Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I was blue, just as blue as I could be
Ev'ry day was a cloudy day for me
Then good luck came a-knocking at my door
Skies were gray but they're not gray anymore
Smiling at me,
Nothing but blue skies,
Do I see...
-- Irving Berlin
Blue skies. Blue water. Green Algae. Very shiny 'flat surfaces'. Lithium Ion Battery packs (which catch fire on 787's - coincidentally approved to fly once more as of... earlier this week).
In 2008 President Barack Obama said that 'he' would 'create' 5,000,000 (a.k.a.: 5 Million) new jobs by directing Tax Payer money to renewable energy projects over the next 10 years. This, on its face is odd, as I believe a President's Term in office is only 4 years, vs. 5, but I can only assume he was 'rounding up' to ten from his 'electable' eight years.
As I cast my bloodshot eyes around the empty dining room on some non-descript date in May, 2013 - I perch once again before my trusty HP computer to see 'just how far we've come' (or perhaps, 'gone') achieving President Obama's vision of a Tax-Payer-Funded Green Economy..
All things considered, I should have never left the safety of my bedroom...
Okay, you didn't ask for it, but here it comes regardless!
The First Ever MoosRoom Green-Energy-Initiative Update (2013 Edition)!
(The houselights fall, the blue backdrop glows brightly, a singular spotlight sparks to life as a familiar man walks to the podium to update US on just exactly how we're doing 'going green'. It is at this point I realize that I am dreaming. The President is a 'bit busy' lately managing other failures of leadership and the overall decline of America. The man in the expensive suit morphs into a talking cow as the dream sequence begins anew...)
From the Institute for Energy Research, May 8, 2013: THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY COMMITTED $11 MILLION PER JOB
Without much fanfare, the Department of Energy (DOE) recently updated the list of loan guarantee projects on its website. Unlike in 2008, when Barack Obama pledged to create 5 million jobs over 10 years by directing taxpayer funds toward renewable energy projects, there were no press conferences or stump speeches.
But the data are nonetheless revealing: for the over $26 billion committed since 2009, DOE Section 1703 and 1705 loan guarantees have created only 2,298 permanent jobs – that’s $11.45 million per job.
Well, 2,298 jobs 'created or saved' is certainly a step in the RIGHT direction when it comes to Green Energy job creation, but between you and me, I'm thinking that $11.45 MILLION per job is a wee bit expensive.
Sure, if it was something like $6 MILLION per job created, that would probably be okay, but almost $12 MILLION per job? Nah, I'm NOT loving it. At this pace, the President's 5 MILLION new jobs calculated at $11.45 MILLION per job is, um, let's see...
New Jobs x Cost per Job = Total Green Investment
5,000,000 x 11,450,000 = $ 57,250,000,000,000
Yes, just over $57 TRILLION dollars to create (or save!) Five Million Green Jobs.
Considering that the 2013 Federal Budget is set at $3.8 TRILLION, yeah, I'm not sure that we can raise (or create) enough tax dollars to pay for many more of these 'High Paying Jobs' the President speaks so fondly of during stump speeches.
Surely there ARE other positive Green Energy stories out there, right?
Sure! Let's go look for a few!!!
Continuing to look...
Oh look, here's one now!
Heritage.org, 2012: President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures
So far, 34 companies that were offered federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy and other agencies. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.
The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.
"Circling the drain". Now there's a visual image that says so much about the President's Executive Branch leadership in general - but as this is a post about Green Energy, let's stick to this singular 'drain', shall we? Yes, we shall!
According to the Heritage.com article referenced here, the President set aside $80 BILLION for the Green Initiatives which were to kick-start the creation of the 5 MILLION high-paying jobs (as described in the section above). Turning once again to my trusty calculator, this means that the President assumed (feel free to use the word 'hoped') that this financial 'shot in the arm' would yield 5 MILLION jobs on an initial investment of $80 BILLION.
When expressed Mathematically, this means the President ass-u-me-d that each job would cost (as illustrated by the following higher math example):
Green Stimulus Tax Dollars / Green Jobs Desired = Expected Cost per Job
$ 80,000,000,000 / 5,000,000 = $ 16,000 per job as budgeted
Therefore, the President 'hoped and changed' his way into thinking that he could create 5 MILLION high-paying, high-tech, high-profile Green Jobs by investing $16,000 per job in this "critically important" segment of the Nation's economy.
Contrasting the President's Objectives against his actual Performance we see the following:
Budgeted cost per job: $ 16,000
Actual cost per job: $ 11,450,000
Variance to budget: $ 11,434,000 Over budget per job created (or saved)
Jobs created (or saved): 2,298
Jobs created objective: 5,000,000
Variance to objective: 4,997,702 Jobs still not created (or saved)
Huh. That's interesting, isn't it?
