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Archive for January 14th, 2011

Who could benefit from an energy crisis? Sarah Palin

I’m guessing there are Obama strategists and Republican presidential hopefuls worried as we speak about rising gas prices. If 2012 dawns with Americans paying $5 a gallon for gas, and the per barrel price passing the $100 mark, oil will be on everyone’s mind. And who is the American politician most identified with aggressive energy production? Sarah Palin.

Unforeseen developments have a way of putting unexpected people in the White House. When the economic crisis hit in September of 2008 McCain and Palin were actually leading Obama-Biden in the polls. Obama handled the issue better than McCain and it had a lot to do with his election.

If the country is reeling with record-high energy prices and rising prices on all commodities that are made with petroleum, which is almost everything, and with Obama’s wrong-headed anti-drilling policies only exacerbating the problem, the issue will become who can get us out of this energy pickle. Huckabee? Romney? Obama? None of them has a track record with energy. None of them has the unblemished history of advocating aggressive domestic energy exploration. The only one who does is Palin.

I’m not trying to predict the future, but if I were an anti-energy politician and I saw this crisis looming, I’d be worried about Palin in my rearview mirror. People are already getting worried. Imagine what they’ll feel like in two years.

Can Obama pivot to become an advocate of domestic energy production without looking like hypocrite? Will his base allow him to rescind his ban on offshore drilling, and will he have the courage to say we need to drill in ANWR for the sake of the U.S. economy and national security? Somehow I doubt it.

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Arne Duncan’s scholarship

Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s director of education studies, points out a major flaw in U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s letter to the Wake County School Board:

Wake County did not have a “long-standing policy to promote racial diversity.” It was a policy implemented for 10 years aimed at promoting “socioeconomic” diversity. Race-based busing is a no-no according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Par for the course. That’s about the level of adherence the Obama administration has displayed toward the “laws of the land.”

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Bad news for those who claim this is a liberal/prog nation

A couple of recent polls throw heaps of cold water on the claims of liberals that conservative values are in the minority in this country and that most of us really want big-government solutions to all our problems.

First, and most relevant to recent events:

Saturday’s shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in which six people were killed, could not have been prevented, 40 percent of American voters say in a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Another 23 percent blame the mental health system, while 15 percent say it was due to heated political rhetoric and 9 percent attribute the tragedy to lax gun control.

Got that? 15 percent. That’s nearly 1 in 7. I’d call that a landslide, especially in light of the monstrous (in more ways than one) effort by liberals, Democrats and the media to convince us otherwise.

Second, again a landslide:

Some 71 percent of those surveyed oppose increasing the borrowing authority, the focus of a brewing political battle over federal spending. Only 18 percent support an increase.

Nothing more dramatically shows the effect the Tea Party movement has had on the way Americans view big government than those findings.

Increasingly, Americans are coming to learn that this is not a liberal, left or progressive country. Most Americans are sensible, hard-working, God-fearing, compassionate people who don’t want government telling them how to spend their money. They don’t mind paying taxes, but not so that others don’t have to work for their food and shelter like most of us do. They believe in a safety net, but not one that shelters people from cradle to grave and saps the initiative from able-bodied people. And they want government to limit itself to the things government is supposed to do, and quit trying to engineer society into some semblance of a left-wing academic’s dream.

It’s pretty simple.

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Green indoctrination in Triangle public schools

The Herald-Sun had a story today about a new middle school in Chatham County that is trying to get Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The school has all the bells and whistles that make environuts warm and fuzzy, but which have absolutely nothing to do with education. Will Solatubes and solar energy panels help Johnny and Jean learn math or history? Only in the mind of an acquisitive bureaucrat, perhaps.

LEED certification may seem an innocuous thing. With all the energy-saving geegaws, why not put in for something that allows the principal to put a neat little plaque in the lobby? Well, there’s a catch, which there always is with the control freaks in the U.S. Green Building Council, which administers the LEED standards. Here’s the ominous proviso:

To qualify, the school must also add educational aspects to its curriculum so students can learn about the new green technologies in their school.

