Stuck on Stupid

One thing I’m fond of saying on the radio is “Stupid spreads like a cold on a plane.” Mostly because it does. And mostly because that “stupid” is generally some progressive idea of governance, some plan or proposal to “fix” whatever the issue du jour happens to be. Generally, it’s a problem government action helped create in the first place. There’s always something, isn’t there?

Have you heard of the VMT? It stands for vehicle miles traveled, and it is progressives’ latest attempt to plug ever-growing state budget gaps caused by, alas, progressive policies.

VMT is being tested in Washington and Oregon as a “voluntary” alternative to state gas taxes. California is considering following suit. In exchange for a rebate of the gas taxes you paid—more than 50 cents per gallon in California—drivers agree to pay a per-mile tax.

There are some catches, as there always are.

First, you have to pay the gas tax when you buy your gas and wait for a rebate, which is akin to giving the government an interest-free loan till your rebate arrives. Also, at least I’d imagine, you have to have a stockpile of receipts. Lose some or all of them and you’re out of luck. Governments aren’t known for accepting the honor system when it comes to you getting your money back.

But, most importantly, you have to allow the government to track your odometer or install a GPS tracking device in your car so they can record every mile you drive, and every place. Right now it’s an option, but wearing seatbelts used to be an option too. Now, seatbelts are a primary offense—you can be pulled over if police see you not wearing one. In other words, things can change.

So why the VMT over the gas tax? Well, it seems the government, which set up the gas tax to pay for road maintenance, isn’t collecting enough money to meet those needs. Governments need you to buy gas, and lots of it, to cover their costs. And since the federal government is mandating ever-higher CAFE standards, this means cars go farther on less gas, which means less money to the states. Add to that state and federal incentivizing of electric and hybrid cars and you being to see the problem—less revenue but the same amount of wear and tear on the roads.

Although the VMT would raise more money for states (you didn’t really expect them to be doing this if it didn’t, did you?), it would, quite humorously, hit the very people who have been incentivized to buy electric and hybrids in the first place.

The current gas tax in Oregon is 30 cents per gallon, and the VMT is 1.5 cents per mile. That means if your car gets 30 miles per gallon, you pay 30 cents in taxes for those 30 miles. But, under the VMT, that same driver would pay 45 cents for those 30 miles, a full 50 percent increase in the gas tax. Some people like this idea because, even though they’re paying more, the refund aspect perverts the real impact. It feels like you’re getting a deal because you’re getting money back, even though you’re ultimately paying more. As the president is fond of saying, “It’s math.”

Electric and hybrid cars use less gas, which means those drivers with “Coexist,” “Obama/Biden” and “Love Mother Earth” bumper stickers will be hardest hit. They paid a premium for those cars—albeit one for which they got a tax break—not only so they could be “green” but so they wouldn’t get hammered at the pump.

Meanwhile, drivers of “dirty” cars—SUVs, Hummers, etc.—would get massive tax breaks.

I imagine that’s the opposite of the good karma the “Greenies” were looking for when they bought into the over-priced “save the planet” racket. It’s enough to make you laugh…almost.

But this is how government works. It creates a problem, then offers a solution. Meanwhile, that solution creates more problems, for which the government offers even more solutions. The ever-growing snake eats its own tail.

There’s a problem here, though. The normal solution when Democrats find themselves in this position is to blame Republicans. It’s usually pretty easy considering how horrible at messaging Republicans are. But these are states controlled by Democrats. They have no one to blame but themselves.

The normal solution for this situation would be for Democrats to simply raise the gas tax. It’s not like Democrats have an aversion to raising taxes. But Democrats have painted themselves into a corner on this issue.

Democrats are stuck with choices they don’t want to make: 1.) Raise the gas tax, which is wildly unpopular and regressive, so it will hurt the poor and hit the hated SUV drivers, but will appease their “green” supporters who overpaid for their cars to “save the planet.” 2.) Institute a VMT and run the risk of alienating “green” supporters who overpaid for their cars by giving a tax break to the very drivers they most hate, and hurt the poor because they tend to have to drive to other neighborhoods for work. 3.) Let roads continue to fall apart and annoy everyone; or 4.) Cut spending and/or replenish/stop raiding transportation trust funds so maintenance can happen.

None of these options are within the natural comfort zone of Democrats, so they’re scrambling. It will be fun to watch, especially if you don’t live in one of these states. But these states are not unique, they’re just first. This stupidity will spread to your state soon enough, just like bans on electronic cigarettes, trans fats and plastic bags. Just like that cold on a plane, there is no cure for the common stupid. (Derek Hunter)

Stupid is as Stupid does, Life is like a box of government snakes…One is eventually going to bite you in asp! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Re-Volting

Nearly a year ago General Motors was losing almost $50,000 for each Chevrolet Volt it built. Now GM’s business model, driven by trendy environmentalism, calls for it to cut the price and lose even more money.

Well, that’s liberal economics…

The green lobby wants more hybrids and plug-in electric cars on the roads. Therefore the president wants 1 million electrics humming around by 2015 — and the carmakers have to ignore market reality under pressure to do what the environmentalist-political complex demands.

Even if it makes no sense.

Volt Sales — 2013: 9,855 so far. 2012: 8,817 2011: 7,671

The Toyota Corolla, the car I’ve driven since 1991 —July 2013 Sales: 24,463. And that was #10 on the most popular Cars for just THAT Month and it sold virtually as many in that month as the Volt has in 3 years!

