American Elephants

A $300,000 Climate Change Museum? by The Elephant's Child

In the final days of his administration, the former president oversaw the creation of a $300,000 “climate museum” in a government building in Washington D.C. (Paid for with taxpayer dollars), dedicated to the proposition that man-made climate change is a dire threat, and the wonderful work done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its voluminous files of regulation are absolutely necessary to keep us safe from disaster, or the Statue of Liberty sinking beneath the waves again.

The $300,000 price tag represented $211,111 for the Smithsonian Institution to create the materials shown in the museum and $134,000 to renovate the space. The content was created by the EPA Alumni Association, which compiled it and presented a timeline detailing the milestones of the regulatory agency since it was founded in 1970. Gosh. Do all federal agencies get a museum to extol their legacy? Seems a bit pricey for self-glorification.

According to the Washington Post, I find that it was a “pet project” of former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, and is “tucked into” the lobby of the EPA Credit Union in the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. It not only documents all the countless regulations that affect our daily lives, like the ethanol-enhanced gas we put in our cars, our useless new twisty light bulbs, to how we heat and cool our homes. And affects as well the design of our cars and their price, as well as the design and cost of our household appliances. They have not yet succeeded in getting centralized control of our  household energy. but they are working on it. The “museum” embodies the ideology of Obama and his EPA.  President Trump is using executive orders to undo many of the most toxic regulations, with more to come.

I would be surprised if the “museum” contains information on many of the regulations that the courts threw out, or for example, the massive yellow toxic spill of mine waste from the Gold King mine into the Animas River in Colorado which flowed into the San Juan River in New Mexico, and then the Colorado River in Utah, the Grand Canyon and became the water supply for drought-stricken California. The Navajo Nation sued the EPA, but the last I read indicated that the EPA had not paid up. I’d bet this picture is not included in the exhibit either.

Here’s an excellent example of the EPA and how they worked under administrator Gina McCarthy. The Sacketts case went to the Supreme Court, where it was overturned unanimously by the court. Andy Johnson, a welder in Wyoming built a small livestock pond on his property that was approved by the state authorities. That one was an EPA attempt to claim jurisdiction over all the “navigable waters” of the United States—or anything that eventually flows into the ocean that originally comes from a drip from your downspouts.

But I’ll bet there’s lots about how the EPA protected America’s children from the ravages of asthma. Asthma was a favorite cause of Ms. McCarthy, because doctors don’t know what causes asthma which makes it a convenient cause. The goal of the Left is not saving the environment, but control, and the  EPA was just one more tool in their crusade.  Just as the Left’s crusade for Sanctuary Cities, and open borders is another reach for control by increasing the numbers of people in the states that Democrats control or are close to controlling. Illegals are counted in the census, and thus affect the numbers of representatives in Congress that the state gets. The Left may not be well-informed about history or the inestimable worth of our Constitution (which they would love to amend significantly) but they are fully aware of all opportunities for advancing their statist cause.

Administrator Scott Pruitt is on the case, and working steadily to limit the EPA to its basic task of clean air and clean water, and he has the full approval of President Trump, who by executive order is undoing the things that Pruitt can’t do himself.


Regulation, Red Tape, and the Heavy Hand of Government. by The Elephant's Child

The health of small business may be the most important indicator of long term growth in our economy. But this spring has been a hard time for small business. Only 119,000 jobs were added in March, and although April and May saw the jobs market perform better, small businesses who make up the bulk of payroll services firm Paychex Inc.’s customers said the measure of small business hiring was off by half a percentage point by the end of May. Not a good sign.

In today’s world,  when the shift from a manufacturing economy to the information economy is the major trend in American business, the health of small business may be the most important indicator of long term growth. We need hundreds of thousands of creative new small businesses led by entrepreneurs who are attempting to take advantage of the riches of the information sector to provide new products and services.

The Left’s push for a higher minimum wage, and Obama’s new order to force businesses to pay overtime to anyone making less than $50,000 a year will simply encourage the proliferation of robots, electronic cashiers, and more part-time workers. Over time the creativity of entrepreneurs could provide the new jobs that will replace the ones being automated or outsourced. Cheap money and relatively cheap labor should be helping, but a number of factors are at work. We have an administration that deeply believes that more regulations makes life better, which is clearly part of the problem.

