Podcast – Scott Walker – Think Progress – The Cuban Embassy

Today I discuss the possible presidential candidacy of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker vs his state legislature’s desire to pass right-to-work – Four things Think Progress touts as Obama victories, despite predictions to the contrary – and did you know we already have an Embassy in Cuba? read more

The Near Future Is Closer Than We Think

 

 

by: the Common Constitutionalist

This weekend I finally got around to watching the movie Atlas Shrugged Part Two.

 

Now that I’ve seen it, I don’t know why it took me so long to view it. It is an excellent movie and boy does it ever show us where America is heading.

 

Admittedly, I never read the book. I heard it was a bit tedious. Perhaps I’ll take a second look.

 

Anyway, I give the movie 4 out of 5 stars. Not for the cinematography, acting or effects, but for the content. It is a work of fiction slowly coming to reality before us in America.

 

I sat and watched, all the while thinking, this is us. This is America in perhaps less than five years.

 

It is set in near future America. We don’t know how near. The government has taken control of a great deal of the citizens’ lives. Gas is $40 a gallon and the railroad is the only real mode of affordable transportation left.

  read more

Second Term Blues

by: the Common Constitutionalist

What might America look like during a second Obama term?

Well for starters, gas prices will go up, north of six dollars a gallon in a year or so. Don’t take my word for it. Obama’s energy secretary, Steven Chu, said he would like gas prices between 8 and $10 a gallon.

Electric costs would most likely more than double with more and more coal plants being closed. Further lawsuits by the EPA against fracking would cause natural gas prices to spike.

There would be many less oil leases granted on public land and leases would be revoked. More of America’s lands would be taken by the federal government and placed off-limits to drilling, mining and lumber.

The fairness doctrine, of some sort and extent, would be instituted. Conservative radio hosts will struggle and eventually be forced to abandon broadcast radio, instead switching to Internet radio. Many small-market and local radio stations will go under due to lack of sponsorship and consumers.

Obamacare will be fully implemented driving up medical costs. Many doctors will retire, not wishing the continual fight for payment of services and overbearing regulation. Younger physicians will be told what patients they must see and how much they must accept in payment.

There may be a federal board appointed by the administration, assigned the task of guiding new medical students into the disciplines the board advises. The board will tell medical students what they will study and in which field they will practice. This will be done for the good of the community, so they will say. It will begin as a voluntary program with incentives for new doctors. When that doesn’t work, it will become mandatory.

The US military will be drastically downsized and will install George Soros’s, Center for American Progress, recommendations. Terror attacks overseas will increase. As the bad guys across the globe conclude we are a much weaker nation, they may even decide to attack us here.

China, seeing that we are weakened, may go ahead and declare that it will annex Taiwan.

Taxes will almost immediately increase to the tune of approximately $500 billion. The expiration of the current tax rates (Lets stop calling them the Bush tax cuts. These are the current tax rates folks. These are not the Bush tax cuts. These tax rates have been in place for about a decade), payroll tax increases, as well as the Obamacare tax, increased estate taxes and business taxes.

Layoffs will dramatically increase causing a spike in unemployment although the number will be masked somewhat, for a while, due to the massive increase in federal government hiring.

Amnesty for illegal aliens will be drastically expanded, further driving up unemployment roles and the cost of government assistance.

Some form of Cap and Trade will be instituted further driving up energy costs and burdening businesses.

Ben Bernanke will stay on as Fed chairman. Under his guidance, Obama will be allowed to overspend to his hearts content. Bernanke, through further stimulus plans, will continue to purchase our debt and in return, print money, that is worthless.

Many military functions will be redirected and find themselves under UN control and guidance, thus becoming a UN peacekeeping force rather than the United States military.

Finally there is the rather cryptic statement from Obama directed to Vladimir Putin in Russia. No one is quite sure what Obama meant by his now famous, or infamous statement regarding “more flexibility”.

For this and the proceeding laundry list, I pray we never have to find out what a second term of Barack Obama will look like.

If Barack Obama wins a second term, stock up on two items, guns and food.

If Romney wins, I suggest you have but one item on hand and in good working order; a fire extinguisher, as cities will surely burn.

Vote Romney!

We’re Getting Served by this CAFE

The Obama administration has rolled out its new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards — requirements that will eventually cost Americans as much as $11,000 more per car.

The new standards, which are opposed by Mitt Romney, would boost automobile fuel standards from 29.7 miles per gallon now to 35.5 in 2016, then to 54.5 in 2025.

“These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” President Barack Obama said.

“It’ll strengthen our nation’s energy security, it’s good for middle-class families, and it will help create an economy built to last.”

CAFE requires automakers to calculate average fuel economy for all the cars in their fleets. That means large vans and SUVs that get poor mileage must be offset by high-mpg sedans, electric cars and hybrids.

