Saturday, August 20, 2011
Over the next 18 months, the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize a flurry of new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. Mercury, smog, ozone, greenhouse gases, water intake, coal ash—it’s all getting regulated. And, not surprisingly, some lawmakers are grumbling.
Industry groups such the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, and the American Legislative Exchange Council have dubbed the coming rules “EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck.” The regulations, they say, will cost utilities up to $129 billion and force them to retire one-fifth of coal capacity. Given that coal provides 45 percent of the country’s power, that means higher electric bills, more blackouts and fewer jobs. The doomsday scenario has alarmed Republicans in the House, who have been scrambling to block the measures. Environmental groups retort that the rules will bring sizeable public health benefits, and that industry groups have been exaggerating the costs of environmental regulations since they were first created.
So let me ask some questions about the wisdom of the this move.
a) how do the Obamaunists propose we fire up all the electric vehicles on the road?
b) when utility costs go up, will that encourage business to locate here or somewhere else in the world?
c) who is impacted most by these regulations
1) Leonardo Decaprio
2) The CEO of a utility company
3) maxine Waters
4) A senior on fixed income
Seriously, who would have believed this guy would have attempted this. Oh he did.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Politico takes him up on it............
At Wednesday’s town hall in Atkinson, Ill., a local farmer who said he grows corn and soybeans expressed his concerns to President Obama about “more rules and regulations” – including those concerning dust, noise and water runoff -- that he heard would negatively affect his business.More....
The president, on day three of his Midwest bus tour, replied: “If you hear something is happening, but it hasn’t happened, don’t always believe what you hear.”
When the room broke into soft laughter, the president added, “No -- and I’m serious about that.”
Saying that “folks in Washington” like to get “all ginned up” about things that aren’t necessarily happening (“Look what’s comin’ down the pipe!”), Obama’s advice was simple: “Contact USDA.”
“Talk to them directly. Find out what it is that you’re concerned about,” Obama told the man. “My suspicion is a lot of times they’re going to be able to answer your questions and it will turn out that some of your fears are unfounded.”
Call Uncle Sam. Sensible advice, but perhaps the president has forgotten just how difficult it can be for ordinary citizens to get answers from the government.
When this POLITICO reporter decided to take the president's advice and call USDA for an answer to the Atkinson town hall attendee's question, I found myself in a bureaucratic equivalent of hot potato -- getting bounced from the feds to Illinois state agriculture officials to the state farm bureau.
Here's a rundown of what happened when I started by calling USDA's general hotline to inquire about information related to the effects of noise and dust pollution rules on Illinois farmers:
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
In the day, Dr. Laura caught a lot of heat for comments made on her show. I happened to listen to her show one day and she asked the audience to consider how great the world would be if we all lived by the Ten Commandments and were assured that everyone else did as well.
Dennis Prager with a similar opinion here (thanks reader Tim). ............
There is only one solution to the world's problems, only one prescription for producing a near-heaven on earth.More......
It is 3,000 years old.
And it is known as the Ten Commandments.
Properly understood and applied, the Ten Commandments are really all humanity needs to make a beautiful world. While modern men and women, in their hubris, believe that they can and must come up with new ideas in order to make a good world, the truth is there is almost nothing new to say.
If people and countries lived by the Ten Commandments, all the great moral problems would disappear.
Or, to put it another way, all the great evils involve the violation of one or more of the Ten Commandments.
Here is the case in brief for the Ten Commandments (using the Jewish enumeration, which differs slightly from the Protestant and Catholic):
Penn Jillette on his atheism and libertarianism (thanks reader Jeremy)........
Read the whole thing..........
And I don't think anyone really knows how to help everyone. I don't even know what's best for me. Take my uncertainty about what's best for me and multiply that by every combination of the over 300 million people in the United States and I have no idea what the government should do.
President Obama sure looks and acts way smarter than me, but no one is 2 to the 300 millionth power times smarter than me. No one is even 2 to the 300 millionth times smarter than a squirrel. I sure don't know what to do about an AA+ rating and if we should live beyond our means and about compromise and sacrifice. I have no idea. I'm scared to death of being in debt. I was a street juggler and carny trash -- I couldn't get my debt limit raised, I couldn't even get a debt limit -- my only choice was to live within my means. That's all I understand from my experience, and that's not much.
It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.
All Detroit Public Schools students will receive free breakfast, lunch and snacks in an effort to remove the stigma of being from a low-income family.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture program chose Michigan as one of three states to participate in the pilot program. Charter schools and districts in Michigan can participate if at least 40% of students are eligible for public assistance.
