Tag: Obama administration

Slowly, the Truth About Ethanol Emerges

We’ve talked quite a bit about the dangerous delusion of ethanol fuel. It creates (maybe) as much energy as it consumes, so it doesn’t actually benefit our energy situation. It diverts corn to fueling cars instead of people, thus raising global food prices and causing hunger. It tears up engines. It doesn’t benefit the economy. And … to cap it off … it actually harms the environment.

Conservatives and libertarians have been saying this for a decade. Looks like the AP finally caught on:

But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.

Five million acres of land set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined — have vanished on Obama’s watch.

Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.

Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can’t survive.

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact.

All right, let’s take on that last part first. I don’t know of a polite way to say this but … to hell with the farming industry. I am sick and tired of Washington’s romantic vision of farming and anything that can remotely be called farming. We’re not talking about Ma and Pa Kettle tending their 40 acres like my grandparents did; this is Monsanto and DuPont and other mega-businesses raking in tons of money to rape the land. This is driving family farmers to ruin their own plots. One of the main characters in the AP’s report is a family farmer debating whether to ruin his 91 acres while out-of-towners buy up the entire county and plow up the land for corn. Ethanol isn’t <>Little House on the Prairie.

The key to understanding the Obama Administration has never been their supposed socialism or radicalism or Alinskyism or whatever else Sean Hannity has been talking about this week; it’s how much they bend and sway for every big special interest group out there. The healthcare reform bill was practically written by insurance lobbyists and honed by union lobbyists. Their labor policies are entirely dictated by union money. They never proposed a serious alternative to the sequester because they couldn’t figure out which special interest to sell out in favor of the others.

And their “environmental” policy is not dictated by science, data or any concern for the Earth. It’s dictated by alternative energy interests. It’s dictated by campaign contributors and bundlers. And it is dictated by the massive ethanol lobby that continue to rake in billions from this planet-befouling, car-destroying, economy-crippling poison. And the only reason there is now a growing pushback? Because some lobbyists are now aligning against ethanol.

You should read the entire article, which is long but worth your time. The idiocy and mendacity of the Administration would be astounding except that it’s what we’ve gotten used to from these clowns. They are puzzled that artificially driving up the price of corn has resulted in … people growing far more corn than the environment can realistically support. They’ve turned back decades of progress that has seen crop yields boom while land use, fertilizer use and pollution have fallen. In some areas, they are driving us toward a second Dust Bowl. Remember when Obama used to say no lobbyists would work in his Administration? Yeah, he had ethanol lobbyists and their adherents on his staff.

Ironically, it was the EPA that saw what was coming and tried to warn them about it. The Administration responded by — tell me if this sounds familiar — forcing the EPA to change its analysis until it produced the conclusion they wanted.

This is a catastrophe. And the people who should be leading the charge against ethanol are Obama’s own dim-bulb supporters. I can guarantee you that if five million acres of conservation land disappeared under Bush, the environmentalist would be going completely apeshit. But the most we’re getting is polite missives and “concern” and a thousandth of the protest we’d get if Mitt Romney squashed a daisy.

Peaceful Secession Not an Option

That’s probably the most sensational headline I could have gone with, but it does get to the point of those petitions demanding that the White House allow states to secede.

Although the founders established a perpetual union, they also provided for a government that is, as President Lincoln would later describe it, “of the people, by the people, and for the people” — all of the people. Participation in, and engagement with, government is the cornerstone of our democracy. And because every American who wants to participate deserves a government that is accessible and responsive, the Obama Administration has created a host of new tools and channels to connect concerned citizens with White House. In fact, one of the most exciting aspects of the We the People platform is a chance to engage directly with our most outspoken critics.

So in the end, the Administration played it safe and decided on a bland response from an Administration flunky. I won’t go deep into the author’s arguments except to note that he implicitly observed that the President doesn’t have the Constitutional authority to allow any state to secede. Contrast the tone of this response with the snarky and somewhat bitchy one here and you’ll see that the White House decided to tread carefully with the question. Not sure if the recent spike in gun sales has anything to do with it.

I do have one piece of good news for all rebel scum though. The petition to build a Death Star was also denied. Without this superweapon, the Obama Administration will never subjugate the galaxy, much less implement Obamacare.

