Monthly Archives: January 2015

NEW EPA REGULATION ON METHANE GAS EMISSIONS

In yesterday’s (January 13, 2015) New York Times, there was an article outlining the current president’s latest executive order to tackle climate change. The administration plans to impose new regulations on the oil and gas industry’s emissions of methane gas. The goal is to cut methane gas emissions from oil and gas production up to 45% by 2025. The EPA will issue the proposed regulations this summer and the final regulations by 2016. And like I indicated in my post of January 12, 2015, the final regulations will come during the 2016 presidential election year. Should a Republican be elected president, he or she, along with all Republicans will be blamed by the mainstream media and the Democrats for the rise in energy prices. Remember, when a Republican is in office and energy prices rise, it’s all the Republican’s fault.

According to instituteofenergyresource.org, the EPA’s own research on methane shows that this rule will have no discernible impact on the climate. So, the benefits of this rule are virtually non-existent, but the impact that it will have on Americans by driving energy prices up is real. Even a child would be able to see that it’s not about you and providing you with a clean planet in which to live. It’s about driving up the price of energy, driving down the prosperity level of middle class Americans, and making Americans more dependent on the government.

In 2012, the current president mocked the idea that, as a country, we could drill our way to lower energy prices. When met with chants of “drill, baby, drill,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied, “I’d like to drill your brains.” The current president was wrong and thanks to increased oil exploration on state and private lands, the middle class is getting a respite from high gasoline prices.

But how long will this respite last? Until January 2017 when a new president is sworn in? If the new president is a Republican, he or she will surely be blamed for the increase in energy prices. If, heaven forbid, it’s another Democrat, the mantra will be that the president doesn’t have anything to do with the price of gas. If the next president is my worst nightmare, Elizabeth Warren, a borderline communist, will she have the liberals and the mainstream media brainwashed to the extent that they believe high energy prices are in all of our best interests? We must keep an eye on these developments, my friends.

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WHO CREATES PROSPERITY AND WEALTH?

In 2001, President George W. Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, the largest tax relief package in a generation. In 2003, President Bush proposed and signed the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. Among other things, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act reduced tax rates for every American who paid income taxes. It also created a new 10 percent tax bracket. Of course we all know that the Democrats called this tax cuts for the rich, when in effect everyone who paid income taxes received a tax cut. Those not paying income tax would not obviously receive a cut.

Despite being in a recession, due to the .com bust, and 9/11, the economy returned to growth in the fourth quarter of 2001 and continued to grow for twenty-four consecutive quarters. The economy grew at a rapid pace of 7.5 percent above inflation during the third quarter of 2003, the highest since 1984. The President’s tax relief also reduced the marginal effective rate on new investment, which encourages additional investment and, in the long-run, higher wages for workers.

The President’s tax relief was followed by increases in tax revenue. From 2005 to 2007, tax revenues grew faster than the economy. The ratio of receipts to GDP rose to 18.8 percent in 2007, above the 40-year average. Between 2004 and 2006, capital gains realizations grew by approximately 60%. Growth in corporate income tax receipts was strong in President Bush’s second term, nearly doubling between 2004 and 2007. With nearly all of the tax relief provisions fully in effect, the President’s tax relief reduced the share of taxes paid by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers from 3.9 percent in 2000 to 3.1 percent in 2005. The share of taxes paid by the top 10 percent rose from 46.0 percent to 46.4 percent.

President Bush’s first budget in 2001 warned that “financial trouble of large GSEs (government sponsored enterprises) could cause strong repercussions in the financial markets.” In 2003, the Bush administration began calling for a new GSE regulator. Despite resistance from Congress, President Bush continued to call for GSE reform until Congress finally acted in 2008 to provide the additional oversight the President requested five years earlier. Unfortunately the reform came too late to prevent systemic consequences.

There you have it folks, during the George W. Bush presidency, our economy was strong, wealth was created and this nation prospered. While President Bush was aware that the financially troubled GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) would result in dire consequences, he was unable to get additional oversight for these entities until 2008 when “all hell broke loose.”

Yet, we’ve had to listen to six years of the current president blaming George Bush for a devastated economy that was the result of his “tax cuts for the rich.” I’ve been tired of this president’s rhetoric and lies since day one of his presidency.

We did have a slightly less than six year period of economic growth and prosperity when Bill Clinton was president, a period from approximately 1994 to 2000. This period of grown ended when Federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered the breakup of Microsoft into two companies, citing that the company was “untrustworthy.”  I remember that day well. I was in between careers, studying computer programming. I was listening to the radio, yes, Rush Limbaugh. During his program that day, he was continually reporting on the falling Dow Jones. This ushered in the recession of 2000 that lasted approximately one year.