“So students can learn” actually means “so students can be propagandized” by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the radical environmental group that promulgated the LEED standards. You didn’t think some Alynski-like envio group would NOT include mandatory propaganda and brainwashing in schools as a prerequisite for their meaningless certification, did you?

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A new federal quota: people who speak poor English

The increasingly oppressive U.S. Justice Department under the leadership of Eric “What Black Panthers?” Holder is jumping down Marin County, California’s throat because it doesn’t have enough minorities.

Incredibly, one of the deficiencies found by the Justice Department jackboots is that there aren’t enough people in Marin County, home of Sen. Barbara “Don’t Call Me Ma’am” Boxer, who are non-proficient in English. Yes! Incredible, but true:

Both Sonoma County to the north (6.6% black in 2009) and San Francisco County to the south (6.7%) are doing much better. Those counties are also doing far better than Marin in attracting people of Limited English Proficiency. According to this November 2010 “Assessment of Limited English Proficient Populations” in the Bay Area, only 7.5% of Marin’s population speaks English “less than very well,” compared to 10.5% in Sonoma County and 22.1% in San Francisco County.

Diversity fetishists and their enforcers in the federal government always bristle when their critics accuse them of enforcing quotas. Affirmative action, they say, is not about quotas, all the while pulling out their calculators to crunch numbers of minorities and other special classes of people.

It’s clear from the order listed in the above link that the feds want Marin County to meet all kinds of standards, and any thinking person would see that these are quotas. I just bet they never knew there was a poor-English-speaker quota, too. The bright spot is that no county in the Triangle is going to have trouble meeting that one.

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The workings of the nanny-state bureaucratic mind

The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell has an excellent example of the bureaucratic, big-government mind at work. He compares an imagined encounter with a coyote by the governors of California and Texas.

Read it. It’s hilarious.

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My idea for the abandoned bus terminal

I learned via Durham blogger Kevin Davis at Bull City Rising that the city is trying to figure out what to do with the structures that became redundant when the new bus terminal was built. City officials are taking ideas from citizens and are offering the old transit terminal on a three-year lease to some enterprising entrepreneur.

Kevin suggested a coffee shop for commuters, but I’ll go one better. What we need is a Café Du Monde in that space. Why, it even resembles the original in New Orleans:

There seems to be ample room for awning-covered outdoor seating, just like in N’awlins. Of course, you won’t have Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral to view, only the downtown loop. But with a good cup of chicory coffee and a couple of beignets, you won’t feel cheated.

There are no Café du Monde locations outside of Louisiana, but maybe some enterprising entrepreneur can convince the Fernandez family that owns the company to make an exception in Durham’s case. Let’s get crackin’.

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Here’s some REAL astroturf

The media, Democrats and lefty bloggers 18 months ago were repeating in unison the absurd charge that the Tea Party movement was astroturf, meaning not a genuine grassroots uprising. This is a common charge whenever conservatives rise up in anger over big-government excesses.

Those same people who see astroturf everywhere on the right, however, are blind to it on the left. Here’s a good example:

The noisy campaign pushing net neutrality was a manufactured constituency — a few leading groups orchestrating many followers into concerted action to give the illusion of a mass movement.

And who was behind it? The usual suspects on the left, all with connections to Obama:

On June 21, 2007: John Podesta, head of the Center for American Progress, released a report co-written by Free Press that complained about conservative radio talk shows outnumbering progressive radio talk shows.

Free Press got all the attention for demanding the FCC make them equal, but the report helped one of CAP’s co-authors, senior fellow Mark Lloyd, into a job as Obama’s FCC Diversity Czar.

In November, 2007: Genachowski released the report of Obama’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Policy Working Group, which he had been leading for months. It showed him using the Internet as an Obama constituency manufacturer and mobilizer.

Only big-government nanny staters would want to take something that is about the most successful thing in American life, a thing that works the way it is supposed to work, and which gives untold freedom of access to information for free to millions, and botch it up with bureaucrats. But that’s the way they roll.

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