Monday, October 15, 2012

RANDOMS SHOT - Romney Angry At High Gas Prices; Homeland Security Turns Into Big Brother; Romney Crowds; and More!,


Romney Angry At High Gas Prices

He's making domestic energy a key issue. And thankfully he is, because President Obama could care less!

As of yesterday, AAA was reporting that the average price of a gallon of gas across the nation was $3.80 for Regular, $4.20 for Premium, and $4.15 for Diesel.

At the same time that the average across the nation for Regular is $3.80, California statewide average price of Regular is at $4.65, Premium is at $4.82, and Diesel is at $4.52  - but that's just an average.

On the way home from the Bay Area last night, I paid $4.76 for Regular! Ouch!

And please, please don't tell me that the price of gas has gone down a 4 pennies since last Thursday.

All that means is that I paid $47.60 instead of $48 for 10 gallons of gas!

I mean really, unless the price of a gallon of gas drops at least a quarter, .25 cents, at the pump, I can't see the difference in the screwing we're getting!

And yes, we are getting screwed!

Here in California, we are paying through the nose. And mostly it's because of greed, over-regulation, and a complete failure on Obama's part to do anything about rising prices.

Greed? Yes, but not in the way that the liberal media has been trying to paint it. It has nothing to do with oil company profits. It does have everything to do with who is making the lion's share at the pump.

Granted that the cost of crude oil takes up most of what we pay at the pump. Fact is that 76%, or roughly $2.66, out of a $3.50 gallon of gasoline goes to paying the crude.

Refining and transporting it represents about 6% of a gallon, another 6% goes to the oil company and station owner.

The greed that I'm talking about is in the greed of the Federal and State governments. The truth is that governments rake in a larger profit at the pump than anyone. They take the lion's share!

And yes, with gas taxes on the rise in many parts of the country, there's no relief in sight.

The remaining 12%, goes directly to Federal, State and Local governments in a bunch of different sales and excise taxes. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents on every gallon of gasoline sold in America. Every gallon!

State gas-tax rates vary from a low of eight cents per gallon in Alaska to a jarring 49 cents per gallon in New York. Other states where it's steep to fill up include California and Connecticut — each with 48.6-cent-per-gallon gas taxes. Hawaii is at 47.1 cents per gallon.

Some local governments have gotten in on the act, too. In California, local sales and excise taxes on gasoline average 3.1%, according to the Los Angeles Times. That works out to about 15 cents in local taxes for each gallon of gas, based on the state's current average of $4.80 per gallon.

Put this all together, and government makes far more from gas sales than all of the oil companies put together. Exxon, for example, made only seven cents per gallon of gasoline in 2011. That's a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly 60 cents per gallon that Federal, State and Local governments rake in on an average gallon of gas at the pumps.

Especially here in California, most people have to drive. For some families struggling to make ends meet, paying 60 cents per gallon in taxes may be the difference between driving to work and putting dinner on the table.

Next time you hear someone blame oil companies, speculators, or service stations for high gas prices, remember that no one get richer off of a gallon of gasoline than our government does. In fact, maybe it’s time for the government to lower its taxation and stop its greed?

As for over-regulation, a short example is the new regulations setup by the EPA and the Energy Department on the construction of a new refinery - or the repairs of a refinery like the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California which experienced a fire on August 6th this year.

Right now, that refinery in Richmond is considering scraping the idea of replacing what was destroyed in the fire of a few months ago. The reason is that regulations make the process of replacing the destroyed equipment too costly.

And as for new refineries, the EPA is against it. And since the EPA is in the pocket of Environmentalists - who are in turn some of Obama's biggest campaign donors - I don't see a new refinery being built in the United States for at least 4 years if Obama wins re-election.

As for President Obama, his attitude is do nothing to upset his big campaign donors like George Soros, Environmentalist extremist groups, Hollywood left-wingers, and Foreign Oil who depend on his stopping drilling here.

