Archive for California

Have You Seen Me?

Be creeped. Be very creeped:

Reports of creepy clowns carrying knives and other weapons have been scaring people in the California city of Bakersfield for the past week, police said on Sunday.

In the latest incident, a person telephoned the Bakersfield Police Department on Saturday night, reporting a clown armed with a firearm, said watch commander Lieutenant Jason Matson.

“We’ve been having sightings all over the city,” Matson said. “They range from anywhere from a guy carrying a gun to a guy carrying a knife running up to houses.”

The Bakersfield Californian newspaper reported earlier in the week that at least some of the reports were hoaxes. Matson said he did not know whether the incidents were pranks.

At least one of the reports was not a hoax – police arrested a teen on Friday who had dressed up as a clown and was chasing children on the west side of town, Matson said. The juvenile, whose name was not released, said he was doing it to perpetrate a hoax he had seen online.

He’s the Wasco Blown, and he has his own Twitter account.

And Instagram

And perhaps more than a few admirers and imitators:

Halloween came early to Wasco and Bakersfield.

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Another ObamaCare Success Story!

They said the passage of ObamaCare would be good for the economy, and darned if they weren’t right:

California’s health insurance exchange has awarded $184 million in contracts without the competitive bidding and oversight that is standard practice across state government.

An Associated Press review of contracting records finds some of those deals sent millions of dollars to a firm whose employees have ties to the agency’s executive director.

Awarding no-bid contracts is unusual in state government, where rules promote competition to give taxpayers the best deal and avoid ethical conflicts.

The Legislature gave Covered California broad authority to award no-bid contracts to meet federal deadlines to get the agency running.

Several contracts worth a total of $4.2 million went to The Tori Group, a consulting firm whose founder has strong ties to agency Executive Director Peter Lee.

Lee says he picked the best people for the job.

Trust us, they said. You’ll love ObamaCare. We didn’t. Trust us with no-bid contracts; we won’t hose you. They did. Thank you, California, for making all of us in Massachusetts feel a little less stupid.

PS: This story ought to make those seeing their plans canceled or their costs spike feel a little better. Or not.

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Beverly Shill-Billy

I would have thought that for a person with national political ambitions, languishing in a state senate would feel like exile. But a young political organizer named Barry Sotero, whose “presence” in Springfield, IL for an eternity of eight years must have felt like Elba, showed those with inflated opinions of themselves that state government offered more opportunity than first met the eye.

All you need, beside the outsized ego, is… well, that’s about all you need:

Sandra Fluke has moved on to the general election in the race to represent California’s 26th District in the state Senate, the Associated Press reports.

Fluke finished second in the open primary, following rival Ben Allen. Both will compete in November for the seat being vacated by state Sen. Ted Lieu (D), who’s running for Congress this year.

Fluke came to national prominence in 2012 after testifying before Congress in favor of mandatory contraception coverage. She became the target of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who called the then-Georgetown Law student a “slut.”

The attorney and activist, who spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention following Limbaugh’s attacks, briefly weighed running for outgoing Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-Calif.) House seat before deciding to run for the state Senate instead.

That’s the Georgetown Law (and Cornell undergrad) mind on display. Her sister in Socialism, Cindy Sheehan (an ugly step-sister, if I may rudely and honestly observe), shot too high, the California Governorship, but got no closer to that office than her lean-to in Crawford, TX. Sandra knew it wasn’t the office, but the ambition, that defined the office holder—especially when that office represents Beverly Hills and Hollywood.

Forget streetlights, pot holes, and pot dispensaries, Sandra Fluke—Senator Fluke to you, Rush—has higher (or lower) aims:

Protect women’s health care rights!

Any day now, the Supreme Court will announce its decision in the Hobby Lobby case. The case could have far-reaching implications for whether private companies can refuse to offer their employees’ health insurance with contraception coverage.

Plain and simple — A woman’s boss should not have a say in her health care decisions. No one’s boss should. The stakes are too high for us to be silent.

Please join Sandra Fluke and the DCCC and sign this petition declaring that a woman’s boss should not have a say in her health care decisions.

