Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Weekend Round-Up

Once again, a great deal happened over the weekend, so let's hit the high points briefly.

Big Oil
Multiple new attempts to plug the oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico have failed, and it now looks like this economic disaster will continue for months. President Obama's swift and decisive reaction is to bus in props people to stand there while he gives a statement in a fake photo op to sucker you into thinking he cares. Oh, and did you know that he proposed down-sizing the Coast Guard just a couple months before this all happened? Great foresight there, champ. Too bad he also wants to downsize the military...

Anyway, the photo op may have been complete fakery, but his statement was all too real, as he used this spill to call for a complete ban on oil drilling. Not just in the Gulf of Mexico, and not just dangerous or troubled rigs...all oil drilling:
He made a resounding push for clean energy legislation and referenced the House cap and trade bill passed last year and the one recently introduced in the Senate. He also suspended or canceled a number of lease sales off the coasts of American waters and extended a moratorium on deep-sea offshore oil drilling permits.
I can't wait to see what that'll do to the cost of gas. Here's the bottom line:
If “clean energy” legislation moves forward, higher energy costs will spread throughout the economy as producers everywhere try to cover their higher production costs by raising their product prices, further impacting Americans. The result will be a much slower economy and lost jobs at a time when the top priority for Americans is economic growth.

Also adversely impacting America’s economic recovery and long-term energy policy in President Obama’s speech was his announcement to cancel or suspend lease sales in the Arctic, Atlantic and Western Gulf. “Domestic oil production is an important part of our overall energy needs,” President Obama said in his speech, but his announcements do not reflect that. There are billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas under these waters that could possibly create tens of thousands of jobs as well as create revenues for financially strapped state governments and increase revenues for federal governments.

Controlling the energy sector is the third leg -- after health care and the financial industry -- of the government takeover of America, so you can bet your bottom dollar that they'll continue to push for some kind of controlling regulation, be it cap-n-tax, EPA over-reaches, or this kind of an 'emergency' ban on fossil fuel acquisition.

Time for the dog food!

Back in February it was Armageddon. Republican Senator Jim Bunning was blocking an extension of unemployment insurance on a matter of principle. He simply wanted Congress to cut spending somewhere to pay for the extension. And by block, I mean he refused to agree to an extension by unanimous consent which would have put a lot of senators, of both parties, in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of taking a stand on an issue. The Huffington Post nearly developed an industry in demeaning a handful of senators who were simply requiring a recorded vote.

Yesterday, Congress quietly left town for Memorial Day with a bill to extend unemployment benefits still not passed. Tens of thousands will lose benefits on Tuesday. No one blocked the bill. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi simply couldn’t get their act together, the House getting around to acting on the bill only after the Senate had adjourned.

The crickets you hear chirping at the lefty blogs, like Huffington Post, is the sound of abject and unprincipled hypocrisy. Altogether it is unsurprising.

Why, without this extension, da' po' people will haf to eat dog food, won't dey? But wait...this happened purely because the Democrats in charge couldn't get their crap together before going on vacation. Hm, how to spin this...? Oooh...oooh...I know! It was George W. Bush's fault.

It looks like a new conflict with Israel may be opening up:

The United States has a major problem in Turkey, which under increasingly authoritarian Islamist rule, has become a primary player in undermining U.S. policy in the Middle East, not to mention a growing antagonist of Israel.

I have posted on Turkey's Islamist government before. The ploy recently to announce a farce agreement (along with Brazil) to reprocess some Iranian nuclear materials as a means of helping Iran avoid international sanctions, was a deliberate attempt to undermine the United States efforts against Iran.

Now, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist political party along with the Turkish government helped organize the flotilla trying to break the Israeli military blockade of Gaza.

Let's be clear, this flotilla had nothing to do with humanitarian supplies, which could have been shipped by land. The flotilla, if successful, would have opened the door to military supplies to Hamas concealed in later shipments.

Iranian desire to turn Gaza into the equivalent of the Hezbollah missile arsenal was the real purpose of the flotilla, with European useful idiots tagging along. That Turkey played a leading role as proxy for Iran in breaking the blockade is yet another sign that Turkey's growing alignment with Iran is a harbinger of bad things to come.

The flotilla was a collective human shield operation in which civilians, including reportedly including an 18 month old child, were put on the ships either to dissuade the Israelis from stopping the ships, or alternatively, to create an international incident. Prior to the flotilla launching, the leader of Hamas announced that it would be a triumph regardless of whether the flotilla landed or was stopped by Israel.
Israel stopped the flotilla, and 14 people ended up dead. Turkey is threatening a military response, which is exactly what was predicted would happen. As Israel's strongest ally, it is now time for the U.S. to step up and help them out. Will we? With Barack Obama in the White House, I'm not so sure.

More details to come as these events unfold.

There's my two cents.

No comments: