June 03, 2010

Morning Bell: Obama & the Oil Spill~ using to push economy destroying climate legislation


Morning Bell

Obama and the Oil Spill

The infamous words "a crisis is a terrible thing to waste" were first uttered by President Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel last year, when he laid bare his intention to use the credit crisis to reorder the U.S. economy. It now seems to animate the President's own intention to introduce economy-crushing climate legislation on the back of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, while somehow blaming Republicans and, yes, the Bush Administration for what may be the worst environmental disaster in the history of our nation.

Meanwhile nearly 48 miles out in the Gulf, and a mile below the surface, oil continues to gush out the sea floor every second, threatening the environment and the economy of the southeast United States. Hope is fading that the oil flow can be stopped in any short order. Roughly 1,200 miles away, confusion over command and control continues to build in Washington, where the White House debates cancelling official trips to Asia, but not unofficial trips to Chicago.

What the nation needs is better organization of the effort to cap the spewing well and aggressive action on the clean up front. But yesterday, the President didn't go on the offensive against the gushing oil; he went after Republicans.

Obama suggested that the GOP's deregulatory attitudes were the core problem faced in the Gulf. Obama said congressional Republicans have a "sincere and fundamental belief" that government has "little or no role to play in help this nation meet our collective challenges…If you're a Wall Street banker or insurance company or oil company, you pretty much get to play by your own rules, regardless of the consequences to everyone else."

Actually, in the case of the BP oil spill, the involved parties—the companies and regulators—did not uphold their responsibilities to ensure safe operations or to adequately prepare for a worse-case scenario. But this failure was likely not the result of insufficient regulatory quantity: Getting a lease to drill offshore is already an onerous regulatory process, and once drilling operations commence, the lessee is subjected to constant monitoring and inspection.

It was more likely the case that the current regulatory regime confuses responsibilities, undermines incentives for market-based safety solutions, and creates conflicts of interests between the regulator and those being regulated.

The opportunity the President sees here is to pass economy-crushing global warming legislation. The Heritage Foundation and most conservatives don't see diversifying our energy supply as a problem, but do see a problem when it cripples the economy and imposes top-down, Big Government mandates and restrictions which produce worse results.

Moreover, global warming legislation would do nothing to improve cleanup and very little to prevent future spills, but would distract from the very efforts to cleanup and stop the oil that must be top priority now, not to mention raise energy costs for families and kill much needed jobs. In Louisiana itself, the effect of the Waxman-Markey global warming bill would mean a loss of over 15,000 jobs, gas price hikes and skyrocketing consumer electricity rates. Subsidizing experimental energy sources doesn't become more attractive merely because oil pollutes our waters; and the problems they carry should be fully debated, not crammed through as a way to vindicate the President's command and control agenda.

And pretending that our economy can survive without a commitment to safe oil operations is naïve at best. It is binary: If we don't drill, we import. And if we don't open drilling to easier sources such as onshore deposits and shale, we limit ourselves to riskier exploration a mile below the ocean floor. Despite the president's assertions at his press conference earlier this week, billions of barrels of "easily accessible" oil have been turned into "impossible to access" oil by federal regulations and moratoria - including the President's own actions - that block any access.

What the President should do is examine the red tape that may have contributed to the failure to contain the environmental disaster. Were there missed opportunities to burn off more of the leaking oil because of overblown air pollution standards? What were the holdups in the use of dispersants? Did federal permitting delays stop Louisiana from creating the artificial barriers it needed? The answers to these questions appear to be yes, and that responsibility lies with the President. He and his team should make it top priority to waive any regulatory barriers that continue to slow cleanup and recovery efforts.

We agree with Obama—the buck stops with the president. The Deepwater Horizon platform sat on federal waters and was under federal jurisdiction. It is the responsibility of the federal government to ensure that the leased space is not a threat to public health or safety. And it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the clean up efforts in the Gulf are appropriately managed. Coordinating the best experts in the world (outside Hollywood film directors) to work with BP to stop the leak is priority #1.

Coordinating the cleanup is equally imperative so that our ecosystems, wildlife, economy and industries can experience as little disruption as possible. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizes the president to oversee the cleanup efforts of the responsible parties, and offshore this duty falls to the U.S. Coast Guard. Yet, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal had to lobby the White House for weeks to get engaged on this front.

Make no mistake, the actions of BP should be reviewed, but not simply by a criminal investigation designed for show. BP has a spotty safety record that needs to be examined. The company needs to account for any warning signs that may have been missed, and whether a corporate culture that focused on "Beyond Petroleum" contributed to the neglect of oil and gas operations.

The Obama administration's resort to criminal investigation and possible prosecution of BP is not only premature, it is predictable. In the wake of accusations that Obama has failed to take decisive action, his administration is taking the path of "nothing shows that you are 'doing something' like prosecuting someone."

