Just Drill, Barry – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary


Just Drill, Barry – John Ransom – Townhall Finance .

When presidential candidate John Kerry pointed out that he voted for the Iraq War before he voted against the Iraq War, we all thought it a terrible gaffe. But politics, in a study of how politics leads to a devolutionary society, no longer sees campaigning as being for something before being against something as gaffe-worthy.   

Yesterday’s sex scandal can be today’s mystique, if you are just willing to afterward reveal to teenagers on TV what kind of underwear you favor.

So it’s with this quaint notion that right can be made wrong- and vice a versa- if you just are brave enough to ask people to lower their standards by this much: <—> (not actual size…actually much, much smaller) that we address Democrat energy policy- or lack thereof- depending on your standards… or lack thereof.

It turns out that being for having an energy policy before being against it –or vice a versa- it isn’t a gaffe at all; no, indeed.

Under Obama, the Democrats have made it part of the party platform.For example, did you know that president Obama has been a champion of Big Oil since he became our Chameleon-in-Chief?

That’s right: Oil production is at an all time high under- hurray!- his administration because he’s been so cooperative with oil and gas producers- and, depending on your standards, or lack thereof, you might even believe him when he says it.

Last year the New York Times was so disgusted with Obama’s landmark, much-billed energy policy speech that they actually issued this correction:

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 30, 2011

A previous version of this article misstated how many of the president’s proposals to reduce the country’s reliance on imported oil were new in his speech on Wednesday. None of them were, not one of them.

So let’s you, me and the New York Times agree that Obama really doesn’t have an energy policy. Recently Obama reinforced that notion.

You see, Obama was against oil production before his newest, bestest policy, just recently embraced 72 hours ago, that- to paraphrase him- says: “Drill, Barry, drill.”

His change of heart <hack, cough>, or lack thereof, has come about in wake of the administration’s latest self-inflicted gunshot wound to the economy, rising oil prices… again.  

For decades the basic policy of all US governments, Democrat or Republican, has been to keep oil prices relatively low and relatively stable.  To argue a contrary policy, as Obama has done, would be like arguing that a higher crime rate leads to less crime because we’d end up getting more criminals off the street and in to jail. Crime rates would certainly go up, if we encouraged it. 

So it goes with oil prices.     

Since Democrats took over Congress in 2007, we’ve gone from relatively stable oil prices to all time highs, a small correction, and now we are headed back to all-time highs…again.  We have neither low prices, nor stable prices.

And oil prices have been rising during a jobs recession masquerading as Obama’s Summer of Love. Just wait to see what oil prices do when we have real economic growth. But of course we neither have had growth nor will we grow under these self-defeating economic and energy policies, which are really the same thing. 

Makes you wonder if the same bright federal lights who illegally sold guns to Mexican meth dealers are also in charge of energy policy (see Solyndra). It’s the only explanation that I can come up with for the willful blindness that allows the Obamanauts to not see that their energy policy, like their policy on gun-walking, WON’T END WELL.

Economies around the world have been reeling and tottering on the brink of disaster: Japan? Recession, Europe? Recession. China? Double Secret Recession.

The thing the world needs is rapidly-rising oil prices.

And this just in: Guess who has the largest amount of oil reserves in history? That’s right: the U-S-A.  

“In fact, the U.S. has a mind-boggling 1.4 trillion barrels of oil,” writes Investors Business Daily, “enough to ‘fuel the present needs in the U.S. for around 250 years,’ according to the Institute for Energy Research. The problem is the government has put most of this supply off limits.”

We have lots of recoverable oil it seems, but we don’t have a recoverable president of the United States.

China, Japan and Europe, with a combined $30.6 trillion in GDP, are responsible for almost half the economic output of the world. Despite contraction in those economies, oil prices are still making new highs. Basic supply and demand, if supply and demand weren’t artificially restricted and inflated by our genius central planners at central banks around the world, should have oil prices going down, not up to new highs.

We are in the midst of repeating exactly what happened in 2008: A world economy already sputtering, faced rapidly rising oil prices until oil prices collapsed, taking everything else with it. 

Built to last? This newest oil bubble? Maybe. But I tend to think of oil as the real estate play of 2012. In 2011 we at least needed bad, bad news to chase oil prices up. Now it’s just happening on its own. 

