Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Yep. That's the headline.
As noted in the above linked Investor's Business Daily op-ed...
Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed on a 285-148 vote the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009...a smorgasbord of 160 bills totaling more than 1,300 pages...[which]...locks up an additional 2 million acres to the 107 million acres of federally owned wilderness areas.
This bill, which also provides $1 billion for a water project designed to save 500 salmon in California, takes about 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil out of production in that state, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
The energy resources walled off by this bill would nearly match the annual production levels of our two natural gas production states - Texas and Alaska.
Some of these parcels are in or near the Green River Formation, an oil-rich region in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming that's been called the "Persia of the West." This formation has the largest known oil shale deposits in the world, holding from 1.5 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels of crude. The Energy Department's Argonne National Laboratory indicates 800 billion of these barrels are recoverable with current technology. In comparison with Saudi Arabia's oil resources, America's recoverable oil shale resources are nearly three times as large, according to a 2008 report by the Utah Mining Association. As the report notes, the West's oil shale provides America with the "potential to be completely energy self-sufficient with no demands on external sources."
Most of the locked-up lands are in Western states where there's enough oil shale to satisfy America's needs for the next 200 years. Modern technology can extract these vast resources from the earth with a minimal footprint.
Technology for shale-oil extraction is certainly further along than getting energy from switch grass or producing cellulosic ethanol. If we're going to stimulate anything, let's stimulate shale-oil production.
It took Moses 40 years to lead his people out of their wilderness to the Promised Land. The green lobby and its friends in Congress are leading the American people in the opposite direction.
We're sooooooooooooo screwed.
Friday, March 27, 2009
I've referenced the writings of John Tamny, editor of RealClearMarkets.com many times. His most recent column, "Once Again, Time Geithner Gets It Exactly Wrong," provides an outstanding example of why I regularly read Tamny's writings and why you folks should too.
Tamny starts off by addressing a pet peeve of mine - the fact that photo in time market snap shots aren't all they're cracked up to be. Specifically, Tamny addresses how the stock market has historically been prone to initially emit "false positives" in reaction to even the most idiotic and counterproductive government action based simply on herd mentality - the "relief" that some action is being taken... even when upon sober reexamination it's clear that the action taken was the wrong action.
Case in point... in Tamney's words...
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 6 percent on Monday after the announcement of Treasury secretary Tim Geithner’s latest bank relief plan. The stock surge might point to significant positives within his initiative, but then going back to the fall, shares have regularly rallied on the news of government help, only to decline once the harsher realities of government aid set in.Indeed, stocks rallied for weeks in 1971 after President Nixon announced the dollar’s de-link from gold, combined with price controls, but eventually markets caught up to the major economic negatives that would result from Nixon’s flawed attempts to revitalize the U.S. economy. It seems the same applies here.
Yep. Bailouts. "Free" money. "Loans" that may or may not ever have to be repaid. Government pork directed towards... er... corporate welfare as well as expenditures directly solely for the... er... public good. On and on and on it goes; if you're incompetent, irresponsible, and have a certain "live for the day, don't worry about tomorrow" attitude... well... then there's a lot to love about Obamanomics and Geithnerian finance.
Tamney's (and my!) problem with Geithnerian economics:
Geithner began by blaming Americans in total for the nation's economic difficulties. He wrote in the Wall Street Journal that, “as a nation we borrowed too much and let our financial system take on too much risk.” No, some Americans borrowed too much, and some banks acted in risky ways that were inimical to their health.
Geithner’s desire to foist collective guilt on all Americans in many ways strikes at the heart of our problems today. That's the case because in analyzing how we got here, we should make no mistake about the causes. This financial crisis we’re experiencing is a failure of collectivism rather than a failure of capitalism as so many assume.
