American Elephants

Charles Kesler on the Grand Liberal Project by The Elephant's Child

In a sweeping review of American political history, Kesler outlines the grand liberal project begun a century ago. It is a project, he asserts, that has expressed itself in three distinct waves: political liberalism, economic liberalism, and cultural liberalism. Kesler further maintains that Barack Obama seeks nothing less than to complete and perfect this project. Finally, he confronts the issues of how conservatism lost its way in the face of the liberal project and how it might regain its imitative.

President Obama’s Misguided “War on Coal” by The Elephant's Child

I’m directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.
 …………..Barack Obama, Georgetown University, June 25, 2013

FirstEnergy Corp. announced it would close two coal plants in Pennsylvania, resulting in 380 lost jobs and 2,080 lost megawatts. American Electric Power will be closing its coal-fired plant in Beverly, Ohio, with the loss of 95 jobs, and 585 megawatts of electricity.

New EPA chief Gina McCarthy said petulantly: “Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs, please?” EPA officials understand that their preferred regulatory policies will destroy coal communities. They have decided that natural gas plants are the performance standard.  Yet coal plants remain the one source of energy that produces more of this country’s electricity than any other single source.

Pennsylvania Democrats have joined the opposition to Obama’s “War on Coal.” Since he never worked in the private sector, Mr. Obama remains unfamiliar with the operations of the private economy, and how the actions of government can kill jobs even as the president makes speeches about how job creation is at the very top of his concerns. The extent to which his actions have destroyed jobs and negatively affected the economy escapes him completely.

Mr. Obama speaks of “carbon pollution” — but carbon is not a pollutant. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. We are carbon-based life forms. If we had no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we would have no food and no life on Earth.

Back in the 20th Century when everyone was captured by the idea that global warming was going to cause the oceans to rise and the planet to sizzle, it was thought that the amount of CO² in the atmosphere was the cause of increasing climate temperatures. But the temperature stopped rising, and cooled a little and CO² kept on rising. It has not warmed at all in the 21st century, and even in the 20th century the net warming amounted to about one degree — not exactly a reason to panic.

The EPA has been authorized by the Clean Air Act to see that the air and water are clean. The agency has pushed that law far past its intent. They have taken the task of keeping the navigable waters clean up the rivers to the tiniest trickle of snowmelt in a roadside ditch. Carbon is not a pollutant in the air, and it is not the job of the EPA to control the climate, nor to monitor the health of the nation. Air quality and water quality are their job.

Environmental regulations have been a major job killer. The agency does not consider unemployment — a fairly major national problem — to be one of their concerns. That is a problem.


Liberalism’s Continuing Inability to Make Sense* by The Elephant's Child

Did we slip into some parallel universe when I wasn’t looking?  In today’s news: Homeland Security loses track of one million foreigners. Homeland Security knows that they arrived in the United States, but they cannot prove that they left the country.An internal audit found that the department won’t meet its own goals for deploying an entry-exit system — a 2004 statutory requirement. So Janet Napolitano, basking in such successes has moved on to run the California  University system, at an enormous jump in remuneration.

The union that represents the people who would have to decide who gets legalized under any new immigration law said that the Obama administration is not ready to handle such an influx of applications. Even limited legalization such as just granting citizenship rights to so-called Dream Act immigrants could lead to problems. “I cannot stress enough how ill-equipped USCIS is to engage in the sort of far-reaching plans before Congress right now— including both the enormous legalization programs proposed as well as the historic increases in both immigrant and non-immigrant visas: said Kenneth Palinkas, president of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Council.

Without much publicity or official announcements the United States has released five top Taliban detainees from Guantanamo as a goodwill gesture to the Taliban. There are no reports of the Taliban releasing captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl. A U.S. official said that the prisoners were released under the condition that they will not engage in any violent activity.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in pursuing Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act  which prohibits discrimination “on the basis of race, color, religion, sex , or national origin has alleged that retailers Dollar General and a US subsidiary of auto maker BMW have broken federal law by using criminal background checks in employment decisions. State Attorneys Generals are pushing back: “An employer may have any number of business-driven reasons for not wanting to hire individuals who have been convicted of rape, assault, child abuse, weapons violations or murder — all crimes specifically mentioned in the complaints. No matter how unfair a bright-line criminal background check might seem to some, it i s not your agency’s role to expand the protections of Title VII under the pretext of preventing racial discrimination.”

Contra Costa County, CA, won the right to run a health care call center where workers will answer questions to help implement ObamaCare, and the over 200 jobs it will provide. Half the jobs will be part-time, so the call center does not have to provide health care benefits. The County had about 7,000 applicants for jobs with good working wages and benefits — Supervisors had no idea the jobs would be part-time.

Could be a parallel universe,  just a bad dream, or — your government at work.

* A line from William Voegeli’s Never Enough

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