Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three Years

The Economy Isn't Recovering, And There's A Reason For That

Yep, it's time for more economic analysis.

Look, we all know that we're living in some really tough economic times.  Things haven't really gotten better for most people, and for many they keep getting worse.  There are no real signs of any recovery (other than in government and government-backed unions), and no real reason for optimism until the current policies are killed and rolled back.  Despite all this, Obama and the Democrats continue to claim to be leading while simultaneously not even bothering to pass a budget of their own.  Even Senate Democrats are unhappy about that.  I can understand that - it's gotta be tough to face your constituents when you haven't even done the most basic function you've been hired to do, especially when you've tanked the wealthiest nation in the history of the world while failing to do that basic function.

But the Obama administration is continuing to pursue its radical Leftist liberal agenda on all fronts. For example, they're pushing hard to pass even tough regulations that will have a direct impact on the prices:
The Obama administration wants cars and light trucks in the United States to average 56.2 miles per gallon of gasoline by 2025, a standard that will cut the nation's oil consumption and carbon output significantly while also raising each vehicle's cost by about $2,375.
And, every time we turn around, we hear of yet another Obama program that has far exceeded their estimated costs in return for little or no gain.

Our Founders were geniuses. They set up state governments to have the freedom to experiment with particular policies; the ones that worked could be adopted by other states, and the ones that didn't work could be dropped. The key point is that these policy experiments should be conducted on a state level so that the entire nation doesn't get affected in an adverse or hasty way. The federal government should be the last place where major sweeping changes take effect.  However, the last few years have seen more and more policy experiments taking place at the federal level, and that's hurting everyone across the board.  Looking at states where the most Leftist liberal policies have been in operation for the longest periods of time shows that they're the ones that are currently in the most dire financial straits.  In fact, the only places that are experiencing anything resembling a healthy economic picture are places like Texas, which has chosen to do essentially the opposite of Obama's policies.  Now, according to the Founders' design, other states should be looking at Texas and understanding why their policies are working and adopt them, thus improving their own health and that of the nation overall.  But liberals simply won't do that.

So Wall Street braces for more layoffs, the misery index is at its highest point since the Carter years, the fiscal crisis is looming closer and closer with U.S. financial ratings being threatened, the administration admits it's clueless and continues offering mixed messages and provoking class warfare, and the situation is little changed from a year ago when Obama declared the 'summer of recovery'.  Except that more people are out of work and life in America has become more expensive.  Most of the meager improvement in job numbers comes from people completely giving up even looking for work and thus not being counted as 'jobless', but that's hardly a feather in the cap.  The administration is so desperate that they're even considering raiding federal pension funds to pay for their reckless spending habits.  Obama's economic stimulus is a demonstrable failure for everything except tripling the deficit.  Is it any wonder Americans fear that government is choking the American economy to death?

But oh, don't trouble the President with such trivial matters.  No, when it comes to the serious discussions on the national debt and how to unbury the American economy, Obama is more than up to the task of scolding Congress for being undisciplined about getting things done.  Of course, when someone had the temerity to ask whether or not he should be more involved in those discussions, he dismissed that question as...amusing.  That's leadership??  I guess he can't be bothered take time out from his next vacation to deal with the economic future of this nation.

It's no coincidence that only 24% of the nation shares Obama's political views, and only 30% are committed to voting for him in 2012.  This could explain why Obama's team is showing distinct signs of nervousness and is having to work exceedingly hard to raise money for his increasingly difficult re-election bid.  In fact, his last fundraising e-mail pretty much lays out just how badly they're doing:

We're closing the books on the first fundraising quarter of the 2012 race at midnight tomorrow.

A lot of folks will be interpreting our numbers as a measure of this campaign's support.

They're not wrong, but they are wrong about why.

We measure our success not in dollars but in people ...

Right.  I'm sure you do.  Never fear, though.  I'm sure that George Soros and the hidden millions of dollars that he dumped into the 2008 campaign will be back in the form of thousands of undocumented, untraceable, and unreported credit card 'donations' when the election draws nearer.  Still, it's good to see them already struggling so mightily, and should give hope to those who desire change.

But here's the truly insane part.  In the midst of the mounting economic pressure, the continued failure of their own economic policies, and the obvious political headwind they've created for themselves...they keep pushing for more spending.  In a recent meeting, Obama claimed to have created over 2 million jobs and received hearty laughter.  This meeting wasn't stocked with conservatives or Republicans.  No, these people who so clearly understood the falsehood of the claim and found it funny were Democrat donors.

Barack Obama -- and liberals in general -- are disastrous for genuine economic leadership.  The longer their policies remain in effect, the worse off America will be.  It's a two-step process to achieve a real recovery and real economic growth.  First, liberals need to be thrown out of office at every possible opportunity.  Second, their policies need to be thrown out, as well.

