A Preview Of The New Green Deal

I have no problem with keeping the planet earth as clean as possible. America treats its waste water, generally cleans its parks, used to clean its streets (until some of them were taken over by tents), recycles, and attempts to limit pollution. Contrary to what some extreme environmentalists are preaching, civilization actually helps curb pollution–it does not create it. There are people in the world who cook on coal stoves; America cooks on gas or electricity. There are people in the world who do not have clean water due to a lack of infrastructure. The water around them is polluted, and they drink it because it is all they have. Generally speaking, as a civilization prospers, it is better able to protect the environment. Unfortunately, China and India have not followed this pattern, but most other countries have. Enter the extreme environmentalists that believe that in order to save the planet we need to ban fossil fuel. I wonder if they understand the consequences of their belief. New York City and Long Island are currently looking at those consequences.

On Wednesday The New York Post reported that National Grid will no longer be able to expand its natural gas services in Brooklyn, Queens or Long Island. Con Edison may also have to turn away customers. Since natural gas is one of the least polluting, reliable fuels available, that is unfortunate. So what happened to cause this?

The article reports:

Following moves by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to nix a pipeline that could deliver vital gas supplies to the city and Long Island, National Grid can no longer offer new gas hookups or additional service for current customers.

“If you’re looking to expand your natural gas service in Brooklyn, Queens or Long Island, we will not be able to meet your request,” unless both states reverse their decisions and OK the pipeline, the utility warns. Con Ed may have to turn away customers, too.

The govs nixed the pipelines in a pander to climate-change radicals. Yet the shortage won’t only hit well-off developers and businesses: It’ll also threaten projects meant for low- and middle-income New Yorkers.

A local group called Heartshare, which assists New York’s needy with heating costs, is nervous. Its vice president for energy programs, Joe Guarinello, says it’s written local congressmen in support of the pipeline.

“Right now, gas is the most inexpensive and the cleanest for heating homes in our area,” he notes. “We’d like to make sure that the people we assist, both the disabled and the economically stressed,” can continue to benefit from it.

The article concludes:

Don’t give up yet. The pipeline builder refiled its applications for permits. Sanity can yet prevail — but only if Cuomo and Murphy care about New York’s future.

So let’s look at this for a minute–the blocking of the pipeline hurts the disabled and the economically stressed. I hate to be cynical, but if a well-connected millionaire built a house in Brooklyn, Queens, or Long Island, do you think he could manage to get hooked up to a gas line? The problem with extreme environmentalism (which is essentially socialism) is that the people in charge have everything they want while the people who are supposed to be equal all equally have nothing. That’s the reason socialism always fails and results in riots, revolutions, and generally tyranny.

Actions Have Consequences

Most Americans strive to preserve the environment, despite how the more radical environmentalists portray them. The problem occurs when there is a small risk to the environment but a benefit to people.  Anything civilization does will probably incur a small risk to the environment, but benefits and risks need to be weighed carefully. New York State is paying a price for the actions of some of its more radical environmentalists.

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about some consequences of recent environmental activist victories.

The article reports:

If you know anything about New York in the modern era (both the state and the Big Apple), you’re likely aware that it’s not exactly a friendly landscape for the oil and gas industry. The “Keep it in the ground” crowd has a lot of influence with the Democrats who control the government. That why, back in 2013, when the new Constitution Pipeline was proposed to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania’s rich shale oil fields to New York, activists were able to block the construction despite it already having been approved by federal regulators. Similarly, when National Grid (the local energy consortium) requested an extension to the Williams Co. Transco pipeline, they were also tied up because of the outcry from environmental activists.

Here comes the surprise that nobody could have possibly seen coming. The city and its surrounding downstate region are still expanding with new construction projects, but their energy suppliers have told them that they will not be able to supply natural gas to any new customers because they’re already at capacity.

The article concludes with some interesting irony:

The additional ironic twist to all of this is they don’t even need those long pipelines to begin with. Or at least they wouldn’t need them if they were thinking clearly. The southern section of upstate New York is sitting on some of the richest natural gas deposits in the country in the form of the Marcellus Shale deposits. It’s the same formation delivering all of that natural gas over the border in Pennsylvania. But Andrew Cuomo and his Democratic buddies pushed through a moratorium on any and all natural gas drilling and it’s still in place today.

The state could be producing its own natural gas and supplying New York City more cheaply, but they’re refusing to do it out of spite. And now they’ve outstripped their fuel supply. This entire situation would be hilarious if it weren’t creating such a massive SNAFU for the energy grid.

