Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

By John Ruberry

It’s Sunday morning and if he’s in Springfield, Illinois, Sen. Dick Durbin, the upper chamber’s second-ranking Democrat, won’t be receiving Holy Communion at Blessed Sacrament Parish in his hometown.

As Renew America reported last week, not only is Durbin not allowed to receive Communion in Springfield, he hasn’t been able to for some time. A pro-life activist recently emailed Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, who heads the diocese in Illinois’ capital city, inquiring about Durbin, who has attained 100 percent ratings from both the National Abortion Rights Action League and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Durbin owns a condominium in Chicago and shares a home with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) in Washington–there is no word on Durbin’s status with parishes there.

From Paprocki’s email:

Dear Mr. [name redacted], Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law. My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

And what is Canon 915? From the Vatican website:

Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.

Should Durbin choose to approach the altar of Blessed Sacrament Parish for Communion, the lifetime politician would only receive a blessing. Durbin doesn’t attend mass there anymore because of a “rather uncomfortable atmosphere,” the Quincy Journal says, although the senator makes exceptions for weddings and funerals.

The senator also supports same-sex marriage, which is also contrary to Catholic doctrine. However, Durbin quotes Pope Francis in speeches.

Five years ago then-US Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) was asked by his bishop not to receive Holy Communion.

The mainstream media response to this revelation about Durbin has been nearly non-existent. Only NBC 5 Chicago reported on it. Yes, that means the State Journal-Register, Springfield’s daily newspaper, has passed on this news, at least as of this writing.

Shameful.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit

By Steve Eggleston

The March jobs report came out yesterday, and it contained relatively good news. The toplines were:

  • 192,000 jobs added on a seasonally-adjusted basis, slightly ahead of the anemic +183,000/month pace over the past year
  • The same 192,000 jobs added on the private-sector side, pushing the total to 116,087,000
  • An unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7% as the labor force participation rate and employment-population ratios climbed marginally to, respectively, 63.2% and 58.9%
  • The average number of hours worked in the private sector rebounded to 34.5 hours per week

Predictably, the media pounced on the new seasonally-adjusted record of private-sector jobs, which topped the previous record of 115,977,000 set in January 2008, proclaiming a vital corner has been turned in the 5-year-long “recovery”. But is it really a recovery? Some of the other data says otherwise.

The most-obvious contraindicator is the number of people employed. The pre-recession record number of employed, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, was 146,595,000 in November 2007, with 146,378,000 in January 2008 and 146,320,000 in March 2008. There were only 145,742,000 people employed last month.

That cannot be explained by those who hold multiple jobs. That dropped from a seasonally-adjusted 7,454,000 in March 2008 to 6,998,000 last month.

Another contraindicator is the number of full-time equivalent jobs in the private sector, that is, the number of jobs there would be if every person worked 40 hours per week. The pre-Obama record was 100,418,000 in March 2008. That number was 100,270,000 last month, a difference that is beyond the margin of error.

That is confirmed by the number of people working at least 35 hours per week. In March 2008, that was a seasonally-adjusted 121,476,000. Last month, it was a mere 118,003,000.

No wonder why Ed Morrissey was able to find example after example after example of left-leaning outfits disappointed in yesterday’s news.

Pastor KellyBy Pastor George Kelly

In the first third of the 19th century, the United States was visited by a young gentleman from the nation of France.

Originally, this young man came to American in order to observe the reformation of character as it was wrought into the lives of reformed prisoners by Christians (namely The Quakers).  However, in a short period of time he grew weary of this enterprise and decided to study other pursuits.

The young observer from France turned his energies into observing this fledgling republic – this new United States of American – to see what made this “experiment in ordered liberty” operate.

The name of this distinguished gentleman was none other than Alexis de Tocqueville and we remember him for the seminal work that he produced known as “Democracy in America.”

