The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

NYEXIT

Among the many, many problems with socialist ideology is that is it anti-capitalist and as a consequence, overtly anti-business. Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders or his protégé, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, use terms like "greedy corporations" and "corporate welfare" (apparently the only kind of welfare that socialists don't like) in every other sentence and don't even bother to hide their antipathy to business people and the private sector in general. If you listen carefully to their words and examine their proposals, you'd almost think they want to wreck the economy so that even greater numbers of citizens would become dependent on big intrusive government for their livelihood and survival. That would do much to centralize the socialists' power, and that is what they're really trying to do.

A recent example of this played out in deep blue New York City. The editors of The Wall Street Journal comment:
After getting mauled by a mob of unions and politicians, Amazon on Thursday cancelled plans to build a second headquarters in New York City. It’s a testament to New York’s toxic business environment that even $3 billion in subsidies wasn’t enough to keep the company in town.

“A number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,” Amazon said in calling off the three-month engagement.

The Seattle-based retailer had only kind words for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who wooed it like contestants on “The Bachelor.” In return for the promise of 25,000 jobs, the state and city in November offered up to $3 billion in subsidies as well as a helipad for CEO Jeff Bezos and other executives to fly over congested city streets.

But the ensuing gang-beating offered a portent of what Amazon was walking into. An Amazon executive was asked at a City Council meeting last month whether the company would agree to unionization. “We have great-paying jobs and we respect an employee’s right to choose or not to join a union,” the executive explained. “The goal that you are trying to achieve is good jobs, not low-paying jobs.”

[Democratic Mayor] Mr. de Blasio’s response? “We’re a union town.” He added: “There is going to be tremendous pressure on Amazon to allow unionization and I will be one of the people bringing that pressure. I believe that ultimately that pressure will win the day.” This followed Mr. de Blasio’s recent declaration that there’s too much money in the city in the “wrong hands.”

Mr. Cuomo blamed hostile state Senate Democrats for driving off Amazon and insisted the state’s “fundamentals” will “continue to attract world class business.” If that’s so, why did New York politicians spend $10 billion last year—more than any other state—on business incentives? Republican states also compete with subsidies, but progressives have to offer more to compensate for their oppressive business climates.

The city has the country’s second-highest income tax, and Mr. de Blasio last month proposed that all private employers be required to provide workers two weeks of paid vacation each year. That’s on top of paid family leave. Animus toward business represses the organic investment and job growth that make a dynamic economy.
Regardless of your attitude about Amazon (it is an 800 lb. guerrilla), most outside observers agree that the company would bring 25,000 jobs to NYC. Every one of the people in those jobs would pay local and state taxes, would spend inside the NYC economy and help other small businesses in the region.

In what has to be one of the most economically ignorant statements on Amazon's withdrawal, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)* praised it as a "victory" and suggested that the $3 billion in subsidies for Amazon be redirected to schools and other progressive social programs. There's only one problem. The $3 billion was in tax relief. It was not actual money sitting in a bank in NYC. It cannot be "spent" on anything because it doesn't exist. Scary stupid. But even more stupid was encouraging an atmosphere that forced NYEXIT—Amazon's exit from NY City.

But then again. The hard left's antipathy to the private sector, along with the vast majority of its world view, is also scary stupid.

FOOTNOTE:
-------------------

* Amazon is hardly a bastion of right-wing corporatist culture, yet its spokesperson put the blame for its NYEXIT squarely on the shoulders of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She must be so proud. After all, what's 25,000 jobs when compared to the moral preening potential of her socialist battle again "corporate greed." Pathetic and scary stupid.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Green Nuclear Deal

Among some of the worthwhile core tenets of the Green New Deal proposal, supported by a large number of progressives, are the following: (1) reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere dramatically; (2) use alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuel energy generation; (3) work to make all physical structures in the United States energy efficient; (4) eliminate the use of fossil fuels for transportation with specific emphasis on automotive and air transport. The problem with this is that these goals are to be achieved under a time frame that is unrealistic, costs associated with these goals are astronomical, and the center of innovation and control is the federal government. All of that is deeply problematic. In addition, there are other aspects of the proposal that have absolutely nothing to do with a greener environment or with anthropogenic climate change, but are political in nature, encompassing medical care, guaranteed levels of income, social programs, and a variety of other unrelated goals.

