Saturday, February 26, 2011

Will Obama Destroy Any Hope of U.S. Energy Independence?

This article was written by Charles Brant of Casey Research.  Given the rise of oil and gas prices, Obama's refusal to drill domestically, and the turmoil in the Middle East this is too important to not share.

The U.S. consumes nearly three times the amount of oil that it produces domestically on a daily basis. How can this statistic get any worse, you might ask?

Imagine in 2010 the Obama administration persuades Congress to pass a budget that results in a reduction of domestic oil production by 10% - 20%, making the supply/demand imbalance even more lopsided. Foreign oil companies will gain a distinct advantage over American domestic operators as an unintended consequence of these proposals.

Sound farfetched? It's closer to reality than you may think... If it comes to pass, it will likely be the biggest structural change in the U.S. domestic oil and gas industry in decades and have far-reaching implications for investors and for the entire country.

In early 2009, the Obama administration proposed to eliminate significant tax incentives for the oil and gas industry. These tax benefits were put in place decades ago to incentivize oil and gas producers to develop domestic sources of energy, while recognizing that oil and gas exploration entailed special risks. Two of the proposed repeals with the most potential impact relate to what the industry refers to as "percentage depletion" as well as "intangible drilling costs" (IDC).

Tax incentives explained

The first proposal involves eliminating the deduction for percentage depletion. Currently, the tax code allows small oil and gas producers to choose between two different tax deductions, percentage depletion or cost depletion (Big Oil's ability to use percentage depletion was severely limited years ago).

Percentage depletion allows a tax deduction of 15% of the annual gross revenue of a well, continuing as long as the well produces and even after 100% of the costs have been recovered. On the other hand, cost depletion is calculated as the amount of oil or gas produced annually as a percentage of the total reserves of the reservoir. This deduction ceases when 100% of costs have been recovered (after which the producer may switch to percentage depletion).

From a practical standpoint, this means many small stakeholders, including investors and lessors who are not directly involved in the operations of the wells, will lose their ability to deduct depletion altogether, putting them at a significant disadvantage to their larger competitors.

And cost depletion is pretty much out of the question for most small stakeholders, as it's extremely difficult for them to calculate. Small stakeholders in wells often aren't entitled to the proprietary reservoir data developed by the operator of the well, which is necessary to calculate cost depletion. While the operators do disclose reservoir data in their annual reports, they rarely contain enough detail for a small stakeholder to locate information relating to a small field or well in which the stakeholder has an interest. Oil and gas stakeholders - such as individual royalty owners, royalty trust investors, and landowners, who all benefit from leasing land to oil and gas explorers - will immediately see the value of their investment decrease while simultaneously paying more in taxes every year.

The other proposal relates to drilling costs. Under current rules, oil and gas producers can elect to deduct certain intangible costs related to the drilling and workover of wells, including labor, drilling fluids, and drilling rig time. By electing to deduct instead of capitalizing and amortizing expenses, explorers recoup their costs faster. If the Obama administration does away with intangible drilling costs, oil and gas producers will no longer be incentivized to reinvest in new drilling projects, and new exploration will decline.

Small oil and gas producers will also rethink their decisions to pursue riskier prospects if drilling incentives are reduced. The only projects that will be worthwhile to undertake will be the "sure win deals." And if they do decide to drill, they won't recoup their costs as quickly, which means they'll be slower to start new projects. Without the tax incentives, marginal producing wells, which might otherwise be reworked and continue to produce for years, will be more likely to be plugged and abandoned.

So what if marginal wells are no longer subsidized? Taxpayers shouldn't be supporting bad assets and small oil and gas companies that operate them.

That's a fair point. But it's significant to note that 85% of the total oil wells in the U.S. are marginal producers, and these wells account for approximately 10% of total oil production from the lower 48 states. For natural gas, marginal wells produce nearly 9% of the total. And it's not just small companies operating these wells. These subsidies are deeply embedded in the economics of the U.S. independent oil and gas industry. Cutting the tax incentives will drastically change the industry. The chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America thinks these proposals will cost independent oil and gas producers over $30 billion.

Back in May 2009, when it came time to include the president's proposals limiting oil and gas tax incentives in the FY2010 budget, cooler heads prevailed in Congress and the proposals were not enacted. However, you can bet that similar policies affecting the industry will be enacted sooner rather than later.

Profiting from the mayhem

All independent, non-integrated U.S. explorers and producers will be affected if these proposals become a reality. At first, profits of oil and gas producers across the board will decline precipitously, impacting companies' bottom lines and hammering investor returns. Producers that primarily operate marginal wells will be forced to plug and abandon newly uneconomical wells as a result of the policy changes. Without cash flow to support high fixed costs and precarious balances sheets, these companies will quickly become distressed.

Next, oil services companies will suffer as their small and medium-sized customer bases shrivel up. Regardless of size, all exploration and production companies with significant exposure to U.S. oil and gas assets will get hurt.

It's also almost guaranteed the market will overreact and punish any U.S. company that has anything to do with oil and gas, whether or not it's fundamentally justified. However, once the initial panic subsides, expect to find some screaming bargains among the surviving companies.

Oil and gas companies with conservative balance sheets, diversified assets outside of the U.S., spare cash, and opportunistic management will have a heyday picking up quality assets at fire sale prices. The trick is to identify the companies that will survive the turmoil and be able to capitalize on their competitors' misfortune. Initially these strong companies will suffer stock declines along with every other oil and gas company. But they will recover quickly, and as they acquire new assets at attractive prices, their growth and profitability will be better than before. The window of opportunity to get into these stocks at bargain prices will be brief, as the market will quickly correct and the value will disappear.

Big Oil identified the United States as a hostile political environment years ago and has moved most of its production overseas, so they're less likely to be negatively affected by these changes. However, bargain prices will be too tempting for these giants to stay on the sidelines. They'll wade into the fray in a big way, picking up great assets even though it means they'll be subjected to the stifling regulatory environment that comes with doing business in America.

Energy prices across the board will explode upwards and stay high until the production void left by oil and gas can be replaced by renewable energies, nuclear, or coal. The coming energy crisis will present you with plenty of opportunities to profit if your portfolio is correctly positioned.


Aaron Tippin - Drill Here Drill Now

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fair Tax: Why America Needs It

The Fair Tax replaces all forms of federal income and other tax structures, with a national consumption tax. The use of a fair tax, or national consumption tax, is the only logical way to level the playing field and create a tax structure that is pro-growth. Because the fair tax eliminates all federal taxes, the employer (or consumer) earns one hundred percent of their pay (no withholding). This means the employees (consumer) has more income to inject into the economy through higher purchasing power.