Alexis’ work was first published around 1838 and it became standard reading for students of American government; it is recognized as a tour de force on the early social-political history of the United States (this writer remembers writing an extensive research paper on  Alexis’ work when he was an undergraduate student. Please do not ask how many years ago that was…).

When Alexis de Tocqueville visited America, he was fascinated over what he saw.

Alexis observed a virgin country that was being transformed into an oasis of business enterprise and abundant prosperity.  He witnessed a people who were captivated by the belief that there was no limit to what they could accomplish if they pursued their goals with “gusto and vigor.”

As Mr. de Tocqueville studied this land and its unique geographical setting, he witnessed the educational pursuits of New England and the Northeast (and the nascent Ivy League series of schools); he absorbed the wonders of the Mid-Western Ohio Valley and the attending prodigious hills and valleys; and he gasped over the incredible agricultural wonder of the Shenandoah valley and the deep South; furthermore, he marveled over the cohesiveness of the American people and the single-mindedness of purpose that they brought with themselves to their individual pursuits.

Alexis asked himself this question:  What is the secret to this great nation?  What makes America great?

Here are some of the conclusions that he put forth that we glean from his writings:

America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

If this writer had it his way, he would make each member of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Executive branch take the time to go through and imbibe the wonderful observations left for us by the estimable Alexis de Tocqueville.

It seems that all three branches of our nation’s government engage in sporadic bouts of “collective amnesia” with regards to remembering the core beliefs that formed, built, shaped, and sustained our institutions and culture for more than two centuries.

Nevertheless, this writer’s favorite quote by Alexis de Tocqueville is this one:

Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.

Alexis understood something that has been lost in our consciousness in that he understood that men and women cannot live in freedom unless they abide by an inner code of conduct that governs and guides their actions in a harmonious way.  Mr. de Tocqueville understood that at the very core of their being that Americans had formed certain “habits of the heart” that were created by their deeply held convictions and belief system.

Alexis observed that in America religious affections was at the foremost of the political institutions of the country.

This writer doubts that de Tocqueville would state that a person of no faith could not ascribe to high ethical ideals.

What Alexis observed is that for the first 150 to 160 years of this nation’s history is that the Judeo-Christian value system (adherence to the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and the Sermon On The Mount in the New Testament) acted as a north star that guided the actions and affairs of men and women.

The most precious freedom that Americans possess is not material well-being or prosperity but the right or freedom to follow their religious or non-religious affections without prior governmental restraints.  It is this freedom that is the hallmark of what is known as American Exceptionalism.

Tyrants despise “freedom of conscience.”

Many Americans from all stripes of life and from diverse backgrounds have died over the last 238 years to make sure that we remain the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s friday and our weekly goal sits at $128 out of $365 meaning April is looking to start as bad as February & March.

We are 10 $25 tip jar hitters away from making our weekly goal that we haven’t seen hide nor hair of since February.

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faustaby Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

What do the following have in common?

  • Hillary Clinton in 2008
  • Eastern Orthodox Christians
  • Muslims
  • 52% of California voters
  • Brendan Eich

They all opposed gay marriage.

Brendan Eich resigned from Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox Web browser, after intense criticism over a six-year-old, $1,000 donation he made in support of a 2008 California ballot initiative to ban gay marriage.

The record of that donation appeared on the Internet soon after Mr. Eich, who invented JavaScript and helped start Mozilla in 1998, was appointed as CEO in late March. After he was named, some Mozilla employees took to Twitter to call for his resignation. Mr. Eich then apologized for causing “pain” and made a commitment to promote equality for gay and lesbian individuals at Mozilla.

Invent JavaScript, start a successful company, and your qualifications don’t matter, Mr. Eich. What matters is elsewhere.

