Question: Who is Herman Cain?
Answer: A more practical 2012 GOP candidate than Trump or Palin.
Peruse Chevrolet‘s February sales release, and you’ll notice one number that’s blatantly missing: the number of Chevy Volts sold. The number – a very modest 281 – is available in the company’s detailed data (PDF), but it certainly isn’t something that GM wants to highlight, apparently. Keeping the number quiet is a bit understandable, since it’s lower than the 321 that Chevy sold in January.
Nissan doesn’t have anything to brag about here, either (and it didn’t avoiding any mention of the Leaf sales in its press release). Why? Well, back in January, the company sold 87 Leafs. In February? Just 67. Where does that leave us? Well, here’s the big scorecard for all sales of these vehicles thus far:
- Volt: 928
- Leaf: 173
Ouch. The big questions, of course, revolve around one word: “Why?” Is ramping up production and deliveries still a problem? Is demand weak? Are unscrupulous dealers to blame? When will sales start to climb? And what are these numbers doing to plug-in vehicle work at other automakers? We don’t know all the answers, but for more on February auto sales, click here.
As a student of government and politics you (should) learn something new everyday whether it be fact, idea, concept, issue, strategy, etc.
With the recent swearing in of the 112th Congress there are many facts, ideas, concepts, issues, and strategies that will, we hope and pray, come to the attention of the American people. One of many is the power of impoundment.
A recent WSJ article “Congress’s Broken Windows” made light of this little talked about, or at least heard about, strategic method to control the always ambiguous and often nefarious, to the average private citizen who doesn’t work for government, government spending.
Perhaps you have heard of the “broken windows” theory of urban chaos. It says that in a neighborhood wracked with murder and mayhem, it is important to repair broken windows. The idea is that leaving small matters like broken windows unrepaired tells criminals that no one cares if they break the neighborhood further, and it tells the people there is no hope of fixing the big things. In New York City, this worked.
Earmarks, pork, corporate carve-outs and all that are Congress’s broken windows.
Every knowing article written on this subject points out what a “small” percentage of spending this stuff is. But the behavioral incentives for big-time criminals in the Bronx and big-time spenders in a legislature like Congress are the same. An annual federal budget of $3.5 trillion is a towering monument of broken windows. Federal highway spending has been on automatic pilot for nearly 20 years. Sen. Tom Coburn has a long list of programs uselessly duplicated across the government; nine agencies run 69 early-education programs.
Here is a list of U.S. presidents and public figures who have used or supported the impoundment power: Abe Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, JFK, LBJ, Bill Clinton, the Bushes, John McCain, John Kerry, Al Gore, Pat Buchanan, Jeb Hensarling, Russ Feingold, Joe Lieberman, Judd Gregg, and not least both Paul Ryan, the new House Budget chairman, and Barack Obama.
This crucial executive ballast does not exist mainly for two reasons.
In the early 1970s, Richard Nixon tried aggressively to impound spending, touching off a war with Congress’s “prerogatives.” Then Watergate broke. In a fury, one of the most liberal Congresses passed the Budget Control Act of 1974 (which should be repealed). It transferred most spending “control” to Congress, which one commentator at the time called “congressional government—and chaos.”
Second, the Constitution is ambiguous on how to divide this authority, and the Supreme Court, in coin-flip decisions, has sided with Congress.
All the congressional names above, especially Rep. Ryan, have tried to thread this legal needle. But it doesn’t exist because the bipartisan pig-out caucus—in hiding now—won’t let it happen.
Yes, this week the GOP Congress is talking about a lollapalooza annual budget cut of $100 billion. Go for it! But let’s hear Barack Obama put the impoundment power back in play in his State of the Union address—for this presidency and however many presidents are left in the future of our broken-windows capital.
And Dr. Krauthammer’s latest article describing Obama’s behind-the-scenes socialist leaning maneuvering HERE.
Now as always, Obama’s heart lies left. For those fooled into thinking otherwise by the new Obama of Dec. 22, his administration’s defiantly liberal regulatory moves – on the environment, energy and health care – should disabuse even the most beguiled.
These regulatory power plays make political sense. Because Obama needs to appear to reclaim the center, he will stage his more ideological fights in yawn-inducing regulatory hearings rather than in the dramatic spotlight of congressional debate. How better to impose a liberal agenda on a center-right nation than regulatory stealth?
It’s Obama’s only way forward during the next two years. He will never get past the half-Republican 112th Congress what he could not get past the overwhelmingly Democratic 111th. He doesn’t have the votes and he surely doesn’t want the publicity. Hence the quiet resurrection, as it were, of end-of-life counseling.
Obama knows he has only so many years to change the country. In his first two, he achieved much: the first stimulus, Obamacare and financial regulation. For the next two, however, the Republican House will prevent any repetition of that. Obama’s agenda will therefore have to be advanced by the more subterranean means of rule-by-regulation.
Would you send your child to Barack Obama Elementary School? Unscientific survey reveals possible local discontent
From a story in the The Gazette from last year,
Mykel Harris, chairman of the county’s Republican Central Committee, said during the public comment period that the school board is a non-partisan board and naming the school after Obama would be inappropriate.
“I don’t think it’s too much to ask that you all not make political endorsements by naming a school after a sitting United States president,” Harris said.
Harris questioned rhetorically whether the school board was prepared to name a school after prominent black Maryland politicians, such as former Maryland Lt. Gov. and current Republican National Committee chairman Michael S. Steele (R), U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Dist. 4) of Fort Washington or former U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Dist. 4) of Mitchellville.
Board Vice-chairman Ron L. Watson (At-large) said the decision was not political.
“If [former Secretary of State] Colin Powell were the president, I’d be the first to put the same resolution forward. It’s not about Republican or Democrat, it’s about what can we continue to put in front of our children to give them hope,” Watson said. “If anybody gives them hope it’s President Barack Obama.”
In predominantly democratic Prince George’s, Obama enjoyed substantial support among county residents, garnering 89 percent of the county’s votes in the November election.
Politico: “Ground Zero Mosque” is “amateur hour”; “hallowed ground” includes strip clubs, off-track betting; fast food, street vendors, etc
With Mayor Bloomberg saying he doesn’t care where the money will come from to finance the Community Center at Park 51, Politico recently did what others in the media seem afraid to do; report the facts behind this story. This thing ain’t happening anytime soon.
After President Obama, aloof as usual, made contradictory comments about his feelings about the “Ground Zero Mosque” in less than 24 hours last week the media “herd” as described by The Post’s Howard Kurtz pushed the story all last week with no facts just emotions.
The facts are that this project has no financing. It is unlikely it will ever get built. Enough is enough. Let’s move on. We have real problems that impact us everyday to worry about, not manufactured plastic ones. If Sarah Palin is involved in the “narrative” of a news story, item, or issue odds are it is meaningless with no bearing on real life as you live it.
The folks behind Park 51 have a lot of work to do. According to their website,
Park51 is an independent project led by Muslim Americans. This project is separate from The Cordoba Initiative and ASMA [American Society for Muslim Advancement]. The next step in developing Park51 is forming a non-profit and applying for tax-exempt status. Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf and Sharif El-Gamal are serving as the project managers until that time.
This non-profit will be run by an Executive Director, yet to be selected, support staff, and a 23-member Board of Directors. We will choose a diverse Board of Directors, based on leadership, experience and perspective. The Board will not be limited by religion or region.
The mosque, yet to be named, will be run by a separate non-profit whose Board of Directors will reflect a broad range of experience. While the mosque will be located in the planned final structure of Park51, it will be a distinct non-profit.
Lastly, the “hallowed ground” in the blocks surrounding Ground Zero, which nearly ten years later sits undeveloped, ironically has lots of gentlemen’s clubs. Controversy or no controversy, it’s business as usual for the strippers according to the Wall Street Journal.
But if Ground Zero has been made sacred by tragedy, it’s hard to say the same for the Pussycat Lounge one block south of the site. The front entrance of the strip club and bar, which has been there for more than four decades, offers a clear view of the ongoing construction at the World Trade Center site. There weren’t many customers on Wednesday afternoon, when a television reporter stood in the middle of the street filming a report on the Park51 controversy.
Inside, a bartender who said her name was Dasha offered brief remarks against the proposed Islamic center. She said she’s uneasy about organized religion in general.
But Chris, the stripper who volunteered in the Ground Zero recovery, sat on a barstool in a tiny, shiny red dress and defended Park51. “They’re not building a mosque in the World Trade Center,” she pointed out. “It’s all good. You have your synagogues and your churches. And you have a mosque.”
Last week the NY Times exposed a perfect case study within the current Obama White House that could be the basis for the potential syllabus; to circumvent the WH Visitor’s log, made public by the “transparent” [double talk] administration, WH officials have been meeting with registered lobbyists across the street at the Caribou Coffee.
This story is indicative of a White House that is flailing and floundering to radically alter this country and the way in which citizens interact with government. The Administration is filled with people, such as Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, who are intellectual lightweights and always look nervous.
The White House’s fake-me-out real talk talking points are not what Obama campaigned on and provided the qualifications to hold office, according to Obama. That is not double talk, but the truth. Yes we can expose the truth behind this fraud and his team of intellectual lightweights.
From the NY Times story below…
Attempts to put distance between the White House and lobbyists are not limited to meetings. Some lobbyists say that they routinely get e-mail messages from White House staff members’ personal accounts rather than from their official White House accounts, which can become subject to public review. Administration officials said there were some permissible exceptions to a federal law requiring staff members to use their official accounts and retain the correspondence.
And while Mr. Obama has imposed restrictions on hiring lobbyists for government posts, the administration has used waivers and recusals more than two dozen times to appoint lobbyists to political positions. Two lobbyists also cited instances in which the White House had suggested that a job candidate be “deregistered” as a lobbyist in Senate records to avoid violating the administration’s hiring restrictions.
When riding metro don’t put your paper fare card in the same pocket as your cell phone — if your paper fare card meets your cell phone it will be demagnetized and no longer work.
An April report, “Rare Earth Materials in the Defense Supply Chain,” released by the Government Accountability Office has demagnetized the dogmatic rhetoric of the green energy movement.
Rare earth materials, derived from the chemically similar metallic elements that run from 57 through 71 on the Periodic Table, are essential to commercial, military, and green technologies — iPhones and flat screen TVs, laser guided munitions and night vision, and wind turbine and hybrid batteries.
In 2009 China controlled 97% of the world’s production of rare earth materials and now China is imposing a moratorium on all new mining licenses until June 30, 2011. With its own domestic demand and consumption increasing, China is further restricting exports.
As an official with the Chinese Society of Rare Earths told The New York Times earlier this month, “We want a higher price on our rare earth minerals.” US Trade Representative Ron Kirk indicated to the Senate Finance Committee this week that President Obama intends to pressure China on this issue at the weekend’s G-20 summit in Toronto.
Although according to the US Geological Survey the US has 13 million metric tons of rare earth oxides, our domestic production was zero metric tons last year.
Let me be clear, this has not shaken Obama’s zealous determination towards empty green oratory.
“For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires,” said Obama in his Oval Office address, “The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America.”
Instead of leading, the Obama administration is legislating. On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported the US, with cooperation from the business and labor community will explore the possibility of filing a case with the World Trade Organization claiming communist China is hoarding its natural rare earth resources.
According to the GAO, the Mountain Pass mine in California produced the majority of the global supply of rare earth materials for nearly three decades from 1965 until the mid 1990’s when regulatory problems and China’s flooding of the world’s rare earth market lowered prices. In 2002 the mine closed but has recently been re-opened by privately held Molycorp Minerals LLC.
The GAO reports Mountain Pass “lacks the manufacturing assets and facilities to process rare earth ore into finished components, such as permanent magnets.”
With the notable exception of Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) who has requested the House Armed Services Committee hold a hearing on the looming rare earth crisis, leaders in our government and the Obama Administration have ignored this issue.
This silence is deafening.
Facing state and federal regulations, large start-up costs, and patent restrictions the GAO estimates rebuilding a domestic supply chain could take up to 15 years.
The Department of Defense, using rare earth in lasers, satellites, radar and communication systems, and avionics has begun its own review on its dependency to be completed in September.
When analyzed critically, China’s near worldwide monopoly on rare earth materials and our dependence on these materials to build magnets which are critical to the development of green technologies, has demagnetized the green movement.
The magnetism and cult of personality of the world historical President Obama will not change this.
The staff of Four Star General Stanley McChrystal, commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, in a scathing profile in Rolling Stone to hit newsstands Friday call out top officials in the Obama Administration and National Security team as “wimps.”
No drama Obama and his crew have some “message” problems now, but more importantly our troops on the ground have problems from a White House that does not fully support them or their mission. As an observation, isn’t it interesting how Code Pink and other anti-war groups protest a Republican President but are nowhere to be seen with Obama in office. Hmmm.
This is not good news for anyone. For a day or so British Petroleum will be on the back-burner. Tomorrow Gen. McChrystal heads to the White House. This meeting should be a little more intense than last October when Obama gave Gen. McChrystal 25 minutes on Air Force One while in Copenhagen on his failed effort to get Chicago the 2016 Olympics.
Although Gen. McChrystal has apologized. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.
The Syndicate graduated high school from Constitution Hall. That is where Michelle Obama was yesterday as she gave the 77th Commencement Address to the 2010 graduating class of Anacostia High School now known as the Academies of Anacostia. Props to the First Lady for staying true to DC’s Southside and giving time to Frederick Douglass and 1958 Ana High alum Frederick Gregory.
Thanks to C-SPAN for the straight video HERE.