Exactly! What we've seen "fail" isn't capitalism; what's failed - and was always destined to fail - is "proxy capitalism"... "crony capitalism"... a system where rational profit driven economic policies are often taken out of the control of owners, managers, and stockholders and instead come down from on high out of state capitals and Washington, where men like Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, and Barney Frank make the rules, placing ideology and partisan self interest above and beyond economic rationality, rewarding their loyalists and punishing their political enemies... all this while often enriching themselves and often their friends and family members. As to the rest of us...
"Oops!" "Sorry about Freddie Mac..." "Oops!" "Sorry about Fannie Mae..." If that was all we could expect from the politicians who got us into this mess in the first place that would be bad enough - but as Tamny goes on to point out, Geithner (fully supported by Obama and the Democratic Party) has a new plan to... er... turn things around.
(*BESEECHING HEAVEN... MAKE IT STOP... MAKE THEM STOP*)
Within a capitalist system there would never have been the dollar debasement that drove the rush into property, but that was imposed on the American economy as a way of helping failing manufacturers. Similarly within a capitalist system, loans would have been issued solely based on the borrower’s presumed ability to pay them back. And banks would have lent with the certain knowledge that a failure to lend with profit in mind would be an economic decision that could result in bankruptcy.
But thanks to the collectivist thinking that got us here, government subsidy of the Fannie/Freddie variety made mortgages accessible to those who could not pay them, while some banks chased risky returns based on a belief that any failure would be backstopped by a political class that irrespective of party thinks home ownership is a public good that should be subsidized. The Constitution be damned.
And while Geithner argued in one sentence that “every policy we take be held to the most serious test,” he soon contradicted himself with his line about government initiatives meant “to stabilize the housing market by encouraging lower mortgage rates.” Simplified, lots of Americans bought houses they couldn’t afford and that are presently millstones around their necks, so now we’ll subsidize more of the bad choices that helped get us here.
Are you following, folks...???
(*SIGH*)What remains to be explained is how government subsidies that create even greater incentives to consume property can help the economy. Indeed, with credit tight as is, will it be easier or harder for future Googles and Microsofts to sprout up if government intrusion in the marketplace means more capital will be shifted into the proverbial ground? More to the point, where are the Adam Smith disciples in politics or the commentariat who might innocently suggest that housing is the consumptive reward for productive economic activity, not the driver of same. Basically, Geithner gets what drives economies exactly backward.
Hear, hear...!!! Bravo...!!! EXACTLY...!!!
Some say a better housing situation will aid the gasping banks, but the very assumption is contradictory in nature. It was the vibrant housing market that made banks comfortable lending to bad credit risks to begin with. That being the case, how will we improve the economy if banks repeat the very mistakes that have them on their backs? Wouldn’t the true economic boost result from banks learning the lessons of the past such that they make less in the way of home loans in the future? Geithner doesn’t seem to think so.
To help ailing financial institutions, Geithner noted that “we established a new capital program to provide banks with a safeguard against a deeper recession.” Translated, we’re going to prop up the banks that should have gone bankrupt, and in doing so, we’ll weaken the many responsible institutions that didn’t need government help, but that will have to compete against banks using money not their own.
Folks... ya can't make this stuff up... (And Tamny's not!!!)
A real-world example of the faulty nature of the above was actually revealed in the Wall Street Journal just this week. AIG, now serving federal investors who want said investment to be profitable, is now undercutting its competitors with non-economic prices made economic by federal loans. In the future we should expect the same from the supposed beneficiaries of TARP, who will undercut their competition with full federal approval in the name of “getting taxpayers their money back.”
And with banks “still burdened by bad lending decisions”, Geithner, rather than let those same banks pay for their mistakes, is forming a “Public-Private Investment Program” that “will purchase real-estate related loans from banks.” The message here is for banks to lend in non-economic ways given the certainty that their mistakes will be absolved. The government response to today’s crisis is authoring future ones.
I can't go on, folks. It's too damned depressing.
Bottom line... Tim Geithner is exactly wrong.
God help us...
