Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sarah Palin is The Undefeated

Accepting an invitation to attend a private screening of "The Undefeated", the Sarah Palin story, I was uncertain as to what to expect. I thought I already knew her story and her political history.

I was wrong.

The movie is narrated by Palin herself and commentary is shown by the Palin supporters Andrew Breitbart, Tammy Bruce, Kate Olbershain, Mark Levin, and many of the Alaskans who worked with her as Mayor of Wasilla and then as Governor of Alaska. The people in Alaska provide background about Sarah Palin's rise from PTA to her race for Governor. What is particularly interesting is to hear about the six figure position to which she was appointed - on the energy commission - and how she ended up resigning from that position because she refused to go along to get along, as was the practice. The system was badly corrupted and the good old boys were allowing oil companies to write their own tickets.

I'm not going to go into all the different stories I found interesting because I want you to see the movie for yourself. It will be opening nationwide on July 15.

So, why did I go? I went because I enjoy a person's story. We all have a story and I wanted to hear Sarah Palin's story from her personally. The movie is based on her best-selling book "Going Rogue" and I didn't read it.

Here's the thing - my opinion of Sarah Palin hasn't changed from when I first blogged that McCain should pick her for a running mate, which was before she was being talked about as a running mate, by the way. I had read a story about her term as Governor and her accomplishments. What I liked was her common touch. I liked that she didn't push her family aside and that she didn't go wobbly when she got criticism. The woman has had her share of that.

The best part of Palin being chosen as McCain's running mate is that she inspired so many women to look at politics and get involved. I have heard from many women that Sarah Palin got their attention and made them think politics does matter in everyone's world. Palin also made them aware that every person can do something, even if it is only to go vote. That is the most important action of all.

Now, however, I still feel the same as I did after the 2008 election loss. I want Sarah Palin to continue to do what she is doing and to not run again for election. I want her to continue to inspire huge crowds, to raise gobs of money for conservative candidates, to campaign for conservative candidates, to grab media attention, to work for the reform of the Republican party along the way. This is her true strength now. Let her earn fabulous wealth for her family and enjoy doing it.

Sarah Palin drives the left nuts and I appreciate that. The liberals have brought political discourse to such a low level it is hard to imagine what else they can do to her. All of the hateful personal attacks that the left felt free to give to George W. Bush was transferred to Sarah Palin, and then some. The personal attacks were all they had against Palin, since her professional career was nothing but successful and brave and groundbreaking in Alaska. Liberal 'feminists' were especially tough on her with the personal attacks. They didn't give her the respect of arguing about her policy stances, as is the acceptable behavior in political campaigns. No, it was personal with them.

I was and still am hugely disappointed that men, especially conservative men, didn't rise up and defend Sarah Palin as she was smeared night after night on cable television and in newspapers across the country. And the treatment of Palin by liberal bloggers is unmentionable. Palin was left out there on her own to fend for herself - even women in the McCain campaign allowed stories to come out about internal friction and their disapproval of Palin's actions on the campaign trail. Unforgivable.

Sarah Palin is a strong, principled, motivated woman. She fights like a girl. I am thankful she is in my political party.

Game on.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obama Campaign Speech Disguised as a Press Conference

President Obama gave a re-election campaign speech, er, press conference Wednesday morning to his adoring White House press corps. He stood in front of that hideous golden colored curtain that hangs behind him and even NPR called it a re-election campaign speech.

It was supposed to be some remarks about the debt ceiling negotiations and then some questions from his base voters- the White House press corps. Instead of being honest and forthright for once, unfortunately he did the predictable Obama speech. He was quick to bash the Republicans for not caving on tax hikes and exhorting money in the form of a Robin Hood plea - please, please, please successful business people, just give the government more of your profits so the Congress can continue spending us into oblivion.

No new ideas. Tax the "millionaires and billionaires", which is latest version of "those who make over $250,000, and just demand all of the profits from oil and gas companies. And, just raise the debt limit to anything he wants. C'mon. It's simple.

He is becoming quite the noticeable gaffe machine, though. He even got the age of his oldest child incorrect. Ironic coming from the egoist-in-chief that does PSAs on the importance of a father's participation in his child's life. He incorrectly stated with certainty that the tax rates for the richest among us are at the lowest of his life. Wrong. They are now about 35% but during Reagan years the rate was 28% and during the George HW Bush years it was 31% at the highest level. Barack Obama is very close to 50 years of age, so you do the math. This major gaffe was to justify taking more money from the upper level income earners.

He berated the amount of time Congress is in recess. Funny coming from the tone deaf President who is at a consecutive record number of golf weekend outings. And, of course the weekly White House parties with the swell entertainers and athletes where President and Mrs Obama enjoy unwinding. And, the announcement that the family Obama would be heading to Martha's Vineyard for the third summer in a row even though the debt ceiling problem is still unanswered. He was wrong again, of course. Senator Sessions (R-AL) called for the Senate to remain in session until the problem was solved, even through July 4th, if necessary.

No one tops Barack Obama in the use of the bully pulpit and the unprecedented way he does it against the opposition party. Usually he does it with legitimate facts. Now he just makes it up as he goes and the adoring press allows it. It will be like this through the election.

But, then, he has never really stopped campaigning anyway. He mocks and ridicules the Republicans and then is exasperated when they do not feel the love for him.

For the smartest man to ever sit in the Oval Office - as we were informed over and over again by the adoring press and their minions in the blogosphere - he sure is not much for common sense. Or class.

Close the Door on the Obama Agenda

The Ted Cruz for Senate campaign has a terrific new video out and I would like for you to take a moment and watch it. Will you do that? I promise you that if you give the video a look, you will see why Ted Cruz is a strong candidate for the U.S. Senate and he will use his proven record as a conservative to represent Texas voters in D.C.

It is so very important that the Republicans take back control of the U.S. Senate, especially if Barack Obama wins re-election. The Obama agenda must be stopped.

Did you know that the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Mario Loyola, Director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies, credits Ted Cruz with the idea that became the Health Care Compact recently passed by the Texas Legislature? It will stem the damage that the implementation of Obamacare will do to the Texas state budget. That is a big start, right?

Close the door.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ted Cruz for Senate 72 Hour Money Blast

The race for the seat in the U.S. Senate to replace Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is getting more clear in firming up the slate of contenders. Recently both Roger Williams and Michael Williams have announced they will run for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives instead of the U.S. Senate seat. Truly the only known question mark at this point is if Lt Gov Dewhurst will decide to throw his hat in the contest at the close of the Special Session.

The Ted Cruz for Senate campaign has been reaping strong endorsements from conservatives both inside and outside of the state of Texas. A popular way for candidates to raise money online in recent campaigns has been the money blast or the money bomb. This is when a campaign sees a donation deadline approaching and want to continue to show their strength in raising money in the financial disclosure forms requirements. Ted Cruz for Senate campaign has been very successful in raising money and as conservatives, we should support that.

The campaign has announced a 72 hour money blast campaign and set a reasonable, attainable goal. To make it super easy, all you have to do is click on the button and you can show your support for Ted Cruz, if you so desire.

As a conservative political blogger, my commitment is to help save our country through my blog posts. It starts at the state level. Even if Barack Obama wins re-election, we need to win back the U.S. Senate and hold the House of Representatives to be a counter to the Obama agenda. It is important that the state of Texas send a solid conservative, a proven conservative, to fill the seat vacated.

Go to the website and give Ted Cruz a look. If you agree that he is someone you can support, hit the button. Every contribution counts. Do not wait to support candidates you agree with as you sit there and think, someone else will do it. YOU are that someone else.

We have a country to save. It's gonna take all of us.

Gabrielle Giffords Attends Ceremony at Space Center Houston

Amidst beefed up security, recovering Congresswoman Gabriele Giffords attended a ceremony held to honor the crew of the Endeavour in Houston Monday night.

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords made her first appearance in front of a crowd since being shot in the head in Tucson on Jan. 8. Giffords attended a ceremony honoring her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, and the Endeavour crew at Space Center Houston Monday night. Giffords entered in a wheel chair and received a standing ovation from the overflow crowd. She acknowledged the applause by waving to the audience.

According to news reports, Giffords was able to stand and kiss her husband, Endeavour Commander Mark Kelly, as he received his Spaceflight Medal which is given to astronauts after they return from successful space missions. She waved to the applause of the crowd as she did so.

Dressed casually in jeans and sneakers, her hair is said to be a bit closer cropped than in recent photos shown in news reports. She chatted with those families sitting around her. She left as the home movies of the individual crew members began.

Good news indeed.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Texas Legislature Passes Health Care Compact Participation

The Texas Legislature passed the Health Care Compact legislation and it is now on the way to Governor Perry's desk. At the core of the debate is whether Texans can best determine the needs of its state residents on health care coverage or is that decision best made in Washington, D.C. Texans say let Texans make their own decisions, thank you very much.

Texas Public Policy Foundation has been encouraging the legislation's passage since the opening of the 2011 legislative session.

“The Texas Legislature’s approval of our state’s participation in the Health Care Compact is one huge step forward to having health care decisions made as close to home as possible, ideally by citizens in consultation with their physicians and without interference from the federal government,” said TPPF Executive Director Arlene Wohlgemuth.

