Pulitizer Prize-Winning Idiot – Tea Party Nation

Pulitizer Prize-Winning Idiot – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

What kind of idiot would write, “Until we fully understand what turned two brothers who allegedly perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings into murderers, it is hard to make any policy recommendation other than this: We need to redouble our efforts to make America stronger and healthier so it remains a vibrant counterexample to whatever bigoted ideology may have gripped these young men.”

“Whatever bigoted ideology”? This is what Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times wrote on April 21.

Friedman had spent years in Lebanon, first as a reporter for the United Press International from 1979 to 1981. From 1975 to 1990, Lebanon was convulsed by a civil war between its Christian population and Palestinian forces aligned with Syrian-backed Muslims. In 1981 he was hired by the New York Times and won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon after years of Katyusha rocket attacks on northern Israel. He also won the George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting.

He would serve as the Times Bureau Chief in Jerusalem from June 1984 to February 1988, receiving a second Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the first Palestinian intifada. He witnessed Islamic terrorism first hand and learned nothing from it.

If that is not sufficiently moronic, his column, “How to Put America Back Together Again” was devoted to “healing our economy” and his answer was higher taxes in general and a carbon tax in particular. “We need to raise more revenues, in the least painful way possible.”

No, Mr. Friedman, what we need to do is stop spending more than the nation takes in by reducing spending, fixing the tax code, and reforming entitlement programs, but that is never part of the liberal agenda.

He called for a “‘radical center—one much more willing to suggest radically new ideas to raise revenues…the best place to start is with a carbon tax.” This tax is based on the false assertion that greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, are causing global warming and/or climate change. It would raise the cost of the use of energy for everyone. It would raise revenue for “investment” in more failed solar energy companies and other crony capitalism that has become the hallmark of the Obama administration.

“A phased-in carbon tax of $20 to $25 a ton could raise around $1 trillion over ten years, as we each pay a few more dimes and quarters for every gallon of gasoline or hour of electricity.” This is easy to say if you are a highly paid Times columnist, author, and public speaker. It is also a formula for inflicting pain on an economy that is dependent for its growth on the use of energy; a nation in which its total recoverable oil, along with Mexico, exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels. That’s the equivalent, based on current use, of enough oil for the next 242 years.

He covered his proposal saying “Yes, a carbon tax is not painless. We would have to, and easily can, cushion the poor from its impact.” Nonsense! Even the poor must purchase gasoline and electricity. And the poor to whom he refers includes the millions of Americans who are unemployed because of Obama administration policies that restrict economy growth. Obama isn’t helping the poor; he is increasing their numbers and increasing more government spending and dependency with food stamps and comparable programs.

Obamacare is already causing companies and businesses to not hire and to put existing staff on a part-time basis. It is driving up the cost of health insurance premiums. It will cause hospitals to close and physicians to stop practicing.

This is typical of the pie-in-the-sky liberal answer to all problems; suck more money out of the pockets of Americans in the name of “infrastructure, preschool education, community colleges and research…” Preschool education is liberal code for earlier indoctrination of a new generation raised to believe that America is the cause of the terrorism directed against it.

His column was laudatory of President Obama and his recent budget proposal, the first since he took office in 2009, but America is suffering as the result of his policies and Friedman thinks he is the answer to our problems, not the cause.

How can a reporter look at Obama’s America where one out of every five families is on food stamps, the actual number of unemployed is estimated to be twenty million or more, and see a nation in need of MORE taxes? Little wonder one of his books is titled “The World is Flat.”

A reporter who spent years covering the war between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon and then later reported from an Israel under siege from the PLO, still cannot comprehend “whatever bigoted ideology” is killing Americans and others around the world and should not be writing columns giving out advice on raising our taxes in the name of an utterly deceitful, environmental attack on energy use.

To understand everything that is wrong with liberalism in America, by all means, read Thomas L. Friedman.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

Obama Halts Global Warming by Executive Order – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Global Warming

Global Warming (Photo credit: mirjoran)

 

Obama Halts Global Warming by Executive Order – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

 

President Obama has apparently halted global warming by a secret executive order, which, amongst other things, commands the seas to stop rising, the world to begin to heal and the Chevy Volt assembly line to show a profit in 2013 despite a MSRP of $39,999, less $7,500 in government rebates.

 

This is the only conclusion that I can come to as I ponder the Global Warming Alarmists Brigade’s latest effort in pseudo-science, or what I like to call “Science for Journalists.”

 

Recently Shaun Marcott, Ph.D., published a paper that “proves” that the world is warmer now than at anytime during the last 4,000 years.

 

And the hucksters in the media, if they don’t exactly believe it, at least they publicize it. 

 

“In the new research… Shaun Marcott, an earth scientist at Oregon State University, and his colleagues” reported the New York Times “compiled the most meticulous reconstruction yet of global temperatures over the past 11,300 years, virtually the entire Holocene. They used indicators like the distribution of microscopic, temperature-sensitive ocean creatures to determine past climate.”