Friday, March 20, 2009
Understand the following: Official U.S. economic policy is to increase the prices we pay for goods and services; i.e. our government's goal is to spur inflation. I could provide link upon link backing up my contention, but those of you who regularly check in on Usually Right know that I'm providing an accurate synopsis of Fed policy, and I'm confident that those who simply stumbled upon this post, this blog, are sophisticated enough to be just as aware of this disturbing fact as I am.
Readers... ask yourselves... is it in your interest to pay more for gas and oil, more for food, more for housing... more, more, more across the board? Folks... this is Barak Obama's policy! This is what Bernanke, Geithner advise and have been pushing for! Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid... they were on board when Bush was pushing inflationary policies and they're on board now when it's the Obama administration.
God help us. The Bush administration proactively worked to weaken the dollar in the mistaken belief that doing so would jumpstart American exports, help fuel domestic manufacturing. A "cheap dollar," low interest rates... that was the Bush economic plan. So... how'd that go...?!?! How'd ya like that plan, folks...?!?!
Folks... Obama isn't just following in Bush's footsteps - he's doubling down on every irrational, irresponsible, doomed to fail bet placed by Bush, Paulson, Bernanke, and Greenspan!!! We know where the Bush-Bernanke economic policies led... by the time Obama and Bernanke are done I fear we're going to look back fondly upon the Bush years.
Yesterday oil continued its upward climb, coming to rest at approximately $52/bbl. Folks... that's what happens when the dollar declines - oil prices go up. Gold's rising up again... commodities as a whole are edging upward... to those of you who own neither an oil field nor a gold mine... this ain't good news, kids.
Have you stopped by Drudge today...? I use Drudge as my homepage and it seems everytime I open my browser my heart sinks and my stomach lurches. Disaster after disaster and the worst part... the politicians, far from being the solution, far from being a source of "hope," let alone "change," are nine times out of ten ultimately responsible for causing the disasters which literally make me ill day after day, week after week, month after month.
Forgive me if this particular post has turned into a rant as opposed to calm, informative analysis, but the daily "drip, drip, drip" of bad news truly is getting to me. Our government is the enemy. That's the way it seems. Our elected leaders - at least the majority - seem determined to destroy Ronald Reagan's economy - even Bill Clinton's economy - and return us to the days of Carter, of stagflation, of the misery index.
And what makes me nauseous, causes me physical as well as psychological pain... it didn't have to be this way. Bush didn't have to emulate Johnson's failed guns and butter policies; Obama didn't need to emulate Bush's inability to rein in Lott and DeLay via his own failure to rein in Pelosi and Reid. Borrow... borrow... borrow... spend... spend... spend... it's not going to work - it's going to lead to disaster. It's already led to disaster. And things are going to get worse... much worse... much, much worse...
Monday, March 16, 2009
To anyone reading this who somehow doesn't already know that ethanol is a scam... just google the phrase "ethanol is a scam" and see what you get.
To those looking for a less... er... loaded search term... try googling "corn based ethanol".
Seriously - to anyone who has until now somehow escaped stumbling upon the truth about ethanol - you can either take my word for it, or better yet, do your own research. Take fifteen minutes, a half hour... go nuts, take an entire hour (if you can spare it) to browse the scientific and economic literate concerning Archer Daniels Midland's favorite source of corporate welfare.
To paraphrase a headline right out of today's Wall Street Journal Editorial Pages... Everyone Should Hate Ethanol.
These days, it's routine for businesses to fail, get rescued by the government, and then continue to fail. But ethanol, which survives only because of its iron lung of subsidies and mandates, is a special case. Naturally, the industry is demanding even more government life support.
Corn ethanol producers - led by Wesley Clark, the retired general turned chairman of a new biofuels lobbying outfit called Growth Energy - want the Obama Administration to make their guaranteed market even larger. Recall that the 2007 energy bill requires refiners to mix 36 billion gallons into the gasoline supply by 2022. The quotas, which ratchet up each year, are arbitrary, but evidently no one in Congress wondered what might happen if the economy didn't cooperate.