“America’s health care crisis is not going to be solved by Washington, DC, but rather by getting those decisions out of DC and back to the people of Texas.”

Once Gov. Rick Perry signs Senate Bill 7, Texas will join Georgia and Oklahoma as participants in the Health Care Compact. Legislation has also been introduced or is being drafted in at least one dozen other states.

“Medicaid in its present form is unsustainable for Texas,” Wohlgemuth said. “Without the flexibility and cost predictability provided by the Health Care Compact, the federal Medicaid program will further crowd out core state government functions such as education, public safety, and transportation.”

Michele Bachmann Enters GOP Presidential Primary

Michele Bachmann announced Monday - formally - that she is a candidate for the GOP nomination for President in Waterloo, Iowa, her hometown. Though she hasn't lived there since her girlhood days, Bachmann is proud to call Waterloo home and especially now, given the importance of the Iowa caucus. Bachmann is now neck in neck with Mitt Romney in Iowa according to the latest straw poll. To say that is a surprising development is an understatement.

The candidacy of Michele Bachmann will be of great interest to the political junkies among us. Does she bounce back to being a true Republican candidate - she is a third term Congresswoman elected as a Republican, after all - or does she prefer to highlight herself as a Tea Party candidate?

I listened to her speech at Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans recently and I have to admit she has matured a bit in her speech delivery to a crowd. This crowd was enthusiastic and she was obviously happy to be there. She is forceful in her words but remains cheerful and doesn't waver in delivery. She is what Ronald Reagan challenged us to be - a happy warrior. It is refreshing to not hear the ugly undertones often heard in political speeches.

It is unfortunate that today, in the year of 2011, men feel so comfortable in challenging the 'seriousness' of a woman in political office seeking higher office. I don't recall that happening much to men. Maybe men are questioned in the direction of the fire in the belly challenge but they are not accused of being a 'flake', as Michele Bachmann is currently experiencing. It has been an attack used by liberal bloggers and especially by liberal women who are noticing their vanishing political clout. Conservative women are leading the Tea Party efforts and are moving right along in Republican leadership positions - look at Cathy Rodgers McMorris, for example - while liberals rely on the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, both prone to verbal gaffes and clownish portrayals from the opposition. But, if Bachmann proves human and makes a mistake on the campaign trail, she's not smart and the Tea Party alliance makes her a 'flake'. We all know how the Tea Party is portrayed by liberal bloggers and the media.

So, it was disappointing to learn of Mr. Wallace's gaffe during his interview with Bachmann for his Sunday morning show. I didn't see the show but I heard the clip as he asks her if she is a 'flake'. Unfortunately that feeds right into the liberal agenda by reinforcing the caricature. No one asked Barack Obama is he is a flake, though he was the record holder for voting present during his Illinois State Senate career and only bothered to be in his sole national political office - the U.S. Senate - or a year before he decided to jump into the Presidential race.

After the predictable reaction from the television viewing audience, Wallace issued a video apology to Bachmann. Good for him.

Finally, a person in the public light issued a true apology, not the one used by most- the insincere sounding sorry if I offended anyone. Of course you offended someone or else you wouldn't be apologizing is what I am usually thinking as I listen to that nonsense.

Wallace didn’t offer a “sorry if you were offended by my genius” non-apology apology. He deduced — rightly — that having the question overshadow the answer in an interview is usually a mistake, and accepted it as such. Wallace is right that Bachmann’s perceived seriousness is a legitimate topic for an interview, considering her status as a presidential candidate, but at the very least Wallace should have provided better contextual basis for his question. Had he said, “So-and-so called you a flake,” or better yet, “So-and-so questioned your seriousness in light of these gaffes,” he would have opened the same topic but in a better and more fair manner for Bachmann to respond.
As Wallace says, every day is a learning experience. More than a few people in his position would be tempted to dig in and defend a poor choice. Kudos to Wallace for learning a lesson and admitting to it.
Still, when will the national media start questioning Obama’s seriousness if rhetorical gaffes are the determining factor, as they apparently are for Republicans such as Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and George W. Bush?

Bachmann's response? She isn't accepting the apology, at least for now. That, too, plays into the liberal agenda. They like nothing more than tension on the side of the GOP and for a Fox news show host to be the cause of friction is delicious to them. That's too bad.

Bachmann says she is not accepting the apology, though.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she wasn't accepting the apology of Fox anchor Chris Wallace, who asked her Sunday if she was a "flake."

Bachmann rejected an apology from Wallace, who challenged whether the Tea Party-aligned congresswoman was serious in her bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

"I think that it's insulting to insinuate that a candidate for president is less than serious," Bachmann said in an interview on ABC when asked about Wallace's apology, which he posted online.

Yes, it is insulting for her to be asked the 'flake' question. She is, however, in the big leagues now and needs to move on. Accept the apology, be the bigger person, and next time come out with a stronger answer, though the one she gave in the clip I heard was pretty good. And, look the mean boys square in the eyes and tell them that you will give them the same amount of respect that they give to you.

Maxine Explains Obamacare

It's Monday. The news is not particularly good today. Let's enjoy the irony presented by the comic strip character, Maxine, shall we?

Let me get this straight . . . ...

We're going to be "gifted" with a health care plan we are
forced to purchase

fined if we don't,

Which purportedly covers at least
ten million more people
without adding
a single new doctor

but provides for
16,000 new IRS agents,

written by a committee whose chairman
says he
doesn't understand it,

passed by a Congress that didn't read

signed by a President who smokes,

with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes,

for which we'll be taxed for four years before any "benefits" take effect,

by a government which has
already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare,

and financed by a country that's broke!!!!!

HELL, what could possibly go wrong?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gov Christie Wins Meet the Press Appearance

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appeared on the Sunday morning talk show Meet the Press and it was a pleasure to watch.

"I'm not a halfway kind of guy" sums up Christie and his dialogue. While the press enjoys noting that Christie's approval ratings have fallen a bit since he has enacted some of his key legislative agenda, most notably reigning in the runaway benefits to unions, Christie is still immensely popular among those who would vote for him. The unions were never Christie's base anyway.

On the current negotiations on raising the debt ceiling in Washington, Christie pointed out that President Obama is failing to lead as an executive. I would agree, as Obama's utter lack of executive experience is painfully apparent in his governing 'style'. The man cannot make a decision. Christie said, " You can't lay back and wait for somebody else to do it. Everyone must have skin in the game." He said if the President finally gets in there and leads, we won't get to the point of defaulting on the debt.

Christie made the observation that during the negotiations with unions and others in New Jersey, he never demagogues the other side. He said it makes it too hard to sit across the table from others and work together.

Christie said that purity tests and litmus tests are not how parties should judge candidates. Stand by our principles, he said, and leave out the tests. He said the voters are longing for a candidate that will look them in the eye and tell the truth, especially on the national level. The problem with purity tests is that it assumes that if everyone is not in total agreement, then the dissenter is not worthy of votes. "Everybody sounds the same", he said because they allow political consultants to give them pat answers to tough issues. Dissension is not a bad thing.

As is typical, the host asked Governor Christie if he has the appropriate temperament for governing, if he shows respect for those asking questions of him. After getting the host to answer that yes, Christie is respectful in answering questions, he said in the case of the person asking how Christie could cut public school funding if his own children are in private school Christie said his response was appropriate. "Damn right he should", Christie said when asked if a Governor should be abrupt with a questioner. Christie told the woman asking the question at a town hall meeting that it was none of her business where his children went to school. He said he and his wife wanted their children to have a religious school upbringing and it didn't affect his decisions on public schools. As a taxpayer, Christie as well as all other homeowners pay taxes for public schools and if their own children are in private schools, they pay tuition on top of that. Christie said that he is a father first and his children are off limits in political debates.

A politician with a strong backbone. Just what we are in dire need of in today's political arena.

The good news is that Governor Christie is not ruling out a run for President in 2016.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Look at Jon Huntsman for President

Most interesting of all is the Huntsman resume. He is the most accomplished of all the candidates and brings a broader scope of experience to the race.

What causes curiosity about Mr. Huntsman is that he has accumulated a remarkably full and intriguing biography in his 51 years. Mr. Huntsman became fluent in Mandarin Chinese during two years he spent in Taiwan as a young Mormon missionary. He worked in the Reagan White House. In the George H.W. Bush administration, he worked first on trade matters and then as Mr. Bush's ambassador to Singapore.

For the second Bush presidency, he was deputy trade representative. In 2004 he was elected governor of Utah, re-elected in 2008 and then most famously and curiously, accepted President Barack Obama's offer in 2009 to be the U.S. ambassador to China.

Huntsman is a competitor and want the U.S. to get back in the game, too. Especially in matters of trade.

He is preoccupied with Asia: "I've seen the rise of Asia as a business guy, I've seen it as a diplomat. I think every day how we're going to better position ourselves to compete in the next century with the likes of China and India."

A former two term Governor of Utah, he knows the value of letting states decide the big stuff. He's for block granting Medicaid back to the states.

His push for energy independence places an emphasis on natural gas. That is refreshing after all the pie in the sky renewable energy talk, as though it can happen in the next couple of years. Renewable energy is a conservative issue, true, but we also have to be realistic and use common sense in policy making. Huntsman gets that.

