Mary Landrieu’s Keystone Lifeline

Harry Reid’s gambit to deny Republicans a 54th Senate seat.

Elections have consequences, as President Obama said in his glory days, and barely a week later the losing Senate Democrats have already broken their line against the Keystone XL pipeline. Call it the Save Mary Landrieu Act of 2014.

The Louisiana Democrat faces a Senate runoff next month against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, and, lo, Majority Leader Harry Reid has suddenly allowed a vote on legislation she proposed with North Dakota Republican John Hoeven earlier this year that Mr. Reid blocked. The idea is to give her a show of political independence from Mr. Obama, who is about as popular in the Pelican State as BP .

You have to admire this transparent show of low political principle, especially because it clearly betrays that Mr. Reid has been the real obstacle to passing pro-growth, bipartisan legislation for the last four years. Ms. Landrieu couldn’t get Harry to move for ages, but now that Republicans will soon take charge her comrades will do anything to prevent the GOP from getting a 54th Senate seat.

The House has already voted eight times to authorize building the Keystone XL, which would open a new avenue for crude oil from Canada and the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico coast. The House plans to vote again on Friday to pass the latest version sponsored by Mr. Cassidy, which is roughly the same as the Senate bill.

President Obama has refused for six years to sign off on the pipeline, which his own State Department has estimated would create some 42,100 jobs and concluded would not significantly increase carbon emissions. State has completed five environmental reports confirming the null carbon hypothesis.

The Church of England Chooses Extremist Islam by Samuel Westrop

It is troubling that the first non-Christian to address the Church of England synod can be linked to extreme Islamist networks. By inviting Fuad Nahdi, the Church is lending credence to the notion that only radical Islamism can represent British Islam. What hope, then, for those genuine moderates within Britain’s Muslim community?

A British Muslim activist is to speak before the Church of England’s general synod on November 18 — the first time a non-Christian has addressed the assembly.

Counter-extremism campaigners, however, have expressed disappointment that the Church would choose an activist accused of connections with extremist groups.

Fuad Nahdi, director of the British Islamic organization Radical Middle Way [RMW], has a long history of working with activists and groups tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, described by the former head of the MI6 as being, “at heart, a terrorist organization;” and Jamaat-e-Islami, the Brotherhood’s South Asian cousin, responsible for acts of genocide during Bangladesh’s 1971 Independence war.

Sydney Williams: “The Internet – A Regulated Utility?”

On Monday, President Obama spoke in favor of net neutrality. He said, somewhat disingenuously, that keeping a “free and open” internet is critical to Americans. That’s basically what we have and it’s what we would like to keep. What Mr. Obama wants to do, however, is impose a ban on all paid prioritizations – that there would be no “slow” and “fast” lanes, just one lane, and that ISPs would no longer have the right to charge content providers for faster access. A problem: once the camel that is regulation gets its nose under the tent, the rest is sure to follow.

Net neutrality, according to its advocates, means that access to the internet will always be equal. Internet service providers – usually cable, telephone, wireless and some municipal companies – have the ability to speed up or slow down access. For example, large content providers like Netflix and Google that stream large amounts of data can hog bandwidth, so have been charged higher fees. ISPs claim such fees are necessary to pay for the technology that permits faster access for those with large levels of compressed data. Content providers claim they are being gouged. In Europe, cable and telephone companies, as noted in an editorial in yesterday’s Financial Times, compete with other ISPs; thereby providing choices. That is less true in the U.S.

Those supporting net neutrality comprise an odd mixture from companies from Netflix, YouTube, Google and Skype to consumer advocacy groups, from President Obama to those favoring free speech. Those against it are the service providers like Comcast, Time Warner, ATT and Verizon and people who worry about the unintended consequences of government intervention into a business that has worked remarkably well for twenty-five years.

Large bandwidth users, like those enumerated above, argue that service providers are deliberately slowing up data from popular websites, so they can charge more. In addition, the argument is made that higher access fees retard the development of new businesses, which cannot afford the higher costs, so would be uncompetitive because of slower access.

Mr. Obama suggested that cable, telephone and wireless broadband networks be considered common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which would classify them as public utilities. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) was created in 1934 to regulate the telephone and telegraph industries. Using an 80-year old agency to regulate a 21st Century industry seems odd, but, then, this is government. The FCC is an independent commission. It does not report directly to the President; however its five commissioners are appointed by the President. The chairman Tom Wheeler was appointed a year ago and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. The Agency is dependent on Congress, which controls its budget and makes the laws under which it operates. Efforts to enact net neutrality over the past decade have failed, but this is the first time the President has leapt into the breach.


The Midterms’ Immigration Lesson
Last week’s election results proved that open-borders advocates have become reactionaries.

Everyone finds a lesson in the Republican midterm tsunami.

One message was that so-called comprehensive immigration reform and broad amnesty have little national public support. Polls have long shown that, but so do last week’s election results.

Candidates in swing states who promised amnesties got no edge from such opportunistic posturing.

Candidates who pandered to identity groups and played the ethnic card lost in most cases.

Voters in liberal Oregon overwhelmingly rejected driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

In reaction, President Obama sulked, threatening to quickly push through an unpopular amnesty by executive order. Obama apparently knows that he enjoys neither public nor congressional support for his planned executive fiat.

In an increasingly multiracial society, voters — including many Mexican Americans — see mostly illogic, hypocrisy, and chaos in the present relaxed immigration policy of the partisan-minded Obama administration. They grow weary of identity politics that privilege some immigrant groups over others based on no definable, much less consistent, logic.

Voters assume that liberal-elite advocates of open borders who mock finishing the border fence still count on the fences around their own estates — whether Hollywood grandees, the former mayor of Los Angeles, or the president of the United States.


Calling Me Stupid
No, in hindsight, that’s what the arrogance of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was.

The arrogant remarks of Obamacare architect and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber should come as no surprise. He called the American people “stupid” and said that passage of the law relied on its “lack of transparency,” which enabled it to slide through Congress and onto the public’s lap. Arrogance and condescension have too often characterized the attitudes of the current administration and their proponents. But the fact is, the American public is not stupid when it comes to Obamacare, and they are not deceived. Understanding this clunker and not liking it is precisely why this law has never been popular.

A health-care tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation for this July showed that more than 50 percent of Americans viewed the Affordable Care Act unfavorably, the fifth time since the bill’s passage that more than half of Americans polled by Kaiser were found to be against the health-care law.

Americans know that having health insurance doesn’t automatically mean access to care. Trust me, patients were wary of the state exchanges long before they began to flounder and seize. The days of my patients proudly showing their shiny new insurance cards and demanding instant service are long gone. There isn’t a patient out in my waiting room these days who isn’t familiar with the red tape of denied tests, unobtainable referrals, narrow doctor networks. The problem preexisted Obamacare, but the Affordable Care Act made it worse, as most Americans knew it would.

Gruber bragged that the Cadillac tax that was levied on the top employer insurance policies (instead of repealing the tax advantage) led to higher premiums, as if the public wasn’t aware that the insurance companies would immediately transfer these costs to consumers. Employers and employees everywhere are miserable under the chafing impact of Obamacare, but employers anticipated this, and it is one of the reasons that there is a rise in part-time workers who don’t qualify for these policies.


Obama’s Bogus Climate Deal with China
Economic factors will make the Chinese ignore it, and should do the same for the U.S.

When the United States and China announced a surprise carbon-emissions deal, the environmental Left squealed in delight. Al Gore declared it “groundbreaking progress from the world’s largest polluter” (i.e., China), while John Kerry patted himself on the back in the New York Times, gushing about how “the world’s most consequential relationship has just produced something of great consequence in the fight against climate change.”

Despite the extraordinary fanfare, there’s abundant reason for skepticism. Though the announcement is politically expedient for both Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, China almost certainly won’t take significant steps to reduce carbon emissions.

That’s because the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist party’s government rests squarely on economic development. Energy — often produced by dirty coal — allows that economic development to occur, lifting millions out of hand-to-mouth poverty.

But China remains a developing country, and it will stay that way for quite some time. In 2010, the World Bank estimated that more than one Chinese person in five survives on less than $2 a day, using 2005 international prices. And just a few months ago, Chinese premier Li Keqiang estimated that 200 million Chinese continue to live on $1.25 a day or less.


