Rocky Mountain Heist

It Could Happen to Your State

Many folks living elsewhere have noticed how the state of Colorado has moved from a historically conservative political state to a blue liberal state seemingly overnight. The story of how this happened is important to everyone because this “Colorado Model,” as it has been dubbed, is a model the liberal left wants to roll out in Texas and Virginia and then other states.

The model was to use significant amounts of money — in this case supplied largely by four wealthy liberals — to steamroll local elections for state senators and representatives and blow away opposition for the governor’s race. The preparation was all done very quietly, so that by the time Colorado Republicans discovered what was going on, it was too late. Both houses and the governorship were Democrat.

What followed was a barrage of mandates for renewable energy, the gun control laws that staggered rural and gun owner Coloradans and efforts on the gay and lesbian front.

The difficulties and cost of just coming up with the wind and solar power, plus transmission lines plus backup gas generation will cost Colorado citizens, especially farmers and manufacturers, billions of dollars over just a short period of time.

Want the full story to watch? Citizens United and Michelle Malkin have made a film about how this all happened. You can watch it this weekend and see a riveting and scary story unfold.

“Rocky Mountain Heist”

Here are the times and channels:

Newsmax TV (Dish Channel 223, DirecTv 349

Saturday, Oct. 25th 7-8:00 p.m. and 10:00 -11:00 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 26th 7-8:00 p.m. and 10:00 -11:00 p.m.

If you live in Colorado, KETD-TV Denver:

Saturday, Oct. 25th -7-8:00 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 26th 4-5:00 p.m.

Find out how elections and election laws, planning and money can “tree” a state reminiscent of politicians treeing a town in the old days.

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Published in: on October 25, 2014 at 12:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

EPA Finally Bows (Slightly) to Reality on Ethanol

EPA finally did what had been rumored it would do —  lowered the mandate for renewable fuels to be blended into gasoline in 2014.

On Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, EPA proposed a mandate level 16 percent less than that specified in the 2007 law.  The proposal would require between 12.7 and 13.2 billion gallons of corn ethanol in 2014, a level not only lower than originally required for 2014 but lower than the mandate level for the last two years (“EPA Shrinks Ethanol Mandate for First Time,” Wall Street Journal, 11/15/13).

Of course, this is not because EPA is recognizing the misguided policy aims of the Renewable Fuel Standards or the probable net loss in energy efficiency from producing fuel from corn.  Nor was it a given, since reality didn’t keep the EPA from fining refiners millions of dollars a year for not using cellulosic fuel that wasn’t being produced and couldn’t be blended.  Cold, hard facts do not necessarily faze bureaucrats at the EPA.

But the EPA was finally made to understand that blenders can’t blend ethanol into fuel that is not being produced and sold.  The continuing lousy economy under this administration and Congress, improving fuel economy on cars and trucks and the increased domestic production of oil despite the administration’s efforts to quell it have reduced the demand for gas and diesel.  Meaning there was not enough fuel needed and sold to achieve the mandates on renewable fuels the law had suggested and EPA had demanded.

Interestingly enough for animal agriculture, the news story in the Washington Post quoted Renewable Fuels Assn. President Bob Dineen near the beginning of their story, since it supported the manmade global warming doctrine.

“They’re capitulating to the oil companies,” Dineen said.  “The RFS was about forcing the marketplace change and EPA is giving the oil companies a get out of jail free card (“EPA Proposes Smaller Requirements For Biofuel Use,” 11/15/13).”

Perish the thought that we would allow free markets to govern what is bought and sold.  After all, those “markets” that the liberals regard as so wanton and evil, are really summaries of citizens voting with their dollars for products.  We can’t have that.

But it was 14 paragraphs into an 18-paragraph story that animal agriculture was even heard from, and even then the Post tarred the comments from livestock and poultry producers by noting they were heard on a conference call hosted by the American Petroleum Institute, that advocate of those nasty carbon products like oil and gasoline.  And the story didn’t note that livestock producers were happy to see some relief from artificially high corn prices forced by the ethanol mandate.  Nor did it mention the hundreds of millions of dollars those artificial corn prices — as opposed to just higher market-determined corn prices that animal agriculture knows corn farmers needed — cost livestock producers and feeders over the last five years.

But it the Post did allow in a good point and a good line, saying livestock and poultry producers didn’t see “any more need to set ethanol volume requirements than there was for setting requirements for turkey output.”  Surprising they let a shaft of free market light into the discussion in a news story.  Especially while the UN climate change bunch is meeting in Poland whipping up hysteria over impending doom.