 

That all sounds very impressive and meticulous, but is the reconstruction accurate?

 

Ummm, no.

 

David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Senior Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change from the Heritage Foundation told me that the data was rigged in the same way that the famous “Hockey Stick” graph was rigged.

 

The original global warming Hockey Stick was rigged by Michael Mann- the Ph.D. is implied- in order to bring overall historical global temperatures down, so that our present day temperatures can look warmer by contrast.

 

“As a young, relatively unknown recent Ph.D. graduate,” says James Taylor, Forbes columnist and a fellow researcher at Heritage, “Mann attained wealth, fame and adulation among global warming alarmists after assembling a proxy temperature reconstruction that he claimed showed global temperatures underwent a steady, roughly 1,000-year decline followed by a sharp rise during the 20th century. The media reported on the Mann hockey stick reconstruction as if it settled the global warming debate, but objective scientists pointed out several crucial flaws that invalidated Mann’s claims.”

 

Mann achieved these results, in part, by cherry picking data by using proxies for temperature data- proxies like the “distribution of microscopic, temperature-sensitive ocean creatures”- rather than data that would conflict with his goal of showing dramatic, current-day temperature increases.

 

While Manna’s data showed that temperatures were hotter now than any time in 1,000 years, Marcott goes him four times better by showing that the earth has never been hotter in 4,000 years.

 

Taylor, however, says “many temperature studies, including studies presented by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicate current global temperatures are cooler than the vast majority of the past 4,000 years.”

 

So do historical records.

 

In fact, records indicate that temperatures today aren’t even the hottest in the last 1,000 years. 

 

Matt Ridley, a global warming supporter, writing in the Wall Street Journal, concludes that there is ample reason to believe that temperatures are cooler now than during the Medieval Warm Period, saying “the evidence increasingly vindicates the scientists who first discovered the Medieval Warm Period.”

 

Ridley cites four recent scientific studies that tend to support the notion that temperatures were hotter then.   

 

Mann’s hockey stick- and Marcott’s too- eliminated an historical epoch called the Medieval Warm Period, a period during which archeological, written and historical records suggest temperatures may have been warmer than today’s.

 

The Medieval Warm Period was a period that saw the Vikings colonize Greenland, between the 10th and 15th Centuries, for example, disappearing just as the climate began to cool. It would have been impossible to conceive of the Vikings being able to colonize Greenland without significantly warmer temperatures. It also would have been impossible to have grown varieties of flora that were found on Greenland during that period were the temperatures as cold as today’s.

 

Data actually suggests that the earth stopped warming 15 years ago.  This pause in warming wasn’t anticipated in any climate change models created by global warming advocates.    

 

And that’s really the rub when it comes to climate science.

 

When the data doesn’t go their way- which is almost always- they either re-write the science, the history or rely on an Obama executive order.  

 

 

 

Bad Science and Bad Journalism are a Bad Combination – Tea Party Nation

Bad Science and Bad Journalism are a Bad Combination – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

 

On Wednesday, March 6, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee sent out a notice that its hearing on global warming was cancelled due to the chilly weather and a snowstorm that was about to hit the nation’s capital.

 

The Committee was going to be treated to “a comprehensive briefing on how well scientists understand the climate and humans’ effect on it.” On the same day in 1961, the temperature had hit a record 81 degrees. In 1888, it had been 10 degrees. Anyone who thinks that humans had anything to do with either is mistaken. When it comes to the weather, the only thing that humans do is endure or enjoy it.

 

Understanding it, something that puzzles paleoclimatologists, climatologists, and meteorologists, is the big secret that the public is not supposed to know. For example, none of these folks understands why clouds do what they do. The reason for this easy to understand, the definition of the weather is “chaos.”  It’s the reason meteorologists cannot predict what the weather will be more than four or five days from now.

 

Instead, we continue to be the victims of global warming charlatans, some of whom are “scientists”, while other scientists have been engaged in debunking their lies since the 1980s. The only thing we know for sure is that the global warming “scientists” are destroying the public’s confidence in the integrity of climate science.

 

The Wall Street Journal ran a story on March 9, “In Study, Past Decade Ranks Among Hottest”. It was about a study published in a recent issue of the Journal Science claiming that a one degree temperature variation resulted in 2000-2009 being “one of the warmest since modern record-keeping began.” Their claim is that the planet will be warmer in 2100 than it has been for 11,300 years. That’s about the amount of time since the end of the last ice age and the beginning of the Holocene, an epoch of warm weather that gave rise to civilization—about 5,000 years ago.

 

Such predictions are utterly bogus. They are based on rigged computer models which have been constantly be exposed for their lies. Both the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. government engage in this fraud. The study cited was funded by the National Science Foundation. A problem the public encounters is the often inaccurate information put forth by NOAA, NASA and other government agencies. One literally needs a background in the science involved to know when they are off the mark.

 

Climatologists measure changes in centuries, not decades. As the article asked, is the alleged hottest decade the result of “greenhouse gas emissions from human activity—or can it be explained as part of natural, long-term variations in temperature?” Generally unknown to the public is the fact that water vapor is a major “greenhouse gas” and plays a significant role in the earth’s overall temperature.