“One of the primary goals of this program is to eliminate the stigma that students feel when they get a free lunch, as opposed to paying cash,” said DPS Chief Operating Officer Mark Schrupp. “Some students would skip important meals to avoid being identified as low-income. Now, all students will walk through a lunch line and not have to pay. Low-income students will not be easily identifiable and will be less likely to skip meals.”
With around 25 employees, John King owns one of the largest non-union electrical contracting businesses in the Toledo, Ohio area. As a non-union contractor, his business happens to be doing well at a time when unions in the construction industry are suffering. This, it seems, has made the usual animosity unions have for him even greater, making him a prime target of union thugs. So much so, that one of them tried to kill him last week at his home.more......
John King didn’t plan on being an enemy of unions. In fact, he says all he’s ever wanted to do is work at something he loves doing and be successful at it—something that most normal Americans would call ‘The American Dream.’
I think if the administration spent more money on a time machine it would be more productive..........
Last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization. The unglamorous work of insulating crawl spaces and attics had emerged as a silver bullet in a bleak economy – able to create jobs and shrink carbon footprint – and the announcement came with great fanfare.
McGinn had joined Vice President Joe Biden in the White House to make it. It came on the eve of Earth Day. It had heady goals: creating 2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods.
But more than a year later, Seattle's numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers. Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable.
"The jobs haven't surfaced yet," said Michael Woo, director of Got Green, a Seattle community organizing group focused on the environment and social justice.
Meanwhile, bridges across the country continue to fall.............
Seeking a jolt for the economy, President Barack Obama will lay out new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class in a major speech in early September, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.
The president's plan is likely to contain tax cuts, jobs-boosting infrastructure ideas and steps that would specifically help the long-term unemployed. The official emphasized that all of Obama's proposals would be fresh ones, not a rehash of plans he has pitched for many weeks and still supports, including his "infrastructure bank" idea to finance construction jobs.
On a related front, Obama will also present a specific plan to cut the suffocating long-term national debt and to pay for the cost of his new short-term economic ideas.
His debt proposal will be bigger than the $1.5 trillion package that a new "supercommittee" of Congress must come up with by late November.
The president will then spend his fall publicly pressing Congress to take action as the economic debate roars into its next phase. Both the economic ideas and the plan to pay for them will be part of Obama's speech, although the address will focus mainly on the jobs components.
Since Obama is almost sure to face political opposition from Republicans, particularly in the House, he is already preparing to lobby the American public for support if Congress tosses his ideas aside. That would set up an issue for his re-election campaign next year.
The president's speech is expected right after the Sept. 5 Labor Day holiday.
So much for "focusing on jobs 24/7".
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
So what is the impact of the killing the Columbia Free trade agreement?
It's been a boon to Canada.........
These days, what would a firm that outsourced 400,000 U.S. jobs be called? The answer: labor union. Monday's Canada-Colombia free-trade pact is its masterpiece.
Leo Gerard, the proudly Canadian president of the United Steelworkers Union, is one of many who ought to stand up and take a bow.
He and his fellow Big Labor union bosses loudly opposed the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, using their political muscle to keep the already-negotiated deal on ice in Congress and the White House for nearly five years.
It's come at a massive cost to American workers' jobs.
Gerard's native land put its free trade agreement with Colombia into force Monday, meaning tariffs have been cut to zero on 80% of all goods Canadian companies sell to Colombia.
Meanwhile American companies continue to shell out tariffs of 15% to 50% more.
That means American market share on wheat, barley, chemicals and machine-tool parts — made of USWA steel — that once belonged to America will shift to Canada. Already U.S. market share is down — corn, for one, plunged 56% in 2009. It may go to zero.
Now hundreds of thousands of jobs will also be going to Canada, instead of the U.S.
Here's what I don't get. Let's just assume, for the sake of argument, that Columbian free trade kills US manufacturing jobs. What jobs are created by importing goods from Columbia?
Hundreds, if not thousands, of unionized dock worker jobs.
So unions are working against the union's own interests. Tell me how that makes sense.
Even Frank Sobotka gets that.
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun
Sinking in the sea
Business owners and others who have long complained that companies are overburdened by state regulations say a proposal now moving through the Legislature shows that lawmakers have lost all touch with reality: It would require that hotels use fitted sheets.
“We are now going to make it a crime in California not to use a fitted sheet? Really?” state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, asked during a debate before the Senate passed the measure in June.