Kelly and Malkin Rake EPA Over Coals

“A New Eruption in Culture of Corruption”

Megyn Kelly and Michelle Malkin highlighted the problems farmers, feeders and ranchers have been having with the EPA on Fox News’ “America Live” on Monday, June 10, 2013.

We first alerted our readers to EPA’s misconduct in April in the AFF Sentinel newsletter, (“EPA Nominee No Stranger to Bad News for Agriculture-Part II,” 3/13/13, V10#09) detailing the agency’s supposedly mistaken release of detailed business and personal information on livestock feeding operations nationwide.

Later, more trickled out about EPA’s behavior  — which screams ideology-driven intent — that not only did the agency release the info but continued to repeat some of the information a second time when it apologized for the first breach.  Then it developed EPA had been granting fee waivers to 92 percent of favored enviro-zealot groups and denying fee waivers to conservative or free market groups anywhere from 50 percent to 92 percent to 100 percent of the time.  These fees were charged for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests (“Arrogance,” AFF Sentinel, 05/19/13, Vol. 10#26).

We’ve since learned these fees can run as much as a million dollars, so the fee waiver is no small consideration.

But it was terrific to see Kelly and Malkin rake EPA over the coals, especially in light of the changed attitude in America, given the scandals erupting since EPA’s breaches over the IRS targeting, NSA information gathering on citizens and DOJ surveilling reporters without the knowledge of the news organization involved.

The news peg that prompted this discussion on Fox News was a letter from 24 senators to EPA, demanding an explanation.  Rightly so, Kelly and Malkin not only focused on the unauthorized release of information but on the biosecurity hazards posed by releasing this information to these groups.  Malkin noted it’s not just farmers and ranchers noting this risk, but the Department of Homeland Security.

We would add that not only do feeders bear a risk from the activities of some of these groups themselves  —  judging by their past actions —  but having that information out in more hands just adds to the risk that out-and-out terrorists could get their hands on target information.  Witness the fire bombing attack at Harris Ranch just last year, claimed by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).  Harris can’t hide because of its large profile but spreading information on every animal feeding operation around the country certainly exposes many more operations to risk from terrorists we know are among us.

“Every day a new eruption in the culture of corruption,” Malkin termed these revelations.  Not coincidentally, Malkin penned a book named “Culture of Corruption,” in 2010.  Since Malkin is a bold, outspoken commentator, her book title seemed cutting edge then.  Now, it seems downright prescient, given the revelations since the beginning of the scandal eruptions beginning with Benghazi.

Published in: on June 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Finally, Some Great News from Washington!

“Richard Windsor” Ducking Out During Investigations?

The woman most dangerous to America’s economy has announced she will leave her post in January.

Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator and the person most blindly loyal to man-made global warming dogma, no matter the (lack of) facts and the cost to man-made economies, has announced she will resign after President Obama’s State of the Union message.

We wrote after the election that while Obama had been elected for another four years, that didn’t mean he would have real political power for that long a time.  Benghazi, Holder’s “Fast and Furious” and Jackson’s scandalous disregard for law could definitely hobble his political clout, at the least.

Jackson has been one of the Obama lieutenants most willing to run roughshod over statutory limitations, most willing to allow bureaucrats to write their own rules (notice there was no Congressional debate over our new mileage standards this time) and totally ignored legal reporting requirements regarding her regulatory agenda.  Most of all, time and again, Jackson has proven oblivious to the economic cost or the impact on industries and jobs from paralyzing regulations hobbling fundamental industries like oil, gas, electricity, transportation and, in effect, all manufacturing and production.

Why now?  We’ve only touched on her illegal use of dummy e-mail accounts, apparently under the name “Richard Windsor.”  The suspicion is that she used alias e-mail accounts to coordinate and prepare new policy initiatives under the radar, avoiding any of the dreaded “transparency” Obama promised.  The Inspector General and Congressional committees are investigating.

While the term “fugitive dust” was not coined on Jackson’s watch at EPA, she was the first official to try to ratchet the limits on “particulate matter” down to the level where pickups on gravel roads would violate Clean Air standards.

Either way, Jackson leaves dozens of proposed regulations and new rules affecting nearly all productive industry and employment, with many impacts yet to be fully addressed.  As shocking and far reaching as her bold attacks on the economy — one coal industry official termed Jackson’s attack on his industry a “regulatory jihad” — the New York Times actually said that Jackson’s departure “comes as many in the environmental movement are questioning Mr. Obama’s commitment to dealing with climate change…”

So maybe Jackson is leaving because in four years, she has not made good on Obama’s messiah-like promise to keep the seas from rising??

