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1. Massive U.S. Oil Reserves 'Locked Up' on Federal Lands
The Green River Formation, a largely vacant area where Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming come together, contains about as much recoverable oil as all the rest the world's proven reserves combined, the Government Accountability Office reports.
Most of the oil is beneath federal land overseen by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management, but the government has "locked up" development of the huge resource, critics charge.
Anu K. Mittal, the GAO's director of natural resources and environment, said in written testimony submitted to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment: "The Green River Formation -- an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming -- contains the world's largest deposits of oil shale.
"USGS [U.S. Geological Survey] estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions.
"The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered. At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world's proven oil reserves."
For purposes of comparison, the entire Middle East is estimated to have less than 700 billion barrels of proven reserves.
Mittal also stated: "Being able to tap this vast amount of oil locked within this formation will go a long way to help to meet our future demands for oil.
"As you can imagine, having the technology to develop this vast energy resource will lead to a number of important socioeconomic benefits including the creation of jobs, increases in wealth, and increases in tax and royalty payments for federal and state governments."
She added that the federal government therefore is in "a unique position to influence the development of oil shale," according to GAO testimony.
But in testimony that the Obama administration could seize upon to rebuff calls for development of the oil shale, which environmentalists generally oppose, Mittal also noted: "While large-scale oil-shale development offers socioeconomic opportunities, it also poses certain socioeconomic challenges that also should not be overlooked.
"Oil shale development like other extractive industries can bring a sizable influx of workers who along with their families put additional stresses on local infrastructure.
"Developing oil shale and providing power for oil shale operations and other activities will require large amounts of water and could have significant impacts on the quality and quantity of surface and groundwater resources.
"Oil shale operations will also require the clearing of large surface areas of topsoil and vegetation which can affect wildlife habitat, and the withdrawal of large quantities of surface water which could also negatively impact aquatic life."
However, Investor's Business Daily observes that the GAO testimony is "exploding the Big Lie pushed by President Obama that we can't drill our way out of high gas prices because we have but 2 percent of the world's proven oil reserves.
"Just one small part of the U.S. is capable of outproducing the rest of the planet.
"Given that current U.S. daily oil consumption is running at 19.5 million barrels, the staggering amount of Green River reserves would by itself supply domestic oil consumption for more than 200 years.
"So why are we keeping it locked up on federal lands?"
2. Bill Clinton Won't Endorse Old Ally Rangel
Former President Bill Clinton is abandoning his longtime political ally Charles Rangel, who is facing a difficult re-election challenge following redistricting in New York State.
Rangel, 81, has been in office since 1971, but his new district is 57 percent Hispanic and just 27 percent African-American. He is being challenged in the Democratic primary by state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and former Clinton aide Clyde Williams.
Williams was a domestic policy adviser in the Clinton administration and also served as a top aide at the Clinton Foundation.
Clinton "is grateful for Clyde's work with the foundation," a Clinton official told the New York Post.
"Because he has personal relationships with several of the candidates in the race, he doesn't feel it's appropriate to weigh in on the race."
Clinton strongly endorsed Rangel's re-election in 2010 when the longtime incumbent was facing House ethics violations that later led to a congressional censure. Clinton even taped a message to voters on Rangel's behalf, according to the Post.
Rangel for his part strongly defended Clinton during his impeachment ordeal and helped Hillary Clinton get elected to the Senate from New York.
He also backed Hillary against primary rival Barack Obama in 2008. Like Bill Clinton, Obama is staying neutral in this year's primary.
3. Obamacare to Produce Huge Doctor Shortage
By 2015, the United States will face a shortfall of nearly 30,000 primary care physicians, due largely to Obamacare -- and a shortage of 65,800 by 2025, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts.
The shortfall is attributable in part to deterrents to entering the field, such as relatively lower incomes compared to specialists, and the growth of the elderly population in America.