And that's a key point in this issue, Obama hasn't done a thing about gas prices. Nothing. Not a thing.

Why? Well, I suspect he doesn't want to upset his money people. I mean, come on folks, Barack Obama has raised almost $985 Million in campaign donations - a great deal from unnamed foreign donors which is illegal. So why should he do anything to upset them.

And please don't tell me that the President can't do anything about the price of gas when it has been proven that he really can!

The prime example of doing what's right for Americans:

In July 2008, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $4 or over nationwide. That was the way it was for 9 straight weeks that year.

Six months later, in January 2009, the price of a gallon of regular was $1.83 on the average nationwide.

President George W. Bush brought the price down through action that the president can do if he wants to act. He did it by opening up Federal lands to more drilling and exploration permits - and the oil speculators saw this as a step in the right direction and lowered prices. It was just that quick!

So now, Mitt Romney is seizing on record-high gas prices in California to spotlight what he considers President Obama’s failed energy policies that have led to prices at the pump doubling over the past four years.
Romney has throughout his campaign promised voters an energy policy drastically different from Obama’s that would focus on the production on domestic energy to help the U.S. ends its dependency on foreign oil.

He continued with the message this weekend, repeating at a rally Saturday in Ohio that energy production tops his often-touted five-point, economic-recovery plan.

At a rally in Virginia a day earlier, Romney said, “Gas is at twice the price as when (Obama) came in. He cut in half permits for drilling. He said no to the Keystone Pipeline.”

Gas prices reached a record high last week in parts of California – as much as $4.671 a gallon.
The recent surge has been blamed on supply disruptions at refineries throughout the state.

But gas prices are an ongoing concern. And the Romney campaign is circulating a three-page memo detailing the candidate’s plan to boost domestic oil production in large part by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada to U.S. refineries in Texas, and opening up more areas for offshore oil drilling -- including the mid-Atlantic where it is now banned.

The president has yet to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and has conveniently rejected the concept that it would lower gas prices.

And no, I'm not going to quote what Obama says defending his position because it's just more lame excuses to do nothing while we all suffer.

I'm tired of hearing his stinking excuses for doing nothing. And yes, that goes for his surrogate talking heads as well. I don't care what they have to say about how they can't do anything, or that they are doing everything they can, or that Romney is blah, blah, blah!

The Obama administration has had years to address an issue that it took President George W. Bush months to fix. Obama has done nothing but play golf and go on television, instead of doing his job, controlling the EPA overstepping their authority, and helping Americans. .

Mitt Romney policy director Lanhee Chen also argues the administration - through the EPA and at least a dozen other agencies - Obama has stepped in to regulated states’ efforts to mine petroleum and natural gas through the process known as hydraulic fracking.

“Gas prices will be lower under President Romney than they will under a second term of President Obama,” Chen writes. “For middle-class families struggling to fill up the car and for small businesses struggling to meet payroll every month, the choice is clear.”


Homeland Security Turns Into Big Brother! 

Intelligence effort names American citizens but No terrorists as it becomes a tool for Big Brother.

A story by Matt Apuzzo and Eileen Sullivan on October 3rd, 2012, talked a multi-billion dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of 9/11 which has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism.

That was the conclusion of a Senate report which portrays an effort to collect information as ballooning far beyond anyone's ability to control.

What began as an attempt to put local, state and federal officials in the same room analyzing the same intelligence has instead cost huge amounts of money for data-mining software, flat screen televisions and, in Arizona, two fully equipped Chevrolet Tahoes that are used for commuting, investigators found.

The lengthy, bipartisan report is an evaluation that trashes what the Department of Homeland Security has held up as a crown jewel of its security efforts.

The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism. Much of this money went for ordinary local crime-fighting.

Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don't know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state.

The Federal government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments. Federal funding is pegged at about 20 percent to 30 percent.

Despite that, believe it or not, our Congress is unlikely to pull the plug on the program. That's because, whether or not it stops terrorists, the program means politically important money for state and local governments.