I guess if you live in New York, you’d better make sure you have a working fireplace that you can cook on. The environmentalists put questionable science over the practical needs of people.

A Sobering Thought

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Tuesday night, expanding abortion access and codifying a woman’s right to abort under state law.

Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the Reproductive Health Act on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, making good on his promise to add abortion protections to the state constitution, according to the New York Post.

Roe v. Wade gave women the constitutional right to an abortion under the 14th Amendment on Jan. 22, 1973. The ruling extended the right to abort up to the point of fetal “viability,” a slippery term that continues to foster debate as neonatal care advances.

The bill codified a woman’s right to abort under state law and removes abortion from New York’s criminal code.

The bill will also allow women to have abortions after 24 weeks in cases where “there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health,” according to the legislation. Nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and qualified health care professionals can provide abortions under the legislation.

Meanwhile, CNS News reported:

Last Thursday, Jan. 17, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated that undercover video footage filmed by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which showed Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses, was “authentic” and “not deceptively edited.”

The federal appeals court also vacated an injunction by a district court, which had barred the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) from terminating Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout Texas. The federal appeals court sent the case back to the district court.

…In 2015, the CMP, a pro-life organization, released several hours of undercover video footage that showed employees and doctors from various Planned Parenthood affiliates discussing potential research partnerships with individuals who expressed interest in obtaining body parts of fetuses aborted during the second trimester of pregnancy and paying a handling and shipping fee for those parts.

After the footage was released, the OIG sent Planned Parenthood affiliates a notice of termination of their Medicaid agreements. The OIG argued that the affiliates had violated “accepted medical standards, as reflected in federal and state law,” and were no longer “qualified to provide medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.”

The article at CNS News concludes:

CMP founder David Daleiden wrote that the court’s decision “vindicated” the CMP’s “citizen journalism work” by “debunking Planned Parenthood’s smear that the videos were ‘heavily edited’ or ‘doctored.’”

“Now, it is time for the U.S. Department of Justice to do its job and hold Planned Parenthood accountable to the law,” Daleiden added.

Since the videos were released in 2015, Planned Parenthood has claimed CMP’s footage was heavily and deceptively edited. Many mainstream news outlets have reported that the footage was altered or distorted, using, as the basis for these claims, a Fusion GPS report that was commissioned and funded by Planned Parenthood.

It’s amazing how the same names keep coming up.

In April 2016, Life News reported:

On average, Planned Parenthood receives approximately $500 million a year in taxpayer funds, as a GAO report indicated last year.

Theoretically, this money does not pay for abortions.

In September 2018l Live Action reported:

Taxpayer-funded abortion corporation Planned Parenthood has announced its political arms are joining other “progressive” groups to invest an “unprecedented” $30 million to influence who is elected to key state and federal offices in the 2018 midterm elections.

Does anyone else object to the idea that an organization that takes money from the federal government contributes to political campaigns?

 

My Rant For The Day

The New York Post posted an article today about a speech made by Andrew Cuomo at a bill-signing ceremony today.

The article reports:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stunned the audience at a bill-signing ceremony Wednesday by saying America “was never that great” as he mocked President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“We’re not going to make America great again,” Cuomo said while signing a bill dealing with human trafficking.

“It was never that great. We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.”

…“We will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women … is gone. And every woman’s full potential is realized and unleashed, and every woman is making her full contribution … we have not yet fully liberated the women in this country, and we will, and New York will lead the way.”

I beg to differ. Let’s use Mario Cuomo as an example. His parents owned a store in South Jamaica, Queens, in New York City. He graduated from St. John’s University and St. John’s University School of Law, later becoming Governor of New York. A son of Italian immigrants who became governor of one of the largest states in our nation. I think that’s pretty great. Andrew was also able to get a good education and follow in his father’s footsteps. Whether or not you agree with his politics, Mario Cuomo is an example of a child of immigrants who was able to get an education and prosper. That is what makes America great. Andrew Cuomo needs to look at his own family history before he claims that America is not great. There are very few countries where what his family accomplished would be possible.

Losing Our Civilization One Law At A Time

Last week The New York Times posted an article about some changes being made in law enforcement in New York City.

The article reports:

A package of eight bills to be introduced in the City Council on Monday would reduce the impact of the style of policing known as broken windows that has for two decades guided the Police Department to see minor disorder as a precursor to major crime, often alienating residents in the process.

Under the legislation, New Yorkers given tickets by the police for offenses such as violating city park rules, a misdemeanor now, would in many cases be steered to a civil process rather than criminal court.