Prof. Robert George explains,

You are disqualified from employment, however, if you reveal your alleged “bigotry” and “cause pain” by stating your convictions. And you are certainly disqualified if you do anything to advance the historic understanding of marriage as a conjugal union in the public square. You see, that’s what Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was discovered to have done—he made a contribution of $1000 to the successful effort to defend marriage in California in 2008. Like the majority of California voters, he thought it best for the state to retain its conjugal marriage law. Recently that historical fact came to light. And in less than a week Eich was gone.

You can bet its not just Mozilla. Now that’s [sic] the bullies have Eich’s head as a trophy on their wall, they will put the heat on every other corporation and major employer. They will pressure them to refuse employment to those who decline to conform their views to the new orthodoxy. And you can also bet that it won’t end with same-sex marriage. Next, it will be support for the pro-life cause that will be treated as moral turpitude in the same way that support for marriage is treated. Do you believe in protecting unborn babies from being slain in the womb? Why then “you are a misogynist. You are a hater of women. You are a bigot. We can’t have a person like you working for our company.” And there will be other political and moral issues, too, that will be treated as litmus tests for eligibility for employment. The defenestration of Eich by people at Mozilla for dissenting from the new orthodoxy on marriage is just the beginning.

My friends at Gay Patriot point out that Even Andrew Sullivan Is Disgusted with the Gay Left (saying that “If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us”), but that Sullivan’s

flaw lies in assuming the progressive left wants a “tolerant and diverse society.” They don’t.

Tammy Bruce realizes that,

Back to Prof. George,

When tactics of intimidation succeed, their success ensures that they will be used more and more often in more and more contexts to serve more and more causes. And standing up to intimidation will become more and more difficult. And more and more costly. And more and more dangerous.

Mozilla gave in to the bullies and apologized for Mr. Eich’s appointment.

Shame on them.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on US & Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Friday and our weekly goal sits at $128 out of $365 meaning April is looking to start as bad as February & March.

We are 10 $25 tip jar hitters away from making our weekly goal that we haven’t seen hide nor hair of since February.

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By A.P. Dillon

A few weeks back, I posted a letter from a man in North Carolina struggling with Obamacare. That article entitled, #Obamacare Coverage: “Play the game” (aka lie), detailed the problem that exists in qualifying for the subsidy based on earnings and related ramifications therein. In that letter and op-ed North Carolina citizen, Tim Wolhford, shared with me, one of the key bits was in order to for Obamacare to work for him, it required he might have to “play the game (aka lie).   Relevant section:

Under the ACA, the unemployed supposedly can buy an individual plan through the individual Healthcare Exchange. If they qualify, they get a “tax credit” (subsidy) for most or all of the cost of a Bronze Plan. At least, that’s the plan.
In my case, a Bronze Plan costs $387/month. The subsidy to pay for that is based either on what I made while I was working, or what I claim I’m gonna make in 2014, NOT on what I’m making right now — which is zero since my unemployment ran out. I made a good living in 2012 (the year they ask about), and I don’t anticipate being unemployed most of 2014 either.  Since I made more than $46,000 in 2012, and anticipate making at least that much in 2014, I get no subsidy. And of course, I can’t afford the $387/month.
I could just “play the game” (aka “lie”) and say that I’m only gonna make $11,500 in 2014, and get the full tax credit so I can afford the coverage. This is what my friends who are loyal ACA fans tell me I would do if I was “smart.”

Another problem Mr. Wolhford encountered was getting any kind of traction from Senator Kay Hagan.  Perhaps he should hit the next big Planned Parenthood/Emily’s List Abortion shin-dig in order to catch up with Senator Hagan. In his pursuit to get some relief and answers, Mr. Wolhford has sent me an update, which I am sharing below:

I just got off of the phone with a (Dem ACA fan) staffer for Rep. David Price.  

Gotta say, to the credit of him and his staff, at least they called me up to see if they could help.  That seems to be a lost art among Congressional offices these days.  For that I commend the staffer and Rep. Price.

1.  The staffer affirmed that I have 3 options:
– Go uninsured
– Use the “subsidy” knowing that I’ll probably have to pay it all back next April 15.
– Pay for my Bronze plan in its entirety, and file a claim for a credit next April 15.  