What spurred the period of prosperity during the Clinton years? The entrepreneurs of the technological revolution were responsible for this era of economic growth. President Clinton, to his credit, backed away and let it happen. Think about the way you were doing things in 1992 and think about the way you are doing things now. Think about your office environment in 1992 and think about your office environment now. Many of you are now home workers. In 1992, none of us could even imagine how that would work. The term, Internet, didn’t exist. I guess Al Gore was still working on it in his basement. We had to rely on newspapers and TV for our news, although, CNN was broadcasting 24/7. Cell phones were just beginning to become affordable for the middle class. By 1999, our way of life had totally changed and it’s continued to rapidly change since that time, although, I still have some friends who are stuck in the 1980s and will probably continue to be stuck there for the rest of their lives.

What spurred the period of prosperity during the Bush years? More of the same. While President Bush signed into law the measures I cited in the first paragraph, these measures didn’t create the prosperity. Instead, they widened the road to accommodate more innovation. While most of us had cell phones in 2000, all we could do was call someone on them. By 2008, smart phones had been introduced where we could send and receive email, text messages, and download numerous applications to satisfy whatever needs we had. While widespread use of tablet PCs didn’t begin until around 2010/2011, innovation was occurring behind the scenes. Also, everyone was making the transition from bulky desktop computer systems to laptops. Laptops became smaller, lighter, more powerful, and cheaper. Now, almost everyone has a laptop as their main device.

The economy does seem to be turning the corner and we all are hoping that it does. Gasoline prices are falling due mostly to the innovation of hydraulic fracturing, an innovation that most liberals despise and want to end. Also, oil exploration has increased in recent years on state and private lands. According to americanenergyalliance.org, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued fewer leases in fiscal year 2014 than in any year since 1988 (though they leased slightly more acres than were leased in 2013). Also, according to americanenergyalliance.org, drilling permits languished in regulatory morass, resulting in production on federal lands becoming stagnant or declining. On state and private lands, oil production has surged to a 25 year high, making the U.S. the largest combined oil and gas producer in the world.

Yes, the current president’s administration has mostly avoided imposing new burdens on oil and gas development on state and private lands, much to the chagrin of this president’s constituency. However, according to americanenergyalliance.org, that could soon change. The BLM is preparing first-ever federal regulations for hydraulic fracturing and the EPA is gearing up to issue methane regulations for natural gas production.

Could this energy boom grind to a halt if burdensome regulations are placed on oil exploration on state and private lands? Absolutely! When will the burdensome regulations start having their effect? Possibly right after a Republican assumes the Presidency in January 2017? Gas prices could rise and energy bills could increase. And there sits the mainstream media waiting to pounce on the new Republican president. But wait, we have a Republican majority in Congress, surely they will stop this. While I’m a committed Republican, I’ll be the first to admit that there are many wimps and rhinos out there who just might be pressured into backing some regulations on oil exploration on state and private lands. And even if they don’t, this president has a phone and a pen; he’ll impose them through executive orders.

If a Republican is elected president in 2016, will that president have the “nads” to go through and reverse those executive orders? I don’t know. If he or she does, he’ll have the mainstream media and the liberals on his tail broadcasting to everyone that the Republicans want us to have dirty air to breath and dirty water to drink. While certain media outlets will most definitely attempt to tell the truth, these outlets will be called liars and worse. If he or she leaves them in place, the energy boom will become an energy bust and we know who will get the blame.

Am I depressed about what I just wrote? A little. But I’m still keeping the faith. Despite the current president continually trashing Republicans in almost every speech he makes, and a mainstream media that is in the tank for the left, Republicans managed to win majorities in the House and Senate in November. We’ve won elections and I pray we will continue to win elections even though this president is doing everything he possibly can to increase the number of Democrat voters while he’s still in office.

While this post is full of information that I hope all of you will save and use when necessary, its purpose is to indicate that it is not the government that creates wealth and prosperity, it’s the entrepreneurs out there with their undying entrepreneurial spirit that have made this nation the wealthiest and most prosperous on the planet.  Yes, we have government leaders that try to break that spirit and the current president has done just that, but when the going gets rough, these individuals have kept on going. That’s the United States of America.

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ONCE AGAIN, WHO ARE THE TRUE RACISTS?