But the sanctimonious environmentalist left doesn’t give a crap about market trends and consumer demands. It has “moral” superiority and high minded righteous arrogance on its side.

#1 by the way was the anti-environmentalist, but American, Ford F-150 Pickup truck with over 60,000 sold in July alone. 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway.

And by the way, Ford took no bailout money.

So screw what the consumer wants we’re going to try and make them (force them later??) chose what we want them to choose.

They will continue do the same thing over and over and again and if they wish really, really hard then they can change reality and the utopia they see in their heads will be transmitted to everyone else. Or else they’ll just have to force it to happen.

Cram that square peg into that round hole.

If at first you don’t succeed. Fail, Fail, Again!

That’s so Liberal. Remind you of ObamaCare? 🙂

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA

Fiat and Chrysler’s global head of powertrains, put it in his own remarks at Traverse City (Meeting), “Many customers want to reduce CO2, but they aren’t willing to change their lifestyle or pay the cost — yet.”

So they left will have to ramp up the Global Warming Fear factor and crush the competitiveness of the more popular cars (everything except a Volt) because that’s what Liberals do when their “superior” fantasies don’t materialize.

Think I’m kidding…

The problem with bad ideas from Europe is that they eventually become bad ideas in America too.

And so it goes with the latest nitwit scheme from Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party, which is cousin to our own liberal Democrat Party, separated not ideologically or by a vast ocean, but only by accents.

The Lib Dems want to outlaw gas and diesel powered cars from the United Kingdom with a goal to create a “zero-carbon” UK by 2040.

No word yet whether they will allow people to “breathe,” which– incidentally to Lib Dems it seems– also pushes carbon into the atmosphere.

“Only electric vehicles and ultra-efficient hybrid cars would be allowed on UK roads under the Lib Dem plans,” writes the UK’s Telegraph. “However, petrol and diesel vehicles would still be allowed for freight purposes. The plans will be voted on by members at the upcoming Lib Dem conference in Glasgow and could become party policy if approved.”

Nice to see that Lib Dems also approve of group assisted-suicide. I wasn’t sure if it was legal in Glasgow.

Oh, but wait. It gets better.

Because the UK’s Labour Party, which often runs just a little left of Josef Stalin, may capture the government in 2015, and they love bad ideas like this almost as much as Nanny Pelosi loves to pass unread bills. (John Gibson)

NHS…ObamaCare

So why not…

In September of last year, we said “Obama’s Government Motors needs to shut down the Volt line indefinitely” — not just for the month it planned to halt production — then restart the assembly lines only when it could make a profit on the car.

In May, we noted: “The market for electric cars is so weak that consumer costs are approaching almost nothing.”

Here it is August, and the Volt, the car that USA Today calls the “supposed” star of General Motors’ portfolio, is back in the news.

This time it’s because the automaker is going to drop the price by $5,000. USA Today reports that with “a full $7,500 federal tax credit, the price is cut to $27,495,” a figure that doesn’t include some state tax credits.

Aside from those whose egos demand that they use their cars to scream out their moral superiority as environmentalists, and maybe a few enthusiasts who dabble in the technology, does anyone really want these electric cars? Their dismal sales numbers simply do not justify their existence.

Sales of the Volt, the most popular electric vehicle, were only a little more than half of the 45,000 that GM expected last year. Ford built 1,627 Focus Electrics in 2012 and sold only 685 of them.

Foreign makers fared no better. Mitsubishi could sell only 600 of its i-MiEVs while Nissan sold fewer than 800 of its Leafs last year. Sales in 2013 remained stagnant until Nissan cut the price by $6,400 early in the year.

Yes, Tesla seems to be doing well. But remember: It makes a luxury car that appeals to the wealthy who buy them as toys. It’s an outlier. (BASE PRICE: $58,570–$106,570).

Meanwhile, Chrysler has wisely decided to stay out of the EV market until “consumers are willing to step up and pay for the technology,” Automotive News reported this week. That’s the way it should be.

Government involvement invariably introduces inefficiency, improper incentives and, in the end, failure.

The very definition of Liberalism is to exactly the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. 🙂
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

I Spy Pie In the Sky With My Little Eye

First off, Just to let you all know- This blog will be down for a few days because I have something important that has be taken care of.

Now onto it…

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The Liberal Meme: But opposition to the mandate also stems from the public’s failure to understand — or, alternatively, the administration’s failure to communicate — basic facts. (How many YEARS has this been the liberal line- after all you “have to pass it to know what’s in it”!!??)

And when you know you’ll jump for joy. And if you don’t you just don’t understand. 🙂

That’s why it’s just as unpopular (or more so) now as it was over 2 years ago when it passed!

“People don’t understand how the mandate works at all, and they don’t understand why it’s there,” Kaiser’s polling director, Mollyann Brodie, told me. Brodie suspects that it’s too late to change minds. “This law as a whole has really become a symbolic issue to people, and they really aren’t open to information,” she said.

Maybe, but the administration must keep trying — not only to sell the law’s goodies but to explain how the mandate makes them possible. Otherwise, they could end up winning the minds of the justices, yet losing the hearts of the people whose votes they need to keep the law in place.

The most compelling sentences in the Obama administration’s brief defending the constitutionality of the health care law come early on. “As a class,” the brief advises on page 7, “the uninsured consumed $116 billion of health care services in 2008.” (Ruth Marcus)

Yeah, and the CBO says it will cost twice as much as it was when it was sold by the Liberals and it hasn’t even “started” yet.