Obviously there are workability arguments with all three of those.

2.  The staffer claims that if NC simply would’ve expanded Medicaid then I wouldn’t have this issue.  This is the default position of ACA fans — it was a good plan until it got screwed over by the states, the GOP, whomever.  In looking at some “expansion” states to see if they did indeed close this hole.

3.  The staffer affirmed that, in the current Congressional climate, it was unlikely to have any meaningful legislation to pass corrections.  Which means that the *best* we can hope for is constant corrections / revisions coming from the White House.  She agreed that the idea of “there are no horror stories” is wrong.

4.  She asked me for concrete ideas to fix things.  Fair enough — I can’t claim that I liked the old system either, and that reforms weren’t needed, and quite frankly, a pox on the GOP for not addressing those while they had power.  So yes, that might be a good article — let’s put our heads together and think of ideas that *might* have a chance in hell to be passed that would fix things that don’t have the workability issues of ACA (or a national health care system).

Tim Wohlford

My response was along the lines of ‘good on Rep. Price’s office’ for not blowing him off as Senator Hagan’s had.

The item in number two is a nice example of the political slant and oversimplification on display over refusing the Medicaid expansion in North Carolina. Medicaid costs the NC taxpayers roughly $13 billion a year. That’s a lot of money that needs to have a strong accountability of where it is spent. Given what we know about Former Governor Perdue putting NC in the poor house debt-wise, accountability of the taxpayers dollar has come to the forefront.

Aside from Medicaid being a massive, costly expansion of an entitlement, Obamacare brought a new requirement into Medicaid that altered eligibility to include household income of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line and added adults with no children into the mix. The Federal government would have paid the first three years of the expansion, but after that a minimum of 10 percent would come back on North Carolina to pay — remember, it already, as is, costs roughly $13 billion. The net effect of expanding Medicaid in NC would have been financially irresponsible given the massive debt Governor Perdue left behind with  her reckless mismanagement of unemployment insurance. Suggested reading: Medicaid Expansion: A Quick Primer

The section in number three saying there would be constant course corrections was like the bad joke of extension after extension coming out of the White House.  The last line in that same section should be bronzed and mailed to Harry Reid.

I’d like to thank Mr. Wohlford for this update and for sharing his story with me.

If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s April and our weekly goal of $365 currently sits at $104

We are 11 $25 tip jar hitters away from making our weekly goal to keep pace with the cost of my writers and the April Mortgage payment

The disasters of February & March are behind us and can’t be changed. All we can do is try to make April the month that things got back on track and the best way to do so is to start the month strong.

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by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Yes, I blog on Latin America and its politics and culture, but I’m not one-dimensional. I love food, too.

One of the great joys in life is a freshly-toasted bagel, spread with a big dollop of Philly cream cheese, and perhaps – if you’re feeling fancy – some lox and a slice of Jersey tomato fresh off the vine. Mmmmm. . .

But, as I was biting on my cream cheese and bagel (those who know me, know I have a little bagel on my cream cheese), what do I find in the WSJ?

This:

Philadelphia Cream Cheese Gets a Makeover

What the hey?? Is nothing sacred? Is this an April Fools’ joke?

The Marketing Decoder: Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Kraft is changing its recipe—and altering its tub design—to appeal to health-conscious shoppers

I don’t care what they package it in, since most of the time I buy the “brick” and not the tub. But change the recipe?

Ironically, the article (by subscription) says “The tubs now include the year 1872, which Kraft says is the year its cream cheese was invented,”

to show consumers “we have been doing the same thing for 142 years,”

Doing the same thing is good, and then change the recipe?

Kraft has done an excellent marketing job in Spain, where cream cheese is called fili, and the Spaniards are not going to like the change. Certainly my ancestors didn’t sail from Asturias just to have the recipe changed on them.

