Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quick Hits - January 19, 2012

Mr President, you've just pissed off your Hollywood studio campaign contributors by keeping silent on their effort to control the Internet, then you pissed off the US's number one trading partner and killed about 250,000 jobs in order to appease your hard left environmental base.....what are you going to do now?

One of the questions that gets asked in the conservative blogosphere is if the decision making process of President Obama and the Obama Administration is based on their incompetence to function in the real world (as opposed to academia) or based on their hatred and contempt towards America and traditional American values.  Its becoming quite clear that of this choice, the answer has to be the latter.

Repercussions from the President's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline will reverberate throughout the campaign season - particularly given the incredibly moronic rationales that are being used to justify a decision that Newt Gingrich called 'stunningly stupid'.  With this decision, the President eliminated a 'shovel ready' project that would generate a quarter of million direct and indirect jobs while permitting the US to replace 700K barrels a day of Mideast oil with 700K barrels a day of Canadian oil at the least saving billions or supplies could have been increased to reduce energy costs which effect all levels of the US economy.

The rationale being offered by the President and the Administration for the decision seem to be a case of tossing up whatever can be thought of to see what ultimately sticks - which the mainstream media is quite happy to assist.  The sad part is none of the rationales offered can make a cogent case for an example of putting personal politics ahead of the best interests of the country.

One of the first rationales offered is that it's all the fault of the GOP Congress because they forced the President to make a decision within 60 days of the signing of the Temporary Social Security Payroll Tax Reduction extension - that left insufficient time for an adequate review of the pipeline.  That's asinine because the State Department has been reviewing this since 2008 - and in 2010 and 2011 determined that the project would have 'no significant impacts' on the environment.  This wasn't an issue until the rabid watermelon (part green part red) base of the Democrat Party started to pressure Obama about not supporting him in 2012 if he gave the pipeline the approval of his administration.

President Obama's own Job Council 2 days ago was able to determine that this project had considerable merit towards generating jobs and economic growth, recommending to the President to approve the project.

Then came the environmental rationale - that the route of the pipeline through the ecologically 'sensitive' Nebraska sand hills would risk significant damage to the environment and major Midwestern aquifers in the event of a major leak from the pipeline.  This is equally vapid - again the State Department review cleared the environmental risks in 2010 and 2011.  Charles Krauthammer yesterday on Fox noted that already 25,000 miles of pipelines criss-cross Nebraska's sand hills region. 

On top of this, Canada is still going to produce and leverage their natural resources - applying reasonable environmental controls for this production...and now because of the President's decision,  it will send the oil to China.  Is China going to be more environmentally responsible in their use of energy than the US?  Not hardly.

Then we have the moronic rationale posted on the White House web site....
[T]he idea, as some in Washington have tried to suggest, that building a pipeline is the ultimate answer to the question of American energy security and job creation is nothing more than a pipe dream. The truth is that just two of the Administration’s programs – the DOE Loan Guarantee Program and the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards – will create more than 10 times the amount of jobs generated by the Keystone XL pipeline, which will only generate a few thousand temporary jobs.
So, the DOE Loan Guarantee Program and the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxic Standards regulations will generate 10 times the amount of jobs the pipeline will?  With all due respect, bullshit.

The DOE Loan Guarantee Program is the program that props up 'alternative' energy schemes and companies that are not competitive in the open market... like Solyndra ($500M lost), Solar Millennium ($2.1B lost), and 11 additional companies with a total loss to the US taxpayer of $6.5B. This program resulted in jobs lost - not jobs gained.

Then there are the EPA's new regulatory smackdown around mercury which was intended to cripple the US coal powered energy plants over minute amounts of mercury - at the same time the EPA is promoting that every home replace incandescent light bulbs with mercury filled CFL lights...again closing facilities, driving energy costs up, and costing tens of thousands of jobs.

The reason that these types of decisions are part of the agenda and not explained via gross incompetence is because they just keep coming...

The EPA is slated to announce another new anti-business, anti-fossil fuel, and anti-job series of regulations intended to reduce the haze that American power plants emit.  This will require the closure of 32 power plants which produce 8% of all the US electricity generation - or to put it in another way, equal to the annual electricity generated by Florida and Mississippi.  For the other plants in the 26 states that are impacted by this new regulation - $1.6 billion in additional annual costs to come into compliance.

The EPA is also forcing the closure of a major US refinery in the US Virgin Islands after imposing new regulations on the facility that will increase their operating costs by $700 million per year.

This is also the same EPA that attempted to argue in front of the Supreme Court of the United States that they should be entitled to operate in a manner where they can assign punishment on individuals or companies without needing to grant those individuals and companies legal review, public hearings, or a trial - that they are only accountable to themselves for their actions.  In other words, they argued in front of the SCOTUS that they are entitled to be fascists.

