Sunday, January 30, 2011

Charles Lane - Cold truths about electric cars' cold-weather shortcomings

Cold truths about electric cars' cold-weather shortcomings

By Charles Lane
Friday, January 28, 2011

Count me among the many thousands of Washington area residents who spent Wednesday night stuck in traffic as a snowstorm sowed chaos all around us. Being car-bound in sub-freezing weather for six hours can make a guy think. I counted my blessings. The situation could have been worse, I realized: My fellow commuters and I could have been trying to make it home in electric cars, like the ones President Obama is constantly promoting, most recently in his State of the Union address.

Cold truths about electric cars' cold-weather shortcomings

It is a basic fact of physical science that batteries run down more quickly in cold weather than they do in warm weather, and the batteries employed by vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt are no exception.

The exact loss of power these cars would suffer is a matter of debate, partly because no one has much real-world experience to draw on. But there would be some loss. Running the heater to stay warm, or the car radio to stay informed, would drain the battery further.

Here's how, a pro-electric Web site, candidly summarized the matter:

"All batteries deliver their power via a chemical reaction inside the battery that releases electrons. When the temperature drops the chemical reactions happen more slowly and the battery cannot produce the same current that it can at room temperature. A change of ten degrees can sap 50% of a battery's output. In some situations the chemical reactions will happen so slowly and give so little power that the battery will appear to be dead when in fact if it is warmed up it will go right back to normal output. . . .

"In a car where all power is supplied by a battery pack you can see where this would be a problem. The batteries don't produce as much power so the car has less power. The batteries also have to work harder so the effective range of the car is also significantly reduced. Charge time will also be longer. Cold has a negative impact on all aspects of battery operation."

"Alongside the negative impact on the batteries cold also has a negative impact on the driver as well. Drivers need to be warm to operate the vehicle effectively so on top of the reduced range and power of the batteries just from the temperature they also must operate the car heater to keep you warm. This will further reduce the range of the car.

"If you live in an area where the winters get extremely cold an all-electric vehicle will have to be garaged and equipped with some kind of plug-in battery warmer for it to be effective in the coldest months of the year. Keep these thoughts in mind if you're planning an electric car purchase; we don't want you finding out the range of your car has been halved when it's five below zero and you're fifteen miles from home."

To be sure, gas-powered cars are hardly invulnerable. Plenty of motorists ran out of fuel in Wednesday night's mega-jam. But my hunch is that electrics would faced similar problems or worse. And many electric-car drivers who did manage to limp home Wednesday would have been out of options the next day: You can't recharge if you don't have electricity, and hundreds of thousands of customers were blacked out Thursday from the snow. The Post reports that this will be the case for many of them for days.

Carmakers say they are on top of these issues. General Motors has tested the Volt's battery in cold conditions and says it includes a margin of reserve power for such weather. Indeed, the Volt comes equipped with a backup internal combustion engine, so you need never fear, as long as the tank is full of premium gas (the only kind a Volt can use). Of course, burning gas rather defeats the "green" purpose of the $41,000 (before federal tax rebate) four-seat car. But at least you won't die of exposure on the road.

As for the Leaf, which touts a 100-mile range under optimum conditions (i.e., mild weather and no big hills like the ones I had to negotiate on 16th Street), Nissan is designing a "cold weather package" of options. But neither the cost nor the availability date has been announced.

Now, if the cars were cheaper than gas-powered cars of equal performance, these cold-weather risks might be acceptable. But electrics are substantially more expensive than cars of greater capability - and will be for years to come. Frankly, I don't know why anyone would consider buying one - especially if he or she lives north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

In his address Tuesday, the president reiterated his goal of putting 1 million plug-in hybrids and all-electrics on the road by 2015 and insisted that Congress spend hundreds of millions of additional dollars to achieve it. At present, fewer than 5,000 electrics are out there, so auto companies would have to make and sell about a quarter of a million vehicles annually between now and 2015 to meet his target.

Even with substantial government subsidies, I doubt the president will get there. Michael Omotoso of J.D. Power and Associates - a consulting firm that, unlike the Obama Energy Department, has spent a lot of time asking consumers what they actually want - told me the number could reach 750,000 by 2015, and 1.1 million by 2020 if all goes well.

But the million-car goal is meaningless: It would represent 0.4 percent of the U.S. automotive fleet, yielding no substantial reduction in carbon emissions or U.S. dependence on foreign oil for the government's multibillion-dollar investment. Alternative policies, such as a modest increase in the gas tax or support for more efficient internal combustion engines, would do more to accomplish the administration's legitimate goals faster and at lower cost.

Call me a curmudgeon, but I think J.D. Power is optimistic. This subsidized market niche is just one well-publicized malfunction away from disaster. Perhaps a Volt battery will overheat and burst into flames, as some computer batteries have been known to do. Or maybe a Leaf driver will suffer frostbite while stuck in the next blizzard. Let's just hope one of his neighbors pulls over to help him out.

The writer is a member of the editorial page staff. His e-mail address is

Friday, January 28, 2011

Salazar's wild lands policy sends shockwaves across the West | CFACT

Salazar's wild lands policy sends shockwaves across the West
Salazar’s move is widely seen as the Obama administration’s way of dealing with a new Congress that is unlikely to create new wilderness areas legislatively.
January 18, 2011
by Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s Dec. 22 announcement directing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to survey its vast holdings with a view towards determining which should be designated as “wild lands” has sent shock waves across the West.

Salazar’s move is widely seen as the Obama administration’s way of dealing with a new Congress that is unlikely to create new wilderness areas legislatively. The administration is rebranding wilderness as wild lands so it can make millions of acres of public land off-limits to development through regulatory fiat. Salazar unveiled the plan after Congress had adjourned for the year and before the new, 112th Congress had been sworn in.

Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), who has since become the new chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, blasted the move. In a statement issued the day after Salazar’s announcement, Hastings said, “This backdoor approach is intended to circumvent both the people who will be directly affected and Congress…The Natural Resources Committee will fully review this decision next year (2011) and its impact on our nation’s economic competitiveness and ability to keep and create jobs.”

One of the first battlegrounds will be Alaska’s energy-rich North Slope. There, the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A) is home to as much as 900 million barrels of crude oil and 53 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to an October 2010 estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey. Several environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity and the Wildlife Conservation Society, are already urging the BLM to “protect” large swaths of NPR-A from any energy development.

The 23.5 million-acre NPR-A was designated as an oil reserve in 1923 and was administered by the Defense Department until it was transferred to the Interior Department in 1976. Its vast energy reserves, like those of the nearby Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) remain untapped. In addition to the restrictions on energy production facing Alaska, the wild lands policy is expected to negatively affect drilling, mining, and cattle-grazing throughout the West. Altogether, the BLM manages 250 million acres of land, 22 million of which already are designated as wilderness. The National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service also administer wilderness areas.

The prospect that the administration could use its new wild lands policy to further thwart energy development in Alaska has infuriated Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. “The extreme environmentalist groups couldn’t get their wilderness bill past Congress and so now they are circumventing this country’s legislative body and having the agencies do their dirty work.”

New CBO Numbers Re-Confirm that Balancing the Budget Is Simple with Modest Fiscal Restraint | Cato @ Liberty

New CBO Numbers Re-Confirm that Balancing the Budget Is Simple with Modest Fiscal Restraint

Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

Many of the politicians in Washington, including President Obama during his State of the Union address, piously tell us that there is no way to balance the budget without tax increases. Trying to get rid of red ink without higher taxes, they tell us, would require “savage” and “draconian” budget cuts.

I would like to slash the budget and free up resources for private-sector growth, so that sounds good to me. But what’s the truth?

The Congressional Budget Office has just released its 10-year projections for the budget, so I crunched the numbers to determine what it would take to balance the budget without tax hikes. Much to nobody’s surprise, the politicians are not telling the truth.

The chart below shows that revenues are expected to grow (because of factors such as inflation, more population, and economic expansion) by more than 7 percent each year. Balancing the budget is simple so long as politicians increase spending at a slower rate. If they freeze the budget, we almost balance the budget by 2017. If federal spending is capped so it grows 1 percent each year, the budget is balanced in 2019. And if the crowd in Washington can limit spending growth to about 2 percent each year, red ink almost disappears in just 10 years.

These numbers, incidentally, assume that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are made permanent (they are now scheduled to expire in two years). They also assume that the AMT is adjusted for inflation, so the chart shows that we can balance the budget without any increase in the tax burden.

I did these calculations last year, and found the same results. And I also examined how we balanced the budget in the 1990s and found that spending restraint was the key. The combination of a GOP Congress and Bill Clinton in the White House led to a four-year period of government spending growing by an average of just 2.9 percent each year.

We also have international evidence showing that spending restraint – not higher taxes – is the key to balancing the budget. New Zealand got rid of a big budget deficit in the 1990s with a five-year spending freeze. Canada also got rid of red ink that decade with a five-year period where spending grew by an average of only 1 percent per year. And Ireland slashed its deficit in the late 1980s by 10 percentage points of GDP with a four-year spending freeze.

