Our #1 story tells of how Obama killed 20,000 jobs yesterday. Thanks Mr. President. #2 explains the way Obama did this is the equivalent of how he used to vote present. #3 looks at how divided the country is and lays the blame with the current occupant of the White House. #4 is really bad news for Mr. Obama. It appears less than one third of swing voters have a favorable impression of him. #5 is an article about Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Could she lose her seat in congress? Not likely, but possible. #6 is interesting especially considering the occupy movement. It seems the middle class is shrinking and the Occupy crowd wants to change that. But the reason for the shrinkage of the middle class is because more people are upper middle class. When you take the numbers together, back in 1970 there were 76% in those categories and today there are 75%. #7 details how the solar industry in Germany is not a big contributor to anything except excess costs.
1. Obama kills 20000 jobs
The White House’s pre-emptive strike on the Keystone XL oil pipeline is a disaster for American workers and consumers. President Obama continues to demonstrate that he has no idea how real jobs are created or how the economy works.
The proposed pipeline would bring oil from the sand tars in Alberta to refining centers in the United States. The project would produce 20,000 direct jobs and indirectly employ 118,000. Once completed, it would enable America to continue to shift oil imports away from trouble spots such as the Middle East and regimes that American consumers would rather not be supporting. Predictably for a fossil-fuel project, Keystone XL ran into opposition from environmental groups and became a rallying cry for greens disappointed by Mr. Obama’s perceived failure to energetically push their agenda. The pipeline project was seen as the last straw, especially after uber-global-warming alarmist James Hansen declared that completing Keystone would mean “game over for the planet.”
In November, after a series of high-profile protests by celebrities, the State Department announced that a lengthy review process was necessary to find a route around the sensitive Sand Hills region of Nebraska. That pushed off the decision on Keystone until after the 2012 election, allowing Mr. Obama to dodge the issue. Congress responded by demanding an answer by Feb. 21, and rather than use the remaining month to conclude the study, the White House punted on third down and blamed Republicans….
I guess when Obama went to bed last night thinking about jobs, this didn’t enter his mind.
2. Obama Votes Present Again
The Obama administration today denied a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring crude from Canada's tar sands to Texas' refineries. But as National Journal reports, that doesn't mean the pipeline will never get built. "The Obama administration has said it simply could not adequately review the proposed project in time to meet a 60-day deadline for a decision on the permit imposed by Congress in the payroll-tax package enacted in December."
This looks to be a reasonably effective parry. The administration had initially said it would delay the decision until after the election for what critics took to be political reasons. On the one hand, the pipeline would create thousands of jobs and increase the supply of energy--and labor unions, which would fill some of those jobs, like it. On the other hand, environmental fundamentalists hate it. Thus either a "yes" or a "no" would carry risks for a Democratic president seeking re-election.
Its hand forced, the administration formally rejected the permit request. But by attributing the decision to a lack of time and leaving open the possibility of a reversal, it blunted Congress's ultimatum. Things now stand pretty much where they did before the payroll tax deal.
Congress's aim was to force Obama either to approve the pipeline or take the blame for rejecting it. He has managed to do neither, and the Hill reported yesterday that Republican lawmakers, anticipating a rejection or a punt, have been exploring options to force approval of the pipeline. But such a measure would be "highly unlikely to clear the Senate." Thus it appears the president has escaped the trap the Republicans laid for him….
Hmmm, rather than a do nothing congress, it appears we have a do nothing president.
3. The Great Divider
Now we know. After three years in office and the launching of his second election campaign, we have experienced President Obama's leadership. We can see whom we elected president -- the mystery man of 2008 revealed.
Democrats were in ecstasy over the great healer, the multiracial candidate who would bring together red states and blue states, black and white, coasts and flyover country. Republicans saw the man with the most leftist, least bipartisan voting record in Congress being installed in the White House. We now know who was right.
Democrat professionals Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen this July pleaded with Obama in a column, "Our Divisive President," not to run for a second term. They describe his leadership as toxically divisive to our country. According to Gallup, Obama's approval gap after one year was the most polarized in history, with an average approval of 88% among his own party and 23% among Republicans.
Obama's disdain and hostility to opponents has been quite visible. He dissed the Supreme Court to their faces, dismissed Congressman Ryan's efforts to work together on the deficit with a "you lost, we won" crack, and told Republicans to shut up and go to the back of the bus. He rammed through the biggest changes to health care in history by chicanery, to avoid having to make compromises with Republicans through the normal conference process. He ignored the recommendations of his own bipartisan commission on controlling debt and deficit. His favorite activity (next to golf) is class warfare. Obama is indeed the great divider, and the country shows it….
The democrats want to blame Fox News, the TEA Party, the House, etc. for the divide in the country but the truth is simply Obama and the hard left Democrats in the party leadership position have run roughshod over the country.
4. More Obama Problems
President Barack Obama is poorly positioned with key independents less than a year away from Election Day, with less than a third of swing voters expressing a favorable opinion of the president in a new poll.
Just 31 percent of independent voters indicated a favorable opinion of the president in a New York Time/CBS News poll out Thursday, compared to a 38 percent favorability rating among all voters.
Asked about how Obama is handling his job, the majority of swing voters, 52 percent, said they disapprove while 37 percent said they approve.
Meanwhile, two-thirds of swing voters said the president hasn’t made significant progress in fixing the country’s economy, while six in ten of them said Obama doesn’t share their priorities for the country.
The poll also revealed that more than five in ten independent voters, 54 percent, do not have a clear idea of what the president wants to accomplish during a second term of presidency….
Obama’s in big trouble. In his first election he was able to promise abstract things like hope and change. This election cycle, the people who might be open to voting for him (not his base) will want specifics and those will cause him no end of problems.
5. Could DWS lose her reelection bid in 2012?
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s toxic brew of fierce partisanship and eyebrow-arching statements has been alienating moderate voters and raising conservatives’ ire ever since she assumed the position in May. “DWS” has arrived on the national stage with a bang, exhibiting a contentious relationship with the truth and a special knack for incendiary rhetoric. Given her prominent role as a top party spokesperson, fundraiser and cheerleader, some of Wasserman Schultz’s critics may forget that she simultaneously wears another hat: Three-term Congresswoman from Florida’s 20th Congressional District. Karen Harrington wants to strip DWS of that title in 2012.
A local businesswoman and relative political novice, Harrington is gearing up for a second run at DWS in the upcoming general election. Last year, she cobbled together a rag-tag, under-funded campaign, and fell to the incumbent by a 61-39 margin. This time, she says, could be different: “We didn’t know what we were doing [in 2010]. We ran a short, five-month campaign and didn’t have very much money. This time we’ll have 18 months, and we’ve brought [Florida Senator] Marco Rubio’s finance chairman on board. We’re traveling the district and the state introducing ourselves. A lot of people really don’t like Debbie.”
Although 2010 marked the first time in DWS’ Congressional career that she attracted less than 70 percent of the vote, Harrington readily admits that 2012 will still be an uphill climb. Voter registration runs roughly 2-to-1 Democrat to Republican in the district. Nevertheless, the Harrington campaign views President Obama’s unpopularity – especially in Florida, where only 41 percent of state voters say he deserves a second term, according to a new Quinnipiac poll – as a major vulnerability for their opponent in 2012….
It’s possible. Obama is not very popular in Florida and DWS is one of his spokespersons.
6. Where’s the Middle Class going?
Krueger’s claim of a shrinking middle class relies on the same peculiar definition. Specifically, “middle class” is defined as having a household income at least half of median income but no more than 1.5 times the median. I re-ran the numbers using the same definition and data source as Krueger and found that the entire reason the middle class has “shrunk” is that more households today have incomes that put them above middle class. That’s right, the share of households with income that puts them in the middle class or higher was 76 percent in 1970 and 75 percent in 2010—two figures that are statistically indistinguishable. For that matter, I am not discovering fire here; Third Way made the same point in early 2007. A shrinking middle class is only a problem if it reflects fewer people reaching the middle class.
This is akin to telling your wife you aren’t taking her to Miami Beach this year but to Hawaii instead. I don’t think she’s going to be too upset. But the Dems don’t want you to tell her where you are really taking her.
7. Where's the Sunshine?
The Baedeker travel guide is now available in an environmentally-friendly version. The 200-page book, entitled "Germany - Discover Renewable Energy," lists the sights of the solar age: the solar café in Kirchzarten, the solar golf course in Bad Saulgau, the light tower in Solingen and the "Alster Sun" in Hamburg, possibly the largest solar boat in the world.
The only thing that's missing at the moment is sunshine. For weeks now, the 1.1 million solar power systems in Germany have generated almost no electricity. The days are short, the weather is bad and the sky is overcast.
As is so often the case in winter, all solar panels more or less stopped generating electricity at the same time. To avert power shortages, Germany currently has to import large amounts of electricity generated at nuclear power plants in France and the Czech Republic. To offset the temporary loss of solar power, grid operator Tennet resorted to an emergency backup plan, powering up an old oil-fired plant in the Austrian city of Graz.
Solar energy has gone from being the great white hope, to an impediment, to a reliable energy supply. Solar farm operators and homeowners with solar panels on their roofs collected more than €8 billion ($10.2 billion) in subsidies in 2011, but the electricity they generated made up only about 3 percent of the total power supply, and that at unpredictable times.
The distribution networks are not designed to allow tens of thousands of solar panel owners to switch at will between drawing electricity from the grid and feeding power into it. Because there are almost no storage options, the excess energy has to be destroyed at substantial cost. German consumers already complain about having to pay the second-highest electricity prices in Europe.
Solar Industry Facing Tough Economic Times
In the coming weeks, the German government intends to decide how it will treat solar energy in the future. The parliamentary leaders of the ruling center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) have written Environment Minister Norbert Rottgen a letter asking him to present a new subsidy concept by Jan. 25. Economy Minister Philipp Rösler (FDP) would prefer to abandon the current subsidization system altogether, as would the business wing of the CDU.
Something we are hearing more and more about, but haven’t in the past. With new fossil fuels finds and the nearly complete collapse of the solar and wind industries, the only thing standing between the world and a golden age is the environmental wackos and the warmists who still claim that world is heating from CO2