Tag Archives: AMERICA’S FUTURE

Mark Caserta: Obama’s war on coal has a cost

6 Aug

And is based on mythical “man-made” global warming.

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

Aug. 06, 2015 @ 12:01 AM
FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.  President Barack Obama on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, will unveil the final version of his unprecedented regulations clamping down on carbon dioxide emissions from existing U.S. power plants. The Obama administration first proposed the rule last year. Opponents plan to sue immediately to stop the rule's implementation. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

FILE – In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. President Barack Obama on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, will unveil the final version of his unprecedented regulations clamping down on carbon dioxide emissions from existing U.S. power plants. The Obama administration first proposed the rule last year. Opponents plan to sue immediately to stop the rule’s implementation. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

Liberals hate fossil fuels and have no plans to incorporate them into any sort of an “all of the above” energy strategy. And as the U.S. coal industry faces increased regulatory pressures from President Obama and his EPA minions, our state as well as others will continue to feel the economic crunch.

U.S. coal is used to generate about 40 percent of our nation’s electricity. As the Environmental Protection Agency, under Obama’s direction, intensifies regulations on the coal industry, expect electricity prices as well as associated costs to rise accordingly. Obama revealed this as part of his environmental plan early in his presidential campaign.

In a 2008 interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, Obama explained that under his plan of cap-and-trade, it was incumbent that our electricity prices should increase. The president’s progressive strategy obviously includes forcing the nation into pursuing green energy alternatives to avoid the mythical damages of carbon dioxide emissions.

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“Under my plan of cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” Obama told the Chronicle. “Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

Every time I hear a liberal decry carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) as destroying our planet, I can’t help but wonder if they’ve ever taken a biology course. Literally thousands of laboratory and field experiments have conclusively demonstrated that enriching the air with CO2 stimulates the growth and development of nearly all plants. But apparently facts aren’t important to progressives when it comes to defending climate change.

Just this week, Barack Obama unveiled the final version of his unprecedented plan to clamp down on CO2 emissions from existing U.S. power plants in an effort to cripple the industry.

In the president’s proposal, he’s calling for even steeper cuts on greenhouse emissions than previously expected. Calling it the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming, he plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Obama cites decades of data that he insists proposes we are facing more extreme weather and escalating health problems without tough action.

Opponents of Obama’s actions vow to sue immediately, and plan to ask the courts to put the rule on hold while legal challenges play out. Many states have already threatened not to comply.

Understand that as the price of electricity increases, every industry that relies on this utility will have to cover their losses by either raising their prices or reducing costs. In other words, there will be higher prices and fewer jobs for the American people.

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It’s fundamental economics, which this president simply cannot grasp.

This is yet another attempt by an autocratic, egotistical president to force his progressive ideology upon the American people with total disregard as to the ultimate price we’ll pay.

But, the cost to Americans and our nation has never prevented Barack Obama from his pursuit of fundamental change.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Exclusive: Angry with Washington, 1 in 4 Americans open to secession

19 Sep

By Scott Malone

A girl holds a U.S. flag next to a sculpture after a naturalization ceremony in New York July 22, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A girl holds a U.S. flag next to a sculpture after a naturalization ceremony in New York July 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

 BOSTON (Reuters) – The failed Scottish vote to pull out from the United Kingdom stirred secessionist hopes for some in the United States, where almost a quarter of people are open to their states leaving the union, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

Some 23.9 percent of Americans polled from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16 said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away, while 53.3 percent of the 8,952 respondents strongly opposed or tended to oppose the notion.

The urge to sever ties with Washington cuts across party lines and regions, though Republicans and residents of rural Western states are generally warmer to the idea than Democrats and Northeasterners, according to the poll.

Anger with President Barack Obama’s handling of issues ranging from healthcare reform to the rise of Islamic State militants drives some of the feeling, with Republican respondents citing dissatisfaction with his administration as coloring their thinking.

But others said long-running Washington gridlock had prompted them to wonder if their states would be better off striking out on their own, a move no U.S. state has tried in the 150 years since the bloody Civil War that led to the end of slavery in the South.

“I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference anymore which political party is running things. Nothing gets done,” said Roy Gustafson, 61, of Camden, South Carolina, who lives on disability payments. “The state would be better off handling things on its own.”

Scottish unionists won by a wider-than-expected 10-percentage-point margin.

Falling public approval of the Obama administration, attention to the Scottish vote and the success of activists who accuse the U.S. government of overstepping its authority – such as the self-proclaimed militia members who flocked to Nevada’s Bundy ranch earlier this year during a standoff over grazing rights – is driving up interest in secession, experts said.

“It seems to have heated up, especially since the election of President Obama,” said Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, who has studied secessionist movements.

