Another of those days

I believe I mentioned in an earlier post that April was a busy month for me. Today is one of those busy days. I’ve two appointments this morning and another this afternoon.

Busy, busy, busy.

See y’all tomorrow.

If you thirst for news you won’t find on the MSM, check out this piece from California. Governor Moonbean’s water dictate is unconstitutional. Well, part of it. Let’s see if the libs are crazy enough to defy the courts.

California drought: Court rules tiered water rates violate state constitution

Posted:   04/20/2015 06:35:07 PM PDT929 Comments | Updated:   about 2 hours ago

In a ruling with major implications for California’s water conservation efforts during the historic drought, a state appeals court on Monday ruled that a tiered water rate structure used by the city of San Juan Capistrano to encourage saving was unconstitutional.

The Orange County city used a rate structure that charged customers who used small amounts of water a lower rate than customers who used larger amounts.

But the 4th District Court of Appeal struck down San Juan Capistrano’s fee plan, saying it violated voter-approved Proposition 218, which prohibits government agencies from charging more for a service than it costs to provide it.

The stakes are high because at least two-thirds of California water providers, including many in the Bay Area, use some form of the tiered rate system.

Gov. Jerry Brown immediately lashed out at the decision, saying it puts “a straitjacket on local government at a time when maximum flexibility is needed. My policy is and will continue to be: Employ every method possible to ensure water is conserved across California.”

Brown added state lawyers are now reviewing the decision.

The article continues at the Mercury-Press website. The court said you cannot discriminate based on water usage. It violates the California constitution.

Oil War

Were you aware that the US and OPEC are at war? No? I’m not surprised. It hasn’t made the headlines of the MSM.

How did this happen? Primarily, through the deployment in the US of new oil extraction techniques of fracking and oil-shale recovery. The continental United States has more oil reserves than any other place in the world including the Mideast and the former USSR.

Supply and demand works, contrary to the skeed of liberal economists. We have the supply—in the ground, and in the last year, the new extraction processes have increased the supply of oil and that has begun to affect the world market.

The US doubled its production this last year. The price of Brent light crude, the world standard, has dropped 30% in the last year and currently is around $68 a barrel…down from over $100 a barrel this time last year. The price dropped nearly $10 just this last week.

As you can imagine, OPEC is not pleased. The increased US production is affecting their revenues. A large number of OPEC members are small dictatorships, kleptocracies according to some, and when the price of crude drops, so does the personal income of those dictators. That, must not be allowed.

Some would think these dictators would cut their production to boost the price of crude to maintain their revenue stream. That’s not happening. Some of OPEC’s members are smart. They are pushing another tactic, economic warfare. They have pushed their production to flood the market, lowering the price of oil, in an attempt to make the new US technologies unprofitable, too expensive to operate.

It’s a question of who blinks first, OPEC when they cannot withstand the drop in their revenues, or the US when the price of crude hits their stop-loss line, the point where the cost of extraction exceeds the net revenue per barrel.

The target of the oil war is to see who goes bust first. I think it will be the US. The liberals and ecowackos are on the side of OPEC. So is the Obama administration. The success of the US oil production is an achievement of the free-market process. Obama and the democrats cannot allow that example of free enterprise to proceed without opposition.

Lower Oil Prices A Free-Market Victory, Not A Threat

Lawrence Kudlow

Seldom has so much good news been portrayed so negatively. Oil prices continue to fall in the U.S. and around the world, but nearly everyone in the media is grumpy about it.

The headlines today are among the silliest I’ve seen: Energy-company stocks are declining, oil deflation is an economic threat, the Fed might raise rates much later than expected, OPEC is dissolving, shale companies are going bankrupt, Russia is going bankrupt(!), and on and on.

Well, most of this is just humbug. Lower oil prices are unambiguously positive.

First, U.S. oil production has nearly doubled in recent years to 9 million barrels a day, and the Paris-based International Energy Agency expects U.S. supply to rise by more than 1 million barrels a day next year. And it is this supply increase that is driving down prices.

Saudi Arabia and OPEC have essentially thrown in the towel, surrendering to the inevitability of lower prices from exploding U.S. energy production. This is not only a triumph of U.S. energy independence; it is also a victory for the workings of the free market. Greater supply, not government cartels, is driving down prices.

The latest oil-price drop of nearly $8 a barrel makes the economic outlook even rosier.

Apart from the declining share prices of some oil producers, virtually every other aspect of the world economy benefits, including most world stock markets.

(By the way, the IEA reports that most production in the Bakken formation, one of the main drivers of shale-oil output, remains profitable at or below $42 a barrel.)

And here in the U.S., the oil-price drop is a huge tax cut that will primarily help the middle class.

Sen. Chuck Schumer — who is still licking his wounds from the huge Democratic midterm losses in the Senate — is out there attacking ObamaCare as the wrong policy to halt the decline of middle-class incomes.

What he’d like to see is new big-government policies (wait, wasn’t ObamaCare a big-government policy?), including tax favors for targeted segments of the economy, presumably to bolster the middle class.