The fair tax is dollar for dollar replacement of the current inane progressive, actually regressive tax structure. The current tax code consists of over 60,000 pages which is too complex for the average American to understand. Most Americans spend billions annually on tax preparation, only to probably come up short for a refund.

From business perspective, the employer wins as well as they will no longer have to pay taxes to hire and retain an employee. Employer taxes on income, Social Security and Medicare will be eliminated. The employer gets to keep one hundred percent of what he earns and only pays a national sales tax on what is consumed.

Now you see how this have a direct positive impact on the economy. Multiply that higher purchasing power across all American workers, undocumented workers and tourists who spend in the American economy. Because the national sales tax is based on consumption of goods and services, the tax structure is income level neutral. Only what is spent on goods and services is taxed, not how much one earns. If you make more, you will spend more because you have more disposable income.

Initially the fair tax will be slow to produce a real tangible benefit other than less stress during tax season. But as consumers spend more due to higher disposable income, and businesses hire more due to higher demand of goods and services, the economy will improve. It is expected that if fair tax is implemented that within two years, the unemployment rate will drop four to five percent, and move towards perfect employment. As the shift to perfect employment occurs, wage increases become a reality again accelerating the consumer buying power even more. As this occurs, the negative effects of the progressive tax structure are but a distant memory.

AS more consumption is done, the government revenue is increased. Because the fair tax is a dollar for dollar replacement of the current revenue stream and because it eliminates the ethical challenges of the current progressive tax structure, elected officials can focuses on spending reform and not bickering over revenue shortfalls. Now imagine that kind of problem for our elected officials in Washington.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Should the Pentagon Fund NASCAR?

Yesterday, in a true partisan vote the U.S. House rejected a Democrat-sponsored bill to defund the Pentagon funding of NASCAR drivers and partnerships 281-148.  This gave the green light to the Pentagon to continue funding of NASCAR driver Randy Newman, and others.

The U.S. Army reports that this funding has contributed to 48,000 leads.  However, in the same Wall Street Journal article, the Marines stopped their NASCAR support in 2006 because they found that NASCAR has no benefit to recruiting efforts. 

Ironically, it was Congress back in 2000 that encouraged the Pentagon to leverage NASCAR support to boost recruiting.  Why was the Marine funding a failure, and the Army funding a reported success?

Let's be honest, even the Department of Defense needs to trim its fat.  And even someone like myself who is a defense hawk, sees that spending $7.4 million on NASCAR sponsorship is honestly a waste of taxpayer money.  Last year, Fox Sports Chairman David Hill told the Sports Business Journal that "the biggest problem facing NASCAR is that young males have left the sport."  What this means is that the Pentagon's target audience of males 18-34 patronizing NASCAR have declined 29%.

On-site patronage of NASCAR events is down nearly one million from its peak in 2003. In 2003, NASCAR benefit from nearly 4.5 million (4,494,000) in attendance.  In 2010, on-site attendance fell to 3,594,708.  Even television viewership is down over nine percent from 2009 levels. 

Given these startling statistics, the return on investment by the Pentagon's NASCAR sponsorship is just not there.  If the Pentagon wants to reach the 18-34 target audience, it would be best for them to leverage Internet advertisements, and social media applications for smart phones (e.g. iPhone, Android, Blackberry), where this target demographic spends most of their online time.  A Pew Research report supports this analysis.

GOP-Controlled House Passes $1.2 Trillion Budget

The GOP-controlled U.S. House passed a $1.2 Trillion budget yesterday 235-189.  The budget which covers every federal department funds the government through the end of the 2011 fiscal year, which ends September 30th. 

The House passed the bill, with $61 Billion is cuts which cut from Planned Parenthood, the new federal health care reform bill, domestic and foreign aid, partial school funding and even cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.  The cuts came forty percent lower than the initial goal of cutting $100 Billion from the budget, but did cut $100 Billion from what Obama has proposed.

What was not cut was funding for the Department of Defense funding of NASCAR advertisements.  The Pentagon spends $7 Million annually to fund NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Randy Newman and other partnerships.  Given the U.S. federal deficit is over $14 Trillion, Congress should have passed the amendment to defund the Pentagon's funding of NASCAR.  The funding is not necessary to protect the United States, the core reason why the Department of Defense is funded in the first place.  Instead, Congress gave the green light to the funding by rejecting the Democrat submitted amendment 281-148, with Republicans largely voting against the measure. With this vote, the Republicans dropped the ball and failed to live up to their fiscal conservative calling card.

Friday, February 18, 2011

CBO: Repealing Obamacare Would Reduce Gross Spending $1.4 Trillion Over Next Decade

American Spectator cites a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that by repealing Obamacare, it would reduce gross spending by $1.4 Trillion over the next decade.

Clearly this report refutes leading Democrats'  and President Obama's claims that Obamacare is deficit neutral.  This report comes nearly two weeks after the CBO stated Obamacare would cost America 800,000 jobs, or 0.5 percent by 2021.

Not only does the net effect on the deficit decrease (Table 1), but the Congressional Budget Office also projects insurance premium costs to drop as well if the health reform is passed (Table 4).
How ironic that all of this analysis comes out months after the health care reform bill was passed.  On the bright side, at least it comes out now and House Republicans can continue working to force the repeal over the over-reaching unconstitutional bill.

U.S. House Votes to Defund Nine Obama Czars, FCC Net Neutrality

In more breaking news from the U.S. House, they voted to defund nine czars from Obama's administration.  The vote passed and eliminates funding for the following czars: health-reform czar, climate-change envoy czar, the green jobs czar, Guantanamo Bay closure czar, the TARP oversight czar, and the auto manufacturing czar, and the FCC diversity czar.  The amendment sponsored by Rep. Stephen Scalise (R-LA), passed 249-179.

In another vote, the House voted 244-181 to defund FCC net neutrality rules.  The amendment was sponsored by Reps. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL).

Beleagured DelDOT Secretary Wicks Resigns

DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks who as head of the state transportation agency amid highly questionable land deals and agency mismanagement has resigned.  According to her statement, she wants to retire and spend more time with her family.

Wicks departs on March 18th amid scrutiny over multiple land deals in Sussex County over payment to not build on the land to two separate developers.  Blue Hen Conservative reported on this earlier.

Wicks also has received extensive scrutiny over fiscal mismanagement of  the 2,600 person agency with a budget near $1 Billion, yet the department had a shortfall for much need road projects. 

Governor Jack Markell stated that search most likely outside of Delaware will occur to replace Wicks.

