American Elephants


The Plans for the Second Term are Beginning to Leak Out. Be Afraid, Very Afraid. by The Elephant's Child

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During the presidential campaign, the Obama team was lavish with funding for appearances and ads, but not exactly forthcoming about the administration’s plans for a second term. The president’s claiming personal credit for the success of the shale gas and oil industry took some real stretching of the facts, since the increase in oil and gas production took place on private land. Now that the election is over, plans for term two that would surely have changed the course of the election are beginning to be revealed. And it’s not promising.

The national debt $16,330,500,000,000+, and climbing, is apparently a matter of no particular concern to this administration. They are pushing ahead to four more years — of more of the same useless spending. The Obama Interior Department is planning more big spending on “green” energy projects. It’s full steam ahead with offshore wind farms. The U.S. will offer up federal acreage off the coasts of Virginia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for offshore wind under an administration initiative to fast-track permitting for offshore wind farms. We are fortunate that none have yet been built. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that:

“Wind energy along the Atlantic holds enormous potential, and today we are moving closer to tapping into this massive domestic energy resource to create jobs, increase our energy security and strengthen our nation’s competitiveness in this new energy frontier,”

The leases would grant wind-development rights for about 277,550 acres. The first leases will total more than 430 square miles, will be sold next year. The wind energy people make elaborate claims about the number of jobs, but they cleverly include the lawyers, secretaries, janitors and so on in their claims. Not promising. Wind energy has a basic problem. The wind blows only intermittently. Offshore wind is vastly more expensive than onshore, and turbines need more frequent replacement as the salt-water environment is more damaging. Wind turbines would take, not years to pay off the investment, but millennia.

According to an election night poll conducted for the American Petroleum Institute, 90 % of Democrats and Republicans and 94% of independents count energy as “very important” to them. The poll found that 73 % of voters favor the production of more domestic oil and gas. Sixty-eight percent of voters recognized increased taxes on oil and gas companies simply help to drive up consumer costs. Another poll by Harris found an astounding 75% level of cross-party support for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. That figure included 60 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents and 95 percent of Republicans.

Energy would seem to be the one issue for which the President does have a mandate — and it is not in line with his first term agenda. The real mandate will go a-glimmering, he’s not interested. But Obama does not change his mind. His ideas, we are told, are set in concrete. He is already spending some of his political capital in furtherance of his anti-fossil fuel campaign.

Just two days after his re-election, the Interior Department announced a plan to shut down 1.6 million acres of federal land that were slated for oil shale development by the Bush administration. Even before the election the BLM published proposed regulations governing oil and gas development on ‘federal and Indian lands.’ So costly and complicated are these regulations that some say it threatens the growing shale gas industry, putting the vast energy reserves beneath ‘federal and Indian lands’ beyond economic viability.

Obama continues to demand increased taxes from”the rich,” but that would not bring in enough to make even a slight dent in the debt. But the administration is talking about a carbon tax, and there are rumblings of a value added tax. Obama clearly has no intention of restraining spending at all.

I really think that Obama cannot conceive of being president and not spending. He sees himself as a “transformational” figure, and he is pursing those things which he regards as transforming: “green” energy, saving the world from global warming, multitudes of “green” jobs, electric cars, high speed trains, single-payer health insurance.

Remaking the United States as a transformed nation more to his tastes is a high-cost endeavor. The potential for increased taxes at the beginning of 2013 when we fall off the fiscal cliff are only the beginning. It will be expensive, but his vision is flawed. His ideas just aren’t going to work. Green jobs only exist when you count the janitors. ‘Renewable energy’ exists only with huge subsidies, and cannot replace the conventional energy of fossil fuels.  And Obamanomics cannot replace conventional economics — bad math. And a big, ‘helpful’ government can grow too big and too intrusive to be supported either emotionally or financially.