For the moment, let’s concentrate only on the energy-related portions of the Green New Deal. By virtually any measure and by the admission of leading Democrats, the Green New Deal is “aspirational.” There is almost no detail, no discussion of actual costs, little mention of technologies that might make goals happen, and no implementation plan beyond the goals described.

Reading my Twitter feed yersterday, I ran across a proposal by Mark Schneider (@subschneider). Schneider is a private citizen who tells us that he spent 20 years operating nuclear power plants for the U.S. Navy. After his retirement from the Navy, he spent years working in the commercial sector of the nuclear industry as an operator of a “3-loop Westinghouse nuclear plant.”

Schneider decided to propose an alternative to the Green New Deal which he refers to as the Green Nuclear Deal. His plan would result in zero emission power generation and could actually be achieved within a decade or two. It would be expensive, but a combination of government and private sector expenditures could achieve it.

Here is what Schneider proposed (edited for clarity and continuity):
Phase 1: Deregulate a lot of the nuclear industry. [Schneider goes on the discuss unnecessary and costly regulations and why they are a roadblock to progress.] With regulations removed the next part of phase 1 would be for the government to intervene and fund recommended construction on VC Summer Units 2 and 3 [nuclear plants in Jenkinsville, SC that would serve a significant sector of the Southeast]. And then to push for companies with existing licenses to build other New Generation 3 PWRs [pressurized water reactors] and BWRs [boiling water reactors].

Phase 1 is really about replacing the aging commercial nuclear fleet to support the base load energy source. California spent $100 billion dollars on green energy that can sustain whopping 23 minutes of power needs. For the same price they could have built 6 to 10 new nuclear plants.

Phase 2: Have a national laboratories that design of the Navy’s nuclear power plants create a smaller commercial variable power plant design to use during peak demand hours. Large-scale nuclear plants don’t function well at varying power levels. The Navy’s nuclear power plants are designed to vary power levels because ships do not operate at top speed all the time and must fluctuate between low and high power constantly based on the mission. Smaller scale (1000 MW or less) nuclear plants could be used to supplement larger plants during peak periods.

Phase 3: Place focus on developing a new generation for fusion power plants. These new designs have unlimited passive safety systems. Meaning that if an incident occurred and all operators suddenly die, the plant would go to safe idle or shutdown mode indefinitely. This is obviously preferred to the current generation 2 and 3 reactors in service that require specific operator action. Even the new generation 3+ HP 1000 plants require operator action after 72 hours. After Fukushima, a program called BDB flex was implemented. It requires diesel driven equipment on site in harden facilities to combat ‘beyond design basis’ incidents (e.g., a tsunami or hurricane). Overall the safety of currently operating plants is enhanced because of the procedure, but the NewGen for designs would eliminate this.

Phase 4. Fusion power plants. To get this technology will require competitive efforts similar to the Manhattan Project in 1940s. To ensure public safety we would need to construct a large-scale test plants in the middle of nowhere. This has been done in the past during the 50s and 60s when fission was being developed on a large-scale. I n fact the only nuclear accident in US history that involved a fatality occurred in the middle of nowhere in Idaho SL-1 . After the accident, design requirements were built into new plant design to preclude rod injection. I would hope any fusion designs would not have any major accidents but we would need to put them in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, we have three major new national nuclear sites in the middle of nowhere.

We could pick three types of fusion core designs and give sites $1 billion each to start design and construction. The two labs to get their project furthest along in the five-year time would be awarded an additional $1 billion for further development. As project progresses we can continue to fund them until they produce 2 different very viable large-scale fusion plants.
A quick read of Schneider’s plan indicates it is also ”aspirational,” but this private individual has provided more detail and a more realistic approach than anything proposed in the Green New Deal. It would be guaranteed to result in zero omission power generation. If completed, it would eliminate the need for fossil fuels in power generation by mid-century. It would be expensive but manageably so, and it is something that would rely predominately on private sector development, if the government simply got out of the way.

