For those of you who don’t know what this post is about, see DAY 1
K is for:
On April 23rd, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill “nullifying city and county gun restrictions” to ensure that it is legal to “openly carry firearms” throughout the state.
The law takes effect on July 1.
According to cjonline.com, the law will “sweep away restrictions on open carry.” It will also “prevent cities and counties from enacting restrictions on firearm sales or how guns are stored or transported.”
Supporters of the law say it will correct “a patchwork of local regulations [that have] infringed on gun-ownership rights.”
But Melissa Wangemann, legal counsel for the Kansas Association of Counties, believes the law “shows a lack of trust in local elected officials.” She said it takes away the ability of “pro-2nd Amendment counties” to expand concealed carry on their own.
Wangemann also said this law means her counties “can’t enact any regulation,” nor can they tell gun owners, “Keep your safety on, keep the gun on your side, don’t lay it on your desk.”
On March 25th, Breitbart News reported that West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signed a bill eliminating local ordinances against carrying guns in his state as well.
Federal officials must help Kansas and Arizona enforce laws requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, in a decision that could encourage other Republican-led states to consider similar policies.
U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita, Kan., ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to immediately modify a national voter registration form to add special instructions for Arizona and Kansas residents about their states’ proof-of-citizenship requirements.
Both require new voters to provide a birth certificate, passport or other documentation to prove their U.S. citizenship to election officials. The federal registration form requires only that prospective voters sign a statement declaring they are citizens.
Kansas and Arizona asked the federal agency for state-specific modifications, but it refused. The states and their top elected officials – Secretaries of State Kris Kobach of Kansas and Ken Bennett of Arizona, both conservative Republicans – sued the agency last year.
Most voters in both states register with state forms, but their officials said the availability of the federal form created a loophole in enforcement of proof-of-citizenship requirements. Supporters argue the requirements preclude voter fraud by preventing noncitizens from voting, particularly those in the country illegally.
“This is a really big victory, not just for Kansas and Arizona but for all 50 states,” Kobach told The Associated Press. “Kansas has paved the way for all states to enact proof-of-citizenship requirements.”
Arizona enacted its proof-of-citizenship requirement by voter initiative in 2004, and Alabama, Georgia and Kansas followed with similar laws. Kansas’ rule took effect last year.
Critics of such laws view them as suppressing voter participation. They also said the federal National Voter Registration Act, enacted in the 1990s, was meant to simplify registration across the country and allowed federal officials to reject a modification of the national form.
Jonathan Brater, legal counsel for the New York-based Brennan Center for Justice, said Melgren’s ruling, if it stands, would erode Congress’ power to protect voting rights. The center represented the national League of Women Voters and its Arizona and Kansas chapters, which intervened in the lawsuit.
“There is a concern that other states could move to pass some of these misguided laws,” Brater said. “There can be a copycat effect.”
Melgren said the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to set voter qualifications, and Congress has not pre-empted it, even in enacting the 1990s law.
The federal commission and the national League of Women Voters were reviewing the decision Wednesday and not saying whether they’d appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
But league President Elisabeth MacNamara said: “Our first impression is that it’s a harsh decision and it’s a decision that will harm voters.”
The federal commission also had rejected a request for a state-specific change in the national form from Georgia, and Jared Thomas, chief of staff to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, said his state will ask the commission to reconsider.
“We applaud Judge Melgren’s decision and the good work of Kansas and Arizona in litigating this important issue,” Thomas said in an email to the AP.
The proof-of-citizenship laws are part of broader attempt by Republicans nationally to tighten up state voting requirements in the name of fighting election fraud.
“We must ensure citizens are the only ones who vote if we are to have honest elections,” said Republican Alabama state Sen. Scott Beason.
But critics contend it can be difficult for some poor, minority and elderly voters to obtain copies of their birth certificates or other citizenship documents.
