Wednesday, January 23, 2019

P&D Today

There's not that many posts today because there's a lot in what I've posted, especially this first post about the kids in the Covington story, which I'm posting as my Featured Article.  Please enjoy. RK

Featured Article
Deep State and Treason
Democrats for POTUS 2020
Energy
Government Shutdown
Leftist Thinking

Covington Disgrace: Corruption of the Left

By Rich Kozlovich

The left is utterly contemptible in all it does.  What's disturbing is how cowardly those who should be supporting these kids have crawled under the rock with these leftist worms, and I include the cravens at the Covington diocese, and these contemptible virtue signaling false conservatives, like Bill Kristol who deleted his tweet and yet fails to apologize for jumping on phony story of MAGA hat kids harassing Native American.  It seems no guts and not glory Bill Kristol was willing to "courageously" attack these innocent kids, but lacks the courage and integrity to say he was wrong and then attack the leftists and propagandists who promoted this lie. 

Here is a list of what I've found that's written thus far.  There's more of course, but I think this is enough to establish just how disgusting and degenerate is the left and their propaganda machine known as the media. 

Take your time and review it all.  The first article is profound and provocative, it's also shows just how scary and insane are the left, and how violent they are, and that insane violent streak penetrates every part of their social strata. 

They're the fascists.....we really need to get that.  And we need to understand just how dangerous they are.  I do fear this is going to lead to the kind of violence we haven't seen since the Civil War and pre-Civil War era. 

Can we be thankful if we live in Ohio?  We may not even be immune at some point, after all, this was in our Southern neighbor, Kentucky, and Covington is only 100 miles away from Columbus, Ohio. 

The Left’s Smirking MAGA Kid Hoax - Progressives, lies and videotape.
A video posted online over the weekend showing a teenaged Trump supporter’s awkward reaction to having his personal space aggressively invaded by a loud left-wing agitator sparked a leftist-led social media meltdown that will not soon be forgotten.

As the national firestorm over the Covington Catholic 'harassment' story rages on, liberal MSNBC host Chris Hayes took to Twitter to make an observation.  From his perspective, he hasn't seen the American center-right coalition as united or energized over any story since Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings (which House Democrats may soon try to re-litigate).  The reason, he suspects, is that conservatives are furious and alarmed by the online mob's ideological bloodlust, which short-circuits fundamental values and virtues:

Native American elder says Covington high school student Nick Sandmann didn't apologize, maybe should be expelled
The Native American elder at the center of the controversial encounter with a group of Kentucky Catholic school students in Washington, D.C. has contradicted and criticized the statement issued by the most prominent teenager featured in the video that generated the media storm.

Covington Catholic diocese sticks to its calumny against its kids
Some new kind of way of molesting the kids?  

What the right should learn from Covington Catholic flap
The usual suspects jumped through the left's hoop as regards the Lincoln Memorial incident.

Busted: The shameful tactics used against the Covington Kids have a long history
The Left was following a script. This was no misunderstanding, it was a plan.

Lawyer for MAGA Hat Teens Threatens Lawsuits Against Media...
Thanks to the sloppy, one-sided reporting of the malicious, agenda-driven media, a group of Catholic high school teenagers and their families have become the subjects of threats and harassment from a hateful online outrage mob. Their only sins? Being white, Catholic, and supporters of the president.

'Black Hebrews' taunt...
 Journalists who uncritically accepted Nathan Phillips' story got this completely wrong.

Jill Hamlin, a mother and one of the chaperones for the Covington Catholic High School boys who were confronted by activists after the March for Life, said the boys were targeted partly because of their red MAGA hats but also because they are white, Christian, and pro-life. 

'Bishop of the Internet': Backlash against CovingtonCatholic students 'literally, Satanic'
The man known informally as “The Bishop of the Internet” used his massive online platform Tuesday to condemn the nationwide response to the incident involving students of a Catholic high school in Kentucky.

Media Lying AGAIN About Covington Kids, Claim They ‘Wore Blackface’ At School Game
After three days of lying about the Catholic kids at Covington High School, it appears that the media is not done lying about them yet. This time a false report about the kids wearing “blackface” at a school basketball game is being circulated as if it is recent.

Big Oil Fuels the Climate Campaign

William Walter Kay BA LL B

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” E. Hoffer (1967)

Big Oil is a driver and beneficiary of the Climate Change campaign.

(“Big Oil” herein refers to eight Western-headquartered multinational oil and gas companies: ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, Eni and Total.)

Big Oil is conflicted about the Climate campaign which, after all, began as a petroleum phase-out initiative. This petroleum phase-out, however, ambles along while the campaign’s coal phase-out sprints forth. The main consequence of the coal phase-out, i.e. the switch from coal-fired to gas-fired electricity generation, has already blessed Big Oil with a trillion dollar windfall; and is only half completed.

