Tag Archive | "Obama"

Afghanistan is Bush’s Fault

President Obama has blamed President George W. Bush for everything under the Sun, including the Sun rising in the east.  He has not (yet) blamed Bush for the situation in Afghanistan, yet it really is Bush’s and Donald Rumsfeld’s faults.

In hindsight, America’s objectives in going into Afghanistan after 9-11 should have been: 1) destroying the Taliban’s and al-Qaeda’s training bases and making it much more difficult for them to strike the United States, and 2) killing Osama bin Laden. Period.

The first was achieved fairly quickly.  The second took much longer and ultimately did not require extensive ground forces.

In 2000, George W. Bush campaigned on being against “nation building” and that America could not be the world’s police force.  Yet, America ended up bogged down in Afghanistan as it tried to use it military for nation building and as a policing force.

Afghanistan has never been a nation in our American understanding of nation.  Americans do not understand the tribal nature of countries such as Afghanistan.  No matter how large an America military presence or the nature of the mission, America is never going to be able to “secure” the countryside or insure the safety of the people of Afghanistan.  America will never be able to facilitate an effective central government in Afghanistan.  The countryside has never been secure, the people never safe, and there has never been a central government that exercised control over the nation.

The war in Afghanistan is President Obama’s “good war”. Yet, the Taliban and al-Qaeda were defeated before Obama took office.  The “good war” was over.  Except for killing Osama bin Laden (and it is a major exception) all America has done for the past several years is pursue the mirage of a safe and stable Afghanistan.

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It’s Time To Bring Our Troops Home From 7th Century Afghani Hell

It’s official, I am now against the war in Afghanistan.

In the wake of the ‘sensitivity’ of the Koran burning incident and the U.S. soldier who went off the deep end, killing 16 Afghan civilians, we are now learning of the death a 22-yr-old Marine who was shot in the back of the head by an Afghan soldier at an outpost last month.


In what is a previously undisclosed case of apparent Afghan treachery, the incident marked at least the seventh killing of an American military member by his supposed ‘ally’ in the past six weeks.

As tragic as this latest act of cowardice may be, and I can only imagine the incredible stress this must place on our soldiers, it was not the act itself that led me to finally say enough is enough. It is the realization that the news we’re getting from Afghanistan is now being censored and we are not being told the truth – it was initially stated that the soldier had died “while conducting combat operations”.

In short, Afghanistan has become a politicians’ war and that is when the ghosts of Vietnam come calling. And for that I say not one more life should be lost, bring our troops home now!

The truth is, the Obama administration is quietly negotiating our surrender anyway, just as Henry Kissinger did so many years ago. And just as no one expected the South Vietnamese government to stand very long in our absence, no reasonable person expects the Afghan government to fare any better.

The only remaining mission I can see in Afghanistan is to prevent President Karzai from fleeing in exile to some exotic location with billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars while allied troops are still on the ground. That and preventing the country from completely reverting back to the 7th century before we’re out.

And since the politicians can’t avoid playing war, here’s an opportunity for the Republican Party to take the lead on calling for an immediate withdrawal.

Not only will the GOP gain favor with the vast majority of Americans who have grown weary of a war our troops are not being permitted to win and now just want these brave Americans brought home, but they will also put Obama and the Democrats in the position of defending our continued presence there.

And if Obama concedes and acts, Republicans can then take credit… either way, America is all the better for the decision.

Well, who says I can’t dream…

The real irony here is the anti-war movement that was at a fever pitch when Bush was in office is now completely silent. When’s the last time you’ve heard Cindy Sheehan’s name mentioned? The entire anti-war crowd has proven to be little more than hypocritical far left ideologues who only complain when war is being waged by the right.


Cross-Posted at Florida Political Press

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Grammy winner to Obama donors: ‘F*ck you’ [VIDEO]

Cee Lo Green flips off president's donors, asks 'Can I cuss?'

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Meet the Press and Media Collaboration?

Watching Meet the Press this past Sunday was a remarkable experience. Among the roundtable contributors were Peggy Noonan, Al Sharpton, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn. The show was fairly enjoyable throughout most of the program – including a very civil discussion about women.

