A Cabinet of Dunces – Tea Party Nation

A Cabinet of Dunces – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

A President reveals a lot about himself by his choices of his cabinet members to head various government departments and agencies. Some choices turn out to be historically significant such as Truman’s Secretary of State, George Marshall or Nixon’s choice of Henry Kissinger, but since the President sets policy, the blame or approval belongs to him.

Nor is it unusual for cabinet members to leave after a first term if a President is reelected. What has been unusual for President Obama’s first term has been the appointment of an entire shadow government of advisors known as his “czars”; people who functioned behind the scenes with unknown levels of power to influence and even determine policy.

One, Van Jones, was an avowed Communist and, when that became known, he resigned. The obvious problem with the czars is the total lack of transparency they represent and the fact that their appointments—not being cabinet-level, but deemed to be only advisory—by-passed the requirement of Congressional approval.

As of this writing, his most famous appointment, Hillary Clinton, has stepped down as Obama’s Secretary of State to be replaced by one of the greatest dunces to serve in the Senate, John Kerry. He began his career in politics as a Vietnam veteran who testified before Congress that his fellow veterans had engaged in acts that violated the Geneva Convention. When he ran for President, his fellow Swift Boat veterans revealed the scope of his lies about his own service. Kerry’s judgment has proven wrong on so many foreign policy issues it would take a book to chronicle them. In his first two days in office he saw the delivery of fighter jets to an Egypt that is no longer an ally and now in the hands of avowed enemies, the Muslim Brotherhood. Hillary traveled incessantly, but Obama’s foreign policy—mostly isolationist—concluded with the cover-up of the Benghazi attack that got a U.S. ambassador killed.

Most certainly, the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel has raised the issue of competency to a whole new level. It is hard to imagine a nominee less capable of running the Pentagon and less in tune with events in a very dangerous world. Given his past votes and statements, he reflects the President’s views. It’s bad news for Israel and good news for our adversaries. Watch now as the Democrats, despite misgivings and doubts, once again line up with the President to impose another bad decision on the nation.

Among those leaving his cabinet is Dr. Steven Chu, who actually wanted the price of a gallon of gasoline to rise to those in Europe in order to curb American’s desire to hop in the car for any reason. He will be best remembered for having swiftly ushered a $528 million loan to Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer whose company just as swiftly went bankrupt, sticking the taxpayers with the loss. Other similar “investments” also failed. Ignoring America’s vast reserves of coal, natural gas and oil—enough to make the nation energy independent—Chu favored the expansion of solar and wind energy, lavishing millions on its producers even though it provides barely three percent of the electricity Americans use to function.

Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, is also departing and he never saw a square inch of the nation’s landmass that he did not want to acquire as property of the federal government. Salazar, so green that he glows in the dark, was a tree-hugger deluxe. While touting the expansion of oil drilling and the extraction of natural gas, he conveniently neglected to mention that most of it occurred on privately held land and his department did what it could to delay or simply not issue the leases necessary to extract oil, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. Together with Dr. Chu, these two did more to interdict or retard the provision of energy to the nation than any of their predecessors.

Departing as well is Ray LaHood as Transportation Secretary. A Wall Street Journal editorial noting his departure said he is likely to be remembered “for presiding over a transportation policy predicated on the best the 19th century had to offer: railroads and bicycles.” Railroads served well in the 1800s and early 1900s. The federally owned Amtrak has never turned a profit. As for cars and trucks, in 2010 he wrote “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.” It doesn’t get more stupid than that and his department shelled out $8 billion in grants to support this stupidity including the San Francisco-to-Anaheim bullet train whose first leg will connect Merced to Bakersfield in the sparsely populated Central Valley.

The worst of the President’s appointments was Lisa Jackson who has resigned from her position as director of the Environmental Protection Agency in the wake of revelations that she used a phony name for emails with which she conducted agency business. Transparency, let alone adherence to the law that forbids this practice, was not favored by Ms. Jackson, nor by her predecessor, Carol Browner, one of Obama’s czars. Browner had served as a commissioner of the Socialist International, an umbrella group for 170 social democratic, socialist, and labor parties in 55 countries. Under Ms. Jackson, the EPA has issued a mountain of regulations, some of which forced utilities around the nation to shut their doors and coal mining companies to cease production. The total number of jobs lost is still being calculated.

The decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline has not only cost 20,000 jobs at a time when millions of Americans have dropped out of the labor market was also supported by the Interior Department and the EPA. The pipeline, by the way, would not have cost taxpayers a dime as it is privately financed and would be just one of a huge network of pipelines that serve America’s energy needs.

Janet Napolitano—Big Sis—remains on at Homeland Security, possibly the most under-reported department, despite occasional reports that it appears to be arming itself for an insurrection purchasing lots of ammunition and a lot of rapid-fire rifles.

