September 18, 2011

The Obama Administration’s Pre-Solyndra Scandals List

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:59 pm

This list ignores Solyndra, LightSquared, Gunwalker, and other more recent items, and has been prepared in support of a Pajamas Media column which will appear in the next few days (Update: It’s here). Gunwalker is a longer-running matter, but because it for the most part hasn’t broken through an establishment press blockade, I’m addressing it in the column.

It isn’t necessarily (and probably isn’t) complete. Other suggestions are welcome, and I will consider adding them to the list as they are submitted. When evaluating potential additions, use the first dictionary definition of “scandal” at dictionary.com (“a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc.”) as a guide.

Here goes:

  • Obama’s refusal to seek Congressional approval before going to war in Libya.
  • The administration’s voiding of disfavored secured creditors’ contractual rights during the Chrysler bankruptcy, as well as the accompanying intimidation.
  • The Sestak and Romanoff job offer(s).
  • The dropped Black Panther Pennsylvania voter-intimidation prosecution.
  • The defiant reissuance of a virtually identical deep-water drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico after a federal judge declared the original null and void.
  • The President’s clearly anti-constitutional signing statement preserving the positions of his czars in direct defiance of Congress, which specifically de-funded them.
  • The scuttling of terror finance prosecutions against co-founders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and others for what appear to be purely political reasons.
  • The Justice Department’s refusal to enforce or defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I know it’s quaint to refer to the Constitution, but the last time I checked, the executive branch is supposed to carry out and defend laws passed by Congress, not act as if it’s all three branches in one and ignore the law.
  • Obama’s false claim, serially repeated, that his mother lacked adequate health insurance coverage in the year before her death as she was fighting ovarian cancer. In Ann Althouse’s words, Obama “lied about a central fact about his own life which he used — powerfully — to push health care reform.” The fact is that Stanley Ann Dunham had health insurance, but that her application for private disability coverage was denied.

UPDATE, Sept. 20: A commenter has mentioned the Gerald Walpin affair, which definitely qualifies.

National Press Gives Undue Attention to Single-Issue Boehner Primary Challenger (Updates: A ‘Tea Party Leader’ from ‘Cincinnati’?)

David Lewis is running for Congress as a Republican in Ohio’s Eighth Congressional District for the seat House Speaker John Boehner currently holds. To be kind, Lewis doesn’t stand a chance. To be not as kind, the establishment press is using Lewis’s candidacy as an excuse to attempt to cast doubt on the ability of Tea Party activists and the GOP establishment to get along. To be clear, there’s plenty of reason for the existence of such doubts, but David Lewis’s candidacy is certainly not one of them.

To the chagrin of the GOP establishment, I’m a fan of serious primary efforts, especially against incumbents who may have lost their way. But Lewis’s effort is not serious. It is fundamentally flawed in its premise and completely miscasts Boehner’s current prolife record. It also has given the press an opportunity to distort the priorities of the Tea Party movement.

(more…)

An Unserious Economic Policy

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:36 am

From a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Mary Anastasia O’Grady:

In a study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute and released last week, the energy consultancy Wood MacKenzie estimates that pro-development policies could, by 2030, “support an additional 1.4 million jobs, and raise over $800 billion of cumulative additional government revenue.”

On the other hand, according to the study, current policies “which slow down the issuance of leases and drilling permits, increase the cost of hydraulic fracturing through duplicative water or air quality regulations, or delay the construction of oil sands export pipelines such as Keystone XL, will likely have a detrimental effect on production, jobs, and government revenues.”

A serious jobs proposal would address these issues. Mr. Obama doesn’t have one.

Note that the amount cited, after allowing for a delay of three years before significant receipts might arrive, would average $50 billion per year from 2015-2030 if prorated over those 16 years. This annual amount exceeds what Team Obama wants to raise annually from “the wealthy” through tax increases.

Extracting oil and natural gas creates jobs. Extracting money through taxation from “the wealthy” (really “high individual-year income-earners) which amounts to a punishment for success doesn’t.

Passing on the opportunity to accelerate energy development demonstrates how fundamentally unserious the Obama administration is about economic growth and job creation.

Positivity: Super Bowl ring found 40 years after lost in ocean off Waikiki

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:33 am

From Hawaii (video at link):

Posted: Sep 16, 2011 1:53 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 17, 2011 6:37 AM EDT

John Schmitt cherished his Super Bowl ring. He earned it as the starting center of the New York Jets when the AFL Jets upset the Baltimore Colts of the NFL in Super Bowl III on January 12, 1969.

“Nobody gave us a cut dogs chance of winning that Super Bowl. I mean even our own league made fun of us,” Schmitt once told someone who asked about the Jets upset victory.

Two years after the Jets victory, in February of 1971, Schmitt took his first surfing lesson in the waves off Waikiki Beach while on vacation in Hawaii. He paddled out in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, his Super Bowl ring snug on his finger.

“I never thought about the fact that if you stay out in the water for 5 or 6 hours, your hands shrink and the ring fell off about a quarter mile out from the shore,” Schmitt told Hawaii News Now.

When he got back to the beach he noticed the ring was missing and immediately launched his own search mission.

“I got a snorkel and some flippers and I went out and I dove until I was blue. I’m not kidding you. It must have been three hours I was out there looking. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was just exhausted. I virtually could not swim or flip my legs anymore and I just went in broken hearted,” Schmitt said.

Few knew of the treasure that lay somewhere on the ocean floor off Waikiki. John Ernstberg certainly did not know. Ernstberg was a Waikiki lifeguard living the beach boy life. He was always at the beach rescuing visitors who got in too deep, taking people on canoe rides, and surfing the gentle swells that help make Waikiki such a popular attraction.

“One day he came home. He handed my aunt Mary Ernstberg a ring and both of them, not thinking about looking at it, just put it in a little box and put it way. And all he stated to her was, he found this in the water of Waikiki,” said Cindy Saffery, John Ernstberg’s great niece.

Ernstberg died in 1991. His wife Mary passed away in 1995. Their estate went to Saffery and her husband Samuel. Curiosity eventually prompted them to take the ring to a jeweler to find out if it is authentic.

They went to Brenda Reichel, an accredited gemologist and owner of Carats & Karats fine jewelry, antiques, and collectibles store in the Aina Haina Shopping Center. After examining the ring – she was sure. It is a real Super Bowl ring, the ring given to #52 of the Jets, John Schmitt.

“It was made by the Balfour Company which had the contract to do the Super Bowl rings that year,” Reichel said while looking at the ring through jewelers magnifying glass.

Reichel and the Safferys contacted the Jets, discovered Schmitt lives on Long Island, and gave him a call.

“He actually called back yesterday and said, ‘Yes, I lost my ring in 1971 off the shore of Waikiki at the Royal Hawaiian and I went looking for it and I never found it and you mean to tell me after 40 years someone has my ring?’” Reichel explained.

“I couldn’t believe it. I mean I honestly couldn’t believe it. I mean 40 years,” Schmitt said after contacted by Hawaii News Now. …

Go here for the rest of the story.