Cutting The Cost Of Government By Improving The Economy

Yesterday Breitbart reported that in the last year food stamp [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)] enrollment has gone down in 46 out of the 50 states. The biggest drops were in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C.

The article reports:

Connecticut saw the largest drop, with SNAP enrollment dropping 25.4 percent from May 2016 to May 2017.

The state also saw a pretty hefty drop in enrollment over one month — Connecticut’s enrollment in the food stamp program dropped 14.2 percent from April 2017 to May 2017.

North Carolina saw the second-largest decrease in SNAP enrollment with a 14.2 drop in the number of state residents participating in the food stamp program.

Part of the decrease has to do with a provision in the 2009 economic stimulus bill. The bill included a waiver of the work requirement in areas that were economically depressed.

The article explains:

The economic boom in these towns no longer made them eligible as of April 1, 2016, for a waiver from SNAP regulations. These regulations were put in place nationwide before the recession and require able-bodied adults without children to work at least 20 hours week, enroll in school, or take part in state-approved job training if they receive benefits for more than three months.

…The only four states that did not see declines in food stamp enrollment are Alaska, Kentucky, Montana, and Illinois. Each of those states reported slight gains in SNAP enrollment. Alaska saw the biggest increase in food stamp enrollment, with SNAP participation increasing by 4.1 percent. Illinois saw the second-largest increase in SNAP enrollment at 3.4 percent, and Montana reported an increase of 3 percent.

All of those states participate in the waiver program either statewide or in certain towns because of chronic unemployment in those areas.

Nationwide, food stamp enrollment has been on the downswing. Food stamp use in the U.S. fell to its lowest level in seven years, and 1.1 million Americans dropped off the food stamp rolls since President Trump took office.

There is a basic lesson here. When there is a work requirement to collect food stamps, enrollment goes down.

As I reported in July:

For example, in July 2014, Maine announced that it would no longer grant waivers from the work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependent children.

In order to receive benefits, they would thus have to work, participate in a work program for 20 hours per week, or do community service for about six hours per week.

It is important to note that this policy did not arbitrarily cut food stamp recipients from the program rolls. Able-bodied adults without dependent children in Maine were removed from the rolls only if they refused to participate in modest activities.

In fact, most of these individuals in Maine chose to leave the program rather than participate in training or community service, despite the strong outreach efforts of government caseworkers. This indicates that these individuals had other means of supporting themselves.

As a result of the new policy, the Maine caseload for able-bodied adults without dependent children dropped 80 percent in just a few months, falling from 13,332 in December 2014 to 2,678 recipients in March 2015.

I wonder what Congress had in mind when the waivers were put in place in 2009. We now have the examples of Alaska, Kentucky, Montana, and Illinois. All of those states still have the waivers, and they are the only four states whose economies have not improved sufficiently to remove the waivers. Food stamps without a work or training requirement does not help anyone–it simply creates dependency. How many times do we have to see this principle in action before we learn that lesson?

This Man Is Not A Moderate

On Friday, Life News posted some information on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Obviously their issue is abortion, but the article sheds some light on the broader issue of religious freedom.

The article reports:

Garland joined in a unanimous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in November 2014, which concluded last year that the HHS mandate doesn’t abrogate the religious freedoms of Priests for Life or 11 other religious groups that also challenged the mandate.

Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that can cause very early abortions. But Garland’s court ruled against the pro-life groups.

The court case and  others like it are part of a move to keep the practice of religion inside the walls of the church and take away the influence of religion in everyday life. Although the Constitution makes clear that the state has no authority to set up a national religion, our Constitution assumes that we will be government by a God-fearing moral people and protects the right of Americans to practice their religion. John Adams stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Religion does belong in the public square–not as a denomination–but as the foundation of our values. Our legal system is based on a Judeo-Christian ethic, and is not designed to work for an amoral people. Unfortunately the political left in America is attempting to move us away from traditional morality to a place our government was not designed to go. Political correctness is one way the left is attempting to overcome America’s religious roots, and using a very loose definition of ‘hate speech’ is another way.

The article further reports:

Writing for the 5-4 majority, Justice Samuel Alito handed down the decision for the high court, saying, “The Supreme Court holds government can’t require closely held corporations with religious owners to provide contraception coverage.”

The court ruled that the contraception mandate violated the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, a 1993 law and it held that the mandate “substantially burdens the exercise of religion” and that HHS didn’t use the “least restrictive means” to promote this government interest, tests required by RFRA.

Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy joined in the majority decision. Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

Garland’s decision would put him squarely against the then-majority of the Supreme Court and would have someone who oppose religious liberty for pro-life groups replace a champion of it in Justice Scalia.

…Garland has praised the author of Roe v. Wade and said his court paper are “the greatest gift to the country.” And information has surfaced showing that his former clerks have gone on to serve liberal judges by a 3-1 margin.

Unfortunately, if Hillary Clinton is elected President, chances are that her nominee for the Supreme Court will be even further to the left. Meanwhile, we all need to remember and follow the Biden Rule.

Our Representatives Have Forgotten Who They Are Working For

America is a Representative Republic. We send people to Congress to represent us. Some do a good job, and some simply forget who elected them. A website called The Pulse 2016 posted an article yesterday about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that just passed Congress. The article includes a number of quotes from Arne Duncan, current Education Secretary.

Here are some of the quotes from the article:

“[I]f you look at the substance of what is there . . . embedded in the law are the values that we’ve promoted and proposed forever. The core of our agenda from Day One, that’s all in there – early childhood, high standards [i.e., Common Core], not turning a blind eye when things are bad. For the first time in our nation’s history, that’s the letter of the law.”

…We had many, many conversations behind the scenes . . . . And I said for us to support it, they’d have to shed their far, far right [i.e., constituents who support the Constitution and oppose Common Core] . . . . I honestly didn’t know if they’d have the political courage to do that. But they both said they would and they did. I give them tremendous credit for that.

…About a month before [final Senate passage of the bill], I ran into Speaker [Paul] Ryan and we just talked briefly. I asked if he was going to back this, whether he’s willing to take on the far right. I just asked him straight up. And he said, “Absolutely. We’re going to back this.” And, he did. That’s when I thought it had a real shot.

…We were intentionally quiet on the bill – they asked us specifically not to praise it – and to let it get through. And so we went into radio silence and then talked about it after the fact. . . . Our goal was to get this bill passed – intentionally silent on the many, many good aspects of the bill . . . [W]e were very strategically quiet on good stuff . . . .

…The final thing is we have every ability to implement, to regulate the law . . . it’s just a Washington typical storyline. . . .  And candidly, our lawyers are much smarter than many of the folks who were working on this bill. There are some face-saving things you give up, some talking points you give up, which we always do because we’re focused on substance.  And we have every ability to implement.  That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

I am reminded of the words of Ben Franklin when leaving the Constitutional Convention of 1787 when asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Ben Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Unless more Americans begin to pay attention, we will lose it.

Hmmmmm

This is a sign (posted on PowerLine) outside one of the monuments in Washington, D.C. I have a few questions. When was the sign made up? Who authorized the sign? Who paid for the sign? How was the sign made after the government was shut down?

The article at Power Line also makes a very interesting point:

The irony of an American citizen being chased away from a memorial to Thomas Jefferson because, well, you can’t visit monuments when our government is 17% shut down, is almost too much. But consider the significance of the fact that a guard was present. That expense was being incurred, just as if the memorial were open; so why did it need to be closed? The difference was that instead of being there to provide security, the guard’s role was to chase away any visitors who were bold enough to ignore the signs and the yellow tape.

All of which is more evidence that the Obama administration is engaged in a massive charade to hype the damage allegedly done by the partial shutdown. It corroborates the Park Service ranger quoted by the Washington Times who said, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

Please follow the link above to the Power Line article to read about the American citizen who was chased away from the Jefferson Memorial.

 

 

 

 

 

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Who Was Running The Show On This Decision?

BBC News reported yesterday the during the shooting at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard, Capitol Police who wanted to come to the aid of the municipal officers were told by a supervisor to stand down. The Capitol Police department will be reviewing the sequence of events.

The article reports:

Multiple sources in the Capitol Police department have told the BBC that its highly trained and heavily armed four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when the initial report of an active shooter came in about 8:20 local time.

The officers, wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons, arrived outside Building 197 a few minutes later, an official with knowledge of the incident told the BBC.

…According to a Capitol Police source, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington DC’s main municipal force, told the Capitol Cert officers they were the only police on the site equipped with long guns and requested their help stopping the gunman.

When the Capitol Police team radioed their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.

It seems as if this administration has a problem with ‘stand down’ orders.

