American Elephants


EPA Administrator Admits to Senate That CO2 Regulations are Not About Pollution Control by The Elephant's Child

On Wednesday EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, and slipped in this priceless quote regarding the EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide regulations — the Clean Power Plan.

“And the great thing about this proposal is it really is an investment opportunity. This is not about pollution control. It’s about increased efficiency at our plants…It’s about investments in renewables and clean energy. It’s about investments in people’s ability to lower their electricity bills by getting good, clean, efficient appliances, homes, rental units.”

Ms. McCarthy’s Endangerment Finding  was all about the awful effects of “carbon pollution,” whatever that is, on the planet. Now we learn that it not about pollution control? Oooops!

It hasn’t been all that long since Administrator McCarthy admitted that they could not produce the science on which they depend for their outrageous power grabs. Oh.

And back in 2012, EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendanz confirmed that the reason EPA fines are so huge and so unreasonable is simply to make an example of people with truly aggressive fines so you scare everyone into compliance and get people in that industry to clean up quickly.

The problem is that these disputes are often settled in the courts, where judges may know little, if anything, about climate science, and the idea of being exposed as a climate ignoramus is pretty scary.

Ms. McCarthy is an accomplished liar, but this one may come back to bite her.



Why Yes, We Knew — We Just Didn’t Do Anything About It! by The Elephant's Child

Weren’t we told by the administration that they were blindsided by the rapid advance by ISIS last month when Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city fell to this new jihadi army that seemed to come out of nowhere? They not only captured Mosul, but five divisions of the Iraqi army fell and we heard of mass executions, beheadings, crucifixions, and terrified residents fled before the onslaught as the long column headed towards Baghdad.

The administration, according to the record was not surprised at all. Congressional testimony as far back as November made it cleat that the United States had been closely tracking the black-clad jihadis, a ruthless al Qaeda spinoff. Intelligence officials had been closely tracking the group since 2012.

According to McClatchy, Obama administration officials were quite aware of the group’s intention to send men and material back into Iraq and turn loose waves of suicide bombers, which they knew that Iraqi security forces could not handle. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk told a House committee in February that the campaign had the stated objective of carving out a Caliphate in the western regions of Iraq and Syria.

So — if the Obama administration had all that advance warning why are they still trying to figure out what steps, if any, they should take to stop their advance? With all the pictures of the long ISIS column strung out on the road to Baghdad, it looked like a pretty vulnerable target, but I’ve probably read too many thrillers.

They’ve seized all sorts of Iraqi military equipment, drained banks of their assets, seized oil and natural gas fields, military outposts. Nearly every day we hear about another town that has fallen or another outrage they have committed.

What started as a crisis in Syria has become a regional disaster with serious global implications,” Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Wednesday.

Yet Defense Department officials say they might not complete work on proposed options for U.S. actions until the middle of August, a lifetime in a region where every day brings word of another town or village falling to the Islamic State. Some lawmakers and experts say the delay borders on diplomatic malpractice.

Chairman Royce said Iraqi officials and diplomats at our embassy began urging drone strikes as early as August last year against Islamic State bases near the Syrian border.

This was a very clear case in which the U.S. knew what was going on but followed a policy of deliberate neglect,” said Vali Nasr, the dean of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a former State Department adviser on the Middle East.

“This miscalculation essentially has helped realize the worst nightmare for this administration, an administration that prided itself on its counterterrorism strategy,” said Nasr. “It is now presiding over the resurgence of a nightmare of extremism and terrorism.”

The article from the Merced Sun Star is long and, frankly, depressing. Dithering, indecision, Obama believes one of his greatest accomplishments is ending the war in Iraq, he can’t undo that. Drawing red lines in Syria, misunderstanding the Middle East. Obama came to office believing that the key to the problems of the Middle East was Israeli intransigence. If he could broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, then the problems of the Middle East would end. That’s why Kerry has been over there wearing out his welcome, pushing absurd agreements. Obama seems to have learned about the Middle East from his friend Rashid Khalidi, the firebrand Palestinian professor.

Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller has a column in Britain’s Telegraph today, suggesting that “Barack Obama has already checked out of his job,” in which he suggests that Obama is “no longer even worried about keeping up appearances, he doesn’t care enough to fake it.”

The United States has apparently not yet delivered the helicopter gunships and F-16 jet fighters that Iraq has already purchased. The administration has also dragged its feet on Baghdad’s request for U.S. military advisers, though 300 were dispatched after Mosul fell. Obama doesn’t seem to get along with Maliki. George W. Bush had weekly video conferences with him.

Gaza’s charter says they will eliminate Israel and take over the land. That’s fairly clear and straightforward. The Islamic State says they have established a new Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and then…? Putin is still busily working to take over the Ukraine, al Qaeda is threatening a cyber attack on the United States. We have thousands of children, (mostly between the ages of 14 and 17) who are being recruited by MS-17.  Obama says he wants to send them back home, but he is settling them in all over the country, and schools will be expected to take the kids. The border is wide open because Border Patrol people have been called away to deal with the ‘unaccompanied children’, and security officials are worried. More businesses are moving their corporate offices overseas to escape taxes, and Obama can’t think of anything to do but punish them. Cutting taxes is not in his vocabulary.

What’s the old saying? Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies.



American Industry Speaks Out: The Clean Power Plan Is Not Workable! by The Elephant's Child

American industry has a message for the Environmental Protection Agency: your new plan for climate regulation is “not workable.”

The Partnership for a Better Energy Future, which represents 140 organizations, sent a letter to EPA chief Gina McCarthy Monday night calling on her to extend the public comment period for the new rules, make drastic changes to the proposal and hold more public hearings across the U.S.

“We are all going to tell the EPA that this regulation is simply not workable,” Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), said on a call with reporters Tuesday to promote the industry push against the rules.

The EPA said it will hold four public hearings across the country on its proposal which mandates that by 2030 states cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels.

Not enough! according to Timmons, the CEOs of the Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute, the National Mining Association, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and more groups as well.

“There is obviously going to be legal action in the future,” Timmons said. “We would like to see the rule altered and see the agency stop and listen to constituents and consumers that will be most impacted.”

“But assuming all things stay as they are, then we’ll see some action in the courts,” he added.

Liz Purchia, EPA spokeswoman, said the agency “is pleased by the tremendous public interest in the proposed Clean Power Plan” and it plans to respond to the letter from the Partnership for a Better Energy Future.  I suspect that the response cannot be characterized as “tremendous public interest,” but a bit more negatively.

“Already, we have received nearly 300,000 comments on the proposal. In the first 25 business days following the proposal, we have met with 60 groups and we are continuing our outreach through the 120-day comment period,” Purchia said.

Administrator Gina McCarthy expressed confidence that the rules are legally sound. Maybe so, but the science they are depending on is completely phony. CO² is not a pollutant, is not the cause of global warming, there has been no warming for over 17 years, and if they want to eliminate CO² they will eliminate life itself. Carbon is one of the building blocks of life. Next they will want to regulate the CO² we exhale with each breath. Come to think of it, there’s a Henry Payne cartoon on just that:

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New England Is Unprepared for Looming Power Shortages! by The Elephant's Child

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This gorgeous landscape comes from the Great Lakes last winter. As the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan is passed on to all departments in the government, the Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense all have programs to promote the presidential  Climate Action Plan. But it is the EPA that is working hard to fulfill their Clean Power Plan. Another stupid attack on the American economy.

Just last week, the governors of the six New England states met in emergency session at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to discuss the potential full-scale power shortage that seems to be coming. They asked the premiers of five of Canada’s provinces to attend the meeting. If New England is going to get electricity from anywhere, it’s probably going to be from north of the border.

New England has been on a hell-bent drive to rid itself of any form of “dirty” non-renewable energy, and has been closing down coal-fired and oil-fired power plants for the last decade. In 2000, 18 percent of New England’s electricity came from coal and 22 percent from oil. Today it’s  3 percent coal and 1 percent oil. Natural gas has risen from 15 percent to a vulnerable 52 percent. But there is a major problem. New England doesn’t have the pipelines they would need to bring in natural gas.

