Time to See the Light

Ever since the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, many of us have been stockpiling incandescent lightbulbs. The act imposed a ban on them starting in 2012, in favor of the compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs).
With Republicans gaining back the House, some pundits have asked that one of the first things they do is to repeal this law. Our own Tennessee representative, Marsha Blackburn, has been at the forefront of this fight.
Now it is coming to a head because John Boehner will decide the chairmanship of he Energy and Commerce committee soon. The choice is between Joe Barton of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan. Upton was actually a co-sponsor of the act passed in 2007; Barton has co-authored legislation to repeal it. Whoever is chosen will have a big influence on this issue.
It matters first, because conservatives don’t feel that the government’s reach should extend to the lamp on our bedside. That was not what Washington and the gang hoped for at Valley Forge.
Then there are the hazards issues. A man recounts his experiment with a CFL, a socket and a dimmer. He says fireworks ensued within five minutes. Try this at home if you doubt it, but keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Add to that the problem of mercury in the CFLs. We are told to be wary of mercury’s dangers to the body, yet no one seems to care what happens when one breaks and exposes you to it. Or, that they must be disposed of properly – something 99% of Americans won’t take the trouble to do.
As for energy savings, it takes 15 minutes for one to be on to achieve its maximum savings. So it’s useless in an area where you might need to turn on the lights for just a minute. CFLs are expensive, too; poor people will have to spend much more to buy one than they can probably afford.
What happens next depends on Boehner. If he chooses Upton it will indicate that he has a less conservaive bent than most of us want. It could be a bad omen for his future inclinations. If he chooses Barton, Boehner will show that he understands and will push for limited government.
Let’s see which way he flips.

Election 2010 in a Nutshell

Peter Wehner at Commentary has a pithy summation of the outcomes of November 2, 2010. Quite interesting facts, such as this tidbit – that Democrats hold a majority of the congressional delegations in only 3 states that don’t touch an ocean: Iowa, New Mexico and Vermont.

Check it out at www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/380851.

I think he means sifting rather than shifting in the first sentence, however.

How to Win Elections Without Really Trying

In an election, parties, candidates, good and bad campaigns, voter enthusiasm, advertising, messaging, media; put it all aside and learn this: He who draws the lines determines the winners.

In an excellent article at Pajamas Media, blogger Zombie makes this claim. Ever look at a political map and wonder how a district can reach from part of a city and then extend about a hundred miles south and even take an odd turn or two? Or how a country can be conservative and be dubbed center right while our politicians deliver liberal policies and laws?

It wasn’t by accident, but by the ruling party determining how they can pick voters in areas that will give them a majority, no matter how ridiculous it seems geographically.

It’s not a new phenomenon, but started early in our history, 1812 in fact. Zombie details the origin of the word “gerrymandering” and describes how it’s done. He also goes on to explain why the Republican victory November 2 can gives us advantages that last a decade and how 2010 and Democrat gerrymandering backfired on them in 2010. Here’s the link: http://pajamasmedia.com/zombie/2010/11/10/gerrymandering-101/?singlepage=true.

More From the White House Insider

The leaker who calls himself Ulsterman is out with his latest report. In it he continues his discussion of brewing scandals around Obama as well as the Clintons and the birth certificate issue.

The interviewer noted that Ulsterman correctly predicted the departures of Larry Summers and Rahm Emanuel. He says Robert Gibbs is next. Read it all at www.newsflavor.com.

But Wait! There’s More

A previous post, “Explosive Reports” talked about the war between the Democrats and President Obama. An insider, who calls himself Ulsterman, has given an interview at Newsflavor. He talks about the scandal(s) that are out there for the Democrats. A note of caution: It is always dubious to rely on anonymous sources. However, no one working in the Obama administration would want to come out and be quoted on what’s really happening there or risk the wrath of powerful, ruthless people. Take it in context. By that I mean that snippets or headlines you see have already given support to some of what he says.

After the November 2 election, Ulsterman was asked about the scandal. “Is it still out there?” the interviewer asked.

“Yeah, of course it’s still out there…There have been a few more media reports circling the situation. As is most often the case, one investigation will open up another and then the snowball takes off down the hill. That is starting to happen now. It’s big. It’s messy. And if it gets back to the White House, it sill be a very significant problem for the administration. It is my understanding that they are already working very hard to distance the president. That is what always happens, but once it’s happening, it also confirms that there really is an issue out there.”

Interviewer: “So the scandal might not actually reach the president?”

“I think it will and so do others aware of the situation.”

Interviewer: “Are Republicans aware of it?”

“Oh yeah. At least certain members are and likely some who have very specific details. It is no casual thing to have incoming members of a new House majority telling the media that the White House needs to make certain it doesn’t start shredding documents…well, that’s about as bold a declaration as one makes in this town. Those Republicans are making it clear to the Obama White House that they know something – and are willing to go after them over it. I just don’t think President Obama fully understands or appreciates what is coming at him in 2011…I’m not exaggerating when I say it might very well break his presidency.”

What is it?