If you don’t already know, in my browser favorite’s folder, I have a subfolder, entitled “stupid liberal articles,” that is filling up fast. Just when I think I’ve seen the stupidest thing possible, something comes along that is even more stupid.

Jaime Grant, PhD., Director, Global Transgender, Research, and Advocacy Project (whatever), wrote an article in the Huffington Post, on December 30, entitled, “18 New Year’s Resolutions to Fight Racism.” As I said, I have some stupid articles, but this one seems to be the watermark. In fact, as I add additional articles to my folder, I am going to compare them to this article to determine their stupidity ranking.

In her post, Dr. Grant sites a 1988 article by Peggy McIntosh entitled, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack. So I guess the term, “white privilege,” is not something recently coined by liberals. In her article, Ms. McIntosh opines that blacks have the following issues:

  • They cannot arrange to be in the company of other blacks, if they wish to do so.
  • If they have to move, blacks can’t be sure of being able to move to a neighborhood that they can afford and would like to live in.
  • They’re not sure their neighbors in any location in which they might move will be pleasant or neutral to them.
  • They are not sure they can go shopping alone and be able to return safely home.
  • Blacks can’t be assured of turning on their TVs or opening their newspapers to the front page and finding blacks well represented.

Ms. McIntosh goes on to site eight other complaints where she feels that whites have it better than blacks. (Excuse me for putting this is plain English, I’m tired, it’s getting late, and I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow.) This article was written in 1988, a mere twenty-four years after the passage of the Civil Rights Acts and the Voting Rights Act. Things were changing and she may have had a point that blacks still were not widely represented on TV and in the newpapers. I had black friends in the eighties and many of them were like me, shop-a-holics. I don’t recall one black friend being afraid to go out shopping by herself because she was afraid she wouldn’t make it home safely. The first bulleted point is extremely stupid and could easily have been remedied by Ms. McIntosh throwing a party at her house and inviting only blacks. Whenever anyone has to move to a new location whether across the country or across town, there are always uncertainties.

Dr. Grant opens her article by stating that the destruction of black life in this country is built on white silence, on white heartlessness about black people’s imprisonment and murder. She states that police and others are killing black people in our names, with our safety as their justification. So, let’s take a hypothetical situation. A black man is on drugs and is beating up on his wife and children at their home in a predominantly black community. A policeman goes in and shoots the black man. I guess the policeman is doing that for us white folks and not for the wife and kids and others in the neighborhood who might have to deal with this crazy guy

I’m not going to list Dr. Grant’s eighteen New Year’s resolutions that we white people should incorporate in order to fight systemic racism, you can Google the article and read them yourself. However, here are a couple of the highlights.

  • Dr. Grant indicates that white folks who choose to fight racism by choosing to live in a majority black neighborhood should not expect their black neighbors to embrace them because white people, coming into black neighborhoods might make things worse. She also says that white folks must accept being hated by blacks because it’s okay for blacks to hate whites. By moving in, a white person just might cause the property values to increase. What a horrible thing to do to your neighbors, causing their property values to increase, causing their net worth to increase. Dr. Grant says an increase in property values would keep other “people of color” out. I don’t know about you, but this is about the most racist statement I’ve heard in a long time. She’s stereo-typing, making sweeping statements that all blacks are poor and are unable to procure houses in upscale neighborhoods. RACIST…RACIST…RACIST!
  • Another detriment of whites moving into a predominately black community is that they might bring businesses into the community that don’t reflect the existing culture. So, forget opening a health food grocery store like the current first lady says she wants to see in every neighborhood. Let’s restrict the food establishments allowed in predominately black neighborhoods to restaurants that serve only fried foods and vegetables swimming in grease. Let’s even bring lard back. This is so RACIST and so WRONG. It sickens me, a conservative, who wants more than anything else for us to judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
  • Dr. Grant also wants us to revamp the way we celebrate holidays such as Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. These holidays, she says, glorify our racist past. We need to revamp these holidays so that white children should begin to develop critical skills around the way our nation addresses (or fails to address) its history of colonialism, slavery, and white supremacy. While I get that Dr. Grant thinks we should change the way we celebrate Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July (although she doesn’t make any suggestions for change), I’m not sure what “critical skill around the way our nation addresses…” But again, I’m a southern white conservative Christian, or an unenlightened oaf.

My understanding of this article is that Dr. Grant wants to take us back to the days of de-segregation, perhaps prior to the 1950s. She obviously thinks that blacks are inferior to whites and are not able to make their own way in this world. Therefore, they need the whites to help them and the whites should help them because they (blacks) are inferior. But yet, Dr. Grant thinks that it’s okay for blacks to hate whites and that whites should accept their hatred because of white privilege.