FBI Better At Keeping CIA Director’s Affair Secret Than He Is

In my initial post on l’Affaire Petraeus, I expressed skepticism about whether there was something more sinister surrounding his resignation for broadening the well, if you will.  The timing, I did question, but I didn’t read much more into it than a guy getting stupid and certainly didn’t see or expect a Benghazi connection.

Well, here’s the twist: He didn’t get stupid and spill the beans.  The woman he was nailing did and went full bunny-boiler on another woman, which set off an FBI investigation.  USA Today reports that the FBI found Petraeus didn’t violate any confidentiality rules, though they did notify him of what they found out shortly before the election.  Or the political class is just protecting itself, as usual.   Either way, Petraeus now gets to do the Schwarzenegger to his family but he’s off the hook for any legal issues.

Is this a scandal?  I suppose so, but that was never in question.  It just further darkens Petraeus in my eyes, who didn’t come clean about what he had done and didn’t resign immediately when the jig was up.   Does the FBI deserve any criticism here?  I don’t think so.  Petraeus broke no laws, but I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the agents got to explain to a sitting CIA director that they knew what he was up to. 

Obama?  Yeah, I’m sure he was aware of this before the election and he probably begged Petraeus to keep his mouth shut until after Super Tuesday.   I’m not sure where you go with it from here.  This will be just one of many scandals that I expect are already piling up within the Administration, given how undisciplined and opportunistic everyone in it is. 

Shit, if even Petraeus went bad…

EPA is at it again: Obama promise to kill coal industry.

Obama and his donkey cohorts are certainly not happy that anyone is pointing out how radical environmentalist assholes at the EPA are actively taking measures to keep Obama’s promise to destroy the coal industry, but the plan exists. And they are in a hurry to foist this massive pile of dung that will cost our economy some $700 billion out of fear of a Romney presidency.

President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has devoted an unprecedented number of bureaucrats to finalizing new anti-coal regulations that are set to be released at the end of November, according to a source inside the EPA.

More than 50 EPA staff are now crashing to finish greenhouse gas emission standards that would essentially ban all construction of new coal-fired power plants. Never before have so many EPA resources been devoted to a single regulation. The independent and non-partisan Manhattan Institute estimates that the EPA’s greenhouse gas coal regulation will cost the U.S. economy $700 billion.

The rush is a major sign of panic by environmentalists inside the Obama administration. If Obama wins, the EPA would have another four full years to implement their anti-fossil fuel agenda. But if Romney wins, regulators will have a very narrow window to enact a select few costly regulations that would then be very hard for a President Romney to undo.

WTF? The EPA passes regulation and congress again is side stepped? Is this shit even legal?

Hey people in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia! That asshole that says we should stay the course with him, because he has done such a great job for the last 4 years – everything bad is Boosh’s fault too! – on the economy and energy, plans to shut down the coal industry your state so depends on. Obama meant it when he said he was going to kill coal as a source of energy, and we are seeing it in Technicolor. Of course the usual idiots will pretend this is not going to kill the coal industry, because it doesn’t explicitly spell out that’s the intention, and argue the same stupid semantics they did the last 4 years to pretend these environmental radicals do not give a flying fuck how expensive energy becomes for the serfs.

At the risk of being made fun off, I have to say that as a Redskin’s fan I rooted yesterday for the Carolina Panthers to win, because of this. Don’t worry. Obama has a job prospect when he is sent packing after tomorrow.

The YouTube Problem

This is all kinds of wrong:

Obama administration officials said Thursday that they have asked YouTube to review the video [that reportedly set off the embassy attacks] and determine whether it violates the site’s terms of service, according to people close to the situation but not authorized to comment.

This is just plain wrong, especially given that YouTube had already said the video didn’t violate their terms. It’s one thing for citizens to call on YouTube to censor itself or for YouTube to voluntarily pull a video. But when the government “asks”, it does so under the implicit shadow of threat. As I have shown many times, the government can easily find a law you’ve inadvertently broken and make your life hell if they decide to go after you. That is the context in which this request was made.

