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Archive for the ‘Economy and Trade’ Category


I have not been delivering posts for this blog of late for a number of reasons, but this is one that I must write.  Normally, I provide solutions, but in this case I have no solutions to offer.  Now that the primaries are underway and some have finished, we begin to see the landscape shaping toward a removal of incumbents in both parties.  While the removal of incumbents, especially those who are progressive socialists / large central government heavy spending types is essential, we are headed to a dramatic radical change in this nation; one that we have never experienced, at least in my lifetime.  When we complete the purge of the Congress in both the House and Senate (only one-third of the senate is up for reelection) in the general election, we will have created a powerful lame-duck beast.

From November 3rd through and including January 3rd 2011, we will have between 40 and 50 unseated politicians who have nothing to lose by doing President Obama’s bidding.  The draconian severity of the legislation these lame ducks will pass for their President to sign will be earthshaking.  We will see amnesty and citizenship for illegal aliens, and a bailout of the union pension funds. Keep in mind that the unions have unsustainable pension problems because they simply cannot fund the promises made and they have used their available funds to get socialist progressive candidates elected.  During this dark period we will see our government collected tax money used to reimburse unions for the vast sums they poured into the campaigns of the folks who will now pay them back with our money.  This means that these unions will have dramatically transformed our America from what we know with our own money.

You might say that when we have replaced these incumbents with fresh faces we can reverse the legislation of the 111th Congress.  Well we will need two-thirds of each house to override the President’s veto.  During this period of lame duck representation, those who are shy right now in the campaign period to increase our deficit and our debt will be unshackled from the fear of being voted out.  They will now be able to set a record for stimulus, earmarks, and progressive big government legislation, along with a massive cap-and-trade bill to solve an imaginary man-made climate problem – it is really a worldwide wealth redistribution tax that will be imposed.

We will see Puerto Rico as our 51st state, an end to drilling for oil in this country, and the beginning of serfdom for the citizens of the United States of America.  We will also see an intentional further opening of the border with Mexico.  Every dream that the  progressive wealth redistribution activists have ever had will become a reality during this lame duck period – they will have nothing to lose.

President Obama will be served his radical transformation of America on a silver platter – he will only have to sign legislation.  During the revolution lame-duck period there will be no checks and balance system that we need to protect this country from ruin.

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UPDATE: December 3, 2009

The Wall Street Journal is reporting, what the other media, other than Fox News Channel, will not: “Furor Over Climate Triggers U.K. Probe.”

An exposure of the scientific community’s clandestine approach to driving climate change awareness and warnings broke in some media, not all of the “lame” stream media, this weekend.   It appears that emails were hacked and what was found seems to indicate that a real force within the scientific community to silence climate change dissent among equally qualified scientists has been ongoing for some time. The Washington Post has an article, “In the trenches on climate change, hostility among foes”, which looks at the hacking and what corrupt forces have been occurring to shut out those scientists who simply do not concur with the climate change supposedly proven postulation.

As a non-scientist, I am under the understanding that science is not supposed to be based upon a vote or a consensus. It is supposed to be based upon proven tested fact. When some in the scientific community attempt to silence other scientists who have a different view or postulation, then we no longer have science – we now have politics and politics is not science. It appears that scientific rules have not been followed on this climate change postulation.  Ask any scientist of quality and you will find that postulation or theorem must be proven to be taken as scientific fact.

These arrogant “only their opinion counts” people will have us turn this world upside down to fight what may or may not be man made or occurring at all. (Note that the carbon levels keep climbing, but the temperature has not for 11 years.) The self important arrogance of these people appears to be overwhelming, or maybe their opinions are being driven by my the multiple of millions to be made by touting climate change – ask Al Gore.  These folks need to study the history of the planet to see the multitude of radical climate and atmosphere changes that have occurred since the planet was born.

Man’s time on this planet, supported by a climate and atmosphere suitable for man’s existence, is but a single tick on the clock of earth’s history. Why do these arrogant self-important people believe that the earth would and should remain hospitable to man forever?  It is man who needs to adapt, by moving and migrating as man has done for centuries, to more suitable climates and ocean tides and levels, if climate change is real.   We must adapt to any changes to the planet’s atmosphere and not the planet adapting to man.  Man cannot and never will in the near term be able to change the climate, the ocean currents, nor the atmosphere of planet earth – we simply are not that advanced.

What will be next?  Will be be warned against continental shift and attempt to stop it by forcing everyone to move to the center of the continents?  Keep in mind that if one very large asteroid collided with earth, climate change would be immediate and the longterm effects of climate change would be of no concern.  Mankind on earth would probably disappear in a relatively short time frame.

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Whatever happened to the national goals of a Strong National Defense, Fiscal Responsibility, Energy Independence, Free Market Solutions, and Individual Liberty? Why have we moved 180 degrees from this goal — a goal that made this country great?

National Defense

Over the past eight years we have worn down and, as of the latest poll of military morale, demoralized our once superb fighting force. We have had two long wars fought with politician oversight, mostly not to win, but to avoid losing. Why are we repeating mistakes of prior wars? We seem to use a calculator and a checkbook to measure our commitment to a fight, rather than providing an all out commitment to win rapidly and decisively.

In an effort to avoid drawing out the Afghan war further, our President, is considering a plan to wind down this conflict and either fight a small scale war or leave entirely. His personally appointed Afghan Commander has provided the President with a plan to win the war, but needs a greater commitment from the White House – a commitment that the White House appears unwilling to make. What the White House, and the many others, who decry that the Afghan war grinds on interminably fail to grasp simple plan. The plan is that similar to the strategy of World War II, where the Pacific Theater was fought as a holding action until the European Theater was won, we have fought a holding action in Afghanistan while we won the Iraqi war.

Our President needs to understand that the reason we went into Afghanistan was that the Taliban were allowing Al Qaeda to move freely, train freely, and constitute a large fighting and terror delivery force. Pulling out of Afghanistan or downsizing the war will embolden the Taliban and re-constitute a powerful al Qaeda. Pulling out now will waste the lives of those who have fallen and the sacrifice of those who suffered injury and permanent handicap fighting that holding action so that we could win in Iraq and then take on Afghanistan to win.

Fiscal Responsibility

Under George Bush and a mostly Republican Congress this nation experienced wild spending. Government intervention via a supposed oversight with a manipulated Community Reinvestment Act, allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to light the time fuse for a mortgage meltdown.

Now, Barack Obama and the Democrat Congress have shown the Republicans just what irrational and fiscally unconscionable spending can be. The Democrat spending in the name of stimulus has been off the charts. Unfortunately, the stimulus bill is only stimulating local governments to continue spending, and providing the Congress with the ability to funnel funds to pet, non-stimulating projects—few long term sustainable jobs have been created. Thus the unemployment rate has crossed the 10% threshold, when it was not supposed to go above 8%. We were told that the fiscal situation had reached a crisis of economic collapse and that the stimulus had to be passed quickly and fully to prevent this. Then we were told that no one could foresee just how bad the crisis was. What is worse than a national economic collapse? This failed stimulus and out of control unemployment rate has forced the administration to count “saved” jobs – a measure that simply cannot be realistically counted.

Energy Independence

The Department of Energy was created to find an alternative to gasoline in the Carter Administration—we see how well that went, yet we are still funding a $70+ billion department filled with bureaucracy.

While we sit on an abundance of oil and natural gas, we are pushing a green energy platform that has no hope of meeting the immense power needs of this country in the next ten years. Last year, we produced a little more than 2% of our energy from wind and solar. We have abandoned nuclear power – a source for clean energy, with albeit a disposal problem – yet European nations, and especially France have embraced nuclear. We are seeking to cripple this nation’s resource of cheap energy with Cap and “Tax” — sorry, Cap and Trade. According to CBS News, this effort will raise each family’s home energy bill by $1,761.

This tax will also affect business and everything you consume, by raising prices on just about all good and services originating in this country. This will be a cascading tax. The tax on a tax will have a cascading effect and will hamper small business’ ability to create jobs—these are the folks who generally create about 70% of the jobs in this country. What is absolutely dumbfounding about this effort is that the U.N.’s climate projection models which equated the increase in CO2 with a corresponding increase in earth’s temperature have been proven wrong with actual data. (Jeffrey Ball, Wall Street Journal, Monday, November 2, 2009)

On the matter of this insane backbreaking energy restriction on our economic growth, at a time when we need economic growth to pay down our gargantuan, out of this world debt, I can only assume we have gone mad.

Free Market Solutions

In just about a year, reaching back into the Bush administration, we apparently decided that government knows better that the individual. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people, has become government by and of the elected to the people not for the people — a dangerous change.

We have seen how bond holders suffered a lapse of the rule of law in the way bankruptcies were adjudicated, with unions actually being placed first in line above bond holders. We have seen how executives are being capped on earnings. Yes, there may have been abuses, but the government need not be and should not be the arbiter of how much someone in the private sector can make. Rather the shareholders should have been given more power to control the Boards of these “run a muck” companies, and to control the compensation of the top executives.

We have seen how our government has taken ownership of, and is managing private enterprise companies, like General Motors. Enough! Government can’t manage government, yet win at private enterprise. There is enough corruption in Congress today to greatly overshadow the “greedy” corporate executives, who we have been told are the scourge of the earth and the source of all our problems, by our corrupt government in Washington. For starters, just think about those sweetheart mortgage deals to Chris Dodd and others.

Individual Liberty

The 2,000 page House Bill (H.R. 3962) and the even bigger Senate Bill are supposed to provide health care for those who are uninsured, yet they do not. Too many uninsureds remain uninsured, despite the bills. The final bill will have a front loaded tax revenue stream and a back load delivery date, and it will still costs nearly a Trillion dollars. These bills severely infringe on individual rights and liberty. These bills require individuals to purchase health care insurance or be subject to fines and even jail time.  One taxes small business and both will lead to a single payer universal health care system run by the government.

Why don’t we just buy health insurance for the uninsured – it would be substantially cheaper. These 2,000 page bills are really not intended to provide health insurance for the uninsured. If they did only intend to insure the uninsured, they would only need to be 100 or so pages. Instead the Democrats hide their true agenda behind 2,000 pages wherein they control of our lives and our bodies. Remember how hard the Democrats fought and continmue to fight to allow a woman a choice over her body— “reproductive rights”.  Why then do the Democrats now wish to control every other part of our bodies?