Then there's hope for a real change.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Speaking Of Control...

...we see yet another example of liberals trying to wrestle control from where it doesn't belong:

“A new enforcement memo handed down by the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week has some accusing the White House of running around Congress to implement the DREAM Act – and consequent amnesty for some illegal immigrants – by executive fiat.
The new memo, penned by ICE Director John Morton, directs ICE agents, attorneys and directors to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” – meaning less likelihood of deportation – for illegal aliens who have been students in the U.S., who have been in the country since childhood or who have served in the American military.” LINK
Morton’s excuse for the memo—”not enough resources”:
Specifically, the memo argues, “Because the agency is confronted with more violations than its resources can address, the agency must regularly exercise prosecutorial discretion.”
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer calls this maneuver a Constitutional breech pointing out that it is Congress’s responsibility to enact laws:
“This is outright lawlessness on the part of the administration,” argued syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on a discussion panel with Fox News’ anchor Chris Wallace. “Whatever the politics of this, we do have a Constitution. And under it, the Legislature, the Congress enacts the laws and the executive executes them. It doesn’t make them up.
“The DREAM Act was rejected by Congress,” Krauthammer continued. “It is now being enacted by the executive, despite the express will of the Congress. That is lawless. It may not be an explicit executive order; it’s an implicit one.”
The Obama administration IS explicitly running an end-run around the will of people and their representative government. First Libya and now this. What’s next Mr. President?
Update: It appears John Ransom at Townhall saw this coming. John posted this on May 12th titled “Crass and Cynical on Illegal Immigration”
“The guy who rushed out to get trillions for banks, big pharmaceuticals and unions, practically ignored the topic of immigration reform when his guys ran Congress for two years and could have written their own version.
Indeed one of his wise-guys from Chicago, Rep Luis Gutierrez recently noted “[Obama] has the power to make things better right now without the Congress having to pass any new laws.”
Yeah, he can just do what he did for gays, unions, Chicago and all of his other cronies: He can ignore enforcing the old laws he doesn’t like. Or maybe he can grant every illegal immigrant a waiver, like he did for his favorites under healthcare “reform.”
And Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit asked “the question“:

Personally, I think they know their window is closing. They know they're in for another shellacking in the next election, and the closer it gets to that day, the harder it will be for them to enact the radical liberal agenda without being noticed. So, they're trying to ram as much through now as possible -- with or without Congressional involvement -- in the hope that it sticks permanently.

The point remains that the ultimate goal of liberals is to control you, everything you do, everything you buy (or don't buy), everywhere you go, and everything you think. Because they know what's best for you, of course. Never mind that the American people are soundly against amnesty...they'll grant it anyway, and the American people (and the Constitution) be damned.

It's going to continue until they are thrown out.

Monday, June 27, 2011

When Environmentalists' Idiocy Becomes Real Peoples' Destruction

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you probably know of the terrible flooding currently going on up and down the Missouri River. Here are a few videos to illustrate:

Bismarck, ND:

Same place three weeks later:

Onawa, IA:

Blair, NE:

Omaha, NE:

Coming soon to Kansas City and others:

Now, what does this have to do with politics? Well, I'm glad you asked that question! Joe Herring provides us with the answer at American Thinker, and it's well worth the read:

The Missouri River basin encompasses a vast region in the central and west-central portion of our country. This river, our nation's longest, collects the melt from Rocky Mountain snowpack and the runoff from our continents' upper plains before joining the Mississippi river above St. Louis some 2,300 miles later. It is a mighty river, and dangerous.

Some sixty years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began the process of taming the Missouri by constructing a series of six dams. The idea was simple: massive dams at the top moderating flow to the smaller dams below, generating electricity while providing desperately needed control of the river's devastating floods.

The stable flow of water allowed for the construction of the concrete and earthen levees that protect more than 10 million people who reside and work within the river's reach. It allowed millions of acres of floodplain to become useful for farming and development. In fact, these uses were encouraged by our government, which took credit for the resulting economic boom. By nearly all measures, the project was a great success.

But after about thirty years of operation, as the environmentalist movement gained strength throughout the seventies and eighties, the Corps received a great deal of pressure to include some specific environmental concerns into their MWCM (Master Water Control Manual, the "bible" for the operation of the dam system). Preservation of habitat for at-risk bird and fish populations soon became a hot issue among the burgeoning environmental lobby. The pressure to satisfy the demands of these groups grew exponentially as politicians eagerly traded their common sense for "green" political support.

Things turned absurd from there. An idea to restore the nation's rivers to a natural (pre-dam) state swept through the environmental movement and their allies. Adherents enlisted the aid of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), asking for an updated "Biological Opinion" from the FWS that would make ecosystem restoration an "authorized purpose" of the dam system. The Clinton administration threw its support behind the change, officially shifting the priorities of the Missouri River dam system from flood control, facilitation of commercial traffic, and recreation to habitat restoration, wetlands preservation, and culturally sensitive and sustainable biodiversity.

