If It Won’t Work, Why Is The Government Funding It?

One of the biggest problems in the American economy right now is crony capitalism. Rather than a free market system where innovation is rewarded, we have devolved into a system where the federal government picks which companies will receive money from the government to become successful and which companies will simply have to rely on their own abilities to become successful. One of the places where this has been the most obvious has been the ‘green energy‘ industry. On Thursday, The Daily Caller posted an article stating some basic facts about green energy.

The article reports:

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have confirmed what many in the energy world already knew: Without government support or high taxes, green energy will never be able to compete with conventional, more reliable power plants.

…The MIT study also noted that solar and wind power are more than twice as expensive as natural gas, and tax on carbon dioxide emissions could increase electricity prices enough for green sources to compete. Even environmental groups such as The Sierra Club worry increasingly cheap energy will make the case for green power weaker.

The article goes on to explain that fossil fuel is cheap and reliable. As of yet, green energy is neither. We would probably have a better chance of developing green energy if the government would get out of the way and let the inventors take over and be rewarded for their efforts. Until change becomes extremely profitable (outside government subsidies), it is unlikely to happen.

Distraction Or Scorched Earth Policy?

Today is the day that Jonathan Gruber is expected to testify at a hearing of the House Oversight Committee (The Hill), today is the day that Senate Intelligence Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein is scheduled to release a report on CIA interrogations of terrorists after the events of September 11, 2001 (The Washington Post), and to top it off, it has now been reported that President Obama has not actually issued an executive order to grant amnesty to up to five million immigrants (World Net Daily).

Which story is supposed to have the attention of the American people and which stories are we supposed to ignore? I am definitely feeling manipulated.

The Hill reports on the scheduled hearings:

After the videos went viral last month, President Obama dismissed Gruber as “some adviser who was never on our staff,” while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she didn’t even know who he was.

Opponents of ObamaCare say Democrats are changing their story.

They note that Gruber has been to the White House 21 times and met with multiple members of the administration, including Obama, according to visitor logs. Pelosi’s office also cited his work in a 2009 policy analysis.

“Why was Mr. Gruber called an ‘architect’ of ObamaCare by The Washington Post, someone who was lauded by President Obama and cited by then-Speaker Pelosi, and is now just ‘some advisor’? ” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a statement.

As Gruber steps into the line of fire on Tuesday, he might find little protection from Democrats who once paid him nearly as much as the presidential salary for his consulting work.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee’s top Democrat, said he would use the hearing to mount a defense of the healthcare law, not Gruber.

Regardless of what Mr. Gruber says about the stupidity of the American voter, we need to get rid of ObamaCare. It may take a circus to wake up the American voter (however, when you consider that half of the Democrats who voted for ObamaCare lost their seats in the last election, Americans may already be awake).

The Washington Post reports on the release of the CIA interrogation report:

With the apparently imminent release of the Feinstein report on CIA interrogations of high-value terrorists a decade ago, let’s consider the situation of intelligence personnel who have been involved, not in that program but in drone strikes against terrorists, conducted in a variety of countries around the world.

They have four sources of direction and protection: Their strikes are authorized by the president, briefed to Congress, deemed lawful by the attorney general and determined useful by the CIA director.

Yet people in the drone program know that co-workers involved in enhanced interrogation had these assurances as well. And the drone program has some distinctive characteristics. Instead of employing waterboarding, stress positions and sleep deprivation, the targets are killed (sometimes with collateral damage to the innocent). President Obama dramatically expanded the use of drones, increasing the proportion of attacks that are “signature strikes” — meaning those authorizing attacks don’t know the identities of the targets, just their likely value.

Some may argue a subtle moral distinction between harshly interrogating a terrorist and blowing his limbs apart. But international human rights groups and legal authorities generally look down on both. The main difference? One is Obama’s favorite program. A few years from now, a new president and new congressional leaders may take a different view.

That is a very good point. Congress had been briefed on these interrogations when they happened. There is no reason to release this report. The report endangers Americans overseas and will cripple the CIA in dealing with future terrorism threats. I wonder how the restrictions put on the CIA today would compare to any restrictions put on the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II.

Meanwhile, about amnesty, World Net Daily quotes Senator Jeff Sessions:

In remarks made at the Washington office of the government-watchdog group Judicial Watch, Sessions said: “I guess they just whispered in the ear of (DHS Director) Jeh Johnson over at Homeland Security, ‘Just put out a memo. That way we don’t have to enforce the law.’”

The news that Obama had not signed an executive order to carry out the policy he announced to the nation in a televised address Nov. 20 was broken by WND Senior Staff Writer Jerome Corsi last week.

As a result of the president’s use of a memo instead of an official order, the senator observed: “We don’t even have a really significant, direct, legal direction that we can ascertain, precisely what the president is doing. It’s a stunning event in my view.”

…The senator dropped a bombshell last week when he revealed he had learned the Obama administration is opening a facility in Crystal City, Virginia, to implement the president’s amnesty plan.

Sessions discovered the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, is hiring 1,000 full-time and permanent staff members to quickly approve illegal immigrants’ applications for amnesty.

Sessions also learned the administration will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security and Medicare to illegal immigrants.

He noted that all of those benefits for illegal immigrants had been rejected by Congress.

The Obama administration had initially indicated illegal immigrants would not be eligible for Social Security benefits, but officials were forced to admit the plans after Sessions revealed them.

Welcome to Monday morning under the Obama Administration.

Who Can We Trust?

Even Snopes doesn’t get it right all the time.

