American Elephants

Do You Know a Liberal? You’ll Recognize Stuff Liberals Say. by The Elephant's Child
January 22, 2012, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Global Warming, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Statism | Tags: , ,

Understanding the Importance of the President”s Commissions and Councils: by The Elephant's Child

Political Theater.  On Tuesday last, President Obama met with his so-called Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to discuss its recommendations.  The panel is heavily stacked with rent seekers and cronies, and no one has sent more jobs overseas than many of the giant corporations on this panel.

The recommendations are sensible, if quite modest,  For example, to quote the council’s report: “Policies that facilitate the safe, thoughtful and timely development of pipeline, transmission and distribution projects are necessary.” It was the very next day that Obama dumped the Keystone XL project. He waited nearly two months before dumping the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission Chairmen. The president graciously praised the Council’s recommendations:

I’ve personally emphasized to the White House team and to the Cabinet the importance of aggressively implementing the recommendations of this Job Council.  I have been tracking implementation of your recommendations.  And we’ve seen substantial progress across the board.

Let me highlight a couple other areas where your ideas and focus have had significant impact.  First, on permitting:  This is something that I know that Matt and others really emphasized.  As we all agreed, we needed to make a big investment in this country in infrastructure to assure our competitiveness.  We also agreed that we can’t be bogged down by red tape and bureaucracy if we’re actually going to get every bang for the buck.  Building on administration efforts to streamline permitting, I issued an executive order to expedite review of job-creating infrastructure projects, and to track their progress on a new public dashboard….

A second example:  On regulatory review — and we’re going to have an opportunity for Jeff and Cass to expand on what we’ve been doing in this area — but I tasked federal agencies to cut inefficient or excessively burdensome regulations, and issued an executive order to independent agencies to look back at their regulations for inefficiencies and excessive burdens.  Currently, we’re estimating savings of $10 billion over 10 years by implementing just a fraction of the reforms that have already been proposed and identified.

Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that of 22 days into the new year, there are already 115 new final regulations that occupy 2,609 pages in the Federal Register; eighteen of those have been designated economically significant indicating a cost of $100 million or more each.

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has visited the White House about a hundred times which indicates that he is being directed by Obama. The FCC has determined all by itself that it has the authority to regulate broadband internet providers. They broke with all precedent to release a staff report to kill the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, killing tens of thousands of jobs and billions in investment to reward left-wing ideological interests.

Obama claims he is supporting job-creation, but his actions indicate the opposite. The sensible suggestion of lowering the corporate income tax, which is now the highest in the world is ignored.  The president’s budget is expected to again propose ending the deferral of taxes on foreign-sourced income, which will drive more corporate headquarters abroad.

Pay no attention to what he says.  Watch what he does.


Obama’s Dumbest Decision, and Canada’s Reaction by The Elephant's Child

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) “January 20 legal analysis notes that while the executive branch has historically handled the approval of border-crossing facilities, it doesn’t have to be that way. If Congress chose to assert its authority in the area of border crossing facilities, this would likely be considered within its Constitutionally enumerated authority to regulate foreign commerce.”

A house Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing next Wednesday on a bill that takes review of the pipeline away from the State Department and instead requires the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a permit.

The Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) has left the Blue-Green Alliance, over Big Green’s support for the president’s denial of the Keystone XL pipeline. Many unions — including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Teamsters, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters for the United States and Canada and others support the pipeline. President Obama has, according to some accounts, decided that he can afford to lose the working-class vote which would probably go to Republicans anyway.

Canadian journalist Ezra Levant, takes on Obama’s Keystone XL decision, and demolishes every Obama argument against the pipeline and a few more besides. Mr. Levant is a journalist, and does not represent the official position of the government of Canada, but I’ll bet he’s not too far off. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is visiting China shortly, and is looking closely at going for the Northern Gateway pipeline to take the oil to West Coast ports to sell to China and other Asian nations.

Ouch! Big Green has misjudged.  Their activism and big money are not going to shut down the Canadian oil sands. If the oil goes to China, it will be transported by tankers, far more open to spills, accidents, sinking and grounding. Green activists have  worked hard to get Big Labor to join with them in opposing — Republicans and anything they support. If this ends the alliance, serves them right.

Canadians are pretty incensed at the money flowing from the U.S. into opposition to the Canadian government’s internal political decisions. I don’t blame them. Canada is a deservedly proud independent nation. They are not, as some Americans regard them, and as Stephen Harper acidly remarked, simply a national park for the Northern United States.

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