Moreover, I think it’s missing the point. There is growing evidence that this film is more an excuse for the anti-American demonstrations than a reason. I guarantee you that most of the rioters have not seen it or have no idea what’s in it. Why on Earth would anyone think pulling the video would make them say, “Oh, well, that’s OK then. Back to our poverty!”? Standing up for free speech costs you nothing; wavering on it gains you nothing.

But more importantly, you can’t put the genie back in the fucking bottle. The movie is out there. If YouTube pulls it, someone else will host it. Hell maybe Julian Assange will put it up. (Wouldn’t that be fun? Wikileaks v. the Islamists). As anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the internet will tell you, removing something — a nude picture, a dumb blog post, an offensive video — is an exercise in Whack-A-Mole. Nothing ever leaves the net.

I suspect that what this is really all about is a crude attempt to placate some of the anger. “Hey, we asked those guys to pull it but they wouldn’t!” But if so, it’s a stupid one. This will carry little water with people who want to burn every book that isn’t the Koran.

It’s possible to say both that the film is ridiculously offensive and that we defend free speech. We’ve been doing that with Fred Phelps, the KKK and the Illinois Nazis for decades. Obama and Romney both have already said that about this video, as has about 95% of the commentariat. And, yes, it’s possible to say that without glowering at YouTube and looking like the thought police.

This isn’t fascism or the destruction of the Constitution. Let’s not get carried away. But it’s stupid, thoughtless and thuggish.

The nanny state is doing it for our own good!

Government will pay for you abortions and contraceptives baby, but in return, well, in return we want the right to expand our ability to snoop on you with more ease. And don’t worry, when we can find anything and everything out about you, we will not abuse any of that at all. Only republicans, if you are crazy enough to elect them, will abuse this!

(Reuters) – The U.S. Congress should pass a law to give investigators freer access to certain cellphone records, an Obama administration official said on Thursday, in remarks that raised concern among advocates of civil liberties and privacy.

Jason Weinstein, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s criminal division, argued that requirements for warrants at early stages of investigations would “cripple” prosecutors and law enforcement.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this year that a warrant was needed to put a GPS satellite tracking device on a suspect’s vehicle, prompting questions about other instances where probable-cause warrants should be needed to obtain information in the rapidly changing world of mobile devices.

Besides, it is not like these assholes that want to avoid warrants, after spending about 8 years accusing the last administration of wanting to do that on the flimsiest of contrived conspiratorial bullshit, because they firmly believed that former administration wanted to violate people’s basic rights, would ever abuse any power it got itself, right? We have nothing crazy like that ever going down. Using the IRS to investigate Tea Party opponents? NEVAH! It’s not like this administration seems to believe or imply that these Tea Partiers are terrorists or something. Biden certainly doesn’t speak for them. And it’s not as if this administration has an enemies list or would resort to using the power of big government to target those supporting their opposition.

Note that not a single of the links I used to illustrate how corrupt and vile Team Obama is, ready to abuse their power and office at the drop of a hat for political and power gain, comes from the LSM. That’s not a coincidence. The LSM has mostly ignored, or actually when forced to report on them, defended these practices. Can you imagine them doing the same if the guy being discussed was GWB? Me neither. But hey, Bush was the guy that wanted to steal our freedoms because he, like this new asshole Romney trying to steal the emperor’s crown, do not want to give people free shit paid by other people.

Out the Door, Line on the Left, One Cross Each

Well, this resolved itself before I even had a chance to comment:

The Obama administration’s top environmental official in the oil-rich South Central region has resigned after Republicans targeted him over remarks made two years ago when he used the word “crucify” to describe how he would go after companies violating environmental laws.

Republicans in Congress had called for Armendariz’ firing after Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe highlighted the May 2010 speech last week as proof of what he refers to as EPA’s assault on energy, particularly the technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

I’m with Althouse on this one. The problem with Armendariz’ comments wasn’t that they were controversial or offensive to Christians. The problem was that they were true.

This is how the EPA operates. And to be fair, it’s kind of how it has to operate. There aren’t enough regulators to check on everyone and make sure they are compliant with the law. So they compensate by coming down on the miscreants they do catch like a ton of bricks. That’s the entire basis of preventative law enforcement.