Brater said college students registering to vote away from their previous homes also may have trouble finding the necessary papers quickly. And Democratic Arizona state Sen. Steve Gallardo, who joined the lawsuit on the side of the federal commission, said a proof-of-citizenship requirement is designed to weed out progressive voters, particularly college students.
“These are new voters that are getting active,” Gallardo said. “They tend to be a lot more progressive and liberal… particularly when it comes to issues like medical marijuana, same-sex marriage, more progressive-type issues.”
In Kansas, the registrations of nearly 15,700 prospective voters – enough to decide a close statewide race – remained on hold Wednesday because they hadn’t yet complied with the proof-of-citizenship requirement.
Kobach said the state has found “20 or so” noncitizens on its voter registration rolls, but he believes that’s only a fraction of the potential number. Kansas has about 1.73 million registered voters.
In Arizona, Attorney General Tom Horne, another conservative Republican, said election officials learned they had more than 200 noncitizens on their rolls when court officials forwarded the names of people who sought exemptions from jury duty because they weren’t citizens. Arizona has 3.25 million registered voters.
“There’s been a cover-up by the media of the extent to which voter fraud is a problem,” Horne said.
Someone picked the wrong house to break into. Via Gateway Pundit
GunsSaveLives reports the following:
A suspect in several burglaries, car thefts and car jackings led police on a chase lasting over an hour yesterday morning.
The suspect managed to elude police by stealing multiple vehicles in short succession.
According to KCTV5, one homeowner fought off the suspect by hand,
With police in pursuit, the suspect abandoned the third stolen vehicle, and confronted Vince Frew in his driveway as Frew was loading items he needed for his day into his work van.
The suspect then attempted to steal his vehicle. Frew said the intruder wanted his keys but he didn’t have them.
“He approached me, and I just kind of shoved him off of me,” he said. “He found something in my car and threw it at me.”
“After I got done with my 911 call, I came back outside, and probably within the next three to five minutes, I heard a gunshot come from down the street and then a second one right after that,” Frew said.
The shots that Frew heard would be the shots that ended the early morning crime spree.
The next home that the suspect broke into was the wrong one. The homeowner, sleeping at home with his wife and 18 month old child, wasn’t taking any chances when he heard someone kicking in a garage door.
The homeowner’s wife and child hid in the house while the homeowner took a shotgun to investigate the sounds.
Kansas signed the Second Amendment Protection Act (SB 102) into law last month. The bill protects gun owners from from new federal gun control laws and would actually make it illegal to enforce those laws within the state of Kansas.
Eric Holder threatened Kansas last week calling the new state law unconstitutional.
In response Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, fired back. The general gist of the message was,
“You’re wrong. You don’t understand the Constitution. Bring it on.”
Via Guns Save Lives:
Kobach insisted the State of Kansas was determined to restore the Constitution to protect the right of its citizens to keep and bear arms.
So far, Holder has not responded.
Calling drug addiction a “scourge in Kansas,” Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Tuesday a bill to test welfare and unemployment recipients suspected of using illegal drugs.
“This is a horrific thing that hits so many people,” he said. “What this effort is about is an attempt to get ahead of it and, instead of ignoring the problem, start treating the problem.”
The drug testing bill lets the Department for Children and Families require urine tests of any welfare recipient suspected of using illegal drugs. That could be triggered by a person’s demeanor, missed appointments or police records.
Opponents of the bill said that may leave the decision open to people’s biases. But the bill was swiftly approved by the House 106-16 and backed by the Senate on a 29-9 vote.
Senate Vice President Jeff King, R-Independence, called it “the most treatment-focused drug testing bill in the entire country.”
Any person who is tested and failed, can request a second test and be reimbursed for that test, which runs about $50, if they test clean.
Welfare recipients who fail the test will lose their benefits until they complete a drug treatment and job skills program. That’s paid for by federal welfare funds. A second failed test will result in a year-long loss of benefits. A surrogate can apply for benefits on behalf of children whose parents fail a drug test and lose benefits.