Big Oil braces for the petroleum phase-out with investments in bio-fuels, multi-fuel service stations and electric vehicle charging points. Big Oil companies and associations explicitly endorse the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) hypothesis and laud the Paris Climate Agreement. They play crucial roles in promulgating CAGW; and they are the chief lobby compelling implementation of CAGW mitigation policies.

The 1978 US Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Use Act prohibited construction of gas-fired power plants. Natural gas was deemed too precious to squander on generating electricity. Provisions mandating conversion of existing gas-fueled plants to coal were repealed in 1981. The overall Act fell in 1987. Thereafter new power plants were supposed to be coal-convertible; however land set-asides for coal yards went un-imposed.

The Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Use Act escalated the coal-gas feud. (The decade also witnessed an “acid rain” campaign targeting coal-fired electricity.) Between 1978 and 1988 gas’s share of US electrical generation shrank from 14% to 9%. Coal’s share grew from 44% to 57%.

While CAGW indisputably has Franco-German pedigree an American fifth column was not long in forming. DC-based Climate Institute (CI) was the first NGO with “Climate” in its name. CI’s principals (Crispin Tickell, John Topping and Stephen Schneider) are CAGW legends.

CI’s founding 1986 conference and its 1988 North American Conference on Preparing for Climate Change were co-sponsored by the American Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute and several Big Green NGOs. These confabs laid the groundwork for America’s climate campaign.

Fast-forward 30 years: Climate Leadership Council (CLC) launches with a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal (June 20, 2017). CLC fuses Big Oil (ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Total et al) with Big Green (Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and WWF). CLC partners with the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. CLC’s sole aim is a carbon tax which they propose start at $40 a short ton and increase thereafter. CLC’s blueprint won endorsements from the editors of: New York Times, USA Today, Financial Times, Barron’s, Bloomberg and Washington Post.

Back in 2010 the Washington Post revealed BP had given The Nature Conservancy $10 million. This shouldn’t have surprised because:
“…the giant oil company and the world’s largest environmental organisation long ago forged a relationship.”
The article further revealed: a) Conservation International took $2 million from BP and welcomed BP’s CEO onto their board; b) Environmental Defence Fund joined BP and Shell in Partnership in Climate Action; and c) 20 enviro-NGOs and energy firms joined BP’s American Wind and Wildlife Institute.

Like all supermajors, ConocoPhillips funds enviro-partnerships. Their Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation project provides scores of scholarships and bankrolls 12 courses attended by 200 undergrads. ConocoPhillips won the St Andrews Prize for the Environment.

ExxonMobil donates $3 million a year to enviro-groups; far more than they ever gave CAGW sceptics.

After 30 years of Big Oil/Big Green climate collusion US electricity is 32% gas-fired; 30% coal-fired. As 93% of US coal burns for electricity, US coal consumption wallows at a 40-year low.

This coal phase-out sweeps the West. Between 1987 to 2017 coal’s share of OECD electricity generation fell from 43% to 28% while gas’s share rose from 9% to 28%. (Solar and wind sprang from 0 to 10%.)

According to Big Oil, gas displaces coal through fair competition and the “war on coal” is a myth – nonsense. One study compared 6 gas-fired plants with 10 nearby coal-fired plants, all owned by Xcel Energy. The highest cost coal plant produced cheaper electricity than the lowest cost gas plant. Coal is dying from regulatory strangulation.

US electricity purchases (residential, commercial and industrial) total $400 billion a year. Across Europe and the Anglo-sphere electricity fetches $1 trillion a year. This will double by 2040. For hydrocarbon-fired electricity fuel is a major cost. Through Big Oil’s gaming carbon regulations gas could capture 60% of the electricity market. The stakes are humongous!

Pitching carbon taxation globally are groups like We Mean Business – a coalition of 832 companies (including Eni, Total and Equinor) with combined assets of $17 trillion. All members:
“…are committed to the Paris Agreement and its goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 C...”
World Sustainable Development Business Council’s more exclusive membership roster includes: Total, Shell, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil and BP. The Council’s website is a CAGW mitigation collage.

Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) emerged in 2014 with Total as a founder. BP and Shell joined in 2015. ExxonMobil, Chevron, Eni and the state-owned giants joined soon after. OCGI’s several projects have one overarching goal:

“OCGI member companies are dedicated to the ambition of the Paris Agreement to progress toward to net zero emissions in the second half of this century.” OCGI aims to “accelerate low-carbon solutions” (i.e. gas-fired electricity). They have collectively invested $1 billion in methane capture (i.e. research and development on valves and sensors).

The gas lobby is ancient, enormous, consolidated, wealthy and climate savvy.

Founded in 1918, American Gas Association (AGA) promotes natural gas usage and defends the gas industry. From its DC headquarters AGA represents hundreds of firms – climate warriors all:
“Natural gas is an important tool in the suite of greenhouse gas emissions reduction options available to the US. Natural gas will continue to benefit our nation as states move further to reduce carbon dioxide emissions created in electrical power production.”
Natural Gas Supply Association (NSGA) represents 11 large firms (Equinor, Total, BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell et al). NSGA was founded in 1965 to “encourage the use of natural gas.” NGSA’s climate reports recommend: a) improving access to gas fields; b) subsidising gas turbine research and development; and c) increasing carbon capture and storage funding.

NSGA off-shoot, Center for Liquid Natural Gas argues that because gas is climate-friendly, gas exports should increase.

Natural Gas Council is a partnership of 5 associations representing thousands of firms that produce and deliver US gas. Partners include American Petroleum Institute (whose 625 members employ 10 million Americans) and Independent Petroleum Association of America (whose members own 90% of America’s 500,000 gas wells). NGC prepares detailed reports on how much each proposed climate bill might impact gas sales.

Natural Gas Vehicles of America is funded by AGA and firms like Waste Management, Bluebird and UPS that seek incentives to convert their fleets to natural gas. (America’s 165,000 natural gas vehicles are supplied by 2,000 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) outlets. Europe has 3,400 CNG outlets).

These oil and gas associations and companies spend on average $140 million a year lobbying Congress. Their federal campaign contributions average $80 million a year. DC is home to 676 oil and gas lobbyists of whom 432 are former employees of federal agencies and/or congressional offices. Big Oil outspends King Coal by a factor of twelve.

Numerous articles decry gas lobbying at the state level. Gas lobbyists spend $10 million a year in Pennsylvania alone. Legislators describe the pressure as “constant” and the sight of gas lobbyists inside the Capitol building as an “everyday” occurrence.

Meanwhile in Brussels, the gas industry spent $115 million lobbying the EC in 2016. Exxon and Shell each contributed $5 million. Europe’s 1,030 gas lobbyists are spread across 79 PR companies, law firms and think tanks. As in DC, a revolving door separates EC officials from gas lobbyists.

Premium lobbying targets are: EC Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy (Miguel Canate) and EC Vice President for Energy Union (Maros Sefcovic). Between November 2014 and August 2017 gas lobbyists held 460 meetings with these two officials and/or their staff. Canate, a former oil company president, is notably collaborative.

Atop Europe’s gas lobby are the big producers: Gazprom, Shell, Equinor, BP and Total. Their customers are also politicised. These include the European Chemical Industry Council (Dow, BASF, Solvay and INEOS) who use gas as a feedstock for chemical and plastic manufacture. Utilities like EDF, Engie, and Enel also exert pressure; as do turbine manufacturers GE and Siemens. Most visible is GasNaturally – an alliance of 6 associations (Eurogas, Gas Infrastructure Europe, European Gas Research Group, Technical Association of European Natural Gas Industries, International Association of Oil and Gas Production, and Natural and Biogas Vehicle Association).

GasNaturally’s Manifesto of the European Gas Industry (2018) repeatedly references the Paris Agreement. Its core exhortation:
“Deploy natural gas to displace, wherever possible, coal in power generation and heating, while integrating variable renewable electricity.”
The Manifesto calls for research, development and investment into: bio-gas, bio-methane, methane emission reduction, carbon capture and use, and gas-to-hydrogen technology. The Manifesto beseeches policymakers to view Europe’s existing gas network as the backbone of Europe’s future energy system. The Manifesto demands retail fuel stations go multi-fuel. It maintains that switching shipping fuel to LNG lowers emissions 25%. It contends European gas deposits could meet 50% of Europe’s needs for 25 years.

Another key player, European Network for Transmissions Systems Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) eschews the label “lobbyist.” Every two years ENTSOG submits an infrastructure wish list to Brussels hoping some items will be designated Projects of Common Interests (PCI). Projects with PCI status receive legislative, logistical and financial support from various governments. EC’s Connecting Europe Facility annually ladles $1.5 billion to gas and electricity projects unable to attract private investment.

Currently, 77 gas pipelines, hubs and LNG facilities enjoy PCI designation. Ongoing PCIs include gas pipelines connecting: Azerbaijan to Italy; Algeria to Italy; Cyprus to Greece; and France to Spain. Eleven PCIs are LNG terminals. Other PCIs build hubs for an EU-wide gas market.

Gas lobbyists claim European energy security will be assured via: multiple sources of gas; multiple ports of entry; and a pipeline latticework allowing gas to stream throughout the continent.

Europe is being locked into 50 years of dependence on gas imports.

Big Oil sinks $4 billion annually into renewables.

Total’s solar division is 30 years old. In 2004 Total purchased Tenesol – a leading solar panel manufacturer and installer. In 2011 Total spent $1.4 billion buying 60% of California-based PV manufacturer SunPower; which then went on a buying binge of its own. Total owns 25% of PV manufacturer Novacis. Total owns and operates 5 solar farms. In 2016 Total bought specialty battery manufacturer, Saft ($1 billion).

Total began investing in bio-fuels in 1994. Their La Mede refinery produces 500,000 metric tonnes of bio-diesel annually. Since 2008, Total has invested $200 million a year into renewable energy start-ups.

In 2017 BP purchased 43% of Lightsource. The refurbished Lightsource BP is one of Europe’s largest developers and operators of utility scale solar farms. BP’s co-ownership of 11 US wind farms makes BP one of America’s largest wind power producers. BP’s Clean Energy subsidiary extracts bio-gas from municipal waste for use in corporate vehicle fleets. BP’s Brazilian plants distill 776 million litres of ethanol from sugar annually. BP partners with DuPont on a corn-to-butanol venture.

Chevron owns 2 solar farms and co-owns 5. They also own a wind farm and a geo-thermal project. Chevron, a bio-diesel distributor, is planning a cellulose bio-fuel venture with forestry giant Weyerhaeuser. Chevron also invests in solar-to-steam enhanced oil recovery technology.

In 2009 ExxonMobil invested $600 million in algae-derived bio-fuels. Despite setbacks ExxonMobil’s recent literature indicates a continued commitment to algae. Shell has a multi-billion dollar commitment to wind and biofuels.

Equinor owns several off-shore wind farms.

Big Oil is ahead of the curve regarding what could be the climate campaign’s greatest coup: electric vehicles (EVs). (EV refers to fully electric and hybrid vehicles.)

Annual global EV sales surpassed 1 million in 2017. Toyota will soon offer 10 EV models. By 2040 annual EV sales may hit 60 million.

BP predicts that 85% of the world’s 300 million EVs in 2040 will be hybrids. Given a projected increase in the overall number of cars, oil sales will continue to rise, although oil’s share of the fuel market will fall.

BP is equipping its 18,300 retail stations with EV chargers and is marshaling a fleet of mobile chargers.

Total recently purchased G2 Mobility – a pioneering EV charging station provider. Financed by the French government, G2 situated its 10,000 charging points mostly alongside municipal government buildings.

France installed 11,000 EV charging points last year; Germany: 4,000.

European energy firms used their renewable investments to capture solar and wind power associations; steering them to a pro-gas stance.

Pre-2012 European Wind Energy Association’s (EWEA) 19 directors mostly represented national wind associations. Post-2012 fifteen directors represented manufacturers and utilities, including several gas-involved firms (Iberdrola, EDF and Enel). EWEA’s public dreams of a 100% renewable Europe dissipated in 2013. EWEA dropped demands for binding commitments and lowered its 2030 renewable goals to 30%. In 2016 EWEA rebranded as Wind Europe.

In 2013 Total execs became President and VP of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). By 2015 five of EPIA’s eight directors represented energy and chemical firms. EPIA rebranded as Solar Power Europe (SPE), purged staff, and dropped demands for high and binding renewable targets. SPE negotiators received orders from their President to declare gas-plus-renewables to be Europe’s saviour. SPE’s current boss (a former director of a gas-boosting PR firm) champions an SPE-Wind Europe-GasNaturally common front with one aim: kill coal.

Global Climate Coalition (GCC) formed in 1989 as a common front for firms, especially oil supermajors, nervous about the Climate agenda. Rumours of defections soon swirled. In 1994 Shell’s new chairman began preparing for CAGW endorsement and BP launched an Alternative Energy Division with solar power and gas-fired power departments. BP bailed from GCC in 1996 and months later declared CAGW a crisis. Shell embraced CAGW in 1997 and left GCC in 1998. Texaco split in 2000, announcing investments in geothermal. GCC was pronounced dead in 2002. The last major standing was ExxonMobil.

Greenpeace claims ExxonMobil, between 1998 and 2014, donated $31 million to 69 groups to spread “climate misinformation.” Greenpeace treats all ExxonMobil contributions to pro-market think tanks as climate sceptic funding. Only a small fraction of those contributions went to climate scepticism. Sceptic fortress, Heartland Institute, received $650,000 from ExxonMobil over 18 years.

Lee Raymond ran Exxon from the mid-1990s to 2005 when Rex Tillerson replaced him. Raymond, a climate sceptic, faced relentless pressure from activist shareholders (led by Catholic Orders and Rockefellers) to endorse CAGW. Tillerson caved in 2007 and reigned in sceptic funding. In 2010 ExxonMobil pulled funds from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics where sceptic Willie Soon had found a podium.

At a recent meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Heartland Institute proposed a resolution calling on the EPA to withdraw its CO2 endangerment finding. ExxonMobil led the opposition to Heartland’s proposal.

ExxonMobil’s Energy and Carbon Summary (2018): Positioning for a Low-Carbon Economy promotes carbon taxation and the Paris Agreement.

Two ancillary Big Oil climate rackets involve fugitive methane and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Methane is a greenhouse gas and a commodity. To any other merchants “fugitive emissions” would be called “spillage.” Firms should not need incentives to reduce spillage, yet this is what Big Oil’s climate activism achieves. Big Oil is “doing well by doing good.” In Chevron’s words:
“It is in Chevron’s business interest to minimise fugitive methane and to maximise the volume of natural gas that we commercialise.”
CCS consists of pumping CO2 underground. Pumping CO2 into oil reservoirs enhances oil recovery. Through climate activism Big Oil again wins subsidies and tax-breaks to engage in profit enhancing activity.