The problem is that the EPA can be very arbitrary in exactly who they come down on. His analogy is dead on: they are crucifying the first five people they run into, making examples of them whether they’ve really broken the law or not. They frequently punish people who’ve done nothing wrong and are known to prefer targets that lack the resources to fight an unjust persecution.

I have no problem with “crucifying” companies that flagrantly break the law and pollute the environment (example: BP, still awaiting prosecution). But I do have a problem with crucifying random businesses to make a point. Armendariz was caught revealing the way the game is played. And that bought him an appointment with the undercarriage of the nearest bus.

If GWB had done…

THIS, you can bet the LSM would be all over the story, pointing out that the speed of this investigation’s conclusion is a sign of not much investigating and just should send up red flags, and the hammering at the fact that the investigators and the perps are one and the same. Instead they tell us all is well and to focus at the parade of bullshit they are passing off as news to help provide cover for this failure of an administration.

An internal White House review has found no evidence of misconduct by members of the advance staff ahead of President Obama’s visit to Cartagena, Colombia, earlier this month, spokesman Jay Carney said today.

“There have been no specific credible allegations of misconduct by anyone on the White House advance team or the White House staff. Nevertheless, out of due diligence, the White House counsel’s office has conducted a review of the White House advance team,” Carney told reporters during the daily briefing.

“And in concluding, that review came to the conclusion that there is no indication that any member of the White House advance team engaged in any improper conduct or behavior,” he said.

Carney said the inquiry was initiated Friday by the counsel’s office in consultation with the White House chief of staff, Jack Lew. It concluded over the weekend.

Let’s count the ways this is wrong. “Internal WH review ” basically means that the people that did the wrong basically are now saying we didn’t do anything wrong. Now, in the age of the Eric Holder DOJ, this isn’t something to get bothered about, because if the DOJ had done the investigating, odds are they would have found the same thing. And that’s not because there wasn’t anything wrong, but because as the last 3 years have shown us, the DOJ is now a totally politicized arm of the DNC and consistently and constantly covers for the criminal behavior of the left. From “Fast & Furious” to the whole “Black Panther voter intimidation” case we have seen political decisions drive legal ones, so the WH clearing itself is no biggie, I guess, because the DOJ was very likely going to do the same for them anyway.

Then you have the “credible allegations” bullshit. They could have had video proving the accusations, and I remain convinced that the WH investigation would have produced the same results we got now. Look at the “Black Panther” or “Fast & Furious” case I mentioned. The only cases that these people find credible evidence exists for are the one like the Trayvon Martin shooting where the LSM manufactured a whole bunch of lies and falsehoods.

And they pulled this investigation off in some 5 days or so? Heh, sure. Maybe what Carney was trying to say was that these guys are above the law and this sort of behavior is only wrong when people other than democrats do it. That kind of double speak makes sense, and would prompt the conclusion nothing wrong happened that the WH looking at its own behavior came to.

Of course, the members of the LSM took the result at face value and want us to do the same. After all, this is an election year, any other conclusion will hurt their soul mates and the people they take their marching orders from, and they want none of that spoiling the narrative. Those of us that know better however, know this investigation and its conclusion are likely to be nothing but a serious lie and deflection. There is plenty of history out there to belie that assumption, even if for now it is only my opinion. But hey, when you constantly engage in immoral behavior, because the ends justify the means, you can pardon those of us that expect it to be the constant from assuming it was the constant, right? Nixon was burned for far less than what these crooks have gotten away with so far.

You can’t make this stuff up…

How long did the Obama Administration hold the Keystone XL Pipeline project hostage in bureaucratic Limbo before they dropped it so gas prices could stay high and Buffet and other rich fat cats in bed with this government could make a killing carrying some of that oil by train? What fraction of that time was spent allowing the Treausry Department review of that deal? Well in the case of Solyndra, they got just one day. Nothing strange there right? When government gets to pick who wins and who loses, we the people all lose.

Why you can not take them seriously

Where’s the anger from the perpetually mad leftists these days? Man, did the left howl about the Patriot Act when that was passed. Evil Boosh-Hitler and his fascist government tactics violating the rights of terrorists! Never mind that fascism is a disease of the left, and Bush while a big government lover, never rose to the level of the left and their desire to have government control all aspects of the rube’s lives, or that terrorists really are dangerous and deadly. Team Obama decides to ratchet up the scary government in what seriously amounts to a near fascist move, and we get nothing….