Senate Bill 149, effective July 1, also bans anyone convicted of a drug-related felony from getting welfare for five years. Those convicted a second time lose benefits for life.
The testing program for unemployment recipients is similar, although Department of Labor officials will require employers who usually drug test job applicants to submit a list of people who applied and didn’t get a job because they failed a pre-employment drug screen.
The testing, already required of the governor and several other top state officials, now also extends to House and Senate members suspected of illegal drug use.
The tests will not look for alcohol use.
Officials acknowledged they have no precise number of how many people getting welfare or unemployment use drugs or how many people will require government-funded treatment and job training.
“I’ve not found a piece of legislation I’ve been around yet that is perfect,” Brownback said. “But this starts to address a significant issue.”
King said about 8.5 percent of those applying for welfare fail substance abuse screening.
Kansas is one of dozens of states that have been considering such drug tests. Florida required all new applicants to take such tests, as opposed to Kansas’ plan that hinges on “reasonable suspicion.” Data showed that program provided no direct savings to the state and only 2.6 percent of those tested failed tests, usually for marijuana use.
Marijuana, which is now legal for recreational use in two states and for medicinal use in several others, tends to be detectable in standard urine drug tests for much longer after use than drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine that cycle out of the body faster.
Kansas officials have yet to decide on the details of how the testing and treatment will be done. Testing would begin by Jan. 1. Anyone convicted of a drug-related felony after July 1 would lose welfare benefits for five years.
The state estimates it will need to hire four more employees to deal with drug testing and treatment management under the bill. The drug testing program and treatment is estimated to cost about $1 million the first year, after any savings from people losing benefits.
Brownback and King pointed to a program called Partners in Change at Neosho County Community College as a model for job skills training.
Neosho college president Brian Inbody, who attended the bill signing, said the six-week program was started by businesses who couldn’t find a steady flow of skilled workers. So they started a program to assist the “chronically unemployed.”
He said the first three weeks is about crisis management and attitudes toward the workplace. It then focuses on resume writing, math and English. He said 72 percent of those who completed the program kept a job for a year or got an industry certification to get a job.
“They went from unemployable and constantly churning in the system to employed and from a tax consumer to a taxpayer in just a few weeks,” he said.
Kansas is set to enact one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation which defines life as beginning “at fertilization” and imposes a host of new regulations.
The Kansas House of Representatives passed the bill 90-30 on Friday night, a few hours after the Senate backed it on a 28-10 vote. Strongly anti-abortion Republican Governor Sam Brownback is expected to sign it into law. Republicans hold strong majorities in both houses.
In addition to the provision specifying when life begins, the bill prevents employees of abortion clinics from providing sex education in schools, bans tax credits for abortion services and requires clinics to give details to women about fetal development and abortion health risks. It also bans abortions based solely on the gender of the fetus.
The Kansas bill comes on the heels of anti-abortion measures passing in states across the country, including one in Arkansas banning abortions in the 12th week of pregnancy and a law in North Dakota that sets the limit at six weeks.
The Kansas language stating that life begins “at fertilization” is modeled on a 1989 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, said Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director of Kansans for Life, anti-abortion group.
Ostrowski said the language protects the rights of the unborn in probate and other legal matters.
If the bill is signed into law, Kansas will become the eighth state declaring that life begins at fertilization, said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager of the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, which researches abortion-related laws nationwide.
While it would not supplant Kansas law banning most abortions after the 22nd week of pregnancy, it does set the state up to more swiftly outlaw all abortions should the U.S. Supreme Court revisit its 1973 ruling making abortion legal, Nash said.
“It’s a statement of intent and it’s a pretty strong statement,” Nash said. “Should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade or should the court come to some different conclusion, the state legislature would be ready, willing and able to ban abortions.”
States that already have such language are Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, North Dakota and Ohio, Nash said.
The Kansas bill prohibits use of public funds, tax preferences or tax credits for abortion services. It prevents state-provided public health-care services from being used in any manner to carry out abortions, according to a summary.