That's right, POLITICAL MONEY!

A Senate Homeland Security subcommittee reviewed more than 600 unclassified reports over a one-year
period and concluded that most had nothing to do with terrorism.

The panel's chairman is Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

"The subcommittee investigation could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot," the report said.

In other words, it produced NOTHING! And that nothing, well it cost taxpayers big dollars!

When fusion centers did address terrorism, they sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The centers have made headlines for circulating information about Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters and advocates of gun rights.

One fusion center cited in the Senate investigation wrote a report about a Muslim community group's list of book recommendations. Others discussed American citizens speaking at mosques or talking to Muslim groups about parenting.

No evidence of criminal activity was contained in those reports. The government did not circulate them, but it kept them on government computers.

But hey, someone should do something about this because the federal government is prohibited from storing information about First Amendment activities not related to crimes.

In setting up the department, lawmakers wanted their states to decide what to spend the money on. Time and again, that setup has meant the federal government has no way to know how its security money is being spent.

Inside Homeland Security, officials have long known there were problems with the reports coming out of fusion centers, the report shows.

"You would have some guys, the information you'd see from them, you'd scratch your head and say, 'What planet are you from?'" an unidentified Homeland Security official told Congress.

Until this year, the federal reports officers received five days of training and were never tested or graded afterward, the report said.

States have had criminal analysis centers for years. But the story of fusion centers began in the frenzied aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The 9/11 Commission urged better collaboration among government agencies. As officials realized that a terrorism tip was as likely to come from a local police officer as the CIA, fusion centers became a hot topic.

But putting people together to share intelligence proved complicated. Special phone and computer lines had to be installed. The people reading the reports needed background checks. Some information could only be read in secure areas, which meant construction projects.

All of that cost money.

Meanwhile, federal intelligence agencies were under orders from Congress to hire more analysts. That meant state and local agencies had to compete for smart counter terrorism thinkers. And federal training for local analysts wasn't an early priority.

Though fusion centers receive money from the federal government, they are operated independently.
Counter terrorism money started flowing to states in 2003. But it wasn't until late 2007 that the Bush administration told states how to run the centers.

State officials soon realized there simply wasn't that much local terrorism-related intelligence. Terrorist attacks didn't happen often, but police faced drugs, guns and violent crime every day. Normal criminal information started moving through fusion centers.

Under federal law, that was fine. When lawmakers enacted recommendations of the 9/11 Commission in 2007, they allowed fusion centers to study "criminal or terrorist activity." The law was co-sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman, the driving forces behind the creation of Homeland Security.

Can you say Big Brother?

Five years later, Senate investigators found, terrorism is often a secondary focus.

When Janet Napolitano became Homeland Security secretary in 2009, the former Arizona governor embraced the idea that fusion centers should look beyond terrorism.

Testifying before Congress that year, she distinguished fusion centers from the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces that are the leading investigative and analytical arms of the domestic counter terrorism effort.

Congress, including the committee that authored the report, supports that notion. And though the report recommends the Senate reconsider the amount of money it spends on fusion centers, that seems unlikely.

"Congress and two administrations have urged DHS to continue or even expand its support of fusion centers, without providing sufficient oversight to ensure the intelligence from fusion centers is commensurate with the level of federal investment," the report said.

And following the release of the report, Homeland Security officials indicated their continued strong support for the program even though terrorism is a secondary focus.

Not surprising, huh?


Al-Qaida gaining strength in Yemen

In Yemen, a drive-by shooting Thursday that killed a top Yemeni security official who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa has raised concern that al-Qaida militants there are bouncing back and getting bolder after suffering defeats this year in a U.S.-Yemeni military offensive.

Al-Qaida in Yemen has carried out a string of assassinations of top security and military officials and deadly suicide bombings in recent months.

Security officials said they believe it has a hit list to kill more in an attempt to paralyze Yemen's new leadership installed this year and throw the anti-al-Qaida assaults into turmoil.