 

The “Science” study drew immediate criticism. James Taylor, the editor of The Heartland Institute’s “Environment & Climate News”, a national monthly, said “Global temperatures are essentially the same today as they were in 1995, when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were merely 360 parts per million.” These levels “rose ten percent between 1995 and 2012, yet global temperatures did not rise at all.” That’s worth repeating, “global temperatures did not rise at all.”

 

This does not stop the “Warmists” from concocting their “studies” or journalists from repeating their lies in newspapers like The New York Times. The Wall Street Journal article was more cautious and balanced.

 

As Marc Morano noted at ClimateDeport.com, a leading skeptics’ website, the earth is cooler today than 28% of the past 11,300 years. Yes, cooler. It has been cooling for nearly seventeen years and it is the direct result of an unusual solar condition. It is supposed to be in a “solar maximum with lots of sunspots, magnetic storms, but there are few at this time, resulting in less radiation and cooler temperatures for the Earth.

 

Moreover, since the intervals between ice ages are approximately 11,500 years, we are closer to another ice age than any bogus warming.

 

“The new study is also counter to the preponderance of existing peer-reviewed studies,” said Morano, “showing the Medieval Warm Period and the Roman Warming were both as warm or warmer than today without benefit of modern emissions or SUVs.”

 

In 2009, one of the nation’s leading climatologists, MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen, wrote, “The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in (a) global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations.”

 

“Such hysteria,” warned Dr. Lindzen, “simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. Climate is always changing.”

 

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

Doing the research the N.Y. Times won’t do

Doing the research the N.Y. Times won’t do.

Ann Coulter helps out Old Gray Lady with digging up actual facts on gun control

AR-15-300x176In Sunday’s New York Times, Elisabeth Rosenthal claimed, as the title of her article put it, “More Guns = More Killing.” She based this on evidence that would never be permitted in any other context at the Times: 1) anecdotal observations; and 2) bald assertions of an activist, blandly repeated with absolutely no independent fact-checking by the Times.

There is an academic, peer-reviewed, long-term study of the effect of various public policies on public, multiple shootings in all 50 states over a 20-year period performed by renowned economists at the University of Chicago and Yale, William Landes and John Lott. It concluded that the only policy to reduce the incidence of, and casualties from, mass shootings are concealed-carry laws. The Times will never mention this study.

Instead, Rosenthal’s column proclaimed that armed guards do not reduce crime because: “I recently visited some Latin American countries … where guards with guns grace every office lobby, storefront, ATM, restaurant and gas station. It has not made those countries safer or saner.”

So there you have it: The cock crowed, then the sun came up. Therefore, the cock’s crowing caused the sun to come up. Rosenthal went to Harvard Medical School.

Here’s a tip: High-crime areas are often bristling with bulletproof glass, heavy-duty locks, gated windows and armed guards. The bulletproof glass doesn’t cause the crime; it’s a response to crime. On Rosenthal’s logic, hospitals kill people because more people die in hospitals than outside of them.

(In any event, the Lott-Landes study didn’t recommend armed guards, but armed citizens.)

assault-beerRosenthal also produces a demonstrably false statistic about Australia’s gun laws, as if it’s a fact that has been carefully vetted by the Newspaper of Record, throwing in the true source only at the tail-end of the paragraph:

“‘After a gruesome mass murder in 1996 provoked public outrage, Australia enacted stricter gun laws, including a 28-day waiting period before purchase and a ban on semiautomatic weapons. … Since, rates of both homicide and suicide have dropped 50 percent …,’ said Ms. Peters, who lobbied for the legislation.”

“Ms. Peters” is Rebecca Peters, a George Soros-funded, Australian anti-gun activist so extreme that she had to resign from the International Action Network on Small Arms so as not to discredit the U.N.-recognized organization – which isn’t easy to further discredit.

Could the Times’ public editor weigh in on whether unsubstantiated quotes from radical activists are now considered full and complete evidence at the Times?

It would be as if the Times headlined an article, “Abortion Increases Risk of Breast Cancer” with the sole support being a quote from Operation Rescue’s Randall Terry. (Except Terry would have evidence.)

Whether or not the homicide rate went up or down in Australia as a result of strict gun-control laws imposed in 1997 is a fact that could have been checked by Times researchers. But they didn’t, because facts wouldn’t have given them the answer they wanted.

Needless to say, the effect of Australia’s gun ban has been extensively researched by Australian academics. As numerous studies have shown: After the gun ban, gun homicides in Australia did not decline any more than they were expected to without a gun ban.

Thus, for example, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, the homicide rate has been in steady decline from 1969 to the present, with only one marked uptick in 1998-99 – right after the gun ban was enacted.

The showstopper for anti-gun activists like Ms. Rosenthal and Ms. Peters is the fact that suicides by firearm seemed to decrease more than expected after the 1997 gun ban.