Promoting Affordable Healthcare while Fighting ObamaCare

Access to affordable and quality healthcare is an extremely important issue to Alaskans, and it is critical for policy makers to achieve that goal. At the same time, we must revive our national economy and rein in the trillions of dollars of deficits that the Obama Administration has run over the past five years.

President Obama and Senator Begich have fundamentally changed the American healthcare system for the worse through ObamaCare. Now, as a result of Begich’s decision to cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare, Alaskans are losing their healthcare and facing skyrocketing premiums.

ObamaCare spends trillions of dollars we don’t have, while commandeering one-sixth of our nation’s economy. It also hurts Alaskans by raising taxes on them, escalating insurance premiums, forcing employers to drop coverage and putting the government in between them and their doctor.

As Alaska’s Attorney General, Dan sued to stop ObamaCare. He will continue that fight as your U.S. Senator. It is time to repeal and replace ObamaCare and empower Alaskans to make their own healthcare decisions, not the federal government.

Promoting Responsible Development of Alaska’s Resources

Given Alaska’s world-class resource base and strategic global location, our natural resource potential can lead America into a new era of economic prosperity. As Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, Dan defended the state’s economic interests and worked with the private sector to maximize Alaska’s full economic potential. His work has focused on getting big things done for Alaska, and when necessary, aggressively fighting back against those who try to shutdown or delay economic opportunities for our citizens. We must take a proactive, results-based strategy to Washington by tackling energy issues at the federal level and capitalizing on the enormous opportunity for development here in Alaska and throughout the rest of the country.

Promoting Alaska’s Arctic

The United States is an Arctic nation because of Alaska. Therefore, the state should be at the forefront of shaping Arctic policy. Instead, the Obama Administration has too often left Alaska out of federal decisions affecting its lands and its people.As Alaska’s Attorney General and Commissioner of Natural Resources, Dan fought to get Alaska a seat at the table, consistently reminding the Obama Administration that with regard to the Arctic, Alaska is the other sovereign at the table, not just another stakeholder. And as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, Economics and Business, he worked to promote the nation’s role in the Arctic – from both an energy and national security perspective – on the international stage.Responsibly developing our Arctic resources will promote our nation’s interests by securing a politically stable, long-term supply of domestic energy; boosting U.S. economic growth and jobs; reducing the federal trade deficit; and strengthening our global leadership on energy issues.

Fighting the Obama Administration’s Overreach into Our Lives and Economy

As both Alaska’s Attorney General and as Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, Dan has fought the Obama Administration’s dramatic expansion of the federal government into our lives.

The President Obama-Mark Begich agenda undermines Alaska and America’s future. Dan will make rolling back their agenda his number one priority as Alaska’s U.S. Senator.

Many talk about fighting the Obama Administration, but Dan has been in the arena taking action against this unprecedented overreach.

From taking Alaska’s fight against ObamaCare to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenging the abusive authority of the Environmental Protection Agency, Dan has fought the Obama Administration every step of the way. Remember, the states created the federal government, not vice versa.

Cutting Red Tape

Strong economic growth begins with reducing bureaucratic red tape, which is having crippling effects on job growth and small businesses across the country.Overregulation is an issue that affects Alaskans and Americans every day, particularly in regard to permitting for responsible resource development projects, both small and large. Investors eyeing projects in Alaska and the Lower 48 hesitate to get involved because of the high risk for permitting delays and litigation. And when the Obama Administration discourages those investments and jobs through regulatory burdens, energy and mineral investment opportunities are lost to nations with substandard environmental regulations.

As Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, Dan instituted a comprehensive strategy to reduce red tape and make the state’s permitting system more efficient, timely and certain. As a result, his department reduced a backlog of 2,500 state permits by 40 percent. The Alaska Legislature also passed numerous statutory changes to further improve the state’s permitting system while protecting the environment. This kind of leadership and experience in cutting red tape is needed in Washington.


