Friday, March 30, 2012
The fact that most everyone seems to think that not a single liberal justice would find ObamaCare unconstitutional is a sad commentary about those leftist jurists. It basically says that liberal justices will always put politics above the Constitution. At least some opinions imply that the conservatives of the court are flexible enough to side with the liberals in upholding the law. However, those that feel that it will be struck down on a narrow, party-line basis are also making a statement that politics will solely be involved in the final decision. With all these political-oriented predictions about the high court, can anyone believe that the legal system of this country is always fair and impartial and, yes, constitutional?
Thursday, March 29, 2012
All this volatility should be quite unsettling to Obama's reelection team because it becomes almost impossible to determine what the actual driving force is behind such erratic daily numbers. To me, it simply appears that Obama numbers are being driven by the news du jour and not by anyone's absolute comfort level with this President and his policies. And, if that is true, it bodes well for the election of a Republican president in the fall; as long as that candidate can grab the headline by hammering Obama on his all too many shortcomings.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
This is just so much spin. The Democrats seem to forget that a majority of Americans don't want ObamaCare. At the same time, most believe it to be unconstitutional. Further, many realize that ObamaCare went well beyond the two primary goals of that law: (1) to provide health insurance coverage for those millions of Americans who are either uninsured or uninsurable; and, (2) to bend the cost curve down; making health insurance more affordable for all. However, if anything, it will force millions to lose their employer-provided insurance and the doctors they trust. On top of that, insurance premiums are still rising and are expected to rise even faster; once ObamaCare is fully implemented in 2014.
Instead of all that Dem spin, I'm of the belief that a constitutional slap-down will hurt the Democrats for a variety of reasons. Psychologically, Americans will come to the conclusion that ObamaCare was a bad law if it is struck down. It will show that it was hurriedly passed by the Democrats and Obama without taking into consideration its constitutionality, and, it will reinforce the belief that forcing people to buy health insurance is just wrong. For those reasons, along with the massive cost of ObamaCare, I think it will be the Democrats, not the Republicans, who suffer at the polls this Fall.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
For many on the right, that statement by our President just reinforced the real fear that a second-term Obama may hand over our secret missile defense technology to the Russians in some kind of false belief that this action would allow them to build there own missile defense system and, in so doing, make both countries "equally" defensible against a nuclear attack from the other. It is assumed that if that happened, both country's stockpiles of nuclear weapons would become useless; logically leading to a mutual and complete movement towards disarmament.
But, to me and many others on the right, this action would be like giving an art thief the details of all the security systems at the Louvre. Thus giving the thief the ability to rob the place blind. For the Russians, it would mean that they could glean any weaknesses in our missile defense systems. From this, they would be able to build a nuclear strike capability that could theoretically render our missile defense system blind. And, for the very same reason, it is only logical that the Russians wouldn't actually build a missile defense system that we fully understood.
I just believe that Obama's push for nuclear arms reduction between the Russians and ourselves is a failure to understand that the nuclear cat is already out of the bag. It really doesn't matter if the Russians have 10,000 nuclear weapons or less than 500. As few as 50 strategically-targeted strikes could literally bring America to its knees. Our focus should be on those nations who hate us--such as North Korea or Iran--who are more likely than the Russians to launch an attack against us or our allies.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
- No one having any pre-existing medical condition can be refused insurance or should have to pay a premium for that condition.
- No annual or lifetime caps on medical insurance payouts
- Millions who can't afford insurance will have coverage through the expansion of Medicaid
- "Free" preventative checkups and diagnostics.
And, that's it. That's about all they will talk about. But, you see, those four items that Americans do like could have been incorporated into a couple of pages of legislation. Instead, the Democrats crafted a convoluted, 2400 page law that is literally designed to take over our health care system. That's what Americans don't like. What's worse, most are coming to the understanding that ObamaCare will only drive up the nation's debt. At the same time, insurance premiums aren't being reduced and it is becoming increasingly obvious that quality health care will decline under ObamaCare. With all that, would anyone in their right mind celebrate its anniversary.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The problem with solar in the "Vegas" area "is" that it only provides power during the daytime. But, Las Vegas is a night city; ablaze with lights and JumboTrons everywhere. And, that fact isn't just for the Las Vegas strip. There are Casinos sprinkled throughout the entire metro area. Restaurants and shopping are set up to accommodate people who work all hours of the day. Further, during the summer, the power demand is only amplified by constantly running air conditioning. So, in this neck of the woods (or sands), night time is when most of the power is needed and building 1000 solar plants won't change that reality.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Last year, on June 23rd, President Obama announced that he was releasing 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). At that time, Obama did this to counter the increases in oil prices that had resulted from all the turmoil of the Arab Spring. Oil prices did go down; somewhat. But, after only two weeks, the price of oil was back to where it had been before the "release" was announced.