But the biggest culprit would be Obamacare. If the healthcare reform bill is not overturned by the Supreme Court, up to 33 million previously uninsured Americans will be covered by health insurance, leading to a sharp increase in the demand for medical services. And even if Obamacare is not fully implemented and merely expands Medicaid coverage, 17 million Americans will be added to the Medicaid rolls by 2020.
There is, however, a readily available solution for reducing the demand for primary care physicians, according to Dr. John Rowe, professor in the department of health policy and management at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
"One of the best ways to alleviate this shortage is to expand the scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), well-trained registered nurses with specialized qualifications who can make diagnoses, order tests and referrals, and write prescriptions," he writes in The Atlantic.
"APRNs could provide a variety of services that primary care physicians now provide."
He cites a report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences that found that properly trained APRNs can provide core primary care services as effectively as physicians.
But Rowe points to a problem: Nurses are permitted to practice "independently to the full extent of their training and competence" in only 16 states and the District of Columbia, while the other states impose regulations limiting their practice.
And the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and several other professional organizations oppose expanded use of APRNs, despite recent research showing that such use would have "no impact on primary care physician income," observes Rowe, who was previously president of the Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
He adds that nurses can be trained faster and at a much lower cost than doctors, and declares: "Tapping nursing's potential is the fastest and least expensive way to meet growing demand for primary care."
4. U.S. Envoy: Plans to Strike Iran Are 'Ready'
American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro says plans for a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities are "fully available" and "ready."
In remarks aired by Israel's Army Radio on Thursday, Shapiro said: "It would be preferable to resolve this diplomatically and through the use of pressure than to use military force. But that doesn't mean that option is not fully available -- not just available, but it's ready.
"The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it's ready."
Israel has hinted it could launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran's nuclear development program, which Iran insists is for peaceful purposes but Israel believes is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
However, many analysts believe the United States alone has the ability to inflict lasting damage on Iran's program, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
Award-winning journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave recently told Newsmax in an interview that a U.S. strike against Iran would be "the height of strategic madness" because it could escalate rapidly into a regional war.
But Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently asserted that a "radical Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons would be far more dangerous both for the region and, indeed, the world" than an attack on Iran.
Ambassador Shapiro's comments came days before the scheduled resumption of talks between Iran and Western allies in Baghdad.
5. One-Third of Young Americans Are Underemployed
The struggling U.S. economy has been particularly hard on young people -- Americans ages 18 to 29 are suffering higher unemployment and underemployment rates than other age groups, a new Gallup poll reveals.
Unemployment among young adults stood at 13.6 percent in April, up from 12.5 percent in March and the same as in April 2011.
Among those ages 30 to 49, the unemployment rate stood at 7 percent in April, and at just 6.2 percent among those ages 50 to 64.
In addition to the unemployed, 18.4 percent of young Americans are working part time but looking for full-time work. Combining that figure with the 13.6 percent unemployed brings the underemployment total to 32 percent -- essentially one-third of all Americans ages 18 to 29, according to Gallup.
That's up from 30.1 percent in March and 30.7 percent in April 2011, so their situation is not improving.
Underemployment in April was 14 percent among those ages 30 to 49, and 13.6 percent among those ages 50 to 64.
"April has brought gloomy job news for young Americans and underscores that this group has been struggling disproportionately for some time," Gallup observes.
Gallup points out that only 3.1 percent of young adults say they are self-employed, compared to 7.3 percent of all Americans in the workforce. Most young people lack the necessary experience and knowledge to succeed in self-employment.
"Nearly one in three young adults in the workforce are not now able to gain full-time job experience," Gallup concludes.
"This not only hurts them temporarily, but deprives them of the experience they need to get a better job in the future. It also deprives U.S. companies of the skilled and experienced workers they will need for their businesses to prosper in the years ahead."