He may be the candidate that can reach the Reagan voters (having worked in his administration) - both Republican and Democrat as well as the Independents. He is strongly conservative on social issues and economic issues. Yet, he doesn't become arrogant in his stances and is civil in his approach. Voters are longing for a strong minded yet pleasant personality.

It will be interesting to watch as he enters early primary states and his profile is more well known with voters.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Endorsements Grow for Ted Cruz U.S. Senate Campaign

Ted Cruz for Senate announced endorsements from Tim Lambert, President of the Texas Home School Coalition, and Michael Farris, Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, providing a boost with the support of an extensive statewide home school network. Lambert, also a former RNC Committeeman, will serve on the Cruz Statewide Leadership Team, and Farris will serve on the National Leadership Team.

The Texas Home School Coalition promotes home schooling in Texas by providing information and support for individuals, training and support for leaders, and various other functions and activities to advance home education. Their advocacy arm lobbies the government on issues related to parental rights and the right to teach children at home. And the PAC supports candidates who are committed to protecting the rights of home school families in Texas.

The endorsements are rolling in for Ted Cruz. A quick recap of endorsements so far include: Club for Growth PAC, FreedomWorks PAC, Tea Party favorite U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, editor Erick Erickson, national radio powerhouse Mark Levin, President of Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford, President of WallBuilders David Barton, long-time taxpayer advocate Peggy Venable, former RNC Committeeman Ernie Angelo, Madison Project, Judge Paul Pressler III, conservative leader Robert P. George, and former U.S. Attorney General under President Reagan Ed Meese.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Renewable Energy Is A Conservative Issue

Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee Energy and Minerals Subcommittee has a hearing scheduled to address four bills in respect to renewable energy.

HR 2170 (D. Hastings), Streamlining Federal review to facilitate renewable energy projects, "Cutting Federal Red Tape to Facilitate Renewable Energy Act"
HR 2171 (Labrador), To promote timely exploration for geothermal resources under existing geothermal leases, and for other purposes, "Exploring for Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act"
HR 2172 (Noem), To facilitate the development of wind energy resources on Federal lands, "Utilizing America’s Federal Lands for Wind Energy Act"
HR 2173 (Wittman), To facilitate the development of offshore wind energy resources, "Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act"

Renewable energy, you say? Yes. Don't scoff. Supporting renewable energy initiatives is a perfectly natural position for a conservative to take. The key is found in this current legislation being hashed out. Instead of looking to big government solutions, as the Democrats are so fond of, let's support smart solutions. Let's encourage energy producers from all sections of the market to modernize facilities and keep current on the latest technologies available by streamlining the process that can bog down initiatives for months and years unnecessarily. Instead of huge amounts of taxpayer monies being doled out to favored green energy producers, as we find in politics, let's keep the playing field even and encourage it the old fashioned way - let's streamline the process and get the overabundance of red tape out of the way.

“Too often renewable energy projects get caught up in government red-tape and it can take years to break free. Our goal should be to encourage the production of renewable energy, not impose duplicative regulations that cause years of delays. These bills are necessary in order to facilitate the development of clean, renewable energy and provide a clear, simple process for completing important environmental reviews,” said Chairman Hastings.

As conservatives, we give lip service to an all-of-the-above approach to energy production so that we may be self sufficient. This means renewable energy, too. There is a place for wind, solar, and geothermal energy production to meet our country's energy needs. Unlike the far left of the political field, we conservatives should be supporting all of the renewable energy efforts in tandem with supporting increased oil and gas drilling and production. All-of-the-above, not everything but oil and natural gas. That is the common sense way forward.

Conservatives have led the way in conservation and energy policy for decades. Whether it is the Clean Air Act legislation or the largest marine reserve preserved, Republican leadership has been a good steward for our country's natural resources. It is time to communicate a strong message that conservatives support renewable energy initiatives, too.

Obama Authorizes Release From Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Proving yet again that President Obama has no clue as to what a true energy policy looks like, he announced Thursday that he has authorized the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. There has been no emergency to warrant this action, unless one counts the tanking in the public opinion polls that Obama is watching as his re-election looms large on the horizon.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement after the Obama Administration announced a release of 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve:

“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is intended for situations when there’s a dramatic supply shut down, not to achieve short-term political gain. However, this is a clear admission from the Obama Administration that increasing domestic oil supplies will help lower costs. Unfortunately, for the past two and a half years, the Obama Administration has consistently blocked efforts to expand American energy production and has actively placed moratoriums on domestic development. This release will only cover a fraction of the oil production lost from the Gulf of Mexico due to the Administration’s moratorium and permitting delays. The Administration’s anti-American energy policies have left the United States increasingly vulnerable to the whims of the world oil market and OPEC’s erratic decisions on oil supply. Rather than tap the SPR, weakening our domestic security should a real supply disruption occur, we should look to develop our true oil reserves in the Gulf, Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf and our public lands in order to create jobs, lower prices, reduce our dependence on unstable foreign energy, and strengthen our national security.”

The President would notice, if he came off the golf course at bit more, that the price of gas at the pump is declining and the price of a barrel of crude oil on the commodities market is lower on its own. There is no need for Obama to do this, other than to appear as though he is doing something to appease potential voters. This releasing of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve never produces the desired results of lower costs. It has been tried three times in the recent past and has yet to be successful for more than a few days.

Our energy policy is too important to family budgets and national security for President Obama to play politics with it - especially unnecessarily so. If President Obama were serious, he would know releasing 30 million barrels of oil from the SPR will cost us in the long run and will increase the chance of tapping the SPR again in the future. Just last month, the House passed 3 bills with bipartisan support to increase American energy production, lower gas prices, and create jobs. Most importantly, the 3 bills, sponsored by Chairman Hastings, would decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil and generate $800 million in revenue over 10 years.

Team Obama is in desperate need of common sense.

Obama Chooses Biden Over Petraeus on Troop Withdrawal

I don't know what has happened to the speechwriters on Obama's team but someone is not doing his or her job. The speech delivered by President Obama on Wednesday night on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan was a bunch of gibberish.

Obama made his point that he is drawing down 10,000 troops over the course of the summer and the remainder of the troops used in his surge by next summer.

According to The New York Times, President Obama decided to go with the advice of Joe Biden over that of General Petraeus. Not too surprising but it does put to rest any claims of the President that he listens to the Generals in the field and to the Pentagon. He doesn't. He tries to please everyone, most importantly his political party in this re-election campaign season, and in the end pleases no one.

Joe Biden has historically been on the wrong side of foreign policy decisions. He is always shown to be on the wrong side of history. Democrats like to refer to his foreign policy 'experience'. What exactly is that, anyway? Maybe it is his experience at sitting on a committee. Whatever it is, Biden is no expert.

Mr. Obama’s decision is a victory for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has long argued for curtailing the American military engagement in Afghanistan. But it is a setback for his top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David H. Petraeus, who helped write the Army’s field book on counterinsurgency policy, and who is returning to Washington to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

Two administration officials said General Petraeus did not endorse the decision, though both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who is retiring, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reluctantly accepted it. General Petraeus had recommended limiting initial withdrawals and leaving in place as many combat forces for as long as possible, to hold on to fragile gains made in recent combat.

President Obama addressed the nation in prime time on all the television networks and this was a necessity created by false deadlines declared as his policy in Afghanistan in 2009. He declared that July 2011 would bring troop draw downs and that was a sop to his liberal anti-war base as he sent an additional 30,000 troops in 2009 as a surge style of operation.

And, don't fall for any renewed proclamations that the U.S. cannot be in the business of nation building by President Obama. He is again doing the very thing that he criticized former President Bush over as he ran in 2008.

Even as the president eschewed the grand nation-building of the Bush administration, he authorized a “civilian surge” of diplomats and aid workers to help Afghans build local ministries and farmers to switch to healthier crops.

The fact is, the curtain has been pulled back on this President and he is nothing but smoke and mirrors. He is happy to 'lead from behind' and his own Chief of Staff calls his domestic policies "indefensible". He has not grown into the job of President of the United States and consumer confidence is at an all time low.

President Obama is running for re-election and now is concentrating on "nation building at home." That is pure politics jargon. He said, "By 2014 this process of transition will be complete" in Afghanistan. In other words, you're on your own, Afghanistan.

The majority of Americans believe that the Afghanistan war was necessary. Now, however, the majority of Americans want the war to be over. We are a war weary nation with Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya in play. Remember that this President tripled the troops in Afghanistan and took us into the Libyan mess on his own. For him to try to appear anti-war within the context of this speech was ridiculous.

The man who campaigned solely on hope and change and bashing George W. Bush - because he brought absolutely nothing else to the table - in 2008 is now campaigning on some sort of fantasy theme that he is a solid Commander in Chief and solid on domestic issues, too. It is insane.

Two and a half years into his term as President, Obama is incapable of leading this nation in war or in job creation. His die hard supporters will continue with the talking points on how he is turning things around. He isn't.

Thanks to his obsession with re-election, there will be no graceful exit from Afghanistan. If the Taliban are to re-group, they know how long they must wait before the U.S. is gone. President Obama and his team have been loud and clear with exit dates and strategy.

You may have noticed Obama never uttered the word "victory" during his speech. He usually avoids the word. Maybe that is a part of leading from behind.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tell Senate to Vote No to S.679 - Keep Advise & Consent

The U.S. Senate is soon set to vote on S.679 - Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011. What are they hoping to streamline, you ask? It would appear their own work load. As tempted as we are, as conservatives, to have them do less work and not more, a very basic requirement of the U.S. Senate is the advise and consent process towards Presidential nominees.

Introduced on March 30, 2011, the bill in summation:

Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 - Exempts certain presidential appointments to cabinet-level agencies, independent commissions, and boards in the executive branch from the requirement of Senate confirmation (advice and consent). Establishes the Working Group on Streamlining Paperwork for Executive Nominations to: (1) study the streamlining of paperwork required for executive nominations, and (2) conduct a review of the impact of background investigation requirements on the appointments process.

The bill was introduced by Chuck Schumer (D-NY), so as a conservative that sent up a red flag at the beginning. He had, however, 15 co-sponsors, including Republican leadership.

As The Heritage Foundation points out, the process does indeed need reform but this is not it. Individuals nominated to senior executive offices suffer slow and detailed background investigations and mounds of duplicative paperwork before a President sends their nominations to the Senate. After nomination, many nominees suffer time-consuming inaction or time-consuming and excruciating action as the Senate proceeds (or does not) with consideration of the nomination. The sponsors of S. 679 have identified a valid problem, but proposed the wrong solution. Congress should not enact S. 679.

The Senate should look inward and streamline its internal procedures for considering all nominations.[6] The proper solution also is the faster one, as the Senate can accomplish the solution by acting on its own in the exercise of its power to make Senate rules,[7] while S. 679 requires approval by both Houses of Congress.

The separation of powers is vital to our Republic. The Executive branch has enough power as it is. Look at all the czars President Obama has appointed and in doing so has created an unprecedented level of bureaucracy that was not held to Senate confirmation standards and is not held accountable to the American people. Our President is not a King. This trend established at Obama levels is not a healthy way for our country and its Presidents to go, regardless of which party holds the White House.

The sponsors of the legislation have identified some appropriate objectives with respect to the nominations process: simplify executive branch nominations paperwork, facilitate sharing of the information with appropriate officials in the executive branch, tailor the requirements of background investigations to the nature of the offices involved in the appointment, and increase the efficiency of, and thereby accelerate, each element of the process. The President should direct his subordinates to work together to plan how to accomplish these objectives, execute the plan, and report regularly to him on progress until they achieve all the objectives. The Congress, however, should not mandate by S. 679 that the President do so, for the manner by which a President decides whom to nominate to federal office is beyond the power of Congress to regulate.[8]

The authors of S. 679 have correctly identified serious problems in the process by which the President nominates individuals for federal office and the process by which the Senate considers such nominations. The President and the Senate, respectively, should exercise their existing, ample authority to correct their respective processes. Enactment of S. 679 is not a proper solution to the problems.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Does Barack Obama Have an Hispanic Problem?

Does Barack Obama have an Hispanic problem? Even as his re-election team ramps up efforts to pander heavily to this important new bloc of voters, criticism moves forth.

Leaders of a national Hispanic organization are criticizing President Barack Obama for skipping their annual conference for the third consecutive year after he promised as a candidate in 2008 that he would return as president.

Some members of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials also are questioning Obama’s commitment to immigration reform, noting that deportations have increased under his watch — even as the administration intensifies its outreach for Hispanic votes. NALEO, which includes more than 6,000 Latino leaders who represent major blocs of voters in key electoral states, opens its annual conference Thursday in San Antonio.

Team Obama was only too happy to boast that the President's recent visit to Puerto Rico was the first visit to the island by a sitting President in 50 years. Even the liberal press wrote the same opinion that most tuned into politics were saying among themselves - it was a visit for the re-election campaign effort, not a serious visit of a tuned-in President.

In his visit to Puerto Rico, President Obama failed to address the major problems facing the island. At bottom, it seemed to be much more of an early campaign stop than an honest effort to grapple with these problems.

While Puerto Ricans were excited by the first official visit by a sitting U.S. president in about 50 years, Obama's visit was cosmetic, not substantive.

He offered platitudes about striving local entrepreneurs and drew cheers by mentioning Puerto Rican national J.J. Barea, a player for the recently crowned NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens by birth but cannot vote for president, yet they serve in the military, so Obama predictably praised Puerto Ricans in the armed forces.

Team Obama is assuming that Hispanic voters will be the next blindly loyal supporters of the Democratic party, like black voters who vote 90% as a bloc of voters. No other segment of the population votes like that and it is very doubtful that Hispanics will, either. Hispanics are traditionally conservative and often support Republicans. With the Hispanic population growing faster than any other part of our population, as the recent census results show, both parties are courting them.

On immigration reform, Barack Obama wants to keep it a political issue rather than an American population/national security issue. He has not shown the backbone to deal honestly with the issue and now tries to push it off on the new Republican controlled House of Representatives. Never mind that during the George W. Bush administration, when he honestly tried to make immigration reforms, ideologues and prospective Presidential candidates like Barack Obama didn't bother to join in the efforts, only criticized them for political gain.

Pro-immigration groups are pushing the White House to further loosen enforcement of immigration rules for more than 300,000 illegal immigrants, but reelection-minded administration officials are instead trying to redirect the advocates’ energy and frustration towards the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

On May 3, in a White House meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Congress, President Obama blamed Congress for the immigration-advocates’ frustrations. “The president was asked by the CHC members to consider a broad range of administrative options [but the president said] that the only way to fix what’s broken about our immigration system is through legislative action in Congress,” said a White House statement.

On Thursday April 28, Obama met with a group of Hispanic celebrities, and persuaded several to broadcast the same message. “We like to blame Obama for the inaction, but he can’t just disobey the law that’s written,” actress Eva Longoria told reporters as she left the White House.

Ah, yes. Democrats do so love to get the celebs parroting their talking points for them.

His re-election is not going to be quite such as cake walk as Obama thought is would be. It is already obvious that campaign events are all that these visits amount to and his pandering is in the open.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Reflections on Republican Leadership Conference - Ron Paul Cheats

It was a mistake for Romney and Pawlenty to skip the Republican Leadership Conference. I saw a clip of Pawlenty speaking to another conference held last weekend in Minneapolis - which I had to skip due to the previous commitment to RLC 11 - so it is unfortunate he didn't come to New Orleans the day before as the other top contenders did. For instance, Michele Bachmann, also from Minnesota, spoke in New Orleans Friday and was able to then go to Minneapolis to speak to the other group on Saturday. So, it made Romney and Pawlenty appear uninterested in an active and strong section of the GOP.

It was interesting to note which politicians exited the stage into the crowd to shake hands and pose for pictures. Bobby Jindal (who was the only one to enter from the back of the room and walk up to the stage through the crowd) and Rick Perry did it. So did Michele Bachmann. It is so important for politicians to give the vibe that they are approachable.

Newt Gingrich likes to enter the stage to "Eye of the Tiger".

Straw polls are meaningless. The real contender to watch is the one who comes in second. In today's world of conservative conferences, it is well-known that the Ron Paul campaign buses in supporters, gives reduced rates on admission and then has them muck up the polling results. They arrive for Paul's speech, hold up signs provided by the campaign, chant, yell out, and leave as soon as the speech is over and they vote. When confronted by a friend of mine about their tactics, Paul's campaign justified it by saying "the Romney campaign buses in supporters" but is that justification? Is that justification for gaming the straw polls? The media loves to report that Ron Paul won a straw poll. This time around it was reported as "a landslide". Doesn't matter. What mattered is that Jon Huntsman came in as the second favorite and he wasn't even there. He was unable to attend due to illness. So that was really interesting.

And, about "the Romney campaign buses in supporters" - then why didn't they do that for his announce in New Hampshire? His crowd was small and reported as such. Sarah Palin was there that day and got all the crowds and press coverage. The Ron Paul campaign cheats.

The Obama impersonator,Reggie Brown,is really getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media. They would have you believe he was booted off the stage for telling jokes about Republicans. He wasn't. It was a time thing. He had been on stage for a while and he was a time filler. The LA GOP ran a video of him talking about how great Obama has been for the GOP, as Obama. Then he was introduced and came on to do his act. He was very well received and is spot on with his Obama posture and gestures. A couple of the jokes were not in the best of taste and yes, they were directed at Republicans - the ones that made the national media in the back of the room smile and chuckle - but it was at the end of his time. Whatever. Just don't believe everything the media wants you to believe as they continue to campaign for their guy, Barack Obama.

Republicans have a big, diverse roster of candidates from which to chose a Presidential candidate. If the economy continues as it is now and Obama continues on his path to nowhere, there is a real possibility that the GOP can take back the White House in 2012, with a strong, articulate candidate. It will take a united front from the GOP and Independents and disaffected Democrats. Obama's $1 billion campaign will be down and dirty, no matter who runs against him.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Republican Leadership Conference - Final Day

The straw poll results were announced and the winner was Ron Paul. No surprise there. The national media made a big deal out of it as they always do but Republicans don't pay much attention to that. If a candidate buses in supporters for hire then it is predictable that that candidate will win the poll. Right?