‘OBAMACARE’ A FACTOR

Republicans were more inclined to support the idea, with 29.7 percent favoring it compared with 21 percent of Democrats.

Brittany Royal, a 31-year-old nurse from Wilkesboro, North Carolina, said anger over the “Obamacare” healthcare reform law made her wonder if her state would be better off on its own.

“That has really hurt a lot of people here, myself included. My insurance went from $40 a week for a family of four up to over $600 a month for a family of four,” said Royal, a Republican. “The North Carolina government itself is sustainable. Governor (Pat) McCrory, I think he has a better healthcare plan than President Obama.”

By region, the idea was least popular in New England, the cradle of the Revolutionary War, with just 17.4 percent of respondents open to pulling their state out.

It was most popular in the Southwest, where 34.1 percent of respondents back the idea.

That region includes Texas, where an activist group is calling the state’s legislature to put the secession question on a statewide ballot. One Texan respondent said he was confident his state could get by without the rest of the country.

“Texas has everything we need. We have the manufacturing, we have the oil, and we don’t need them,” said Mark Denny, a 59-year-old retiree living outside Dallas on disability payments.

Denny, a Republican, had cheered on the Scottish independence movement.

“I have totally, completely lost faith in the federal government, the people running it, whether Republican, Democrat, independent, whatever,” he said.

Even in Texas, some respondents said talk about breaking away was more of a sign of their anger with Washington than evidence of a real desire to go it alone. Democrat Lila Guzman, of Round Rock, said the threat could persuade Washington lawmakers and the White House to listen more closely to average people’s concerns.

“When I say secede, I’m not like (former National Rifle Association president) Charlton Heston with my gun up in the air, ‘my cold dead hands.’ It’s more like – we could do it if we had to,” said Guzman, 62. “But the first option is, golly, get it back on the right track. Not all is lost. But there might come a point that we say, ‘Hey, y’all, we’re dusting our hands and we’re moving on.'”

RADICAL ISLAMISTS IN SYRIA COULD BRING FIGHT TO U.S.

2 Sep

BY Yochi Dreazen

Yochi Dreazen is managing editor for news for Foreign Policy, overseeing a team of reporters covering national security, foreign policy, energy, diplomacy, and the global economy. He is also writer-in-residence at the Center for a New American Security, where he is working on a book about military suicide that will be published by Random House’s Crown division this October. The book, The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in the Era of Endless War, was the finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, jointly awarded by the Columbia Journalism School and Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism.

 

 

Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told an audience at the Aspen Security Forum that the ranks of foreigners taking part in the war against Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad now number at least 12,000, up from 7,000 a few months ago, including at least 1,000 Europeans and at least 100 Americans. Olsen said those estimates likely understate the actual numbers.

“The numbers are growing as the conflict there continues,” said Olsen, who has run the counterterrorism center for three years and is slated to step down later this year. “It remains a magnet for extremists around the world.”

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, speaking on the same panel, said the intensifying conflict in the Gaza Strip threatened to further “fuel” the ranks of foreign fighters inside Syria. “It may contribute to the number of individuals who feel that they want to become part of the fight, but not necessarily in Gaza,” Mueller said.

Neither conflict shows any signs of slowing. Last week included the bloodiest 48-hour period to date in the three-year-old Syrian civil war, with an NGO monitoring the conflict estimating that more than 700 Syrians were killed on Thursday and Friday. More than 170,000 people have died in the conflict since it began in March 2011. Elsewhere in the region, violence flared in the West Bank Friday for the first time since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began in Gaza on July 8. At least five people were killed, pushing the Palestinian death toll to more 800. Israel has lost 35 people, including 33 soldiers.

For the moment, Syria poses the far greater threat to the United States. The Western fighters there on European and American passports could return home to carry out strikes far more easily than other militants could. Olsen said some of those 100 Americans have already come back to the United States, though he emphasized that the FBI is monitoring and tracking many of them.

The counterterrorism chief said that the U.S. intelligence community’s persistent difficulty in collecting detailed information about the fighting in Syria made it hard to trace the American and European militants once they made it to the battlefield.

Those challenges continue when the fighters return home. Olsen said it was difficult to identify and track those militants because they included both Syrians living in the United States and fighters from other ethnicities and nationalities. He said the Islamic State, which is leading the fighting in Syria, runs sophisticated English-language websites designed to help radicalize even larger numbers of Westerners and potentially convince them to join the battle.

Olsen said that once there, the militants would find a growing swath of territory inside both Syria and Iraq that is rapidly turning into a safe haven for militants interested in launching attacks both there and elsewhere in the world. He said there were senior al Qaeda leaders in Syria training foreign fighters and taking advantage of their ability to plan attacks elsewhere with little interference.