So I am inclined to believe her pie-in-the-sky Government can fix everything Liberalism…NOT!

ENERGY POLICY

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

The administration’s new tax-reform proposal indicates a continued stubbornness to pick winners and losers in the marketplace — slashing, among others, broad-based provisions that benefit all industries such as accelerated depreciation, deductions for interest expense, LIFO for inventory accounting along with tax provisions for the oil and gas industry in order to finance tax breaks and permanent credits for expensive renewable energy.

It’s a disturbing plan after so many failed renewable energy gambles including Solyndra. A new report by a White House-appointed commission concluded that the U.S. could lose as much as $2.7 billion as a result of the loans offered to the renewable energy industry.

Meanwhile, consumers are losing. Gas prices aren’t showing any signs of decreasing. The president’s thumbs-down to the Keystone XL pipeline cost the U.S. thousands of new jobs, economic growth and energy price stabilization.

His 2012 budget calls for cutting outlays for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to $3 billion, nearly $2 billion less than in the 2011 budget. This drastic cut will leave many homes in cold weather states suffering and is further evidence of misplaced priorities when it comes to the administration’s energy policies.

But they better vote for him anyways, because he’s going to kiss their government dependent asses… 🙂 Otherwise, they might be “racists” or just “mean”. 🙂

The president’s “promise of clean energy” comes with a high price tag. Data from the Department of Energy’s EIA show that new electric generating capacity using wind and solar power tends to be considerably more expensive than conventional, available and secure natural gas and coal resources.

And in a world of real tradeoffs, every dollar spent producing more expensive renewable energy is money that could be used for producing jobs and spurring economic growth. Indeed, there is a direct linkage between energy use and economic recovery, as in recent years each 1% increase in GDP has been accompanied by a 0.2% increase in energy use.

Simply put, it takes more power to turn on more light switches in more plants that employ more people.

The problem, of course, trickles down to consumers, as well. USA Today recently reported “households paid a record $1,419 on average for electricity in 2010, the fifth consecutive yearly increase above the inflation rate.” This “jump has added about $300 a year to what households pay for electricity. That’s the largest sustained increase since a run-up in electricity prices during the 1970s.”

Meanwhile, subsidizing renewables costs jobs and slows economic growth, burdening taxpayers by grabbing up a massive share of tax code subsidies.

In 2010, an estimated 76% of the $19.1 billion in federal tax incentives went to renewables for energy efficiency, conservation and alternative technology vehicle projects (while only 13% went to fossil fuels), according to the Congressional Research Service. Some renewable electricity enjoys negative tax rates: Solar thermal’s effective tax rate is -245% and wind power’s is -164%.

Yet the federal government continues pouring money on non-traditional energy sources, which is especially troubling since the wind, solar power, biofuel and ethanol industries do not meet the standard criteria used to justify taxpayer-funded subsidies for their deployment across the U.S. economy.

They are not “infant industries” or essential for U.S. economic and job growth, and they are unlikely to provide benefits commensurate with their costs. Addressing the huge U.S. federal budget deficit requires cutbacks in programs whose costs exceed their benefits.

There are much fairer policies available that do not force the government to pick winners and losers. Accelerated depreciation, Section 199, the foreign tax credit deduction and LIFO are examples of tax code provisions that are available to any industry and are not considered “subsidies.”

Perhaps even more frightening than the government’s current tax incentive structure and spending for renewables and alternative fuel vehicles is the potential for a national mandate (called a Clean Energy Standard) requiring electricity retailers to supply a specified share of their sales from clean energy sources.

This would have adverse economic impacts. A recent Department of Energy analysis shows that by 2035 the mandate will raise electricity prices by 20% to 27% and reduce GDP by $124 billion to $214 billion.

For those who support clean energy powering our nation’s economy, all is not lost: The issue is simply about responsibly looking away from the “promise of clean energy” and focusing on the reality of clean energy.

Government funding for basic research and development of renewables and conservation may be a better use of taxpayer dollars than the current suite of tax incentives and direct spending programs, for instance. Clearly, there are more efficient ways to meet our nation’s needs for today and tomorrow. (IBD)

But it won’t make Liberal “feel” good and be the soothing pie-in-the-sky warm fuzzy that they want it to be.

And if you disagree, well, you’re just “mean”.

MADDOW: So, President Obama in 1990 said that he wanted to move — wanted to work toward a world, country, that was less mean-spirited, and more generous. The right says that means he hates America. I think it sounds like I want a kinder and gentler America, which is what George H.W. Bush said.

LEWIS BLACK: That’s then. That language doesn’t apply anymore. That is a different Republican Party because we have moved on, there is a new Republican Party, and they seem to have — that language doesn’t work for them.

It’s a new Republican Party. It’s — there is a — it’s like — I mean, I think of it like if you were in the Communist Party, toe the line, here`s what they think, that`s the deal, screw him, that`s the deal, you can’t — are you going to use those words, or those words don`t work? Whatever words he uses, don’t work for them.

(and that doesn’t sound Like the Liberals wanting to control everything and everyone from birth to death at all!) 🙂

MADDOW: But do you think we’re at the point some were some — I mean, I feel like it’s not that weird. It wouldn’t be that much of a joke for a Republican candidate to come out and say, actually, we need a less gentle, meaner country. (Katie Pavlich)

Apparently wanting to balance the budget and limit burdensome debt for future generations is somehow “mean.”