Taking away tax benefits would amount to 12 tax increases for abortion providers, women and their families, said Elise Higgins, Kansas coordinator for the National Organization for Women. Even abortions to save a mother’s life would not be a deductible cost, she said.
Higgins also criticized the bill’s requirement that women be told of possible connection between abortion and later risk of breast cancer. “It’s an obvious intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship by making them get this inaccurate information,” Higgins said.
Ostrowski said the bill merely requires that patients be referred to online and other material about abortion and breast cancer. It does not steer them to misinformation, she said.
The bill bars school districts from letting abortion providers offer, sponsor or furnish course materials or instruction on human sexuality or on sexually transmitted diseases. Higgins said that creates an unfair stigma for employees of abortion providers.
Another portion of the new law would prevent women from deciding on an abortion solely because of the gender of the fetus. It is unclear how many women terminate pregnancies for that reason.
WELLINGTON, Kan. (TheBlaze/AP) – Authorities have identified a 42-year-old Iowa fugitive who was fatally shot by a farmer in south-central Kansas.
Sumner County Sheriff Darren Chambers says Joseph L. Lamasters, of Creston, Iowa, was wanted in that state for a probation violation stemming from drug charges.
KSN-TV reports Kansas authorities began searching for Lamasters after he left his ID at a Kansas Turnpike tollbooth Monday, apparently to retrieve money to pay the toll. That’s when authorities learned he was wanted in Iowa.
Lamasters ran into a wooded area and was spotted later Monday afternoon by a farmer. The farmer says he opened fire after Lamasters jumped out from a pile of feed sacks and threatened to kill him.
The sheriff says it was self-defense and he does not expect the farmer to be charged.
Oh no, even more bad news for Frum
On Tuesday night, an armed would-be robber approached a Miami man outside his apartment building and demanded his belongings.
Though it is not clear why, the robber then shot the victim in the hand. He didn’t know it at the time, but it would turn out to be a senseless violent act that cost him his life.
The victim, whose injury was said to be non-life threatening, then pulled out his own handgun in self-defense and shot his attacker several times. The violent robber later died at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital due to his injuries.
What? No smart-assed comments Frum? Maybe he is too busy licking the boots of the DC elites
Why are some families so, how should I out this, screwed up? The Other McCain has a story about parents that shelled out tens of thousands of bucks, to send their only child, a 21-year-old girl to college. A daughter they have driven, or who drove herself to get a restraining order against them! Good grief!
A 21-year-old theatre student has obtained a civil stalking restraining order against her parents after convincing a judge that they attempt to control all aspects of her daily life.
Aubrey Ireland is a gifted theatre major at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, often winning major roles in her school’s musicals. . . . Earlier this month, Common Pleas Court Judge Jody Luebbers ruled in her favor, ordering that her parents must stay at least 500 feet from their only child until September 2013.
“They basically thought that [because] they were paying for my college tuition and living expenses that they could tell me what to do, who to hang out with … basically control all of my daily life,” Ireland told ABC News.
Well, if they are shelling out that much cash… But, maybe the parents are a bit wacko, read this
The dean’s list student’s complaints against her parents began when she realized they’d installed monitoring software on her computer and her phone. They paid unannounced visits, traveling 600 miles from their home in Kansas, to meet with Aubrey’s department head.
They also accused their daughter of promiscuity, doing drugs, and having mental issues to the point where they were considering going to court to order that she get treatment.
Look, I know what it is like to have a family member worry you with behavior, and I put some grey hair on my parents, a fact of which I am ashamed, but monitoring software? There are serious trust issues here. Are they deserved?
“My mom has always been very overly involved,”Ireland said. “I would have to get on Skype all the time to show them that I was in my dorm room, or there werenights I had to leave my Skype on all night and my mom would watch me basically sleep.”
She claims her parents, David and Julie Ireland, have been diagnosed with co-dependency disorder. Her parents, however, say their daughter is just a good actor, and is lying. They said she is “an only child who has been catered to all her life.”