I’ve got to end this post because the more I study Dr. Grant’s writing, the more nauseous I get. DR. JAIME GRANT, PHD, DIRECTOR, GLOBAL TRANSGENDER RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY PROJECT, you are nothing but a RACIST and a BIGOT. You obviously don’t adhere to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You’re not fit to wipe his boots!

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THE PRIVATE SECTOR VS. THE PUBLIC SECTOR

On his Facebook page, former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, Robert Reich, posted the following: Republicans in Congress and the state level are taking aim at public employees. Secretary Reich goes on to summarize what he calls the five big lies that they’re telling.

  • Public employees earn far more than private sector workers.
  • The pay of public employees keeps rising.
  • Public sector pensions are out of control.
  • Taxpayers are taking a beating from public pensions.
  • Unfunded pension liabilities in future years are too big.

I haven’t heard of any Republican in Congress say these things, but I don’t stayed glued to the news stations all of the time. However, we all know that Republicans believe in limited government and will tighten the purse strings, make cuts, and possibly deep-six programs that they feel are wasteful. Democrats, on the other hand, favor a larger, more centralized government and when in power will work to grow that government. Having said that, we all know that Republicans have in a lot of instances expanded government and Democrats have also made cuts to government.

It’s impossible to address Secretary Reich’s five Republican lies with sweeping summarizations. It’s always been understood that public school teachers do make more than private school teachers. But pay does depend on the school system in the case of public school teachers and on the particular school for private school teachers.

Does a software engineer in the public sector make more than a software engineer in the private sector? I don’t know. Again, it would depend on the nature of the job. I’m sure that a software engineer for the Department of Defense would make more than a software engineer who works for a medium sized insurance company. I do know, however, that my alma mater, the University of Alabama, pays substantially lower than the private sector for software related positions. Once again, it’s impossible to give a straight true/false answer to salaries.

I’ve always worked in the private sector, but have had friends who worked in the public sector. Here are some of my observations when comparing the private sector with the public sector.

  • Public sector employees generally do not work overtime; whereas I can’t begin to estimate the number of evenings, weekends, and holidays that I’ve had to work with no additional compensation. A few years ago, I worked on the Saturday or my employers’ Christmas party and didn’t attend the party. I did get a $50.00 bonus. But most of the time, I was lucky to get a “thank you.” I have a couple of friends who have high level public sector jobs and have had those jobs for years. I’ve never known of them having to work any overtime. They began work at starting time and left work at quitting time. They always got their breaks and lunches in.
  • In the private sector, disputes between employees are generally settled as follows: the dispute is always settled in favor of the higher level employee. When there is a dispute between an employee and his or her supervisor, the subordinate is always screwed. Private sector companies put on dog and pony shows about fairly settling differences, but it’s a crock. I’ve always said that if I went to HR with a complaint about a superior, the superior would know that I had been to HR and what I said while in HR before I returned to my desk. Years ago, I was talking to a friend in the public sector and I was complaining about my boss. She said to me, “Don’t you get to evaluate your supervisors?” When she said this, I put on a show of coughing, choking, and laughing. I also made a couple of snarky comments. This wasn’t very nice and I know it, but what do you do when someone says something that is beyond stupid?
  • Public sector employees generally get much better holidays and time off than private sector employees do. At one time, public school teachers didn’t get Memorial Day off as a holiday. Years ago, a teacher friend made a snarky comment to me, saying in a sarcastic tone, “Well, it must be nice.” Duh! She was about to be off for the summer.

As you can see, I lean toward the private sector. I work a lot harder than my friends in the public sector and get less for it. An employer can fire me and the employer doesn’t have to give me a reason, though most will. It’s much harder to get dismissed in the public sector. Would I take a public sector job? Absolutely! No job is perfect and income is income. But it’s been my observation that public sector employees fear the private sector. Why? They might have to do some work and they might have to work late on occasions.

After reading some of the comments to the post, I’m glad that I have always worked in the private sector. Most of the comments were imbecilic. And of course, Republicans were demonized. One lady commented that white male Christians were ruining this country and that all women were doomed. Another commenter couldn’t help but take a swipe at Fox News and its viewers.

