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Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt Fallout: "America's Word is Worthless"

This must be the new diplomacy Obama has always talked about.

One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled "A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam." It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.

"Throughout Asia, Africa and South America, leaders are now looking at what is going on between Washington and Cairo. Everyone grasps the message: "America's word is worthless ... America has lost it."

Somewhere Jimmy Carter is smiling.


Obamacare is unconstitutional.

And besides that, it is terrible legislation. If the decision came last week, Obama probably would have bashed the judge for his decision...

I wonder if Obama will heed the judge's decision and cease and desist on the implementation, as this is basically an injunction from preventing the implementation unless overruled by the Supreme Court. If Obama does not, he would be creating a constitutional crisis by not heeding the decision of a federal judge. It will be interesting to see if Obama goes Chavez on Americans.

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: What Could Go Wrong?

Has anyone else noticed that the Leftist media seems encouraged and perhaps even happy about the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood taking power in Egypt? Unfortunately, as Andrew McCarthy notes, we should be very afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

To this day, the Brotherhood’s motto remains, “Allah is our objective, the Prophet is our leader, the Koran is our law, Jihad is our way, and dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!” Still, our see-no-Islamic-evil foreign-policy establishment blathers on about the Brotherhood’s purported renunciation of violence — and never you mind that, with or without violence, its commitment is, as Qaradawi puts it, to “conquer America” and “conquer Europe.”

...There is a very good chance we are about to reap what they’ve sown. We ought to be very afraid.

Unfortunately, there seem to be no good solutions at this point - only bad and worse. Muslim Brotherhood is the latter.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dems Again Trying to Shut Down Limbaugh, Right

"Don't let a crisis go to waste." We all know that is the mantra of the Left. And with the Tucson shooting recently by a deranged Leftist, anti-Bush individual, the Left is now using any and all language by the Right as "hate speech" that needs to be silenced.

Just the latest example on their Right "hit list" is Rush. (They've already tried to silence Palin, Beck, Levin and anyone else they decide is "inciting hatred.") They say that Rush's imitation of Chinese Communist leader Hu Jintao is essentially inciting violence against all Asians.

"We need to stand up for civility and be respectful of one another. Otherwise the consequences are dreadful as we can already see in the death threats against Senator Yee," said Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat who represents a large Asian district outside Los Angeles.

In my opinion, there is one party inciting hate in this country - as shown by the spectacular electoral landslide election in November. Perhaps they should stop with their "incivility" and all resign in disgrace for their own incitements.

Only Democrats Support "Bipartisan" Financial Crisis Inquiry Report

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report was released by Obama's "bipartisan" group yesterday. Unfortunately, all six Democrats signed it, while none of the four Republicans did. As the WSJ explains, it was basically a Democrat interpretation of what's wrong with corporate America, rather than the perverse incentives created by government intervention.

The report does acknowledge many of the actual causes of the crisis, but its conclusions read like the minutes of an MSNBC production meeting.

Mr. Angelides and his fellow Democrats blame "more than 30 years of deregulation and reliance on self-regulation," a "systemic breakdown in accountability and ethics," "dramatic failures of corporate governance" and "egregious and predatory lending practices" among the key drivers behind the panic.

...he authors also evidently decided they couldn't ignore the government-created mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac, but they dismiss the significance of these and other disastrous federal programs that encouraged multitrillion-dollar investments in residential real estate.

So the two companies that dominated the mortgage market, that bought or insured hundreds of billions in subprime loans, that turbo-charged the mortgage market with trillions in capital from around the world, and that have cost taxpayers more than any other bailed-out bank—they're innocent. Was their attorney Johnnie Cochran?

This is the perfect recipe for Obmanomics - misdiagnose a problem, politicize it, then get the government involved to regulate it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time Photoshops Reagan Into Obama Photo

Time magazine lost its credibility as a news organization long ago, but this cover is a doozy even for the lib magazine. A photoshop picture with Reagan's arm around Obama?

Come on - not even Obama believes he is on the same planet as Reagan from a policy perspective.

Medicare Chief Actuary: Obamacare Was a Big Fat Lie

The Medicare chief actuary admits Obamacare was all a lie and most Americans knew it all along.

George Allen Wants Senate Seat Back

Conservative Sen. George Allen, defeated in a Democrat tidal wave in 2006 by a total of 9,000 votes to the wannabe-moderate-but-really-a-liberal Jim Webb, is running for the Senate again in 2012.

