While You Were Sleeping

"Dateline -- Los Angeles. After dying on June 25th, 2009, pop star Michael Jackson remains dead. Stay tuned for more breaking news on the minute-by-minute status of Michael Jackson's death."

The above isn't taken from an actual newscast, but really, are you going to tell me that the position of most of the media has been any less absurd? Any death is a loss -- I believe that, and my heart goes out to anyone suffering with grief. But let's leave that to the Jackson family and try to remember that the 299,999,999 Americans who didn't die on June 25th are in some pretty big trouble. It was last Friday night when the dreaded "cap-and-trade" vote took place, it passed 219-212, and we're now facing some of the most sweeping challenges to our sovereignty in our nation's history. First, let's read what President Obama thinks of his cap-and-trade plan--this is from an interview that appeared in The New York Times on June 28th, 2009:

I think this was an extraordinary first step. You know, if you had asked people six months ago -- or six weeks ago, for that matter -- whether we could get a energy bill with the scope of the one that we saw on Friday through the House, people would have told you, no way. You look at the constituent parts of this bill -- not only a framework for cap and trade, but huge significant steps on energy efficiency, a renewable energy standard, huge incentives for research and development in new technologies, incentives for electric cars, incentives for nuclear energy, clean coal technology. This really is an unprecedented step and a comprehensive approach.

So I think that at the end of the day this bill represents an important first step. There are critics from the left as well as the right; some who say who doesn't go far enough, some who say it goes too far. I am convinced that after a long period of inaction, for us to have taken such a significant step means that we're going to be in a position to advance technologically, obtain huge gains in efficiency. I think what we're going to see is that if we're able to get this in place that it's going to be very similar to the Clean Air Act of '91 or how we approached acid rain, where all the nay-sayers are proven wrong because American ingenuity and technology moves a lot faster when incentives are in place.

Gee, I wonder what color the sky is in his world? "Incentives?" I think it's funny when a guy like President Obama tries to use capitalist "lingo" to make us think that his plan is market-based, when really, nothing could be further from the truth. I think cap-and-trade is bad for all kinds of reasons, but here are three of the biggest.

To begin with, it punishes America for being in America. Let me explain --in this country, there's New York City and Washington on the East coast and California on the West. What happens on the edges of this country are largely crazy and have little to do with what's really going on in the states in-between, you know, the America those elitist dopes fly over on their way to award shows. (Of course I'm not saying there aren't plenty of good people in D.C., New York and California, but I'm making a point --stay with me.)

See, the cap-and-trade nonsense is wildly anti-coal (never mind that the coal industry is how approximately one million Americans put food on their family's table). The reality is, the Northeast and Pacific regions don't rely as heavily on coal as most of the rest of the country. If you live where coal is cheap, easy to get to and there's a whole lot of it, cap-and-trade hits you right in the pocketbook (you know the "T" word...taxes). This is yet another example of minority pockets of the country (and their lawmakers) making decisions for the majority of us. Believe me -- there's a way of thinking in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. that would not work in Boise, Idaho. As far as I'm concerned I'll take the Boise way.

Secondly, the government is acting like a middleman between citizens and businesses, and "we the people" just don't need the help. Now all of California's housing standards must be imposed on every American community. Um...I would think that considering the way things are going in California, we'd want the other 49 states doing things the opposite way, no? Thanks to this new legislation, we have to make sure that buildings have a place to plug in your electric hybrid vehicle. You know, the one no one can afford to buy and the failing auto industry can't afford to make. And now there's an additional credit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac housing goals for "energy efficient" and "location efficient" mortgages. There is even the establishment of something called "green banking centers." What this stuff means, I haven't got a clue (and that's not just because I'm a rodeo clown -- a lot of the smart people I pay to make me seem like less of a rodeo clown don't know what it means either). We're also going to require that every car sold in America now has an engine capable of operating on alternative fuel, so that way we can pay our farmers to grow corn that we won't eat to make ethanol that costs $1.25 to make $1.00 worth of fuel. Brilliant! "Cap-and-trade" may be the headline, but there's a whole lot of fine print (and as usual, they hope you only check out the headline, skip the fine print, and go back to thinking about what Michael Jackson had for lunch on the day he died).

Lastly, all this happened in the middle of the night--while you were sleeping, they were scheming. This cap-and-trade package is over 1,500 pages long, and get this --341 pages were sprung on lawmakers at 3:00 a.m. How could anyone be expected to digest all that information --especially hundreds of new pages filled with that crazy language known as "Washingtonese" -- and make an informed decision on behalf of the American people? We need MORE transparency in Congress, not less. And honestly, we have to not only hold the president accountable for this lunacy, but also our representatives who let it get by them. Michael Jackson may have died on June 25th, but we as a country suffered a far greater loss.

Maybe the real reason President Obama was so hell-bent on ramming cap-and-trade through is that the tide of international scientific opinion is turning against him and the false assumption that global warming is a man-made condition. The Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country's carbon-emissions plan. And last April, the Polish Academy of Sciences released a document challenging human-caused global warming. Even more questions are being raised in the Czech Republic, France, and New Zealand.

What Al Gore didn't see coming was that his bold assertion that global warming was FACT didn't quiet the world's scientists, but woke them up! At its core, science is about challenging accepted beliefs, and now it's widely held that over 700 scientists from across the world (and political ideological spectrum) don't believe that climate change is our fault. And yet, cap-and-trade is now something we all have to live with. I guess the old saying of "never letting the facts get in the way of a good story" can be applied to "never letting the facts get in the way of a good tax scheme."

But as frustrated as I am, as angry as I get and as hopeless as things can seem, I'll never get so discouraged that I stop. Or quiet my voice. Or avoid being attacked because I dare ask the hard questions of the people who work for you. And the same should go for you -- there is only defeat when the game is over, so we need to stay on the field and play harder than ever.

Remember, we surround them, and the passage of cap-and-trade serves as a powerful reminder that whatever it is that the rest of the media is ignoringÃÆâ€Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÃ†Ãƒ¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’†ÃƒƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÃ¢â‚¬ ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÃ†Ãƒ¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÃ‚¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬ÃƒÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¡ÃƒÃ†Ãƒ¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’†ÃƒƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÃ‚¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¡ÃƒÃ†Ãƒ¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’¢â‚¬Å¡ÃƒÃ¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢ -- that's what we need to keep an eye on.

And oh, Michael Jackson? Yup, you guessed it--still dead.