Friday, October 21, 2011

Joe Biden Rape Prevention Act Goes Down

Senator Manchin and other fiscally conscious Democrats joined with Senate Republicans to shoot down Obama's mini stimulus, an action that Joe Biden said would increase rape and murder. So, if you combine Obama and Biden, Republicans support unbreatheable air, rape, dirty water, murder, and puppy kicking.

Biden's assertions come from his speech in Flint, Michigan, one of the few cities with rising violent crime rates. He claimed that less police mean more rape and murder.

We could point out that police departments are shedding jobs as crime drops and technology improves.

But it is more fun to point out that most major cities have been run by Democrats for decades. They build sports complexes that they cannot afford and do not pay for themselves. They follow tax and regulation policies destructive to business. Their tax bases drop and they cannot hire as many city employees, including police. That all being said, population drops might account for a lower crime rate as well.

That is not a federal issue. It is municipal mismanagement. At some point, the bailouts and handouts have to stop.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

$300,000 Is Not Flexing Muscle

Yesterday a news story made its way through the wires without question or analysis. It even ended up in the Washington Times. It claimed that OWS was flexing its muscle because it raised $300,000 in a month.

Wow. A nationwide, nay, we are told, worldwide movement raised $300k in a single month?

That's not muscle flexing in the world of political fundraising. The worst president in one and a half centuries raised $300,000 in the past hour. That is nothing.

Truth is that OWS and its related movements are losing steam. The Howard Stern Show on Monday claimed to have interviewed over 150 people who could not identify any coherent reason why they were in New York protesting. DC protesters are somewhat more intellectual, but the lunchtime exercisers have started crowding their dwindling numbers out. Most of the remaining die hards are anti-war protesters, who could not have been thrilled with the recent deployment to Uganda.

Many on the conservative side counted on this movement to discredit leftism through stupidity and foolish acts. Since Obama backed it, they reasoned that he would be tied to their behavior. It turns out that they are inept and incoherent, much like Obama himself. The brightest ones in the protests, not any better informed, but better able to articulate a philosophy of some sort, are the old timers.

A few beacons of reason are sprinkled among them, but very few. I saw an interview with a true old school Truman type liberal. He described the loss of pensions and secure jobs in the past few decades without really understanding why those things disappeared. But he was older, reasonable, rational, generally not anti-capitalist, and an unabashed lover of his country. He was not sure how to fix things, but believed that labor unions could provide the answers. Again, not a bad or a stupid guy, just misguided. He was rare, though.

As badly as some in the media and the Obama Administration want this to continue, it looks to be fizzling. The Tea Party has a pretty coherent idea of what it wants economically and politically, a little less coherence socially. But they have a much tighter focus and are more effective. OWS is all over the place.

Monday, October 17, 2011

David McKinley's Bill On Coal Ash Sails Through House

McKinley’s Jobs Bill on Coal Ash Passes Full House
W.Va. freshman’s compromise legislation passes with bipartisan support

Washington, D.C. – A jobs bill (H.R. 2273) authored by Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV), which for the first time sets minimum federal guidelines regulating coal ash while empowering the states to enforce them, passed the House Friday with overwhelming bipartisan support. McKinley’s legislation, which a Veritas study found could protect up to 316,000 jobs from being eliminated, was approved 267-144, with 37 Democrats voting yes. The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. today noted that the question of how to regulate coal ash has been “a long simmering issue ignored by many policymakers” – until now.

Rep. McKinley made the following statement about H.R. 2273 on the House floor today:

“Every day coal ash is produced in nearly 700 coal-fired generating plants in 48 of the 50 states in America. Approximately 140 tons are produced annually with 40% of that coal ash being beneficially recycled. Over the years, scientists and entrepreneurs have found uses for coal ash through a variety of recycling options. Businesses were emboldened to recycle the material after two studies by the EPA in 1993 and in 2000 found that coal ash is not a hazardous material and could be used by the public. The findings of these two studies specifically state that there have been no documented cases of coal ash damaging human health or the environment. As a result industries have sprung up all across America and thousands of jobs have been created by recycling coal ash.

“After 30 years we finally resolved the issue today. H.R. 2273 is strongly endorsed by state environmental officials, including the Environmental Council of the States and the Association of State and Solid Waste Officials as well as various labor unions. I am pleased to see so many of my colleagues support this bipartisan, pro-jobs legislation.”

McKinley concluded by saying, “This is a jobs bill and a public health bill; protecting the livelihoods and the health of our working men and women are not mutually exclusive ideas.”

H.R. 2273 now moves to the Senate, where already fourteen Democrats have expressed support for the approach taken by McKinley’s legislation. Rep. Gene Green, a Democrat from Houston who rarely votes with Republicans on environmental issues, rose in support of McKinley’s legislation today and hailed its bipartisan nature: “We are doing something here that we don’t do very often in this House. We actually have a bill that came out of committee that has bipartisan support…this bill is something we don’t do on this floor in the last 10 months very often: we actually compromised and came up with good legislation, and we hope the Senate will pass it.”

In a Statement of Administration Policy this week, the White House notably did not threaten a veto of this bill unlike previous House-passed EPA bills.


H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, would ensure the continued beneficial use of coal combustion residuals and strengthen state regulatory authority over these materials under the Solid Waste Disposal Act. The legislation would prevent the Obama administration’s attempt to reclassify these materials as a hazardous waste— a designation previous administrations have deemed inappropriate.