Americans are unlikely to use enough gas next year to absorb the 13 billion gallons of ethanol that Congress mandated, because current regulations limit the ethanol content in each gallon of gas at 10%. The industry is asking that this cap be lifted to 15% or even 20%. That way, more ethanol can be mixed with less gas, and producers won't end up with a glut that the government does not require anyone to buy.
The ethanol boosters aren't troubled that only a fraction of the 240 million cars and trucks on the road today can run with ethanol blends higher than 10%. It can damage engines and corrode automotive pipes, as well as impair some safety features, especially in older vehicles. It can also overwhelm pollution control systems like catalytic converters. The malfunctions multiply in other products that use gas, such as boats, snowmobiles, lawnmowers, chainsaws, etc.
That possible policy train wreck is uniting almost every other Washington lobby - and talk about strange bedfellows. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Motorcycle Industry Council and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, among others, are opposed, since raising the blend limit will ruin their products. The left-leaning American Lung Association and the Union of Concerned Scientists are opposed too, since it will increase auto emissions. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club agree, on top of growing scientific evidence that corn ethanol provides little or no net reduction in CO2 over the gasoline it displaces.
The biggest losers in this scheme are U.S. oil refiners. Liability for any problems arising from ethanol blending rests with them, because Congress refused to grant legal immunity for selling a product that complies with the mandates that it ordered. The refiners are also set to pay stiff fines for not fulfilling Congress's mandates for second-generation cellulosic ethanol. But the cellulosic ethanol makers themselves already concede that they won't be able to churn out enough of the stuff - 100 million gallons next year, 250 million gallons in 2011 - to meet the targets that Congress wrote two years ago.
So successful but politically unpopular businesses will be punished for not buying a product that does not exist - from companies that haven't yet found a way to succeed despite generous political and taxpayer advantages. The next step is to use cap and trade to make green alternatives look artificially good by comparison. Even then they'll probably still be bottomless money pits.
To recap: Congress and the ethanol lobby argue that if some outcome would be politically nice, it should be mandated (details to follow). Then a new round of market interventions is necessary to fix the economic harm resulting from the previous requirements, while creating more damage in the process. Ethanol is one of the most shameless energy rackets going, in a field with no shortage of competitors.
Here's the deal folks: This is a non-partisan issue - or at least it should be. It's not "Republicans vs. Democrats," or "Liberals vs. Conservatives," or even "Environmentalists vs. Corporate America." (Heck... you don't get much more "corporate" than Archer Daniels Midland.) What it is about is money - the money Archer Daniels Midland and other players hope to wring out of American taxpayers and the money Archer Daniels Midland and other players are willing to spread around to the politicians - both Democrat and Republican - in order to buy... er... "win" their support.
Up against the likes of Archer Daniels Midland and Wesley Clark are... us.
If you don't have the phone numbers for your Member of the House and two U.S. Senators handy or even if you don't know who they are, if you click here all you need to do is fill in your address and all three names and Washington D.C. telephone numbers will pop up.
Folks... a couple minutes of your time... contact your federal representatives and tell them you oppose expansion of the corn based ethanol scam; tell them you're sick of paying more to get less while at the same time not benefiting the environment!
Be polite. Identify yourself as a constituent and a voter. Tell the staffer you speak to that their boss, your representative, needs to read the Wall Street Journal editorial titled "Everyone Hates Ethanol" found on page A-18 of today's newspaper and that you expect your representative to represent your interests - not the special interests.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Here they are, folks... the eight RINO miscreants who voted "aye" to pass Obama, Pelosi, and Reid's latest "budget" bill - the sort of pork laden monstrosity that CANDIDATE Obama had time and again promised would never be signed into law if only We The People would place our trust in him, but which PRESIDENT Obama did indeed sign:
With "Republicans" like these...
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The High Cost Of Subsidizing Bad Decisions
By Thomas Sowell - Monday, March 9, 2009
Now that the federal government has decided to bail out homeowners in trouble, with mortgage loans up to $729,000, that raises some questions that ought to be asked but are seldom being asked.
