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Obama’s Progressivism: the Least Good for the Smallest Number

Obama’s Progressivism: the Least Good for the Smallest Number

The guiding principle of the then-new Progressive Movement more than a century ago was: The greatest good for the greatest number of people.  Which was verbatim the rationale invoked by President Teddy Roosevelt when, in 1905, he approved construction of the aqueduct that would steal divert water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles.  Indeed, when Roosevelt split from the Republicans in 1912, he founded the Progressive Party.

That was progressivism then.  This is progressivism now:

President Obama is campaigning as a champion of the oil and gas boom he’s had nothing to do with, and even as his regulators try to stifle it. The latest example is the Interior Department’s little-noticed August decision to close off from drilling nearly half of the 23.5 million acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

The area is called the National Petroleum Reserve because in 1976 Congress designated it as a strategic oil and natural gas stockpile to meet the “energy needs of the nation.” Alaska favors exploration in nearly the entire reserve. The feds had been reviewing four potential development plans, and the state of Alaska had strongly objected to the most restrictive of the four. Sure enough, that was the plan Interior chose.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says his plan “will help the industry bring energy safely to market from this remote location, while also protecting wildlife and subsistence rights of Alaska Natives.” He added that the proposal will expand “safe and responsible oil and gas development, and builds on our efforts to help companies develop the infrastructure that’s needed to bring supplies online.”

The problem is almost no one in the energy industry and few in Alaska agree with him. In an August 22 letter to Mr. Salazar, the entire Alaska delegation in Congress—Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young—call it “the largest wholesale land withdrawal and blocking of access to an energy resource by the federal government in decades.” This decision, they add, “will cause serious harm to the economy and energy security of the United States, as well as to the state of Alaska.” Mr. Begich is a Democrat.

In only one other culture I can think of is suicide considered progress.


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This is how they view supply and demand. If you diminish the supply of oil, demand for green alternatives will go up, and the technology will be there…oh wait.

    Ragspierre in reply to Crapgame13. | October 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Funny thing though…

    Obama IS committed to Delusional Energy, and IS trying to kill Reality Energy, BUT…

    oil and gas MARKET PLAYERS keep doing what they do very well, such that we are exporting oil now.

    Imagine what our energy future would look like if the Obamic Decline was flushed in November…

The leaders in OPEC countries are said to use news such as this as a substitute for reading “The Onion.”

Remember this blast from the past? George Will schools Bill Maher on Maher’s belief that Brazil has been “off oil” for decades, using sugar cane, instead, to fuel their development.

And to think so many people out there mistake Maher’s snark for smarts.

Yet another Obama “investment” using taxpayer money goes belly-up:

WSJ NEWS ALERT: Battery Maker A123 Files for Chapter 11 Protection

btw. the company is based in Massachusetts.

If I were Romney, I’d open up tonight with something like this:

“So, we learn today that A123 has gone belly up. That’s an additional $249 million in grants, not loans mind you, but grants, from the American taxpayer down the drain. You really can pick ’em, Mr. President.

And, I hear that Hillary Clinton is the latest victim in the real War on Women. Maybe you don’t want that buck coming anywhere near you, Mr. President … but really now. Don’t you feel just a wee bit sheepish?”

And slightly O/T, but related to Joel’s post yesterday:

A former aide to both President Clinton and President Obama, on “likable” President Obama:

“It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.”