Big businesses can cope. When the minimum wage jumps to $15 an hour, a chain of drugstores can afford to install automatic checkout machines that won’t get $15 and hour plus overtime, plus healthcare, plus sick leave, plus being late for work. It’s not so easy for small business.

Control and Regulation and the heavy hand of government  have a cost. The Left is basically clueless. This time it’s affecting us all.

The American Economy Shrank by 0.7 Percent in The First Quarter. by The Elephant's Child
May 29, 2015, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Economy | Tags: , , ,

The revised figures for the first quarter show that the American economy shrank by 0.7 percent — January through March. The administration did not, however try to blame it on Bush, they blamed it on the harsh winter. It was a brutal winter on the east coast and in the Midwest. It is the third quarter in which the economy has actually contracted (the other two were the first quarters of 2011 and 2014).

This has been the slowest, most sluggish recovery since World War II. The strong dollar has meant that American exports are down. but other economies are not healthy either, including China’s. The Obama administration’s big-government, big-deficit, big waste and big-regulation policies are not a recipe for growth or recovery.

A new study finds that overhead costs are exploding under ObamaCare. Another promise up in smoke. The Health Affairs Blog published a study based on numbers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that runs ObamaCare and found that ObamaCare increased health care costs by $17 billion last year, and by 2020 will add a total of more than $270 billion.Twenty-two percent of all new spending is going to overhead, paperwork, not patient care.

The United States spends more on regulation than ever before. The amount spent has increased significantly as has the number of people who are employed to write and enforce the increasing number of government regulations. In 1990, total spending on regulatory activity was $20.6 billion. This year it will clock in at $60.1 billion, a 192% increase. The National Association of Manufacturers estimates that in 2012 the total cost of federal regulations was just over $2 trillion — 13 5 of that year’s GDP.

Is this unruly Americans who need more careful control? Not likely. It is an administration that sees power and control as a goal. Not a climate in which free enterprise can prosper.

Forty-three Catholic Institutions File Lawsuits over HHS Mandate. by The Elephant's Child

Twelve legal challenges have been filed today by 43 plaintiffs against the ObamaCare regulation that requires health care plans to include abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures. The University of Notre Dame was prominent among the  challengers. Many religious institutions object on religious or moral grounds to providing, paying for and facilitating coverage for such procedures.

In addition there are several other institutions that have already filed lawsuits, with the Becket Fund for religious Liberty: Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, Eternal Word Television Network and Ave Maria University. Hercules Industries has filed suit as a family owned business that would be forced to violate its religious beliefs in February in Newland v. Sebelius in the U.S. District Court for Colorado.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called the ObamaCare mandate an “unprecedented” violation of religious freedom by the federal government.

The case seems very strong  that the mandate is in direct conflict with the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Aside from that ObamaCare does grant religious exemptions to the mandate to Muslims, the Amish, American Indians and Christian Scientists. Then there is the famous Supreme Court decision in Youngstown Steel &Tube v. Sawyer in 1952.  The Court held that “the president may not rule by decree, conscripting private industry to carry out his commands.  The chief executive may only execute laws passed by Congress, according to their terms.  He may not make up laws of his own and then enforce them.” That would seem to squash  this particular mandate, and Obama’s personal revision of it, quite thoroughly.

The plaintiffs have a lot to complain about.  Freedom to practice one’s own religion is one of America’s most cherished freedoms. It is not about contraception, abortion-inducing drugs , or sterilization. These services are widely available in the United States, and nothing prevents the government from making them available. But Barack Obama may not decree that religious institutions must violate their beliefs. The first phrase of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” And only Congress gets to make laws. That is not a power of the Executive Branch.

The administration clearly thought that this fit right into their silly “War on Women” theme. They assumed that the Catholics would fall in line, and claims that conservatives were trying to deny women the right to contraceptives because they objected to taxpayers being forced to pay for something that women should pay for themselves at $9 a month or less, would emphasize how conservatives were against women’s health.

Notre Dame’s president Fr. John Jenkins stated firmly:

Many of our faculty, staff and students — both Catholic and non-Catholic — have made conscientious decisions to use contraceptives.  As we assert the right to follow our conscience, we respect their right to follow theirs.  And we believe that, if the Government wishes to provide such services, means are available that do not compel religious organizations to serve as its agents.  We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the Government not impose its values on the University when those values conflict with our religious teachings. We have engaged in conversations to find a resolution that respects the consciences of all and we will continue to do so.