It is possible that criminal wrongdoing occurred, but the current approach—one that all but announces that criminal charges will be brought and then seeks to identify the crime and who will be designated as criminal—undermines the criminal justice system and Americans' respect for the law. Whenever high-ranking law enforcement officials select their targets in this manner, it evokes disturbing echoes of a statement one Harvard law professor recently attributed to the head of Stalin's secret police, Lavrenti Beria: "Show me the man, and I'll find you the crime."

BP is financially responsible. BP has unlimited responsibility for the cleanup. It also must pay liability damages. That price tag will likely be higher than the $75 million cap, and could be higher than the additional $1 billion provided through the Oil Liability Trust Fund. BP has said it will pay beyond the $75 million cap, but lawmakers are understandably skeptical. Creating a contract with BP for these damages would make sense. What would not make sense is using this as an opportunity to raise gas prices for Americans with increased oil taxes, thereby shifting the costs of the spill to the consumer.

It's time for President Obama to exert leadership. If this is his top priority, he must prove it with actions, not rhetoric. President Obama instinctively leans toward an activist government except when every so often he hesitates. Ironically, it is these moments that tend to be the precise times when the federal government's role is most justified, whether that be border security, the war on terror, ceding sovereignty to multilateral organizations, or now in the Gulf. The federal government has a role in the Gulf, and it's time for the president to articulate it to the American people.

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Guest Blogger: David Holt on the Costs of a Drilling Moratorium

Government Unions vs Taxpayers

Race to the Top: Some States Choose Educational Liberty over Temporary Government Safety

A Loss for the FEC, A Victory for the First Amendment

Side Effects: Obamacare Creates a Costly Drop in Employer Health Coverage


Obama administration officials said Wednesday they consider Israel's blockade of Gaza to be untenable.

The New York Times reports that data used to Obama administration to justify health savings claims "can be shaky."

According to Gallup, the nation's underemployment rate rose to 19.1% in May.

Colorado Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff confirmed Wednesday that Jim Messina, President Obama's deputy chief of staff, offered him three jobs if he dropped his plans to run for Senate.

The Mexican government is opening a satellite consular office on Catalina Island to provide the island's illegal Mexican immigrants with identification cards.

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Help Broadcast the FairTax National TV Program |Help bring Manufacturing Employment back to the USA


Visit FairTax.org!
 Update My Preferences  |  Tell-A-Friend  |  Visit FairTax.org  

Dear R. George,
I want to share with you, as one of the supporters of the FairTax, an opportunity we have to advance our cause a great deal. A group of supporters with substantial assets has agreed to produce a 30 minute television program on the FairTax, and to put this program on television throughout the United States!

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This film can also be streamed throughout the United States via Google and your own FairTax.org website. It can be posted on YouTube so you and I as well as hundreds of thousands of fellow FairTax supporters will be able to simply and easily email the link to everyone in our address books. There will also be a 5 minute condensed version, to allow Americans everywhere to learn enough about your FairTax Bill in Congress to sign the Petition and become involved.

The group of FairTax supporters producing the FairTax television program has funded the entire cost of its production. They have done so on the basis of my promise, hereby fulfilled, that I will ask our supporters to invest with them. To encourage your investment, and to further strengthen our movement, they have agreed to match every dollar we invest. That means we can double our investment right now. If we can raise $100,000 they will match it with another $100,000 and all of these funds will be devoted to delivering your FairTax television program to the American people.

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Your FairTax television program not only calls for action, but it is educational. It explains the damage the income tax, capital gains tax, death tax, minimum alternative tax, tax on small and large businesses, tax on social security, pensions and funds withdrawn from IRA , defined benefit and other deferred taxation investment create for our entire economy and global competitiveness.

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I know you want to do everything you can for your FairTax cause—and the cause is no less than creating the greatest transfer of power from the politicians and the political elite to the American people we have experienced since the Declaration of Independence!

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National FairTax Victory Campaign

P. S. Never before have we had an opportunity like this to raise FairTax awareness so much, so fast with such a small investment please act now. Thank you. Ken.


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MI-Skoops Blog~"Just Cut Taxes: Heaven to Follow" |Skoop, U need to read about Fairtax

Skoop's Blog

If only it was that simple.
Cut taxes and the economy in Michigan will sprout.
For years the state and national GOP have been the one-note party
when it comes to taxes. They are not only against taxes, they think if
you cut them Michigan's record busting jobless rate would subside like
the evening tide on Lake Michigan.
Cut taxes is a nifty campaign slogan that can help the GOP win
elections, but peal back that slogan and a harsh reality stares you in
the face....
My comment:
Surely the depth we can see is much greater.  We speak to the tax cuts of the past like they were substantial.  The reality is Michigan is near the highest product producing taxing entity in the world, as is the USA.  As to cutting taxes, that is a needed reality, but the cutting of taxes for jobs is in how we tax , not how much per say.
If we cut the tax out on income, personal property and Business, we will lower the cost of manufacturing substantially and become the most attractive State in the USA to manufacture, without unique workforce of Michiganders.  If we do it at the Federal level, we will get back many of the jobs that we have lost to imports over the past 30 years due to product taxation handicap, through putting the taxes on consumption only.
It's time for those who wish to lead this dying State to put the words of healing to work and get it done.  It is time to support these words, 'Michigan and USA FairTax please!'
By the way   the big bubble of tax revenue from the stockmarket scam in which people cashed in created a huge surplus of tax in Michigan at the time Engler was leaving office.  He also created a few extra departments we did not need and still don't.  Pare back what we the people should be doing for ourselves and stop being a nanny, Michigan Government.