But so did suicides by other means. Something other than the gun ban must have caused people to stop guzzling poison and jumping off bridges. (Some speculate that it’s the availability of anti-depressants like Prozac.)

Curiously – and not mentioned by Rosenthal – the number of accidental firearms deaths skyrocketed after Australia’s 1997 gun ban, although the law included stringent gun training requirements.

It turns out, until the coroner has certified a death as a “suicide,” it’s classified as “unintentional.” So either mandatory gun training has led to more accidents, or a lot of suicides are ending up in the “accident” column.

Most pinheadedly, especially for a graduate of the Harvard Medical School, Rosenthal says: “Before (the gun ban), Australia had averaged one mass shooting a year. (Since then,) there have been no mass killings.”

availabilityMass murder is a rare enough crime that any statistician will tell you discerning trends is impossible. In this country, the FBI doesn’t even track mass murder as a specific crime category.

After Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” killers slaughtered the entire Clutter family in Holcomb, Kan., the murder rate in that quiet farming town went up 400 percent in a single year! Was it Holcomb’s big showing at the 4-H club competition that year?

Totally unbeknownst to Elisabeth Rosenthal, Australian academics have already examined the mass murder rate by firearm by comparing Australia to a control country: New Zealand. (Do they teach “control groups” at Harvard?)

New Zealand is strikingly similar to Australia. Both are isolated island nations, demographically and socioeconomically similar. Their mass murder rate before Australia’s gun ban was nearly identical: From 1980 to 1996, Australia’s mass murder rate was 0.0042 incidents per 100,000 people and New Zealand’s was 0.0050 incidents per 100,000 people.

The principal difference is that, post-1997, New Zealand remained armed to the teeth – including with guns that were suddenly banned in Australia.

While it’s true that Australia has had no more mass shootings since its gun ban, neither has New Zealand, despite continuing to be massively armed.

The only thing Australia’s strict gun-control laws has clearly accomplished is increasing the amount of violent crime committed with guns immediately after the ban took effect. Of course, Times reporters don’t have to worry about violent muggings, rapes and robberies because they live in doorman buildings.

For those who can’t afford fancy doorman buildings, bad journalism kills.

The Need for Semi-Automatic “Assault” Weapons – Katie Pavlich

The Need for Semi-Automatic “Assault” Weapons – Katie Pavlich .

The Need for Semi-Automatic

By now, we’ve heard the argument about semi-automatic “assault” rifles: nobody needs one. We’ve heard the only reason why someone would obtain this kind of weapon is so they can kill people, which is far from the truth. We’ve also heard the argument from both the Left and the Right that a pistol is how someone protects their home.

“I really don’t know why people need assault weapons. I’m not a hunter but I understand people who want to hunt,” Republican Rep. Peter King said on Morning Joe earlier this week. “I understand people who live in rough neighborhoods or have a small business and want to maintain a pistol to protect themselves as long as they’re properly vetted and licensed. But an assault weapon? “

While the use of pistols in the home are helpful, they’re not the best weapons to use when it comes to protecting property. This is why people need a semi-automatic rifle which yes, can come in the form of an AR-15.

Let’s go back in history for a moment. While everyday life in America compared to the rest of the world is pretty darn easy and relatively safe, the reality is things can change overnight, regardless of whether you live in a decent neighborhood. Take for example the Los Angeles riots in 1992, when business owners were forced to defend their property from angry mobs causing severe chaos: $1 billion in property damage, 50 dead, 4,000 injured, 3,000 fires set and 1,100 buildings damaged. In this case, a handheld pistol was in no way sufficient, but semi-automatic rifles were.

Business owners in LA’s Koreatown knew what was coming their way, so they armed themselves with shotguns and semi-automatic rifles in order to defend their property. They stood on their rooftops as they watched black smoke pour down the street. The cops weren’t there to help them.

“One of our security guards was killed,” Kee Whan Ha told NPR in April 2012, 20 years after the riots took place. “I didn’t see any police patrol car whatsoever. It’s a wide open area. It was like the Wild West in the old days, there was nothing there, we were the only ones left.”

Business owner Richard Rhee felt the same way and told the Los Angeles Times, “Burn this down after 33 years?… They don’t know how hard I’ve worked. This is my market and I’m going to protect it.”

Assault weapons” saved Koreatown and it’s fair to say the people holding them saved the lives of many that day.

Then of course, there was the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans became a place of complete anarchy in a matter of hours. In addition to property owners being forced to stave off mobs of people roaming for food, water and shelter to survive as the government failed to provide emergency services, they had to protect themselves against dangerous looters. But not only were New Orleans residents forced to defend themselves against immediate threats to their person and property, residents also had to protect themselves from the government.

As the water started to recede, leaving New Orleans a chaotic wasteland, police officers began going door to door confiscating weapons. Who did they take them from? Mostly poor black residents in New Orleans’ 9th Ward.

The New York Times reported in September 2005, “No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms.” The paper pointed out that rich residents and business were allowed to hire hundreds of security guards with firearms to protect them. Sadly, the poor in New Orleans didn’t have the same luxury.