But guess what? We just had a free-market tax cut that will boost middle-class incomes and just about everything else.

The American energy revolution, combined with the market forces of supply and demand, is delivering something on the order of a $125 billion tax cut. Not only have wholesale oil prices dropped from about $100 a barrel to $66, but also gasoline prices have fallen from near $4 a gallon to $2.78 at the week’s close.

That’s a tax cut. With no big-government spending hikes.

While very few Democrats, including President Obama, supported the entrepreneurial, innovative dynamism of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, they’ve lately tried to take credit for the oil and gas shale revolution. No one’s buying it.

AEI’s Mark Perry actually wonders why the Democrats aren’t scheduling hearings in the lame-duck Congress to blame oil-industry manipulators and evil speculators for the drop in oil prices.

Of course, the far-left Democratic enviros aren’t sitting still. The EPA is now taking aim at the entire U.S. energy industry with its newly proposed smog rules — probably the most expensive regulations in history — even though the fracking revolution is producing much cleaner energy than ever.

So what we have is a clean-energy revolution, and it’s lighting a much-needed fire under the economy.

As energy prices are falling, GDP is being revised higher. Real economic growth in the third quarter shifted up from 3.5% to 3.9%, led by an increase in business fixed investment. The past two quarters averaged 4.2% at an annual rate.

Meanwhile, corporate profits, the mother’s milk of stocks and the lifeblood of the economy, continue to break records. After-tax corporate profits scored on the IRS basis and reported in the GDP revision hit a new high of $1.87 trillion, or 10.3% of GDP. Nonfinancial domestic profits came in at a record 7.3% of GDP and continue to show steady growth of 5% yearly.

As King Dollar rises, gold falls, inflation is barely discernible and oil prices have dropped, the year-end 2014 economic story looks a lot better, with the possibility of a rosier 2015.

No, we haven’t fully recovered. Not by a long shot. Year-on-year economic growth is still only 2.4%. It ought to be running 4% to 5%. And 200,000 new jobs a month ought to be twice that rate. For this we need more pro-growth economic policies from the new Republican Congress, especially lower corporate tax burdens and regulatory rollbacks.

But the entrepreneurial, free-market energy revolution has given us a big step in the right direction. Can we please be optimistic about it?

Friday Follies for April 27, 2012

It’s Friiiiday!  So says a quip on a local radio show.  And, as usual, I’m scrambling around looking for a topic.  When I fail, I punt.  The result?  The return of the Follies.
I went to a ‘Pub Lincoln Days dinner last night in a neighboring county.  A staffer for one of our state candidates needed some help. I had missed the big state Lincoln Day event earlier this year and frankly, I was curious. I also got a free dinner catered by the local ladies.  That county is famous for the quality of their catering. They deserve their reputation.
I’ll make sure to remind Mrs. Crucis when our county’s dinner comes around next month.
When is a crime not a crime?  When it perpetrated by a democrat.  Case in point.  It is illegal to campaign using taxpayer funds.  All campaign costs must be paid by the candidate or his campaign fund.
Obama has been stumping all across the country this week at colleges.  He claims it’s for governmental purposes.&nbs,ip; What -.he says at those stops, however, proves that claim to be a lie.  Every one is a campaign speech and even his sycophant media followers are now agreeing. John Boehner has made a formal complaint to have these trips investigated.  The WH made the usual excuse…”Bush did it too!”
The Eco-Wachos are on the loose again—with tacit WH approval.  The target is the largest copper deposit in the US and perhaps the world, the Pebble Mine deposit.
April 26, 2012 — 3:38 PM
Last week, as four major environmental groups in Washington were endorsing President Obama’s re-election, eco-bosses from the Natural Resources Defense Council flew a planeload of anti-industry activists halfway around the world to London.
NRDC, the New York City-based green giant ($232.3 million assets in 2010), sent its minions abroad in hopes of destroying America’s best strategic mineral reserve, one of the largest known ore bodies of copper on the planet: Alaska’s Pebble Mine deposit.
The Pebble Partnership (between Anglo American and Northern Dynasty Minerals) has invested more than $400 million to make Pebble — still in the pre-permit stage — the most environmentally friendly mine in history. The Partnership will spend several billion dollars and create about 2,000 jobs for mine construction, plus a thousand skilled mining jobs over the life of the mine. No plan has yet been released, which gives the opposition a free hand at make-believe, fear-mongering descriptions of what to expect.
Now, these groups have come together to demand the Environmental Protection Agency expand its reach under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to deny permits for Pebble before any permit has been applied for. This unprecedented power grab from the EPA would eliminate local and state authorities from having any say in the permitting process and gut the process established under the National Environmental Policy Act — passed by the environmentalists themselves. It would chill future investments not just in mining projects but also in the estimated $200 billion yearly investments in projects relying on 404(c) permits.
Alaska’s attorney general sent a strongly worded letter last month questioning the EPA’s legal authority to pre-emptively deny a permit on state land designated for mining, but the agency is nonetheless moving forward with a broad watershed assessment of the area — a study the state argues the EPA has no authority to conduct. It will be released in coming weeks and is being heralded by Big Green as a precursor to the EPA issuing a blanket permit denial. This unprecedented action would give environmentalist activists a new tool that enables them to kill almost any project anywhere.