On a logical basis, this latest intention by Obama certainly plays into Albert Einstein's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." But, in the world of politics, acting insanely and getting headlines is all that matters; even if the benefit is extremely short-lived. While the White House spokesperson claims this rumor to be completely false, I'm betting just the opposite. And, later this year, closer to the Fall elections, Obama will release a significant amount of reserves in order to drive oil prices down; proving that he "does care" about high oil prices. However, what he really cares about is his reelection.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
A refined, 42-gallon barrel of oil will produce, at best, 19 gallons of gasoline. At the same time, about 10 gallons of diesel fuel and 4 gallons of jet fuel will be extracted from that very same barrel. The remaining 9 gallons of "stuff" that is produced from the refining process are byproducts that are used in the making of asphalt, tar, kerosene, solvents, lubricants, plastics, paints, fertilizers (ammonia), Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), synthetic rubbers, and even medicines and medicinal products like aspirin and rubbing alcohol.
While it is true that many of the byproducts from oil can be produced from other sources; typically, the cost to do so is prohibitively high. And, that's the real kicker. By reducing our dependance on oil, the prices of so many products that we absolutely need and use will necessarily skyrocket; especially those that it will cause to be in short supply.
Maybe we can "algae" our way out of our dependence on oil for fuel. But, if we don't find new ways to "economically" produce many of oil byproducts, we will find ourselves in a world of hurt in the future.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
To answer that question, we need only examine the numbers.
According to a study reported by Fox News, only 70 out of every 100 high school students, nationally, graduate on time. Of those 70 graduating students, only 49 (or 70%) will go on to try and and earn either an associate degree or bachelor's degree. Sadly, 75% of those who do go on to college are ill prepared and doomed to either drop out or flunk out. This only leaves 13 of the original 100 high school students who even have a chance to make it through to a timely graduation.
So, in answer to the question, only about 13% of America's high school students actually have a real chance of graduating from college. Even if the math is 100% wrong, that's still quite a shortfall when you consider that 60% of all new jobs will require that sheep's skin in order to enter tomorrow's high-paying market. Unless America's youth can step up to the plate, the high-paying jobs are going to continue to move off shore or go to qualified immigrants or college degreed foreigners who have managed to get here on work visas. This is what 50 years of progressive/liberal thinking on education has gotten us.
We don't need more teachers with smaller class sizes. And, obviously, expensive pre-school, and before and after-school programs aren't working, either. We need to push education from both the ground up and from the top down. Somehow, we need to stop the trend of our children being raised by a single parent. Currently, more than 30 million children are being raised in a single parent household. A parent who often hasn't got the time to be involved in their children's education. For those children with two-parents, we need them to emphasize the importance of learning and try and get them more directly involved. We also need a President who preaches the importance of corporations and Wall Street in providing high paying jobs and stop demonizing those businesses. Lastly, we do need better educators and better curricula. We need to pattern our education system after those Charter schools that have had proven results. I don't need to explain this. I would definitely recommend you watching the DVD: "Waiting for Superman".
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Well, we're well past the passage of ObamaCare and it appears that the American public have been ripped-off by the Democrats. The new 10-year costs have been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and ObamaCare will now cost the American taxpayer $1.7 trillion dollars over 10 years. Worse yet, it is also estimated that, next year, that 10-year cost will zoom to nearly $2.65 trillion or almost 3 times the bogus numbers that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama fed this country.
Bernie Madoff only stole $10 billion (relatively speaking) and was convicted and sent away to Federal prison to serve 150 years. So, what to do with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrats after they cheated and lied to the American public to the tune of $2.65 trillion dollars? Hopefully, the American voter will be the judge, jury, and executioner in this Fall's elections.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
What is amazing about these numbers is that they were even published at all by these two, very left-leaning, media outlets. In the past, other polling operations -- like Gallup and Rasmussen -- have had the President's approval down to 41%; and, like some kind of White Knights, the New York Times and CBS would band together to refute the 41% polling by publishing their own data which almost always showed Obama near or above 50%. So, why such a low approval rating now when both Rasmussen and Gallup actually have Obama at 49%? It's just the opposite of what has happened between these polling operations in the past. This makes no sense.
Being the skeptic that I am about all politics, I smell a rat. While I have no proof of this, it just may be that the New York Times and CBS are trying to jolt Democrats into rallying around the President with both cash and support. It's early enough that this low approval rating won't actually hurt the President's reelection bid; assuming that the NYT/CBS polling in the months to come return Obama to the his near 50% level. And, it comes at a time when the President's fund raising is somewhat lagging. Of course, I just might be all wet.