Syria, Olsen said, was providing safe havens that were starting “to be reminiscent of what we faced before 9/11 in Afghanistan.”

Domestic, Islamic vandals in U.S.?

1 Sep

3 Columbus churches vandalized with graffiti overnight 

koran vandalizes church

COLUMBUS, Ind. – Columbus Police said they’ve never had anything like it – three churches vandalized in the same night.

Someone spray painted them on the outside. It’s the words used, though, that have some people asking if this was more than a prank.

“It was just one word. It said ‘Infidels!’” Father Doug Marcotte said of what was spray painted on Saint Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Columbus overnight Saturday.

Parishioners saw that, along with the word “Qur’an 3:151” on their way into mass Sunday morning.

“It’s certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire,” explained Father Marcotte.

Specifically, that passage of the Qur’an reads: “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”

Saint Bartholomew’s wasn’t the only Columbus church vandalized.

“It’s really bizarre and the fact that they hit two other Christian Churches. It’s not like we’re all in a line. So why did they pick the three of us,” asked Father Marcotte.

Outside East Columbus Christian Church and Lakeview Church of Christ, members there found the same kind of graffiti Sunday morning.

“Is there somebody that really believes this that we’re all infidels so they felt the need to write it all over our church? “ asked Father Marcote. “Is this some sort of nasty prank? Is this someone that’s trying to incite people against Muslims? I mean I don’t know,” he added.

Columbus Police said they’re looking at surveillance video to help figure it out.

Until they do though, parishioners at Saint Bartholomew’s have been unsettled by the defacing of their church, at the very least.

“There’s a lot of bad stuff being done in the name of Allah and so when people see this happening in Columbus, whether that was truly the person’s intent or there’s something else going on, It makes people nervous. It makes people upset. It makes them scared,” said Father Marcotte.

Columbus police would not comment on whether they had alerted federal authorities to the vandalism because of its nature. The priests at Saint Bartholomew’s said they’ve been contacted by members of the local Muslim community in Columbus who have condemned the vandalism and offered to help clean it up.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

SAUDI KING WARNS JIHADISTS WILL REACH WEST IN MONTHS

30 Aug

KING ABDULLA

Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) – King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is “rapid” action.

“If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” he said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station.

“Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East,” said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States.

The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group has prompted widespread concern as it advances in both Syria and Iraq, killing hundreds of people, including in gruesome beheadings and mass executions.

Lack of action would be “unacceptable” in the face of the phenomenon, King Abdullah said.

“You see how they (jihadists) carry out beheadings and make children show the severed heads in the street,” he said, condemning the “cruelty” of such acts.

“It is no secret to you, what they have done and what they have yet to do. I ask you to transmit this message to your leaders: ‘Fight terrorism with force, reason and (necessary) speed’.”

President Barack Obama has yet to decide whether the United States should launch raids against positions held by the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria to follow US air strikes on IS activities in Iraq.

US Secretary of State John Kerry called Friday for a global coalition to combat Islamic State fighters’ “genocidal agenda”.

Writing in the New York Times, Kerry said he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet European counterparts on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Wales next week, to enlist assistance.

They will then travel on to the Middle East to build support “among the countries that are most directly threatened”.

“With a united response led by the United States and the broadest possible coalition of nations, the cancer of ISIS will not be allowed to spread to other countries,” Kerry said in Friday’s op-ed piece.

Asharq Al-Awsat said the king urged other countries to join the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre, set up in 2011 to respond to new threats, and to which Saudi Arabia has made a grant of $100 million

OBAMA ON ISIS: “WE DON’T HAVE A STRATEGY”

29 Aug

isis

Washington Post

By Editorial Board August 29 at 6:59 PM

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S acknowledgment that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in Syria understandably attracted the most attention after his perplexing meeting with reporters Thursday. But his restatement of the obvious was not the most dismaying aspect of his remarks. The president’s goal, to the extent he had one, seemed to be to tamp down all the assessments of gathering dangers that his own team had been issuing over the previous days.

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This argument with his own administration is alarming on three levels.

The first has to do with simple competence. One can only imagine the whiplash that foreign leaders must be suffering. They heard U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power denounce Russia as “today . . . they open a new front . . . Russia’s force along the border is the largest it has been . . . the mask is coming off.” An hour later, Mr. Obama implicitly contradicted her: “I consider the actions that we’ve seen in the last week a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now . . . it’s not really a shift.”

Similarly, his senior advisers uniformly have warned of the unprecedented threat to America and Americans represented by Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq. But Mr. Obama didn’t seem to agree. “Now, ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] poses an immediate threat to the people of Iraq and to people throughout the region,” he said. “My priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that ISIL made in Iraq are rolled back.” Contrast that ambition with this vow from Secretary of State John F. Kerry: “And make no mistake: We will continue to confront ISIL wherever it tries to spread its despicable hatred. The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil.”