Gas propaganda stress four points:
1. Gas-fired power plants start and stop quickly hence provide optimal back-up for intermittent renewables;
2. Natural gas vehicles and power plants can burn bio-methane from municipal and agricultural waste;
3. Natural gas vehicles emit 20% less CO2 per kilometer than gasoline vehicles; and
4. Gas-fired electricity emits 50% less CO2 per kilowatt than coal-fired electricity.
Natural gas’s climate creds are bogus. According to the IPCC natural gas (CH4, methane) is 84 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. The EPA claims it is 25 times more potent. Enviro-activists claim CH4 is 100 times worse than CO2; hence gas is “as dangerous for the climate as coal, if not more.”

Methane escapes into the atmosphere at every stage of the gas supply chain: drill holes, pipelines, ships, terminals, turbines, boilers and stoves. A 3% leakage from drill to turbine overwhelms whatever “global warming potential” reductions might accrue from replacing coal with gas.

Furthermore, the gas-wind-solar lobby also drives the nuclear phase-out whereby high-emissions electricity replaces zero-emissions electricity.

Welcome to Theatre of the Absurd’s – The CAGW Saga.

Plot synopsis:

A crusade arises from manufactured hysteria over excessive greenhouse gas emissions.

Crusaders vilify Big Oil as the source of atmosphere-polluting emissions and culture-polluting misinformation.

Big Oil surreptitiously usurps leadership of the crusade; transforming it into a gas-wind-solar behemoth destined to monopolize electrical generation. Streets fill with furious youth determined to slay Big Oil by demanding implementation of an agenda crafted by Big Oil.

The crusade’s triumph increases greenhouse gas emissions.

SOURCE



Banarjee, Neela. How Big Oil Lost Control of its Climate Misinformation Machine; Inside Climate News, December 22, 2017.


Bayanya, Belen; Sabido, Pascoe. The Great Gas Lock-In; Corporate European Observatory, October, 2017.


Browne, John. Oil and Gas Companies Will Lead the Revolution; Bloomberg, July 10, 2018.


Bryce, Robert. Ban Natural Gas!, No Ban Coal! National Review, June 11, 2012.


Center for Liquid Natural Gas



Congressional Quarterly Almanac 1987, Fuel Use Act Repealed




Chapman, Ben. Gas Companies Spend E104m lobbying to ensure Europe remains ‘locked in’ to fossil fuels for decades; Independent, October 31, 2017.


Climate Alert Fall 1988


Climate Leadership Council


Couloumbus, Angela. Natural Gas Drillers spent more than $60 ml to woo PA. Legislators; The Philadelphia Inquirer; October 1, 2017.





EPA. Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 1990-2015 – Executive Summary, 2017.


Connecting Europe Facility

https://ec.europa.eu/inea/connecting-europe-facility/cef-energyhttps://corporate.exxonmobil.com/


Greener Ideal Staff. Countries with the Most Electric Charging Points; December 21, 2017



Lehr, Ron. Utility Financial Transition Impacts: From Fossil to Clean; Energy Innovation, December 2018.


Moody-Stuart, Mark. Society Depends on More for Less; BBC, February 4, 2008.




Natural Gas Vehicles Association of America



Neslen, Arthur. Fossil fuel firms accused of renewable lobby takeover to push gas; the Guardian, January 22, 2015.



Open Secrets.Org. Coal 2018; Center for Responsive Politics 2018. Note campaign contributions separate from lobbying.


Open Secrets.Org. Oil and Gas 2018; Center for Responsive Politics, 2018.


Pullella, Philip. Pope Warns Energy Bosses of Global Destruction without Fuel Shift; Reuters June 9, 2018.


Sabido, Pascoe. Gas Lobby Keeps Europe Hooked on Fossil Fuels; EURACTIV.COM Ltd, November 2, 2017.



Stephens, Joe. Nature Conservancy faces Potential Backlash for Ties with BP; Washington Post, May 5, 2010


Tiki-Toki - Oil and Gas Companies Activities with Relation To Climate Change Timeline




How Many Elephants in the Room?

January 22, 2019 By Christopher Chantrill

What do you think? I’d say that -- with the Mueller dump on Buzzfeed’s “bombshell,” the Friday night NYT piece telling us that the FBI had no evidence when it decided to investigate President Trump after he fired James Comey, and Bruce Ohr’s leaked testimony that the DoJ, etc., didn’t have any actual evidence in 2016 on Trumpian collusion, and with the wink that the Mueller report will be “anti-climactic” -- the Deep State is signaling that there is no there there as regards Trump Russia.