Eastern Pennsylvania is only a short distance from Connecticut and Massachusetts, where fracking has put Pennsylvania into third place for overall energy production. A proposal from a Huston company to expand its existing pipeline from Stony Point, New York has met with angry resistance from New England greens. They are still fighting global warming and dirty fossil fuels.

Last winter when the real record low temperatures hit, there wasn’t enough gas to go around. Utilities that provide home heating have long-term contracts, and first call. Power plant operators frantically bid against each other for what was left. Prices went from $4 per mBTU to $79 per mBTU. In 2012, New England spent $5.2 gillion on electricity in the whole year. Last winter they spent $5.1 billion just in the first four months.

The CEO of the Independent Systems Operator of New England which runs the grid begged the region not to close down Vermont Yankee and Brayton Point, but the faith in Environmentalism runs deep. You can store up supplies of coal, but you can’t store natural gas, and wind turbines shut down in cold weather. They only got through last winter by regularly importing 1,400 megawatts from Indian Point, the two nuclear power plants on the Hudson in New York. But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and most of the state’s Democratic politician are trying to close down Indian Point as well.

In the next two years New England will be closing down 1/10th of its power capacity because — environmentalism. It’s a religious faith, which they falsely assume to be science. Cold kills a lot more people than heat ever does. The last of the four coal-fired plants at Salem Harbor is due to be shut down because it cannot meet the EPA’s new regulations.Brayton Point, the largest remaining coal plant will be closed for the same reason. A constant barrage of protests and legislative attacks has persuaded Mississippi-based Entergy to close the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Station, a reactor that supplies 75 percent of Vermont’s power and  four percent of the region’s power— free of “carbon pollution.”

Canadians are developing huge dams in James Bay and are eager to sell electricity to Americans. That means building transmission lines down from the north, but of course environmentalists are opposed to that too, and trying to block any line in every way they can come up with. We’re in for cold winters as far as we can see, which isn’t far as we cannot predict the future, nor can the computer programs of climate alarmists. As far as predictions go, the Farmer’s Almanac may have a  better record than the IPCC computers. We’ll see.

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Republican Are Doing the Right Thing! by The Elephant's Child

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.



Another Kind of Child Abuse! by The Elephant's Child

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There are many things wrong with our public schools, a good percentage can be traced to the fact that our school administrators—the principals — are idiots. The damage done to little kids in the name of “zero tolerance” policies mounts up.

A 5 year-old kindergartner in Surprise, Arizona was told to pull down his pants on the playground by another kindergartner. This is not a remarkable happening. The other kid told Eric Lopez that if he didn’t pull them down he would pull Lopez’ pants down for him.

Eric Lopez pulled his pants down, as instructed, and was hauled off to the principal’s office and forced to sign a “sexual misconduct” form. Eric, a bright little kid, knows his letters so he signed. So now he has a label and a file that will follow him for the next 12 years. Eric did not know, and nobody told him— was that he had a right to have his mom present.

His mother didn’t find out until after the forced confession. She has since filed significant paperwork to appeal the label attached to her son of “sexualized minor.” Oh please! These are some people that are supposed to have some familiarity with kindergartners. They’re only 5 years old! They don’t have any  idea what a “sexualized minor is.”

The Dysart Unified School District insists that it was simply following standard procedures in the case of “indecent exposure.”

Read that line again. This is “indecent bureaucratic behavior.” This is follow the rules, even when  you know that the rule is absurd, and makes no sense, and you are damaging a five-year-old child and his family.

How did we get to the point where bureaucrats are so fearful of unpleasant consequences for not following the rules exactly as stated, even when some tiny mote of reality must exist in the bureaucratic brain that this is really, truly, monumentally stupid?

In a world where a kid gets expelled from school for biting a pop-tart into a shape resembling a gun — or the State of Idaho, if you turn it barrel-up—it’s clear that we have slipped a cog.  Actually the pop-tart looked a lot more like the state than it did like a  gun. Similar educational bureaucratese pops up frequently. We have all seen way too many examples.