No wonder international bureaucracies such as the International Monetary fund and European Central Bank are producing research showing that spending discipline is the right approach.

American Thinker: The Rest of the World and Obama

The Rest of the World and Obama
By Steve McCann
One of the primary narratives of the Democrats and the media during the entire tenure of the George W. Bush's term was that the United States was held in historically low regard throughout the rest of the world. This became, after "Bush lied," the second-most frequently repeated talking point. Whether there was any basis for this claim was immaterial; it was a handy cudgel for defeating and humiliating the president.

For the past twenty-five-plus years, I have been involved in the international marketplace, having dealt in countries as varied as the United Kingdom, China, and Ghana. Never in that period of time, from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, have I found it more difficult to defend the polices of the United States and listen to more overt criticism of any sitting president than I do today.

Over the years, it has been my experience that at nearly all business meetings or conversations, domestic politics, either in the United States or any other country, is rarely discussed unless there has been a major event such as an election or a natural disaster. Normally, all focus is on the transaction at hand. At times, there has been good-natured banter about the generic American character, but that is more reflective of the fact the United States has, for nearly seventy years, overwhelmingly dominated the world scene. When one is at the top of the heap, an element of envy mingled with grudging respect is to be expected.

During the Bush years, while encountering some criticism of the Iraq war decision and a media-driven reflexive belief in Bush's "cowboy mentality" (promoted to some degree by his Texas drawl and demeanor), there was no noticeable difference in the conversations and attitudes of the many people I met overseas.

By stark contrast, today, virtually every conversation includes a variation of the following: "Do you people have any idea of what you are doing?" The primary reason for this reaction is the stark reality that the current world order, which has been historically successful and dominated by the United States, is beginning to unravel. That unraveling is primarily because of American government-induced financial policies that triggered a worldwide catastrophic collapse in 2008 and the nearly incomprehensible economic policies pursued since.

Over the past two years and into 2011, the United States has gone on the most astounding spending and money-printing binge in the history of mankind. From the end of 2008 through the end of 2011, over $4.3 trillion will have been added to the national debt. That is the same as the annual Gross Domestic Product of the third-largest economy in the world: Japan. Further, the Federal Reserve has increased the money supply by an equally astounding $1.5 trillion, engulfing the world in dollars and thereby triggering inflation, disrupting the normal flow of capital, and promoting additional apprehension of the future.

Yet there does not appear to be any real effort to change course. Instead and despite many underlying factors, such as a stubbornly high unemployment rate, real estate values still declining, a potential stock market bubble due to too many dollars looking for a home, and inflation that the government refuses to recognize, there no indication that Washington D.C. -- particularly after the State of the Union speech -- is taking the current state of affairs seriously.

Despite the obligatory bows to Beijing, the international marketplace does not want to see China replace the United States as the preeminent economic and military power in the world. China is inherently unstable with its population time bomb, and its government cannot be considered benign based on its human rights abuses, totalitarian governing philosophy, and overt desire to dominate the planet.

If the United States collapses under its own weight, the world will be thrown into chaos, and many in the international marketplace recognize that very real possibility.

Thus, in my many conversations with those overseas, the subject matter turns quickly to Barack Obama. The most frequent adjectives used to describe our current president are "incompetent," "amateurish," "narcissistic," "inexperienced," and "haughty." This is often followed by a confession that accusers too were impressed with Obama during his campaign and fell for his smooth delivery, rhetoric, and appearance.

They felt, along with many Americans, that no one could possibly do this much damage in such a short time, considering the sheer size of the United States and its economy. Barack Obama has become the butt of many jokes and satire. Virtually everyone I talk to wants to discuss his failings. Recently, the Swiss Marc Faber, an internationally renowned investor and author whom I have met, said the following on Bloomberg TV's "Street Smart": "Obama has done a horrible job. He's dishonest ... Foreigners laugh at him ... He's like a prostitute."

Mr. Faber is not alone in his sentiment; it has become common not only in the boardrooms, but also the halls of government. I was told by an acquaintance that during the recent G-20 Summit in Seoul, South Korea, there was near-open mocking of Obama behind the scenes. It is not a coincidence that the number of Mr. Obama's trips overseas has been curtailed.

The most telling comment made to me was by a business associate in London when he said, "When the world needs a firm hand and competent leadership, we are given a fool whose only interest is himself and his ideology. His level of incompetence knows no bounds, yet we all must suffer for it."

Throughout the world today, strategies and plans are being put in place on how to survive and prosper without the United States as the major global player if America does not come to its senses, reverse course, and change leadership. Never has worldwide esteem for the United States fallen to such a low point.

As for me, I can only tell those I deal with that I still have faith in the American people -- their determination, their ingenuity, and their ability to finally wake up to reality and change course. I firmly believe that they will. The response when I say those things? "We hope you are right; the world needs your country to be strong and resolute."

American Thinker: Obama Stung by SOTU Plagiarism Rap

Obama Stung by SOTU Plagiarism Rap
By Jack Cashill
Kudos to presidential historian Alvin Felzenberg for his tug on Obama's cape. A Ph.D. from Princeton and the former spokesman for the 9/11 commission, Felzenberg is the first intellectual insider to suggest publicly that President Barack Obama is not the writer the literati have anointed him to be.

In his review of the State of the Union speech posted on the U.S. News website, Felzenberg goes so far as to accuse the president and his speechwriters of plagiarizing it.

"President Obama's second State of the Union address contained enough recycled ideas and lines lifted from speeches of others to make historians wince," writes Felzenberg. "Had the president submitted the text of his second State of the Union Address in the form of a college term paper, he would have been sent forthwith to the nearest academic dean."

As the impressively well-read Felzenberg documents, Obama lifted lines or ideas from the speeches of Dwight Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson, Mario Cuomo, Margaret Thatcher, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy without attribution.

Obama's awkward pilfering from Kennedy evoked the amateurish days of his writing career before he hooked up with skilled writer, editor, and terrorist Bill Ayers. "I know there isn't a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth," said Obama on Tuesday, apparently oblivious to the fact that he was comparing a "person" to a "nation."

In his inaugural address, Kennedy had gotten the analogy right: "I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people." It is likely that Obama finessed the Kennedy quote to avoid a word-for-word theft.

Plagiarism has been something of a problem for the POTUS and the VPOTUS. In his run for the 1988 Democratic nomination, Joe Biden baldly plagiarized a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, even adapting the particulars of his own life to Kinnock's. That run-killing revelation led in turn to the discovery that Biden had also been busted in law school for plagiarism.

During the presidential campaign of 2008, Obama himself stared down a plagiarism rap. After Hillary Clinton had accused Obama of merely giving pretty speeches, Obama responded:

Don't tell me words don't matter, "I have a dream." Just words? "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." Just words? "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Just words? Just speeches?"

In 2006, Deval Patrick, then running for governor of Massachusetts, was also accused by his female opponent of pretty speechmaking. Replied Patrick:

But her dismissive point, and I hear it from her staff, is that all I have to offer is words. Just words. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Just words. "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Just words.

"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." Just words. "I have a dream." Just words.

When confronted with the accusation by a New York Times reporter, Obama replied defensively, "I've written two books. I wrote most of my speeches." This show of literary bravado was enough for the Times. Its reporters refused to see then and refuse to see now how naked their emperor stands as the Obama yarn unravels before them.

As a case in point, in his anticipation of Tuesday's State of the Union address, Matt Bai of the Times casually repeated a fiction now little-believed beyond America's newsrooms -- namely that "Mr. Obama is probably the most talented writer to occupy the office in the television age." Bai then wonders why Obama "hasn't tried to use that talent the way Kennedy capitalized on his personal charm."

As I show in my forthcoming book, Deconstructing Obama, Obama has no talent as a writer. In both of his books, and in all of his important speeches, he has relied on the talent of others. This is not unusual for a politician. What is unusual is that Obama has attempted to deceive America as to the nature of that talent.

"I've written two books," he told a crowd of teachers in Virginia in July of 2008. The crowd applauded. "I actually wrote them myself," he added with a wink and a nod, and now the teachers exploded in laughter. They got the joke: Republicans are too stupid to write their own books.

If Obama's dissembling is unusual, it is not unprecedented. The sainted John F. Kennedy pioneered the waters of literary fraud forty years before Obama, winning a Pulitzer Prize for a book, Profiles in Courage, that he himself did not write.

When legendary muckraker Drew Pearson accused then-Senator Kennedy of fraud on Mike Wallace's national TV show, the Kennedys used the servile family retainer Ted Sorensen to force a retraction from Pearson and Wallace.

Under oath, Sorensen would testify, "I did not write the book for Senator Kennedy." Had the presumed collaborator on Profiles been a figure of comparable disrepute to Bill Ayers -- say, Alger Hiss -- Sorensen's prevarications could not have dampened what would surely have been a media firestorm.

In his 2008 book Counselor, Sorensen would finally admit what he had been leaking since the book was first published: that yes, he "did a first draft of most chapters." He also received half the book's royalties before being bought out of his contract. Still uneasy more than fifty years later about his testimony before Pearson, Sorensen insisted, "I took my oath seriously."