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. intelligence community will now be able to store information about Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to five years under new Obama administration guidelines.

Until now, the National Counterterrorism Center had to immediately destroy information about Americans that was already stored in other government databases when there were no clear ties to terrorism.

Giving the NCTC expanded record-retention authority had been called for by members of Congress who said the intelligence community did not connect strands of intelligence held by multiple agencies leading up to the failed bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

“Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday. “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively.”

The new rules replace guidelines issued in 2008 and have privacy advocates concerned about the potential for data-mining information on innocent Americans.

Look, while not comfortable with it, I think some aspects of the Patriot Act where necessary because the terrorists need to be dealt with, but my support was always predicated on the premise that someone was really paying attention and the first time government abused these powers, there would be hell to pay. After all, it was obvious that the LSM so desperately wanted to help their partners in crime in the democrat party nail Bush, that even the appearance of impropriety would result in massive coverage implying the most negative possible scenario, and that would keep these powers somewhat in check.

Fast forward a few years, and not only is the Patriot Act still around, but now the LSM doesn’t quite care that much about improprieties. And when the left decides to do some seriously scary things like this, and there is no way you make the case that collecting information on citizens using the weak argument that a database you can mine might help you catch a terrorist, it results in nary a peep. Oh, privacy advocates are worried. Shit, this is the time to scream about fascist moves by government people.

“It is a vast expansion of the government’s surveillance authority,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said of the five-year retention period.

The government put in strong safeguards at the NCTC for the data that would be collected on U.S. citizens for intelligence purposes, Rotenberg said. These new guidelines undercut the Federal Privacy Act, he said.

“The fact that this data can be retained for five years on U.S. citizens for whom there’s no evidence of criminal conduct is very disturbing,” Rotenberg said.

“Total Information Awareness appears to be reconstructing itself,” Rotenberg said, referring to the Defense Department’s post-9/11 data-mining research program that was killed in 2003 because of privacy concerns.

The Washington Post first reported the new rules Thursday.

Tracking suspected or know terrorists and keeping data on them is one thing. If carefully scrutinized to prevent abuse, and abuse is punished, I can live with that. It’s an unfortunate consequence of the horrible times we live in and our inability or lack of desire to really do what would break the terrorist’s will to keep doing these sort of things. But collecting information on people – and we are unclear if the intent is to collect information on everyone or just certain people, but I am inclined to assume that once they can do a few, they will just do all people – is a whole other sort of game. It is frightening. Even if it is just for 5 years.

Tyrannical government starts with 2 things: the first is the attempt to disarm the populous, and the second is the collection of information about the people so you know who will give you grief and needs to be dealt with. Fast & Furious anyone? And now this. And yet, no anger from the LSM or the left. After all, Obama will just use it to sick Media Matters on conservatives or to see whom to hit up for donations in these idiot’s minds, and all that stuff is awesome.

Look, I am not saying that the right doesn’t do dumb things, but shit, and yeah, this is a hypothetical where I reverse the order of the political party holding the WH when things happen, if I was insanely angry at Obama for Passing the Patriot Act, and he was followed by Bush whom did something like this that takes it to a whole new level of scary, I would be howling at Bush too. My guy or not. Not gonna happen on the left though, because the anger was never over any fear of government abuse of power, but simply because the guy in the WH had the wrong letter next to his name.

The Obama administration said the new rules come with strong safeguards for privacy and civil liberties as well. Before the NCTC may obtain data held by another government agency, there is a high-level review to assure that the data “is likely to contain significant terrorism information,” Alexander Joel, the civil liberties protection officer at national intelligence directorate, said in a news release Thursday.

Yeah, sure. Because there isn’t any history at all of government, once it has access to a gimmick to bypass the proper process, has never abused it. The argument that we should collect data on everyone and that they will only look at it when they suspect something suddenly, with all kinds of precautions to prevent abuse, might appease some, but if you didn’t like the previous ability to collect information on suspects and actual terrorists, this expansion of power should leave you even more scared and angry. And I am not getting any of that from the usual suspects, when to me now the power and the ability to abuse definitely have crossed a threshold of tolerability.