Friday, April 27, 2012

It's on

What’s new Today 

Story #1 tells of how the American public is not looking with favor on the Obama’s and their many vacations.  #2 looks specifically at the cost of the First Lady’s trip to Spain in August of 2010.  #3 explains why Republicans should be happy.  #4 looks at the Democratic Party and wonders where the moderates have gone.  #5 is an excellent look at the recall election in Wisconsin and what it means.  #6 is a hard to believe account of what a Michigan School Teacher finds as inhumane treatment.  #7 looks at why the Democrats will never exploit the one resource that could pull the country out of the economic doldrums we are in.

Today’s thoughts

Paul Ryan said this:  If you believe in freedom, liberty, self-determination, free enterprise, I don’t care if you’re a Muslim, Jewish, Agnostic, Christian, gay, straight, Latino, black, white, Irish, whatever. Join us.”

Unexpectedly (plan to hear the word a lot in the next six months), GDP grew at a disappointing 2.2% in the first quarter down from the fourth quarter’s 3.0%. 

1.  Obama’s politics of Envy spreads to the First Family

Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing “staycations” because they can’t afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family’s 17 lavish vacations around the world and don’t want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas’ holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters.

“They view everything through
their own personal situation and if they can’t afford to do it, they can’t
enjoy it, they don’t like Obama using
their tax dollars to benefit himself,”
said pollster John McLaughlin. “In
this case, they see him as out of touch.
While they are struggling he’s not sharing in that struggle and he’s basically
doing what they can’t do on their tax dollars,” added the GOP pollster.

He and several other top-tier
Republican pollsters, organized by Resurgent Republic, traveled to 11
battleground states to host focus groups of independent and swing voters,
mostly Democrats, who voted for President Obama in 2008 but who are now on the

McLaughlin handled blue collar
and Catholic voters in Pittsburgh on April 3 and Cleveland on March 20. He
found that they are very depressed about
the economy and feel that their tax dollars are being sucked up by both the
rich and those living on government assistance…

Envy is like fire.  Once you start to play with it you frequently find yourself getting burned. 

2.   Michelle’s 2010 trip to Spain cost the Taxpayers $470,000.

First lady Michelle Obama's 2010 trip to Spain cost taxpayers nearly $470,000, according to a conservative watchdog group that obtained Secret Service records from the overseas excursion.

That trip, which the first lady took with her younger daughter Sasha, drew widespread criticism at the time -- as the visuals of the first lady in an elegant Mediterranean setting clashed with the still-struggling U.S. economy.

Judicial Watch, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request, claimed Thursday that documents show the trip cost at least $467,585.

Those costs are split between Secret Service expenses and expenses for the flight and flight crew.

Secret Service costs totaled nearly $255,000, according to Judicial Watch...

I don’t think Americans begrudge the Obama’s vacation time, but Hawaii, Spain, Martha Vineyard, etc. seems to be over the top. Add to this the trip by Malia to Mexico, taking a plane to the Vineyard to arrive 4 hours earlier than the President and you have a case for resentment.   The message is “we aren’t really all in this together.” 

3.  Obama looks Bush League

Maybe the 2012 election is simpler than we think.

It will be about Mr. Obama.

Did you like the past four years? Good, you can get four more.

Do the president and his people strike you as competent? If so, you can renew his contract, and he will renew theirs.

If you don't want to rehire him, you will look at the other guy. Does he strike you as credible, a possible president? Then you can hire him.

Republicans should cheer up.

 Peggy Noonan has it again.  It’s really very simple and that is why I’m confident that Obama will be a one term president.

4.  Are there any moderate Democrats?

The defeat of two conservative House Democrats by more liberal opponents in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary illustrates the strong hold the new health care law still has over committed Democratic voters and foreshadows an even more polarized Congress next year in the aftermath of the latest round of redistricting . . . .

Representatives Jason Altmire and Tim Holden both lost in primaries to opponents who joined together with activist groups to pummel the veteran lawmakers over the opposition to the new health care law and climate change legislation — positions they had used to their advantage in the past to show their independence from President Obama and the Democratic Party.

“A lot of us thought of his record as his strength,” said Hugh M. Reiley, the chairman of the Schuylkill County Democratic Party, referring to Mr. Holden. “He was not falling prey to all that party bickering. He was able to reach across the aisle.”

“Last night, the Democratic Party became more liberal,” he added.

