Framing the Dialogue

News Briefs – Volume XXI

News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories…

Brief 1:  Let’s call this one “Corn For Clunkers.”  Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency(:EPA”)  is looking out for you or so they claim, but they are not as in tune with what’s good for your car.  EPA has approved the sale of an ethanol/gasoline mix containing up to 15% of the corn-based ethanol.  The only problem is that this mix would be very harmful to engines manufactured before 2007 (that’s two out of three vehicles in our household).  Will someone explain what law gives the EPA the authority to approve/push consumer products?  A group of auto manufacturers and engine makers has filed suit against EPA

Brief 2:  In a related story, climate guru Al Gore has decided to not support corn-based ethanol after he supported it,

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol  First generation ethanol, I think, was a mistake.  The energy conversion ratios are at best very small. It’s hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.  I do think second and third generation that don’t compete with food prices will play an increasing role, certainly with aviation fuels,”  [emphasis added]

The major point that he made even though it wasn’t the point of the article was that it is hard to get rid of a program once it is started.  That is true of ANY government program, subsidy, tax break, etc.  Gore made the remarks at a forum in Greece and the story was not widely promoted in the United States. 

Brief 3:  Is it any wonder that our schools put out students that are not capable of succeeding in the real world?  The principal from a school in Massachusetts recently a permission slip home explaining why they were going to start reciting the Pledge of Allegience before the start of school and to have the parents give their permission for their children to participate’

“Under our Constitution, neither teachers nor students can be mandated to participate in this exercise. This is each person’s personal choice. I urge you to have a conversation as a family to help your children understand why I will be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and to support them in feeling comfortable and confident in the decision on whether or not to participate.  Whatever decision you and your child make will be fully respected. Please fill out the section below and return to your child’s homeroom teacher. I anticipate that we will begin recitation of the Pledge after the New Year.”

I think that the real reason to recite the Pledge of Allegience is that we live in the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands.  There are plenty of countries where this particular pledge is not given each day and you are more than welcome to transfer your residence there.


Pittsburgh Steeler great - dobre shunka

Brief 4:  In what is perhaps a glimpse into our not too distant future, a student’s parents in Spain have complained because a geography teachers repeatedly used the word “ham when describing ham.  The Muslim child found the word “ham” offensive and complained.  The good news is that a judge recognized the farce and threw out the case which probably would not be the case in the American judicial system. 

Brief 5:  Some folks in Germany are not feeling the love of Obama stating in Spiegel Online that,

“Barack Obama was the biggest loser of 2010. He allowed the angry Tea Party movement to grow powerful, he did not pass any decent laws despite his majority in Congress and he was aloof, elitist and indecisive. He had to accept a formidable, yet entirely understandable, defeat in the midterm elections as a result. No one expected much from Obama, at least not during the rest of this year.”

Those of us on the right (and in the right) feel that Obama is the biggest loser of the decade, but he still had far too many wins.  Perhaps 2011 the ‘biggest loser” prize will be named in honor of Obama as the new Congress will put the halts on Obama’s agenda.  Obama should not be too depressed as there are still plenty of RINOs out there waiting to cross the aisle.

Brief Bonus:  It’s hard to ignore the laudatory nature of the lame-stream media’s relationship with the Obama White House.  Perhaps an example of the most eggregious is their now calling him the “comeback kid” because of his recent string of legislative victories.   I do belive that in order to come back you had to have been down and while he took his party to new depths during the most recent elections, he Democrat party still had control of both houses of Congress.  We’ll see if the comeback kids can really comeback after the 112th Congress is sworn in on January 3.  With Republicans controlling the House and a more tenuous Democrat-controlled Senate this promises to set the stage for Obama the “whiny kid” as his progressive agenda hits the skids…hopefully.  As we have just witness with the passage of a number of Obama’s policies, Republicans have a way of seizing defeat from teh jaws of victory.

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