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Brian Donegan hopes to help Joe Miller too!

From: akprayingmom
Subject: Brian Donegan hopes to help Joe Miller too!
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 01:50:25 -0500

As in Iowa and several other states with stalwart and sagacious candidates like Bob Vander Plaats, Brian Donegan of Can-Do Conservatives "sees his way clear" to coming to campaign for Joe Miller and help Joe get to the US Senate to fight for ALL Americans! Please pray and pass along this message: 

Brian Donegan hopes to come to Alaska to speak in at least four campaign rallies for Joe Miller in July. He needs your help to pay for travel expenses. Would you be willing to donate Alaska Airline Miles and/or cash for travel expenses and incidental needs, such as meals, for these events?

If you would like to give, transfer, or buy Alaska Air Miles please do so as soon as possible. If you are willing and able, please consider purchasing/transfering/gifting all or part on Brian's  ticket to Alaska to mileage plan number 113354382.

You can donate cash for this event by Paypal

Or mail a check to:
Brian Donegan for Joe Miller Fund
8690 E Highlands Circle, Palmer AK 99645

Make checks payable to:
Gary Walker/memo: Brian Donegan

This event fundraiser is paid for by private citizens and is not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

Subject: "Stormy Night in Ottumwa"  (Brief report on Bob's Bridge View Event)
Date: June 2, 2010 7:20:54 PM CDT

Short Report on the Ottumwa "Get Out the Vote Rally".....

Below letter:
Photo 1 and 2.....Part of the crowd as they listen to Bob
Photo 3................Brian Donegan and Bob visit in front of Brian's new
banner after the event.

After weeks of planning and preparation for the "Bridge View Center" event
-it all came down to a race against the weather.  It appeared we might have
the upper hand up until about 1 hour before it was to start and the bottom
fell out.  

The skies begin to darken and the clouds swirl with the media announcing
severe thunderstorms, wind, hail and possible tornados moving our direction.
At about 6:45 PM the rain cut loose and I figured at that point - a dozen
people would be the best we could expect. Some were caught with no umbrellas
and came in pretty soaked. It only got worse as 7 PM neared, but to my
surprise people kept on coming.

We ended up with about 130 people and a tremendous event. Had the weather
been normal, I imagine the 130 number would have been at least doubled if
not a little more than that.  

Bob was on fire like I have not seen in the past and spoke much longer than
normal.  He then took a number of questions. Some commented they wished this
event had been video taped because it was so powerful.

Brian Donegan of "Can Do Conservatives" was also at the event all the way
from Lawrenceville, Georgia.  Brian is legally blind and was born with a
number of birth defects. Yet, he has been able to "see" clear from Georgia
that Iowa has a candidate in this race the whole nation should have their
eye on, and traveled nearly 900 miles to help Bob do the job.  As he
says..."Even a blind man can see this!"

He was delighted to have the opportunity of introducing Bob last night.
Many yard signs were given out at the end of the event along with literature
and bumper stickers.  One thing I noticed at the close of this event is the
high number of people wanting to donate financially to Bob's campaign. With
only a week left, I think people are finally coming to the realization that
this is serious and Iowan's may not have another opportunity in years to
nominate a person like Bob Vander Plaats. People like Bob are extremely
rare, especially in the political arena.

Below is a link to a story that appeared in the Ottumwa Courier today.
Also, the attachments above are a few photos from last night.

Remember all 5 of the Chuck Norris events planned for this weekend. For more
details, go to www.bobvp.com

Only a few days remain, don't forget to vote on June 8 (or before) at the
Court House and try to think of at least 5 people you can call and encourage
them to do the same. I believe Bob is within striking distance and your
extra effort may be what puts him over the top.  

Bob has two TV commercials running right now that are extremely good. Many
Democrats have called to announce they are switching over to vote for Bob in
this primary. Sometimes, all people need is a reminder or a little
encouragement. They shouldn't, but they do. If only HALF of the Iowan's who
profess Christianity as their "faith" would get out and vote for Bob, he
would win in a landslide. 

Brian Donegan can barely see. He can't drive a car. I helped him tie his tie
before the rally last night. I helped him fill his plate at a buffet at noon
today. At 27 years of age he has a number of disabilities (and pain) none of
us even consider, yet he has been out putting up signs, door knocking,
making calls and speaking to total strangers on Bob's behalf - and he
doesn't even live in Iowa. What's our problem? We have 5 days left. 

Randy Davis

Here is the link to the story....


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