Filed under: Australia, Capitalism, Economy, Politics, Taxes | Tags: Australia's Cap-and-Trade, Fulfilled Campaign Promise, Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Climate hysteria probably reached its peak in 2006-2009 in Australia. Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called man-made global warming “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time.” Even though average global temperatures hadn’t warmed since 1989, we were headed for an environmental catastrophe and only drastic changes to our way of life could avoid Armageddon. Dissent was treated with shock and derision.
Mr. Rudd set out to pass a cap-and-trade scheme in 2009, but the Aussies didn’t buy it. But then the rest of the world declined to sign up with expensive carbon reduction proposals at the Copenhagen summit, Mr. Rudd lost even more credibility. In 2010 Julia Gillard promised not to impose a carbon tax, but she still lost seats in parliament and her coalition partners in the Greens persuaded her to push ahead with the unpopular levy of A$23 (U.S. $21.54) per ton of carbon. That further weakened Labor, and Tony Abbott won election last year on a platform of repeal of the tax. The Australian government’s own figures estimate the tax has added A$9.90 to the average household’s weekly power bill. (Think adding $40 to your monthly power bill here, and you see the objection.)
Cap-and-Trade Mr. Abbott argued, amounted to “a great big tax to create a big slush fund to provide politicized handouts, run by a giant bureaucracy.” He supported simpler, cheaper and more practical ways of creating a cleaner environment and most Australians realized that the cost of decarbonizing the economy outweighed any possible benefits. Australia’s Senate voted 39-32 last Thursday to repeal the carbon emissions price. Prime Minister Abbott told voters in a news conference after the vote:
Today the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone, a useless destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living and which didn’t actually help the environment is finally gone.
Phillip Hutchings writes at Wattsupwiththat that:
Within minutes of the Australian parliament voting to scrap our carbon tax today, one of our major coal-fired electricity generators issued a profit warning announcement.
In this case, AGL Energy announced its pre-tax profits will fall by $186 million in 2014/15 solely due to the removal of the carbon tax. The majority of this is related to the very large, but inefficient Loy Yang brown coal station which supplies 30% of the power needs of the state of Victoria. It’s amongst the single biggest emitters of CO2 in Australia.
Yet it was due to get $242 million of “Government assistance” under the carbon tax arrangements this year. Most of which found its way to the bottom line.
Filed under: Entertainment, Foreign Policy, Humor, Politics | Tags: Catherine Tate, Comedy Skits, Lost in Translation
Catherine Tate is a British comedienne, and this is an oldie but goodie. One of her best.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Capitalism, China, Domestic Policy, Economy, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Latin America, Middle East, National Security | Tags: Don't Blame Obama, He Didn't Know, No End of Excuses
He didn’t know that these unaccompanied minors had all sorts of contagious diseases unseen in this country for years. He didn’t know that there were Mara Salvatrucha recruiters among the unaccompanied minors. He didn’t have time to go to the border to spare from his fundraising. He didn’t know there were Americans aboard that Air Malaysian plane that was shot down by Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, because he had fundraisers to attend. He didn’t know that the world turmoil hasn’t been this bad since the 1970′s. He was only a kid then, so he didn’t know.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Education, Health Care, Immigration, Latin America, Law, Liberalism, Mexico, National Security, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: Coming for Obama's Amnesty, The "Narrative", Why Illegals Are Coming
The narrative about the chaos on the border continues to unravel. That tale about poor unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central American countries? Phony. They are coming because they believe that U.S. immigration laws are granting free passes or “permisos” to unaccompanied children and adult females traveling with children. That has been the word circulating in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. And once the ‘children’ are here they will be taken care of.
The Central American countries are dependent on remittances from American immigrants, and are not interested in stopping the surge of illegals.
When the Obama administration decided in 2012 to practice “prosecutorial discretion” in cases where individuals were brought into the U.S. illegally as minors. The violence in those countries is not new, and it has actually dipped. Some are sent by the human smugglers who have seen a weakness in the system, and used statements coming from the administration in order to increase the number of people coming over.
There is a lot of profit for coyotes in human smuggling, someone is paying the $7,000 fee, and as no one is checking the identity and status of the phone numbers which may be the only direction to the ‘relatives’ of the unaccompanied children—who are put on a bus to get to the address given. They may not actually go to ‘relatives.’ There is indication that Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) recruiters are being sent to recruit among the teen age young men.
Males between 15-17 years of age comprise 47 percent of all unaccompanied minors who are other than Mexican. Thirty percent are minors age 10-14. There has been an increase in the OTM minors who are pregnant or have physical or mental disabilities.