So that leaves us with the simple fact, as I blogged last week, that:
The Obama administration spied on the opposition presidential campaign.
If you are a liberal-lefty picking daisy petals in your comfortable media walled garden, you should be noticing about now the uncomfortable fact that something outside the wall -- an elephant maybe -- is bumping around and may knock the garden wall down.

Stop picking petals! In 2016, the Obama administration sicced the FBI and DCI on the opposition! Cue the Drudge siren! The elephant is right there in the room!...........To Read More....

 

The Democrats Own the Shutdown

January 22, 2019 By William Sullivan

Chuck Schumer may well have been pleased when President Trump signified his willingness to shut down the government to advance border security to fulfill his most politically charged campaign promise. Even some conservative pundits were aghast at Trump’s audacity in making such a proclamation, because, as everyone knows, Americans hate government shutdowns.

But Schumer and company don’t really hate government shutdowns. In fact, back in November, Schumer threatened to shut down the federal government over his demand that the Mueller investigation be protected by Congress after the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“If [Trump’s interim Attorney General] Whitaker does not recuse himself,” wrote Michele Blood at LifeZette on November 11, “Schumer said he would attach a demand for Whitaker’s non-interference to “must pass” legislation such as the spending bill -- then risking another shutdown.”

Where were all the headlines about Schumer’s desire to shut down the government to protect Mueller’s investigation? To say that they were few and far between would be unjustifiably generous to the media. ............... Read more

The Democrats' Nomination Contest Promises Great Fun for Conservatives

January 22, 2019 By Taylor Lewis

This may be the election cycle where we watch identity politics destroy itself live on stage. It'll be the greatest show on earth. With multiple declared candidates, the 2020 election season is now underway. And there couldn't be more hype for the forthcoming Democratic primaries, which will feature candidates with plenty of flaws trying desperately to prove their woke credentials.

Orville Redenbacher better start paying his employees overtime because our nation is about to experience an unprecedented demand for popcorn. And it’s not because Super Bowl LIII is just around the corner. Something far more entertaining and brutal than adult men crashing into each other at full-running speed during a kickoff is approaching.

I’m referring to the upcoming Democratic Party primaries that will determine who will be President Trump’s electoral opponent. The political contest promises to be the biggest television spectacle since the first season of “Survivor.” And, if Providence is pleased enough, the competition should prove to be more cutthroat than Brutus and Mark Antony fighting for control of Rome after Caesar’s death...........To Read More.....

The Left vs. Logic

January 22, 2019 By Deana Chadwell

More and more any foray into the news feels like a trip to Bedlam – rational thought is nowhere to be found; the inmates are screeching inanities, drooling at the mouth, and throwing excrement at anyone who dares to speak truth, at anyone who even dares to say the word “truth.” It’s not fair, however, to point out your opponents’ faults without some backup. So allow me. Ravi Zacharias, world-famous Christian apologist and philosopher, addresses the issue of truth by breaking it down into three requirements:
  • Logical consistency
  • Empirical adequacy
  • Experiential relevance
Those are a good place to start, but they need some elaboration.  So, what is logical consistency? 

Loosely speaking, it means that the argument makes sense -- like so many left-wing ideas don’t. Note the mess the rabid feminists are in having become bedfellows with the transgender crowd; now women have to compete with men pretending to be women. They have to compete in wrestling matches, soccer games, track meets. Women are not only being robbed of the chance to win, but are also likely to get hurt. But the feminazis are not walking away from their bad bargain, and so far they don’t seem to notice the even worse covenant they’ve made sidling up to Muslim activists, who will eventually see to it that as many American women as possible will be raped, mutilated, and beaten...............Read more

Depose the Deep State or a Wall Is Meaningless

By | January 21st, 2019|14 Comments

Last week in the Russian collusion saga, we learned that the FBI opened an investigation into the president because

Last week in the Russian collusion saga, we learned that the FBI opened an investigation into the president because it disagreed with him on a matter of foreign policy.  Yes, the agency first formed to catch people who crossed state lines with white women to have sex—and that now keeps secret files on UFOs—surmised in the aftermath of the 2016 election that Donald Trump might be an agent of the Kremlin because he favored diplomatic rapprochement............. To Read More....
 

Kamala Harris's Identity Ticket

January 22, 2019 By Jonathan F. Keiler

Now that first-term Senator Kamala Harris has formally announced for the presidency in 2020, she has to be considered the odds-on favorite to win the Democrat nomination. This stems not from anything in Harris’s relatively slight résumé, other than her “identity” and a hard-left stand on most issues. Harris checks almost all the critical boxes. Barring a particularly toxic skeleton in the closet or a major campaign error, she will likely end up President Trump’s opponent in 2020.

Harris identifies as both an African-American (her father is Jamaican) and Indian-American (her mother hails from the subcontinent.) Being half Native American and gay would be a bit better, but among the current crop of possible Democrat candidates, none identify better as far as Democrats are concerned.