Right, and Obama wrote two books "by myself."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gun ownership required

Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack has read the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as Vermont 's own Constitution very carefully, and his strict interpretation of these documents is popping some eyeballs in New England and elsewhere.

Maslack recently proposed a bill to register "non-gun-owners" and require them to pay a $500 fee to the state. Thus Vermont would become first state to require a permit for the luxury of going about unarmed and assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun.

Maslack read the "militia" phrase of the Second Amendment as not only affirming the right of the individual citizen to bear arms, but as a clear mandate to do so. He believes that universal gun ownership was advocated by the Framers of the Constitution as an antidote to a "monopoly of force" by the government as well as criminals. Vermont 's constitution states explicitly that "the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State" and those persons who are "conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" shall be required to "pay such equivalent." Clearly, says Maslack, Vermonters have a constitutional obligation to arm themselves, so that they are capable of responding to "any situation that may arise."

Under the bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required to register their name, address, Social Security Number, and driver's license number with the state. "There is a legitimate government interest in knowing who is not prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so," Maslack says Vermont already boasts a high rate of gun ownership along with the least restrictive laws of any state .. it's currently the only state that allows a citizen to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. This combination of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in a crime rate that is the third lowest in the nation.

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

This makes sense! There is no reason why gun owners should have to pay taxes to support police protection for people not wanting to own guns. Let them contribute their fair share and pay their own way.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hawaii official now swears: No Obama birth certificate | Western

Hawaii official now swears: No Obama birth certificate

Posted by Caleb on January 25, 2011 · Comments (59)

Former Hawaii elections clerk Tim Adams has now signed an affidavit swearing he was told by his supervisors in Hawaii that no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Barack Obama Jr. in Hawaii and that neither Queens Medical Center nor Kapi’olani Medical Center in Honolulu had any record of Obama having been born in their medical facilities.

Adams was employed at the City and County of Honolulu Elections Division from May 2008 through September 2008.

His position was senior elections clerk, overseeing a group of 50 to 60 employees responsible for verifying the identity of voters at the Absentee Ballot Office. It was in this capacity that Adams became aware of the search for Obama’s birth-certificate records.

“During the course of my employment,” Adams swears in the affidavit (viewable in full as part 1 and part 2), “I became aware that many requests were being made to the City and County of Honolulu Elections Division, the Hawaii Office of Elections, and the Hawaii Department of Health from around the country to obtain a copy of then-Senator Barack Obama’s long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate.”

As he inquired about the birth certificate, he says, his supervisors told him that the records were not on file at the Hawaii Department of Health.

“Senior officers in the City and County of Honolulu Elections Division told me on multiple occasions that no Hawaii long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Senator Obama in the Hawaii Department of Health,” Adams’ affidavit reads, “and there was no record that any such document had ever been on file in the Hawaii Department of Health or any other branch or department of the Hawaii government.”

Repeal of ObamaCare in the Senate - How To Do It | RedState

Posted by Brian Darling (Profile)

Tuesday, January 18th at 4:30PM EST

I just posted a piece on The Heritage Foundation blog, The Foundry, titled “How to Repeal ObamaCare in the Senate.” I tried to put into easy to understand terms the way for the Senate to repeal the unconstitutional ObamaCare. Although it is unlikely that the Senate will take up the House repeal measure H.R. 2 in the next few months, it is possible to bring it up later this year or some time next year if Republicans are smart.

If Senators don’t take any action when the bill is transmitted from the House to the Senate, then there is little to no chance to pass the House repeal measure. This will show that Senate Republicans are not serious about a full repeal of ObamaCare. It is possible for conservative Senators to force a vote on H.R. 2, when the time is right, if they follow two simple procedures in the Senate to protect their rights.

The bottom line is that it is possible for opponents of ObamaCare to set themselves up for an extended debate on ObamaCare in the Senate — if they have the will. It is also possible to pass the bill in the Senate, if conservatives are patient and ready to spring a vote on liberals when the time is right.

I wrote on The Foundry:

This week the House will pass a bill to repeal Obamacare. Congressional experts will argue that the Senate won’t pass a full repeal. They are correct to argue that full repeal will not be passed by both the House and Senate in the next few months, but they may be wrong that a full repeal bill will not pass in this Congress within the next two years. If Senators don’t take two procedural steps this week, they will make it virtually impossible to ever get a vote on the House-passed full repeal bill this Congress.

Just to be clear, I understand that there are 53 Senators that caucus with the Democrats and 47 Republicans. The math is not good for the proponents of repeal, yet if Republicans can pick up 4 Democrats then they can win this fight. Here is how.

Under Senate Rule 14, any one Senator can object to the second reading of the bill and conservatives would be dumb not to do so. It serves no purpose to allow liberals to send the bill to repeal ObamaCare into a committee populated by members who helped write the bill and controlled by liberals.

This procedural objection will “hold at the desk” the House-passed bill and allow the Senate to act on the full repeal measure. If the bill is referred to committee, it will never get to the Senate floor. This procedural objection by one or a number of Senators will stop the bill from being referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP). If the bill is referred to committee, there is little to no expectation that the committee will pass the bill, let alone have one hearing on the bill.

Once you object to the bill being read a second time, it can sit on the Calendar for the next 2 years or until conservatives have mustered the votes to pass the bill. Once the bill is on the Senate Calendar, then conservative have a few options. First, any Senator could use the provisions in Rule 22 to commence debate on H.R. 2 if they have gathered up the signatures of sixteen Senators as early as next week.

If conservatives merely wanted to force a cloture vote on H.R. 2, then they could file the cloture petition early next week and have a vote two days later. As I noted in my Foundry piece “this would put many Senate Democrats in the interesting situation of voicing support for so-called ‘filibuster reform’ while at the same time using the filibuster rule to block an up or down vote on Obamacare.” Liberals would have to filibuster the motion to proceed to H.R. 2.

A second option is for Senators to take the temperature of the Senate periodically and launch the cloture vote when they have secured 4 votes of Democrats to support H.R. 2. Jennifer Rubin writes for the Washington Post:

The Republican Senate leadership does not expect any Senate Democrats to flip sides on the vote for an out-and-out repeal. The consolation prize is that Democratic senators such as Jim Webb, Claire McCaskill, Ben Nelson and Bill Nelson will have to defend those votes in 2012.

What if these 4 Senators start to see poll numbers that indicate it would help them to vote for repeal of ObamaCare? All of a sudden, there may be a coalition of 51 Senators who would vote to repeal ObamaCare.

If that scenario plays out, then conservatives can keep the ObamaCare repeal measure on the floor until the liberals stop obstructing passage of the bill. They can do so by filing cloture petitions over and over again if there are only between 50 and 60 votes to shut off debate on the motion to proceed to the bill. Make these liberals who have been crying about the filibuster and obstructionism for a year engage in a real filibuster of the repeal of ObamaCare.

Furthermore, if a number of federal courts declare parts of ObamaCare unconstitutional, then there will be more of an incentive for Senators to vote for repeal. The poll numbers on ObamaCare have consistently shown that the American people despise this law. The probability of full repeal may go up over time if you combine upside down poll numbers and a potential court attack on the individual mandate in ObamaCare.

At a minimum, Senators have the power to force a vote on full repeal of Obamacare if they have the will to do so. As I said over at the Foundry, “if the supporters of a full repeal of Obamacare don’t use the Senate’s rules to force a vote on full repeal, don’t take them seriously when they say they are really want to repeal President Obama’s de facto government takeover of health care.”

A repeal vote is fully within the power of Senators — if they are serious about repeal.

22 Facts About California That Make You Wonder Why Anyone Would Still Want To Live In That Hellhole Of A State

22 Facts About California That Make You Wonder Why Anyone Would Still Want To Live In That Hellhole Of A State

Why in the world would anyone still want to live in the state of California at this point? Residents of California have been forced to endure a brutally oppressive level of taxation for many years, and yet the state of California has still managed to find itself on the verge of bankruptcy. California Governor Jerry Brown declared a "fiscal emergency" in his state on Thursday, but nobody is even pretending that such a declaration is actually going to help matters. Brown wants to cut even deeper into the state budget (even after tens of billions have already been slashed out of it in recent years) and he wants to explore ways to raise even more revenue. Meanwhile, the standard of living in California is going right into the toilet. Housing values are plummeting. Unemployment has risen above 20 percent in many areas of the state. Crime and gang activity is on the rise even as police budgets are being hacked to the bone. The health care system is an absolute disaster. At this point California has the fewest emergency rooms per million people out of all 50 states. While all of this has been going on, the state legislature in Sacramento has been very busy passing hundreds of new laws that are mostly about promoting one radical agenda or another. The state government has become so radically anti-business that it is a wonder that any businesses have remained in the state. It seems like the moving vans never stop as an endless parade of businesses and families leave California as quickly as they can.

One of the only things keeping the population of California relatively stable at this point are the massive hordes of illegal immigrants that are constantly pouring into California cities. There are certain areas of major California cities that you simply do not ever want to go into anymore. In fact, there are rumors that the police will not even venture into certain areas anymore.