The so-called soft-patch economy we’ve been in since last year has been the result of spiking oil prices as much as anything. Last year at this time, a red flag was going up on all the great economic news Obama was bragging about. The red flag was oil prices that were spiking to two year highs on news out of Libya regarding regime change and news out of Japan about the tsunami. One extended soft-patch later, the lesson that seems to be lost on the administration is that oil prices do have a direct effect on US economic growth.    

If oil prices stay high, this time, it just means the US economy will be slowed to a standstill- again, if it ever really has grown in real terms rather than just inflated. On the other hand, if oil prices collapse, it just means the financial losses in the oil patch will ripple throughout markets. And these are markets that have more assets, concentrated in fewer places than was true in 2008- in other words they are much too bigger to fail than last time we had to bailout troubled assets.

And remember Obama fixed too big to fail. Let’s hope that he doesn’t have to try to prove it. That has the makings of Tyson-Holyfield Part III. We’ll be lucky if someone just loses an ear, so to say.   

Because far from ensuring more production of oil, Obama has done everything he can to restrict oil production at a time when the country has finally discovered enough oil to become a net exporter of petroleum. Obama, in fact, has concentrated oil assets in fewer distribution outlets and the result has been higher prices.   

“The administration’s actions and its policy proposals on domestic oil and natural gas development are out of synch with its words,” says the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API). Oil producers, who API represents, actually benefit from these high prices. “The administration is restricting where oil and natural gas development may occur, leasing less often, shortening lease terms, going slow on permit approvals, and increasing or threatening to increase industry’s development costs through higher taxes, higher royalty rates, higher minimum lease bids, and more regulations.”

Contrast oil prices with natural gas prices which “plunged 32 percent in 2011 to end the year at $2.989 per million British thermal units for the largest annual decline in half a decade,” reports Bloomberg. “Since then, gas fell another 12 percent, thanks to mild North American weather that crimped demand for the fuel to run furnaces and added to the surfeit.”

The difference between gas and oil?

“Fracking has opened up vast areas of [natural gas] development on a scale that’s practically overwhelming for the industry,” said William Dutcher, president of Dutcher and Co., an Oklahoma City- based operator of 1,300 oil and gas wells,” according to Bloomberg. And now Obama supporters are trying to kill fracking as well.

Efforts to stimulate the economy- which are likely more widespread than either the Fed or the White House are willing to admit- without addressing the US domestic oil supply issues will just have the effect of raising oil prices even higher as more and more dollars chase up commodities like oil. The administration seems to be caught in a vicious cycle of central bank stimulus measures that inflate our economy, followed by a collapse of economic growth because of inflation, followed by renewed central bank stimulus measures, followed by inflation, followed by….

It’s that unknown “followed by” that’s really scary.  And it’s real too.

Just ask the millions who have stopped looking for work, permanently.  

So? What about those jobs?

They’re going into your gas tank via Middle East oil, while our surplus oil remains in the ground.

That’s a standard, or lack thereof, that Obama seems to have always been for even when he says he’s against it.


Is There Anyone Obama Won’t Betray? – John Ransom – Townhall Finance


Is There Anyone Obama Won’t Betray? – John Ransom – Townhall Finance .

Bravo to the boys and girls in the military/intelligence community who have stood toe-to-to with Obama for jeopardizing the sources and methods that took out Osama bin Laden.

While the liberal press tries to make hay out of the fact that the folks behind the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc have…gotcha!…“Republican” ties, I’m thinking well thank God for Republicans in the military/intelligence community then. These are folks, well known to me, who have been at war since 2001, while the rest of America has been at the mall.

And why aren’t heroes like, [cough, hack] John Kerry– largely a Gilbert and Sullivan sailor- who was so brave, that he spent four whole months in Vietnam; why aren’t they speaking out on behalf of service members?

Oh, that’s right. Democrats lost their moral compass while experimenting with LSD in the late 1960s.

So we should just give them a pass.      

The OPSEC group has a serious point, however: It’s bad enough that Democrats, like John Kerry, describe the Global War on Terror as a “bumper sticker.” But when the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States plays politics with intelligence and the lives of our combat troops, you wonder if its not just LSD flashbacks from the 1960s, but perhaps LSD flash-forwards.

Of course, Obama has no need of drugs per se. When you are the Chosen One, all you need is yourself. Obama’s self-love is much more powerful than LSD.              