A couple decades ago, making a solid prediction on nothing more than identity would have be laughable, but not anymore. Identity is clearly the first consideration in the Democrat nominating process, something made abundantly clear by the positions and problems of the announced candidates that preceded Harris, those considering a run, and those that might.............. Read more

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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Thought For the Day

The Green New Deal Is a Dangerous Fantasy

January 21, 2019 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

If nothing else, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gives me a lot to write about…and to laugh about.

I recently pontificated about her crazy idea to impose a top tax rate of 70 percent, which would reverse the very successful experiment we had in the 1980s (and presumably have a reverse effect on revenue as well).

Today, let’s look at the spending side of the fiscal equation.
AOC, as she is known, wants a dramatic increase in the burden of federal spending for her so-called “green new deal.”
Let’s examine the implications.

We’ll start with a supporter. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has a giant carbon footprint compared to the average person, but that naturally doesn’t stop him from endorsing policies that would put AOC’s onerous burdens on the less fortunate.
Barack Obama picked up the theme and made a Green New Deal part of his 2008 platform, but the idea just never took off. So I’m excited that the new Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others have put forward their own takes on a Green New Deal… The goal is a ‘detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan’ to rapidly transition the country away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy, such as a solar, wind, and electric cars.” The Green New Deal that Ocasio-Cortez has laid out aspires to power the U.S. economy with 100 percent renewable energy within 12 years and calls for “a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one,” “basic income programs” and “universal health care,” financed, at least in part, by higher taxes on the wealthy. …it is time for the green movement to think big and make big demands…a portion of every dollar raised by a carbon tax in a Green New Deal would be invested in two new community colleges and high-speed broadband in rural areas of every state.
Now let’s look at the implications of such policies.
But before looking at fiscal and economic considerations, let’s briefly detour to ideology.
Jonah Goldberg of National Review has some fun examining the philosophical forerunners of Ocasio-Cortez’s plan.
…the Green New Deal…is a triumph of recycling. Not of plastic bags or soda cans, but of ideas. Specifically, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and the impulses behind it. To her credit, Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) is fairly honest about her ideological recycling. …the New Deal itself was largely about war mobilization — without war. Roosevelt campaigned for president promising to adapt Woodrow Wilson’s wartime industrial policies to fight the Great Depression. …Nearly the entire structure of the New Deal was copied from Wilson’s “war socialism.” The National Recovery Administration was modeled on the War Industries Board. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was an update of Wilson’s War Finance Corporation. …breaking discipline was a punishable offense, which is why a tailor, Jacob Maged, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for charging too little to press a suit. …American liberalism has been recycling the same basic idea: The country needs to be unified and organized as if we are at war… The attraction stems from what John Dewey called “the social possibilities of war” — the ability to reorganize and unify society according to the schemes of planners and experts.
Gee, another New Deal. What could possibly go wrong?
Now let’s contemplate the practical implications.
We’ll start with Warren Henry’s article in the Federalist.
…the darling of democratic socialism proposed eliminating carbon emissions within 12 years. …The “Frequently Asked Questions” section accompanying her draft resolution claims it could be funded in the “same ways that we paid for the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs, the same ways we paid for World War II and many other wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments, new public banks can be created (as in WWII) to extend credit and a combination of various taxation tools (including taxes on carbon and other emissions and progressive wealth taxes) can be employed.” …Ocasio-Cortez now falls back on the comforting myth that everything is affordable by soaking the rich with higher income taxes. …Ocasio-Cortez half-concedes her plan is a fantasy… For an idea of how detached Ocasio-Cortez is from reality, consider that we get only 17 percent of our energy from renewables. …even if the golden geese of capitalism were to continue laying eggs in Ocasio-Cortez’s command-and-control economy, there will not be enough to make her statist omelet. Even if Ocasio-Cortez’s fever dream were technologically feasible, the burden of funding it would land on the middle class as well as the uber-wealthy. …This is not the first time Ocasio-Cortez has tried to pass off a fairy tale as a white paper. She recently claimed the $32 trillion cost of a Medicare-for-all plan could be funded by curbing fraud at the Pentagon. Not even PolitiFact could make that math work, given that our nation has not spent $32 trillion on defense since its founding.
In an article for FEE, Jarrett Stepman looks at the economics of AOC’s plan.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the avowed “democratic socialist” went with the predictable “tax the rich” formula in order to pay for a massive government program to combat climate change. …such a scheme would mean that her constituents in New York City would pay a max income tax rate of 82.6 percent… Perhaps New Yorkers deserve what they voted for, but does the country? …the tax hikes on the rich would be one of the least radical parts of the agenda. …moving the economy away from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy will come “at a cost of about $5.2 trillion over 20 years.” …this deal would instead rely on the ruthless bludgeoning of private industry and citizens through the levers of the state. …the plan calls for direct government intervention to be its “prime driver.” …The Green New Deal doesn’t just include environmentalist proposals… Among the liberal wish list items included, the Green New Deal contains a proposal for universal health care and a basic minimum income program to make up for all the jobs lost…this will all come with an immense cost. …How do Green New Deal proponents propose to pay for this extreme growth in government? …by massively hiking taxes and then borrowing and ultimately printing money. Then it would use public banks run by unaccountable bureaucrats to carry the whole thing out. …an American version of a Soviet-style five-year plan focused on command-and-control economic solutions that have proven to fail the world over. …The agony of a collapsing Venezuela…is a stark example of how badly this can end.
Milton Ezrati’s column in the City Journal further debunks AOC’s numbers.
…specific goals…include, among other things, expanding renewable-energy sources until they provide 100 percent of the nation’s power…upgrading every residence and industrial building in the U.S. for energy efficiency…eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions for industry and agriculture; funding “massive” investments… Ocasio-Cortez adds a long list of social objectives: providing training and education for the energy transition, including “job guarantees at a living wage for everyone who wants one”; …mitigating racial, regional, and gender-based inequalities; developing universal health-care and income-support programs… there were some 136 million housing units in the United States. Upgrading each unit to high standards of energy efficiency would cost, conservatively, at least $10,000 per home, adding up to a total cost of $1.3 trillion. Doing the same for industrial structures would easily exceed that amount. The single-payer health-care part would cost another $3 trillion or more, annually. Stabilizing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would add another $1 trillion to $2 trillion to the price tag—and all these still only account for three items on AOC’s list. …she would rely on debt, “printing money,” and government willingness to take an equity stake in some of the enterprises involved.
The bottom line is Ocasio-Cortez wants to dramatically expand the size and scope of government.
Some of her ideas would involve big increases in red tape, especially for the green parts of the Green New Deal (thus underscoring why it is rather naive for anyone to think the left would accept less regulation in exchange for a carbon tax).

