Resistance Begins at Ohm!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two things really tick me off - energy related

So, Obama's ethically squeaky clean "Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy," Cathy Zoi has been hired by none other than George Soros to run his new investment fund. The fund? To "leverage technology and business model innovation to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and emissions, harness renewable energy, and more efficiently use natural resources, among other applications."
Of course, the green energy boom is totally subsidized by government spending. And if that doesn't make you stand up and take notice, guess what the ethically unconflicted Ms. Zoi's husband does? He's an executive at a window company, Serious Windows, which the White House regularly held up as a "poster child of green industry."
The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota put it this way: ... "now Zoi has left the Obama Administration and will go back to work making an honest living in the private sector, where she can put all the knowledge she gained from working for the Department of Energy to work for the private equity firms."
Ummm, yeah. Honest. *sigh* source:
Item Two:
I still maintain that fuel prices actually led to the mortgage crisis as people were unable to afford their energy (heat, air, transportation, and consequent 20%+ increase in food prices). So, with crude pushing $119 today because of the uproar in the middle east, combined with the demonstrable utter absurdity of using corn for fuel (takes more energy to make it into ethanol than you get out of it in a combustion engine, not enough farm land to replace oil with corn anyway), you would think the US might rethink this dumb requirement (min 10% ethanol in auto fuel). 
This is another example of picking winners and losers. With an election in 2012, and Iowa being one of the first primaries, you can't expect the best interests of the many will prevail over the interests of a few industrial corn farmers. Not from either party.
So, don't count on any corn chips for your salsa next super bowl.  Tea party? Maybe a tortilla revolution?

US warns extreme food prices will stay inflation would surge in the second half of this year as wholesale prices filtered through the supply chain, affecting consumers. 
Mr Glauber [USDA chief economist] forecast that the heavily subsidised US ethanol industry’s demand for corn would continue to grow in spite of higher input costs, consuming about 36 per cent of the domestic crop.
[emphasis mine]
The ethanol industry has been criticised for driving food prices higher. But Tom Vilsack, US secretary of agriculture, ruled out any change in US ethanol policy. “There is no reason for us to take the foot off the gas,” said Mr Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, a state in the US corn belt.
Analysts said the USDA forecasts for production, demand and stocks for the 2011-12 season and Mr Vilsack’s affirmative comments about ethanol meant agricultural commodities prices could surge even higher this year. “No pullback for agricultural commodities,” said Richard Feltes, a respected grain analyst with RJ O’Brien brokers in Chicago. “The speech [of Mr Vilsack] should be alarming to any corn consumer.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another tale of Walmart oppression

"Brenda Speaks, a Ward 4 ANC commissioner, actually urged blocking construction of the planned store in her ward at Georgia and Missouri avenues NW... Addressing a small, anti-Wal-Mart rally at City Hall on Monday, Speaks said young people would get criminal records when they couldn't resist the temptation to steal."

You can't make this stuff up. Of course, they might get jobs, too. But then they wouldn't be dependent on the District for every damn thing.

But if that isn't reason enough, "would a new Wal-Mart there really stock the same quality of food and products as its stores do in better-off, suburban communities?"

Yeah, upscale Walmart. But it is better to do without products at all than to take that risk. Like I said, you can't make this stuff up.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Applying Obama's Budget Cuts

Thanks to DH for this email:
The President ordered the cabinet to cut a whopping $100 million from the $3.5 trillion federal budget!

I'm so impressed by this sacrifice that I have decided to do the same thing with my personal budget. I spend about $2000 a month on groceries, gas, credit cards, medicine, bills, etc, but it's time to get out my own personal  budget cutting ax.

Inspired by the courage of President Obama to face the massive deficit, I'm going to cut my spending at exactly the same ratio -1/35,000 of my total budget. After doing the math, it looks like instead of spending $2000 a month; I'm going to have to cut that number by six cents!

Yes, I am going to make my own personal major sacrifice.   I'm going to have to get by with $1999.94, but that's what sacrifice is all about. I'll just have to do without some things, that are, frankly, luxuries. 

John P. Taxpayer

Oh it's even better than that. The Republican house is cutting $32 billion for the rest of the fiscal year. And somehow, $32 billion over 6 months is comparable to $100 billion over 12 months (half the fiscal year will be over in March when the current non-budget continuing resolution expires). Furthermore, they are arguing that it is really $74 billion compared with Obama's budget (I am assuming before the $100 billion he wants to cut). 

So, our most exalted leadership is arguing over the meaning of 6 cents versus 2 cents. And we pay them for this.
NY Times

I'm not talking about Egypt

I found there were some very interesting thoughts in this article about what must be done about the federal budget. Foundation for Economic Education
The "hard choices" are really the easy ones. Hard choices are the ones our government refuses to consider (which is why they are always taken off the table). Quit moaning about how hard it is and just do it.
Prolonging this agony by nibbling around the edges just causes endless whining and more battles. Eliminate on the large scale. Stop the activities the government should not be performing - like education, mortgages, loans, energy, manufacturing. (Read I, Pencil)
Quit selling of our future, our children's future, our grandchildren's future by paying for unaffordable programs to appease some constituents' short-term gratification.
"Remember that every time you spend more, you don’t get the money by selling cookies like the Girl Scouts do. You deploy force against your fellow citizens. That raises moral issues and is something which you must stop doing in such a cavalier fashion."
And finally, we must call them what they are: cowards, hypocrites, sell-outs, irresponsible, shameful, anti-social shirkers. Stewards, they are not. Thieves is more accurate.