Historic Amendment to Defund Planned Parenthood Passes Overwhelmingly in U.S House

Breaking News!

The House Republicans are on a roll.  Not only did they also vote to defund Obamacare today, but they also voted to defund Planned Parenthood 240-185.  The bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) was amended to the 2011 Federal Spending Bill.

After the bill was passed, Pence stated “This afternoon’s vote is a victory for taxpayers and a victory for life. By banning federal funding to Planned Parenthood, Congress has taken a stand for millions of Americans who believe their tax dollars should not be used to subsidize the largest abortion provider in America.  I commend my colleagues in both parties for taking a stand for taxpayers and a stand for life.”

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate, where it may face a tougher time to pass.  Let's hope the conscience of those U.S. Senators remains intact for the sake of the unborn.

U.S. House Votes to Defund Obamacare

The U.S. House led by House Republicans voted 239-187 to defund the American Patient Protection and Affordability Act.  This vote marks the continual effort by House Republicans to defund the unconstitutional health care reform bill.

While the legal battle over the legitimacy over the over-reaching health care bill moves forward in the courts, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) make good on his word to defund Obamacare.   Twenty-eight states are also suing the federal government over the legitimacy over the individual mandate, NewMax reports.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Obama on the Deficit

Delaware GOP Chair Alienates Conservatives at Sussex GOP Meeting

Delaware Republican State Chairman Tom Ross "imploded" at the Sussex County GOP monthly meeting on February 16, 2011, fueling reports by one Delaware opinion reporter that Ross does not plan to seek re-election at the State's April 30, 2011, State Republican Convention.

"Because it is true!" Ross angrily proclaimed when asked why he said that US Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell "could not be elected dog-catcher in Delaware." The remark was explosive because the GOP Chair thus dramatically abandoned his earlier attempts to build bridges with the more conservative wing of the Delaware GOP in the State's Southernmost county, Sussex. Ross' affirmation of his actions, and that of the Delaware State Republican Committee during the 2010 elections cycle prove malice intent to derail Christine O'Donnell's election.

Before the overflow auditorium crowd of about 400, Ross took a sudden and dramatic change of direction after spending about ten minutes offering conciliatory, bridge-building comments and down-playing the divisions in the Party (DEGOP). Ross' dramatic departure from his attempts to heal the wounds to inflaming and antagonizing the DEGOP's conservatives was interpreted by observers as Ross giving up any attempt to retain the support of the most conservative of Delaware's three Counties.

The remark prompted a walk-out of about one-third of those still remaining in the auditorium. However, about one-third of the original overflow crowd had already walked out when Ross rose to speak, led by WGMD news/opinion talk show host Bill Colley. As the conservative faithful exited, Paula Manalakos, wife of Delaware State Representative Nick Manalakos was over heard stating "there go the Christians". Paula Manalakos ironically works for the Delaware State Republican Committee, and her comment is telling of the disdain for conservatives within the Delaware Republican Party.

Ross then appealed to the clock, cut off his rather short remarks by saying he would answer further questions out in the hallway, then almost immediately ran away from the meeting and left the Carter Building of the Delaware Technical and Community College in Georgetown.

As the invited speaker for the evening, Ross followed a conservative take-over of the Sussex County GOP, in which the voting members voted 44 to 32 to demand the resignation of County GOP Chair Ron Sams, perceived by conservatives to be a Tom Ross ally and agent.

In the absence of both the Chair and Vice Chair, the Secretary called the meeting to order and nominated Judge Bill Lee to serve as Chairman for the evening's meeting. Vance Phillips was also nominated, and was elected as Chair. In a well-choreographed series of moves, an alternative agenda was adopted for the meeting, the entire Rules Committee was disbanded and Brent Wangen appointed as the new Chair of the Rules Committee, and the resolution was passed for Ron Sams' resignation. The resolution is non-binding.

Conservatives now running the meeting attemped to adopt new bylaws, previously attempted last month, but Brent Wangen as Parliamentarian conceded that the motion was out of order as the issue was still in referral to the Rules Committee. The meeting ran smoothly under Vance Phillips -- taking on the appearance of a possible audition of Phillips for County Chair.

Party Chair Ross began his remarks by indirectly appealing for unity. He mildly protested the earlier resolution for Ron Sams' resignation by arguing that condemning another Republican does not help elect Republicans. Yet Ross did not apologize for condemning Christine O'Donnell -- the Party's official nominee in both 2008 and 2010 -- as a fellow Republican. Just as Ross did the previous night at the Christiana Mill Creek Regional GOP meeting, Ross stated conservatives are entitled to their opinions, but not the facts in regards to the what the Party leadership did during the election cycle. At the Christiana Mill Creek meeting on Tuesday, Ross expanded on his comments stating that it was his responsibility to (derail Christine O'Donnell) for the sake of the Republican Party. In that upstate meeting, Ross refused to apologize for the comments and actions and stated those comments and actions were the right thing to do.

Then Ross sought to soft-soak the 2010 election by saying that 2010 did not turn out as anyone had hoped, in a tone of seeking to put the experience behind. He minimized the divisions by stating matter-of-factly that the primary was very divisive, in a tone as if to say these things happen, again encouraging a look to the future.

When Ross took questions after his short remarks, a gentleman began to make a statement consuming a lot of time, and then asked if the Delaware GOP made secret deals with the Democrats and why the DEGOP did not support Christine O'Donnell and Glen Urquhart -- who both defeated the Party backed candidates in the primary. Ross answered there were no deals with the Democrats, and insisted that the Party did all that it could to help elect O'Donnell and Urquhart.

Ross then openly accused Christine O'Donnell's campaign of choosing to attack pundits and the Party instead of working with the Party, at which point the auditorium erupted in boos and catcalls. John Rieley interrupted saying he was the head of O'Donnell's campaign in Sussex County and he knew personally that it was absolutely not true that the Party worked with the O'Donnell campaign to help O'Donnell win.

Another member than asked why Tom Ross filed a lawsuit against the tea party and Christine O'Donnell (a complaint against Tea Party Express and O'Donnell's campaign). Ross again sought to downplay these events by saying it was a hard-fought, divisive primary in a conciliatory tone.

After a series of exchanges with the audience, someone called out "Why did you say the dogcatcher comment?" At that point, Ross dramatically abandoned his attempts to reach out to conservatives and insisted angrily "Because it was true!" Ross conspicuously lost his composure and self-control with that comment.

For Delaware conservatives, the dog-catcher comment is the short-hand for the Republican Party's efforts to attack and sabotage conservative candidates like Christine O'Donnell.