If President Obama allows his EPA to make this brazen power grab, it will have devastating effects on the American economy. It will also tell us a lot about who’s really running the country.

Really, that last paragraph is redundant. We know who’s running the country—liberals with their hands in our pockets.
Bullies, Unions and Teachers.  It’s an old story. Education is all in arms about bullying in school.  The reality is that teacher’s unions are bullying their members to insure they toe the party, uh…., the union line.
April 26, 2012 — 8:00 PM
Earlier this month, the presidents of America’s two largest teachers unions co-hosted a screening of the new documentary “Bully.” The movie, of course, aims to combat bullying of schoolchildren.
But even as they publicly eschew bullying, these unions and their locals across the nation bully teachers and competing organizations to maintain membership and power. I have published a new report on the details of this ugly trend in School Reform News.
In February, a Utah teacher named Cole Kelly testified in favor of a bill that would penalize school districts for not granting all teacher organizations — not just unions, but also other professional organizations — equal access to teachers. A week later, he was released from his position as athletic director, which for school districts is tantamount to firing. His principal admitted she approved of his job performance but had released him because of pressure.
Subsequently, other teachers texted Kelly to say they agreed with him but were afraid of being fired if they spoke out or left their union. He is contesting his release.
At a new teacher orientation in Jacksonville, Fla., a union representative heard a presentation by a nonunion group. She walked onto the stage before 600 teachers, accused the presenter of being “a desperate former teacher” and stalked about the room ripping up the competition’s fliers, said Tim Farmer, membership director for the Professional Association of Colorado Educators.
These are not isolated incidents. Teachers unions engage in repeated, unashamed aggression against dissenting teachers and competitor organizations. In regular legislation-tracking for School Reform News, I have uncovered many examples of such behavior across the country. Some are as outrageous as the ones above, while others are mere annoyances. They all, however, represent a consistent effort to intimidate teachers and suppress ideas that might threaten their agenda.
“This is everywhere,” said Alexandra Schroeck, communications director for the American Association of Educators, the largest nonunion teachers association. AAE offers teachers liability insurance, professional development grants and legal representation in employment disputes, but it does not engage in collective bargaining or political activism. Its fees are approximately $15 per month, whereas union dues are often $50 per month or more. Like other nonunion teachers organizations, such as Educators4Excellence in New York and the California Teacher Empowerment Network, AAE has been growing, but it constantly runs up against unethical and sometimes illegal union-influenced resistance.
The above is only a portion of the examples given in the complete article. I urge you to read it completely and understand that unions do not exist to help their members. They exist to maintain their corporate power.  The only difference between unions and the mob is that unions have the government backing them. A government who abets unions in their quasi-legal tactics.
My mother was a teacher for over forty years. She began teaching in the Illinois Ozarks in a one room school and taught all eight grades.  She was 18 and some of her students were only a few years younger than her.  She road a horse to and from school and carried a .45 caliber revolver—a revolver she needed on occasion.
My father was a school board member for our country elementary school district and the President of that board in his last term. My sister began teaching as a circuit music teacher while she was still in college and after graduating taught government and history in a number of secondary schools including her local junior college.  For awhile, she was also the president of her local AFT (American Federation of Teachers) chapter—at a time when teacher’s unions really wanted to improve education instead of becoming more interested in political power and money-grabing.

I’ve been an insider of education since birth. I’ve seen the full transition of teacher unions from the original professional organizations to parasitical cancers that is killing the teaching profession.  It is time to remove unions from the profession.  Then, and only then, will schools really educate their students instead of just passing them through a process that fails them.
I wonder just how many “graduates” of the KC school district, after twelve years, remain functionally illiterate? I’ll bet you’d be surprised at the answer. You shouldn’t be surprised when an external agency is needed to teach reading to those who have failed.
Here something to finish off your week.  From Glenn McCoy…
Joe Junior

Hey! Algore, this one’s for you!

Globull Worming! Phfffft!

How about this? All your CO2 emission schemes went up in…ash.

For all of you out there in America and across the globe who have fought so hard to tackle the hideous enemy of our planet, namely carbon emissions, that bogus god you worship named “Climate Change” or “Global Warming”, there is some really bad news that will be very painful for you to process. But it is my duty to pass it on to you anyway.

Are you sitting down?

Okay, here’s the bombshell. The current volcanic eruption going on in Iceland, since it first started spewing volcanic ash a week ago, has, to this point, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet. Not only that, this single act of God has added emissions to the earth estimated to be 42 times more than can be corrected by the extreme human regulations proposed for annual reductions.

Go visit Okietalk for more.