Recent Posts From Jason Pye
[T]he president is repackaging cap-and-trade — again — as a long-term solution to the oil spill. But it’s the same old agenda, a huge energy tax that will raise the cost of gasoline and electricity high enough so that we’re forced to use less.
The logic linking cap-and-trade to the spill in the Gulf should frighten anyone who owns a car or truck. Such measures force up the price at the pump — Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs thinks it “may require gas prices greater than $7 a gallon by 2020” to meet Obama’s stated goal of reducing emissions 14 percent from the transportation sector.
Of course, doing so would reduce gasoline use and also raise market share for hugely expensive alternative fuels and vehicles that could never compete otherwise. Less gasoline demand means less need for drilling and thus a slightly reduced chance of a repeat of the Deepwater Horizon spill — but only slightly. Oil will still be a vital part of America’s energy mix.
Hey, someone has to ride those high-speed and light rail trains to nowhere, right? But, as David Harsanyi notes in his latest column, this president and his ilk are going to use this crisis for what they can, that includes pushing an environmental agenda that will have a very painful impact on the economy.
On Thursday, John Stossel discussed the War on Drugs on his weekly show on the Fox Business Channel, taking on the “convential wisdom” of drug warriors.
In case you missed it, you can watch the episode below. It starts off with Stossel debating the drug war with the resident statist at Fox News, Sean Hannity.
“A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.” - Thomas Jefferson
The Tea Party Express endorsed on Wednesday a little known Alaska candidate in a bid to oust an incumbent Republican senator who is part of the Senate GOP leadership.
The group is backing Joe Miller in Alaska’s Republican senate primary. In a statement, the Tea Party Express “vows to defeat” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
“The Tea Party Express will make Miller’s campaign its top priority between now and the August 24th Alaska Primary, and will devote the resources necessary to ensure Miller’s victory,” the group said in a statement.
Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell told CNN that those resources will include the people and money necessary to help Miller, a Fairbanks lawyer with little name identity in Alaska, topple the popular Murkowski. That campaign will also include television and radio ads and possibly, the group says, a Tea Party Express bus tour across Alaska.
“Lisa Murkowski has become part of the problem in Washington,” Tea Party Express Political Director Bryan Shroyer said in the group’s statement. “Her support for record deficit spending, and her flip-flopping on whether to repeal Obamacare are just two of the many issues in which she has broken trust with the citizens she was elected to represent.”
Sarah Palin, the former Governor of Alaska, has also endorsed Miller, calling him a “true commonsense constitutional conservative.”
In an editoral at the Washington Post, Cleta Mitchell, a member of the NRA’s Board of Directors, slammed the organization for not opposing the DISCLOSE Act:
The cynical decision this week by House Democrats to exempt the National Rifle Association from the latest campaign finance regulatory scheme is itself a public disclosure. It reveals the true purpose of the perversely named Disclose Act (H.R. 5175): namely, to silence congressional critics in the 2010 elections.
The NRA “carve-out” reaffirms the wisdom of the First Amendment’s precise language: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.”
Congress can’t help itself. Since 1798, with the Alien and Sedition Acts, incumbent politicians have yearned for legal duct tape for their opponents’ mouths. The Disclose Act is a doozy of a muzzle.
The NRA’s wheel-squeaking bought it an exemption from those requirements. Tea Party organizations arising spontaneously since 2009? Out of luck. Online organizations with large e-mail followings but perhaps no formal dues structure? Forget it.
Receiving less attention than the NRA “carve-out” but no less cynical is the bill’s sop to organized labor: Aggregate contributions of $600 or more would be disclosed. Why start at $600? Why not $200 or, say, $500? Because most union members’ dues aggregate less than $600 in a calendar year and thus members’ contributions to labor’s campaign-related spending wouldn’t need to be disclosed … even to the union members whose dues are spent for political purposes.
There is a reason Thomas Jefferson said, “I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.” Not only do you have the monetary commitment, you have the cost of the innocent lives affected, you also have the physiological on the lives of the soldiers fighting, which can at times lead to suicide. Unfortunately, that is becoming more prevalent.
