Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cuba to drill off Key West, FL; We provide free cell phones to the "poor"; Insurance companie balk at new government mandate and precedent; Commisar Sebelius "shall", "may", and "determines"; School children exploited; Trash into fuel?; UN forecasts on climate change overstated and supported by weak science

Resourceful Earth reports: Cuba’s ambition to drill has caused Florida to make way for offshore drilling by Spanish company Repsol just miles away from its shoreline.  Cuba has signed lease agreements for offshore drilling blocks with six nations in the North Cuba Basin, a body of water within the Cuban Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that is believed to be at least 4.6 billion barrels rich in crude oil.  Five of the six companies are owned by foreign countries: India, Venezuela, Malaysia, Vietnam and Angola.  Repsol is the single private company and will drill one exploratory well about 55 to 60 miles south of Key West, Florida called the Jaguey Prospect in the North Cuba Basin.
However, the powerlessness of the U.S. illustrated by this scenario is both unnecessary and ironic. In 2010, President Obama introduced a plan for drilling to take place 125 miles from Florida’s Gulf coastline.  Only weeks later, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill occurred, changing the course of oil exploration with a moratorium on offshore drilling.  Now Cuba, a country which we have cut nearly all relations with, is facilitating offshore drilling closer to U.S. borders than the U.S. allows itself to drill.
The Conservative Tree House reports: Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. The program, overseen by the FCC and intended to help low-income Americans, is popular for obvious reasons, with participation rising steeply since 2008, when the government paid $772 million for phones and monthly bills. But observers complain that the program suffers from poor oversight, in which phones go to people who don’t qualify, and hundreds of thousands of those who do qualify have more than one phone.
Life Site News reports: The White House announced today that, instead of forcing religious employers to pay for birth control, it will force insurance companies to offer the drugs free of charge to all women, no matter where they work.
The plan, put forward as a concession to freedom of religion, was immediately denounced by Catholic Rep. Chris Smith as fundamentally the exact same mandate.
“The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else,” said Smith. “It remains a serious violation of religious freedom. Only the most naive or gullible would accept this as a change in policy.”
“The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction,” Smith continued. “It states, for example, that religious employers ‘will not’ have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their ‘insurance companies’ will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer.”
Yahoo reports: President Barack Obama's compromise on free birth control coverage left health insurers stuck with the bill, sparking worries over the precedent set by the new policy. Providing free birth control is not expected to hurt profits for the multibillion dollar insurance industry. But insurance companies questioned the principle of making them pay for coverage with no clear way to recoup the expense.
Employers who have signed on for such health plans in the past paid part of the cost of birth control prescriptions, while their employees also bore some expense through co-payments.
An Obama administration official said the new policy would not allow health insurers to increase their premiums, charge co-payments or deductibles to make up for the cost of contraceptives.

Health Insurance Industry OK With ObamaCare As Long As There's a Mandate to Purchase Health Insurance


As Mark Steyn notes: None of this should come as a surprise. As Philip Klein pointed out in the American Spectator two years ago, the Obamacare bill contained 700 references to the Secretary "shall," another 200 to the Secretary "may," and 139 to the Secretary "determines." So the Secretary may and shall determine pretty much anything she wants, as the Obamaphile rubes among the Catholic hierarchy are belatedly discovering. His Majesty King Barack "shall have full power and authority to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, restrain and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts and enormities whatsoever they be." In my latest book, I cite my personal favorite among the epic sweep of Commissar Sebelius' jurisdictional authority:

"Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment," Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post offered to Chris Matthews on MSNBC. 

The bigger the Big Government, the smaller everything else: First, other pillars of civil society are crowded out of the public space; then, the individual gets crowded out, even in his most private, tooth-level space. President Obama, Commissar Sebelius and many others believe in one-size-fits all national government – uniformity, conformity, supremacy from Maine to Hawaii, for all but favored cronies. It is a doomed experiment – and on the morning after it will take a lot more than a morning-after pill to make it all go away.


Michigan Capitol Confidential reports:  [It was just a few days ago that I posted the fact that the Michigan Education Association has distributed information on how to use students for propaganda.  Here it is  - in action, the exploitation and indoctrination of our children.] Third through fifth graders at an elementary school in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District were assigned by at least one teacher this week to write letters to Gov. Rick Snyder saying how unhappy they were with his budget cuts, the school district confirmed Thursday.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- writes: Not all the trash arriving at Columbia Ridge has ended up buried. On the southwest side of the landfill, bus-sized containers of gas connect to ribbons of piping, which run into a building that looks like an airplane hangar with a loading dock. Here, dump trucks also offload refuse. This trash, however, is destined for a special kind of treatment—one that could redefine how we think about trash.  In an era when it’s getting more and more confusing to determine where to toss your paper coffee cup—compost? recycle? trash? arrrgh!—and when no one seems to have a viable solution to the problem of humanity’s ever-expanding rubbish pile, this plant represents a step toward radical simplification. It uses plasma gasification, a technology that turns trash into a fuel without producing emissions. In other words: a guilt-free solution to our waste problems.
Spiegel International asks: Will reduced solar activity counteract global warming in the coming decades? That is what outgoing German electric utility executive Fritz Vahrenholt claims in a new book. In an interview with SPIEGEL, he argues that the official United Nations forecasts on the severity of climate change are overstated and supported by weak science.,1518,813814,00.html


1 comment:

  1. I am so outraged by this crap pile of an administration, I just don't know where to start with comments...I despise what HE is doing in every field of endeavor...not allowing us to drill for oil but foreign countries can closer to our shores than we would (ever?) be able to do...and, the shameful game HE is playing with our first amendment rights re: forcing insurance companies to pay for contraceptives, etc. This will only end when HE and his gang our out of office !!