Rand Paul from Kentucky was speaking recently about the new healthcare law some refer to as “Obamacare.” Like many Republicans, Paul, the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), is not a fan. Unlike many conservatives, the “tea party” sweetheart does not like the law because, he says, it reminds him of slavery.
“With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to healthcare, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me…It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses,” Paul said, adding that there is “an implied use of force…If I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to healthcare, you have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free healthcare would be…”
Politifact, the fact-checking project of the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, gives Obama a “No Flip” on the Flip-O-Meter in his announcement to expand offshore drilling in previously banned places. Politifact reports that Obama is keeping a campaign promise: He did a “Half Flip” in the middle of his campaign when gas prices had skyrocketed and then agreed that more drilling off the coasts would be necessary, so “No Flip” now.
If car and truck buyers’ had a little more money and drivers were willing to give up on old technology, then the U.S. could begin the switch immediately to petrol-free and nearly-petrol-free vehicles, making new drilling unnecessary. Biofuels already have a niche vehicle energizing marketplace with more opportunities growing with cellulosic ethanol, fuels from algae and others.
Hydrogen is another possibility, but has its own set of cost issues as well as a complete set of supply and distribution challenges.
Though from a technical standpoint, electrically driven vehicles, including hybrids, are here now and here to stay. At this point automakers and suppliers seem to have more interest in electric drive than in any other alternative technology. It’s not just the simple technology they like: zero emission vehicles will go a long way in helping automakers meet the 34 mpg average vehicle fuel economy standard by 2016.
Once the battery hurdle is officially leaped – it will be only a matter of time before the entire industry quits their gas guzzling – it just makes too much sense.
President George W. Bush has made very few public appearances since leaving Washington last year.
He hit the motivational speaker circuit last fall, and spoke at the Safari Club International Annual Hunters’ Convention in Reno, Nevada in January. Next month, he will appear at the 2010 national conference of the wind power industry in Dallas, Texas. The Texas native will apparently be advocating the virtues of wind power at the meeting, sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association.
The following is from AWEA’s blog:
“The former president will talk about his experience as Texas’s governor, and as President, in advancing the wind energy agenda. (Texas is the number one wind state in the United States and, though most people don’t realize it, it was President Bush who first raised the prospect of getting 20% of U.S. electricity from wind”.)
“Raised the prospect” is interestingly worded. Bush indeed signed into law a strong renewable energy standard in Texas 1999 as governor. Texas, since, has more installed wind capacity than any other state. As president he did say in 2007 that the country could draw 20% of its power from wind by 2030, but he did not actually take the steps necessary to make it happen.
Bush reportedly charges $150,000 for his appearances, though he does home-town events like this one at a discounted rate: just $100,000. The conference will also feature Jason Alexander, a.k.a George Costanza from Seinfeld.
It is becoming more and more clear, as the winter drudge rolls on, that Senate Republicans, amidst the endless days of health care reform fracas, will be able to deliver a knockout blow to another top Democratic agenda priority – that is the passing of a climate change bill in 2010.
Vindictive? Clearly. Though, not a shocker in a country where all is fear in love and politics.
While certain Dems remain neutral or undecided on both issues, making it easy for Republicans to stand aloof, John Kerry, one of the few Senate participators at Copenhagen pledges to do exactly what President Obama vowed at the conference:
“Not a chance in hell that after the president put American prestige on the line in Copenhagen that the Senate is going to give this issue anything less than a major push…This is big — big — bigger than any individual agenda. Big. The 111th Congress is not a one-trick pony incapable of tackling more than one big issue, and the cost of tackling climate change would only grow if the Senate got weak-kneed and kicked the can down the road. Not going to happen.”