Congress created a committee to advise the Corps on how best to balance these competing priorities. The Missouri River Recovery and Implementation Committee has seventy members. Only four represent interests other than environmentalism. The recommendations of the committee, as one might expect, have been somewhat less than evenhanded.

The Corps began to utilize the dam system to mimic the previous flow cycles of the original river, holding back large amounts of water upstream during the winter and early spring in order to release them rapidly as a "spring pulse." The water flows would then be restricted to facilitate a summer drawdown of stream levels. This new policy was highly disruptive to barge traffic and caused frequent localized flooding, but a multi-year drought masked the full impact of the dangerous risks the Corps was taking.

This year, despite more than double the usual amount of mountain and high plains snowpack (and the ever-present risk of strong spring storms), the true believers in the Corps have persisted in following the revised MWCM, recklessly endangering millions of residents downstream.

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt agrees, calling the management plan "flawed" and "poorly thought out." Sen. Blunt characterized the current flooding as "entirely preventable" and told reporters that he intends to force changes to the plan.

Perhaps tellingly, not everyone feels the same apprehension toward the imminent disaster.

Greg Pavelka, a wildlife biologist with the Corps of Engineers in Yankton, SD, told the Seattle Times that this event will leave the river in a "much more natural state than it has seen in decades," describing the epic flooding as a "prolonged headache for small towns and farmers along its path, but a boon for endangered species." He went on to say, "The former function of the river is being restored in this one-year event. In the short term, it could be detrimental, but in the long term it could be very beneficial."

At the time of this writing, the Corps is scrambling for political cover, repeatedly denying that it had any advance warning of the potential for this catastrophe. The official word is that everything was just fine until unexpectedly heavy spring rains pushed the system past the tipping point.

On February 3, 2011, a series of e-mails from Ft. Pierre SD Director of Public Works Brad Lawrence sounded the alarm loud and clear. In correspondence to the headquarters of the American Water Works Association in Washington, D.C., Lawrence warned that "the Corps of Engineers has failed thus far to evacuate enough water from the main stem reservoirs to meet normal runoff conditions. This year's runoff will be anything but normal."

In the same e-mail, he describes the consequences of the Corps failure to act as a "flood of biblical proportions." His e-mails were forwarded from Washington, D.C. to state emergency response coordinators nationwide. The Corps headquarters in Omaha, NE which is responsible for the Missouri river system, claims they heard no such warning from Lawrence or anyone else. Considering the wide distribution of this correspondence, and the likely reactions from officials in endangered states, their denials strain credulity.

Whether warned or not, the fact remains that had the Corps been true to its original mission of flood control, the dams would not have been full in preparation for a "spring pulse." The dams could further have easily handled the additional runoff without the need to inundate a sizeable chunk of nine states. The Corps admits in the MWCM that they deliberately embrace this risk each year in order to maximize their re-ordered priorities.

MWCM (Sec 7-07.2.6):

Releases at higher-than-normal rates early in the season that cannot be supported by runoff forecasting techniques is inconsistent with all System purposes other than flood control. All of the other authorized purposes depend upon the accumulation of water in the System rather than the availability of vacant storage space. [Emphasis added.]

Perhaps the environmentalists of the Corps grew tired of waiting decades to realize their dream of a "restored Missouri River." Perhaps these elements heard the warnings and saw in them an opportunity to force an immediate re-naturalization of the river via epic flood. At present, that is impossible to know, but to needlessly imperil the property, businesses, and lives of millions of people constitutes criminal negligence. Given the statements of Corps personnel, and the clear evidence of their mismanagement, the possibility that there is specific intent behind their failure to act must be investigated without delay.

In recent decades, many universities have steeped their Natural Sciences curriculum in the green tea of earth-activism, producing radically eco-centric graduates who naturally seek positions with the government agencies where they can best implement their theories. Today, many of these men and women have risen high in their fields, hiring fellow travelers to fill subordinate positions and creating a powerful echo chamber of radical environmentalist theory.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a victim/tool of the above-described process. The horrifying consequence is water rushing from the dams on the Missouri twice as fast as the highest previous releases on record. Floodgates that have not been opened in more than fifty years are in full operation, discharging water at a rate of 150,000 cubic feet per second toward millions of Americans downstream.

This is a mind-boggling rate of release. Consider that 150,000 cubic feet of water would fill a football field instantly to a depth of four feet. This amount of water, being released every second, will continue unabated for the next several months. The levees that protect the cities and towns downstream were constructed to handle the flow rates promised at the time of the dam's construction. None of these levees have ever been tested at these levels, yet they must hold back millions of acre-feet of floodwater for the entire summer without failing. In the flooding of 1993, more than a thousand levees failed. This year's event will be many orders of magnitude greater.