Lenore Skenazy has a blog about “Free Range Kids,” and has written a book by the same name.  I was a free range kid, as were my children. The nonsense is fairly new, and quite ‘progressive.’



Stop Making Speeches, Mr. President, And Tend to Business! by The Elephant's Child

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Seems like everything is heating up. There are all these enormous problems that are just coming to our attention,  a lapdog media who ignore the problems, and there’s our natural reluctance to stop playing and pay attention. They are collectively going to get a lot worse before they get better, if they do.

— Obama has appointed a man who seems qualified to attempt to fix the problems at the Veterans Administration Health network. Robert McDonald is a former CEO of Proctor and Gamble, so large organizations are nothing new to him. He is a West Point graduate, and served in the military for the required 5 years post graduation. The limited military experience is unusual for the post which is usually filled by a former general or at least a colonel.

The big problems at the VA are 1. unionized employees, 2. a culture that plans to go home around 4:00 and schedules no operations after 2:00 pm and 3. has no way to measure efficiency except by wait-time for appointments. The bigest problem is that it is a big-government 340,000 employee  bureaucracy, which may preclude its ever becoming an efficient health care program.

ISIS , the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, has erupted out of the Syrian crisis and swarmed its way across Iraq, executing and beheading opponents, crucifying members of the opposition, or throwing them alive off cliffs. This is the new Middle East caliphate, a religious and political successor to the prophet Mohammed and sovereign over all Muslims. They have stripped banks, captured military equipment and stockpiles, and captured oil fields. The current al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri once said a new caliphate would signal a turning of world history “against the empire of the United States and the world’s Jewish government.”

A bunch of fanatic thugs, perhaps, but a well-funded and equipped bunch intent on creating an Islamic state as a launching pad for attacking the U.S. homeland, according to a new congressional report. Four analysts at the Congressional Research Service made that assessment relying on intelligence reports and the words of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, (ISIL). Wealthy Sunni sheiks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have funneled money to the group to help it bring down the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Alawite , an offshoot of Shia Islam. They already have many hundreds of jihadists with Western nation passports. The Russians have sent military advisors to Iraq. This is a crisis of Obama’s own making, and he’s not really prepared to deal with it.

“President Obama’s recently announced energy and environment policies have been tried in many countries with the same result: abject failure. Yet when critics point this out, explaining that “the U.S. economy will lose millions of jobs and billions of dollars in growth,” Obama simply waves their objections away. Every European economy that has followed the same green agenda has faltered badly. In 2013, Germany built six more coal plants. China and India build four new ones every week, yet Obama can’t wait to shut down the coal industry. He remains deeply concerned about global warming.

Canada gave up on getting approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Obama, and is building the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to send their oil to Asia. Major job loss for the U.S. and a major economic loss for the country. Another. Now, inconveniently, scientists and studies are predicting global cooling ahead — Russia’s Pulkova Observatory: ‘We could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.’  A new solar theory predicts imminent global cooling. The reason is the dramatic fall in solar radiation that started around 2004.  If the temperature on Earth is entirely controlled by solar effects, the cooling will return us to the temperature levels of the 1950s or even the 1920s, undoing the warming of the last 50 or 100 years in nothing flat. A sharp cooling effect is apt to hit in the next five years. There has been no warming at all in the last 17 years. We will need more power to keep us warm, and it’s a remarkably poor time to start shutting down coal plants for no reason. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, and has been much higher in the past, and seems to have little, if any, effect on the climate.

And then there is the crisis on the border. The Obama administration planned ahead for the subsequent flood of illegal children, older teenagers, gang members, Chinese and who knows who else. Homeland Security requested contractors as “escort services” for 65,000 unaccompanied children in January. The government cannot find enough places to put them, seems to have no real intention of returning them. Apparently children who have come across the border can effectively remain in the U.S. for years before they face a risk for deportation. In the meantime the federal government will take care of them?

Obama wants amnesty, and blames the whole surge on Republicans for not “reforming broken immigration laws” that Obama refuses to enforce because he wants amnesty and a flood of Hispanic immigrants. He stubbornly intends to get his way with executive orders.The problems are a direct result of his failure to enforce the borders, forbid the Border Patrol from preventing the influx, and he essentially told the Border Patrol and ICE that they may not do their jobs. This is not going to end well.