Still presiding at the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius, is the Cruella de Ville who oversaw the passage of Obamacare and its implementation. She will have blood on her hands as senior citizens in particular are denied vital medical care and will be vilified by Americans who discover that their insurance rates have skyrocketed. Many companies are either not hiring or laying off employees, putting some on a part-time status to avoid its strictures and fines. Others are just shutting their doors.

The departing Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geithner, presided with the President over the greatest accumulation of debt in the nation’s history, as well as its first credit rating reduction. Jack Lew who will replace him holds no promise of slowing this process toward the destruction of the value of the dollar and the continuation of the Great Recession.

This deliberate destruction of jobs, delaying access to traditional sources of energy, resistance to the actual transportation needs of the nation, a failed foreign policy, and panoply of other policies pursued by the out-going cabinet members will be continued by President Obama’s new choices to replace them.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

Government Scientist Gets Fired for Telling the Truth – David Spady

Government Scientist Gets Fired for Telling the Truth – David Spady.

Something’s amiss at the Department of Interior. Eight government scientists were recently fired or reassigned after voicing concerns to their superiors about faulty environmental science used for policy decisions. Which begs the question, “Are some government agencies manipulating science to advance political agendas?”

Fictional book authors operate in a convenient world, unconstrained by facts and experiences of the real world. The antithesis of works of fiction are scientific findings solely based on provable facts and experience. For agenda-driven environmental science, facts can sometime prove inconvenient. It’s far easier to advance an agenda with agreeable science, even if that means creating science fiction or fictional science. Fictional science thus becomes the pseudo-reality of environmentalist’s absolutism and any science that disagrees with their predetermined conclusions of man-made harm to the environment is ignored or distorted. Now we learn that in some government agencies, scientists who question the veracity and validity of scientific evidence used to formulate environmental regulations and policies are shunned, kept quiet, and purged.

The purpose of fictional environmental science is to sway public opinion through what amounts to propaganda. Intransigent purveyors of “green” propaganda know their greatest enemy is truth. One of the most famous propaganda experts was Germany’s Joseph Goebbels, who taught that if a lie is repeated often enough it will eventually be accepted as truth. Goebbels also knew that truth has to be suppressed if it contradicts the objectives of the propaganda. Goebbels wrote, “It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Over the past three decades, government has unleashed an unprecedented wave of environmental rules and regulations that affect nearly every aspect of American life, and for the most part the public has tolerated it. Public embrace of environmental propaganda and fear mongering about the apocalyptic consequences of mankind’s abuse of the planet have elevated environmentalism to a status above national security. The public is now more likely to give up rights and freedoms for the cause of saving the planet than for security reasons.

Rural America has long been a target of environmentalists. Government agencies such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the DOI (Department of Interior) have been hijacked by extreme elements of environmentalism and rural America is feeling the heat. When environmental protocol is pitted against the welfare of a rural community, these agencies almost exclusively side with the environmental cause, and adverse consequences to the human element are considered last, if at all.

The Department of Interior refers to itself as the nation’s landlord. It controls almost 30% of the nation’s 2.27 billion acres of land and its natural resources, and as a regulatory agency, it creates policies to govern how public land and these resources are used. Under the leadership of Secretary Ken Salazar the agency has engaged in an aggressive crusade to obstruct and undermine the use of natural resources, restrict human access to public lands, and increase its influence over private property. Decisions made by the agency are presumed to be based on sound scientific analysis, but often times policy is driving the science, rather than science driving environmental policy. This has led to harmful decisions and a violation of the public trust.

A case in point is the story of DOI science adviser and scientific integrity officer, Dr. Paul Houser, who found out that by simply doing his job can be hazardous to one’s career. Dr. Houser is an expert in hydrology who was hired by DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation to evaluate scientific data used in the department’s decision making process. He was assigned several Western State projects including a scheme to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in Northern California—the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. When a summary of science posted on the web to support DOI’s claim for removal of the dams omitted several crucial factors from expert panel reports, Dr. Houser brought his concerns to his superiors. He was repeatedly told to refrain from sharing his concerns through electronic communication, which could be subject to Freedom of Information Act discovery.

Dr. Houser learned firsthand that policy was driving the science, rather than the other way around, when he was told by his superiors at DOI, “Secretary Salazar wants to remove those dams. So your actions here aren’t helpful.”

According to the DOI the premise for Klamath River dams removal is to restore Coho salmon spawning habitat above the dams. However, official DOI documents reveal scientific concerns that dam removal may, in fact, result in species decline based on millions of tons of toxic sediment build up behind the dams that will make its way to the ocean. Water temperature increases without the dams could also negatively impact the salmon. These studies were ignored. Concerns about the human toll and impact to local Klamath Basin communities were also brushed aside. Those most interested in the well-being of the environment they live and work in, were given a backseat to special interests thousands of miles away.