For example, the consternation we have seen between the U.S. and Pakistan for the past year signals the likelihood that at least some portion of the Pakistani government participated in the tip off that killed bin Laden.

The public row in the media between the U.S. and Pakistan was staged by the Pakistanis largely to cover up the fact that the Pakistani government turned on bin Laden. The fight was staged by us to help cover up the fact that they knew that we knew that they knew bin Laden was there for some time.  

The average Pakistani revered bin Laden as a hero. So you can understand why the Pakistani government wouldn’t want to own up to participating in the operation that took him out.

And the Obama administration has been happy to help advance the cover, even if it jeopardized American lives and the lives of our intelligence assets, by giving up a key person who helped us. Subsequently, Dr. Shakil Afridi, a covert agent operating for the United States, was sentenced to 33 years in prison in Pakistan for helping the CIA confirm the whereabouts of bin Laden.  

The thought has hardly crossed Obama’s mind that maybe it’s time to stop supporting a country that supported America’s public enemy number one for so long. And can you blame him? Dr. Afridi’s Facebook page only has 38 members. Turning over Dr Afridi to thje Pakistanis was an easy call for Obama. When has Obama actually cared about 38 votes?

I guess there are just some things that the American people take lying down now- like betrayal of a friend. 

Obama has made it quite clear that U.S. intelligence assets and U.S. military assets are just the chump change in a strategy of world conquest that largely only exists between the big ears of the One.

Think “Winning.”

Likewise, Obama’s sucked up to China and Russia as well.

A small insertion in a budget item passed last year bans scientific co-operation between the U.S and our largest creditor, the People’s Republic of China. This information according to Congressman Frank Wolf.

China, Wolf charges, has also been involved in anti-American activities that have harmed national interests.

“Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), a long-time critic of the Chinese government who chairs a House spending committee that oversees several science agencies,” said Forbes “inserted the language into the spending legislation to prevent NASA or OSTP from using federal funds ‘to …collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company.’”

It’s been an open secret that the Chinese have sponsored a series of cyber attacks on U.S. interests for the last five years, including DoD facilities, intelligence centers and even the White House.

Wolf’s own office computers, which contain information about dissident Chinese, have also been hacked from inside China.  

Some intelligence types think that in addition to targeting military secrets, China’s trying dry runs aimed at taking out our command and control.  

But like the Pakistani drama, the Obama administration’s words of condemnation regarding Chinese spying are mostly meant to keep us citizens happy.

The Obama administration would never cut off their supply of money by quibbling with China about espionage and national security.

Why would they? They can’t even stand up to Pakistan or Russia.

Or Syria.  

Obama has decided to ignore the prohibition inserted into the budget by Wolf regarding collaboration with the Chinese.

It’s business as usual with China.    

There is a growing unease amongst national security types that foreign policy and national security decisions are being made by the administration with an eye towards re-election rather than with the best interest of the United States in mind.

While the same charge can be leveled at any administration, Obama’s team, notably less than subtle in matters requiring executive ability, tend to fall back on campaign mode when faced with hard choices.

They pick what’s politically expedient rather than what’s smart, presidential or right. 

Hence Robert Gates decision to exit stage right at the Department of Defense and Hillary Clinton’s decision to exit stage left at the State Department after the end of the term.

Will there be anyone competent left in Obama’s administration if he were to win a second term?

The operation that got bin Laden isn’t helping the administration in the national security community, either.

Far from it.

Many in the community resent the emphatic “I” used by Obama when announcing the operation.

But that’s not the worst of it.

By changing the story 26 times in a quest for personal glory, devoid of any personal responsibility, Obama has left the impression that Navy SEALs killed unarmed women and an unarmed, old man, while the One shot and killed bin Laden, personally.

No amount of face time with the commander-in-chief can repair that rift. The chain of command is supposed to support the troops who have followed their orders.

One can argue the merits of continuing the friendship with Pakistan and China and Russia, while ignoring their anti-American activities.  

But leaving members of the military out to dry, well, that’s just un-American.

Just ask the folks OPSEC.

They have the bumper stickers to prove it.


Mexican President: U.S. Gun Laws Are “Mistaken” – Katie Pavlich

Mexican President: U.S. Gun Laws Are “Mistaken” – Katie Pavlich.