Published in: on December 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm  Comments (2)  

Election Notes

Federal Agencies Holding Back Flood

Several times in recent months federal agencies, especially the EPA, have announced delays in proposed regulations.  It would be hard not to suspect there were political motivations in doing so.  Needing all the votes they could get, it behooved agencies not to further enrage groups like producers of energy, food and electricity or the workers who create those things.

But talk show host Mark Levin has really put a point on it.  Back in August, his Landmark Legal Foundation filed suit to try to force the EPA to reveal just how big a tidal wave of regulations it was holding back until after the election.  It also asked for expedited treatment of the request because of the short time frame until an election on which the information could have a bearing.

To no one’s shock, the EPA has not responded with information.  Part of Levin’s contention is that the EPA has habitually ignored Constitutional limitations and exceeded its authority.  Later filings noted that in a related case, EPA was held in contempt for violating a court order, erasing computer hard drives and backup tapes that could have contained related information.

At the recent North American Meat Association convention, Washington political observers indicated other federal agencies, including USDA and FDA, appeared to be pulling the same trick.  A whole raft of federal regulations is expected right after the election if the president is reelected.  But a veritable deluge would come if the president is defeated and it could be expected agency power could be reined in.

Barone Provides Perspective on Polls

Michael Barone, the election expert even Karl Rove willingly plays second fiddle to, provided some interesting commentary on the poll data we’re seeing in this election cycle.

Amid new polls by National Public Radio and CBS/N.Y. Times both indicating Mitt Romney has a 12-point lead over President Obama among independent voters, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asked Barone why this kind of data doesn’t seem to be reflected in swing state polls(11/01/12).

Barone explained that pollsters are struggling to adapt to new conditions.  They are operating under polling theory developed when Americans had a land line phone and answered it when it rang.  Now, government statistics show one-third of households are cell-phone only households, with a major effect on polling normally conducted primarily on the telephone.

Barone suspects pollsters are operating with a “loose screen” when qualifying voters.  That means when asking registered voters screening questions designed to find out whether they were likely voters — the subset which is a more accurate indicator group of election results — Barone thinks the questions are designed to make sure too many don’t get screened out.  The need for total survey numbers to validate polls is too urgent to turn many potential respondents away.  But the accuracy of the results may suffer from less stringent screening.

Barone also noted absentee requests and absentee votes by party have drastically shifted in Ohio, for example, as one of the indicators political observers are using to read shifting conditions.  He also said virtually all data has shown the enthusiasm among Republican voters is significantly higher than Democrats this year.  He added that there also is no evidence that if President Obama were to win, he would win by the margin he enjoyed in 2008.

Published in: on November 1, 2012 at 11:29 pm  Comments (1)  

Obama’s America: What Would It Be Like?

Some time ago we picked up a copy of “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”  By Dinesh D’Souza, the book examines the fact that Obama’s autobiographical book is entitled “Dreams From My Father” not “Dreams Of My Father.”  That is, Obama’s book is not about remembrances of his father but it is explaining the dreams his father — a 1950s African socialist citizen of a British colony (Kenya) who hated Britain and the West — had for the future of the world.

Now D’Souza not only has a follow up book, “Obama’s America: 2016” but a movie based on the book will begin appearing in theaters this week.  We’ll be there opening night in Colorado Friday, August 17.  This book and the movie envisions what America will look like after a second Obama administration, with no re-election concerns to hinder his agenda.

The movie adds further movie screens to its list for each of the first few weeks.

Click here to go to the movie’s website, including release dates for your area and/or links to online ticket sales.

 

Published in: on August 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

New York Times: Is It Ethical to Eat Meat?

We’re not sure why they are doing it now — after all, when it comes to animal agriculture the New York Times has assuredly earned their anti-meat industry stripes — but they’ve decided to run an essay contest on, “…whether it is right to eat animals in the first place…,” 600 words, due by April 8, e-mailed to, get this, ethicist@nytimes.com.

Okay…who knew the New York Times had an ethicist?  Not that we question their need for one.  After all, about the only time we can recall paying much attention to the Times was when they had to fire that reporter whom they finally discovered was not reporting but for years was making up stories as he went along.  Then they avidly followed Michael Pollan’s attempts to smear every farmer and rancher who operated on more than a few dozen acres and utilized more technology than a pitchfork.  Ethics?  What ethics?  What did they run to tell the other side of Pollan’s antics?

In fact, we might begin our argument with the position that their assumptions are false to begin with.  Eating meat is not a question that has anything to do with ethics.  Proper care and husbandry of animals has to do with ethics.  What you eat for dinner does not — unless you really are a cannibal.  The very fact that those who believe in vegetarianism have to roam far afield to environmental, nutrition, legal and earth karma notions (mostly based on fallacies or emotional turmoil) to attempt to justify their positions, is illustrative of the difficulties in fighting nature’s way.