OK, sounds like her parents are NUTTY! Like a fruit cake nutty! Oh and by they way they are now demanding their money back!
Billy Bob at Hell on Earth has a tremendous, and powerful answer to all those Liberals blaming guns for the murder/suicide committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Javon Belcher
I have known 5 people that have killed themselves.
Two of them used prescription medication.
One hung himself.
One ran his Corvette into a building at 100+ mph.
And one used a gun.
One of the people that used the medication had a pistol in the nightstand beside the bed he died in. And the guy in the Corvette had a gun in the console.
The thing that happened with Jovan Belcher this weekend didn’t have anything to do with the gun. The gun didn’t make him kill his girlfriend. And it didn’t make him take his own life.
For jason whitlock and then the guy on Sunday Night Football to somehow associate these events with the gun is pretty damn stupid. Belcher was determined to make these events happen. If he hadn’t had access to a gun he would have used some other instrument, a knife, a baseball bat, a car, there are literally thousands of ways to commit murder and suicide without using a gun.Blaming the gun makes this whole easy though doesn’t it? Why did he do it? Because he had a gun, of course.When you blame the gun, you don’t really have to ask the hard questions. You don’t have to investigate whether or not the head injuries Belcher has sustained were a contributing factor. Or the pain medication he was addicted to. Or the fact that he consumed alcohol every day. Nope, just blame the gun. The gun twisted his mind and drove him to the madness. The gun haunted his dreams. The gun made him do it.Bullshit.
Wow, what can you say about Rachael Maddow’s less masculine little brother? Is he insane, or just educated beyond his hat size? Tim Graham at News busters brings us this Hayes rant, which is further evidence that his descent into the Pit of Eternal Leftist Stupidity is gaining speed.
“There is something simultaneously awful and exhilarating about those moments when normalcy is suspended,” he proclaimed, and he must have tingled as he declared it essential that we need “a crash program right now to re-engineer the nation’s infrastructure” and “and an immediate aggressive transformation” of the nation’s economic system, before climate change kills more Americans. He insisted a vote for Obama and liberal Democrats was the only choice in a “you’re with us or against us” formulation on climate change casualties:
The story of civilization is the long tale of crusaders for order battling the unceasing reality of chaos, and it is a kind of miracle that we have succeeded as much as we have, that airplanes fly through the air and roads plunge underneath the water, and the entire teeming latticework of human life exist in the manifold improbable places it does.
But it’s the grand irony that imposing this improbable order on the world we’ve released millions of years of stored-up carbon into the atmosphere which is now altering the climate and threatening the very monuments of civilization we so cherish. We absolutely have it within us collectively to beat back the forces of chaos once again, but we must choose to do so, and the time for choosing is now. You are either on the side of your fellow citizens and residents of this planet, or you are on the side of the storms as yet unnamed. You cannot be neutral. So, which side are you on?
I would ask Chris what planet he is on? But, maybe we can nominate Chris Hayes to go out on the plains of Kansas to negotiate peace with the next tornado. Perhaps he will volunteer to parachute into the next hurricane, to see how we make peace with it? I know, Hayes can go out West, to meet with the next big forest fire, and see what we can do to prevent future fires. Obviously, Chris Hayes has no grasp of reality, or of history. That must be it, he rants and raves like storms, are something new. Something that never happened to earth before. Good grief, not to be crass but could this boy be any more inane? He is educated sure, but wisdom? Reason, the ability to think? He has none of those qualities.
Chris is the walking definition of a useful idiot. He buys into the illogical arguments that climate hucksters like Al Gore pedal, he buys in lock stock and barrel. Of course, anyone who watches Hayes much realizes he buys into all the other Marxist lies the Left pushes too. Call him a perfect example of an indoctrinated mind, call him a useful idiot, call him whatever you wish, I think I will just refer to him as STORM BOY from now on!
Kentucky was the best team all year , they deserve it. Congrats!