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Iran, Russia, and The Peoples Republic of China are fermenting unrest throughout the world.  In actuality, Iran is the point of this troubling spear and Russia and China are the enablers.  Both Russia and China have important trade arrangements with Iran.  Oil, again, is the root of the unresolved Iranian nuclear problem.  China obtains most of its oil from Iran and this oil is critically necessary to fuel China’s growing economy and military—China will protect this oil life line fiercely.  Russia has a lucrative trade export arrangement with Iran.  This trade includes conventional arms, among other manufactured goods, making Iran one of its key export partners.

Neither China nor Russia is interested in an embargo of Iran because they depend heavily on Iranian trade.  Thus Iran has been able to buy time and hold off the international community in its effort to develop a nuclear weapon.  Without the strongest support of China and Russia, the international community including the United States is neutralized.   Take note of today’s announcement at the international G20 meeting by the leaders of the U.S., the U.K., and France about sanctions, in that neither Russia nor China was present.

The Europeans are afraid of pushing Iran hard and are more interested in appeasement due to the Strait of Hormuz and Iran’s grip on the world’s oil supply.  Back in March of 2008, I wrote:  Oil, It will destroy us!

“Have you noticed that there is a direct correlation between worldwide tensions and oil?  If you might be wondering why Russia’s Vladimir Putin [now Medvedev and Putin] has started to flex his muscles and become obstinate in the fight against global terror…you should be. If you are wondering why Iran has become so independent and belligerent of late…you should be. Have you looked at our own hemisphere lately? Take a good look at Venezuela and how Chavez is as bold as can be in creating an anti-U.S. socialist state more powerful than Cuba ever was….Well! It is all about oil!

Ask any military strategist and they will tell you that one of the reasons we cannot leave Iraq as we want to, is that we are afraid Iran will…make Iraq a satellite country in its attempt to create a worldwide caliphate (A caliphate is a fundamentalist theocratic form of tyrannical government, that unites all Muslims covering a wide swath of geography in the world, under one rule). This is not a good thing for the west. This could place Iran in a position to directly control 10% of the world’s oil (includes oil equivalent products in the production) and to indirectly control 44% of the world’s oil exports which are shipped through the Strait of Hormuz, by shutting down the Strait or creating the caliphate. In addition, today the group of thugs known as Russia, Iran, Venezuela could conceivably directly control 29% (with Iraq, 32%) of the world’s oil production, and indirectly control exports, when the Strait is included, to bring the overall control to 66% of world oil exports. An Iran controlling Iraq and the Strait of Hormuz would be one very powerful entity–an entity that has a culture and a philosophy directly opposite ours. Iran is a country that does not do well with negotiation, especially when we are in a position to lose and they are in a position to gain. Is it possible to successfully negotiate from weakness? NO! Are we in a position of weakness in such a negotiation? YES!

Considering that since our oil import consumption is at 31% of the world’s oil exports, and the control of 66% of the world’s oil exports by Iran and its new very cash rich friends can be a quick reality, we should be worried and reactive. Yet we are not!…

What do we do?  In the short term we are powerless and our national oil policy has been the problem.  Had we had a robust domestic drilling program for oil and natural gas, we would be in a position to sell China its much needed oil and natural gas.  Instead we allowed China to become dependent on Iran for its economic lifeblood, crude oil, and Iran knows this.

Selling China that oil and natural gas that we have under our land and off shore, and did not go after, would have had far reaching effects internationally:

First it would have made China less dependent on Iran, allowing China to support intense pressure on Iran and have avoided the thwarting of the international community’s efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  In addition, China could also have put pressure on North Korea to keep that rogue power from selling missile technology and parts to Iran.  These missiles are the delivery vehicle for the nuclear weapons.

Second, by selling China oil, we would have had an opportunity to balance our trade deficit with China.  China would have been an equal trade partner and not our banker/lender.

Instead we chose to be flat out dumb on the use of our abundant untapped offshore and arctic natural resources, oil and natural gas.  It is not too late to work toward making China an equal trade partner, rather than the one sided arrangement we currently have.  It may be too late to solve the Iranian matter, but there will be other international troubles, including North Korea.  China can be instrumental in providing support to manage those matters.  They are a pragmatic country when it comes to protecting their self interests and this can work in our favor.

Our country continues to eschew the leverage oil would bring us as an international policy driver.  Why do we continue to do this?  I know, we want to save the planet, but if we don’t obtain the leverage necessary to control the spread of nuclear weapons we may not have a planet to save.  Right now oil and natural gas are the best tools God has given this nation to keep world peace and we are blind to it.  As a peacemaker, oil and natural gas in the right hands are the keys to world stability.  In the wrong hands they are a flash point.

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Let’s for a moment put party labels aside.  The Republicans, Libertarians, independents, and the Democrats are no more, for the sake of this post.   Let’s look at politicians and advocates only as proponents of public sector or the private sector.

The proponents of public sector support the government’s caretaking of its people, either through public or co-op option medical care, providing money for car purchases, subsidizing power generation, and so on and so on—spending everywhere.

The private sector proponents seek growth of industry and economies, healthier paychecks for all, faith based options for caretaking, and wealth generation for reinvestment into greater wealth generation for all.

The public sector advocates want to spend resources on all sorts of programs but struggle with how to pay for the largess.  Remember the public sector produces nothing.  It is simply a drain on the economy and cannot be sustained.  Taxing the rich and businesses will generate funds for near term projects, but over time the law of diminishing returns kicks in and the cupboard runs bare.  There is a limit to how much money can be pulled out of an economy to pay for public sector programs—the limit is what gets put back into the economy to replace what was spent.  Remember as you grow the public sector you shrink the private sector.  Soon the private sector will disappear and the public sector will have to provide less and less for the populace—rationing.

Remember the empty store shelves in the Soviet Union?  Well this will happen here if the production economy does not grow.  Unless we find a way to grow our economy we will not survive.  This country has been a consumer and not a production economy for nearly 40 years.  All this has done is deplete our reserves, build debt, make the dollar weaker, and make us unable to replenish what we are spending—we simply consume.  As a nation will will run out of whatever wealth we have left.

Just look at how the government has reacted to the current fiscal crisis.  It was brought on by debt.  Now we are fixing the problem by growing the public sector and we are borrowing to get out of debt—does this make sense to anyone. We should have ignited the private sector by placing a moratorium of income taxes for two or three years—it would have cost the same as the unproductive stimulus, but it would have already begun paying big dividends.

 The private sector advocates want smaller government, with the government being a small drain on the results of the private sector economy.  If the private sector is supported by the government through lower taxes, less restrictive rules, use of natural resources that allow the private sector to produce, the economy will produce, export, grow jobs and this will feed on itself, as if it were a perpetual engine—okay I exaggerate a bit.

If this government fosters a strong small business segment and a somewhat controlled big business segment usually through competition, but with legitimate— not choking —government regulation, the private sector over the long term will grow, and provide prosperity.  Since the public sector produces nothing, and is a 100 % drain on resources, it can never produce prosperity, that is unless we can have a replay of the miracle of the loaves and the fishes .

There are those who say that profit is bad, well unless these anti-profit people can offer another way to grow and replenish an economy to continue to deliver these goods and services, private sector profit is the only way to go.  Remember, how long can government deliver these goods and services without replenishing what has been used?  Remember the Soviet Union store shelves. 

Now I make the leap to government medical care.  Forget about the lack of efficiency and effectiveness in anything the government does.  Let us simply look at the non-replenished resources from a stagnant public sector economy.  How much time will pass before medical rationing must occur in a service driven by an economy that does not grow—it only shrinks.

Anyone who has not as yet joined the flat earth society should seriously consider that when you vote for a representative, that representative should be a long term thinker and always vote to build and grow an economy by producing.  If the person is a short term thinker and only believes in picking the fruit from the tree without ever feeding or water it, then you will get the diminishing public sector option and everyone will be equally poor.

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Many people in perceived fairness say that President Obama is in office a little more than two months, so we  should give him a chance.  To these people I ask, how long do you give a new nanny who demonstrates poor child rearing skills, with your children?  For the ladies, how long do you allow a  new beautician who is clearly doing her own thing and not doing what is best for you to continue before you yell stop?  We are seeing so called fixes to our economic problems that are not economic problem fixes.  We are seeing major changes to our civic culture under the guise of fixing our economic problem.  We are seeing a serious threat to our constitution, by a man who openly does not like our constitution the way it was written. 

President Obama is a “big government” – government is intended to take care of people – kind of guy.  Just listen to his own words.  He is asking to spend hundreds of billions on energy, health care, and education – sounds noble, but he has no plan on how to spend this money.  No businessman in the world could borrow money without a business plan, yet he wants multiple billions without a plan – he wants you to buy into his wishes sight unseen – something like buying land (swampland) in Florida.  This massive spending on noble targets may sound great, but you need to lift the hood to see just what happens when the big government engine is turned on.  In the world of gross domestic product, government produces nothing – it is a drain.  It does not foster job growth.  It does not provide the necessesary economic energy to sustain growth and to keep on delivering.  Government simply takes from the producers and the only thing it gives back is a portion of what it has taken – the rest is government overhead.  Over time, the producers stop producing because there is no upside for them to produce.

Sure government can create jobs, government jobs, and this does two things that should make you run from government intrusion in your life.  First, any government job created takes away from the producers the ability to produce, grow, and create jobs with a multiplier effect.  It must continue to take from the producer to support the government created job.  Second, the government created job, as it takes away from private sector job growth, keeps you permanently chained to the government to keep your job.  Some may say – “what is wrong with a good job from the government?” – the answer is that the government job is not sustainable and that over time, the ecomony and quality of life shrink.  As the economy shrinks, the government must take more and more from the remaining producers to sustain those made up government jobs – remember, government jobs produce nothing and add nothing to the economy.  As more and more is taken, the producers produce less due to loss of economic motivation – this becomes a cycle of doom.  Countless countries have tried this and met the same result – failure.

