Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness and the election

What’s new Today

Story #1 tells you what you will see for anti-Obama commercials in the fall.  #2 describes where the good paying jobs are coming from and it isn’t green energy.  #3 has a new CBO estimate and the cost of Obamacare has nearly doubled.  #4 relates some of the real facts about Oil.  #5 relates how we are being buried in laws and regulations.  #6 has a Reuter’s Poll which shows how Obama is up, but also how to tilt a poll to show that.  Finally #7 looks at the electric car and asks if it’s time has come or not.

1.  Commercials you will see this fall

…There is no need to rehash all the steps that the Obama administration has taken over the last three years that have helped supercharge the price it takes to fill our cars. These would include slow-walking drilling permits, shutting down much offshore development, closing off federal lands, and killing Keystone XL. There are many more that could be listed and have been by others. The Republicans should also point out that Obama has wasted three-plus years on passing two very unpopular pieces of legislation (ObamaCare and the Stimulus) rather than taking the steps needed to bring us affordable gasoline.

But there is a delicious irony in taking advantage of Obama's Obama Obsession. He has been so busy bloviating over the last few years, so eager to display his omniscience when it comes to energy, that there is plenty of visual material to cull from the public domain that can and will be used against him as the campaign season rolls on, if the GOP has any brains. Call it divine justice that the man who seemingly can never stop talking can be hoisted on his own petard.

One can start with a graph of how gas prices have gone from $1.84 when Obama took office to $3.79 and climbing during March (and this is before the summer driving season spikes them upward). Then there's the voice we have heard so many times over the years that it seems to come straight from George Orwell's 1984: Barack Obama talking during the campaign about his wish to see higher gas prices. Fade to Ken Salazar, Obama's choice to head the Department of Interior -- the department that has done so much to stop oil exploration and development on federal land. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell proposed a bill to encourage offshore oil drilling. Ken Salazar kept objecting to the bill even when McConnell suggested that the amendment be triggered when gas prices hit $10 a gallon at the pump. Even when gas prices hit $10 a gallon, Salazar was opposed to allowing more offshore drilling. The YouTube clip can be found here.

Then pair it up with Energy secretary Chu telling us in 2008 that his desire is to figure out "how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." He is well on his way to accomplishing his goal. Nor is he showing much repentance in the face of high gas prices ruining people's budgets (it won't ruin his -- he doesn't drive). He recently testified before Congress that reducing gas prices was not a top priority for his department. Remind me again: why do they call it the Department of Energy? Then flash "Solyndra: $550 million wasted," "Beacon Power: out of juice," "Karma: The Cool Car that won't work no matter how many taxpayer dollars are bundled into it." Show Obama beaming inside a Volt on a factory visit, and then a Volt on fire….

It’s kind of like watching a trial where the prime suspect over and over again told the victim what he planned to do (in front of witnesses) and then when it happened he feigns any knowledge of how it could have happened. 

2.  Where the Jobs are

…A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show. The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.  (that comes to almost $1.2 million per job).

So where are the new jobs coming from, at least the good-paying ones? From the industry Obama wants to replace as much as possible with “clean” energy: oil and gas. A new report from the World Economic Forum estimates the sectors “added approximately 150,000 jobs in 2011, 9% of all jobs created in the United States that year.”

Those numbers are even more impressive once you realize that some 40% of all new jobs are being added in low-pay sectors such as retailing and leisure. So nearly 20% of new “good jobs” are in oil and gas….

Ideology is getting in the way of practicality for the American worker. 

3.  Obamacare:  Cost doubles

Today, the CBO released new projections from 2013 extending through 2022, and the results are as critics expected: the ten-year cost of the law's core provisions to expand health insurance coverage has now ballooned to $1.76 trillion. That's because we now have estimates for Obamacare's first nine years of full implementation, rather than the mere six when it was signed into law. Only next year will we get a true ten-year cost estimate, if the law isn't overturned by the Supreme Court or repealed by then. Given that in 2022, the last year available, the gross cost of the coverage expansions are $265 billion, we're likely looking at about $2 trillion over the first decade, or more than double what Obama advertised.

Nothing new here if you’ve been paying attention. 

4.  The Truth about Oil

According to statistics provided by the IER, the United States has 1,442 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil.

As has reported, oil production on federal lands declined in fiscal year 2011 from fiscal year 2010 by 11 percent, and natural gas production on federal

In contrast, oil production on private and state lands accounted for the entire increase, reported the IER, as production was up 14 percent from 2010 to 2011. Natural gas also was up 12 percent from 2010 to 2011.

