“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, June 4, 2010

Krauthammer On The Effects of Environmentalists On Drilling & Accidents

I caught Charles Krauthammer's appearance last night on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News program.

Krauthammer wove together a very sensible, obvious thread which has been, heretofore, overlooked by most pundits.

To wit, he noted that environmentalists have, over time, wrung their hands over potential oil spills close into shores, and, thus, had shallow-water drilling off US coasts banned.

Then there is the ANWR. The greenies have managed to prevent meaningful exploration of that Alaskan land resource, as well.

The result?

BP and other oil companies must venture offshore into deep waters. Over a mile deep. Pushing technological frontiers and operating under unfamiliar conditions.

Rather than let oil companies explore for and pump oil in relatively well-known conditions on land or in shallow waters, we thus have the first major deep water oil spill.

As Krauthammer observes, the environmentalists, ironically, brought this on all of us due to their refusal to let the oil industry tap known, safer deposits.

Instead, we now have a pipe spewing oil a mile down in the Gulf, and no prior experience with how to stop it.

So much for sensible liberal Democratic energy policies and regulation. Hopefully, someone in the GOP will publicize Krauthammer's points and galvanize public opinion behind them, and against the liberals who brought us the policies that created the conditions leading to the BP Gulf spill.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wonderboy's New Energy World

Wonderboy's speech at Carnegie Mellon yesterday apparently ushered in the new era of US energy policy.

Of course, I didn't tune in for the whole slog, because I can't stand the guy's voice for more than two seconds. But I did happen to catch various replays on news programs throughout the afternoon and evening.

The basics are clear- no more oil or coal, which are the staples of heavy power production in our society.

Instead, we're all going to learn to love natural gas, and, I am sure, wind, solar, ocean hydro- but not damming rivers- and probably ethanol/vegetative sources.

As you'd expect from someone with no experience in any sort of productive area of our society, Wonderboy doesn't seem to care that these sources can't provide, in the foreseeable future, the quantities of energy necessary, in the manner required, to replace oil and coal.

Further, all of these other sources, but natural gas, share a trait- they are heavily subsidized.

Thus, our First Rookie's energy policy is of a piece with the rest of his socialist actions. He intends to decrease the importance of market-based priced energy sources, and make us ever more dependent upon those sources which are politically favored, aided and cossetted.

Another large part of our market-based economy bites the dust, while political favors trump all else in the surviving, governmentally-favored parts of the energy sector. So, aside from the cost to taxpayers of the subsidies, we'll be paying more for the scarcer, more expensive alternative-sourced energy.

This is progress?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wonderboy's Growing Damage From The Gulf Coast Oil Spill

Late in April, I wrote this post asking whether the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would become Wonderboy's Katrina.

I wrote, in part,

"How much intelligence does it take to realize you should be mobilizing federal assistance instantly to try to minimize leakage from the well, and damage to the local environment?

This little faux pas should, hopefully, bring down Janet Napolitano, the current head of FEMA, and a few other Wonderboy cronies who were asleep on the job for the past nearly-two weeks."

It's gotten much worse for the First Rookie since then.

Karl Rove, among others, noted that Wonderboy's press conference last week, on the day that BP was trying to cap the well with its 'top hat' approach, was a calculated move to show leadership and command as BP succeeded in steming the flow of oil.

Unfortunately for the administration, as well as the Gulf Coast economy and environment, the BP approach didn't work.

Meanwhile, Republican governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindahl, came out swinging about how Wonderboy's administration dithered on various permits, wasn't responsive to requests for equipment and, generally, showed no responsiveness to the crisis.

Most people would probably have liked to see the federal government announce, early on, that it would accelerate necessary permitting processes, pay for whatever manpower and equipment was needed, authorize the locally-affected states to take charge and manage their efforts, and generally provide money and assistance as asked, leaving local management to local authorities.

If only.

Instead, Wonderboy's administration's first response was from the AG. But in terms of actual help, it's been way late. It has become clear that, over a year into his term of office, Wonderboy is not treating this apolitically as a crisis to handle, in concert with the states, but yet another campaign opportunity.

I believe the bulk of independent voters have seen enough, and no longer place any trust at all in this administration. Its response to the Gulf oil spill is just more evidence of the president's, and his administration's total lack of experience governing anything.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

California's GOP Senate Primary & Tea Parties

A weekend editorial by Allysia Finley in the Wall Street Journal decried the Tea Party members' effects on the California GOP Senate primary next week.

In her well-written piece, Ms. Finley suggested that Tea Party enthusiasts may be responsible for nominating a middle-of-the-roader, Tom Campbell, as they doubt Carly Fiorina's credentials, but can't deliver sufficient support for Chuck DeVore to nominate him.

I found it all a bit too hysterical. Having been to two Tea Party events since last October, both at the US Capitol, I can't say that I find the movement, such as it is, to be much more than a crystallization of conservative disgust with high taxes, too much government spending and a lack of a sense of reality by elected representatives of either party.

If you removed the words "Tea Party" from Ms. Finley's piece, it would merely describe a not atypical choice among voters in many elections.

I faced such a choice in New Jersey's general election for Governor last November. Chris Christie wasn't the true conservative in that race. He was the GOP moderate, well to the left of a much more conservative independent whose name I now cannot even recall. Corzine, of course, was the sitting uber-liberal.

Anytime three candidates vie for an office or nomination, you're going to have an unstable dynamic which can allow the moderate to triumph.

Isn't that part of our political system? Doesn't it discriminate for the majority, which is rarely rabidly conservative or liberal?

What's so unusual about next week's California GOP Senate race, in that regard?

Nothing at all.

But it seems to be yet another opportunity for someone to wring their hands about the "Tea Partiers" and their destructive effect upon yet another election.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Tom Coburn For President?

Stephen Moore wrote an interesting little piece captured in the Wall Street Journal's Notable & Quotable column recently.

Moore noted that Tom Coburn is up for re-election to the Senate from Oklahoma this year, and nobody- in either party- is opposing him!

Moore provided this quote attributed to Coburn about his continuing practice of medicine,

"I want to keep practicing medicine even if I don't make money at it. I'm prouder of being a doctor than a Senator."

Could you possibly imagine Wonderboy saying that about.....community organizing? Or whatever he says he did to earn a living while accomplishing basically nothing in life?

By the way, Coburn lost $11,000 last year practicing medicine in Muskogee, because he no longer charges his patients.

With no opposition whatsoever, Coburn has spent his time helping the Tea Party movement and other Republican candidates around the country. That, of course, is the sort of activity that can pay big dividends on the national scene.

Moore notes that Coburn is being mentioned as a possible GOP presidential contender for 2012. And with Coburn having completed his first Senate term, one could argue he has sufficient knowledge of Washington, without being there so long as to be an insider.

And his medical background provides a sense of intellect, knowledge and determination.

Having seen what one relatively inexperienced president is doing, it's somewhat off-putting to consider nominating and electing another relatively inexperienced politician.

Then, again, Coburn has practiced as a doctor and gotten himself elected to the Senate. These days, with the overwhelming need for a return to limited government, perhaps Coburn is sufficiently experienced for doing that.