The Democrats keep saying the Republicans aren’t the party it used to be.  It appears neither are the Democrats.  Their leadership certainly is much more extreme than is the Republicans.

5.  What the Wisconsin Recall Election is all about

A recall election for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is scheduled for June 5. But on the ballot that day will effectively be whether we should establish in law after all these years a new aristocracy in America, not subject to the democratic will of the people like everyone else, with special legal privileges, including the right to plunder the taxpayers with virtual impunity. That new aristocracy is state and local government public employee unions.

Nationwide, these public employee unions plunder taxpayers for pay for state and local government workers that is on average 45% more than the taxpayers paying those salaries make in the private sector. The bill to taxpayers for each of these workers includes an average hourly wage of $26.25, plus another $13.56 in hourly costs for benefits, for total hourly costs of $39.81, or $80,000 per year on average. This is true in Wisconsin as well. Indeed, the Manhattan Institute’s E.J. McMahon reports that for public school teachers in Milwaukee, the annual cost of family health coverage is $26,844, for which the teachers were paying nothing.

State and local government workers today are not exploited in sweat shop conditions for poverty wages as the workers in union lore of old. Today it is taxpayers who are the ones being exploited….

This is an important election.  The Unions are putting everything they can into it and it appears they will spend $60 million there.  If they win they hope to roll back the conservative tide that is flowing in.  If they fail, they will be under attack in many more states. 

6.  Unfair in Michigan to State Workers?

Terry List, a teacher in Saginaw Township, Mich., has a depressing lesson for her students: “I would not recommend to my pupils to become a teacher in Michigan.”

What’s discouraging her? A proposed pension-reform bill in Michigan would derail her plans to retire — at age 47.

After these rapacious reforms, List would have to work another 16 years, to age 63, in order to earn her retiree health-care benefits. “I understand we have to tighten our belts,” she laments, “but we don’t have to use a tourniquet and cut off the blood supply entirely.” Under the reforms, such a tourniquet means she could still retire now and have a guaranteed income for the rest of her life, but she’d have to pay for her own health care until age 65 — like, you know, most Americans…

This is very much the issue that people are beginning to understand.  While the private unions have driven jobs out of the Country, the public sector unions are driving our country into the poor house. 

7.  The Left’s Oil Blindness

In 2010, America’s proved oil reserves stood at 31 billion barrels, just slightly below the 33.8 billion barrels of proved reserves the United States had in 1990. But over that two-decade period, the domestic oil sector produced about 52 billion barrels of oil. In other words, between 1990 and 2010, the United States produced nearly twice as much oil as we believed the whole country had in 1990, and yet at the end of that period, we still had about the same amount in proven reserves. What’s going on? In a word: innovation. And few industries on the planet have been as innovative as the American oil and gas sector.

It’s not the size of your reserves that counts, it’s what you do with them. And the U.S. oil and gas sector has been remarkably proficient at exploiting this country’s vast mineral wealth. Over the past century or so, oil and gas drilling has gone from a business dominated by wildcatters armed mainly with a hunch and a prayer to one where the latest seismic and “geosteering” technologies allow drillers to steer their bits so accurately that they can arrive within inches of their target zone two miles (or more) beneath the Earth’s surface.

Add in ongoing improvements in horizontal drilling—and yes, in hydraulic fracturing, the bugaboo of many environmental groups—and the changes are easily seen. For instance, over the last five years, Southwestern Energy, a Houston-based company drilling in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, has halved the number of days it takes to drill an average well while nearly tripling the amount of gas it gets during the initial phase of production. Southwestern has done it by tweaking the fracturing process while more than doubling the length of the horizontal segments, so that more of the well is in contact with the source rock….

Obama has repeatedly made the claim that “clean” energy is the way of the future. But the president dares not admit the obvious: Over the past few years, the oil and gas sector has out-innovated the political darlings of the moment: solar and wind energy. Four years ago this month, natural gas prices were over $10. Today, the price is about $2. Despite all of the hype—and billions of dollars in subsidies doled out to solar and wind energy projects over the past few years—the clear reality is that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing and the incremental production gains that have resulted from them, have resulted in a tidal wave of new natural-gas production that is pricing wind and solar energy out of the market…

If you read the last bolded words I’ve posted you will realize why the left is so upset by hydraulic fracturing.  It has made their dreams of sunlight and windmills seem even more preposterous than they were before. 

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