Obama and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week by The Elephant's Child

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It was an unusually interesting week. The Supreme Court handed down major abuse-of-power defeats; tens of thousands of Central American children (mostly 14 and over) are arriving at the border and overwhelming the Border Patrol’s ability to find any place to put them; the new Commissioner of the IRS testified to a disbelieving committee that Lois Lerner’s hard drive has gone to the dump, the U.S. was defeated by Germany in the World Cup; and the terrorists that Mr. Obama said were defeated have emerged to massacre, execute and behead their way across Iraq; and Mr. Obama is expected to do something. Whew!  A very bad week indeed. So naturally, Mr. Obama is out on the stump, making speeches.— his fallback position.

To top it all off, John Boehner announced that the House of Representatives would challenge him in the courts. The president gets petulant when he feels his presumed authority is being challenged by another branch. The Constitution is pretty clear. The Laws are made by the Congress, the President gets to sign them or not—he doesn’t get to make laws himself, nor rework nor fix the laws that are passed by Congress.

The president claims that all criticism from the Republicans is built on “phony scandals.” This is not a new claim. Benghazi—a phony scandal. Several speeches about how we had to trade Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban terrorists because we never leave our people behind; but we couldn’t supply security for an Ambassador and forced the Military, who wanted to go to the rescue of a couple of brave Seals, to stand down while they fought on for seven hours.

He claims the economy has created 9.4 million jobs in the last 51 months. Uh huh. We have 17 million fewer working age people with a job than we had in 2000. Fifty-eight million working age citizens are not working. Companies are fleeing overseas because of our uncompetitive corporate taxes. We have about 30% of our normal productivity growth, and we have about 30% fewer startups, but the economy is swell.

The problem is “obstruction” by the GOP. “They don’t do anything except block me and call me names,” he whined.  Republicans, he said, “think we should let big banks, and credit card companies, and polluters, and insurers do only whatever is best for their bottom line without any responsibility to anybody else.”

He not only dismissed any criticism, he completely denied abusing executive authority.

I’m not going to let gridlock and inaction and willful indifference and greed threaten the hard work of families like yours,” Mr. Obama continued. “And so we can’t afford to wait for Congress right now. And that’s why I’m going ahead and moving ahead without them wherever I can.”

Mr. Obama said “Now I’m not saying these are all bad people, they’re not. …but they can’t be too friendly towards me because they’d be run out of town by the tea party.”

It’s all very simple. Everything Obama does is right. All of his ideas are right. His worldview is correct. And the actions he has taken to improve the lives of Americans are all absolutely correct. He does not make mistakes, and be is never, never to blame for anything.  Whatever it is, is the Republican’s fault. After all, everybody says he is the smartest man in the world, don’t they?



The Dog Ate the EPA’s Homework Too! And the Evidence. by The Elephant's Child

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Now it’s the EPA!. The Environmental Protection Agency has joined the IRS is claiming they cannot produce incriminating information from their computers because of a 2010 computer crash. Hey, it’s working for the IRS. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) threatens to hold the EPA in contempt of Congress if it fails to turn over subpoenaed communications with the White House— subpoenaed in November.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that her staff is unable to provide lawmakers all of the documents they have requested on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, because of a 2010 computer crash.

“We’re having trouble getting the data off of it and we’re trying other sources to actually supplement that,” McCarthy said. “We’re challenged in figuring out where those small failures might have occurred and what caused them occur, but we’ve produced a lot of information.”

The revelation came less than two weeks after IRS officials told Congress that Lois Lerner, the official at the center of the controversy over the targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups, also suffered from a hard drive crash that makes it difficult to comply with records requests.

The House Oversight Committee has reason to suspect that Philip North, who worked for the EPA in Alaska decided in 2009 that the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay should not be allowed, before the agency even began to investigate if there were any negative effects on the environment. Committee staffers have been trying to interview North for over a year, but he has been in New Zealand and refuses to cooperate.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said the Federal Records Act requires agencies to maintain all records, which includes emails. Administrator McCarthy admitted “we may have some emails that we cannot produce that we should have kept.”

Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has questioned EPA Administrator McCarthy’s assertion that the debate on how much the climate is changing, the role of humans if any, is over, and no one should question her agency’s actions, or the “confidentail research” it uses to justify multimillion and billion dollar clean air rules. If you question that you are racist, a denier at war with science.

This should alarm every citizen. The EPA funds the scientific research it uses to support the regulations it issues. The EPA has issued 2,827 new final regulations since Obama took office on January 20 , 2009. The EPA picks the usually agency-funded, but supposedly independent scientists  who review the regulations. When the regulations are challenged, the courts defer to the agency on the science. But the agency refuses to make public the scientific research it uses.

The House Science Committee has passed The Secret Science Reform Act which requires that EPA regulation should be based on legitimate science and data that are open to the public.

Gina McCarthy sees this as a threat. Speaking to the National Academy of Sciences in April, she defended her agency’s need to “protect data from those who are not qualified to analyze it. So the EPA decides who get to look at the “scientific research they use, research paid for with public funds, appropriated by Congerss on behalf of American taxpayers.  Unbelievable.

In the announcement of the EPA’s 645 page Clean Power Plan, Ms. McCarthy claimed “The science is clear. The risks are clear. And the high costs of climate inaction keep piling up.”

The Institute  for Energy Research says “The EPA’s Power Plant Rule: All Economic Costs; No Climate Benefits.”

On June 2, 2014, at President Obama’s direction, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed rule mandating carbon dioxide emission cuts for existing power plants. This rule is designed to comply with the president’s plan to make electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket” by reducing the use of coal-fired electricity generation from existing power plants—one of the cheapest sources of electricity generation. While the rule will result in increasing electricity rates, the rule will not have any material climate benefit despite the fact that the climate is the justification for the rule.

Just one more crooked government agency, abusing the public trust, recklessly issuing regulations to accrue power to itself.

Being enpowered by Congress to keep the navigable waters of the United States clean, they have attempted to control any discharge of water in the drainage ditches beside the road, in the flow of rainwater as part of the “navigable waters” because that water would eventually flow into something navigable since all wates eventually flow to the sea.

President Obama’s misguided effort to shut down coal-fired  power plants will not only “skyrocket” electricity rates, but will make every product made in the United States cost more. These efforts will garner him Tom Steyer’s promised 100 million, but cost the American economy another lost 200,000 jobs.  And what happens when winters get colder and people can’t afford to heat their homes?

It is all about politics, and only about politics. Obama has brought Chicago politics to the federal government. Crony capitalism. Give your donors what they want, spend the money to stay in control and reward your donors and repeat endlessly, as it all slips gradually into totalitarianism and one party rule.



Meat, Poultry, Fish and Eggs Prices Hit an All-Time High in May! by The Elephant's Child

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the seasonally adjusted price index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs hit an all-time high in May.  You may have noticed. The index for these 4 products has risen 7.7 percent over the last year.  These items go into the food at home category.

Each month BLS employs data collectors to visit thousands of retail stores all over the United States to collect information on the prices of thousands of items to measure changes for the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Chicken goes into the CPI, but meats, fish and eggs don’t. Beef is up because of the drought in California. Pork is up because a diarrhea disease has decimated baby pigs. I don’t know what’s up with eggs. I buy brown eggs, but haven’t been able to get any for three weeks. In the Northwest, the stores seem to believe that Northwesterners only eat salmon, which may be true. Our freeways are decorated with salmon artwork.

Here are the goods and services that go into the CPI:

  • FOOD AND BEVERAGES (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals and snacks);
  • HOUSING (rent of primary residence, owners’ equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture);
  • APPAREL (men’s shirts and sweaters, women’s dresses, jewelry);
  • TRANSPORTATION (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance);
  • MEDICAL CARE (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians’ services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services);
  • RECREATION (televisions, cable television, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions);
  • EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories);
  • OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses).

