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Post Romney and Obama; PBS and WSJ
Created by John Eipper on 10/10/12 2:38 AM

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Romney and Obama; PBS and WSJ (Istvan Simon, USA, 10/10/12 2:38 am)

It is not surprising that Richard Hancock (9 October) would feel that Romney "won" the debate, as he is an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal used to be a fabulous newspaper. I myself used to read it. But unfortunately under the unenlightened ownership of Rupert Murdoch, the WSJ has become a mouthpiece of right-wing politics, which has lost any objectivity or semblance with the truth in its political coverage. Its economic coverage is still good.

Mitt Romney knows nothing about the economy, and clearly is much less well equipped to revive the United States economy than President Obama is. Mitt Romney made his money as a corporate raider, who fired American workers, and shipped their jobs to China, and then would sell the "saved" corporation at enormous profits. This is what Mitt Romney did at Bain Capital.

Mitt Romney spoke a lot of nonsense at the debate, attacking President Obama on solar energy for the Solyndra fiasco. But he failed to mention the very successful solar energy companies all over this country, that employ many tens of thousands of Americans.

How do I know? Well I know, because I just installed solar panels on my roof, using an American company to do the installation, which used solar panels made in the USA, which used mini-inverters made in the USA in Petaluma, CA, and installed with every one of those panels, which used brackets made in the USA to secure them to my roof, and wiring boxes, made in the USA, and so on and so on and so on. Mitt Romney, the corporate raider of Bain Capital, forgot to mention these profitable and very successful American solar energy companies. He does not know about them, for he is too busy being a greasy politician, that gets his debating points from his handlers.

Incidentally, I installed more than what I need for my home of solar power, because I also bought a plug-in Toyota Prius, which I now have driven for over 1000 miles and used 12 gallons of gasoline so far to do so. The rest of the energy came from those solar panels on my roof. Romney forgot to mention that too, because he is too busy flying in his private jet for his campaign.

I also would like to know what car Mr. Romney drives, and compare his mileage per gallon of gasoline with what I get with my plug-in Prius. This has a great deal to do with American energy independence, which incidentally grew at an astonishing rate under President Obama's capable leadership.

It also has a great deal to do with protecting the environment, which Richard Hancock (but not I), wants to sacrifice on the altar of growth.

Richard cannot believe that President Obama vetoed the pipeline project to Louisiana, on the grounds that it would have provided thousands of jobs. But I not only think that President Obama was correct in that decision, but have another construction project, which would have provided even more jobs, but which is not being done in my state, California, because the House of Representatives is in the hands of Republicans.

I am talking about the maintenance of the Interstate Highway System, a Federal responsibility. Where I live, at the intersection of Interstate 580 and Interstate 680, one can have a small truck fall into the potholes all over those two roads. So that is the reality that I experience every day.

In July though, I spent a week driving over the magnificent roads in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, DC. I was struck by the excellent condition of those roads, and started thinking of why the roads near where I live would be in such terrible condition at the same time?

It did not take me too long, to figure out that the answer had to do with the House of Representatives, now dominated by the be-they-cursed Tea Party fanatics, like Mr. Ryan... may he be cursed as well. And why would the House not give the money to California to maintain its Interstate freeways, but give it to Maryland, for example? Well, the answer to that is obvious as well: It is because California has a large number of electoral votes, due to its large population, but those votes will always go to President Obama. That is why Congress does not give money to California.

And why was President Obama's decision to not build the pipeline correct? Well it was correct because there is a shortage of refining capacity in the United States. Therefore the pipeline would have taken Canadian oil to Louisiana, but the oil would have no effect on the supply of petroleum products in this country, and would simply be exported to other countries. Unfortunately Richard does not know about this, because the Wall Street Journal has written nothing about it.

There is no more ungracious and at the same time also incredibly stupid remark than the one Governor Romney made about "not borrowing money from China to subsidize PBS." Keep in mind that the moderator he was talking to is Jim Lehrer.

The Federal subsidy to PBS amounts to, according to the source I give below:

"The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget," PBS's statement said. "Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation's debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.

"As a stated supporter of education, Governor Romney should be a champion of public broadcasting, yet he is willing to wipe out services that reach the vast majority of Americans, including underserved audiences, such as children who cannot attend preschool and citizens living in rural areas."


Mr. Romney will lose the election, there is little doubt about that. But he deserves to lose it, and for many reasons, but if not for anything else, than for the imbecility of this remark about PBS. I'll explain:

I have a 5-year-old son. He reads fluently. Spells too. How on earth did he learn to read at such a tender age? (Actually he started to read at age 2, three years ago.) Did I teach him? The answer is no. So how did he learn to read?

Well, I answer that too: He learned to read by watching the PBS program Between the Lions, a magnificent educational program, funny and entertaining, but at the same time profoundly focused and highly educational.

So Mr. Romney, I want you to go to the oblivion that you well deserve. You want to cut the subsidy to PBS? Well then, be gone from any role in national politics, for your small-mindedness and lack of imagination shows that you are unfit for any public office. I will not vote for you. Because my son reads English fluently at age 5, and he learned that from PBS.

I am hereby donating $1000 to the Public Broadcasting System. And hereby donating $1000 to President Obama's reelection campaign.

Because contrary to Mr. Romney, I believe that what I say has substance, I enclose photographic proof that supports part of this post, on solar energy and its uses. The photos were taken by using my MacBook's PhotoBooth application. This application gives a mirror image when photographs are taken, so I apologize for the mirror image of the sign on my lawn for example. Leonardo da Vinci would have no problem reading the sign, and I trust, WAISers will not have either...