This filing is about the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives.  For if we concede that the Government can decide which religious organizations are sufficiently religious to be awarded the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission, then we have begun to walk down a path that ultimately leads to the undermining of those institutions.  For if one Presidential Administration can override our religious purpose and use religious organizations to advance policies that undercut our values, then surely another Administration will do the same for another very different set of policies, each time invoking some concept of popular will or the public good, with the result these religious organizations become mere tools for the exercise of government power, morally subservient to the state, and not free from its infringements.  If that happens, it will be the end of genuinely religious organizations in all but name.

If this case winds up before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli will have his hands full trying to defend this governmental usurpation of powers.

Random Notes on Rampant Hypocrisy by The Elephant's Child

• Obama has claimed credit for advocating and signing the Lilly Ledbetter Law, which mandates equal pay for women when they are doing the same job as a man: Women in the White House are paid 18% less than the men.

The federal government has been fighting a “War on Poverty” since the 1960s: The result is that today one in six Americans live in poverty—the highest rate for a generation.

Obama says that we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil: yet shutting down drilling in the Gulf, banning drilling on both coasts and in Alaska makes us more dependent on foreign oil.

Obama says he wants to bring down the price of gas at the pump: yet he is trying to get a standard deduction for the oil companies that is available to all manufacturers eliminated as a “subsidy,” which will raise the price of gas.

Obama claims that he wants to reduce partisanship in D.C. : then he resolutely refuses to meet with Republicans, and insults Republicans in public.

• The president has said several times that he favors redistribution in income: the redistribution he practices delivers taxpayer money to union supporters, campaign bundlers, and environmentalist supporters.

Obama praised the troops coming home from Iraq, and invited soldiers and their wives to dinner at the White House to say thanks: as he is attempting to cut military pay and raise the cost of military healthcare.

“I believe the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history” Obama said: yet he is resolutely increasing the size of government, government control and government regulation.

Obama claims the gap between those at the very top, the 1%, and everybody else is growing wider and wider: the top 1% have a smaller share of total household income than they did in 1920, and the bottom 40% pay no taxes.

Obama blames “the rich” for not paying their “fair share”of revenue: the rich did not create our debt, the government did with bad ideas, poor oversight, misguided laws and over-regulation.

• The president excoriates Republicans for being “against regulation”and thus wanting polluted air and water, and sick kids: businesses of both parties, in business organizations, corporate CEOs and small businesses have publicly told government that over-regulation and micro-management area problem that is keeping business from hiring.

The Bush tax cuts meant 52 straight weeks of job growth, 8 million new jobs over 6 years. The unemployment rate averaged 5.3%, after-tax income per person rose more than 11%, and real GDP from 2000-2007 grew $2.1 trillion or 17%.  The Bush recession ended in June of 2009. The Recession became Obama’s to deal with, but he has continued to blame it on Bush, and never accepted any responsibility except for admitting that there weren’t as many shovel-ready jobs as he thought.

• Obama has promised thousands of “green jobs”in solar cell factories, wind farms, insulating homes: Most of the jobs turned out to be overseas, nonexistent, only ‘green’ by redefinition, or simply temporary. When thousands of jobs were promised, and were ‘shovel ready’ (Keystone XL) Obama refused to authorize them. Canada will sell oil to China.

• CO2, carbon dioxide, is a colorless, harmless gas that we breathe out, and plants take in as natural fertilizer, and release oxygen. CO2 is one of the building blocks of life, without it there would be no life: Obama’s EPA is attempting to regulate it as pollution, and eliminate it as a ‘greenhouse gas,’ even though the amount in the atmosphere is unusually low.To eliminate CO2 would be to eliminate life itself.

 • The Occupy Wall Street people, to protest the lack of economic opportunity and jobs, demanded that everyone skip work to protest  in the streets, thereby damaging the economic opportunity they claim to want.

The Law? Nevermind! We Will Create Waivers. by The Elephant's Child

In its quest to implement stealth amnesty, the Obama administration is working behind the scenes to stop the deportation of certain illegal immigrants by granting them “unlawful presence waivers.” Don’t you love the names liberals dream up to hide, confuse, and disguise what they are actually doing.