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Permit Denied

Today The Examiner is reporting that the “2 Million Bikers” non-stop ride through Washington, D.C., has been denied a permit. The non-stop ride was to take place on September 11, the same day a ‘Million Muslim March’ is scheduled.

The article reports:

The event organizers of this “2 Million Bikers Ride to DC” have quickly changed to plan B which will be an all-day event instead of just riding straight through the area. Its purpose has not changed. The central message is a show of strength in numbers to honor the people that lost their lives on that fateful day and to pay their respects to the many members of our armed forces that have lost their lives since. The ride is still likely to be traveling by all the veterans’ memorials in the area. Riders will now be stopping for traffic signals as a result of the no-stop permit being denied.

I can understand the denial of the no-stop permit, but the right to assemble is part of the U.S. Constitution. Best wishes to the bikers who are remembering this day as only they can.

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Why Americans Get Angry Over Government Spending

There are a lot of reasons Americans are upset over government overspending. The deficit has been relatively stable in recent months, but has grown exponentially during the Obama Administration. Recently, there have been some real questions as to whether or not our tax dollars are being spent wisely.

On Saturday I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about a California surfer who is happily living off the largess of the American taxpayer. There is no work requirement for him to collect benefits, and he has no intention of going to work. Americans are generous people who care about the less fortunate, but I think most of us resent paying for the lifestyle of someone who simply would rather not work. There is also the matter of wasteful spending.

On Sunday the U.K. Telegraph reported that the White House dog, Bo, had been airlifted to Martha’s Vineyard via two MV-22 Ospreys. This was the first time the Ospreys have been taken on holiday by a US president.

The U.K. Daily Mail reports:

It is estimated the cost of the entire vacation, including the 75 rooms booked at a nearby hotel for staff and security, could reach $2 million.

I don’t think that two million includes the cost of the two Ospreys used to fly in the dog.

These two examples of spending that could easily by limited illustrate the problem with the budget debate in Washington. Most Washington politicians have no desire to cut federal spending–the more money they control, the more power they believe they have. Some of the Tea Party Congressmen are exceptions to the rule that politicians always want to spend more, but there are not enough Tea Party Congressmen to make a difference. If we want to see Washington change, we need to send different people to Washington. As long as we keep sending the same people to Washington, we will get the same result. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The American voter is currently the biggest obstacle to reforming spending in Washington. Don’t blame Congress–you elected them.

Just for the record, I don’t begrudge President Obama a vacation–I just think they should have taken the dog on Air Force One and avoided a separate flight by the Ospreys.

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The Story Behind The Story

NBC Washington reports that even though the D.C. Council has passed a law that will not allow Walmart to locate there unless it pays an ‘living wage‘ of $12.50 per hour, the D. C. government pays its employees less than that.

The battle over Walmart has less to do with wages than it does with unions. On Friday, NewsBusters posted an article explaining exactly what is going on.

NewsBusters reports:

On Thursday, my colleague Jeffrey Meyer noted how the Washington Post‘s Mike DeBonis failed to explain to readers how unionized retail outlets would benefit from an exemption in the cynically-titled Large Retailer Accountability Act, the D.C. Council bill that would require large retail chains like Walmart to pay employees at least $12.50/hour.

Notice the union exemption. So what does that mean? An employee in a union store makes less than what Walmart is required to pay and is required to pay union dues out of the smaller salary he receives. In what universe does that make sense?

NewsBusters reports:

So it’s fine and dandy to labor union activists and liberal Democratic councilmen for a retail employee in Washington, D.C., to get paid less than $12.50/hour “living wage” under the bill, just so long as it’s through a union labor-derived collective bargaining agreement, which naturally means joining a union and paying dues to the same.

The law in question expressly forbids and declares null and void any personal arrangements and negotiations an employee could arrive at with his employer. The rights of contract of both the worker and the employer are infringed by the law, but the Post fails to see how the little guy can be a victim in all this.

If the voters in Washington D.C. re-elect the Council members who came up with this law, they deserve what they get. Walmart is not a perfect retailer, but it brings jobs and lower priced goods into an area, increasing the tax base, lowering the unemployment level, and increasing the spending power of the residents of that area. To pass a law specifically aimed at one company because they are not unionized will hurt the residents of the area–not help them.