Traffic in California is a bigger nightmare than it ever has been before and the state cannot even keep up with repairing the roads and infrastructure that it already has. There are a few areas of California where you can still see the promise of greatness and the amazing natural beauty that once attracted tens of millions of Americans to the state, but they are few and far between now. At this point, most of the state is turning into one gigantic hellhole.

Perhaps the state could have some hope of turning things around if they had some solid leadership, but at this point the vast majority of the politicians in the state are pushing agendas that are so "radical" (not in a good way) and so "anti-American" that it is absolutely frightening.

Of course on top of everything else there is the constant threat of wildfires, mudslides and earthquakes. One day a really "big earthquake" is going to hit, and once that happens many people believe that the geography of the state of California could be permanently altered forever.

But what most people are focused on right now is the horrific financial condition that the state of California currently is in. Governor Brown recently summarized his analysis of California's financial condition with the following statement: "We've been living in fantasy land. It is much worse than I thought. I'm shocked."

Yes, things really are that bad in California.

The following are 22 facts about California that make you wonder why anyone would still want to live in that hellhole of a state....

#1 The California state government is facing a potential state budget deficit of 19 billion dollars this year, and California debt is rapidly approaching junk status. One way or another the taxpayers of California are going to have to pay for this mess somehow.

#2 California Governor Jerry Brown recently unveiled a "draconian" budget plan for 2011 that includes 12 billion dollars more in spending cuts and that maintains 12 billion dollars in recent tax increases.

#3 The state of California currently has the third highest state income tax in the nation: a 9.55% tax bracket at $47,055 and a 10.55% bracket at $1,000,000.

#4 California has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation by far at 8.25%. Indiana has the next highest at 7%.

#5 Residents of California pay the highest gasoline taxes (over 67 cents per gallon) in the United States.

#6 California had more foreclosure filings that any other U.S. state in 2010. The 546,669 total foreclosure filings during the year means that over 4 percent of all the housing units in the state of California received a foreclosure filing at some point during 2010.

#7 Home prices in some areas of California have completely fallen off a cliff. For example, the average home in Merced, California has declined in value by 63 percent over the past four years.

#8 725 new laws (most of them either completely pointless or completely stupid) went into effect in the state of California on January 1st.

#9 20 percent of the residents of Los Angeles County are now receiving public aid of one kind or another.

#10 The number of people unemployed in the state of California is approximately equal to the populations of Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont combined.

#11 In some areas of California, the level of unemployment is absolutely nightmarish. For example, 24.3 percent of the residents of El Centro, California are now unemployed.

#12 Residents of California pay some of the highest electricity prices in the entire nation.

#13 The state of California ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.

#14 According to one survey, approximately 1 out of every 4 Californians under the age of 65 has absolutely no health insurance.

#15 At one point last year it was reported that in the area around Sacramento, California there was one closed business for every six that were still open.

#16 In the late 70s, California was number one in per-pupil spending on education, but now the state has fallen to 48th place.

#17 In one school district in California, children as young as five years old are being forced to watch propaganda films that tout the benefits of "alternative lifestyles", and parents are being told that no "opting out" will be permitted.

#18 The crime rate in the San Diego school system is escalating out of control. The following is what San Diego School Police Chief Don Braun recently told the press about the current situation....

"Violent crime in schools has risen 31 percent. Property crime has risen 12 percent. Weapons violations (have gone up) almost 8 percent."

#19 Oakland, California Police Chief Anthony Batts announced last year that due to severe budget cuts there are a number of crimes that his department will simply not be able to respond to any longer. The crimes that the Oakland police will no longer be responding to include grand theft, burglary, car wrecks, identity theft and vandalism.

#20 Things have gotten so bad in Stockton, California that the police union put up a billboard with the following message: "Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California. Stop laying off cops."

#21 During one recent 23 year period, the state of California built 23 prisons but just one university.

#22 The farther you look into the future, the worse California's financial problems become. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, California's unfunded pension liability is estimated to be somewhere between $120 billion and $500 billion at this point.

So could the state of California actually go bankrupt?

In Washington D.C., some lawmakers are now working very hard behind the scenes to come up with a way to allow individual U.S. states to declare bankruptcy.

If something like that is worked out in Washington, then certainly the state of California would potentially be one of the first states to take advantage of it.

Unfortunately, the truth is that the state of California is a complete and total mess at this point, and not even bankruptcy is going to fix much.

The state has become a rotting, festering hellhole that is getting worse by the day. Yes, some really good people still live there, but there are some really, really good reasons why so many people are leaving the state in droves.

But perhaps you disagree. Does anyone want to state the case in favor of the state of California? Please feel free to express your opinion below....

Comprehensive List of Tax Hikes in Obamacare

Comprehensive List of Tax Hikes in Obamacare
From Ryan Ellis on Friday, January 14, 2011 6:00 AM

Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on an historic repeal of the Obamacare law. While there are many reasons to oppose this flawed government health insurance law, it is important to remember that Obamacare is also one of the largest tax increases in American history. Below is a comprehensive list of the two dozen new or higher taxes that pay for Obamcare’s expansion of government spending and interference between doctors and patients.

Individual Mandate Excise Tax(Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

1 Adult

2 Adults

3+ Adults


1% AGI/$95

1% AGI/$190

1% AGI/$285


2% AGI/$325

2% AGI/$650

2% AGI/$975

2016 +

2.5% AGI/$695

2.5% AGI/$1390

2.5% AGI/$2085

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS)

Employer Mandate Tax(Jan 2014): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees. This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).

Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years

Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013): This increase involves the creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income

Capital Gains







2013+ (current law)




2013+ (Obama budget)




*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations. It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income. It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). For early retirees and high-risk professions exists a higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family). CPI +1 percentage point indexed.

Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:

First $200,000
($250,000 Married)

All Remaining Wages

Current Law

2.9% self-employed

2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike

2.9% self-employed

3.8% self-employed

Medicine Cabinet Tax($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)

HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap of $2500 (Indexed to inflation after 2013) on FSAs (now unlimited). . There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers($20 bil/Jan 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax. Exemptions include items retailing for less than $100.

Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI; it is waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.

Tax on Indoor Tanning Services($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons

Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D($4.5 bil/Jan 2013)

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services

Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals(Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS

Tax on Innovator Drug Companies($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year.

Tax on Health Insurers($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. The stipulation phases in gradually until 2018, and is fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits.

$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives($0.6 bil/Jan 2013)

Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2(Min$/Jan 2011): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.

Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting($17.1 bil/Jan 2012): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers

“Black liquor” tax hike(Tax hike of $23.6 billion). This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel.

Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”(Tax hike of $4.5 billion). This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed.

Read more:

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Twist in Obama Birth Certificate Mystery - Atlas Shrugs

A New Twist in Obama Birth Certificate Mystery

Atlas broke the story of the forgery of Obama's COLB (certification of live birth), a story I covered beginning in May early June 2008. I never pretended to know what was on the vault copy that Obama spent millions to hide; I just ran the irrefutable analysis that what Obama presented to the American people was a "horrible forgery."

We could speculate. Maybe it was the name of his father. His religion. His place of birth. Maybe, maybe, maybe. All speculation.

What was most egregious was the propaganda O-media refusing to ask these questions while running with any lie about Bush's documentation. The enemedia went so far as to produce forged documents concerning President Bush's Air National Guard service (Rathergate). Imagine that -- the media's mad obsession with the minutiae of every detail of every document of Bush's life (even the most mundane), but not one mainstream query as to why the good folks of America were forbidden from viewing Obama's birth certificate long form. Astonishing.

There is clearly something on that form that Obama does not want the American people to see. Period. Pbama must present if he is to run for re-election, should he now?

I last wrote of the birth certificate issue in my former column at Newsmax, "The Certificate Circus." Here is an excerpt:

Obama ran a low-resolution COLB on his own site, which has now been taken down and the archives scrubbed. It was at that time that a digital forensic examination specialist contacted me. For professional and personal reasons he wanted to remain anonymous, but I know who he is and vetted him. “Techdude’s” credentials? He is an active member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the American College of Forensic Examiners, the International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners, the International Information Systems Forensics Association — the list goes on.

He is also board certified as a forensic computer examiner, a certificated legal investigator, and a licensed private investigator. He has been performing computer based forensic investigations since 1993 (although back then it did not even have a formal name yet) and he has performed countless investigations since then. He told me that Obama’s COLB was a “horrible forgery.” I advised “Techdude” that I was ill-equipped to make such a determination, and he offered to submit to me a detailed forensic examination analysis — which he ultimately did.

When I broke the story and presented his very extensive and meticulously documented analysis, we welcomed peer review. Nobody stood up. Nobody would touch it. To their credit, the supporters of Hillary Clinton (the “PUMA” bloggers) did much to investigate and advance the story. And while the Obama Chicago attack machine and left-wing smear merchants went into full swing, the mainstream activist media would not touch the story. Not once.

