Interesting Items 04/23

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Oil
  2. Referrals
  3. Kimba
  4. Citibank
  5. Broward
  6. Sunspots
  7. California

  1. Oil. One of the (many) contentious issues up here is the artificial war stoked by anti-development democrats, greens, the current governor, unions, and their supporters against the oil companies who have been funding this state for over a half century.  The flashpoint is legislation passed several years ago (SB21) that devised an array of tax credits designed to encourage smaller and mid-sized oil companies to conduct exploration and bring new production on line and fend off the steadily decreasing flow of oil through the Trans Alaskan Pipeline System (TAPS).  By all measures, it has worked pretty well, as the decline has been halted.  OTOH, the anti-oil crowd including the governor they elected four years ago, resents to their core any payments paid to the producers.  For his part, Governor Walker tapping into his inner reservoir of oil company animus (he made his living before being elected as a lawyer who sued oil companies), decided a few years ago to veto the credit payments promised to the mid-sized and smaller producers.  He was celebrated by all the Usual Suspects.  A lot of the oil companies pulled back future investments, choosing to go to friendlier climes (ND, Texas).  A couple went bankrupt.  And today we still have a bill around a billion dollars that we owe the companies the State of Alaska invited in to help pay the economic freight up here.  Walker, up for reelection in November, is now proposing bonding for the credit payments owed.  Although you would expect this sort of fiscal bait and switch malfeasance to chase everyone out of the state, there are still a few still at work.  Last week we heard from two of them.  Conoco – Phillips announced that exploratory wells drilled this winter, six of them, half exploratory and half appraisal all found oil.  The new find is estimated at least 300 million bbl of recoverable oil and up to as much as 100,000 bbl / day by 2023.  The new field is in the same region that Repsol and Armstrong found a field capable of up to 120,000 bbl / day.  Both fields are on the eastern border and region of NPR-A, which the O’Bama regime fell all over itself trying to lock up, shutting down oil exploration and production.  USGS believes that there are currently over 8.7 billion bbl of recoverable oil using current technology in NPR-A, six times that of the previous estimate in 2010.  The second company is called Oil Search, from Papua New Guinea.  They purchased a $400 million stake in a field discovered by Armstrong and Repsol in 2015.  This field may end up being one of the largest in the state.  They believe the field has a minimum of 500 million bbl of recoverable oil, perhaps as much as 1,200 million bbl.  Its production would be in the 100,000 – 140,000 bbl / day.  As long as the Usual Suspects are not successful in driving the producers out of the state, perhaps we will be able to keep oil in TAPS for the foreseeable future.


  1. Referrals. 11 House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committee members sent criminal referrals to Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week.  Those named included James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe, Peter Stzrok and Lisa Page for separate violations.  They also named Deputy Attorney Generals Sally Yates and Dana Boente.  All were O’Bama FIB & DoJ senior agents, political appointees, and operatives.  The letter included violations of the law associated with Hillary’s e-mail server investigation, Uranium One, FISA abuse setting up surveillance of the Trump campaign.  It suggests possible coordination between the O’Bama WH, the CIA and FIB investigating the Trump campaign.  This is just the first step.  There will be others.  I predict both John Brennan and James Clapper will be up to bat in the not too distant future.


  1. Kimba. It turns out that the federal judge overseeing the Cohen investigation is one Kimba Wood.  She was a Reagan appointee in 1987 based on the recommendation of Senator Al D’Amato.  She was the second unsuccessful Clinton Attorney General nominee in 1993.  She withdrew her name following discovery that she hired an illegal as a nanny.  She did pay taxes on the nanny’s income unlike the previous nominee.  She was followed by Janet Reno, who quickly presided over the destruction of the Branch Davidian buildings and 90+ people in Waco.  Wood is well connected, having presided over the 2013 wedding of George Soros.  During the hearing on Cohen, Wood allowed a CNN lawyer to out FNC and talk show host Sean Hannity as one of Cohen’s clients, something that had absolutely nothing to do with the case at hand.  The media instantly went after Hannity for journalistic conflict of interest, trying to destroy him in the eyes of non-participants in the political wars.  In response, Limbaugh and Levin went after the media talking heads who were making the most noise, pointing out their existing conflicts as journalists being married to, appointed to, working in, and actively supporting a variety of democrat political campaigns, democrat political appointees, and democrat operatives.  The revolving door between journalists and democrat administrations is just as active and actively embedded as the revolving door between the EPA and NGO environmental organizations.