There are many well-publicized examples of absurd obeisance to the demands of radical environmentalists resulting in great economic harm. The Great Missouri River Flood of 2011 is shaping up to be another -- only this time, the price will likely be paid in lives lost as well as treasure. Ayn Rand said, "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

We need to begin the investigations immediately. It seems that it is sanity, and not the river, that needs to be restored.

This is what happens when radical liberal environmentalists get their way. These people wanted this to happen, and they drove policies that ensured it would. In their high and mighty talk of returning nature to it's 'natural' state, they conveniently ignore the plight of millions of people who will suffer, lose their homes, lose their jobs, maybe even lose their lives in the process.

Should we take care of the environment, recycle, and require industry to clean up their messes? Absolutely. But when we have such a clearly dangerous fork in the road where people will be irreparably harmed for some fanciful notion like environmentalism, common sense and genuine priorities need to win out. A line must be drawn somewhere, and I believe it should have been drawn well before this point.

Unfortunately, the environmentalists won this one decades ago, and it's too late to change our minds now. We just have to live with the consequences of those actions, hope to survive them as best we can (and help those who need it), and remember what havoc the Left's agenda has wrought so we can cast it away at every possible turn in the future.

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's All About The Control

I've often said that the bottom line for liberals is control.  The more they control, the better.  For them, of course, not you.  In fact, it's pretty much the opposite for you - the more they control, the worse off you are.  It's not that hard a concept to grasp, really.  The more they control, the more power they have.  The more power they have, well...that's kind of the endgame, isn't it?  With power you can route money to certain people or keep it out of certain people's hands, you can prevent certain people from having (or hearing) certain perspectives, and you can bully dissenters using the full force of the law.  It's all about the control.

If you don't believe me when I suggest that's what liberals are ultimately gunning for, take a look at these stories...

The study will focus on air pollution over many of Maryland's major roads, from Baltimore's beltway, to the 95 corridor, even over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

This is no ordinary plane, it's a specially fitted NASA aircraft designed with equipment to measure air pollution levels in flight. And starting next week the skies over Maryland will become a pollution detection playground for the plane and for NASA scientists.

First of all, why is NASA monitoring air quality issues?  Aren't they supposed to be traveling to space and stuff?  Oh, that's right, Obama killed the space shuttle program.  I guess this is just filler until they find something better to do than be lapdogs for the EPA.  And what do you suppose will happen if these planes determine that pollution is too high?  More regulations, more restrictions, more government control of these areas.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday that the Obama administration believes taxes on small business must increase so the administration does not have to "shrink the overall size of government programs." The administration's plan to raise the tax rate on small businesses is part of its plan to raise taxes on all Americans who make more than $250,000 per year—including businesses that file taxes the same way individuals and families do.

Can there be any better illustration that liberals think government is the end-all-be-all of everything, the final arbiter of all questions, and the primary concern of every citizen?  We're in a period of economic frailty brought on by the unprecedented reckless spending from these same liberals, and they're concerned about government shrinking at the expense of an industry that provides 70-80% of all jobs in America?  Control.

Education is a hotbed of liberalism and liberal brainwashing, and it's only getting worse...

Apparently, there was this woman who had skipped out on her student loans, so the feds sent a SWAT team to her house to deliver a search warrant.  That is to say, the SWAT team stormed the house, broke down the door, handcuffed her husband, and stuck around for six hours until it finally was successfully pointed out that not only was the woman not there; she had in point of fact skipped out on her family, too.

Aside from the obvious question of why the Dept. of Education is conducting SWAT team raids, what kind of arrogance would prompt anyone to authorize such a raid over student loans??  Clearly, the powers that be here believe they already have control to such an extent that they can do this sort of thing without recrimination.  Getting away with this only furthers the notion that they're in complete control of all situations no matter what.

Other education stories of note:
A look through history shows that every good dictator knows to aim for the children first.  After all, if you can brainwash and control a generation while they're young, you've automatically got 'em whipped when they grow up, and probably their children, too.  If liberals are following the lead of historical dictators, is there any other conclusion than ultimate control?

Rest assured there is no issue too small to sate their lust for control, and this link shows a great example.  What happened here is that a petty government bureaucrat forcibly removed a basketball pole from a homeowner's yard while lying through her teeth about the end result.  Click through and watch the video, because there really aren't words to encapsulate it.  Bottom line message here: Fall in line, or else.  It's about the control.

Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

Unbelievable.  I'm picturing liberal attorneys in all 49 other states licking their chops at this precedent.  One can only only hope that, given this is such a clear and blatant violation of the Constitution, the federal Supreme Court will strike this one down in a hurry.  Can we say control, anyone?