The article points out that “the cost of ingredients such as milk have increased,” as anyone can tell you. Not many people realize that the core inflation rate eliminates food and fuel due to their volatility. Eliminating food and fuel from the inflation numbers is politically convenient, too, as us peasants may raise up with our pitchforks and torches if we are reminded of the inflation in food and fuel costs, but I digress. I’d rather pay more for the old recipe.

The Kraft people have had a perfect product for 142 years. Let’s hope the new-recipe Philly cream cheese goes the way of the New Coke.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on US & Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog. She feels very strongly about the Philly cream cheese on her bagel.

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If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills and all the writers for a full year.

It’s a small price to pay for a lineup including  John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Sunday  Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillion (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.


 

Lindaby Linda Szugyi

Today’s liberals want kids to be thoroughly educated about sex, and as soon as possible.  After all, education is not the enemy.  Ignorance is.

There is some truth to that, of course.  If teenagers learn only that you shouldn’t do it, period! and yet they choose to do it anyway, they might worsen their situation through ignorance.  It wasn’t sexual intercourse; it was just oral! says the young woman who still manages to get an STD.

This truth is what makes “sex ed” such a sticky wicket.

It’s telling, though, how the left’s interest in education ends once the sex act results in pregnancy.  When the stick turns blue, the curiosity is gone.  Similar to the way in which a Christian might be claimed to over-emphasize abstinence, the pro-choice crowd pushes a glossed-over, incomplete picture that over-emphasizes their preferred choice: A baby is punishment.  It’s a myth that women regret abortionAbortion is a common female experience.  Don’t worry, abortion carries no moral implications.

Sure, there is some lip service to the idea that abortion is an important decision.  The key to exposing the pro-choice desire for women to remain ignorant about what’s really going on inside them is not in what they say, however.  The key is found in their fervent adherence to this commandment: Thou Shalt Not Mention What Shall Not Be Mentioned.

The pro-choice crowd follows this commandment faithfully.  As a result, abortion must be phrased in abstract terms.  It’s about choice!  It’s reproductive freedom!  “Choice” is most certainly not about a baby.  Nor a fetus, nor even an embryo.  It is a pregnancy, and pregnancies can be ended, without tough moral dilemmas.

The pro-choice reliance on ignorance is in full effect when they protest laws that require the abortionist to show the ultrasound to the mother before an abortion is performed.  It’s rape!  Rape I tell you!  Nevermind the fact that the ultrasound is a routine part of the abortion procedure, regardless of whether the mother actually gets the opportunity to see it.

Their reliance on ignorance is also seen in the way the media studiously avoids covering one of the most horrific serial killers in history:  Kermit Gosnell.

empty seats reserved for media at Gosnell trial
This Criminal Trial Is Not Worthy Of News Coverage

The lovely Irish duo who brought us the documentaries Not Evil Just Wrong and FrackNation want to rectify this glaring omission.  They have started a very ambitious crowd-sourcing effort to make a movie about Kermit Gosnell and his crimes.

The pro-choice crowd could not possibly talk about the Kermit Gosnell case without getting uncomfortably close to the physical reality of “ending a pregnancy.”  Gosnell’s crimes viscerally demonstrate how little difference there is between killing a baby then removing it, and removing a baby then killing it.  Facts have an annoying way of piercing right through the pro-choice veil of age/stage distinctions.

One last thing.  Before I recommend pitching in to the IndieGoGo fundraising effort for the Gosnell movie, I have to take care of my own house’s finances.  Da Tech Guy has been very kind and dedicated in adding voices like mine to his blog.  He believes in the conservative message, not just as truth but as a financially viable journalism career.

I share his belief.  Lately, however, conservative journalism has not brought in the revenue it warrants.  If you are a Tech Guy reader but not a subscriber, please consider the idea of putting your money where your eyes are.  Subscribe today.