6. . Forbes: Jennifer Lopez 'World's Most Powerful Celebrity'
Forbes magazine has released its new list of "The World's Most Powerful Celebrities," and singer-actress-entrepreneur Jennifer Lopez tops the list, replacing the previous list's top celeb, singer Lady Gaga.
Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh are also high on the new list.
Forbes' "Celebrity 100" list -- which includes film and television actors, TV personalities, models, athletes, authors, musicians, and comedians -- is based on "money and fame," Forbes explains.
"We define fame as media visibility in print, television, radio, and online, plus social media power, which we measure by looking at each celebrity's presence on Facebook and Twitter.
"The earnings consist of pretax income between May 1, 2011, and May 1, 2012. Management, agent, and attorney fees are not deducted."
After several down years, Lopez rebounded in 2010 by landing a judge's chair on "American Idol," although there are reports she is leaving the show to devote more time to other endeavors.
"The job gave her a platform to promote her music and turn her image around," Forbes observed.
"It didn't hurt that she also split from her husband, Marc Anthony. Suddenly a single mother, Lopez lapped up the media attention and scored lucrative endorsement deals with companies like L'Oreal and Gillette. She now has a line of clothing at Kohl's and a top-selling fragrance.
"With 6.6 million followers on Twitter and 12 million fans on Facebook, she's also proved a master of social media."
Lopez reportedly earned $52 million during the year.
In second place on the list is Oprah Winfrey, whom Lady Gaga unseated for No. 1 last year. Winfrey was the top earner on the list, bringing in $165 million thanks in part to her of spin-off shows including "Dr. Phil."
Rounding out the top 10, in order: Justin Bieber (55 million in earnings), Rihanna ($53 million), Lady Gaga ($52 million), Britney Spears ($58 million), Kim Kardashian ($18 million), Katy Perry ($45 million), Tom Cruise ($75 million), and Steven Spielberg ($130 million).
Other interesting inclusions on the list: Tiger Woods at No. 12, Donald Trump (No. 14), Rush Limbaugh (19), and Glenn Beck (23).
7. We Heard...
THAT Sen. Marco Rubio will appear at a fundraiser for Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who is running for the Senate from the Hoosier State.
Mourdock spent nearly all his campaign funds in defeating longtime incumbent Richard Lugar in the Republican primary, and is facing Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in November's general election.
The fundraising event is scheduled for June 4, and tickets range from $25 for students to $2,500 for a private roundtable with Rubio, The Hill reports.
The Florida senator and Mourdock are both tea party favorites.
Tuesday's primary results from our neighboring states of Indiana and West Virginia points to good news for our race in Ohio this November!
Richard Mourdock harnessed the grassroots energy to defeat a six-term incumbent U.S. Senator - a storyline that parallels our race here in Ohio. And, a shocking 41% of West Virginia Democratic primary voters rejected Barack Obama on the ballot! These voters are the same type of church-going, conservative-minded folks that live in the "swing voter" region we are targeting in Southeastern Ohio.
As a Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Iraq, I have the discipline and drive to carry our constitutional conservative banner forward for victory this November. All I need are the resources to carry our message forward. That's why I am writing you today. I need your help.
Our left-wing opponent Sherrod Brown is a darling of Harry Reid and Barack Obama. He was dubbed by National Journal as the "Most Liberal" U.S. Senator for two years in a row - alongside Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an avowed Socialist! He is backed by millions of dollars from big-money liberal special interests and unions that will stop at nothing to block the election of a young, unwavering conservative leader like me.
Sherrod Brown is the very definition of what is wrong with Washington - from voting to increase our taxes to casting the deciding vote for Obamacare - something he did only after objecting that it wasn't liberal enough! Brown's record is totally out of step with your values and mine. He's been more interested in working to help President Obama with his radical agenda than in helping the people of Ohio.
Ohio is always a major battleground state, every presidential year. The Obama team has highlighted Ohio, and is going to pour an incredible amount of money into the state. Sherrod Brown is in trouble and he knows it. That's why he is bringing in money from left-wing groups across America - in the most recent quarter he raised 2.4 million dollars!
