Ken Salazar does… nothing. Unexpectedly.
Our friends at the Washington Times bring us up to date on the latest in the Cabinet follies. El Presidente has, over the last week or so, made a complete fool of himself on the international stage. (Wasn’t he going to restore order in the world or something like that?) So, in an apparent attempt to divert media attention to his foolishness, Ken Salazar, our esteemed Secretary of the Interior, stepped up and took one for the team.
As you probably know, the folks in the Gulf Coast region are a tad put out because of the Bush Obama Administration’s foot dragging on approving drilling permits so the region can share in the robust economic recovery being enjoyed in other parts of the nation. Senator Landreau was irritated enough to put a hold on an Obama nominee so she could get some attention. She got it. Obama caved. Sort of. She let the nominee be voted on and she got a meeting with Salazar and his cronies at Interior. She, and the industry representatives who attended the meeting, expected action from Interior on the permits. After all, people with children are out of work. And Christmas is coming. So…
A much-anticipated meeting to smooth over tensions between Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the drilling industry appeared to falter Monday as oil and gas executives, joined by Gulf state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, described Mr. Salazar’s visit to Houma, La., as all talk and little action.
Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat, secured the meeting last week in exchange for releasing a legislative hold she had placed on President Obama’s budget director nominee. She and other advocates of offshore drilling hoped Mr. Salazar’s visit would be accompanied by a streamlined process for approving permits in the wake of the Obama administration’s decision to lift its ban on offshore drilling, which it imposed in the aftermath of the BP PLC oil spill this year.
Instead, officials said, the meeting resulted in little more than rhetoric.
“We are disappointed that the federal government gave us no commitments at this meeting,” said Jim Noe, executive director of the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition. “While candid discussions are important to frame the issues, unfortunately the time for discussion has passed for many of our most expert and productive drillers in the Gulf. For them, the continual slowdown in permitting has gone situation critical.”
At issue are tougher rules imposed by Mr. Salazar when he lifted the moratorium last month. Oil and gas officials complain that the new regulations have created uncertainty and made it next to impossible to secure new drilling permits.
The bottom line is that the agency has hired twenty more people (probably not in the Gulf) and they’re going to work with “the industry”. Assuming “the industry” lasts that long. Hey Mary… check is in the mail. Barack loves you. And he won’t – oh never mind, of course he will.
Where is Howard Jarvis when we need him?
From Wes Pruden in the Washington Times.
Howard Jarvis is the guy who wrote and pretty much personally got passed “Prop 13” in California about a million years ago. It was the opening shot (and pretty much the last one) of the tax revolt. Prop 13 limited property taxes in California to 1% of the value of the home. Needless to say, the Left went bozo claiming that the limitation on property taxes would destroy the state and they hauled out the big guns. Howard was the kind of guy who relished being hated and attacked by the Left and Wes Pruden brought him to mind today with an article about the problems being caused by Prop 26 which just passed. Prop 26 forces politicians to call a tax a tax. It’s about to raise all sorts of hell.
You should read the article to find out more about the difficulties of being a tax expanding liberal in California, but I really want to highlight Howard Jarvis. We need more people like him.
LOS ANGELES | Life is not easy out there for a liberal, or a progressive or an elitist or whatever liberals are calling themselves this morning. Particularly in California, where dreamy Democrats feel cozy and safe, supping on lotus, unmolested by reality.
The contentious campaign for Prop 26 and the eventual approval by California voters was eerily similar to the Jarvis campaign to slash taxes on homes in 1973. Jarvis, who died in 1986, was derided by Time magazine as “surly” and “arrogant” and “when the mikes were turned off, he just raised his voice so that you never knew the microphone was dead. Many times they had to call the sergeant-at-arms to persuade him to sit down.”