Don't even get me started on the TSA's strip-search-and-sexual-assault policy (got another post coming on that one soon).

1,372 businesses, state and local governments, labor unions and insurers, covering 3,095,593 individuals or families ... have been granted a waiver from Obamacare by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

... If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it?

More specifically, why are more than half of those 3,095,593 in plans run by labor unions, which were among Obamacare's biggest political supporters? Union members are only 12 percent of all employees but have gotten 50.3 percent of Obamacare waivers.

Just in April, Sebelius granted 38 waivers to restaurants, nightclubs, spas and hotels in former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco congressional district. Pelosi's office said she had nothing to do with it.

On its website HHS pledges that the waiver process will be transparent. But it doesn't list those whose requests for waivers have been denied.

When we're talking about power and control, don't we really mean the ability to do whatever we want, whenever we want, to whomever we want, and for whatever reason we want?  That's really the essence of power, isn't it?  So, this is perhaps the most brazen grasp at control that we've yet seen because of its sheer scope.  Remember that a huge majority of the American people (roughly 60%) opposed Obamacare from the moment it was proposed, and that a similar number still support its outright repeal.  If that's the case, then this act of issuing waivers to only certain favored constituencies becomes an egregious abuse of power, does it not?  The question is: has a line been crossed?  Will the American people meekly suffer this overreach of control, or will they rise up and slap it down, punishing those who are so audacious as to attempt it?

The point is that liberals' ultimate goal is to acquire and maintain control over everything and everyone possible.  It's not hyperbole, it's not a conspiracy theory, and it's not an exaggeration.  It's real, and the stories above are just scratching the surface.

We must make a conscious effort to stop this liberal control grab wherever we see it, whether it's a bureaucrat lying and stealing our basketball goal or a vast government takeover of our most personal life decisions.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Putting The Wacko In 'Environmentalist Wacko'

They're at it again. The so-called scientists who are pushing these policies as fact have repeatedly been caught lying and doctoring their data.

Their liberal political allies in the media conveniently ignore these deceptions and run with the faulty conclusions for no other reason than that they really feel it should be true:

In “Assessment of Obama Administration’s Cost-Benefit Analysis of Clean Air Act Regulation,” economist David Montgomery reveals the very large net regulatory benefits touted by EPA rely on apples to orange comparisons, where the vast majority of the benefits have none of the financial reality that the costs do.

“In its Clean Air Act appraisal, EPA substitutes calculated misdirection for solid analysis” explained NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp. “Nearly all of EPA’s promised $2 trillion in benefits from existing regulations stem from feelings rather than fiscal improvements.

“Federal regulators arrived at their staggering figures by polling individuals on how much they’d be willing to pay to reduce risks in general, mostly using estimates from studies of occupational risks unrelated to air pollution.”

Of course, even they will admit one thing that people on our side of the argument can agree with:
Dr. Montgomery added “while less than 3 percent of the EPA’s purported benefits will show up as additional jobs or real output in the economy, 100 percent of the costs will do so. Even EPA’s own macroeconomic analysis shows that existing air pollution regulations are a net drag on the economy. And EPA’s tally doesn’t even take into account the costs of its pending new ozone standards and regulations on electric utilities over the next decade.”

So, basically, you have the following progression:
1. there's no real problem
2. self-righteous liberals feel very strongly that there should be a problem
3. the solutions proposed by said liberals will solve nothing (because there's nothing to solve) while killing jobs and severely impairing the economic well-being of America

What's not to love?

In fact, do you recall Obama's promise from the 2008 pre-election campaign days of skyrocketing energy prices if his policies are put into place? Get ready, because Obama's policies are being implemented, bit by bit, starting with the EPA. come the skyrocketing prices! And it's happening by design, not by accident.

To confirm that, look no further than one of the few states that's in good economic shape -- Texas -- and how Obama's EPA is waging war on it by wrestling control of the state's air permits (emission permits), slapping new regulations on coal plants that reduce the amount of electricity they can generate, and using faulty logic to limit natural gas processing. Ironically...

This would be one thing if Texas were an outlier among the 50 states in terms of dirty air or an otherwise demonstrably imperiled environment. But the truth is closer to the opposite: the air in Texas has been getting cleaner; in the urban areas, much cleaner. And in spite of being by far the largest electric power producer of the 50 states, and heavily reliant on coal, Texas has been steadily reducing its emissions of the EPA’s least-favored compounds from coal combustion (e.g., sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide). Its emissions of NOx and SO2 are substantially lower than the national average; Texas is ranked the 11th lowest in NOx emissions (.098 lb/mmBtu in 2009, versus a national average of .159 lb/mmBtu), and 24th in SO2 (.309 lb/mmBtu in 2009, versus a national average of .458 lb/mmBtu).