Darrell Issa, the California congressman, will be in charge of the House Oversight Committee. He has already said he intends to pursue several issues. Stimulous, Health Care Reform, Fannie and Freddie, and Voter Intimidation are just a few he mentioned.

Could it have to do with deals made by Nancy Pelosi and certain Congressmen for them to get on board with the Health Care bill? Would it have to do with Blagoevich’s dealings on the vacated Senate seat? Is that why Rahm Emanuel left the administration to return to Chicago and make sure everything is covered for President Obama?

Consider, also, the number of people close to Obama who have exited his staff. Do they know something?

As I said yesterday, something’s afoot.

Explosive Reports

Something’s up, something’s going on that we are just beginning to hear about, thanks to Tuesday’s overwhelming Republican victory.

Various news sites are beginning to leak info on the Obama White House and what the Democrat party is doing to protect itself from his toxic touch. Today on his radio program, Rush Limbaugh echoed the idea that something’s afoot as well.

In several articles at opinion-maker.org and Politico, reporters are talking about leakers and what they have to say.

Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei of Politico co-authored “President Obama is Isolated Ahead of 2012.” They quote unnamed Democrats who say they “are skeptical that Obama is self aware enough to make the sort of dramatic changes they feel are needed in his relations with other Democrats or in his very approach to the job.” In addition, they say “he’s isolated himself from every group that matters in American politics.”
Wayne Madsen at opinon-maker.org goes much further.

According to that website, a blogger who calls himself Ulsterman talks of a reign of terror at the White House on leakers. Among the explosive findings there:

Democrats pushed Obama on this trip to get him out of the country as they attempt to sort through Tuesday’s political disaster.

There is guerilla warfare between Obama’s inner circle and Nancy Pelosi, James Carville, Howard Dean, Joe Biden and Bill Clinton. Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett and mother-in-law Marion Robinson are the few people Obama listens to.

Biden has been approached by Democrats who want to invoke the 25th amendment and remove Obama from office. However, he indicated he worries too much about the chaos that would ensue to endorse such a move.

According to these sources, even the Congressional Black Caucus is ready for Obama’s removal, questioning his grasp of reality.

Others allege that ex-CIA people have been released across the globe to look for documents and dossiers incriminating to Obama.

There has been talk of Obama taking prescription anxiety medications.

Two recent incidents get particular attention.

Obama’s behind the scenes fury after the seal of the president fell off his podium at the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Speech alarmed many. He made light of it at in front of the audience, but afterwards seemed convinced that people were conspiring against him.

Then when Obama campaigned in Rhode Island and failed to endorse the Democrat gubernatorial candidate, eyebrows were raised. When he left the special $7,500 a place fund raiser afterwards to ‘”tuck in my daughters, walk the dog and scoop the poop,” attendees were upset and alarmed at his diffidence.
Alex Sink, the losing Florida gubernatorial candidate, echoed the fears of many when she accused him of being “tone deaf.”

Will the Democrats sit by and let Obama wreak further havoc on their party? These writers don’t think so. Read more about it at www.opinion-maker.org (“White House: Obama Conducting Reign of Terror”) and www.strata-sphere.com/blog/.

Golden State Tarnished

What are Californians thinking? Last Tuesday they accelerated their state’s decline, and to use the analogy President Obama favors, gave the keys back to the same reckless people who got it there.

On November 2, voters did not oust a single incumbent state legislator. They re-elected Democrat Barbara “worked so hard” Boxer. They rejected a Republican gubernatorial candidate savvy in business and economics for Jerry Brown, who, some say, launched this spending spree. They elected Gavin Newsom, the uber liberal San Francisco mayor, as their lieutenant governor. They voted in favor of a jobs killing green plan. The only red in their electoral preferences is not Republican red but red ink.

This is all fine and good if that’s what the state wants, but unfortunately for them, the rest of us don’t. And the rest of us are where their money came from and will come from.

The federal government is providing California with $40 million a day to cover their unemployment payouts. One out of 8 Californians is currently unemployed. In addition, they already owe $8.6 billion. The $362 million that they are supposed to pay next September is nowhere in sight.

Perhaps the voters figured Democrats would give them a waiver and that the rest of us will happily comply.
Somehow, I don’t think Mr. and Mrs. Middle American Taxpayer agree. Many states have balanced their budgets and their residents understood that some belt tightening would happen. But nobody wants to tighten their belt for someone carelessly enlarging theirs.

Seems California will have to reach rock bottom before any progress can be made there. But the rest of us don’t have to go with them.

Us vs. Them

A conversation with a liberal relative about the new Republican Congress unexpectedly revealed the core difference in our philosophies.

Discussing what would be the first things they should do, I answered to extend the Bush tax cuts, permanently, and to repeal the health care “reform.”

The tax issue goes to show what our schools have been up to for such a long time. Arthur Laffer, the Laffer curve, the idea that allowing businesses to grow brings in a larger tax base than punishing the high income segment, who are fewer and apt to find tax havens anyway, did not register. Perhaps I should have asked who makes more, the entrepreneur who sells a dollar gadget to millions of people or a salesman who might only be able to sell one high ticket item? Then apply that to taxes. That extrapolation seemed outside his thought training.

