Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obama: private sector job creation is “doing fine”

From CNS News.

Excerpt:

“The private sector is doing fine,” Obama said at a press conference on Friday. “Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy, have to do with state and local government — oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.”

State and local leaders were not the only ones to blame for a bad economy, as the president also blamed Republicans in Congress.

What are the facts? Is Obama right?

Here is a comparison of public and private pay in Ohio, for example:

Ohio Average Pay: Public vs. Private

Ohio Average Pay: Public vs. Private

Does Obama know how to create jobs? Let’s compare him to Bush:

Labor Force Participation 2012 (click for larger image)

Labor Force Participation 2012 (click for larger image)

There is no recovery. We haven’t created any jobs. We’ve actually lost 5 million jobs since the Democrats took over the House and Senate in January 2007.

When George W. Bush was President, we had unemployment around 4 or 5 percent for 8 years, which deficits as low as $160 billion in 2007. Barack Obama has had four budget deficits of a trillion or more in a row, and his unemployment rate has been double Bush’s rate. Bush has an MBA from Harvard and had private sector job creation experience. Obama doesn’t know anything about economics. He’s a lawyer who benefited from affirmative action, and who has never released his grades. You can’t elect an unqualified person and get performance.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GAO: Green River Formation has more oil than the rest of the world combined

Remember when Obama said that we have “2 percent of the world’s oil reserves”?

This is an excerpt from his own speech:

As a country that has 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, but uses 20 percent of the world’s oil — I’m going to repeat that — we’ve got 2 percent of the world oil reserves; we use 20 percent.  What that means is, as much as we’re doing to increase oil production, we’re not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices.  Anybody who tells you otherwise either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or they aren’t telling you the truth.

Now let’s find out who doesn’t know what they’re talking about and who isn’t telling the truth.

The Government Accountability Office – a department of the federal government – tells us the facts.

Excerpt:

The Green River Formation, a largely vacant area of mostly federal land that covers the territory where Colorado, Utah and Wyoming come together, contains about as much recoverable oil as all the rest the world’s proven reserves combined, an auditor from the Government Accountability Office told Congress on Thursday.

The GAO testimony said that the federal government was in “a unique position to influence the development of oil shale” because the Green River deposits were mostly beneath federal land.

[...]It also noted that developing the oil would have an environmental impact and pose “socioeconomic challenges,” that included bringing “a sizable influx of workers who along with their families put additional stress on local infrastructure” and “making planning for growth difficult for local governments.”

“The Green River Formation–an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming–contains the world’s largest deposits of oil shale,”Anu K. Mittal, the GAO’s director of natural resources and environment said in written testimony submitted to the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

“USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions,” Mittal testified.

“The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered,” Mittal told the subcommittee. “At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”

In her oral statement before the subcommittee, Mittal said that developing the shale oil would create wealth and jobs for the country, but also challenges for government.

“Being able to tap this vast amount of oil locked within this formation will go a long way to help to meet our future demands for oil. The U.S. Geological Survey, as you noted, estimates that the formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil of which half may be recoverable,” she said.

“As you can imagine having the technology to develop this vast energy resource will lead to a number of important socioeconomic benefits including the creation of jobs, increases in wealth and increases in tax and royalty payments for federal and state governments,” she said.

[...]In her written testimony, Mittal noted that three-fourths of the Green River shale oil is under federal land.

Is Barack Obama a good President? Does he know how to be President? Does he understand economics?

Let’s look at the national debt and the labor force participation rates in Obama’s first term. Recall that the Republicans lost the House and Senate in January of 2007. At the time of the Pelosi/Reid takeover, the national debt was $8 trillion. It is now almost double that at $16 trillion.

Obama added 5 trillion dollars to the debt since he took office

Obama added 5 trillion dollars to the debt since he took office

US Labor Force Participation down 4.9 million people

US Labor Force Participation down 4.9 million people

If these numbers seem bad to you, then I don’t think you should vote for Obama.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FARC terrorist leader Alfonso Cano killed by Colombian armed forces

Map of South America

Map of South America

From the Heritage Foundation.

Excerpt:

The armed forces of Colombia have scored a major battlefield victory. They finally hunted down, confronted, and killed the leader of the narco-terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Guillermo Leon Saenz, widely known by his alias Alfonso Cano.

A guerrilla for decades, Cano assumed the top leadership of the FARC following the natural death of founder Manuel Marulanda (2008) and the elimination of senior figures Raul Reyes (2008) and Jorge Briceno (aka Mono Jojoy, 2010).

Seen by some as a modern-day version of the “good revolutionary,” Cano—a life-long advocate of armed violence and terrorism—fell in combat with the Colombian armed forces as they rappelled their way into his secret jungle hideout. Cano was also indicted in a U.S. court for drug trafficking along with dozens of other FARC leaders and had a $5 million price on his head.