The Klamath hydroelectric dams provide clean inexpensive energy to thousands of local residents who will be forced to pay much higher premiums if the dams are removed because California has strict new laws for use of renewable energy. The town of Happy Camp sits on the banks of the Klamath River and could be wiped out with seasonal flooding without the dams. Once Coho salmon are introduced into the upper Klamath, farmers and ranchers will be faced with water use restrictions and invasive government regulation of private land. The economic impact will be devastating, property values will depreciate and the agriculture community, often operating on slim profit margins, will be subjected to the fate of the once vibrant logging industry which fell victim to the spotted owl crusades.

Last year, Dr. Houser raised these concerns and was subsequently fired by the DOI. “I put my concerns forward and immediately thereafter I was pushed out of the organization,” he stated. The agency sent a clear message to the rest of their employees and scientists – Salazar’s dam busting agenda cannot be subject to any internal scientific scrutiny. Goebbels would be proud. Truth must be repressed when it contradicts the objective.

Dr. Houser did the right thing. He did his job. His integrity as a scientist was more important than a paycheck. But he remains concerned about his colleagues in DOI, “There are a lot of good scientists that work for the government but they are scared, they are scared that what happened to me might happen to them. This is an issue (about) the honesty and transparency of government and an issue for other scientists in government who want to speak out.” A few weeks ago Dr. Houser settled a wrongful discharge case with the DOI. Terms of his settlement are not public.

Now, seven more DOI scientists working on the Klamath Project have filed a complaint with PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) claiming they have been reassigned or terminated for disagreement with the integrity of the science used to support dam removal. They have charged DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation’s management with “coercive manipulation, sublimating science to political priorities, censorship, and scientific misconduct.”

The government’s use of fictional science in the Klamath dam removal project should concern every American. Our public servants at DOI are brazenly advancing their own agendas at the expense of the truth and regardless of adverse impacts on the environment, humans, and on rural communities. Environment and human interests are not incompatible. We have to find solutions that work to the benefit of both. That requires agendas be put aside and allow complete science to determine policy.

DOI Secretary Ken Salazar is stepping down in March. His replacement needs to be someone who can be trusted to end the culture of fictional science as a means to advance environmental agendas.

(Video: When Government Can’t be Trusted)

 

» Malkin: Obama’s Interior Department Still Going Rogue » Commentary — GOPUSA

» Malkin: Obama’s Interior Department Still Going Rogue » Commentary — GOPUSA.

The Obama administration’s loathsome cowboy, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, won’t take no for an answer. He’s been smacked down repeatedly by federal courts for imposing a draconian, junk science-based moratorium on the oil and gas industry. Yet, the job-killing zealot and his boss just introduced another ruinous offshore drilling ban two weeks ago.

The White House rationale for the renewed crackdown? Because we said so.

Thomas Pyle of the D.C.-based Institute for Energy Research reports that the Salazar scheme “reinstitutes a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration that will keep our most promising resources locked away until long after President Obama begins plans for his presidential library.” Instead of working to enhance our energy independence and free up abundant natural resources, the Obama administration has worked tirelessly to close off access to nearly 86 billion barrels of oil on America’s Outer Continental Shelf alone.

The latest plan involves the interior secretary’s authority to auction oil and gas leases and to oversee oil and gas research and exploration on the OCS. Pyle explains that the “2012-17 plan leaves out the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the vast majority of OCS areas off Alaska. It cuts in half the average number of lease sales per year, requires higher minimum bids and shorter lease periods, and dramatically reduces lease terms.”

The official Obama for America slogan may be “Forward,” but the Salazar-Obama anti-drilling regime leaves America behind. National Ocean Industries Association President Randall B. Luthi told the Oil and Gas Journal (an industry publication): “This deeply disappointing ‘no new access’ plan does not reflect the comprehensive, ‘all of the above’ energy policy touted by the administration, nor does it keep pace with the energy policies of foreign nations that are expanding their offshore access to develop badly needed oil and gas.”

No surprise. Salazar is an unrepentant glutton for punishment — of America’s energy producers. He’s had the unwavering support of President Obama ever since the aftermath of the BP oil spill in 2010, when the administration implemented a radical six-month freeze on America’s entire deepwater drilling industry. Republicans must forcefully counter the campaign fables being spun by Team Obama with the truth about these rogue overlords.

When the president’s Chicago flacks boast of their noble commitment to transparency, remember: The overbroad drilling ban was stuffed into a technical safety document in the middle of the night by Obama’s unaccountable green extremists.