The article explains that the new laws would make such crimes as littering, public urination, public consumption of alcohol, excessive noise and breaking certain park rules civil matters rather than criminal matters.

I understand that these bills may help with the problem of overcrowding in the courts, but they will not help with the quality of life in New York City.

One of my daughters attended college in New York City during the 1990’s. When Rudy Giuliani became mayor, he instituted something called the ‘broken windows theory.’ The idea behind this theory was that if you dealt with the ‘little things’ like broken windows, litter, vandalism, etc., then the atmosphere would change, people would take more pride in their surroundings, and all crime would go down. In New York City during the 1990’s, crime did go down, and the quality of life did improve for the residents.

I think this new package of laws is a step backwards–not forward.

Unfortunately, This Didn’t Come From A Satire Site

As the debate on fracking continues, the discussion coming out of New York State has gotten ridiculous. I guess the political left is desperate to frame every issue as a ‘war on women‘ issue that can be used to help Hillary Clinton in her quest for the presidency.

The Washington Times posted an article yesterday about the debate on the impact of fracking.

The article reports:

A key figure behind New York’s statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing says that losing out on oil and gas jobs is no big deal because the industry only creates work for women as prostitutes and hotel maids.

In an April 6 lecture at the University of Pittsburgh, biologist Sandra Steingraber of New Yorkers Against Fracking described the fight over oil and natural gas development as a feminist issue.

“Fracking as an industry serves men. Ninety-five percent of the people employed in the gas fields are men. When we talk about jobs, we’re talking about jobs for men, and we need to say that,” Ms. Steingraber says in a video posted on YouTube by the industry-backed group Energy in Depth.

“The jobs for women are ‘hotel maid’ and ‘prostitute,’” she says. “So when fracking comes into a community, what we see is that women take a big hit, especially single women who have children who depend on rental housing.”

What about single women who get paid more because the economy in the area begins to grow and employers pay more because their profits increase? What about the fact that cheaper energy costs will help single women balance their budgets?

The article refutes the claim that women will not benefit from fracking:

Supporters of the industry swung back by citing a 2014 report from the American Petroleum Institute, which found that women filled 226,000 oil, gas and petrochemical industry jobs, or 19 percent of those jobs.

The article lists some of the arguments the opponents are making–even going so far as comparing fracking to rape. If this is the level to which the opponents of fracking have stooped, I wonder if they actually have any scientific evidence to back their concerns.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. When you find out which groups support biologist Sandra Steingraber of New Yorkers Against Fracking, it is easy to understand why she is saying the things she is saying.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences At Work

On Tuesday, the Daily Caller posted a story about Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The farmers the ban was supposed to protect are complaining about the ban.

The article reports:

“I’m devastated,” apple farmer David Johnson told The Guardian after Wednesday’s announcement that New York was banning fracking. “I have concerns about how to continue this farm that’s been in the family for 150 years.”

“If we had been able to get some gas drilling going it would have made our lives a little easier and taken a few of the stresses away,” echoed Judi Whittaker, who owns a dairy farm and hoped for gas royalties to help pay her high property taxes. “We’ll just have to rethink what we’re doing and move ahead. Agriculture has ups and downs all the time. You just have to go along for the ride.”

There is so far no scientific evidence that fracking harms the environment.

The article further explains:

Just across the border from Johnson’s farm, the economy is booming in rural Pennsylvania where the state allows oil companies to extract natural gas using fracking. Oil and gas activities support 300,000 jobs in the state and contributed $34 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.

“I mean, I would say to New Yorkers, ‘Come to Pennsylvania and take advantage of these jobs that are available with this well-paying industry,’” Stephanie Catarino Wissman, head of the Pennsylvania branch of the American Petroleum Institute, told NPR.

We are crippling state economies for the sake of unproven science.

 

Real News From The Library

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted a story about some recent documents released by the Clinton Library. These documents actually tell the correct story about the cause of the 2008 financial crash. I have posted stories about the cause of that crash before that included the YouTube video below:

The video is a few years old, but it is still worth watching if you have not seen it.

The article at Investor’s Business Daily explains the role that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)  played in creating the housing bubble. The CRA pressured banks to  make risky home loans.

The article reports:

Clinton’s changes to the CRA let ACORN use the act’s ratings to “target merging firms with less-than-stellar records and to get the banks to agree to greater community investment as a condition of regulatory approval for the merger,” White House aide Ellen Seidman wrote in 1997 to Clinton chief economist Gene Sperling.