If you are already a Tech Guy subscriber, and you have just one extra dollar to spare, please support the Gosnell movie project.  They have a lot of money to raise in a very short time.

This is the part of the post where I tell you more about myself.  I love to write and hate to speak, so you’ll be unlikely to catch me on Da Tech Guy’s radio program, barring a political situation that affects me personally.  Sometimes I post at my own blog site, too.  If you enjoy my writing, subscribe to Da Tech Guy and support Da Magnificent Seven.  Thanks!

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Olimometer 2.52

The Mortgage is due today and after some movement this morning I’m still $678 short.

I was not in Vegas so Sheldon Adelson is unlikely to be hitting DaTipJar to save the day.

Will you?

 

If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year and things will be a lot more like Alito and Kagan around here than Kennedy & Roberts reliable..


 

By Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — A couple of weeks ago I posted that it had been “a tough week to be Mary Landrieu.”  I probably should have waited until this week to use that title.  There seems to be very little good news for the embattled Senator in the news this week.

Early in the week Clare Foran at The National Journal wrote about the abandonment of Senator Landrieu by the environmentalists.  “They just can’t stand her stance on global warming,” Foran says.

In the past year, only one environmental organization has donated to her campaign. The Baton Rouge-based Center for Coastal Conservation gave Landrieu a $2,500 nod, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Environmental Defense Fund have handed over a combined contribution of exactly nothing. All three groups declined to comment on the record when asked whether they would endorse Landrieu.

Louisiana is peppered with oil and gas wells; we have just under two dozen petroleum refineries.  And Landrieu is savvy enough to know that these are important jobs votes in her pocket.  She has to walk a fine line.

Which brings us to what is really going on with Mary Landrieu’s campaign.

Louisiana attorney, and occasional fill-in host for local conservative talk show host Moon Griffon, Paul Hurd has a post at The Dead Pelican which makes very clear the challenges Senator Landrieu faces and what her campaign staff is attempting to do about it:

The Landrieu machine’s new snake oil is the assertion that Senator Landrieu is too valuable to Louisiana and the Oil and Gas Industry as the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee to let her get beat and have the Energy Committee controlled by pro-energy independent Republicans. This is the new political Hadicol being sold to the masses in Louisiana.

As we all know, Landrieu has a new plum position as head of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  The Washington Post sang the same tune about the angry environmentalists back in February:

Landrieu favors building the Keystone XL pipeline, protecting tax breaks or incentives for oil drilling, and placing limits on the power of federal agencies to set mercury or carbon dioxide guidelines for coal-fired power plants. Wyden takes the opposite position on all those issues.

Landrieu supports giving oil companies the right to export crude oil as well as natural gas, while Wyden supports giving natural gas export permits on a case by case basis and does not have a public position on crude oil exports.

The Louisiana Democrat helps maintain the Democrats’ majority in the Senate, but she is closer to the oil and gas industry than most other members of her party.

Au contraire, says Paul Hurd (emphasis mine):

Let’s look at voting record of Senator Landrieu and the members of the Senate Energy Committee, grouped by Democrats in control now, compared to the Republican members who would gain control of energy policy with the defeat of Senator Landrieu. One way to compare voting records is to use scorecards of business and the radical conservationists to see who supports energy growth and who does not. The League of Conservation Voters is a typical, extreme environmental advocacy group that takes every stand possible to prevent America from producing clean, abundant and American energy. Its Action Plans includes “Speaking out against the XL Keystone Pipeline,” “Protecting Us from Toxic Coal Ash” and “Support for Climate Change Action.” Their position is unrepentant destruction of the hydro-carbon based energy industry in America, and that means the destruction of Louisiana’s economy.

In contract, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a middle of the road, pro-business lobbying group that recognizes the need for clean and affordable production of energy in America to support our own economic growth and avoid shipping energy dollars to China and the Middle East to fund our global adversaries. And for Louisiana, royalty checks spend just fine in Louisiana.