I never proposed that any of the various scenarios being put forth were absolutely correct. I said at the time, “Do I believe Obama was born in Hawaii? Probably. Is there something on Obama's birth certificate he does not want us to see? Foe shizzle. Should a president of the United States have to present his vault copy to take office? Absolutely.”

I said that forensically, the COLB Obama had presented was an altered document. And I stand by that to this day. A release of the vault copy would have put this baby to bed a year ago. Instead, Obama and his operatives added fuel to the fire by not only not releasing the vault copy, but by spending upwards of a million dollars on five law firms to fight its release.

In what could be considered a psyop on the American people, the birth certificate issue is being used to smear the Republicans in general as “birthers,” conspiracy nuts who have given themselves over to right-wing nuttery. Any mention of this issue inspires in many the same revulsion as being diagnosed with the clap did in the ‘50s. And the arrogance and fear on the right of being tainted by this issue has created such dissension and infighting that we’re eating our young — and the left is positively giddy.

We, the American people, are not the enemy here, we are not the guilty party. The media should stop blaming the victim. Remember: conservatives are not responsible for the birth certificate issue at all. Obama is, by refusing to this day to release the vault copy — whether because it contains something damaging or simply because it enables him to wield the weapon of ridicule against the right. At this point, the effect is the same regardless of which of those possibilities is true. This carnival of conspiracy has become a deliberate distraction from the real issues and the real destruction being wrought by the Obama administration.

The longer the Obama camp lets this issue fester and grow, the more it divides the country. And at the end of the day, anyone who questioned the birth certificate is going to look nuts, and any subsequent challenge from the right on any legitimate issue will be dismissed as a recrudescence of “birtherism,” and more of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.

What trickery! What a nasty game to play on the electorate that put him in office. Are the American people so contemptible as to be deserving of such treatment? Has the focus on the birth certificate taken our eye off the ball on questions pertaining to the source of his funding for Harvard (i.e., foreign aid, foreign student loan applications) and the passport on which he traveled to Pakistan in 1981? Let’s just say hypothetically that Obama satisfied the birth certificate questions and the American people wanted info on his Pakistan trip — i.e., what passport he traveled, on or the source of funding for his Harvard education, his ties to Khalid al-Mansour, etc. Those raising such concerns would have no case. They would be discredited before they even started.

Let’s not cloud the issue. Obama’s COLB was altered. He should produce the vault copy. Then the opposition can get on with the business of stopping his destruction of the economy and his weakening of American hegemony as he pursues his disastrous foreign policy.

Today, Hillbuzz has a very simple and plausible answer to Obama's inexpicable mysterious secrecy. I am not saying it is so -- because we can't know until Obama releases his long form. But this makes a great deal of sense.

Here’s an interesting Ground Report from Hawaii that contains an ingenious theory about Hawaiian Governor Neil Abercrombie’s bizarre backtrack on releasing Obama’s birth certificate.

Remember, Abercrombie promised that once he was elected Governor he would prove Obama’s birth certificate existed because he would march down to the Hall of Records and demand its production from the archives…and he would then hold it aloft in the gentle Hawaiian breeze, high above his balding pate, for all the world to see, thereby producing the document Obama has spent millions to keep hidden.

Well, after he was elected, Abercrombie strangely acknowledged no original birth certificate could be found for Obama in Hawaii, but that there were “handwritten notes” that he was born on the island of Oahu in 1961. Abercrombie did not claim he saw the actual birth certificate.

But, now he’s claiming it’s illegal to produce the birth certificate even if he did find it, because Obama refuses to let the public see this document.

None of this makes any sense until you read the Ground Report below, and get a new take on what’s going on in Hawaii regarding the single greatest current mystery of the 21st Century (“Why Won’t Obama Just Release His Birth Certificate?”…which is also a question the lamestream national media refuses to ask):

Dear HillBuzz,

Regarding the whole Obama birth certificate controversy, I believe Hawaii has a big problem.

Recently, when asked about the subject, newly-minted Speaker of the House John Boehner replied “The State of Hawaii says he was born there and that’s good enough for me.” His reply was brilliant.

It reminded everyone that it’s not the Speaker’s job to sort out the mess (it should have been addressed by the Dems, the election officials, and the media during the campaign), but it also, clearly, put the onus on the State of Hawaii. Around the same time Neil Abercrombie, the new governor of Hawaii, waded into the mess wanting to clear everything up for the president. Instead, he has only added to the confusion by admitting there doesn’t seem to be a birth certificate only a handwritten notation in the archives. (Which could quite possibly have been generated by Obama’s grandparents as a way to register the birth if Obama was born somewhere else.)

Personally, I believe the governor is an intelligent well-intentioned man who acted without thinking it through. Rush Limbaugh believes there may be some angle to what the governor did. If there is, then I believe it was a “cover your papakole” move on the part of the governor. He doesn’t want to be the one left holding the blame when, finally, the American public says “Enough! Just show the damn birth certificate already!”.

He can honestly claim the deception and obstruction happened before he took office and when he tried to find the truth he was told he didn’t have legal access to the birth records. So he’s off the hook, but the incumbent state officials may not get off so easily. Lastly, there is information on several blogs about a court case that may have been filed in New York State Court called Strunk v. Paterson. I’ve heard that a state judge recently ruled — based on evidence — that Obama is NOT a natural born citizen. The court documents go into all of the birth certificate topics, including the Indonesian adoption.

The fact that Obama was adopted by Indonesian Lolo Soetoro in the 1970s, and his name was legally changed to Barry Soetoro at that time, is most likely the reason he is spending millions of dollars to hide his birth certificate. He never filed the papers to change his name back to “Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.”, so any birth certificate produced by the state of Hawaii would list him as “Barry Soetoro”.

It’s easy to see why he never wants this to come to light. Aside from the legal ramifications of this, how would the American people feel about Obama lying to them about his NAME all this time? And if he lied about something as simple as that, what else has he lied about? It would open a whole host of new questions for most people about this man of deliberate mystery.

Just wondered if you knew anything about any of this. I find the court documents hard to read and I have no way of checking their authenticity. People need to stop claiming Obama was not born in Hawaii and start focusing on that adoption name change. That’s probably what Neil Abercrombie ultimately encountered that’s made him backtrack on all this.

Think about it: when the adoption went through, the law required Obama’s birth certificate to be changed to reflect his new name, which became, and remains, Barry Soetoro. So if Abercrombie went looking for anything in the Hall of Records with “Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.” on it, he wouldn’t find anything besides those scribbled, handwritten notations in the archives (since those would not have been changed with the adoption, as who would have thought to do that?). The actual birth certificate says “Barry Soetoro” on it.

That’s why Abercrombie couldn’t locate it.

And why Obama won’t release it.

Mystery solved.

Tag in Kaanapali, Maui

I honestly and truly believe this solves the entire mystery.

It is seriously this straightforward.

* Obama was indeed born in Hawaii in 1961

* Obama was indeed adopted by Lolo Soetoro in the 1970s

* Obama’s name was indeed changed to Barry Soetoro in the 1970s

* Obama’s birth certificate was altered per Hawaiian law to reflect his new name in the 1970s

* Obama never changed his name back to “Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.” — most likely because he used “Barry Soetoro” on all of his student aid applications for college, and probably received foreign student grants and admissions assistance playing off his years living in Indonesia

* All the records, transcripts, documents, and paperwork Obama continues to hide from the public is all hidden because it lists his name as “Barry Soetoro” on all of it.

* Obama will not allow his birth certificate to be released because it lists the “wrong” name on it: Barry Soetoro

It is as simple as this, folks.

UPDATE: Good analysis from PP:

As you know I also say we can't know until it is produced just what is the reasoning for all this trouble surrounding it.

But my viewpoint has never been originated from the 'birther' perspective but more from that of a strict constructionist of our constitution.

We have a requirement that a President be certified to be a 'natural born citizen' to serve in the office. It is not a major burden to supply documentation to prove such eligibility.

Now some perspective on where there are issues here.

Obama mentions in his books the existence of a physical long form,leaving the current Governor position in Hawaii troubling, since he mentions reading it and even cites his birth weight which is only contained on a long form of the birth records.

To place this all in time Obama was already running for office of State Senator when his mother passed. Even if there were something 'odd' in his long form which he may have seen when going through her effects after her death it could have raised issues that would not be easy to explain in the context of an already underway State Senator campaign.

If either his father was not listed as who he claims or his name was different due to adoption or even both items then it would have taken some major damage control work for his campaign at the time to go forward. The history of the Kenya story was already well established by this time and to have to alter it in any way would have been troubling to say the least.

Now to the election for President cycle. When the Electoral College meets the Speaker of the House provides certification of the eligibility of the candidates for the office. It is my understanding that Pelosi certified two different documents to the Electoral College as to this being done and from the reports I read those certifications are in conflict with each other. I have not been able to access the actual documents so I can not judge if this is valid or if there are even two such certifications.

In any event it is questionable how Pelosi could do any certification at all without having been presented the long form of the birth certificate. You have to understand the many varied parts of the Hawaiian laws on what a COLB is and how it can be legally altered or changed without any audit trail of changes.

