesterday, in which backers of this secession effort say they believe they have an easier path to taking their state out of the union than the Catalonians have to separate their region from Spain.
  • While that’s not exactly a low bar, it gives the organizers hope:  “There are definitely similarities in the fiscal situation – we both give more than we get back,” said Dave Marin, director of research and policy for the California Freedom Coalition. “But there’s more flexibility in the U.S. Constitution for secession than there is in the Spanish one. California has more tools available to it.”  Honestly, it should give the rest of us a little hope as well that maybe, sometime in the near future, the cesspit of depravity that is Harvey Weinstein World will reside in a whole separate country.  Seems like a very reasonable solution, doesn’t it?
  • Incidentally, about that whole “we both give more than we get back” line of BS spouted by Mr. Marin:  I’m thinking this guy hasn’t considered what his state’s life would be like without all that water coming into LA from the Colorado River Basin.  And I’m thinking he hasn’t given a lot of thought to what it might cost his new country to recruit and maintain its own military forces, because if you think us “Normals” out here in flyover country are just going to smile and say “great!” when Californians come begging for water and our armed forces to protect them when things get real, you don’t really know us Normals, and you really don’t want to find out the answer to those questions the hard way.
  • But hey, go for it, Mr. Marin.  All I want to know about your effort really and truly is, how can I help make it happen?

Just another day in I have found the solution to the whole Weinstein problem America.

That is all.

 

Image credit:  The Federalist Papers.com

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STEER: A Business Model That Works

It was great to be able to write this issue’s cover feature on the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable (STEER) and its outstanding staff, including President and CEO Omar Garcia. Watching the organization have so much success has been very rewarding, since I played a minor role in its creation back in 2012; and writing the piece provided a chance to reflect on the STEER business model and why the oil and gas industry should try to replicate it in other parts of the country.

By late 2011, it had become obvious to everyone that the Eagle Ford Shale was a world-class resource that represented an unprecedented opportunity for economic development in South Texas. Shortly after a lunch during which I and a group of colleagues talked about how best to go about protecting this opportunity, I got on a conference call with the Haynesville Shale Operators’ Committee (HSOC). This coincidence of timing was what spurred my involvement in the germination of STEER.

HSOC was the brainchild of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (LOGA) and its President, Don Briggs. Created during the height of the development of the Haynesville Shale natural gas development, the organization served as an extremely effective voice for the industry in what was at the time the busiest shale development region of the country. The challenge the Haynesville Shale presented to LOGA was its concentration in the northwest corner of the state, hundreds of miles from the state capital of Baton Rouge, where LOGA’s offices were located.

Rather than have its staff constantly travel back and forth between Baton Rouge and Shreveport to help its members address community and regulatory issues, LOGA came up with the model of establishing a committee within its organizational structure that essentially functioned as a separate trade association. To become members of HSOC, companies paid separate dues, and the committee itself had its own separate staff.

To further distinguish HSOC as a separate entity, the HSOC staff seldom became engaged in the single most crucial role of any state trade association — lobbying the state’s legislature. Instead, HSOC focused on helping members with community and media relations, functions that have not traditionally been strong points for the industry’s legacy associations.

The model worked. HSOC was a tremendous asset for producers, the media and communities in the region, all of whom needed an honest-broker intermediary to help understand and communicate with one another.

Seeing no reason why this model wouldn’t work just as well in South Texas — where the sudden, massive growth in oil and gas activity was very predictably creating lots of friction and challenges in the local communities — I took the idea to Rob Looney, then-President of the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA), one of the industry’s largest trade associations, headquartered in Austin. My involvement ended there, since I had a conflicting role with one of the industry’s national trade associations at that time.

Read The Rest Here

STEER: A New Kind of Trade Association

A Sleeping Giant Beneath The Chalk

Nestled in a quiet area of suburban Dallas, just off the intersection of Texas State Highway 12 and Interstate 30, lies the neighborhood of Eagle Ford. At one time an incorporated city, Eagle Ford was annexed in the mid-1950s by the city of Dallas, whose city center skyscrapers can be seen just 6 miles away.

Originally settled by the family of Enoch Horton in 1844, the community soon became known as an important crossing of the West Fork of the Trinity River. The Horton family established a grist mill; and within a few years they donated land to establish the town’s first cemetery and for the right of way and depot for the Texas and Pacific Railway. As was the case for hundreds of communities in Texas’ early decades, the establishment of a rail depot led quickly to rapid population growth. By the 1870s, Eagle Ford had become a key shipping point for the cattle industry, and its population had grown to several thousand.

The death of the trail drives led to the collapse of the cattle business, and by the 1890s, Eagle Ford’s population hovered around 50 citizens, where it remained well into the mid-20th century. Memory of the community’s heyday was largely lost to history, where it remained until late 2008.

Not far from the location of the original Horton grist mill, a small cliff face reveals an out-cropping of the Austin Chalk formation, which had become famous during the 1970s and again in the 1990s for the production of prodigious amounts of crude oil. Indeed, the Chalk is experiencing a bit of a third revival today.

Immediately beneath the Chalk outcropping, another formation displays what seems to be a rocky, clay-like profile. This formation is actually a shale formation, one that happens to be the source rock for the Austin Chalk. It was the oil migrating up from the Eagle Ford that made the Chalk such a prodigious formation to begin with.

Like the Austin Chalk, the Eagle Ford Shale extends deep into South Texas and even under the Rio Grande into northern Mexico. Unlike the Chalk, however, this formation had received scant attention until October 2008, when Petrohawk (now a part of BHP Billiton) drilled what is credited as the first commercial horizontal well completed in the formation in La Salle County. The well, completed with a 3,200-foot horizontal lateral involving a 10-stage frac job, produced at an initial flow rate of about 7,600 MMBTU of natural gas per day, and the race was on.

 

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Luminant Announcement Proves Trump Repeal Of CPP Won’t Save Coal

During his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump repeatedly promised he would save the nation’s struggling coal industry by rolling back regulations enacted during the Obama years, and he has made strong efforts to keep his word.  But the extent to what the President would be able to do to keep this pledge was always severely limited, by the constitutional limits on presidential powers, the vagaries of the regulatory process, the ability by opponents of his priorities to tie anything he tries to do up in the court system for years, and by the realities of the marketplace.

So it was somewhat ironic and telling that the following two announcements came within a few days of one another:

  • On October 6, Luminant announced it would be permanently closing its huge, 1800 mwh coal-fired Monticello power plant in Titus County, Texas by January 2018; and
  • On October 9, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced his agency would formally propose a new rule to replace the Obama era Clean Power Plan (CPP), following up on the executive order issued by President Trump on March 27.

Mr. Pruitt admitted his agency has no firm proposed substitute at this point, but rather will seek public comment and participation in developing a plan for reducing power plant emissions that would ultimately replace the CPP.  Regardless of how that process of public input is conducted, the EPA’s action will be met by strong resistance, as evidenced by the typically inflammatory statement issued by Micheal Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, as cited by the Washington Post:

With this news, Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt will go down in infamy for launching one of the most egregious attacks ever on public health, our climate, and the safety of every community in the United States.  He’s proposing to throw out a plan that would prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks every year.”

Mr. Pruitt can rest assured that his proposal to repeal and replace the CPP will be challenged in the federal courts at every conceivable opportunity not only by anti-development groups like Sierra Club, but also by the many Democratic state attorneys general who have already coordinated suits against several other Trump Administration energy and environment-related proposals.

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