Well, the temperature has dropped, and with it, my mood.
Just kidding. It’s Friday, so the work week can suck it. Plus, how could I possibly complain after three days of Obamacare oral arguments at the Supreme Court? Just listening to the confused responses of those who previously told me the case was a slam dunk was enough to get me through the week. Don’t get too excited though; just because the Justices’ questions exposed the absurdity of the mandate doesn’t mean they’ll vote that way. After all, the Court found a constitutional right to abortion somewhere. But I’m not here to talk about that.
I’m here to talk about the the Senate bill to end oil subsidies. It failed due to the filibuster rule, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass something. Barry, of course, was not pleased:
‘They can either vote to spend billions of dollars more in oil subsidies that keep us trapped in the past. Or they can vote to end these taxpayer subsidies that aren’t needed to boost oil production so that we can invest in the future,’ Obama said. ‘It’s that simple.’
‘It’s like hitting the American people twice,’ Obama said in a Rose Garden speech on Thursday morning. ‘You’re already paying a premium at the pump right now. And on top of that, Congress thinks it’s a good idea to send billions more of your tax dollars to the oil industry?’
Two things about this. First, the American people aren’t being hit twice, because we’re not talking about actual “subsidies.” In other words, the government isn’t taking my tax dollars and sending them to Chevron. Instead, our tax code gives oil companies tax breaks, which simply allows them to keep more of their own money. Thus, B.O.’s statement is blatantly untrue.
With that being said, why are we giving tax breaks to oil companies? I agree with the president in this respect. In fact, why are we giving them to any industry? Why does the government have pet projects? Why don’t we just lower taxes overall and get rid of subsidies/tax break for every industry? This leads me to point number two. What does Barry want to do with the extra money the government gets if the bill is passed? Pay down the debt? Send me a check? Wallpaper the White House? No. Of course not. He would use it to “invest in the future.”
The bill would have killed several tax breaks taken by the five largest oil companies and use some of the proceeds to extend expiring energy tax provisions, such as tax breaks for renewable energy, electric cars and energy efficient homes.
That’s right. He’d turn them into tax breaks for other industries. And not just any other industries, but industries that don’t work and that nobody wants. And as an aside, renewables are already the Belles of the Ball in terms of tax breaks. Need proof? Here’s some info from the Congressional Budget Office; complete with a picture which everybody likes.
So, what have we learned? We have further confirmation that Obama’s a liar (which, to be fair, every politician is). We’ve also learned that removing tax breaks is hard. The Republicans didn’t just reject the bill because of the give-away to renewables, or because they’re in the pocket of big oil (which everyone in Congress is). We’re already paying through the nose for gasoline, and increasing the costs on oil companies certainly won’t help prices go down.
Well, that’s it. I’m going to listen to some more audio from the Obamacare hearings, and dream of days where the Supreme Court actually enforces the Constitution.
You hear it everyday, primarily from liberals: “America just doesn’t make stuff anymore.” This is often stated in a wistful manner that harkens back to days gone by, when one’s father would grab his metal lunch box, kiss his wife, and walk to his job at the widget factory. After hearing such a statement, the uninformed listener may inquire into the reason why America doesn’t make stuff anymore. At this point, the listener would be bludgeoned with the following (or its equivalent): “It’s those greedy factory owners who only care about profit.” There can be little doubt that the factory owner cares about profit; that’s why he’s in business after all. If it wasn’t about profit, then he’d be running a charity like that great humanitarian Bono (oh wait, bad example).
Yes, the owner cares about profit (for those of you who dislike profit…it’s difficult to pay employees without money). But where did the factory go? Probably to another country. Why? The answer is simple: liberals. Case in point, the new EPA rules on carbon emissions that the left has been pushing hard for. Hot Air has provided a nice summary of the soon to be released Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority report, which provides a picture of the damage the EPA’s new regulations will do to this country’s already anemic manufacturing industry:
- New standards for commercial and industrial boilers: up to 798,250 jobs at risk;
- The revised National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone: severe restrictions on job creation and business expansion in hundreds of counties nationwide.