FARC is a Marxist terrorist group.

The Economist reports that the Colombian economy is also doing well.

Excerpt:

WHEN the figures are finally tallied, Colombia may prove to have weathered the world recession better than any other of the larger Latin American countries. After a slight contraction at the end of 2008, the economy has been growing modestly this year. This resilience stems from continued foreign investment, an increase in government spending on public works and easier money: since December the central bank has cut interest rates by six percentage points, to 4%, a steeper drop than anywhere in the region outside Chile.

[...]President Álvaro Uribe’s security policies have helped to restore confidence. Investment soared, from 15% of GDP in 2002 to 26% last year, says Mr Zuluaga. Private business has retooled. After many delays, the government has issued licences to expand several ports; this month it hopes to award a contract for the first of four big road schemes, costing a total of $7.5 billion over four years. It hopes for investment of up to $50 billion in mining and oil over the next decade.

And liberal MSNBC has more on the booming Colombian economy.

Excerpt:

…Colombia’s revival is benefiting U.S. economic and political rivals as much as or more than the U.S. itself.

The long delay in signing the treaty allowed Latin America’s fourth-largest economy to strengthen ties with China. It also damaged U.S. credibility in the region, says Eric Farnsworth, vice-president of the Council of the Americas in Washington. “The delay in passing this called into question the United States’ reliability as a partner,” Farnsworth says. “There’s a strategic component to this. It’s not just about economics and trade.”

[...]As talks between the U.S. and Colombia dragged on, Colombia and China forged plans for a rail link between the Pacific and Caribbean that could draw freight away from the Panama Canal. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos aims for a trade deal with South Korea. To tighten his connections to high-growth Asia, he’s also seeking membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group. “While Washington was debating whether the accord with Colombia was opportune, we advanced in our foreign policy strategy,” says Trade Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados.

Santos has cooperated more with his South American neighbors, organizing a meeting of finance ministers to discuss ways to protect their currencies and economies from the debt crisis in the U.S. and Europe. He supports a stock trading platform with Colombia, Chile, and Peru and wants to bring Mexico and Panama on board. Exports to Brazil have surged tenfold. While the U.S. remains Colombia’s biggest export market, with $16.8 billion in 2010 sales, up 30 percent from a year earlier, sales to China more than doubled last year, to $1.2 billion. Sales to the European Union are also rising, to $5.4 billion this year through August, more than in all of 2010. An EU trade accord could come next year.

The government has reduced cocaine cultivation 37 percent and halved the number of insurgents to about 8,000. Improved security has spurred enough growth to win an investment-grade credit rating from Standard & Poor’s as well as investment from billionaires. Colombia’s victories over the guerrillas opened up swathes of countryside to exploration for oil, gold, and coal. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s push into crude has helped fuel foreign investment that the government says may reach a record $12 billion this year. The economy grew 5.2 percent in the second quarter.

The U.S. faces more competition from Colombia’s neighbors and Canada. In 2010, U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia fell more than 50 percent from 2008, to $827 million, as Argentina’s more than doubled, to $1 billion, according to a report by Senator Richard Lugar’s staff. Diaz-Granados attributes the U.S. setback to the delay in the free-trade agreement.

An August accord reduces or ends Colombian tariffs on Canadian wheat, paper, and machinery. Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest lender, agreed in October to buy 51 percent of Banco Colpatria Red Multibanca Colpatria for about $1 billion—Scotiabank’s largest international takeover. “This is not the Colombia of old,” says Brian J. Porter, group head of international banking for Scotiabank. “The more we looked at Colombia, the more excited we got about the economic potential.”

We really should have signed that trade deal 3 years ago – it would have helped out economy a lot.  But unions got Obama elected, and the unions decided that the trade deal needed to be held up for 3 years. And that’s one of the reasons why we’ve had over 9% unemployment. Our economic policy is being set by unions, not by economists. But in Colombia, economic policy is set by economists, not unions.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ron Paul on the issues: Ron Paul’s positions on abortion and gay marriage

Ron Paul on gay marriage

Let’s look in this article from the Advocate to find out Ron Paul’s views on same-sex marriage.

Excerpt:

Paul was asked whether his libertarian views on such controversial issues — mainly his belief that personal liberties should not be encroached upon by the federal government — could help him attract socially conservative voters. Paul said he believes that states should have the right to legalize gay marriage, marijuana, and prostitution if they choose to do so.