Throughout history in Latin America, South America, Europe, and Asia (most of the globe), power hungry despots and some well meaning socialists have adopted the control afforded by socialism and the “government can do it all” approach, and failed miserably.  Our current President is an academic with a law degree.  He has never produced, never managed anything, and appears to have never studied history on the failure rate of big government socialism.  That is, unless he is not concerned with 100% failure rate or the success of the venture (we cannot call it an experiment since the experiment failed in a plethora of tests around the globe), and he is only seeking the control and power that comes to a few, not the masses, from the big government socialist venture.

The following is Barack Obama, when he was a state senator, in his own words describing why our constitution is flawed and in need of change.  If this does not send chills up your spine, then you have not been paying attention.  He feels that the constitution does not provide government with sufficient powers.  In this video Mr. Obama telegraphs just where he wants to take this country with the big government socialist approach.  The video was found on a blog Bob’s Bites. (Thank you Bob’s Bites).

This bullet train approach to CHANGE toward a big government socialist nation with an understanding that the constitution does not permit the kind of change being attempted, must be stopped.  Unfortunately, President Obama will be in office for four years and the current very left, very socialist Democratic Party controlled Congress will be intact for two years, making the stopping of this train very difficult, but not impossible.

We need to pressure the members of the U.S. Senate’s Democratic Party who hold the more moderate and conservative economic voting records in the Democratic Party Senate caucus and three Republican RINO’s (republicans in name only) to act as a buffer and to take steps to retard the hi-speed approach to socialist economic change.  We must pressure these Senators to slow the massive government spending for big government.  This government spending is not sustainable and simply cannot be repaid.  You see, right now, the government is a sub-prime borrower seeking an unsustainable mortgage – have you heard this before?  This is what got us into this mess and now we are attempting to spend our way to prosperity and borrow our way out of debt – show me one budget text book that portends a happy outcome when you spend more than you can produce for a sustained time.  One book does explain this unique economic plan – it is the bible – the new testament to be exact.  It is commonly known as the “Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes”.  Unfortunately for us, while Barack Obama may think he can walk on water – he cannot and he cannot perform the “Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes” or make wine from water!

Do what you can to stop this bullet train, before it is too late! Tell them (cut and paste the statement if you wish):

“Stop the over the top spending and borrowing now – don’t destroy our country!  Socialism does not work!”

The Democratic Senators in the Senate, with the most conservative economic voting records and the three Republicans (RINOs), who should be pressured are:

Baucus, Max – (D – MT)

 

511 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2651
Web Form: baucus.senate.gov/contact/emailForm.cfm?subj=issue

 

Bayh, Evan – (D – IN)

 

131 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5623
Web Form: bayh.senate.gov/contact/email/

 

Byrd, Robert C. – (D – WV)

 

311 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-3954
Web Form: byrd.senate.gov/contacts/

 

Carper, Thomas R. – (D – DE)

 

513 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2441
Web Form: carper.senate.gov/contact/

 

Conrad, Kent – (D – ND)

 

530 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2043
Web Form: conrad.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm

 

Dorgan, Byron L. – (D – ND)

 

322 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2551
E-mail: senator@dorgan.senate.gov

 

Landrieu, Mary L. – (D – LA)

 

328 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5824
Web Form: landrieu.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm

 

McCaskill, Claire – (D – MO)

 

717 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-6154
Web Form: mccaskill.senate.gov/contact/

 

Nelson, Ben – (D – NE)

 

720 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-6551
Web Form: bennelson.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm

 

Tester, Jon – (D – MT)

 

724 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2644
Web Form: tester.senate.gov/Contact/index.cfm

 

Webb, Jim – (D – VA)

 

248 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4024
Web Form: webb.senate.gov/contact/

 

Wyden, Ron – (D – OR)

 

223 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5244
Web Form: wyden.senate.gov/contact/

 

Collins, Susan M. (R – ME)

 

413 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2523
Web Form: collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm?FuseAction=Contact…

 

Snowe, Olympia J. (R – ME)

 

154 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5344
Web Form: snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenat…

 

Specter, Arlen (R – PA)

 

711 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4254
Web Form: specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Co…

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Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, does not want to drill for oil off our coasts and will reverse the Bush Administration’s position on off shore drilling.  He prefers wind and solar.  I also prefer wind and solar, but I understand that effectively creating a new national energy infrastructure with additional and rebuilt power grids is tentative at best in the next ten years.  Why do we need to gamble on getting it right with a massive shift on source energy and delivery, when we can have that domestic off shore oil as a security blanket?  If we were to displace off shore oil with domestic wind and solar, we could become an oil exporter and actually change the balance of trade deficit to a trade surplus. 

Watch Salazar’s statement on Bloomberg.   Read Bloomberg’s article here.

Regardless of what he says, no matter the excuses he makes, the public interest calls for domestic offshore drilling now – it is clearly in our national security interest.

If we drilled for and sold our off shore oil on the open market, we could blunt the sale of oil by nations like Iran, Russia, and Venezuela.  We could actually use oil as a foreign policy tool.  We need all the edge we can get.  Yes, right now the price of oil is down, but where will it be in five years?  The Democrats put us in a bind over the recent oil price hike, with decisions that made it difficult for us to have more domestic oil on hand when we needed it.  It has been the war against off shore drilling by democrats that has left us defenseless against foreign oil.  The balance of power in the world will be in our favor if we have our own oil to use and possibly sell.  If we are successful in switching to renewable power generation, other nations may not switch as successfully.  Other nations will still need oil – it is better that they get it from us than from nations hostile to us.  In any event, wind and solar source energy will be a fifty year national change over. 

The Obama administration is so intent on shifting to green energy to save the world, that they are gambling our near term ten year future on an untried and unproven massive change on source energy and source energy delivery to power our entire nation.  Why not drill just in case?  Keep in mind that both wind and solar are harvested where the energy grid is not.  We need to build out our energy grid to deliver the wind and solar source energy through the existing grid for delivery to businesses and homes.  This necessary grid project alone is massive and wrought with a not in my backyard mentality (NIMBY).  Shutting out the mining for and drilling for domestic oil resources located off shore is foolish and myopic.  Gambling on adequately replacing our foreign oil with solar and wind in the next ten years is not only foolish, but arrogantly foolhardy.  It is national security negligence.

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Updated: March 23, 2010

The two most important issues facing this nation are now very clear.  These two issues have now risen past all other issues previously highlighted in this blog.  The first big issue is:

We now have a House of Representatives where the progressives hold just about all committee chairmanships; A Senate with progressives from both parties holding key committee positions; we have an extreme progressive as Speaker of the House; an extreme progressive as Senate Majority Leader; and an extreme progressive, near socialist, as President of the United States.  I use the term progressive, because I believe the progressives have taken over the Democratic Party – it is certainly not the party of John F. Kennedy and not the party that my mother and father admired.  To digress a bit, just take a good look at the advisors with which our President surrounds himself.  These are for the most part radical revolutionaries with the pedigrees to match.

Their agenda is simple, provide as much social legislation without regard to the debt and to our ability to pay the bill.  This is the first big issue facing America.  The means used to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act demonstrated that this group of progressives believes that the end, that they seek, justifies the means with which they achieve the end.

They stopped at nothing in their effort to push a piece of legislation by going outside the rules of each House of Congress, by buying votes from legislators with our money, by a complete obfuscation of the true facts about the bill when informing or rather ill informing the public.  They wrote provisions into the bill to force the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to provide a dollar amount that was on the surface revenue neutral, even a debt reducer, when it is neither.  They did this by double counting supposed savings in a number of areas, with an egregious mis-count on Medicare savings to the tune of $563 Billion.

They sold this bill to the public as a bill to insure thirty-two million uninsured Americans, yet they do not cover these Americans for years.  In fact, the thirty two-million includes illegal aliens, but we were told that no illegal aliens would be covered.  What we were not told was that the next bill up in Congress, and they have started to work on this, is to provide amnesty for these illegal aliens, so they will be covered as well.

In this bill the Democrats have given the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority and the marching orders 1,200 times to write her own rules for all sorts of health care, from payments to procedures, to insurance, to who is covered, to rationing, since thirty-two million newly insured will need to be covered by the same number of doctors who now practice – rationing will be necessary.  The Secretary has now been given the ability to write law without Congressional oversight. Remember the Secretary is Kathleen Sibelius, who refused to take action against “Tiller the Baby Killer” when she was governor, because he contributed heavily to her campaign.  “Tiller The Baby Killer” was one of two or three doctors in Kansas who would routinely abort late-term babies for frivolous reasons, before he was assassinated – these were babies who could have lived outside the womb.

This bill is actually a violation of Roe v. Wade – the Supreme Court decision that protected a women’s right to do with her body as she sees fit.  This also applies to men who wish to do with their body as they see fit.  Should men or women choose to not have health insurance and not to seek regular medical care, they have that right under Roe v. Wade. Read: Roe v. Wade to the Rescue: right to privacy or health care mandates.

One last item about this bill, is that you can search it high and low and you will find nothing in it that attempts to control the cost of health care.  Why?  Well, this bill is only intended to drive the health insurance companies out of business, leading to single payer universal health care, just as found in Canada and Great Britain.   Until this happens, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is in control of the insurance companies.

The second big issue facing this nation is even more dangerous to us than health insurance reform:

The flagrant disregard for our Constitution by Congressional leaders and our President should be a warning to all.  Speaker Pelosi actually laughed at a reporter who seriously asked if what she was proposing was Constitutional.  At the minimum they have flouted the spirit of the Constitution and at the most egregious they have simply ignored it.  The President is on record with his disdain for the Constitution, in that it does not offer mandates of what the government must do for its citizens.

It is clear that he and his cadre wish to rewrite our storied Constitution that currently prohibits our federal government from taking over the rights of people.  This document prohibits the federal government from diminishing the states and Congress to roles as bit players in the governing of this country.  It is clear that the current leadership in Washington feels inhibited by this Constitution – they cannot ignore the whole thing.

This progressive cadre wants to rewrite the Constitution and the way to do that is to create a national economic emergency the size of which has never been imagined.  They will spend us into oblivion until our economy is broken and our free markets are teetering on collapse.  Then and only then, to solve a national emergency, they will offer a solution to the problem that includes an even bigger federal government driven by an even bigger centralized executive branch.  They will attempt to use the tragic events of a broken economy to rouse public interest to rewrite the Constitution.

Read an indepth look at how the progressives have attempted to marginalize and discard our Constitution in a bookblog dedicated to looking at what is wrong, why it is wrong, and what we need to do to fix the problem at U.S. Constitution – “Sine Die”.

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Contributed by F. M. Verbits

 

Sometimes you just “gotta” clean out the “pipes” and our country is fast approaching the time to do just that.  The “Detroit Three” are staring into the abyss and they are moving closer to it every day. Previous posts have addressed some of the issues and concerns and past sins of management and the unions; and no matter what congress does efforts at this point will most likely treat the symptoms and not really address any of the problems.  That’s the way congress works, they continue to address our nation’s symptoms and not really focus on the problems.   Rather than fix the tax code and remove discrimination from it, we give taxpayers a check for $500.   I don’t know about you but for many families in this country $500 will not buy a month’s supply of groceries. I would prefer an extra $500 in my paycheck each and every month from a fairer tax code.  Back to the auto issue.

Automakers say they want billions to retool and make more fuel efficient vehicles.  A writer in the Wall Street Journal said that is like giving money to the cigarette companies to do research to find a cure for cancer.   Passing stronger regulation and mandating fuel economy targets for vehicle manufacturers hasn’t worked in the past and will not work in the future.  We need to change our way of thinking (again not easy for big corporations or politicians). If we give auto makers our billions, let’s tie it to abandoning last century’s energy technology.

If the goal is to be more fuel efficient and lower our carbon footprint, then let’s not pussy-foot around the issue.   Congress should find some big brass kahones and really address the issue head-on.  My suggestion for a solution simply pass a law that effectively says, “By the year 2020 no new motor vehicle sold in the United States for passenger use will run on petroleum based fuels or derivatives thereof.”

What will this accomplish?  After the initial “shock and awe” wears off all available resources, corporations and entrepreneurs will work on developing and perfecting alternative power sources.   All vehicle manufacturers will have a clean piece of paper to start fresh and perfect current alternative fuel vehicles.  As you read this Honda has about 500+ hydrogen powered vehicles leased to consumers in Southern California,  thousands of fleet vehicles are powered by natural gas, hundred more are powered by waste cooking oil or other bio fuels and companies are currently selling electric vehicles too.

With a finite end to the sale of petroleum based internal combustion engines, we can say goodbye to our dependency on Middle East oil.  I believe most efforts will go into developing a hydrogen solution. Hydrogen is the most plentiful substance in the universe and throws off only water when burned, it has been hailed as the answer to earth’s dual fossil-fuel problems: dwindling supply and the ballooning greenhouse effect.  Our politicians have been paying lip service to energy independence for decades now they can do something about it.

Can it be done in ten years?  Absolutely.  The Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb was accomplished in six years. With all of our incredible resources in this country and around the world we most certainly can accomplish this task.

Over the next ten years the major oil companies, ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell will start developing their hydrogen refilling stations of the future.  They can take some of their billions in oil profits from the last few years and put it into the new hydrogen pumps and infrastructure.  Shell has had a hydrogen refilling station in Iceland for the last five years and working with other companies and governments has shown that hydrogen is safer than oil or gasoline, people are willing to use hydrogen to fuel their vehicles and that governments are able to educate consumers about alternative fuels.

I think it’s time we demand that our politicians address this issue and force a paradigm shift in the personal transportation arena that will take us into a cleaner future. 

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The nation appears to be moving left of center and the populace is more accepting of socialism.  Recent polls indicate that about half the populace is just fine with wealth redistribution.  These are the people who most likely are in lower paying jobs and have depended on the main stream media (MSM) to enlighten them on just how they are feeling about the economy.  If we go back beyond the current maelstrom and look at the economy of say 2004, we would see very low unemployment (actually the definition of full employment), inflation under control, and a Gross Domestic Product moving along so well that many felt that it might overheat the economy.    The MSM and the Democrats just kept telling the populace that they were hurting.

What moved the nation left in such a short time?  Well the move has been percolating for some time; it just took some recent troubles and a Party in desperate need of achieving the White House to give it the shove it needed.  This journey started many years ago.  It started in our school systems and our universities.  The ranks of the teachers union and our college instructors have become a magnet for those who do not produce a tangible product and have very social progressive beliefs – yes there are many very good teachers out there.  You don’t believe me about the teachers union, well then why is the teachers union a major funder to block the California marriage amendment – what has this to do with furthering quality education.  The union is making an ideology play.  These ranks have become inhabited with secular progressives who hold the opinion and an ideology that what the person next to us does is of no concern to us.  It is permissive ideology that eliminates accountability for one’s actions.  It is an ideology that screams “It is not my fault that I have not succeeded – it is your fault”.  The curriculum in our schools has spent precious little time teaching history and the various types of economies to our youth.  We have not taught them that socialism has usually resulted in higher unemployment and a lower standard of living across the board for the populace.

Immediately after the presidential election of 2000, the Democrats, led by Howard Dean who is on the other end of the puppet strings held by George Soros, decreed that the Democratic Party would be in a perennial campaign for President, that the Party would fight the Republicans at every opportunity until the next presidential election.  From that point forward the Democratic Party has been telling its faithful that they are hurting, suffering economic imbalance, and are owed more.  When the 2001 attacks on the Trade Centers and the Pentagon threw this country into an economic tail spin, the Democrats told their faithful that it was the Republicans’ fault for the tail spin.  When the country recovered from the downturn and started to boom, the Democrats told their faithful that they were hurting.  Up until the beginning of this current recession, Democrats told their faithful that they were hurting.  Democrats have used “big business or big oil” as a scapegoat for all Democratic Party caused scenarios – such as our failure to drill for our own oil or the mortgage crisis with the excesses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Democrats has help build the circumstances for the exodus of middle class jobs.  Our Congress, both Republican and Democrat, and our Administration paid no attention to the exodus of middle class type jobs from our shores.  Companies driven away by income and other taxes – higher here than elsewhere – moved jobs overseas to greener pastures.  With those jobs went the middle class.  These jobs were replaced by low end jobs, atypical of the middle class jobs our parents held.  Under both the Democrats and Republicans, credit was used to artificially prop up our standard of living.  Credit cards and credit card balances skyrocketed.  Our leaders were happy to see the money supply expand and the economy grow through the use of credit purchases, including home equity credit lines used to either pay down credit cards, thus freeing up more purchasing power or providing cash for large purchases.  This enormous expansion of credit artificially inflated the money supply and made the economy, sans good jobs, continue to grow.

Instead of addressing the root cause, the evaporation of good middle class jobs, our leaders, both Democratic and Republican, helped to push credit to non-credit worthy people – non-credit worthy strictly in a lending sense.  They were not credit worthy mostly due to a culture that now fosters a lack of drive to be responsible that has been spreading in our country -“It’s not my fault – I am a victim”.

Between the MSM, Democratic Party, loss of good jobs, and blind Republicans we have wiped out the true middle class in America, taught our young that everything is owned them, convinced even those who are still doing well that they are hurting.  Along comes the credit crisis and the collapse of the stock market sucking 401k’s into the vortex and you have the perfect incubator for socialism.  Obama’s rise is testament to this change.  We can only hope that our future experiment with socialism will be reversible and that no permanent damage will be done.

Viva la socialism!

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Just when will the brain trust in Washington, D.C. realize that it has to insure the creditors of the nation’s National Banks?  Just when will the brain trust realize that it has no choice but to lift Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) “Mark to Market” rules or at least modify them?  Due to the inability to properly Mark to Market mortgage portfolios, the banks simply do not have sufficient capitalization to lend – the ratios are GONE.  The piecemeal fix chosen by Treasury Secretary Paulson and our Administration is rapidly bringing this country’s economy to a standstill.  Every day a new and different piece to the “secret” plan appears – is there no single master plan that can be published?

Former Head of the FDIC, William Isaac, has said “…One alternative is a “net worth certificate” program along the lines of what Congress enacted in the 1980s for the savings and loan industry. It was a big success and could work in the current climate. The FDIC resolved a $100 billion insolvency in the savings banks for a total cost of less than $2 billion. The net worth certificate program was designed to shore up the capital of weak banks to give them more time to resolve their problems. The program involved no subsidy and no cash outlay. The FDIC purchased net worth certificates (subordinated debentures, a commonly used form of capital in banks) in troubled banks that the agency determined could be viable if they were given more time. Banks entering the program had to agree to strict supervision from the FDIC, including oversight of compensation of top executives and removal of poor management…” Read the entire article A Better Way To Aid Banks by William Isaac at The Washington Post.

Unless and until the banks can lend again to both consumers and businesses, we will continue to experience a deflationary economy, one that is essentially closed for business.  The ripple effect is currently being felt in the stock market.  Before anyone makes a crack that the “fat cats are getting what they deserve”, consider that millions of Americans have retirement portfolios in the stock market as investments or HAD retirement portfolios in the stock market.  The markets have moved beyond looking at book value or earnings growth ratios for equity pricing.  The many analysts who normally provide ratings and reviews of the myriad of equities and bonds in the market place, have through a complete loss in understanding of what will happen next, capitulated, and have no prognostications – they are frozen.  Experts are frozen.  There simply is insufficient information available to recommend an investing path.  All the traditional safe plays have tanked. Then should anyone be trading?

Both corporate and municipal pension plans have seen a drain in value from 15% to as much as 35%.  Individuals in or near retirement have no way to recoup their losses.  Money is draining from mutual funds at an alarming rate.  The general loss in wealth for this country’s citizens, while we wait for the Treasury death by drip, drip plan to kick in, as they are acting in a deliberate manor, while the world crumbles around them, is astounding.  The only exempt group from this loss of pension wealth is the government worker because their pension is set under parameters of retirement.

The Administration, Congress, and the Federal Reserve need to immediately:

  • Eliminate Mark to Market or at least temporarily modify it.
  • Guaranty all creditors of this country’s National Banks.
  • Cease trading on all domestic stock exchanges, to allow a cooling off period.
  • Reverse the current property value deflation by stimulating the purchase of resale homes – a special limited time, one year, super low rate mortgage program offered through the FHA; perhaps a 7 year adjustable rate mortgage. (An Alternative to the Massive Mortgage Bailout!)
  • Offer a substantial tax credit for the purchase of residential resale home foreclosures between now and June 30, 2009.

The lack of speedy supplementary post reaction to the rescue bill, in light of the markets meltdown, represents gross malfeasance by this Administration.  It appears that no one in Washington has a clue.  Nancy Pelosi is talking a stimulus package – spoken by someone who is pandering for votes while the country’s economic system melts down.  She and Harry Reid should be calling the House and Senate back into special session to work on a mortgage program and only a mortgage program – no pork, no electioneering!  This is no longer about the million or so homeowners in foreclosure.  It is now about the 50 million in or near retirement suffering retirement financial failure.

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We have heard so much misinformation about oil, drilling, and renewable energy, all designed to mislead and confuse the American people. Sadly this misinformation and disinformation is coming from our elected leaders and the news media, to serve their political and ideological agendas. What is best for the nation seems to have fallen out of the equation.

To help sift through disinformation, I have put together a primer on the oil / renewable energy debate. I hope it helps clear things up.

What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

“The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR provides the President with a powerful response option should a disruption in commercial oil supplies threaten the U.S. economy. It also allows the United States to meet part of its International Energy Agency obligation to maintain emergency oil stocks, and it provides a national defense fuel reserve.” Source: U.S. Department of Energy website

How Much is in it?**

706,400,000 barrels

How much oil does the U.S. consume in a day?**

20,000,000 barrels

How much oil does the world consume in a day?**

79,000,000 barrels

How many days supply does our reserve mean to us?**

35 days, U.S. consumption – 9 days, world consumption

Have we stopped filling the SPR?**

Yes, for now

** Statistics and answers either taken from or derived from the information at the Energy Information Administration.

Do those politicians who point to releasing the SPR as a means of lowering gas prices know anything?

Yes and no. Releasing a 9 day supply of crude into the world oil supply will lower prices for one to two weeks and then the SPR would be gone.

Just how much oil is in that 68 million acres of leased land for exploration?

No one really knows, however the land is leased for a ten year period. The lease holders do geological surveys and sink test wells. If oil is not found in commercially large enough quantities, the oil drilling exploration companies look elsewhere – no sense in drilling.

Who is Big Oil?

Generally “Big Oil” is considered to be Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, and Total S.A. Only Exxon, Chevron, and Conoco Phillips are headquartered in the USA and are considered to be American Oil Companies. Shell is actually Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands with offices in London, and BP is British Petroleum. Total S.A. is a French company, headquartered in Paris. All are heavily multi-national.

Does Big Oil own the leases for the 68 Million Acres of Government land?

Some but not all. The “don’t drill lobby” and the “don’t drill politicians” keep referring to 68 million acres that “Big Oil” will not drill on – that they should drill there first. It is often said by these folks, that “Big Oil” is hoarding the land waiting for oil to go up further in price. “Big Oil” does not own the bulk of the leases.

Who holds the leases on that 68 million acres?

According to the American Petroleum Institute, it is estimated that 300-400 entities hold leases in the Rocky Mountain states. These entities include large and small companies, investment groups, etc. Each entity is bound by the same “use it or lose it” provision that exists in current law.

There are 121 lease holders in US offshore areas. They consist of large and small companies, partnerships, consortia, etc. which purchased leases and are bound by the same leasing law as mentioned above.

Just how much oil is there for us to tap, if we were to drill everywhere?

A Bureau of Land Management study, incorporating data from the, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Minerals Management Service (MMS), The Study , indicates that this country has undiscovered oil resources of 139 billion barrels of which 86 billion barrels are offshore under the outer continental shelf.

Where does natural gas come from?

We have to drill for that too. Often it is found in the same fields as crude oil.

How much natural gas are we sitting on, if we drill?

A Bureau of Land Management study in cooperation with the U.S. Geological survey, and the Energy Information Administration, indicates that we are sitting on a 49 year supply of this clean energy.

How is electricity produced and what fuel is used? – How much electricity comes from renewable energy?

This country’s electricity generating capacity is different in the winter and the summer, due to weather related needs for certain generation fuels to heat homes, etc. The most current information from the EIA is 2006 data, with the next report on 2007 due in October 2008.

This report reveals that the source of energy for the maximum capacity period, the winter, is broken down as follows:

Energy Source

by Fuel

Net Winter

Megawatt

Capacity

Percent

of Mix

Planned Mix

Through 2011

Coal 315,163 30.8% 31.2%
Petroleum 62,565 6.1% 6.0%
Natural Gas 416,745 40.8% 40.7%
Other Gases 2,197 0.2% 0.7%
Nuclear 101,718 9.9% 9.8%
Hydroelectric Conventional 77,393 7.6% 7.5%
Other Renewables* 24,285 2.4% 2.3%
Pumped Storage 21,374 2.1% 3.0%
Other 908 0.1% 0.1%
Total 1,022,347 Rounding–1.3%

*Other Renewables = wood, black liquor, wood waste, solid waste, landfill gas, sludge waste, agriculture byproducts, biomass, geothermal, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind.

Source: Energy Information Administration / Electric Power Annual 2006

Note that while the report only goes out five years to 2011 much has happened to the energy debate in 2008, yet the new realities may not be reflected until the report of 2008, produced in October 2009. However, we can derive from this report that we are not ready to drive this nation’s power needs with renewable energy, and will not be ready for many years to come. This source of energy will have to move from 2.3% of our electricity capacity to 39% to replace the 37% of our energy capacity from coal and petroleum, in order to be the dominant provider of energy for electricity generation.

What about ANWR?

Check out this blog with a fine analysis of drilling in ANWR.

What does this all mean?

  • It means that we have politicians blowing smoke up our collective butts for the sake of their own agendas.
  • It means that the nation is playing second fiddle to special interests.
  • It means that we need to drill now and everywhere to maximize our energy capability in the world.
  • It means that we need to plow the royalties from drilling into a fast tracked renewable energy program along with growth of nuclear, natural gas, and especially clean coal.
  • It means that if we are to regain our status as the stand alone most powerful nation in the world, economically, militarily, and politically, then we had better maximize every bit of energy available to us.

Energy drives economies and the world political order. The nation that has plentiful and low priced energy will lead the world for the 21st century in standard of living, trade, and security. We need to be that nation.

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Added 8/3/08

– also read The Truth About The Oil Debate

– a primer on Oil and Renewable Energy

68 Million Acres and Oil Companies Do Not Drill

If you listen to Harry Reed, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Democratic strategists on talk shows, or read opinion pieces written in the far left newspapers, like the New York Times, you have heard/read that we do not need to open up new areas for drilling, because the oil companies are sitting on 68 million acres and they have not bothered to drill on those acres.

This is propaganda against drilling. This is a bogus argument based on talking points by the far left to prevent drilling. These people want to eliminate fossil fuels from our energy diet at all cost and they will do this without regard to who is hurt and what it does to our national security and our economy. Renewable energy is simply not ready to fully power this nation, and it will not be ready for 15 years or more. That is why Barack Obama wants to invest $150 Billion in renewable research over the next ten years.

The following is information from the American Petroleum Institute that refutes the Democratic talking points that the oil companies have 68 million leased acres to drill on and that they should drill on these leases first. Update July 31, 2008: 400 companies and not only big oil hold and pay for these leases on shore and 121 companies hold and pay for the leases off shore and again it is not only big oil. Most of these companies are only in the business of exploration, discovery, drilling, and pumping. Their only business is to drill, thus to be accused of intentionally NOT drilling is ludicrous.

Here are questions and answers to why drilling takes place or not on the 68 million acres. The API makes a lot more sense then these reckless individuals who will spout just about anything to prevent drilling.

The facts about non-producing federal leases:

CLAIM: Oil and natural gas companies are given leases by the government and purposely don’t produce from them to increase prices.

FACT: Companies pay billions of dollars for the right to explore on federal lands. If the company does not produce within the lease term, it must give the lease back to the government, and the company does not recover the billions of dollars it may have invested.

CLAIM: Companies let many of their leases sit idle and don’t produce them

FACT: Companies actively develop their leases – but not every lease contains oil or natural gas in commercial quantities. In many cases, the so-called “idle leases” are not idle at all; they are under geologic evaluation or in development and could be an important source of domestic supply. However, this does not mean all leases have the potential to produce. Companies can evaluate leases for several years only to determine that they do not contain oil or natural gas in commercial quantities. The road to bring the oil and natural gas to market — obtaining the lease, evaluation, exploration and production — is a long and complicated one.

CLAIM: If the lease doesn’t contain oil or natural gas, then the company shouldn’t have bought it.

FACT: There are tremendous risks and challenges involved in finding and producing oil and natural gas. There is no guarantee that a lease will even contain hydrocarbons. It is not unusual for a company to spend in excess of $100 million only to drill a dry hole. A company usually has only has limited knowledge of resource potential when it buys a lease. Only after the lease is acquired, will the company be in the position to evaluate it, usually with a very costly seismic survey followed by an exploration well.

CLAIM: There’s absolutely no reason for a company not to produce if it finds oil or gas on the lease.

FACT: If the company finds resources in commercial quantities, it will produce the lease. But there can sometimes be delays – often as long as seven to 10 years – for environmental and engineering studies, to acquire permits, install production facilities (or platforms for offshore leases) and build the necessary infrastructure to bring the resources to market. Litigation, landowner disputes and regulatory hurdles can also delay the process.

CLAIM: The vast majority of federal and gas resources are already available for development.

FACT: In the Lower 48 states, about 85 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf and 67 percent of onshore federal lands are off-limits or facing significant restrictions to development. There is no way, at this stage, to determine exactly the extent of the resources off-limits because many of these areas have not been subject to inventory studies in decades.

CLAIM: Non-producing leases could provide a major source of new supplies.

