Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Law, Progressivism, The Constitution | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama
In a recent article from the blog at The American Heritage Foundation, the author quoted an excerpt from historian Thomas G. West, author of The Progressive Revolution in Politics and Political Science:
The Founders thought that laws should be made by a body of elected officials with roots in local communities. They should not be “experts,” but they should have “most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society” (Madison). The wisdom in question was the kind on display in The Federalist, which relentlessly dissected the political errors of the previous decade in terms accessible to any person of intelligence and common sense.
The Progressives wanted to sweep away what they regarded as this amateurism in politics. … Only those educated in the top universities, preferably in the social sciences, were thought to be capable of governing. Politics was regarded as too complex for common sense to cope with. … Only government agencies staffed by experts informed by the most advanced modern science could manage tasks previously handled within the private sphere.
The Progressives did not intend to abolish democracy, to be sure. They wanted the people’s will to be more efficiently translated into government policy. But what democracy meant for the Progressives is that the people would take power out of the hands of locally elected officials and political parties and place it instead into the hands of the central government, which would in turn establish administrative agencies run by neutral experts, scientifically trained, to translate the people’s inchoate will into concrete policies.
This, the blog says, is why you have Obama’s Energy Secretary telling auto makers how they must build cars. This is why Obama’s health care plan empowers a panel of “experts” to reorganize one-sixth of our economy from the top down. Commonsense questions like “Won’t our electricity bills go up if we mandate power companies to use more expensive alternative energy sources?” and “Won’t our health insurance premiums go up if everyone is charged the same price and nobody can be refused coverage”” can’t be tolerated. People voicing such criticisms must be isolated and silenced.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Progressivism | Tags: Congress, Democrat Demagogues, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi
The Obama administration giveth with one hand and snatcheth away with the other. Obama himself has guaranteed auto warranties, so you don’t have to worry. Greg Pollowitz noted in Planet Gore at National Review:
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has opened the door to allowing higher mixes of ethanol in gasoline, a potential boon to farmers and the struggling ethanol industry, but opposed by auto makers whose consumer warranties typically are tied to the current EPA standard.
Well, of course. Ethanol producers have been going bankrupt left and right. If they go bankrupt, then farmers in the corn states won’t be able to sell their corn to to ethanol producers. Then there are auto makers, in deep trouble, possibly facing bankruptcy. They must come up with satisfactory plans promptly.
Obama wants them to make smaller, more energy-efficient cars, preferably hybrids or electric cars. Americans don’t want hybrids or electric cars. They want SUVs to cart the kids and their friends around safely, get around in the snow, and haul stuff from Home Depot around. Congress has mandated new mpg requirements that car makers cannot meet, and besides, the car makers are busy going bankrupt.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently reported on a series of test crashes between minicars and midsize models; and the death rate in minis is three times higher than in large cars. We’ve been hearing a lot about the green promise of high-efficiency cars. A 2002 National Research Council study found that CAFE standards contributed to about 2.000 deaths per year because of their restrictions on size and weight.
General Motors Volt , Obama’s car advisory group said, is not ready for prime time. It costs around $40,000 and goes only 40 miles on a charge. But then, the advisory group has only had 3 weeks to learn how to run a car company. Obama wants the Volt still on the table, as it is an all electric car.
Americans are not likely to use enough gas next year to accommodate the 13 billion gallons of ethanol that Congress has mandated. Current regulations limit the ethanol content in a gallon of gas to 10%. The industry wants that quantity lifted to 15% or even 20%. But only a fraction of cars on the road can run with ethanol blends higher than 10%. It can damage engines, corrode automotive pipes and impair some safety features. It can also mess up catalytic converters. It’s even worse in boats, snowmobiles, lawnmowers and so on. And to boot, there is little or no net reduction in CO2 over ordinary gasoline, if you are actually worried about CO2. The EPA has decided it can regulate CO2 as a dangerous pollutant because they are unfamiliar with photosynthesis and breathing.
U.S. oil refiners will be on the hook for liability for any problems arising from ethanol blending, because Congress refused to grant legal immunity for selling a product that complies with the mandates that it ordered. They just don’t like oil companies.
The refiners are also set to pay stiff fines for not fulfilling Congress’s mandates for second-generation cellulosic ethanol. The makers already admit that they won’t be able to churn out enough of the stuff to meet the targets that Congress decided on two years ago.
This is all aside from the fact that ethanol production has raised the cost of food by about $47 per year, per American. Plus, ethanol only gets produced with major subsidies from taxpayers. And there isn’t as much energy in a gallon of ethanol as there is in a gallon of gas — no matter what the source of the ethanol. So it doesn’t go as far.