It sucks being the grown-up in the room instead of the head-in-the-clouds, pie-in-the-sky Liberal whose hubris prevents them from not feeling vastly superior to other living beings doesn’t it? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

15 Questions

During the practically endless series of Republican debates, we have heard almost every question imaginable asked to Republican candidates – if by every question imaginable, you mean horribly slanted, often irrelevant questions designed to make them look bad and help Obama. We’ve heard questions about contraceptives, religion, Newt’s angry ex-wife, Gardasil, etc., etc., etc. So, what would happen if the mainstream media treated Barack Obama the exact same way that they treat Republicans? The questions might sound a little something like this.

1) Numerous Mexican citizens and an American citizen have been killed with weapons knowingly provided to criminals by our own government during Operation Fast and Furious. If Eric Holder was aware that was going on, do you think he should step down as Attorney General? Were you aware that was going on and if so, shouldn’t you resign?

2) In 2010 you said Solyndra, which gave your campaign a lot of money, was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” Today, Solyndra is bankrupt and the taxpayers lost $500 million on loans that your administration was well aware might never be paid off when you made them. What do you say to people who say this is evidence of corruption in your administration?

3) Unions invested a lot of time and money in helping to get you elected. In return, they gained majority control of Chrysler, the taxpayers lost 14 billion dollars on General Motors, and General Motors received a special 45 billion dollar tax break. What do you say to people who view this as corruption on a scale never before seen in American history?

4) Through dubious means, you and your allies in Congress managed to push through an incredibly unpopular health care bill that helped lead to the worst election night for the Democratic Party in 50 years. Since the bill has passed, many of your claims about the bill have proven to be untrue. For example, we now know the bill won’t lower costs and despite your assurances to the contrary, big companies like McDonald’s say they may drop health care because of the health care reform. Since the American people have rejected your health care reform and it doesn’t do what you said it would, shouldn’t you work with the Republicans to repeal it?

5) When you took office, gas was $1.79 per gallon. Since then, you’ve demonized the oil industry, dramatically slowed offshore drilling, blocked ANWR, and killed the Keystone Pipeline. Now, gas is $3.34 per gallon. How much higher do you anticipate driving gas prices?

6) Occupy Wall Street has been protesting against Wall Street and the richest 1 percent in America. You are in the top 1 percent of income earners in America and you have collected more cash from Wall Street than any other President in history. So, aren’t you exactly the sort of politician that Occupy Wall Street wants to get rid of?

7) How do you decide which foreign leaders to submissively bow towards and why do you think that’s appropriate for an American President?

8) If they could, don’t you think the Nobel Committee would take back the Nobel Peace Prize that you were awarded?

9) You made bipartisanship one of the central themes of your campaign in 2008. Yet, you’ve worked to push bills through Congress with almost no Republican support, spent much less time negotiating with Congress than George Bush, and you’ve said things like, “But, I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.” Why did you decide to break your campaign promise to pursue bipartisanship?

10) America lost its AAA credit rating for the first time under your watch. What do you think you should have done differently to have prevented that historic failure?

11) You cut more than 500 billion dollars out of Medicare to fund your wildly unpopular health care reform bill. Given that Medicare is running in the red already, don’t you think it’s irresponsible to cut money out of one entitlement program, that millions of seniors depend on — to put it into a risky new entitlement program?

12) Back in July, you said, “Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out years.” Since you plan to raise taxes if you’re elected and you’ve had kind words for a value added tax, shouldn’t every American expect a tax increase if you’re reelected?

13) Why should the American people reelect you when your 10 year budget saddles America with more debt than all previous Presidents combined?

14) Your stimulus bill cost more in real dollars than the moon landing and the interstate highway system combined. What do we have to show for all of that money spent?

15) Members of your administration promised that the trillion dollar stimulus would keep unemployment under 8 percent. Instead, we’ve had 35+ months of 8% and above unemployment. Doesn’t that mean we wasted a trillion dollars on nothing? (John Hawkins)

It’s fun to think what could have been if we had Journalists instead of Left Wing Propagandists masquerading as “journalists”.

So have a supply of industrial barf bags if yo decide to watch Obama’s “soaring” Campaign Bull shit speech tonight then the fawning and slobbering by the Liberal Media before and after.

I will be watching “Chopped” on the Food network.

 

Political Football

Bet you didn’t know those devastating Tornadoes were a political football did you?

Yes, folks, it is Football Season. (No NFL need apply).

You see, they were caused not only by global warming, but BY the Republicans! 🙂

Imagine that! What a revelation!!

In times of tragedy, there are always hucksters trying to use that tragedy to sell a position, a product, or a belief. In ancient times, tragedy was the impetus used to appease the gods and to embrace religion. In light of yesterday’s op-ed on The Center for American Progress’s Think Progress blog that essentially blames Republicans for last week’s devastating tornadoes, it seems some opportunists just can’t break the pattern of huckster behavior in the face of disaster.

The left-leaning Center for American Progress published a blog post Thursday blaming Republicans for the tornadoes that devastated the South earlier this week.

Even so-called “journalists” go in on the act:

On Thursday night, looking at the tornadoes across the South, ABC’s Sam Champion ridiculously claimed “everybody is asking if climate change played a role here.” Brian Williams blamed humans: “What’s going on here? Is this something we have done?”