The anti-business agenda isn't limited to the EPA either.  As I warned back in November, the Defense Department has decided to grant a $1 billion contract for light attack aircraft for the USAF to the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer instead of selecting the US based manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft.  The decision was made despite the Hawker aircraft being equally capable, cost less per unit, 750 - 1200 US based jobs would continue, and that the USAF already has 750 of the Hawker Beechcraft aircraft in it's inventory and operational.  This is another political decision by the Administration to support a foreign company in Brazil - a company that is affiliated with George Soros.

Obamacare continues to bring new levels of anti-business and anti-jobs effects to our economy.  Coming courtesy of Obamacare is a new tax of medical device revenues - that's right, revenues not profits - that will destroy smaller medical device companies, cost thousands of jobs, and curtail R&D investments for devices to improve healthcare in the US.  All of this was done because Obamacare needed 'revenues' to obtain an 'acceptable' CBO score.

Once is chance.  Twice is happenchance.  The third time, it's deliberate action.

Tonight CNN will be hosting the final South Carolina GOP Presidential Primary debate before Saturday's vote.  It will be attended by one less participant as Texas Governor Rick Perry withdrew from the race and endorsed Newt Gingrich. 

This has the makings for an interesting debate.   Polls are showing that Gingrich has either closed to within the margin of error or with a slight lead over Mitt Romney in South Carolina.  He is continuing his scorched earth campaign towards Mitt Romney - and ironically, will be the victim of another scorched earth campaign later today as ABC News plans to air an interview from Gingrich's ex-wife who claims that her ex-husband is unsuitable to be President.  What will be the focus of the questions from the CNN moderator?  Gingrich's ex-wife?  Keystone?  EPA?  Jobs?  Economy?  Capitalism?  Romney's money?  Information will not be the focus - fireworks will.

Rush Limbaugh noted on yesterday's broadcast that Mitt Romney is firing back at the attacks being made on him by Newt Gingrich - playing a campaign ad for Romney recorded by former Missouri Senator (and former Congressman) Jim Talent...
TALENT: I served in the House with Newt Gingrich. He would make outrageous comments that would blindside us and undermine our conservative agenda. Chaotic decisions, erratic behavior, it's a problem when your own leader is the biggest political problem that you're dealing with, which is why we removed him as the Speaker. This election needs to be about Barack Obama, and if the Speaker were the nominee, the election would be about him and his unreliable leadership in the past. He's not a reliable leader.
I know someone locally who was a Congressional staffer for a conservative House Republican who was in the Gingrich House - and the comments by Jim Talent match exactly what this staffer told me 5 years ago about Gingrich's management and leadership style.  This is one of the main reasons why I can not support Newt Gingrich in the primaries.

The Iowa caucus results, which originally was declared as a Romney victory by 8 votes over Rick Santorum is being officially called a tie between Romney and Santorum. In certifying the results, Santorum took a 34 vote lead, but 8 precincts are not reporting to the Iowa GOP - so the real totals can't be known. This led the Iowa GOP to determine a tie is the 'fair' result to both candidates.

With 6 Democrats voting with the Republican majority, the House of Representatives approved a resolution yesterday to deny President Obama's request for a $1.2 trillion increase in the nation's debt limit ceiling.  The vote was 239-176.  One Republican voted with the minority to approve the request. This is a purely symbolic vote - the Senate will not take up any vote to deny the President's request.  If they did, and passed a rejection, the President would only need to veto the rejection and he would get the limit increase.

Remember the explanations from the Administration that their decision to gut the Defense Department budget by half a trillion dollars would not weaken the US's national security?  Today, Obama Administration officials are conceding that the new defense strategy increases the war risk to the US...
However, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the new strategy unquestionably increases risks to U.S. national security interests. 
“There’s no question that we have to make some trade-offs and that we will be taking, as a result of that, some level of additional but acceptable risk in the budget plan that we release next month. These are not easy choices,” Panetta said.

No worries - it's just another case of putting personal politics ahead of the best interests in the country as the anti-military base of the President remains quite happy with the drastic cuts.

Next Tuesday, the President will deliver the State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress.  I'm wondering at this point if this really will be a State of the Union speech or an overly long campaign speech as the President is going to barnstorm swing states after the delivery of the speech.

Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection this morning after failing to raise fresh funds needed to turn the company around. The company, an iconic pioneer in photography (cameras, film, and processing film), has struggled as photography has gone digital.

Interesting Observation - the local progressive fishwrap, the Los Angeles Times, must be very upset with the President's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.  Both last night and today - there is not one single mention of the President's decision - pro or con on their website's home page...not as a featured story or listed in the top summaries of the stories in the major sections.  However, the very leftist UK paper, The Guardian, has the President's decision as their top story upper left on their home page.  Sometimes what is not there says more that what is there...

On This Day in History

1807 - Robert E. Lee was born

1809 - Edgar Allen Poe was born

1915 - First Air Raid of Britain - during World War I, two German Zeppelins bomb Great Yarmouth on the east coast of England

1977 - President Ford grants Iva Toguri, aka Tokyo Rose, a pardon.  Toguri was tried and convicted of treason in 1946-7 for her wartime propaganda broadcasts for Japan. 


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