- New standards for Portland Cement plants: up to 18 cement plants at risk of shutting down, threatening nearly 1,800 direct jobs and 9,000 indirect jobs;
- The Endangerment Finding/Tailoring Rules for Greenhouse Gas Emissions: higher energy costs; jobs moving overseas; severe economic impacts on the poor, the elderly, minorities, and those on fixed incomes; 6.1 million sources subject to EPA control and regulation;
How bad is it? It’s so bad that the freakin’ Steel Workers Union is complaining about it. And with good reason…the EPA’s standards are so ridiculously strict, there isn’t a boiler in the country that would comply. What does that mean? It means a whole bunch of factories will close, many for good.
It’s examples like this that compel me to conclude that Michael Savage is right: liberalism is a mental disorder. How can you complain about manufacturing jobs leaving when you’re the reason they’re leaving? Even more perplexing: Why the hell would any union member support a democrat? Can anyone explain this to me? Democrats are the reason union jobs are going to China.
And make no mistake, the EPA’s regs have Obama’s fingerprints all over them. It’s the current Administration that has been pushing for the EPA to regulate carbon emissions because it couldn’t get cap-n-trade through the Senate. Simply put, the “working man” needs to wake up. There’s a reason those factories Springsteen always sings about are closed, and it ain’t the greedy factory owner.
Am I beating a dead horse? Well, not entirely…because it’s not dead yet. As long as Obama keeps spewing rhetoric that falls somewhere between baseless nonsense and outright lies, I will continue to address it. On Saturday, during his weekly radio/internet address to the nation, B.O. offered the following,
‘Too often, the Republican leadership in the United States Senate chooses to filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress. And that has very real consequences.’
So, what you’re saying is that not extending unemployment benefits beyond two years is obstructing progress? What the hell constitutes progress then? Three years of unemployment benefits? Is he actually advocating that continued unemployment benefits will create jobs? Haven’t we been trying this for some time now? Newsflash Barry: it’s not working! Continuing to pay people to not work, with money we don’t have, coupled with a complete refusal to implement any legislation that may actually spur job growth is not progress. It’s continuing to pour gasoline into a gas tank with a big-ass hole in it and waiting for the car to run; and when it doesn’t, advocate for the pouring of more…on credit.
Obama has made job creation his top domestic priority and has traveled repeatedly to the U.S. heartland to tout policies that lift hiring, including to Holland, Michigan, on Thursday for the groundbreaking of an electric car battery factory that has received federal dollars.
While not a direct quote from Obama, this is certainly a position he has offered before. Assertions like this one continue to make me wonder if I’ve completely lost my mind. How exactly has Barry made “job creation his top priority?” Is there any basis for this contention? What policies have been implemented that “lift hiring?” Is it those unemployment benefits you keep talking about?
Oh, and that electric car battery factor in Michigan that is producing all of those jobs? It’s mostly federal subsidies. And yes, I can here it now: “but it’s job creation! those are jobs that wouldn’t be there without the factory (and government money)!” Well, that’s true. But what happens when the factory stops receiving government subsidies? If at that point the factory isn’t making the company money, it will close its doors. See, this is the problem with “government stimulus” or “government subsidies.” They’re temporary by their very nature. Why? Because the government doesn’t make any money, but always finds new stuff to spend money on. We need sustained private sector job growth; not a one-time steroid injection.
U.S. growth has resumed after the worst recession in decades, thanks in part to a $862 billion stimulus plan Obama signed last year.
But this recovery has been slow to produce new jobs, and his Democrats risk punishment by voters in congressional elections on November 2 unless he can start to curb unemployment now running at 9.5 percent.
It’s true that slow growth has resumed. It’s also true that the private sector is slowly adding new jobs — not enough to equate to net job growth since not enough jobs are being created to match population growth — but at least we’re not losing them, right? Has it resumed because of the stimulus though? The fact is, no one knows. What we do know is that, without the stimulus, the economy would have bottomed out simply because all the companies that couldn’t stay in business would have eventually gone out of business, and everyone else would have, at some point, slashed enough overhead to survive. We also know that the stimulus didn’t keep unemployment maxed out at 8% like the obama administration claimed it would. Does that make it a failure? I would argue yes (duh), especially when no one can provide evidence that its net effect has been to create jobs.