Many commenters, who were obviously lower levels, complained about the pay and indicated that they could make more money in the private sector at a comparable job. Well, if your pay is so low, why don’t you go after one of those better paying jobs in the private sector? I once said to a school teacher friend of mine who was griping about her job, “If teaching is so bad, why don’t you get out of it and do something else?” Public sector employees don’t like to be asked those questions.

It’s impossible to address the simplistic statements Secretary Reich alleges are Republican lies. There are so many things to compare and you have to examine situations individually. Public school teachers, for the most part, make more than private school teachers. And while I can’t give an example of an exception, they certainly exist.

While I said that I would accept a public sector job, maybe I need to re-think that if I’m going to have to work with folks like the ones who were commenting on the Secretary’s post.

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DO I BELIEVE WHAT I WRITE?

I have liberal friends, most of whom won’t go near this blog. There’s one, however, who does read it and thinks it’s terrible. She said to me one day, “Nancy, do you really believe the things you write?” While I have posted some spoofy, satirical pieces; for the most part, I do believe what I write. Some is speculation based on what I’m hearing from our nation’s more well-known liberals and some is based on actual experiences.

In one of my posts in November, I stated that the Federal Government is doing bad things to us. And I certainly believe they are. The current president says that he wants our energy bills to increase because he wants us to use less energy. That tells me that he doesn’t want us to be comfortable in our homes, and he doesn’t want us to enjoy driving our automobiles. Does he not want us to take road trips or airplane trips for that matter? He obviously doesn’t want any of us to have money and doesn’t care if his policies result in job losses. In trying to do away with fossil fuels and put in their place, his green energy initiatives, he is telling us to our faces that he doesn’t want us to be comfortable. Green energy is certainly not ready to take the place of fossil fuels.

And what about Obamacare? For most of us, premiums are increasing, deductibles and co-pays are increasing, and we probably won’t get to keep our doctors or our pharmacies. I do believe the quality of our healthcare will decrease, along with quality of life for most of us. According to statistics we were fed, fifteen million Americans did not have health insurance. Instead of concentrating on those fifteen million and implementing a solution whereby those desiring health insurance and were not able to procure it, could now do so, the current president and his henchmen destroyed the system for all of us.

An excerpt from that November post reads as follows: “This president and the Democrats want to destroy the United States of America as we know it. They want every single man, woman, and child to be dependent upon government for livelihood. They want everyone to live in cookie cutter houses, to drive cookie cutter cars, to wear the same slovenly outfits that are worn in other socialist countries, to eat gruel, and so forth. They don’t want everyone to have access to quality healthcare; they just want to control every aspect of your life. “

This president has said that he wanted to fundamentally change the United States of America. At the time he said this, many folks were unhappy with President George W. Bush. They wanted to see some changes. Some folks were weary of the wars that we were fighting and desired changes in foreign policy. Some thought our economic policies were not working and felt we needed a different approach. So, change sounded good to them. But for me and so many conservatives, the president’s words were definite cause for alarm. Fundamentally change? Just what kind of change is he talking about? It’s come to pass that he wasn’t talking about different approaches to areas such as foreign policy, energy, the economy, education, etc. He, instead, was promoting change to the very fabric of this nation, the constitution and the planks that our forefathers laid out for us to build upon.

With Obamacare, the democrats used every legislative trick in the book to cram that piece of unpopular legislation down our throats, certainly subverting our legislative process. If the democrats had played by the rules, the legislation would have required 60 votes in the Senate and with the election of Republican Scott Brown to replace the deceased Edward Kennedy, 60 votes in the Senate wasn’t going to happen.

And look at all of his executive actions and his statement that he had a pen and a phone and intended to use them to go around Congress if Congress failed to give him what he wanted. Yes, all presidents have used executive actions and I’m uncomfortable with any president using them. However, most executive actions by former presidents have been procedural in nature and we never heard about them, even from the liberal media. But this president is in our faces with these actions and is taking on the characteristics of a dictator. In the past he did make statements to the effect that there was so much he wanted to do, but the U.S. Constitution kept him from doing these things. Well now, it looks like he has no shame and it going to do what he wants through executive orders.

Yes, I do believe what I stated in the November blog posts as well as other posts. If he could fully have his way, we would all be living is identical cookie cutter houses, driving fuel efficient vehicles, maybe not eating gruel, but eating something equally as unappetizing. Wealth created would be distributed in his quest to make all of us equal. The second amendment would be repealed leaving us defenseless against those who are able to obtain firearms illegally.

In some of my posts, I may be kind of out there on the cusp, but I do believe everything I write I do believe has the potential of coming true if liberals continue to get their way.

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