The new killing also raises the possibility the group could turn its assassination campaign against American interests as well.

The group has sought to ride the recent wave of anger against the U.S. over an anti-Islam film by calling for attacks on American and other foreign diplomatic missions.

So much for Obama's Foreign Policy! Its down the tubes!


No Surprise - Columbia University scorns Tea Party while favoring Occupy Movement 

Harry Stein, an author and contributing editor to City Journal, said a recent panel at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism on the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements was a one-sided affair.

This sort of thing is no real surprise. Universities are not objective. They are full of passion - sort of like stupid ass cult followers.

A panel at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism comparing the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements was stacked with liberal journalists who offered one-sided conclusions, according to one alumnus who attended the event.

Panelists at the event, which was held on Oct. 1 in the prestigious school’s Pulitzer Hall, made “little attempt to hide their sympathies” to the Occupy movement, author Harry Stein wrote in City Journal, a quarterly magazine published by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.

Really, none of that is a surprise. We see it everyday. Just turn on MSNBC and listen to the subjective imbeciles who couldn't be objective and impartial if their lives depended on it.

Two Law Professors say Obama violating the Constitution

According to them, Obama's refusal to deport illegal aliens is unconstitutional.

The two law professors have published a paper charging that President Obama violated the Constitution with his directive to law enforcement not to deport illegal aliens.

In the paper entitled, “The Obama Administration, the Dream Act and the Take Care Clause,” authors Robert Delahunty of the University of St. Thomas [Minnesota] and John Yoo, a law professor at University of California at Berkeley and former U.S. deputy assistant attorney general, blast Obama's moratorium on deporting certain illegal immigrants.

The professors dismissed the idea that the decision on whether to deport illegal immigrants who are arrested for minor infractions is a matter of prosecutorial discretion.
"It’s the duties of the president. He must always uphold the law."
- John Yoo, Berkeley law professor and former State Department attorney

"If there’s one case and it’s left to the prosecutor well that’s fine, but what Obama did was take a million cases and leave it up to prosecutorial discretion," John Yoo said to Fox News.

“The only reason it’s under [Department of Homeland Security Secretary] Janet Napolitano’s discretion is because Obama had made his decision. If she’s doing it under her own, she would have to be fired.”

An abstract for the paper debunks the claim that the president has the Constitutional right not enforce civil laws crafted and passed by Congress.

“It’s the duty of the president. He must always uphold the law,” Yoo said, adding that the only exceptions in doing so are if laws are unconstitutional or if prosecuting them can be reasonably deemed not viable.
Officials from the White House declined to comment on the paper, referring to DHS.

“The authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security to exercise prosecutorial discretion, including by granting deferred action, has long been established and has been recognized by the Supreme Court," said DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard. "This authority was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court just this year [Arizona v. United States (2012)].”

“That said, DHS’s deferred action for childhood arrivals process is only a temporary measure that does not provide a path to citizenship; Congress must still act to provide a permanent solution to fix the broken immigration system. Until Congress acts, DHS is dedicated to implementing smart, effective reforms to the immigration system that allow it to focus its resources on common sense enforcement priorities, including criminals and other public safety threats."

In June, President Obama announced that the deporting of young, undocumented immigrants who match criteria from already-proposed DREAM Act legalisation would end under his administration’s watch.

The effect was to put in place most of the measures in the act, but by administrative order, not through the legislative process. In August, a group of federal agents filed a lawsuit against DHS secretary Janet Napolitano, claiming that the new directive forces them to break the law.

Under the DREAM Act, illegal aliens who are eligible beneficiaries would not have faced deportation as long as they meet the following criteria:
  • Proof of having arrived in the United States before age 16.
  • Proof of residence in the United States for at least five consecutive years since their arrival date.
  • Register with the Selective Service if they are male.
  • Be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time that the bill was enacted.
  • Obtained a high school diploma of GED, or admitted to an institution of higher education.
  • Be of good moral character.
Opponents of the DREAM Act, which still has not been passed in Congress, say that it - as well as Obama's order, encourages illegal immigration while adding economic and social burdens to the United States.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who was a key backer of the DREAM Act, blasted the president's preemption of the in June, when DHS announced policies on immigration enforcement that.