The same family members or sponsors are appearing several times to claim different children from the custody of U.S. authorities. The legal status of the family members or sponsors is not checked, nor is the address they offer as residence, or the accuracy of the relationship to the children. U.S. authorities do not know whether or how U.S. gang members are involved in the smuggling of minors.
53,375 OTM unaccompanied minors are predicted for FY 2014, and 95,500 for FY 2015. Officials say it may take years to process these minors through deportation hearings and actual deportation. Not all who are being sent to housing facilities are being medically screened. The number actually being returned to their home countries is infinitesimal, less than 50 so far.
The intent on the part of the Democrats is open borders and amnesty. But very simply, the flow of illegals from Central and South America will not end until it is made clear that we do not have open borders, and that the way to come to America is to obey the rules, come as a legal immigrant, and be welcomed.
ADDENDUM: The number of illegal aliens who have successfully filed asylum claims has almost tripled from 2012 to 2012. And that is ten times the number from 2008 when President Obama was elected, clear evidence that his immigration officials are approving most of the asylum requests from the growing surge of illegals coming from Central America. I call them illegal aliens because that is the accurate terminology according to any dictionary. If you came to America with a tale of escaping violence, there’s not any more than usual, and they are well coached in the words that might get them amnesty.
Congress did call for a little more discretion after it was learned that the Tsarnaev brothers of Boston Marathon fame successfully applied for amnesty in 2002. But “credible fear” of persecution by criminal gangs in their home countries in Central America works. In 2008 there were 118,457 claims of credible fear, it grew slowly to 123,180 in 2011, and then leaped to 183,681 in 2012. Then it goes to the Border Patrol or ICE for provisional approval. According to the Los Angeles Times only 1,669 claimants were rejected in 2013. That’s down from 8,143 in 2008.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Junk Science, Liberalism | Tags: A Rogue Agency, Blocking EPA Regulationi, The Environmental Protection Agency
House Republicans have passed a $30 billion spending bill to fund the Interior Department and the EPA. It is designed to block a whole bunch of looming regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that clearly exceed the agency’s authority.
Republicans on the Appropriations Committee pushed through the Interior and environment funding bill over the objections of Democrats who said it was full of “veto bait” and handouts to big business. This is the seventh and last of 12 annual appropriations bills. If it is passed by the House, Harry Reid has not yet acted on a single appropriations bill and President Obama would most probably refuse to sign it.
The bill tackles the EPA’s twin draft regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants— a proposal to reduce “carbon pollution”from power plants, and another for future plants offered earlier. It also targets the EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule designed to grab authority over every trickle of water that might eventually run into “navigable waters” over which they actually do have authority in the Clean Water Bill.
There is no such thing as “carbon pollution.” The carbon dioxide that they chase so aggressively is simply a natural fertilizer for plants. It’s also what you exhale. It is not the cause of global warming and has kept climbing slightly even as there has been no warming for over 17 years. The climate is always changing. It has been far warmer in the past, and far cooler as well. If they shut down every coal-fired plant in the country, it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference.
Like so many other agencies of this administration, the EPA has lost documentation of the science behind their grope for more power. The climate is currently cooling. Perhaps you noticed the Great Lakes freezing over this last winter. Some claim we may be entering a new little ice age, but contrary to the IPCC, we can’t predict the future. In any case it seems remarkably stupid to work so aggressively to shut down the power plants that are burning the cheapest fuel, and keeping our energy costs down, while they keep people warm in winter.
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) announced that “this bill was designed to protect nature, if not for nature’s sake, then for our sake.” So glad our politicians are so well-informed.
Rep Nita Lowey (D-NY) said the cuts would endanger communities at the behest of big business. Oh, and how does that work?
Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) accused the administration of being “hell-bent” on adding layer after layer of harmful red tape. No other agency has done more to inflict this type of pain than the EPA.”
The EPA has been shot down in the courts over and over for exceeding their authority. This bill will probably go nowhere, but if Republicans can exercise the “power of the purse” to cut off their funding, it would be of great benefit to the people of the United States.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Liberalism, Politics, Regulation, Statism
I have often referred to Liberals as “the perpetually discontented.” They have no acceptance of the ordinary foibles of the human race, and they really, really don’t want anyone to disagree with them. Their reactions to those who do disagree, range from calling you a racist, to trying to get you fired, or arrested. I suspect the reason is that they are not sure enough of their own arguments to be confident of defeating you in a debate, thus they want to end any possible debate and just get rid of you.
They have told us in many leftist venues that they don’t have principles like the Republicans do, but react to events on a case-by-case basis. They think that’s a good thing. While Republicans are talking about principles and how they apply to the world as it is, Liberals are nitpicking and regulating and trying to pass laws to make Republicans more tolerable.