The proponents of the Green New Deal tell us that we are headed for a climate crisis that is existential in nature. Other proponents tell us that our response should be analogous to World War II. If this really is an existential crisis and if the planet hangs in the balance, any plan that is proposed should NOT be the product on uninformed, tendentious ideologues who never managed anything bigger than their political campaigns (and probably didn't even do that). It should use all available technologies– particularly those technologies that have been proven to work and could provide a zero-emission source that would yield half of the nation's energy needs within 10 years. It might be worth asking the primary congressional authors of the Green New Deal why nuclear power gets no mention in their “aspirational” plan.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Force Field

The "force field" is a staple of science fiction. By placing a magical force field around a person or an entity, any attack in ineffectual. Weapons bounce off and the person or entity is unharmed. This allows the protected person or entity, whether a villain or a hero, to attack the enemy unharmed.

As the Democrats move to diversify their presidential candidates, they and their trained hamsters in the media are working to create a force field around them. The force field is designed to deflect any criticism, any commentary, or any ridicule, regardless of whether it is justified or not. If the target a woman, any criticism, commentary, or ridicule will be characterized as "misogynistic" or "sexist." If it's a person of color, any attack, no matter how justified, will be characterized as "racism" and the attacker will be accused of "white privilege." If it's a Latino—"anti-immigrant." And if it's a Muslim—"Islamophobia." If it's a combination (intersectional) of these characteristics, the force field is magnified in strength.

Of course the force field only works for Democrats. Republican woman, people of color, Latinos, and Muslims cannot avail themselves of the same force field—it just doesn't work for them.

Even the New York Times, not a publication known for its even-handedness in such matters, has noticed:
On Saturday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made a campaign stop at Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles in Columbia, S.C., and asked whether to use “fingers or forks” to eat the fried chicken. The mockery that followed online? Sexism, cried social media!

The next day, Senator Amy Klobuchar announced her presidential bid in the midst of a Minnesota snow shower — and a blizzard of stories describing her demanding behavior as a boss. Asha Harris, a voter at the rally, told a Times reporter that the critique was “plainly sexist.”

The historic number of women running for president was bound to change the dynamics of the contest. And now, just a couple months in, we’re seeing one way that could take shape: sexism as a shield, fending off criticism that, on its surface, would seem nongendered.
There's only one problem. The Dems have used accusations of sexism and racism so frequently and so hypocritically, they've weakened the strength of the force field. When everyone is a racist or a sexist, then no one is a racist or a sexist.

It's a guarantee that the Dems will deploy their force field at every opportunity, but I suspect it won't have the protective power that it once did.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

"Anti-Zionists"

In a number of recent posts, I've commented on the growing anti-Semitism among the hard left wing of the Democratic party. The most recent example—the odious comments of yet another media darling—Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Sure, Omar is the epitome of a "diversity" politician—a woman, a person of color, young, a victim of oppression in her native land, and a Muslim—what could be more politically correct? Only one thing—she's also an anti-Semite, rabidly anti-Israel, and a hard-left ideologue.

If this was only about Omar, there wouldn't be much of a problem. There will always be anti-Semites, and taken individually, they are despicable, but not particularly dangerous. It's when their hatred of Jews is absorbed by a large political movement that they become dangerous. That's what's happening in the Democratic party. Sure, it's still very early, and yes, the leadership of the Dems is waving its arms and condemning the anti-Semitism in its midst, but it seems to me it's doing political calculus—keeping its large and enthusiastic Jewish constituency mollified—rather than aggressively rooting out and banishing the leftists who espouse these bigoted positions.

Of course, the hard left tells us that they're not anti-Semites, just "anti-Zionists." And that's because they claim Israel "oppresses" the palestinians and "occupies" palestinian land. Like most positions taken by the Left, this one exhibits profound historical ignorance, hypocritical illogic, striking double standards, and convenient cover for the bigotry that sits behind it. It's telling that of all the countries in the Middle East, the Left chooses to single out the only liberal democracy, the only country that is not homophobic, the only country that is not misogynistic, the only country that encourages freedom of religion and freedom of the press, the only vital economy, and yes, the only country that is not predominantly Muslim.

David Harsanyi comments:
The problem is that “anti-Zionism,” the predominant justification for violence, murder, and hatred against Jews in Europe and the Middle East, is a growing position on the American Left. While Omar embraces the worst caricatures of this ideology, it’s her core contention regarding the Jewish state–not her clumsy “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”-style insults, which are just a manifestation of her underlying position—which are most consequential.

