American Elephants

Parody, with a big dollop of cynicism! by The Elephant's Child
June 25, 2010, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Politics

This is more than a little cynical, but good parodies contain at least a grain of truth — and this one contains more than a grain!  Provides some food for thought, doesn’t it?

“Hope” Is Not a Recipe For Success. Try Common Sense and Hard Work! by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s “green jobs” program promised to weatherize 1,000,000 homes each year. A report issued by the U.S. Department of Energy in February 2010, issued two conclusions: Out of the $4.73 billion that the stimulus bill provided for weatherization work, only $368.2 million had actually been spent. (Less than 8 percent). Of the 10 highest grant recipients, only two had completed more than two percent of the planned units.

The weatherization program was supposed to be the quickest and most effective of job-creation programs, but to quote the report: “The Nation has not, to date, realized the potential economic benefits of the $5 billion in Recovery Act funds allocated to the Weatherization Program.” Why not?

A Depression-era law, known as the Davis-Bacon Act, meant that recipients of weatherization funds had to pay laborers a locally “prevailing wage.” States and counties didn’t actually know what the prevailing wage was. Most chose not to begin projects until wage rates were formally established. California had “furloughs.” The Energy Dept. mandated that all workers receive additional training — budget shortfalls and “furloughs.”

Idled oil-rig workers in the Gulf who are receiving compensatory benefits from BP aren’t going to get any relief from the IRS.  Their benefits will be fully taxable, the IRS wants their share of that $20 billion fund demanded by the federal government to help spill victims.

Eight of the deepwater drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have either left, or are finalizing their plans to do so.  The administration apparently thought that they would sit around idle for six months.  There is an economic disaster to accompany the ecological disaster.  Some 16 shallow-water rigs are sitting idle, and in 30 days that total will grow to 34 rigs.  Approximately 50 offshore marine service and supply vessels are already out of work and that number is expected to grow to 100 shortly.  Louisiana’s shipbuilding industry is bracing for a potentially devastating drop in new business and likely cancellation of existing contracts.

With the overhaul of financial regulation nearing completion, some Democrats are hoping that Congress can turn to the next big legislative challenge – energy and climate change. There is no consensus yet what such legislation should include, but there is strong determination on the part of the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress to try to move something – anything – before Congress leaves town in August. Um — anything?

These are just a few examples of the mindset.  They must do something! They will make a law, turn out a regulation, mandate — something or other. Because there has been no careful investigation of what is actually needed, no consideration of possible unintended consequences, things simply do not work.

Efforts to salvage things in the Gulf are hamstrung by red tape issued by bureaucrats who know less than nothing about the problems.  Priorities are misplaced, expertise ignored, ideas discarded, common sense and simple straightforward economics are left out of the equation.

The “Progressive” Ideological Agenda Trumps the Law, the Constitution, And The Will of the People. by The Elephant's Child

When federal Judge Martin Feldman overturned President Obama’s six-month moratorium on  oil and natural gas drilling in all waters more than 500 feet deep,  a passage in the decision said: “The [interior] Secretary’s determination that a six-month moratorium on issuance of new permits and on drilling by the 33 rigs is necessary does not seem to be fact-specific and refuses to take into measure the safety records of those others i the Gulf.  There is no evidence presented indicating that the Secretary balanced the concern for environmental safety with the policy of making leases available for development.  There is no suggestion that the Secretary considered any alternatives….”

Obama’s response to Feldman was to forge ahead with the very policy that the Judge had just ruled unconstitutional.  He is also challenging the thousands of Gulf Coast oil industry employees to just try and stop him in the appeals courts. He hopes the spill will help to pass his cap-and-trade bill.

As Byron York says in the Washington Examiner:

This response is the latest evidence of a disconcerting pattern with this president and his cronies in the executive branch and Congress; Their “progressive” ideological agenda comes first; everything else, including the will of the people and the letter of the law, is at most an obstacle on the road to “change we can believe in.”

Obama wanted government health care.  Growing majorities opposed Obamacare in survey after survey.  Congress was deluged with calls, letters, and protests, but Obama and his congressional cronies wrote the bill behind closed doors, offered bribes and other corrupt bargains to garner votes and passed it anyway, without a single Republican vote.

When General Motors bondholders opposed Obama’s takeover, Obama ignored age-old bankruptcy law and essentially nationalized the company and turned it over to the United Auto Workers Union.  When auto company executives expressed their concerns about Obama’s big increase in fuel economy standards, his chief environmental adviser told them not to “write anything down” about their discussion.

When Congress began to hear from the public about their worries about excessive federal spending, Obama appointed a “fiscal commission” to rubber stamp his ideas. Congressional Democrats ignored the law that since 1974 has required Congress to approve an annual budget.  They do not intend to deal with it. It would expose the red ink to all, when there is an election coming up.

The Senate refused to vote on Obama’s cap-and-trade bill,  so his Environmental Protection Agency administrator issued a threat:  Either pass the bill, or the EPA will unilaterally impose carbon emission limits on America.

This does not count the laborious diplomacy that went into locating missile defense weapons in Eastern Europe.  Dumped because Russia didn’t like it.  Nor the extensive talks that went into the free trade agreement with Columbia and NAFTA.  The Labor Unions don’t like NAFTA and they don’t like free trade agreements.

Mark Steyn pointed out that “Obama held the biggest meeting of world leaders on American soil since the founding of the UN 65 years ago on nuclear nonproliferation— and Iran wasn’t on the agenda.” Preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons was high on the president-elect’s agenda.

President Obama has said he will not secure the border in Arizona because he wants to pass a comprehensive immigration bill (amnesty). He plans to sue Arizona for passing a law that mirrors existing federal law.

And of course the very successful Opportunity Scholarships that let poor black children escape  Washington DC’s failing schools have not been renewed.  The teachers’ unions don’t like those.  There’s more, but you get the idea.

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