 

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Will The Person Who Actually Cancelled The White House Tours Please Stand Up

The Weekly Standard posted two articles today about the cancellation of the White House tours. One article quotes President Obama stating that he did not cancel the White House tours, and one article quotes Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary, stating that the White House cancelled the tours. Would you people please get your stories straight.

 

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Misplaced Priorities

As spring break approaches and class trips are planned to Washington, D. C., the White House has announced that tours of the White House will be cancelled until further notice due to the budget cuts in the sequester. Meanwhile, The Weekly Standard reported today that the three White House calligraphers, with annual salaries of $96,725, $85,953 and $94,372 (for a yearly total of $277,050) are not in danger of being laid off.

It really is unfortunate that budget cuts seems to bring out the worst in our President. He is trying to do things to anger the public so that he can increase spending and taxes.Please remember that this is all about the 2014 elections. If the Democrats can win the House of Representatives, government spending and government growth can continue unchecked. That is the reason the President is attempting to use the sequester to turn public opinion against budget cuts and against the Republican party. It is important that voters stay informed and not fall for this plan.

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Why Sequestration Was Necessary

CBS News reported yesterday that the national debt has risen by more than $6 trillion since President Obama took office. During the eight years George W. Bush was President, the debt grew by $4.9 trillion.

The ‘cuts’ in sequestration are not the best cuts that could be made. There were better ways to do this. The most obvious improvement would have been to actually cut the budget. Although sequestration cuts the budget from now until June by about $40 billion (to keep things in perspective–aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy was  $50 billion), it only cuts the future rate of growth–it does not cut future spending. Next years budget is larger than this years budget.

The Independent Journal Review posted an article listing five basic things all Americans need to know about the sequester:

1. The cuts are small, and most of them take place in future years. We know how that generally works.

2. Government spending is still increasing, even with the cuts.

3. The Pentagon budget will be about $500 billion, not counting war-related and emergency appropriations.

4. One example of how badly the government manages money is that the  one program which the sequester cuts by $2 million ended last year and does not even exist anymore.

5. The sequester was the President’s idea. The President and the media should not be allowed to use the sequester as a battering ram against the Republicans. First of all, runaway spending should not be a political issue–it impacts all of us.

Since the current leadership in Washington does not want to put the welfare of the country over their own petty politics, both parties need new leadership. Sequester happened because there was no one with the courage (or possibly the will) to cut government spending. Until Americans elect more people who are willing to stand up for the rights of working Americans who pay taxes, we will only have more spending, more debt, and eventually, bankruptcy.

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The Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Has Been Put At Risk

Today’s U. K. Telegraph posted a story about a legal problem the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has encountered that may put the entire trial at risk.

The article reports:

…However, Brig Gen Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor, said the charge of conspiracy should be dropped because it was no longer “legally viable” following a court ruling that conspiracy – a charge that seeks to punish suspects for association with al-Qaeda – was not a recognised war crime under international law. This meant it could not legitimately be brought before a war-crimes tribunal such as Guantánamo.

The ruling by an appeals court in Washington DC overturned the conviction against Osama bin Laden‘s driver, Salim Hamdan, and has also undermined the conviction of Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, who made al-Qaeda propaganda films.

This is what happens when civilian courts get involved in military matters. The decision opens the door for  appeals of all the charges being faced by the September 11 co-conspirators and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who was convicted in Yemen over the bombing of USS Cole.

Hopefully someone with some common sense will get involved in this situation.

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Improper Unemployment Payments

Yesterday CNS News posted a story about $5,159,629,434 in improper unemployment insurance payments for all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for the period July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

The data is included in a chart on the Department of Labor (DOL) website.

The article reports:

The DOL outlines its “core strategies to reduce improper payments” and other actions it is taking to improve performance at the state level, including providing funding to the states.  (See TOP Document.pdf )

“On Sept. 27, 2012 the Department announced the award of approximately $169 million in supplemental budget requests (SBRs) to 33 states for projects related to program integrity and performance to address their root causes most likely to quickly reduce improper payments.”

I don’t think fraud is the biggest problem with unemployment insurance. Now that unemployment benefits can be collected for more than a year, how much incentive do people have to look for work during that year? The fraud in the payments needs to be addressed, but so does the length of time benefits can be collected. I understand that the economy is not creating jobs, but does extending the amount of time people can collect money for being unemployed actually help the economy,  the unemployment rate, or those people looking for jobs.

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A Program That Needs To Be Stopped Before It Begins

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story about the changes being made on the federal level to school curriculum in America. We are replacing classic literature with propaganda and junk.

The article reports:

Consider that one of the “informational texts” recommended as a replacement for, say, Great Expectations is “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.” Students would thus study government propaganda in English class (this Executive Order was issued under President Bush, but it is still propaganda — a political sop to the environmental left, as Stanley Kurtz shows).

Another Common Core’s non-fiction exemplar is an excerpt from a 2009 New Yorker essay by Atul Gawande on health care. This too is propaganda – an effort to show that Obamacare is wise policy.

Proponents of downgrading the teaching of literature claim that their goal is to make sure U.S. students can read and understand complicated texts. But there are plenty of complicated texts that don’t amount to political propaganda, much less propaganda relating to current hot-button policy issues in which the Obama administration is heavily invested. If teaching students how to read such texts were the only goal here, the list of exemplar tests wouldn’t include one-sided political tracts about health care and the environment.

The new curriculum is related to the Race to the Top funds being given out by the Obama Administration. States are required to adopt common standards in order to compete for Race to the Top funds.

The article explains what this is about:

The shrewdest aspect of Obama’s education power play is the relative absence of his fingerprints. As noted, Common Core is being presented as having been adopted in 46 states and the District of Columbia. In reality, though, most of them hadn’t even seen the new standards. They were induced to agree to adopt whatever curriculum leftists like Darling-Hammond came up with as a condition of receiving federal funds.

There is value in a classical education. It should not be phased out in favor of an education that does not allow students to enjoy the writings of some of the great authors of the past. I realize that today’s children live in a world of instant information and texting, rather then literature, but they still need to know some of the great authors in western literature.

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The Fight For Religious Freedom

The fight for religious freedom is not something that is only happening in the Middle East–it is alive and well in America. The current attack in America seems to be on the Catholic Church and its charities and educational facilities, but the attack is actually on any Bible-believing Christian.

Two stories recently in CNS News illustrate the point. The first, posted yesterday, is entitled, “Archbishop Questions Pelosi’s Logic in Opposing Provision to Protect Military Chaplains from Being Ordered to Act Against Faith.” The second, also posted yesterday, is entitled, “BREAKING: Cardinal Dolan of NY, Cardinal Wuerl of D.C., Notre Dame–And 40 Other Catholic Dioceses and Organizations–Sue Obama Administration.”

Both stories involve the Catholic Church, but their implications reach far beyond that. The article on the military chaplains is summed up as follows:

The House Democratic Leader further said the idea that military chaplains would be forced to perform same-sex marriages against their will is “a manufactured crisis.”

“Nobody is ordering them to do that,” Pelosi said. “I’ve never seen any suggestion that we’re ordering chaplains to perform same-sex—where is that? I haven’t seen it and I’ve been around this issue for a long time.”

But Broglio, the head of the Archdiocese of the Military Services, respectfully but firmly took issue with Pelosi.

“I would suggest that perhaps she’s not very familiar with how the military works,” Broglio said. “While no one might be constrained to act against his or her conscience, you can also have a situation where someone in command makes it very, very difficult for that person, if the command wants him or her to act in a certain way. And I think that the law, the provision in the draft, the provision in the bill, would protect the chaplain from that kind of situation.

Broglio agreed that Catholic chaplains have not yet been asked to perform same-sex marriages.

I am not sure how much contact Ms. Pelosi has actually had with military command structure, but I think she is wrong to assume that the problem of forcing Catholic chaplains to perform gay marriages would not come up.

The second article deals with the freedom of a church charitable or educational facility to practice their beliefs.

The article explains:

The Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., headed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country announced on Monday that they are suing the Obama administration for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The article also reports that the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has established a special website–preservereligiousfreedom.org–to explain its lawsuit and present news and developments concerning it. Since the media will not honestly cover the church’s side of the story, the church will use the Internet to get out their story. That is a very smart move.

The article reports:

“This morning, the Archdiocese of Washington filed a lawsuit to challenge the mandate, recently issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, that fundamentally redefines the nation’s long-standing definition of religious ministry and requires our religious organizations to provide their employees with coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington said in an open letter posted online this morning. “Just as our faith compels us to uphold the liberty and dignity of others, so too, we must defend our own.”

“The lawsuit in no way challenges either women’s established legal right to obtain and use contraception or the right of employers to provide coverage for it if they so choose,” said Cardinal Wuerl. “This lawsuit is about religious freedom.”