“If you do not protect liberty across the board, it’s a First Amendment–type issue,” he said. “We don’t have a First Amendment so we can talk about the weather. We have the First Amendment so we can say very controversial things. So, for people to say that, ‘Yes, we have our religious beliefs protected, but people who want to follow something else, or a controversial religion — you can’t do this’ … if you have the inconsistency, then you’re really not defending liberty. But there are strict rules on freedom of choice of this sort, because you can’t hurt other people, you can’t defame other people, but yes, you have a right to do things that are very controversial. If not, you’re going to end up with a government that can tell you what to eat or drink or whatever.”

Gay conservative group GOProud released a statement in support of Paul and the other politicians seeking the party’s nomination.

“[We] thank Congressman Ron Paul for rightly making the case that marriage and family laws should be decided at the state level, not by the politicians in Washington,” the organization said Friday.

That’s Ron Paul’s view of marriage.

Ron Paul on abortion

Here’s what Ron Paul wrote about abortion.

Excerpt:

As the Senate prepares to vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito this week, our nation once again finds itself bitterly divided over the issue of abortion. It’s a sad spectacle, especially considering that our founders never intended for social policy to be decided at the federal level, and certainly not by federal courts. It’s equally sad to consider that huge numbers of Americans believe their freedoms hinge on any one individual, Supreme Court justice or not.

Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, but not because the Supreme Court presumed to legalize abortion rather than ban it. Roe was wrongly decided because abortion simply is not a constitutional issue. There is not a word in the text of that document, nor in any of its amendments, that conceivably addresses abortion. There is no serious argument based on the text of the Constitution itself that a federal “right to abortion” exists. The federalization of abortion law is based not on constitutional principles, but rather on a social and political construct created out of thin air by the Roe court.

Under the 9th and 10th amendments, all authority over matters not specifically addressed in the Constitution remains with state legislatures. Therefore the federal government has no authority whatsoever to involve itself in the abortion issue. So while Roe v. Wade is invalid, a federal law banning abortion across all 50 states would be equally invalid.

What states would legalize abortion if Ron Paul allowed states to decide whether abortion should be legal?

Here’s the map:

Which states would Ron Paul allow to legalize abortion?

Which states would Ron Paul allow to legalize abortion?

That’s Ron Paul’s view of abortion.

You can read more about Ron Paul’s troubling views on social issues on Caffeinated Thoughts.

But there’s more. Here’s Ron Paul’s view of the Middle East. He is indifferent to Iran having nuclear weapons. Especially troubling, given the recent terrorist attack on American soil, which implicated the elite Iranian Quds Force.

UPDATE: A commenter adds:

It’s more accurate to say that these are Paul’s views on how states should go about answering these issues. His personal views on these issues are quite clear, that he ascribes to the natural view of marriage and abhors abortion. However he advocates relegating these issues to individual states because of his overriding commitment to a limited federal government and because he believes the constitution does not enumerate such decisions to the federal government for it to answer such questions for all states in the union.

This is true. But if the man becomes President, a lot of unborn babies will still be killed in states that he allows to legalize abortion, and a lot of children will still grow up without a mother or a father, in states that he allows to redefine marriage.  So despite his personal views, the net effect of electing him will be that abortion is permitted in some states, and same-sex marriage, too. So clearly, Ron Paul is not as pro-life or as pro-marriage as other candidates like Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vancouver, BC handing out free crack pipes and drug needles

Map of Canada

Map of Canada

From the Vancouver Sun. (H/T The Michael Medved Show)

Excerpt:

Vancouver health officials will distribute new crack pipes to drug users this fall as part of a pilot project aimed at reducing the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis C.

The program, part of Vancouver’s harm-reduction strategy, is expected to start in October and run for six months to a year, said Dr. Reka Gustafson, a medical health officer with the Vancouver Coastal Health authority.

[...]While heroin users can get clean needles from needle-exchange programs or the city’s safe-injection site, new pipes aren’t as easily accessible.

Across Canada, only a handful of cities, including Calgary and Winnipeg, hand out crack pipes.

A kit with a clean, unused pipe, mouthpiece, filter and condoms will be handed out to the participants, Gustafson said. It’s not known at this time how many drug users will take part in the pilot, which will have an estimated cost of between $50,000 and $60,000.

[...]Transmission rates for disease, particularly for hepatitis C, continue to rise in Vancouver. About 60 per cent to 80 per cent of drug users in Vancouver have the disease or are at risk of getting it, said B.C. medical health officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

“There’s good reason that hepatitis C and HIV can be transmitted on the mouth piece of pipes. It’s not as clear as with needle-sharing but it’s pretty persuasive,” Kendall said. “This pilot will tell us if we should be doing more.”

I can’t believe that this is happening in conservative cities like CALGARY, ALBERTA. It’s craziness. When you lower the cost barrier and risks of drug use, you get MORE drug use, not less. Lowering the cost of any choice or behavior will, all other factors being equal, create more of that choice or behavior.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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