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.