When White House operatives tout their miraculous economics, remind them: The cost of the original Obama-Salazar edict is an estimated 19,000 jobs and $1.1 billion in lost wages. The new ban takes both coasts off the table and throws Alaska oil and gas sales into uncertain delay.

When Democrats tout their adherence to sound science, don’t forget: The administration’s own expert panel disavowed Salazar and former eco-czar Carol Browner‘s claims that they had secured a scientific consensus for the drilling ban. In fact, Salazar and Browner completely perverted the experts’ consensus against the sweeping offshore drilling ban.

When Vice President Joe Biden takes to the stump to tout the “character of his (boss’s) convictions,” make it known: Louisiana federal judge Martin Feldman rebuked the Obama Interior Department for its “determined disregard” for the law.

And the stench deepens. In May, the House Natural Resources Committee released e-mails quoting a senior whistleblower who directly contradicted Salazar’s claim that doctored support for the ban was unintentional. Where is the Interior Department inspector general to look out for taxpayers’ best interests? She’s knee-deep in ethics problems herself.

A federal panel that oversees government watchdogs took up a conflict-of-interest complaint against Interior Department Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall this week. USA Today first reported in May “that Kendall had attended meetings where top Interior officials discussed drafts of a peer-reviewed report on deepwater drilling.” Later, she was enlisted to investigate how White House officials cooked up the scientifically manufactured report that resulted from those very meetings.

Instead of haranguing GOP opponent Mitt Romney with questions about his offshore bank accounts, this search-and-destroy White House should start accounting for its offshore drilling obstructionism. Salazar’s reign has been a shady, secretive and rotten deal for America.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010).

PYLE: Energy Department sneaks offshore moratorium past public – Washington Times

PYLE: Energy Department sneaks offshore moratorium past public – Washington Times.

Jobs and oil-supply potential are shut down

By Thomas J. Pyle

While the Obama administration was taking a victory lap last week after the 5-4 Supreme Court decision to uphold the president’s signature legislative accomplishment, Obamacare, the Interior Department was using the media black hole to release a much-awaited five-year plan for offshore drilling. That plan reinstitutes a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration that will keep our most promising resources locked away until long after President Obama begins plans for his presidential library. Given the timing, it is clear that the self-described “all of the above” energy president didn’t want the American people to discover that he was denying access to nearly 98 percent of America’s vast energy potential on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) of 1953 provided the interior secretary with the authority to administer mineral exploration and development off our nation’s coastlines. At its most basic level, the act empowers the interior secretary – in this case, former U.S. Sen. Kenneth L. Salazar of Colorado – to provide oil and gas leases to the highest-qualified bidder while establishing guidelines for implementing an oil and gas exploration-and-development program for the Outer Continental Shelf. In 1978, in the wake of the oil crisis and spiking gasoline prices, Congress amended the act to require a series of five-year plans that provide a schedule for the sale of oil and gas leases to meet America’s national energy needs.

But since taking office, Mr. Obama and Mr. Salazar have worked to restrict access to our offshore oil and gas resources by canceling lease sales, delaying others and creating an atmosphere of uncertainty about America’s future offshore development that has left job creators looking for other countries’ waters to host their offshore rigs. More than 3 1/2 years into the Obama regime, nearly 86 billion barrels of undiscovered oil on the Outer Continental Shelf remain off-limits to Americans. Alaska alone has about 24 billion barrels of oil in unleased federal waters. The Commonwealth of Virginia – where Mr. Obama has reversed policies that would have allowed offshore development – is home to 130 million barrels of offshore oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. But thanks to the president, Virginians will have to wait at least another five years before they can begin creating the jobs that will unlock their offshore resources.

Once you add those restrictions to the vast amount of shale oil that is being blocked, the administration has embargoed nearly 200 years of domestic oil supply. No wonder the administration wanted to slip its plan for the OCS under the radar when the whole country was focused on the health care decision.

But facts are stubborn things, and the Obama administration cannot run forever from its abysmal energy record. In the past three years, the government has collected more than 250 times less revenue from offshore lease sales than it did during the last year of the George W. Bush administration – down from $9.48 billion in 2008 to a paltry $36 million last year. Meanwhile, oil production on federal lands dropped 13 percent last year, and the number of annual leases is down more than 50 percent from the Clinton era.

Under the new Obama plan, those numbers will only get worse. The 2012-17 plan leaves out the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the vast majority of OCS areas off Alaska. It cuts in half the average number of lease sales per year, requires higher minimum bids and shorter lease periods and dramatically reduces lease terms. Yet, somehow, we’re supposed to believe that our “all of the above” president is responsible for increased production and reduced oil import.

With oil hovering around $85 a barrel and nationwide gas prices nearly double what they were when Mr. Obama took office, you’d think the administration might implement a sensible plan to promote robust job creation and safe offshore energy development. Instead, what we get is the latest phase in the Obama administration’s war on affordable energy, filed under cover of media darkness while the nation was swallowing its Obamacare medicine.