Ironically, Thomas S. Ross himself ran for 3rd Representative District New Castle County Council in 1998 and lost the Republican primary by 27.2% to 72.8%. He then ran the campaign of Christopher J. Castagno, in 2004 for New Castle County Executive, and again lost. Reportedly, Castagno tried about four times to fire Ross, but could not get him on the phone (his own campaign manager). Even more ironically, Castagno’s opponent in 2004 was the very same Chris Coons who beat Tom Ross’ candidate by 58.4% to 41.6% -- a surprisingly familiar spread.

Ross' performance tonight is telling of a Party Chair who has contempt for conservatives and conservative ideals. Furthermore, Ross' admission and lack of guilt on defaming a fellow Republican is not emblamatic of a leader. Because Tom Ross lacks the capacity to be objective and open to conservatives running in a party that nationally is open to conservatives, he must resign. His resignation is the only course of action to heal the Delaware Republican Party, where it can rebuild and move forward to elect conservatives in all three counties.
As of this writing, WGMD has this report on the meeting.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

US Regulators must nix NYSE Deal

The announced merger by Deutsche Boerse AG to purchase NYSE Euronext is call for U.S. regulators to step in nix the deal.  For one, the NYSE is the symbol of American exceptionalism.  For decades, the NYSE has been the bedrock of raising capital for American and multinational companies creating trillions of corporate and shareholder wealth.  NYSE is as American as apple pie.

On a more serious note, the merger would complicate the enforcement of existing SEC and securities laws given the parent company would be German.  There mere fact that is would be harder to ensure compliance is a good enough reason for regulators to step in. 

This merger is not a liberal nor conservative issue, but an American one.  The NYSE recovered from the one of the most tragic events in our history, and has weathered just about every thing else.  Losing this peace of Americana is surrendering America's stronghold on what made her great - business innovation, wealth creation.  Wall Street will no longer be America' symbol of Main Street.

U.S. Regulators - do the right thing and nix this deal

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Does Delaware Need A National Park?

In Congress' last session, Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Ted Kaufmann (D-DE) submitted S.1801 to create the First State National Historical Park.  The intent is to commemorate the historical significance of Delaware's rich history.  Here is the text of the bill:

S.1801 -- First State National Historical Park Act (Introduced in Senate - IS)

S 1801 IS
1st Session

S. 1801

To establish the First State National Historical Park in the State of Delaware, and for other purposes.


October 20, 2009

Mr. CARPER (for himself and Mr. KAUFMAN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


To establish the First State National Historical Park in the State of Delaware, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `First State National Historical Park Act'.


(a) Findings- Congress finds that--
(1) the State of Delaware contains a collection of nationally significant resources relating to--
(A) the early succession of the Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement of the United States; and
(B) the period leading up to the role of Delaware as the first State to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787;
(2) among the resources relating to the early settlement of the United States are--
(A) National Historic Landmarks in Wilmington, Delaware, including--
(i) the site of Fort Christina, which was--
(I) constructed in 1638 by colonists led by Peter Minuet to be the focal point of New Sweden; and
(II) the first Swedish settlement in North America; and
(ii) Old Swedes Church, which is the oldest church building still standing as originally built;
(B) historic sites in New Castle, Delaware, including--
(i) Fort Casimir, which was constructed by the Dutch in 1651; and
(ii) the New Castle Historic District, which is the location of an assemblage of resources associated with Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement of the State; and
(C) the Lewes Historic District in Lewes, Delaware, which--
(i) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places;
(ii) was a significant location for early Dutch settlement and early nationhood;
(iii) is the oldest town formed in Delaware; and
(iv) contains Ryves Holt House, which--
(I) was built in 1665; and
(II) is the oldest building still standing in the State;
(3) among the nationally significant resources relating to the period of English settlement and the birth of the United States are a collection of resources in New Castle, Delaware, including--
(A) the Old New Castle Courthouse, which served as the capitol of the colony until 1777; and
(B) other National Historic Landmarks, including--
(i) the home of John Dickinson, who is known as the `Penman of the Revolution';
(ii) the Jacob Broom House, which was the home of Jacob Broom, delegate to the Constitutional Convention;
(iii) Lombardy Hall, which was the home of Gunning Bedford, Jr., delegate to the Constitutional Convention; and
(iv) Stonum, which was the home of George Read, who was--
(I) a delegate to the Constitutional Convention; and
(II) an advocate of the early ratification of the Constitution by the State of Delaware;
(4) Dover Green, laid out in 1717 in accordance with the 1683 orders of William Penn, was the site at which Delaware--
(A) voted to ratify the Constitution;
(B) mustered a Continental Regiment during the Revolution; and
(C) celebrated the reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776;
(5) the State Archives in Dover, Delaware, contains records and documents of persons and events that contribute to public knowledge and understanding of--
(A) the period of the early settlement of Delaware; and
(B) the role of Delaware as the First State;
(6) the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, Delaware--
(A) commemorates the founding of the first European settlement in the State by the Dutch in 1631; and
(B) provides exhibits and information on the maritime, social, and military history of the Lewes area; and
(7) it is fitting and proper that the resources described in this subsection be recognized through the establishment of the first unit of the National Park System in the State of Delaware so that the public may better understand and appreciate the contributions of those resources to the history of the United States.
(b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to establish the First State National Historical Park to preserve, protect, and promote public understanding and appreciation of--
(1) the cultural and historic resources associated with early Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement in Delaware; and
(2) the events, places, and persons associated with the role of Delaware as the `First State'.

In this Act:
(1) MAP- The term `map' means the map entitled `First State National Historical Park-Proposed Boundary', numbered [Struck out->][ XXXX ][<-Struck out] , and dated [Struck out->][ XXXXX ][<-Struck out] .
(2) PARK- The term `Park' means the First State National Historical Park established by section 4(a).
(3) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.
(4) STATE- The term `State' means the State of Delaware.