Superintendent of police at the time P. Edwin Compass III said, “Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.”

What happened days before weapons confiscation was tyranny of the worst kind. Henry Glover, a 31-year-old black man was shot and killed by New Orlean’s police officers. They also burned his body.

comegetA New Orleans police officer was laughing after he burned the body of a man who had been gunned down by police in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, a fellow officer testified Thursday.

The testimony came during the trial of officer Greg McRae and Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, who are charged with burning the body of 31-year-old Henry Glover in a car after he was shot and killed by a different officer outside a strip mall on Sept. 2, 2005. Three other current and former officers also are charged in Glover’s death.

A former officer, David Warren, is charged with shooting Glover. Prosecutors say Glover wasn’t armed and didn’t pose a threat to Warren.

Scheuermann and McRae are accused of beating people who drove Glover to a makeshift police headquarters in search of help. The three men were handcuffed when the officers drove off with the car containing Glover’s body.

Former Lt. Robert Italiano and Lt. Travis McCabe are accused of falsifying a report to make it appear Glover’s shooting was justified.

When politicians and gun grabbers tell us we “don’t need” semi-automatic, “assault,” or “military style” weapons, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

 

Appease early and appease often – Tea Party Nation

Appease early and appease often – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Obama Regime is even more wimpy than the Carter Administration was. 

 From early on, they wanted to appease and surrender.  Who better for Obama to surrender to than Iran?

 From the Times of Israel.

 Soon after he took office, President Barack Obama began a process ultimately designed to reestablish full US diplomatic relations with Iran, including a reopening of embassies, an Israeli daily reported Sunday. The initiative, part of a wider shift in America’s diplomatic orientation, aimed at reaching understandings with Tehran over suspending its nuclear program, Maariv claimed, citing “two Western diplomats very close to the administration.”

The initiative led to at least two US-Iran meetings, the report said. Israel was made aware of the contacts, and opposed them.

But Iran rebuffed the “diplomatic hand” offered by the White House, Maariv reported. The Islamist regime “opposed any sign of normalization with the US, and refused to grant a ‘prize’ to the Americans,” according to an anonymous Israeli source quoted by the paper.

The information — the lead item on Maariv’s front page, headlined “Obama offered to renew relations with Iran” — comes on the heels of reports earlier this month that the US and Iran held back channel contacts toward establishing direct talks over Tehran’s nuclear program. Both the White House and Iran denied those reports.

According to Maariv, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili for an hour in 2009, and one other meeting between officials from both sides took place as well.

Included in the diplomatic incentives package offered by Washington would be, in the first stage, the opening of interest sections in Washington and Tehran, with the possibility subsequently of expanding to full diplomatic ties, including US and Iranian embassies and ambassadors in each other’s capitals, Maariv claimed.

As part of restored diplomatic relations with Iran, Maariv reported, Washington was ready to hold senior level diplomatic contacts, to agree to reciprocal visits, to approve security cooperation between the countries, direct flights between the US and Iran, and the granting of visas to Iranians wishing to visit the US.

The report, if true, would indicate a readiness by Obama to oversee a sea change in American policy toward Iran. The two countries have not had direct diplomatic relations since the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-1981, when the Shah was overthrown during the Iranian Revolution and workers in the American Embassy held hostage for over a year. The US currently maintains a trade embargo with Iran and any diplomatic contacts are officially handled through third parties

According to Maariv, Iran also rejected the attempt to reestablish ties out of fear that the regime in Tehran would become weakened by normalization with Washington.

The meeting between Burns and Jalili was reportedly held in Geneva in October 2009, on the sidelines of talks between Tehran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, also known as the P5+1.

Those talks, which Jerusalem has characterized as a stalling tactic by Tehran to buy time to develop its nuclear program to weapon capability, have mostly failed, despite several attempts to hash over curbs on Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.

Last week, the New York Times and NBC reported that Washington has held secret contacts with Iran with the goal of holding one-on-one negotiations over their nuclear program. According to the report in the New York Times, Iran was open to the possibility, but asked to wait until after the American elections on November 6 so they would know who they were negotiating with.

Obama’s Sneaky, Deadly, Costly Car Tax – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com

 

Obama’s Sneaky, Deadly, Costly Car Tax – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com.

While all eyes were on the Republican National Convention in Tampa and Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast, the White House was quietly jacking up the price of automobiles and putting future drivers at risk.

Yes, the same cast of fable-tellers who falsely accused GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of murdering a steelworker’s cancer-stricken wife is now directly imposing a draconian environmental regulation that will cost untold American lives.

On Tuesday, the administration announced that it had finalized “historic” new fuel efficiency standards. (Everything’s “historic” with these narcissists, isn’t it?) President Obama took a break from his historic fundraising drives to proclaim that “(by) the middle of the next decade, our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today. 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.”

Jon Carson, director of Obama’s Office of Public Engagement, took to Twitter to hype how “auto companies support the higher fuel-efficiency standards” and how the rules crafted behind closed doors will “save consumers $8,000″ per vehicle. His source for these claims? The New York Times, America’s Fishwrap of Record, which has acknowledged it allows the Obama campaign to have “veto power” over reporters’ quotes from campaign officials.