President Obama underestimated the cost of each job created by 99.86026%
He overstated the number of jobs to be created by 99.95404%
From a purely mathematical perspective, if nothing else, the man is eerily consistent (somewhere between 99.86 and 99.95% of the time).
Admittedly, the President's 10-year window hasn't closed yet, he's still got almost six years to reduce the spending for each job created (by 99.86%) and increase the number of jobs created (or saved) from 2,298 green energy jobs to his personal objective of 5 MILLION.
He just needs a bit more time to continue his 'good work'.
A third-term, perhaps? (Thanks Daily Kos, for making sleep 'almost' impossible last evening)
No. I don't believe so. I believe that a man with the President's mathematical prowess should be working for a crime syndicate laundering drug money through a bowling alley, car wash, or perhaps, running a variant of our very own Internal Revenue Service (in Guatemala).
It is not that the President is incompetent at WHAT he is doing - he does what he does extremely well. The shame is, of course, is that what he is 'good at doing' is crashing economies, sewing discontent, riding rough-shod over The Constitution, using the power of the Federal Government to infringe upon the rights of the citizens, and completing Jimmy Carter's third term.
Remember when you wondered, "I wonder what would have happened if Jimmy Carter had WON a Second Term?" Wonder no more.
You're living it. (BONUS! "We're all in" for the third-Carter-term)
I may never sleep again...
Oops, I almost forgot... Regarding the title of this post? That $84.15 is the total amount you (and each single member of your family) contributed to the $26 Billion spent / guaranteed / wasted / whatever on green energy 'spend' referenced above divided by the total population of the United States.
If illegal aliens (oops, 'Undocumented workers') are included in this population number, you would necessarily receive more back (since only Legal Citizens should get a 'rebate' of Green Energy spending), but since 'Gangs' began patrolling the Halls of Congress, I'm thinking that we're pretty much ALL legal now.
One MORE 'Oops' before I go: IF we've 'only' spent $26 BILLION of the $80 BILLION allocated, look for an additional $54 BILLION to be spent for Green Energy projects over the next six years. Yes, I'm sure THESE dollars will be better-spent than their predecessors...
Have a Green Energy Day!
Don't forget your fire extinguisher for your Fisker Karma! You'll need it...
Your tax dollars at work...
Monday, May 20, 2013
While MOST Americans are suffering the ongoing effects of those "Draconian Cuts" forced upon them by the Obama Administration's Sequester Plan, others, working for evil profit-driven corporations, continue to benefit from the Obama Administration's "Green Initiatives".
"But, Cow Guy, how can this be, I thought the Sequester was designed to punish EVERYONE!?!? Who's getting a pass on the pain and suffering of Sequester???" you scream into your monitor as the LCD continues to pump its noxious glow into your dining room in the early morning hours of a new week. "Wasn't the sequester, by design, engineered to take money away from the military and social programs?" you ask your non-blinking monitor.
Yes. Yes it was.
However not all spending programs are created equally. Military programs which are 'mean' (defense programs meant to defend US) are cut.
Military programs which are 'green' (environmentally friendly to the Earth) are expanded - whether we live long enough to see them 'flower', or not.
While the Middle East burns, America's infrastructure crumbles, and the IRS morphs into a PAC for the Administration, the Department of Defense buys (at a 14.75 x Premium) Jet Fuel made from... Pond Scum.
From the WashingtonExaminer.com: Despite sequester, DOD signs contract for $59/gallon green jet fuel
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently warned that sequestration would cause “suspension of important activities, curtailed training, and could result in furloughs of civilian personnel” but the spending cuts haven’t killed the green fuels program, as the Pentagon has continued purchasing renewable fuel at $59 per gallon.
“In March, Gevo entered into a contract with the Defense Logistics Agency to supply the U.S. Army with 3,650 gallons of renewable jet fuel to be delivered by the second quarter of 2013,” Gevo announced this week in its first quarter financial report. “This initial order may be increased by 12,500 gallons. All shipments will be at a fixed price of $59 per gallon during the initial testing phase. These shipments are in addition to the renewable jet fuel supplied to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the U.S. Navy (USN).”
You may be thinking to yourself, "Self, well, we need to look at alternative fuel sources to be prepared when the Middle East explodes into an orgy of flame - right? We need to be able to make our own pond-scum fuel since we're not allowed to drill, frack, or otherwise access our Nation's natural resources HERE... This only makes sense, um, doesn't it?"
Oh, I dunno...
