Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wait, Isn't This Good News?

This has been a confusing few weeks since the proverbial 'Climate Gate' news hit the mainstream media. The science is in and apparently it's corrupted data that shows danger and a global warming crisis. Or is it? There are scientists on both sides of this debate. I'd certainly like to see some collaboration on the research and open debate on some of the data and details.

A much more simple and fundamental question comes to mind when I step back and think about this... Shouldn't we be happy to hear that there's a possibility that humans aren't destroying the earth? I heard this concept thrown out there as a casual comment on conservative talk radio Friday. At first, I didn't think much of it. Then it struck me - this is great news! It's not conclusive that we are all rapidly melting, or is it freezing... I don't remember. Either way, it appears that we've got enough time now to figure things out! Fantastic!

Or is it too late for some things? Emission regulations (second only to union labor) have contributed to the dismantling and destruction of the U.S. automotive industry. Billions of dollars (wait, is it billions or trillions? Doh, I've gone cross eyed)  have been spent and more money promised to 'green' things up around the world. Shouldn't we make sure it's true before we go further? Shouldn't we be sure before we outlaw coal and energy sources that are less expensive and more reliable than wind and solar sources? More importantly, shouldn't we be absolutely sure the scientists are being 'scientific' and 'truthful' before we write them blank checks for designing a blueprint for future energy policy?

Isn't it confusing to see these folks upset at the concept that we may not be destroying the earth as fast as many thought? I mean, how can we be anything but elated to hear it? Come on, this does not help the case of the alleged email perpetrators, does it? The fact that they seem to want this stuff to be true - it just doesn't make sense - unless... could it be the money? No, surely not that. Can we ask these guys this stuff? What exactly happens if they are exposed or proven wrong? Isn't that good news for the industrialized world and economies we live in? Let's figure it out, I'd like to know what and who to believe.

Though I'm not a scientist, I remember a couple facts from biology. Humans breath Oxygen and exhale Carbon Dioxide. Plants on the other hand 'breathe' or use Carbon Dioxide for photosynthesis and emit Oxygen. If plants are good for us, and CO2 is good for them, how can it be a pollutant like the EPA declared? God designed a pretty good symbiotic relationship here, and I have a feeling he knew the capabilities and future of mankind. We'll find out, one way or another, we'll find out the truth!

Watch out, you emit CO2! Do we fall under the regulatory power of the EPA now?

Collin Hedegard

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do Americans Need a 'Recycle Bin' for Politicians?

Alright, as the news feeds roll past my eye and debate presses on, we have to ask ourselves "What is going on with politicians these days?!?" Reid proclaims late last night that his caucus has reached an important compromise, and they cannot disclose the details! Why not? Why are laws being written with lobbyists and no public disclosure? This is nothing like what we were told during the campaign. The American public should demand some explanations!

Regardless of your views or political affiliation, it is tough to like any politician right now. On one hand there is a Democratic Party that campaigned on reforming political behavior, transparency, and middle ground - of which they are not delivering anything other than partisan and exclusive progress of a left and radical agenda. On the other hand there is a leaderless and seemingly week GOP trying to slow the Liberal momentum. Further, the middle ground and 'undecided' folks are just frustrated and confused.

Maybe it's time to move all these politicians into the 'Recycle Bin' and try some new ideas! Personally, I'd like to see someone brave enough to do what he or she believes to be right and risk getting kicked off the congressional gravy train. I expect they'll discover a constituency that respects them and will support them, even if they don't agree 100%. It's sickening to see someone compromise their views for the sake of re-election. It's also disgusting that guys like Byrd and Specter have been on the Hill for decades - have they provided a genuine or unique idea in recent history? How good is this job that they will switch parties and opinions to stay in the seats?

As you may deduce from this opinion, I'm a huge proponent of limiting terms for both bodies of Congress. It's just practical and smart to demand an influx of new ideas, concepts, and personalities into any organization. Granted, elder members provide a conservative wisdom that can't be matched. However, there's no argument that today's youth are more innovative and intelligent than ever before. Maybe the voting public will chose the wise crowd, maybe not. The beauty of many successful endeavors is balance, and it is my opinion that Congress would benefit from ideas and innovation. The voters should have the opportunity to bring in some fresh meat and see what they can do!

Collin Hedegard

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stimulus and TARP - Giant 2010 Campaign Funds?

Reports this week indicated that over 60% of the Stimulus money had not been spent as of now. Additionally, there's about a quarter trillion left in TARP. Here's a 'stimulating' question for the Administration:

Why has the extremely urgent stimulus bill money not been spent urgently?

Now, I'm sure that even 10 months is enough time to cut through some serious red tape. I'm also sure the post office isn't that slow. So, why would the government hold on to this 'critical' money when we were being held over a dark abyss by a 'stimulus' thread?

Howard Dean answered this question for us. Permanent Campaign mode is in full effect. That's right, the Democratic Party Strategy is to use legislation and policy to provide ongoing support to it's own campaign efforts. Dean's idea was exposed on video released earlier this week on Fox.

What does that mean? Well, quite simply the majority of the stimulus money will be spent in 2010, and likely with a concentration of spending in districts where Democratic Congress Members are in tough races. Let's just watch and see how this unfolds next year. Won't it be convenient for struggling politicians to be able to say, "Look, I am responsible for this project and these jobs. I fought for them to be in the stimulus, and here they are!"

So, isn't it good that the money creates jobs? Yes, but ask the right question: Would those people liked to have gone to work in 2009? Could the projects have been funded and begun a year earlier? If this is true, then many of us are struggling for an extra year so the timing can be just so... That's truly sad.

Let's close with another series of questions for you the reader or skeptic;
Did you get the impression that it was extremely urgent in January 2009 that the Stimulus Bill get passed?
Should the governments efforts to spend money and create jobs happen as fast as possible, especially in a time of crisis as they claimed?

Here's a deeper question... Should campaign contribution reform be looked at immediately after the unemployment crisis is addressed and include the elimination of such a potential plot?

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think!