Rohani: A “moderate” game-changer?

This changes everything.

A reader at The Optimistic Conservative pointed out that the media outlets hailing the election of Hassan Rohani, a so-called “moderate,” as the next president of Iran are the same outlets that consider the Tea Parties in America to be “radical.”

Given that most of these media outlets would agree that the clerical mullahs of Iran’s Guardian Council are radicals, the task for the Tea Parties seems clear: simply proclaim some among their membership to be “moderate.”  Send the moderate members to talk to the media and negotiate political issues.  The moderate Tea Partiers need never make a concession or give any ground; their only requirement is to serve as the self-proclaimed moderates of the Tea Party movement.  A few tweets would help too.  The media outlets should greet the Tea Party moderates with acclaim and be excited to see them elected to public office.

Election of a ringer?

If it works for the Iranian government, it should certainly work for the Tea Parties.  The fertile TOC comments section provided a preview for another significant point, which is Continue reading “Rohani: A “moderate” game-changer?”

Cyprus: The EU, out of ideas

Need some old-fashioned statesmanship here.

The Pax Americana continues to disintegrate, and the crack-up continues to circle around the “Great Crossroads,” the junction of Asia, Europe, and Africa where everything affects everything else.  The latest chapter in the saga features Cyprus, where a stand-off between the EU and German voters has closed banks and ATMs to Cypriots, who would like to withdraw their cash before it is subjected to a 6.75% or 9.9% confiscation.  The Cypriot parliament voted on Tuesday against accepting the EU/IMF deal to restructure the nation’s debt.

The issues are (a) that Cyprus needs a bailout (due to catastrophic bank losses through financial exposure in the Greece bailout); (b) the German taxpayer is not enamored of paying for yet another bailout for an EU basket case; and (c) Continue reading “Cyprus: The EU, out of ideas”

The EPA assault on Texas

Got energy? Not for long.

The necessary precondition for Texas’s unique economic success – a beacon in a deep recession – is energy.  And the EPA is closing in for the kill.

This would be one thing if Texas were an outlier among the 50 states in terms of dirty air or an otherwise demonstrably imperiled environment.  But the truth is closer to the opposite:  the air in Texas has been getting cleaner; in the urban areas, much cleaner.  And in spite of being by far the largest electric power producer of the 50 states, and heavily reliant on coal, Texas has been steadily reducing its emissions of the EPA’s least-favored compounds from coal combustion (e.g., sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide). Its emissions of NOx and SO2 are substantially lower than the national average; Texas is ranked the 11th lowest in NOx emissions (.098 lb/mmBtu in 2009, versus a national average of .159 lb/mmBtu), and 24th in SO2 (.309 lb/mmBtu in 2009, versus a national average of .458 lb/mmBtu).

But the EPA isn’t really making the argument that Texas is an environmental pigsty. Continue reading “The EPA assault on Texas”