Chavez' Approach to Housing Crisis in Venezuela

Obama's ideological buddy Hugo Chavez has a bold plan to deal with the housing crisis in his country - encourage the poor to squat on the land of the wealthy, including the golf courses.

I think this is something that ACORN and a meaningful portion of the American Left would support.

Social Security Permanently in the Red Now

According to the CBO, their previous projection that the Social Security "trust fund" would dip into the red by 2016 was off by 5 years. It's in the red as of now.

So as President Bush pointed out in his 2006 SOTU address, he tried to reform it, but Democrats blocked it. They cheered wildly at their obstruction. Now of course, the situation gets worse each day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Taxpayers Fund Fannie, Freddie Exec Legal Fees

Spending $160 million to defend the executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after they made millions of dollars for cooking the books would be a bit unpopular if taxpayers knew about it. The common thread about these individuals, including Jamie Gorelick, Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson? They're all Democrats. We know that because otherwise they'd be in jail for corporate fraud.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Obama's Regulatory Overhaul

According to Obama in public, he is going to review regulations in each agency and weigh the cost-benefit of them to determine which ones should be repealed. As the WSJ notes, this is his typical doublespeak nonsense.

No sooner had Mr. Obama told the bureaucracies to subject all regulations to a cost-benefit test than the bureaucrats began telling reporters that they are already a model of modern efficiency, thank you very much. Among many others, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement that it was "confident" it wouldn't need to alter a single current or pending rule. "In fact, EPA's rules consistently yield billions in cost savings that make them among the most cost-effective in the government."

Perhaps the EPA's confidence owes to a little-noticed proviso in Mr. Obama's order. When the agencies weigh costs and benefits, the order says, they should always consider "values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts."

So after you factor in all those immeasurable qualities (similar to those "saved or created jobs"), the agencies won't have to change any regulations at all.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chinese Play Anti-American Song At Obama White House

I doubt that Obama knew the meaning of the anti-American song they played at the White House, but I wonder if he would have objected even if he did:

The film depicts a group of “People’s Volunteer Army” soldiers who are first hemmed in at Shanganling (or Triangle Hill) and then, when reinforcements arrive, take up their rifles and counterattack the U.S. military “jackals.”

The movie and the tune are widely known among Chinese, and the song has been a leading piece of anti-American propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for decades. CCP propaganda has always referred to the Korean War as the “movement to resist America and help [North] Korea.” The message of the propaganda is that the United States is an enemy—in fighting in the Korean War the United States’ real goal was said to be to invade and conquer China. The victory at Triangle Hill was promoted as a victory over imperialists.

The song Lang Lang played describes how beautiful China is and then near the end has this verse, “When friends are here, there is fine wine /But if the jackal comes /What greets it is the hunting rifle.” The “jackal” in the song is the United States.

Obama SOTU Speech: We Need More Spending

Obama apparently does not remember the shellacking he took last election - or what the message was from Americans. He says the government needs to spend more:

President Barack Obama will call for new government spending on infrastructure, education and research in his State of the Union address Tuesday, sharpening his response to Republicans in Congress who are demanding deep budget cuts, people familiar with the speech said.

Mr. Obama will argue that the U.S., even while trying to reduce its budget deficit, must make targeted investments to foster job growth and boost U.S. competitiveness in the world economy. The new spending could include initiatives aimed at building the renewable-energy sector—which received billions of dollars in stimulus funding—and rebuilding roads to improve transportation, people familiar with the matter said. Money to restructure the No Child Left Behind law's testing mandates and institute more competitive grants also could be included.

A "targeted investment" for Obama means any type of government spending that he proposes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Plan to Reduce Deficit: Give Me $1 Billion

Greg Mankiw has a way to reduce the deficit that Obama and the Democrats should love.

The essence of the plan is the federal government writing me a check for $1 billion. The plan will be financed by $3 billion of tax increases. According to my back-of-the envelope calculations, giving me that $1 billion will reduce the budget deficit by $2 billion.

Better yet, give him $1 trillion and raise taxes by $2 trillion. If it works for Obamacare, it should work for anything.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Conservative GOP Leaders to Unveil $2.5 Trillion in Spending Cuts

Rep. Jim Jordan is set to unveil proposed spending cuts by the House's conservative leadership: $2.5 trillion over the next decade. If we could get these cuts and repeal Obamacare, this country might just have a chance at fiscal sanity again...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

House Votes to Repeal Obamacare in Bipartisan Vote

In a bipartisan vote of 245-189, the House today voted to repeal Obamacare. Ok, so only three Democrats voted to repeal, but hey, according to Obama, that qualifies as bipartisan support.