That's why I need your help. The Left understands just how important this race is. I hope conservatives like you do too.
Not only could control of the entire Senate come down to this seat here in Ohio, but if I win, it means Barack Obama loses Ohio and the White House itself. Every dollar that goes into my campaign won't just go to defeat Sherrod Brown, it'll go to help our Republican team defeat President Obama too. In the Marine corps, that's what we call a "force multiplier."
I am proud to have received the endorsement of staunch conservatives like Senator Jim DeMint and the Club for Growth. As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, and a U.S. Marine, I have a deep and abiding love of this country.
So as I lace up my boots for the next phase of my campaign, I need to know I can count on strong supporters like you to stand with me in the grueling months ahead. With your help today, I will keep reaching out to voters throughout Ohio and lay the groundwork for a winning U.S. Senate campaign this November.
This is going to be the biggest Senate race in America. I can win this seat - but not without your help.
Can I count on you today?
Republican Nominee, United States Senate, Ohio
On April 30 -- just two weeks away -- the Obama Labor Board's radical "ambush" election procedure is set to go in effect...
...unless concerned citizens like you demand Congress stands up to the out-of-control federal agency.
S.J. Res. 36, a Joint Resolution of Disapproval, would stop these new "ambush" election rules -- the latest backdoor scheme by the Obama Labor Board to undermine Congressional authority and grant Big Labor the power it sought from the Card Check Forced Unionism Bill.
It's vital you contact your U.S. Senators and Representative immediately and urge them to support the Joint Resolution of Disapproval to prevent implementation of the National Labor Relations Board's "ambush" election rules.
Sen. Maria Cantwell: (202) 224-3441
Sen. Patty Murray: (202) 224-2621
Rep. Dave Reichert: (202) 225-7761
Before you call, let me remind you what's at stake.
You see, this rule change diminishes employees' ability to make a fully-informed decision by reducing time in which the union certification election process occurs from the current average of 38 days to as little as one week.
When making such an important decision as to whether or not they want a union's so-called "representation," American workers should not only be protected from the intimidation so often employed by union bosses but must also be afforded the time necessary to make a fully-informed decision.
Unless S.J. Res 36 passes, union bosses could browbeat workers with one-sided propaganda while workers would be denied sufficient time to organize in opposition to the union.
Worse, allowing the new rules will likely result in additional harassment and intimidation for hundreds of thousands of American workers.
The NLRB's proposal to adopt these rules sparked a record-breaking outcry from Americans like you last summer.
Over 65,000 comments poured into the NLRB -- the vast majority against the proposed rules -- but the former union lawyers on the NLRB were desperate to ram it through anyway.
The final rule is set to take effect on April 30 -- so time is running out!
That's why it's vital you contact your Senators and Representative IMMEDIATELY and urge them to support S.J. Res. 36.
Sen. Maria Cantwell: (202) 224-3441
Sen. Patty Murray: (202) 224-2621
Rep. Dave Reichert: (202) 225-7761
Congress, responding to the grassroots pressure from concerned citizens like you, recognized the danger presented to American workers by Big Labor's Card Check scheme and rightfully refused to pass it.
But after years of backroom deals expanding Big Labor's power over workers, Congress has an opportunity to send a message to the Obama Administration -- and the American people -- that enough is enough.
The Obama Labor Board has gone far beyond its authority in serving Big Labor's agenda.
Congress must stop the runaway NLRB and its assaults on workers and businesses in this country.
That is why I hope you will call your Senators and Representative right away and urge them to support S.J. Res. 36, which would use the Congressional Review Act to stop the union bosses and their allies on the Obama Labor Board, before it's too late.
Sen. Maria Cantwell: (202) 224-3441
Sen. Patty Murray: (202) 224-2621
Rep. Dave Reichert: (202) 225-7761
The final rule is set to take effect on April 30, so there's not a moment to lose.