No matter where Anthony Davis and his buddies go to make their millions, their ol’ Kentucky home will long remember this championship season.The Wildcats hit the jackpot with their lottery picks Monday night, ignoring Davis’ bad shooting night and parlaying a roster full of NBA talent into a 67-59 victory over Kansas for the team’s eighth national title — and its first since 1998.The one-and-doners did it in a wire-to-wire victory — a little dicey at the end — to cap a season in which anything less than bringing a title back to the Bluegrass State would have been a downer. They led coach John Calipari to his first title in four trips to the Final Four with three different schools.Doron Lamb, a sophomore with first-round-draft-pick possibilities, led the Wildcats (38-2) with 22 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers that put them up by 16 with 10 minutes left.The Jayhawks (32-7), kings of the comeback all season, fought to the finish and trimmed that deficit to five with 1:37 left. But Kentucky made five free throws down the stretch to seal the win
Same story, new night for Kansas. The team that’s been teetering on the edge of the tournament since before it even began is now one of the last two left.Tyshawn Taylor made two big free throws late, and Thomas Robinson finished with 19 points and eight rebounds Saturday night to lift the Jayhawks to a come-from-behind 64-62 win over Ohio State in the Final Four — a game Kansas led for a grand total of 3 minutes, 48 seconds.After scoring the first bucket, Kansas didn’t lead again until Travis Releford made two free throws with 2:48 left. That lasted for 11 seconds, but the Jayhawks (32-6), who trailed by as many as 13, overcame another deficit and finally held on against the Buckeyes (31-8).Taylor’s two free throws with 8.3 seconds left gave Kansas a 64-61 lead, matching its biggest of the game. The Jayhawks intentionally fouled Aaron Craft with 2.9 seconds left. Craft made the first, then quickly clanked the second one of the front of the rim but was called for a lane violation.
NC State an 11 seed upended Georgetown the 3 seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen where they will meet the winner of Purdue and Kansas
The Spartans survived a scare but held off the Billikens to advance to the Sweet Sixteen where they will face the Louisville Cardinals
John Henson had 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in his return from a wrist injury, and North Carolina beat Creighton 87-73 on Sunday in the third round of the NCAA tournament.Kendall Marshall added 18 points and 11 assists for the top-seeded Tar Heels (31-5), who reached the round of 16 for a record 25th time. North Carolina got off to a fast start and built a 15-point lead in the first half, then kept control of the game and pushed the margin to 19 after the break on the way to its second straight double-digit victory in the Midwest Regional.
– No big upset this time. Kenny Boynton and Florida were just too good for surprising Norfolk State.Boynton scored 20 points and the balanced Gators routed the 15th-seeded Spartans 84-50 on Sunday to reach the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.
Walter Offutt scored 21 points, D.J. Cooper had 19 and No. 13 seed Ohio beat South Florida 62-56 on Sunday night to advance to the NCAA tournament’s Midwest Regional semifinals.The Bobcats (29-7) will play No. 1 seed North Carolina in their second trip to the regional semifinals.
Dion Dixon and the Cincinnati Bearcats are making it an Ohio party in the NCAA tournament, giving the Buckeye State four teams in the final 16.Next up, the sixth-seeded Bearcats play Ohio State for only the second time since beating the Buckeyes in 1961 and 1962 for back-to-back national championships.
Xavier is making a habit of reaching the round of 16.Senior center Kenny Frease scored a career-high 25 points to go with 12 rebounds, and the Musketeers knocked off upset-minded Lehigh 70-58 Sunday night to advance to the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in five years.
The messages were flying in the Kansas locker room at halftime.Elijah Johnson told his team to stop second-guessing itself. Tyshawn Taylor reminded the Jayhawks that they’d been in trouble before. Coach Bill Self finally stood up and told his team that it would take sheer toughness to rally past Purdue.