Top Economists, Former CBO Directors Urge Obamcare Repeal

In a letter to Congress and Obama, 200 top economists, including two former directors of the Congressional Budget Office, urged Congress to repeal Obamacare, which will bankrupt the country.

Barack Obama: Let ME Regulate You!

Barack Obama writes an op-ed to the Wall Street Journal, and although I haven't seen the commentary, I'd bet that the world, especially the MSM are going ga-ga over it and saying "Finally - This is the move to the CENTER we've been waiting for!!"

I have a different viewpoint. He wants to get credit for moving to the center but he doesn't really want to move there. He's ordering an overhaul of all regulations. I don't know about you, but I don't want Barack Obama anywhere near any new regulations. I don't like quoting pure nonsense that Obama expects us to believe but which I define as untrue rhetoric but here is one thing the great one is saying:

We're also getting rid of absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money. We're looking at the system as a whole to make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation. And finally, today I am directing federal agencies to do more to account for—and reduce—the burdens regulations may place on small businesses.

Mr. President, is that why you ordered a 2000 page healthcare bill to be approved one day after it was written? Isn't this regulation which burdens small business?

Obama cannot be trusted. If Republicans fall for it, they're idiots. If America falls for it, and this allows Obama to be re-elected, it's game over for America.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Muni Bonds Crashing

It appears that state budget woes are finally catching up to the municipal bond market. Granted, the index has only gone from 105 to 96 since November, but a near 10% decline in a conservative market like municipal bonds is quite a large move.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

RI Gov: Talk Radio is Corrosive to Government (Read: Socialism)

Leftist RI Governor Lincoln Chafee believes that talk radio is "corrosive" to the political process.

Asked Wednesday if he personally believed that talk radio was corrosive to the political process to the extent that it thrives on divisiveness, Chafee said: “Perhaps, to an extent ... at least that is my opinion.”

At the very least, he said, “it’s more entertainment than journalism.”

Funny because that's the way I feel about television broadcast news and Leftists in general they are "corrosive to the political process."

Drilling Commission Report Proves It Was All Just Political

As the WSJ explains, the 398-page report by Obama's selected environmental, I mean, drilling "experts" (none of which was a drilling engineer or experienced in exploration) does not find the cause of the BP explosion but does indict the entire industry and drilling process.

The disaster, we are told, was primarily the result of "overarching failure of management" by BP, Transocean and Halliburton—which is hardly news to anyone who's been paying attention. Yet the commission didn't stop with the companies that managed the Macondo well, going on to blame the highly unusual blowout on a "system-wide problem" of failed regulation and a complacent industry that requires "significant reform."

These sweeping conclusions are remarkable from a commission that admits to knowing so little. The report cites several questionable decisions made by Macondo drillers as the "immediate causes" of the blowout, only to acknowledge it can't say which, if any, were the cause:

• "It is not clear whether the decision to use a long string well design contributed directly to the blowout."

• "The evidence to date does not unequivocally establish whether the failure to use 15 additional centralizers was a direct cause of the blowout."

•"Whether . . . 'unconverted' float valves contributed to the eventual blowout, has not yet been, and may never be, established with certainty."

...The commission nonetheless offers an array of recommendations, most of which would severely restrict oil and gas drilling. Despite President Obama's promises that the new Bureau of Ocean Management (formerly the Minerals and Management Service) is now a shipshape regulator, the commission recommends that Congress create another agency to supervise drilling. Now, there's a new idea—another layer of bureaucracy to supervise the bureaucracy that failed.

...U.S. gasoline prices are now above $3 a gallon, and the decline in Gulf drilling will not help supply. Forecasters predict domestic production will fall at least 13% this year due in part to the Gulf lockdown. Meanwhile, last week the British Parliament rejected a drilling moratorium in U.K. waters on grounds it would cause "expertise to migrate," decrease "security of supply" and harm the British economy.