It would probably make more sense to harness our Nation's fuel resources, attempt to inventory what we might actually have, and then decrease, or migrate completely away from foreign fossil fuel suppliers who use the money we send them to fund Community-Organized groups like "The Muslim Brotherhood".
But hey, that's just me.
As an alternative, perhaps we could partner with 'friendlier Nations' (Canada springs to mind) to produce, refine, and distribute fuels with lower cost, more accessible supply, and rest a little better knowing that any shared revenues between our two nations won't be going to build biological or nuclear weapon delivery systems. The last 'biological weapon' Canada deployed was their Universal Health Care plan and since we've got one of our own now, we both have already laid the foundations for our "Mutually Assured Destruction" plans.
I wouldn't have a HUGE problem with harvesting Swamp Gas and Algae Farts to run our Nation's Defense systems on if the cost were anywhere close to what we're paying today. But I do have a teensy-tiny-problem when we're paying $59 per gallon of green jet fuel when our contract price for regular (dino-based) JP-8 jet fuel is negotiated at a rate of $3.73 per gallon.
Yes, at a time when THE SEQUESTRATION is putting the old, the young, the infirm, the needy and 'those least able to provide for themselves' (and our Military, mustn't leave these folks out) at risk, the Department of Defense is spending 14.75 times MORE per gallon on Green Fuel than they do on their regular contract price for jet fuel.
I wonder why this is?
Is it so the Administration can check off a 'box' on a Green Energy Initiative list with their environmental supporter base?
Is it so they can pay back a political favor to a group / green energy provider which supported them in the run-up to the 2012 elections?
Or is it a gross lack of understanding regarding how to balance a budget? Personally, I'm thinking each of the preceding conditions most likely apply.
The thing that keeps me up at night is this: Will President Obama learn of this most recent spending debacle from the WashingtonExaminer.com, The Blaze.com, or from me? After all, over the past couple of weeks he's learned of most of his Administration's scandals by watching news reports - he had no knowledge of them prior to having his lackies watch Fox News or scanning the Internet.
Hey, I'm no Fox News, but when I smell 'Bad Gas', I know what it smells like - and this "Green Jet Fuel' story stinks to High Heaven.
Although, admittedly, it could be the Algae Fart scent I'm picking up from the pond out behind the barn... Or, it MAY have been Buttercup, she's been on a high-fiber diet lately.
I have seen the future of Defense. It looks like this.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Date: May 16, 2013
To: Graduating Class of 2013
From: Mike / Moos
Re: Your Life Post-Graduation
Congratulations to you and your family on the completion of your college degree! Your commitment, determination, and the amount of effort required to attain this goal is admirable. A heartfelt, "Well done" to you and to your family! Take the week following graduation off to unwind, re-group, and, then, as quickly as you can... get back to work.
You have survived sixteen (or more) grueling years of 'Education', provided to you by the men and women of Academia committed to a singular goal:
Teaching you how to pass their tests.
However, you now enter another phase of your life, a period in which tests do not appear on computer-readable scoring sheets. You are now a graduate. You're moving on. You've proven that you have mastered the "Fill in the bubble completely, make no stray marks on the test sheet" period of your life.
Now real testing begins. This is why I write this note today at somewhere shy of 5 a.m. - because I want you to succeed in your life, I want you to be happy, and I want you to know that I, and millions of others, want you to be financially secure, and incredibly prosperous in your post-collegiate life.
I am writing to you to tell you things your parents may not have told you. I am writing to tell you things I wish someone had told me. I am here to tell you things which I learned after college - when learning truly began for me. I am writing this to help you transition from your life as 'full-time student' to that of 'full-time taxpayer'.
I wish I could do more for you. I really do. But I'll do what I can in the limited space which follows.
Okay, having rambled on longer than I planned, I want to share a couple of things I've learned so you can get a jump on 'life':
1. Thank your parents (and understand that they love you more than anyone else on Earth ever will)
2. Believe in yourself
3. Be careful who(m) you trust (basic rule of thumb here: If someone wants you to do something that you wouldn't 'knowingly do' with your parents in the room, it's probably a BAD idea)
4. Believe in the goodness of others. I continue to be amazed by acts of kindness done to my benefit, most of which were without my asking for help and sometimes by people I didn't even know
5. Reserve at least one night per week to wander into your back-yard, your patio, or into the street (yes, look for cars first) on a clear night, look up to the sky and understand that of all the beings who exist on the planet - that there is only one of 'you'
6. Focus your efforts to exploring your possibilities vs. your limitations - there will be plenty of people lining up to explain your limitations to you as you attempt to grow older (wiser?)
