Obama, Energy, & Jobs: An Ideological Agenda

One would think a president would want his nation to be energy independent, wouldn’t one? Yet from the very start, President Obama seems to have done everything possible to forestall that possibility. He has attacked oil and coal while promoting “green” energy companies. Even his so-called stimulus bill included millions for green companies, many of which either squandered the money or went out of business. He has opposed the Keystone pipeline on behalf of environmental extremists and has practically declared coal to be evil. His entire approach to energy also has had the effect of hurting the economy, particularly the job market:

Energy Policy

Give him a choice between providing real energy and spending money, and you know what he will choose every time:

Burns Cleaner

He does excel at one thing, though, when it comes to wind energy:

 Which One

And have you noticed a little inconsistency when it comes to the role of government?

Govt Out

This administration’s ideological agenda is proving disastrous in countless ways.

Forward into the Abyss

I feel like being “light” today after all the seriousness of last week. However, even in lightness, serious points can be made. I’ve always found the best way to do this is to rely on those who make it their livelihood—the political cartoonists. As you can imagine, the election gave rise to a flurry of new cartoons. Here are some of the best that have surfaced since last Tuesday, beginning with those that use the Obama slogan as their centerpiece:

In case you have trouble reading that sign in the distance, let me help you: it says “Dead End.” But wasn’t Obama’s reelection supposed to be part of the ongoing “success” of his first term? Isn’t the world supposed to be a better place just because he is in it?

If the pain of the last four years hasn’t been sufficient to educate some people, what is it going to take? Is Obama going to continue to blame George Bush for the next four years as well? I predict, if he gets his way, we’ll be in even worse shape by 2016. Both he and his adherents need to awaken to reality and start taking responsibility for the economic, social, and foreign policy disasters we are facing:

So Obama has his chance to make good this time. But what assurance do we have that he will do his homework and fully engage?

He’s already, less than a week after his reelection, shutting down even more public land to energy drilling. How is this helping?

Yet with the media constantly on his side, will his faithful followers ever figure out that he’s an ideological radical, and incompetent to boot? Not if the media keeps doing its outstanding job of distracting the people from his follies and failures:

Will his ineptitude and radicalism catch up with him eventually? Will the American electorate awaken from its stupor? Our job is to work and pray for that enlightenment. Only by God’s grace and mercy will we survive the next four years intact as a country.

The Case Against Barack Obama: Domestic Policies

In my two previous posts, I’ve covered Barack Obama’s worldview and key character traits. His worldview consists of a blend of Marxism, anti-colonialism, and liberation theology. The three blend quite well, a type of unholy trinity. His character, dominated by a self-righteous arrogance and narcissism, leads to fantastic claims of future accomplishments—the lowering of the seas and the healing of the planet being the most ludicrous—and a tendency to put personal interests, whether golf or hobnobbing with celebrities, ahead of the responsibilities of his office. It was important to lay these two foundation stones before proceeding to his external policies because all of his policies are the result of his worldview and character.

There is a tendency in political analysis to separate economic issues from what are usually called social issues. I see that as a false dichotomy. All issues have a moral basis; nothing exists in a valueless vacuum. One’s views of morality are the basis for economic decisions just as much as they are for decisions on family and other social relationships. Obama’s worldview lends itself to a certain type of morality. He sees government as essentially beneficial, not only in matters of national defense but for practically every perceived problem. The more government control, the better for everyone. Private companies that depend on the profit motive are highly suspect; those who have succeeded have probably achieved their success on the backs of others. Therefore, government exists as the great equalizer.

The economic mess he inherited—and which he helped create as a member of Congress—could only be rectified, in his view, by inserting government as the savior. That’s why he pressed for and got the huge stimulus package. This was a package passed over the objections of most Republicans, but his party controlled both houses of Congress so he got exactly what he sought. And just how did that stimulus work?

Well, we have discovered over time that huge amounts of it went directly to those who supported his campaign. As a typical Chicago politician, he learned how to work the system. Obama brought crony capitalism to a new level. Who benefited most? First, there were the unions that were the beneficiaries of his largesse [actually that would be the taxpayers’ largesse, but he controlled where our tax money went]. There also were some Wall Street companies with whom he had close ties, even while his rhetoric was anti-Wall Street/pro-Occupy. His duplicity in this respect has become legend. One can’t forget as well all the money that disappeared into the black hole of green technology companies like Solyndra. That company was only the first to fold; others followed, regardless of the taxpayer funding they received.

The waste has taken on mythic proportions.

All that proposed green technology never materialized, so our energy issues continue unabated. Well, that’s too generous. We’ve gone backwards. He reversed the openness to offshore oil drilling and refused to approve the Keystone pipeline. Gas prices remain high as a result of those decisions. Then, to the astonishment of many, he sent taxpayer money to Brazil and other nations to help them develop their oil production. Further, he promises them that the United States will be their best customer. Any comments he may make about leading America into energy independence have to be seen as phony. All his actions make a lie of any such stated commitment. Why would he support the development of oil in other nations and not in his own? I think it all comes back again to his anti-colonialism, and his desire to lessen the economic power of the United States. You see, it’s not fair that we be so far ahead of other nations.

He cares not one bit for the massive deficit he has created. During the Democrat convention, the national debt passed the $16 trillion mark. Obama, in four years, has added more debt than Bush did in eight years. Actually, he passed the Bush debt well before the fourth year. It’s a remarkable achievement in one sense. He’s proven it can be done. No one would have believed it possible. Yet he seems rather unconcerned about it. He’s never made one step in the direction of reducing it. Why? Again, he doesn’t really see it as a problem. Government spending is what brings prosperity. The real question, though, is if he sincerely seeks prosperity. Perhaps he relishes the sad state of this economy because it helps bring America down to the level of other countries. That can be a reasonable debate. Meanwhile, he and his party act as if the deficit isn’t really there.

Unemployment has been miserable for his entire term. We have never dropped below 8%, which means this is the longest sustained high unemployment since the Great Depression. The promises he made were wonderful; the stimulus would bring it down to less than 7% very soon, we were told. The only reason the rate isn’t higher is that the workforce continues to plummet; more people than ever have given up looking for jobs. Maybe he’s found the key to a lower unemployment rate.

All he ever offers to remedy the situation is more government. The number of citizens on food stamps is at an all-time high, as is the overall number receiving some type of government assistance. He has no understanding of how a market system works; he doesn’t care to learn because he doesn’t believe in it. His Marxist indoctrination at an early age is ingrained. He rarely convenes his jobs council, and his disdain for small businesses and entrepreneurship is evident. Every time he talks about taxing the rich he aims directly at the small businesses that do most of the hiring. These small businesses now fit the definition of “the rich.” One of the direct results of this animus toward business was revealed this past week when the new number on global competitiveness came out. The United States has dropped from the top of the list to seventh. This is another one of Obama’s “accomplishments.

And then there’s Obamacare. How can we forget that, no matter how much we might like to do so? Frankly, it’s hard to know where to begin the critique on this one. It will not accomplish any of its stated goals: not everyone will be covered; costs will continue to rise; government bureaucrats will ultimately decide whether you get the treatments you need; it puts the government in control of one-sixth of the national economy; it tramples on religious liberty.

That last concern only surfaced recently as HHS put into effect regulations requiring that religious institutions offer all services through their health insurance plans, even those that go against their core beliefs. The furor began with the Catholic church and its teaching on contraception, but it has spiraled beyond that. Other Christian organizations have begun to realize it is forcing them to provide abortifacients. Lawsuits are springing up all over the land, and justly so.

On that abortion issue: Obama is the most vociferous proponent of abortion ever to sit in the Oval Office. He has publicly taken the side of Planned Parenthood and demands it continue to receive taxpayer funding for its “services.” That’s my money and yours being used to carry out the murder of innocent children. If Obama ever had a conscience on this issue, it has since been seared. He expects us to fall in line with his pro-abortion policy. I’ll repeat something I’ve said before: as an Illinois state senator, he was the fiercest opponent of a law that would have required doctors to provide medical care to infants born alive during an abortion. The Obama policy? Let them die.

He’s also the first president ever to advocate for same-sex marriage, thereby destroying the basic Biblical definition of a family. The quest to normalize homosexual activity is in full swing, and he is using the highest office in the land to promote it. As a Christian, I am appalled that the presidency is in the hands of a man who can be so callous toward helpless children and so determined to applaud sexual deviance.

The abortion and same-sex marriage debates are the ones normally termed “moral” issues—and they are. Yet all the others I’ve listed here are moral issues as well. It’s immoral to amass a huge debt and not care to pay it off; it’s immoral to take money from taxpayers and use it on his personal friends and pet projects; it’s immoral to make the United States more dependent on foreign energy sources when we have the capacity to develop our own; it’s immoral to penalize small businesses and hinder entrepreneuship; It’s immoral for the government to make life-and-death decisions in medical treatment; it’s immoral to try to force religious believers to violate their consciences.

Nearly every domestic policy in the Obama administration is fundamentally immoral, and that immorality stems from his worldview and his character.