One of the dishonest argument I often see is that Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who we recently found out wrote a piece for a publication of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, are merely being “critical of Israel.” Yet, no serious person has ever made the claim that being critical of Israel’s policies is anti-Semitic. Israel has had both left-wing and right-wing governments over the years. And like governments in any liberal democracy, they can be corrupt, misguided, or incompetent. Millions of Israelis are critical of their own nation’s policies every year without any fear of repercussions. Israel isn’t Iran or Turkey, countries that most of Israel’s critics never disparage.

But the best way to gauge if a person is merely being “critical” of Israel’s policies or critical of the existence of the Jewish state is to use Natan Sharansky’s 3-d test: 1) Do they engage in “delegitimization” of the nation’s existence as every supporter of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) does? 2) Do they engage in “demonization” of that country, as people who claim Israelis hypnotize the world for evil or go around murdering children for kicks do? 3) Do they engage in “double standards,” like having an obsession with Israel and AIPAC, while ignoring illiberalism found throughout the Islamic world or things like Muslim concentration camps found in China?

... Though it might be tough for progressives to understand, many Americans still prefer Israel over Hamas, the PLO, and Iran for reasons other than money. For example, a shared understanding of liberalism, theological reasons, historic ties, political realities, and practical geopolitical reasons. Though I concede that contemporary progressives might not embrace these values anymore.
Indeed, the reason that far too many on the hard Left find common ground with anti-Israel haters is that they despise any vibrant democracy (Israel is a vibrant democracy) in which many different points of view are alive and well. The hard left wants authoritarian control in which their world-view and only their world view is dominant.

Based on recent history, anti-Semitism among those on the left will get worse, not better. And because the Democrats are lurching left, it will infect their party and their platform. The elders of the party may offer weak protests and occasionally "condemn" the comments of someone like Omar, but I doubt any senior Democrat is brave enough to call out the bigotry and regularly condemn the leftists who espouse it. My continuing advice to Jews who are staunch Democrats—the party is no longer your friend—#walkaway.

UPDATE:
---------------

After summarizing the comments of those Democrats who have chastized Omar, characterizing her comments as "hurtful," Abigail Shrier writes:
That Ms. Omar would slander Israel is disturbing not because of the feelings it tramples. Since her appointment to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, her statement raises alarm about how her enmity for the world’s only Jewish country—and the world’s largest Jewish population—might translate into policy aims. The issues for Israel’s supporters are security and survival, not hurt feelings, which are trivial in comparison. Assuming that all Jews love gefilte fish, play klezmer music, and suffer overbearing mothers? Those are stereotypes. Actively working to isolate Israel and accusing pro-Israel Jews of bribing Congress isn’t “insensitive.” It’s something far darker and more malevolent.
Indeed it is. Omar is simply one of thousands (tens or hundreds of thousands? millions?) of leftists who want the BDS Movement to succeed. That is, they want to destroy a tiny democracy of 8.8 million people is a sea of nearly 250 million Muslims. The Leftist intent isn't moral, it isn't principled, and it certainly isn't just. It is malevolent.

UPDATE (2/14/2019):
------------------------------

As if to put an explanation point on her "apology" for her rabid anti-Semitism, Ilhan Omar decided to give a speech. Stephen Maturen reports:
Newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar will jet off to Los Angeles next month to keynote a fundraiser for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a terror-tied organization that was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing case in U.S. history.

On March 23, Omar will speak at CAIR-Los Angeles’ 4th Annual Valley Banquet, where tables will cost $500.

“CAIR-LA is honored to have Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as the featured speaker for the 4th Annual Valley Banquet,” reads a press release from the Los Angeles chapter of the group that was formed as a Hamas support network in the United States.

She will deliver her address alongside CAIR-Florida director Hassan Shibly, according to a CAIR flier promoting the event. Shibly is a dedicated Islamist and bigoted gay basher. A fan of radical clerics, he has routinely refused to categorize U.S.-designated terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, according to the Clarion Project. Moreover, Shibly regularly takes to social media to demonize the U.S. military as equivalent to the jihadi terrorists that they are fighting.
I have written about CAIR here, here, and here. It's not the least bit surprising that Omar finds common cause with those who fund Islamic terror organizations. What is surprising is that her Democrat colleagues in the House and the Senate don't condemn her ties to the organization. Might be worth asking her comrade in arms, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez her position on all of this.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Beat the Press

The late NBC journalist and well-respected host of Meet the Press, Tim Russert, must be rolling over in his grave after watching (I'm assuming he checks into the show now and then) the current host and true trained hamster, Chuck Todd, interview one of the most partisan and dishonest politicians inside the beltway, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff. James Freeman comments:
NBC News proudly notes that “Meet the Press” is the longest-running program on network television. But it’s unlikely anyone at the network will be looking back with pride on this week’s show. Almost two full years after Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) told NBC he had seen “more than circumstantial evidence” that associates of Donald Trump had colluded with Russia to rig the 2016 election, the network not only welcomed him back without demanding that he finally produce the evidence to support his claim. NBC gave him a platform to make new allegations.

