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Archive for February, 2012

Since she couldn’t eliminate elections, Perdue now wants to eliminate Congress

Remember when N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue suggested we bypass elections in 2012, and she and her supporters, and they include The News & Observer, tried to claim it was just a joke? Objective sorts pointed out that there was no indication of a joke at all in her delivery, but, since it was such a stupid and unbelievable thing for her to have said, most people defaulted to the joke explanation.

Maybe those people will think twice about that assessment after hearing that Perdue and a bunch of other Democratic governors met with President Obama yesterday to see how they could subvert the Constitution by bypassing Congress entirely:

President Obama met with a group of Democratic governors on Friday and discussed plans to work around Congress toward policy goals.

Gov. Jack Markell, the Democratic governor of Delaware and the vice chairman of the National Governors Association, told The Hill that the meeting was “very good” and said many of the governors were responsive to ideas about bypassing Congress. …

Governors present included Govs. Jerry Brown (Calif.), Jay Nixon (Mo.), O’Malley, Christine Gregoire (Wash.), Bev Perdue (N.C.), Peter Shumlin (Vt.), Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii), Deval Patrick (Mass.) and Pat Quinn (Ill.).

But I’m sure they were just joking.

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Let them eat pond scum

Vice President Joe Biden was in North Carolina today and I heard one of his comments on the radio just now. He was telling his selected audience how interested he and President Obama are in helping the middle class. They’re so interested, in fact, that they’ve created a task force for just that purpose.

Maybe it’s just me, but if I wanted to do something to help the average American I’d be looking at ways to reduce the price of gasoline. Most everyone in the United States drives. Only in a few select cities can you get by without owning a vehicle, so a policy of attacking high gas prices in almost every way possible would seem to be a good way to help the middle class.

Here’s a helpful visual aid:

As you can see, the annual cost for the average American driving an average car (12,500 annual miles, 25 miles per gallon) has doubled since Obama took office.

Obama and Democrats in Congress, however, have for 30 years opposed adding refining capacity, opposed increased drilling in the continental U.S., opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, opposed offshore drilling, and opposed the Keystone XL pipeline project that would bring oil from Canada almost immediately. Each of these would have increased supply, and, as anyone who knows anything about economics (unfortunately, that does not include Democrats and liberals) will tell you, increased supply leads to lower prices.

Yesterday, in a very defensive speech about gas prices, Obama ridiculed the notion of a return to $2 gas (as if anyone has even proposed that), and a White House spokesman just said on the radio that Republican proposals for more drilling are just “pixie dust.”

For 30 years, every time gas prices spike due to hurricanes or Mideast turmoil, Democrats have scoffed at the notion of drilling as an answer. “Why, it would take 10 years for that oil to come on line,” has been their argument. Well, it’s been 30 years. Imagine if we’d actually begun drilling and exploring 30 years ago. How much would the middle class be paying for gasoline today?

Yesterday, Obama said algae could be the answer to our problem. How many years will it take for pond scum to be a viable fuel source? A lot more than a decade, I’ll wager.

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“In 2007, they were mortgage loan originators. Now, they are windfarm contractors.”

Duke Professor Mike Munger comes through again. In this blog, he uses a new movie about wind power as a launching point for a concise, easy to understand description of the motivations at work in the “green” energy industry. It’s about the subsidies, folks.

 

 

 

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GM: Stop Picking on Us

The folks over at Ford — they’re the car company that didn’t take a government bailout — have got to be loving this. Taxpayer-supported GM, which was unable to survive on its  own in the marketplace, has started a blog to fend off criticism – or as the blog description puts it, to “provide perspective and context.”

Right now GM is upset that there are questions about the massively subsidized Volt. Grow up, GM, and show some respect for the American taxpayer, whose labor has kept your doors open.

For those who want the facts, here is a Feb. 16 CNN story about GM “profits.”

 

But while the automakers are all posting strong results, taxpayers are still on the hook for billions of dollars. Taxpayers fell $1.3 billion short on theChrysler bailout and are still waiting for $25.5 billion back on the GM deal. In total, the companies received about $60 billion between them.

And, particularly in the case of GM (GMFortune 500), it seems unlikely the taxpayer will be made whole anytime soon. Treasury holds 500 million shares of GM stock, those represent about one third of the company and if sold at today’s prices, they would be worth about $13 billion.

The stock would need to roughly double in price for taxpayers to break even. Analysts predict a much more modest rise in the stock price in 2012.

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ABC11: Settlement in Rielle Hunter/Andrew Young Suit

ABC 11 reports that Rielle Hunter will get her “intimate” tape back due to a settlement in her lawsuit against former John Edwards aide Andrew Young.

 

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Pay For It Yourself

From Rasmussen:

Support for mandating coverage of the so-called “morning after pill” is lower than support for mandating coverage of contraceptives in general.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 38% of Likely U.S. Voters think health insurance companies should be required by law to cover the morning after pill without co-payments or other charges to the patient. Fifty percent (50%) disagree and oppose this requirement. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided.

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In 2009, 151 Million Americans Paid ZERO Federal Income Tax

As you prepare your federal income tax return — or in my case, as I gulped hard last night at my CPA’s office when I saw the amount of federal income tax my husband and I paid last year — remember that if you pay, you are part of the shrinking number of Americans who pay the freight in this entitlement society. The chart that accompanies this piece will stun you. And yet, liberals whine about the “need” for even more government programs and services — paid for by fewer and fewer people. Truly scary that we could be poised to put even more Americans on the public dole. You don’t have to be an economist to predict what that means for those of us who actually pay the bills.

 

“One of the most worrying trends in the Index is the coinciding growth in the non-taxpaying public,” wrote Heritage authors Bill Beach and Patrick Tyrrell. “The percentage of people who do not pay federal income taxes, and who are not claimed as dependents by someone who does pay them, jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009.”

That means 151.7 million Americans paid nothing in 2009. By comparison, 34.8 million tax filers paid no taxes in 1984.

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The union goon national convention

The union-pandering Democratic Party holding its national convention in North Carolina is sort of like the National Pork Producers Council holding its annual meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. North Carolina, despite the image it likes to cultivate as the most “progressive” among the benighted Old Confederacy, is the least unionized of all 57 states.

In the Old North State, you’re more likely to find bedbugs than union bugs, and productions of Chekov rather than a dues check-off. It’s a proudly right-to-work state, meaning you can’t be forced to be part of a union. In some quarters that’s called freedom. But for most Democrats it’s simply capitalist oppression.

So, it would be unusual for the union-heavy Democratic National Convention not to run into some resistance as it readies to wow the world with the Unicorn Prince’s second inaugural speech among Styrofoam Greek columns, union made, of course. Kenny Colbert, president of the Employers Association, a human resources consulting group in Charlotte, explains:

“You’re looking at a city that has virtually no unions, so even if one contract is awarded and union labor is brought in from the outside it is going cause concern to area employers,” he said. “They will be extremely upset if outside union labor is brought in above local non-union labor.”

A number of local businesses already have claimed they were denied work because of their non-union status.

John Monteith, owner of Heritage Printing & Graphics in Charlotte, said that in a meeting with the convention’s host committee, he was told that they would not accept any proposals from firms that are not unionized, and he says the license agreement for directional signage stipulates union shops:

“I am an educated man that knows how to read plain and simple English,” Monteith said. “The contract they signed on my behalf signed away my right to work in my right-to-work state.”

All of this was predicted, of course. Many observers saw that the convention organizers probably would have to import union workers to fulfill their mandatory union quotas.

It makes one wonder why the DNC chose Charlotte over some union-heavy Rust Belt city. Some have said it was unions not being able to get their act together in places like Cleveland, St. Louis or Minneapolis. But others suspect it was because North Carolina is a key swing state that Obama needs desperately.

The way things are going, though, more Tar Heel votes will be lost than gained as thuggish tactics inevitably increase between now and the convention.

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Monday at JLF: Shale Gas Wars From Pennsylvania to North Carolina

Don’t miss Monday’s meeting of JLF’s Shaftesbury Society. Register here.

Dr. Daniel Fine
Monday, February 27, 2012
12:00 pm Noon

John Locke Foundation, 200 W. Morgan Street, Raleigh

Price: $10.00

Dr. Daniel Fine is a Research Associate at the Mining and Minerals Resources Institute, MIT. Dr. Fine is also a current Policy Adviser on Non-Conventional Oil and Gas. He is co-editor of Resource War in 3-D: Dependence, Diplomacy and Defense, and has contributed to Business Week, the Engineering and Mining Journal and the Washington Times. Dr. Fine participated in the Atlantic Council Workshop on Central Asian Policy and the Hudson Institute Russia-United States Relations Project. He has given testimony on strategic natural resources before the U.S. Senate Committees on Foreign Affairs and the Energy and Natural Resources. Dr. Fine was a member of the Domestic Energy Production Issue Team of the Center For The Study Of The Presidency and Congress “Strengthening America’s Future Initiative.” He has participated as a panelist on energy public policy at the Rocky Mountain Global New Energy Summit.

Shaftesbury Luncheon talks are free and open to the public. An optional lunch is available for purchase at the event, or participants may brown bag a lunch if they choose.

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Let’s All Get on Unemployment And Get This Economy Roaring Again!

President Obama’s key adviser Valerie Jarrett campaigned for the president last night at NC Central in Durham. As The Weekly Standard reports, at one point Jarrett repeated the falsehood that unemployment benefits stimulate the economy. Ms. Jarrett is a smart woman – smart enough to know that scooping water from one end of the pool and dumping into the other end does NOT give you more water.  If Ms. Jarrett’s claim is true, then let’s ALL collect unemployment benefits and get this economy roaring again!

Regardless, the unemployment-benefits-are-stimulus mantra will be part of the president’s re-election rhetoric, and no doubt the president’s supporters will buy it. The conversation we should be having — and which the president and his surrogates clearly don’t want to have — is how the current administration’s economic policies are prolonging a recession and keeping employers and investors on the sidelines.

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