A woman’s boss should not have a say in her health care decisions.

Agreed. But we’re not talking about setting broken bones or treating breast cancer. That’s health care, and irrelevant to an employer. Abortion and contraception (two radically different things, in my view) might also be health care, but hardly irrelevant to an employer being asked to pay for them. Especially an employer with religious objections. Does a woman have a say in her boss’s morality?

The law has to find common sense middle ground between absurd extremes. Could a Christian Science employer withhold insurance that used medicine? Could an employee require his or her employer to add or subtract certain body parts? To mutilate or decorate those remaining?

It’s dishonest of Sandra to disguise abortion as “women’s health care rights”—hence her bright future in politics. I won’t predict what the Supreme Court will say, beyond guessing that it will be a split decision, with strong sentiments on both sides. One side will “win”, without exactly being “right”.

And Sandra Fluke will have gone from “slut” to Senator (albeit State Senator, in Sacramento) in this great nation of ours. Though the difference is less than you might imagine.

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Maybe They Can Replace it With the Pol Pot-au-Feu

What’s the special at the Che Guevara Collective (and why didn’t they call it “The Motorcycle Dairies”?), Bourgeois Bourguignon?

University of California-San Diego students have run the “Che Café Collective” for 34 years, a vegan co-op and concert venue boasting “exorbitantly low” prices and volunteer staffing. But it’s consistently in the red, costing the student body nearly $1 million over the years, and isn’t kept up to fire or safety codes. School officials are threatening to cut off funding, which would shut down the campus fixture, but a band of students is fighting back.

“The venue has been operating for 34 years and it’s the longest-running volunteer space in Southern California, if not in all of California,” café volunteer Rene Vera told FoxNews.com. “And our building is covered in murals that document a lot of that history.”

You say murals, we say graffiti.

In its heyday, the café hosted up-and-coming acts like Nirvana and Green Day. Staffers would feed the band, often with donated food, and the audience got the leftovers. The decidedly un-capitalist business model worked until crowds began to dwindle, extensive repairs were ordered by campus fire marshals and student groups got sick of subsidizing it.

The university’s student-run newspaper, The Guardian, characterized the venue as a “money pit consistently plagued with safety issues” in a recent editorial, urging its principals to start utilizing better fiscal management of nearly $1 million of student fees are used for renovations.

“Many students also don’t realize that the money being spent on the café’s renovation comes directly from student fees; in other words, we are collectively pouring almost one million dollars of our money into repairing a cooperative that the vast majority of us don’t even use.”

“I do not believe Che Cafe closing will be a severe blow to the campus’ overall aesthetic,” soon-to-be graduate Marco Vasquez, a political science major and vice chair of the university’s College Republicans, told FoxNews.com in an e-mail. “The majority of students that I have spoken to do not know what or where the Che Cafe is, given that it is on the edge of campus. Those who do know either visit it regularly or describe it as creepy.”

The perfect descriptor for its namesake.

When I was a kid, I knew a kid burdened with the name Che by his parents. (My parents mixed with that crowd.) I bet he’s going by Ernesto—even Ernest—now.

PS: Does one get the Trotskys after eating at the Che Guevara Collective?

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Why Not the Best?

As with so many things, Jimmy Carter said it first and best:

But if California could ever use a governor with the experience and wisdom of Cindy Sheehan (a debatable proposition), that time is now:

Whoops!

I mean:

Which metro area in the U.S. has suffered a greater economic collapse over the last two decades than Detroit? Hint: It’s a common fundraising stop for President Obama. The answer, according to a new UCLA Anderson School of Management study, is Los Angeles.

Th researchers say Los Angeles has lost 3.1% of its employment base since 1990, more than Cleveland (-0.2%) and Detroit (-2.8%). Job growth over the same period has exceeded 50% in Phoenix, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Los Angeles “displays a tale of two cities in terms of job growth,” the study notes. “From 2005 to 2012, West L.A. had a payroll job growth of 3% while the rest of L.A. took a 5.1% hit in job loss.”