JE comments:  We Michiganders live in somewhat of a swing state, but I'd put our roads up against California's for the pothole crown any day.  Here are Istvan's photos:

Solar panels on Istvan Simon's home.  Photo Istvan Simon

Istvan Simon's home, with plug-in Prius in garage.  Photo IS

I wish we could do the same at my house, but our non-existent sun would have trouble reaching the panels through the layers of ice and snow.

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  • Romney and Obama; PBS and WSJ (Randy Black, USA 10/11/12 7:45 AM)
    Istvan Simon wrote (10 Oct) a long list of dubious claims about the stellar skills of President Obama and lack of skills on the part of Governor Romney. Istvan also made claims about his new residential solar power, his plug-in Japanese car and a pipeline to Louisiana.

    To Louisiana? Really?

    Most of Istvan's claims are wrong, or at best a stretch of the truth. His post simply adds to the plethora of Internet myths being spread around with the intention of influencing the voters.

    Istvan defended President Obama's decision to stonewall a Canadian pipeline to Louisiana, but no such pipeline exists or was ever proposed, much less cancelled by the President.

    The pipeline that Istvan likely referred to is the Keystone XL that extends from the Canadian border, crosses through Montana, South Dakota, through Nebraska to Steele City Kansas.

    That's the sum total of the pipeline that President Obama stonewalled.

    From there, the Canadian oil would enter existing pipelines that extend through Kansas to Cushing, Oklahoma. The final leg to Houston and Port Arthur, Texas is under construction. It's beyond Obama's reach or regulation.

    Louisiana is not part of the equation.

    Who benefits from Obama's delays? Obama supporter and billionaire Warren Buffett, who owns most of the rail lines that currently carry the Canadian oil south of the border, seems a likely choice.

    To borrow from ABC News Jan. 2012, "Labor unions, oil industry groups--even the president's jobs council--have signaled support for the plan, which also has bipartisan backing on Capitol Hill."

    It's one of many bipartisan bills supported by Congress, but one that the President chose to be divisive on.

    Apparently, Obama would rather the Canadians sell the oil to China than to help the US become more energy independent.

    One of Istvan's claims: "there is a shortage of refining capacity in the United States."

    Not relevant: There is no shortage of refining capacity in Texas, which is the destination of much of the Canadian oil, the remainder going to southern Illinois, also not suffering from a shortage of refining capacity.

    Istvan also took aim at Romney's "nonsense at the debate, attacking President Obama on solar energy for the Solyndra fiasco, while allegedly ignoring profitable energy firms." That Solyndra fiasco, Istvan's words, cost US taxpayers $535 million. He went on to brag about the "very successful solar energy companies ... that employ many tens of thousands of Americans."

    Really? Might Istvan name even one such company that is wholly American-owned, which uses American-made parts and which employs even a couple of thousand Americans?

    In fact, Solyndra is but one of dozens of solar and wind energy companies that Obama threw tens of billions of taxpayer dollars at that have gone belly up.

    Several to dozens of those Obama-supported companies funneled the taxpayer funds directly to China, which naturally makes the lion's share of the energy products. All were connected financially to the Obama campaign four years ago and to the present one.

    In fact, there is not one energy company in Istvan's beloved Petaluma, California that does not benefit from the Obama energy tax breaks.

    Even Istvan benefits to a significant degree from such tax breaks.

    The State of California's Solar Initiative pays for 10% of Istvan's residential solar system, and the feds offer him another 30% back as an investment tax credit. I wonder if he would have been so eager to buy his system had not such discounts and rebates been offered. Ditto his "plug-in" Prius.

    I did a bit of research on the companies in Petaluma that put these solar systems together for Istvan. While his solar system may be assembled in the USA, the parts come from China, Japan and a host of global locations. About the only Americans involved are the final assemblers and the independent contractors who install the systems.

    The largest of the solar microinverter makers in Petaluma, Enphase Energy, has never been profitable, having lost more than $70 million since their inception, according to their Website.

    If Istvan is so off target regarding the truths of oil and gas and solar power, why should I believe his other claims?


    JE comments: The discussion we need to be having is whether it is in the national interest to subsidize "green" energy products during their teething (read:  unprofitable) phase. Given the alternative (buying oil that drags us into troubled regions of the world), as well as the full-speed-ahead government involvement in alternative energy in other nations, I think the answer is clear: yes.

    As for US refining capacity, California is notorious for its shortage of refineries, as the NIMBY effect has prevented new construction for many years.  But is it the same in the Gulf of Mexico region?  The Wikianswers link above doesn't give hard numbers.  I'm going to ask my sister, a Houston "oilman," for her thoughts and will report back.

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  • Romney and Obama (Robert Whealey, USA 10/11/12 9:12 AM)
    Three cheers to Istvan Simon (see his post of 10 October). He increases my confidence in Barack Obama. I voted for President Obama in 2008 with 51% confidence. I'm voting for Obama in 2012 with 54% confidence.

    JE comments: I say that WAIS doesn't post "attaboys," but then I often do. So I'll justify my hypocrisy today by noting that Robert Whealey's confidence in Obama increased one percentage point for each cheer he gives Istvan Simon. Another important point: Robert Whealey is one of the two Ohio WAISers I can think of (John Recchiuti is the other), and they have the privilege of choosing the next president. Both Romney and Obama in recent days have spent so much time stumping in the Buckeye State, that one would think they are running for President...of Ohio.

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