FACT: Many of these leases will provide a major source of new domestic supply once they are developed. Companies are actively developing the leases, and in addition to paying for the lease, they must also pay rent to the government while they conduct development and exploration efforts. But this process takes time. Reducing the time companies have to develop a lease or increasing the costs imposed by government will not increase supply for American consumers. Nor will denying access to areas of oil and natural gas potential like the Atlantic and Pacific OCS.

CLAIM: Increased domestic drilling activity has not led to lower gasoline prices, and more leases and drilling won’t help either.

FACT: Our nation needs more supplies of all forms of energy, including domestic oil and natural gas, to meet its growing energy demand. Increased drilling has helped the United States offset the natural declines in domestic oil and natural gas production from older fields. Greater drilling activity tends to produce more supply. Fundamental economics suggest that additional supplies put downward pressure on prices.

CLAIM: Companies should be penalized for not producing from their leases.

FACT: Oil and gas companies take all the risk with federal leases. Not only do they pay billions to obtain leases, they pay to hold them while they are spending even more capital to determine if these leases contain resources. Penalties on leaseholders on top of those fees would only discourage U.S. exploration and production, at a time when the United States needs all the energy it can get.

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A commenter pointed out a relevant Business Week article, I suggest it for additional reading. Keep in mind that the article does not address the Return on Investment and the Profit Margins of the Exxon in any depth. Those commenting to that article add some important information. Business Week Article

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A recent editorial opinion piece in the New York Times was put forth as just that an opinion. However, it was propaganda for the climate change movement. The writer of the opinion piece either knows the truth and chose to obfuscate it or does not know the truth and if not probably should not be working at a national publication.

I will not reprint the entire piece, because I am sure that copyright or some other rule will be cited by the NY Times to make me regret printing it. Thus I will use sections in quotes and attribute the work to the New York Times Opinion Section as found on their web site July 15, 2008.

If you wish to read the entire short opinion you can find it at: “Drilling’s Lure – Editorial”.

Drilling’s Lure

Published: July 15, 2008 (New York Times – online)

“…Offshore drilling will not bring short-term relief from $4-a-gallon gasoline, nor can it play much more than a marginal role in any long-term strategy for energy independence…” The world is expected to be using 146% of the energy measured in BTU’s in 2030 than today. While $4 per gallon relief may not be in site, we may avoid $10 per gallon by then. “…The oil companies already have access to substantial unexplored resources.” The truth here is that the oil companies have leased land with which to explore for oil. If oil is not found or determined to be underground in commercially viable quantities, they do not drill – I would not drill – you would not drill, because there is no reason to drill.

“…At issue are about 19 billion barrels that, the Interior Department says, lie in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts…” At issue here are 86 Billion Barrels of oil in those locales and under Federal land, per the Energy Information Administration.

“…Congress should not give into the pressures of a restless public and a campaign by sacrificing long-term environmental protections for short-term political gain…” The real agenda is in this last sentence, environment at all cost – the U.S. Economy be damned. It is not short term political gain, but a need to secure our economic future, protect national security, and be prepared for the world chaos as oil production diminishes. We have a need to maximize our energy production of fossil fuels while we are bringing on line renewable energy, which at this juncture is simply not ready and will not be ready for 15 to 20 years to fully drive this nation’s energy needs, without crippling our economy further.

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Listening to your Representatives in Congress and the pro drilling and anti-drilling pundits can be very frustrating. I heard this morning on a news show from a Democratic “Strategist” on a major news show that we will now not benefit from drilling for twenty years. Tom Daschle said this morning on Fox News Sunday that we would have no oil until 2030. Is he is actually stating that it would take 22 years to find oil and drill for it? Just last week I was hearing ten years to bring oil to the pumps as gasoline. What changed in the last week? These sides all seem to feel that energy from renewable or from depleting resources is an all or nothing proposition.

Here are some basics to consider to ease the frustration:

  • By 2030 the world’s energy consumption measured in BTU’s will be 146% of what it is today.
  • 86 Billion Barrels of untapped oil appear to be under our feet on shore and under our continental shelf off shore.
  • Our current annual imported oil consumption is about 7.6 Billion Barrels.
  • We have a 49 year supply of natural gas under our feet on shore and under our continental shelf off shore.
  • We have massive resources of coal, and if we can figure out how to use it cleanly, we are the most energy rich country, probably in the universe (a little exaggeration).
  • Growing our energy, unless it is grown on land that can’t grow food very well, means that we have less land to grow food for the world’s population to eat.
  • Growing both food and energy means that both food and energy are subject to weather shortfalls at harvest.
  • Wind is more viable than solar currently. Today’s cost to establish a wind turbine is $2Million per Megawatt. Texas presently holds 27% of the nation’s 16,193 Megawatts of wind turbine capacity. Wind turbine is the more promising of the renewable energy sources in the near future.
  • We currently send $500,000,000,000 ($500 Billion) annually to foreign economies for oil each year and this is expected to grow.
  • The annual U.S. trade deficit has been reported as $856.7 Billion or 6.5% of the economy. This trade deficit is slowly sucking the life blood out of our nation. If we eliminated the $500 billion from the $856.7 Billion – math says that we have a trade deficit of $356.7 Billion. If we drill for and increase the export of natural gas (It can be liquified for transport), we can wipe out the remaining trade deficit with energy alone.
  • As the world’s population grows, more food will be needed. More land will be needed to grow that food – probably arid land will have to be utilized.
  • We will need more water for drinking, for irrigation, and to extract geo-thermal energy .
  • To obtain this much water, we will have to start desalinizing ocean water – this will take an enormous amount of energy.
  • The mere announcement that the U.S. was going to open up drilling for 86 Billion Barrels of oil, would drive a spike through the oil futures speculators. They are smart; they bet on the future of energy consumption against the future of oil availability; they would see the potential of 86 Billion Barrels coming on line; the futures speculation would dissipate and the price of oil would start a decline just on the announcement.
  • The search for oil, both on shore and off shore, would bring jobs. The supply and support chain would require machinists, welders, and other skilled labor. These jobs would pay better than service work. These jobs would revive the Midwest and the Gulf States.

What if we actually elected some forward thinkers, for a change, and established a bipartisan plan to maximize energy production in this nation. We could use use royalties and tax incentives to balance the cost of the energy in an inverse relationship with how clean it is, how water intensive it is, and how much good growing land it uses. If we looked forward, and not with a myopic approach toward one type of energy, to develop every bit of energy we could, we could have a sound thriving economy, export energy to a world with a 146% energy hunger, and provide drinking water and irrigation to feed the world. This seems like a noble venture we could all get behind.

Why can’t we believe in and achieve “Having It All”? The Energy Information Administration Web Site is filled with information – check it out.

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Listening to the arguments and intentional misinformation spewing forth for and against drilling, it has become clear that this struggle is not between today’s low gas prices and high gas prices, but rather a struggle of ideologies. It is about forcing a change in the way we want to live or finding a way to continue to accommodate the way we want to live.

The Democratic Party’s defense of the status quo about not drilling for oil on shore and off shore is that the price at the pump will not come down tomorrow; drilling will not help for ten years – this was said by the same Party ten years ago; oil companies have 68 million acres not as yet drilled; ANWR, a frozen tundra covered in snow and ice so far north in the Arctic that no one will visit it for its scenic beauty, is too pristine to drill in a minuscule portion of that preserve; and on and on for the excuse of the day.

If you carefully examine the quotes on the topic of domestic drilling and pump price from Obama and other Party notables, a different motivation surfaces. These folks look to the high gas prices as a blessing. They seem to believe that high gas prices will finally force the SUV driving, air conditioning loving, home heating, energy wasting public to conserve. This is a “global warming trumps all other positions” manifesto. The elite of the Democratic Party are looking to and hoping for the pain at the pump to last indefinitely, and to use it as medicine to bring the energy loving fools in line. We have heard from Obama about how we must be more like Europe and conserve. Bottom line is that the Democratic Party elites simply do not want us burning oil. There is no attention paid to the ravages our economy has and will suffer at the hands of the foreign oil gods. There is no attention paid to how we have stripped our independence and defense bare as we have become dependent on these foreign oil gods.

The demographics of the Democratic Party have changed from the 50’s and the 60’s, when it was easy to spot a Democrat – he or she was a middle class working person who wanted protection from big business. Today’s Democrat can come from a variety of socio-economic positions. The Party ranges from the 1) secular progressives, usually affluent people who feel there is no moral right or wrong; 2) blue collar workers left over in the Party from the prior positions of the Party – these are the folks Obama referred to as “bitter”; 3) immigrants, both illegal and legal who are looking for a perceived better life; and 4) highly educated individuals who tend to be academics and who are pursuing the “I know what is best for you” agenda – these people truly believe that they are much smarter than the rest of us, therefore they need to tell us how to live our lives.

The Democratic Party hierarchy is filled with the “I know what is best for you folks” crowd, now led by Barack Obama, and this group, many who are also secular progressive, have decided that what is best for its party members and the independents, Republicans, and other assorted groups is to conserve and to go global. They want us to embrace the European lifestyle, have no confrontation with other nations – just let them be and all will be well, eat less, and ride our bicycles instead of driving. They have embraced the as yet unproved theorem that man is causing global warming, and yet they want us to make saving the planet our highest priority and that we must pay any price to accomplish this. Now just for a minute, let’s look at how this position affects the other Democratic Party members and the non-enlightened members of other parties and independents.

The blue collar crowd and immigrants, both legal and illegal, are being pounded by gas prices, food prices, health, and education expenses. To combat the perception that the Party does not care about these groups in its quest for European equalization, the Party has adopted a very socialistic view – let’s “villanize” corporations, especially big oil, the military, and any group that has the audacity to believe in any other policy than they do. The Democratic Party has embraced, even more than its historical positions, the take from the rich and give to the poor approach. Of course, they have to keep redefining the rich to accomplish this. If they do not take this position, then the elites in the Party will find that they will have lost the rank and file due to the policies of the Party – remember the pain of the expense of oil, food, etc. due to the march to save the planet from global warming. Also remember that taking from the rich and giving to the poor deprives this economy of the initiative to succeed and is self defeating in the long run.