Monday, March 12, 2012
- Production Costs are Rising. Every year, it gets more and more costly to extract oil out of the earth and its oceans. That's because the drilling is deeper and the latest extraction technologies (like fracking and sideways drilling) are very costly. Also, there's the added and increased costs involved in fending off environmental lawsuits and the costs to obtain EPA approvals and licensing.
- The Value of the Dollar. By international agreement, oil is only traded in U.S. dollars. If the dollar is weakened by excess U.S. spending and debt, it necessarily takes more dollars to buy a barrel of oil. The value of the dollar has nosedived under Obama because the Federal debt has risen by 58% in just three years.
- Supply Disruption. Like any other commodity (gold, corn, pork, and so on), the price of oil is determined by the trading activity that takes place at various commodities exchanges in the world. The people trading oil take into consideration both future supplies of oil and future demands for it in deciding what price they are willing to bid for a barrel of oil. This, with the ultimate belief that they will make money when they go to sell that oil they just bought. At same time, they take on a serious risk that they will lose a lot of money if their supply/demand assumptions are all wet. Right now, Iran's threats to block the Strait of Hormuz and disrupt oil supplies is the primary reason that the price of oil has risen well above the $90 a barrel mark. But, before that, oil had risen as a result of all the turmoil associated with The Arab Spring and because Obama had placed so much drilling potential off limits. Should all of these supply issues be resolved at the same time, the price of oil would collapse within minutes; but probably no lower than $70 a barrel.
Blaming high oil prices on speculation is just nonsense. Traders who trade in oil are making very educated buying decisions and that are not speculative. The real fact is that this President should look in the mirror when casting blame for high oil/gasoline price. He could lower oil prices in two ways: (1) by reducing Federal debt, and (2) by expanding drilling. Blaming speculators is just another form of diversion by another oil-company hating Democrat.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
The reason lies in "how" the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) under-reports the unemployment rate by "not" counting workers who are so discouraged that they stop looking for work. February's rate held -- despite adding jobs -- because some of those formerly discouraged workers came off the benches and started looking again. We know this from the BLS' own press release where it was noted: "The civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.9 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, edged up over the month." As a result, the base on which the unemployment rate is calculated increased enough to completely offset the addition of any new jobs and it remained at 8.3%. Actually, if just a few more discouraged workers had started job seeking, the unemployment rate could have easily edged upwards to 8.4%; thus contradicting any increase in newly added jobs.
But, this phenomenon of higher unemployment rates in an a supposedly improving employment situation is the punishment for having under-reported the true rate through the exclusion of discouraged workers. Right now, those non-job-seekers are hearing from this President and the mainstream media that the jobs picture in this country is improving. Of course, most of this commentary is being done for political gain in this, an election year. Whether or not the jobs picture is actually improving remains to be seen. But, if discouraged workers actually "think" the jobs situation is better, more and more of them will start looking for work and the size of the workforce will grow. In doing so, the unemployment rate will either hold or actually go up. This is why I think that those who seem to think Obama will have unemployment below 8% by the November elections are all wet. When you really think about, Obama's talking up the economy for political gain might actually have the opposite effect by increasing the unemployment rate; and he could very well lose the election for that reason. If that should happen, it will, again, prove that honesty is the best policy. In other words, those who live by a lie will (figuratively) die by a lie.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Well, there's one big problem with alternative fuels, and that's accessibility. If I have an all electric car, I'm going to be very careful planning any trip because I could easily get stranded with a totally dead battery and no place to plug in. The same is true with natural gas where there's only limited refueling stations throughout the U.S. Mostly private. It will take more than a few billion and many decades to create an adequate recharging/refueling infrastructure that would make Americans comfortable about buying an alternative fueled vehicle. In the meantime, gasoline, Obama's fuel of the past, will do us just fine for the next 100 years or more.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
As a result of Rush being targeted by the readers of many left-wing websites, Rush has lost some of his key advertisers and, at least a couple of affiliated radio stations. For some radio personalities, that could spell the end. For once, the lefties at the likes of Media Matters seem to think that they have finally struck that fatal blow to Rush's conservative radio dominance. But, Limbaugh has a loyal following of nearly 30 million listeners and that makes him a financial juggernaut. For radio, listeners are literally gold because its the quantity that brings in big advertising revenues. So, unless Rush loses a significant amount of his audience, he is not doomed. New advertisers are sure to replace those who left. In fact, those 30 million loyalists just may retaliate by boycotting the advertisers who dumped Rush; making some of them rethink their actions.
As had been pointed out in a variety of media formats over this last weekend, all too many left-wing political personalities have been much more derogatory towards conservative woman and never once lost advertisers or were so broadly reprimanded by this country's mainstream media. That speaks volumes as to what is really going on here. My guess is that this will all blow over in a week and Rush will survive to continue his fight against liberalism and progressive politics; leaving those at the villainous Media Matters clenching the fists and screaming: Curses! Foiled again!