We’ll help you out as you begin pondering your essay.  The dictionary refers to ethics as dealing with, “moral principles,” “that branch of philosophy dealing with values,”  and dealing with right and wrong.  It is part of the vegetarian’s strategy to pose meat-eating as a moral issue when we believe it is not at all.  In fact, it is somewhat ironic that the strata of society which often casts aspersions at Christian religions, indeed, at most religions, regards most questions of morality short of murder as grey areas and cringes at words like right and wrong or good and evil, should trot out morality and ethics as having a bearing on eating meat.

We also wonder what the Times editors read.  They mention animal activists like Peter Singer and another vegetarian book immediately and claim vegetarians have “dominated the discussion about the ethics of eating” but then opine that, “those who love meat have had surprisingly little to say.”  We’ve had plenty to say, it just hasn’t been printed in the Times.  And, of course, it is revealing that the Times and their “ethicist” quickly cite HSUS’ Wayne Pacelle’s philosophy about people making an ethical decision whenever they eat . 

Anyway, just so you know what the Times is doing — even if you’re not sure what they have up their sleeves — here’s your chance to ponder and write.

Click here to see New York Times story.

Published in: on March 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Factors Affecting Oil Prices & How

I’m surprised at how normally good analysts trip up on the subject of oil and gas.  President Obama has been blah-blah-blahing on the stump that the supply of oil has nothing to do with the price of oil and gas.  Some folks have chipped in that supply is not the problem because the demand for oil has slacked off.  Really, guys, this is not that complicated.

 
U.S. demand has slacked off for two key reasons: 1) we can’t buy as much gas as we’d like to because it’s so expensive.  We’d travel more and drive more but we can’t; 2) the economy is so bad: businesses who’ve gone out of business, people who don’t have jobs, businesses who aren’t growing and new businesses who aren’t being created don’t need gasoline for traveling, shipping goods, manufacturing goods or running their business.  We are actually exporting oil and refined products because stronger economies than ours can afford to pay for it and our economy is not generating that kind of strength.
 
People are screaming about speculators.  Why is there an opportunity for speculators?  Because the green enviro-zealots have taken control of our government, so that instead of supplying nearly all of our oil from our own sources like we could, we are in a position where significant percentages of our oil must come from great distances, through vital choke points like the Straits of Hormuz and from dictators and radical governments whose behavior is unpredictable and often hostile.  We don’t even have sense enough to maximize our purchases from friendly next-door neighbors, as evidenced by Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline after three years of “study.”
 
Does supply matter?  If we pumped or bought from Canada and Mexico 90-95 percent of our oil, our markets wouldn’t tremble when Hugo Chavez goes to Cuba for more cancer treatment, with no obvious reading of who will control Venezuela’s large flow of oil if Hugo checks out permanently.  Iran makes more money every time they rattle sabers over the Straits or snarl at Israel again.  We have voluntarily handed people like this the whip hand over our oil supplies; therefore, over a key economic engine.
 
Does supply matter?  Ask the natural gas folks.  For the first time in recent history we have ample supplies of natural gas because of technologies government hasn’t yet taken away and accidents of geography (private land vs. government land).  The price of natural gas has come down to relatively cheap levels.  Supply, and the nature of supply lines, does matter.
 
Does our woeful economic policy matter?  Yes, it does.  Oil is priced in dollars.  As our government continually weakens its financial position by spending money it doesn’t have, borrowing from less-predictable parts of the world, following an anti-free market economic policy that worsens our long-term economic strength for all the world to see, the dollar falls.  As our government accelerates the process by printing money with nothing behind it but more stacks of paper and barrels of ink, our currency’s value will continue to erode and the price of oil will rise in compensation.
 
Supply, more specifically, our own domestic supply and that from next-door, friendly neighbors, still matters.  For the president or anyone else to claim it doesn’t, is either a deceptive diversion or ignorance of the facts.
Published in: on March 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Private Property Bill Passes House

H.R. 1433, the bill the would prohibit federal, state and local governments from seizing private property via eminent domain powers for purposes of economic development passed the U.S. House Tuesday on a voice vote, according to Humanevents.com. 

The next step will be the Senate.  We have heard nothing yet regarding whether Senate Majority Leader will be willing to consider the bill or if he will have to be coerced or gone around through legislative legerdemain.  It’s not too early to contact your senators to help build a movement to bring the bill up.