In March 2008, a report commissioned by the Coalition for Balanced Food and Fuel policy (a coalition of eight meat, dairy and egg producers) estimated that the biofuel mandates passed by Congress will cost the U.S. economy more than $100 billion from 2006 to 2009. It also acts as a regressive tax on the poor to whom Obama is mailing checks called tax cuts, as soon as he get around to it.
There’s more, but you get the idea. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are right on top of everything. We’ll get it all ironed out really, really soon. Trust us.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military | Tags: Harry Reid, Joe Biden, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, President Bush, Sarah Palin, Support the Troops!
While we are all watching the conventions, while the media is busing beating up on 17 year old girls, America’s finest men and women are wrapping up victory in Iraq…
On Monday, while Democrats waited to see if Hurricane Gustav would be another Katrina and the GOP juggled its convention schedule, U.S. commanders formally returned responsibility for security in Iraq’s Anbar province to the Iraqi Army and police.
Maybe you missed it. The New York Times Web page had three stories on Bristol Palin. The Washington Post’s online magazine, Slate, is running a “Name Bristol Palin’s Baby” contest. And Us Weekly has “Babies, Lies and Scandal” on its cover.
Victory in Iraq can’t compete in an environment where Bristol’s boyfriend is more thoroughly investigated than Obama’s lifelong association with Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers. [read more]
General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, said declining violence in Baghdad raised the possibility that American combat troops could leave the capital by next summer.
Asked in an interview with the Financial Times whether it was feasible that US combat forces could leave Baghdad by July, he said: “Conditions permitting, yeah.” [read more]
Despite Barack Obama and the Democrats most vigorous efforts to ensure the war and the surge became, in Harry Reid’s and Nancy Pelosi’s words, “a failure” and “lost”, America’s men and women in uniform are returning and will be increasingly returning in victory and with the great honor they so deserve.
And yes, that credit must be shared by John McCain and President George W. Bush. And not one iota of credit will ever go to Barack Obama and the Democrats who would have had us pull out long ago, leaving Iraq and indeed the region embroiled in war and genocide.
And yet they want you to believe they have the “judgment” to lead us in the next unknown crisis.
The success they opposed in Iraq proves they absolutely do not.
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Liberalism, News, Politics | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Drilling for Oil, Economy, Gas Prices, Harry Reid, Liberal lies, Media, Nancy Pelosi
Exxon-Mobil has received huge attention since it was announced that they posted a record profit of $11.68 billion in the second quarter. Media spokesmen have huffed and puffed, announced the P-R-O-F-I-T-S in sneering language as if oil company CEOs had personally lifted our wallets, emptied our bank accounts, and put us all in the poorhouse. Democrats were gleefully beside themselves in finding someone else to blame, and demanded a new windfall profits tax. That would fix them.
No one saw fit to mention that in the same quarter, Exxon Mobil paid almost 3 times that much in taxes — more than $32 billion. (A tax bill greater than the GDP of many countries). That doesn’t count the taxes you pay on every gallon that goes into your gas tank: 12% to the federal government and differing amounts to the states. Mine is one of the highest.
When we start talking in billions, most of us are not comfortable with the figures. (How many zeros is that?). Many more people than ever before are becoming millionaires, but the billionaires live in a rarefied atmosphere that most of us don’t understand very well. It’s easy to assume that there must be something wrong with a profit of $11 billion.
Politicians, especially in an election year, prey on voter’s ignorance of matters economic. When gas prices are over $4.00 a gallon and grocery prices are climbing, people are being hit in the pocketbook. $11 billion in profit seems unimaginable, obscene.
The government is taking a far larger amount, demanding more and refusing to open known oil fields that could be producing in about 3 years. The Democrats want “windfall profits”, they want to outlaw “price gouging”, they want to “stop the speculators”, they want to distract you from the idea of drilling for oil.
In the last 10 years the top 20 U.S. and Canadian oil companies invested 50% more than they earned in efforts to produce more oil. Production in existing oil fields in the U.S. is slowing and they are having to go far afield to drill.
American corporations are among the most heavily regulated entities on earth. A corporation is a legal fiction that allows a group of people to band together to do business in the hope of making a profit. Corporations can survive a year or so of losses, but in general, if they don’t make a profit, they go out of business.
It is fashionable to think of corporations as “evil”, but the reasons for that illusion aren’t attractive. Our intelligentsia, proud of their advanced degrees, are incensed at the salaries and bonuses of corporate CEOs whom they regard as a lesser species. They do not understand business or economics, and in general, want to stamp it out.
