Sunday, January 31, 2016
The National Association of Manufacturers asked the high court to stay the Clean Power Plan about a week after a federal appellate court denied a separate motion to stay the rules. (AP Photo)
A large industry coalition on Wednesday followed two dozen states in asking the Supreme Court to halt emission rules for power plants at the center of President Obama's climate change agenda.
The Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and a dozen other groups asked the high court Wednesday to stay the Clean Power Plan, about a week after a federal appellate court denied a separate motion to stay the rules, given the far-reaching impact of the plan on the nation's electricity supply and economy.
"Decisions relating to the Clean Power Plan are already being made that will have direct and far-reaching impacts on manufacturers, and we cannot wait while the courts decide on the ultimate fate of the regulation," said Linda Kelly, the manufacturing association's senior vice president and general counsel.
"The impact of this rule on the economy cannot be overstated," said Karen Harbert, president of the Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy. "The rule causes many businesses in the electricity sector and beyond to radically restructure or even close their doors, setting off a domino effect in local communities across the country."
Other groups included in the motion are: the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, National Federation of Independent Business, American Chemistry Council, American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute, American Foundry Society, American Forest and Paper Association, American Iron and Steel Institute, American Wood Council, Brick Industry Association, Electricity Consumers Resource Council, Lignite Energy Council, National Lime Association, National Oilseed Processors Association and Portland Cement Association.
A similar argument was made Tuesday by states in their motion to the Supreme Court. The states argue that even though the lower court denied stay, it will make a final decision on the regulations, which will take months and even until next year. The more than two dozen states in the motion say they need action now to ensure they aren't forced to comply with the regulation if it ends up being killed in the courts.
Kelly said the risks from moving forward before a court's final say in the matter are urgent. "Manufacturers face immediate and irreparable impacts, and we will not stand on the sidelines while the legality of this regulation is debated," she said. "Our arguments are strong, and we will continue to fight this regulation in the courts and in the halls of Congress."
The Clean Power Plan requires states to begin filing their plans for complying with the regulation in September, requiring them to cut greenhouse gas emissions a third by 2030. Many scientists blame the emissions for causing the Earth's climate to warm, resulting in floods, drought and more severe weather.
"Manufacturers are consumers of one-third of the nation's energy, and this regulation not only increases costs for manufacturers, impacting our productivity and competitiveness, but also creates uncertainties for future growth, job creation and economic development," Kelly said.
The comment period on the federal plan closed last week. Morrisey led 18 states in challenging it in comments and the letter sent to McCarthy.
"EPA lacks authority to force such radical change," Morrisey said. "Congress soundly rejected this proposal once, and we urge EPA to withdraw the rule now as implementation would devastate countless jobs, increase utility costs and jeopardize the nation's energy grid."
Saturday, January 30, 2016
"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman.
George Will was all gloom and doom on the Hugh Hewitt radio show this week: "If the election is Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, this will be the first election since God knows when, there was no real conservative candidate."
Meanwhile, the National Review went all in against Trump in its latest edition, drawing praise from Washington insiders. The magazine lined up 22 writers who railed against Trump, repeating the same arguments they have made the last six months, arguments which have hurt The Donald about as much as Whoopi Goldberg's threat to leave the USA. Chris Christie will help you pack.
The cover delighted Jeb Bush.
But the real winner was The Donald. He got another news cycle out of the deal, and gets to shed conservative baggage at the same time. True, he lost 22 votes there, but Mona Charen and Ed Meese were never going to vote for him.
However, I am not saying the race is over. Ted Cruz is hanging in there, and Marco Rubio still has a shot at it. I am not calling this race for anyone. Let me make that clear.
But the editors at the National Review are.
This is a White Flag edition that shows the people at the National Review now believe the Republican presidential race has become a referendum on Donald Trump -- which is exactly what he wants it to be. In a field of 17 candidates, The Donald rose to the top. He is the only one anyone talks about. That has been the case since June 16, 2015, when he entered the race. The magazine cover is a tribute to his success, and a concession of defeat because those writers -- from Glenn Beck to Cal Thomas -- have been through too many presidential elections not to be able to see and read the handwriting on the wall.
All summer and fall and winter, everyone at The Weekly Standard and the National Review screamed to conservatives that Donald Trump is not a conservative.
Guess what? That's fine. This year many conservative voters don't care. Certainly moderates and liberals don't.
It is not that these conservatives are sellouts, or stupid, or mesmerized by a carnival barker, or racist, or whatever other label that conservative writers in Washington, D.C., wish to pin upon those who dare have the nerve to support someone who is not a conservative.
Let us look at this from a conservative voter's perspective. Not a conservative pundit, who gets paid win, lose or draw.
Having elected Bush 43 in 2000, what did conservative voters get? Another Cabinet office -- the Department of Homeland Security -- and a doubling of the national debt, after having spent the 1990s finally getting the budget balanced again. Oh and they got that jackass John Roberts as the chief justice and chief defender of Obamacare.
I left out No Child Left Behind, which further expanded federal control of local schools. Also, Bush championed the right to home ownership in 2006, which resulted in mortgages for the unworthy in 2007, which led to the financial collapse of the Western world in 2008, which led to President Obama and the restoration of the House of Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Then, came 2010. Tea Party conservatives flipped the House with the best showing in 64 years for Republicans -- a net gain of 63 seats in the House and 7 in the Senate. And what did the Tea Party get? The blame for not taking the Senate -- an effort that would have required an 11-seat gain. That slur -- that slam -- came after the Republican Party abandoned Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and John Raese.