Cindy’s the one who’s running, but it sounds like a job for another once-high-flying liberal heartthrob now fallen on hard times:

Anything to make a buck, right? But seriously, you think Cindy’s going to let this situation stand? Then you don’t know Cindy:

CINDY FOR GOVERNOR!

PS: Just for laughs:

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The UnDeadline [UPDATED]

No, this isn’t a post about zombies—or is it?

Monday marks the final day of Obamacare’s first open enrollment period — sort of — but the health care law’s hasn’t been implemented in its entirety or even close to on time.

Despite all the Obama administration’s talk about Republicans “obstructing” the health care law, federal officials and Obamacare administrators have done far more damage to the health care law by delaying some of its most central provisions. Here’s the Daily Caller News Foundation’s list of the ways the Obama administration has taken apart its own law, piece by piece.

It’s very long, but it’s encyclopedic (make that “but” an “and”). I would also note that Republicans in the House have tried to pass laws (of the land), Constitutional (bitches) laws, to legitimize what Kaiser Obama has rendered wholly illegitimate. Only for those laws to die in the Democrat Senate (under threat of veto by the Kaiser).

Today is a deadline—sort of—because all you have to do is say you tried to sign up but were thwarted by the universally reviled website. It’s an ironclad alibi.

MARCH 25, 2014: The Obama administration extends its enrollment deadline, letting consumers who already began the HealthCare.gov online initiation check a box stating that they were unable to enroll before the deadline. They’ll have until mid-April to sign up. (RELATED: White House extends Obamacare deadline yet again)

So, we are to believe that the Kaiser’s regime (“reich”?) will finally implement the law? I don’t—or rather, I don’t think he’ll implement the law as we think it is written. He will wield the law as he has all along, as a political tool.

To wit:

A couple in La Mesa, California received a voter registration card from California’s Obamacare exchange already pre-marked for the Democratic Party.

The couple did not want their identities revealed but told local station 10 News that they received an envelope addressed from Covered California, the state’s exchange, with a letter and registration card from the health care marketplace. They’ve always been registered to vote Republican.

Covered California is in the midst of sending out voter registration cards to all of its sign-ups, due to pressure from left-wing groups threatening legal action if they don’t comply.

Between private coverage and Medicaid sign ups, nearly four million Californians will receive voter registration cards.

With at least one couple’s Obamacare voter registration card illegally pre-marked as Democratic, worries over tying voter registration to the Democratic health care program could gain momentum.

To be fair to the Kaiser, KaiserCare has been a political Verdun: a long, slow bloodletting. So, if he tries to use it as a tool for community organizing, one should cut him a little slack. Just because four million Californians will be sent voter ID cards pre-marked “Democrat” doesn’t mean that’s how they’ll vote…does it?

UPDATE
[Bleep] you can’t make up:

People trying to apply and enroll for private health insurance through Obamacare before Monday’s midnight deadline discovered the website was “currently unavailable.”

Healthcare.gov, the online marketplace bedeviled by bugs since its launch last fall, went down for several hours Monday morning, a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services said. It was back online later in the morning after a short time when it put customers in a “queue,” meaning they’d be notified by email when they could proceed with enrollment.

“Consumers may also complete their application by calling the call center at 1-800-318-2596. The federal data services hub is working normally,” HHS said.

An administration spokesman said the website is usually offline for maintenance overnight, and was brought down for four extra hours by a technical glitch — not a rush of procrastinators or hackers.

Oh, a glitch! That’s better.

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When Bad Things Happen to Corrupt Democrats

You know the old saying: bad news comes in fours.

Three Democratic lawmakers were either arrested or had their office raided Wednesday by the FBI.

Two of the Democrats, including Charlotte, N.C. Mayor Patrick Cannon, were charged in connection with FBI stings that caught them allegedly taking bribes from undercover agents. Coupled with an FBI raid that led to the resignation of a prominent Democratic lawmaker in Rhode Island this past weekend, four Democrats have recently come under the FBI’s radar.

