American Elephants


An Ugly Mob in Action. by The Elephant's Child

This was the scene when Wisconsin legislators voted to adopt Governor Scott Walker’s effort to balance the Wisconsin budget, save the taxpayers and save union jobs.  Legislators were led out of a tunnel in the capitol building and escorted to a bus commandeered by law enforcement. The mob, whipped up by demagogues was violent and threatening. Shouting obscenities, death threats and pounding on the bus windows and doors.

This is typical union action.  They achieve their aims by intimidation and threats. They rouse the mob with appeals to emotion, exaggerating, lying, and making outrageous claims.  What on earth was the hypocrite multi-millionaire Michael Moore doing there? What was Jesse Jackson doing there? Neither had the slightest legitimate interest in  the Wisconsin budget problems.  But there were cameras there, and lots of media attention. And useful idiots are easy to manipulate.

Unions were pleased with the mob scene, sure that it would appeal to the emotions of Wisconsin voters. I would think it would be an eye-opening example of just what unions are all about, and it’s not a pretty discovery.



Senator Rand Paul takes on the EPA! by The Elephant's Child

Oh, I do love this! Why is Senator Paul the only one that has really challenged the Environmental Protection Agency which seems to know very little about the environment and even less about what protection it might need.  Green Nannies.  How dare they intrude into our everyday lives.  It is not their job to regulate our homes.

Besides that, they don’t know what they’re talking about. The incandescent lightbulb ban law was written by GE, Phillips and Sylvania because they could make far more money by forcing people to buy CFL bulbs made cheaply in China and sold expensively here.It is not the job of the EPA to enhance favored companies bottom lines. That’s corruption.

Low-flow toilets are causing enormous problems in San Francisco where the sludge buildup in city sewers is becoming a real problem and odors even more so.  The city is being forced to dumb vast quantities of bleach into the system, which may be killing lots of marine life in the bay.  So who was behind the low-flow toilet scam?

Some areas of the country do have water problems. Arizona is one such area. You can tell when you fly over Phoenix and notice that every house has a shining blue swimming pool. How much water we use is largely determined by how long we let the water run.  Ruining our shower heads has little to do with anything.

The vaunted “Energy Star” appliances have been distinguished by never meeting the energy savings claimed, and they are way more expensive.  You can’t have a top-loading washing machine, you must have a front-load— hundreds of dollars more.

Your dishwasher no longer cleans your dishes because of a ruling made especially for Spokane,  Washington’s phosphates in the river water.  The fish, you know.  So they have taken the phosphates out all over the country, but the removal has not affected the Spokane River at all — still killing the fish.  Must have been something else.

They are still trying to regulate the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and are guided by the discredited work of the IPCC.  In EPA land, ClimateGate never happened,  and actual science never intrudes.  It is a political agency carrying out leftist political goals.

My number one goal for reducing spending and cutting the budget — eliminate the EPA.



Misunderstanding the Oil Markets by The Elephant's Child

In his Friday press conference about oil prices, President Obama, always ready to shift the blame for anything to someone else, was defensive and unwilling to accept the notion that his administration was unfriendly to oil drilling.  He claimed repeatedly that he is not against oil drilling, then said:

There is more we can do, however. For example, right now, the (oil) industry holds leases on tens of millions of acres — both offshore and on land — where they aren’t producing a thing. So I’ve directed the Interior Department to determine just how many of these leases are going undeveloped and report back to me within two weeks so that we can encourage companies to develop the leases they hold and produce American energy. People deserve to know that the energy they depend on is being developed in a timely manner.

So it’s not the administration’s responsibility, has nothing to do with a federal judge holding the administration in contempt of court, and the Interior Department appealing the ruling.  Obama is arguing that it’s the oil companies’ fault that there is not all sorts of drilling going on.  For shame, Mr. President.

This is a tired old point that the left has been using for years.  An oil company has to take out a lease before they are allowed to explore an area.  Nobody knows whether there is oil or gas there, until it is explored.  Over time you narrow down the search, and do geologic work in the most likely sites.  Some look better than others.  In some locations it may not be economically feasible to drill.  Some of these leases may hold no recoverable oil or gas, yet the company has to keep paying for the lease.

All this work is costly, and frankly, when a company has the suspicion that a government opposed to fossil fuels may yank a lease at any moment, I’d guess they are a little more reluctant to invest large sums of money.   Businessmen rely on experience, not just hope.  And their experience with this administration is that they cannot be trusted.  This is simply my observation from common sense, not any inside information from an oil baron.

In January of 2009, President Obama said this in his weekly address:

For more than three decades, we have talked about our dependence on foreign oil.  And for more than three decades, we have seen that dependence grow.  We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security.  We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet.  And most of all, we have seen other countries realize a critical truth; the nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.

This was an earlier example of the president’s lack of understanding of the energy business. We get most of our “foreign oil” from our neighbors Canada and Mexico.  Oil is a commodity on the world market and part of the price is what it costs to transport it.  But oil powers our transportation system.  So called “green energy”— electricity from wind and solar arrays — has nothing to do with transportation.  It does not jeopardize our national security.  If Hugo Chavez decides not to sell oil to us, we’ll just get it elsewhere.  (He won’t, he’s too broke).

Last week, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico “remained at an all-time high, and we expect that it will continue as we bring new production online.” He claimed that in 2009  there were 116 rigs in the Gulf, and in February 2011, there were 126. This distorts the facts. Just before the BP accident there were 55 rotary rigs working in the Gulf.  On May 28,2010 when the administration announced a 6 month moratorium, there were 46 rotary rigs operating.  Last week, there were 25 rotary rigs operating.  Secretary Salazar seems to be counting rigs, not “working rigs.”  There are a lot of rigs siting idle.

Salazar also claimed that production remains at an all-time high. The Energy Dept. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that production is in decline, forecasting a decline of 250,000 barrels a day from Gulf production.  Production peaked in May of 2010 and has declined steadily ever since.

The president also called for a crackdown on “price gouging” at the pump. This reveals ignorance about the free enterprise system. If the government attempts to control prices it risks  disrupting the market system that encourages suppliers and producers to increase supply.  Higher prices normally encourage more supply, which in turn brings the price down.  President Obama would improve everything if he would just abandon his anti-oil agenda, and stop badmouthing the people that produce the  oil.




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