Cute as Dumb Puppy Dogs

University of North Carolina students are adorable. It’s almost as if they believe they actually understand the complexities of energy policy and production in an industrialized nation that is in the midst of a severe economic downturn.

Students at the press conference called for administrators to respond to the referendum vote by allowing the Beyond Coal campaign to make a presentation at the Board of Trustees meeting in March.

Alanna Davis, representative of UNC’s chapter of the N.C. Student Power Union, spoke at the event.

She emphasized the need for demanding greater responsibility in managing the endowment, as well as the need for changing the current power structure to give students a stronger voice.

Davis urged administrators to see that divesting from coal is imperative to the future success of the University and the world.

“Leave your flawed neoliberal ideology behind — break up with the coal industry,” she said. “Join us in creating a brighter, healthier future for all.”

It’s also cute how they string words together imagining that their little political pronouncements might be mistaken for meaningful insight.

File this under “disdain.”

Read the rest.

An Absence of Leadership (Updated)

I watch the video below and I suppose I should be grateful that even Axelrod can’t bring himself to bring forth the lie that Americans under President Obama’s term in office are somehow better off than they were four years ago. Even he isn’t willing to say “yes” when asked a blunt question– although the dance he does to avoid answering is a little funny. But I’m not grateful because it still comes packaged by a guy who insists that this President has somehow created jobs.

It’s hard to make a claim of significant job creation when unemployment is worse than it was when you took office and job participation rates are lower than when you took office. And all evidence says that the jobs that were created weren’t particularly good ones– and if you happen to be leaving college right now, you shouldn’t even count on getting one of the bad jobs.

But the roster of folks receiving government assistance has grown. The roster of folks who have simply stopped trying has grown.

Axelrod can’t say it– he wouldn’t get to keep his job if he did say it–but President Obama has failed. His economic policies had doubled our debt, his energy policies have left us all poorer, and he can’t even manage to encourage his own party to offer up so much as symbolic support for his budget. And his own party has simply refused to commit to any budget throughout his term in office. No, not even when they had majorities in the House, the Senate, and a President who would sign whatever they put in front of him. Obama’s failed presidency is marked by a lack of leadership and achievement.

We have suffered not just because of our President’s progressive vision– as poorly articulated and argued as it has been– but because of an absence of leadership that has left us confused, demoralized, and weary.

Former President Carter doesn’t look better by comparison, but their presidencies look remarkably similar. Men, feted by the left for their intelligence and character, who had no idea how to lead a nation through difficult times, who failed to stabilize the economy, and who left the country worse for their care.

With Carter, though, we had Ronald Reagan waiting with the vision, charisma, and powerful leadership to help us rebuild. I truly hope that Romney and Ryan can live up to that towering standard.

Updated: A little related video.

Why Should I Trust the President on Energy Policy?

Pipeline

Pipeline, Photo Courtesy SXC.hu.

President Obama just tried to convince me that he wants to strengthen the middle class by  developing domestic energy resources and taxing the wealthy to pay down our debt, amongst a few other things. Now, the plan to increase taxes on the wealthy won’t touch the trillion dollar annual deficits we seem to be running habitually right now, but it will certainly change the way some folks invest and use their capital. And it’s doubtful that it will do so in a way that “strengthens the middle class”– but that’s really what I want to talk about right now. Right now I want to talk about developing energy resources.

Firstly, I’ve said this before and I consider it to be an important point to make: the United States is the only developed nation that I can think of that actively works so hard against developing its own natural resources. We do this to the detriment of our own business interests and to the detriment of a citizenry that sees energy prices swelling while job growth is moribund and real salaries have stagnated.

Secondly, when a neighbor, who happens to be an important ally and business partner to the United States, can help provide a reliable, reasonably priced source of oil, it is vital to find ways to take advantage of that opportunity. In the case of the Keystone Pipeline, it would mean good paying jobs, an immediate boost to industries that are currently struggling (like the aggregates, cement, and concrete industries, as an example), and a boost to US manufacturers that serve those industries. It would mean increased tax revenues, both local and federal, and it would certainly help in stabilizing energy costs over the long haul.

But the President would prefer to pin our hopes on heavily subsidized renewable energy resources that have yet to prove their reliability or cost-effectiveness. In fact, by his own admission, his energy policies, taken to the conclusion that he wants, would cause energy prices to rise.

Which doesn’t at all help business struggling to make profits or folks struggling to make ends meet in a recovery that has yet to really start. High energy prices will make it less likely that companies will increase hiring because the money simply won’t be there to do so.

And, on a personal level, what this administration has done to harm the coal industry is unconscionable.

So, why should I trust President Obama to deliver the kind of energy policy– built around domestic resources– that I could support? Why should I think it would be any different than the direction that he has currently plotted? A failed direction that hasn’t done much to, ahem, “strengthen the middle class.” Or any other bit of our country, for that matter.

That is a long lead-in to this link– and a situation that wouldn’t exist if we had a president with a more practical view of this nation’s energy policy.

When President Barack Obama blocked the Keystone Pipeline, Republicans said the move would encourage Canada to pursue oil deals with China instead of the United States and cede a massive chunk of North American oil assets to the communist nation.

Now, with China’s state-run oil company CNOOC poised to cut a $15.1 billion deal–the largest ever foreign acquisition for a Chinese company–with Canadian oil company Nexen, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are in full backpedal mode.

Things like this matter and things like this are why I will be voting Romney in the upcoming elections.

Your mileage may vary.