Friday, October 24, 2014

A Republican Senate Will Put Congress At War With Obama

Since taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama has only had to use his veto power twice.  The reasons for this are quite simple.

In his first two years in office, he had a fully Democrat-controlled Congress.  So, only "friendly" Senate and House bills were sent to the President for his signature.  Thus, they never put the President in the politically awkward position of having to veto a bill.  Then, since 2010, when the House of Representatives went to Republican control, Harry Reid managed to shield the Obama from using his veto power by simply sitting on more than 350 bills that the Republican House had sent over to the Democrat Senate.  Some are being tied up in Democrat-led committees; while the rest are just withering away because Harry Reid won't bring them to the floor for a vote.

If the Senate turns Republican, Reid will lose his majority leadership and all the Senate committees will become controlled by Republicans.  As a result, many of those idled bills will start being passed and sent to the President for his signature.  Now, most of those bills are not going to be to Obama's  political and ideological liking.  Especially the ones that would kill or delay ObamaCare. So, expect a flurry of vetoes that have never been seen in this country before.  Then Obama will be seen as the obstructionist.  Not Congress.

But, another interesting thing might happen with the vetoing of so many bills.  The President's approval rating may drop significantly.  That drop may force some Democrat Senators who are up for, and at risk of losing reelection in 2016, to distance themselves from him by joining the Republicans in overriding those vetoes.  Of course, that will force Obama to use even more executive orders in order to counter any those bills where his veto was overridden.

Lastly, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid successfully implemented the so-called nuclear option in the Senate, he literally blew up the minority party's ability to use a filibuster to block the passage of certain bills and, the requirement of a minimum of 60 yea votes to approve the President's  nominees to the judicial bench or to any positions in his Administration.  As a consequence, the Senate Republicans lost the ability to do anything to block bills or block presidential nominees.  Many seem to think that, if the Senate goes Republican, the majority leader will reverse the nuclear option. I don't think so. By once again, requiring a 60-vote override of the filibuster, many of those 350 bills in the Senate won't reach cloture and won't even be sent to the Senate floor for a vote because they will just remain tied up in a filibuster by the Democrats.  Thus, if the Senate does go to the Republicans, the minority party Democrats will deservedly find themselves hoisted up on their own petard because they foolishly and selfishly implemented the nuclear option.

Ah yes.  the President's last two years in office could be quite interesting as both he and Congress battle it out in what could only be envisioned as an all out war.


References:

Veto Counts by President: http://www.senate.gov/reference/Legislation/Vetoes/vetoCounts.htm

Stack of 350 Bills Stuck in the Senate: http://www.texasgopvote.com/issues/grow-economy/stack-350-bills-stuck-senate-006985

Thursday, October 23, 2014

For Russia, U.S. Oil Production Is Doing More Harm Than Sanctions

One thing is sure, the Democrats hate oil companies; and they want you to hate them too.  This year they are demonizing the Koch Brothers. In the past, Exxon Mobil and other big oil companies were the targets of their wrath.  Every time gasoline prices jumped significantly, the Democrats held hearings to publicly flog the oil company CEO's for manipulating prices so that they could fatten their already fat profits.

But, nothing ever came out of all those hearings. That's because, secretly, every Democrat wants high prices at the pump.  Only then will consumers shift to alternatives to oil or buy more fuel-efficient vehicles or drive less.

Barack Obama is no different.  Since coming to office, he has used EPA lawsuits -- most of which were found to be without merit -- to stop oil production and fracking operations in places like West Texas. He has blocked the Keystone pipeline project in order to restrict oil supplies. Following the BP Deep-Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf, he has effectively used that as an excuse to limit what had been a previously fast-growing and vast area of oil production.  At the same time, federal oil leases -- both for offshore and federal lands -- have been severely restricted by this President.  Lastly, he has attempted to use questionably endangered species like the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the Greater Sage Grouse to stop oil drilling and production in vasts swaths of the U.S.

But, despite all those efforts, and thanks to private and state oil drilling, America is set to be the world's largest oil production country by sometime next year.  And, we are all the beneficiaries because there is now a glut of oil and prices are falling; with lower prices at the gasoline pump to follow.

Even more interesting is the fact that lower oil prices, as a result of rising U.S. production, might be doing something to Russia that the President's own sanctions over the Ukraine haven't done.  That is, to severely hurt their economy.  Russia is heavily dependent on oil production and exports.  But, as the Russian Central Bank so noted, lower oil prices are threatening their economy. and, that comment was made when Brent Crude was at $98 a barrel.  Today, Brent is selling at about $86 and will probably fall even lower as world inventories continue to rise.

