Low Popahirum, February 3, 2015

NATIONAL

“It was reported that Jordan and ISIS were working on a prisoner exchange, but after Jordan threatened to kill their ISIS prisoners, it appears the Islamist monsters have killed their hostage in a horrific way:” – Sooper Mexican

“A top military intelligence official acknowledged Tuesday there’s ‘very little’ his agency could do to prevent the Taliban fighters traded for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from returning to the battlefield later this year.” – Fox News

“Today, Russia is waging another active-measures campaign. But this time Russia’s target is fracking. The facts are clear. Fracking, which is revolutionizing energy politics, offers a cheap, new source of global power. But that’s not all. In offering Europe independence from Russian energy exports, fracking poses a direct challenge to Russia. Because Putin depends for revenue on his oil and natural gas-exports, fracking’s cheaper alternative presents him with a big problem. Indeed, lower oil prices are already driving Russia’s economy into recession.” – National Review

“Here’s something that many Americans — including some of the smartest and most educated among us — don’t know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.” – Gallup

“The New York Times and other Leftist media outlets have now put the vaccination ‘controversy’ on the table for the Democrats to use as a weapon against various potential Republican presidential candidates.” – Michael Walsh/PJ Media

“The Obama administration outraged members of Congress on Monday by proposing to scale back a new program aimed at letting veterans access health care outside the VA system.” – The Blaze

“President Barack Obama wants to remove a tax benefit for college sports fans. Obama’s budget proposal sent to Congress Monday would end the deduction available to some fans for donations they make to get seats at college sporting events. This is a new proposal by the administration.” – Bloomberg

“In a growing trend begun a few years ago without much public disclosure or debate, at least 50 police departments across the country — including the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service — now deploy radar devices that could allow them effectively to ‘see through walls.'” – Washington Examiner

“Harry Reid loves the EB-5 program — and now we know why. The visa grants residency status for those who invest $500,000 or more in a US venture, assuming that the applicant can pass a background check for emigration. DHS supposedly prevents fraud and worse by conducting these background checks, but it turns out that Reid’s only interested in another kind of check entirely. ABC News’ Nightline did an exposé of the EB-5 program, showing that officials twist arms (or have theirs twisted) to bypass the background checks in order to get favored individuals into the US (via Daniel Halper at TWS):” – Hot Air

But now the tables have been turned. Boehner’s subtle jab at the two senators betrays an increasing frustration among House Republicans with GOP senators pushing the House to pass legislation they do not have the votes to pass in the Senate. And if, as expected, the Senate cannot pass the House version of the DHS bill, expect House Republicans to blame Senate Republicans, now in the majority, as much as their Democratic counterparts.” – National Journal

LOUISIANA

“With billions of dollars in projected investment in Southwest Louisiana over the next several years, there’s been a hint of caution of late from some economists who say the recent nosedive in oil prices could impact those projects. Some KPLC viewers who work in the oil business have also mentioned concern for their jobs.” – KPLC

“As oil prices drop, the squeeze has begun in south Louisiana. It starts with ugly state budget projections, layoff announcements and freezes on new construction projects. Cutbacks at the drilling companies lead to cutbacks at the service companies, and before long the grocery stores and car dealerships start feeling it.” – NY Times

“It’s anyone’s guess which was worse: that all of the other candidates for governor stood up and walked off stage before U.S. Sen. David Vitter started his speech, or that half of the audience had emptied out before the address’ two-minute mark.” – Jeremy Alford/Baton Rouge Business Report

“Louisiana coastal officials on Monday (Feb. 2) proposed spending $773 million in coastal restoration and hurricane protection for the 2015-16 fiscal year, including $275 million for restoration projects paid for with money related to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.” – NOLA.com

Louisiana would lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars from offshore oil and gas drilling under a proposal included by President Barack Obama in his budget rollout Monday.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Over the past several weeks, Alexander and other higher education leaders have been putting together drastically reduced budgets to prepare for the spending plan the Jindal administration will unveil later this month. Alexander said LSU’s doomsday budget would mean 3,000 fewer courses offered at the Baton Rouge campus next year and the cancellation of all hires made under the new Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund program.” – Baton Rouge Business Report

“Nearly three years after her son’s death and six days before what would have been Trayvon Martin’s 20th birthday, Sybrina Fulton stood before a Baton Rouge crowd, encouraging attendees to take a stance against gun violence and racial profiling.” – Daily Reveille

“The Baton Rouge General Medical Center Mid City will close its hospital emergency room within the next 60 days.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“The New Orleans Saints have five weeks to bring the most bloated payroll in the NFL under the still-undetermined 2015 salary cap.” – NOLA.com

“Some coaches make their mark as X’s and O’s guys; others are motivators. Ed Orgeron is a people person and a recruiter, maybe the best one this side of Nick Saban. Here’s how he gets it done.” – Bleacher Report

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