And after you've called your elected officials, please chip in with a contribution of $10 or more today to help support the Committee's programs.
Please, act right away.
None of 'em will publicly admit it, of course, because the bulk of Donks want, indeed lust after, an entitlements-triggered fiscal/economic apocalypse as the long-awaited crisis of sufficient magnitude for their tin god to exploit to finally, forcibly, formally overthrow what's left of constitutional, republican (small "r") government and establish a Marxist-Alinskyist Nirvana in its place.
I don't know that I believe just shy of a quarter of the Senate Dem caucus is really anywhere near on the same page as the guy who hurls enfeebled grandmothers off cliffs for kicks in his spare time. But then, there are a like number of them who are from "red" states and hanging on to their seats by their fingernails, too. A little faux bipartisanship might be just what their ailing re-election bids need.
Gretta Van Sustren is no Megyn Kelly; but then neither is DWS. And, OBTW, I think I've finally got a peg for the animatronic Donk lying points spouter: zombified Tiny Tim. Glad I can check THAT one off my bucket list.
Oh, one more thing: Here she assures Gretta that there'll be a Senate budget. Now if she can assure me that that VW bus full of cheerleaders scenario will actually happen to me, the ol' bucket list will be just about complete.
My problem would be (1) Dirty Harry would be driving it and (2) they'd all look like DWS. Which, I suppose, would be slightly better than the reverse.
Before taking up their own budget plan for next year, House Republicans pushed a version of President Obama's $3.6 trillion budget to the floor for a vote, and it was it was unanimously defeated, 414-0.
Republicans have opposed Obama's budget all year, criticizing its tax increases on the wealthy and saying it lacks sufficient spending cuts. ...
GOP lawmakers forced the vote on Obama's plan as a tactical move aiming at embarrassing Democrats. The Democrats have defended Obama's budget priorities, but they largely voted "no" Wednesday night.
Republicans said Democrats were afraid to vote for Obama's proposed tax increases and extra spending for energy and welfare. Democrats said Republicans had forced a vote on a version of Obama's budget that contained only its numbers, not the policies he would use to achieve them.
I'd wager the White House didn't even notice.
And why would they? Both last year's and this year's budget Regime submissions were political, not fiscal, documents, designed for no other purpose than to gin up enthusiasm in the Li'l President's tepid lunatic fringe base in advance of a highly difficult re-election bid by pandering to the nutters' unquenchable lust for Donk-empowering economic calamity and national collapse (aka "going Greek") with trillion-dollar annual deficits as far as the eye can see. It's the other side of the same reason coin from why Dirty Harry Reid's Senate Democrat majority hasn't produced a budget of its own in three years; last cycle, this one, and 2014, Dems had/have/will have many more seats at risk than the GOP (a product of big Donk gains in 2006 and 2008) in swing and "red" states, and accordingly public votes in favor of Red Barry's risible mega-debt storms are not ones vulnerable Democrat senators want to make. And if forced to, they'll vote no (like last year's 97-0 skunking) while voting yes in their black, sinister hearts. Just like House Dems did last night.
Ultimately this is all about marking time until the November election. Dem control of the Senate is not long for this world in any case, but if B.O. does get his second term, let's just say it will be very interesting to see what kind of budget he submits to a unified Republican Congress a year from now - if he submits one at all.
UPDATE: Ryan does Debbie - resoundingly:.
After you watch the video you'll be fully aware of just how important an up-or-down vote on the National Right to Work Act will be.
If you and I force Congress to go on record for or against the National Right to Work Act, we'll be able to mobilize against the enemies of worker freedom this November.
But the last thing the union bosses want is for us to expose their cronies in Congress to the nearly 80% of Americans who support the Right to Work.
That's why they'll pull out the big guns to stop any up-or-down vote from happening.