In fact the Hawaiian law allows a COLB to be made up out of whole cloth to support such programs as a Federal or State Witness Protection Program. The COLB is allowed however such actions for a long form birth certificate are not.

There are all sorts of odd situation in the laws of Hawaii for cases of birth to midwives and early births out of hospital care as in the birth in a taxi on the way to the hospital situation.

In summary my position is and has always been that the Constitution requires proof of natural birth and to date that proof has not been provided by President Obama to meet that requirement. Nothing more and nothing less.

The Worst of the Worst: A Look Back at Keith Olbermann's Most Outrageous Quotes |

MSNBC abruptly ended the run of Keith Olbermann on Friday, bringing to a close an era in which the left-wing host compared conservatives to Nazis, accused them of "murderous deceit," of "urinating on the Constitution" and told President George W. Bush to "shut the Hell up!"

Olbermann certainly became more vitriolic as the years went by, but back in 1998, he frothed about prosecutor Ken Starr: "Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses."

Olbermann's 15 worst, most outrageous quotes can be found below.

"What would you do, sir, if terrorists were killing 45,000 people every year in this country? Well, the current health care system, the insurance companies, and those who support them are doing just that....Because they die individually of disease and not disaster, [radio host] Neal Boortz and those who ape him in office and out, approve their deaths, all 45,000 of them — a year — in America. Remind me again, who are the terrorists?"
— MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in a "Quick Comment" on Countdown, January 5, 2010. [MP3 audio]

"What was the more likely cause of the Oklahoma City bombing: talk radio or Bill Clinton and Janet Reno's hands-on management of Waco, the Branch Davidian compound?...Obviously, the answer is talk radio. Specifically Rush Limbaugh's hate radio....Frankly, Rush, you have that blood on your hands now and you have had it for 15 years."
— MSNBC's Keith Olbermann naming Rush Limbaugh the "Worst Person in the World," April 19, 2010 Countdown. [MP3 audio here.]

"[The Tea Party-backed Republicans are] a group of unqualified, unstable individuals who will do what they are told, in exchange for money and power, and march this nation as far backward as they can get, backward to Jim Crow, or backward to the breadlines of the '30s, or backward to hanging union organizers, or backward to the trusts and the robber barons...It is nothing short of an attempted use of democracy to end this democracy, to buy America wholesale and pave over the freedoms and the care we take of one another, which have combined to keep us the envy of the world.... If you sit there tomorrow, and the rest of this week, and you let this cataclysm unfold, you have enabled this. It is one thing to be attacked by those who would destroy America from without. It is a worse thing to be attacked by those who would destroy America from within."
— MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in a 21-minute "Special Comment" on Countdown, October 27, 2010. [MP3 audio here.]

"In Scott Brown, we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees. In any other time in our history, this man would have been laughed off the stage as unqualified and a disaster in the making by the most conservative of conservatives.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Countdown, January 18, 2010, the night before Massachusetts’ special election. [MP3 audio here.]

“...the total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred — without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.”
— Countdown host Keith Olbermann talking about the conservative columnist and author, October 13, 2009. [MP3 audio here.]

“So, besides urinating on the Constitution and the rights and freedoms every American soldier has ever fought to win and protect, the Bush administration has now decided that when its victims have actually served their sentences, doled out under its own medieval, quote, ‘justice,’ unquote, system, it still might not choose to set them free, thereby giving that Constitution and our country a second pass on the way out.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, August 7, 2008 Countdown. [MP3 audio here. WMV video here.]

“If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business, come out and say it! There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend. You’re a fascist! Get them to print you a T-shirt with fascist on it!...You, sir, have no place in a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The lot of you are the symbolic descendants of the despotic middle managers of some banana republic to whom ‘freedom’ is an ironic brand name, a word you reach for when you want to get away with its opposite.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann addressing Bush in a “Special Comment” on Countdown, February 14, 2008. [MP3 audio here.]

"As a final crash of self-indulgent nonsense, when the incontrovertible truth of your panoramic and murderous deceit has even begun to cost your political party seemingly perpetual congressional seats....When somebody asks you, sir, about the cooked books and faked threats you foisted on a sincere and frightened nation; when somebody asks you, sir, about your gallant, noble, self-abnegating sacrifice of your golf game so as to soothe the families of the war dead; this advice, Mr. Bush: Shut the hell up! Good night and good luck."
— MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in a "Special Comment" on Countdown, May 14, 2008. [MP3 audio here.]

"Our third story in the Countdown, from the mindbending idea that four guys dressed as pizza delivery men were going to outgun all the soldiers at Fort Dix, to the not-too-thought-out plan to blow up JFK Airport by lighting a match 40 miles away....The so-called plot happens to be revealed the day before the second Democratic presidential debate and as the scandal continues to unfold over the firings of U.S. attorneys and their replacements by political hacks. The so-called plot is announced by the Bush-appointed U.S. attorney for Brooklyn, New York, and by the police chief of New York City, the father of a correspondent for Fox News Channel."
— MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on his Countdown program June 4, 2007, outlining his claimed "Nexus of Politics and Terror," arguing the Bush administration manipulates news about terror plots for political advantage. [MP3 audio here. WMV video here.]

"Good evening. A President who lied us into a war and, in so doing, needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors; a President whose administration initially tried to destroy the first man to nail that lie; a President whose henchmen then ruined the career of the intelligence asset that was his wife when intelligence assets were never more essential to the viability of the Republic; a President like that has tonight freed from the prospect of prison the only man ever to come to trial for one of the component felonies in what may be the greatest crime of this young century."
— Keith Olbermann on Bush commuting Lewis Libby's prison sentence, MSNBC's Countdown, July 2, 2007. [MP3 audio here.]

"A past President, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back....The nation’s marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would’ve quit....As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst presidency since James Buchanan, he [President Bush] is having it done for him, by proxy. Thus, the sandbag effort by Fox News Friday afternoon."
— Keith Olbermann referring to Bill Clinton’s interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, MSNBC’s Countdown, September 25, 2006.

"The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war on the false premise that it had something to do with 9/11 is ‘lying by implication.' The impolite phrase is ‘impeachable offense.'...When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of that freedom, we are somehow un-American; when we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have ‘forgotten the lessons of 9/11;' look into this empty space behind me and the bipartisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me this: Who has left this hole in the ground? We have not forgotten, Mr. President. You have. May this country forgive you."
— MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on September 11, 2006 ending his Countdown with a commentary delivered from the site of the World Trade Center. [MP3 audio here. WMV video here.]

We now face what our ancestors faced at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering: A government more dangerous to our liberty than is the enemy it claims to protect us from....We have never before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow. You, sir, have now befouled that spring. You, sir, have now given us chaos and called it order. You, sir, have now imposed subjugation and called it freedom....These things you have done, Mr. Bush — they would constitute the beginning of the end of America."
— Keith Olbermann in a "Special Comment" on the setting up of military trials for terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, MSNBC’s Countdown, October 18, 2006. [MP3 audio here. WMV video here.]

"Karl Rove is a liability in the war on terror....In his ‘story guidance’ to Matthew Cooper of Time, Rove did more damage to your safety than the most thumb-sucking liberal or guard at Abu Ghraib. He destroyed an intelligence asset like Valerie Plame merely to deflect criticism of a politician. We have all the damned politicians, of every stripe, that we need. The best of them isn’t worth half a Valerie Plame."
— Countdown host Keith Olbermann in a July 11, 2005 posting to his "Bloggerman" page on MSNBC’s Web site.

"Can Ken Starr ignore the apparent breadth of the sympathetic response to the President’s speech? Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses. If he now pursues the President of the United States, who, however flawed his apology was, came out and invoked God, family, his daughter, a political conspiracy and everything but the kitchen sink, would not there be some sort of comparison to a persecutor as opposed to a prosecutor for Mr. Starr?" [MP3 audio here. WMV video here.]
-- Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s The Big Show, to Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren, August 18, 1998.

— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

Read more:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

United States Code: Title 36,301. National anthem | LII / Legal Information Institute

§ 301. National anthem

(a) Designation.— The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
(b) Conduct During Playing.— During a rendition of the national anthem—
(1) when the flag is displayed—
(A) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
(B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
(C) all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
(2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hawaii governor says Obama's birth record 'exists' but can't produce it | Mail Online

Hawaii governor claims record of Obama's birth 'exists in archives' but can't produce the vital document

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:32 PM on 20th January 2011

* Comments (0)
* Add to My Stories

Governor Neil Abercrombie is facing renewed pressure over Obama's Hawaiin birthright

Governor Neil Abercrombie is facing renewed pressure over Obama's Hawaiin origins

Pressure was mounting on Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie today amid increasing confusion over whether President Obama was born there.

Abercrombie said on Tuesday that an investigation had unearthed papers proving Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

He told Honolulu's Star-Advertiser: 'It actually exists in the archives, written down,' he said.

But it became apparent that what had been discovered was an unspecified listing or notation of Obama's birth that someone had made in the state archives and not a birth certificate.

And in the same interview Abercrombie suggested that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.

He said efforts were still being made to track down definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii.

