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Good news: Dems admit ethanol mandate failed – Bad news: Trump promised to save it

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During the 2016 GOP presidential primaries, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took a political gamble leading up to the Iowa caucus when he called for major changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, including a call to end ethanol subsidies. Meanwhile, Donald Trump praised ethanol and called for raising the standard in an attempt to curry enough political favor in the Big Corn state to beat Cruz. Despite the reality that most of the corn used in ethanol production came from Iowa, Cruz beat Trump.

Created as a means to combat so-called climate change, the RFS required that ever-increasing amounts of ethanol be blended into gasoline. And despite documented evidence of ethanol’s damage to consumers and the environment, the RFS became little more than another taxpayer-subsidized, crony-capitalist, corporate-welfare program where the federal government picks the winners (Big Corn) and the losers (everyone else).

In a sort of good news/bad news announcement last week, key Democrats behind the biofuel push contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 announced that they had “made a mistake” with the ethanol mandate, and they introduced new legislation to fix it.

“The law hasn’t worked out as we intended,” said former California Congressman and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Henry Waxman. Following a joint call with reporters, Waxman joined current members of Congress, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Sen Tom Udall (D-NM), to introduce legislation that will phase out corn-based ethanol. Speaking for the group, Welch said:

“We’ve now had more than a decade of experience with it, and it had the best of intentions. But it has turned out to be a well-intended flop.

“It actually doesn’t cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, it expands them. It’s had a significant impact on overplanting in fragile areas of the corn belt. It has had significant impacts on small engines. And it’s also had a significant impact on feed prices … and there is a lot of evidence it has increased the cost of food.”

So, that’s the good news. The bad news is that Trump promised to protect corn-based ethanol and he, along with a host of ethanol-loving Republicans from red state producers of corn, wants the RFS to stay.

It was just a few months ago that Trump caved to Big Corn when he overruled an effort by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to make major modifications to the RFS following heavy resistance from a gang of Midwestern Senators led by Chuck Grassley. And with his reelection campaign officially launched, Trump will be in campaign mode for the rest of his first term as he prepares for Iowa in 2020.

Trump promised in 2016 to protect ethanol mandates, a promise that he’s already bragged about keeping. And even though he’s demonstrated a propensity to break his promises when politically convenient, it’s very likely that Trump will continue to keep his ethanol promise to Iowa.

Not because it’s good for America, but because it’s good for his campaign.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

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Democrats

There will be no climate change debate because the DNC is scared of what would be said

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There will be no climate change debate because the DNC is scared of what would be said

Climate change activists were extremely vocal at the annual summer for the Democratic National Committee. They’re upset that climate change is effectively missing from the first two debates and have demanded a single-issue debate focused on the environment. But DNC leaders haven’t budged after declaring there would be no such debate.

This isn’t surprising. Conservatives may look at progressives and assume everyone in the Democratic Party is a flaming tree-hugger, but the reality is climate change ranks very low on the list of real concerns for actual voters. If it weren’t for the loud but small group of radical progressives who have been driving the agenda for the Democratic Party since President Trump was elected, climate change would still be an issue of passing importance on the periphery that it has been for decades.

It’s not that climate change isn’t a concern. It’s that it’s not a primary concern to most voters. Democrats are worried about it as they’re flooded with propaganda by progressive media, but compared to putting food on the table or paying for their kid’s braces, climate change is a distant concern.

Nevertheless, it’s an issue that’s important enough to talk about for Democrats because their party holds the edge on the matter in the eyes of anyone who believes it’s an issue at all. The ranks of Americans who believe man-made climate change is a real concern are growing. Polls show a majority of Americans who think it’s something that deserves attention are high even among Republicans. Considering the GOP stance on climate change ranges from mild interest to outright denial, one would think the Democrats would take advantage of this.

They won’t. They can’t. Today’s candidates aren’t Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton calling for incremental action to address climate change over the next three decades. Today’s leading candidates, especially Bernie “Green New Deal” Sanders and Elizabeth “Bold Action” Warren, are speaking of radical changes when they’re talking to their base. And lower ranked candidates are even more expressive of their concerns in hopes the environmentalist crowd can help propel them to the upper tier in the race for the nomination.

Candidates can’t speak boldly on a topic to their base and then give more moderate responses to a national audience. In today’s social-media-driven society, major contradictions are captured. They go viral. Then candidates have to answer for their reversals. Therefore, whatever the candidate tell radical progressives in small gatherings about their climate change plans must be the same thing they say during a nationally televised debate.