—The feeling is mutual. I don’t hate him. I just don’t care for him.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | October 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

Off topic: some interesting points about Libya. Has anyone else noticed an upsurge in the reports of jihadi plots to get the blind sheik freed from prison? (The first World Trade Center bomb plot, which failed to topple the building).
A couple of snips below. On Obama’s compassion:
“CNN recovered the Ambassador’s diary at the site of the attack. Consider how the formerly pro-Obama news network, CNN, suddenly began to air damaging truths about the 9/11/12 terrorist attack. Truth including this statement by the Mother of Slain State Department Worker:
I cried on Obama’s shoulder. And he — then he’d kind of looked off into the distance. So that was worthless to me. I want to know, for god’s sakes.”
On the motivation for the Libyan attack:
“The attack happened in Benghazi as the Ambassador was working to collect military grade weapons distributed under order of President Barack Obama. … The “Fast and Furious” style arming of Libyan rebels allowed military-grade U.S. weapons to fall into the hands of terrorists. …After the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, those arms needed to be collected or erased…In order to ensure that American-made weapons were not found at the destroyed Benghazi consulate, the Obama administration delayed investigations by floating a cover story about a nonexistent protest due to an anti-Islamic video.”
The weapons included “MANPADS, surface-to-air missiles, capable of shooting down passenger jets.”

Jack The Ripper | October 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Communism produced equality, but it was mostly equality of misery. Bread lines, meat lines, produce lines. A good friend of our family who is a space scientist in Russia, and before that, the USSR, was one of the elites in the Soviet Union.

The first time she came to America to stay with us, and she visited an ordinary supermarket such as Ralph’s, Von’s, Jewel Osco, Kroger, Publix, she started CRYING when she saw the produce section. CRYING!

For all their jacking around with “banana republics,” it seems the communists had a very tough time ever getting their hands on any actual bananas.

East Germany vs. West Germany. North Korea vs South Korea. Cuba. And, don’t blame embargos. Cuba has plenty of trading partners, and what about Venezuela and the hardships and privations taking place there, including gasoline.

In the United Kingdom, they managed in the 1950s to produce a shortage of coal and fish, despite sitting atop a mountain of the former and surrounded by the latter.

Somehow, ObamaCare is going to INCREASE the availability of medical care, doctors, nurses, medical devices, pharmaceuticals???

We are going to end up like Canada: a country with constrained medical care and no military.

I wonder how much of Florida’s GDP is Canadian snowbirds getting outpatient medical services???

And where will we go when the health care system here is wrecked? [Of course, the elites like Pelosi, Obama, Elizabeth Warren, won’t be subject to the limited resources, and they will pat themselves on the back for reducing the inequality in the receipt of health care in this country – which they will have done by creating equality of misery for the rest of us.].

President Obama is campaigning as a champion of the oil and gas boom he’s had nothing to do with, and even as his regulators try to stifle it.

This is standard operating procedure for leftists. In his speech about the increasing corruption of the media, Pat Caddell touched on the 1988 race:

…in the Dukakis-Bush election, when the press literally was trying to get Dukakis elected by ignoring what was happening in Massachusetts, with a candidate who was running on the platform of “He will do for America what he did for Massachusetts”—while they were on the verge of bankruptcy.

It’s what they do when they get their way. They’ve only become more blatant since 1988.

casualobserver | October 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

It’s my experience that many progressives have a very high self-image and arrogantly avoid detailed discussion in defense of their positions. In this case, I suspect there is a “we know better” ideological driver to Interior’s action. And no doubt any response to contesting their actions will be met only with this kind of politi-speak. And outside of the elected class and the bureaucracy, I would expect the defenders to argue simply by making some point about how it was/is/would be worse if a Republican or conservative choice were made. Never do I ever find a progressive willing to entertain a discussion of unintended consequences, bang for the buck, return on investment, etc. All that matters is an end is met, and that is proof enough independent of all else.

This will assure that Americans recover natural resources and produce energy at the highest possible cost. In order to continue the so-called “green revolution”, we will necessarily ignore the environmental and human devastation caused during the recovery and processing of natural resources. We will blindly accept the death of several hundred thousand birds and bats in America, including endangered species. The mislabeled “renewable” energy sources are not wholly renewable, and worse, their conversion cannot be reasonably isolated from the environment, thereby elevating the risk to consumers.

Who, exactly, is profiting from this fraud? The out-of-sight and out-of-mind policy which has assured a perception of progress in America is corrupt and unsustainable.