Many conservative voters no longer care to play by the rules set down by George Will, who derided Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell for drawing the wrath and ridicule of the cast of "Saturday Night Live."
Oh dear. Oh my.
This time, many conservatives just want the wall built. Trump has not always been pro-life and pro-guns, but he is now and that is what counts. He also is unapologetically politically incorrect, to the point of being rude, but being polite has not gotten conservatives a damned thing. Trump is bringing Democrats, independents and unregistered people into the party. Losing just to meet some conservative purity test is a luxury Republicans no longer can afford.
Washington conservatives -- Cable News Conservatives -- overlook the fundamental principle of conservativism, and that is giving everyone the same opportunity. America is best when she is a capitalistic society that builds railroads and industry. The idea that only career politicians are qualified to hold public office is not conservative.
But this year's election is not about conservativism or liberalism. The survival of the nation is. It's not about entitlements or foreign policy or balancing the budget. It is about protecting the borders. We are reduced to that basic an issue because Washington has failed to protect the nation from two simultaneous invasions. Trump's response to Muslim terrorism in San Bernardino led to a chorus of clucked tongues on cable TV, but the people watching at home cheered.
American Lives Matter.
Trump is forming a third party. It is called the Republican Party. His plan is to have his coalition of conservatives, moderates and liberals take over the party. If he wins and Will and the National Review don't like it, too damned bad. They had their chance for 28 years after Reagan departed. They blew it. Maybe Karl Rove can milk a few million more from the trust fund saps and form a third party. Call it the Milk Party, and use a cash cow as a mascot.
Now about the pinup. George Will is not attractive. I'd rather look at an attractive girl. Sorry.
How stupid and vicious do they think we are? That's a question that I think explains a lot of things about politics and society today — and about this year's unpredictable presidential race.
The "we" in that question are ordinary citizens and the "they" are political and media elites who hold them in contempt. Which they do over and over again by trying to obfuscate and cover up the source and motives of terrorist attacks.
Barack Obama, who refuses to use phrases akin to "Islamist terrorism," is a prime offender, but far from the only one. His predecessor George W. Bush, after the attacks of September 11, made a point of visiting mosques and calling Islam a religion of peace.
Undoubtedly he then feared that many Americans would attack and assault Muslims, real or perceived, and a very few such attacks occurred. But government statistics count far fewer "hate crimes" against Muslims than against Jews.
Nonetheless Obama still behaves as if any suggestion that terrorists shouting "Allahu akbar!" has something to do with Islam will spark massacres and persecution across the country. The American people are seen as a great beast, incapable of reason or cool judgment. Stupid and vicious.
So they must be reminded that they are not morally superior to terrorists. At a national prayer breakfast, Obama felt obliged to remind Americans that Christians attacked Muslims — in the Crusades, 800 years ago.
Others have followed his example. In a press conference earlier this month Philadelphia police officials described how a Muslim dressed in a white religious robe fired multiple rounds at a police officer, "in the name of Islam," as he said after his arrest. You could see it on videotape.
At which point Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney proclaimed, "In no way, shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you've seen on the screen."
How stupid and vicious does he think we are?
Actually, it's not that hard for ordinary people to keep in mind two different ideas that the elites think they'll find confusing — that most terrorists these days are Muslims, and that most Muslims are not terrorists. We keep similar things in mind every day. For example, we notice that most dangerously aggressive drivers are men, but also that most men are not dangerously aggressive drivers.
Still, dangerous drivers are dangerous. Americans are tired of hearing "Islam is a religion of peace" when for an uncomfortably large minority of Muslims these days it's the opposite. So they have been flocking to Donald Trump when he calls for barring all Muslims from entering the U.S. And conservatives who in another year would upbraid Trump for flunking multiple litmus tests are defending him because he dares to utter forbidden truths.
Americans may be noticing as well how far political correctness has gone in Europe, especially Germany. European and American elites praised Chancellor Angela Merkel for promising to take in 1 million mostly Muslim, mostly male refugees. Why can't America be so generous?
But ordinary people, there and here, have seen how police, municipal and national officials have covered up migrants' behavior on New Year's. Even mass assaults on women in Cologne and other cities, and how print and broadcast media eagerly cooperated. Cellphone cameras told the story which elite media wanted to ignore.
It's a story, as even some Americans notice, that shows the underside of a European multiculturalism that insists that all cultures are morally equal, except ours, which is worse. The result is that authorities don't demand that Muslims respect the rights of women and gays, as in Rotherham, England, where they allowed immigrants to degrade 1,400 women for a decade, lest they be called racist.
Ordinary people can see, when elites allow them to see, that this gets things upside down. Human rights, toleration of those who are different, safety for those who exercise freedom of expression — these are products of the West, not the rest.
The hard question is how far tolerant societies should tolerate the intolerant. Societies value freedom of expression, but not when those include freedom to assault and kill. Societies are ready to welcome others, but not those whose values are discordant with the freedoms they strive to uphold.
Ordinary Americans, I think, have a better sense of how to get these questions right, without dissolving into irrational hatred, than the elites who look down on them as stupid and vicious.