Monday, March 5, 2012
I really don't think 5 weeks will do the the trick. That's because Volt production had to be ramped to sell an estimated 60,000 cars in 2012. Last month, they only sold about 1,000. If that trend continues, that means sales are off by 80% from projection. By my calculations, they really need to shut down production for 40 weeks for demand to catch up with production. It is time that GM pulls the plug on this lemon and not just trip over the cord. Each of these lemons are costing the taxpayer $25,000 to build (Analyst: 'This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant'). Once, again, Obama has Solyndrazized the American taxpayer with another silly green project.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Take, for example, algae biofuel production -- the President's latest anything-but-oil fuel. First off, you need a lot of land, water and sunlight to efficiently produce algae. A typical algae plant produces about 6,000 gallons of ethanol per acre per year; and, that's only enough fuel to power 12 cars over a period of a year. To power our nation's fleet of 240 million automobiles, it would take the amount of land equivalent to the entire state of South Carolina. But, that land can't just be anywhere. Typically, you need a lot of consistent sunlight to make algae bio-fuel production reliable. For that reason, most of the algae start-up farms are being built in the deserts of Mexico and the U.S. But, then, that creates another problem: enough available water. And, our deserts aren't exactly bubbling over with good old H2O.
Then, there's wind. We all have seen pictures or driven by one of our country's wind farms. They have hundreds of turbines spread out over acres and acres of land. Usually, one acre of wind farm will produce about 13 kilowatts of power per hour at optimal wind speeds. By comparison, a typical coal-fired power plant produces about 500 megawatts of electricity per hour and does this with a relatively small footprint. To replace just one average coal plant, it would take somewhere in the neighborhood of 38,000 acres of land. That's almost 60 square miles. But, the problem with wind doesn't just sit with the amount of land it uses up for the production of electricity. It's unreliable. Electricity is only produced when the wind blows. Light winds produce very little energy and conventional gas/coal power plants must be fired back up to pickup the slack. That's why we will never be able to really eliminate any of our existing fossil-fueled power plants. Its this redundancy that makes wind power so impractical and expensive.
For solar, the problems are even worse than with wind. Solar is only effective during the day and when "our skies are not cloudy all day". At least, wind turbines are able to produce some energy during the night. Like wind, concentrating solar power systems require massive amounts of space to produce a limited amount of power. At night, and at times with limited sun, solar, like wind, must be supported by fossil-fuel power plants. Like algae, solar plants are best suited in desert locations to achieve consistent power output. Again, don't expect solar to replace conventional power plants.
What our environmentalist friends don't seem to understand is that fossil-fueled power plants are extremely reliable in comparison to wind and solar. They produce consistent electricity; with or without wind and with or without sunshine. And fossil fuels don't need acres of above ground defacement. Increasing our dependence on wind and solar while, at the same time, we try to eliminate coal/gas power plants will only result in rolling blackouts. To me, our use of wind and solar to directly produce electricity is all wrong. We need to be able to store wind/solar energy and call it into use as needed and without any dependence on the wind blowing or the sun shining. That's why I think we should be using wind/solar electricity to produce a store-able, reliable, and "green" fuel like hydrogen. Hydrogen that can then be used as fuel for our fleet of cars and trucks or in the secondary production of electricity. Hydrogen is renewable and, when consumed as energy, it simply produces water as its single byproduct. What could be more environmentally friendly!
Thursday, March 1, 2012
But, the logic on the part of Chu is flawed. And, you only need to look to Europe to see why. In Europe, the prices at the pump are basically double that of the U.S. at any given time. Yet, that hasn't forced people into buying greener hybrids or electric cars. In fact, despite having had high oil prices for years, 94% of the autos being sold in Europe, today, are still strictly gasoline-powered. On top of that, Europeans hang onto their old gas-guzzlers 40% longer than do Americans. For an average of 13 years. Thus, electing to ignore the higher mileage economies that any newer vehicle would afford them.
What people choose to drive is generally decided by what they need the vehicle for. Beyond that, economics generally forms their final buying decision. Most people understand that gasoline prices at the pump would have to go a lot higher to make it worthwhile for them to buy an expensive green vehicle. But, Chu and his boss can't seem to understand this; proving, again, that economics is not their strong suit. That was obvious from Chu's idiotic decision to blow a half billion dollars in taxpayer money on a failing green energy company: Solyndra.
The reality is that, world-wide, there are 600 million vehicles. Less than three-quarters of one percent of them are hybrids or electrics. In this country, hybrids and electrics only account for 3% of vehicles sales. And, with the average age of vehicles going up each year, it's going to be a long, long time before anyone will be "weaned" off of oil.