7. Take a job because you love it, not because it "Pays lots of money, man. Yeah, stupid, crazy, BIG money" -- typically jobs with this type of pay-schedule end up with jail-time and an orange jumpsuit
8. If you cannot find a job (85% of graduating college students are moving back in with Mom and Dad), start a business, employ yourself as opposed to being an employee of someone who doesn't 'like you' as much as you... 'like yourself'
9. If you feel as if you cannot handle the stress associated with 'life', print out this list, and then go back up top and begin reading at Number 1 through Number 8 again - no skipping steps to save time - trust me
I was originally going to post something completely different regarding the real challenges college graduates will face this year in light of the economy, employment, and social stuff going on in our Nation. Only problem is that after re-reading my post from yesterday about most of the news being 'bad', I decided to take my own advice and lighten up.
All in all, I'm happier with the way this turns out than if I had gone the route I began to pursue at the onset. I think this may become one of those posts I toss up annually into the old blogyard, hoping that someone will find some use of it as they graduate from their place of 'Higher Learning'.
p.s.: But wait, there's more!!!
A DEEP THOUGHT:
One limitation of the human mind is that it cannot focus on the 'opposite of something'.
For Example: I remember when I was a kid riding a bike down the shoulder of the road and a car would come up behind me - I'd tell myself, "Don't ride off the edge of the road - you'll fall".
Then, of course, I often DID fall. Because all my brain heard was the 'ride off the edge of the road' part of the conversation. It also heard, "When you DO fall, fall onto the grass on the right, because if you fall to the left they're going to clean you off the street with a garden hose."
No one told me that I should have been telling myself, "Stay close to the shoulder, but stay on the road." For those of you still reading, please feel free to learn from this as well as items 1-9 above.
I guess this is every one's challenge, regardless of his / her age:
Focus on the road, remain upright, and keep pedalling until you get to where you want to be.
With a bit of practice, a few skinned knees, and a healthy heap of humility earned from the required number of falls, you'll get to where you want / need to be. The necessary thing, of course, is to keep your hands firmly on the handle bar and you keep your legs keep moving up and down.
Yes, we're all pedalling together - as best as we can.
Yup, I'm pedalling too.
I'm the guy right behind you who put those baseball cards into the spokes of the tires of my Schwinn 'Banana Bike' to make that "Thwacka, thwacka, thwacka..." noise as I pedal.
Sorry. I thought it sounded cool when I first put them in there 43 years ago...
Too bad I'm not cool enough for the Wham-O! Wheelie Bar - it sure would make a fine addition to my cards.
Above all else... Enjoy the ride.
Don't stop pedalling.
"The Thrill Is Gone" -- B B King
The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you'll be sorry someday
The thrill is gone
It's gone away from me
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away from me
Although, I'll still live on
But so lonely I'll be...
Remember back in 2008 when the mere sight of Barack Obama speaking gave MSNBC's Chris Matthews a "Thrill up his leg"?
Huh? Seriously? You don't remember Chris Matthews' declaration of bro-mance for candidate, now-President Obama? Well, in case you living in a cave in Afghanistan at the time, you can revisit this magical MSNBC moment by clicking here: Thrills, up and down his leg
Ah, but this was in 2008 - so very, very long ago...
So where does Chris Matthews' 'thrilled leg' stand in 2013?
I'll give you a hint: "Hey Chris, you might want to sit down..."
On last night's MSNBC show (ranked by Nielsen as having a consistent viewership of '19' (prison inmates)), Chris Matthews said the following:
"(President Obama) obviously likes giving speeches more than he does running the executive branch..."
"What part of the presidency does Obama like? He doesn't like dealing with other politicians -- that means his own cabinet, that means members of the congress, either party. He doesn't particularly like the press.... He likes to write the speeches, likes to rewrite what Favreau and the others wrote for the first draft,"
"So what part does he like? He likes going on the road, campaigning, visiting businesses like he does every couple days somewhere in Ohio or somewhere," Matthews continued.
"But what part does he like? He doesn't like lobbying for the bills he cares about. He doesn't like selling to the press. He doesn't like giving orders or giving somebody the power to give orders. He doesn't seem to like being an executive.”
Oh my. The thrill IS gone, isn't it?
Is it gone for long? Nah, Chris will have the thrill back soon enough.
As for you, I invite you to enjoy 13 minutes of the Blues with B.B. King...
Why? Because your (and my) thrill's been gone for stinking YEARS. We grin and bear it, but poor Chris Matthews, this dude's gonna need professional help...
Thrill is gone baby.
Chris Matthews and Jon Stewart (from yesterday's post) might want to begin a 'Post Obama Thrill Bro-mance' support group for each other.
Misery loves company.
Have a nice day folks...