Then right before the close of the program, moderator David Gregory asks Al Sharpton about his recreation of the old Selma to Montgomery march (1965). Sharpton launches into a tirade about how we need to do this march again because our government is trying to disenfranchise millions of people.

REV. SHARPTON:  The message is that with the new voter ID laws being proposed in over 30 states, the Brennan Institute says it will disenfranchise five million people.  There has been no established reason to change the laws. There’s no widespread fraud that has been in any way documented.  And we do, do not believe that we should have these millions of peoples disenfranchised. This is–has a disproportionate impact on young people, seniors and minorities.  And immigration laws in Alabama are horrendous and we think they violate the civil rights of people.  And we sought to dramatize, not just to commemorate 47 years ago, but to continue today to fight those issues.

Incredibly, this ludicrous and partisan comment goes unanswered. David Gregory just nods along and doesn’t even respond, and neither does Peggy Noonan. Gregory switches topics and wraps up the program with a quick analysis of the upcoming primary on Tuesday, March 13.

Watching this unfold made the whole program seem like a set-up. Everything was quite civil earlier on, so when Sharpton made his outrageous remark, no one batted an eye or refuted the absurdity. It allowed the program to pretty much end with Sharpton’s statement out there to the audience.

Therefore, I was jaded enough to not even be surprised when, the following morning (Monday), the Department of Justice announced the following:

The Justice Department’s civil rights division on Monday objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification.

Texas follows South Carolina as the second state in recent months to become embroiled in a court battle with the Justice Department over new photo ID requirements for voters.

Should I even be surprised? Sharpton’s Meet the Press commentary seemed to coincide with the announcement of government decisions effecting voters in an election year. There is absolutely no reason why we should not have fair and free elections by requiring identification at the polls. We already require IDs for so many other things that to somehow cry discrimination when it comes to IDs for our sacred electoral process is nothing more than sheer political poppycock.

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Assassinating American citizens

Recently, United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, came out with his defense of American drone assassinations of American citizens without due process of law.  Obviously, his rationalization left something to be desired.

For those that missed it, in 2011, the President of the United States ordered the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, born in New Mexico.  In fairness to the President, al-Awlaki was assassinated because he was an active Al Qaeda operative and a dangerous threat to the United States.  Eric Holder essentially defended the action as being constitutional under the Fifth Amendment which states:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . .

Holder outlined an Obama doctrine that allows for any person’s killing, if: they are a terrorist, capture is not easily attainable, the killing is done consistently with US War Principles and the US government concludes that the target poses a severe threat of violence against the United States.

It’s not the Constitutional justification we were promised by the Obama Administration.

Now to be fair, the Patriot Act was a scary and unconstitutional bill pushed on the American people by the Bush administration and republicans (and democrats).

Obama was the answer to the Bush “tyranny.”  But weren’t democrats supposed to be the good guys?

Barack Obama unilaterally ordered the killing of a United States citizen without a trial.  It is a scary, scary decision.  Anyone that ever compared Dick Cheney to Darth Vader would only be consistent to compare Barack Obama to the Emperor of the Republic (not the American Republic).

If I were a republican running for president, I would make this the third plank in my election platform (after a stagnant recovery and the XL pipeline).  Obama killed an American citizen and then went on with his day.  The problem is that most republicans don’t disagree with the decision.

This was a frightening call from the leader of the free world and at some point, we need to have a national conversation over whether the President may assassinate American citizens.  That is not to say that Al-Awlaki was not likely guilty or that he was of no danger.  But it is to say that this is a precedent that cannot stand.  Although it may not be used again for 100 years, it is dangerous nonetheless.  It was within the same year that the Department of Justice labeled right-wing-pro-life-religious-nuts, as being at risk of becoming domestic terrorists.

Going into this campaign season, I would like to hear a conservative besides Ron Paul outraged about this.  It is a shame that this has to be said, but American policy should be to never kill American citizens.