So you can see why the inflation rate doesn’t seem to match the outgo in your budget. College tuition must throw everything off all by itself, and have you seen the price of bacon lately?

Inflation measures all the things you don’t buy, and don’t use, and none of the things driving up  your cost of living. Bureaucrats!

 



The Truth Will Out. Obama Admits He Misspent His High School Years. by The Elephant's Child

“Earlier this year, Obama belittled art history, depicting it as a penniless career—which critics pointed out, is not even remotely true. Obama was then shamed into sending a handwritten apology to an outraged art history professor.” So reported the Free Beacon. But they missed the most important point.

Obama admitted that he was a humanities major, but said that came from his misspent high school years. “I actually loved math and science until I got into high school” he reminisced,”and then I misspent those years.”

Aha! He goofed off in Biology class, and never learned that when he breathed that balmy Hawaiian air, he exhaled — carbon dioxide — a natural fertilizer for plants, not “carbon pollution.”

Those “misspent” high school years are why he has fallen for the whole global warming nonsense and allows his EPA zealots to shut down the nation’s coal-fired power plants that produce around 40% of our electricity, and why he thinks that wind and solar (which require ordinary power plants for back-up 24/7), can replace regular power plants — if global warming skeptics would just cooperate and do what he tells them to. It pays to pay attention in high school.



Is The Economy Getting Better? Where Is The Evidence? by The Elephant's Child

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James Pethokoukis, writing at AEI, points out that there is concern about the quality of the U.S. jobs recovery:

While the economy has generated 2.369 million jobs over the past year, a major concern remains the quality of these jobs. Of these jobs, 388,000 were in administrative and waste services (which include temporary help services); 317,000 in retail; and 311,000 in food and beverage establishments – all low-wage sectors. Key higher-paying sectors, such as manufacturing, government and financial services contributed very little to this annual growth.

Employment growth in the construction and manufacturing industries continues to lag other major sectors. About a quarter of May’s job growth came from the professional and business services sector, with about half of this from professional and technical services and the other half from administrative services. The healthcare sector generated another 33,600 jobs, but a majority of these can be traced to the social assistance category, and are therefore neither high-paying nor indicative of future employment growth. These two sectors underscore the importance of services in driving solid economic growth.

We’re back at the point when the recession began in 2oo7. The economy has recaptured all the jobs that were lost during the recession and is now beginning to show incremental employment growth from over six years ago.

On the other hand, the percentage of American civilians 16 years of age or older who do not have a job and are not actively seeking one remains at a 36 year high in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In December, April and now May, the labor force participation rate has been 62.8 percent. Last there in February 1978 under Carter. There are 92,oo9, 000 people who are of working age and not disabled that do not have jobs.

What the chart above says to me is that the ObamaCare regulation that all businesses must pay for health insurance for employees who work 30 hours or more, means that thousands of businesses who employ low wage people have cut back on their hours, and hired more part-time people to work less than 30 hours. But economists don’t mention that at all.

A McKinsey analysis from 2011 says that globally competitive companies have made relentless efforts to improve efficiency. In classic cyclical recessions, companies sacrificed some productivity and profitability until demand returned. Today, they respond to downturns primarily by reducing employment. 65% of the businesses they surveyed have made operational changes to improve productivity and reduce employment. More job losses are expected to be permanent, and new jobs will emerge in different industries.

Economists occasionally mention regulation, but every time we hear of a new regulation, there’s a disturbing estimate of how many jobs will be lost because of it. And the Obama administration cannot stop spewing out new regulations, the latest is Obama’s effort at cap-and-trade accomplished by executive order and agency regulation. The extent to which human workers are being replaced by machines also doesn’t enter into the discussions. We have a lot of quiet inflation to which businesses are responding in ways that they hope we won’t notice.

The statistics seem less meaningful, and the economist’s responses don’t satisfy. Business practices change rapidly in response to events. But I’m not sure anyone is really keeping track of that. I don’t think I understand  anything.

Government cannot create wealth, jobs or income. Because government has to take money from somebody before it can spend it, there is no economic gain from anything the government does.

Might send that one to Mr. Obama.




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