During his Thursday broadcast, the day following the most recent Democratic presidential debate, Rush Limbaugh described how he found himself “rolling on the floor” in laughter. However, he was also sobered by the realization that the overflow crowd in Detroit’s Fox Theater actually cheered the hairbrained schemes emanating from the debaters.
When one candidate announced that humankind has just a short period of time, perhaps no more than ten years to save Planet Earth by eliminating fossil fuels (hydrocarbons) as fuels for power generation, none of his fellow debaters challenged that insanity. Essentially all agreed that a major element of that transition would involve the total elimination of coal from our energy mix.
According to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. power plants generated some 4.18 trillion kWh of electricity during calendar year 2018. Of that total, 63.5% was fueled by fossil fuels, with 27.4% of the total generated by coal-fired plants.
What the candidates failed to mention was that, since wind and solar power are not conducive to the propulsion of automobiles, buses, trucks, and planes, a significant portion of our energy needs will still have to come from petroleum distillates and electricity… mostly electricity.
In October 2017, the Electric Vehicle Charge Association announced that the U.S. had just surpassed 50,000 charging stations, and that there were nearly 700,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road. They estimated that annual sales of electric cars would reach 1.2 million by 2025, at which point there would be an estimated 7 million electric vehicles on the road.
So, exactly where do Democrats anticipate all the electricity will come from that will be required to supply some 2-3 million charging stations… let alone, light, heat, and cool our homes, factories, and businesses? And will the American people, instant gratification junkies that we are, be patient enough to spend from 20-40 minutes charging up our EV batteries when it took less than five minutes to fill our tanks with gasoline?
It was recently
announced that Volkswagen, as part of its punishment for cheating on diesel emissions
tests, will spend $2 billion over the next ten years developing a nationwide
web of fast chargers compatible with all brands of EVs. The program is called Electrify America and
includes an $800 million program designed to deploy public and private stations
in high traffic areas, 35% of which will go to disadvantaged communities… where,
of course, $50,000 Tesla EVs are the vehicles of choice.
Liberals and Democrats tend to view the answers to these problems as mere technicalities. When asked where electricity comes from, most liberals and Democrats would simply respond, “From the outlet on the wall! Of course!”
One candidate even went so far as to suggest that it’s time those who live at sea level should start moving to higher ground.
It is understandable that the Quileute Tribe of western Washington, a tribe of former whalers and seal hunters who occupy the westernmost zip code in the continental United States, would actively seek to move their oceanfront community to higher ground. The Quileute are not concerned that the sea level will rise as a result of melting polar icecaps. However, living as they do in the earthquake-prone Ring of Fire region of North America, they have every right to fear a potential tsunami that would wipe out their entire community in a matter of minutes. But to suggest that it is practical to begin relocating 150-200 million people who occupy 95,440 miles of U.S. coastline, because of the unconscionable fear of rising sea levels, is simply insane.
When the subject turned to immigration problems on our southern border, it was time to turn on the phony compassion switch. To hear the candidates and the CNN moderators describe the problem of housing illegal border crossers, many of them families with small children, one would have to believe that Donald Trump loaded Melania, Donald Jr., Eric, his wife Lara, and Jared and Ivanka Kushner onto Air Force One, flew to El Paso, and spent the day gleefully ripping children from the arms of their distraught mothers.
The candidates, each in turn, fought back tears as they attempted to show that they were far more devastated by the plight of the parents and the children than any of their fellow candidates. But what was most telling about that performance was the fact that not one of the candidates, and not one of the CNN moderators, found it necessary to acknowledge that every day of the week, for the past 240 years, federal and state officials have been sending mothers and fathers off to prison… some for the rest of their lives… and in no case have they ever incarcerated children along with their parents.
Nor did they express an ounce of compassion for the children of U.S. military personnel who are deployed to war zones in countries thousands of miles from home. Military personnel who are assigned to posts in foreign lands not classified as war zones are permitted to take spouses and children with them, but that is not true of deployments to active war zones.
So, where is the compassion for the mothers and fathers who find themselves either incarcerated for long prison terms or deployed to war zones in foreign lands? Is there a lack of compassion among Democrats because those who are convicted felons have lost their right to vote, and those who are deployed military personnel most often vote for Republicans? Could it be as simple and as cynical as that?
Although Donald Trump was rarely mentioned by name during the debate, one of the debaters did refer to the Russian collusion investigation as proof of Trump’s duplicity. The candidate cited as proof the fact that senior members of the Trump campaign, including Donald Trump, Jr.; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and campaign manager, Paul Manafort, met with a Russian attorney at the Trump Tower in New York on June 9, 2016.
The key figure in the Trump Tower meeting was a Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was recommended to the Trump campaign by a long-time Trump acquaintance, publicist Rob Goldstone, as someone who possessed negative opposition research information on Hillary Clinton that would be useful to the Trump campaign. In a clear and unambiguous email proffer to Trump Jr. on June 3, 2016, Goldstone wrote, “Emin (Agalarov, an Azerbaijani singer who had performed at a Trump Miss Universe event in Moscow) just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.
“The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father, Aras, this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.”
In response, Trump Jr. replied, “Thanks Rob. I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time, and if it’s what you say, I love it… especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?”
It was the kind of information that “comes over the transom” in every political campaign from sources both foreign and domestic, so it should not be surprising that Trump Jr., welcomed the input, saying, “I love it.”
But what is most interesting about the Trump Tower meeting with Ms. Veselnitskaya is not that she had absolutely no information and no documents dealing with Hillary Clinton and her pre-campaign dealings with Russia. What is most interesting is the fact that Ms. Veselnitskaya attended a court hearing in New York on June 8, 2016, the day before the Trump Tower meeting, at which Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm employed by the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was present. But, as if that were not coincidence enough, both Mr. Simpson and Ms. Veselnitskaya have admitted to being seated at the same table at a dinner in Washington, DC on the evening of June 10, 2016, the day after the Trump Tower meeting.
So, what are the chances that a Russian attorney, meeting with senior Trump campaign officials under false pretenses, would also be in the same room with a man whose firm had been hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to dig up dirt on Donald Trump? And what are the chances that the two would find themselves in the same room on both the day before and the day after the Trump Tower meeting? People are fond of saying, “It’s a small world.” But is the world really that small?
Any reasonable person might suspect that the Trump Tower meeting was nothing more than a setup, designed only to create the optics for a future claim that Donald Trump had “colluded” with Russians to win the U.S. presidency. Yet, not one of the Democratic debaters, not one of the CNN moderators, and, worse yet, not a single Republican leader, made mention of this inexplicable chain of events so that the American people might understand what was happening.
Until recent years, the field of presidential hopefuls in each party has been limited to perhaps two or three candidates… all men and women of substance. In 2016, Republicans produced a field of seventeen candidates… some a bit short on experience, but all serious candidates. Watching the twenty-three Democrat candidates vying for the 2020 presidential nomination, we are reminded of the tale of Snow White and the seven dwarfs. The difference being that the Democrats have now produced more than twenty political dwarfs… but who will play the role of Snow White? Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren? Willie Brown mistress, Kamala Harris? Minnesota Ice Queen Amy Klobuchar? Or will “Plugs” Biden be the first Democrat to seek the presidency in drag?
Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.