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HuffPo Exposes Obama Without Even Realizing It

Two recent articles from the other side have put the lie to several Obama administration talking points without even realizing it.  One is that the bank bailout money is well on its way to being repaid and that the government has made a profit on it.  However, in an article entitled Banks Repaid Fed Bailout With Other Fed Money the Huffington Post reports that 48% of the money banks repaid to the government was taken from other federally funded programs that were intended to supply capital for loans to small business.  Instead the money went to payoff the bailout money.  The article cites GAO reports that of $205 billion lent under the first phase of TARP, the feds have been paid $211 billion.  But if $101 billion of that $211 billion came from other federal funding, that just means that the taxpayers have been paid back with their own money, not the banks’ money, and that the taxpayers are actually still $104 billion behind in the bank bailouts.  This completely contradicts Obama administration claims that the bank bailout money has been paid back at a profit.

A few days later the HuffPo reported that the Banks Figure The Feds Are A Safer Investment Than You.  This article notes that despite record low interest rates on Treasury debt, banks are investing in that instead of making loans to small businesses.  The banks can still make money on treasuries because they can borrow from the Federal Reserve for essentially no interest.  The Fed is doing this “because it sees the economy as dead in the water.  And the banks are sitting on that cash hoard because they, too, see the economy as dead in the water.”  So much for Obama administration hype about the economy surging on the rebound.

Of course, neither article explicitly makes the connection that these facts totally undermine the Obama administration’s economic claims.  But that is to be expected of the leftstream media.  More interesting is that they illustrate the Left’s failure to understand the deep relationship between the Left’s great nemesis, Wall Street, and its great love, Washington.  There is a reason Goldman Sachs people gave four times as much money to Obama in 2008 as they gave to McCain.  The flow of money from the Fed and the feds to the banks under Obama dwarfs all of the other bailout boondoggles.

Progressives dream that they can somehow purify Washington, and rescue it from Wall Street.  However, centralizing power can only facilitate centralizing wealth.  As I have argued elsewhere, progressives need to realize that Wall Street’s dominance of the nation will only end when Washington’s dominance of the nation ends.

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Obama Non Grata

Much ado has been made recently about the demise of the Republican Party and the growing sense in the New York/Washington bubble that Obama will be re-elected.  It’s certainly possible the ?improving? jobs’ numbers and economic data could give Obama enough momentum to slide into a second term.  Certainly his media advantage, his wars on conservatives, women, and the productive sector have ginned-up his base, at least somewhat.  But there are definite signs out there Obama is not a sure thing and could be a real long shot this November. “ Obamalaise,” Kyle Olson of the New York Post calls it, has begun to infect the electorate.  It is spreading more deeply than the MSM will let on.

There are two ways to study populations in the social sciences.  One is through objective measures of attitudes like with polls and surveys.  The other is through use of case studies.  I’m going to use both methods to show just how Obama is becoming the persona non grata of the political world.

First,  some polls.  For the most part, Obama has been buoyed recently by the messy Republican primary fight and the brouhaha of the contraception proposal.  His numbers have ticked up among women probably due to the ‘free’ contraception promise since that seems to affect women more.  But, the other is the media’s daily narrative about the GOP trying to do something mean in regards to contraception.   In any case, this has given Obama a little breathing room eight months out.

But, that isn’t really helping the overall case for the Democrats.  The Rasmussen tracking poll taken March 10, 2012 shows Romney with a six point edge over Obama and Santorum with a statistically insignificant one point lead.  But, the Republicans are still divided and the Democrats are supposedly united.  Moreover, Obama can’t even get above 50% against Gingrich, the candidate with the widest margin.  Obama has 48% and Gingrich has 40%.  Of course, these tracking polls and surveys are quite fungible this early in the race.  However, Obama has other more intractable problems with how he is perceived.

According to Gallup in a survey of adult voters, not registered or likely voters but all adults, 50% see Obama’s presidency as a failure.  What is really telling is 53% of independents think Obama’s failed.  That’s a margin that is almost impossible to overcome, especially as gas prices begin to rise and its effect on the economy begins to slow this flabby recovery.  To conclude a president has failed is quite a powerful sentiment.  Forty-four percent believes he’s succeeding, not exactly room for error.


So, some of the objective evidence is decent, some not so good for the Democrats, but they have hope.  Right?