Their aim is always more Democrat voters at the polls. But they want to disguise that by something that demonstrates how nice Democrats are. Here is how it would work., according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcement posted in the Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. government.  The agency will grant “unlawful presence waivers” to illegal aliens who can prove they have a relative who is a U.S. citizen.

According to the law, such aliens must return to their native country, and request a waiver of inadmissibility in an existing overseas immigrant visa process.  In other words, they have to enter the U.S. legally as thousands of foreigners do on a yearly basis. Aside from the obvious security issues, changing the rules in this case is rewarding bad behavior.  It makes no sense.

According to DHS, the system often causes U.S. citizens to be separated for extended periods from their immediate relations.  They didn’t quite say “ripped from the arms of their loved ones.” The proposed changes, first announced in January, will significantly reduce the length of time U.S. Citizens are separated from their loved ones while required to remain outside the United States during the current visa processing system.

DHS also claims that relaxing this rule will “create efficiencies for both the government and most applicants.” What makes this more “efficient” is unknown.

This is obviously a part of the Obama Administration’s plan to go around Congress and accomplish what Congress would not pass, by regulation and rule changes. Obama has things he wants to accomplish and he does not see why he should be constrained by annoyances like the separation of powers, or an understanding that the three branches of government are equal branches.

The Department of Homeland Security only takes action against a “small portion” of foreigners who overstay their visa —like the 9/11 terrorists—em  and allows hundreds of thousands to enter the U.S. without proper authorization from them under a provision that already relaxes scrutiny for 36 countries with whom we have special visa waiver agreements.

It’s as if nothing was learned from the 9/11 attacks nor from terrorist attacks in other countries. Most visitors comply with the rules, but an estimated 2% don’t, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). But that 2% translates into 364,000 travelers. Only half the countries that have visa waiver agreements with the U.S. are fully compliant. Last year a federal audit reveals that nearly half of the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants actually entered the U.S. legally but never left after their visa expired.

It is my impression that many liberals, secure in comfortable lives, do not take terrorism seriously. And once we got Osama bin Laden, wasn’t that the end of it? It is on the left that you find disarmament, gun control, peace studies, and efforts to slash military spending. In their Utopia, after redistribution of income when everybody is more equal, there won’t be any more wars and we don’t need all those armaments. If we just get rid of all our weapons, won’t everyone else follow our lead?

The Homeland Department has a lot to answer for, since they’re not doing Security any more.

Obama Administration Seals Records of Murdered Border Patrol Agent. by The Elephant's Child

Amid Congressional calls for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder in connection with the Fast and Furious scandal that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico, the Obama administration abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details about how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border Patrol agent with a gun connected to the failed federal experiment.

Information will now be kept from the public as well as the media.  The rifle used to kill federal agent Brian Terry last December is part of the scandalous Operation Fast and Furious. It was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), an agency of the Justice Department, that forced gun dealers to sell thousands of weapons to known gun runners so they could eventually be traced to Mexican drug cartels.

Questions abound about this strange operation, and the associated Project Gunrunner.  The “most transparent” administration in history again is attempting to skirt the law.  If they can’t get what they want from Congress, they’ll just do it by executive order, or sealing the records, or some other way. This administration seems to have no respect for the Constitutional separation of powers.

The Obama Administration’s Over-Regulation Creates Economic Destruction. by The Elephant's Child

Those on the right side of the aisle generally regard additional regulation as seldom necessary and often harmful to the economy.  Liberals, on the other hand, are anxious to regulate.  They believe that the job of the enlightened elites is to provide good regulation that can enhance safety, make things move more smoothly and make life better for all. So you have to accept that this is a major philosophical division point.

The Obama administration is particularly intent on adding new regulation. Whether it’s a matter of all those agencies and bureaus having lots of good ideas for improving the world stored up; or whether the new Democrat president waved his sceptre and said “Go forth and regulate” will have to wait for the inevitable histories and exposes on this administration are written.

Business has spoken with a single voice: the gush of regulation from this administration is causing economic destruction, unemployment, reluctance to hire,  reduced output, and increasing offshoring of business.  Now America’s farmers and ranchers are joining them in loud complaint.