Abercrombie was asked: 'You stirred up quite a controversy with your comments regarding birthers and your plan to release more information regarding President Barack Obama's birth certificate. How is that coming?'

He acknowledged the birth certificate issue would have 'political implications' for the next presidential election 'that we simply cannot have'.
President Obama on a visit to Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu in December. The issue of trying to prove he was born in Hawaii rumbles on

President Obama on a visit to Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu in December. The issue of trying to prove he was born in Hawaii rumbles on

'It's a matter of principle with me,' the 72-year-old said. 'I knew his mum and dad. I was here when he was born. Anybody who wants to ask a question honestly could have had their answer already.'

Birthers insist Obama, born in 1961, is not eligible to be commander in chief. The reasons often vary, and have changed and expanded in the two years since the Internet rumour began.
The beauty of Hawaii, but there is still a cloud hanging over Obama's birthright

The beauty of Hawaii, but there is still a cloud hanging over Obama's birthright

Some believe his Certification of Live Birth is fake and he was really born in Kenya. Others argue that Obama is a citizen of the United Kingdom or Indonesia. Most theories have been dismissed by many in public office and the media, and have been found to be misleading or generally untrue.

However, the conspiracy theories still thrive, and according to Abercrombie, are likely to continue despite whatever evidence that shows him to be a proper U.S. citizen.

'You're not going to convince those people because they have a political agenda, or they have minds that go in that kind of direction,' he told CNN. 'Conspiratorial theorists are never going to be satisfied. This has gone into another area of political attack.'

And he again promised he would do 'what I can do' to publicly verify that records show Obama was born in Hawaii and is a citizen of the United States, making him eligible to be President.

The Governor vowed when he took office in December that he would do his best to end the debate over Obama's birth, which began in 2008 during the presidential campaign.

'We'll do what we can as quickly as we can to make it inevitable that only those who wish the President ill, only the ones with a political agenda, will be the ones doing this kind of thing,' he said at the time. 'The President is entitled to the respect of his office and he's entitled to have his mother and father respected.'

During that interview, Abercrombie said his goal to combat birthers was a personal one.

Read more:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

House GOP Lists $2.5 Trillion in Spending Cuts - US News and World Report

House GOP Lists $2.5 Trillion in Spending Cuts

By Paul Bedard

Posted: January 20, 2011

* Share This

Moving aggressively to make good on election promises to slash the federal budget, the House GOP today unveiled an eye-popping plan to eliminate $2.5 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. Gone would be Amtrak subsidies, fat checks to the Legal Services Corporation and National Endowment for the Arts, and some $900 million to run President Obama's healthcare reform program. [See a gallery of political caricatures.]
Click here to find out more!

What's more, the "Spending Reduction Act of 2011" proposed by members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, chaired by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, would reduce current spending for non-defense, non-homeland security and non-veterans programs to 2008 levels, eliminate federal control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, cut the federal workforce by 15 percent through attrition, and cut some $80 billion by blocking implementation of Obamacare. [See a slide show of the top Congressional travel destinations.]

Some of the proposed reductions will surely draw Democratic attack, such as cutting the Ready to Learn TV Program, repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, the elimination of the Energy Star Program, and cutting subsidies to the Woodrow Wilson Center. [See editorial cartoons about the GOP.]

Here is the overview provided by the Republican Study Committee:

FY 2011 CR Amendment: Replace the spending levels in the FY 2011 continuing resolution (CR) with non-defense, non-homeland security, non-veterans spending at FY 2008 levels. The legislation will further prohibit any FY 2011 funding from being used to carry out any provision of the Democrat government takeover of health care, or to defend the health care law against any lawsuit challenging any provision of the act. $80 billion savings.

Discretionary Spending Limit, FY 2012-2021: Eliminate automatic increases for inflation from CBO baseline projections for future discretionary appropriations. Further, impose discretionary spending limits through 2021 at 2006 levels on the non-defense portion of the discretionary budget. $2.29 trillion savings over ten years.

Federal Workforce Reforms: Eliminate automatic pay increases for civilian federal workers for five years. Additionally, cut the civilian workforce by a total of 15 percent through attrition. Allow the hiring of only one new worker for every two workers who leave federal employment until the reduction target has been met. (Savings included in above discretionary savings figure).

"Stimulus" Repeal: Eliminate all remaining "stimulus" funding. $45 billion total savings.

Eliminate federal control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. $30 billion total savings.

Repeal the Medicaid FMAP increase in the "State Bailout" (Senate amendments to S. 1586). $16.1 billion total savings.

More than 100 specific program eliminations and spending reductions listed below: $330 billion savings over ten years (included in above discretionary savings figure).

Here is the full list of cuts:

Additional Program Eliminations/Spending Reforms

Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.

Save America's Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.

International Fund for Ireland. $17 million annual savings.

Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.

National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.

National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.

Hope VI Program. $250 million annual savings.

Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.

Eliminate duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.

U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings.

Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.

Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding. $47 million annual savings.

John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings.

Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.

Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.

Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings.

Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million annual savings.

Essential Air Service. $150 million annual savings.

Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million annual savings.

Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.

Beach Replenishment. $95 million annual savings.

New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.

Exchange Programs for Alaska, Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts. $9 million annual savings.

Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings.

Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.

Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million annual savings.

Economic Development Administration. $293 million annual savings.

Programs under the National and Community Services Act. $1.15 billion annual savings.

Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings.

FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.

Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings.

Economic Assistance to Egypt. $250 million annually.

U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 billion annual savings.

General Assistance to District of Columbia. $210 million annual savings.

Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.

Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.

No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings.

End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.

Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.

IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 billion savings over ten years.

Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.

Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.

Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.

Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.

Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million annual savings.

Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings.

Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings.

USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings.

Subsidy to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). $93 million annual savings.

Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.

Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.

Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million savings.

HUD Ph.D. Program.

Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.

TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

American Thinker: Liberals Who Hate Profits but Profit from 'Green Jobs'

Liberals Who Hate Profits but Profit from 'Green Jobs'
By Fred N. Sauer
The left has long trumpeted the "green economy" and "green energy" as the fuel and means for the next big economic boom. At the heart of the "green energy" agenda is the expansion of windmill farms, at taxpayer expense, all across the United States. Everyone from well-known billionaires such as T. Boone Pickens to newcomers such as Tom Carnahan of the famous Carnahan family in Missouri and founder of Wind Capital Group, a Missouri-based wind farm development company, have clamored for taxpayer dollars to heavily subsidize this unprofitable industry.

Typically, the funding for the construction of large utility projects comes from a combination of equity (i.e., savings) and long-term debt, not taxpayer dollars. Normally, you need "savings" when you try to start any business, let alone the development of a utility project. Savings cover the period between when you start spending money until your revenues exceed your expenses -- which would result in a profit. The amount of savings you need to sustain the business until it is profitable is called "equity."

Windmillers like Tom Carnahan have eliminated the equity problem in Missouri, and in some other states, by compelling their unwilling utility customers to buy the electricity produced when the wind blows. With ingenious forethought and lots of propaganda about how burning carbon and producing carbon dioxide as a byproduct threatens humanity's future on earth, they tricked the voters of Missouri in a deceptive ballot initiative in 2008. The result was a statutory mandate requiring all state-based electrical utilities to buy a certain percentage of windmill electricity by a date certain. Thus, they created a monopoly for themselves by requiring a state's resident utilities to purchase their wind power forever.

This solves so many problems for the windmill entrepreneur that you just will not believe it. And without their absolutely reliable and creditworthy utility customers, the "equity" requirement for a windmill farm would have been huge. For example, to build 100 windmills reaching 400 feet into the sky requires on average $3.0 million for each windmill. Completing the example project would therefore have a total cost of $300 million.

All windmills have to be up and running at about the same time to provide your unwilling utility customer at least a critical mass of electricity when the wind blows. Therefore, the total investment has to be made in a compressed period of time.

But there is no real customer base for wind-generated electricity because the supply is as random as when the wind blows. Electric utilities prosper because they always provide the power you need when you need it. You could just say that no big wind farm would ever be built if it was not required by government regulation and paid for by utilities who are required to buy it by government regulation.

Without compelling utilities to buy "windpower," the equity requirement for a wind farm is almost infinite, because you would lose money forever. They would never be built. On the other hand, if your revenue stream is established by a state statute requiring relevant utilities to purchase 20% of their electricity from wind farms, the equity requirement is substantially reduced.

In addition to forcing utility customers in Missouri to buy their product, Windmillers, including Tom Carnahan, received a substantial taxpayer investment in their wind farm projects through the failed Stimulus Bill of 2009.

Since the Recovery Act (the February 2009 Stimulus Bill) took effect the government has issued more than 200 payments for wind projects, most of them much smaller than Lost Creek. ...

Carnahan said in the Spring of 2009, that the stimulus legislation (February 2009) gave Wind Capital Group ... the confidence to proceed with Lost Creek. ...