While ignoring the inconvenient fact that part of the reason why 63,000 people have been slaughtered in Mexico since 2006 is because Mexican citizens aren’t allowed to legally own guns and defend themselves against ruthless drug cartels purchasing guns in bulk from China and Latin America, Mexican President Felipe Calderon is lecturing the United States again about how we need to reform our “mistaken” gun laws.

“Because of the Aurora, Colorado tragedy, the American Congress must review its mistaken legislation on guns. It’s doing damage to us all,” Calderon said.

Remember, Calderon called for the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban in May 2010 during an address to a joint session of Congress. Calderon is also a big supporter of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, better known as the “Small Arms Treaty.” Not to mention, Aurora Colorado already has strict gun laws and the theatre was a gun free zone. Calderon is also partially responsible for Homeland Security‘s “bean bag” policy after he raised hell about Border Patrol shooting a teenager who was throwing rocks at them.

 When President Calderon gives up his armed to the teeth security detail, then we can talk about gun control. Until then, he should really try and keep his mouth shut. The reason America isn’t Mexico is because of our “mistaken” gun laws and I, like many others, want to keep it that way.

Say good-bye to the Internet? – Tea Party Nation

Second Revolution flag

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Say good-bye to the Internet? – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

It is hard to believe that twenty years ago, the Internet as we as we know it today did not exist.  Yes, there was an Internet, but the World Wide Web did not exist.   Imagine life today without the web?  We do business over the Internet.  We get our news from the Internet.  The Internet has been the greatest innovation for free speech since the printing press.

Now this great innovation of free speech is under threat.    What is the threat and where is it coming from?

It is coming from the United Nations.

All this year, through December, the World Conference on International Telecommunications is meeting with the purpose of negotiating a new treaty to govern international telecommunications.

Russia and China are using this as an excuse to demand a lesser role for the United States in governing the Internet.   They would like the United Nations to control the Internet.    Other states, such as Brazil and South Africa have demanded the creation of a new global body to control the Internet. 

At the same time, China, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have called for a code of conduct for the Internet that would govern activities on the Internet.  Some of them are no brainers.  Some of them include no criminal activities and not using the Internet as a tool of war. 

Section C of the “Code of Conduct” should set off all of the alarm bells.  It reads:

(c) To cooperate in combating criminal and terrorist activities that use

information and communications technologies, including networks, and in curbing the dissemination of information that incites terrorism, secessionism or extremism or that undermines other countries’ political, economic and social stability, as well as their spiritual and cultural environment;


Let’s see, this is coming from four of the most repressive nations in the world and they think the Internet should be controlled so that it does not undermine “political” or “social” stability.  Aren’t those the code words they use to persecute those who dissent from their regimes?

The Russians, Chinese and the third world object that the United States has so much control over the Internet. 

Too damn bad.  We created it.

The good news here is that this is a treaty.  Under the Constitution, the Senate must ratify a treaty and that takes a 2/3 vote.   That is unlikely to happen. 

Unfortunately Obama has the same respect for free speech as does the leadership of Russia or China and that is alarming.  If an agreement or treaty is bad for America, Obama is for it.  If you doubt that, look at some of the other treaties he has signed, such as the START treaty

The Internet is an invaluable tool for freedom.  Without the Internet, we would have been hard pressed to get the Tea Party movement started.  This is one instance where we cannot play catch up after the Obama regime has already signed a bad treaty.

We must stay in touch with our Senators and Congressmen to make certain they stay on the Obama regime and keep them from agreeing to a deal that would destroy the freedom we have on the Internet.

The GOP Can Add 10 Million Jobs and $15 Trillion to US Economy without Spending a Dime – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

The GOP Can Add 10 Million Jobs and $15 Trillion to US Economy without Spending a Dime – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

There are many contrasts that the GOP can use to go after Obama on the economy.

None present such a black and white contrast as the dispute about the black, tar-sands crude that Canada would like to ship through the US to refineries on the Gulf via the Keystone XL pipeline. The dispute isn’t about the environment, is about creating 10 million U.S. jobs.

The State Department gave preliminary approval to build the Keystone pipeline late last summer, saying that it posed no significant environmental risks. But like a lot of things with this administration, it was a case of the left hand not knowing what the left-wing was doing.    

Instead of allowing the project to go through, along with the hundreds of thousands of jobs it would create, Obama sided with whack-job environmentalists who raised bogus fears that oil spills could pollute the aquifer that lies underneath its path.