Since the average American never took out a mortgage loan as big as seven hundred grand — for the very good reason that he could not afford it — why should he be forced as a taxpayer to subsidize someone else who apparently couldn't afford it either but who got in over his head anyway?
Why should taxpayers who live in apartments, perhaps because they did not feel that they could afford to buy a house, be forced to subsidize other people who could not afford to buy a house but who went ahead and bought one anyway?
We hear a lot of talk in some quarters about how any one of us could be in the same financial trouble that many homeowners are in if we lost our job or had some other misfortune. The pat phrase is that we are all just a few paydays away from being in the same predicament.
Another way of saying the same thing is that some people live high enough on the hog that any of the common misfortunes of life can ruin them.
Who hasn't been out of work at some time or other, or had an illness or accident that created unexpected expenses? The old and trite notion of "saving for a rainy day" is old and trite precisely because this has been a common experience for a very long time.
What is new is the current notion of indulging people who refused to save for a rainy day or to live within their means. In politics, it is called "compassion" — which comes in both the standard liberal version and "compassionate conservatism."
The one person toward whom there is no compassion is the taxpayer.
The current political stampede to stop mortgage foreclosures proceeds as if foreclosures are just something that strikes people like a bolt of lightning from the blue — and as if the people facing foreclosures are the only people that matter.
What if the foreclosures are not stopped?
Will millions of homes just sit empty? Or will new people move into those homes, now selling for lower prices — prices perhaps more within the means of the new occupants?
The same politicians who have been talking about a need for "affordable housing" for years are now suddenly alarmed that home prices are falling. How can housing become more affordable unless prices fall?
The political meaning of "affordable housing" is housing that is made more affordable by politicians intervening to create government subsidies, rent control or other gimmicks for which politicians can take credit.
Affordable housing produced by market forces provides no benefit to politicians and has no attraction for them.
Study after study, not only here but in other countries, shows that the most affordable housing is where there has been the least government interference with the market — contrary to rhetoric.
When new occupants of foreclosed housing find it more affordable, will the previous occupants all become homeless? Or are they more likely to move into homes or apartments that they can afford?
They will of course be sadder — but perhaps wiser as well.
The old and trite phrase "sadder but wiser" is old and trite for the same reason that "saving for a rainy day" is old and trite. It reflects an all-too-common human experience.
Even in an era of much-ballyhooed "change," the government cannot eliminate sadness. What it can do is transfer that sadness from those who made risky and unwise decisions to the taxpayers who had nothing to do with their decisions.
Worse, the subsidizing of bad decisions destroys one of the most effective sources of better decisions — namely, paying the consequences of bad decisions.
In the wake of the housing debacle in California, more people are buying less-expensive homes, making bigger down payments and staying away from "creative" and risky financing. It is amazing how fast people learn when they are not insulated from the consequences of their decisions.
* Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Quoting Warren Buffett...
Inflation has the potential to be worse than the 1970s.
That's what I've been saying... (*SIGH*) Only... strike the word "potential." Inflation's coming, folks. Actually, stagflation's coming. (*SHRUG*) By mid-2010 (perhaps earlier) new generations are going to become familiar with that relic of the Carter years, the Misery Index.
One of my regular readers, Rodak, doesn't view inflation as a big deal; his idea is that he made it through the '70's so what's the big deal. (*SHRUG*)
Well... (*SIGH*)... here's the big deal: For the average working or retired American who has in the past and continues to now live within his or her means... you're gonna get screwed. (I'm gonna get screwed!)
The poor? To an extent their "losses" will be subsidized by the government.
The rich? Well... they're rich. (*SHRUG*) They'll be able to absorb the inflation.
Those of us in the middle though... we're gonna see major impacts upon our lifestyles - and I don't mean just "frivolous" expenditures - I mean basics such as rising food and energy bills playing havoc with our basic lifestyles.
Speaking of inflation...