  1. Citibank. When you play, sometimes you are gonna pay.  Virtue signaling from Citibank on firearms last month is starting to get a bit of pushback.  Toward the end of March, Citibank announced a raft of new policies that their retail clients now have to adhere to regarding firearms sales.  They include restricting sales to people 21 and over; only sell firearms to those with background checks; halt sales of bump stocks; halt sales of high capacity magazines.  The cloaked the newly announced policies in all the expected leftist claptrap.  They also announced “due diligence” conversations with the firearms manufacturers they do business with to better understand products, sales, and what the customers expect.  Last week, there was finally push back, with Rep. Todd Rokita (R, IN) calling on the General Services Administration (GSA) to terminate a $700 million contract it has with Citibank, on the grounds that Citibank is engaging in “… a flagrant attempt to undermine our fundamental rights by caving to radicals not endorsed by out federal government.”  He went on to note “Our federal government should instead do business with companies that respect all of our constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment.”  The left has managed to infiltrate and / or intimidate (which one doesn’t really matter a lot to me) corporate America to the point where they are eagerly signing up as enforcers for the things they are demanding.  Conservatives take their business elsewhere, putting a long-term hurt on financial bottom lines.  But the real strength is to start shutting down contracts these companies have with the feds.  While I fully understand and support the notion of free speech, once companies start using their position in the marketplace to enforce their newly-found leftist worldview, that enforcement should be met with blunt, forceful, and exceedingly painful pushback at all levels.  Rep. Rokita’s letter is the first of what should be many, many responses to follow.


  1. Broward. The Federalist published an extended piece last week announcing that the rules that required school officials to look the other way eventually allowing the Parkland shooter to purchase firearms are coming to a school district near you, near everyone.  To recap, the Broward rules, brought to Florida when Broward County hired a Schools Superintendent from Chicago (there’s that city again), required officials to look the other way when members of any minority committed a crime, no matter how small.  The rationale is typical O’Bamanism, that those crimes were committed because of discrimination against the minority.  As a result, they enter a life of crime, learning every day, as their lawlessness is not only tolerated but celebrated.  As an extra, because these guys (and the perps are almost exclusively men) are never reported, then their names are never loaded into the backgrounds check database, corrupting not only the public schools but the federal database which would have kept them from purchasing firearms.  The Parkland shooting was a government failure at all levels.  Unfortunately, when the feds lead that failure, we can only expect entities at the state and local levels to get in line and march in the parade to oblivion, which they did with Parkland.


  1. Sunspots. One of the unfortunate correlations between astronomy and climate is solar activity, usually expressed in the number of observed sunspots.  Generally, the more active the sun, the more observed sunspots.  The more sunspots visible, the warmer the overall climate seems to be.  Times with few observed sunspots tend to correlate with cooler than normal temperatures on a global basis.  The mechanism is based on solar wind.  A quiet sun has a weaker solar wind, the charged envelope the solar system travels through.  The weaker the solar wind, the more galactic cosmic rays impact the earth.  These cosmic rays tend to form seeds for cloud formation.  The more clouds, the less energy that reaches the surface, as it is reflected back out into space.  The four known periods of quiet solar activity (low sunspot counts) are called solar minimums.  The most recent ones are named the Wolf, Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton Minimums.  And it appears we may be on the verge of slipping into another one.  March 2018 was the least active month for sunspots since 2009.  An early solar minimum indicates a short, weak cycle, something that has not been observed since the 1600’s. Previously, short cycles were all active.  So, the big question is what is next?  Are we on our way toward a new Grand Minimum?  And if the glowarmers are correct (which I don’t think they are), we will need every bit of CO2 in the atmosphere possible to fend off some very, very cold temperatures in the next few decades.  The Maunder minimum lasted over 80 years, with very few sunspots observed.  And it got very, very cold in places.


  1. California. Some leftist writers are touting California as the model of the new leftist utopia.  Most of the rest of them are doing their level best to force that model down the collective throats of the rest of us.  In order to fight them, we need to know what turned California from a comfortably red state into a lockstep blue one in less than a generation.  Up until the 1990s, California reliable voted for Republicans.  But them made some changes that made sure that would not continue.  First up was in 2006 when the state passed a law requiring all candidates to come out of what is called a jungle primary.  In a jungle primary, the top two vote getters go to the general election.  This has essentially allowed democrats to keep Republicans off the November ballot.  It also wiped out third parties in the state.  The 2010 redistricting billed as nonpartisan also locked Republicans out of individual districts for congress and the State Assembly.  Middle class Californians are fleeing in droves.  Unfortunately, like many of their brethren from Illinois and NY, they are bringing their old voting habits with them to their new homes.  Importing tens of millions of illegals has also turned California into a welfare state, where a permanently aggrieved minority keeps electing democrats who blame their lot in life on evil Republicans.  And the new minority vote as expected time after time after time.

More later –

– AG


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