“Community groups have come to recognize how terribly powerful CRA has been as a tool for making credit available in previously underserved communities,” Seidman added.

Seidman later boasted that Clinton’s 1995 CRA revisions created not only the subprime mortgage market but also the subprime securities market. Of course, subprime loans and their high default rates ruined minority neighborhoods when the market crashed.

Memos also reveal how Clinton aides held repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act hostage to strengthening the CRA. They gave Republicans deregulation of banking activities in exchange for over-regulating how those banking activities applied to low-income communities.

…In 2000, HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo lit the fuse on the subprime bomb by requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase subprime, CRA and other risky mortgages totaling half their portfolios.

A 1993 memo, “Racism in Home Lending,” captured the tone of Clinton’s affordable-housing crusade. It proposed coordinating with the Washington Post and Congressional Black Caucus on bank investigations.

These White House papers are smoking-gun evidence of Clinton’s culpability in creating the subprime bubble. The mainstream media’s silence is deafening.

It is entirely possible that Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016. The role that the Clintons played in the housing bubble and the economic collapse that followed needs to be discussed during her campaign.

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Silencing The Opposition Before 2014

I have written a number of articles about the IRS and the Justice Department targeting of conservative groups and their donors. It seems to be a way of life under the Obama Administration. (Use the search engine at the top of the page if you are curious to see who has been targeted and when.)  Evidently Governor Cuomo has decided to follow the example being set by the White House.

NewsMax is reporting today that James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, a group based in New York has been served a subpoena by the Board of Labor asking for every single financial transaction over the last three years.

Mr. O’Keefe is considering relocating to New Jersey because of the harassment he has experienced in New York.

The article concludes:

O’Keefe said among the documents the New York State Department of Labor is demanding to see by next week are general ledgers, journals, caches, pay roll records, checks, stubs, and copies of Social Security returns.

“Like I said, I’m happy to comply with all this stuff, it’s not my first audit, I’ve been audited nonstop for the last three years but it gives us pause. We’ve got to take a step back and look at what’s happening to our country right now,” O’Keefe said.

“I’m a journalist, OK, and I’ve decided to maintain a small nonprofit. When you look at the corruption in the state of New York, when it comes to the pension funds have been robbed and the state university system, all the stuff that’s going on, I wasn’t going to look into these things but now I think I am.

“The American people need to know that they think this is just standard procedure, [but] it’s politically motivated and it’s got to stop.”

James O’Keefe has done a good job of uncovering corruption in our government from ACORN to voter fraud. Any state government that was interested in honest, transparent government should be glad to have his organization in the state. If he is being harassed and driven out of the state, there is probably something in the state that those leading the state do not want exposed. New York needs more of James O’Keefe and less of Andrew Cuomo.

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When Unions And The Government Work Together

Normally it’s a good thing when different groups work together. Sometimes, however, it isn’t. Some recent events in New York State show what happens when the interests of the general population take second place to the interests of a powerful special interest group.

Yesterday Townhall, com reported that the State of New York and the public sector unions have prevented serious disciplinary action against state home-workers who mistreated their patients. On Thursday the New York Times had posted an update on a report they had done earlier on this matter.

The New York Times article reports:

The Times conducted a new review this year by looking at 227 cases decided since the beginning of 2012 in which the state had sought to fire an offending employee. The numbers remain the same. Only 23 percent of the workers recommended for dismissal by the state actually ended up being fired.

The latest review also included a second agency, the State Office of Mental Health, whose workers care for the mentally ill. The numbers were hardly different there. About 27 percent of 104 workers recommended for dismissal actually were fired, according to a review of cases at that agency. In all, The Times reviewed about 4,000 pages of records.

A recommendation to fire an employee occurs following an internal disciplinary inquiry into allegations made against the worker. The employee is represented by the union and has the right to contest the firing before an arbitrator, who can uphold the charges, reject some or all of them, or impose a lesser punishment. In some cases, the state and union will settle on a punishment before the arbitrator rules.

As long as the unions remain major donors to the political party that runs the state, the state has no incentive to make sure union workers are properly disciplined when they behave inappropriately.

The New York Times article concludes:

Michael Carey, an advocate and the father of Jonathan Carey, whose death led to Jonathan’s Law, has been one of the Cuomo administration’s most strident critics. He has long been troubled that abuse reports are not made directly to the police, instead of filtered through a state bureaucracy. “It’s a clear violation of these individuals’ rights,” he said. He also opposed a move by the Cuomo administration that increased the standard of proof required in some child abuse cases in an effort to make the standard more consistent across a wider range of investigations.