Nearly as many American troops at home and abroad have committed suicide this year as have been killed in combat in Afghanistan. Alarmed at the growing rate of soldiers taking their own lives, the Army has begun investigating its mental health and suicide prevention programs.
There were 197 Army suicides in 2008, according to the Army’s numbers. The total includes active- and non-active-duty soldiers.
Last year, the number was 245. This year, through May, it’s already 163.
The Army has instituted many programs to counsel and train soldiers. Stephen Colley had undergone suicide prevention training.
The suicides continue even as America’s war in Iraq is winding down and multiple deployments are past.
What is causing these men, and some women, to kill themselves?
Being the son of a Vietnam veteran, I’ve seen first hand what the after effects of war can do to a family. It takes a tremendous toll. My father struggled with things he saw in during his time in the Marines and dealt with it for the rest of his life.
With respect to all sides, this could be avoided if we were not engaging in unnecessary wars and conflicts.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me eight times, am I a f**king idiot?” - Jon Stewart
Ok, I’m not the biggest fan of The Daily Show or Jon Stewart, but the last couple of clips I’ve seen are hilarious because they’ve been so spot on in showing how pointless our elected officials are.
In no way am I an advocate of cap-and-trade or increased environmental regulations. I say open ANWR and have more off-shore drilling. In many respects, government is just as responsible for what has happened as BP.
Anyway, Stewart’s diatribe is funny and worth a listen:
“I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple. Were we directed from Washington when to sow, when to reap, we should soon want bread.” - Thomas Jefferson
David Harsanyi, a columnist with the Denver Post, argues against a bailout for newspapers, an idea that seems to be coming up more frequently these days:
You know what journalism could really use more of? Government participation. Who better, after all, than a gaggle of technocrats and political appointees to guide the industry in matters of entrepreneurship, fairness and coverage?
Thankfully, the good folks at the Federal Trade Commission are all over it, cobbling together a report aimed at saving newspapers called “Potential Policy Recommendation to Support the Reinvention of Journalism.” It’s only the first step in a long-term plan to rescue the Fourth Estate from itself.
The majority of the FTC draft focuses on ways to bail out the newspaper business, which isn’t exactly the same as “saving” journalism. I love newspapers. I make my living at a newspaper (for now). But journalism doesn’t need salvaging. Newspapers — as in, news on paper — are struggling, for now. But consumers (scrupulously ignored in the FTC report) have an array of news outlets to choose from, and most often, the coverage offered them is far more thorough than what we’ve had in the past.
How we disseminate information is being reinvented — it is always being reinvented — and one day soon a breakthrough will allow newspapers to be more fairly compensated for the content they produce. But propping up antiquated models is no way to save any industry.
Let me put it another way. In 1985, the FTC did not set forth recommendations on how to “reinvent music” and propose a 5 percent tax on compact discs as a way to subsidize companies that produced vinyl records. That kind of intervention would have hindered technology rather than driven it.
While President Barack Obama’s speech on Tuesday night was meant to settle down Americans and pitch his job killing cap-and-trade plan, but all that was demonstrated is that he has no idea what he is going to do:
The problem for Obama – 58 days into the biggest test of leadership he’s yet faced as president – is that the oil is still gushing, Gulf leaders are still grousing and the Senate is still deadlocked over climate change legislation.
Even a great speech wouldn’t have changed all that – and this wasn’t one of Obama’s best speeches.
While his rhetoric was commanding and decisive – some administration aides billed the speech as “turning the page” — it wasn’t entirely clear where Obama would go from here to achieve this “national mission.”
Missing from the speech was any specific commitment to a bill regulating carbon emissions, which many environmentalists and some Senate Democrats wanted. Nor did he articulate a strategy for jump-starting the moribund Kerry-Lieberman climate bill, an omission that earned him instant criticism on the left, including a roasting by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews.
“I thought it was a great speech — if you’ve been on another planet for the last 57 days,” Olbermann quipped.
“Is there a specific direction we’re going in? He didn’t even tell us,” added Matthews.