“There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future. This is a difficult balance to strike, one that this new policy, imposed by executive order, will make harder to achieve in the long run.”

“…by once again ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress, this short term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long term one.”


Romney Crowds Growing Larger As Election Nears

Look to dusty Iowa cornfields, rain-soaked Virginia parks, the muddy fields of the Shelby County Fairgrounds, where a crowd of 9,500 - almost half of this western Ohio town - gathered among the barns and stables on a frigid October evening this week to glimpse the Republican presidential contender.

"Where else would we want to be?" said one of the shivering faithful, Judy Cartwright, a 71-year-old nurse from Sidney. "I want to see the next president of the United States."

Romney's debate performance against President Barack Obama last week - and his energetic appearances following it up - have fueled a rise in enthusiasm on the campaign trail.

Does it mean votes? Well, polls suggest Republicans are fired up. And yes, it's a welcome development for the Republican businessman, who is hardly a natural politician and has long struggled to match Obama's ability to inspire excitement.

In Virginia, Republican leaning counties appear to be getting the fastest start on absentee voting ahead of Election Day. State Board of Elections data analyzed by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit and nonpartisan tracker of money in state politics, shows that of the 25 localities where absentee voting is busiest, 21 voted Republican in the 2008 presidential race. And of the 25 localities where absentee balloting is the slowest so far, 16 supported Obama.

Romney seems to be feeding off the energy pumping through his now-sprawling crowds, even as aides downplay the newfound momentum among the Republican base.

"I'm overwhelmed by the number of people here," he said while scanning the sea of supporters packed beyond the fairgrounds fences here. "There are even people out there - that's another county over there."

Romney's growing crowds come as new polls suggest he has erased Obama's advantage in voter support nationally. Races have tightened in a handful of battleground states, too.

The level of enthusiasm matters as each side tries to get as many of its supporters to the polls as possible. A big Republican enthusiasm advantage two years ago helped the Republicans capture control of the U.S. House of Representatives in addition to making huge gains in statehouses across the nation.

For much of this year, Romney, the sometimes-stiff former businessman, has had a hard time generating the same electricity as Obama.

Indeed, most of the Republican's most passionate voters did not back Romney during the extended Republican primary season.

His campaign typically favors made-for-TV invitation-only events where the emphasis is imagery - Navy ships, manufacturing plants, farm equipment - rather than crowd size. Audiences did increase as Romney began campaigning alongside running mate Paul Ryan, a favorite of the Tea Party, but he has generally struggled to get people excited on his own.

That is until this week when he gave Obama what Harry Truman would have called hell on national television.

"People wonder why it is I'm so confident we're going to win. I'm confident because I see you here on a day like this. This is unbelievable," Romney said, his wet hair stuck to the side of his face.

Soaked supporters standing in muddy puddles cheered as he delivered an abridged version of his standard campaign speech. Some wore ponchos, while many others stood shivering and drenched, hands in pockets.

At the Shelby County Fairgrounds, Judy Cartwright was wearing four layers to try to keep warm as the cold wind pushed temperatures into the 30s Wednesday night. It was Shelby's first glimpse of a presidential candidate since she met Harry Truman as an elementary school student more than six decades ago.

"At least it's not snowing," she said with a smile. "This is a chance of a lifetime."

 As for Paul Ryan, well as we all know, he did very well in his debate with the clown we know as Joe Biden.   

I still don't know what Biden found so funny. No matter what issue was being discussed, Joe Biden found everything a laughing matter.   

And honestly, like most folks out there, I just don't think there's a lot to laugh about these days.  


Story by Tom Correa

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