Gas prices are dropping, but Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid soldier on. Speaker Pelosi has suggested that maybe they could allow a little offshore drilling — but only on the East coast! Have a little sympathy for the oil companies. They are trying very hard to produce the petroleum you need, and they are investing (without orders from Pelosi and Reid) heavily in alternative energy. Their business is to produce the energy you need at a price you can afford. That’s how they stay in business. (No, unfortunately I’m not a stockholder).
Filed under: Energy, Europe, Foreign Policy, Military, News, Politics | Tags: European Union, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Russia, South Ossetia, UN, War in Georgia
The crisis in far off Georgia is worrying. Georgia, a former Soviet state, if you look at a map, sits just outside the bear’s den, right on Russia’s border. South Ossetia, a breakaway province of Georgia, wanted to become independent. Georgia reasserted her authority. Russia, massing on the border in the role of “peacekeeper” crossed the border with an additional 10.000 soldiers, and many tanks into South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russian aircraft bombed a military airfield near Tbilisi. Russia also sent ships to the coast of the Black Sea with reinforcements.
Reports say that Russia attacked not only targets in South Ossetia, but also targeted the major Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) gas and oil pipeline. The pipeline, in which British Petroleum is the lead partner, is important strategically, for it is the only outlet for countries in the region to get their oil to the international market without relying on Russia.
Russia has been what can be charitably described as a bully with their oil and gas, which supplies over a quarter of Europe’s needs. A gas pipeline called the South Caucasus pipeline is being built next to the oil pipeline. It is important to all the states in the region, including Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Russia has steadfastly opposed its construction.
Another part of the story has been Georgia’s desire to join NATO, and seek protection from the West. NATO’s refusal to date suggests weakness to the Russians, who keep track of that sort of thing.
Russia has not made much of a secret at her anger over the dissolution of the Soviet Union and loss of Superpower status. With oil funds flowing into a now state-controlled oil industry, the West must take notice. It is reported that Russia has just nationalized half of its wheat crop.
The European Union made bland protests, apparently shocked, shocked, that Russia didn’t realize that we had entered a new era when we solved problems by talking. The United Nations did what they do best, they had a meeting.
John McCain said that “Tensions and hostilities between Georgians and Ossetians are in no way justification for Russian troops crossing an internationally recognized border.” He also called on “Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia.”
Barack Obama called for “talks among all sides and said the United States, the UN. Security Council and other parties should try to help bring about a peaceful resolution.” Obama looked forward to an international peacekeeping force under an appropriate UN mandate.” Appropriately wimpy.
Georgia has pulled out of South Ossetia. Russia is in control. Georgia has ordered a cease fire and called for talks. A little war. Lots of dead.
Do you suppose that these events will arouse a slumbering Europe into a realization of the true nature of the world, or will they go on dreaming of a world without conflict? Of armies that are unneeded and unfunded?
Will Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid understand that drilling for our own oil is also a national security issue? That the Strategic Reserve is a – strategic – reserve. Or will they go on making up stories about greedy oil companies, evil speculators, and threatened species (that are multiplying nicely) and, oh yes, the need to save the planet, rising seas, disastrous storms and droughts and all those other mythical results from a one degree warming that stopped ten years ago.
Well, no, probably not.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2008, Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Liberalism, News, Politics | Tags: Democrat Corruption, Democrat Demagogues, Economy, Election, Global Warming, Green Politics, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Obama, Politics, Price of Gas
Well, gas prices are high, and everybody is struggling mightily to avoid doing anything about it. Nancy Pelosi, having refused to allow any debate whatsoever on gasoline prices, is now demanding that President Bush open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to release a “small” amount of oil.
“These are the kind of circumstances, in addition to national security, in which utilization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is more than justified,” Speaker Pelosi wrote in the letter dated Tuesday. read more
The reserve was opened by Bill Clinton to help Al Gore get elected. Yes, this was undoubtedly important to Democrats, but it was hardly a national emergency. They sold off the Naval Reserve in California to Occidental Petroleum too. George W. Bush opened the Reserve after Katrina when many rigs were damaged and off line, but that was a national emergency.
The definition of “national security” and the understanding of the phrase seem a little wobbly, at best. The Reserve consists of salt caverns that are filled with the largest emergency stockpile in the world, approximately 705 million barrels, about 97 percent of the reserve’s capacity. The reserve would replace foreign supplies for about 58 days, or roughly two months. Can you imagine an emergency that could last more than two months? Me too.