The important selection was the second runner up. Who was that? Jon Huntsman. I was really disappointed that Huntsman was unable to attend and give his speech as he was ill. I wanted to see him in person. So, it is even more notable that he won the second highest slot in the poll. Huntsman is thought to be more of a moderate Republican and this crowd is the more conservative part of the party. This could be really good encouragement for the Huntsman campaign.

Palin, you may be interested to know, polled toward the bottom of the slate.

The final day brought some lesser known candidates and elected officials along with the Chairman of the Republican party and the Commander of the squad that captured Saddam Hussein. He has a book out. George P. Bush spoke and is, no doubt, a future candidate.

Former U.S. Congressman and Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer gave an interesting speech. Out of politics for the past 20 years, he feels compelled to enter back into the arena. His theme is that we need to be bold. CEO of a bank, he is a numbers man. He explained the necessity of following the money in politics and explained today's economic mess as well as the way money corrupts the political process. He pledged to take no PAC money, no special interest money, and no contributions over $100. He said he has received contributions from 37 states - more than any other candidate and that his campaign is debt-free. It's an interesting approach.

The headliner was Texas Governor Rick Perry. The crowd was very excited to hear him and his ideas. He boasted of the success in Texas in the economic downturn and rightly so. Security was noticeably increased as he came on stage. It was the same during Governor Jindal's speech Friday but not during Governor Barbour's speech Friday.

I now have no doubt that Rick Perry will enter the race after the Special Session in Austin concludes a bit later this month. Originally I didn't think he would do it but now that the field is forming as it is, I think those around him have convinced him that he can be a game changer.

As a bit of a break, the Louisiana GOP presented a comedic tape of an Obama impersonator and how he helps the Republicans make gains in seats. Then the impersonator came on stage and did a performance. A lot of it was funny stuff. Some not so much. I watched the reactions of the national press seated in their rows at the back of the room and they were not showing any amused looks at all. Until a couple of pretty offensive jokes at the expense of Romney and Pawlenty. Then there were grins and chuckles from those rows. Keep all that in mind as you read their reporting of the conference.

The press is biased. They would have you think there is no strong challenger up to the task of taking on Barack Obama.

They are wrong.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Republican Leadership Conference 2011

The annual Republican Leadership Conference - formerly the Southern Leadership Conference - opened at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans Thursday afternoon. I'm here and will do my best to put down some thoughts so that it's not only the words written by all the national press here going out to you.

My flight from Houston didn't land until after 2:00pm Thursday so I missed out on the opening, where I am told the Pledge of Allegiance was to be said but due to an oversight, there was no flag to be found. These things happen. I missed the speech Mike Huckabee delivered.

When I walked into the room, Ted Cruz was almost finished with his speech. I so enjoy watching the faces of those who are hearing Ted Cruz for the first time because you see the connection they begin to feel as he goes on.He draws an audience in with his compelling personal story and then closes the deal with his solid beliefs in conservative politics. He's the real deal and those candidates don't come around too often. The crowd loved him.

The rest of the afternoon speakers were Gary Johnson and Thad McCotter. Both were decent speakers but a bit of a snooze, in my opinion. Johnson did use his knack of personalizing his political life and that was interesting.

After the dinner break, Irish tenor Anthony Kearns sang the National Anthem to reconvene the session. David Bossie spoke about Citizens United and his work. And then it was time for Newt. The man rocked the room. He was enjoying it, too. Following him was Michael Williams of Texas. A former Railroad Commissioner, he was running or U.S. Senate but switched to running for a new U.S. Congressional district that Texas gains after the last census.

Friday, after the New Orleans Jazz Brunch, Sharon Day opened the session. The co-RNC Chair, she introduced Herman Cain. Cain is a super star among conservatives looking for a non-traditional candidate. He received lots of support via applause, especially as he spoke of his business experience and dealing with the economy. He enjoys saying "I didn't get the memo" when talking about prominent conservatives not taking him as a serious contender.

Next Haley Barbour spoke about the need for unity after the candidate is chosen in the primary system. It is easy to like Haley Barbour as a speaker, if you are a conservative voter.

There was a panel discussion sponsored by ANGA, Fueling Prosperity and Enhancing National Security. It was a panel educating the audience about natural gas and the need for it on all levels - fuel production and a fuel source, national security, and employment opportunities. The panel was moderated by Ed Gillespie.

The crowd went wild for Michele Bachmann. She comes off as down to earth and audience is comfortable with her personal story. Mother of 5, foster mom to 23 children, her oldest child is a physician and her youngest is entering college. She and her husband worked their ways through college - her jobs included school bus driver - and they began their own small business. She is a tax attorney. The media's meme that she is stupid or incapable is wrong. She is the kind of politician who will stop and shake every hand and pose for every photo along the way out of a room.

Jim DeMint followed Bachmann, which was unfortunate. He is the exact opposite in speech delivery. He is more of the ordinary politician stump speech kind of speaker. After Bachmann fired up the audience, there was no way DeMint could compete with her. I find him to be arrogant but that may just be me. I know a lot of conservatives who really like him so there ya go.

Ron Paul was accompanied with the usual circus of loud, aggressive supporters. They arrive with their signs, shout and chant with applause, then they leave when Paul is finished. It was a zoo. And, yes, he spoke about the Fed.

Roger Williams spoke but no one knew him except for those of us from Texas. He is running for the U.S. Senate, too. He has a choppy speech delivery and resorts to using the socialist label of Obama.

Rick Santorum spoke of his time in office and how he learned it was more important to stand with his principles than to win an election without them, after he lost his last Senate race. He seems to prefer to speak about family and social issues but does talk of his holding the previous administration accountable when they were spending like liberals. Probably politician bravado mixed with actual events. I still don't understand how he can think he'll win presidential primaries when he didn't win his own state last time around.

The final speaker was Governor Bobby Jindal. The man was in his element. He entered the room from the back, not from behind the stage as the other did, and he was surrounded by his security guys and his beautiful wife. He never quit smiling. I won't lie - I've watched Bobby Jindal since he was appointed HHS Secretary in Louisiana at the age of 26 as I lived in the state then and it was obvious the guy was exactly what Louisiana needs, even then. I'm a big fan. He is running for re-election and has no serious opponent.

Governor and Mrs. Jindal hosted a Bayou Bash Friday night. Food and drinks for everyone. Governor Jindal shook hands and posed for pictures, as did his wife, throughout the evening.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

FLOTUS Whines About Stress of Presidency

President Obama realizes he's not the cool candidate anymore. He's not the flavor of the month and he's not even the Messiah anymore. Yet, he has to campaign for re-election as though he deserves it.

“It’s not as cool to be an Obama supporter as it was in 2008, with the posters and all of that stuff,” he acknowledged to an intimate gathering of donors in Miami this week.

It’s a line he delivered with a chuckle, a variation on a theme that he is using with his base of supporters. But it holds an important truth for the Obama campaign: Obama is now a known quantity and he will not inspire voters this election the same way he did in the previous one.

He's sure not the hope and change guy anymore. He kept the business as usual position on absolutely every decision possible and then just ramps it up a notch or two. The very first day in office, he signed Executive Orders to go around policies he wanted to change without bothering with votes in Congress though he pledged on the campaign trail that he wouldn't govern as such - bashing George Bush along the way. It continues to this day. Now the latest is the article reporting the big dollar stimulus money that went to top campaign donors.

Nearly 200 of President Obama's biggest campaign donors -- the "bundlers" that raised at least $50,000 -- have "landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events," an investigation by iWatch News has found.

What to do, what to do. Here's a tactic being used this week - First Lady Michelle Obama is doing big fundraisers in California - in Los Angeles and in San Francisco - and is telling a very sad tale of just how very difficult it is for her man Barack to be President of these United States. Yes, that's right. The Obama whining has gone from Barack to Michelle this time around. At this particular fundraiser, the guests paid $1,000 each for the privilege of hearing the First Lady talk about her husband's job:

First lady Michelle Obama on Monday told a fundraiser in Southern California of the toll the presidency has taken on her husband Barack Obama.

"I see the sadness and worry that's creasing his face," she said to a crowd of about 500 at the Pasadena luncheon organized by the Southern California Women For Obama. She described his worth ethic as “tireless,” according to pool reports.

"He reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him," she said. "This man doesn't take a day off."

She said the next two years of campaigning would be difficult for the Obamas and their supporters. "It is not going to be easy, and it is going to be long," she said. "Now more than ever we need your help to finish what we started."

Apparently this is her standard speech. Can you imagine? Are we to feel sorry for Barack Obama and the heavy burden of being President of the United States? He man asked for the job. We were told he is the most brilliant man to ever hold the office. The man was revered as a Messiah by his supporters. Grown people were reduced to babbling morons when speaking of him. He was saving civilization, certainly the world, by just being elected to the office.

And, of course, last time around we were all told we were racists if we didn't vote for Barack Obama. Never mind he wasn't qualified. Never mind if we simply had different political philosophies than Obama. He is a bi-racial man from all over the world and that alone made him special. Yeah.

