President Barack Obama claims not to be conducting a war on coal, yet last week his administration proposed the strictest carbon emissions rules yet, using the Clean Air Act of 1970 in a way it was never intended.
Obama praised an “all of the above” energy strategy for 2014 during his State of the Union Address in January, but the requirement to cut emissions of carbon from power plants by 30 percent effectively means an end to any future for coal-burning power plants …
The EPA estimates coal would still factor in for about a third of the electricity mix in 2030, predicting about a 7 percent drop in coal use for power plants. And, Obama claims he doesn’t understand why opponents of the plan think electric rates will skyrocket …
While supporters claim it’s the U.S. having a duty to do what it can to save the planet, we continue to note that the Chinese, despite choking air pollution, direct evidence of illnesses among its citizens, and major cities that don’t see the sun — in other words, a nation that looks like U.S. industrial areas before the passage of the 1970 Clean Air Act — are not cleaning up their act.
Until all nations are doing their part, the U.S. doesn’t need to set an example with hundreds of thousands of jobs, increasing electricity costs and investments by utilities that could otherwise develop the smart grid to the point where every home is hooked into energy managed systems that would save energy use — and thus cut pollutants by requiring less production of energy.
This Congress has been one of the most ineffective of the past half-century.
It doesn’t just feel like that: A recent Brookings Institution report found that 75 percent of important congressional issues are caught in gridlock.
A proposed extension of unemployment benefits is one of the victims, passed by the Senate this year in a bipartisan compromise that included Rob Portman but was blocked in the House by Speaker John Boehner. That’s the bad news — especially for the millions of families with a wage-earner out of work for more than 26 weeks. Distraught dads and moms from across the country responded to Washington reporter Deirdre Shesgreen’s recent story on the gridlock.
The opportunity for us here in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is that many key players in this legislative fight and others actually answer to us.
Boehner, a West Chester Republican, has many masters, but at the end of the day it’s the 726,000 people in his 8th Congressional District who decide whether he stays in Washington. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is minority leader in the other chamber, and GOP Sens. Portman and Rand Paul are also prominent there.
Constituents should speak up — both at the ballot box and through regular contact with their representatives — if they want Congress to do something.
Yes, it’s a game of numbers. One call or email might not change the course of history, but many people acting individually can. Gridlock exists only because we allow it to.
The Cincinnati Enquirer
On mumps and measles
With measles hitting a 20-year-high nationally, in large part due to an outbreak right here in Ohio, parents are reminded to make sure their children’s immunizations are up to date.
According to published reports, the last time the measles cases spiked this high was in 1994. In addition to Ohio, numerous cases have been reported in New York and California. Many of Ohio’s more than 100 cases have occurred in Knox County where there exists a significant Amish population. But, health officials warn a breakout of this size puts the general population at risk.
Luckily, while several of these cases required hospitalization, no deaths have been reported in this latest round of cases. But measles can be deadly, and that’s why the Centers for Disease Control advise children to receive the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine.
Officials say it’s especially important to be vaccinated when traveling abroad. Still, many parents opt not to have children immunized for religious or philosophical reasons.
Doing so puts people at risk. Measles, also called rubeola, can lead to ear infections, pneumonia and even death. The CDC calls measles the most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses. The CDC recommends the MMR vaccine be given to children in two doses, the first at 12 to 15 months of age, the second 4 weeks later or at least before the start of kindergarten….
In Ohio, measles aren’t the only concern, there’s also been an outbreak of mumps. New cases of both measles and mumps continue to be confirmed.
We urge parents to immunize on schedule to protect the health of their families and the public at large.
The Marietta Times
On Holocaust Memorial
Ohio’s Holocaust and Liberators Memorial, unveiled Monday on Capitol Square in Columbus by Gov. John Kasich, is a magnificent reminder of humankind’s obligation to fight evil.
Designed by acclaimed architect Daniel Libeskind, the memorial is powerful, moving and beautiful. It does what a monument is supposed to do. It jogs memory. It prods conscience. It tugs at the heart.
The privately funded monument, which Kasich himself proposed, memorializes not only the six million Jews murdered by National Socialist Germany but also millions of others murdered by the Nazis because of religion, sexuality or dissent, or because of intellectual, mental or physical disabilities. The memorial also recognizes Ohio soldiers who helped liberate the world from Nazism, and survivors who settled in Ohio after liberation.
This Capitol Square embellishment complements rather than overwhelms Ohio’s nearby Doric-style Statehouse, a limestone landmark completed in 1861. While Libeskind’s design includes a sculpturally stylized Star of David, the new monument advances no creed except, perhaps, the Golden Rule….
If there were a field manual for the eternal war that goodness wages against evil, its first two words would be “never forget.” Ohio’s Holocaust and Liberators Memorial embodies that message, brilliantly.
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer