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Obamacare couldn’t possibly derail this…

Good news for Western Pennsylvania:

Medical Device Manufacturer Selects W. PA for New Plant

A fast-growing manufacturer of components for medical devices and surgical instruments is expanding its business with a new operation in Cranberry.

Cadence Inc., based in Staunton, Va., said it will build a “clean-room” assembly area in leased space in the Cranberry Business Park.

The facility is expected to open during the first quarter next year and eventually employ about 60 workers. With special air-handling equipment and procedures, a clean room is used to assemble and package sterilized medical equipment.

“Pittsburgh was chosen for Cadence’s newest facility because of the availability of employees with specialized medical device knowledge and experience,” the privately held contract-manufacturing company said in a statement.

That’s nice to hear. I sure hope the Obamacare surtax on medical devices doesn’t kill this company before they get a chance to create some jobs.

Obamacare: bending the cost employment curve down.

November 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm Comments (0)

Global Warming Math Does Not Add Up

It’s actually a relief to be writing about something else besides the election. Like the ongoing destruction of Western Civilization at the hands of hardcore socialists in the name of environmentalism.

Watermelons, people. Green on the outside, red on the inside.

Bill McKibben is a journalist and writer who essentially makes his living off of environmental activism. He is a darling of the enviro-left who has made a name for himself as a global warming alarmist climate change activist and has most recently become the head crusader against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Why should you care? Because his latest project is called “Do the Math” which is a nationwide tour of liberal cities and college towns where he pushes the “certainty” of climate change based on a handful of factoids which vastly oversimplify the issue. The upshot of all this is that if we don’t do something NOW! NOW! NOW! the world will burn, and, of course, evil capitalist Americans will be to blame.

The problem is that McKibben isn’t telling the story. What McKibben doesn’t talk about for a general audience these days, since he started focusing more on activism for wide audiences, are the specific ways that this “math” will affect the ordinary Americans who show up to his rallies.

What does this mean, specifically, for McKibben’s audience? Back in 1998, he once illustrated what happens when we try to slash fossil fuels before an efficient alternative is ready:

Say, just for argument’s sake, that we decided to cut world fossil-fuel use by 60 percent—the amount that the UN panel says would stabilize world climate. And then say that we shared the remaining fossil fuel equally. Each human being would get to produce 1.69 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually—which would allow you to drive an average American car nine miles a day. By the time the population increased to 8.5 billion, in about 2025, you’d be down to six miles a day. If you carpooled, you’d have about three pounds of CO2 left in your daily ration—enough to run a highly efficient refrigerator. Forget your computer, your TV, your stereo, your stove, your dishwasher, your water heater, your microwave, your water pump, your clock. Forget your light bulbs, compact fluorescent or not.

Unless we can replace more than three quarters of America’s energy with something at least as efficient, all those other things in your life are going to get much more expensive, even unavailable. In case anyone in Pennsylvania has any illusions about what this means for them, here’s McKibben again:

[I]n a humbler world, transportation might well wither, as people began to live closer not only to their work but to their food supply. Oranges all year round—oranges at any season in the northern latitudes—might prove ambitious beyond our means, just as the tropics might have to learn to do without apples.

And if you look at McKibben’s older work, or when he’s talking to smaller audiences, he’ll tell you this poverty is part of the plan:

Since environmentalists cannot alleviate poverty by increasing the amount of goods, one would logically expect them to advocate a drastic redistribution of wealth. The environmentally sane standard of living for a population our current size would probably be somewhere between that of the average Englishman and the average Ethiopian […] But this sort of talk would erode what support environmental concerns enjoy among the privileged.

[…]

A humble path, in which the rich world meets the poor world halfway, seems to me to allow for far more justice than an ever-growing supply of air conditioners.

He wrote the two quotes above in The End of Nature in 1989, when Ethiopia’s per-capita GDP was under $250, and the UK’s was just over $15,000 – less than a third of current US levels. And that was the “sane” standard of living for 5 billion people; there are 7 billion of us today.

McKibben has gradually learned not to talk like that to the “privileged.” He doesn’t tell his larger audiences things like, “I don’t think everyone can live a middle class American lifestyle all over the world, including middle class Americans.” When he’s writing in Rolling Stone or speaking to a packed theater, he talks about far-away things like gigatons of CO2 and Big Oil.

Which brings me to the “Do The Math” action plan: disinvestment from fossil fuel companies. Of course, that doesn’t slow down foreign state-owned petroleum industries like Iran and Venezuela, but it does give them an advantage over private, publicly traded companies. But again, that’s a feature, not a bug, in McKibben’s eyes, because it’s those domestic companies that are standing in the way of his political strategy:

“The reason that it’s so great that we’re occupying Wall Street is because Wall Street has been occupying the atmosphere. That’s why we can never do anything about global warming. Exxon gets in the way. Goldman Sachs gets in the way. The whole fossil fuel industry gets in the way.

[...]

“The problem is 20 blocks south of here. That’s where the empire lives. And we’ve got to figure out how to tame it and make it work for this planet or not work at all.”

Keep all of this in mind as you watch a newly emboldened environmental movement, led by people like Bill McKibben, try to move public policy in a “green” direction. And the next time you start a criticism of environmentalism with the phrase, “They mean well, but…” remember that many of them do not mean well. They mean to set human development back centuries in the name of fairness with themselves, of course, the sole arbiters of what is “fair”.

November 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm Comment (1)

re: Perspective

Of course the constructive thing to do is take a deep breath and soldier on, … swinging pendulum or whatever.  The darker part of my psyche thinks that with this election we’re going to start seeing some of those irreparable consequences folks have been talking about, and that even if things swing back our way in four years there might not be much left for us to work with.

As for learning our lessons, I’m not holding my breath.  You’d have thought we would have learned something from Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle, but no.  And that’s not to pick on the Tea Party, because the Establishment ran losers too (-most notably, Mitt Romney).  Candidate quality is of utmost importance.

Since every other pundit in the universe has spun this election to fit his or her own pet Theory of Everything, I might as well too….

The winning formula that I have discussed at great length is to find a high quality conservative candidate who knows how to translate conservative ideas to non-ideological/moderate/middle voters.  We had pretty much the opposite of that in Mitt Romney, a mediocre candidate with a wobbly conservative history who had no chance of conveying conservative thoughts to moderate voters because he really didn’t understand them himself.  (This would be why I was for Pawlenty, self-professed “Sam’s Club Republican”.)

Agreed, Fred, we should entirely reject the notion that we must become Democrat-lite and either abandon or moderate every conservative position under the sun.  Everybody say it with me now — swing voters don’t vote on ideology.

The one policy exception I see is immigration.  I don’t like to play this card too often, but I’ll BLAME BUSH for screwing up the immigration issue.  The “comprehensive piece of sh*t” he cooked up was so bad that even notable immigration softie Bill Kristol didn’t like the bill.  That fight brought out the worst of people on both sides of the argument, and the real loser was the GOP –even after we nominated John McCain, king of comprehensive immigration reform.  Now Obama will get to be the guy who claims credit for delivering immigration reform — ironically after avoiding the issue in his first term, and while following a bizarre gun policy wherein a key element was that there would be a bunch of dead Mexicans.

Going forward, I’ll try to be as positive as possible.  Just understand that privately I’ll be shopping for miscellaneous firearms and lingering at Cabela’s.  And I am definitely interested in Fredistan.

November 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm Comments (0)

Perspective.

I don’t know if you’ve read any commentary about the 2012 elections recently–heaven knows it’s hard to find–but from what I can tell, the only chance that Republicans have of ever winning another election for anything anywhere is to immediately run to the left of Debbie Wasserman Schultz on everything.

Let’s all just take some Nyquil and listen.

Conservatives are textbook manic depressives. Remember on November 5 when we were going to win everything–White House, Senate–everything? Then November 7 came and we, reassured by all the pundits on the left and right, became convinced that, conservatism and the Republican Party were so discredited that all elected Republicans should just give up their seats to the nearest Democrat?

Apart from just being insane, that kind of thinking betrays a complete lack of perspective. In 2001, Karl Rove talked about a permanent Republican majority. In 2004 George Bush won 97 of the 100 fastest growing counties in the US. In 2006 and 2008 we had back-to-back Democrat waves which supposedly irrevocably altered American politics. That lasted until 2010 when Republicans picked up 63 seats in the US House and finished election night with 30 governorships. That has all happened in the last 11 years of the 236-year history of the Republic.

Politics is a constant state of ebb and flow. We need to learn our lessons from 2012 (e.g., don’t nominate idiots for the US Senate, even in red states), correct the mistakes we can (e.g., if you nominate an idiot for the US Senate, make him drop out at the soonest possible opportunity using whatever shameless and/or barely-ethical tactics are necessary), and get ready for 2014. Everything else is just navel-gazing, and it’s not productive.

Case in point: if you’re not familiar with Morton Blackwell, he’s a guy you should get to know. He’s been involved in conservative politics longer than many of us have been alive, and he has this to say about the election of 2012.