(a) Establishment- There is established in the State a unit of the National Park System to be known as the `First State National Historical Park'.
(b) Purpose- The purpose of the Park is to preserve, protect, and interpret--
(1) the historic and cultural resources associated with Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement in the State; and
(2) the resources associated with the role of the State as the first State to ratify the Constitution.
(c) Boundaries-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Park shall be comprised of the following, as generally depicted on the map:
(A) The New Castle Historic District.
(B) Fort Christina.
(C) The Old Swedes Church.
(D) The John Dickinson Plantation.
(E) Lombardy Hall.
(F) Stonum.
(G) The Lewes Historic District.
(H) The Dover Green.
(2) AVAILABILITY OF MAP- The map shall be available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service.
(3) HEADQUARTERS- The headquarters for the Park shall be in the City of New Castle, Delaware.
(d) Acquisition of Land- The Secretary may acquire land or interests in land within the boundaries of the Park by--
(1) donation;
(2) purchase from willing sellers with donated or appropriated funds; or
(3) exchange.
(e) Administration- The Secretary shall administer the Park in accordance with--
(1) this Act; and
(2) the laws generally applicable to units of the National Park System, including--
(A) the National Park Service Organic Act (16 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); and
(B) the Act of August 21, 1935 (16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.).
(f) Grants and Cooperative Agreements- Subject to the availability of funds under section 6(a), the Secretary may provide grants and technical assistance to, and to enter into cooperative agreements with--
(1) the State, political subdivisions of the State (including the cities of Wilmington, New Castle, Dover, and Lewes, Delaware), nonprofit organizations, and private property owners for--
(A) the development, management, and operation of visitor service facilities, subject to the non-Federal entity agreeing to provide the National Park Service, at no extra cost, with sufficient office space and exhibition areas to carry out the purposes of the Park within the facilities;
(B) historic preservation of, research on, and interpretation of properties within the boundary of the Park, including research on the archaeology of the Park;
(C) public access;
(D) educational programs; and
(E) signage and interpretive devices on properties and sites within the Park for interpretive purposes; and
(2) the State Archives located in Dover, Delaware, and the Zwaanandael Museum located in Lewes, Delaware, for research and exhibits relating to the purposes of the Park.
(g) Interpretation- The Secretary may provide interpretive tours to historic sites within the State located outside the boundaries of the Park that include resources relating to--
(1) early Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement; and
(2) the period leading up to the role of the State as the first State to ratify the Constitution.
(h) General Management Plan- Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds are made available to carry out this subsection, the Secretary, in coordination with the State and in consultation with owners of properties within the boundaries of the Park, shall prepare a general management plan for the Park in accordance with section 12(b) of Public Law 91-383 (16 U.S.C. 1a-7(b)).

(a) In General- Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds are made available under section 6(a), the Secretary shall complete a study regarding the preservation and interpretation of additional properties in the State that relate to the purposes described in section 4(b).
(b) Inclusions- The study shall include an assessment of--
(1) the potential for designating the properties as National Historic Landmarks; and
(2) options for maintaining the historic integrity of the properties.

(a) In General- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this Act, including--
(1) $3,000,000 for grants to the State, political subdivisions of the State, and nonprofit organizations for the rehabilitation of existing structures to serve as administrative and visitor services facilities for the Park; and
(2) $2,500,000 for grants to the State, political subdivisions of the State, private property owners, and nonprofit organizations for--
(A) the historic preservation and restoration of resources within the boundary of the Park; and
(B) the costs of design, construction, installation, and maintenance of any exhibits relating to the Park.
(b) Non-Federal Share-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Federal share of the cost of activities under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall be not more than 50 percent.
(2) FORM- The non-Federal share required under paragraph (1) may be in the form of in-kind contributions of goods or services fairly valued.

The premise of this bill to make these landmarks part of Delaware's first national park may be sincere.  But these landmarks are already registered nationally.  By creating the national park, local control over these landmarks would be lost, and that would be tragic.

Would you like historic New Castle to be a controlled by the federal government? 

By making these a national park, Senators Carper and Kaufmann have failed to understand the impact to these areas.  Many of these areas are not conducive to massive tourist travel.

As the U.S. government barrels along with $14 Trillion in debt, and over $1.5T in deficit spending annually, how can we as a nation afford this?  Nice idea, but the credit cards have been maxed out.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rep. Allen West: Liberal Progressivism Have Failed

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) gave the closing keynote speech at CPAC 2011. Allen West, newly sworn in with the Freshman class of 2011, is already on the attack against the Obama regime.

Early on, West stated "liberal progressivism agend have offered no viable solutions for this republic... liberal progressivism has repeatedly failed all over the world. What make you think it will work in the United States?"

West then recited Isaiah 54:17 "no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD." West asked conservatives to stand strong against those that attempt to distort the truth.

Throughout the speech, West was forceful and stern against the Obama agenda, and reminded America that the best days are ahead of her. Have you heard that lately from the White House?

Watch and be enlighted at what leadership we, as Americans, have been missing.

Peter Schiff: 2011 U.S. Economic Predicitions

Peter Schiff, in 2006, correctly predicted the housing implosion that led to our current mega-recession. To say that Peter Schiff may be an economic prophet may be premature, but his eyes-open lens of looking at the activity of the Fed and geo-political forces should cause us all to listen.

Schiff appears to be dead on with his prediction that the U.S. is headed to a high inflationary economy given the quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve. If Americans think the economy is bad now, just wait until what is in store looking ahead.

In the embedded video clip, you also see the back and forth banter on the U.S. dollar position. It should come to no one's surprise with rising commodity and consumer prices, that the U.S. dollar is very weak. The weak dollar is directly attributed to no backing, and excessive endless printing to flood the markets with dollars. What we need to be careful is the loss of the dollar as the world's reserve currency, and that is Schiff's driving concern that will lead to long-term economic pain for the United States.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pamela Gellar Reacts to Hosni Mubarak Stepping Down

Pamela Gellar may be one of America's most prolific civilian experts on Middle East affairs. A conservative true and true, Gellar has been very outspoken on threats in the wake of the September 11, 2011 attacks.

In the video, while attending CPAC, Gellar raises several key points. The first is the video of the protests in Cairo's Tahir Square only numbered round 10,000. What about the rest of Egypt's 85 million residents? What were there feelings towards former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak?

Another point made by Gellar was that the fall of Mubarak has dealt a blow to the United State' Middle East strategy. She points that President Obama has been weak and allowed Egypt, one of our strongest allies in the Middle East. In doing so, and by encouraging a peaceful transition, we have turned our back on another ally, Israel. Gellar interestingly points out that Obama's failure to stand by Mubarak signifies that the United States has turned its back on Egypt and Israel. In doing so, it proves who needs enemies when you have the U.S. (actually Obama) who failed to be there when our friend (Egypt) needed help.

Gellar correctly states that Obama has been remarkably weak and silent on Middle East peace affairs, especially when innocent Iranians were killed during that turmoil in 2009. Mainstream media fails to report that Obama was silent and ignored the help of peaceful Iranians who also tried to have a peaceful transition of power during Iran's Presidential elections. Of course, because of Obama's silence, Ahmadinejad reclaimed power.