But Jarvis rarely sat down and gave as good as he got. He didn’t listen to the timid marketing men who urged him to soften his language, and he described the cocktail-party Republicans in opposition as “the stupidest people in the world except for businessmen, who have a genius for stupidity.” The oh-so-proper League of Women Voters, which led the prissy opposition, was “a bunch of nosy broads who front for the big spenders.” The tax issue, he said, “is Armageddon, a war of machetes. They’re going to cut off our heads, or we’re going to cut off theirs.”
On election night, after he had won 70 percent of the votes, he gloated that “now we know how it felt when they dumped English tea into Boston Harbor.” Nov. 2 of this year proved again that tea, even in blue-green California, can be 90-proof stuff.
We need Howard Jarvis. We’ve got Mitch & John. We need Howard. Desperately.
All Greened up and nowhere to go…
Hey, the economy may suck for the moment but “green jobs” are going to save us. Remember that one? Yeah. And the Washington Post is on top of the new economy!
OCALA, FLA. – After losing his way in the old economy, Laurance Anton tried to assure his place in the new one by signing up for green jobs training earlier this year at his local community college.
Anton has been out of work since 2008, when his job as a surveyor vanished with Florida’s once-sizzling housing market. After a futile search, at age 56 he reluctantly returned to school to learn the kind of job skills the Obama administration is wagering will soon fuel an employment boom: solar installation, sustainable landscape design, recycling and green demolition.
Anton said the classes, funded with a $2.9 million federal grant to Ocala’s workforce development organization, have taught him a lot. He’s learned how to apply Ohm’s law, how to solder tiny components on circuit boards and how to disassemble rather than demolish a building.
The only problem is that his new skills have not resulted in a single job offer. Officials who run Ocala’s green jobs training program say the same is true for three-quarters of their first 100 graduates.
“I think I have put in 200 applications,” said Anton, who exhausted his unemployment benefits months ago and now relies on food stamps and his dwindling savings to survive. “I’m long past the point where I need some regular income.”
You really should read the whole article. If you drink, I would recommend you imbibe liberally first. It’s amazing.
Bottom line, fossil fuels just aren’t expensive enough and the “green industries” just don’t get enough government money and we need more stringent regulations to force people to green up.
The only thing “green” about “green industries” is the color of the ink used by the Federal Reserve to print new money to fund them.
Ethanol Subsidies Greg Sargent The Plum Line…
Well, I thought this article was really good news, but probably for different reasons than Mr. Sargent had when he wrote it.
The next big GOP intra-party war: Ethanol subsidies?
By Greg Sargent
Is there a new intra-GOP war brewing — a sequel to the Tea Party’s big victory in the battle over earmarks?
Fresh off a big victory over the GOP establishment on earmarks, conservative GOP senators are opening up a new front in the battle on government spending that could be similar to the earmarks standoff: They are calling on Congress to let billions in ethanol subsidies expire.
Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, two leading conservative Senators who have pushed the GOP to be serious about its anti-spending rhetoric, told me they are calling on fellow Republicans to urge Congress to allow ethanol subsidies to expire — something that could put other leading GOP Senators in an awkward spot and subject them (in theory) to the wrath of the anti-government-spending Tea Party if they don’t go along.
This offers Dems an opening to exacerbate GOP divisions, and creates the prospect of an unusual alliance between conservative Republicans and green groups who are urging Dems to get serious about nixing the subsidies. As Steve Benen noted the other day, pushing for an expiration of the subsidies “could be a carefully-applied wedge, driving divisions between the party’s activists and the party’s corporate benefactors.”
It’s hard to know right now whether the ethanol subsidies issue has any chance of gaining the traction the battle over earmarks did. It will depend on how hard DeMint pushes the issue, and also on whether it catches fire among Tea Partyers and right wing bloggers, as the earmarks fight did. But this is definitely one that bears watching.
Yep Greg, it’s a real opening. But the opening is more like to find out if the Republican Leadership in Congress is really “listening”. Frankly, what we really need is Howard Jarvis.