Sunday, January 29, 2012

Allen West to Liberals, "Get The Hell Out of the USA"



Full speech here

Huffington Post reports, "Moments after the quote was mentioned on Twitter, former Reid spokesman Jim Manley responded via his own Twitter feed: 'Me to allen west. You first asshole'."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Obama's Job Creation Lie

Looking around at some newspapers from across the country, I stumbled upon the following ad at the Orlando Sentinel.


I'm sure Democrats believe this chart and want others to. But, going to the very source the Obama campaign claims to use we find.

If you note, when Democrats were swept into congressional power in January 2007, in order to correct an "unbearable" unemployment rate, the rate of unemployment was 4.7%. After two years of their "fixing" things under the leadership of then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, unemployment grew to 7.8% when Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

After peaking over 10.0%, the national unemployment rate did not drop below 9% for well over 2 years. The current 8.5% does not include those who ran out of unemployment compensation and just dropped off the unemployment roles or those who once worked full-time and are now part-time at a much lower wage.

As the following chart shows, again from the very same Bureau of Labor Statistics Obama's campaign claims to be using, unemployment remains much higher than when Obama took office.
I don't know what sort of math the Obama campaign is using, but when I see unemployment much higher today than when he took office, I tend to believe that there has been no job creation. If the claim of all of those jobs being created were true, unemployment should be lower, not higher than when he took office.

Don't fall for fancy looking charts. Look for their sources to verify claims as I did and you will realize that Barack Obama does not deserve a second chance. Remember, it was he who said if he couldn't fix the economy in three years he would be one term president.

He not only hasn't fixed it, he's made it much worse.

It's time to take America back and send both Obama and his Democrat cronies to the unemployment line.

OMG 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Obama Cronies Big Winners In Blocking Keystone XL Pipeline

Ever since Barack Obama nixed the TransCanada Oil Pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf, many people, unions and Democrats included have been scratching their heads pondering why he would kill off so many potential private sector jobs during these dire economic times.

Yes I know it was all blamed on those evil Republicans, who pushed for a quicker decision after years of dragging it out, but what else is new from the Poseur in Chief? Everything is the fault of the Republicans according to Obama and his fellow Democrat Party leaders.

It seems now, with a new revelation, that some very wealthy people who have supported Obama and spoke on behalf of his policies that continue to bankrupt the country stand to make Billions of dollars off of this decision to kill off the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

A January 22, 2012 Bloomberg article tells us “Buffett’s Burlington Northern Among Winners From Keystone Denial.”

That is multi-Billionaire Warren Buffet who made news last year with his claim in support of Obama’s call for higher taxes on the wealthy by claiming he paid less in tax than did his secretary, subsequently shown to be a spurious claim.

We now hear from Bloomberg,
“Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s decision to reject TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit.”

With the denial of the pipeline, Canadian oil we import will come by trains that are currently operating at capacity carrying oil from the Bakken in North Dakota and Alberta at about 300,000 barrels a day. The Keystone Pipeline was projected to carry 700,000 barrels a day.

To meet the challenge, tank car production will have to rapidly increase to meet the increased output from the Bakken and Alberta. While that would mean jobs in that industry, shipping oil by rail instead of a pipeline will add $3.00 per barrel of oil to its cost.

Environmentalists were delighted to see the Keystone Pipeline denied as they feared it would increase the environmental impact, such as a loss of wetlands and agricultural productivity. Not realized though, is that shipping by rail will increase greenhouse gas emissions they constantly bray about.

What also must be considered is the “environmental impact” of train derailments compared to pipeline leakage. McAleer Law.com lists,
“United States train and railroad accident statistics estimate that almost every 2 weeks a train derailment leads to a chemical spill. Some of these spills are so serious that require the evacuation of local residents. The occurrence and frequency of train accidents has been escalating since 1997.”

The Department of Transportation informs us concerning pipeline safety,
“Pipelines are the safest and most cost-effective means to transport the extraordinary volumes of natural gas and hazardous liquid products that fuel our economy. To move the volume of even a modest pipeline, it would take a constant line of tanker trucks, about 750 per day, loading up and moving out every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The railroad-equivalent of this single pipeline would be a train of seventy-five 2,000-barrel tank rail cars every day. These alternatives would require many times the people, clog the air with engine pollutants, be prohibitively expensive and -- with many more vehicles on roads and rails carrying hazardous materials -- unacceptably dangerous.”

But, Warren Buffett and other cronies of Barack Obama don’t stand to reap Billions of dollars in profit off of a safer means of transportation like a pipeline.

John Hayward at Human Events tells us,
“As it happens, 75 percent of the oil currently shipped by rail out of North Dakota is handled by Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC… which just happens to be a unit of Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. What a coincidence!”

Fox News tells us,
“Killing the Keystone XL pipeline may help one of the world's richest men get richer. North Dakota's booming oil fields will now grow more dependent on a railroad the president's economic guru just bought.”

Dave Boyer at the Washington Times says,
“Warren Buffett, whom President Obama likes to cite as a fair-minded billionaire while arguing for higher taxes on the wealthy, stands to benefit from the president’s decision to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline permit.”

He continues,
“Mr. Obama often cites Mr. Buffett as an example of a civic-minded billionaire because the entrepreneur has said he should pay a higher tax rate than his secretary. Mr. Buffett and the president like to tell the story of how Mr. Buffett pays a 15 percent effective tax rate, while his secretary pays a higher rate even though she earns only a fraction of what he does.

The president has called his push for higher taxes on the wealthy the “Buffett rule.”

The secretary, Debbie Bosanek, will sit with first lady Michelle Obama in her box in the House gallery at Tuesday night’s State of the Union speech.”

Little doubt Obama will make prominent mention of Buffett’s cry to tax the wealthy more using Buffett’s secretary as a prop, all the while not mentioning how it is he who ensures selected liberal Billionaires such as Warren Buffet increase their bottom line in areas of investment so their tax payments remain low.

For all of the talk of how Obama is looking out for the “little guy” and how it is Republicans always favoring the super wealthy, we see this one decision of his benefitting a super wealthy person while keeping us “little guys” unemployed and dependent upon government.

OMG 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Where is Ron Paul’s DD 214?

Once again we see Ron Paul supporters boasting of his Military Service, 2 years active in the US Air Force as a Flight Surgeon and another 2 in the Air National Guard (the same Air National Guard President Bush was accused of hiding out from the draft and Vietnam service in) as a doctor.

As the undated photo of him in uniform seems to show, he has Captain’s bars on his shoulders, no ribbons and a basic medical corps badge above his left pocket, but no Flight Surgeon Badge.
US Air Force Flight Surgeon Badge


You might not feel it is relevant to ask to see Ron Paul’s Military Record, but just as with previous candidates who boast of Military Service, as Ron Paul did in the debates with Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and others, it is incumbent upon him to support his claim of service.

I have no doubt that he served as an Air Force doctor (Flight Surgeon) for 2 years, from 1963 to 1965 and then finished out with the Air National Guard (1965 to 1968), but since he now makes that service a central part of his campaign, we voters are entitled to know about his service, deployments (if any), character of service and rank attained.

While many say his active service was stateside, RonPaul.com, a major supportive web site claims in their sidebar, “Ron Paul is a proud Air Force veteran. He served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then in the U.S. Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. During his military service Ron Paul spent time on the ground in Iran, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey, Ethiopia and other countries.”

Another supporter asks in several places, “Why is Ron Paul’s exemplary military record not mentioned by the Media? They follow the question with, “Dr. Paul was drafted and served on active duty in the US Air Force (1963-65) as a surgeon, achieving the rank of Captain and also became a qualified pilot. Dr Paul served with distinction in the US Air Force from 1963-1968.”


Everywhere you look you’ll find supporters of Ron Paul boasting of his Military Service as if he deserves an edge over others due to it. This tactic was tried back in the 2007/2008 campaigns also.

In dealing with supporters of Ron Paul, who take great umbrage at anyone opposing him, as if committing blasphemy, it was unusual to receive comments such as “This man served in Vietnam,” “I'm voting for former Vietnam Combat Flight Surgeon,,, Ron Paul,” “Unlike Dick Cheney, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, Paul served in Vietnam for duty… not booty,” “He is a Vietnam veteran - he is a doctor who served as flight surgeon in the Vietnam war - not like some of these phony veterans that you see prancing around Washington D.C. on the news all the time,” “The former Vietnam flight surgeon is the perfect candidate for President,” “As a result of this experience in the Vietnam War, Dr. Paul is a staunch advocate of getting the troops out of Iraq,” “Dr. Paul served his country, and its soldiers as a field surgeon, probably seeing the coldest side of the Vietnam War,” “He is a doctor, a historian, a war hero,” “Ron Paul served this nation in Vietnam honorably as a flight surgeon,” “Paul, a 10-term congressman from Texas, was one of a handful of Republicans to vote against military action in Iraq. The Vietnam veteran and physician voted against the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act” and “Ron Paul is an Honorably Discharged Vietnam Veteran. Are you?”

Confronting Ron Paul’s supporters on theirs and his claim of Military service often draws a response such as, “Let us get back to the MAJOR BENEFITS of getting Ron Paul elected President instead of someone's DD214!”

I, for one, am a little tired of those who boast of Military Service they may not be entitled to. Supporters of Ron Paul boast of Vietnam Service but never wish to back it up with any proof of a Vietnam Service Ribbon or even a National Defense Service Ribbon.

Ron Paul and his supporters have made his brief service in the Air Force and the Air National Guard into a major part of his campaign again this year and still, no documentation of anything.

This must stop.

I call on Ron Paul to open his Military Records, make his DD-214 public to support his claims and those of his supporters.

If all others are “chickenhawks” as claimed, it is now incumbent upon Ron Paul to document his Military Service to show he too is not the real “chickenhawk.”

Ron Paul, show us your DD-214!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Obama Kills Pipeline, China Jumps In To Buy Canada’s Oil

Years of planning, studies and promotion were flushed down the drain Wednesday when Barack Obama announced he would not approve of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have brought Alberta oil down from Canada to the Gulf Coast where it would be refined for use in America and exported to South American countries.

In plain simple words, Obama killed thousands of jobs at a time American workers are struggling to make ends meet, many still suffering from unemployment or underemployment. Not only were much needed jobs killed, our energy security is greatly hampered now, keeping us dependent on oil from the volatile middle east.

Outrage and opposition was nearly immediate as shown by ARRA News Service in Arkansas with the article, Newspapers, Dems, Labor Unions Blast Obama for Nixing Keystone Pipeline . Yes, even those considered to be Obama’s base are upset over such a ridiculous job killing decision at this time of deep and ongoing economic struggles.

As can be expected, even after three years of the permitting process, Obama laid all blame for his decision at the feet of the Republicans saying he “was not acting on the merits of TransCanada Corp.’s plan, but instead was forced to make the decision based on the ‘arbitrary’ deadline mandated by GOP provisions in December’s payroll tax cut extension deal.”

In a prepared statement he said, “As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.”

Apparently ignored by Obama is that TransCanada has gone well beyond safety requirements with state of the art measures and the implementation of some 57 safety measures not even called for.

Mark Green of the American Petroleum Institute reminds us that back in 2009, it was Barack Obama’s State Department who put forth the best argument in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline when it was stated, “… the addition of crude oil pipeline capacity between Canada and the United States will advance a number of strategic interests of the United States. These included increasing the diversity of available supplies among the United States’ worldwide crude oil sources in a time of considerable political tension in other major oil producing countries and regions; shortening the transportation pathway for crude oil supplies; and increasing crude oil supplies from a major non-Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries producer.

Canada is a stable and reliable ally and trading partner of the United States, with which we have free trade agreements which augment the security of this energy supply. Approval of the permit sends a positive economic signal, in a difficult economic period, about the future reliability and availability of a portion of United States’ energy imports, and in the immediate term, this shovel-ready project will provide construction jobs for workers in the United States.”

Of course, that glowing comment was given upon approval of the Alberta Clipper pipeline, but 2009 wasn’t an election year where Obama has to cater to the far left in hopes of being reelected.

As was brought out a few months ago, as wacko environmentalists continued to raise opposition to the creation of good paying private sector jobs that would be created with the Keystone XL project, China has been ready to step in and buy Canada’s oil sands oil, further undermining America’s energy security and growing their hold on the world’s oil supply.

With Obama’s rejection of the project, Canada is prepared to do business with China, growing Canada’s economy and providing Canadians with jobs denied American workers.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has put together a group called Resourceful Earth.org that is not taking this lying down and are urging struggling taxpayers to help push back with a petition and assisting in other actions.

Resourceful Earth states, “The Obama Administration had until February 21 to look at the facts and make an educated decision on the Keystone XL project, but instead, he chose to jump-the-gun and have the State Department announce it will kill the permits necessary for work to get started on the pipeline.”

“This is a blatant political decision that postpones Obama having to make a real decision on the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline until after his re-election campaign, putting his own job ahead of the creation of American jobs and economic improvement.”

As brought out in an earlier post, another move this election year is Vote 4 Energy.

They are joined by Energy Citizens and Ethical Oil.org, a Canadian group supporting America and Canada continuing our long partnership in trading.

They have penned an article, “Obama’s cynical pipeline politics” that begins with “When Barack Obama was running for president of the United States, he made a bold promise. “If I’m president, I’m immediately going to direct the full resources of the federal government, and the full energy of the private sector, to a single overarching goal,” he said. “In 10 years time, we are going to eliminate the need for oil from the entire Middle East and Venezuela.”

President Obama has had four years to make good on that promise. He’s not even close. And his decision Wednesday to deny permission for a new pipeline that would replace oil from those OPEC countries with Canadian oil, indicates that he didn’t actually mean what he said. As the famed American energy investor T. Boone Pickens put it after the White House announced its veto on the Keystone XL pipeline, “We can kiss another chance at energy security goodbye. We must really like OPEC oil.”

Read the rest here.

As we continue to struggle in this recession, one of the longest lasting economic downturns in our history, we cannot afford to allow such irresponsible decisions by a politician to stand. We must push back and demand our lawmakers and elected leaders make decisions that improve our economy and get America’s workers back to work.

Empty and hollow promises won’t do. Pouring Billions of dollars into expensive, unreliable and inefficient “alternative” energy sources to must receive an influx of scarce tax dollars to operate must cease.

We need energy, we need revenues and above all, we need the jobs these projects provide.

I don’t know exactly whose side Barack Obama is on, but it is getting clearer every day that he is not on the side of struggling middle class taxpayers.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Forensic Accounting Analysis Released, Time To Pull The Plug On CRC

After many months of work, Forensic accountant Tiffany Couch has released her CRC Forensic Accounting Analysis (81 page pdf)

Her work has "identified numerous significant questionable accounting and contracting practices involving the CRC."

Today, January 19, 2011, she held a meeting in the Republican Caucus Room with Washington State Legislators where she shared her findings with "Representatives Armstrong, Clibborn, Harris, Moeller, Orcutt, and Rivers. Washington State Department of Transportation officials on hand included: David Dye, Deputy Secretary of Transportation; Steve McKerney, WSDOT Director of Internal Audit; and Bob Covington, Director of Accounting and Financial Services. CRC project office officials and staff were invited but chose not attend."

As previously noted, Tiffany Couch was one of 15 speakers speaking at the Smarter Bridge Committee News Conference held last Thursday morning on the northern bank of the Columbia River, each expressing their own misgivings on the current project as planned.

Ms. Couch communicated questionable accounting practices on just where has some $150 Million of our tax dollars gone. She touched on this in the Executive Summary,
"As a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner it is my professional opinion - based upon the information I have reviewed, and measured against the continued difficulties I’ve experienced with Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project office members – that the accounting and contracting practices for the CRC project are characterized by irregularities and planning missteps on many fronts. The magnitude of these irregularities, in terms of quantity, amount, and qualitative aspects of the project, are more than adequate to indicate that this project is suffering from a severe lack of accountability, transparency, and oversight. It is my further opinion that these irregularities are of a sufficient depth to warrant an intervention on the project, and perhaps a termination or delay until procedures are in place that provide for centralized accounting and financial decision making, and compliance with federal and state contracting standards. Whether there is sufficiency to elevate these irregularities to a definition that would warrant the assertion of civil or criminal practices is not the subject of my comments today. Such definition could not be ascribed without further scrutiny and investigation. That responsibility from here forward falls to you – the elected officials who run these states – in your representation of your constituents, the citizens of Washington (and Oregon).

I have maintained for some time, based off of what I read in the Columbian, the Oregonian and the Willamette Week that an investigation is warranted and if need be, a criminal investigation conducted by the Department of Justice. That does not mean any actual criminal acts have been performed, but it would reveal just what has been going on.

We should not forget the rancor over a misplaced $100,000 in the city of Washougal just a couple years ago that resulted in a criminal investigation. Here we are concerned with over $150 Million so far!

Days ago the Portland Tribune published, "Irvington group gathers money for bridge legal fight Neighborhood coalition expected to appeal Columbia River Crossing to federal court" informing us the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods Inc intentions of "appealing the massive bridge project to federal court."

Few people don't agree that the bridge across the Columbia in the I-5 corridor shouldn't be replaced, but we also acknowledge that the current $3.5 Billion to $10 Billion design is much more than is needed and will not decrease congestion through that area. Most admit if reducing congestion is really the overall goal, more bridges would be needed and a vast improvement would need to be seen in the I-5 freeway through Portland, Oregon.

There is also the matter of forcing Clark County resident's to accept Portland's financially struggling light rail extended into our community, even though 3 past votes have indicated we do not wish it to be brought over here.

Speakers at the Smarter Bridge Committee news conference also brought out that there are at least 3 other proposals in existence to deal with replacing the bridge at a reasonable cost and that might actually reduce congestion that have not been considered.

Citizen efforts at accountability have been ignored and ridiculed by community elected leaders with the willing help of the Columbian who once featured a front page article with photos of the citizens who most often question the project.

Successful businessman David Madore, who hired Ms. Couch to do the work the government should have been doing and reporting became the target of elected leaders and the Columbian.

To their credit, even the Columbian has began questioning and publishing editorials expressing misgivings on the project too, here and here. As strong of a cheerleader as the Columbian has been, to see them now making such a drastic turnaround screams for some level of investigation.

Little doubt that Vancouver mayor, Boss Tim 'the liar' Leave-it' and county commissioner Steve Stuart will try to marginalize the report from Ms. Couch and continue trying to shove this project down our throats, whether we can afford it or even want it.

I hope that between the legislatures of both states as well as ODOT and WSDOT, this boondoggle will come to a screeching halt until questions are answered, proper accountability is put into place and if warranted, prosecutions taking place.

It can and must be done better.

See also Columbia River Crossing officials suggest significant downsizing to trim $650 million from the controversial project for Oregon Governor Kitzhaber's "Plan B" and Couv.com for Forensic accountant slams high costs, low competition of CRC

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

This Election, “Vote 4 Energy”

Once again, we are faced with an election year. Democrats & Republicans and others will be begging for our vote and for our money while making lavish promises most have no intention of keeping or won’t be able to.

We’ll see and hear each candidate boasting of some record or grand idea to fix our continuing economic struggles. From raising taxes on the wealthy to stopping tax breaks to corporations that create the jobs many have. From making past tax breaks permanent to cries of shrinking the size of government.

We’ll hear promises of how “Green” energy is the answer to our reliance to foreign oil.

We’ll be hearing blame slung around and catchy slogans to grab our attention and vote.

But who will really address issues that have and continue to create economic havoc in our lives? Who will take a stand to the radical environmentalists and bureaucrats who keep us highly dependent upon foreign oil and mired in this elongated “Great Recession” by blocking job creation?

Our energy security is not a partisan issue, it’s an American issue. That point is the driving force behind a new advocacy group, Vote4Energy that lists on their homepage, “A Vote 4 Energy is a vote for more jobs, higher government revenues and greater energy security.”

Jack Gerard, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, who created the Vote4Energy recently delivered a State of American Energy address (video of the address here).

Early in the address Mr. Gerard noted,
“What we say here in Washington is important because it is here, after all, that policy that affects all Americans is made.”
“But there are millions of other voices across the country, and what happens here should be a reflection of what Americans are saying.”
“And in poll after poll, over the last year, they have voiced their opinions about our energy choices. They have framed the issues in ways that are most relevant to their families, businesses and communities.”






Acknowledging the words heard in the video, Mr. Gerard stated,
“You know, it’s never a bad idea to listen to the American people.”
“Their comments can cut to the heart of things and find clarity—in sharp contrast to the confusion that often prevails today inside Washington’s Beltway.”
“Americans look for consensus, which has become rare in here in Washington.”
“Without question, in this election year, what voters are saying is: give us leadership.”
“Give us leaders who share our vision of a strong and prosperous America, based on our ability to create and innovate.”

If only our elected leaders took the time to remember or even acknowledge that our voices actually do matter. Regardless of party, it seems all too often once seated in their “cushioned seats of authority,” our voices seem lost and ignored to various lobbyists and special interests.

We in Washington State do not have a large presence of known reserves to be recovered, but we do have 5 refineries operating within the state. A study by Wood Mackenzie recently showed that with a smarter policy addressing our energy industry, we could see the addition of “19,805 new well-paying jobs in the state of Washington by 2030.”

Mark Green of the Energy Tomorrow blog reminds of the industry’s ability to create jobs needed to spark a meaningful recovery when he wrote,
“One in seven of today’s recent college graduates live at home today because they can’t find good jobs. In North Dakota, young people working in oil and gas hold jobs that pay more than their parents earn. The average oil and gas salary in North Dakota is more than $90,000 a year – more than double the state average. In Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett’s staff told me that shale gas development generated more than 90,000 jobs between 2009 and 2011. That development has also generated many millions of dollars of revenue to the state treasury.”

Addressing the failure and lack of vision seen from our current leaders in regards to the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal, Mark quotes Jack Gerard,
“Frankly, this vision and its policies are disconnected from current economic and energy reality, which is a landscape of global economic struggles and geopolitical challenges. This vision ignores the jobs and the energy that could be produced here in the U.S. Instead, it’s on a course for less energy, not more. These policies are failing us.”

How right they are as we see the highest unemployment America has seen in decades with failed policy after failed policy coming from Washington D.C.

Hopes of alternate energy sources remain short lived as we see idled and rusting wind farms spotting the landscape, alternate energy advocates blocking construction in their own back yards and read of cockamamie ideas like pumping cold water into a central Oregon volcano to generate steam for geothermal energy.

Vote4Energy provides a link to our elected officials in order that we may learn how they voted on matters concerning our energy policies. Maria Cantwell, up for reelection to the senate received a 0% rating for her stand on energy, not surprising considering she joined in with the 5 other West Coast Senators in advocating a “Permanent Moratorium” on all off shore recovery along the West Coast.

Jay Inslee, who would just love to be our next governor, also received a 0% rating for his congressional stand on America’s energy independence and security.

Vote4Energy says,
“There is a straightforward way to create American job loss, tackle the national debt and alleviate concern over our energy future. By increasing access to domestic resources and implementing other pro-development energy policies, the oil and natural gas industry can provide one million new American jobs, contribute hundreds of billions in government revenue and significantly increase our energy security, all by 2020.”

America, we need the energy. We need the security. We need to revenues that could be generated and above all, we need the jobs.

As campaigns unfold and ads hit the airways, I urge you all to question candidates on energy and economic matters. Look at their records and question their claims and promises. Don’t accept any at face value.

Above all, let’s Vote4Energy and begin climbing out of this economic morass several past poor choices has put us in.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Don’t Ban, Recycle

With all that the governor has placed on the table for the legislature to deal with in a short 60 day session, sales tax increase, $3.6 Billion in transportation wants, funding education and same sex marriage, why would they waste time considering a ban on plastic bags that will not help anyone in the state and in fact, would cost us more jobs in Washington State?

Younger folks might not realize it, but plastic bags were a demand of environmentalists’ decades ago in order to “save the trees.” Prior to that, brown paper bags were the norm, but tree huggers came along and with their demand to do away with the paper bags, the plastic bags we see today became the norm.

Early plastic bags were a made of a compound dependent upon petroleum and as the industry became aware of the drawbacks of petroleum based plastics, developed more bio-degradable materials to manufacture them from.

As recycling of such materials became more common, companies sprang up that recycled the bags and manufactured more out of the recycled materials.

One such company is Hilex Poly who says of their operations,

Hilex Poly’s sustainability goal is to establish a viable environmental program and product line that:
• Reduces the impact of plastic on the environment through recycling and increased recycled content
• Sets a high standard of industry leadership and corporate citizenship
• Creates meaningful benefits for the environment and the community
• Facilitates environmental action by retailers and the community

Left unsaid but obvious, they also employ American workers in America.

Just this past Wednesday, Vice President of Sustainability and Environmental Policy for Hilex Poly, Mark Daniels appeared before our legislature to testify on what a ban on plastic bags would mean in the way of jobs and how the desired effect could not be met.

Mark said,
“Washington residents interested in reducing litter and protecting the environment would be far better served supporting a statewide recycling program rather than an all-out ban on retail plastic carry-out bags, a policy which will only push consumers to alternatives that are less sustainable, not more. The truth is banning one product that makes only one to two percent of litter will have no meaningful impact on litter. Instead, it will result in forcing consumers to use products such as reusable bags, which are mostly imported from China, made from foreign oil and are not recyclable, or to use paper bags, which have a larger carbon footprint than plastic bags.

“There is a better way. According to EPA data, plastic bag recycling increased 24 percent between 2009 and 2010 nationwide. Washington has the opportunity to show real environmental leadership and enact a comprehensive recycling plan that actually reduces litter, saves American jobs and protects consumer choice.”

In February 2011, Shoreline Liberal Democrat Senator Marilyn Chase appeared on KPAM 860’s Victoria Taft show speaking some of the most outrageous hyperbole I’ve ever heard on banning plastic bags. Listen here.

I find her position to be totally incredulous as she does not even consider recycling, even after many years of forcing recycling of all other recyclable materials on us.



The jobs lost during these dire economic times with such a ban are shown in a Fact Sheet compiled and supplied by Bag the Ban.com.

More information is located at 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK THOSE WHO WANT TO BAN OR TAX PLASTIC BAGS.

Our unemployment in Washington State remains above the national average with Clark County even higher than that. With the legislature placing the burgeoning budget gap on the back burner to push same-sex marriage first, pushing legislation that will cost more jobs and place more restrictions on taxpayers is not in the best interest of the state.

Do we really want to become more dependent upon China for shopping bags that have been shown to carry a much larger risk to retain bacteria that might be contaminating other food products placed in them?

I would hope not.

If you are as tired as I am of being pushed round by government and for reasons that will not benefit society, I urge you to sign this petition and tell our legislators, “Bag the Ban.”

We need to keep our jobs and our freedoms, not have even more restrictive policies passed on us by elected people who believe they know better and accomplish nothing!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Union Cries Foul At Coast Guard Escort For Grain Ship

The United States Coast Guard has a long history of protecting our coastal waterways and shorelines. They state on their website,
“For over two centuries the U.S. Coast Guard has safeguarded our Nation’s maritime interests in the heartland, in the ports, at sea, and around the globe. We protect the maritime economy and the environment, we defend our maritime borders, and we save those in peril. This history has forged our character and purpose as America’s Maritime Guardian — Always Ready for all hazards and all threats.”

Serving in the U.S. Coast Guard has often been shown honorable, yet hazardous in many of their missions.

Most Americans hold the Coast Guard, along with the rest of our brave younger people in other branches of the Military in highest regard, recognizing the sacrifices made on all of our behalf and appreciating their performance in the duties.

Apparently not in that group of appreciative people is members of the San Francisco Labor Council who has issued a condemnation of the announcement that Coast Guard vessels will escort the first ship due to dock at the EGT Grain Terminal at the Port of Longview, still embroiled in a labor dispute with ILWU local 21 in Longview, Washington.

The Longview Daily News reported on January 6, 2012 news of the Coast Guard escorting the first grain ship to dock at EGT’s terminal as large protests are also scheduled to meet the ship, with expectations of a repeat of the tactics seen before as ILWU members and supporters trespassed on company property, vandalized grain shipments in rail cars, terrorized security guards and blocked trains, drawing over $300,000 in fines from federal court for their illegal acts.

Jeff Washburn, president of the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Central Labor Council announced his group has passed a resolution calling for a protest, but stops short in calling for blocking the ship, a viewed shared by the ILWU.

However, the Occupy Anything But A Bar of Soap people see things differently as they have issued a nationwide call for supporters to stage a massive protest to interfere with the loading of the ship.

Lt. Lucas Elder, a spokesman for Coast Guard's Portland-based marine safety unit responded saying, “The Coast Guard is definitely going to be involved in making sure the port is safe.” He also adds that smaller boat captains refusing to get out of the way could face “hefty civil penalties.”

Maybe those who might think their smaller boats can stop a ship should think again as a ship is even harder to stop than is a train. A civil penalty just might be the least of their worries should they decide to place smaller vessels in front of a ship trying to get to port.

There currently is not a date set for the ship to arrive

Particularly offensive to me in reading the San Francisco Labor Councils condemnation is seeing the deep disdain they place on our military services. Reading the resolution you find,
“Whereas, now the US military, which has been oppressing, bombing and threatening other nations [a military that’s paid for with the workers’ taxes] is now being used against us, against American working people and our unions. To quote ILWU international President McEllrath: ‘ILWU’s labor dispute with EGT is symbolic of what is wrong in the United States today. Corporations, no matter how harmful the conduct to society, enjoy full state and federal protection while workers and the middle class get treated as criminals for trying to protect their jobs and communities’.”

Such language is what we could expect to hear from the malcontents in the Occupy Anything But A Bar of Soap people as well as the low-life anti-war crowds who see the Military and those serving in it as something less that human, worth only their disgust.

In reality, it is the other way around.

Their cries of the Military being used to “bust unions” are just ridiculous. As has been shown time and again, EGT hired another union to work their port after efforts by ILWU negotiators to shake down the company cost the ILWU the contract.

Protesters now spewing their filth towards our Military fail to see that the presence of the Coast Guard is as much for their safety as it is to protect the ship and its crew. As I mentioned above, smaller craft don’t stand a chance if they try to block the ship.

Would protesters, who have shown they feel no laws or decent conduct applies to them, try to storm the port and the ship? I have seen no reason to believe they would not.

Protesting is one thing. Terrorist acts against a vessel in our waterways are another.

I applaud the decision to give the ship a Coast Guard escort, seeing that the protesters cause more harm to themselves and others than any message they claim to have.

It’s also time Unions grew up and recognized how they have helped drag down our economy with their greedy demands that has caused several companies to close their doors in America and seek operations overseas where labor is affordable.

I hope again that any that plans on putting their smaller boats in front of the ship to stop is reconsider. But if they don’t, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Leave the children at home this time, if you really love them.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Did Ron Paul Really Claim to be a Democrat?

A brief excerpt from the January 7, 2012 New Hampshire Debate



Sounds like that is just what he claimed.

Do we want someone in office who can't even tell what party he claims he is a member of?

Excerpt taken from highlights video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvZ5D_fU39w

Allen West Sets the Record Straight on NDAA & Detention of US Citizens

I find Rep. Allen West to be much more believable than Alex Jones or Ron Paul.

Congressional Hypocrisy on Outsourcing Defense Contracts

Once again, American workers, mired in an ongoing ‘Great Recession’ and facing some of the highest unemployment in decades, are seeing work that should be filled in America by Americans being outsourced to a foreign country. Worse yet, the work is in the filling of a defense contract.

Hawker Beechcraft, an established aircraft manufacturer based in Wichita, Kansas appears to have been shut out of a defense contract in supplying the U.S. Air Force with a light attack aircraft slated for use as a trainer and a potential ground attack plane in Afghanistan for their forces.

Without fanfare and apparently very quietly, the contract was awarded to the Brazilian aircraft company, Embraer, in partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Since Hawker Beechcraft has been supplying an airplane to the U.S. Air Force for some time that fits the bill and has been the trainer of choice, the company has filed a lawsuit in federal court over the award.

To the best of my knowledge, both companies build very good aircraft. My intent in this post is not to promote one over the other, that is left to the courts and those who will evaluate the aircraft and the merits of Hawker Beechcraft’s allegations.

But reading the story on this, it all began sounding very familiar to me. It was like we had heard all of this before and not too long ago. And we have, back in 2008 when Washington State based Boeing Corporation lost their bid for supplying a new mid-air refueler tanker contract to EADs/Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Democrats especially were crawling all over each other to condemn the choice and the Bush administration in particular, especially Washington Senator Patty Murray. Mrs. Murray immediately took to the Senate floor where in speech after speech decrying the decision.

She said in part, “Our economy is hurting. We’re nearing a recession – if we aren’t already there. Families are struggling just to get by in part because their factory jobs have been moved overseas. This tanker contract wasn’t just one defense contract – it was a key piece of our national and economic security,” and “outsourcing a key piece of our American military capabilities to any foreign company is a national security risk.”

A quick search of Washington State newspaper archives reveals others eagerly jumping into the fray.

Then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the award “The Air Force’s decision to award the contract for a much-needed modernization of the nation’s aerial tanker fleet to Northrop Grumman and Airbus raises serious questions that Congress must examine thoroughly. The questions include ‘national security implications of using an aircraft supplied by a foreign firm,’ as well as whether the Air Force gave sufficient consideration to the contract’s effect on American jobs.”

Senator Hillary Clinton stated, “I am deeply concerned about the Bush administration's decision to outsource the production of refueling tankers for the American military.”

A Joint statement from Rep. Norm Dicks, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Reps. Rick Larsen, Jay Inslee, Adam Smith, Jim McDermott and Washington State Republican Dave Reichert said, “This is a blow to the American aerospace industry, American workers and America’s men and women in uniform. At a time when our economy is hurting, this is a blow not only to our state, but the more than 40 states across the country who would help build this national plane. We will be asking tough questions about the decision to outsource this contract.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was quoted “At the very least, there should be congressional hearings,” over the initial contract award to EAD’s/Northrop Grumman.

Richard Michalski, vice president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said, “That general [that initially awarded the tanker deal to EADs-Northrop Grumman] should look at where his paycheck comes from. That general should quit his job, move to France and join the French Foreign Legion.”

Tom Wroblewski, president of Machinists Union District 751 was quoted, “Because of the Air Force decision, America has to rely on a foreign country to defend our nation. This is wrong. And we will not stand silent on this issue.”

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) chimed in, “It is clear that there were major irregularities in the contracting process, which resulted in a flawed decision. There are also serious strategic issues with outsourcing our national defense instead of fostering a strong domestic defense industry.”

Not to be left out, then Senator Barack Obama said, “I find it hard to believe that having an American company that has been a traditional source of aeronautic excellence would not have done this job.”

With all of the cries of corruption and subsidized leveled against EADs in 2008 used to condemn the award of the Air Force Tanker Contract, Embraer being the subject of an SEC Investigation appears to not be drawing even a whimper from those who expressed such outrage over the Air Force Tanker award.

Once again we see mostly Democrats practicing their hypocrisy, apparently dependent upon who occupies the Oval Office.

They lined up to condemn the Bush administration over the Air Force awarding of the tanker contract to a joint European/American company, yet they are strangely silent when it comes to the Air Force awarding a defense contract to a Brazilian/American company.

What real difference is there except their party occupies the White House currently?

If Barack Obama found “it hard to believe that having an American company that has been a traditional source of aeronautic excellence would not have done this job,” back in 2008 when he was a candidate, why doesn’t he find it hard to believe in 2012 when he occupies the Oval Office?

I find it difficult to believe it is anything more than the usual rank hypocrisy we continue to see in Washington D.C.