But the EPA isn’t really making the argument that Texas is an environmental pigsty. It’s not putting any data or findings behind that premise, at any rate. Instead, it is simply acting high-handedly, assuming an authority that nothing in written law confers on it, to pronounce Texas’s procedures in violation of EPA rules – even when there is no basis for making that claim. To put it bluntly, the EPA is making a power grab.

But even beyond that, these people are nuts, and simply understanding what they genuinely believe should be enough to convince most people not to give them the time of day. Take the High Priest of Green, Al Gore:

The global warming debate has always been a touchy one for both sides, and when the world’s top global warming activist is talking about the size of population and how that contributes to the choices societies make, it might be worth taking note.

In an appearance Monday in New York City, former Vice President Al Gore, prominently known for his climate change activism, took on the subject of population size and the role of society in controlling it to reduce pollution.

Translation: abortion, abortion, abortion. But is he talking about even more drastic measures?
“You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children have, the spacing of the children.

You decide. But you should also note this quote from an article written by Gore earlier this week:
Admittedly, the contest over global warming is a challenge for the referee because it's a tag-team match, a real free-for-all. In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason. In the other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.

In other words, people are poisonous to the environment, and right-wing ideologues are protecting the poisoning.

Thus: wacko.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Uh, Wait...Who Was The Dumb One Again?

Because it's hard to tell after watching this:

And just for the record, no, Sarah Palin did not say the thing about seeing Russia from her house. That was Tina Fey.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Coming Light Bulb Ban

You may or may not recall that incandescent light bulbs will be banned in just a few months.

This looming ban is an issue that I believe is extremely symbolic of both political parties, and well worth examining.  Read:

The Republican House is flinching on passing the simplest and most symbolic piece of legislation this term: repeal of the incandescent light bulb phase out.  Amidst great fanfare and promises to restore limited government, the new majority is proving it isn't much different than the old majority.

The incandescent phase out required under the so-called Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 starts with banning regular 100 watt light bulbs on Jan 1, 2012. 75 watters will be banned a year later.  60 watters  fade in 2014. 

Some of us still cling to a quaint notion that federal legislation ought to pass constitutional muster while fixing a problem serious enough to fix and do so while providing more benefits than the costs to implement.  The light bulb ban fails to achieve all three:

1) it is unconstitutional (see my previous 

screed on this aspect);

2) is a solution without a problem; and

3) bears costs far in excess of any benefits.

The light bulb ban was inspired by environmental and energy conservation zealots spooked by the global warming lobby.  And those economic rent-seeking players in the lighting industry who could benefit from legislated self-interest, were happy to join as co-conspirators. Those companies who were less enthused about the light bulb ban found resisting futile, in the end happy enough to delay the effective dates to allow for more orderly close down of factories and job eliminations.

So, what have learned since 2007?  For starters, the global warming agenda has collapsed, polluted with data manipulation scandals.  And where the data haven't been tainted by hyper-partisans, independent measurements are proving that global warming predictions are 

as useful as pre-season college football polls.

We have also learned that coal fired power plants, the leading villain in the light bulb ban morality play, haven't been affected one whit by energy conservation mandates for households.  In fact not a single coal fired power plant has been taken off-line as a result of the steady conversion from household incandescents to CFLs in the past 5 years, and none ever will be.  Those hyper-partisans from the likes of the Natural Resources Defense Council predicting that 30 coal fired plants would be eliminated due to the light bulb ban have never been challenged to name one.   Name one,  just one.  Coal fired plants may get the axe from draconian EPA regs, but not from household light bulbs.

Defenders of the light bulb ban have failed to provide a single rationale why the government should meddle with consumer light bulbs.  Do they present a safety hazard?  No, certainly unlike the most prevalent replacement, the CFL laden with mercury.  Do they present a performance or quality scam?  Of course not, light output and reliability from incandescent light bulbs for household use has been the gold standard perfected over 75 years.  And compared with any other light source that contains no hazardous components, incandescent light bulbs are still the cheapest product on the shelf.

The last remaining defense for the federal light bulb ban coming from NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the trade group for the light bulb industry, is the pre-emption defense.  Because several states, notably California, were poised to enact their own consumer light bulb statutes -- all different -- the feds had to step in to create harmony.  This is the bureaucrat's defense, devoid of principle, arguing that bad legislation is better than something worse.  If individual states want to enact different product standards, let the marketplace decide whether manufacturers will produce such versions and let those states bear the higher costs for their commercial isolationism.

No doubt Congressional Republicans who aided and abetted the 2007 light bulb ban, are now feeling sheepish, unwilling to admit they were bumfuzzled and bamboozled.  Rather than admit a mistake having negligible consequences in confessing, they would rather persist in a supporting a law that completely contradicts the Republicans' new agenda -- less government interference, fewer regulations, moratoria on cost burdens passed on to businesses and consumers, and restored liberties to the people.

