Sunday, July 1, 2012

The weekend

What’s New Today

Story #1 gives you a YouTube video regarding the question is the mandate a tax?  #2 Obama has come out with a couple of ads attacking Bain Capital and Mitt Romney. has found no evidence to support the charges.  #3 is an interesting article about why liberal policies always seem to fail.  #4 looks at Fast and Furious and what Justice seems to be doing beyond not surrendering documents to the Congress.  #5 is some good tentative news regarding solar power. 

Today’s Thoughts

Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer with the Wall Street Journal, states that nearly 75% of Obamacare costs will fall on the backs of those Americans making less than $120,000 a year.  So much for if you make less than 200,000 per year none of your taxes will go up. 

Abound Solar, a Loveland, Colorado-based maker of thin-film cadmium telluride solar modules has announced it will file for bankruptcy protection and suspend its operation.  

The first poll after the Obamacare decision is not good news for the Democrats.  It's from Florida and 50% disapproved of the law and 39% approved.  Bad news for Obama in a swing state.

1.  Is it a tax? 

According the Supreme Court it is, but according to the Obama administration it isn’t.  They are still saying it isn’t because they know if it is a tax, it’s easy to repeal.

2.  Obama Ads Disproved by

FactCheck.Org keeps most of its focus on the Obama campaign's ads and statements, but you can also read this as a repudiation of the Washington Post's now discredited reporting.  

The evidence is now irrefutable. The Post and the Obama campaign not only coordinated an attack against Mitt Romney, they coordinated a false attack against Mitt Romney….

….Obama accuses Romney in a series of TV ads of being a “corporate raider” who “shipped jobs to China and Mexico,” asking if voters want to elect an “outsourcer in chief.” But some of the claims in the ads are untrue, and others are thinly supported.

Bain Capital, the venture capital firm founded by Romney in 1984, is the focus of the Obama campaign’s attacks. There is no question that Bain invested in some companies that helped other companies outsource work and that some of that work went overseas. That was the core business for Modus Media and SMTC Corp. — two outsource companies featured in a June 21 article in the Washington Post that has been the basis of recent Obama TV ads. Bain also invested in U.S.-based companies that sold goods manufactured here and abroad, and some of those companies closed U.S. facilities and eliminated U.S. jobs.

But after reviewing numerous corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, contemporary news accounts, company histories and press releases, and the
evidence offered by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, we found no evidence to support the claim that Romney — while he was still running Bain Capital — shipped American jobs overseas….

From what I’ve heard, the Washington Post’s writer isn’t the brightest bulb in the pack and misread the numerous corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  What he claimed Bain did, they didn’t do. 

3.  Liberal Policies Fail in America

America is in the throes of a presidential campaign that presents real hope for the future of America (Romney) versus the same-old, same-old (Obama).  While it appears right now that Obama and his socialist policies will lose in November, America will still be faced with many problems that have crept into society in the past fifty years.

While America has many liberal-caused problems, let's examine just three of them: welfare, race relations, and education

Welfare: In his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared "war on poverty." Johnson's speech led Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty. Since then, the federal government has spent approximately $16 trillion on welfare. Welfare includes, among other programs, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), the former food stamp program, and unemployment insurance…

So where are we now?  A study in April 2012 by the Cato Institute says that America spends nearly $1 trillion each year to fight poverty.  Since Obama took office, federal welfare spending has increased by 41%.  But despite increased spending, the poverty rate that remains at nearly 15 percent, roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared his War on Poverty.  In fact, the poverty rate has never fallen below 10.5 percent.  The Cato Institute study also says that current programs are focused on making welfare recipients more comfortable -- providing more food, better shelter, and health care for poor people -- rather than proving the tools that will help poor people escape poverty.

Race Relations: Attorney General Eric Holder, in 2009, said that Americans are cowards when it comes to discussing race. Well, Mr. Holder, I am not a coward, so here is my discussion. Too many blacks have succumbed to the idea of "blaming" somebody and/or something for their problems. They have learned that idea from, among others, Rev. Jesse (love child) Jackson and Rev. Al (Tawana Brawley) Sharpton. For most blacks, their favorite target for blame is "whitey." Their favorite word has become "racism." Any criticism of anything they don't like is "racist." Black cultural integrity can be good, but not when the culture is manufactured in the name of a blame-game….

