Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Observations From the Back Row

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Energy: ‘When I Try Something That Doesn’t Work, Then I Don’t Try It Again'
By Fred Lucas

President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at the Cincinnati Music Hall in Cincinnati, Monday, July 16, 2012. Obama is spending the day campaigning in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama told a Cincinnati audience on Monday that he does not make the same mistake more than once. Minutes later, he told the same crowd he would continue spending federal dollars on green energy. The Obama administration has spent billions of taxpayer dollars on green energy companies, many of which either declared bankruptcy or created most of their jobs outside the United States. The most notable among these was Solyndra, which got a $535 million Energy Department loan in 2009, but declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011 shortly before being raided by the FBI. (Emphasis added)

Energy Dept. 'Unable to Locate' $500,000 in Equipment Bought With Stimulus Money
By Penny Starr

An audit conducted by the Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General was "unable to locate" $500,000 worth of equipment purchased with stimulus money by a recipient of funds distributed through the deparment's “Advanced Batteries and Hybrid Components Program,” according to an audit report published by the OIG.The DOE said it would not be "appropriate" to release the name of stimulus-money recipient where the $500,000 worth of equipment could not be located. The program was given nearly $2 billion in stimulus funds "to support the construction of U.S. based battery and electric drive component manufacturing plants." As of June, DOE had "expended" about $1.2 billion of that money and had made grants to "30 for-profit manufacturers," according to the July 10 audit report.

White House Claims: Stimulus ‘Widely Recognized to Have Broken the Back of Recession’
By Terence P. Jeffrey

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last week that the $831 billion economic stimulus law that President Barack Obama signed on February 17, 2009 is “widely recognized to have broken the back of the recession.” When President Obama signed the law three and a half years ago, the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would cost $787 billion. Since then, the CBO has revised its estimate, eventually concluding the stimulus cost $831 billion. In January 2009, the month before Obama signed his stimulus, the national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It has not dropped below 8 percent in any month since then. In February 2009, it hit 8.3 percent. In June 2012, it was 8.2 percent……When asked by CNSNews.com for the name of the “recipient” that could not account for the $500,000 in equipment, the following statement was provided by the OIG: “The focus of the audit was based on Department of Energy’s policy and implementation. It is not appropriate to disclose company names.” (Emphasis added)

Medical marijuana benefits in dispute
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez

A new University of Arizona study shows little or no evidence that medical marijuana is an effective treatment for anxiety, migraines, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, a finding that could hinder efforts to expand the allowable uses for the drug in Arizona. The researchers, working on behalf of the state Department of Health Services, which oversees the state's medical-marijuana program, reviewed dozens of scientific studies related to marijuana use for the four medical conditions and determined that most of the research was of little value in weighing the medicinal risks and benefits.
State health officials and medical-marijuana advocates agree the lack of scientific research is in large part because of restrictions on research of some controlled substances. The UA study could affect efforts by medical-marijuana supporters to expand the state's program to include the treatment of anxiety, migraines, depression and PTSD. State health officials have heard dozens of anecdotes about how those conditions impair daily life and how medical marijuana helps, but officials have said they will base the decision to expand the program only on scientific evidence.

RI's ACLU asks court to protect 3 sex offenders from homelessness
By W. Zachary Malinowski

The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law that makes it a felony for registered sex offenders to live within 300 feet of a school. The lawsuit, filed by Katherine Godin, a volunteer lawyer for the ACLU, claims that three plaintiffs face homelessness if the law is enforced against them.

Cuba Hits Wall in 2-Year Push to Expand the Private Sector
By VICTORIA BURNETT

Nearly two years into the Cuban government’s economic overhaul aimed at slashing public payrolls and bolstering private enterprise, the reforms have slowed so much that many Cuban entrepreneurs and intellectuals are questioning the aging leadership’s ability — or will — to reshape one of the world’s last Communist systems and shift nearly half of the island’s output to private hands. Those awaiting measures to create even more opportunity for private business got the opposite last week, when news spread of a little-advertised government decision to charge steep customs duties on the informal imports, from Miami and elsewhere, that are the lifeblood of many young businesses.
“This could have a huge impact,” said Emilio Morales, president of the Miami-based Havana Consulting Group, who said state-owned shops in Cuba were losing business to street vendors. “It shows the state isn’t ready to compete with the private sector.”

Tyrants and Human Nature
By Walter E. Williams

The agendas of liberals, progressives and assorted tyrants desperately depend on the aspects of human nature they often condemn, such as acquisitiveness, profit motive, self-interestedness and greed. This crossed my mind while reading "How Departures From Economic Freedom Can Affect Freedom In General," by Dr. John Taylor, a Hoover Institution scholar.  Taylor tells how former Wells Fargo CEO Dick Kovacevich was forced to take Troubled Asset Relief Program funds even though Wells Fargo did not need or want the funds. Kovacevich was threatened that if he did not accept TARP money, regulators would declare his bank capital-deficient even though Wells Fargo had a triple-A rating.

At the time, October 2008, Wells Fargo was in the process of acquiring Wachovia, and to be declared capital-deficient would have killed the deal. U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke could rely on acquisitiveness, profit motive and self-interestedness to bully Wells Fargo into accepting TARP money. They also knew that Wells Fargo's competitors would go after Wachovia. If all sound banks had refused TARP money, Paulson and Bernanke's tyrannical threats would have failed.

My Take Unless I am mistaken…Kovacevich is a Serbian name. The desire to tell these bunch of commies to shove it must have been overwhelming. For a Serb......it must have really stuck in his craw to eat this kind of dirt.

Leaked! Obama's devastating 2nd-term plans
A soon-to-be-released, game-changing election book will reveal the blueprint for a second Barack Obama presidential term. Slated for release Aug. 7 by WND Books, “Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed” uncovers the template for Obama’s next four years – the actual, extensive plans created by Obama’s own top advisers and progressive strategists. New book uncovers shocking blueprint on economy, military, healthcare, immigration The explosive book unveils all the main areas of Obama’s second-term domestic policy onslaught – jobs, wages, health care, immigration “overhaul,” electoral “reform,” national energy policy, Pentagon plans and much more.

My Take - I would like to know how he could do any of this without declaring martial law; a power without parameters he has now allotted to himself via executive order; with no outcry from Congress or the mainstream media. I fear frightening days lie ahead.



From the American Council on Science and Health

Last week, we were less than pleased by FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg’s empty boasting about the success of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This week, ACSH scientific advisor Dr. Michael Siegel, who is on the faculty of Boston University’s School of Public Health, does us one better.
A study just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has reached a somewhat tautological conclusion: Following restrictions on the use of partially hydrogenated fat (trans fat) in New York City chain restaurants, the trans fat content of patrons’ purchases decreased. 

A spate of new findings on Alzheimer’s disease is making news at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this week in Vancouver. 




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