Ok, he only apparently sided with them.

He actually did what Obama likes to do best when pandering to… whomever. He bravely told the rest of us that for right now he wouldn’t approve the pipeline, but he might change his mind. Oh, and if we try to rush him to make a decision, we’ll all be very, very sorry.  

So Canada’s prime minister has decided to look for a new partner for their oil.

“Harper’s second official trip to the Middle Kingdom comes at an important juncture in Canada-China relations,” writes Canada’s National Post “and will help dictate the Conservative government’s economic and foreign policy with the Asian superpower for years to come. The prime minister is courting China as a customer for Canadian natural resources — insisting it’s in Canada’s national interest to send oil and gas to Asia — and looking to sew stronger economic ties with the world’s fastest-growing economy.”

Never will an Obama administration be accused of shepherding the “world’s fastest-growing economy.”

You wanna grow debt quickly?

Sure they are your guys.

But on the economy?

Turn to the much more reliable capitalists in Communist China. That’s at least the message from Stephen Harper.

The pipeline could ultimately supply about a million barrels of Canadian oil to the US per day and 400,000 US jobs, most of them almost immediately.

But instead, the president, who has been railing against Congress for not passing another expensive jobs bill, and talks about income equality like it’s the most pressing issue of the day, just killed 400,000 American jobs that would battle income inequality in the most productive sense by providing ordinary Americans with the opportunity to earn some income.  

And despite everything the Obama administration has done to slow down domestic development of oil and gas resources, the oil and gas sector is one of the fastest growing jobs markets in a very anemic job market. While other sectors are shedding jobs, oil and gas is hot.

“The use of new drilling techniques to tap oil and gas in shale rocks far underground helped add 158,000 new oil and gas jobs over the past five years,” writes the Wall Street Journal “and economists think that it has created even more jobs in companies supplying the energy industry and in the broader services industry.”

“This is probably the biggest stimulus we have going,” Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research told the WSJ.

According to the Journal “$145 billion will be spent drilling and completing wells this year, up from $13 billion in 2000.”

While it’s estimated that Canada may have as much as 2 trillion barrels of oil in reserves, “the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the [US] has 4.3 trillion barrels of in-place oil shale resources centered in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, said Helen Hankins, Colorado director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management” according to the Associated Press.

4.3 trillion barrels is 16 times the reserves of Saudi Arabia, or enough oil to supply the US for 600 years.

As I have pointed out all along, the Keystone issue isn’t about the safety of a pipeline. Obama and enviro-whacko friends know that if they allow Canadian tar sands oil to be developed via the Keystone pipeline, that the US will also start to develop their own tar-sands and shale oil. The US contains well over 600 years of known reserves and that would allow the US to be a net exporter of oil. If that happens, the green economy ruse that the left has sponsored, already reeling from bankruptcies and cronyism, would collapse. It would show that there is no shortage of oil and “green” energy can not compete with fossil fuels.

The only thing left then for those bitter climate clingers would be the shoddy science of Global Something-or-Another.  

Oil from tar sands, reports the BBC on the Keystone decision, “is so plentiful that full-scale development would seriously delay the transition to low-carbon alternative fuels,” which is the holy grail of the left.  And along the way, the U.S. would create at least 10 million new U.S. jobs, keeping around $500 billion per year here at home. Over twenty years that would be an additional $12.5 trillion in GDP even at a modest 2 percent growth rate. At 4 percent the numbers are closer to $15.5 trillion.     

Full scale development of tar sands can only be stopped by taxing oil out of existence, like was tried with cap and trade.  Cape and trade was never about trying to cool the earth. It was about giving “green” technologies a competitive advantage over fossil fuels that free markets won’t concede.    

Building out the infrastructure to drill and transport that oil just from the Rocky Mountains in the US could supply literally millions of jobs for American workers, while supplying literally millions of barrels of oil per day, repairing our energy security for the next century. But moist importantly it would repair our economy.

I mean we went to war to protect the supply of oil coming from Libya for Europe.

Couldn’t the GOP at least first go to work making sure Keystone provides work for Americans?

That’s an issue to go to war over.

Obama Slams Door on Jobless Americans – Bob Beauprez – Townhall Finance

Obama Slams Door on Jobless Americans – Bob Beauprez – Townhall Finance.

