This blog compliments of Red State, a conservative online newspaper.
The Democrats, in particular Joe Biden and Barack Obama, are out to make the moral case for tax increases. They claim the Republican position is immoral.
This is what happens when we debase morality in our American political culture.
For perspective, when Barack Obama was a state senator in Illinois, he was the only state senator to speak in opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. He stood up and made the case that if an infant is born alive in the process of an abortion, the doctor who botched the abortion should be able to finish off the kid, even though the child had exited the womb alive.
That, my friends, that is immoral.
Republicans arguing that the government should let hard working Americans keep their own money is not an immoral argument to make — particularly given how ineffective and inefficient government use of that money would be compared to private enterprise and non-profits.
For Barack Obama and Joe Biden to make this a case of morality is a reflection of their weak moral compass.
Obama’s press conference calls for tax hikes and slams
Posted by: linswritings on: June 29, 2011
So what else is new from this President? Blame everyone else for our problems but never take responsibility for his faults in running the country. I didn’t watch the press conference today but want to share some highlights I found on a Town Hall article written by Katie Pavlich.
Also I understand that Obama repeated a choice between corporate jets and kids. Yup, that’s the way he likes to demonize everyone and make you feel bad especially for the kids. He said if we need to stop giving tax breaks to big business and oil companies otherwise we won’t have money for the kids’ college. He once again pits rich vs poor – us against them – a straw man mentality. I am so tired of him and his fellow Democrats demonizing everyone and pulling out the class warfare card.
Then Obama said his administration is reviewing government regulations that hinder entrepreneurship, adding he is working with the private sector to spur job grown but slammed business owners as “wanting to do whatever they want to gain maximum profits.” Is Obama for real? Why does he think the reason for people to open a business – to make money of course! Oh that’s right he’s never had a private job before and thinks only government jobs are the right jobs.
Then he said, “The business community is always complaining about regulations.” Yes there you have it, he’s all for the little guy but they better jump to the government regulations that stifle their growth.
On the issue of job growth, the President again tried to sell the idea that the government creates jobs. “Congress could send me a bill right now that would put construction workers back on the job,” he said. Who is going to pay for those jobs, Mr. President? The taxpayers of course!
Obama also claimed he has spent the past two years cutting taxes and that it is time for wealthy Americans, CEO’s and the oil and gas
industry to pay their fair share. What can I say?
He just doesn’t get it does he?
Michael Ledeen writes about President Obama’s many gaffes, which go largely ignored by Big Media:
Yet someone who tells a crowd in Vienna that his “Austrian” isn’t very good, who tells Marines that he’s pleased to speak to the “Marine Corpse,” and who, just today, said he’d given the Medal of Honor to a survivor from the 10th Mountain Division, when in fact the award was given posthumously, doesn’t fit my definition of a brilliant and cultured man…
And these people think they’re the smart guys, and we’re the dummies, even though we know that German is spoken in Vienna, and many of us would be mortified to make a glaring error about an American hero.
The gaffes are important. They tell us a lot about the nature of our leaders, and it’s not good news. But it is news…even though it’s not reported as often as it should be, or with the sort of concern the gaffes deserve.
From the comments thread:
Forget about Obama, the joke is on the media here. They created him and now they are trying to explain him. If they had done their jobs, he never would have been elected.
I agree. There were plenty of clues in 2008 that Barack Obama was not qualified to lead America, and the Democratic party had several more qualified candidates to choose from. But the liberals selected Style over Substance, Ambition over Leadership; and then hoped that he—and we—could survive until he accrued enough on-the-job training.
But Barack Obama lacks more than just experience. And no amount of on-the-job training will make up for a lack of character, integrity, and intellect.
There Are No Socialists
June 25, 2011 by Victor Davis Hanson
Are There Really Socialists?
Two unconnected developments were announced this past week. President Obama is releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, despite the absence of a global embargo or horrific natural disaster — and despite a litany of assertions from 2008 that drilling and increased supply might only have a marginal effect on prices.
Like the sudden Afghan withdrawal announcement, the tapping is largely explained by political worries about reelection, as in increasing oil supplies to lower gas prices by election time — and thus avoiding campaign ads equating Obama’s opposition to drilling with high prices at the 2012 pump.