But a new report by the Republican House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform cited emails showing that the CAFE agreements were negotiated behind closed doors with a small group of automakers, in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.

Referring to the tens of billions of dollars in automaker bailout money spent by the Obama administration, the report stated that “the administration’s investment in GM and Chrysler gave it great leverage to force the companies to improve fuel economy without regard to cost.”

Consumers, however, are likely to regard cost. According to the Center for Automotive Research, the price of a car will increase by $4,000 to $11,000 by 2025 compared to 2008 prices.

As a result, fewer people will buy new cars and the automobile industry will suffer, while prices for used cars are likely to rise.

“Fuel-saving technologies are anything but a bargain unless the price of gasoline is far higher than it is now,” says economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “Regulating to Disaster: How Green Jobs Policies Are Damaging America’s Economy.” She also served in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush

“In Europe, where gasoline prices range from $7.25 to $8 per gallon, people buy small, fuel-efficient cars. But this is because of fuel prices, not CAFE standards.”

The standards will affect safety as well, because lighter cars are more dangerous in collisions. A survey of more than 1,000 engineers by Ward’s Automotive concluded that “stringent fuel economy requirements like those set for 2025 will be impossible to meet without sacrificing the safety of the vehicles.”

Furchtgott-Roth points out that with the higher car prices, Americans will keep their old cars longer, and old cars generally produce more tailpipe emissions.

“If energy security is the rationale for CAFE standards, America needs to increase production of domestic oil, gas, and coal, invest in more refinery capacity, and build nuclear power plants,” she adds.

“These are major components of Romney’s energy plan, yet the Obama administration has been noticeably slow on all these.”

Attribution: NewsMax

Promises, Promises

From Joe ‘Pags’ Pagliarulo & The Blaze:

Most of us outside of Illinois became aware of Barack Obama in 2004.  He was a candidate for senator and asked to give a speech at the Democratic convention that year in Boston.  He was interesting.  A fresh face — in stark contrast to old Washington embodied by the Democrat nominee Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.  He had a certain confidence, youth and ability to grab your attention with how he delivered the speech.  It would be a few years before we really started understanding who this man was politically.

In 2007 — when some of the candidates running for the 2008 nominations on both sides of the aisle became apparent — I was brought into New York to do a show for CNN.  On the show were: Roland Martin (liberal currently with CNN), Rachel Maddow (liberal currently with MSNBC), and one other man — another liberal whose name escapes me, and me – the lone conservative on the panel.  It was assumed I’d be pulling for Rudy Giuliani the former mayor of New York, I guess, because we were both white and Italian.  It was odd that the assumption was made.  I made it clear, however, that I was not a Giuliani guy because of his stance on abortion.  I mentioned I was looking into McCain but was also looking into Obama.  Why?  Because he was young, energetic and gave one heck off a speech.  I still didn’t know much about him other than what I saw and heard — like most Americans.

  The examination didn’t take long before I found out he was the most vehement supporter of abortion I’d ever heard speak and he was, at his very core, a socialist.  He was and is a guy that believes the ruling class gets all the spoils and the rest of us idiots get what the bloated government decides we should get and we should thank said government for the table scraps.

Obama ran on feel good messages like, “Yes We Can!” and “Change You Can Believe In.” He was going to cut the deficit and fix everything George W. Bush did wrong. As soon as he got into office, of course, he raised taxes on regular Americans ($.62 per pack on cigarettes) and pushed through the stimulus package which cost the American taxpayers nearly a trillion dollars after which we saw the economy get exponentially worse, not better as promised.  How did he get these things done?  There is a formula.  Say whatever it takes to get a law passed, smile a lot and do whatever you want in the end.  Remember how he would never raise any tax of any kind for individuals making less than $200k per year or families making less than  $250k?

 ”I can make a firm pledge under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”  Barack Obama – September 12, 2008.

He clearly didn’t mean it, but it was a talking point he repeated knowing full-well it would resonate with voters.  He pledged over and over again to put every bill online for us to see for five days before they were brought to a vote.  He would stop “corporate welfare.”  He promised transparency, and more.  Matter of fact, he listed seven things he’d stop or change:  

1. Make Government Open and Transparent
2. Make it “Impossible” for Congressmen to slip in Pork Barrel Projects
3. Meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public (republicans shut out)
4. No more secrecy
5. Public will have 5 days to look at a Bill
6. You’ll know what’s in it (Republican Senators didn’t know)
7. We will put every pork barrel project online 

This has become a predictable pattern for this president.  He’ll say anything and whether he plans to follow through has never mattered. He’ll say anything no matter its validity, and not think twice about it. He’ll repeat it until the words saturate the American psyche and many blind followers will fall in line and continue the repetition for him. He must have gotten bored of the same ol’ same ol’ because now he’s added the non sequitur to his repertoire and he’s brought back a favorite from the middle of last year. It’s really a variation on a theme: The rich have what they have and that’s not fair. The regular/average American deserves it all too and we can get it for them by taking it from those evil rich people and corporations. 