Fox News is reporting that this afternoon Barack Obama is going to kill the Keystone Pipeline Project. This stands in direct opposition to a president who says he is committed to domestic energy production, energy independence, job creation, and economic recovery.

As we’ve said before, his actions speak louder than his words. In fact, in direct contrast to his words. The Keystone Pipeline would have been a great boost for the American economy. Now, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has warned, if we don’t buy it, someone else will. Most likely China.

While average Americans and working families will suffer this hit the most, Obama appeases his radical environmental constituency that he believes is necessary for his reelection. As evidence, the radical Sierra Club has already released a statement praising the President, with their executive director saying, “I think it shores up his base definitely.” Obviously the only job Barack Obama is worried about saving is his own.

As a note to the President, there are currently about 20 million Americans either who are looking for work or who have given up and walked away.

Obama just closed another door to them.

See more on XL Keystone and how it would benefit the economy: 

Obama’s New Job Plan: Kill 400,000 Jobs Immediately

NORTON: Obama chooses American decline – Washington Times


Truck hauling 36-Inch Pipe to build Keystone-C...

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NORTON: Obama chooses American decline – Washington Times.

By Gale NortonThe Washington Times

Which nation will be the world’s leading superpower a few decades from now? I fervently hope it is the United States, and I have great faith in American ingenuity. But the Obama administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is a reminder of why our No. 1 position is in jeopardy.

The Keystone XL pipeline would bring oil from the Canadian oil sands and North Dakota’s Bakken Formation to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast. The pipeline has been in the regulatory approval process since 2008. Its eight-volume environmental impact statement was produced following myriad studies, hearings, public comments and reviews by multiple agencies and each of the states along the route.

However, the Obama administration decided the proposal had not been studied enough. It delayed a decision in November. Congress responded and gave President Obama 60 days to make the simple determination of whether the pipeline was in the “national interest.”

This seems like a truly simple determination. Iran is threatening to blockade the 20 percent of the world’s oil supply that flows through the Strait of Hormuz. The American economy is struggling from high unemployment. The volatility of oil prices, reflected in periodic spikes at the gas pump, is a threat to productivity. A privately funded pipeline project that would create tens of thousands of jobs while helping stabilize America’s energy supply clearly seems to be in the national interest.

Instead, the Obama administration found that a bureaucratic desire for more study outweighed the rest of the national interest.

The door is now open for Canadian oil to go to China. Canadians are already considering an alternative pipeline from the oil sands region to Canada’s West Coast, so oil can be transported on tankers to China. China will be happy to step in and gain long-term commitments to acquire the oil supply. Once those commitments are made and a West Coast pipeline is started, it may take years before new or expanded oil sands facilities again make oil available for U.S. markets.

The United States has, in essence, surrendered its place at the front of the line to purchase Canadian oil.

Even from an environmental perspective, the Obama decision is a loser.The world’s second-largest oil resource will continue to be produced. Instead of a straightforward pipeline to the U.S., the oil will travel by tankers across the Pacific. U.S. fuel requirements will be filled by oil tankers crossing the Atlantic. Jobs that could have been here will be overseas.

The ramifications for business investment in the United States are even more disturbing. The Keystone decision tells investors that the U.S. has an unpredictable business climate. Companies can invest years and many millions of dollars to seek permits and, ultimately, be stymied by politics.

Contrast our approach with China‘s. China astutely has assured its future supply of oil and other energy resources. Over the past decade, the Chinese have gone around the world negotiating long-term supply deals. The U.S., instead, has rejected an oil supply laid at our doorstep. Which nation is making better preparations to be the superpower of the future?

Gale Norton was secretary of the interior in the George W. Bush administrtion. She is president of Norton Regulatory Strategies.

DECKER: Obama: China’s stooge – Washington Times

DECKER: Obama: China’s stooge – Washington Times.

President blames America while running economy into the ground

By Brett M. Decker – The Washington Times

President Obama is overseas on a nine-day Blame America First tour. He’s ostensibly spending time on the other side of the Pacific to explore ways the United States can work better with Asian economies.  Instead, he’s using his time in the spotlight to criticize the nation he’s supposed to be leading. 