OPEC’s record production cuts are draining the glut in world oil markets, leading traders to bet that $50 crude is two months away.
Personally... I don't have a problem with $50/bl. crude. I'd prefer $45/bl. or less over the course of the next couple years just to act as a break on inflation; by the same token I wouldn't lose my mind if oil were to fluctuate between $45-$60/bl. for the next four or five years - at LEAST the next four or five years! I'm looking for reasonable price stability at a level high enough not to dampen research and development efforts that hopefully we all recognize as vital to our communal future as energy consumers.
Putting what I would like to see aside though... my fear is that oil prices won't stop rising at $50/bl., that they won't stop rising at $60/bl. either. My fear is that we're just one foreign policy crisis away... one natural disaster away... one human or technological catastrophic failure away from reigniting the fiery spiral back up to triple digit - $100/bl.-plus - oil prices.
Oh, well... enough gloom for now...
Friday, March 6, 2009
The headline reads...
Record 31.8 Million On Food Stamps
God help this once great nation...
What the hell is wrong with people...?!?! How can we have reached a point in our history when more than 10% of our population is made up of parasites, of takers, of men and women who fail to take responsibility for the basics such as providing food for their children... food for themselves...???
Call me... er... old-fashioned... but shouldn't we view an inability (and obviously view an unwillingness) of a parent or parents to prioritize resources to FEED, shelter, and cloth their child (or children) as the very definition of an unfit parent...??? But, no... instead... we say, "Oh, don't worry about it... those who are already struggling to feed themselves and their families will feed you and yours too regardless of whether your "need" for "assistance" is real or illusionary."
(Hell... here in New York State they actually ADVERTISE, actually MARKET food stamps... in SPANISH as well as English!!!)
Hmm... let's see... let's excerpt from the above linked article:
The average food stamp benefit is $115 a month for individuals and $255 a month per household.
Great! Raise your hands, folks... who COULDN'T use an extra $255 a month of FREE money (only it's NOT free... WE'RE paying for it... hell, we're paying for it as well as the FINANCE charges on the borrowed money we're using to pay for it) in your pocket twelve times a year? (That's over three grand a year by the way...)
Jeezus... why aren't these people ashamed...??? I mean, Christ... I'd be ashamed to receive food stamps...
What ever happened to self-sufficiency, to self-reliance, to self-respect...???
Believe me, folks... I know these sentiments I'm so publicly expressing are politically incorrect, and yes, I'm aware that my words - once posted - will be there in cyberspace forevermore, waiting to be read by any and all who might one day sit in judgment over me - whether for a job application, an organizational membership... remaining on record should I ever run for public office again...
Frankly... I don't give a damn. I believe what I believe and to those who think I'm wrong... so be it; we're all entitled to our opinions. To any who believe I lack compassion....
You're wrong. I simply see self-respect and self-reliance as a great human "need" than welfare policies which ultimately weaken the human spirit. That's what I believe...
God help this once great nation...
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Well... I suppose SOME of you did.
(*SMILING WHILE POKING MY BUDDY RODAK IN THE RIBS*)
Anyway... here's what I'm referring to:
Who is really in charge of our public lands and resources? The American public — or the radical left?
The recession continues to worsen. Stores and companies are closing their doors. Millions are unemployed. Families are struggling to pay for homes, food, cars and fuel.
President Obama just signed a controversial, pork-laden, trillion-dollar "stimulus" package. We'll spend another $350 billion this year on imported oil.
And with the stroke of a pen, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar canceled 77 Utah oil and gas leases that had gone through seven years of studies, negotiations and land-use planning. In an instant, he eliminated hundreds of jobs, terminated access to vital oil and gas deposits, and deprived taxpayers of millions in lease bonus, rent, royalty and tax revenues.
Change... change is coming...