The Most Depressing Morning — Ever. by The Elephant's Child

Republicans are angry and trying to understand what went wrong. We thought we had momentum and believed that Romney would be able to create the jobs that are so badly needed. Republicans need some time to think through what happened and why. Lots of initial hysteria.

After the three debates, I think the Republicans felt that they held a winning hand and wanted to avoid unnecessary controversy. Republicans are always inclined to be too damn polite.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a skilled demagogue. He was out at every campaign appearance telling the American people that recovery was just slow because George W. Bush had created such a disastrous financial crisis, but things were recovering slowly and getting better all the time. He had created 5½ million new jobs, saved the auto industry, created a new clean green energy economy, decimated al Qaeda, and yes — he killed bin Laden.

Republicans, the bad people,  were trying to take away women’s right to contraceptives and right to abortions. He saved women’s right to equal pay by signing the Lily Ledbetter law. And his surrogates worked hard to remind voters that Republicans were racist — which was obvious in their code words and disrespect for the President. He could have accomplished so much more were it not for the racist Republicans blocking him at every chance. And Mitt Romney was an out-of touch rich man who shipped jobs overseas.

Every word in those two previous paragraphs is a lie, except Obama did sign the order for the SEAL raid on bin Laden’s hideaway.

If you repeat a lie often enough, it will be accepted as truth. It is a standard technique of demagogues. George Bush did not cause the financial crisis, and tried 17 tunes to get a recalcitrant Congress to rein in Fannie and Freddie, but Barney Frank and the Democrats refused to even consider it. The recession was the result of the housing bust and the sub-prime mortgage crisis. The recession ended in June of 2009. The economy would have recovered, if Obama had not, with every policy driven us back towards recession. The economy is not recovering. Obama did not create 5½ million new jobs, but only somewhere around 300,000, and massive layoffs are coming. As economist Alan Reynolds explained:

Barack Obama does not understand economics and apparently refuses to listen to those who do.

The “War on Women” was all a lie. No president can deprive any woman of either contraceptives or abortions — that is up to the Supreme Court. Women’s right to equal pay has been established law for 60 years. The Lily Ledbetter law does not change that at all, but is payback for trial lawyers, offering them more business. Mitt Romney is a good and honorable man, deeply concerned about the state of the economy and the rampant unemployment, who believes that he could help to turn the economy around. He is one of the nicest, kindest men you could ever meet.

And there’s the problem. Republicans did not take on the demagogue directly, did not directly refute Obama’s falsehoods, because they were reluctant to really attack. Voters apparently believed what Obama delivered with a dazzling smile. Every word Obama uttered was celebrated, enhanced, embroidered by his fawning media who for the most part quit practicing journalism years ago.

The Benghazi scandal should have put an end to the Obama administration. Far, far worse than Watergate which ended a presidency, but much of the electorate has never even heard of Benghazi. The fawning media has avoided any mention of it. Exit polls supposedly suggest that the public trusts Obama more on foreign policy, while his policies have left the Middle East in shambles, and demonstrated that no Americans in harms’ way can look to their own government for help or protection. Stunning.

Obama won reelection no mandate, and without ever telling the American people what he wants to do in a second term. Though that is clear. He will try to do what he didn’t get done in his first term, and complete the transformation of America into a socialist country. The Republican House of Representatives will resist, and he will attempt to put his program into effect by going around Congress. He has no respect for the separation of powers, and does not feel restrained by the Constitution or by the laws passed by Congress.

The stock market has given Obama’s win a huge thumbs down, dropping by over 300 points. Massive layoffs are coming due to ObamaCare, Obama’s defense cuts, Obama’s War on Coal. Huge tax increases are coming as Obama insists on “taxing the rich” which will decrease tax revenue, and damage any potential job creation.  The EPA will attempt to establish “cap and trade” through regulation. And ObamaCare will kick in on January 1, with new taxes and more job losses.

It is unlikely that Obama will make any effort at bipartisanship. He has been the most divisive president ever, making no attempt to work with Republicans at all.

I despair for the country. I think we’re in for a very bad time.




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