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Tags: Terrorists | Are | Crossing | Border | Amateur Outsells Pro-Obama Bio | China Overtakes US Autos | Edward Klein Book

Terrorists Crossing Border, DHS Admits; ‘Amateur’ Outsells Pro-Obama Bio; China Overtakes US Autos

By    |   Monday, 06 August 2012 12:22 PM EDT

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama's Green Energy Disaster: $578,333 per Job
2. Napolitano Admits Terrorists Are Crossing the Border
3. Four Get Death Sentences for Bank Fraud in Iran
4. Study: 'Women and Children First' Is a Myth
5. China Surpasses US in Vehicles on the Road
6. We Heard: Edward Klein Book, Fox News

1. Obama's Green Energy Disaster: $578,333 per Job

Back in November 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama vowed: "We'll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new green jobs that pay well."

Going on four years later, "Obama seems incapable of keeping this promise," nationally syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock writes in an analysis published by National Review Online.

The Department of Energy's website boasts that three "clean energy" initiatives loaned $34.7 billion and created "nearly 60,000" jobs.

It does not point out that each of these jobs therefore cost taxpayers $578,333.

Murdock cites figures showing that private employers pay workers on average $62,757 a year in wages and benefits. So Obama is "creating jobs" at 922 percent of the private sector's cost of employing workers for a year, says Murdock, a media fellow with the Hoover Institute on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.

He also notes that the Obama administration has subsidized at least 10 "green" companies that went bust.

The most publicized of these failures was Solyndra, a solar-panel maker that received $535 million in loan guarantees before filing for bankruptcy in August 2011.

Murdock pointed to 10 failures, including:

  • Panel maker Abound Solar ate up $70 million of its $400 million Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee and filed for Chapter 7 liquidation on July 2.
  • Solar Trust planned on building the world's largest solar-power plant, and the DOE offered a $2.1 billion loan guarantee provided the firm raised private capital. Solar Trust filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 2.
  • Enerl, an electric car battery company, got a $118.5 million DOE stimulus grant in August 2009 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 26.
  • Energy Conversion Devices, a solar-laminate supplier, received a $13.3 million stimulus tax credit to update its Michigan factory and hire some 600 people. It filed for bankruptcy in February.
  • Raser Technologies received a $33 million stimulus grant to develop a geothermal plant in Utah. Raser declared bankruptcy in April 2011.

The 10 failed projects alone cost $3.4 billion in taxpayer funds and commitments, according to Murdock, who concludes: "Rather than slam Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital — which deployed private capital behind Staples, Sports Authority, and other still-thriving corporations — President Obama should beg taxpayers' forgiveness for pouring their hard-earned cash down at least 10 green rat holes."

Editor's Note:

2. Napolitano Admits Terrorists Are Crossing the Border

A National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) report released in March 2010 stated that there have been no documented cases of terrorists illegally entering the United States across the Mexican border.

But Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has contradicted that assertion with an admission that terrorists do cross the border "from time to time" with intent to attack Americans.

At a July 25 hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., asked Napolitano: "As you know, Madam Secretary, there have been anecdotal reports about material evidence of the presence of terrorists along our southern border. My question is, is there any credible evidence that these reports are accurate and that terrorists are, in fact, crossing our southern border with the intent to do harm to the American people?"

Napolitano answered: "With respect, there have been from time to time, and we are constantly working against different and evolving threats involving various terrorist groups and various ways they may seek to enter the country."

She did say that the U.S.-Mexico border is "heavily, heavily staffed at record amounts of manpower, materiel, infrastructure and the like, and we are constantly making sure we're doing all we can to make that border as safe as possible."

The earlier report from the NDIC, a division of the U.S. Justice Department, stated: "Of some concern to law enforcement officials is the potential for using drug smuggling routes to move terrorists or transport weapons of mass destruction into the United States. However, there have been no incidents of this type documented, and according to federal law enforcement officials, the involvement of Mexican [drug trafficking organizations] in this type of activity is very unlikely."

But Napolitano is not the first to make a statement to the contrary. In an August 2007 interview with the El Paso Times, then-Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell was asked: "Are terrorist coming across the Southwest border?"

He responded: "Not in great numbers."

"So there are some cases?" the interviewer asked.

Said McConnell: "There are some." He added: "There were a significant number of Iraqis who came across last year. Smuggled across illegally."

Editor's Note:

3. Four Get Death Sentences for Bank Fraud in Iran

Americans might complain about the soft prison sentences often handed down to white-collar criminals in this country, but few would advocate the sentence given four Iranians convicted of bank fraud — death.

An Iranian court tried 39 people in connection with bank fraud amounting to $2.6 billion. Four were sentenced to hang, two were sentenced to life in prison, and others received prison sentences of up to 25 years, prosecutor Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei told the state news agency IRNA. Some were also sentenced to flogging or ordered to pay fines.

The man described by Iranian media as the mastermind of the fraud scheme, businessman Amir Mansoor Khosravi, reportedly forged letters of credit from Iran's Bank Saderat to fund dozens of companies and buy a state-owned steel plant, according to the Middle East media network Al-Jazeera.