….Education: People who attended public school in the 1960s and early 1970s experienced an educational system far different from that of today. In the '60s and early '70s, teachers still had authority to actually teach and discipline students. If a student turned in failing work, teachers didn't hesitate to assign an F or even hold a student back a grade.

Educators believed that education was more important than making students feel good about themselves.  It wasn't uncommon for a teacher and/or school administrator to use corporal punishment on disruptive students when necessary.

Today's teachers have no authority.  They aren't allowed to use corporal punishment, or to do anything that will injure student self-image or self-esteem.  Many public schools have become a training center for a quite liberal social agenda.

As a result, confidence in public schools has fallen to a new low of 29 percent.  That number was 58 percent in 1973….

The more influence the left has, the worst things seem to get.  Look at the states that have been run almost exclusively by the left; California, New York, Illinois, etc.  These are the basket cases with huge deficits.  And when they try their liberal solutions the problems only seem to grow worse. 

4.  Is this what Justice is hiding?  Or is there more?

House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley are asking the Department of Justice’s internal investigator to hold accountable anyone who retaliated against or threatened to retaliate against Operation Fast and Furious whistleblowers.
In a Friday letter to the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Grassley and Issa said they’re now concerned retaliation is much more likely following Thursday’s votes to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal and civil contempt of Congress.

“We just learned that ATF senior management placed two of the main whistleblowers who have testified before Congress about Fast and Furious under the supervision of someone who vowed to retaliate against them,” they wrote before describing how senior political figures have made dangerous threats before.

Grassley and Issa said that in early 2011, right around the time Grassley first made public the whistleblowers’ allegations about Fast and Furious, Scot Thomasson – then the chief of the ATF’s Public Affairs Division – said, according to an eyewitness account: “We need to get whatever dirt we can on these guys [the whistleblowers] and take them down.”

Thomasson also allegedly said that: “All these whistleblowers have axes to grind. ATF needs to f—k these guys.”

According to Grassley and Issa, when Thomasson was asked about whistleblowers’ allegations that guns were allowed to walk, Thomasson said he “didn’t know and didn’t care.”
Grassley and Issa have given Horowitz until July 6 to answer whether Thomasson was “admonished” for those threats against whistleblowers, how he got his job in the first place and how the DOJ and ATF are going to make sure he doesn’t retaliate against whistleblowers moving forward…

You shouldn’t be surprised by this because the Justice Department is filled with human beings.  But giving the government too much power is like smoking in an ammunition depot.  It’s stupid and dangerous.

5.  Solar Break Through?

New Energy Technologies, a solar energy startup here in the US, has developed a technique to manufacture “spray-on” photovoltaic windows. The technique should ramp up production speed and bring down costs.

First of all, what’s meant by a spray-on window? New Energy Technologies gives a good run-down  of the product, which they call SolarWindow, on their site. The tech uses an organic solar array made up of extremely small solar cells--they measure about a quarter of the size of a grain of rice.
The Christian Science Monitor, in a story back on Earth Day, futher explains that NET developed plastic polymers that, when sprayed on a window, would produce electricity. The stuff is so effective as to harvest light even from northern exposure, and indeed even from indoor fluorescent lighting. “It will generate electricity even in low light conditions,” John Conklin, NET’s CEO, told the Monitor. NET teamed up with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Florida to develop the tech….

…And spray-on solar is more than just an eye-catching innovation. It’s potentially a revolution in solar power, a move away from the traditional rooftop solar array. “It puts energy harvesting everywhere,” said Ken McCauley of Konarka, an NET competitor, to the Monitor.

Everywhere, that is, assuming the cost of production could come down. The traditional method to make spray-on solar panels was something called vacuum deposition, which was time-consuming and expensive. But NET found a way to do what the Engineer calls “high-speed roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet manufacturing,” and it made the process possible at low temperatures and at ambient pressure.
At the end of the day, a major logjam in the ascent of solar power comes down to finance and cost-cutting. New Energy Technologies' manufacturing innovation is a step in the right direction.

I’m not one for subsidizing bringing solar to market, but I am for subsidizing research.  This appears to have promise. 

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