And whom did the Times cite for the claim that the rules will “save consumers $8,000″? Why, the administration, of course! “The administration estimated that the new standards would save Americans $1.7 trillion in fuel costs,” the Times dutifully regurgitated, “resulting in an average savings of more than $8,000 a vehicle by 2025.”

The Obama administration touts the support of the government-bailed-out auto industry for these reckless, expensive regs. What they want you to forget is that the “negotiations” (read: bullying) with White House environmental radicals date back to former Obama green czar Carol Browner’s tenure — when she infamously told auto industry execs “to put nothing in writing, ever” regarding their secret CAFE talks.

Obama’s number-massagers cite phony-baloney cost savings that rely on developing future fuel-saving technology. Given this crony government’s abysmal track record in “investing” in new technologies (cough — Solyndra — cough), we can safely dismiss that fantasy math. What is real for consumers is the $2,000 per vehicle added cost that the new fuel standards will impose now. That figure comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

War on Middle-Class Consumers, anyone?

Beyond the White House-media lapdog echo chamber, the economic and public safety objections to these sweeping rules are long grounded and well founded.

For years, free-market analysts and government statisticians have warned of the deadly effect of increasing corporate auto fuel economy standards (CAFE). Sam Kazman at the Competitive Enterprise Institute explained a decade ago: “(T)he evidence on this issue comes from no less a body than the National Academy of Sciences, which issued a report last August finding that CAFE contributes to between 1,300 and 2,600 traffic deaths per year. Given that this program has been in effect for more than two decades, its cumulative toll is staggering.”

H. Sterling Burnett of the National Center for Policy Analysis adds that NHTSA data indicate that “322 additional deaths per year occur as a direct result of reducing just 100 pounds from already downsized small cars, with half of the deaths attributed to small car collisions with light trucks/sport utility vehicles.” USA Today further calculated that the “size and weight reductions of passenger vehicles undertaken to meet current CAFE standards had resulted in more than 46,000 deaths.”

These lethal regulations should be wrapped in yellow police “CAUTION” tape. The tradeoffs are stark and simple: CAFE fuel standards clamp down on the production of larger, more crashworthy cars. Analysts from Harvard to the Brookings Institution to the federal government itself have arrived at the same conclusion: CAFE kills. Welcome to the bloody intersection between the Obama jobs death toll and the Obama green death toll.

 

Just Drill, Barry – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

 

Just Drill, Barry – John Ransom – Townhall Finance .

When presidential candidate John Kerry pointed out that he voted for the Iraq War before he voted against the Iraq War, we all thought it a terrible gaffe. But politics, in a study of how politics leads to a devolutionary society, no longer sees campaigning as being for something before being against something as gaffe-worthy.   

Yesterday’s sex scandal can be today’s mystique, if you are just willing to afterward reveal to teenagers on TV what kind of underwear you favor.

So it’s with this quaint notion that right can be made wrong- and vice a versa- if you just are brave enough to ask people to lower their standards by this much: <—> (not actual size…actually much, much smaller) that we address Democrat energy policy- or lack thereof- depending on your standards… or lack thereof.

It turns out that being for having an energy policy before being against it –or vice a versa- it isn’t a gaffe at all; no, indeed.

Under Obama, the Democrats have made it part of the party platform.For example, did you know that president Obama has been a champion of Big Oil since he became our Chameleon-in-Chief?

That’s right: Oil production is at an all time high under- hurray!- his administration because he’s been so cooperative with oil and gas producers- and, depending on your standards, or lack thereof, you might even believe him when he says it.

Last year the New York Times was so disgusted with Obama’s landmark, much-billed energy policy speech that they actually issued this correction:

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 30, 2011

A previous version of this article misstated how many of the president’s proposals to reduce the country’s reliance on imported oil were new in his speech on Wednesday. None of them were, not one of them.

So let’s you, me and the New York Times agree that Obama really doesn’t have an energy policy. Recently Obama reinforced that notion.

You see, Obama was against oil production before his newest, bestest policy, just recently embraced 72 hours ago, that- to paraphrase him- says: “Drill, Barry, drill.”

His change of heart <hack, cough>, or lack thereof, has come about in wake of the administration’s latest self-inflicted gunshot wound to the economy, rising oil prices… again.  

For decades the basic policy of all US governments, Democrat or Republican, has been to keep oil prices relatively low and relatively stable.  To argue a contrary policy, as Obama has done, would be like arguing that a higher crime rate leads to less crime because we’d end up getting more criminals off the street and in to jail. Crime rates would certainly go up, if we encouraged it. 

So it goes with oil prices.     

Since Democrats took over Congress in 2007, we’ve gone from relatively stable oil prices to all time highs, a small correction, and now we are headed back to all-time highs…again.  We have neither low prices, nor stable prices.