Thomas J. Pyle is president of the Institute for Energy Research.

» Malkin: White House Lied, Jobs Died » Commentary — GOPUSA

» Malkin: White House Lied, Jobs Died » Commentary — GOPUSA.

By Michelle Malkin

While the White House and its media water-carriers try to distract the American public with gay-marriage talk and half-century-old tales of Mitt Romney’s prep school pranks, the inconvenient truth remains: President Obama is responsible for perpetrating jaw-dropping, job-killing scientific fraud. And his minions are still trying to cover it up.

New internal e-mails disclosed by the House Natural Resources Committee this week show that a supposedly exculpatory report on the administration’s doctored drilling moratorium analysis — issued by the Department of Interior’s Inspector General‘s office — was itself incomplete, misleading and unsubstantiated. Even more damning, the documents reveal that the White House actively blocked investigators and refuses to comply with subpoenas.

Now, as one senior IG agent warned his bosses, “the chickens may be coming home to roost.”

A quick refresher: After the BP oil spill in 2010, the White House imposed a radical six-month moratorium on America’s entire deepwater drilling industry. The overbroad ban — inserted into a technical safety document in the middle of the night by Obama’s green extremists — cost an estimated 19,000 jobs and $1.1 billion in lost wages.

The anti-drilling administration based its draconian order on recommendations from an expert oil spill panel. But that panel’s own members (along with the federal judiciary) called out then-eco czar Carol Browner for misleading the public about the scientific evidence and “contributing to the perception that the government’s findings were more exact than they actually were.” Browner and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar oversaw the false rewriting of the drilling ban report to completely misrepresent the Obama-appointed panel’s own overwhelming scientific objections to the job-killing edict.

Federal judge Martin Feldman in Louisiana blasted the Obama Interior Department for defying his May 2010 order to lift its fraudulent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Gulf. He called out the administration’s culture of contempt and “determined disregard” for the law.

Ever since, GOP watchdogs have attempted to hold administration officials accountable for the drilling ban fraud. In November 2010, the DOI Inspector General issued a report cited by Salazar to argue that any editing of the drilling ban report was unintentional and mistaken. But e-mails from IG senior agent Richard Larrabee released by the House Natural Resources Committee flatly contradict Salazar.

“I truly believe the editing WAS intentional — by an overzealous staffer at the White House. And, if asked, I, as the case agent, would be happy to state that opinion to anyone interested,” Larrabee wrote.

He noted that the IG report failed to mention that investigators were unable to independently validate e-mails supplied by Salazar’s office — and that the report was “simply silent” about how the White House blocked investigators’ attempts to interview one of Browner’s chief henchmen, Joe Aldy. “Well, it will be interesting to see if anyone picks up on these things, or cares about them,” Larrabee wrote.

Well, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., cares. In a letter to the DOI Inspector General’s office, Hastings blasted the stonewallers who have hid in the dark for more than a year. “The IG report is being used by the Obama Administration and others as a defense that this matter has already been investigated and resolved. These emails contradict that claim and raise new questions on whether the IG’s investigation was as thorough and complete as it should have been,” Hastings wrote.

The actual drafts of the drilling moratorium report and the communications between senior Interior Department officials and White House political appointees remain out of public view. “To date, the Interior Department has never had to disclose documents to the IG or to Congress,” Hastings noted. “Despite the President’s pledge of transparency, this Administration has not answered questions by anyone on how this decision was made that forced thousands of Americans out of work and cost millions of dollars in lost economic activity.”

This election isn’t just about jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s about the lies, lies, lies that have led to massive job destruction — and the ruthless corruptocrats using our tax dollars to whitewash their radical green agenda.

More non-reassurance from the Obama Regime. – Tea Party Nation

THE "GREEN OBAMA" BUSY OBAMIZING YOU...

THE "GREEN OBAMA" BUSY OBAMIZING YOUR CHILDREN (Photo credit: SS&SS)

More non-reassurance from the Obama Regime. – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Do you think you are paying a lot for gas now?

 Just wait; to quote Ronald Reagan, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

 If we have cursed with a second Obama term, do you have any idea what you will be paying for a gallon of gas?

 From the Washington Examiner:

 Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that “no one knows” if gasoline prices in the United States will reach $9 per gallon, and acknowledged that the possibility is outside his control.

 “I don’t think anyone can speculate what will happen with respect to oil prices and gas prices because they are set on the global economy,” Salazar told reporters when asked if gas prices could reach $9 per gallon, as they have been in Greece. “Where it will all end, no one knows.