Johnson finished with 18 points, including the go-ahead basket in the final minute, and No. 2 seed Kansas held off Robbie Hummel and the No. 10 seed Boilermakers 63-60 on Sunday night in a dramatic third-round game in the NCAA tournament.
Another round of killer tornadoes tore through the Midwest on Tuesday, leaving at least five people dead in Oklahoma and two both in Kansas and Arkansas.
Several twisters shot through Oklahoma City and its suburbs during rush hour, killing five and leaving 60 injured, including three kids in critical condition.
The new line of high-powered storms struck just two days after a massive tornado barreled through Joplin, Mo., killing at least 122 people and injuring 750, officials said.
Four people died in El Reno, west of Oklahoma City, where winds were clocked up to 151 mph. A 26-year-old woman died when a tornado smashed into her mobile home in Chickasha, southwest of Oklahoma City, said police.
In Kansas, a twister hurled a huge tree onto a car in the town of St. John, killing two people.
Storm systems spawning tornadoes and baseball-sized hail also moved north and east across north Texas last night, filling the sky with debris but causing noinjuries.
In Arlington, Tex., tornado sirens began screaming in Rangers Ballpark during the fourth inning of the Rangers-White Sox game.
As the sky turned pitch black, the game was called and fans were evacuated through service tunnels. Thunderstorms, but no tornados, passed over the stadium.
But tornadoes were reported moving north and east across north Texas during the night. They caused damage but no injuries in parts of Dallas and Tarrant counties.
And officials warned that more severe weather was expected.
“Unfortunately, this event will likely continue for some time,” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said. “I am asking all Oklahomans to stay aware of the weather and to take proper precautions to keep themselves out of harm’s way.”
Meanwhile, rescue crews toiled throughout the day in Joplin in a desperate search for survivors amid the splintered homes, fallen trees and crushed cars. It was the deadliest tornado there in 60 years.
President Obama, who is planning to visit Joplin on Sunday, said in London yesterday, “The American people are by your side. We’re going to stay there until every home is repaired, until every neighborhood is rebuilt, until every business is back on its feet.”
Efforts focused on the remains of a Home Depot store and a Walmart, withsearch-and-rescue dogs hunting for survivors.
Rescuers in Joplin were given some reason for hope as they pulled 17 survivors from the rubble.
But the blue-collar town of 50,000 was far from out of the woods. Fire from gas leaks continued to burn, and weather forecasters said similar conditions could emerge to set off other large tornado outbreaks in the Midwest.
The National Weather Service said last Sunday’s crippling twister appeared to be a rare “multivortex” tornado, with two or more small and intense centers of rotation orbiting the larger funnel.
It ranked as an EF5 – the highest on a scale used by weather experts – with winds greater than 200 mph. At its peak, the massive funnel cloud was three-quarters of amile wide.
Until now, the single deadliest twister killed 116 in Flint, Mich., in 1953.
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A new drilling technique is opening up vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil in the western United States, helping reverse a two-decade decline in domestic crude production caused by the Democrat party.
Companies are investing billions of dollars to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day – more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.
This new drilling is expected to raise U.S. production by at least 20 percent over the next five years. And within 10 years, it could help reduce oil imports by more than half.
“That’s a significant contribution to energy security,” says Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Credit Suisse.
Oil engineers are applying what leftists say is an environmentally questionable method developed in recent years to tap natural gas trapped in underground shale. They drill down and horizontally into the rock, then pump water, sand and chemicals into the hole to crack the shale and allow gas to flow up.
Because oil molecules are sticky and larger than gas molecules, engineers thought the process wouldn’t work to squeeze oil out fast enough to make it economical. But drillers learned how to increase the number of cracks in the rock and use different chemicals to free up oil at low cost. “We’ve completely transformed the natural gas industry, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we transform the oil business in the next few years too,” says Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, which is using the technique.
Petroleum engineers first used the method in 2007 to unlock oil from a 25,000-square-mile formation under North Dakota and Montana known as the Bakken. Production there rose 50 percent in just the past year, to 458,000 barrels a day, according to Bentek Energy, an energy analysis firm.