On the NBC Nightly News,Williams prompted Greg Forbes of the Weather Channel:

Let’s be candid here. When you and I go home, you see friends and family, you get e-mail from people you know. People ask the same question: What’s going on here? Is this something we have done? What has happened to the climate because it seems so much of what we cover is relentless weather-related tragedy?

“The congressional delegations of these states – Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky – overwhelmingly voted to reject the science that polluting the climate is dangerous,” wrote CAP’s Brad Johnson. “They are deliberately ignoring the warning from scientists.”

Johnson’s justification is that climate scientist Kevin Trenberth warned the American Meteorological Society in January that “Given that global warming is unequivocal, the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warning rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming.’”

Actually he said: “Given that global warming is unequivocal,” climate scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, “the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming.”

At the last count, the tornadoes has claimed 297 lives – the greatest number of deaths by tornadoes since April of 1974 when 315 people were killed throughout the South and Midwest. President Obama traveled to Alabama – the hardest-hit state – Friday morning to survey the damage, after signing an Alabama Disaster Declaration.

Johnson has not yet returned The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

UPDATE: Despite attempts to link the tornadoes to climate change, many experts dismiss the theory. Grady Dixon, assistant professor of meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University said, “If you look at the past 60 years of data, the number of tornadoes is increasing significantly, but it’s agreed upon by the tornado community that it’s not a real increase.”

“It’s having to do with better (weather tracking) technology, more population, the fact that the population is better educated and more aware. So we’re seeing them more often,” he added.

And Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), appeared to dismiss the global warming connection Thursday when he said, “Actually what we’re seeing is springtime.”

CAP, however, released a report Friday, that also tried to link extreme weather to global warming.

According to the press release, the report “gathers, condenses, and synthesizes scientific data regarding extreme weather and its links to global warming to provide context to the recent surge in extreme weather events.”

UPDATE 2: Brad Johnson responds by telling TheDC, “I did not blame Republicans for the tornadoes.”

I guess he was misquoted saying exactly what he said, as most Liberals are when they get their hands caught in their ideologically rabid cookie jar.

And then there’s our Dear Leader:

Barack Obama is now in full campaign mode. He tried doing the governing thing for two years. It didn’t work out, and now he needs scapegoats for his failed policies.

The price of gasoline is currently more than $4 per gallon as oil has skyrocketed to more than $112 per barrel.

Barack Obama knows that flowing rhetoric about “hope,” “change,” and “yes we can” will fall hollow in 2012 if people look to him to bring down the price of oil and he concedes “no, I can’t.”

Since platitudes are long since worn out and solutions elude him, Obama’s path to reelection involves creating another conservative bogeyman to demonize. Oil “speculators” are the flavor of the week.

Attacking speculators is as boring as it is misguided. Any moment now everybody from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to the Koch brothers to British Petroleum will be blamed. Mr. Obama might as well blame Buddy Ebsen. After all, Jed Clampett and the rest of the Beverly Hillbillies made their money in oil. This may explain why Mr. Obama brought Los Angeles traffic to a standstill last week as thousands of cars idled away petrodollars. Somebody get Barnaby Jones to investigate.

Those wanting to blame speculators should buy a thesaurus and then look in the mirror. Somewhere in a nursing home there is a 90-year-old grandmother who has a mutual fund containing a few shares of stock in some oil company she bought back when the Charleston was the latest craze. Have this woman arrested now! She is a speculator.

Speculators play both sides of all markets, and phony politicians only complain when the market refuses to cooperate with the public. When speculators drive the stock market higher, there is happiness. When the speculators drive it down, there are calls for investigations. Commodities provide the reverse reaction. When oil skyrocketed to $147 a barrel in 2007, people screamed bloody murder. When it crashed down to $33 a barrel, nobody blamed speculators.

(Silver and gold hit all-time highs this week, but nobody is screaming at speculators for that. Mr. Obama cares about oil because it affects him.)

So to all of those crybabies and the president desperate to appease them, the laws of supply and demand cannot be repealed. They cannot be declared unconstitutional. Barack Obama cannot part the seas and make the markets cater to his reelection efforts.

Yet there is one thing Mr. Obama can do to help lower oil prices.

He can stop being himself.

He needs to wake up tomorrow and admit that his anti-oil policies are a major reason prices are so high.

During his 2008 campaign, he pointed out that under his plan oil prices would “necessarily” have to rise.

This is not complex. In the same way the war against tobacco companies led to higher cigarette prices, the Jihad against the oil industry is causing oil prices to rise.

In Mr. Obama’s mind, getting everybody off of oil is noble. He wants a green economy that operates on alternative energy sources. He wants Americans to give up their cars and rely on high-speed rail. His entire energy and environmental agenda is meant to end dependence on oil.

Supporters find this laudable while critics find it impractical. Yet what is truly ludicrous is for a man to deliberately try to destroy the oil industry while then wondering why this would affect prices.

There are so many ways to bring down the price of oil, from domestic drilling to turning Iran into a 50,000-hole golf course and seizing their oil.

Mr. Obama has telegraphed that his policies are meant to get us away from oil. Therefore, any sensible gambler would play oil to the upside. The gamblers did not create the trend. They jumped on the bandwagon. Anybody criticizing this investment strategy should deliberately try to defy trends and see how they enjoy losing money. Politicians are often irrational, but markets in the long run are as rational as can be.

Mr. Obama is right to want to make America less dependent on foreign oil. He is wrong to try and enact policies that have an adverse effect on ordinary Americans needing cheap oil today. He is even more wrong to blame those engaging in sensible actions when his own senseless actions led to the problem in the first place.