There is no downside for any Republican, and even many conservative Democrats, to vote yes on the light bulb ban repeal. Who would be harmed by a repeal?  Workers facing layoffs or those already unemployed?  Consumers facing fewer, more expensive and less effective choices on retail shelves?  Retailers faced with ultra-life lightbulb substitutes seeing less traffic in their housewares aisles? Environmentalists and parents of young children who now have to cope with broad spectrum mercury contamination from kitchens and bedrooms to landfills?

What is the upside to vote upholding the light bulb ban?  Is there any?

Who else would benefit from the repeal? Anyone in Congress who wants to get re-elected.   And in addition to workers, consumers, retailers and environmentalists, the Republicans would benefit from proving their bona fides.  The Republicans were swept into power by the force of the limited government agenda.  Repealing the light bulb ban would at least be a symbolic victory, perhaps paving the way for more ambitious reversals. 

Will the Republicans deliver the simplest legislative win on the path to stopping government interference in our daily lives -- a task as easy as naming a post office? If not, there is no hope for repealing ObamaCare, reforming entitlements, reversing the EPA, enacting a balanced budget, or restoring the principles of limited government to this nation.

I expect elected Democrats to do idiotic and politically correct things like this ban, where the 'solution' is actually worse than the original 'problem'.  I also expect elected Republicans to be spineless, gutless, essentially worthless hypocrites when it comes time to stand up for anything.  I think both are due largely to the fact that they're trying to read the political tea leaves and do what's best -- or at least to avoid doing what's worst -- for their own careers.

What boggles the mind on this particular issue is how the Republicans are once again completely misunderstanding the situation.  If they had any brains or political acumen at all, they'd understand that this ban encapsulates the fundamental point of tension in this country right now, and that the American people are solidly on the side of rolling back government.  This is a win-win situation if there ever was one...but they're missing it.  Otherwise, they'd be boldly talking about what the Dems pushed through in 2007, and creating a ruckus to repeal it right now.  Not only is it in the best interests of the American people, and not only would it be a great political win, but it would also help set the stage for successfully repealing and rolling back things that are far more significant (i.e. Obamacare).  Until the GOP proves its willingness and ability to stand strong on the little things, is there any reason to think they'll stand strong on the really tough things?  None whatsoever.

Will they do it?  We've only got a few months left until we know for sure.  Personally, I'm buying extra light bulbs every time I go to the store...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More On The Economy

Steve McCann has a blistering piece at American Thinker regarding Obamanomics that is WELL worth the read:

President Obama, the fellow leftists in his administration, and the Congress, nearly none of whom have ever made a viable contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, are hell-bent on seizing complete control of the economy. They are making the same foolish and arrogant mistake Marxists and Socialists have made since the mid-1800s, and the citizens of the United States will pay an overwhelming price for their folly unless the people begin to grasp the true cost to themselves and the country.

Those, such as Barack Obama, who believe they have a manifest destiny to rule and are faithful to socialist tenets, have a predisposition to control economic and personal activity through laws, regulations, taxes, and intimidation. They attempt to maintain this power by bribing the populace with massive social spending and promises in exchange for their votes. These commitments can never be fully honored; nonetheless those in power willfully keep the general public focused on blaming others for the failures of collectivist ideology and rely on the deliberately inept economic and civic education fostered at government operated schools to keep the majority of the people confused and bewildered.

As government grows and absorbs more and more of a nation's gross domestic product in order to finance this bribery, the less capital there will be for business expansion and job as well as wealth creation. Unfortunately many Americans do not understand that as a corollary to this activity, the standard of living and wealth of all citizens will continue to decline dramatically, as it is the private sector, not government, which creates prosperity.

Few things cause the eye to glaze over more than economic statistics, particularly when discussing incomprehensible sums in the trillions of dollars. But when it comes to the employment and wealth of Americans as well as the ability of the private sector to grow, there are two statistics that the public should be aware of, and one which everyone can relate to:

  1. The Gross Domestic Product (the total economic output of the economy); and
  2. The Net Gross Domestic Product per Person (the GDP less the amount of government spending at all levels divided by the current population.)

The Net GDP recognizes the impact of Federal, state, and local spending.

Ideally the Net GDP should increase every year adjusted for inflation. This would be an indicator of private wealth creation, higher personal incomes, and a healthy expanding economy, as money is more readily available for job creation. Despite minor ups and downs, the overall trend in a six to eight year period should always be on the positive side and normally has been over the past twenty-five years.