So if President Obama wanted to hurt Russia even more, he could approve the Keystone Pipeline.  Approve more federal leases and back off litigation and the EPA's abuse of the Endangered Species Act to restrict production.  However, given the political influence of the environmentalists and the Democrats, he would rather the Ukraine be handed over to Russia than increase U.S. oil production by one drop.

References:

Venezuela blames U.S for global oil price slump: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/business/2014-10/17/c_133723506.htm

Massive Rise in Crude Oil Inventory Sends Prices Tumbling: http://247wallst.com/energy-economy/2014/10/08/massive-rise-in-crude-oil-inventory-sends-prices-tumbling/

U.S. to Be Top Oil Producer by 2015 on Shale, IEA Says: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-12/u-s-nears-energy-independence-by-2035-on-shale-boom-iea-says.html

Russian Central Bank Fears Weak Oil Price Could Threaten Economy: https://www.google.com/search?q=Russian+Central+Bank+Fears+Weak+Oil+Price+Could+Threaten+Economy&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

Court backs Texas revolt against EPA's new greenhouse gas rules: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jan/05/court-texas-epa-greenhouse-gas

Oil and gas production on federal lands is in free fall under Obama: http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/16/oil-and-gas-production-on-federal-lands-is-in-free-fall-under-obama/

Save a Chicken, Drill a Well - Wall Street Journal: https://www.google.com/search?q=Save+a+Chicken%2C+Drill+a+Well+-+Wall+Street+Journal&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

Critics cry foul as feds place lesser prairie chicken on threatened species list: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/28/critics-cry-foul-as-feds-place-lesser-prairie-chicken-on-threatened-species/

EPA backs off on fracking contamination claims in Texas: http://hotair.com/archives/2012/04/01/epa-backs-off-on-fracking-contamination-claims-in-texas/

EPA’s Abandoned Wyoming Fracking Study One Retreat of Many: http://www.propublica.org/article/epas-abandoned-wyoming-fracking-study-one-retreat-of-many

EPA drops action against Range Resources over Parker County water wells: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/03/30/3849362/epa-drops-action-against-range.html

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ObamaCare: The Unaffordable 'Affordable Care Act'

Recently, the New York Times reported that ObamaCare enrollees are avoiding necessary healthcare because they just can't afford the high cost of their deductibles.  To make that point, they introduced us to a woman by the name of Patricia Wanderlich who had a brain hemorrhage and aneurism three years ago and who should have a brain scan every year.  But, she is literally being forced to risk forgoing that scan this year because she can't afford its high cost and the high cost of  her $6000 annual ObamaCare deductible.

Literally, ObamaCare is putting people into insurance plans they can't afford and putting them at the risk of not getting the care they need. Yet, the President has said this many times in the past when hyping his healthcare law: "In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick."

Well, you can add that lie to the one about keeping your doctor, or the one about keeping your existing  insurance that you are happy with!

It appears that ObamaCare will indeed lower the cost of healthcare in America by merely making it too expensive to see a doctor or, worse yet, get a much needed diagnosis. 

References:

The New York Times: Unable to Meet the Deductible or the Doctor: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/us/unable-to-meet-the-deductible-or-the-doctor.html?src=twr

White House Blog: Weekly Wrap Up: “No one should go broke just because they get sick”: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/09/27/weekly-wrap-no-one-should-go-broke-just-because-they-get-sick


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Senegal Imposed Travel Bans And Is Now Ebola Free

Up until a few days ago, Senegal was one of  five hot spots with widespread Ebola infections.  But, now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that country to be Ebola free because 42 days have passed without another new case.

The way they did it was simple.

They imposed travel bans from all the other countries that have active cases of infection.  They even refused outside humanitarian aid. Yet, in this country, we have a CDC Director and a President who claim that travel bans will only cause the spread of the disease.  Obviously, Senegal would disagree.

As long as we continue a policy of not restricting travel from contaminated West African countries, we will never be able to say that we, too, are Ebola free.

References:

August 22: Senegal blocks Ebola aid flight, imposes travel curbs: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/08/22/senegal-blocks-ebola-aid-flight/

October 17: Senegal is free from Ebola, WHO says: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/17/world/africa/senegal-ebola/

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jobless Claims at 14-Year Low: Because of ObamaCare?