Michelle Obama is an odd duck. What is it with her anyway that is so off-putting? She came on the campaign scene in 2008 by declaring that her husband could get shot just going to the gas station, since he's a black man from Chicago, and she was worried about his safety. Then she criticized President Bush's very small stimulus of sending taxpayers $600 each to infuse money into the struggling economy. She said she couldn't even buy a pair of earrings with that money. And the real red flag of her strangeness - she told a crowd that she had never "really been proud" of America until she realized how well her husband was doing in his presidential campaign.

She is not my idea of a woman deserving of empathy. She is boorish and self-centered, just like her husband. Both are now multi-millionaires thanks to his public office. They both had lives of privilege before the White House days, thanks to Ivy League educations and political connections in Chicago. They were not 'ordinary Americans' then or now.

Some tact would be nice for a change. We can only hope for it now.

Obama Laughs at Unemployment Numbers

Barack Obama had a brief moment of truth telling at a campaign event styled as a panel of his cronies in the business world. Sitting next to him was his bestie Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE and beneficiary of stimulus dollars and also one who ships jobs overseas. Barack Obama, commenting on the failure of the stimulus packages said that he misjudged the availability of all those "shovel ready jobs" we kept hearing about. You know, the jobs that all that stimulus money would allow to begin. Only there were no backlogs of shovel ready jobs. The conservatives in Congress knew that and were against the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars. Liberals who are of a different mindset about job creation - mostly they believe that the government is best at creating jobs - simply don't get it. And, when the predictable happens, it is so surprising to them.

In North Carolina, President Obama actually laughed when he made the truthful observation, as though it was a joke. This is the problem with both the President and the First Lady - they do not relate to situations as most Americans do. For whatever reason there are constant gaffes and faux pas galore as they wing it in the real world of politics on the big stage. If they were conservatives, they would be called stupid or out of touch and the like. But, the Obamas are given adjectives as fashionable, intellectual, worldly, and so forth. It is crazy.

While Barack Obama was laughing about the lack of work for millions of Americans with his very successful pals in the business world, there was the emergence of this report:

Twenty-eight months after Congress passed President Obama’s signature economic stimulus law, and nearly one year after he declared the summer of 2010 to be “Recovery Summer,” 1.9 million fewer people are employed.

In February 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 141.7 million people were employed. By the end of May 2011 – the last month for which data are available – that number had fallen to 139.8 million, a difference of 1.9 million.

While the number of people with jobs has increased slightly from its low point during the recession – 137.9 million in December 2009 – those 1.9 million jobs have been lost despite $800 billion in stimulus spending.

This does not mean that the economy is not creating jobs, but rather that it is not creating jobs fast enough to keep up with a combination of layoffs and people entering the job market for the first time.

Hilarious, right?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Obama's Re-Election Campaign Flashes The Strategy

At least one real reporter is able to fairly report when the Democrats step out of bounds, even in a re-election season of their favorite candidate.

The Democrats behind the Barack Obama re-election campaign put out a video via e-mail that completely distorted the focus of the GOP Presidential Debate from Monday night. Not surprising, instead of actually listing everything the debate covered - every topic under the political sun - they chose to focus on the most controversial topics. The video states that this was al the focus was on and that Republicans are trying to take the country back to the past.

At last night’s Republican debate, the seven candidates talked about unemployment, taxes, regulations, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s talk of a goal of 5% GDP growth, the individual mandate in the health care bill, the Independent Medicare Advisory Board, welfare reform, the Tea Party, currency policy, the National Labor Relations Board, Boeing, TARP, the auto bailout, Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal, former Gov. Mitt Romney’s health care program in Massachusetts, raising the debt ceiling, raising the retirement age for Social Security, the role of religion in public life, the 10th amendment, Libya, Afghanistan, and so on.

But President Obama’s 2012 campaign is sending out a DNC video suggesting the candidates spoke only about sharia law, an anti-gay-marriage amendment, repealing health care, Sarah Palin, and the space program.

“You should watch this,” says campaign manager Jim Messina in the email to supporters, “if you or anyone you know is wondering where the leading GOP candidates want to go, this clip makes it clear. The first big Republican debate last night was like a time machine. They want to go back to the failed policies of the past that caused the economic crisis in the first place. They want to go back and reopen every settled debate that they've lost over the last few years -- on the health care law, on ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell,’ and on reforming Wall Street's abuses. They even want to turn back the clock and end Medicare as we know it.”

Messina’s general argument that the candidates want to repeal many Obama policies – health care, Wall Street regulations, and so on – is correct.

But the video, which Messina calls a “highlight reel” and the DNC titled “What in the world are they talking about?” selectively uses clips from the 2-hour forum suggesting that the candidates were focused on idiotic issues, or battles from the past, when all of the topics the video hammers the Republicans for talking about were ones they were asked about at the forum.

Why would this be? It is so because the Democratic leadership and Barack Obama know they have very little to run on. Why would a voter want to cast a vote for the re-election of Barack Obama? Is anyone better off now than when he was elected in 2008? Is there any indication that real economic progress is being made? Are his economic policies producing positive results?

In short, no.

I would suggest to Mr. Messina that the only time machine being utilized is the one that brings back the whining of the 2008 campaign by Barack Obama.

So, since Barack Obama doesn't know how to lead and doesn't have any executive experience to guide him out of this mess, he does what he always does - he blames the environment he "inherited" from the previous administration. And, as he does so, he pretends that the GOP are stuck in that mindset. It's sad, really, for the President of the United States to be so shallow and narcissistic.

So, here we go again. Obama is not focused on much more than traveling for campaign events and fundraisers. Along the way he is taking the opportunity to blame others for his failures.

We now know the strategy. Time for the GOP to get on it.

Media Longs For Palin-Bachmann Cat Fight

This is what a 'progressive' publication wrote on the performance of Michele Bachmann:
Bachmann likes to play up her role as a rightwing gadfly in the Republican congress, but she lacks Palin’s charm and sexual charisma

Got that? This progressive rag reduces Sarah Palin to charming and sexy. Funny, I remember a whole lot of words like stupid, non-curious, tough, etc in the descriptions of Palin during the 2008 campaign on up to present day but not so much of the complimentary adjectives.

Bachmann will be dismissed as she already has by the press as not ready for prime time and the press loves to paint her as extreme in her conservative views. Like Palin, she is not bashful in expressing herself and is not hesitant to stay within her beliefs. That drives the press - liberals - nuts.

Palin draws a crowd and creates a buzz. So does Bachmann. With Bachmann now in the race formally, Palin will not enter it. They have the same voter base.

So in the meantime, the press enjoys stirring up nonsense with tidbits that the Bachmann camp said this about the Palin camp, and visa versa. So be it. Barack Obama gets another presidential campaign with the unabashed support of the press. Nothing new there.

The key is for both Bachmann and Palin to not succumb to the nonsense. They must form a united front and carry on.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Romney Wins GOP Presidential Debate

I'll get it out of the way - Romney won the Republican Presidential debate. I do not say that with joy or as an endorsement of his candidacy. I say it as fact.

Overall all of them did ok. None of them talked themselves out of the race. But, truthfully, I expected that. None of them jumped to the front of the pack either. Romney won because this is not his first Presidential run and he seemed to anticipate the questions and was prepared. None of them cut loose and showed a desire to get out on a ledge.

Michele Bachmann took the time to announce she filed the papers to run for President and then said she'd make the announcement later. Well, sorry Mrs. Bachmann. That was your announcement. She should have answered the question asked of her and left the announcement to another time. Instead she announced her announcement (haven't we been down this road enough?) and missed an opportunity to state her policy on an economic question. This after touting herself as a former tax attorney. You'd think she would not miss the opportunity to tell how she'd straighten out the mess we're in, wouldn't you?

Newt Gingrich was the first to invoke the name of Ronald Reagan. Any time a group of Republicans are on the same stage, we know it's only a matter of time. Gingrich did it on the third question. I love Reagan as much as any Republican but it is time to take his humility to heart and respond as your own person.

There were two times when the strong backbone I'm am demanding of the candidate who gets my vote came into play. Newt showed his first. On the subject of immigration reform he chastised CNN's moderator, John King, for trying to make immigration reform into all one way or the other. For example, King kept asking if all illegal immigrants - maybe up to 20 million, no one knows for certain - should be sent home. Newt pointed to the absurdity of that all or nothing approach and told the voters to not allow the Democrats or the media (one and the same, really) to get away with that dribble. It is a vehicle for the media to portray conservatives as racist or inhumane.

Liberals love to say that decisions aren't black or white, that most are in the gray area. Apparently that is only for them, though.

On the question of whether or not the 2008 candidates made good choices in running mates, Tim Pawlenty spoke truth to power by stating firmly that Joe Biden has been wrong on every decision he put forth in his time in office. He is historically on the wrong side of foreign policy - touted as his strength - and Pawlenty said that Sarah Palin was a far better choice.

The subject of foreign policy was given the shortest amount of time. Of course. It was CNN and liberals don't have much use for foreign policy discussions. It was 8:40pm CST before the subject entered the q and a. That left 20 minutes.

There were no questions about the Federal Reserve so Ron Paul was disappointed about that.

Mitt Romney announced the score of the Stanley Cup match at the game's halftime. Bruins were up 4 - 0. I'm a longtime Bruins fan from back in the Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson days so I enjoyed that levity.

Some parts that bugged me - the fact that John King was only trying to allow 30 second answers. Nothing is learned with that format. Plus, King was just annoying with the cutting off of answers and what sounded like his heavy breathing as he tried to keep charge of the stage.

King did this silly game before commercial breaks where he asked the candidates an either/or question - he called it This or That. For instance, the first question went to Santorium and it was Leno or Conan? Santorium said he had no preference and didn't watch either. Then he said it would be Leno if he had to choose. Next was to Bachmann - Johnny Cash or Elvis? She couldn't answer either and then said Elvis Christmas songs were on her iPod. So, two up and two missed. You want to be President and you can't make a decision on a silly question without hemming and hawing? Newt's was the third question - Idol or Dancing with the Stars? He said Idol without hesitation. All the other candidates answered without hesitation after that. It was dumb and a waste of time. Candidates should demand a stop to all that distraction. Much like the stupid show of hands questions from last time. Candidates should refuse to participate in it all.

Final thoughts - I still don't care for Rick Santorium. Never have understood the attraction and still don't. Maybe it's just me.

Newt Gingrich redeemed himself but still struggles on the far right social experiment question. There is no way of knowing how long he lasts but for now he's ok.

Ron Paul was Ron Paul. He keeps the Libertarian wing of the party alive. He seemed a bit more subdued than in 2008.

Herman Cain was the least strong. He doesn't have political experience and though that is attractive to many supporters, it is a weakness against other politicians. He falls dramatically on the Muslim question. I would have thought that by now, with all the play in the press his original remark received, his staff would have better prepared him for it to come up again.

Tim Pawlenty disappointed me with his refusal to take "Obamneycare" to Mitt Romney. He left himself open to John King asking why he says that term on FOX News Sunday but not on the same stage as Romney. Fair question. It made Pawlenty look weak during an otherwise good performance. He needs to get his backbone back against all the other candidates, not just against Barack Obama. He needs to get back and keep the attitude.

And, Mitt. As I said at the beginning, he won. He's experience, polished and confident. His This or That question was - for wings do you prefer hot or mild? He said hot. Enough said.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Campaign to Cut Government Waste

One really has to wonder where the nerve to campaign on all the previous campaign rhetoric of hope and change will come into play during Barack Obama's re-election campaign. He began his first term with signing an Executive Order, though he pledged to not govern with Executive Orders - hope and change - and continues to do things the same way every other President has done them, only more. Maybe that was the change he meant - do things like every other President only ramp it all up.

Barack Obama has brought on more czars than ever used before. How convenient, to use people not confirmed by the Senate or held to account to the voter. Were his supporters hoping for that? Wasn't this suppose to be the most transparent administration ever?

Now, a new commission is spotlighted. And, yes he used an Executive Order.

President Barack Obama will announce new steps Monday to reduce government waste, arguing that inefficiency, fraud and abuse are especially troubling during tough economic times.

Obama was to sign an executive order creating the Campaign to Cut Government Waste. According to a draft of the order obtained by The Associated Press, Obama will call for a new oversight board to work with federal agencies to cut back on waste and improve their performance. The order also requires cabinet secretaries to hold regular meetings with Vice President Joe Biden to report progress.

It is re-election time, after all, and the man very little to run on. Least of all is any accomplishment in the economic sector. This isn't the first commission Obama has put into force with Executive Order - most ballyhooed was the Deficit Reduction Commission co-chaired by Bowles and Simpson. Obama accepted their report and promptly tossed it aside.

Obama traveled to North Carolina to meet with this new commission, headed up by his bestie, GE CEO Immelt. North Carolina just happens to be a swing state in Presidential politics. It was all so very convenient for photo ops and campaign trail mumbo-jumbo.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Volunteers Requested to Read Palin E-Mails

Remember back in 2008 when the media decided to not be very forthcoming on stories about candidate Barack Obama that may be seen in a negative light? Those stories, whether it was the one about him attending a fundraising dinner with a pro-Palestinian, anti Jew friend or a network news division deciding not to run the tape made of Obama in San Francisco privately mocking gun-toting, religious, conservative voters in the midwest, were conveniently shelved. The media was determined to make Obama the President, despite no qualifications or experience that would indicate that he was capable of handling the job.

During this same campaign season Sarah Palin burst onto the national scene and boosted the sinking candidacy of Senator John McCain on the Republican side. A Republican woman politician who worked her way up to Governor of Alaska - from PTO to City Council to Mayor and then Governor - she was too much for the mainstream press to handle. She was not an egghead policy wonk nor was she out to prove she was East Coast, Ivy League smart. She was a regular person who drew record crowds and every day people related to as a human being.

There was no stone left unturned on the Palin household. Her children were fair game for unkind and sometimes vicious stories. Her decision to give birth to a child with Down Syndrome instead of choosing abortion was more than the 'progressive' people could understand. Her trash cans were excavated and every person in Wasilla was interviewed for a tidbit of gossip. It was all very bizarre, to say the least.

Hordes of reporters were sent to Alaska to do oppo research for Team Obama. It was quite obvious. There was little attempt to even cover up any bias during the 2008 election cycle. The story line was set - Barack Obama was to be the first black president (though he is bi-racial) and Sarah Palin was stupid. John McCain was old and feeble minded while Joe Biden was suddenly the smartest guy ever on foreign policy. Never mind that Joe Biden has habitually been on the wrong side of history in his votes and opinions.

Palin resigned from office before her term as Governor was complete. For personal reasons, she decided it was the right decision and saved her family financial ruin from frivolous lawsuits. She is a private citizen making lots of money and helping the campaigns of candidates of whom she supports. The 'progressives' who were desperate to keep her out of national office now enjoy calling her a quitter and continuing to criticize every move.

Now that there is no clear frontrunner in the GOP primary race and Palin has been indecisive in declaring whether or not she will run herself, the media has opened a new circus. Some 24,000 e-mails written by Palin as Governor have been released and the national press has gone nuts. Reporters were sent to Alaska to pick them up - five boxes worth - and two large newspapers even asked readers for volunteers to read them for the publications, looking for anything juicy to write about.

Let's mull that over for a minute, shall we? A FOIA request is granted and e-mails from a former Governor, now a private citizen and not running for public office, are to be scrutinized by volunteer readers of the Washington Post and The New York Times. Has this request from these newspapers ever been issued before? No, of course not. Did the Washington Post ask for volunteers to read the Pentagon Papers?

While Michelle Obama was on the campaign trail voicing concern for her husband - a black man in America, she said - Palin, it is now discovered, was receiving e-mails with death threats from the rabid left in the country.

One message sent by someone in Juneau, Alaska on Sept 17, 2008 said the governor should be "shot from one of the planes that shoot the very wolves that you ordered."

Five days earlier an email landed in her in-box saying she "must be killed."

It said: "She doesn't belong to the NRA to support the right of each citizen to have weapons in an aim of self-defence, but just to support the right of every southern white citizen to shoot all non-white people legally! Sarah Palin MUST BE KILLED!"

Another emailed death threat in the same month, while Mrs Palin was on the campaign trail as John McCain's vice-presidential running mate, came from Antwerp, Belgium.

It said Mrs Palin should be shot and that "only on that moment justice will be accomplished."

Last summer a tabloid style author rented the house next door to the Palins in Alaska to do "research" on a book about her.

Where are all the stories now about Palin from the e-mails from the media determined to destroy her at any cost? There are none. Everything that could have possibly been written about, however irrational, has been written about.

Palin's success certainly brings contempt from the 'progressive' left.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Positive Energy Sector News Flourishes Amid Administration Stranglehold

With the news moving in the positive direction slowly for the energy sector, it is interesting to note that it is the oil and gas wing of the industry which continues to show the best results.

The great energy irony of recent years is that governments have thrown hundreds of billions of dollars at wind, solar, ethanol and other alternative fuels, yet the major breakthroughs have taken place in the traditional oil and natural gas business. Hydraulic fracturing in shale, horizontal drilling and new seismic techniques are only the best known examples.

Yes, domestic oil and gas drilling will survive and flourish after the Deepwater Horizon explosion because it was a terrible tragedy brought about due to bad management decisions and human error. Yet, The Interior Department is still issuing very few permits, only 15 for new wells since it lifted its moratorium in October so it is the industry proving success despite zero support from Team Obama.

On Wednesday, ExxonMobil announced three major American energy discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico. Projected at over 700 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, this discovery is one of the largest in the last decade. This find translates into 14 billion gallons of gasoline and approximately 2 ½ months of current U.S oil production. Chairman Hastings remarked, “This is the exact reason why Republicans have been pressuring the Department of the Interior to issue offshore permits—America has abundant oil and natural gas reserves, we simply need to allow the hardworking men and women in the energy industry to do their job. This is opportune timing for a major oil discovery as Iranian controlled OPEC announced [this week] that they would not increase oil production. America can become less dependent on dangerous sources of foreign energy if we safely and responsibly develop the resources we know we have here at home. Today is a perfect example of that.”

As an editorial in the Times-Picayune stated:
Critics of deepwater drilling have raised concerns about a repeat of the Deepwater Horizon disaster as new permits have been approved recently -- and there's nothing Louisianians want to avoid more than another such catastrophe.

