Archive for February, 2010

17
Feb

Empty Promises on Nuclear Energy

   Posted by: Robert    in News, Politics

All of the major news outlets have been filled with reports of President Obama’s new promise to provide loan guarantees for the creation of new nuclear plants.  The promise comes amid efforts by Obama and Democrats to make forward progress on their effort to impose cap and trade legislation on the energy sector.  Obama’s bid, clearly targeted at Republicans who he feels may be willing to compromise on cap and trade in exchange for nuclear energy, appears to be little more than yet another empty promise by him and his administration.  Republicans should ignore the President’s meaningless promise and continue to oppose cap and trade.

Nuclear power is a source of energy which has been advocated by conservatives and energy producers for years.  Nuclear power offers an opportunity to significantly increase energy production in America, reduce dependence of foreign resources, and meet the politically expedient desire to avoid increasing carbon production.  The economics of nuclear energy are relatively straightforward, involving a significant upfront investment with significant payout over the life of the power station.  This is something that power companies have been ready to jump at for decades, and for which they would have no problem securing funding from the usual private sector debt markets.

Far from economics, the primary problem with nuclear energy has been from the environmental arena.  By citing concerns about the potential danger from nuclear facilities, environmentalists have managed to build a strong NIMBY sentiment in the areas where nuclear power has been considered.  Additional concerns over the disposal of reactor waste have further complicated the issue, primarily because of political resistance to building a properly designed disposal facility.  The regulatory system has further compounded the political issues by developing a process which borders on impenetrable for the approval of permits to construct new nuclear facilities.

By guaranteeing loans for the construction of nuclear facilities, Obama proposes to extend government investment to solve a non-problem.  His position allows him to portray himself as supporting nuclear power to Republicans in hope of winning their support on cap and trade legislation, all without running any risk that new nuclear power plants will actually be permitted.  Obama’s promise is, in short, a ruse to win support from gullible conservatives with no downside for his liberal base.

Republicans should see through and reject Obama’s empty promise.

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15
Feb

No trouble with apathy here

   Posted by: Robert    in Politics

Over in the Guardian, Sasha Abramsky invites us to consider the resurgence of apathy in a post-Obama America.  His central thesis is the idea that just a year after the high level of political engagement Americans exhibited during the 2008 election, the electorate has once again disengaged from the political process.  In truth, for Mr. Abramsky’s fellow liberals, such a charge may be the truth.  However, the American electorate as a whole has done precisely the opposite, becoming demonstrably more engaged in the political conversation than anyone was likely prepared for.

Mr. Abramsky is correct in noting the resurgence of political engagement shown by the American people during the election cycle in 2008.  Heading into the election, many things were up for grabs.  America was in the grip of what may be called two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, both aspects of the larger war against terrorism and Radical Islam.  The country in general, and border states in particular, faced challenges from a broken immigration system and the pressing question — never resolved — of how to deal with people crossing onto US soil illegally.  The nation’s deficit had grown, putting a strain on the national economy even before the bubble burst.

Americans had a lot to be engaged about.

Where Mr. Abramsky’s argument comes off the rails is obvious in what happened next.  Democrats won the White House and the House of Representatives, and for a time held a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.  The stimulus, cap and trade, health care, invasive bank and industry regulation, and all manner of Democrat projects which had been held in check for years or decades suddenly became possible.  Riding their “mandate from the American people,” Democrats could literally not be defeated in the political  branches.

Democrats, however, have been defeated.  When the American people realized that the destruction of personal liberty and freedom, the destruction of the private sector, the destruction of the Constitution and any pretense that the government would not be in control of every aspect of their lives, the American people responded.  No disengaged populous could have defeated the unstoppable Democrat government.

Clearly, the American people have not returned to apathy by way of hope and change.  Americans saw the hope and change that awaited them and ran pointedly in the opposite direction.

Americans, I’m sure, still care about the environment, about health car reform, about jobs, and about the economy.  But Americans also care about liberty and freedom.  They care about personal rights, personal responsibilities, and “the right to be left alone.”  We care about having a limited government run by people who do not lie to us, who do not shut us out from the debate, and who do not act to secure their own power against/over the American people and contrary to our clearly expressed will.

But please, Mr. Abramsky, continue to encourage the American people to become even more engaged.  American apathy very well could lead to the revival of the Democrat agenda.  A disengaged populous is a very unfortunate thing.

14
Feb

Batman and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics

   Posted by: Robert    in Uncategorized

It’s time again for the Olympics to kick off into full force.  Already as I write this, the athletes have been hard at work for the past two days competing for gold on the world stage.  Every two years, the games present a wonderful opportunity to forget about politics and focus on a much more wholesome form of competition.

Of course, Vancouver has more to offer than just a collection of top athletes.  Their opening ceremony was also pretty interesting, and I particularly loved the lighting of the torch.  And then there was the fiddler in the canoe who fought against his own shadow.  Or, perhaps I should say, the Batman…

Best of luck to all the athletes competing in Winter Olympics 2010!

9
Feb

Obama’s Elephant and Donkey Show

   Posted by: Izzymandias    in Politics

Michelle Malkin suggests that Republicans should avoid the open-camera discussion with Obama about health care.  She suggests that they’re just opening themselves up to being cast as the villains in an Obama-run theatrical event.

I disagree.

I think there’s no good that would come from rebuffing Obama’s overtures, regardless of how insincere we believe them to be.  For one thing, that will just get the Republicans branded as blind obstructionists, with no way to counter that opinion.

More importantly, though, where Obama goes, so go the cameras.  The Republicans have submitted, over the past year, at least three health care bills that have gotten no exposure.  Congressional Democrats have buried them, and the media hasn’t even had the courtesy to attend the funeral.  To run an obituary for non-Obama health care reform would be to acknowledge that the deceased existed at all.

Beyond that, however, it allows the Republicans to make their case and force the Democrats to defend mandates, union favors, and denying mammograms to women.  Republicans can push the issue and show America that there is a clear reason Republicans have been opposing Obamacare for so long and that not only do we have the answers, but the Democrats do not.

Did I mention that it would give us a chance to show that we have the answers?  Good, just making sure.

We have the initiative in this debate; it would be folly not to pursue it.

That being said, the Republicans are going to have to do two things in order to pull this off.

First, they’re going to have to find someone in that gaggle of politicians who understands the issues and the issues behind the issues, and who can step up and be the voice of the party.  He should be someone who is unashamed of the free-market concept of health care, an advocate of liberty, and eloquent.  Unfortunately, Dr. Thomas Sowell doesn’t hold elected office, so we’ll have to find someone else.

Second, the Republicans will need to find a stage manager – someone who can take on Rahm Emanuel, head-to-head, and keep the Republicans from being hamstrung by absurd rules that give Obama all the stage time, and relegate the Republicans to ten seconds of rebuttal following a ten-hour Obama speech (with or without teleprompter – by the sixth hour, does its presence even matter anymore?).  This someone’s sole job is to make sure it’s a fair fight for a change.  Karl Rove, are you out there?

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9
Feb

With Obama or Against America?

   Posted by: Izzymandias    in Uncategorized

Obama has now declared that critcs of his terrorism policies are serving the interests of Al Queda. Isn’t that fear-mongering, Mr. President? Isn’t that silencing dissent? Isn’t that questioning the patriotism of the opposing party? ISN’T THAT EXACTLY WHAT YOU SPENT EIGHT YEARS ACCUSING BUSH OF?