 He explained that “what we see happening today are the influences first of unrest in places like the Middle East and Iran, which disrupt the markets and allow the futures markets to play on some of what they see [in] the unrest around the world; and secondly the huge demand that you’ve started seeing in places like China, India and Brazil.”

 Really?  Perhaps someone should tell the Obama Regime that many of us were born in the dark, but it wasn’t last night.

 Let me take a stab at this.

 The Obama Regime is doing everything in its power to eliminate sources of domestic oil production.   Thus, we are force to import more and more of our oil.  At the same time the Obama Regime is engaged in policies that destroy the value of the dollar.  Since he has been in office the real value of our dollar has dropped by half.  If he does that again, and we already have four dollar a gallon gas, where does that put us?

 Given that it is the official policy of the Obama Regime to “crucify” oil companies, $9 a gallon gas should not surprise anyone.

 From CNS News:

 Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) took to the Senate floor today to draw attention to a video of a top EPA official saying the EPA’s “philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies – just as the Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.

 Inhofe quoted a little-watched video from 2010 of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz, admitting that EPA’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies.

 In the video, Administrator Armendariz says:

 “I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said:

 “It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean.  They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.

 “Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”

 “It’s a deterrent factor,” Armendariz said, explaining that the EPA is following the Romans’ philosophy for subjugating conquered villages.

 Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA’s “philosophy,” the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe’s office noted in advance of today’s Senate speech:

 “Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

 The only crucifixion that needs to be needs to go on is what the voters to do the Obama Regime this November. 

 Of course, compared to the Obama Regime, the Oil and Gas Industry qualifies for Sainthood.

Word to Obama: Solar Still Sucks – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Word to Obama: Solar Still Sucks – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

If you thought solar sucked last week, it sucks even more now that Solar Trust of America has filed for bankruptcy. The name is kind of fitting in the ironic and Orwellian fashion we’ve come to expect from the Obama administration. The name symbolizes the bankruptcy of Obama’s energy policy: solar… trust… America.  Oxymoron, with the emphasis on moron. If it weren’t this close {ß}to being a tragedy, we could all laugh.

“Solar Trust of America LLC, which holds the development rights for the world’s largest solar power project,” reports Reuters, “on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection after its majority owner began insolvency proceedings in Germany.”

Obama critics contend that solar is just another part of his failed energy policy. But they would be overlooking the benefits to America’s energy security that Obama believes photo-ops bring us.   

Because the bankruptcy is just another one of the Obama administration’s cash-for-photo-op investments that has crashed and burned. Most politicians charge big contributors money for photo-op with the president.

Below: California Governor Jerry Brown & Obama’s Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, break ground on the a project from Solar Trust of America that’s now in jeopardy because Solar Trust has filed bankruptcy. And yes, those are golden shovels they are using.   

In another quest to fundamentally change America, Obama awards government loan guarantees along with photo-ops to big donors.  

So fortunately for America’s national security- and energy security we will now at least always have the memories- backed up by various action photos suitable for framing.

Although the Department of Energy was eager to approve the Solar Trust for $2 billion worth of government loan guarantees, the company rejected the offer in a scramble to find technology that would actually allow their plant to work. Its amazing that at the time the Department of Energy was pushing a loan to the company, the company was realizing the equipment on which the loan was predicated wouldn’t work.  

Once billed as the brain trust behind one of the largest solar projects ever- the Blythe Solar Power Project in California’s Coachella Valley- Solar Trust of America will end its government-sponsored Gong Show appearance with the tinny reverberation of failure that will echo for the whole industry.

“The Oakland-based company has held rights for the 1,000-megawatt Blythe Solar Power Project in the southern California desert,” writes Reuters, “which last April won a conditional commitment for a $2.1 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. It is unclear how the bankruptcy will affect that project. Solar Trust did not receive the loan guarantee.”

While Obama administration was denied the opportunity to throw money at Solar Trust- only by the grace of the company’s own good judgment- make no mistake, Obama’s policy of throwing money at other of these uneconomic, sunshine and blue sky investments, is responsible for the bankruptcy as much as any other factor; actually, probably more so.

So far, the administration has made $34 billion in loan guarantees to various green energy projects, many of them in a solar industry already rocked by over-supply and poor economics.

What solar needs now is fewer start-ups, less investment, not more. And everyone outside of the government central-failures understands this. The more money that’s been thrown at solar, the smaller the industry has become.

Guggenheim Solar (Stock Symbol: TAN), an exchange-traded fund that roughly follows the MAC Global Solar Energy Index, representative of broader trends in solar, has lost close to 62 percent of its value year-to-date. Over a three year period, the fund has lost roughly 16 percent while the S&P 500 has returned around 25 percent. All this, at a time when government support and subsidies for the solar industry was at record levels. In 2008 TAN approached $300 per share. It now trades at $23.07.