Those outside the world of Washington media might be less than hospitable to an acquaintance who had claimed to have evidence of a neighbor’s treason but still hadn’t produced it after 23 months. On Sunday, NBC’s Chuck Todd began by quoting some of the President’s recent comments on social media. “So now Congressman Adam Schiff announces, after having found zero Russian Collusion, that he is going to be looking at every aspect of my life, both financial and personal,” said Mr. Trump via Twitter.

This seemed to be the moment for Mr. Todd to demand that Mr. Schiff, who is now chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, finally produce the evidence he has long claimed to have seen. But instead Mr. Todd simply asked Mr. Schiff to “explain the parameters of your investigation, where you’ve expanded. How far back into his finances do you plan to look?”

Without defending his earlier claim, Mr. Schiff proceeded to explain how he was now setting off in search of evidence of “a different form of collusion,” perhaps involving the President’s finances. The theory seems to be that Mr. Trump was focused on closing a sweet deal to develop a Moscow hotel. Your humble correspondent is not the first to note that there are probably easier and cheaper ways to secure corrupt real estate deals than to get elected President of the United States.
A "different form of collusion," huh? Seems like the Dems have failed in their deranged, evidence-free fantasy to impeach Trump for being a Russian puppet, so now they have to find "a different form of collusion."

In a way, it's kind of pathetic. The Dems can't seem to get past this. They can't seem to accept that they lost an election, that their candidate was less than ideal, that the American people rejected their message of more Obama-like years. So enter a clown car of Dem politicians who keep telling the faithful that the evidence is out there and that impeachment is just around the corner. The only problem is that there is no evidence. So the faithful fly into a rage and the cycle repeats. Schiff sits at the front of the clown car—lying because the media won't call him on it. In essence, with the help of Todd and every other trained hamster, he beat the press.

In thinking about it, it's not a surprise that Todd and Schiff got on so well—a political hack and a media hack both with the same hyper-partisan worldview.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Chaos in VA

The outrage brigades have turned on their own in VA, and the result is political chaos. The Democrat Governor did a truly stupid/racist thing when he was photographed [he denies this] in black face with another person dressed in a KKK costume. It was 30 years ago when he was in school. The Assistant Governor is being accused by two women of sexual abuse [he denies this] in the early part of the 2000s. The third in line of succession is the Democrat AG of VA who has also admitted to a black face incident in his youth. OMG!

The Dems are in a quandary. Their perpetual allegations of "racism" against those who oppose progressive policies have come full circle and are now used against their own. The irony is that the same Dem governor who is now accused of racism used those same accusations again his opponent (who is NOT a racist) during his last election. The Dem Lt. Gov may or may not be guilty of the sexual abuse allegations, but according the the SJWs of the left, we MUST believe the women, so ... The only problem is that the Lt. Gov is an African American and removing him from office might smack of racism (as you can see, this stuff gets complicated). And the AG, should he be forced out, would open the door to the next in line for succession—a (gasp!!) Republican. Wow. Just wow.

Conservative firebrand Kurt Schlichter comments:
... how about telling the SJWs to pound sand and leave the decision about evaluating a politician’s past where it belongs – in the hands of the voters? If you want to vote against a politician in the next election because he was either channeling Al Jolson or Robert Byrd back in 1984, that’s your right. But undoing an election, demanding a resignation, is a big deal. It deprives the voters of their choice. This should be the response we give when some Republican’s crime-free knucklehead antics from long ago get revealed:

“No. The voters of ______________ will decide.”

Easy.