So, between "getting their confidence" to proceed just after the Stimulus Bill was signed into law in February 2009 and generating power in May of 2010, a whole lot of things had to happen very quickly. To have committed to all the long lead-time items like design, planning, and ordering a hundred windmills to specification would have been extremely dangerous without all the necessary financing in place. It would have been a great advantage if Wind Capital Group knew that their money was one of the two hundred payments in the Stimulus Bill long before it was signed. Did they? Remember, the American people and their representatives had no time to ever read the Stimulus Bill. The Obama administration ostensibly had to rush it through to save our economy.

And on 10/26/2009, Wind Capital Group could announce in a press release that "[a] group of international leaders in project finance lending is providing $240 million in debt facilities to support the construction and operation of the project."

Here are more reasons the Obama administration needed to create a frantic haste in passing this bill:

Critics of the Lost Creek funding have seized on the design of the payment. Rather than giving the credits after the companies file tax returns, the stimulus legislation provides for upfront payments equivalent to 30 percent of the cost of the project. ...

The upfront payments to Lost Creek, a $300 million plus project ... aren't awarded competitively but on the basis of meeting various criteria. For instance, companies were required to submit accredited designs and start building by the end of the year (2010) Energy Department official described the process as automatic; the Treasury Department is required to issue payments to those who qualify within 60 days of Application.

For those of you who have been involved in "market-based" business starts, can you imagine anyone, much less the federal government, rushing to give you a financing payment of any amount, much less $107,000,000? This is the amount of money the Carnahans' Lost Creek project received from the taxpayers under the Stimulus Bill. After it, their capital structure would be $300 million minus $107 million, resulting in a net debt of $193 million in debt and $107 million in equity.

This was really a gift. Or was it instead a giant political payoff from a corrupt government to one of its favorite clans of Democratic politicians?

If you live in Missouri, remember that every time you turn on your lights, you are being forced to guarantee the success in perpetuity of the Carnahans' Lost Creek Wind Farm. This is what green jobs are all about! Yes, profit may be damned when payoffs, a $107-million gift, and state-required revenue streams from the taxpayers are available.

Fred N. Sauer is an American patriot, St. Louis resident, and businessman whose blog can be found at

American Thinker: Green Follies Escalate in the Face of Failure

Green Follies Escalate in the Face of Failure
By Ed Lasky
Those widely heralded compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) turn out to be a bit of dud in the real world.

For years, we have seen traditional light bulbs vanishing from shelves of hardware stores and Home Depots across America. They have been replaced by those screw-shaped things that bespeak the future -- a future of dull lights, money flowing overseas, Americans jobs being terminated, and promised energy savings going up in smoke.

From the Wall Street Journal:

California's utilities are spending $548 million over seven years to subsidize consumer purchases of compact fluorescent lamps. But the benefits are turning out to be less than expected.

One reason is that bulbs have gotten so cheap that Californians buy more than they need and sock them away for future use. Another reason is that the bulbs are burning out faster than expected.

California led the way, as it often does with damaging fads, especially those beloved by environmentalists and green energy schemers. The Golden State has been wonderful for job creation -- in Arizona and New Mexico, as businesses flee from high energy costs and move to states with sensible energy -- and tax, and regulatory -- policies.

No state has done more to promote compact fluorescent lamps than California. On Jan. 1, the state began phasing out sales of incandescent bulbs, one year ahead of the rest of the nation. A federal law that takes effect in January 2012 requires a 28% improvement in lighting efficiency for conventional bulbs in standard wattages. Compact fluorescent lamps are the logical substitute for traditional incandescent light bulbs, which won't be available in stores after 2014.

California utilities have used ratepayer funds to subsidize sales of more than 100 million of the bulbs since 2006. Most of them are made in China. It is part of a comprehensive state effort to use energy-efficiency techniques as a substitute for power production. Subsidized bulbs cost an average of $1.30 in California versus $4 for bulbs not carrying utility subsidies.

Anxious to see what ratepayers got for their money, state utility regulators have devoted millions of dollars in the past three years for evaluation reports and field studies. What California has learned, in a nutshell, is that it is hard to accurately predict and tricky to measure energy savings. It is also difficult to design incentive plans that reward-but don't overly reward-utilities for their promotional efforts.There are additional problems since it seems the state may have over-rewarded utilities with taxpayer money to promote a program that has failed to live up to the green dreams of its proponents.

There are additional problems, since it seems the state may have over-rewarded utilities with taxpayer money to promote a program that has failed to live up to the green dreams of its proponents.

In the real world, these buggers burn out at a fast rate. If I may indulge the reader with my own personal tale: I bought into the dream, mostly because I thought I would save money and energy. Also, I am lazy, and I got tired of getting up on the ladder or slippery surfaces to reach bulbs that needed to be replaced. I thought screwing these wonder-bulbs in as substitutes would save me time and some nagging from everyone in the house. Well...the nagging never stopped, since everyone complains about the quality of the light and how long it takes for these things to power up to their full brightness (a brightness that is a bit unnatural). The studies in California show that these bulbs do not work well in recessed lighting and in bathrooms. This is bad news for me, since most of our lights are recessed.

So once again, we see how government elites and green dreamers have pushed through programs -- imposing them on us -- that have proven to be boondoggles and failures. The landscapes of Europe (and the balance sheets of its governments) are pockmarked with solar and wind power plants that are woefully inefficient at anything other than sucking taxpayers' monies down the drain. Spain is wobbly in no small measure because of the billions spent on solar power ventures. Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, is considering prolonging the operation of Germany's nuclear power plants because that is the only affordable way to keep Germans supplied with power (the plants were slated to be closed, with their replacements being ultra-expensive solar and wind power plants).

But back to the bulbs and the dimwitted ones who saddled us with these screwy things. As Investors Business Daily (and all my family members) noted, the quality of light from CFLs is poor:

Despite governments' effort to market them, CFLs are not necessarily better. Tests conducted by the London Telegraph found that using a single lamp to illuminate a room, an 11-watt CFL produced only 58% of the illumination of an equivalent 60-watt incandescent -- even after a 10-minute warm-up that consumers have found necessary for CFLs to reach their full brightness.

Lack of light isn't the only drawback. CFLs apparently are so dangerous, the European Commission has to warn consumers of the environmental hazards they pose. If one breaks, consumers are advised to air out rooms and avoid using vacuum cleaners to prevent exposure to the mercury in the bulbs.

Compounding the problem is that these bulbs are usually made in China. The old-fashioned kind that we grew up with are being phased out, and the very last American company making them turned off its lights and closed last year -- a victim of environmentalism run amok. Hundreds of Americans, many in their 50s, were laid off with no place to go (I wrote a requiem on the closing). The saga of the old-fashioned light bulbs is not just a nostalgic tale of buggy whips and horse-drawn carriages being rendered extinct by progress. They were killed by government policy.

The new House may change that policy; one of the Republican proponents of CFLs, Congressman Fred Upton, has -- pardon the pun -- seen the light, and from his new post as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he may do what few politicians ever do: undo the damage they have helped to cause.

China is going gangbusters business selling us all sort of gimcracks and doodads that are supposed to save us megawatts of energy. In the real world -- outside Washington, D.C., outside the centers of crony capitalism (since General Electric and other politically connected corporations feed off green energy programs) -- billions of taxpayer dollars are being exported to China in return for cool and futuristic-looking curlicues that are giant, toxic wastes of money.

I think windmills are nice-looking -- at least in Holland, they are. But they don't suit everyone's tastes. The Kennedys and other mega-wealthy residents of Cape Cod have been in high dudgeon for years over the Cape Wind project to place windmills in a windy area offshore. The actual eyeprint would be quite small, but why should they endure anything but perfection as they (including Senator John Kerry) take their yachts out for a spin?

The bluebloods have been successful in killing the project.

Mere commoners have also complained about the environmental and health effects of having windmills near their homes or workplaces. But they did not have their hands on the tillers of power and could not stop these projects from being built near them. The Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) dynamic failed in the face of utilities, venture capitalists, and government officials plopping these projects around. These are often in rural areas, and we know that elites, led by Barack Obama, don't have much respect or concern for hayseeds who live outside Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and other bastions of sophisticated civilization. There are not many voters and very few donors to care about in those neighborhoods.

Government mandates regarding percentages of utility power that must come from renewables worsen the problem since this is just one more means of subsidizing grossly inefficient ways to generate power. They would never be built without governments finagling the rules and balance sheets to rig the game to keep them alive. Without these incentives, they would die. Those vast solar power plantations and windmill farms will be the 21st century's industrial ghost towns.

The federal and state governments have been giving away hundreds of millions of dollars to get American companies to invest in green energy plants here in America. In reality, all too often, these companies take the money and China. The products are then made there. Again, American money (much of it deriving from the "stimulus" program) is flowing to China to save and create jobs over there.

The Chinese are laughing all the way to their banks. So are the venture capitalists and green promoters who have benefited from their campaign donations to Democrats and the Democratic Party.

Will Barack Obama do his labor allies another solid favor during his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao? Will Obama bring up complaints that China is violating World Trade Organization rules by unfairly subsidizing manufacturers of green energy products at the expense of union laborers here in America?

Why ruin a good party and upset the environmental theologians Barack Obama considers experts and geniuses?