The Obama administration wants farmers and ranchers to obtain commercial long-haul drivers licenses to conform to new driving regulations.  The licenses would be required of farmers driving farm equipment down public roads.  Traditionally, farmers driving farm machinery have been exempt from commercial driving licenses, as have farmers hauling wheat providing they did not cross state lines, or traveled no more than 150 air miles to the elevator.  Regulators are suggesting that all wheat shipments be considered interstate, even short hauls to elevators that don’t cross state lines.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to do away with exceptions. They argue tat because grain will ultimately be shipped out-of-state it should be regulated as an interstate product at every transportation step. Treated as a product destined to cross state lines, grain becomes federally regulated under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Most farm kids are driving tractors long before they get drivers’ licenses. Trailers are used to take livestock to County Fairs and Livestock shows.  Horses are hauled to rodeos, parades, or just down the road to another pasture.  Farms and ranches are not necessarily contiguous property—there may be 40 acres here, 60 there, and another patch on down the highway.  Trailers are used for all sorts of things from hauling a load of hay to the barn to taking a bunch of sheep to an auction.

But I suppose you can’t assume that people who are sure that next month or next year electric cars will be popular, can grasp the complications of rural life. Or the unintended consequences —higher food prices, more expensive bacon.

Obama’s Incoherent and Misguided Energy Policy by The Elephant's Child

The aim of our current energy policy is greater efficiency and development of new energy technologies to reduce our dependence on oil imported from unstable or unreliable regions, and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses, more than 80% of which are associated with the production and consumption of energy. That almost sounds like a real policy.

The effect of this is to replace low cost energy with high cost energy, while attempting to maximize employment instead of minimizing the cost of employment. There’s a difference.

So far there has been a significant reduction in imported oil, but it is due to a weak economy and high unemployment rather than to any improvement in vehicle fuel economy.  Reduction in greenhouse gases is unrelated to wind power or to light replacement, but due to the recession and the increase in natural gas from shale deposits.

American energy policy has traditionally promoted cheap and abundant energy to sustain economic growth.  An energy policy that relies on economic weakness is not in our national interest.  We are focusing all of our effort on solutions that are small scale and high cost.

Obama has recently acknowledged that oil and gas remain the fuels of the future — though he may not mean it. In order to reassure Americans concerned about the price of gas at the pump when some are warning of $5 a gallon gas this summer, Mr. Obama has resorted to his old standby of calling for a one-third reduction in U.S. oil imports by 2025. He believes in setting definite goals. It sounds impressive although it is meaningless, and distorts the market. We used to call this “central planning”

The only conceivable way to meet that goal is by dramatically increasing U.S. oil production — immediately, said John Watson, the CEO of  Chevron, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel. The argument that we are running out of oil is popular with greens and Democrats, but, says Mr. Watson, largely irrelevant.  We have been running out of oil for a very long time, but technology keeps creating new opportunities. Over the past 30 years, as “peak oil” was a nearly constant theme, the world’s proven reserves of oil and natural gas increased 130% to 2.5 trillion barrels.

The world consumes 250 million barrels of energy equivalent today, only a “tiny fraction of which” is wind and solar—and even those “are not affordable at scale,” he says.

As for biofuels, “we would need to consume land the size of states” to hit the country’s current ethanol targets.  Chevron is investigating biofuels, but Mr. Watson says the “economics aren’t there yet.” Unlike many CEO’s, says Strassel, Mr. Watson insists on products that can prosper without federal subsidies.

Obama’s endless moratorium on drilling has already meant that “if you go out to the middle of the decade, there are a” huge new regulatory burdens on industries that are import sensitive, putting their competitiveness at risk, and ultimately we’ll produce less gasoline here and end up importing it from refineries that are less energy efficient overseas.”

If we are serious about promoting recovery—we would be promoting abundant low-cost energy at a scale suitable for a $14 trillion economy for which employment gains in the energy industry didn’t come at the expense of productivity.

Over and over, the Obama administration claims to be creating jobs and working for an economic recovery; while with the other hand they issue regulations that work to the opposite effect—killing job opportunities, damaging industries—and extending the length of the recession. All that “investment” has gone to paying off his supporters, not to rescuing the economy. He knows how to do payback, it’s the recovery he doesn’t understand.

End of Summer, No Recovery! by The Elephant's Child

Back on the 17th of June, the Obama administration announced “Recovery Summer.”  The President and Vice President would visit Recovery Act sites that had been funded by the $814 billion “stimulus” — in full expectation of a triumphal tour announcing more economic growth and more jobs.