The DNC realizes this would be the kiss of death for their White House ambitions. If mainstream moderate American voters, who often receive their only exposure of candidates during televised debates, were to hear the insane ideas most of the candidates are proposing, they will quickly warm to the idea of reelecting President Trump.

The moment a candidate talks about limiting air travel, they’ve lost 2020.

The first Democrat to say we need to be driving electric cars exclusively by 2030 will get demolished in the general election.

Some may point out these policy proposals are available to the public already, but availability does not highlight the issue to the vast majority of Americans. But on the debate stage where consistency must be maintained, they’re done the moment they announce their real perspectives on the issue.

If moderates and independents heard the things Democratic candidates were proposing to tackle climate change, any hope of beating President Trump would be lost. The DNC won’t risk letting the radical truth come out in a debate.

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Democrats

Tucker Carlson: Moderates aren’t welcome in the Democratic Party anymore

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Tucker Carlson Moderates arent welcome in the Democratic Party anymore

It’s true. If you’re a moderate, your ideas are anathema to the Democratic Party. Oh, there are still moderate Democratic voters out there. Otherwise, Joe Biden wouldn’t be leading the polls, though even Biden has taken several pages out of the hyper-leftist policy playbook since announcing his candidacy in April. But the radical progressive wing of the party is taking over and many Democratic voters are following their lead.

This is why, as Tucker Carlson put it, this is a two-person race. Which radical will emerge at the end, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders? Warren has had the upper hand since the debates, but Sanders hopes his more-radical Green New Deal proposal will resonate with the far left enough that they’ll give him back his mantle as the socialist of choice.

Noteworthy in Carlson’s commentary is the fact that the DNC declined having a climate change debate. Why? Because the last thing they want is for their candidates to be spouting off radical proposals to deal with climate change on national television. They don’t mind it when candidates are talking to the base, but considering many Americans have their only exposure to the candidates during the ultra-hyped televised debates, the DNC doesn’t want the candidates scaring moderates towards the Republicans.

Conservatives were so concerned about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and rightfully so. But this new batch of Democratic presidential candidates are completely detached from reality. It’s radical progressivism or hit the road for today’s Democrats.

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Democrats

Bernie’s betting high on Green New Deal to save his campaign

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Bernies betting high on Green New Deal to save his campaign

Around four months ago, Senator Bernie Sanders was on top of most 2020 election polls. Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren was polling at single-digits, former Vice President Joe Biden hadn’t entered the race, Senator Kamala Harris was still relatively unknown and nobody knew how to pronounce Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s name. That was then. Today, he has slipped to third in many polls and has less of an upside than 4th-place Harris or 5th-place Buttigieg.

Much of this can be attributed to Warren’s two strong debate performances as well as her willingness to throw radical proposals against the wall every week. Sanders has been relying heavily on his old shtick; even some leftist media sources noted that Sanders 2020 sounded exactly like Sanders 2016. His campaign until this week had been heavily reliant on promoting socialist redistribution schemes and vouching for Medicare-for-All, neither of which give him any daylight between Warren and himself. In fact, you can quote one about socialism or healthcare, attribute it to the other, and their supporters couldn’t tell the difference.

But Warren’s climate change plan fell flat with the leftest of the leftists. At a “modest” $2 trillion, it was seen as a band-aid for a sliced jugular in the eyes of many climate change activists. This was it. This was Bernie’s opportunity to pounce, and pounce he did. His recently unveiled $16.3 trillion Green New Deal package is a massive amount of pouncing.

How massive? Let’s start from the year 1 AD and write a check every day to pay for it. How much would that check need to be?

Sanders has been receiving praise from some of the most radical progressive groups out there since unveiling his plan. It is much more “woke” than Warren’s and may serve Sanders in his quest to lead the hyper-leftist wing of the party once again in the primaries. Currently, Warren holds that mantle. Will the Green New Deal be enough?

If it isn’t, Sanders is done. This is his only differentiating factor against Warren, which is why his Twitter account and campaign mailers have been in overdrive trying to make the Green New Deal the talking point for progressives. He needs them to look at his plan and Warren’s and believe Bernie is the most radical of the radicals.

It could backfire. This may be a way for Warren to appear more mainstream than Sanders. She has already conspicuously declined to take on the label of being a Democratic Socialist and has gone so far as to speak like a capitalist even if her policies are socialistic. Sanders doesn’t share her embarrassment for labels. He’s a socialist and never try to deny him of this “honor.”

Sanders is throwing up a hail mary even though the Democratic primary match is still in the first quarter. He recognizes this race could slip away from him quickly if he doesn’t do something different. He hopes the Green New Deal is his Warren-buster.

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