They don’t seem to have a very good opinion of the very people they claim they are trying to help. Those who are unemployed are viewed as mostly unemployable or they wouldn’t have lost their jobs. Those who are on food stamps are fat, lazy and don’t know how to properly spend their food stamps. More vegetables, more fruit, more whole grains!!
“The USDA (Department of Agriculture) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to “nudge” Americans to purchase healthier foods when they shop.
The agency commissioned an “expert panel” to make recommendations on how to guide the more than 47 million Americans on food stamps into spending their benefits on fruits and vegetables.
The group released an 80-page report this month presenting their ideas, which include talking shopping carts and a marketing strategy for grocery chains that would feature better store lighting for healthier items.
“Most Americans, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, do not purchase enough whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and legumes, and purchase too many items with excess calories from fats and added sugars,” the report said.
The report estimated that the new carts might cost as much as $30,000 per store. And they would like to rearrange the stores, change how stores stock and display their items. Improve the lighting, create “healthy aisles”. There is no end to the poking and prodding they would like to do in the interest of making sure that people don’t buy junk food with their food stamps.
Why is it that liberals are so intent on forcing everyone to adhere to their ideas of what is correct? It’s that little tyrant that lurks in their very souls, trying desperately to get out.
At the turn of the 21st century, there were 138,049 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. At the end of 2013, there were 175,906. The George W. Bush administration added 2,490 pages a year. During the first five years of the Obama administration they have added 3,504 pages a year. Granted, some regulations are longer than others. But there are costs to comply with regulations — and those costs can be a real drag on the economy. When the economy shrank to a minus 2.9 percent in the first quarter, it was blamed on the weather. More likely, it was ObamaCare. Health and Human Services added 1,296 pages of new regulations just before the Fourth of July holiday.
The Federal Reserve considers that there is little inflation, but they don’t shop for groceries. People are shocked to find that their ObamaCare premiums have gone up by 40%. The White House reveled in the June jobs numbers which seemed to be really up, but the increase was all in part-time jobs, accounting for all the people who were cut back to less than thirty hours. So now they all work two jobs. That is excess regulation, liberals controlling your lives, improving you—so they will like the improved you better. You know its not going to work.
Filed under: Humor, Politics, The United States | Tags: Controlling the Format, How to Write A Speech, Variety Is The Spice
(h/t: Washington Free Beacon)
Filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, China, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Latin America, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Russia, The United States | Tags: A World in Turmoil, An Arc Of Instability, The Obama Foreign Policy
A Wall Street Journal’s front page article on Monday said politely “Obama Contends With Arc of Instability Unseen Since 70s.” “A convergence of security crises is playing out around the globe from the Palestinian territories and Iraq to Ukraine and the South Chin Sea, posing a serious challenge to President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and reflecting a world in which U .S. global power seems increasingly tenuous.”
The breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s, U.S. security strategists say, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, revolutionary Islamists took power in Iran, and Southeast Asia was reeling in the wake of the U.S. exit from Vietnam.
In the past month alone, the U.S. has faced twin civil wars in Iraq and Syria, renewed fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, an electoral crisis in Afghanistan and ethnic strife on the edge of Russia, in Ukraine.
Bewildered leftists say that he promised to end the War in Iraq, and wind down the war in Afghanistan and he did. He fulfilled his campaign promises. But there is ending and ending. I don’t know if anyone voted for Obama because he said he would end the War in Iraq. They voted for Hope and Change, and fancy theatrics and a litany of carefully crafted meaningless phrases.
Foreign policy is hard, and the big things may be controlled by the little things like personalities, and ego as well as deep knowledge and understanding of the history and culture of a country. Obama wasn’t much interested in foreign policy. He seems to have had in mind simply being the anti-Bush. Bush made wars, he would make peace. Bush had a muscular presence in the world and emphasized American strength. Obama wanted us to be just a nation among other nations, and let other nations deal with stuff. Obama found his national security briefings boring and quit going.
He yanked our people out of Iraq too abruptly and failed to establish a status of forces agreement to help prepare the Iraqi army for just what is happening now. The countries in Eastern Europe didn’t get their missile defense. Obama said in a May speech at West Point that the Obama foreign policy doctrine, would rely on U.S. leadership, but not troop deployments. Well, we’re not any good at the U.S. leadership business either, it seems.
A few meetings with Obama and Hillary’s “reset button” convinced Putin that nobody was likely to do anything, so he went right ahead to annex Crimea. The allies who had relied on America to prevent Russia’s ambitions lost confidence in American action as well. The Taliban got their leaders back. Obama drew a Red Line in Syria, and then erased it. The Arab Spring was misunderstood from the beginning, and the administration fell for the Muslim Brotherhood’s claim to Egypt. The feckless John Kerry has been trying to solve the problems of the Middle East by forcing Israel to give more land to the Palestinian terrorists. The Chinese, watching our military downsize, have decided to upsize theirs and are vigorously growing their navy and submarine fleet and flexing their muscles in the South China Sea.
And there is the self-declared new Caliphate, now encircling Baghdad, another surprise to the administration, and our negotiations with Iran go on. We want assurances, they are happy to give assurances. We seem unable to learn that deception is a way of life in the Middle East, and expect an agreement to be worked out that will enable them to have all the sanctions lifted.To call it all an “Arc of Instability” is perhaps the understatement of the year. But the stakes have never been higher.
Jonathan Karl lists some of the “instabilities.” Obama, we are told, no longer talks to anyone but Valerie Jarrett and Michelle. We are in the best of hands.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Environment, Junk Science, Military, Politics, Regulation, The United States | Tags: Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildfire Season
The president has asked Congress for an additional $3.7 billion to “comprehensively address this urgent humanitarian situation” at the border. The request includes $615 million for emergency wildfire suppression activities operations starting in 2015.
Fire season is upon us, and there are fires burning in California, Oregon and Washington state, but perhaps, the Wall Street Journal says, the Obama administration could start by getting its own agencies off the firefighters’ backs. The Defense Department has had a fit of environmental consciousness which is disrupting disaster efforts in peak wildfire season.
The Pentagon decided to suspend the program that supplies federal equipment to states for fighting wildfires. DOD suspended the program because the equipment did not meet the latest federal emissions standards. Emissions? in the case of wildfires? Emitting, spewing CO² by the ton and they are worried the EPA will come after them for tailpipes that aren’t up to date? Forest fires are major air-polluting events. You can see and smell the smoke for miles and miles.
There are two programs, the Federal Excess Personal Property Program and the Firefighter Property Program that each year loan local firefighting units more than $150 million of equipment that the federal government no longer needs. Involved are trucks, pumps, generators, engine parts and are a lifeline for small all-volunteer fire departments that can’t afford $500,000 for a new tanker. The vast majority of the wildfires that local units fight are on public lands.
The DOD suspended the transfer of trucks and generators, many of which were made for the military with diesel engines that don’t meet the EPA’s latest emissions standards. The Defense Logistics Agency realized they weren’t abiding by a decades-old agreement with the EPA to abide by the standards of the Clean Air Act. So naturally they just suspended the program.
Well, enormous outcry, forests burning, the DOD decided the EPA grants a “national-security” exception to the standards rules for transferred military equipment. The agencies have decided the program restart should come with —new regulations— including the requirement that local firefighters track and return every piece of equipment so the feds can destroy them.
Good grief. Don’t let a diesel truck emit any carbon while fighting a thousand-acre forest fire. Priorities. The Bureaucrat is required to follow the rules of the bureaucracy, and not ask annoying questions. When it gets this bad, you know the government is too big to function.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Immigration, Latin America, Law, Mexico, National Security | Tags: $3.7 Billion Budget Request, Chaos At the Border, No Funds for Deportation?
On July 8, 2014, the White House submitted its emergency budget request to the House of Representatives (Constitutional “power of the purse”) to deal with the “humanitarian crisis” on our southern border.
The budget request totals $3.7 billion. Many representatives immediately called it a blank check. White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz responded in the press that Congress cannot have it both ways, criticizing the administration and withholding the funding to effectively handle the crisis. Scroll down past the president’s letter to see what they want all the money for.
Uh huh. The combined airfare for 30,000 illegals back to Guatemala City would be around $20 million. So what’s all the extra for? DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, when interviewed on “Meet the Press” was unable to come up with a straightforward statement in response to a persistent David Gregory about whether any of the unaccompanied alien children would ever be returned to where they came from.
Government documents are written in soothing politically correct language that will not get anyone excited, but anyone with a sharp pencil could go through the list and separate out a big chunk of the nonsense. The administration, as usual, says one thing, and means another. It looks like their objective is not deportation, but resettlement. From The Center For Immigration Studies (CIS).
Of the $3.7 billion being requested, fully $1.8 billion (about 49 percent of the total) is for resettlement costs to be appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — not just for the UACs, but for entire family units, including adult men and women. There is no reason to think that the accommodations will be temporary, insofar as the funds include authorization “for acquisition, construction, improvement, repair, operation, and maintenance of real property and facilities.”