This energy struggle is really about using today’s high cost of oil and the future high cost of oil to move this country off oil and toward incredibly expensive renewable energy before it is ready. While the drilling for oil today and tomorrow; and becoming self sufficient for energy will not immediately lower prices, it will mitigate the cost of energy, all types, in the years ahead as the world increases energy demand to 146%, of what it is today, by 2030 – EIA is the source. They do not want the U.S. to drill now and drill here because it interferes with their view of the future. They are not concerned about the impact of immediately moving to expensive renewable energy, before it is ready, done by restricting access to domestic oil and gas. They are not concerned that this method will negatively impact this nation by undermining our economy before we reach the utopia of 100% renewable energy. This premature move will make us dangerously vulnerable to foreign powers; and will make these foreign powers even richer and more powerful than then they have become today due to oil.

This Democratic Party Hidden Energy policy does not take into consideration that hybrid vehicles, and solar arrays are out of the price reach of many of their rank and file, as well as many other Americans due to the pain at the pump and other forces squeezing their wallets. It does not consider that hydrogen vehicles and electric cars are still experimental and when ready will also be priced out of reach for these people. They do not consider that the SUV and pickup owners along with the home heating oil consumers in this country cannot easily exchange their vehicles for the hybrids, or their equipment for solar heating because it is too expensive to do so.

Let’s remember that the Republican Party has offered no real energy solutions or any plan for energy either. The Republicans are not as smarmy as the Democratic elites about energy. If fact, they are pretty transparent about not addressing this problem either. They are just more straight forward about their incompetence.

This country needs a comprehensive energy policy now. It should cover how we transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy. It should cover how drilling here and drilling now will strengthen our economy. It should cover how drilling here and drilling now will add good paying jobs to the economy. It should cover how we develop and initiate renewable energy in an energy matrix that includes all other forms of energy. Unless we choose to become a second tier society, as Europe has chosen, saving our economy does trump the attention paid to global warming. We can do both, but a blended plan is required.

Energy independence early on from oil and natural gas and transitioning through 2030 to mostly renewable energy will keep us from sending more than $500,000,000,000 – yes Five Hundred Billion – to other nations annually to acquire replacement oil for the oil we are currently sitting on. Sending this much money to foreign powers each year has undermined and is undermining our economy, our standard of living, and our security in the world. If Norway, a “clean” nation, can drill off shore for energy independence, and France and Sweden can use nuclear power for their version of energy independence, we can have our own march toward energy independence starting with drilling everywhere and finishing with renewable energy to burn so to speak. If the Democrats and the Republicans representing you in Congress do not want to build a comprehensive national security saving, economy saving, and environment saving energy plan covering the energy transition of this nation through 2030, then you are represented by the wrong person. Think about that in November.

Added June 22, 2008 9:33 PM MST- Arizona

The following is information from the American Petroleum Institute that refutes the claims by most Democratic politicians and Democratic strategists that the oil companies have 68 million leased acres to drill on and that they should drill on these leases first. This refrain from the left to make arguments against drilling falls into the hidden agenda. Here are questions and answers to the leases about why drilling takes place or not. The API makes a lot more sense then these reckless individuals who will spout just about anything to prevent drilling.

The facts about non-producing federal leases:

CLAIM: Oil and natural gas companies are given leases by the government and purposely don’t produce from them to increase prices.

FACT: Companies pay billions of dollars for the right to explore on federal lands. If the company does not produce within the lease term, it must give the lease back to the government, and the company does not recover the billions of dollars it may have invested.

CLAIM: Companies let many of their leases sit idle and don’t produce them

FACT: Companies actively develop their leases – but not every lease contains oil or natural gas in commercial quantities. In many cases, the so-called “idle leases” are not idle at all; they are under geologic evaluation or in development and could be an important source of domestic supply. However, this does not mean all leases have the potential to produce. Companies can evaluate leases for several years only to determine that they do not contain oil or natural gas in commercial quantities. The road to bring the oil and natural gas to market — obtaining the lease, evaluation, exploration and production — is a long and complicated one.

CLAIM: If the lease doesn’t contain oil or natural gas, then the company shouldn’t have bought it.

FACT: There are tremendous risks and challenges involved in finding and producing oil and natural gas. There is no guarantee that a lease will even contain hydrocarbons. It is not unusual for a company to spend in excess of $100 million only to drill a dry hole. A company usually has only has limited knowledge of resource potential when it buys a lease. Only after the lease is acquired, will the company be in the position to evaluate it, usually with a very costly seismic survey followed by an exploration well.

CLAIM: There’s absolutely no reason for a company not to produce if it finds oil or gas on the lease.

FACT: If the company finds resources in commercial quantities, it will produce the lease. But there can sometimes be delays – often as long as seven to 10 years – for environmental and engineering studies, to acquire permits, install production facilities (or platforms for offshore leases) and build the necessary infrastructure to bring the resources to market. Litigation, landowner disputes and regulatory hurdles can also delay the process.

CLAIM: The vast majority of federal and gas resources are already available for development.

FACT: In the Lower 48 states, about 85 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf and 67 percent of onshore federal lands are off-limits or facing significant restrictions to development. There is no way, at this stage, to determine exactly the extent of the resources off-limits because many of these areas have not been subject to inventory studies in decades.

CLAIM: Non-producing leases could provide a major source of new supplies.

FACT: Many of these leases will provide a major source of new domestic supply once they are developed. Companies are actively developing the leases, and in addition to paying for the lease, they must also pay rent to the government while they conduct development and exploration efforts. But this process takes time. Reducing the time companies have to develop a lease or increasing the costs imposed by government will not increase supply for American consumers. Nor will denying access to areas of oil and natural gas potential like the Atlantic and Pacific OCS.

CLAIM: Increased domestic drilling activity has not led to lower gasoline prices, and more leases and drilling won’t help either.

FACT: Our nation needs more supplies of all forms of energy, including domestic oil and natural gas, to meet its growing energy demand. Increased drilling has helped the United States offset the natural declines in domestic oil and natural gas production from older fields. Greater drilling activity tends to produce more supply. Fundamental economics suggest that additional supplies put downward pressure on prices.

CLAIM: Companies should be penalized for not producing from their leases.

FACT: Oil and gas companies take all the risk with federal leases. Not only do they pay billions to obtain leases, they pay to hold them while they are spending even more capital to determine if these leases contain resources. Penalties on leaseholders on top of those fees would only discourage U.S. exploration and production, at a time when the United States needs all the energy it can get.

Added June 24, 2008:

You will hear that it takes 10 years to bring oil to the gas pump – the answer according to the American Petroleum Institute is 7 to 10 years depending on location and infrastructure. Now the rhetoric has been heightened by the left . Tom Daschle on Fox News Sunday, June 22, 2008, stated that oil from new drilling would not be available until 2030. As this is outright intentional misinformation, it supports the argument that the left has a hidden agenda.

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The latest argument being made by some who do not wish to drill for oil domestically both offshore and onshore, is that there are simply not enough ocean going drilling vessels to meet the need.

The U.S. shipbuilding industry, once robust and a world leader, is now nearly gone. A combination of international cost economics and union rules made this industry shrivel up. If it was not for the few military ships being built and refitted, it would have blown away. This is a JOBS opportunity!

Our energy circumstances are calling for drilling both onshore and offshore and a need for ocean going drilling ships. This is a grand opportunity to rebuild the U.S. Shipbuilding industry and create good paying career oriented jobs in the process. These circumstances have placed this opportunity right on our doorstep. Now the question must be asked. What other job opportunities will arise from the search for domestic oil? How many related jobs will be in need of U.S. workers to fill them? The entire supply chain for the drillers and the ship builders, plus the entire delivery chain for both will be, itself, a massive mostly self financed jobs program offering the type of jobs that are the backbone of the American middle class. These jobs would reverberate through the Midwest, especially Ohio, and the Katrina ravaged Gulf Coast. These jobs would require skills to be acquired through training. How about a jobs training program for these and related industries to make these jobs happen? Training means trainers and yet more skilled jobs.

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Today this country consumes about 20,000,000 barrels of oil daily or 7.3 billion barrels of oil annually. We import about half that – 9.9 million barrels per day or 3.6 billion barrels annually. A Bureau of Land Management Study, incorporating data from the Energy Information Administration, The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Minerals Management Service, The Study , indicates that this country has undiscovered oil resources of 139 billion barrels of which 86 billion barrels are offshore under the outer continental shelf.

Today this country consumes 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas of which 19 trillion cubic feet is produced domestically and 3 trillion cubic feet is imported. This Nation’s onshore and offshore undiscovered natural gas resources total 1,056 trillion cubic feet. The study states that the United States has a 49 year supply of natural gas. (Yes I know that the math indicates 48 years – must be rounding.)

If Congress stopped listening to the special interests including the environmentalists, this country could be self sustaining for oil for 19 years after pumps are pumping and for natural gas for 49 years at present rates of consumption, longer for both as we phase in renewable energy. This equates to a trade balance savings of $9.2 trillion at today’s prices and consumption sent to foreign powers, in oil alone. Just think how this change in our trade balance would improve our economy and our standard of living.

If you are still not convinced, then consider that an extrapolated world energy consumption is 478.9 quadrillion BTU’s in 2008. The projected world energy consumption in 2030 is 701.6 quadrillion BTU’s. In 22 years the world’s annual energy consumption will be 146.5% of what it is today.  What will that do to energy prices?

Planned correctly, we can sustain our energy needs for that period, move to natural gas over oil, and develop the much needed renewable energy production capabilities for the second half of the 21st century. Could these worldwide supply and demand numbers be driving up the cost of oil in speculation markets? Yes! Just how dumb are we? We will not drill in all Federal lands and off the California and Florida shores. The Middle Atlantic coast alone has vast natural gas resources, these can be tapped as well.

As late as last week, Congress was scrambling to declare more land to be off limits to protect the scenic beauty of this nation, while we are in an energy struggle with the world. We do not have a national security based energy plan and have not had one, period. Our Presidents and our Congresses have not seen fit to ensure that the lifeblood of this nation’s production capability and our survival is planned and secure. President Bush wants a legacy, well how about leaving us with a sound comprehensive national security based energy plan. We have Congresspersons and Senators, who refuse to open up drilling and recklessly are spouting how we will power this nation with wind and solar, and they do not have a clue, otherwise, they would be preparing this energy plan and utilizing our existing natural resources to protect our economy.