Mr. Obama should do one of two things. He could go on television and explain why higher oil prices are good for America. He could scold Americans and shame them into giving up oil and driving. It would be political suicide, but a courageous, integrity-based stand.

He could also get out of the way. He could stop hijacking the permit process while pretending to support drilling. He could allow domestic drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and other techniques involving oil shale.

If he chooses to remain a leftist anti-oil ideologue, then he needs to have the honor and decency to justify his position.

This will not happen. Mr. Obama knows that his fantasyland approach to energy has failed, and hopes that he can fool just enough people to slink into a second term.

Speculators everywhere should buy and sell legally whenever and wherever they please. Risk-takers built this nation. One obtuse and desperate politician should not be allowed to subvert centuries of global tradition and commerce.

Mr. Obama is the problem. The speculators are the solution.

So as people bet on 2012 oil prices, stock prices, and presidential prospects, Mr. Obama will continue to stew over what he cannot regulate, manipulate, or obfuscate.

It is called freedom. It existed long before leftist anti-capitalists, and will exist long after many more socialist models are discredited and reduced to the ash heap of history.

Based on historical trends, that is a very safe bet to play to the upside whether Mr. Obama likes it or not. (Eric Golub)

Ever notice how a football is shaped like a potato, and boy is this baby hot! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Happy Birthday, ObamaCare

Facinating Site: http://www.thirdway.org/taxreceipt

A year after the passing of health reform, a new industry report revealed that consumers may be paying billions of dollars more in out-of-pocket health care expenses than was previously thought.

These “hidden” costs of health care — like taking time off to care for elderly parents — add up to $363 billion, according to a report from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a research group.

That amounts to $1,355 per consumer, on top of the $8,000 the government says people spend on doctor fees and hospital care.

The out-of-pocket costs that the government tallies usually include only insurance-related costs like premiums, deductibles, and co-payments.

The study is the first to estimate how much consumers dish out on health care related goods and services not covered by private or government insurance.

These include: ambulance services, alternative medicines, nutritional products and vitamins, weight-loss centers and supervisory care of elderly family members.

The average household income fell 1.9% last year while health care costs rose 6%.(KFYI)

I guess findout what was in the bill after passing it was like finding a zonk on “Let’s Make a Deal”.

But don’t tell that to a Liberal, they will just rant on about evil capitalists.

But it’s not a real surprise. Not really. Not if you live in reality. Not Liberal socialist fantasy land.

You have massive number of new regulations.  More Adverse Selection has been forced on the industry.

The term adverse selection was originally used in insurance. It describes a situation where an individual’s demand for insurance (either the propensity to buy insurance, or the quantity purchased, or both) is positively correlated with the individual’s risk of loss (e.g. higher risks buy more insurance), and the insurer is unable to allow for this correlation in the price of insurance. This may be because of private information known only to the individual (information asymmetry), or because of regulations or social norms which prevent the insurer from using certain categories of known information to set prices (e.g. the insurer may be prohibited from using information such as gender or ethnic origin or genetic test results). The latter scenario is sometimes referred to as ‘regulatory adverse selection’.

The potentially ‘adverse’ nature of this phenomenon can be illustrated by the link between smoking status and mortality. Non-smokers, on average, are more likely to live longer, while smokers, on average, are more likely to die younger. If insurers do not vary prices for life insurance according to smoking status, life insurance will be a better buy for smokers than for non-smokers. So smokers may be more likely to buy insurance, or may tend to buy larger amounts, than non-smokers. The average mortality of the combined policyholder group will be higher than the average mortality of the general population. From the insurer’s viewpoint, the higher mortality of the group which ‘selects’ to buy insurance is ‘adverse’. The insurer raises the price of insurance accordingly. As a consequence, non-smokers may be less likely to buy insurance (or may buy smaller amounts) than if they could buy at a lower price to reflect their lower risk. The reduction in insurance purchase by non-smokers is also ‘adverse’ from the insurer’s viewpoint, and perhaps also from a public policy viewpoint.

So all that “can’t refuse people with pre-existing” conditions means your insurance goes UP!

But then again, as I said repeatedly, and I do mean repeatedly, that ObamaCare was about bring down the cost of health care, it was about bringing down the entire private health care industry so that socialist government health care is all that was left and you’d have no choice.

And that still stands.

So Happy Birthday, ObamaCare. the Damien Hell-child of The Left.

Oh, and then there’s this from Rep. Anthony “The Whiner” Weiner, one the most vocal leftists:

Rep. Anthony Weiner said Wednesday he was looking into how a health law waiver might work for New York City.

Weiner, who is likely to run for mayor of New York, said that because of the city’s special health care infrastructure, his office was looking into alternatives that might make more sense. Weiner is one of the health care law’s biggest supporters; during the debate leading up to reform, he was one of the last holdouts in Congress for the public option.

“The president said, ‘If you have better ideas that can accomplish the same thing, go for it,’” said Weiner. “I’m in the process now of trying to see if we can take [President Barack Obama] up on it in the city of New York, … and I’m taking a look at all of the money we spend in Medicaid and Medicare and maybe New York City can come up with a better plan.”

Hey, Mr. Weiner I have a much better plan to never have passed the damn thing in the first place, but since you crammed down our throats and now your political fantasies are gagging on it here’s your better plan — REPEAL THE DAMN THING!!!!! 🙂

During the debate over his health care law, President Obama repeatedly promised that “if you like your plan, you can keep it,” but for millions of Americans that promise has already been broken.