Add Ray Nagin, mayor of “Chocolate City”, and Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of C-block (not to mention our local candidate, Willy Lantigua, ousted mayor of Lawrence), and you have a rogue’s gallery in the Party of Stephen A. Douglas.

And someone’s not pleased:

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued Wednesday that if there’s anything that can revive California’s Republican Party, it’s the scandal-ridden Democrats that have taken over the news cycle.

“Out of 40 state senators total, out of 28 Democratic state senators there are now three Democratic state senators with federal criminal indictments against them just this session, resulting already in eight felony convictions,” she said. “And yes, the Republican Party is essentially defunct in most of California and probably beyond reviving, but if anything can bring them back, it’s probably days like this.”

A California Democrat has been arrested or convicted every month so far this year.

To be fair, it’s only March.

Let me point out that many of the above-mentioned corrupt Democrats are ethnic minorities. Not because they are more venal than white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, but because identity politics and safe seats produce politicians who think they are invincible and above the law.

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No Tickee, No Diploma

In yesterday’s blog post about Michelle Obama’s private visit to China on the public’s dime, I noted she said this:

About 800 students attend the Beijing Normal School, and of those, roughly one in four are international students – including some Americans. All the classes are taught in English (one room even has a map of the United States on the ceiling), and the curriculum prepares students to study internationally once they graduate. Many students here hope to one day attend college in America.

To which I retorted:

Which opportunity will be denied to them to make room for affirmative action students. (Am I wrong?)

Looks like I was (and I couldn’t be more proud):

Democrats claim to be a multi-ethnic “coalition of the ascendant,” but identity politics has inherent contradictions. Witness the victory this week by three liberal Asian-American lawmakers in blocking Sacramento’s Democratic supermajority from trying to overturn California’s ban on racial preferences (Prop. 209).

“In the past few weeks, we have heard from thousands of people throughout California voicing their concerns about the potential impacts,” the senators wrote Assembly Speaker John Perez last week, adding that “as lifelong advocates for the Asian-American and other communities, we would never support a policy that we believed would negatively impact our children.”

Their concerns are well founded. In 1996, California voters approved Prop. 209 to block public institutions, notably state universities, from discriminating by race. Asian-American freshman enrollment at the University of California’s 10-flagship universities has since climbed to 40.2% from 36.6% and to 47% from 39.7% at Berkeley.

Admissions rates for Asian Americans relative to other minority groups have also soared. In 1996, Asian Americans were about two-thirds as likely to get into Berkeley as blacks or Hispanics, not controlling for other factors. Today Asian Americans stand a 50% better shot of being admitted. Prop. 209’s ban on racial preferences has helped Asian Americans by forcing admissions officers to focus on such academic qualifications as high-school grades and test scores.

What do grades and test score have to do with getting into Berkeley?

Of course, doing good often comes by way of doing well:

Democratic leaders say they are merely delaying the referendum for discussion, but they know that pushing for Prop. 209’s repeal risks alienating the growing block of Asian-American voters in the same way Republicans have alienated Hispanics. Asian Americans were 11% of California voters in 2012 compared to 6% in 2008, and nearly 80% of them voted for President Obama.

Asian-Americans were in danger of becoming the Jews of the 21st Century (the likes of Jonas Salk and Richard Feynman were rejected from Ivy League schools due to strict quotas), and that would be as wrong today as it was then.

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Pro Choice, As Long As It’s Hers

Maybe opposing abortion on the campus of UC Santa Barbara is like shouting fire in a crowded theater:

A department of feminist studies professor has been accused of going berserk after coming across a campus prolife demonstration that used extremely graphic displays, leading a small mob of students to chant “tear down the sign” before grabbing one of the signs, storming off with it, then allegedly engaging in an altercation with a 16-year-old prolife protestor who had followed the educator to retrieve it.

Untitled

The professor at the heart of the controversy is Mireille Miller-Young, an associate professor whose area of emphasis is black cultural studies, pornography and sex work, according to her faculty webpage. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday by The College Fix.

The confrontation took place at the coastal, public university’s “free speech” area, a heavily traversed part of the quad.

She had me at “pornography and sex work”, so I swung by her webpage (swinging dude that I am).

Imagine my disappointment:

Areas of Study:

Pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art; Feminist & Queer Theory; African American & African Diaspora Studies; Visual Archives; New Media; Ethnography; Oral History

Education:

PhD. New York University (American History and History of the African Dispora
M.A. New York University (American History and History of the African Dispora)
B.A. Emory University (History)

Dissertation: “A Taste for Brown Sugar: The History of Black Women in American Pornography.”

Do all those institutes of higher education demand their degrees back when they see how she spells? Do California taxpayers care that their money pays her salary? And where can I get a copy of her thesis?

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The Wrath of Grapes

My contrived title to the very real phenomenon of reverse-Okies—people leaving the beautiful land of orchards and vineyards for the sagebrush of Texas:

Allied Van Lines conducted 66,862 interstate residential moves last year, most of which weighed around 10,000 pounds. But 10.8% of those clocked in at a hefty 16,000 pounds or more, says Steve McKenna, Allied’s vice president for pricing.

The majority of these moves are due to corporate relocations, where a company initiates the move for an employee.

“You have the vice presidents and senior vice presidents who have accumulated a lot of furniture and stuff in general. That definitely drives luxury moves,” he says, adding that 40% of Allied’s moves overall are corporate moves.

According to the data, Texas saw the largest influx of well-heeled households moving into the state last year, consistent with move trends overall. South Carolina and Florida also posted net gains.

On the flip side, Illinois and Pennsylvania saw more high-value households move out of state than in, according to the data.

California saw the biggest net loss of heavy-weight moves.

Last year, California had a net loss of 49,259 people to other states, according to the U.S. Census.

Texas had the highest net gain in terms of domestic migration—113,528 more people moved into the state than out last year, census data show.

Why do people move to an armpit like Texas from the Eden that is California?

Job opportunities are home-buyers’ top reason for relocating to Texas, according to a Redfin survey last month of 1,909 customers and website users.

Lifestyle factors are the most cited reasons for relocating to areas in California.

A lifestyle fewer and fewer people can afford, evidently. Democrat policies in action: driving the middle class out, leaving only the super-wealthy and impoverished behind. Good luck with that.

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Answered Prayers

Aggie and I don’t need much to get us frothing at our respective mouths—we live in Massachusetts, as the bumper stickers used to say. But there are dead times in the political calendar. Obama hasn’t passed any more signature pieces of legislations that bear his name; no American diplomats have died recently in Arab ass-crack villages; and I can’t remember the last Democrat phallus that was texted to a fetching (though hardly innocent) young thing. Forget Carlos Danger, it’s been Maurice Ennui in the news lately.

Until now:

Cindy Sheehan for California Governor, 2014, is thrilled to announce that despite the attack from the political establishment in California against alternative political parties and voices, the Sheehan campaign has a combination of enough signatures and donations to qualify for the June primary ballot.

HOT DAMN!

I haven’t been this aroused by a woman since Kate Upton went weightless (which was yesterday, mind you).

“This attack on Democracy has seriously hampered our ability to field candidates who are in opposition to the two parties of greed, war, and the wealthy; but we will never give up or go away. We will continue to fight Prop 14 and work to expand the choices of Californians, not contract them.”

Sheehan continues, [...]

Oh, does she ever! Please do!

Sheehan continues, “I want to also take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to those who have volunteered many hours to collect signatures and who have thus far donated money to our campaign. The people who donate are not the wealthy; they are our brothers and sisters who also struggle and for whom this campaign to End Poverty In California would most benefit.

Poverty in California? But some of the richest people in the local cluster of galaxies (Andromeda, Milky Way, Large and Small Magellanic clouds) live in California—and most of them can’t wait to give away our money. Jeffrey Katzenberg, is this true? Barbra Streisand, can this be?

But such quibbling is for another day.

“Then this is a day of independence
For all the Munchkins and their descendants!”

(Not really relevant, but I’ve always loved the line.)

She’s going to close prisons and open universities—for no tuition! And she’s pro-sunflower! Can’t lose!