What is not being said, or not being driven home here is that country after country is changing power. While change may be good in the context that some of these countries have been ruled for decades by the same regime, regime change for the sake of regime change may bring adverse consequences. In the case of Egypyt, we need to keep an mindful eye on who takes power after a period of calm that brings in a new democratic process and elections. Putting Egypt in the hands of another Mahmoud Adhmadinejad could create a domino effect through the Middle East that will wreak havoc and cause the region to destabilize.

The mere thought of a destabilized Middle East region could be particularly dangerous to our friend Israel, but it also could impair the U.S. from a national security perspective. With crude oil and gasoline prices already rising, fear of widespread Middle East turmoil could send oil and gasoline prices so high that we as a nation could not afford to fuel our military vehicles, much less transport food and goods throughout the U.S. That is because the liberal progressives have denied the U.S. from having any sort of meaningful domestic energy production to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil. Another topic for another day.

Let's unite in prayer that things work out for the best. 

On another note, it is interesting to note that the fall of Hosni Mubarak came thirty-two years to the day after the fall of Iran's Shah.  Today, Ahmadeinjad may be rejoicing, but America must be wary of a Middle East that controls seventy percent of our oil supply and one of our most cherished allies.

Keynes versus Hayek: "Fear the Boom and Bust"

CBO: Health Care Law Will Kill 800,000 Jobs

Well, the Congressional Budget Office just admitted what the conservatives have been saying all along - Obamacare will kill jobs.  The new admission that the massive over-reaching health care reform law will kill around 800,000 gives new ammunition to the movement to repeal the legislation.  It will only be a matter of time before Obamacare is dealt a fatal blow by either Congress or the courts.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What Obama's 'Hope and Change' Really Meant

It took more than two years for Obama's 'Hope and Change' to be defined with actually proof.  Sure, conservatives knew that that Hope and Change meant bigger government, higher taxes and more misery.  But with cold hard data, 'Hope and Change' has been defined.  And it ain't pretty.

Commodities up, unemployment up, household income down, higher poverty levels, more bank failures, higher national debt, lower standing globally in regards to economic freedom and diluted money supply that is sending gold through the roof. 

Simply put, America is barrelling toward collapse and the liberals are clapping and calling this "progress".  Well your so-called "progress" isn't paying the bills.  Not for the federal government, not for the state governments, and not for the American families who want just a piece of the American dream.

But at least we can now quantify what 'Hope and Change' really meant.  And we now know we don't embrace nor will tolerate it.

Are Libertarians More Conservative Than Republicans?

In the age of a two-party system that only allow members of the two-party system to play in the sand box, this is an interesting question.  The reason why American really has a a two party political system is because of self-preservation by members on both sides of the major two political parties - Democrats and Republican - have moved heaven and earth to keep themselves in power.  Hence, the reason why America is where it is today.

Today, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Libertarians made it know which party was more conservative.  And it was not the Republicans, contrary to what mainstream America or conventional wisdom may think.  So with much fanfare at the convention, the Libertarians released the Republican Wall of Shame.  Some prominent Republicans on the Republican Wall of Shame include:

•   Mitt Romney, supporter of the RomneyCare socialized medicine program in Massachusetts.

•   Mike Huckabee, who as a governor supported so many tax increases that the Club for Growth labeled him a "liberal."

•   George W. Bush, who had a long track record of supporting big-government programs and regulations, and who once said, "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system."

•   Newt Gingrich, who often supports big-government intrusion and who said about global warming, "The evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon loading in the atmosphere."

•    John McCain, who while running for president famously suspended his campaign to rush back to Washington to vote for bailouts.

•    Paul Ryan, the House Budget Commmittee chairman who voted for the Medicare expansion in 2003, the No Child Left Behind Act, the TARP, GM and Chrysler bailouts, and even ethanol subsidies.

•    Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California governor. The caption reads "No comment necessary."

•    The "mystery Republican president." He signed many massive spending bills, and during his administration, federal spending was the largest percentage of GDP in post-WWII history. (His shameful record might be broken by the Obama administration.)

This is in addition to the primary battles last year where the Tea Party and conservatives of the Republican fought against their own flesh and blood, they too proved that not all Republicans are conservative.  Conservative Christine O'Donnell took out liberal Republican Michael Castle in Delaware.  Conservative Joe Miller bested Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.  And the list goes on.

So it begs the question - are Republicans, or are Libertarians more conservative?  Since the Republicans have kicked the Libertarians out of the sand box, the Republicans cannot cast as shadow of a doubt on the Libertarians.  But the Libertarians can, and did best the Republicans by calling some of their owns bluff.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Rail to Nowhere

Today, Vice President Joe Biden announced Obama's plan to fund $53 Billion for a high speed rail initiative.  Here are VP Biden's remarks:

While sensible infrastructure spending may make sense, spending $53B on a high speed rail when history has proven it does not work is foolish.  For starters, only France's and China's high speed rail is profitable.  Every other nation that has plunged funds into high speed rail came up short on their investment. 

But for the United States it is much worse.  When the U.S. Congress essentially bailed out private freight lines in 1970 to create national private rail service, the service known as Amtrak has failed to deliver.  The only profitable line is the Northeast Corridor between Washington, DC and Boston, Massachusetts.  And the notion of high speed rail along this corridor is a farce.  For starters, Amtrak leases the rail lines owned by private freight rail firms for $121.9MM annually, and these rail lines in high-density North East cities are landlocked and not conducive to high speed rail.

Besides the logistical impossibility of implementing high speed rail, sinking $53B into an already proven financial black hole is beyond stupid.  According to Amtrak's own financial reports, Amtrak has failed to be profitable over the last six years.  Here is a break down of their financial history (2005-2010):

  • FY 2010:  Net Loss of $1,309,297,000
  • FY 2009:  Net Loss of $1,264,355,000
  • FY 2008:  Net Loss of $1,132,778,000
  • FY 2007:  Net Loss of $1,120,909,000
  • FY 2006:  Net Loss of $1,067,990,000
  • FY 2005:  Net Loss of $1,192,345,000
Since 2005, Amtrak has delivered financial losses of continuing operations of over $7,087,674,000!  Continuing to fund an operation that fails to be profitable is beyond ridiculous.

Furthermore, if Amtrak is such a viable and worthwhile operation, Congress should privatize Amtrak.  National Passenger Rail Corporation, Amtrak's legal name, should be its own firm run as a private enterprise.  It already has a board of directors.  Ironically, VP Biden's son Hunter, served on Amtrak's Board of Directors from 2006-2009, including a stint as Vice Chairman.  No wonder, Biden is fond of Amtrak.

Obviously, Obama's "Winning for the Future" involves careening that rail car down to financial ruin.