Obama obviously couldn't care less if he harmed the U.S. economy - that's what he does best.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Deval Patrick Wasted $58MM on Evergreen Solar

Ever hear of Evergreen Solar? The company manufactures solar power cells and panels that provide "clean electric power." They're domiciled in Massachusetts. Although the company was losing money every year from 2000 until 2007 (over $100MM), Deval Patrick decided to grant the company another $58MM in taxpayer aid in 2008. This was the type of company that Patrick could support, especially given its "green" reputation. Also Evergreen promised to hire a few hundred MA residents - so it's like the state was getting paid back or "kinda."

What's happened since then? Another $450MM in losses. And now Evergreen has announced that they can no longer compete in this market, so they're laying off 800 workers in Massachusetts, and they're closing their Deven plant. Yes, this is the same plant that saw front page pictures of Deval cutting a ribbon back in 2008.

Who did the analysis? Who gave the go-ahead to give the company $58MM?

Just another reason that government should stay out of the private sector.

Many Mass. Homeowners Outraged by Supreme Foreclosure Ruling

As points out, there are many Massachusetts residents who bought foreclosed homes and now, because of a state Supreme Court ruling, no longer have clear title to their properties.

In fact, any homeowner in Massachusetts who purchased a foreclosed property from a bank over the past several years is likely in the middle of a conniption. These borrowers bought their properties in entirely good faith, and the vast majority have stayed current on their mortgages. Yet because the Massachusetts Supreme Court last week invalidated two foreclosures over basically paperwork issues, these post-foreclosure buyers no longer have clear title. At a minimum, they won’t be able to sell their properties any time soon. And conceivably—who knows how things work in Massachusetts these days?—they could lose them outright to the original, pre-foreclosure, delinquent borrowers. If this is what is supposed to pass as fair, I’m at a loss. . . .

If you thought the housing situation was messy in the past, you ain't seen nothing yet...

AZ Police Visited Loughner Home Several Times

No wonder the sheriff of Pima County is trying to blame others. His own department visited Loughner's home several times before the shooting because they knew the kid was a whack job.

Of course, Obama called to thank the sheriff for his diatribe against the tea party.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Obama: France Our Greatest Ally

This is Obama diplomacy at its best. In a tweak at Britain, Obama said that our greatest ally is...France.

Obama would be correct if he said that his own greatest ally is France. After all, who was it but France that made the Iraq War so difficult for President Bush and the U.S. - a view Obama was in strong agreement with.

Candidly, I'm just happy Obama didn't say that Venezuela or Iran was our greatest friend.

Monday, January 10, 2011

AZ Sheriff Blames Obama For Killings

Democrat Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said that Obama's words are responsible for the shootings.

"The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like [Obama] , in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said today. "[Obama] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences."

So is Obama to blame?

P.S. The sheriff actually said it was Rush Limbaugh's fault. But frankly, one could insert the name of anyone they disagree with and come up with the same b.s. as this guy.

Bob Kerrey: Tuscon Shooter Angry Over Obamacare Repeal

Come on guys - let's stop acting brainless. Bob Kerrey thinks this nutcase in Tuscon was upset because of the GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare. Clyburn, on the other hand, believes the GOP's reading of the Constitution is to blame....

Tomorrow they were going to vote to repeal this health care bill — and it’s not going to go anywhere in the Senate — it’s one of the reasons that this guy was angry and pretty obvious that he is, at least from me, where I sit that he’s mentally ill and deeply troubled. I wouldn’t make too much of whatever his political views are. [He is a Far Leftist.]

Paul Krugman Shows True Colors

I don't even like to repeat this garbage when I hear it, but Paul Krugman of the New York Times has just lost it. Yes, the guy has a Nobel Prize in Economics, but does anyone doubt that this guy is a 100% political hack after his January 9 article about the Arizona shooting? If you read his article you can feel him steaming up, you can feel his rage, and it's ironic because he's writing that those that disagree with him are filled with hate. In his article he blames conservatives, or as he sees it, people who voted against Obama. He puts blame on Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly. I don't even want to address the argument, but for argument sake, I will:

When was the last time you heard a conservative praise The Communist Manifesto, or Mein Kampf? When was the last time you heard a conservative take the view that government was behind the 911 attack? When was the last time you heard a rightwing guy referred to, by his friends as a lefty pothead? I'm not saying this guy was a lefty (although his friend did), but I'm just saying - I don't think he's conservative. And even if he were, to blame other's rhetoric for someone's action is wrong. If that were the case, wouldn't Hollywood (98% lefty) be blamed for every act of violence?

