Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redefine "diesel fuel" so it can expand regulations in natural-gas drilling. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce claims the measure is necessary to "protect human health" from fuels used in hydraulic fracturing, a process that injects high-pressure fluids and sand into shale formations deep beneath the Earth's surface to tap natural-gas reserves. U.S. Representatives Henry Waxman (Calif.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Diana DeGette (Colo.), and Rush Holt (N.J.) sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson this week, in which they contend that hydraulic fracturing providers are circumventing the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and using diesel fuels without regard to concerns about groundwater contamination.
City officials in Philadelphia and Milwaukee (including Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter) have ripped the mask off flash mobs and denounced not “inner city youths” or “teens,” as the media describe the perpetrators, but violent young black men and teenagers. Black flash mobs have ransacked cities and attacked by-standers, who are often whites, in cities across this country in what appears to be a summer of rage. The mobs have targeted merchants and pedestrians in Chicago, Philadelphia, Madison, Milwaukee, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and other cities.
Rising energy prices in Germany are forcing the pharmaceutical and chemical conglomerate Bayer to threaten a move to China. The culprit is Germany's nuclear energy exit bill, passed last month in reaction to Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. The bill orders a nuclear phase-out by 2022. Meanwhile, China plans to build 36 new nuclear power plants during the next decade. Germany's Deutsche Welle reports Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers predicted, "Energy prices will continue to rise, and they are already the highest in the EU." He said in the face of rising prices, "a global business such as Bayer would have to consider relocating its production to countries with lower energy costs." The move would leave 35,000 workers in Germany unemployed. Countries Bayer is considering include China, Brazil, and India, where the company has already begun significant expansion. According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), Brazil plans to bring four new large reactors online by 2025, significantly expanding the current 3 percent of its electricity generated by two existing nuclear reactors.
In Don Marquis' classic satirical book, "Archy and Mehitabel," Mehitabel the alley cat asks plaintively, "What have I done to deserve all these kittens?" That seems to be the pained reaction of the Obama administration to the financial woes that led to the downgrading of America's credit rating, for the first time in history. There are people who see no connection between what they have done and the consequences that follow. But Barack Obama is not likely to be one of them. He is a savvy politician who will undoubtedly be satisfied if enough voters fail to see a connection between what he has done and the consequences that followed. To a remarkable extent, he has succeeded, with the help of his friends in the media and the Republicans' failure to articulate their case. Polls find more people blaming the Republicans for the financial crisis than are blaming the President.
Residents of the Windy City may have to do without their favorite ice cream for a while, and possibly for good; and they have government to thank for it. According to the Chicago Tribune, Kris Swanberg, a laid-off Chicago public school teacher who chased the American Dream by starting her own business making artisanal ice cream, was recently told by the Illinois Department of Public Health that she will have to stop selling her product, Nice Cream, until she obtains a dairy license. Getting and keeping the license, however, may be cost prohibitive for such a small business.
Observers note that President Barack Obama seems to enjoy comparing himself to former President Dwight Eisenhower, having repeatedly claimed that he was reducing federal spending to Eisenhower-era levels. Although his assertion that the recent debt-ceiling deal would produce “the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was President” proved to be false, it is easy to understand why Obama wants to be like Ike: Today the 1950s are often viewed, rightly or wrongly, as an era of stability and prosperity in America, with Eisenhower the reassuring, moderate presence guiding it all. On one count, however, Obama may find the comparison to Eisenhower particularly unflattering. For all his willingness to go along to get along, developing New Deal programs and launching big-government initiatives of his own, Eisenhower and his equally free-spending predecessor, President Harry Truman, couldn’t hold a candle to Obama when it comes to running up Uncle Sam’s credit card.
Four of the six Republican state senators forced to defend their seats in a historic recall election on Tuesday emerged victorious, keeping the Wisconsin state Senate under GOP control despite a massive union-backed campaign sparked by reforms passed earlier this year. Democrats needed to win at least three of the races to gain a majority. Two Democrat state Senators will also face voters next week in separate recall elections. But even if they win both races, Democrats will still be in a 17-to-16 minority. Republicans also still control the state Assembly and the Governor’s mansion. Charges of vote fraud in at least one of the August 9 recall races were initially raised by Democrats. But within hours, the party backed off.
According to the Obama administration and our country’s leading liberal media, the Tea Party is responsible for all of our present financial woes. But, as anyone with a brain knows, what has led us to this crisis-turned-catastrophe is not the Tea Party, which is of recent formation, but the endless spending by leftist politicians over the last 60 years who have borrowed big-time to finance all of this government socialism. And since almost all Americans, whether they like it or not, have been hitched to this money train, we’ve been inclined to let it all happen with blinders on assuming that our elected leaders knew what they were doing. It is obvious that Republicans are as much to blame as Democrats. Nowhere, during this endless build up of debt, did a single Republican president say “enough is enough.” No Republican president was willing to see the train-wreck ahead and warn the American people that this unlimited spending had to stop. Reagan made a tepid attempt to abolish the Department of Education, but his fellow Republicans refused to even consider the idea. Education has become the holy of holies, and even today with the nation on the brink of insolvency, Obama wants to increase spending on “edgukashun.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry will try to take a share of the spotlight shining on the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa on Saturday and direct it to the East Coast, where the yet-undeclared presidential hopeful will be the star attraction at Republican events in two key early primary states on the same day. Perry will speak at the RedState Gathering, a national conference of conservative bloggers, in Charleston, South Carolina, before flying on up the coast to appear at a house party on his behalf in Greenland, New Hampshire. He is expected to make clear his intention to run for President, though a formal announcement of his candidacy will take place in Texas, probably some time next week, sources told Politico.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Chief John Morton has terminated the federal Secure Communities program with nearly 40 states, the Arizona Republic reports. Secure Communities is a program that identifies and deports dangerous illegal alien criminals. Morton, the newspaper reports, revealed that the federal government was ending agreements with those states that implemented Secure Communities protocols, saying it does not need the cooperation of states in order to run the program. In June, Morton and his boss, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, unilaterally declared the unpassed federal DREAM Act law by giving local ICE officials prosecutorial discretion on deportation.