“The First Amendment enshrines in our nation’s Constitution the principle that religious organizations must be able to practice their faith free from government interference,” Cardinal Wuerl said.

All of us, regardless of religious affiliation, need to stand with the Catholic Church in both these matters. This is an attack on anyone who believes that the First Amendment allows the free exercise of religion.

 
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American Energy 101

Hugh Hewitt has added a new feature to his radio show and his website. It is called “The 5-Minute Energy Blog.” It is a quick primer for those of us who are not scientific types to understand America’s energy problems and energy solutions. The feature is written by Tim Dunn, CEO of CrownQuest Operating, one of the top oil producers in Texas. Tim is also the vice-chair of the Texas Public Policy Institute.

In the first installment of The 5-Minute Energy Blog, Mr. Dunn states that the political choices we make as Americans in the next ten years will determine whether or not America has an energy crisis.

The article states:

If we decide as a country that policy experts in Washington DC should make decisions about energy, then I predict the bureaucracy economy in DC will be very fat and powerful, and the rest of the economy will get very thin and weak.  On the other hand, if we are able to retain our heritage of self-governance, and allow individual Americans to make their own choices in a free marketplace of ideas, businesses and consumer choices, then I think we will have a fit and prosperous economy for the indefinite future.  And, of course, the bureaucrat economy will have to go on a diet.

It’s one or the other.  We can’t have market choices and a centrally planned economy.

That is the choice we face in November. Mr. Dunn points out that whoever controls energy controls the economy. If control is taken away from the free market and given to the central government, energy innovation will come to a standstill. When there is no incentive to innovate, innovation ceases. A profit motive is a strong incentive, when it is removed, innovation stalls.

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The Problem With Spin Is That It Doesn’t Work When There Is Actual Evidence

I posted an article this morning about Jame O’keefe’s video showing how easy voter fraud is in Washington, D. C.  This is the link to the video at YouTube showing exactly what happened (or scroll down two articles and watch it there). Please watch until the end to hear what the person assumed to be impersonating Eric Holder says as he goes to get his identification. It’s brilliant! Anyway, enough of that.

Breitbart.com posted an article today giving the response of the Justice Department to the video.

The article reports:

Desperate to prove that voter ID should not be presented in order to obtain a ballot, the DOJ fired back at O’Keefe and Project Veritas today, with a DOJ official telling tried-and-true media ally Talking Points Memo, “It’s no coincidence that these so-called examples of rampant voter fraud consistently turn out to be manufactured ones.”

Don’t the manufactured examples show how easily the real voter fraud occurs?

Please follow the link to the Breitbart.com story and read the entire article. Also read the comments–they are also very interesting.

 

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Two Good Things Happening In The Senate

Scott Brown was elected as Senator from Massachusetts in a special election in January of 2010, after the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. I tend to be somewhat more conservative than Senator Brown and have disagreed with him on some of his votes, but I think he is a man of integrity who is trying to do what is best for the country and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is responsible for two good things that happened in the Senate this week.

On his facebook page, Senator Brown reports:

On 12/14/11 the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs passed Senator Brown’s revised STOCK Act, which would prohibit insider trading in Congress.

I have no idea what is in the revised bill, but it is an accomplishment to get it out of committee. Thomas.gov should have the revisions up tomorrow.

The second good thing is a Press Release Scott Brown released on December 13. In part, the Press Release reads:

Washington, DC – Following a series of major electric outages that have left millions of New Englanders without power in recent years, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators from the region today, including Senator Scott Brown (R-MA),  called for a hearing to review our nation’s electric grid reliability standards.  In a letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senators highlighted the fact that power outages not only pose a threat to public safety, but also to local businesses and economies.

As an example, the Senators pointed to last month’s New England snowstorm that left more than 2 million utility customers without power, including 672,000 in Massachusetts, 315,000 in New Hampshire and 830,000 in Connecticut.

“This year, Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm caused hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents to lose power for days or weeks, often with little information about when the lights would turn back on,” said U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA).  “I share their frustration and, as we have learned, a reliable power grid is not just critical to our economy, but a matter of life and death.  I hope the Committee will hold this oversight hearing to reveal the extent of our energy reliability issues, and help our nation be better prepared for major disruptions to our power supply.”