Frustratingly for the White House, its proposals to extend unemployment insurance, cut capital gains taxes on investments and set up a fund to boost lending to small businesses have been repeatedly blocked on Capitol Hill.
This is the liberal talking point that will continue to be argued for the next three months or so. It’s a complete sham, as we discussed here on Friday. Simply put: if Obama actually wanted to pass a tax cut, he could. So could the Dems. Instead, they attach tax cuts to some other monstrosity of a bill that would completely defeat the purpose of the tax cuts contained therein. Thus, it is filibustered. Seems kind of like a self-fulfilling prophesy, huh?
‘They say we shouldn’t provide unemployment insurance because it costs money,’ chided Obama.
‘So after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, including a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, they’ve finally decided to make their stand on the backs of the unemployed,’ he said.
The issue of Clinton’s “surplus” was also tackled here recently. The fact is, Bush did not inherit a surplus; he inherited a projected surplus based on a forecast of perpetual roses and sunshine, which is a very different thing. I actually enjoy Obama’s continued reliance on Clinton’s fiscal responsibility, however, because it shows he has no answers of his own. Barry possesses no counter-arguments to the assertions that all of his domestic policies have been total disasters. Simply put, the president is lost (which is a scary thing). That’s precisely why he brought in Clinton and previous supporter Warren Buffet for a closed-door White House session on the economy this past week.
Yep, Barry inherited a terrible economy. But that doesn’t excuse his complete failure to do anything about it, and then lie about why he hasn’t done anything about it. Of course, Obama’s privately hoping that the Republicans regain control of at least the House, because it will provide him further excuses for failing to do anything constructive. Who knows, maybe it will even allow him to move to the center and get stuff done, just like 1994 did for Clinton. After all, that mid-term election helped create all of those “surpluses” we hear so much about.
Well, now I’ve heard it all. Only a “we love diversity…Republicans are racist…now please vote for us” Dem could get away with this. Well, maybe not a Dem…maybe just Slick Willy. Clinton, speaking at some memorial for Senator Robert Byrd, says being associated with the KKK is a-o.k., as long as the reason is getting elected.
Incredible. Absolutely incredible. And that “fleeting association?” He started a chapter with 150 of his closest friends! He even wrote in a 1945 letter,
that he would never fight in the armed forces ‘with a Negro by my side.’ Byrd added that, ‘Rather I should die a thousand times, and see old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels.’
Only a Democrat could downplay overt racism and receive applause.
Oh, and the “making it up” he did during the rest of his life? Steering billions in federal money to pet-projects in West Virgina, like a giant statue of himself. Who knows, Byrd’s death alone might balance the federal budget.
It appears the House and Senate Democrats have worked out their differences on the far-reaching Financial Overhaul bill, which is supposed to keep the economic meltdown from happening again. Call me cynical, and a bit frightened, but where have I heard this before?
“No one will know until this is actually in place how it works. But we believe we’ve done something that has been needed for a long time. It took a crisis to bring us to the point where we could actually get this job done.”
Awesome. Another 2000 page monstrosity that no one actually knows what effect it may have until it’s in place. This is the exact same thing we heard from Kathleen Sebelius about the health care bill; and so far, the reviews of that thing have been stellar. Good Lord…these are the people we have elected into office! They’ve had approximately two years to come up with something useful, and now that it’s done, they don’t even know what it will do. They’re all jackasses. Each and every last one of them. And there’s more.
A new consumer protection bureau housed in the Federal Reserve would have independent funding, an independent leader and near-total autonomy to write and enforce rules. The government would have broad new powers to seize and wind down large, failing financial firms and to oversee the $600 trillion derivatives market. In addition, a council of regulators, headed by the Treasury secretary, would monitor the financial landscape for potential systemic risks.
Wow. Granted, I’m one of those people who believes the government sticking its nose into private business is usually a bad idea. But this is even worse, because what’s been created is essentially a rogue element of government that will have zero oversight by those we elect. The rogue element will then be let loose to arbitrarily set rules and seize any private business it feels is “failing.” This is what they used to do in the Soviet Union (except they were more honest about it). In other words, this is bad.