Please. After reading this article, my conclusion is that Krugman is insecure, childish, irresponsible, and just a plain liar, and will smear anyone to make his view heard.

Love to hear what you think. Krugman... unhinged?

Dick Winters of Band of Brothers Fame, Dead at 92

Richard Winters, captain of Easy Company and portrayed in Band of Brothers, has died at 92. RIP.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

AZ Congresswoman Shot

Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among up to a dozen people shot today while hosting at a public event.

There are conflicting reports about her condition, but obviously it's a horrific scene.

I wonder how long will it take for the media to blame the tea party.

Not long. Even though Loughner was described as a "far left" radical. Maybe Big 'Sis needs to issue a warning about all those Far Left radicals who might be terrorists.

Now even Dem Congressman are blaming Palin and the tea party. Idiots.

CBO: Repealing Obamacare Would Save $540 Billion

In a stunning admission of what I consider to be outright fraud, the CBO now says that repealing Obamacare would indeed save $540 billion (which I think is still very conservative).

How can this happen after their previous position was that it would save money? Obviously the rules of the CBO (scoring bills regardless of how absurd the assumptions are) need to be changed. Unsurprisingly, when you begin to match revenue and expenses, it makes budgets tougher to balance.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Illinois Governor Increasing Taxes

Illinois is running dead last in Moody's state ratings. Their deficit is expected to be 50% of revenues this year. What's the plan from new Democratic governor Pat Quinn? If you guess tax increases, you guessed correctly. Here's the plan:

1. Illinois plans to be the first state to tax internet purchases - at 6.25%.
2. Increase income taxes from 3% to 5.25%, but rest assured if you trust the government - 2% of this will be temporary. When have we heard that before?
3. Same ol, same ol - Cigarette tax hike. Ol reliable. Nope - no hope an' change in Illinois.

Would you expect any different from a democrat from Illinois?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

NM GOP Governor Sets Example; Fires Environmental Board

On her second day in office, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez fired all seven members of the Environmental Improvement Board, which was going to voluntarily impose a state cap and trade program and harm business. This was her letter:

Dear (Member):

Thank you for your service to the State of New Mexico by serving on the Environmental Improvement Board. This letter is to inform you that I am removing you as a member of the Environmental Improvement Board. Your removal is effective immediately. Again, thank you for your service to our state. Best regards,

Susana Martinez

Brazil: Our American Friends Are Melting the Dollar

Harsh words for Bernanke, Obama, and co from Brazil's foreign minister.

Just another fine example of Obama making friends globally.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Federal Court Rules Christian Cross at Mount Soledad in San Diego Illegal

A federal court ruled that the historic cross at Mount Soledad in San Diego violates the church-state separation and is therefore illegal.

Hmm. Is the name San Diego illegal as well?

Obama Looking For Another Trillion in New Spending

Ok, Ok. There is no article that quote Barack Obama saying "I'm looking to spend at least another trillion dollars of your money." Obama wouldn't come right out and say this, just like he didn't come right out and say "I want to control the internet." Yet when he couldn't get a bill passed in Congress, he had his FCC appointee to just take it over unilaterally.

Anyway, my point is that Obama DOES want to spend significantly more taxpayer money and this is true. How do I know?

1. Look at what he said about FDR. Obama was quoted (2 years ago) as saying:

the real problem was that Roosevelt slowed down on public spending in the first two years. If he’d just kept on spending that money, we’d have gotten out of the depression quicker…

Since the economy has still not improved even though Obama has increased the budget deficit by about 10% of GDP, how much more will it take to get the US economy on track? It would have to be at least a trillion.

2. Look at Austin Goolsbee's reaction to the debt ceiling discussion. Goolsbee has come out with a hostile attitude and said it would be "insane" not to increase the debt ceiling. Clearly Goolsbee wants to hike the spending, otherwise why would he consider it "insane?"

3. Look at the last 2 bills Obama and democrats tried to sneak in. The first compromise they got in another $350 billion of pork. The second democratic proposal was for another trillion.

If we're not careful, Obama might sneak his way towards creating a deficit equal to Roosevelt's 30% of GDP.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Doctor-Owned Hospitals Must Stop Construction on 45 New Hospitals

It's a shame. Doctor-owned hospitals want to expand, but have essentially been ordered to stop all construction of new hospitals because of Obamacare provisions.

How does the prohibition of hospital expansion expand access again - at least according to Democrats?