Each of these groups provide a scorecard for the votes taken by our federal Congressmen and Senators. What these scorecards show is clear and remarkable. The average rating by the League of Conservation for 2013 for the twelve Democratic members of the Energy Committee is an astounding 91%, while the ten Republican members average a Conservation Voter rating of only 16%. In contrast, the Chamber of Commerce provides an average rating of the Democratic members of the Committee of 50%, while the Republican members of the Committee score an average of 91%. In short, these ratings by business and environmental groups show that continued Democratic control of the Senate Energy Committee promises Louisiana and America continuing government suppression of independent energy production in Louisiana and in America.

What all this means is that Mary Landrieu knows that she is in trouble.  She is scrambling to do whatever it takes to deflect discussion of her Obamacare vote even to the point of now trying to act like she wants to amend it.  She’s spent the better part of 18 months trying to distance herself from the Obama circus.  It’s not working for me.

Remember in April 2010?  She was “a vociferous defender” of Obamacare and even told one Morgan City businessman who was worried about having to lay off employees to “live with it.”  But now we’re supposed to believe she isn’t happy with it.

Quite honestly, I wish she’d read the Obamacare bill before she took that $300 million kickback for it.  Vote for it now and fix it later?  Nah.  I don’t think so.  That’s just transparent politicking and I’ve no respect for that.

And now we’re supposed to believe she is a vociferous defender of Louisiana’s oil and gas industry.

Riiiight.

Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

West of Greensburg, Kansas in 2007
West of Greensburg, Kansas in 2007

By John Ruberry

Seven years ago ninety-percent of the small western Kansas town of Greensburg was destroyed by an F5 tornado. Two months later I visited there. Most of the rubble had been cleared away, FEMA housing was prevalent, as was the sound of rebuilding–power saws and hammers at work. The people I spoke with in Greensburg were hopeful and they didn’t expect me to feel sorry for them–I love the rural Midwest.

Later that year, Greensburg, which prior to the deadly twister was best known as the site of the world’s largest hand-dug well, made the decision to rebuild as a green energy town.

When the tornado hit, Greensburg, the seat of Kiowa County, had about 1,500 residents. According to the the US Census Bureau, only 777 people lived in Greensburg in 2010.

A week ago the Kansas City Star published a story with the headline, Greensburg, Kan., rebuilds from 2007 tornado — now it just needs more people.

From the Star:

International exposure, federal disaster aid and public-private partnerships gave rise to some of the greenest and most visually arresting public facilities of any city 100 times Greenburg’s size.

They included a $30 million hospital sporting angled, exterior walls and a new K-12 school campus that uses 55 percent less water than the destroyed one.

A whirring flock of wind turbines provides enough energy to the electric grid over the year to power every house, business and municipal building in Greensburg.

Patrons of the Bar H Tavern on U.S. 54 worry, though, that a community of 800 won’t be able to afford the maintenance on those turbines and the school’s dual-flush toilets. “Not everyone agrees with all this green stuff,” one local said. “What we really need is more people.”

So despite the many expensive platinum-level LEED buildings and the ten wind-turbine surrounding the town, “this green stuff” didn’t work out. Okay, that may be a cheap shot, since Great Plains towns such as Greensburg have been hemorrhaging people, believe it or not, since the end of the First World War. So Greensburg’s population almost certainly would have continued its slide had the tornado not hit.

Greensburg flags
Greensburg, late July, 2007

Cheap housing was one of Greensburg drawing cards, but home prices, although there is not a municipal requirement to build green, have more than doubled there since 2007. In most parts of America, home prices have plummeted since then.

Think about that.

Greensburg had hoped to lure green industry firms to the Plains, including solar-panel manufacturers, but officials are blaming the continuing languid economy for their absence.