Does anyone really think the current economy and job market is as good as it was in 2007 when the unemployment rate was at the historically low level of 4.6%?  So, then, why was the Labor Department able to report that the weekly jobless claims number, at 264,000, reached a 14-year low?  Truly, an unbelievable drop of 23,000 in a single week.  This despite the fact that the current unemployment rate is 1.3 percentage points higher than it was in 2007 at 5.9%.

Two things might explain this.

First, we could be seeing "number manipulations" in the run up to the November 4th elections.  Let's not forget that Obama's Census Bureau was caught doing just that very thing before the 2012 elections.  Therefore, there is no reason not to think that his Labor Department couldn't be doing the same with the unemployment claims number.  Having a multi-year low in claims, with the mid-term elections only 2-1/2 weeks away is quite a coincidence.  And, like the last time, the number juggling probably won't be exposed until months after the election.

The other reason might be the direct result of an increasing trend by American businesses towards hiring fewer full-time workers; and going with temporary help instead, or using temp services, contract labor, freelancers, consultants etc.  All of which are not eligible for unemployment benefits when their services are no longer needed.

You can blame this trend of not hiring full time workers on ObamaCare.

Under the ObamaCare law, a business  must provide health insurance to its full time employees or pay a tax (really, a fine) if it has more than 50 employees, all of which are working at least 30 hours a week.  Hiring temporary help or contracting outside labor can easily keep small businesses and franchisees from reaching that 50 full-time worker threshold. It also means they don't have to subsidize FICA, unemployment insurance, or provide benefits such as paid vacations and pensions.

While some economists and politicians might think that lower jobless claims is a good thing, it may be the result of a growing trend towards avoiding employer-provided health insurance.  Something that one of the chief architects of ObamaCare, Ezekiel Emanuel, recently predicted.

So, now we have a healthcare law that was supposed to increase the number of insured but, instead, is doing just the opposite.  At the same time, it is putting American workers at risk because fewer of them will be eligible for unemployment benefits when laid off. 


References:

November 16: New Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Since 2000: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/business/economy/new-unemployment-claims-fall-to-their-lowest-since-2000.html


US companies increasingly turning to temporary workers to fill positions: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/08/us-companies-increasingly-turning-to-temporary-workers-to-fill-positions/

For Many Americans, 'Temp' Work Becomes Permanent Way of Life: http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/in-plain-sight/many-americans-temp-work-becomes-permanent-way-life-n81071

Temporary jobs becoming a permanent fixture: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/07/temporary-jobs-becoming-permanent-fixture/2496585/

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

Census 'faked' 2012 election jobs report: http://nypost.com/2013/11/18/census-faked-2012-election-jobs-report/

Obamacare architect: Law will cause ‘the end of employer-sponsored insurance’: http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/20/obamacare-architect-law-will-cause-the-end-of-employer-sponsored-insurance/




Sunday, October 19, 2014

World Health Org. Says Ebola Can Incubate Longer Than 21 Days

According to the CDC, if you have been exposed to Ebola and don't show symptoms for 21 days, it means your free of the disease.  Well, maybe they should talk to the World Health Organization.  Their review of studies shows that, while 95% of Ebola infected patients show symptoms within 21 days, another 3% won't present any symptoms for as long as 42 days.  Their "Ebola situation assessment - 14 October 2014" on incubation periods reads as follows:
Recent studies conducted in West Africa have demonstrated that 95% of confirmed cases have an incubation period in the range of 1 to 21 days; 98% have an incubation period that falls within the 1 to 42 day interval.
Clearly, some 3% of all those healthcare workers, airline passengers, and family/friends of Thomas Duncan might not fall ill for well past 21 days and shouldn't be given a clean bill of health until a full 42 days has lapsed.  Again, the CDC should err on the side of caution when dealing with this disease.

Reference:

World Health Organization: Ebola situation assessment - 14 October 2014: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/ebola/14-october-2014/en/

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Obama's Ebola Czar: A Political Move To Hide The Truth About The Disease

President Obama has just named a career political operative, Ron Klain, as his Ebola Czar.  He has zero medical background but is well equipped to navigate the political waters to make Obama's handling of the issue look much better than it probably is.  Obviously, any bad news or negatives will stop with Ron Klain now managing the crisis. And, for sure, keep it off the news and headlines while only being 20 days away from the November elections.

Further, the fact that Obama had to even appoint a Czar simply shows that his choice of a CDC head, Tom Frieden, was flawed.   Klain may be no better.  It was Klain who had the last word on the now-bankrupt Solyndra and other failed "green" companies that were given stimulus funds.

Reference:

Wikipedia: Ron Klain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Klain