Now yes, I am advocating two different sets of standards, one for Democrats and one for the GOP. That dual-track rule thing is itself a New Rule imposed by the left, and when you see Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit in an orange jumper doing the pokey time we would all do for classified stuff shenanigans [or destruction of evidence during an on-going D0J investigation or alleged pay-for-play "donations" or spousal speaking fees while Secretary of State] we can talk about having one set of rules again. The fact is that the Democrats have embraced the SJWs, and they should get the full brunt of their fussy outrage good n’ hard. Let them take these wailing nuts and their phony hysterics seriously. We Republicans are supposed to reject their overwrought nonsense, hence the pounding of sand suggestion.

Just say “No.”

Now, there are times when we should cast off one of our nominal own. Corruption. Real misbehavior. Present day character issues that are so intolerable they can’t wait for the next election. Those happen, and we must police our own, but these are relatively rare situations.
In fact the only legitimate defense against these types of allegations out of the distant past is to tell the SJWs to "pound sand." Otherwise, every stupid teenage action (whether true or alleged) by any public figure will be used as a weapon. This will not stop, and now the Dems are experiencing it, full bore.

It's time for someone in the Democratic party to stand up and have a Joseph Welch moment. That someone should ask the SJWs whether they have the decency to forgive 30 year old allegations or actions. Sadly, the answer is that they do not, unless their allies or power are threatened. Hypocrites!

UPDATE-1:
--------------

The Dems have had significant success painting their opposition as [fill in the epithet], But now in VA and elsewhere it appears that the Dems themselves have their share of [fill in the epithet]. Consider newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) whose tweets are becoming so rabidly anti-Semitic that even Chelsea Clinton has taken note. Where is the Dem leadership in all of this? Why hasn't Omar been stripped of her committee assignments or asked to resign? After all, the Dems demanded the same treatment when Rep. Steven King (R-Iowa) made racist remarks. And more importantly, the GOP leadership responded appropriately. What's the difference? Why the double standard? We all know the answer to those questions. Different rules apply.

Oh, BTW, where's media darling, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, on all of this. According to her legions of fawning Twitter followers, she's the new conscience of the Democratic party. AOC is oh-so concerned about racism and bigotry, I'm surprised she's not in the forefront of concern about Omar's comments. Heh.

UPDATE-2:
--------------

Liz Shield puts a hard edge on her commentary about growing anti-Semitism among some national Democratic figures (not to mention far too many of its leftist base) when she writes:
There is some serious rich, liberal Jewish coin funding the left and there is a fine line the anti-Semites in the Democrat Party have to walk. They need to signal just enough Jew-hating to keep their Jew-hating base/membership happy, but not too much where it frightens Jewish checkbooks to thinking that we Jews (yes, I am Jewish) are headed for the ovens again. Use your indoor voice for your anti-Semitism, not your outdoor voice. Rep. Omar is the Democrats' outdoor voice.
Freshman Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar ignited a new controversy on Sunday night when she suggested GOP support for Israel is driven by campaign donations from a prominent pro-Israel group.
Omar singled out AIPAC, one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, as the source of those donations.

Omar's comments touched upon a long-running, and particularly ugly, thread of the anti-Semitic movement — that Jewish money fuels backing for Israel in the United States and elsewhere. A freshman Democrat, Max Rose of New York, said, "Congresswoman Omar's statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself."
AIPAC is hardly a lightening rod in the universe of pro-Israel groups (seriously, you guys), but if you are a legit Jew hater, the group would get your anti-Semitic panties in a bunch.
It long past time for Jews to #Walkaway.

BREAKING:
------------------

Ahhhh. It appears that Ilhan Omar's overt anti-Semitism is too much, even for the leadership of the Democratic party. It looks like a statement co-signed by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA) all condemn Omar's "hurtful" comments. Goah, I don'ty see Nancy Pelosi's name on that list, or members of the Congressional Black Caucus condemning the rabid anti-Semitism of Louis Farrakkan, but whatever ...

And screw "Hurtful." Her comments don't hurt my feeling, they piss me off. Not because Omar or Tlaib or past DNC vice-chair Keith Ellison or dozens of other left-wing "activists" are anti-Semites and anti-Israel but because it's taken the Dems months and months to decide that it's bad politics. Yeah ... it is, but worse, it demonstrates that a significant percentage of Jews continue to support a party that at least in part hates their guts but is perfectly willing to use them. What fools! #Walkaway.