“We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades,” Mr. Obama said at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Honolulu over the weekend. “We’ve kind of taken for granted — ‘Well, people would want to come here’ — and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.” This is the height of chutzpah from the elected official who has done more than anyone else to undermine the competitiveness of U.S. industries. Economic uncertainty is the chief reason businesses aren’t hiring or investing in new projects. The main causes for corporate uncertainty are out-of-control government regulation, spending and taxation – problems Mr. Obama has exacerbated.

With unemployment stuck at 9 percent and an election around the corner, the president is also talking tough about China, at least a little but. “What I have said since I first came into office and what we’ve exhibited in terms of our interactions with the Chinese is we want you to play by the rules. And currency is probably a good example,” Mr. Obama huffed at APEC on Saturday. “For an economy like the United States – where our biggest competitive advantage is our knowledge, our innovation, our patents, our copyrights – for us not to get the kind of protection we need in a large marketplace like China is not acceptable.”

This rhetoric is all bluster. No steps have been taken against Chinese corporate espionage. And while Mr. Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner bellyache a lot about Beijing’s currency manipulation, they have never lifted a finger to do anything about China’s practice of letting the yuan float freely, giving products from the Middle Kingdom a huge cost advantage. The reason U.S. leaders can’t make any moves against the People’s Republic is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has them handcuffed behind their backs, leaving our leaders diplomatically defenseless. The Obama administration has exploded the national debt to an unsustainable $15 trillion. Of that, more than $1.3 trillion is held by Beijing, which controls more U.S. debt than any other foreign government.

China’s massive U.S. debt holdings effectively give the CCP a veto over any U.S. policies that might try to force more honest Chinese practices. An America on the brink of default needs Beijing to keep buying our debt and cannot risk having the Chinese dump the U.S. bills they already have. The Obama administration likes to paint this as a partnership, or perhaps mutual interdependence, but it’s clear the rising power is in the driver’s seat, not the declining superpower. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made this painfully obvious during her first foreign mission in 2009, when she publicly begged Beijing to underwrite the Obama stimulus package. “By continuing to support America’s treasury instruments, the Chinese are recognizing our interconnections,” she said. In other words, if Beijing doesn’t loan America more money, we’ll be too poor to by their imported junk.

The president’s approval ratings are at historic lows because voters know he’s not interested in doing what it takes to turn this nation around. The solution is simple: Washington needs to end deficit spending which makes us dependent on borrowing money from Red China to subsidize entitlement programs we can’t afford. Mr. Obama tries to talk tough, especially in front of captive foreign audiences, but talk is cheap and no one is buying his false bravado.

Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, Nov. 14, 2011).

Debunking Obama’s Infrastructure Spending Jobs Myth

Debunking Obama’s Infrastructure Spending Jobs Myth.

Imagine a high-speed train zooming down hundreds of miles of glistening train track stretching across sunny California, connecting Anaheim to San Francisco. It’s a bullet train dream, and it’s a prime example of President Barack Obama’s latest plan to create jobs in America. The trouble is that this dream is far from reality.

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the California high-speed train–which is funded in part by $3 billion in federal grants from President Obama’s stimulus–is now expected to cost $98 billion, twice what was expected, and will take an additional 13 years to complete, extending the project to 2033. Questions remain about where the funding will come from, whether the project is viable, and whether the projected ridership will even materialize.

But projects like these are central to President Obama’s plan to put Americans back to work. Speaking yesterday from Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, D.C., Obama declared that his plan will “put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our airports, our bridges and our transit systems.” And that is, of course, all at the expense of the American taxpayers.

The President once called these projects “shovel ready,” meaning that as soon as money arrived from the federal government, workers could be on the job. He made it sound as easy as flipping a switch, but unfortunately it didn’t work as planned. Despite a $787 billion stimulus package, America’s economy continues to languish with 14 million out of work and a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. The President joked, “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.” Though he didn’t use the phrase “shovel-ready” in his remarks yesterday, the implication was still there. If Congress approves his jobs plan, he argued, all the construction workers sitting on the sidelines will be put back to work overnight.

But that’s not the way things work in the real world. Associated Press and Congressional Research Service reports show that infrastructure spending does not create jobs and, in fact, can even have a negative effect. Heritage’s Patrick Knudsen explains:

Building and repairing roads and bridges neither creates net job growth nor boosts the economy in the near term.

First, increasing government spending on these projects simply moves resources from one place to another — it may employ construction workers, but only by reducing jobs in other sectors. Further, the money never gets out the door soon enough to promote near-term job growth.