The biggest game is of course, attempting to establish blame. In her letter, Pelosi said that during Bush’s tenure the cost of a barrel of oil has risen five-fold, and the effects have been devastating. I do seem to remember President Bush repeatedly asking Congress to open offshore lands and ANWR to exploration, to authorize new refineries and nuclear plants.
Democrats have extolled Jimmy Carter’s prescience in dealing with a previous oil crisis, which was apparently wearing a sweater, installing a woodstove in the White House and putting solar panels on the roof.
The Shah of Iran fled his country in the wake of protests in 1979, allowing the Ayatollah Khomeni to take control. The revolution shattered the Iranian oil sector and drove up prices. Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations increased production and the decline in production amounted to only about 4%. Still, a panic resulted, driving the price up further. read more
In the U.S., the Carter administration instituted price controls, which resulted in long lines at gas stations, as had happened six years earlier when President Nixon adopted price controls. Carter called the oil crisis “the moral equivalent of war” and suggested removing price controls. Congress agreed to remove them in phases, and they were finally discarded in 1981 under Ronald Reagan. From all of this we (hopefully) learned that price controls do not work.
Lessons to be learned now should include the idea that you cannot increase supply by hoping that wind and solar will replace gasoline. Not going to happen. Hybrid cars are an expensive luxury. Electric cars are a future possibility, but will require increased generation of electricity. Solar and wind at present make a minuscule contribution to the grid, and require constant back-up of electric power. Environmentalists’ Utopian dreams are just not ready for prime time, however much some want to rely on hope and change.
The other big lesson is that Congressional interference in the market usually has unfortunate results. The likelihood that lesson will be learned is microscopic, for nothing is ever the fault of congress.
The Senate Majority Leader says that oil and coal are making everyone “sick”, that they are “dirty” and that (non-existent) global warming will destroy the earth. This is the caliber of the debate, and the reason that approval of congress has dropped to single digits with only 9% of Americans approving of congress, and only 2% approving a “great deal”. Whew!
Filed under: Election 2008, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Liberalism, Media Bias, Politics, Terrorism, Uncategorized | Tags: Democrat Corruption, Democrats, Harry Reid, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, John McCain, Obama
In another story not likely to see the light of day in the “mainstream” media, Barack Obama and the other Ministers of “Truth” in the Democrat party are none too happy with Joe Lieberman for exercizing his right to free speech. Lieberman, the former Democrat and current Independent senator from Connecticut, who is openly supporting John McCain for president, slammed Obama’s positions on Iraq and Israel in a conference call with reporters last week.
Turns out the self-styled messianic candidate of “hope” and “change” is having none of it, Roll Call observed the following exchange the day after Liberman’s latest comments:
“Obama dragged Lieberman by the hand to a far corner of the Senate chamber and engaged in what appeared to reporters in the gallery as an intense, three-minute conversation,” Roll Call reported.
“While it was unclear what the two were discussing, the body language suggested that Obama was trying to convince Lieberman of something and his stance appeared slightly intimidating.” [read more]
While no one but Lieberman and Obama know the content of that heated conversation for sure, it becomes fairly apparent in the context of not-so-veiled threats from Obama surrogates:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday left open the possibility that Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (Conn.) status as an influential chairman in the Democratic Conference may not be solid for the long term, even as he reiterated the Independent Democrat’s importance on key party priorities.
…”I’ve had a conversation with Joe Lieberman of some length — I’m not going to discuss those conversations here,” Reid told reporters, but he was quick to add that “we’ll let the future decide” Lieberman’s long-term role as a key party chairman and member of the Conference. [read more]
Democrats need Lieberman currently to maintain their slim 51-49 vote majority in the senate. If Lieberman were to instead caucus with Republicans, as was rumored for a while he might do, the GOP would retake the majority, since all 50-50 ties are broken by Vice President Dick Cheney.
But perhaps it is cocky anticipation of winning a larger majority this fall that has Democrats making it clear Lieberman could face some big time pay-back if he doesn’t quit criticizing the senator from Chicago:
“There’s a commonly held hope that he’s not going to be transformed into an attack dog for Republicans,” said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., an Obama supporter.
…While there’s no serious talk afoot about punishing Lieberman, Kerry said, “I can’t tell you what happens next year.” [read more]
Real subtle, Senator! There’s apparently no room for “mavericks” in Obama’s Democrat party. Funny, the more we hear of Obama’s “new kind of politics” the more they sound like the same old dirty Chicago-style politics Democrats have used for years.