Obama fights against US coal exports

March 24, 2014
In Obama's crosshairs

In Obama’s crosshairs

I’m not sure what the people of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado did to Barack Obama –after all, they gave him the electoral votes he needed to win reelection– but he sure has it in for their major exports and the jobs they create:

The leaders also announced that the Netherlands was joining the U.S. and other countries in an effort to stop the international funding of new coal-fired power plants by development banks.

“We’re pleased that the Netherlands has joined our initiative that will virtually end all public financing for coal-fired plants abroad,” Obama said. “It’s concrete action like this that can keep making progress on reducing emissions while we develop new global agreements on climate change.”

Per Bryan Preston, the US is the world’s second largest coal exporter, and each million tons exported creates over 1,300 jobs. Now, why on Earth would an American president work so hard against American economic interests, especially in difficult times with such large numbers of people unemployed and under-employed? It’s almost as if he sees American power as a problem, something to be solved by managed decline… Nah, couldn’t be.

I sorely wish more people in those coal-mining states had seen the danger Obama poses to their own livelihoods and the nation’s well-being; I’ve little doubt we’d be in a better situation right now, if they had. But that’s done, and now we have to work to convince voters that any Democrat nominee in 2016 is going to be beholden to the same radical environmentalist interests that Obama is placating with this initiative. Those factions are not interested in mitigating the problems with coal use until a genuine replacement comes along or with good conservation practices in its mining: they want to ban it outright, now, and the consequences be damned for communities reliant on its extraction and an economy dependent on the energy it produces.

And, right now, they have their guy in office.

Read the rest of Preston’s report for the international implications of this agreement.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Sunday Links Fiesta, debate-skipping edition

January 8, 2012

I still can’t bring myself to watch the Republican debates: the quiz-show format, the never-ending quest for the gotcha moment or highlight soundbite, and (usually) liberal MSM hacks asking questions of conservative Republicans. (And on that last, I say “WTF??”)

Thank God there’s NFL football on.

But there are also good articles to read on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Here are a few I want to commend to your attention:

Debt-Watch: Senator (and future president) Marco Rubio has had enough with debt ceiling increases and wrote a scathing letter to President Obama to announce his opposition to another increase. Key phrase: “…the first three years of your presidency have been a profile in leadership failure.” Ouch!

Operation Fast & Furious: Three key ATF officials have been reassigned pending the DoJ Inspector General’s report. More scapegoats to protect Eric Holder and President Obama?

High-Speed Railroad-mania: For some reason, the statist Left are obsessed with high-speed railroads. (I suspect it’s a control-thing for them.) China’s vaunted program has been mired in scandal, while California’s proposed high-speed boondoggle has neared $100 billion in projected costs. So, what does the supposedly conservative (and definitely broke) government of the UK propose to do? Build their own high-speed railroad! James Delingpole calls it Britain’s “latest suicidal gesture.”

American Decline-Watch: President Obama announced massive cuts in military spending and active forces. The President says this will make American forces leaner and more efficient, while meeting our defense needs. Analyst Max Boot say these cuts put America on a “suicidal trajectory.” I agree with Max. For a reminder that American decline is a deliberate choice by Obama and his allies, have a look at Charles Krauthammer’s brilliant “decline is a choice.”

ObamaCare: The Supreme Court will be holding hearings on the constitutionality of ObamaCare soon. In preparation, Mario Loyola and other conservative-libertarian scholars have filed a brief explaining why not only should the individual mandate be struck down, but other key provisions, too.

Candidates-Watch: I’ve announced my support for Governor Perry for president, but other candidates are worth looking at, too. Fred Barnes argues that Governor Romney is more conservative than we think. I’m not wholly convinced, but thought there was enough here to chew over to make it worth passing along. Meanwhile, at Conservative Commune, a conservative, pro-life, Catholic woman makes the case against Rick Santorum.

Liberal Fascism-Watch: Call it “statism,” “the Chicago Way,” the “thugocracy,” whatever, President Obama is showing an arrogance and disregard for constitutional government that I have never seen in my lifetime. (In fact, I suspect this is what a Huey Long presidency would have looked like). At City Journal, Fred Siegel and Joel Kotkin write about “The New Authoritarianism.” It’s alarmist, but rightfully so. Meanwhile, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy takes Obama and the Democrats to the woodshed for violating the constitutional order and the Republicans for doing nothing to stop it.

Birthday-Watch: It was Kim Jong-Un’s birthday this weekend, though it’s a state secret as to just which day it is. The Telegraph has video of the latest Dear Leader celebrating by doing his best Michael Dukakis impression and driving a tank. Really, these NoKo propaganda videos are almost an entertainment genre themselves. My favorite is the happy soldiers jumping up and down for joy at the little Un’s visit.

