Saturday, February 4, 2012

What is the Obama Reality?

What’s new Today

Story #1 looks at what Obama has really done and what he is telling people he’s done.  #2 then looks at the reality of Obama, how he governs and what it means.  #3 is a look at the Planned Parenthood situation.  And finally, #4 looks at unemployment and what the real number is. 

1.  Reality and Obama

…Obama applauded his administration for increases in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. He also claimed that the federal government, under his watch, invented hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

To wit: at the 27:13 mark of the SOTU, Obama said, "And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock -- reminding us that government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground." He actually said that! (For the record, fracking was first used in 1947, before Obama was even born.)

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) data shows that oil and gas production increases occurred in spite of Obama's policies, not because of them. The IER said, "The increase in production is occurring on private and state lands, the use of which is much harder for the President to restrict. Meanwhile, production on federal lands is decreasing significantly[.] ... [Obama's] administration did not hold a single offshore lease sale in fiscal year 2011." The offshore leases were not sold when the Obama administration decided not to pursue a new 2010- 2015 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease plan.

The Deepwater Horizon oil explosion/spill occurred on April 20, 2010. After that, Obama suspended all new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and then, after the ban was lifted, made it so difficult to get new permits that oil companies moved their drilling rigs to less politically intransigent regions of the world.

Exxon-Mobil, Conoco-Phillips, Chevron, and Shell announced in February 2011 that the development of a Marine Well Containment System (MWCS), capable of controlling oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon accident, had been completed. Said the IER, "Since the Marine Well Containment System was crafted in conjunction with government regulators in order to meet strict specifications, there is no reason for the Obama Administration to continue preventing responsible energy companies from returning to the Gulf."

Let's see. February 2011 is within FY2011, so upon what basis did the Obama administration decide not to hold a lease sale?....

Of course Obama will stretch the truth to sound better. Actually the truth doesn’t come close to what Obama will say this election cycle.

2.  What is the reality of Obama

What does he do all day? Are you impressed with the image of Obama-at-work left by Ryan Lizza’s “Obama Memos” piece in the New Yorker? The President’s decision-making method–at least as described in the piece–seems to consist mainly of checking boxes on memos his aides have written for him. … They offer him four stimulus packages, none bigger than $890 billion. He does not ask for more but does push for an “inspiring ‘moon shot’” initiative. At first it’s a “national ‘smart grid’”–hard not to get inspired just hearing those words! When aides explain that this isn’t stimulating enough, he settles for “high-speed trains.”

…Toward the end of his piece, Lizza writes “[p]redictions that Obama would usher in a new era of post-partisan consensus politics now seem not just naive but delusional.” What you mean “now”? They seemed naive and delusional then, given the looming health care battle. Lizza’s whole argument depends on the reader deluding himself about that.

Obama had never held an executive position before this.  It should come as no surprise that he doesn’t know how to do the job.  Has he learned how in the past three years?  No. 

3.   Planned Parenthood

For 17 years, I believed the big lie - the lie that Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion chain, was all about protecting women’s health. Not about abortion, but about “preventing the need for abortion.”

In 1991, I began working at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Storm Lake, Iowa - first as a family planning assistant, then as a manager. I had been drawn there, as other ex-employees will attest to, by my desire to help low-income women access affordable health care. In my mind, Planned Parenthood was the “trusted friend” it claimed to be, educating and providing women with effective contraceptives so that abortion could be avoided. My rationale was strengthened by the fact that the Planned Parenthood clinic where I worked provided only family planning services.

This all changed in 2008, when Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa (now known as Planned Parenthood of the Heartland) required our clinic to begin “telemed abortions.” Telemed abortion is the practice by which an abortion doctor from a remote location simply presses a button, which opens a drawer containing the dangerous abortion pill, after a brief teleconference call with the woman.

Telemed abortion doesn’t only result in the death of an unborn child; it strips women of their dignity by denying them the courtesy of an in-person visit from a doctor concerned for their health and well-being. It risks their lives by sending them away with no support and a drug that has led to massive bleeding and hemorrhaging, infection and even death.

So what does Planned Parenthood, the “trusted friend of women,” love so much about telemed abortions? Low overhead costs….

It appears PP is a business and one that if it were not providing abortions would be picketed and denounced by leftists.

4.  11.5% unemployment

The new employment numbers are out and they show that unemployment fell to 8.3% in January. Woo-hoo. We added “243,000″ jobs, right?

Not exactly.

“In January, the number of Part Time workers rose by 699K, the most ever, from 27,040K to 27,739K, the third highest number in the history of this series. How about Full time jobs? They went from 113,765 to 113,845. An 80K increase. So the epic January number of 141.6 million employed, which rose by 847K at the headline level: only about 10 % of that was full time jobs: surely an indicator of the resurgent US economy… in which employers can’t even afford to give their workers full time employee benefits.”

I am not that pessimistic. From little acorns, oak trees grow. But this also may reflect a reluctance to add full-time staff that gets you in Obamacare trouble. If Obamacare gets the Supreme Court Seal of Approval, look for employees to be replaced by private contractors throughout the USA to avoid an expensive mandate.

That said, Zero Hedge laid out the case in another post for putting the unemployment rate at a more realistic 11.5%. The participation rate has dropped to a 30-year low.

I am a bit more pessimist than is Zero.  The participation rate has dropped from 64.2% to 63.7% over the past year.  So while there are 2.2 million more people employed than a year ago, there are 2.5 million more who aren’t in the labor pool who should be there. 

No comments:

Post a Comment