Exxon has a solid record of deepwater exploration in the Gulf, where the company has drilled 36 wells ranging from 4,000 feet to 8,700 feet in the past decade. In addition, Exxon is among the founders of a consortium formed to rapidly respond to future spills in deep water.

President Obama in May announced several policies intended to increase domestic oil production, including in the Gulf of Mexico. The administration needs to deliver on promises to hold a lease sale in the Gulf this year and to also continue improving the efficiency of regulators reviewing drilling permits.

Nothing will increase oil production and economic development in our region more than safely restoring this vital and needed industry back to full force -- as Exxon's new find proves.

With dismal economic reports and the unemployment rate ticking back up, one would thing that the Obama administration would want to been seen creating jobs and supporting small businesses all along the Gulf coast. Instead of increasing bureaucracy and exploiting a tragedy with political ideology, common sense begs to be utilized.

And, let's drill in Alaska, too.

On Thursday, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Hastings joined Alaska Governor Sean Parnell and Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Chairman Don Young (AK) for a day-long tour that included visits to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), the Trans Alaskan Pipeline System (TAPS), the Native village of Kaktovik, and a discussion of the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of Alaska. That day, Chairman Hastings unveiled a discussion draft of the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act, a bill to cut through bureaucratic red tape and unlock the full potential of energy resources in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on the bill next Thursday, June 16th.

“The problem facing oil and natural gas developers is not lack of resources to curb our foreign dependence, but a lack of clear policy. There are few more egregious examples of bureaucratic red tape stifling development of our domestic resources than what is happening in the NPR-A. It can and should be the policy of this government to develop the resources in our NPR-A quickly, efficiently and responsibly. This will reduce our foreign dependence, create jobs and keep our revenue here at home,” said Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (CO-05).

•Specifically, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act will:

◦Clearly state and affirm that the NPR-A is explicitly designated for the purpose of providing oil and natural gas resources to the United States.

◦Require that annual lease sales be held in the NPR-A in areas with the most oil and natural gas resources. President Obama called for annual NPR-A lease sales in his weekly address on May 14th.

◦Streamline the permitting process to ensure lease sales actually lead to energy being produced and transported out of the NPR-A and delivered to the continental U.S.

◦Set firm timelines for infrastructure permits to be approved to ensure that bureaucratic delays do not prevent oil and natural gas resources from being transported out of the NPR-A. It establishes a 60 day timeframe to approve infrastructure permits for leases where the Secretary has already issued a permit to drill and a 6 month timeframe to approve infrastructure permits for all other existing and future Federal leases.

◦Require the Secretary of the Interior to prepare a right-of-way plan detailing how existing and future leases will be within 25 miles of an approved road or pipeline.

◦Require an updated comprehensive assessment, in consultation with the State of Alaska and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, of all oil and natural gas resources in the NPR-A. The current data for available resources is based on conservative estimates and may not reflect NPR-A’s true potential.

Sounds like a plan to me.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pawlenty Busts A Move on Economic Recovery

Tim Pawlenty has accomplished what the other GOP candidates for President have not, so far. Pawlenty added salt to the wounds of Barack Obama's very bad week by giving a speech and laying out his vision of turning the economy around. He didn't rely on pat sound bite answers, he didn't use all the popular buzz words to appease one faction or another, and he stood firm.

More than anything else, Please God, let the GOP run a candidate this time around who will stand his/her ground and not appease the loud people. If the GOP can deliver on a strong, fiscally conservative candidate that can articulate to the masses a common sense path to financial recovery, then Barack Obama is a one term President.

Maybe that candidate will end up being Pawlenty, maybe not. At least he is the first to step up and produce something. Maybe the others will begin to articulate actual policy ideas and not silly banter. There is no time to waste.

This election is all about the numbers. It's the economy, stupid. It's about the very different approach to economic prosperity between Democrats and Republicans.

There is, however, a serious policy implication inside the Pawlenty proposals. We are heading toward an election fought over the economy. That's good because ultimately this means the subject is growth. The one consensus that exists across the political spectrum is that strong economic growth eases many problems—from the entitlement burden to the tragedy of high youth unemployment.

The battle will be fought over economic growth and how we get it—Obama's way or something close to the opposite of Obama's way. On one hand is Barack Obama's government-led "investment" mix, embedded with spending raised to 24% of GDP. On the other is the alternative GOP vision, which is starting to gel.

The economic numbers of last week were devastating to Team Obama. Nothing is going right for them. It is the GOP candidates' job to make sure that message gets out and to offer a viable alternative. Americans are depressed. We are almost in dangerous Carter malaise territory. Those who think we are going in the wrong direction as a country number around 70%. Think about that. There is a real opening for the right candidate on the GOP side.

Barack Obama will be a strong contender. He will raise another record amount of money and use all his Chicago style tricks, just as he did in every previous campaign. It's hardball politics. It is crucial to bring forward a Republican who is fearless and unyielding.

No more Mr. Nice Guy, GOP. This is no time to go wobbly.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tell Austin - No to Raiding Rainy Day Fund

Today an amendment was included in Senate Bill 2. The amendment requires any Rainy Day Fund money over $6.5 billion at the end of the 2012-12 biennium to be put into the Foundation School Program. It is estimated this could be as much as $2 billion over the next two years.

This is crazy. This would undo the hard work of the legislature to produce a budget that did not touch the Rainy Day Fund to make up for funds that came for one time Obama stimulus federal dollars. Everyone was notified that upon taking these funds, the money would not be replaced, yet now that seems to have been conveniently forgotten. That was the main sticking point of the federal money - it's a one time, short term boost that is not to be considered permanent budgeting monies.

So, now the call is for taxpayers to phone your elected officials in Austin tonight - yes, they are working tonight - and tell them to keep their hands off the Rainy Day Fund. Here is a strong statement from Texas Public Policy Foundation:

From Talmadge Heflin, Director of TPPF’s Center for Fiscal Policy
Senate Bill 2 includes amendment that could divert billions from rainy day fund.

"An amendment offered to Senate Bill 2 – and adopted on a non-record vote – would require that any rainy day fund balance projected in excess of $6.5 billion at the end of the 2012-13 biennium be directed immediately into the Foundation School Program. If passed, this amendment could siphon as much as $2 billion away from the rainy day fund over the next two years, according to preliminary estimates.

The Texas House and Senate accomplished a historic feat at the end of the regular session mere days ago, when they passed a budget that was an all-funds cut from the preceding biennium, did not raise taxes, and did not squander a penny of the rainy day fund. This amendment would threaten that tremendous accomplishment and undo one of the most important outcomes of the regular session of the 82nd Texas Legislature.

Voters conveyed a clear message last November that they wanted to see the state’s budget shortfall addressed by pruning the overgrowth in spending. With this amendment, the Texas House would respond that it views the budget shortfall as a mere math problem.

School spending has grown far faster than enrollment growth or inflation, in part due to poor decisions by local school districts. Two years ago, the Legislature propped up the school districts with $2.3 billion in federal stimulus funds, with the understanding that these one-time funds would not be replaced. School districts need to be challenged to become more efficient and prudent in how they spend taxpayer dollars, and the time for them to bite the bullet has come.

I encourage Members to remove this provision when Senate Bill 2 comes up on third reading."

Now is not the time to allow this sneaky maneuver to flourish.

Oil and Gas Industry Produces Good News

Two items from the world of energy exploration and production are both positive and welcome.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) released the following statement in response to today's news that exploration in the Gulf of Mexico has uncovered existence of a massive oil and gas field.

"This discovery underscores the great potential of America's vast energy resources. The prospect of new American-made energy supplies means less pain at the pump for American families and more American jobs.

"ExxonMobil began work on this discovery well before the administration’s drilling moratorium was initially put in place. Without the moratorium, this discovery could have been made months sooner. Instead, development of an oil resource of nearly one billion barrels was stalled at a time when millions of Americans continue to struggle with high gas prices. While the administration's actions in the Gulf have resulted in a direct loss of jobs and revenue, as this discovery demonstrates, one of the greatest costs of the moratorium may be the delayed energy opportunities."

As part of the American Energy Initiative, House Republicans are working to remove roadblocks to American energy supplies, which will keep energy costs down, fortify our energy security, and create American jobs. Click here to view committee hearing materials related to the moratorium."

And, Shell has approved a $2.5 billion project to develop its Cardamom oil and gas field in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, marking the latest vote of confidence in the U.S. offshore region following the BP oil spill last year.

The Cardamom field, located roughly 225 miles southwest of New Orleans, is expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day at its peak and more than 140 million barrels of oil equivalent over its lifespan, Houston-based Shell Oil, the U.S. arm of European oil major Royal Dutch Shell, said in a statement today.

Rather than build a free-standing facility, Shell said it will install production equipment on the sea floor at Cardamom that extracts the oil and gas and routes it to Shell’s nearby Auger offshore platform, which will be modified to handle the additional output. A first Cardamom exploration well has been producing from Auger since late last year, Shell said.

Yes, Virginia, that is a $2.5 billion investment that Shell has decided to gamble on. Something often lost in the bellowing of those who would deny oil and gas companies profits is that the business is unbelievably expensive. This new anticipated production will not come online until 2014, if all goes well. Nothing happens quickly in energy production.

Despite the Obama administration's best efforts, the domestic oil and gas industry is not completely gone. Yet.