(*BOWING MY HEAD IN CONTEMPLATION OF THE GLORIES AWAITING US AS THE AGE OF OBAMA UNFOLDS*)
The canceled leases represent one-third of acreage estimated to contain enough oil to fuel 3 million cars and enough natural gas to heat 14 million homes for 15 years. They were rejected because temporary drilling operations might be "visible" from several national parks more than a mile away.
Sure...!!! Makes perfect sense...!!! After all... we must be willing to sacrifice... right? What's a little fuel shortage between friends...?!?! Once the Obama Hope and Change Plants come on line producing fuel for 21st century America all will be right with the world!
(*GENUFLECTING TOWARDS MY 2009 OBAMA CALENDAR - PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER*)
Secretary Salazar is supposedly a moderate on land use and energy development. But this decision, after one week in office, suggests that he actually has strong anti-energy attitudes — or is too easily "persuaded" by environmental pressure groups.
They've already eliminated logging and mining in most of the West. They're now going after oil, gas, coal, oil shale and uranium — and after that ranching and snowmobiling.
Hey... who NEEDS logging... who needs mining?!
HOPE will bring the CHANGE we need - and as for the unemployed loggers and miners...
Anti-energy zealots always say these areas only have three weeks or, at most, a few months of oil. But by this logic, why conserve, recycle or reduce pollution? Your personal contribution is trifling. Why plant corn or wheat? Your fields won't make a dent in world hunger.
Obviously, it's the cumulative impact that matters.
(*LEAPING UP IN RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION*)
How DARE the author of this heresy QUESTION our G... er... our President and his lac... appointees as they create a NEW KIND of wisdom out of HOPE... and... er... CHANGE...!
Ask NOT what sense the "logic" of the so-called "zealots" makes... ask instead, how we - the ignorant, imprisoned by our own odd attraction towards reason - may best work to subjugate the common good (and common sense) to those like President Obama and Secretary Salazar who understand that only via LESS power at HIGHER costs can America gain the moral high ground!
(And ain't that what it's all about...???) (*MIRTHLESS CHUCKLE FORESHADOWING DOOM*)
According to a 2008 Interior Department "inventory" of federal energy resources, 163 million acres of public lands are off-limits to oil and gas leasing. That's more than the total area of Montana and Wyoming combined.
These land withdrawals make 62% of the oil and 41% of the natural gas in our nation's onshore public lands unavailable — along with the jobs and revenues that developing these vital resources would provide. Another 65 million acres are severely restricted — for an additional 30% of our onshore federal oil and 49% of our gas.
That's right. An area the size of Texas and Oklahoma, 92% of our onshore publicly owned oil, and 90% of our onshore natural gas — are off-limits to Americans suffering through this recession.
Seriously... you folks DO realize that these figures aren't made up... that THESE are the REAL figures... that this represents the REAL energy policies of this administration - right?
(And yes... again... I am aware that some of you reading this actually DO believe that masochism is the path to grace...)This precedent to cancel leases (or never issue them), because drilling rigs might be visible from park and wilderness areas, threatens to make millions of additional acres off-limits. Such shortsighted actions will destroy jobs and drive up energy prices and the cost of everything we eat and do.
Offshore, Secretary Salazar has stalled oil and gas drilling yet again, by extending the comment period of the current leasing plan another eight months. Americans rose up successfully during the summer of 2008, to end the decades-long congressional offshore drilling ban, because it was bad policy. Salazar's actions suggest we might be headed toward new anti-energy policies.
In the current economic gloom, there is no reason to revert back to the destructive policies that gave us $4-per-gallon gasoline and record-high heating bills.
UNLESS, of course, that's the long term GOAL of Obama, his administration, and the Democrats who control BOTH Houses of Congress...
Every American who supports a pro-energy agenda should contact the Department of the Interior (http://www.doi.gov/contact.html or 202-208-7351) and tell Secretary Salazar that developing all of our energy resources is the only reasonable option, if we want to create American jobs, improve the American economy, and support American national security.
AMEN...!!! BRAVO...!!! I 'll do so upon posting this. I urge those of you reading this who WANT plentiful, reasonably priced energy to be available to each and every American to do the same!