Finally, food: After all those annoying or depressing articles, doesn’t some comfort food sound good? And what’s a better side dish for breakfast than potatoes? You’ll love these “Perfect Breakfast Potatoes,” from Crepes of Wrath.

Hey, I’m not all-politics, all the time, y’know!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In other words, 13 Republican senators were idiots

January 27, 2011

That’s the number of senators who crossed the aisle to ratify the new START treaty with Russia that the administration rammed through last December, during the lame-duck session. That’s also the same number of senators who, per William Jacobson, failed to see that it did not decrease Russian launchers and warheads at all. In fact, they can still increase them. Only we have to make cuts.

Genius!

Anatoly Serdyukov, the Russian defence minister, told Russian senators that the treaty would not damage Russia’s interests and would have little impact on its nuclear arsenal however.

“The limits on delivery vehicles and nuclear warheads outlined are substantially more than our current possibilities,” he said. “We do not possess so many (warheads and delivery vehicles).” The treaty’s future hung in the balance towards the end of last year when Republicans, who are sceptical about the agreement, won more seats in the US Senate.

Remember, START stands for “Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.” I didn’t realize it had been changed to STAART: “Strategic American Arms Reduction Treaty.” If these are the fruits of Smart Power, I’d hate to see what Moron Power could do.

And speaking of morons, here’s the list of Republican senators who, in a spirit of bipartisanship, failed to do even the basic due diligence the Constitution requires of them and instead voted for this bad joke of a treaty:

Republicans Yes

Alexander, Tenn.; Bennett, Utah; Brown, Mass.; Cochran, Miss.; Collins, Maine; Corker, Tenn.; Gregg, N.H.; Isakson, Ga.; Johanns, Neb.; Lugar, Ind.; Murkowski, Alaska; Snowe, Maine; Voinovich, Ohio.

Thanks, guys. Glad to know you’re watching out for our interests.

AFTERWORD: Some may look at that quote above from Defense Minister Serdyukov and wonder why on Earth the administration agreed to this: Were they nuts or incompetent? Is this report false?

In short, the answers are no, maybe, and no.

The decision to lower our nuclear arms while Russia doesn’t fits the behavior of an administration hell-bent on weakening America. It’s the result of a leftist worldview that sees American dominance and the unequal distribution of power and wealth in the world in our favor as a problem, not, as most of us would, as a good thing. There is an excellent article by Charles Krauthammer you should read called “Decline is a choice” that outlines this strategy — for that’s what it is.

Oh, and regarding the “maybe.” While this may be part of a deliberately executed strategy, that doesn’t mean its authors aren’t incompetent.

UPDATE: Welcome Ace of Spades readers! Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


On Palin, Obama, and “weakening America.” A reply to Jennifer Rubin

January 10, 2011

Over the weekend, Sarah Palin gave an interview on the Laura Ingraham radio show in which she said that President Obama is “hell-bent on weakening America.” Governor Palin made this comment in regard to raising the debt-ceiling*, citing an Obama statement from 2006 in which he opposed an effort back then to raise the ceiling as harmful to America, yet now it is something he supports. Palin took this as evidence that he wants to weaken the US economy, hence her observation to Ingraham.

In a Right Turn post today, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin took great exception to Palin’s accusation, calling it “outlandish and insulting:”

Lost in the shuffle was an utterance for which Palin should be held to account. Last week, she accused the president of intentional weakening the economy. (And this is the voice of someone seriously contemplating a presidential run, mind you.) This is crazy talk and should be rejected.

Conservatives generally think President Obama’s policies are terribly wrong and that he unwisely placed other priorities above the economic recovery. But is he intentionally sabotaging the economy? No. That suggestion is baseless and illogical. (He wants to sink the economy so as to improve his re-election chances?)

Contra Rubin, I agree with the former governor that President Obama is deliberately weakening the United States. Not, of course, in some cartoonish conspiracy that has Barack Obama twirling a fake mustache and cackling with evil glee, but as the deliberate policy choice of someone who sees American hegemony as a source of the world’s problems and thinks the solution is American decline to the point where it is just one nation among equals.

Governor Palin is not the first to make this observation, by any means. In a 2009 essay** for The Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer surveyed the foreign and domestic policies of the then-new Obama administration and concluded “Decline Is a Choice:”

The New Liberalism will protest that despite its rhetoric, it is not engaging in moral reparations, but seeking real strategic advantage for the United States on the assumption that the reason we have not gotten cooperation from, say, the Russians, Iranians, North Koreans, or even our European allies on various urgent agendas is American arrogance, unilateralism, and dismissiveness. And therefore, if we constrict and rebrand and diminish ourselves deliberately–try to make ourselves equal partners with obviously unequal powers abroad–we will gain the moral high ground and rally the world to our causes.

Well, being a strategic argument, the hypothesis is testable. Let’s tally up the empirical evidence of what nine months of self-abasement has brought.

With all the bowing and scraping and apologizing and renouncing, we couldn’t even sway the International Olympic Committee. Given the humiliation incurred there in pursuit of a trinket, it is no surprise how little our new international posture has yielded in the coin of real strategic goods. Unilateral American concessions and offers of unconditional engagement have moved neither Iran nor Russia nor North Korea to accommodate us. Nor have the Arab states–or even the powerless Palestinian Authority–offered so much as a gesture of accommodation in response to heavy and gratuitous American pressure on Israel. Nor have even our European allies responded: They have anted up essentially nothing in response to our pleas for more assistance in Afghanistan.

The very expectation that these concessions would yield results is puzzling. Thus, for example, the president is proposing radical reductions in nuclear weapons and presided over a Security Council meeting passing a resolution whose goal is universal nuclear disarmament, on the theory that unless the existing nuclear powers reduce their weaponry, they can never have the moral standing to demand that other states not go nuclear.

But whatever the merits of unilateral or even bilateral U.S.-Russian disarmament, the notion that it will lead to reciprocal gestures from the likes of Iran and North Korea is simply childish. They are seeking the bomb for reasons of power, prestige, intimidation, blackmail, and regime preservation. They don’t give a whit about the level of nuclear arms among the great powers. Indeed, both Iran and North Korea launched their nuclear weapons ambitions in the 1980s and the 1990s–precisely when the United States and Russia were radically reducing their arsenals.

This deliberate choice of strategic retreats to engender good feeling is based on the naïve hope of exchanges of reciprocal goodwill with rogue states. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the theory–as policy–has demonstrably produced no strategic advances. But that will not deter the New Liberalism because the ultimate purpose of its foreign policy is to make America less hegemonic, less arrogant, less dominant.

In a word, it is a foreign policy designed to produce American decline–to make America essentially one nation among many. And for that purpose, its domestic policies are perfectly complementary.

(Emphases added)

Hmmm: “…diminish ourselves deliberately,” “…less dominant,” “…designed to produce American decline.” I’d call all those synonyms for “weakening,” wouldn’t you? It seems to me Governor Palin is making much the same point as Dr. Krauthammer, only in a more plain-spoken manner and in the informal setting of a radio interview. If Sarah Palin is being outrageous and insulting, as Rubin accuses, then isn’t also Charles Krauthammer?

One reason Rubin gives for dismissing Palin’s comment is that Obama would have to be nuts to want to weaken America, given that would harm his chances for reelection. But that assumes Obama really cares about reelection. Sure, he’s taking steps now to gear up for 2012, but don’t forget his press secretary has said he is willing to be a one-term president to get health-care passed. While Allahpundit was dismissive of Gibbs’ assertion (and, let’s face it, it’s easy to dismiss Gibbs), I’m not so sure…

Bear in mind that Barack Obama is a lifelong Socialist, and that part and parcel of his ideology is the belief that the world’s problems are caused by the unequal distribution of wealth and power and that America’s very success is the poster-child for this. Redress demands a redistribution — spreading the wealth around, to recall the President’s own words in another context. In this case it is a redistribution of geopolitical power –military as well as economic– that can only be achieved by a weakening of America, making her no more exceptional than any other nation.

And Barack Obama is not just a Socialist, but specifically, as Kurtz has shown, a follower of the Alinsky method of incremental yet irreversible change that leads to eventual Socialism. An Alinskyite is willing to accept short or medium-term setbacks and hardship in order to achieve that long-term goal. While Rubin finds it unbelievable, the President may well have thought (perhaps only recently changing his mind) that being defeated in 2012 was worth achieving the goals he and his ideological allies share: not just universal health care and the socialization of America, but also her diminishment –weakening– until she is no more than one among the many nations of Earth, thus righting what they see as great wrongs.

To return to Jennifer Rubin’s outrage, then, I find it mistaken and that Governor Palin was indeed right when she said President Barack Obama is “hell-bent on weakening America.”

And that makes his defeat in 2012 essential.

NOTE: Lest anyone think I’m bashing Ms. Rubin here, I’m not. She’s one of my favorite conservative analysts and I strongly recommend following her. I do, however, suspect that she, in common with other Washington-centric analysts such as Dr. Krauthammer, have a blind-spot when it comes to Sarah Palin that keeps them from seeing the truth when she speaks it. Why, I don’t know, but it’s definitely there.

*For the record, this is one of the few instances where I disagree with Governor Palin. I think not raising the debt ceiling would be a fiscal and economic disaster. Republicans should agree to raise it, but only after extracting serious concessions on spending and the budget process from Democrats.

**This is a brilliant essay, and I urge everyone to read it to get a clear understanding of where the Democrats want to take us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)