Much of the so-called “enforcement” portion of the budget is not truly geared toward removal; rather, it is a recouping of costs for temporary detention and subsequent transporting of aliens (including adults) to facilitate their resettlement and relocation by HHS. (It is noteworthy that, according to a leaked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Intelligence document, fully 47 percent of the arrivals are adults, who should be subjected to expedited removal, not to relocation and resettlement.)
As far I can tell, the Republicans are quite favorable towards legal immigration. Some high-tech companies want immigration reformed immediately so they can have more workers from India to bring down wage costs. We have some 92 million Americans of working age unable to find a job and who have given up looking. We have vastly more STEM graduates that there are available jobs. The Center for Immigration Studies has shown conclusively that immigrants have taken jobs that would otherwise have gone to American citizens.
Republicans would be happy to work on reforming immigration policy, but do not trust the president to enforce the law, to deport those who are here illegally, or to stop encouraging illegal immigrants and children to come here to take advantage of our generous welfare policies — and vote Democratic because of the free stuff. Our high-tech companies could offer training programs if they are dissatisfied with the technology graduates of our schools.
“The U.S. government is generally expected to act in the interest of the people of the United States.” That astonishing statement is the subhead of a splendid article about immigration by Kevin Williamson titled “How to Think about Immigration.” Sensible and an excellent guide to establishing your own opinions, whether you are a hawk or a ‘squish.’ If you read my earlier post today about Janet Daley, the most important thing is assimilation. We want immigrants who want to be Americans, and we want them to become Americans, not those who make no effort to speak English, learn our history, or think of this as “their country,” as in ‘this is my country, land of the free’…
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Education, Europe, Freedom, Islam, National Security, Terrorism, United Kingdom | Tags: Demographics, Jihad in Britain, Radicalization of Youth
I don’t know if you know Janet Daley. She was born in America, graduated from U.C. Berkeley, and has been living and reporting in Britain for many years. Her column in today’s Telegraph is notable for her outlook on the Islamization of Britain. Elsewhere there is a column noting that France is not a safe place for Jews. We have been warned that without some serious and real change, Europe will be entirely Muslim within fifty years.
In the midst of the deeply unfunny news coverage of the two young British jihadi volunteers who were arrested on terror charges when they arrived back from Syria, there was one moment of comic absurdity. It seems that before setting off on their mission, Mohammed Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar found it necessary to place orders with Amazon for those invaluable scholarly treatises, Islam for Dummies, The Koran for Dummies and Arabic for Dummies. Hilarity aside, there is something important to be noted here.
First, these 22-year-olds were obviously not the products of some extreme mosque which had drilled them in Islamist fundamentalism. In fact, they were so untutored in the religion to which they were nominally affiliated that they had to equip themselves with a crash course in its basic principles. Nor had they come from families which were inclined to endorse their terrorist fantasies. Indeed, their own parents were so horrified when they learned of the men’s activities that they turned them in to the police. So we need to ask, as a matter of urgency, where it came from, this bizarre determination to be inducted into a campaign of seditious murder that (we can assume from their decision to plead guilty to the terror charges) they fully intended to bring home with them. What causes young men to risk their own lives, and those of who knows how many others, for a cause about which they know so little that they have to mug it up before they catch the plane?
Do read the whole thing. There’s a lot of food for thought there that includes our own present border crisis. Assimilation matters. She adds:
Contrary to all the educational shibboleths of our time, young men are motivated by aggression and power: their dreams are of glorious triumph over rivals. If they are denied these things – even in the ritualised forms that used to be provided by an education system that understood how dangerous male adolescence was – then they will seek them wherever they can be found. Gang violence, with its criminal initiation rites, or Muslim fanaticism can fill a void, offering not just a licence for brutality but for banding together into hostile tribes. There was a time – before characteristically male behaviour was devalued in favour of the female virtues of empathy and conciliation – when these proclivities were dealt with quite effectively by combative team sports and military cadet corps. Institutionalised aggression was supervised by adult authority until the young men grew up and became responsible for their own impulses.
Filed under: Freedom, Israel, Military, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: Israel, Limits to Tolerance, Rockets from Gaza
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated a line that he used in the prepared statement he read at his Friday news conference on Fox News Sunday this morning. It warrants repetition. Israel and Hamas conduct in the current hostilities can be explained:
The difference between us is simple. We develop defensive systems against missiles in order to protect our civilians and they use their civilians to protect their missiles.
Here’s a brief cell phone video of “Summer Vacation In Israel” It conveys a sense of what it is like to live under constant threat of rocket attack, with only seconds to get to shelter.