From today's WSJ:
This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess.
The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it.
Oh... sure... if the likes of Schumer, Collins, and Snowe weren't part of the Senate GOP Caucus there might be a shot of forging Republican unity to oppose the Obama/Pelosi/Reid borrow, print, and spend binge... but in the real world...
(*SIGH*)The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year's levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither.
But that's the PLAN...! Borrow, print, and spend... borrow print, and spend... borrow, print, and spend...
This is what Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the majority of the Democratic Party WANT...!!! That's WHY the bill is written this way...!
Our nation's current fiscal imbalance is unprecedented, unsustainable and, if unaddressed, a major threat to our currency and our economic vitality. The national debt now exceeds $10 trillion. This is almost double what it was just eight years ago, and the debt is growing at a rate of about $1 million a minute.
(Meaning Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and most Democrats...)
I mean, seriously... this is THEIR bill...!!! This is the bill they WANT...!!!
Remember, folks... while Obama only took office in January of this year, the DEMOCRATS have controlled BOTH Houses of Congress for the past TWO-PLUS years...
Folks. This is a DEMOCRATIC BILL. Period.
Last week I was pleased to attend the president's White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit. It's about time we had a leader committed to addressing the deficit, and Mr. Obama deserves great credit for doing so. But what ultimately matters are not meetings or words, but actions. Those who vote for the omnibus this week -- after standing with the president and pledging to slice our deficit in half last week -- jeopardize their credibility.
As Indiana's governor, I balanced eight budgets, never raised taxes, and left the largest surplus in state history. It wasn't always easy. Cuts had to be made and some initiatives deferred. Occasionally I had to say "no."
But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. Voters rightly demanded change in November's election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters' mandate.
Now is the time to win back the confidence and trust of the American people. Congress should vote "no" on this omnibus and show working families across the country that we are as committed to living within our means as they are.
But they WON'T...!!! This is what they WANT...!!! This is THEIR BILL...!!! This is the Obama, Pelosi, Reid budget proposal...!!!
The only ones who can stop this monstrosity from passing are the Republicans - and only if they stand in lockstep in the Senate.
I'll pray that this is what happens... but unfortunately I can't bet on it actually happening.
Let's all hope I'm wrong.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Hey... as I've made clear... I can barely stand to post - and this is my blog!
I mean... what's there to say? The politicians - with plenty of "help" from both the corporatists and the unionists - have turned this nation into a pale shadow of its former self. Think "Atlas Shrugged Meets 1984."
What... too pessimistic?
I don't see any counterpoints to my various observations nor viable rebuttals to my predictions of greater agonies to come.
The Dow was up a bit earlier this morning; as I write it has now reversed course... moved into negative territory. Whether by the closing bell today it finishes up or down, the reality is that intelligent, rational, reasonable individuals understand there's no reason why the market should go up... so if it does... the upward tick symbolized nothing more than insider gamesmanship and the speculation of financial market as casino.
Barak Obama is President. He's President today... he'll be president tomorrow. If I had to bet I'd bet that he'll be President through 2016. Even as he "Carterizes" the American economy over the next few years enough of the mob will refuse to stare reality in the face so that chances are... with the mainstream media behind him and no Ronald Reagan to oppose him... Obama will be re-elected for a second failed term in 2012.
Will Charlie Rangel end up in jail one day? Perhaps. For now though... he remains Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Chris Dodd and Barney Franks? Yep. Still two of the most powerful men in Washington. Chances are they'll remain so for the foreseeable future.
That incompetent tax cheat Geithner? He's Treasury Secretary today... he'll be Treasury Secretary tomorrow. God only knows how long Obama will stick with him. And when he goes... there's nothing to stop Obama from replacing him with someone even more incompetent.
Bernanke? Let's not even get into it. Reid... Pelosi... best case scenario they've only got two years to dismantle capitalism and traditional American ideals.
So, yeah, folks... I get it... no comments necessary.