Let’s consider some of my informal case study evidence.  My first exhibit is the Minnesota GOP District Convention where I was recording secretary.  I’ve already discussed our caucuses were far more diverse than I anticipated.   What struck me about these delegates and alternates at the convention was how young they were.  Half the assemblage was in their twenties or thirties.  Two thirds of the delegates were younger than 50.  We are constantly being told the GOP is old, white, male and doomed to extinction.  Not if these people have their way.  There was fire in the belly at this meeting.  So much so that when a resolution to defeat Obama and the Democrats in November was voted on the meeting was thunderous in its approval.  There was no dissent to record.

Now, it was a Republican gathering but it wasn’t tired, complacent, or wary, at least not about the dangers this president and his extreme wing of the Democratic Party pose.  This was an excited group with many Ron Paul supporters.   They weren’t delegates to a state district convention on a 65 degree day in March in Minnesota to vote for Obama if Paul doesn’t get the nod. These Paul supporters are committed to building a grassroots party that will extol libertarian virtues and limited government in people’s lives.  I was impressed and quite pleased.  With people like this moving through the ranks, the GOP needn’t worry about becoming a corpse.

My next example is from our vacation.  Upon returning to San Juan, Puerto Rico, we signed up with a tour to use our last day seeing this U.S. territory.  One of the first stops the driver took us to was the statues of the U.S.  presidents outside their legislative building.  He stopped the bus at Obama’s statue and asked if people wanted to get pictures.  Not a person moved.  Not a sound was made.

I later found out several people on this tour were public school teachers on spring break from New York.  Public union employees from the People’s Republic of New York, and not a one of them wanted a happy snap of the Dear Leader.  If this doesn’t illustrate the bloom being off the rose, I don’t know what does.

Hell, it isn’t just the bloom that’s fading; the damned leaves are falling off as well.

Now this certainly isn’t conclusive evidence of an Obama defeat.  It is evidence of an energized opposition, a growing conservative youth movement, and the specter of an Obama non grata among his rank and file this fall.  With half the country concluding he’s a failure and trouble garnering support even when facing a still divided GOP, Obama’s path isn’t nearly as primrose as we are being told.  In fact, it could be far thornier for a Democratic Party that has bet the house on this president and his radical allies.  They may be rather sullen come November.

Crossposted at Looktruenorth.com

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What might Albert Einstein think about Barack Obama’s Green Energy Obsession…

As I’ve written before, I was a very uninformed young person for the first half of my life. I remember watching a movie in the Florida State student union about how Campbell’s Soup treated workers unfairly. I quickly decided to start my own boycott. Inexplicably, they somehow survived my boycott. I once went to the Tallahassee airport to try and meet Gary Hart before his presidential campaign imploded and I also sat on the stage when Jessie Jackson gave a speech during his 1984 race for the White House. As a Political Science undergraduate one of my professors, a self described Bolshevik, explained the great successes of the Soviet Union thus: Their economic and political system had to be superior to ours, otherwise how could they produce the weapon systems we were so scared of? Made sense to me… There were probably numerous other episodes but my brain has apparently, thankfully, forgotten most of them.

The reason I mention this is because we all did things during our college years that we might want to forget. Luckily for me, none of my nonsense was captured on video. Not so lucky for our President. The video of him encouraging a gathering of Harvard students to embrace the man and the message of the late leftist Dr. Derrick Bell has been making the rounds of the Internet. Although Democrats (and most of the media) suggest this is nothing more than a student showing support for the first black tenured professor at Harvard Law School, I’m fairly sure the President would just as soon not have to deal with the issue during an election campaign.

Luckily Americans recognize that by the time most of us reach middle age, the explorations, experimentations, the ill advised exhortations have been tempered by time and real world experience. Most of course does not mean all, and while one might be inclined to offer a pass to the President for what said in college two decades ago, the same cannot be said for his equally ill advised words two weeks ago.

Of course I’m not talking about Professor Bell. I’m talking about President Obama’s “Energy Speech” delivered last month. Aside from the fact that he makes a number of factual errors, the biggest problem is that the President doesn’t seem to learn from actual experience.

The President seems determined to run the United States off an economic cliff for the sake of his belief in the scam known as “Green Energy”. Not only has he wasted billions of taxpayer’s money on boondoggles like Solyndra, the very expensive and nonworking Fisker-Karma and the rapidly shrinking National Renewable Energy Lab, but more importantly he has added, literally, $243 billion a year to what Americans pay for gasoline. (130 billion gallons a year X $1.86 – the increase in the price of gas since Obama took office) That’s more than 10 times what Americans spend on the NFL, Hollywood movies and in Starbucks annually! Of course there are other unseen costs Americans must bear as businesses have to wrap their increased energy and transportation costs into everything they offer, be it canned tomatoes or package delivery, but those are too numerous to discuss here.

The problem is not a lack of accessible energy as the President suggests, rather the problem is his laser like focus on the illusion of economically viable “renewable” or “sustainable” energy to the explicit detriment of the demonstrably viable and abundant energy sources that fueled the 20th Century. More concerning is that he maintains that focus in the face of the repeated failures of virtually every aspect of the Green Energy hoax:

From subsidized windfarms that are now being subsidized further to stop operating to General Motors halting production of its heavily subsidized Volt because no one wants to buy it to the $50 light bulb that won the Department of Energy’s prize for a “green” but affordable light bulb. Add to that the fact that Green jobs are largely an expensive mirage and you have the makings of what must be a parody of a plan to actually revive the economy. Then when you think about the closing of actual, functioning plants across the country due to increased regulation, and the quixotic support for foreign fossil fuel exploration, it seems like more than just a parody, it’s like he’s mocking the American people.

But, no, really, his intentions are good… Well, even if they were, one must remember Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I don’t think the President is insane, which leads me to the conclusion that he’s doing the same thing over and over again expecting the same results. He believes so strongly that he is right about his green agenda that he simply refuses to believe that things will not turn his way eventually. He’s a modern day Walter Duranty, where billions of dollars are being wasted and millions of jobs are being destroyed yet somehow he doesn’t see it, or doesn’t care. Like Duranty’s reporting of the economic miracle that was the USSR while Stalin used an iron fist to inflict bloodshed and starvation across the Ukraine and other areas of the Soviet Union, President Obama’s words increasingly ring hollow. More and more often when Americans hear “We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices” or “We’re focused on (oil) production” or “The only real solution to helping families at the pump in the medium and long term is clean energy. That’s how we’ll save families money” they recognize they are being lied to in a way that seems almost impossible to believe coming from a President.

Perhaps the President thinks the government’s education industrial complex has eradicated the critical thinking or skepticism gene from the average American so that they will simply believe something because it’s delivered by a man with a smile and an air of confidence. As much damage as government schools do, I don’t think they’ve succeeded in that yet.

At the end of the day most Americans are willing to look past the defiant words of a college student looking to make his mark on the world. I think they are less likely however to accord the same deference for equally nonsensical words uttered by someone old enough to have learned that the world does not actually operate like the ivory towers of academia, where theories and speeches and a lack of real world consequences rule the day. As much of a headache his words at Harvard might be causing for the President, his more current words are causing a much bigger one for the American people. This will take more than aspirin to fix…

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Obama apologizes for Afghan slayings, still ignores Mexican ‘Fast and Furious’ murders

Obama races to apologize to Karzai, is still silent on 300 Mexican gunwalking deaths -- Hasn't called Felipe Calderon

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Obama, Energy Promises, and Empty Rhetoric

Voters in the November election will be acutely aware of two key economic variables above all others: the national unemployment rate, and the price they pay for a gallon of gasoline. President Obama senses his vulnerability on gasoline prices, and is busy erecting a defense against charges that his actions (or inactions) have contributed to high prices.

His weekly radio address focused on the problem of rising gasoline prices and energy policy in general:

Ending this cycle of rising gas prices won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. But that’s why you sent us to Washington – to solve tough problems like this one. So I’m going to keep doing everything I can to help you save money on gas, both right now and in the future.

Earlier this week, Obama said that gasoline prices are rising in part because of international bottlenecks and supply disruptions that affect the crude oil market.

Obama cites bottlenecks, speculation as possible gasoline price factors

US President Barack Obama said his administration is looking at whether it would be possible to ease both international and US supply bottlenecks as an immediate response to rising gasoline prices. … “We’re concerned about what’s happening in terms of production around the world. It’s not just what’s happening in the [Persian] Gulf. You’ve had, for example, in Sudan, some oil that’s been taken offline that’s helping to restrict supply.”