I have another explanation: Perhaps green construction and renewable energy are a blind alley, at least in the short term. Maybe it will be that way forever. Sure, the wind turbines supply enough energy for a town with fewer than a thousand residents, but could the unreliable, unpredictable, and expensive power source work for nearby Dodge City?

What about Kansas City?

While I certainly give Greensburg credit for trying something new to end to the exodus from its corner of the Plains, perhaps it’s time for it to reverse course.

Or they can look forward to a time when the green movement is an historic curiosity, along the lines of the world’s largest hand-dug well, and then transform Greensburg into an environmentalist reenactment community–something like Colonial Williamsburg.

John ruberryJohn Ruberry blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s sunday and normally I would be pitching for this weeks $365 goal.

But right now it’s also March 30th. The Mortgage is due tomorrow. After a successful first year February was our worst month on record and March is about to outdo it.

As of yesterday when I hit the sack we were $797 of the mortgage.

To put that into perspective we could meet our weekly goal today AND match it tomorrow and still be about $70 short.

With God all things are possible but without your help it’s going to take a miracle to keep the bills paid around here.

I ask you to give that help and hit DaTipJar below.

 

If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year and things will be a lot more like Alito and Kagan around here than Kennedy & Roberts reliable..


 

steve eggBy Steve Eggleston

Over the last couple of decades, the Tomahawk cruise missile has become the Navy’s go-to standoff weapon of choice. Its range, accuracy, stealthiness and range of warheads has proven invaluable, as over 1,000 Tomahawks have been used since its combat introduction in the first Gulf War. Several ballistic missile submarines have been converted into Tomahawk cruise-missile subs carrying 154 missiles apiece, over twice the number carried by a destroyer or cruiser.

Therefore, in Barack Obama’s America, its production must end years early, with procurement dropping from 196 this year and a planned 980 through 2018 to 100 next year and nothing afterward.

The claim at the time was that the resources that would have gone to procuring the Tomahawk are going instead to developing its replacement, the Next Generation Land Attack Weapon. That’s a “slight” exaggeration – the proper verb is “will” as that program doesn’t exist yet and won’t be producing operational missiles until at least 2024.

Bryan McGrath over at Information Dissemination offers an “innocent” explanation of why the sudden shift has happened; there is only a finite amount of money out there, and there is, despite the wild claims from the Washington Free Beacon, a fair amount in reserve. I would buy it…if sequestration had first happened this past year. However, everybody has known it was the “default” since 2011.

Rather, I put far more stock in his closing statement as the reason (emphasis in the original):

I believe that the country needs to put additional energy toward deterring the war it cannot afford to fight, and that is a war with China, Russia, or China and Russia. In order to best deter such a war, it must be well-prepared to wage it. Calculations of risk that involve diminishing stocks of precision guided munitions without the industrial capacity to quickly replace them should be viewed with concern. It is not 1939. We do not have endless untapped industrial capacity that will build 50,000 airplanes and 6000 ships and boats. We have limited production lines in incredibly high-tech factories that rely on a precious supply of skilled workers who are not reproducible overnight. Any war with another major power will expend PGM’s at a rate our industrial base will strain to replace. Steady peacetime procurement of these specialized weapons not only makes the US better prepared to wage war–should it come–but it sends powerful signals of readiness and will that serve to deter war in the first place.

At some point we must recognize that the height of national strategy is NOT the pursuit of the most efficient allocation of resources. It is the advancement and sustainment of national interest. In taking on this additional near-term risk, the United States efficiently allocates resources while sending yet another message of quiescence in the face of an increasingly troubled world.

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Olimometer 2.52

Dire Straits isn’t just a music groups it’s when it’s a Saturday and you need $817 to pay the mortgage and have only 3 days to get it.

That’s better than $250 a day when we haven’t met a weekly goal all month, but as Yogi Berra says, it ain’t over till it’s over.

Keep it from being over, hit DaTipJar below.

 

If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year and things will be a lot more like Alito and Kagan around here than Kennedy & Roberts reliable..