Redeeming Rutherford B. Hayes

Last week, President Obama made fun of one of his predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, who served as president from 1877-1881. In a campaign speech—which is the description of any and all speeches he makes—Obama referred to people who disagree with his energy policies as those who would have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society if they had lived at the time of Columbus. Now, never mind that no one of any knowledge during Columbus’s life span believed the earth was flat; he thought he had a good line, so he used it. Who cares about historical accuracy?

Then he used the former president as one of his foils: “Rutherford B. Hayes reportedly said about the telephone, ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?’ That’s why he’s not on Mt. Rushmore because he’s looking backwards. He’s not looking forwards. He’s explaining why we can’t do something, instead of why we can do something.”

Well, Mr. President, after that display of erudition, don’t expect to see your face on Mt. Rushmore either.

Here are the facts: Hayes installed the first telephone in the White House, it having been invented only the year before he took office. That’s hardly the picture of someone who is dragging his feet and looking backwards, is it? He also invited Thomas Edison to the White House to demonstrate the phonograph. Flat Earth Society member? Really?

Some excellent responses to Obama’s foolish comments have been making the rounds. Here’s a montage, sort of, that I’m particularly fond of:

Then there are his “advanced, forward-thinking” energy policies. Forget oil, right? Who needs that? He has a better idea.

His promotion of “new” cars has been a real spectacle as well:

It’s not that I don’t believe in researching into alternatives, but government can’t make it happen by decree. The market will drive [pardon the pun] this development. Get the government out of the way and we might be surprised at the inventiveness that will rise to the surface.

In the meantime, Mr. President, find some new researchers and writers for your speeches. The ones you have are pretty pathetic.

Government “Solutions”

I don’t adhere to the philosophy that government is evil. Rather, I believe it is established by God to accomplish justice. As stated in the book of Romans in the New Testament, it should protect those who do good and punish those who do evil. When government stays within its God-ordained role, it is honorable and necessary.

But when government steps outside those boundaries, it creates unceasing mischief. When Reagan took office, in his first inaugural address, he famously noted that in the circumstances he faced at that time, government was not the solution but the problem.

That’s where we are again.

Ever since Reagan left office, we’ve allowed a steady drift toward government solutions for everything. That drift has escalated into a race during the Obama years. Here are a couple of government “solutions” we now have to deal with:

Isn’t it just grand that we no longer have a choice for the type of light bulb we want to buy? And these new, supposedly highly efficient, “green” bulbs, if they should ever break, are more of an environmental hazard than anything produced by private industry in the past 150 years. Note also the official name of Obamacare: the Affordable Care Act. See the price tag? Let’s see now, what were we promised at the beginning?

The scariest thing is that there were people who actually believed that. The costs of the act were generally put off until after the 2012 election, and the desirable features came first, but the hard reality will soon hit everyone.

Remarkably, despite the best efforts of the Obama administration to kill the economy, it still shows signs of life. Wherever the free market can see cracks in the stifling government net of regulation, it will insert itself and continue to prosper. But will voters really understand the nature of any recovery that we see? You can be sure the president will try to spin any sign of economic life to his advantage:

Will the electorate buy into the big lie again?

Dim Bulbs

This is an incandescent light bulb. It is an enemy of humanity. It’s just not green enough. Forget that it has served admirably for more than a century. Dismiss the thought that the vast majority of people have been quite happy with the results of using one. What we need to understand is that it is not energy efficient, and that is borderline evil.

That’s why Congress, in its wisdom, back in 2007, voted to ban the sale of all incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012. This was a joint effort of Democrats and Republicans, the result of that most wonderful of all goals: bipartisanship. You see, only legislation that is bipartisan can be good. Anything else is bad. We should rejoice in the coming together of the collective mind.

This is the United States Constitution. It set up a strong, yet limited, government at the national level. One searches in vain within its provisions to find any authority to tell companies not to produce certain types of light bulbs. Neither can one find any authority to force individuals to buy twisty bulbs that are more expensive, far more dangerous when they break, and don’t put out as much actual light. They’re rather dim bulbs, but then they were developed by political dim bulbs, so that fits.

Some Republicans in the House thought it might be a good idea to revoke that 2007 law that overstepped constitutional boundaries, so yesterday they tried to pass a law that would accomplish that. They failed. Although the majority of Republicans voted to do so, not enough were on board to make it happen. Dim bulbs can be found in both parties: true bipartisanship.

What are we to do? Well, I’ve made my decision.

I’m stocking up on incandescent light bulbs.

Cartooning the Issues

A minimum of commentary today—a maximum of cartoons. Let’s focus on the big issues facing Congress and the administration, such as the budget:

Or how about the energy issue?

And don’t forget immigration:

I hope those won’t be “last words” that we regret.