Who can resist her way with words?

I used to be against ALL wars and the use of violence, but (and I must admit a little confusion on this one, at first) now it seems that I am against wars, acts of war, and violence ONLY if a Republican is president. Now I understand with perfect clarity that it was good to protest Bush—and if the US-UN resolution against Libya was done when Bush was president, it would have been wrong—but now it’s “compassionate.” I must admit, I was a little shocked to find out that the US actually commits compassionate acts and, again, silly me—I thought most acts of war and war were for profit. I realize that only a jerk (or racist) would think that now. I have repented.

Now the skeptical, old and ignorant Cindy Sheehan would have thought that the US was only concerned with the regime in Libya “killing its own citizens” because Libya has large crude oil reserves, but that was before I reflected on the fact that Barack Obama (D) has told us that offshore drilling and nuclear power is safe! Like my new hero, Barack Obama (D) keeps saying, we do need to “reduce” US dependence on “foreign oil,” but not before we kill as many people as we must to get all of that oil. The old me also would have thought that we needed to entirely eliminate our dependence on petroleum and petroleum products all together, but if Barack Obama (D) says it’s safe, that’s good enough for me!

So many other people have faded from the world stage. (Who remembers Hans Blix? Who wants to?) But Cindy has staying power.

In Obama I trust. What a relief! Having a conscience is very isolating.

Let’s Party with a capital D because if I can CHANGE, then there is HOPE for everyone and anyone else who are still lost wandering nearly alone in that wilderness of integrity.

Come home!
War is Peace!
Freedom is Slavery!
Ignorance is Strength.
2 + 2=5

You know those pennies you were saving for UNICEF or those socks you were going to give to the Oxfam thrift shop? Toss ‘em. Burn ‘em. And write a big ol’ fat check (as Michelle Obama would say—she would also say: “Max out”) to Cindy Sheehan.

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Pheasant Over Glass

What wine do you serve with singed squab á la Mojave?


(Who thought this was a good idea?)

Environmentalists have hit out at a giant new solar farm in the Mojave Desert as mounting evidence reveals birds flying through the extremely hot ‘thermal flux’ surrounding the towers are being scorched.

After years of regulatory tangles around the impact on desert wildlife, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened on Thursday but environmental groups say the nearly 350,000 gigantic mirrors are generating 1000 degree Fahrenheit temperatures which are killing and singing birds.

According to compliance documents released by developer BrightSource Energy last year, dozens of birds were found injured at the site during the building stage.

The green fascists told us that global warming would lead to mass die-offs—and they were right! Only they were wrong about the extent of the warming: a thousand degrees is by my reckoning a lot warmer than 1.3C.

President Barack Obama has mounted a second-term drive to combat climate change, proposing first-ever limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants.

His plan aims to help move the U.S. from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by wind and solar power, nuclear energy and natural gas.

President Obama is doing to the avian population what he did to American health care.

Careful birds, if the solar powered inferno doesn’t get you, the abattoir of the wind turbines will:

If you look around for statistics about bird deaths from wind turbines get you wildly different numbers. Some say just 10,000 birds a year meet their end at the hands (blades) of the wind industry. Others ramp that number up to 600,000. Now, a new study tried to actually use science to estimate.

In the end, using 58 mortality estimates that met their criteria, they came up with an estimate. According to the current literature somewhere between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year from collisions with wind turbines.

That’s not all, explains the blog Natural Reactions:

In addition, it appears that there is a greater risk of fatal collisions with taller turbines. This is a real problem, as larger wind turbines may provide more efficient energy generation. Consequently, it is expected that new wind farms will contain even bigger turbines, which will result in even more bird deaths. Future developments therefore will have to give very careful consideration to potential wildlife impacts when planning the type of turbine to install.

Okay, solar and wind are utterly destructive to the environment; that leaves nuclear and natural gas. Which is a-ok with me, but I don’t think Obama is serious about nuclear power. That leaves natural gas. Which again is a-ok with me, but it doesn’t make for much of an energy policy.

Not that condor fricassee does either.

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