A new proposal by the Obama administration to expand drilling to half of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) has attracted criticism from the oil industry, as the plan still leaves a broad area off limits to new oil development. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said new development will be permitted in an 11.8 million-acre geographical area, which purportedly holds about 549 million barrels of oil, while coastal regions such as Kasegaluk Lagoon and Peard Bay — where there is a higher concentration of seals and polar bears — will receive “special protection.”

The current drought afflicting the country is driving up the price of corn and reviving the debate over ethanol mandates that redirect corn from food to fuel.  

Because of the drought, corn yield per acre this year will be the lowest since 1995, while the actual production of corn will be the lowest since 2006. A congressional mandate to turn corn into ethanol in order to reduce emissions requires converting nearly 40 percent of that harvest into 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol. That leaves precious little to feed cattle and people, driving up the price.

 Paul Ryan may be the conservative’s conservative, but understand what that means: He’s out to save the welfare/warfare state from its own intrinsic unsustainability. He’s no small-government man.

Calling potential Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget plan a “fairy tale,” David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s budget director from 1981 to 1985, took Ryan’s plan to task for not recognizing reality and for leaving behind the legacy of the GOP’s glory days when it reveled in touting small government.

On the first day of a three-day bus tour of Iowa, President Barack Obama blamed Mitt Romney's new running mate for blocking a federal farm bill in the House and promised farmers $170 million in government meat and poultry purchases to offset the devastating drought that has resulted in crop failures and higher grain prices through much of the Midwest.

 At a recent campaign appearance President Barack Obama touted the alleged success of the federal government’s bailout of the automobile industry, saying it saved “more than one million jobs.” But while the auto bailout may have kept certain workers on the job, it has taken taxpayers for a ride — and the toll keeps mounting.

President Obama made sure that Iowa farmers knew that he was “there for them” during a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on August 13, by announcing another package of “aid” during the drought. The aid will involve the purchase of $100 million of pork, $50 million of chicken, and $10 million each of lamb and catfish. This comes on top of $30 million of aid announced last week.

 Books about the history of Harlem have long fascinated me — my favorite being When Harlem Was in Vogue by David Levering Lewis. However, a more recent book, titled simply Harlem by Jonathan Gill, presents a more comprehensive history — going all the way back to the time when the Dutch were the first settlers of New York, and named that area for the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands.

Many Washington conservatives swooned when presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney picked seven-term Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, but Ryan has a long history of supporting multi-billion dollar taxpayer bailouts of giant corporations.

 Even as he campaigned with his designated running mate over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was careful to avoid embracing as his own the controversial budget Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) steered through the House of Representatives this year.

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