Meanwhile, outside of Washington DC and environs, there was no triumph.  Bankers weren’t lending, businessmen weren’t borrowing, and businesses weren’t hiring.

Fred Barnes reports in the Wall Street Journal that one pessimistic businessman he met said “he’d like to move his company offshore.  Another said he wanted to hire but had backed off because his firm would exceed 50 employees and then be subject to the mandates and requirements of the new health-care law.”

This is what businessmen write in letters to the editor, what callers to talk shows say, what business organizations say, the complaints are everywhere. The disconnect between Washington DC and the rest of the country is astounding.

The Tea Party protests began, not in a right-wing radical back room,  but by a CNBC financial correspondent speaking from the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, on Feb. 19, 2009, outraged that the government was rewarding bad behavior.

Rick Santelli argued that people who work hard and play by the rules shouldn’t have to subsidize those who took on debts that they couldn’t repay.  Many of the beneficiaries of the administration’s mortgage modification programs ended up in foreclosure anyway. Santelli went on to point out the flaw in Keynesian economics:

If the multiplier that all of these Washington economists are selling us is over one, then we never have to worry about the economy again; the government should spend a trillion dollars an hour, because we’ll get 1.5 trillion back.

That’s as succinct an explanation of the flaws of Obamanomics as I’ve heard.  The economy is growing, but not enough to restore prosperity.  The Journal says:

In sum, never before has government spent so much and intervened so directly in credit allocation to spur growth, yet the results have been mediocre at best. In return for adding nearly $3 trillion in federal debt in two years, we still have 14.9 million unemployed. What happened?

The explanations from the White House and liberal economists boil down to three: The stimulus was too small, Republicans blocked better policies, and this recession is different because it began in a financial meltdown. Only the third point has some merit, and for a different reason than the White House claims.

A major cause of the Obama malaise, according to the Wall Street Journal, is that when it took office many advised the Administration to focus on nurturing the recovery and postponing social-policy priorities.

Instead Democrats went for the most sweeping expansion of government since the 1960s — national health care, rewriting financial laws, re-regulating the telecom industry, imposing vast new costs on energy, and in January a huge tax increase on “the wealthy”— the most profitable small businesses.  All accompanied by trashing business and bankers as “greedy profiteers.” Obama cannot stop, but continues to believe that he can buy the way back to prosperity with more taxpayer debt, and more government directives, and more nonsensical multipliers.

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) Takes On Chris Matthews! by The Elephant's Child

You don’t want to take on Congressman Paul Ryan.  He knows what he’s talking about, and he has the answers at the tip of his tongue.  He knows his math and economics, and he understands the federal budget. His Road Map is a serious attempt to rein in the spending and put the entitlements on a sustainable path.  And he can explain every step.

Chris Matthews is a passionate activist for his beliefs, but even he recognizes that spending is a huge problem, and here he seems to recognize that the Obama administration is heading down a dangerous road.  He has the typical liberal doubts that ordinary people can understand such complicated problems.  From what I hear every day,  I think ordinary people may have a better understanding than the beltway crowd.

U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects Obama’s Request. by The Elephant's Child

A United States Appeals Court today rejected the Obama Administration’s request to stay a lower court decision to lift a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The decision is expected to prompt the Interior Department to quickly issue a revised moratorium order on deepwater drilling below 500 feet to address concerns raised by the federal courts.

Stung by public criticism over its response to the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the Obama administration imposed a blanket moratorium, and argued that its reinstatement was necessary to investigate the cause of the BP well blowout, and to insure that other rigs were operating safely.

Drilling companies pressed to have the moratorium lifted, saying it was too broad and was causing severe economic harm.

At Day 79, the administration is still balking at many actions that they could take to alleviate the oil spill.  They apparently think that demanding lengthy safety inspections from operating rigs will defray public criticism of their incompetent response to the spill.  Putting thousands more out of work is not a big deal, and the fact that some rigs are departing the Gulf for areas where they are not under the jurisdiction of the Obama administration isn’t a big deal either. The oil has reached Lake Pontchartrain.

Oddly enough, most other countries are anxious to find more oil.  The Europeans are dumping their investments in “clean energy” like hot potatoes (Except the UK).

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