Mr. Carey said tangible ideas intended to prevent abuse, like installing cameras in group homes, were also being ignored.

“Rampant abuse and neglect goes on,” he said. “There has not been anything significant done to stop it.”

The article at Townhall.com cncludes:

By the way–Governor Cuomo struck a deal with the CSEA (Civil Service Employees Association) six months after he was re-elected on the platform that he would address the issue of abuse. The deal included “CSEA protection from broad layoffs,” as well as the implementation of a new “Select Panel on Patient Abuse” to specifically protect the disabled and mentally ill. Two years later, CSEA employees have avoided layoffs, and the man appointed by Cuomo to lead the Justice Center for the Protection of People With Special Needs has a record of lobbying against employee accountability, and actually “lobbied against Jonathan’s Law, the legislation that forced the state to start disclosing abuse reports to parents, named after a teenager with autism who died after being asphyxiated by a state worker.” Meanwhile, the record for firing employees guilty of abuse remains at an abysmal 25%.

This is not a good situation for the residents of New York.

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Another Twist In The Benghazi Saga

Obviously there are some prominent members of the Democrat party who would like to be the party’s nominee for President in 2016. Hillary Clinton has been, up to this point, the seemingly favored candidate. Other people who might want to run would be Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, who served in the Senate until 2012, Andrew Cuomo, currently the governor of New York, and John Kerry, who has been there before. You have to wonder how the scandal surrounding Benghazi is impacting their actions and decisions.

On Friday, CNS News reported that John Kerry, currently Secretary of State, has stated the following regarding Benghazi, “I am absolutely determined that this issue will be answered, will be put to bed, and if there’s any culpability in any area that is appropriate to be handled in some way with some discipline, it will be appropriately handled. …The State Department will leave no stone unturned.”

John Kerry has dealt with the Clintons (and the Obamas) before. Both families are known for their ruthlessness in dealing with anyone who gets in the way of what they are trying to accomplish. Remember the Clintons and the White House Travel Office and Barack Obama somehow getting the sealed divorce records of his Congressional opponent released.

I don’t see how any intelligent person can believe that Hillary Clinton was simply an innocent bystander on the night that Benghazi was attacked and in the events that unfolded afterward. It will be interesting to watch the actions of the other possible Democrat contenders for the 2016 Presidential nominee as this scandal unfolds.

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The Questionable Value Of Awards

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about a recent award received by former President Bill Clinton. The National Father’s Day Council has chosen President Clinton as a recipient of its Father of the Year award. Huh??!!

The article reports:

The not-for-profit group awards Father of the Year to “contemporary lifestyle leaders of our culture” and raises money for its philanthropic efforts. Past recipients from the world of politics have included Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo and his father, Mario Cuomo, and Rudy Giuliani.

John Edwards was given the award in 2007. I don’t mean to be difficult, but it would seem to me that in order to be “father of the year’ some degree of faithfulness and commitment to your wife might be necessary. If the group giving the award were truly encouraging family values, there are many political (and other) figures who better exemplify the total responsibilities of fatherhood.

Bill Clinton may be a wonderful father, but the example he set for his daughter of how a man should treat his wife is not one that should be applauded. That example is part of his legacy both as a father and a husband.

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Disturbing Words From An Influential Governor

Andrew Cuomo is the Governor of New York. He is also one of the Democrat party’s upcoming stars. I have no doubt we will be hearing more from him in the future. Hot Air quoted one of his recent statements that needs to be considered as he rises to higher positions in government.

In a radio interview on Thursday with Albany’s WGDJ-AM, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that he plans to work with state legislators next month to submit a proposal for new gun-control laws; in particular, Cuomo said, “our focus is assault weapons,” because current state laws regulating the weapons “have more holes that Swiss cheese.”

“I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’” he said.

Cuomo continued, “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”

Confiscation is not an option. Confiscation is against the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is part of the Constitution, which forms the foundation of American law. If you destroy the foundation, you destroy the country.

Just a note about the effectiveness of gun bans. The Sandy Hook Elementary School was a gun-free zone. Connecticut has an assault weapons ban. Does anyone honestly believe that laws stop a mentally disturbed person from causing harm to innocent people? The theater in Colorado was particularly chosen by the shooter because it was gun-free. Criminals and mentally unstable people desiring to do harm to innocent people do not go where people are armed–they go where people are defenseless. Laws are not the answer. Dealing with the mentally ill is part of the answer, and teaching everyone to value life is part of the answer. I am not sure we will ever have the entire answer.

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