The following charts are from the Energy Information Administration and they project the source of energy used by this nation till 2030. This chart assumes that the Florida and California continental shelves remain off limits as is drilling on much Federal land, such as ANWR. Note the size of the contribution of renewable energy to the matrix.

Energy Production by Fuel

The second chart indicates what our shortfall of consumption will be, if we do not move to full utilization of our domestic energy reserves – that is a 40 quadrillion shortfall.

Total Energy Production and Consumption

It is amazing what can be found at the Energy Information Administration, the Bureau of Land Management, the USGS, and the Minerals Management Service web sites. Opening up all the currently off limits land and continental shelves is the only smart thing to do, if we are to remain a power and possess the standard of living to which we have become accustomed. A sound energy plan is one of The Two Most Important Issues Facing America Today. Assuming that renewable energy will be sufficient to fully drive this nation during the next 20 years is a pipe dream. If your representative in Congress is still on the renewable energy bandwagon at the expense of drilling for oil and natural gas today, you may want to set them straight.

Wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, are all necessary sources of energy for this nation and must be pursued now. These renewable energy sources will power our nation in the second half of the 21st century. I did not mention ethanol and other biofuels, because corn based ethanol is just plain dumb – we need the land to feed the world, other ethanol based sources are not nearly ready, and some of the more exotic plants used for biofuels are a late 21st century source of energy. If you follow the global warming people to the promised land of corn ethanol, you will find that the corn crop and other biofuels crops are subject to all the weather interruptions they claim global warming will cause. Can we grow our way to energy independence if the weather is a factor in both food supplies and energy supplies? Not smart!

A true energy plan will help us securely transition from fossil fuel to new forms of energy. We must transition and not make a wild jump before the new fuels are fully ready. If you do not want this country thrust into energy chaos, both financially and physically, tell your Representatives to get smart, drill, plan, and do it now.

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If we look for leadership from the founding fathers of this nation, we have an abundance. These were people who would risk their own necks and personal wealth building to achieve a goal for the betterment of their, state, soon to be nation, and countrymen. These were people who could and would compromise to strengthen this country – they put the country and the goal of freedom and prosperity first over partisan rancor.

Where are the leaders with a true overarching future vision of where this country needs to be and the leadership and knowhow to make it happen, like Alexander Hamilton, rising from a poor and orphan like childhood to become the trusted compatriot of George Washington, to firmly set this fledgling country on a sound financial footing? Where are the Thomas Jefferson’s, who despite maintaining a very literal view of the Constitutional powers of the Presidency, took the opportunity, to acquire what became know as the Louisiana Purchase and worry about it later – the Constitution did not cover the acquisition of land for the United States? He did this because he knew it was the right move to better this nation and he had the leadership capability to pull it off. Where are the Teddy Roosevelt’s, who had a true vision of this nation as a great player among the great nations of the world? He saw the need to extend the growing power of this nation to influence world events, saw an opportunity, and initiated the great white fleet. He sent the U.S. Navy in modern formidable white ships around the globe as a means of demonstrating just how mighty the U.S. had become. Where are the Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt’s who had the vision and leadership to take on the national rebuilding to end the depression and then to lead this nation and the world through the largest coordination and assemblage of people and machinery in the history of mankind to defend the world against the tyranny of the Axis Powers? Where are the Ronald Reagan’s who had a vision of a world without the totalitarian iron curtain and who had the temerity to fight for and lead the world to the tearing down of the symbol of the iron curtain – the Berlin Wall? All these leaders did more for the country that the acts listed above – they were visionaries, leaders, and statesmen.

Today we are faced with three major choices and soon to be two major choices for the Presidency of the United States. Can we honestly say that any of these choices have a true vision of where this nation needs to be in 25 or 50 years? Or, more importantly, have the capability of leadership and understanding of the facets of the changes we need to make as a nation to retain the position as the nation with the greatest standard of living. Does any one of them understand that we may walk and talk like the world’s military super power and a nation possessing a consummate standard of living, but that the underpinnings of this strength and status are rapidly failing. The world knows this, but do we? Can we honestly say that we have the best and brightest in the Presidential race and in our Congressional and Senatorial races? Have any of them laid out where we should be, how we can get there for the second half of the twenty first century, and how they will lay the ground work to achieve the goal?

This country faces the combination of a complex and very dangerous foreign policy coupled with our ability to compete in the world to maintain our financial strength. Currently we operate like the rich playboy who spends his wealth, but has no means of replacing the wealth he spends.

Our populace is no longer being given heavy doses of history or civics in school. Without the preponderance of history and civics knowledge can we make good decisions about our legislators and Presidents? Can we fully understand the events that shape our world? The early childhood discipline coming from the schools and then from service in the military is gone. Today, discipline in schools is a dirty word – our children must be free to make their own choices as they have rights, despite solid scientific evidence that the brain is not fully developed in matters of judgment, until these children are will into their twenties. Without the discipline to expect what is right and to walk the tough walk, we seek the easy way – the short term solution to our problems. The mortgage crisis is an example of those seeking the short term solution to their problems without regard to the long term consequences.

Without the basics of understanding world events, we are more susceptible to undo influence by the media disguised as fair purveyors of truth, when they are making every effort to steer our thinking with selection of articles, selection of news items, and slanted interpretation of the happenings of the world, rather than just accurately and fairly presenting what has happened. The media disguises opinion commentators as news journalists to manipulate the populace. How are we to know the difference, unless we have the necessary background?

Our Congress is filled with people who are there, not for the public good, but for what they can get out of it. Why then would we have Congressman in office for many multiple terms, unless they are doing very well for themselves in office? If you do not believe me, just count the number of disgraced Congressman who have had to leave the Congress under sordid circumstances. We have political parties more concerned with the party than the country.

This country is facing challenges of the like that we have not faced before. We astoundingly have no comprehensive energy policy that factors in all sources of energy and the transformation over time from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Renewable energy is simply not ready to be the energy motor of this nation, so we need interim solutions. Energy is the motor that makes this country work. Without energy we will never achieve our objectives in this world today. We have allowed the world to dictate our cost of energy and yet we still will not start using our own resources on an interim basis. Our President recently went to Saudi Arabia to ask them to produce more. Had I been King Abdul, after I stopped laughing, I would have said “Let me get this right, you want me to produce more and you will not produce more in your own country – you will not drill in ANWR or on your east and west coast continental shelves, you will not build refineries, and you will not build nuclear reactors. You have the audacity to hope that we will deplete our reserves so you can retain yours. No! Go hug a tree!” We have no trade policy other than free trade, yet we are ill equipped to trade in a free market. What shall we trade with – do we produce for trade, do we make a guided national effort with leadership to determine what our national comparative advantage is and exploit it or improve it – No?

Without true nonpartisan leadership at all levels, we will not be and cannot continue as the nation with the world class standard of living and the ability to influence world events through both financial and military might. Are the candidates running for President the leaders with a true vision for not only what they will deliver to the country, but also how they will get it done. It is easy to promise much and deliver little – it is easy to limit your focus and promise on a few things, but it is another thing to size up a gargantuan task and have the vision to know where we should be, how to get us there, and the leadership and experience to pull it off.

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In November we will have an election to fill 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 seats in the Senate. I have been compiling my wish list for the new Congress. Yes it is early, but since the current Congress has decided to accomplish nothing but continued earmark spending and the discussion of a misguided housing legislation, I thought I might as well get a start on what they will not accomplish in the 111th Congress.

Let’s see! This country needs a sound coherent energy policy that considers our exposed national security, with oil being our Achilles Heel and all. It is a shame that the current Congress does not want to attempt this, other than to tell oil companies they charge too much and to bring prices down or they will lose the tax benefits that helps to moderate prices – makes sense to me. Instead they gave us ethanol which is proving to burn as much carbon as oil after the growth cycle, transport cycle, the refining cycle, and the second transport cycle. It does not pack as much punch as oil and the MPG is not as high, but the farmers are happy since they get great subsidies to plant corn for ethanol. This has led to a shortage of corn to feed our cattle and a shortage of an assortment of other farm products raising food prices rapidly around the country – nice work there Congress!

Our trade deficit might be a good thing to address, after all, China represents an unfair, unrelenting trade behemoth with an artificially devalued Yuan. It ships any kind of quality or non-quality to our consumers, especially our kids. It has been trying to steal our industrial and technology secrets to boot. China is an unfair trade threat, but our Congress has not adjusted tariffs to compensate for China’s scurrilous unfair trade advantage. My wish list includes placing our domestic businesses on a competitive trade footing with other nation’s businesses. Perhaps we could try in the next Congress to change the tax structure and other impediments to our businesses so they can compete, grow, and develop new and good paying jobs. It is a shame the 110th Congress has ignored this problem.

It is depressing that they could not spend a substantial amount of time discussing health care and the current tax code in the 110th Congress – they must have had more important things to do! The illegal immigration resolution discussion must have taken up much of their time or did it? Remember, they could not find time to re-visit this tough issue after they slapped together a poor “comprehensive” bill and then when it fell apart, decided they could not spend anymore time on it. It is apparently not important to the American people, whom they represent.

The 110th Congress was elected to change business as usual in Washington, to stop the out of control spending of the Republicans, and to bring ethics back to Washington. Well, the now Democrat controlled 110th Congress has accomplished nothing, spent more via earmarks than the 109th Congress, and avoided every tough but immanently critical issue facing this country – they are good at finger pointing after the fact.

At the beginning of this piece, I asked “What do I want from Congress”? Well, I want a Congress that is more responsive to the decay in the underpinnings of this country’s economy and strength, and less interested in pandering, getting rich, being re-elected to consolidate power. I want patriots in Congress. I want leaders in Congress. I want neither Republicans nor Democrats in Congress. I want concerned citizens in Congress. In the fall, we can and should change 468 House and Senate Fannies in Congress – they might then get the message.

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