In a shocking admission, Obama’s administration has granted more than 1,000 waivers to the health law to prevent 2.6 million workers from losing their coverage. Millions more weren’t lucky enough to get a waiver, and have already been forced to switch plans.

Most waivers have been distributed to Fortune 500 corporations like Pepsi and McDonald’s, unions, Las Vegas casinos and in one case an entire state.

If corporations and unions can get a waiver from the health law, every American should get one. That is why I have introduced a bill that would allow anyone – an individual, a family, a small business – to receive a waiver. You should not need to be politically connected to keep your health insurance.

My bill uses the same standard created by the Obama Administration. If the law increases your insurance premiums, you can apply for a waiver. If you’re forced to drop the coverage you like, you can apply for a waiver. The bill also requires the Obama Administration to educate the public about the option and regularly report how many families and employers have received waivers.

The Obama Administration has been pretty clear why these waivers are necessary. In an application posted on the Department of Health and Human Services website, applicants are told they can receive a waiver if the lifetime limit mandate would result in a “significant increase in premiums” or a “significant decrease in access to benefits.”

“We don’t want to take away people’s health insurance before they have some realistic other choices,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told one newspaper.

This confession by the administration is telling. There are countless mandates in the law which would increase premiums and decrease the ability to obtain coverage. For example, by 2014 every American will be required to purchase expensive, government-designed health insurance. Most employers will be forced by Washington to offer comprehensive health benefits or face a fine. The law’s one-size-fits-all benefit mandates will likely eliminate Health Savings Accounts for 11 million families. According to the administration’s own data, the law’s restrictive rules will force 80 percent of small businesses to drop their current plans and purchase more expensive coverage.

The President promised his health law would reduce premiums by $2,500 per family, but insurance has only become more expensive under the law. In New Hampshire, some plans are seeing premiums go up more than 40 percent. In Massachusetts, several plans have announced rate increases of 20 percent or more. In my home state of Michigan, 15 percent rate increases are becoming routine.

Increasing costs are the number one reason Americans cannot access insurance. Yet ObamaCare does nothing to actually reign in health care costs. Instead, it forces Americans to purchase a government-designed insurance product which will be unaffordable for countless employers and workers.

If given the chance, most Americans would prefer to keep the coverage they have. Expanding the administration’s own waiver process will allow families to keep their plans and small businesses to continue offering benefits. (U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI))

Happy Birthday, ObamaCare. 😦

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

[] 

[] 

[] 

[] 

[] 

[] 

[] 

[] 

2011: The Year of Regulatory Slavery And other Fine Toasts

Your new #2 at the “Social” Justice Department, James Cole, appointed by recess fiat from Obama’s vacation in Hawaii:  Cole went on to write that the United States has faced “many forms of devastating crime,” from the drug trade to organized crime to rape and child abuse. “The acts of Sept. 11 were horrible, but so are these other things,” he wrote.

Ah, good old liberal Moral Equivalency where nothing is better or worse than anything else. Just different.

And that 3,000 people dying in an actual terrorist attack is the same as a rapist. No more important than that.

Car bombs the same as doing a dubbie in the back of car.

Drug Cartel Violence. Domestic Violence. No difference.

Doesn’t it just fill your heart with joy this New Year’s Eve to know that you this man going Big Sis Janet and AG Eric Holder in protecting and upholding our rights?

<<sound of screaming and running away>>

*****

Oh, did you hear this one?

The reason why New Yorkers were buried in snow for days on end and 2 people died (including a baby) is because the Sanitation UNION was “quietly” protesting. They were having a childish moment of defiance!

Yes, you got it. They deliberately took their time and did it as slow as possible to protest cuts in their budgets.

2 people f*cking Died!!

And you wonder why why I hate Unions.

Indolent New York City union officials who oversee snow removal apparently live by a different creed: Sloth enhances political power, Da Boss slow the plow.

Come rain or shine, wind, sleet or blizzard, Big Labor leaders always demonstrate perfect power-grabby timing when it comes to shafting taxpayers. Public-sector unions are all-weather vultures ready, willing and able to put special interest politics above the citizenry’s health, wealth and safety. Confirming rumors that have fired up the frozen metropolis, the New York Post reported Thursday that government sanitation and transportation workers were ordered by union supervisors to oversee a deliberate slowdown of its cleanup program — and to boost their overtime paychecks.

Why such vindictiveness? It’s a cold-blooded temper tantrum against the city’s long-overdue efforts to trim layers of union fat and move toward a more efficient, cost-effective privatized workforce.

Welcome to the Great Snowmageddon Snit Fit of 2010.

New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Queens, told the Post that several brave whistleblowers confessed to him that they “were told (by supervisors) to take off routes (and) not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file.”

It would be laugh-out-loud comedy if not for the death of at least one newborn whose parents waited for an ambulance that never came because of snowed-in streets.

This isn’t a triumphant victory for social justice and workers’ dignity. This is terrifying criminal negligence.- Michelle Malkin

I agree. The Union and their bosses should be hounded to their political death for this one. NEVERMORE!

Naturally, the Unions deny it. What, are they going to come out and be honest and say, “Yep, we did it. Screw you!”.

I think not.

**********************************************

For an Obama bureaucrat, however, the will of Congress is a mere speed bump. Hence this regulatory trifecta, each one moving smartly left — and nicely clarifying what the spirit of bipartisan compromise that President Obama heralded in his post-lame-duck Dec. 22 news conference was really about: a shift to the center for public consumption and political appearance only.