Friday, February 08, 2019

The New Green Deal

Because I run 40 percent of my home using solar power and own two zero-emission electric vehicles, I suspect that I have done more to fight air pollution and conserve energy than 95 percent of all Americans, including climate "activists" and those politicians who continually tell us there's a climate crisis but don't act like it (think: using private jets to travel or living in 10,000 square foot homes). Having said this, I can't help but comment on the latest idea to come out of the Democratic socialist wing of the Washington elite—the so-called "New Green Deal."

Kim Strassel skewers the Deal when she writes:
It is for starters, a massive plan for the government to take over and micromanage much the economy. Take the central plank, its diktat of producing 100% of U.S. electricity “through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” by 2030. As Ron Bailey at Reason has noted, a 2015 plan from Stanford envisioning the goal called for the installation of 154,000 offshore wind turbines, 335,000 onshore wind turbines, 75 million residential photovoltaic (solar) systems, 2.75 million commercial solar systems, and 46,000 utility-scale solar facilities. AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] has been clear it will be government building all this, not the private sector.

And that might be the easy part. According to an accompanying fact sheet, the Green New Deal would also get rid of combustion engines, “build charging stations everywhere,” “upgrade or replace every building in U.S.,” do the same with all “infrastructure,” and crisscross the nation with “high-speed rail.”

Buried in the details, the Green New Deal also promises government control of the most fundamental aspects of private life. The fact sheet explains why the resolution doesn’t call for “banning fossil fuels” or for “zero” emissions across the entire economy—at least at first. It’s because “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast” (emphasis mine).

This is an acknowledgment that planes don’t run on anything but fossil fuel. No jet fuel, no trips to see granny. It’s also an acknowledgment that livestock produce methane, which has led climate alarmists to engage in “meatless Mondays.” AOC may not prove able to eradicate “fully” every family Christmas or strip of bacon in a decade, but that’s the goal.

Finally, the resolution is Democratic math at its best. It leaves out a price tag, and is equally vague on what kind of taxes would be needed to cover the cost. But it would run to tens of trillions of dollars. The fact sheet asserts the cost shouldn’t worry anyone, since the Federal Reserve can just “extend credit” to these projects! And “new public banks can be created to extend credit,” too! And Americans will get lots of “shared prosperity” from their “investments.” À la Solyndra.
This plan reads like it was written by a 10th grade science class. It exhibits the bright-eyed enthusiasm of children, but lacks clear-eyed adult understanding of the economy, of the underlying science, of real-world politics, of the profound influence of special interests, or just about everything else that would lead to a successful outcome. It might have good intentions, but it is laughably naive, ridiculously disingenuous, and irresponsibly dictatorial.

The Deal wouldn't be as loopy as it is if it defined a 50-year timeline in which innovation by the private sector driven by market forces and (gasp!) profit led to a cleaner and more livable planet. The Deal doesn't do that. It wouldn't be as irresponsible as it is if it laid out a plan for making an economically sustainable transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy and recognized that some fossil fuel usage would remain well into the 21st century (think: air travel). The Deal doesn't do that. It wouldn't be coercive as it is if it recognized that careful analysis of existing scientific data, divorced from political influence, is required before massive decisions about restructuring the economy are made. The Deal doesn't do that. And finally, it wouldn't be naive/insane (choose your term) as it is if it admitted that history indicates that the federal government has not been particularly effective at instituting major programs and doing so without waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption. The Deal doesn't do that.

But the Deal does exemplify the core tenets of the philosophy of the Democratic Socialists—coercion, domination, and control. But that was the topic of my last post.

UPDATE(2/10/2019):
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As more and more people delve into the actual text of the proposed Green New Deal, the reaction has been ridicule mixed with withering criticism. The hard left and members of the democratic socialists love every word, every comma and every concept, but for the rest of us ... not so much.

Much of the original text of the Deal has been deleted from AOC's web site. She claims that a draft was inadvertently posted and that the final version does not reflect the idiocy noted in the draft. Maybe. But the simple fact that a draft suggested centralized control of the economy, a massive revamp of the energy sector that would quadruple electricity rates for average Americans, and a crazy short/unreralistic timeline. All of that along with stuff that has NOTHING to do with climate change, e.g., guaranteed jobs for everyone and for those who choose not to work, guaranteed income, and free medical care indicates that the Deal is more than 'green." It's a roadmap for a socialist government in which coercion, domination, and control are the central tenets. Not surprising, but fundamentally dishonest to wrap this stuff in an environmental blanket. Then again, dishonesty is yet another central tenet of socialism.