TAN Chart

TAN data by YCharts

Wall Street seems to know what the government can’t figure out for itself: Solar still sucks, investment-wise. That’s not going to change until the fundamental problem of creating electricity from the sun’s radiation at economical prices is solved. If there is a government role in that solution, it would be in putting money- a lot less money- into basic research that solves the economic problem, not funding private investment.

Because, once solar can compete with nuclear and natural gas and coal, then hurray for solar!

Until then, however, the government, try as it might, won’t be able to bridge the gap between free market -or black market- solutions and central planning schemes no matter the level of subsidy support, the number of loan guarantees or the imposition of fees on competing energy sources in order to make solar more attractive to consumers.

It’s ironic that at a time the Obama administration is twisting the Constitution in order to nationalize healthcare in the name of controlling runaway healthcare prices that they are simultaneously pursing policies in another huge part of our economy, which, of their own admission, have made energy prices “necessarily skyrocket.”

As has been proven by Obama’s most recent photo-op-as-energy policy strategy regarding the Keystone Pipeline, these policies don’t add up to only economic failure for the administration, but to the only failure that Obama really seems to care about: political failure.

But it’s nice to see that finally, in something, Obama, in my most insincere imitation of Bill Clinton, “feels our pain.”

Let’s make him feel it in November when it’s colder outside and we get more record cold via, um, global warming.      

The High Priests of Eco-Destruction – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com

The High Priests of Eco-Destruction – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com.

Rick Santorum is right. Pushing back against Democrats’ attempts to frame him as a religious menace, the GOP presidential candidate forcefully turned the tables on the White House: “When it comes to the management of the Earth, they are the anti-science ones.”

Scrutiny of the White House anti-science brigade couldn’t come at a better time (which is why Santorum’s detractors prefer to froth at the mouth about comments he made four years ago on the existence of Satan). It’s not just big-ticket scandals like the stimulus-subsidized Solyndra bankruptcy or the Keystone pipeline debacle bedeviling America. In every corner of the Obama administration, the radical green machinery is hard at work — destroying jobs, shredding truth and sacrificing our economic well-being at the altar of environmentalism.

–Take Obama’s head of the National Park Service, please. While serving as the Pacific West regional director of the NPS, Jon Jarvis was accused of at least 21 instances of scientific misconduct by Dr. Corey Goodman, a high-ranking member of the National Academy of Sciences. Extensive information about Jarvis’ alleged role in cooking data about a California oyster farm’s impact on harbor seals at Point Reyes was withheld during the 2009 nomination process. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has ignored complaints and follow-up from both Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Sens. James Inhofe and David Vitter.

The National Research Council determined that the NPS had “selectively” slanted its report on the oyster farm. The federal Marine Mammal Commission found that “the data and analyses are not sufficient to demonstrate a causal relationship” between the farm’s operations and harbor seal health. In a letter blasting the NPS for bullying the small oyster farm, Feinstein — normally a reliable eco-ally — concluded earlier this month that the “crux of the problem is that the Park Service manipulated science while building a case that the business should be shuttered.”

Given Salazar’s own role in manipulating science while building his case for the White House offshore drilling moratorium — actions for which several federal judges spanked Salazar in the past two years — it’s no wonder he’s looking the other way. Remember: Two years ago, Salazar and former Obama eco-czar Carol Browner falsely rewrote the White House drilling ban report to wholly manipulate the Obama-appointed panel’s own overwhelming scientific objections to the job-killing edict. Despite repeated judicial slaps for their “determined disregard” for the law, the Obama administration continues to suppress documents related to that junk science scandal. Last month, House Republicans threatened to subpoena the Interior Department for information. Call it a greenwash.

–Water wars and the Delta smelt. The infamous, endangered three-inch fish and its environmental protectors continue to jeopardize the water supply of more than 25 million Californians. Federal restrictions have cut off some 81 billion gallons of water to farmers and consumers in Central and Southern California. Previous courts have ruled that the federal biological opinions used to justify the water cutoff were invalid and illegal. Last September, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California admonished two federal scientists for acting in “bad faith.” The judge’s blistering rebuke of the Obama administration scientists concluded that their slanted testimony about the delta smelt was “an attempt to mislead and to deceive the Court into accepting what is not only not the best science, it’s not science.”

GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, who represents the hard-hit San Joaquin Valley area, noted that Salazar recently “doubled down on the illegal policies of the Department of Interior and attacked critics as narrow minded and politically motivated. Ironically, these were the same basic criticisms levied against his department by the federal court.”

While Salazar manufactures a new biological opinion on the matter to get the courts off his back, unemployment and drought plague the Central Valley. And the White House stands by its “scientists.”

–Dams in distress. In Siskiyou County, Ore., local officials and residents announced last week that it intends to sue Salazar and Team Obama over their potential removal of dams on the Klamath River. Once again, the administration’s systematic disregard for sound science and the rule of law is in the spotlight.

Salazar is expected to make a decision by the end of March on environmentalists’ demands that four private hydroelectric dams be demolished to protect salmon habitats and “create” demolition and habitat restoration jobs. Opponents say Salazar has already predetermined the outcome. Green activists blithely ignore the massive taxpayer costs (an estimated half-billion dollars) and downplay the environmental destruction the dam removals would impose. GOP Rep. Tom McClintock put it most charitably: “To tear down four perfectly good hydroelectric dams at enormous cost is insane.”

People of faith aren’t what’s bedeviling America. Blame the high voodoo priests of eco-destruction in Washington who have imposed a green theocracy on us all. Science be damned.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM

How to Murder a Superpower – Tea Party Nation

How to Murder a Superpower – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

It is the crime of the century that America, home to some of the world’s greatest reserves of coal, natural gas and oil, is being deliberately destroyed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior as they do everything in their power to restrict access and drive energy producers out of business.

It is common sense that a nation that cannot produce sufficient electricity to turn on its lights and power its manufacturing sector will be destroyed if current Obama administration regulations and actions continue. Our vital transportation sector and all others that utilize petroleum-based products will suffer, too.

While President Obama babbles about millionaires and billionaires, everyone will be impoverished by the loss of jobs and revenue our energy sector produces now and can produce in the future.

This isn’t an “energy policy.” It’s a “no-energy policy” and it is a guarantee of economic disaster.

Obama’s decision to reject a permit for Canada’s XL Keystone pipeline is just one example. It is a job-killer and a revenue-killer. There are thousands of pipelines serving America’s energy needs and the XL Keystone pipeline would ensure that Canada’s own vast energy reserves would flow to America. It is one of our key trade partners and Obama has slapped it in the face.

In early January, Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, announced a new 20-year, million-acre ban on uranium mining for federal lands in Arizona, despite the fact that these lands hold the highest-grade of known uranium deposits in the United States. It is an outrage that a new GOP-Congress will have to overturn if the nation is to be assured of sufficient uranium to power its nuclear plants and for weapons development. If the ban remains, these uranium resources would be inaccessible until 2023!

Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research said that Salazar’s announcement “further compounds a man-made energy crisis that has been planned and executed in Washington, D.C.

At the same time we are learning of enormous natural gas discoveries that can reduce our energy bills and turn sleeping little towns into boomtowns, environmental organizations have launched a vast propaganda campaign against “fracking”, a technology that has been safely used for more than fifty years. Their claims about dangers to the nation’s supply of fresh water are baseless. Their claims that fracking has caused earthquakes in Ohio are absurd.

Need it be said that the Environmental Protection Agency has turned its eyes on fracking and is working on a report due later this year that will likely call for harsh crackdowns on its use and more regulations to throttle the expansion of natural gas extraction?

The EPA has just released a report of those power plants that top the list of its regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. There is no basis in science to justify the reduction of CO2. Indeed, since it is a gas on which all vegetation depends, much as oxygen is vital to all animal life, reducing it would impair great crop yields and healthier forests.

These regulations are based on the global warming hoax that blamed CO2 for warming the earth. That is utterly false. The Earth is currently in a perfectly natural cooling cycle and the climate of the Earth is almost entirely based on the Sun—solar radiation—along with the actions of oceans, clouds, and even volcanic activity that spews tons of particulates into the atmosphere.

Coal-fired power plants account for fifty percent of all the electricity generated in the United States. Fifty percent! And yet the EPA is determined to shut down dozens of them providing that vital factor in the lives of all Americans and the economy, nor does this take into account the billions that energy producers have spent to upgrade their technology to reduce emissions.

The Obama administration fuel economy agenda, a call for 54.5 miles per gallon ignores simple physics. There is a finite amount of energy a gallon of gas can generate. If you dilute it with ethanol as is currently required, you get even less mileage. The administration is trying to circumvent Congress by issuing standards based on regulating “greenhouse gas emissions”, but there is no need for this. It is a false argument. The Center for Automotive Research says that the proposed new standards would cause the retail price of average motor vehicles to increase by more than $11,000.

Americans and the nation’s future are being victimized by Obama administration policies. The 18th annual Index of Economic Freedom, was released on January 12th by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, measures the many factors that contribute to the economic health of a nation—things like property rights, regulatory efficiency, open markets, free trade and labor policies.

Economic freedom is declining worldwide as governments try to spend their way out of the global recession. The United States fell to 10th place. In 2009 it ranked 6th, in 2010 it was 8th, and in 2011, it was 9th.

We are witnessing the deliberate murder of a superpower.

© Alan Caruba, 2012