But since I’m a fiscal policy person, I’m naturally concerned about what her grandiose plan would mean for the tax and spending burden.

Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute has used public sources to estimate the price tag. Here’s the new spending that AOC and her fellow travelers want to impose on the economy.


And below we have a menu of potential tax increases.
There are two things to realize.

  • First, even if every single one of the tax increases is adopted, it doesn’t come close to paying for AOC’s wish list for new spending.
  • Second, the big revenue sources (payroll taxes, VAT, income tax) are largely taxes on lower-income and middle-class taxpayers.
In other words, politicians talk big about screwing the rich, but the rest of us will be picking up the tab.


By the way, I can’t resist commenting on this second table. I realize Brian is merely following the tradition of budget scorekeepers at the JCT and CBO, but new revenues should not be categorized as “savings.” I would go with “grabbings” or “takings” instead.

Brian’s rhetorical sin doesn’t qualify him for the Bob Dole Award or the Charlie Brown Award, but surely there should be some consequences. Maybe we’ll create a Libertarian Re-education Camp and miscreants will be forced to listen to lectures from Dork 1, Dork 2, and Dork 3?

Unreal: 25% of all deaths in Netherlands by forms of euthanasia and suicide

Ed Morrissey January 21, 2019

When the Netherlands embraced euthanasia, along with other European countries, it claimed that it allowed for compassionate ends to lives already doomed to a suffering end. Critics warned that it would not only go far beyond the supposedly limited scope of assisted suicides, it would also create a culture of death in which suicide for any reason would become socially acceptable and perhaps even expected. The Guardian did an in-depth look at the Netherlands death statistics in 2017, ten years after the definition of "unbearable suffering" was made more ambiguous, and found that " more than a quarter "of all deaths in the country were either suicides, assisted suicides, or "terminal sedation."

Has Euthanasia Gone Too Far? asked the Guardian. The clear answer is a resounding yes, emphasis mine:.........To Read More.....

Ocasio-Cortez on Millennials: ‘We’re Like the World Is Going to End in 12 Years if We Don’t Address Climate Change’

‘At some point these chronic realities do reach a breaking point’

Jan 21, 2019 By Tom Elliott

RUSH EXCERPT:

OCASIO-CORTEZ: “And I think the part of it that is generational is that millennials and people, in gen z, and all these folks that come after us are looking up and we’re like, the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.

You’re biggest issue, your biggest issue is how are going to pay for it? — and like this is the war, this is our world war II. And I think for younger people looking at this are more like, how are we saying let’s take it easy when 3000 Americans died last year, how are we saying let’s take it easy when the end person died from our cruel and unjust criminal justice system?

How are we saying take it easy, the America that we’re living in today is dystopian with people sleeping in their cars so they can work a second job without healthcare and we’re told to settle down. It’s a fundamental separation between that fierce urgency of now, the why we can’t wait that King spoke of.

That at some point this chronic reality do reach a breaking point and I think for our generation it reached that, I wished I didn’t have to be doing every post, but sometimes I just feel like people aren’t being held accountable. Until, we start pitching in and holding people accountable, I’m just gonna let them have it.”  This appeared here.

My Take - Nitwit babble!  A gift that keeps on giving, as are all members of the Club For the Galacticly Stupid.