ECON 101: Four Reasons Why Big Government Is Bad Government

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Conservatism: The Three-Legged Stool

Merriam-Webster defines conservatism as: a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage)

While Merriam-Webster ignores social conservatism, social conservatism is also a part of the conservative spectrum.  In a 2009 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum described conservatism as a three-legged stool.  One leg being fiscal conservatism, the second being social conservatism and the third leg being national security conservatism.  Recently, Melissa Clouthier in her Red State article illustrated that three-legged stool.

This three-legged stool is crucial in building consensus with individuals who share similar beliefs.  With 2012 barrelling towards us, stopping the progressive agenda is paramount to reaching conservatives regardless of what sphere they are in.  Here is why:

  • True conservatives are automatically in and will vote to stop the progressive agenda no matter what. There vote is guaranteed against a Democrat and should continued to be engaged with candidates who are at minimum represent two out of the three spheres.  True conservatives do prefer candidates who also are true conservatives.
  • Fiscal conservatives represent the majority of the voting electorate and may include Libertarians, conservative Independents, as well as conservative Democrats.  This group plays well with national security conservatives, but may not play well with social conservatives. 
  • Social Conservatives tend to be conservatives because they are passionate because of a single issue.  This group because of their beliefs may also be true conservatives, but can be pro-life or pro-family fiscal conservatives or pro-life or pro-family national security conservatives. This group tends not to play well with fiscal conservatives, and may swing voters to other candidates because of its religious underpinnings.
  • National Security conservatives represent those that believe in our military, and American exceptionalism of peace through strength.  This group plays well with either fiscal and/or social conservatives. 
Blending of the Legs of the Stool

As the graph shows, overlaps of the three facets of conservatism occur.  When this happens, the strength of conservatism is increased as the person who shares at least two of the three legs, is more committed to conservatism.  Do not be surprised if you have fiscal-social conservatives, fiscal-defense conservatives, or social-defense conservatives in the movement.

Happy Birthday, President Reagan

President Reagan would have been 100 years old today, but what is more inspiring is that his legacy still lives on.  Reagan used his Hollywood charisma and steadfast conservative principles to inspire a nation, when all was lost.  Reagan who became the 40th President of the United States on January 20, 1981, did so after four tumultuous years under the Carter regime.  The nation was reeling from an anemic economy with high unemployment, high inflation, high energy prices and poor image from around the world.  From the moment he stepped on the world's stage he took no prisoners.  Let's review what we learned from him.

A Time for Choosing - Reagan Speech for Goldwater Puts Him on National Stage

When Ronald Reagan gave a televised speech for the Barry Goldwater campaign in the 1964 Presidential election, he was know as an actor.  His political viewpoints were unknown, but this speech catapaulted Ronald Reagn the political on the national and international scene.

"I'm paying for this microphone, Mr. Green" - The first glimpse of America's new leader

During this 1980 Presidential Primary debate in Nashua, New Hamphire, Ronald Reagan demonstrated the unwillingness to back down.  This iconic speech of his 1980 Presidential run, of which he won, was the beginning of what America as witness the greatest President of the 20th Century.

President Reagan's 1981 Inaugural Address - The World Learns Who Reagan Is

In this address, Reagan delivers another famous quote that alert the Statists of his idea of government.  "Government is not the solution to everyone's problem, government is the problem" was a classic remark to the simple notion that big government fails all.

Ronald Reagan on the Dignity of Life

Perhaps no other President of the 20th Century, was as vocal on the Holocaust of the unborn, as Reagan was.  Reagan came to office seven years after the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Even before he assumed the Presidency, Reagan was vocal on this issue.  During the 1980 Presidential debates, Reagan was quoted as "With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there's one individual who's not being considered at all. That's the one who is being aborted. And I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born."

Ronald Reagan on Ending the Cold War.

"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose." -- Ronald Reagan

The Cold War could not have ended without the steadfast leadership and determination of Ronald Reagan.  Reagan was a strong advocate who professed America's exceptionalism and ability to be a broker of democracy throughout the world.  He did so with the notion that America's power can through its strength.  That strength came from its core values embodied in the Constitution, emboldened by the spirit of the American people, and through the strength of our nation' military prowess.

Reagan assumed the Presidency in the midst of the Cold War between the world's two superpowers - the United States and the U.S.S.R (Soviet Union).  From the moment he became President, Reagan let the world know that that the United States will not back down.  During his 1981 Inaugural Address, he put the world on notice:

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.

Although Reagan did expand the military with missile defense (Star Wars) programs, he did so as a insurance policy in case we ever needed them.  But thanks to his diplomacy, and forthright courage, we did not.  America declared victory in 1987 during what Reagan's iconic "Mr. Gorbachev; tear down this wall" speech.  This was the beginning of the end of Communism throughout Eastern Europe and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

 The fall of the Berlin Wall would not have happened for this speech.  The citizens of Germany are stronger because of this.  The Eastern European bloc, formerly Communist are stronger because of this speech, as they have embraced democracy and representative governments that work for all its citizens.  

Reagan on Socialism and Liberalism

Reagan was staunchly against the notions of socialism, and the embracement of liberalism to spread socialism throughout America.  Ironically, Reagan spent most of his life as a Democrat until he read F.A. Hayek's book A Road to Serfdom.  At that point he became a conservatism.

In a pre-Presidential speech, Reagan warned America about socialized medicine.  Too bad in 2010, members of Congress failed to heed this warning and Obamacare was passed. 

Challenger Explodes - Leadership During a National Tragedy

The 1986 explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, seconds after liftoff marked the first time in our nation's history we had lost astronauts in space.  Reagan's national address reassured a nation reeling from the tragedy.  The solemn remarks by Reagan were calming to the families of those perished in the tragedy, the employees of NASA who works hard to make the program as success and the parents of children who witness the tragedy live in their classrooms. 

Ronald Reagan, the Comedian

A tribute to the legacy of Ronald Reagan could not be done without mentioning Reagan's ability to relate to the American people through humor.  Reagan, an actor then Governor of California, used his humor to "wake up" the American people into the seriousness of what is ailing America.  His quips are many, but the meanings are serious.  Here are a few:

1. 'Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.'

2. 'The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'

3. The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.'

4. 'Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. Was too strong.'

5. 'I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.'

6. 'The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.'

7. 'Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.'

8. 'The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.'

9. 'I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.'

10. 'It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.'

11. 'Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.'

12. 'Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.'

13. 'No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.'

14. 'If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.'