In its Mar. 6 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the US Energy Information Administration said several notable production disruptions outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries began or intensified during the last 2 months, leaving an average 1 million b/d [barrels per day] offline in February. [Emphasis added.]

Those production disruptions include a year-on-year loss of 230,000 b/d in the Sudan, 80,000 b/d in Yemen, and 140,000 b/d in Syria. That’s 470,000 b/d total shortfall from just those three hotspots.

I agree with this analysis, which acknowledges the supply/demand dynamics of the crude oil market. I have often maintained that crude oil is a world market that is balanced on a thin margin of “overhang”: global markets operate best if production capability exceeds demand by 1 to 2 million barrels per day. Anything that erodes that overhang (supply disruptions, increasing demand) can send crude oil rapidly higher.

Bottom line: gasoline prices are closely correlated to the crude oil price, and crude oil disruptions in half-million barrel per day “chunks” are significant to the crude oil price on a global scale. President Obama’s Sudan/Yemen/Syria excuse acknowledges as much.

But the President seems to forget supply and demand when it comes to domestic energy policy.From the weekly radio address:

As usual, politicians have been rolling out their three-point plans for two-dollar gas: drill, drill, and drill some more. Well, my response is, we have been drilling. Under my Administration, oil production in America is at an eight-year high. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs, and opened up millions of acres for drilling. But you and I both know that with only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when consume 20 percent of the world’s oil.

“We’ve” been successful finding new sources of oil on private lands, under state jurisdiction (primarily North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma), driven by market incentives. Federal action deserves little or none of the credit.

But oddly, Obama’s position is “Drilling is up, production is up, but gas prices are still high!”, implicitly contradicting the supply/demand dynamic. One can only imagine how high gasoline prices would be without the recent supply surge.

There’s a reason President Obama must discount the positive effect of increased domestic supply: his policies have been hostile to it as a strategy.

The graph below depicts crude oil production from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico during President Obama’s term in office. Daily production of oil has dropped from a third of domestic supply to less than a quarter since the BP spill.

Gulf of Mexico crude oil production during President Obama's term in office. The dashed black curve is the forecast from the EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook for May 2010; actual data from the most recent STEO is in red. The May 2010 STEO was the last projection that did not take into account the impact of the BP spill.

As for 2012, the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook for 2010 (AEO2010), published in December 2009, forecast GoM crude oil production to average 1.76 million b/d. The latest estimate is 1.26 million b/d. (For those keeping score, that’s a loss of 500,000 b/d, using the government’s numbers, not mine.) The Department of the Interior’s reaction to the Macondo blowout was a drilling moratorium and permitting slowdown which led to the exodus of 11 deepwater drilling rigs from the Gulf.

In my humble opinion, the Federal reaction to the BP spill was mostly overreaction. The most significant step in insuring industry’s capability to contain and control a future deepwater blowout event was a private initiative.

As for bottlenecks, none is perhaps more significant than the bottleneck that is currently keeping midcontinent oil, pegged to the West Texas Intermediate crude oil benchmark, trading at a discount to the world price. That bottleneck could be alleviated by the Keystone XL pipeline, among other projects. Keystone XL could deliver 700,000 b/d to Gulf Coast (and hence, international) markets.

With respect to domestic supply, Keystone XL is especially important to North Dakota operators. An improved oil marketing outlook for the region could spur an even greater pace of drilling in North Dakota’s Bakken formation, which is largely responsible for the current domestic supply surge.

An enhanced domestic supply of petroleum, along with efficient, modern infrastructure, are key elements of our nation’s energy security. The President is correct in his assertion that tight crude oil supplies lead to escalating gasoline prices. But domestically, his policy initiatives seem designed to discourage drilling and to erect stumbling blocks for producers.

I’m going to keep doing everything I can to help you save money on gas, both right now and in the future.

I just don’t buy it. His lips keep moving, but there’s a big disconnect between President Obama’s campaign rhetoric and his policies.

Cross-posted at stevemaley.com.

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