Mahmoud Reza Khavari, who headed Iran's biggest bank, state-owned Bank Melli, resigned over the affair and fled to Canada, where he owns a $3 million home.

"The case has been politically awkward for Iran's leadership as it aims to show it is tough on corruption, and raised questions about whether the government's privatization drive has largely benefited friends of the political elite," Al-Jazeera reported.

One of the defendants complained that senior officials involved in the scandal were not punished.

"Many other banking officials are outside of prison right now," the unnamed defendant said, according to Iran's Fars news agency.

"Why are you able to put us on trial and have nothing to do with them?"

Editor's Note:

4. Study: 'Women and Children First' Is a Myth

The megahit movie "Titanic" reinforced the commonly held notion that women and children have historically been given priority when passengers and crew must abandon a sinking ship.

But a new study of shipwrecks by two researchers reveals that "women and children first" is a myth.

The study examined 18 shipping disasters dating back to the 1850s and found that the survival rate was 61 percent for crew members, 37 percent for male passengers, 27 percent for women, and 15 percent for children.

The notion that "the captain must go down with the ship" is also a myth, the study disclosed: The survival rate for captains was 44 percent, higher than for male or female passengers and children.

The true rallying cry on sinking ships seemed instead to be "every man for himself," wrote study authors Mikael Elinder of Sweden's Uppsala University and Oscar Erixson of the Research Institute of Industrial Economics in Stockholm.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It was based on the premise that crew members and male passengers stood a better chance of surviving a free-for-all evacuation due to their greater strength and familiarity with the vessel, and if men chose to sacrifice themselves for the sake of women and children, their survival rates should reflect that.

They did not, the researchers found.

It is true, however, that the survival rate of women on the Titanic was more than three times higher than the men's survival rate, a result of actions by the British ship's officers — 74 percent of women and 52 percent of children survived, compared to 20 percent of men, while 1,502 of 2,224 passengers and crew perished.

But the Swedish study found that in general, women suffered worse survival rates aboard British ships than on those flagged by other countries.

Maritime law does not require captains to go down with their ship, or crew members to sacrifice themselves for the sake of women and children passengers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"'Women and children first' is part of the common vernacular," William Dysart, a maritime lawyer and board chairman of the San Diego Maritime Museum, told the Times.

"But I have to chuckle when I hear people talk about it. To my knowledge it's never been codified."

Editor's Note:

5. China Surpasses US in Vehicles on the Road

As recently as 1960, China had just 200,000 vehicles on the road, but the country's personal vehicle fleet reached 217 million at the end of June and for the first time surpassed America's fleet of about 200 million personal vehicles.

The United States still leads in the number of automobiles, however, since China's total includes 103 million motorcycles, according to China's Ministry of Public Security. Americans own just 8 million motorcycles along with 192 million automobiles.

Chinese drivers bought 9.59 million automobiles in the first six months of this year alone, increasing motor vehicle ownership by 3.6 percent.

Five Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have more than 2 million auto registrations.

China did not build its first modern automobile plant until 1956, and as recently as 1970 produced just 87,000 vehicles. That figure rose to 222,000 in 1980, 509,000 in 1990, 2 million in 2000, and 18.2 million last year.

The United States is currently producing about 10 million vehicles a year.

Chinese carmakers account for about 44 percent of the automobiles made in that country, and the rest are made by joint ventures with foreign carmakers.

General Motors manufactured 346,000 cars in China in one recent year, surpassed among foreign makers only by Volkswagen's 430,000.

China is also expanding its freeway system, adding 7,000 miles last year to its national interstate expressway system. It now has a length of 53,000 miles, while America's interstate highway system is around 76,000 miles long.

Editor's Note:


6. We Heard...

THAT Edward Klein's scathing biography of Barack Obama is outselling David Maraniss' favorable Obama biography by a margin of 7 to 1, according to Nielsen BookScan.

Klein's "The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House" has remained a top seller since it was published on May 15, and stands at No. 3 on the New York Times' list of best-selling hardcover nonfiction books this week.

It also remains among the 50 top-selling books at Amazon.com. The Kindle version is No. 1 in the 21st Century U.S. History category, and the hardcover is No. 2.

"The Amateur" has been largely ignored by the mainstream media. It has, however, been featured several times on Newsmax.com, demonstrating the importance and power of the "new media."

Maraniss' book "Barack Obama: The Story," on the other hand, has received considerable notice in the mainstream media. But the biography, written by a Washington Post associate editor and published more recently on June 19, is not on the Times' list of the 35 top-selling hardcover nonfiction books, nor is it among Amazon's 500 top-selling books.

THAT all 13 of the top cable news programs in total viewers were on Fox News in July. "The O'Reilly Factor" remained the No. 1 show, boasting an average of 2.6 million nightly viewers.

The highest non-Fox news show, "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" on MSNBC, averaged 967,000 total viewers, Media Bistro reported.

CNN's ratings were down 20 percent last month compared to July 2011, with "Anderson Cooper 360" down 34 percent. "Piers Morgan Tonight" was the network's top-rated show in July, averaging 554,000 nightly viewers.

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Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Monday, 06 August 2012 12:22 PM
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