Thank you, President Reagan for your leadership and your courage when our nation needed it the most.  You will never be forgotten.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Corn-based Ethanol Plus Crude Oil Equals Consumer Pain

A picture speaks a thousand words.  The above cartoon should be a wake up call to Americans to tell their legislatures that the time has come to end corn-based ethanol used for gas.  Corn growers must make the not so difficult choice of growing corn for food, or grown corn for government corn subsidy for corn-based ethanol gasoline.

Can you blame the corn farmer?  No, of course not.  They are merely trying to put food on their table. And if if they can sell their corn and get government subsidy for it, they are golden.  But if you look the the commodity graphs for crude oil and corn, you will see both are are a skyrocketing trajectory.  This trajectory is causing consumers pain at the pump and at the food table.  You see, the corn used for corn-based ethanol gasoline comes at the expense of corn used for food products. 

Food products that are delivered to the store are also higher because gasoline prices are also higher.  Crude oil prices have been on a volatile skyward trajectory for years due to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the BP oil spill, OPECs lower supply and Obama's refusal to drill locally.

The solution of this problem consists of a multi-pronged approach.  The first deals with moving from corn-based ethanol and the government subsidy to continue this idiotic idea.  The second is to explore using possible diesel to replace gasoline.  Diesel is more efficient, and the ultra low sulfide diesel is not the diesel of the 1970s.  It is cleaner, and better for the environment.

The second and most important action is that the federal government must allow for drilling in and around the United States.  It has been revealed that there are nearly four billion barrels of crude oil in out territories.  Extraction of this oil, rather than purchasing oil from countries that don't care for us, is a fiscal and national security issue.  The U.S. simply cannot no longer be dependent on foreign oil.  The turmoil in the Middle East is a telling sign that instability in that region is hurting our ability to defend this nation, and driving up consumer prices.  America is going broke at the expense of making other nation's richer. The biggest benefit to a Drill, Baby Drill action here, is the creation of possibly millions of jobs that will expand state and federal coffers with income and business tax revenue.

The reluctance and arrogance of the tree-hugger Statists (Democrats) are putting this nation at risk, and they know it.  For this they should be ashamed of themselves.  The thrive at the misery of the American public complaining that gas and food prices are skyrocketing.  When will America wake up?

Obama's Executive Branch versus Judicial Branch

A Graphical View at the 2012 GOP Presidential Field

The New York Time has a interesting graphic depiction of how the 2012 GOP prospects line up based on ideology and whether they are an insider versus outsider.  Here is the graph:

From a conservative standpoint, here is how the line up:

  • Insiders:  Former Senator Rick Santorum (PA), Former Anbassador to U.N. John Bolton, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (GA) , Governor Haley Barbour (MS), Senator John Thune (SD), Former Governor  Tim Pawlenty (MN).
  • Outsiders: Representative Michelle Bachmann (MN), Senator Jim DeMint (SC), Former Governor Sarah Palin (AK), Herman Cain, Former Governor Mike Huckabee
Tim Pawlenty is a true centrist with half of his positions on the conservative side, and half on the moderate side.  It is odd that the author of the graph placed former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson as a moderate, as well as Governor Mitchell Daniels of Indiana.  Both have not governed as moderates. 

As the article illustrates, it is interesting that Jim DeMint and Michelle Bachmann are considered outsiders.  Both have been part of Congress for years, but it seems that their enthusiastic support of the Tea Party principles make them at adds with the beltway elite.

The size of the circle depicts the likelihood of the candidate winning the GOP nomination.  That is if the field is as depicted.  Senator John Thune already eluded to not running in 2012, but may be open to 2016.

So conservatives, do we have our work cut out for us?  Remember what we are dealing with now, and why elections matter.

Friday, February 4, 2011

January Unemployment Drops; Misery Index Soars

Despite the report unemployment rate (U3) dropping to 9.0% for the month of January, this lower report tells a different story.  Only 36,000 jobs were created in January, one-fourth of the expected job growth numbers expected. Analysts expected 148,000 jobs to be created last month.

So why did the unemployment rate drop?  150,000 American workers dropped out of the labor force, frustrated with the employment landscape in America.  True unemployment in the U.S. is at 16.1% which represents the complete number of unemployed America.

The leftist media is doing cartwheels that the U3 unemployment rate is 9.0%, but the media fails to educate the viewers that the U6 unemployment rate is 16.1%.  It just is not sexy, to say that the unemployment rate is 16 percent, is it?

John Williams, a Federal Reserve research states that today's jobs report is not cause for celebration.  He also cautions that it might take until 2014 for America to see full employment (between four and six percent unemployment). 

What has not been reported is that the continual inclement weather may have had a positive impact on the unemployment rate, but as the streets of America thaw, the unemployment rate will climb again.  Unemployed workers who gave up in January due to the weather, may become reported unemployment in the fews to come as we move forward to Spring.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

U.S. Senate Debate on Legality of Obamacare Heats Up; Senate Rejects Repeal

Once again Senate Democrats ignore the will of the American people and reject a repeal of the over-reaching and unconstitutional Obamacare health care reform bill.  The Senate vote on the full repeal of the American Patient Protection and Affordability Act failed 47-51, along party lines.  All Senate Republicans voted for the repeal, while all Democrats rejected the repeal.

While the Senate killed all hopes of a Congressional repeal of the Obamacare bill, they did pass a full repeal of the 1099 reporting of requirement for medical business purchases of equipment worth $600 or more.  That amendment sponsored by Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow, passed 81-17.  Senior Delaware Senator Tom Carper voted against the repeal (and business), while Freshman Senator Chris Coons supported this repeal.

On the full repeal, Democrats fail to recognize that the individual mandate already validated by the Florida Federal District Court, is unconstitutional.

The battle over the legitimacy of this over-reaching bill will be done in the courts and at the state level.  The court battle either go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, or through the Federal Appeals Court first.  Regardless, the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide the fate of this bill.  The state battle will be in each state legislature (or those willing to take this on), where they will pass bills invoking the 10th Amendment to deny compliance. 

Either way, the will of the American people last November have spoken, and repeal of this bill is inevitable.

Start Crying Over That Spilled Milk

Thanks to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), with far too much given to it due to recent oil spills, they will now start enforcing milk spills.  Thomas Sewell eloquently articulates the lunacy of the left and the EPA in this useless regulation that will only cause consumers more pain.
One would think what do milk and oil spills have in common?  Milk has some oil in it.  So when when you have a regulation to allow the EPA to regulate oil spills, ANYTHING that contains oil will be regulated.  Of course, that additional regulation comes with more financial and bureaucratic red tape pain. 

Another classic example of environmental regulation gone too far.  Better start saving those coins for that gallon of milk.