Comparing Governors: Democrat vs Republican

I've been reading about various states, many of which are running deficits. What's interesting is the contrast to what is being done about these deficits. Let's compare a few states:

FLORIDA: Florida is running a $3.5 billion deficit (5% of revenues). What does Republican Governor-elect, Rick Scott plan to do about it?: He will be reducing the state's workforce by 5%, he also plans to lower pension expenses by $1.4 billion and cut $1.8 Billion in medicaid spend. Tough measures yes, but these are tough times. And most likely, these decisions will not make Governor Scott very popular.

MASSACHUSETTS: MA is running a $1.5 billion deficit (5% of revenues). Governor Patrick has reduced lawmakers salaries by $300/year - yep - a whole $6/week! Not sure if a $6 haircut to weekly salaries is enough but that's the MA democratic approach.

***UPDATE*** Deval Patrick has also said people "should expect me to travel more" in 2011 both out of state and out of the country. He gave 4 reasons for more travel in 2011: 1. to promote the state, 2. to do research on how better-managed states are doing things, 3. to promote his book, and 4. to promote Obama's agenda. To me some or all of these reasons are suspicious, and while Patrick did decrease his salary by one half of one percent, it sounds like his travel expenses will trump his salary decline.

ILLINOIS: Projections are that the deficit will be $13 billion (about 50% of revenues). Yep this is the condition that past IL politicians have left the state to the new guard. Jeez, Obama left his successors with a stink bomb, didn't he? In fairness, he was a Senator, not the Governor, but that doesn't detract from the fact that his state is an embarrassment and he's pretty tight with most of them, including former Governor Blagojevich. His state is currently running dead last in Moody's ratings. I sympathize with new Democrat Gov Quinn, but must say that his solutions (more borrowing) and/or increasing the state sales tax from 3% to 4% are losing strategies.

Governors have to make some tough decisions this year. I don't envy them, but nonetheless, more of the same cannot be an option.

Speaker Boehner Vows to....Share Power with Dems?

This WSJ headline has me more than a bit bothered. According to the article,

the new speaker of the House of Representatives plans to offer a package of rule changes that, he says, will give minority-party members more of a say and decentralize power.

Decentralizing power to Republicans is fine, but giving more power to the Democrats who have basically locked out the GOP for the past two years? He did not get swept into power by conservatives to share power with Democrats - he was swept in to stop and roll back their socialist takeover of the country - and that's it.

Meanwhile in the Senate, Democrats are proposing the exact opposite - to destroy the minority rights of Republicans. (Remember the last time the GOP won power in the Senate? They gave Dems half of the committee chairmanships...)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Speaker Pelosi's Legacy: Debt Up 60% to $13.9 Trillion

Who says that Pelosi doesn't have a legacy? She increased U.S. public debt from $8.7 trillion to $13.9 trillion in just four short years - an increase of a whopping 60%.

EPA Targets Revenge on Texas

Texas has had the gaul to challenge Obama's EPA's move to grab power from states over the entire permitting process, so the EPA is now gunning for revenge. From the WSJ:

To wit, the EPA violated every tenet of administrative procedure to strip Texas of its authority to issue the air permits that are necessary for large power and industrial projects. This is the first time in the history of the Clean Air Act that the EPA has abrogated state control, and the decision will create gale-force headwinds for growth in a state that is the U.S. energy capital.

...This summer, the 13 states requested the full three years for the costly and time-consuming revision process, until the EPA threatened economic retaliation with a de facto construction moratorium. If these states didn't immediately submit new implementation plans to specification, the agency warned, starting in 2011 projects "will be unable to receive a federally approved permit authorizing construction or modification." All states but Texas stood down, even as Texas continued to file lawsuits challenging the carbon power grab.

Two weeks ago, EPA air regulation chief Gina McCarthy sent the Texas environmental department a letter asserting that the agency had "no choice" but to seize control of permitting. She noted "statements in the media" by Texas officials and their "legal challenges to EPA's greenhouse gas rules," but she cited no legal basis.

This and other permitting uncertainties have brought major projects in the U.S. to a standstill. The Texas takeover in particular is pure political revenge and an effort to intimidate other states from joining the Texan lawsuits. The reason states are supposed to run the clean-air process is that local regulators have the staff, capacity and expertise that Washington lacks. When the carbon rules eventually are issued, that means the takeover will extend the current moratorium even longer in Texas.

Once again, Chavez and Castro would be proud.