The bill would protect land owners from the efforts governments have been exerting to take over property to hand over to private developers so as to boost their tax revenue base.  Eminent domain had been originally intended only to make roads, airports and utilities construction possible, with proper payment to the land owners.  Instead, governments have been seizing land or, through regulation, devaluing land without any recompense to owners at all.

Sadly, the humanevents.com story noted that the Connecticut land involved in the landmark Kelo Supreme Court case, lies vacant after the city and state spent $78 million to bulldoze the homes and buildings that had been there (“House Passes Bill to Fight Unfair Seizure of Private Property,” 02/29/12) . 

This bill would not bring Susan Kelo’s little pink house back to its block in New London but it would make it significantly harder for governments that are supposed to protect property owners instead become the rapers and confiscators.

The Senate switchboard is 202) 224-3121; for the Senate web page, click here.

Published in: on February 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm  Comments (6)  

Congress Fights Obama’s Attack on American Wallets

Americans’ frustration with the Obama Administration’s hard line policy of favoring the green enviro-zealot position on nearly all things has taken a new turn.

 Congress is searching for some way to get the Keystone XL pipeline under construction.  Obama, as part of his sincere and aggressive policy of raising the cost of energy for every American, rich or poor, announced last week he would not approve the pipeline.

 Left unsaid by him, of course, was that he had to oppose the pipeline because it would create jobs in America, would increase the supply of oil, put downward pressure on oil and gas prices, would import oil from next door from a friendly ally instead of from some dictatorship or terrorist-supporting nation and bolster national security.  Most importantly, he had to oppose the pipeline because it would make gasoline cheaper for American citizens and that was unacceptable.

 Obama instead used the excuse that there wasn’t enough time to study the project’s impact in the 60-day period Congress had set in the recent payroll tax bill.

 Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX.), however, countered that flimsy excuse, noting that we “fought and won World War II in less time than it’s taken to evaluate this project.”  Jim Angle, Fox News correspondent, noted that the government has spent 40 months studying the project (1/25/12).  Angle added that the State Department approved the project after all that study.  It was only then that green groups started protesting, using as an excuse the fact that a portion of the pipeline was routed over the eastern end of the Nebraska Sand Hills.

 Despite the fact that any of Keystone’s spills on its existing pipelines – including one which would closely follow the route of the new one except through eastern Nebraska – could be carried off in five-gallon buckets, Obama put his foot down.

 But there appears to be no limits to how far out on a limb the Democrats will go to stop energy development.  They’re trying to refer to the pipeline as a Republican “earmark.”  They also began raising the question as to whether the Koch brothers – conservative business involved in the energy industry and financial supports of conservative causes – should be subpoenaed about the pipeline.

 At today’s hearing on a bill to go around the White House and give a federal commission authority over the pipeline application, Chairman of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee Ed Whitfield said he would not subpoena the Koch brothers because “Koch had nothing to do with this project.”  When Whitfield announce a hearing recess, Rep. Henry Waxman yelled out like he was part of an Occupy Washington protest.

 “ Are you going to call the Koch brothers during the recess?” Waxman yelled.

 The left must always resort to short slogans that will fit on bumper stickers, so their supporters can memorize the usually-illogical emotional reaction and have something to scream before security hauls them away.  Apparently, they have substituted the “Koch brothers” for “Halliburton,” as they are really chapped anyone would dare to oppose any of the myriad leftist public policy efforts funded by George Soros, numerous liberal foundations or unions.

 We doubt Waxman got hauled away but Whitfield didn’t roll over.  He responded to Waxman’s yell, as shown on Fox’s report.

 “Let me tell you something, “ Whitfield began with some heat, “if you want to talk about that, let’s talk about the millions of dollars the Obama Administration gave to companies like Solyndra…”

 We assume the committee got around to actually discussing the bill at hand, H.R. 3548, “North American Energy Access Act,” introduced by Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry.  The bill would remove authority to review and approve the pipeline from the State Department and authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review and approve with some route adjustments from the state of Nebraska.  While the State Department has already approved the pipeline, as an executive branch department, the White House can overrule its decision.  Apparently, FERC has more autonomy.

 Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX.) has also just introduced a bill dubbed the “Keystone for a Secure Tomorrow Act of 2012 or “K-FAST” that would immediately approve the pipeline.  Other bills introduced to get the pipeline going include one by Rep. John Hoeven, (R-ND.)

 It’s about some time someone aggressively tries to counter this Administrations fervent efforts to bleed American citizens’ wallets by deliberately boost the cost of gasoline – and any industrial, manufacturing, agricultural and transportation industry that burns fuel to operate.

Published in: on January 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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