In a second piece of news, the Europeans seem to be winning far more plane orders than Boeing. One wonders whether that fact is remotely connected with airlines’ collective worries about obtaining orders on time and as specified — as in uncertainty whether Obama’s NLRB ruling that attempted to shut down a nearly $1 billion new aircraft line in South Carolina translates into something like “who knows what those Americans are doing next?”
All this raises some questions. The strangest things about the global statist crack-up are socialists’ unhappiness with their socialist utopia, and their subsequent efforts to avoid the consequences of the very redistributive state that they themselves once so gladly crafted.
Greece is the locus classicus. Why are the Greeks protesting? Against whom? They obtained long ago the promised bloated sector and high taxes that all schemed to avoid. Their alma mater EU is hardly a demonic capitalist-run plutocracy, but a kindred socialist state. Is Greece an oil producer, industrial powerhouse, high-tech innovator — anything that might explain the sort of upscale life, modern infrastructure, legions of Mercedeses, and plush second homes that one began to see in Greece after 1985?
In truth, socialist Greeks are furious that they have impoverished themselves and demand that private money and far harder-working Germans bail them out — but why so, when socialism should not need outside capitalist-generated dollars? Could not the Greeks, Soviet style, set up a Cuban collective, and adjust their lifestyles (there goes Kolonaki culture) to their means, living in an opportunity of result utopia with a huge public sector, more siestas, high but ignored taxes — with a collective good riddance to those awful intrusive German bankers?
Here at home, Obama got his ObamaCare. Why, then, did he grant hundreds of exemptions — many to northern California liberals
- REVIEW & OUTLOOK
- JUNE 25, 2011
The Facts About Fracking
The real risks of the shale gas revolution,
The U.S. is in the midst of an energy revolution, and we don’t mean solar panels or wind turbines. A new gusher of natural gas from shale has the potential to transform U.S. energy production—that is, unless politicians, greens and the industry mess it up.
Only a decade ago Texas oil engineers hit upon the idea of combining two established technologies to release natural gas trapped in shale formations. Horizontal drilling—in which wells turn sideways after a certain depth—opens up big new production areas. Producers then use a 60-year-old technique called hydraulic fracturing—in which water, sand and chemicals are injected into the well at high pressure—to loosen the shale and release gas (and increasingly, oil).
The resulting boom is transforming America’s energy landscape. As recently as 2000, shale gas was 1% of America’s gas supplies; today it is 25%. Prior to the shale breakthrough, U.S. natural gas reserves were in decline, prices exceeded $15 per million British thermal units, and investors were building ports to import liquid natural gas. Today, proven reserves are the highest since 1971, prices have fallen close to $4 and ports are being retrofitted for LNG exports.
The shale boom is also reviving economically suffering parts of the country, while offering a new incentive for manufacturers to stay in the U.S. Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry estimates fracking in the Marcellus shale formation, which stretches from upstate New York through West Virginia, has created 72,000 jobs in the Keystone State between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011.
The Bakken formation, along the Montana-North Dakota border, is thought to hold four billion barrels of oil (the biggest proven estimate outside Alaska), and the drilling boom helps explain North Dakota’s unemployment rate of 3.2%, the nation’s lowest.
All of this growth has inevitably attracted critics, notably environmentalists and their allies. They’ve launched a media and political assault on hydraulic fracturing, and their claims are raising public anxiety. So it’s a useful moment to separate truth from fiction in the main allegations against the shale revolution.
• Fracking contaminates drinking water. One claim is that fracking creates cracks in rock formations that allow chemicals to leach into sources of fresh water. The problem with this argument is that the average shale formation is thousands of feet underground, while the average drinking well or aquifer is a few hundred feet deep. Separating the two is solid rock. This geological reality explains why EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, a determined enemy of fossil fuels, recently told Congress that there have been no “proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water.”
Getty ImagesA drilling team from Minard Run Oil Company pull out steel pipe during a fracking operation at a 2100 foot natural gas well in Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania in 2008.
A second charge, based on a Duke University study, claims that fracking has polluted drinking water with methane gas. Methane is naturally occurring and isn’t by itself harmful in drinking water, though it can explode at high concentrations. Duke authors Rob Jackson and Avner Vengosh have written that their research shows “the average methane concentration to be 17 times higher in water wells located within a kilometer of active drilling sites.”