It was first thought that the Bakken was unique. Then drillers tapped oil in a shale formation under South Texas called the Eagle Ford. Drilling permits in the region grew 11-fold last year.
Now newer fields are showing promise, including the Niobrara, which stretches under Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas; the Leonard, in New Mexico and Texas; and the Monterey, in California.
“It’s only been fleshed out over the last 12 months just how consequential this can be,” says Mark Papa, chief executive of EOG Resources, the company that first used horizontal drilling to tap shale oil. “And there will be several additional plays that will come about in the next 12 to 18 months. We’re not done yet.”
Leftist Democrats fear that fluids or wastewater from the process, called hydraulic fracturing, could pollute drinking water supplies. The Environmental Protection Agency is now studying its safety in shale drilling. The agency studied use of the process in shallower drilling operations in 2004 and found that it was safe.
In the Bakken formation, production is rising so fast there is no space in pipelines to bring the oil to market. Instead, it is being transported to refineries by rail and truck. Drilling companies have had to erect camps to house workers.
Unemployment in North Dakota has fallen to the lowest level in the nation, 3.8 percent – less than half the national rate of 9 percent. The influx of mostly male workers to the region has left local men lamenting a lack of women. Convenience stores are struggling to keep shelves stocked with food.
The Bakken and the Eagle Ford are each expected to ultimately produce 4 billion barrels of oil. That would make them the fifth- and sixth-biggest oil fields ever discovered in the United States. The top four are Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, Spraberry Trend in West Texas, the East Texas Oilfield and the Kuparuk Field in Alaska.
The fields are attracting billions of dollars of investment from foreign oil giants like Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Norway’s Statoil, and also from the smaller U.S. drillers who developed the new techniques like Chesapeake, EOG Resources and Occidental Petroleum.
Last month China’s state-owned oil company CNOOC agreed to pay Chesapeake $570 million for a one-third stake in a drilling project in the Niobrara. This followed a $1 billion deal in October between the two companies on a project in the Eagle Ford.
With oil prices high and natural gas prices low, profit margins from producing oil from shale are much higher than for gas. Also, drilling for shale oil is not dependent on high oil prices. Papa says this oil is cheaper to tap than the oil in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico or in Canada’s oil sands.
The country’s shale oil resources aren’t nearly as big as the country’s shale gas resources. Drillers have unlocked decades’ worth of natural gas, an abundance of supply that may keep prices low for years. U.S. shale oil on the other hand will only supply one to two percent of world consumption by 2015, not nearly enough to affect prices.
Still, a surge in production last year from the Bakken helped U.S. oil production grow for the second year in a row, after 23 years of decline. This during a year when drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the nation’s biggest oil-producing region, was illegally halted by President Barack Obama after the BP oil spill.
U.S. oil production climbed steadily through most of the last century and reached a peak of 9.6 million barrels per day in 1970. The decline since was slowed by new production in Alaska in the 1980s and in the Gulf of Mexico more recently. But by 2008, production had fallen to 5 million barrels per day.
Within five years, analysts and executives predict, the newly unlocked fields are expected to produce 1 million to 2 million barrels of oil per day, enough to boost U.S. production 20 percent to 40 percent. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates production will grow a more modest 500,000 barrels per day.
By 2020, oil imports could be slashed by as much as 60 percent, according to Credit Suisse’s Morse, who is counting on Gulf oil production to rise and on U.S. gasoline demand to fall.
At today’s oil prices of roughly $90 per barrel, slashing imports that much would save the U.S. $175 billion a year. Last year, when oil averaged $78 per barrel, the U.S. sent $260 billion overseas for crude, accounting for nearly half the country’s $500 billion trade deficit.
“We have redefined how to look for oil and gas,” says Rehan Rashid, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. “The implications are major for the nation.”
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Kansas had some truly great songs here are the two best.
Dust in the Wind
And Carry on My Wayward Son