These regulatory power plays make political sense. Because Obama needs to appear to reclaim the center, he will stage his more ideological fights in yawn-inducing regulatory hearings rather than in the dramatic spotlight of congressional debate. How better to impose a liberal agenda on a center-right nation than regulatory stealth?

It’s Obama’s only way forward during the next two years. He will never get past the half-Republican 112th what he could not get past the overwhelmingly Democratic 111th. He doesn’t have the votes and he surely doesn’t want the publicity. Hence the quiet resurrection, as it were, of end-of-life counseling.

Obama knows he has only so many years to change the country. In his first two, he achieved much: the first stimulus, Obama-Care and financial regulation. For the next two, however, the Republican House will prevent any repetition of that. Obama’s agenda will therefore have to be advanced by the more subterranean means of rule-by-regulation.

But this must simultaneously be mixed with ostentatious displays of legislative bipartisanship (e.g., the lame-duck tax-cut deal) in order to pull off the (apparent) centrist repositioning required for re-election. This, in turn, would grant Obama four more years when, freed from the need for pretense, he can reassert himself ideologically and complete the social-democratic transformation — begun Jan. 20, 2009; derailed Nov. 2, 2010 — that is the mission of his presidency.– Charles Krauthammer

Ignoring both Congress and the voters, the Environmental Protection Agency starts the new year governing by decree with job-killing regulations. Take a deep breath, but if you exhale you’re a polluter.

Cap-and-trade is dead, long live cap-and-trade in the form of regulations promulgated in the coming year by what George Orwell might call the Ministry of Environment. It claims that the Clean Air Act and a Supreme Court ruling in 2007 let the EPA regulate carbon dioxide as a planet-warming pollutant.

We recently commented on the EPA’s recent commandeering of the permitting process from Texas, with which it is in a legal tussle over federalism, states’ rights and the Constitution’s enumeration of powers and who may exercise them.

The federal agency also plans to issue greenhouse gas permits in seven other states — Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon and Wyoming.

The EPA held its fire, hoping a Democratic Congress would get cap-and-trade legislation through both houses. In April, 2009, Time magazine ran a piece titled “EPA’S CO2 Finding: Putting A Gun To Congress’ Head.” Last year the New York Times said that if Congress fails to ram through cap-and-trade legislation, the EPA should ram it down our throats. And so it did.

With Barack Obama’s election, liberal hopes for cap-and-trade rose. But neither businessmen nor homeowners were buying it, especially after the data manipulation and fraud perpetrated by the U.N.’s IPCC, Britain’s Climate Research Unit and even our own NASA.

So now just as rationing and death panels return under regulations written “as the secretary shall determine,” a phrase rapidly replacing “we the people” under this administration, the EPA plans to propose so-called performance standards for oil- and coal-fired power plants in July 2011 and for refineries in December 2022.

“We are following through on our commitment to proceed in a measured and careful way to reduce (greenhouse gas) pollution that threatens the health and welfare or American and contributes to climate change,” says EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. Perhaps she appreciates the irony of the people of Cowlitz, Wash., as columnist George Will points out, approving construction of a coal export terminal to send energy-hungry Beijing coal we won’t burn here. The transporters? Ships that themselves burn fossil fuels.

As it turns out, much of China’s domestic coal is far inland away from urban centers. High-speed trains, as such, have nothing to do with being “green.” Far from it. They enable China to use more coal — not less.

As Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, related on a YouTube video: “Lisa Jackson, Obama’s EPA administrator, admitted to me publicly that EPA based its action today (issuing its finding) in good measure on the findings of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. She told me that EPA accepted those findings without any serious, independent analysis to see whether they were true.”

We hope the incoming Republican House will deal rapidly with what is bad regulation based on junk science.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says: “There are serious questions about EPA’s decision to move forward with these job-killing regulations that will usurp power from the states, violating the principles of federalism that are the backbone of the Clean Air Act.”

Otherwise China will burn our coal and steal our jobs, polluting planetary skies, with that pollution wafting its way across the Pacific to the Western shores of an industrially neutered America and a foolish California.

Oh, and remember those high-speed electric trains in China that have people like the New York Times’ Tom Friedman cooing over how green China is? James Fallows, writing in the Atlantic, quotes a Chinese official as saying they are being built to move passenger trains out of the way of coal trains. (IBD)

And Obama will want to borrow even more money from them to fund it all!!

Rejoice!! 🙂

Another one:

On Dec. 23, the Interior Department issued Secretarial Order 3310 reversing a 2003 decision and giving itself the authority to designate public lands as “Wild Lands.” A clever twofer: (1) a bureaucratic power grab — for seven years up through Dec. 22, wilderness designation had been the exclusive province of Congress, and (2) a leftward lurch — more land to be “protected” from such nefarious uses as domestic oil exploration in a country disastrously dependent on foreign sources. (IBD)

That $5 a Gallon Oil price that is coming isn’t from some greedy Texas oil millionaire (or the increase in grocery and other product costs because of it) but a bunch of “green” Liberals who want you in your solar-powered house with your electric car eating government approved food ,watching government approved TV, your end-of-life counseling on the table in front of you, and surfing the Government-approved Internet.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a
human face – forever.”– George Orwell

HAPPY NEW YEAR From The Liberal Progressive Democrat Party! 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoon