January 6, 2011

After Four Years of Kid Gloves for Dems, AP Can’t Even Wait a Day to Take Ill-Informed Shots at the GOP House

Well, that didn’t take long.

AP reporters Calvin Woodward and Andrew Taylor answered the bell and came out swinging at the Republican House within hours after John Boehner was sworn in as Speaker, accusing the GOP of supposedly breaking a number of core promises.

As usual when the wire service covers Republicans, there’s no shortage of inconsistency bordering on hypocrisy coming from AP’s alleged journalists.

Here are selected paragraphs from this morning’s report (“PROMISES, PROMISES: GOP drops some out of the gate”):

Republicans have already violated some of the vows they made in taking stewardship of the House.

Their pledge to cut $100 billion from the budget in one year won’t be kept. [1]

And for a coming vote seeking to repeal the health care overhaul, the first major initiative of the new Congress, lawmakers won’t be allowed to propose changes to the legislation despite Republican promises to end such heavy-handed tactics from the days of Democratic control. [2]

Is business as usual really back so fast? That’s not clear one day after Democrat Nancy Pelosi yielded the gavel to the new Republican House leader, John Boehner.

… “We will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone,” the GOP pledge stated.

It turns out $100 billion is way out of reach.

By the time the current stopgap spending bill expires March 4, five months of the budget year — which began Oct. 1 — will have passed. [1]

… What is more, Republicans juiced up the $100 billion promise in the first place by using as their starting point President Barack Obama’s $1.128 trillion budget request, a theoretical figure that was never approved by Congress. [3]

Notes:

  • [1] — AP is naively and I believe erroneously assuming that the Pledge to America envisioned cutting $100 billion from the fiscal 2011 budget. That’s ridiculous. While it’s nice if they can pull it off, the intent, as was the case with the President’s ill-fated Budget Commissions, was to enact changes effective with the 2012 fiscal year, the first budget over which the GOP Congress anticipated having responsibility. How were they to know that even the December lame-duck Congress would kick the fiscal 2011 can down the road? By the way, the AP reporters also “somehow” forgot that the GOP promised to leave military spending out of its “back to 2008″ plans.
  • [2] — The whining AP reporters acknowledge in a later paragraph that the GOP Pledge envisions an up-or-down, all-or-none vote on repealing ObamaCare. Allowing Democrats to cherry-pick provisions in separate votes would be a breach of that promise.
  • [3] — This one is really hard to take. For as long as I can remember, the press has been framing spending “cuts” using the same benchmark the Republicans are using now, i.e., the President’s budget request and/or “projected” spending levels estimated by previous Congresses. It’s why alleged “cuts” have almost never resulted in real reductions of year-over-year spending. And since Pelosi’s Democratic Congress never even passed a real budget, what in the heck else is there available to use as an alternative benchmark?

Towards the end, the two AP reporters roll out the tired claim that repealing Obamacare will add to the deficit — as if anyone but the tooth fairy believes the pre-cooked pablum that the Congressional Budget Office was forced to produce based on constraints imposed by the Democrats in Congress on assumption the CBO could use.

While I’m in the neighborhood, can anyone remember when an Associated Press reporter took Nancy Pelosi to task during any of the dozens of times her crew violated their so-called Paygo rules during her four years in power? Neither do I.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

What IBD Describes As ‘Obama’s Oil War’ Is Part of His War on the Entire Economy

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:44 am

Gas is above $3 a gallon, and it’s only winter. The higher-demand summer months have prompted predictions of $4 a gallon by then, and a former Shell exec predicts $5 next year.

A Wednesday evening Investors Business Daily editorial makes it clear this is happening largely because of Obama administration policies:

Energy Policy: Oil prices are surging to levels that will soon crimp economic growth. And what’s our government doing about it? Just making it worse.

Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the price of oil has rocketed 117% to $90.41 a barrel and gasoline has jumped 67% to $3.07 a gallon. In the 34 industrialized nations, oil imports have surged 34% in the last year to $790 billion. The U.S. alone has seen a $72 billion jump.

All this imperils a fragile recovery from the financial crisis. “Oil prices are entering a dangerous zone for the global economy,” says Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency.

Given the clear threat, it’s economically irrational to sit on our hands and fail to develop our own energy resources. At least 130 billion barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas lie offshore, and hundreds of billions of barrels more are locked in shale deposits in the Northeast and West. Yet our policy remains leaving this wealth alone.

More than mere incompetence is at work here. It’s becoming more and more obvious that Obama’s energy policy is meant to raise prices by making fossil fuels harder to produce and use.

The primary “justification” for this remains the administration’s bitter clinging to the notions that the earth is dangerous warming (it’s not), and that it’s the fault of humans (again, not). The best refutation of those notions is here at American Thinker. The item was written in September 2009 by John McLaughlin, who wrapped with this statement:

What is becoming clearer is that the concept of “manmade global warming” may be one of the greatest hoaxes in world history. How soon this will become generally known will depend on how forcefully the political effort seeking both national and international control of industry and wealth redistribution can keep the hoax hidden by intimidation and forcefully amplified rhetoric while systematically jeopardizing the economies of America and other developed nations.

A couple of months later, the Climategate e-mails appeared. What was revealed therein changes the “may be” in the excerpted paragraph’s first sentence to “is.”

It is the Obama administration that is “systematically jeopardizing the economies of America” for no reason, as the IBD editorial makes clear:

In just two years, as Steve Everley of the American Solutions blog has noted, the Obama administration has:

• Virtually shut down oil drilling in the Gulf. Yes, the six-month moratorium announced during the BP oil spill ended in November. But regulators have made it nearly impossible for oil firms to restart operations and have slapped strict new rules on drilling even in shallow waters.

• Put hundreds of billions of barrels of offshore oil and gas off-limits to exploration and production. By executive order, the administration has taken much of the energy-rich Outer Continental Shelf out of play. This, according to the Energy Information Administration, will cut this year’s output by 220,000 barrels a day.

• Canceled 77 existing drilling leases in Utah, one of Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s first actions and a move that set the tone for the Obama administration’s war on energy.

• Proposed new taxes on energy, including the cap-and-trade fiasco, that have had a chilling effect on new investment in energy. Steven Chu, Obama’s energy secretary, has already let the cat out of the bag by saying he wants to see pump prices in the U.S. as high as they are in Europe. Last we checked, that was $7 a gallon.

America has the oil and natural gas resources to ensure its energy future as we develop reasonable, economically viable alternatives to fossil fuels. And that oil and gas is available right now.

Yet, our government has systematically put those resources out of reach, making us more dependent on unreliable foreign sources. Today we’re more, not less, vulnerable to the predations of foreign dictators and tyrants who would do us ill.

… Obama’s war against fossil fuels is a direct assault on our oil-dependent economy and standard of living.

It also makes a mockery of the idea that Obama and his far-left inner circle really want the economy to prosper.

What they don’t want is what anyone not immersed in leftist ideology wants: a rip-roaring, booming economy like we had in the 1980s under Reaganomics, or like we had for a time in the late-1990s, after now-Ohio governor John Kasich and the Republican Congress cut the capital gains tax and balanced the budget (before the Clinton administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission and the Democrat-dominated Big Brokerage community ruined it by allowing enthusiasm for nascent Internet enterprises to create an investment bubble).

For reasons purely related to Obama’s attempt to get reelected, it would appear that the administration wants enough of a “recovery” to make people think that they really do want things to get better. Whatever progress arrives in the coming months, never forget that it could have been at least twice as good — and it would have occurred years earlier — if they had only gotten out of the way.

Positivity: Man brought back to life: ‘It was a miracle’

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Chicago (video is at link):

December 29, 2010

A man who was brought back to life after 25 minutes without a pulse says it was a medical miracle.

John Chikos defied the odds after he had a massive heart attack. Now, he’s sharing the story of his second chance after death.

On December 10, Chikos and his wife Diane drove into Chicago from the suburbs.

“He just all of a sudden pulled the car over to the curb. I think that was Belmont and Wolcott. He leaned over by a wrought iron fence and just collapsed, Diane Chikos told ABC7.

Diane Chikos couldn’t get her cell phone to work, but a passerby called 911.

“The paramedics were there in moments, I didn’t even have time to say, hurry, hurry,” she said.

The paramedics couldn’t get his heart re-started. They transported him to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital where cardiologist Peter Stecy found the main artery to Chikos’s heart blocked. He suffered a massive heart attack so dangerous it’s often called the ‘widow-maker.’

“Unless there is very, very rapid help at hand, they won’t survive,” said Dr. Stecy.

The team put a stent in to clear the blockage, but Chikos didn’t have a pulse for 25 minutes which can cause irreparable damage. Three days later Dr. Stecy saw something he’d never seen in his career.

“Mr. Chikos was sitting up in bed on his laptop trying to trade commodity futures, which he does for a living, when for the past four days the man was comatose,” said Dr. Stecy.

“All of a sudden, [they] put you in some procedure and three days later talking to your friends like nothing happened, it was a miracle,” Chikos said.

The Chikos family has always been spiritual, but during the agonizing wait they prayed and asked others to pray.

“I think it made believers out of a lot of us that would never would have considered the power of collective praying,” said Diane Chikos.

“Miracles can happen through people on earth, and that there are always people along the way that are angels that help us, that helped us call 911, like the paramedics who never gave up,” said Allison Chikos. …

Go here for the rest of the story.