Last June, the president put his new-found fondness for things that just don’t have anything to do with one another to good use. He started saying things like:

“If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, corporate jet owners, hedge fund managers, oil & gas companies that are making 100′s of Billions of dollars, then that means we have to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship. That means we have to stop funding certain grants for medical research. That means that food safety may be compromised. That means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden. Those are the choices we have to make.

Before we ask our seniors to pay for more healthcare, before we cut our children’s education, before we sacrifice our commitment to the research and innovation that will help create more jobs in the economy, I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or corporate jet owner that has done so well, to give up that tax break that no other business enjoys. I don’t think that’s real radical. I think the majority of Americans agree with that.” – President Barack Obama News Conference 06/29/11

It, on its face, was ridiculous. Do you really think that because rich people have earned a lot of money through hard work or entrepreneurial spirit or invention and have been able to buy nice things that people can’t go to college? Or that the elderly can’t get care? Or that food won’t be safe? Really? It was crazy and without merit but, he must have liked how it sounded because repeated it whenever he saw a camera or a microphone or newspaper writer. The message didn’t work, and taxes weren’t raised on the “evil rich,” but, he must have felt the strategy still had legs because it’s back.

The latest incarnation of the Obama non sequitur reared it’s ugly head on March 29th. This time, the president once again, went after big oil. Much like he did last year, the president said, “Today, members of Congress have a simple choice to make. They can stand with big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people.” Huh? Are oil companies somehow not American? The reason for the Rose Garden speech was to pit big oil against the American people and playing the two sides against the middle — that middle being Congress. The only problem: there is no back and forth between the American people and the oil companies. The American people lay the blame for the highest gas prices we’ve ever seen this time of the year squarely on the shoulders of the Obama administration.

The suggestion through the rhetoric was that if Congress stopped the tax deductions for the big oil companies, the burden on taxpayers (and gasoline users) would be lessened. He wants us to believe that he’ll either send the money to us (yeah right) or the price at the pump will go down if the deductions were ended. Think about it. Do you really think the price per gallon will go down should Congress decide to increase the tax burden on these companies? The plan, of course, is to divert attention from him and his administration to Congress to cast the blame there. He knows going in that Congress will not stop the tax deductions — but that’s not the real goal. He cannot run on his record. He cannot point to how he’s held to his campaign promises, or fixed the economy, or not raised taxes on regular folks, or held unemployment to under 8 percent. So, the only real campaign plan is to find a boogie-man (or men and women).

If the gasoline prices happen to fall between now and the election, you won’t hear anything else about it. If they stay high or go higher, the president will remind us all how he tried to get Congress to go after the oil companies and how the REPUBLICANS refused. Smart. Underhanded. Disingenuous. Politics.

Mitt hearts Oil

I don’t agree much with Mitt Romney, but he is right on the money regarding this topic.

rom: Conservative Byte

During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney said there is “no question” that President Obama is to blame for rising gas prices and called for the president to fire the “gas hike trio” of cabinet members.

“When [President Obama] ran for office, he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up,” Romney said. “He said that energy prices would skyrocket under his views, and he selected three people to help him implement that program.

The secretary of energy, the secretary of interior and EPA administrator. And this gas hike trio has been doing the job over the last three-and-a-half years, and gas prices are up. The right course is they ought to be fired because the president has apparently suffered election-year conversion. He’s now decided that gasoline prices should come down.”

Romney went on to say that once Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson submit their letters of resignation, Obama should “start drilling for energy here,” and pursue development of oil, natural gas, and coal resources.

Chu on This

Could this station be the one the Obama family fills up the old war wagon? I rather doubt it, but it is only about a mile from the White House.

That’s bad, but sadly it is not worst in the nation. Although I can’t find a photo, I have confirmed prices in Los Angeles. At some stations the prices start at $5.99 for regular, $6.09 for mid-grade and $6.19 for premium. Holy Crap!

So at what point will the economy just come to a screeching halt? If this keeps up, I’d say very soon.

Here’s an idea. Maybe we can petition Nancy Pelosi to allow us to use our food stamps to purchase gas?

If you have been paying attention you would realize this is exactly what this Administration desired. This is the Green Utopian model playing out. Strangle the oil, gas & coal industries & force people into their sunshine and lollipop alternative energies.

Why else would anyone hire Steven Chu to be the Energy Secretary? He’s a Global Warming advocate & champion of anything and everything “Green”.

Here’s just one example of Chu’s great ideas for saving us all from ourselves!