As for health care, which he conceded is flawed, the response was that repealing it simply would not be enough. If they don’t do something, i.e. create new agencies, write new bills, establish something, the Republicans will lose in the next election.
But I don’t want them to do anything like that. Our conservative Republican beliefs call for government to be reduced and to get out of our lives as much as possible. Only a libertarian would reject the need for some governmental oversight and regulation, need for defense and police or need for a few government agencies.

Then again the operative word is few. I don’t want the government to tell me how much income I can keep, which doctor I can see, which kind of lightbulb can be in my house, what kind of fuel I can use and how much, or where my children go to school.
In the liberal mind this is all a plus. I can’t decide for myself. If I do, I will make the wrong choice because human nature, particularly American human nature, is selfish and greedy.

I don’t think so and our founding fathers didn’t think so.

If the Congress undoes what Obama has done; if they restore power back to the states and to its citizens; if they stay out of my life so I can live each day without wondering what they are doing next; then the new Republican Congress will have been a great success in my eyes.

Doing nothing is, in essence, doing something. We need a lot more nothing to unleash the great American spirit and let us fulfill our destinies.

Wave Bye Bye

So how did we do last night?

We didn’t hit 100 in the House and we didn’t take back the Senate. Disappointed?

There is no reason to be. It was a big wave, hurricane, tsunami, wipe-out, disaster for the Democrats.

Although we still don’t know the exact number of seats we won because they are still counting ballots in some places, we have at least 63, which far outshines the 1994 victory. And we are still talking about what a massive win that was.

Not to go all “best of all possible worlds” Candide on you, but consider this comment from Democrat Pat Caddell. He believes it is the worst possible outcome for the Democrats. I concur. Now the Democrats will still own responsibility for their actions (or inactions) with Barack Obama in the executive branch and the Senate with Harry Reid at its helm. From how I see it, that means Republicans in the House can propose big and popular ideas that Obama and the lefty senators will not want to embrace. That sets us up for a promising 2012.

For new Speaker of the house John Boehner, he’ll also have a larger majority in the House than Republicans had in the previous 12 years they were in power. The Blue Dog Caucus was cut in half. I only wish more of the quislings had fallen, but I’m happy to see Travis Childers and Gene Taylor of Mississippi fall. A great number of others who supported the Health Care reform lost as well.

In the Senate we defended every seat up for election. That is not a small accomplishment, plus adding 6-7 new ones. Looking ahead to 2012, Republicans will only have to defend 10 Senate seats (with one problematic) while the Democrats must keep 22 (10 problematic).

We got a 55-39 advantage with independent voters. We won more than 23 legislatures. Democrats lost their majority in governorships. All this bodes well for census redistricting for the GOP, with effects that we’ll enjoy for a long period of time.

California was a big disappointment. But those citizens have now signed their own economic death sentence. I don’t think the rest of the country wants to pony up for the union-heavy, benefit laden civil servants (think Bell, Ca.), pension problems and education and medical care for illegal immigrants. With Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer they can now twist in the wind. Had Meg Whitman won, she would hardly have been able to pull the state out of the deep hole it’s in within 4 years. Let’s leave it to Jerry Brown to suffer through that one.

By the way, Californians actually voted a dead person into office. Jenny Oropeza will not be able to serve and they will have to have another election to get her off the ballot. Talk about Zombie Democrat voters! Hard for common sense Republicans to make headway in that kind of climate.

Other big wins for our side: Maine’s legislature went deep red, a shift they have not seen there in 100 years. North Carolina’s legislature went GOP for the first time since 1876. Wisconsin, and New Hampshire flipped to the GOP by a wide margin. Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Montana and Colorado saw their state houses go Republican.

Minnesota Republicans took the House and Senate which had not happened since 1974. Also in Minnesota Chip Cravaack took the seat from Democrat stalwart Jim Oberstar in a district we hadn’t had since 1946.
Already red Texas went so red that the GOP no longer needs Democrats to get state constitutional amendments out of the state legislature.

Some well deserved comeuppances sweetened the wins, too.

Armed Services committee chairman Ike Skelton, a long time Democrat from Missouri, lost his seat. Bob Etheridge, the North Carolina Democrat who assaulted a student interviewing him, went down. Alan Grayson of Florida who reccommended Republicans’ health care ideas boiled down to “die quickly” lost his race.Tom Perriello of Virginia who Obama campaigned hard for, lost. So did Paul Kanjorski, and Baron Hill.

Republican Ben Quayle easing won a seat from his district in Arizona. Remember his ad clling Obama the “worst president in U.S. history?” Doctor Dan Benishek took Bart Stupak’s Michigan seat.

Good as all this is, we also have a large number of rising candidates on the horizon. Marco Rubio, new senator from Florida; Kristi Noem, now a congresswoman from South Dakota; John Kasich, new governor of Ohio; join other heavyweights such as Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Sarah Palin, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Indiana congressman Mike Pence as great future leaders. I don’t see any such bull pen ready for the Democrats, heavy with Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden and Barney Frank.

I think that car President Obama is driving might have to have a new look. We can “come for the ride” but now we certainly aren’t going to have to “sit in the back.”