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Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned in a Thursday New York Times commentary — “placed,” by the way, by Pittsburgh-founded Ketchum public relations — that a U.S. strike against Syria “would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism.” Underwritten and directed, no doubt, by Mr. Putin and his merry band of thugs. ... Economist Robert Samuelson reminds that raising the minimum wage is no “shortcut to social justice.” That's because doing so hurts the very people its proponents claim to be helping by reducing the jobs pool. It's the kind of fundamental economics for which “progressives” continually show they have no aptitude. ... Manhattan Institute senior fellow Robert Bryce says he'd hate to imagine what U.S. unemployment would be like without the “shale gale,” the surge in natural gas and oil production from Marcellus, Utica and other shale formations. And the drop in natural gas prices alone because of it is saving consumers $210 million per day or $77 billion per year. Frack, baby, frack. ... A funny thing has happened on the way to the polar ice caps melting and inundating our coastal cities. The National Snow and Ice Data Center says 1 million more square miles of ocean are covered in ice this year versus last. Which has prompted University of Wisconsin researcher Anastasios Tsonis to note that the Earth is in a cooling phase that could last for at least the next 15 years. And what do we say, class, upon learning of such news? All together now: “Throw another log on the fire, honey. It's getting cold outside.”

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