I had a very exciting time at the Republican National Convention. My conservative allies and I all worked very hard in the presidential election.

When I woke up the day after the election, everything I had worked for appeared to be in ruins. An extreme leftist had been reelected president of the United States.

Some liberal Republicans immediately began to blame newly activated conservatives for the presidential defeat. I knew they were wrong. It was clear to me that these newly active conservatives would be the key to major future victories for conservative principles.

The day was Wednesday, November 4, 1964.

Perspective.

Read the whole thing.

November 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm Comments (0)

Good Riddance Dave Levdansky

I’ve been meaning to blog about the rematch of Rick Saccone and Dave Levdansky in the 39th House District, but I haven’t had a lot of time. Also, around 10:00 last Tuesday night my soul was replaced by a gaping black void that sucked away my very will to exist. So you could say I mostly haven’t given a **** about anything except somehow forming my own breakaway republic. I’m calling it Fredistan. Email me a resume if you’re interested.

Anyhow, some of you may remember that I blogged extensively about Rick Saccone’s challenge to 13-term State Representative Dave Levdansky. In a nutshell, Levdansky managed to accomplish several feats during his tenure in the House. He established a pro-choice, pro-tax, anti-gun voting record in Harrisburg while convincing everyone back home in the Mon Valley that he was an A-OK Blue Collar Democrat Working Man of the People who Understood the Plight of the Little Guy. Dave has never had an actual job in the private sector, incidentally. Not only did he pull that off for 26 years, he managed to earn a reputation as a petulant classless bully while remaining an unremarkable back-bencher for almost his entire career in the House!.

In 2010, all of that came to an end when Rick Saccone, an actual conservative who has had numerous real jobs, beat him by 151 votes. Once the shock wore off, Dave attempted to get a real job, but had about as much success with that as he did on Election Day. Fortunately for Dave, he had a nice big fat taxpayer-funded pension to live off of so, you know, no pressure. Then, when the redistricting of the Pennsylvania Legislature was thrown out by the court (cue choirs of angels) he decided that that he’d learned his lesson and wanted another shot at his old house seat! HALLELUJAH!

Now, to be sure, we thought Rick was toast this time around. And by “we” I mean “every single human being who had even a passing familiarity with Pennsylvania politics”. True to form, Levdansky backed a challenger against Rick in the primary and engaged in a plethora of dirty tactics during the general election, even going so far as to drag Rick’s son through the mud in an attempt to smear Rick.

Election night 2012 came and went with no clear winner, but by Wednesday morning Rick had an unofficial lead of 36 votes. It has been a tense week, but the final recount concluded this evening and Rick is the confirmed winner with 114 votes. In a presidential election year. With Obama on the top of the ticket. In a 2:1 Democrat district. In the Mon Valley.

So the fat lady has finally sung for Dave Levdansky–a walking, talking, strutting, smirking argument for term limits. Good riddance, Dave Levdansky. Nobody will miss you.

November 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm Comments (0)

Math.

The Pennsylvania State Educators’ Association only has enough money to cover the next few weeks of operating expenses.

The largest affiliates of the United States’ largest teachers union are deeply in debt, largely because they have lavish pension and health-care systems, according to the Education Intelligence Agency. These bloated benefits arrangements are the same kind unions pressured states into creating for other state workers, pushing states into further fiscal disarray.

A new Thomas B. Fordham Institute report detailing teachers unions’ strength by state shows some of these union giants are in huge financial trouble.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association ranks fourth most powerful on Fordham’s metrics but it has only enough money to cover 37 days of operation, according to 2010–11 EIA figures, the latest available. The New Jersey Education Association ranks seventh but it owes $38.7 million more than it has on hand.

My heart bleeds. Truly.

November 11, 2012 at 11:34 am Comment (1)

re: Tuesday

So a whole bunch of Republican consultants and staff are going to be fired, right?

No?

What would it take for that to happen?

By the way, I absolutely love this Rothfus ad. That’s how it’s done, folks — take an actual conservative and show people he’s not the bogeyman.

November 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm Comments (0)

Tuesday

Well that sucks.

Democrats across the top tickets.

But Rothfus won.

Still sucks though… and that enthusiasm surge at the end.
Feh.

November 7, 2012 at 8:06 am Comments (0)

Re: Community Voters Project???

ACORN, you say?

You mean that group that Senator Casey voted to maintain federal funding for even after they were exposed as child-pimp abettors?

November 5, 2012 at 10:21 pm Comment (1)

President Clinton Visits Pa

And says,

“Who wants a president who will knowingly, repeatedly tell you something he knows is not true?”

Heh. Really.

November 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm Comments (0)

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