And oil prices have been rising during a jobs recession masquerading as Obama’s Summer of Love. Just wait to see what oil prices do when we have real economic growth. But of course we neither have had growth nor will we grow under these self-defeating economic and energy policies, which are really the same thing. 

Makes you wonder if the same bright federal lights who illegally sold guns to Mexican meth dealers are also in charge of energy policy (see Solyndra). It’s the only explanation that I can come up with for the willful blindness that allows the Obamanauts to not see that their energy policy, like their policy on gun-walking, WON’T END WELL.

Economies around the world have been reeling and tottering on the brink of disaster: Japan? Recession, Europe? Recession. China? Double Secret Recession.

The thing the world needs is rapidly-rising oil prices.

And this just in: Guess who has the largest amount of oil reserves in history? That’s right: the U-S-A.  

“In fact, the U.S. has a mind-boggling 1.4 trillion barrels of oil,” writes Investors Business Daily, “enough to ‘fuel the present needs in the U.S. for around 250 years,’ according to the Institute for Energy Research. The problem is the government has put most of this supply off limits.”

We have lots of recoverable oil it seems, but we don’t have a recoverable president of the United States.

China, Japan and Europe, with a combined $30.6 trillion in GDP, are responsible for almost half the economic output of the world. Despite contraction in those economies, oil prices are still making new highs. Basic supply and demand, if supply and demand weren’t artificially restricted and inflated by our genius central planners at central banks around the world, should have oil prices going down, not up to new highs.

We are in the midst of repeating exactly what happened in 2008: A world economy already sputtering, faced rapidly rising oil prices until oil prices collapsed, taking everything else with it. 

Built to last? This newest oil bubble? Maybe. But I tend to think of oil as the real estate play of 2012. In 2011 we at least needed bad, bad news to chase oil prices up. Now it’s just happening on its own. 

The so-called soft-patch economy we’ve been in since last year has been the result of spiking oil prices as much as anything. Last year at this time, a red flag was going up on all the great economic news Obama was bragging about. The red flag was oil prices that were spiking to two year highs on news out of Libya regarding regime change and news out of Japan about the tsunami. One extended soft-patch later, the lesson that seems to be lost on the administration is that oil prices do have a direct effect on US economic growth.    

If oil prices stay high, this time, it just means the US economy will be slowed to a standstill- again, if it ever really has grown in real terms rather than just inflated. On the other hand, if oil prices collapse, it just means the financial losses in the oil patch will ripple throughout markets. And these are markets that have more assets, concentrated in fewer places than was true in 2008- in other words they are much too bigger to fail than last time we had to bailout troubled assets.

And remember Obama fixed too big to fail. Let’s hope that he doesn’t have to try to prove it. That has the makings of Tyson-Holyfield Part III. We’ll be lucky if someone just loses an ear, so to say.   

Because far from ensuring more production of oil, Obama has done everything he can to restrict oil production at a time when the country has finally discovered enough oil to become a net exporter of petroleum. Obama, in fact, has concentrated oil assets in fewer distribution outlets and the result has been higher prices.   

“The administration’s actions and its policy proposals on domestic oil and natural gas development are out of synch with its words,” says the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API). Oil producers, who API represents, actually benefit from these high prices. “The administration is restricting where oil and natural gas development may occur, leasing less often, shortening lease terms, going slow on permit approvals, and increasing or threatening to increase industry’s development costs through higher taxes, higher royalty rates, higher minimum lease bids, and more regulations.”

Contrast oil prices with natural gas prices which “plunged 32 percent in 2011 to end the year at $2.989 per million British thermal units for the largest annual decline in half a decade,” reports Bloomberg. “Since then, gas fell another 12 percent, thanks to mild North American weather that crimped demand for the fuel to run furnaces and added to the surfeit.”

The difference between gas and oil?

“Fracking has opened up vast areas of [natural gas] development on a scale that’s practically overwhelming for the industry,” said William Dutcher, president of Dutcher and Co., an Oklahoma City- based operator of 1,300 oil and gas wells,” according to Bloomberg. And now Obama supporters are trying to kill fracking as well.

Efforts to stimulate the economy- which are likely more widespread than either the Fed or the White House are willing to admit- without addressing the US domestic oil supply issues will just have the effect of raising oil prices even higher as more and more dollars chase up commodities like oil. The administration seems to be caught in a vicious cycle of central bank stimulus measures that inflate our economy, followed by a collapse of economic growth because of inflation, followed by renewed central bank stimulus measures, followed by inflation, followed by….

It’s that unknown “followed by” that’s really scary.  And it’s real too.

Just ask the millions who have stopped looking for work, permanently.  

So? What about those jobs?

They’re going into your gas tank via Middle East oil, while our surplus oil remains in the ground.

That’s a standard, or lack thereof, that Obama seems to have always been for even when he says he’s against it.

 

Are You an Extremist? – Bill O’Reilly – Townhall.com

 

Are You an Extremist? – Bill O’Reilly – Townhall.com

Are You an Extremist?

That “vision” would be federal spending cuts and entitlement reform.

While chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan sent two spending bills to the House, both of which passed but were killed in the Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats. The bills cut federal programs across the board. Ryan is also a fan of reforming Medicare and Social Security, which are going bankrupt.

In the bubble that is the liberal media, trimming government spending and making entitlements more fiscally viable are extreme positions. That’s somewhat ironic because President Obama’s strategy of massive government spending and borrowing is perhaps the most extreme economic plan in the nation’s history. Never before has the USA run up such an enormous debt and had so little to show for it.

So defining Ryan as extreme is an interesting scare tactic — and one that might be extended in the days to come. Here are some other positions that the committed left media consider extreme:

–If you believe traditional marriage should be kept as the exclusive standard, you are not only extreme; you are a homophobe.  

–If you believe all Americans should pay less in taxes, you are greedy and an anti-poor extremist.  

–If you believe the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to buy and possess guns, you are promoting violence in an extreme way.  

–If you believe the government has a duty to combat overseas terrorists without giving them constitutional protections, you are an extreme anti-human rights individual.  

–If you believe abortion is the taking of a human life, you are an anti-woman extremist.  

–If you support securing the nation’s borders and regulating immigration, you are anti-Hispanic.  

The list goes on and on.

By labeling someone as extreme, you can dismiss whatever they say. That’s the strategy being used against Ryan. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd writes: “Ryan should stop being so lovable. People who intend to hurt other people should wipe the smile off their faces.”

So in Dowd’s estimation, Ryan is in politics to harm the folks. He gets up every day and plots the personal damage he might be able to achieve.

This is now where we are in American politics. If Ryan’s reform vision will harm Americans, let’s hear some specifics. So far, under Obama, we have a sluggish economy, high employment and record debt. Sounds harmful to me.

But then again, I’m an extremist.

 

Tax Hikes Are Economically Destructive, Politically Poisonous, and Completely Ineffective at Reducing Red Ink – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance

Tax Hikes Are Economically Destructive, Politically Poisonous, and Completely Ineffective at Reducing Red Ink – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance

Back in April, I explained that I would accept a tax increase if “the net long-run effect is more freedom, liberty, and prosperity.”

I even outlined several specific scenarios where that might occur, including giving the politicians more money in exchange for a flat tax or giving them additional revenue in exchange for real entitlement reform.

But I then pointed out that all of those options are unrealistic. And I’ve expanded on that thesis in a new article. Here’s some of what I wrote for The Blaze.

The no-tax pledge of Americans for Tax Reform generates a lot of controversy. With record levels of red ink, the political elite incessantly proclaims that all options must be “on the table.” This sounds reasonable. And when some Republicans say no tax hikes under any circumstances, there’s a lot of criticism about dogmatism. Theoretically, I agree with the elitists.

So does that make me a squish, the fiscal equivalent of Chief Justice John Roberts?

Nope, because I’m tethered to the real world. I know that there is zero chance of getting a good agreement. Once you put taxes “on the table,” any impetus for spending restraint evaporates.

But even though I’m theoretically open to a tax hike, I am a de facto opponent of tax increases for the simple reason that we will never get a good deal. We won’t get sustainable spending cuts. Not even in our dreams. We won’t get real entitlement reforms. Even if we hold our breath ‘til we turn blue. And we won’t get the “Simpson-Bowles” tax reform swap, where taxpayers give up $2 of deductions in exchange for $1 of lower tax rates. Let’s not kid ourselves. In other words, reality trumps theory. Yes, there are tax-hike deals that would be good, but they’re about as realistic as me speculating on whether I’d be willing to play for the New York Yankees, but only if they guarantee me $5 million per year.

I then point out that a budget deal inevitably would lead to bad policy – just as we saw in 1982 and 1990.

Here’s the bottom line: There is no practical way to get a good deal from either the Democrats in the Senate or the Obama Administration. Notwithstanding the good intentions of some people, any grand bargain would be a failure that leads to higher spending and more red ink, just as we saw after the 1982 and 1990 budget deals. The tax increases would not be relatively benign loophole closers. Instead, the economy would be hit by higher marginal tax rates on work, savings, investment, and entrepreneurship. And the entitlement reform would be unsustainable gimmicks rather than structural changes to fix the underlying programs. Ironically, when a columnist for the New York Times complained that Republicans were being unreasonable for opposing tax hikes, she inadvertently revealed that the only successful budget deal was the one in 1997 – the one that had no tax hikes!

The last sentence is worth some additional commentary. As I explained in a previous post, the only bipartisan budget agreement that generated a balanced budget was the 1997 pact – and that deal lowered taxes rather than increasing them.

Some people try to argue that Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax hike deserves some of the credit, but I previously showed that the Administration’s Office of Management and Budget admitted – 18 months later! – that the nation would have triple-digit budget deficits for the foreseeable future.

What changed (and this is where Bill Clinton deserves credit) is that the nation enjoyed a multi-year period of spending restraint in the mid-1990s.

And when policy makers addressed the underlying disease of too much government spending, they solved the symptom of red ink.

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