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9.22.2014 4:00 AM

C2 Monday Morning News

 

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9.21.2014 9:00 PM

The Official C2 Late Night Chill Thread

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9.21.2014 4:00 AM

C2 Above the Fold

U.S. Hopes Face-Saving Plan Offers a Path to a Nuclear Pact With Iran

Over the years, the United States has shown considerable ingenuity in its effort to slow Iran’s production of nuclear fuel: It has used sabotage, cyberattacks and creative economic sanctions.

Now, mixing face-saving diplomacy and innovative technology, negotiators are attempting a new approach, suggesting that the Iranians call in a plumber.

The idea is to convince the Iranians to take away many of the pipes that connect their nuclear centrifuges, the giant machines that are connected together in a maze that allows uranium fuel to move from one machine to another, getting enriched along the way. That way, the Iranians could claim they have not given in to Western demands that they eliminate all but a token number of their 19,000 machines, in which Iran has invested billions of dollars and tremendous national pride.

And if the plumbing is removed, experts at America’s national nuclear laboratories have told the Obama administration, the United States and its allies could accurately claim that they have extended the time Iran would need to produce enough fuel for a bomb — and given the West time to react.


Higher Fast-Food Wages: Higher Fast-Food Prices

Union activists want to raise the minimum wage in the fast-food industry to $15 an hour. However, fast-food restaurants operate on very small profit margins; they could only afford such wages by raising prices—significantly. Higher prices would, in turn, drive customers away, forcing even larger price increases to cover costs. Ultimately, the average fast-food restaurant would have to raise prices by nearly two-fifths. This would cause sales to drop by more than one-third, and profits to fall by more than three-quarters. Absent the widespread adoption of labor-saving technology, the union-led “Fight for 15” would make fast food much more expensive for Americans.

Fight for 15

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has launched an expensive PR campaign calling for wages of at least $15 an hour in the fast-food industry. This Fight for 15 is part of a larger SEIU pressure campaign to unionize fast-food restaurants.[1] Hundreds of union activists have staged “walkouts” and protests across the country demanding the higher pay rate. These protests have attracted considerable media attention. However, if the SEIU achieved its stated goal, it would hurt the budgets of millions of moderate-income Americans.

No, Fast-Food Joints Cannot Absorb Cost Increases

Artificially inflating wages would substantially increase fast-food restaurants’ total costs—labor makes up a considerable portion of their budget. Chart 1 shows the financial statements of the average fast-food restaurant in 2013. Labor costs (26 percent) and food and material costs (31 percent) make up the majority of the typical restaurant budget.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average cook in a fast-food restaurant earned $9.04 an hour in 2013.[2] The SEIU’s push for $15 an hour would consequently raise fast-food wages by at least 66 percent. Paying $15 an hour would raise fast-food restaurants’ total costs by approximately 15 percent.[3]


Why We Shouldn't Impeach Barack Obama

In his latest book, The People vs. Barack Obama, Ben Shapiro charges the president with counts of espionage, involuntary manslaughter, violation of internal revenue laws, bribery, and obstruction of justice, not to mention the recent charge of child endangerment.

Benghazi, ObamaCare, Fast & Furious, the IRS scandal, the NSA, Solyndra, appointed czars, the James Rosen affair, and the illegal children’s exodus into the U.S. are just some the issues that show how Obama has become an imperial president. The president has decided when to enforce immigration laws, advantageously delayed ObamaCare, and micromanaged the economy, as well as attack the Supreme Court, Congress, and the sovereign states. He does this while proclaiming he is the voice of the people, yet he encroaches upon their rights. American Thinker interviewed Shapiro about his book and its premises.

In The People vs. Barack Obama, Ben Shapiro brings Obama into the people’s court and addresses each of his abuses of power.

American Thinker: Why not go the impeachment route?


FIREWALL - BUSH LITE


 

9.20.2014 9:00 PM

The Official C2 Late Night Chill Thread

H/T Fenway Nation

 

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9.20.2014 4:00 AM

C2 Saturday A.M. Bulldog Edition

WAPO: Rift widens between Obama, U.S. military over strategy to fight Islamic State

Flashes of disagreement over how to fight the Islamic State are mounting between President Obama and U.S. military leaders, the latest sign of strain in what often has been an awkward and uneasy relationship.

Even as the administration has received congressional backing for its strategy, with the Senate voting Thursday to approve a plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a series of military leaders have criticized the president’s approach against the Islamic State militant group.

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who served under Obama until last year, became the latest high-profile skeptic on Thursday, telling the House Intelligence Committee that a blanket prohibition on ground combat was tying the military’s hands. “Half-hearted or tentative efforts, or airstrikes alone, can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” he said. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.”

Mattis’s comments came two days after Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the rare step of publicly suggesting that a policy already set by the commander in chief could be reconsidered.

GENERAL: AIRSTRIKES TOUGHER AS MILITANTS BLEND IN

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army's top officer warned Friday that it will become increasingly difficult to target and launch precision airstrikes against Islamic State militants hiding among the Iraqi population.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters that so far the targets American warplanes and drones have hit in Iraq have largely been out in the open and were "clearly identifiable."

Now, he said, the militant fighters are starting to infiltrate the population, and there are reports that they are using children and others as shields.

"When you target, you want to make sure you are targeting the right people," said Odierno. "The worst thing that can happen for us is if we start killing innocent Iraqis, innocent civilians."

Odierno, a veteran of several years in command in Iraq during the height of the war, knows well how civilian casualties could turn the population against the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State group.


Repeal The Oil Export Ban

Thanks mainly to the shale revolution, oil production in the U.S. hit a 28-year high last month while imports were at their lowest levels since 1995. Consequently, prices have fallen 15% since June, and Saudi Arabia has cut production by 400,000 barrels a day — providing further evidence that OPEC no longer has the power to set prices.

Against these developments, the current ban on exporting American oil is nonsensical.

Even the liberal Brookings Institution in a recent study concludes that it's time to remove the ban, arguing that the more we export the greater the expected decline in gasoline prices, perhaps as much as 12 cents per gallon. "As counter-intuitive as it may seem, lifting the ban actually lowers gasoline prices by increasing the total amount of crude supply."

In addition the study identifies a number of other economic benefits from exporting oil, including higher GDP and lower unemployment.

Some politicians and pundits claim that exporting oil will divert us from the path toward "energy independence." Others argue that exporting oil will weaken our energy security since we're still a net importer. Still others claim that keeping domestic oil at home will help lower gasoline and diesel prices.

All of these arguments are baseless. Currently, we lead the world in the output of natural gas, nuclear power and renewables. We're still No. 3 in oil production, but the International Energy Agency projects that within a few years America will reclaim the No. 1 ranking. In short, we're already energy independent.

As for energy security, it's hard to envision a political scenario that would result in our inability to import oil.


How ISIS Infiltrated the Dept. of Homeland Security


 

 

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9.19.2014 4:00 AM

C2 Daily Grind

 

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9.18.2014 4:00 AM

C2 Daily Grind

 

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9.17.2014 9:00 PM

The Official C2 Late Night Chill Thread

H/T Pi Guy.

 

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