And then there’s the President’s flawed argument that since others are doing it, the United States should be, too. “How do we sit back and watch China and Europe build the best bridges and high-speed railroads and gleaming new airports, and we’re doing nothing?” he asks. It’s not a new line of argument from the President, and it leaves out some very important facts.

Dating all the way back to the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama spoke of the need to “invest” in infrastructure in order to be competitive with the likes of China. At the time, Jim Geraghty reported at National Review Online that while Obama puts China on a pedestal, he entirely overlooks some serious problems with transportation in China–namely, stories of severe power shortages affecting the country’s exports, an episode where 500,000 train passengers were left stranded for days, and outbreaks of violence where airplane travelers were left grounded without accommodation. And that’s not to mention the working conditions under which China builds its infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Europe, which heavily subsidizes its passenger rail systems, receives a poor return on its investment. Heritage’s Ron Utt explains that despite massive spending, passengers are opting for more efficient transportation in the air:

In Europe as a whole (EU-27), rail accounted for only 6.1 percent of passenger travel in 2007, including travel by air and sea. Buses accounted for 8.3 percent of the market, and air travel accounted for 8.8 percent. Despite Europe’s huge investment in passenger rail, its market share declined from 6.6 percent in 1995 to 6.1 percent in 2007. Over that same period, commercial air increased its share from 6.3 percent to 8.8 percent. By providing faster service and competitive prices, it took passengers away from rail, buses, and autos.

But to hear President Obama tell the story, building a European- or Chinese-style infrastructure is the key to the future–and to creating new jobs. Workers are ready to go, and all they need is your money to get started. But this is something we tried once already with the last stimulus, it didn’t work, and it’s not going to work this time, either. Obama’s infrastructure plan is a train that shouldn’t leave the station, headed for a bridge to nowhere, and jobs are the last thing that it will deliver.

Defense cuts coming home to roost – Tea Party Nation

Defense cuts coming home to roost – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips on August 28, 2011 at 2:38pm in Tea Party Nation Forum

Bill Clinton blew the peace dividend.  George Bush did not do much to correct the problem.  Barack Obama has gutted defense to the point where we have a hollow military.   

 The talk of America being the only superpower is now ending because another superpower is emerging and taking advantage of our foolishness.

 From the Hill:

 Conservative lawmakers and analysts are seizing on the Pentagon’s finding that China is “closing the gap” with other militaries to criticize the Obama administration’s plans to pare U.S defense spending.

The critics say the president does not fully grasp the Asian giant’s global ambitions.

“The [Pentagon’s] China military power report acknowledges China’s insatiable desire to become a ‘world class economic and military power’ as it advances toward transforming its military into a dominant regional force by 2020 and an unrivaled international power by 2050,” House Armed Services Readiness subcommittee Chairman Randy Forbes (R-Va.) said.

 Forbes then turned his sights, in a veiled way, on plans to trim at least $350 billion from U.S. military budgets between 2013 and 2023.

“There is no question that China is rapidly closing the technology gap and striving to challenge the United States’ military prowess — there is a question, though, of whether the United States will simply cede its global and military leadership role to a nation with uncertain intentions, but known disregard for human rights, basic freedoms, and democratic institutions,” Forbes said in a statement.

In its annual report to Congress, released Wednesday, the Pentagon acknowledged that China’s military is “steadily closing the technological gap with modern armed forces.”

Speaking to reporters that afternoon, Deputy Assistant Secretary of defense for East Asia Michael Schiffer said Beijing’s buildup could end up being a “destabilizing” force in the Asia-Pacific region.

As part of its military buildup, China is expected to increase its defense spending by nearly 13 percent over last year’s amount. That will continue its years-long trend of annually increasing military spending.

Beijing, over the next decade, will field a number of combat systems that are “on par with” or will “exceed global standards,” Schiffer said.

This is what happens when we elect Socialists.  The world is a bad place and while America should not be the world’s policeman, we must remain strong.

 The only place the left ever wants to see budget cuts is in the defense budget.    Unfortunately, what the left never seems to realize is that there are evil people in this world who will take advantage of someone when they are weak. 

 Instead of wasting all of the money Obama and the Party of Treason are blowing on pork, how about we spend money on something the Constitution actually mandates that the Federal Government spend money on.

 That would be the common defense.