That is until the Obama years. The following table reveals what has happened since 2002 through the end of a potential second Obama term based on current and projected spending estimates -- a growth rate of 3.0% per year for the GDP was used. (Net GDP: inflation adjusted to 2002)


Net GDP $

Govt. Spending as a Per Cent of GDP

Avg. Unemployment Rate












































8.8 (est)



















The statistics for 2002 reflect the recession in 2001 and the devastating economic impact of September 11, 2001, yet the economy was able to recover very quickly due to pro-growth fiscal policies.

The impact of ObamaCare is reflected in the spending estimates after 2015. The primary drivers of the 2020 statistics are ObamaCare, Medicare, Social Security, and interest (as the national debt, per the GAO, will exceed 118% of the GDP). It is obvious to anyone not beholden to a rigid socialist ideology that there will be an ever decreasing amount of wealth in the private sector which will result in even less job creation and a further erosion in the individual standard of living, as the 2020 Net GDP shows a dramatic 28% drop over that of 2007.

If nothing is done, then by 2030 the Net GDP will fall by an unprecedented 54% as compared to 2007 and government spending as a per cent of the GDP will be 60.5%. The average citizen can certainly understand this impact on the nation by relating it to their personal lives: if their income or wealth dropped by 28 to 54% bankruptcy would be inevitable.

One of the factors in this massive decline of the net GDP will be population growth amounting to nearly 60 million people by 2030. That means that 40 million new jobs will have to be created to accommodate that increase plus recapturing the job losses to date of nearly 14 million; all the while not having the capital available to accelerate business growth. This country as it is known today will cease to exist and poverty will overtake the nation.

By comparison, Germany, which also has spending on a Federal, state, and local level, has taken a decided step back from its tax and spend policies as a strategy to overcome the 2008-2009 financial crash: Germany reduced spending as a per cent of GDP and focused on actions geared to expanding the private sector. The results (inflation adjusted to 2002):


Net GDP per Capita $

Total Govt Spending as % of GDP

Avg Unemployment













































7.1 (est)

There can no longer be lip service to job creation and spending cuts as a reelection or election ploy. The nation must first evict Barack Obama and his accomplices from office, as their rigid ideology and narcissism prevent them from changing course or honestly admitting their mistakes. America must begin making the adjustments necessary to return to the Net GDP experienced in 2005-2007. To do so the country must either dramatically reduce spending; significantly increase the GDP rate of growth, or a reasonable combination of both.

Solely relying on spending cuts would be nearly impossible, as the level of decrease required would create many economic hardships, and sole reliance on GDP expansion would demand a yearly rate of growth of over 5.4%, which is not feasible without expenditure reductions. However, a consistent annual and achievable GDP growth rate of 4.25% coupled with a spending base line of 2008 plus 3.4% per year would enable the economy to realize the Net GDP growth experienced in the early part of the past decade by the year 2021 or sooner.

This program would entail the repeal of ObamaCare, changes in Medicare (per the Paul Ryan plan), minor eligibility changes in Social Security, significant reductions in miscellaneous government spending (except Defense), and wholesale elimination of duplicate and unnecessary agencies. The private sector can also be spurred on by dramatically eliminating costly and senseless regulations and laws as well as restructuring the tax code and rates. The country should also abandon its quixotic quest for "green" energy as a full-scale substitute for fossil fuels and begin a crash program to responsibly develop its vast carbon-based reserves.

The United States would then be the most attractive country in the world in which to do business. The growth of the GDP would be greatly accelerated and sustainable allowing the country to thrive well into the future.

It is not too late, but time is rapidly running out as the above table reflects. The American people must begin to educate themselves, understand the true nature of the dilemma at hand, and realize that Barack Obama and the Democrats are the problem not the solution.

(The sources for this information are all linked at the AT article.)

One interesting little tidbit for you from that first chart above - do you remember what year liberal Democrats took over in Congress? It was 2007. Notice what happens immediately after that...? Spending and unemployment jump up and Net GDP drops. This is what happens every time liberals are in charge.

All this just illustrates what we've talked about many times before - Barack Obama and his liberal allies see America as inherently unfair, greedy, and evil, and are determined to take us down a notch to make themselves feel better. As long as they're granting themselves exceptions from the misery (remember, no one in the elected federal office is required to participate in Obamacare, and Congress often exempts itself from the laws it passes), they're actually glad for economic hardship here. It just increases the number of people who become dependent upon the government, which in turn increases their own power, which they use to further drive the economy into the ground. See how the nasty cycle works?

McCann concludes with the same message conservatives all over the country have been saying: if we don't throw Obama and his liberal self-destructionists out soon, this country is finished!

One final note to really drive it home. I have to say that I really enjoy living in the age of YouTube political videos! It's amazing how much information and emotion can be packed into a 60-second message, like this one:

Hm. Interestingly, Barack Obama himself said that if the economy didn't improve, he'd be a one-term President...this is one time I fervently hope he's correct...