The discrepancies raise the question of whether Mr. Obama controls his own administration, but that’s not the most disturbing element. His advisers are only stating the obvious: Russia has invaded Ukraine. The Islamic State and the Americans it is training are a danger to the United States. When Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. says the threat they pose is “in some ways . . . more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general,” it’s not because he is a warmonger or an alarmist. He’s describing the world as he sees it. When Mr. Obama refuses to acknowledge the reality, allies naturally wonder whether he will also refuse to respond to it.

Which is, in the end, the most disturbing aspect of Mr. Obama’s performance. Throughout his presidency, he has excelled at explaining what the United States cannot do and cannot afford, and his remarks Thursday were no exception. “Ukraine is not a member of NATO,” he said. “We don’t have those treaty obligations with Ukraine.” If Iraq doesn’t form an acceptable government, it’s “unrealistic” to think the United States can defeat the Islamic State.

OBAMA FOREIGN POLICY

Allies are vital; the United States overstretched in the Bush years; it can’t solve every problem. All true. But it’s also true that none of the basic challenges to world order can be met without U.S. leadership: not Russia’s aggression, not the Islamic State’s expansion, not Iran’s nuclear ambition nor China’s territorial bullying. Each demands a different policy response, with military action and deterrence only two tools in a basket that includes diplomatic and economic measures. It’s time Mr. Obama started emphasizing what the United States can do instead of what it cannot.

 

OBAMA PLOTS IMMIGRATION REFORM BY PEN AND PHONE

28 Aug

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is crafting a blame-it-on-Congress legal justification to back up President Barack Obama’s impending executive actions on immigration.

 ILLEGALS

Facing an expected onslaught of opposition, the administration plans to argue that Congress failed to provide enough resources to fully enforce U.S. laws, thereby ceding wide latitude to White House to prioritize deportations of the 11.5 million people who are in the country illegally, administration officials and legal experts said. But Republicans, too, are exploring their legal options for stopping Obama from what they’ve deemed egregious presidential overreaching.

A self-imposed, end-of-summer deadline to act on immigration is rapidly approaching. While Obama has yet to receive the formal recommendations he’s requested from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, administration officials said the president is intimately familiar with the universe of options and won’t spend much time deliberating once Johnson delivers his recommendations.

After resisting calls to act alone in hopes Congress would pass a comprehensive immigration fix, Obama in June bowed to immigration activists and said that “if Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours.” The most sweeping, controversial step under consideration involves halting deportation for millions, a major expansion of a 2012 Obama program that deferred prosecutions for those brought here illegally as children.

Roughly half a million have benefited from that program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.

But while prosecutors are routinely expected to use their discretion on a case-by-case basis, such blanket exempting of entire categories of people has never been done on the scale of what Obama is considering — potentially involving many millions of people if he extends relief to parents of DACA children, close relatives of U.S. citizens or immigrants with clean criminal records.

“The question is how broadly can the president extend the categories and still stay on the side of spectrum of ensuring the laws are faithfully executed?” said Cristina Rodriguez, who left the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2013 to teach at Yale Law School.

Other options under consideration, such as changes to how green cards are distributed and counted, might be less controversial because of the support they enjoy from the business community and other influential groups. But Derrick Morgan, a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and a scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said Obama will still face staunch opposition as long as he attempts an end run around Congress.

Obama’s goal had been to announce his decision around Labor Day, before leaving on a trip next week to Estonia and Wales. But a host of national security crises have pushed the announcement back, likely until after Obama returns, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to comment by name and demanded anonymity.

Obama’s actions will almost surely be challenged in court.

“Any potential executive action the president takes will be rooted in a solid legal foundation,” White House spokesman Shawn Turner said.

What’s more, Obama may have undermined his case because he has insisted time and again that he’s the president, not the king, and “can’t just make the laws up by myself.” In a 2012 interview with Telemundo, Obama defended his decision to defer deportations for children but said he couldn’t go any bigger.

“If we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that’s not an option,” he said then.

Republicans are already hinting that they’ll consider legal action to thwart what they’ve denounced as a violation of the separation of powers. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a conference call this month with GOP House members, accused Obama of “threatening to rewrite our immigration laws unilaterally.”

“If the president fails to faithfully execute the laws of our country, we will hold him accountable,” Boehner said, according to an individual who participated in the call.

The House already has passed legislation to block Obama from expanding DACA and, through its power of the purse, could attempt to cut off the funds that would be needed to implement the expansion. House Republicans could also consider widening or amending their existing lawsuit against Obama over his health care law, a case that both parties have suggested could be a prelude to impeachment proceedings.

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