Take a guess on what it was............
a) A father showing his son how to bait a hook.
b) A mother showing her daughter how to bake a cake.
c) A mother showing her son how to scratch off his first lottery ticket.
The future looks bright.
None the less, I was struck by this photo of a "poor", "downtrodden", "underclass" mark on society who is frustrated by his lack of opportunity in England all the while wearing a pretty damn nice adidas warm up suit.
This punk is every bit the protoplasmic by product of the welfare state.
What? is he frustrated by his lack of a Nike Swoosh on his stylish threads?
This is what we've devolved to when we simply give people something for just existing. A nice warmup suit so you can toss your moltave cocktail at "the man" who bought your warm up suit for you.
Here is a must read that describes it perfectly........
Over the past week we have witnessed the culmination of the liberal experiment. The experiment attested that two parents don’t matter; that welfare, rather than work, cures poverty; you tolerate “minor crime”; you turn a blind eye to celebrity drug use; you allow children to leave school without worthwhile skills; you say there’s no difference between right and wrong. Well now we’ve seen the results.
The modern Labour Party’s answer to every social question is to open the taxpayers’ cheque books. We’ve tested that world view to the point of destruction. The welfare state has never been bigger but nor have our social problems. Today’s historically high tax burden has forced parents to spend more and more hours outside the home, just to make ends meet.
The Left is always ready to attack hyper-capitalism for the ways in which it can erode community bonds, but it looks the other way when it comes to thinking about the ways in which the hyper-state can devour social capital. Labour has become the most materialist and consumerist of Britain’s two largest parties. Whereas Big Society Conservatives are immersed in the importance of relationship-building, within families and within communities, it is the Left that constantly emphasises the right to personal fulfilment.
It reveres “lifestyle choices” as though the kind of home in which a child is raised is somehow equivalent to whether you get your weekly groceries from Morrisons or Asda. Any political movement that is relaxed about the structure of the family will produce the amoral youths that rioted last week.
Weeks ago, the Lovely Mrs. Gekko asked one of my friends why he was conservative and his response was classic. (Paraphrasing) Basically, I've just looked back on history and noticed that every liberal policy introduced in our society either didn't work or was counterproductive.
This punk is evidence of the latter.
At a town hall meeting on his campaign-style tour of the Midwest, President Obama claimed that his economic program "reversed the recession" until recovery was frustrated by events overseas. And then, Obama said, with the economy in an increasingly precarious position, the recovery suffered another blow when Republicans pressed the White House for federal spending cuts in exchange for an increase in the national debt limit, resulting in a deal Obama called a "debacle."
"We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again," Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. "But over the last six months we've had a run of bad luck." Obama listed three events overseas -- the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises -- which set the economy back.
"All those things have been headwinds for our economy," Obama said. "Now, those are things that we can't completely control. The question is, how do we manage these challenging times and do the right things when it comes to those things that we can control?"
Car companies don't make shit on small cars. In fact, they usually sell small cars at a loss to accommodate CAFE standards so they can sell more SUV's AND trucks where the real profit is. Of course he would have known that if he or anyone in his family ever worked in the private sector.
But then again, this guy heads the company where they're rolling electric cars off the lot by the 100's.
Monday, August 15, 2011
For the past few days, the Gekko's have been covering the Carolina's for another sibling wedding.
What's interesting is how the groom's family (parents & four kids) ended up migrating to the Carolina's after living near Buffalo NY for the bulk of their lives.
To sum in up in one pithy statement "it's not just the snow". It's jobs. Most of the kids relocated as a result of job opportunities and ultimately the parents said to themselves "what the hell are we staying here for" and moved to be near the kids.
It's really not unlike the Gekko's experience. Most of us have moved away from a great community, Lancaster, Ohio, to be where the jobs are.
As we were driving back yesterday, the Gekko's rolled through some once great towns like Ironton and Portsmouth. These towns are now dominated by public assistance and, not coincidentally, heroin and pain killer addictions.
I keep asking myself why we continue to subsidize people so they can stay where they were born when so much of America has moved on to where the jobs are. (As an aside what do you think the political affiliation is of those who've picked up and moved versus those who stay behind?)
All I know is that the Gekko's will be heading south in our future and it won't be because of the weather. We like winter.
Unfortunately, we're not going to be the last people to turn the lights out as we leave the once great state of Ohio and we'll take our republican votes and tax dollars with us and leave behind those who can't or won't move.
Is it just me or does this ding dong remind you of Coco on Coco Loves Ice?