On Sunday, John Hofmeister, author of “Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider,” spoke on C-Span’s Washington Journal  about the rising costs of gasoline in the United States.

“The problem is that we have had no plan in this country to take care of ourselves. We have been living off imports for most of the last 30, 40 years,” Hofmeister said.

“And while we are in a nation that has more oil than Saudi Arabia, that has more oil than we’ll ever need, we have a government  policy, Republican and Democratic governments alike, that have prohibited oil companies from accessing natural resources in this country,” he said….

… Hofmeister, a registered Democrat, explained that the United States is producing more oil than when President Obama took office because of “decisions made in the 3-to-5 year period looking backward -- not the last three years.”

He explained that it takes about three to five years to bring on production in oil fields...

Not the Democratic narrative of what is going on with oil, but it is the truth. 

5.  Complex Societies Need Simple Laws

"If you have 10,000 regulations," Winston Churchill said, "you destroy all respect for law."

He was right. But Churchill never imagined a government that would add 10,000 year after year. That's what we have in America. We have 160,000 pages of rules from the feds alone. States and localities have probably doubled that. We have so many rules that legal specialists can't keep up. Criminal lawyers call the rules "incomprehensible." They are. They are also "uncountable." Congress has created so many criminal offenses that the American Bar Association says it would be futile to even attempt to estimate the total.

So what do the politicians and bureaucrats of the permanent government do? They pass more rules.

That's not good. It paralyzes life….

The next time you hear Liberals claim that Republicans want to eliminate all regulations and let polluters kill children, etc. read this article and realize what they are trying to hide.  You can also look at the link below to watch Stossel’s program Illegal Everything.

6.  Reuter’s Poll Obama approval up

For the first time since early July, more Americans approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing than disapprove, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll that shows his approval rating now at 50 percent.

The poll, taken March 8-11 on the heels of reports that 227,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in February, indicates that Obama's rating has risen by 2 percentage points during the past month. The percentage of Americans who disapprove of the Democratic president was 48 percent, down from 49 percent in February.

Some other polls have shown a recent dip in Obama's approval rating, and linked that to rising gasoline prices.

But for most Americans, other economic trends during the past month have been relatively positive. Obama appears to be benefiting from that, and perhaps from a bitter Republican presidential campaign that at times has focused on divisive social issues such as abortion.

"The economy is improving," said Ipsos pollster Cliff Young. "Not by leaps and bounds but people feel that things are getting better." The Reuters/Ipsos poll also found that Americans' confidence in the direction of the country is ticking upward. In the poll, 37 percent of those surveyed said the United States is headed in the right direction, up from 32 percent in February.

Do you remember Paul Harvey and how he would talk about an incident and then he would say and now for the rest of the story.  Well the rest of the story comes at the end of their announcement.  The Reuters/Ipsos telephone poll of 1,084 adults included 554 respondents who identified themselves as Democrats, 421 as Republicans, and 109 as independents. The total respondents included 937 registered voters.”  So in a survey with 51% Democrats, Obama gathers 50% approval.

7.  Who’s killing the Electric Car this time? 

Is there pent-up demand for a $75,000 electric SUV that can outrun a Porsche? South African entrepreneur Elon Musk is gambling that there is. Other entrepreneurs are making similar bets: More than a dozen countries and thousands of incumbent and startup entrepreneurial companies around the world have placed competing chips on the table with the conviction that advanced batteries and electrified vehicles are the next new thing. All together, they will park some two dozen models in Asian, European, and U.S. showrooms in 2012 and 2013.

But a nagging dread is creeping in among the first-mover electric crowd. GM and Nissan, the first out with new electrified vehicles, had combined sales of just 26,000 Volts and Leafs last year. On March 4, GM announced a five-week suspension of Volt Production because of low sales numbers. Startup Aptera Motors  shut down in December; battery-maker Ener1 filed for Chapter 11 protection in January; and Bright Automotive—spun out of a consortium consisting of, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Turner Foundation—announced its closure on Feb. 29. These troubling signs have led some with skin in the game to start doubting their investment….

…Or, worst of all, maybe electric cars will never take off at all. The mood was so glum at a big annual battery convention that I attended in Orlando, Fla., last month that some industry hands suggested their work has been a complete waste of time. Electrified vehicles are serving “a small niche, and that’s probably all they’re ever going to be,” David Raney, a former executive of Honda Motors, told me….

It is good to see people putting skin in the game.  That is the way it’s supposed to be without government mandates and subsidies. 

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