Take heart though. The bill still needs to be voted into law by both the House and Senate, so who knows what may still happen.
So, in case you missed it, here’s the story. President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel asked Bill Clinton to ask Pennsylvania Democrat Joe Sestak to drop out of the Dem primary against Arlen “I luv the Senate” Specter. No, this isn’t a fifth grade date being set up. It’s the Chicago Way of getting things done (other than “suicide”). In return for dropping out, Sestak would be given a “prominent, but unpaid” position in the White House. Sestak told slick Willy to go scratch, and now is the Dem candidate after beating Mr. “maybe I’ll join the Green Party” Specter.
Now, some, maybe even many, in the media and Washington are reacting to this purported bribery as if it’s no big deal. “Happens all the time.” That may be, but the bribee doesn’t usually go blabbing about the bribe to the press. Even more unusual is the briber admitting it. In defense of the alleged impropriety, White House counsel Robert Bauer wrote in a memo released by the White House today:
“There have been numerous, reported instances in the past when prior administrations – both Democratic and Republican, and motivated by the same goals – discussed alternative paths to service for qualified individuals also considering campaigns for public office,” he wrote. “Such discussions are fully consistent with the relevant law and ethical requirements.”
Several facts make Mr. Bauer’s claim that everything was on the up and up seem a bit dubious. First, Sestak wasn’t “considering” running; he was in full-fledged campaign mode. Second, if the President offering a position to Sestak was really no problem, why not just have Rahm do it? Why the junior high hi-jinks of using Clinton as a buffer? The reality is, offering Sestak the position in exchange for him dropping out isn’t as open and shut as Mr. Bauer claims.
Federal law makes it a crime for anyone “who directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or any other benefit” to someone else “as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office.” It is also illegal for a government official to use “his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate” for Senate.
Strike that. If Rahm had Clinton offer a position to Sestak in exchange for him dropping out of the race, it is open and shut; it was illegal. Some are focusing on the fact that the position was unpaid. Notwithstanding the fact that I find it difficult to believe Sestak would voluntarily take a truly unpaid position, as the statute above indicates, the receipt of any “benefit” is sufficient. This “prominent position” would presumably be considered of some benefit to Sestak.
The issue isn’t whether the offer of employment to Sestak was illegal; it clearly was. The issue is whether anything will be done about it. Being that the Obama Administration is in charge of the White House, and both Houses of Congress are dominated by Democrats, it seems unlikely. The New York Times reported today that neither the Department of Justice nor the Office of Special Counsel are even looking into it.
Again, is this typical of Washington? I don’t know. I do know, however, that it’s the sort of corruption our esteemed President promised to change. But then again, he is from Chicago.
I’ve always been an advocate of term limits. Especially for Senators. Why? See John Kerry.
But [John Kerry] said that the D.C.-directed attacks are hypocritical, since many of those attacking Washington spending presumably want to keep their Social Security and Medicare and want Washington to play a big role in the Gulf Oil cleanup. “There’s a huge contradiction on a daily basis,” he said.
Apparently Senator Kerry gave an interview to the Christian Science Monitor to discuss cap and trade, and ended up revealing the fact that he hasn’t left his Washington bubble in about 26 years.
“We’ve come back,” he says of the nation, Wall Street, and the economy. “This is an amazing resurgence.”
For some in Washington, I would look at this comment and inquire into their mental status. For Senators like John Kerry, however, I actually think he believes this. At this point, Senator Kerry is more monarch than he is elected representative, and he hasn’t been among the people that elect him in almost three decades. He’s an absolute disgrace. “We’ve come back?” Tell that to the 10% unemployed.
I also find it astonishing that Senators like John Kerry are members of the so-called “party of the people.” I would expect this kind of ignorance/arrogance from the “we only care about money” Republicans; but a Democrat? What working class citizen trying to keep food on the table would vote for this guy? He’s an elitist snob who is so out of touch that he thinks criticizing Washington constitutes hypocrisy when those doing the criticizing have been forced into government dependency by politicians like him.
John Kerry, I hereby boss-cock thee!