In 2008, Steven Chu was quite clear what he wanted for this country. As of February, 28, just 2 weeks ago, his view hadn’t changed.

But just Tuesday, at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Senator Mike Lee (R-Ut.) asked Secretary Chu: “So are you saying you no longer share the view that we need to figure out how to boost gasoline prices in America?” Chu responded: “I no longer share that view.”

Share that view with whom? It was his view. My guess is between his testimony in Feb. and now, he was taken to the woodshed and told he had better shut up about his and the administration’s true intentions.

I’m also sure that he was told that after the election, there will be no restraints and they can go full speed ahead with their plans to forcibly change our behavior.

If Obama wins a second term, the new slogan will be “Yes We Can, Walk to Work”.

Say the Word and We’ll be Free

I’ve heard from many sources, even conservatives, who say the price of gas is no longer in our control. Maybe it never was. Blaming the president is good politics, but that’s all it is.

It is said, there is nothing Obama can say or do to effect the price of gas at the pump. This is a global problem. There are many more competing factions for a finite amount of oil. China, India, etc. They need oil like they have never needed it in the past. We have to compete with them. That drives up the price. Makes sense, I guess.

Then there are all the problems occuring in the Middle East. That whole region could collapse at any moment. That too, is driving up the price. Again, sounds logical.

It is also said by many that we can’t simply drill our way to lower gas prices.

So, I guess we’re just stuck. Or are we?

Before looking for a solution, let’s first take a peek behind the government’s regualtory curtain.

Time for some history.

In 1972 Congress passed the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act , which provided for the establishment of National Marine Sanctuaries. Oil and gas drilling are prohibited in these areas.

In 1982, the U.S. Congress directed that no federal funds be used to lease federal tracts off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, or central and northern California. Over the years, buried in appropriations bills,  Congress was able to add other areas until the prohibited area included all the east and west coasts, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Congress repeated the effective ban on offshore drilling in these areas every year until September 2008, when an appropriations bill passed the House and Senate without the ban. We’ll cover 2008 in a bit. It’s an interesting year.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush issued an executive moratorium restricting federal offshore leasing to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Alaska. The moratorium banned federal leasing through the year 2000 off the East Coast, West Coast, the eastern Gulf of Mexico (offshore Florida Gulf Coast), and the Northern Aleutian Basin of Alaska. In 1998, President Bill Clinton extended the moratorium through 2012.

In 2002, Congress imposed a moratorium on drilling on or directionally beneath the Great Lakes. The ban was made permanent by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Part of the central and most of the eastern Gulf of Mexico was declared off-limits to oil and gas leasing until 2022 by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

The bottom line is, thanks to our government, drilling for our own energy is prohibited virtually everywhere. Now there’s an energy policy we can all be proud of.

Ok, so we’ve established that America’s domestic energy policy is suicidal. What was so exeptional about 2008?

In the summer of 2008, President George W. Bush announced that he would veto any appropriations bill that maintained the Congressional moratorium. Without the votes to override his veto, Congress subsequently let the drilling moratorium expire.

 In July 2008, President George W. Bush also rescinded those restrictive executive orders that had prevented oil & gas drilling.

So what. Politicians say many things and nothing changes. Everyone knows they never mean it. Spoken or written, these are just words. What effect could these policy changes have had?

Well, you be the judge.

Just prior to ‘W’s’ July, 2008 proclamation and action, a gallon of regular gasoline, on average, was a staggering $4.11. By August it was $3.69. A drop of over $0.40 in a month.

Not impressed? How about this. By the end of December, 2008, a gallon of regular plummeted to $1.61. and a barrel of oil went from a high of $147.00 to $30.28.

Am I saying that this precipitous drop was due solely to Bush’s actions. No, but I guarantee it played a big part. Why? Because the rest of the world knew someone in this country finally meant it. They knew Bush was serious about domestic drilling.

It’s human nature. When the worlds oil producing nations concluded we were actually serious, I mean really serious about exploiting our own resources, the price of a barrel of oil would naturally plunge. They simply couldn’t afford for us to produce most of our own energy. Foreign oil would drop just to price out domestic production.

The evil speculators, you know, the ones that always get blamed for jacking up the price of oil. Those same speculators would drive the price down so fast it would make your head spin.

Now, I am not an oil or energy expert. I am neither a foreign policy expert, nor an energy speculator. I don’t have to be.

 This is not about oil or gas or market speculation. As I said, this is about human nature, which is quite predictable.  It happens everywhere & in every industry. With competition comes lower prices. It’s really that simple.

So, why didn’t the prices stay low, you ask? Well, we had an election and Barack Obama won. He reinstated all the moratoriums and here we are again, at the mercy of foreign suppliers and subject to Middle East upheaval.

Attribution: Government/Senate Archives