Republican Dan Sullivan was picking a transition team an hour after the Associated Press today declared him the winner of the U.S. Senate election in Alaska.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be chosen by my fellow Alaskans to serve them in the United States Senate. From day one we told our supporters that we would run a campaign that Alaskans could be proud of and that’s what we did. But we couldn’t do it alone and Julie and I are so grateful for the incredible support and encouragement we received from Alaskans in every corner of our state,” Sullivan said in a statement on his Facebook page.

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), on the other hand, displayed the resolve of a born-and-bred Alaskan waiting for the spring thaw as he refused to concede the election.

Begich campaign spokesman Max Croes said the first-term senator would not concede until all outstanding ballots had been counted.

“Tens of thousands of votes remain uncounted, and those Alaskans deserve for their voices to be heard,” Croes said in a statement, reported by [1].

Alaska elections workers, meanwhile, continued to count ballots.

And, oh yes, Alaska is still waiting to find out who its next governor will be.

Sullivan defeated [2] Begich 48.8 percent to 45.4 percent. The gap is 7,911 votes.

However, votes cast at precincts in Alaska are only part of the equation.

Mahmoud Abbas’s ‘Run Them Over’ Intifada P. David Hornik ****

“Run [them] over, destroy,
annihilate, blow them up;‎

Don’t let the Zionist live long

O Al-Aqsa, we’re your defenders
O son of Jerusalem, cry ‘Allah is great!’”

‎“Wait for them at the intersection
Let the settler drown in red blood
Terrorize them”‎

Those quotes are from Palestinian Media Watch’s translation [1] of a song that is now a big hit among Palestinians. PMW notes that:

One video version of the song “Run over [the settler]!” ‎by singers Muhammad Abu Al-Kayed and Anas Jaradat has more than ‎‎385,000 viewings on the “Quds News Network” Facebook page. On one of the singers’ ‎YouTube channel the song has more than 71,000 viewings.‎

What has evoked this enthusiasm is a spate of murderous Palestinian attacks on Israelis over the past few weeks. The fatalities have been a three-month-old Israeli girl [2] and a 22-year-old Ecuadorian woman [3], both killed in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem; a 38-year-old Israeli Druze border patrol captain [4] killed in another car-ramming attack in Jerusalem; a 20-year-old off-duty Israeli soldier [5] stabbed to death in Tel Aviv on Monday; and a 26-year-old Israeli woman [6] stabbed to death beside a Judea community that same day.

‘Climate Change’ in the Land of Gruber/Obama Posted By Roger L Simon

Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “distressed [1]” by the new deal on “climate change” (née ”global warming”) made between China and the U.S. on Obama’s trip to Beijing.

I know McConnell is from Kentucky and takes energy policy seriously, but he should relax. There’s about as much chance of this agreement being honored as I have winning next year’s Derby… as the horse. The reason is so simple I will abandon propriety and put it in caps: NO ONE BELIEVES IT!

And there are so many reasons for that I could fill several posts but I’ll give just a few. You can add more.

1. Most Americans don’t think Obama tells the truth about anything, let alone something as controversial as climate. They just made that clear by voting him down in about 237 elections, if you believe Obama’s own assertion that his own policies were on trial.

2. No one really knows if “climate change” exists or, if it does, whether its danger is remotely worth the money to correct it, although we do know that “global warming” has not occurred for eighteen years and counting and there is, if anything, global cooling with record lows being set everywhere, the Antarctic ice cap also at record levels, etc. (Yes, yes, climate is not weather, blablabla. Climate is… anything you want to say it is.)

3. Anyone who still believes in “climate change” is likely to be: a. a profiteer (like the financial wizards who put together those “carbon exchanges” a few years back, making off with billions before they went belly up), b. a scientist looking for a handout, c. a bureaucrat or official of a Third World country looking for a handout, d. an official of the UN (virtually the same as c), e. a moral narcissist, preferably rich, who thinks he knows better than us idiots, scientific training not required (cf. Tom Steyer, this year’s George Soros wannabe), f. a true-believing liberal camp follower of the sort that doesn’t care when Nancy Pelosi says you have to pass Obamacare in order to know what’s in it (this is the largest group), or g. a journalist blinded by panic about losing their job if they dare to tell even part of the truth or wander off the reservation.