“Power outages can have significant consequences, even life-threatening ones when they come during the brutal cold of winter.  Families can be forced out of their homes and businesses forced to close unexpectedly,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  “Unfortunately, over the past two years, significant and sustained outages have been occurring across New England with unacceptable regularity.  Our electric grid reliability standards are designed to protect the welfare of the American people and the American economy, and it’s time that we review their effectiveness and adequacy.”

“This hearing can be highly significant, not only in fact finding but change making,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).  “An oversight hearing should enable us to explore and expose defects in utility preparation and response, and empower reforms in policies and practices at every level.  The prolonged power outages from this past October’s storm had real and pernicious consequences for the economy, health, and safety of Connecticut residents.  An oversight hearing is essential to upgrade our reliability standards as well as improve Mutual Aid Agreements, so that states can protect against similar catastrophes.”

There is another issue here. An organization called EMPact America has been trying to wake Americans up to the dangers of an Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.

The EMPact America website reports:

An EMP can be caused by a natural event like a severe solar storm or a malicious act using a weapon like a high-altitude nuclear burst. National experts have concluded that consequences of a natural or manmade EMP event could be long-lasting, continent-wide and cripple the U.S. critical electricity-dependent infrastructures, which are highly vulnerable and largely unprotected.

On a personal note. I have been aware of the potential of an EMP attack for a number of years. As I have previously stated on this website, I am not particularly scientifically inclined and not always totally logical. Before I retired, I worked about 20 miles from my home, I knew that in the case of an EMP attack my car would not work and I would want to get home if I was at work. Since I generally wore high heels to work, I always kept a pair of jogging shoes in the trunk of my car. That was my security blanket. I felt very secure until my husband pointed out to me that after an EMP attack I would have no way of getting into my trunk–it has an electronic latch. That is an example of one of the little things that would not work after an EMP attack.

Shielding the electric grid is not an expensive proposition. It needs to be done to protect the people of America. I am grateful Senator Brown is calling for hearings on the reliability of our power grid.

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Attempting To Rewrite American History

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to four term...

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America is a country that has Christian roots. If you read some of our founding documents–the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution–you find God acknowledged in all of them. The respect for God and the need for prayer are part of America’s tradition–the first Thanksgiving Proclamations were issued by the Continental Congress between 1777 and 1784. George Washington issued the first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789.

That is part of who we are, but not everyone is happy about that. Fox News reported on Thursday that the Obama administration has announced its objection to adding President Franklin Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The article reports:

D-Day was one of the major events of the war. It was the beginning of the end of the war and the beginning of the allied victory. It was a totally risky undertaking, and when you read the reports of the time, it was not assured that the landing would be successful. I have said on this blog before that my father was one of the people who went ashore that day (on Utah Beach), so this is very important to me.
As a conservative, I am not FDR’s biggest fan, but his prayer was earnest and needed to alert the American people to the gravity of the situation and unite them behind our soldiers. That prayer is an important part of our war effort and belongs at that monument.
I have posted FDR’s prayer in the past–this is the link: rightwinggranny.
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What About Protester Greed ?

Fox News reported yesterday that one of the organizers of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Washington, D. C., paid the protesters.

The article reports:

But he also says the demonstrators wanted to be there, and he was merely compensating them for their time. 

“If you think I’m going to ask impoverished Latinos out of work, and out of luck, to parade for four hours under a broiling sun … think again,” Jim McGrath, chairman of the D.C. Tenants Advocacy Coalition, told FoxNews.com. 

Wow. My first question is where does the D.C. Tenants Advocacy Coalition get its money? Mr. McGrath explained that he paid them out of his own pocket. Let’s see–there were approximately 10 protesters that the article reports that he paid (there may be others paid by someone else, but we don’t know).  The minimum wage in the District of Columbia is $8.25 an hour, so that is $82.50 an hour for ten people.  Assuming they protested for one eight-hour day (with appropriate breaks and lunch hour), that is $660. Were taxes taken out of their paychecks? Were the proper forms filled out to show that they were legally here and eligible to be employed? Were their social security numbers checked with e-verify? Did they fill out the appropriate paperwork to receive wages? Which federal laws is Mr. McGrath in violation of by not filling out and returning the proper paperwork for hiring people? Was Workman’s Compensation taken out of their checks in case an angry passerby hit them over the head with their protest sign? In addition, why does the chairman of the D. C. Tenants Advocacy Coalition have that kind of money to throw around? Is he being paid the way a corporate fat cat is being paid? Are any of the major news outlets looking into that?