They failed to note that researchers sampled a mere 68 wells across Pennsylvania and New York—where more than 20,000 water wells are drilled annually. They had no baseline data and thus no way of knowing if methane concentrations were high prior to drilling. They also acknowledged that methane was detected in 85% of the wells they tested, regardless of drilling operations, and that they’d found no trace of fracking fluids in any wells.
The Duke study did spotlight a long-known and more legitimate concern: the possibility of leaky well casings at the top of a drilling site, from which methane might migrate to water supplies. As the BP Gulf of Mexico spill attests, proper well construction and maintenance are major issues in any type of drilling, and they ought to be the focus of industry standards and attention. But the risks are not unique to fracking, which has provided no unusual evidence of contamination.
• Fracking releases toxic or radioactive chemicals. The reality is that 99.5% of the fluid injected into fracture rock is water and sand. The chemicals range from the benign, such as citric acid (found in soda pop), to benzene. States like Wyoming and Pennsylvania require companies to publicly disclose their chemicals, Texas recently passed a similar law, and other states will follow.
Drillers must dispose of fracking fluids, and environmentalists charge that disposal sites also endanger drinking water, or that drillers deliberately discharge radioactive wastewater into streams. The latter accusation inspired the EPA to require that Pennsylvania test for radioactivity. States already have strict rules designed to keep waste water from groundwater, including liners in waste pits, and drillers are subject to stiff penalties for violations. Pennsylvania’s tests showed radioactivity at or below normal levels.
• Fracking causes cancer. In Dish, Texas, Mayor Calvin Tillman caused a furor this year by announcing that he was quitting to move his sons away from “toxic” gases—such as cancer-causing benzene—from the town’s 60 gas wells. State health officials investigated and determined that toxin levels in the majority of Dish residents were “similar to those measured in the general U.S. population.” Residents with higher levels of benzene in their blood were smokers. (Cigarette smoke contains benzene.)
• Fracking causes earthquakes. It is possible that the deep underground injection of fracking fluids might cause seismic activity. But the same can be said of geothermal energy exploration, or projects to sequester carbon dioxide underground. Given the ubiquity of fracking without seismic impact, the risks would seem to be remote.
• Pollution from trucks. Drillers use trucks to haul sand, cement and fluids, and those certainly increase traffic congestion and pollution. We think the trade-off between these effects and economic development are for states and localities to judge, keeping in mind that externalities decrease as drillers become more efficient.
• Shale exploration is unregulated. Environmentalists claim fracking was “exempted” in 2005 from the federal Safe Water Drinking Act, thanks to industry lobbying. In truth, all U.S. companies must abide by federal water laws, and what the greens are really saying is that fracking should be singled out for special and unprecedented EPA oversight.
Most drilling operations—including fracking—have long been regulated by the states. Operators need permits to drill and are subject to inspections and reporting requirements. Many resource-rich states like Texas have detailed fracking rules, while states newer to drilling are developing these regulations.
As a regulatory model, consider Pennsylvania. Recently departed Governor Ed Rendell is a Democrat, and as the shale boom progressed he worked with industry and regulators to develop a flexible regulatory environment that could keep pace with a rapidly growing industry. As questions arose about well casings, for instance, Pennsylvania imposed new casing and performance requirements. The state has also increased fees for processing shale permits, which has allowed it to hire more inspectors and permitting staff.
New York, by contrast, has missed the shale play by imposing a moratorium on fracking. The new state Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, recently sued the federal government to require an extensive environmental review of the entire Delaware River Basin. Meanwhile, the EPA is elbowing its way into the fracking debate, studying the impact on drinking water, animals and “environmental justice.”
Amid this political scrutiny, the industry will have to take great drilling care while better making its public case. In this age of saturation media, a single serious example of water contamination could lead to a political panic that would jeopardize tens of billions of dollars of investment. The industry needs to establish best practices and blow the whistle on drillers that dodge the rules.
The question for the rest of us is whether we are serious about domestic energy production. All forms of energy have risks and environmental costs, not least wind (noise and dead birds and bats) and solar (vast expanses of land). Yet renewables are nowhere close to supplying enough energy, even with large subsidies, to maintain America’s standard of living. The shale gas and oil boom is the result of U.S. business innovation and risk-taking. If we let the fear of undocumented pollution kill this boom, we will deserve our fate as a second-class industrial power.