The Thursday wrap
Britain's Centre for Economic Policy Research (not to be confused with the ultra-liberal U.S. Center for Economic and Policy Research) disputes the blanket notion that shale gas extraction is creating some kind of “energy revolution” in this country. As it sees it, “Even if current estimates of production turn out to be accurate, the benefits to the U.S. economy in the long run are relatively small, and the benefits to manufacturing competitiveness in most sectors are even smaller.” Which makes us wonder, again, why the Corbett administration is dangling all those billions of dollars in public “incentives” in front of Shell's proposed cracker plant in Beaver County. ... We understand there's no truth to the rumor that suddenly departed Kathleen Kane spokesman Joe Peters has entered the Burned Flack Protection Program. ... Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., agrees with Bill Maher's suggestion that Democrats should “come out against the Second Amendment.” “I sure wish they would,” Mr. Ellison retorted on the lapsed comedian's HBO “news” show. And here we thought members of Congress swear to “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution. ... Former President Jimmy Carter says he so distrusts America's intelligence apparatus that he no longer trusts email or telephone communication to be secure. Mr. Carter says he only hand-writes or types and mails sensitive letters to foreign and U.S. leaders. Thanks for the tip, Jimmy. And we'll bet the National Security Agency, FBI and CIA thank you, too, and now are screening all of your outgoing mail.