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted a story about a recent entry on the Snopes site. Snopes is a site that many people use for fact-checking. The entry had to do with comments made by health economist Jonathan Gruber last year (see rightwinggranny.com). The comments are recorded on video and evidently later taken off of the internet (although they are still in the rightwinggranny article).

The article at the Washington Examiner tells the story:

Rather than giving the claim what is easily a “true” rating, the fact checking group gives it a “mixture” rating.

“It appears the comments made by Gruber entered the stream of social media hot topics due to a 9 November 2014 post on the website the Daily Signal, where it was framed as a ‘newly surfaced video,’ ” the website reported. “The shorter version of the video was initially posted by the political action committee (PAC) American Commitment.”

American Commitment, which is not a PAC, had also linked to the original video from UPenn from its own YouTube channel.

…Snopes fact-checkers seem unable to draw obvious conclusions about something as simple as reading a time stamp on YouTube.

“While the newly-circulated video of Gruber’s remarks is unedited, the comments are neither recent nor complete, and whether the originating source attempted to pull them from the Internet at one point remains unclear,” the conclusion reads.

Snopes is owned by Barbara and David Mikkelson of California. I have no idea what their political persuasion is, but in the case of Jonathan Gruber they seem to have missed the boat. This incident is another reason every person needs to do their own research on the issues they care about.

Being Force-fed Spin

Every now and then a person involved in policy making makes a mistake and tells the truth. Admittedly, creating and passing legislation can be messy, but that mess should be subject to scrutiny by the American people who vote for our legislators.

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about some of the things that were involved in the passage of ObamaCare. As I am sure you remember, ObamaCare was passed through the reconciliation process rather than the normal Parliamentary Procedure. Also, not one Republican voted for it.

The Daily Caller reports a statement from the man who designed it, Jonathan Gruber:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that.  In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

This is the YouTube video of his remarks:

This is an example of a party with a political agenda taking advantage of the lack of involvement of the American people in the political process in America. If we are to keep the republic we were given by our Founding Fathers, we need to wake up and start paying attention. Otherwise, we will become the world’s next banana republic.

 

Why?

Carbonated TV posted a story today about Vice-President Joe Biden‘s remarks at the funeral in Boston for the slain MIT police officer killed by terrorists Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The Vice-President is quoted as saying:

 “I get asked, like my colleagues, almost every day since 9/11, ‘Why? Why? Why?‘”

Whether it’s al Qaeda Central, or two twisted, perverted, cowardly knock-off jihadists here in Boston, why do they do what they do?”

I’m just a little old retired blogger with no actual security connections, but even to me, the answer is rather obvious:

There are 164 Quran verses that specifically refer to jihad against non-Muslims in terms that include military expeditions, fighting enemies, or distributing the spoils of war.. Among these are: “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Q2:216); “Slay them wherever you find them” (Q4:89); and “Fight the idolaters utterly” (Q9:36).

The above is taken from a book entitled Sharia, The Threat To America, An Exercise in Competitive Analysis, Report of Team B II. The book was written by a team of security experts that included General William G. “Jerry” Boykin, Frank Gaffney, Jr., John Guandolo, Clair Lopez, R. James Woolsey, and Stephen C. Coughlin, Esq.

My question to Vice-President Biden is simple, “If I know why, why don’t you?”

In 2007, the exhibits in the Holy Land Foundation Trial (you can google them and read them yourself) outlined the plan for turning America into a Sharia state. The actions of the Muslim terrorists are consistent with the Islamic beliefs expressed in the Quran. Not all Muslims practice the warlike verses in the Quran, but we need to be aware that a small percentage of Muslims do. That is “why” we had terror at the Boston Marathon. Our government should easily be able to figure that out.

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Something To Think About As The Temperature Drops

I am not a cold weather person. I think New England is a beautiful place, but I really am not a cold weather person. I’m not real fond of intense heat either–I enjoy my creature comforts. Thus, I love the following story.

Yesterday’s Washington Post posted a story about a study by Tulane University, Carnegie Mellon University, the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showing that air conditioning has played a major role in reducing deaths of Americans on extremely hot days by keeping them cool. That makes perfect sense.

The article reports:

The likelihood of a premature death on an extremely hot day between 1929 and 1959 was 2.5 percent, the academics found, dropping to less than 0.5 percent after 1960. The paper, which is under review at an academic journal, compared days on which temperatures exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit with days when they ranged between 60 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because the article is in the Washington Post, the article goes on to explain how air conditioning will help all of us survive global warming. Putting that aside, isn’t it ironic that the thing the global warming camp criticizes as being one of the causes of global warming also saves lives.

The article reports:

The study’s results could be particularly important for nations such as India, where only a small portion of the population has residential air conditioning. The typical person in India experiences 33 days per year where the temperature rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit; that could increase by as much as 100 days by the end of the century, according to some climate projections.

Anand Patwardhan, a visiting professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland in College Park, said he expects home air conditioning to become more common in India, but not as a conscious response to global warming.

“While it is certainly the case that residential air-conditioning helps in reducing mortality due to temperature extremes, the rapid growth of air-conditioning in the past is perhaps more due to rising incomes and increasing affordability of air-conditioning,” he wrote in an e-mail.

First of all, global warming is a political hoax designed to take money from economically successful countries and give it to third world dictators who will spend it on themselves while their people starve (remember food for oil–it worked the same way). The best scientific source of information on global warming is a website called wattsupwiththat. I strongly recommend it.

Anyway, the fact is that as countries become more wealthy, they consume more energy. The only real way to lower energy consumption is to lower standards of living. Americans who buy into unproven global warming theories might want to consider whether it is worth lowering their standard of living based on an unproven theory.

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