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March 17, 2011

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IT IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND----

--how the President goes to Brazil and extends a $3B loan to the STATE OWNED oil company to fund offshore drilling to exploit their $30B Barrel reserves. And, then tells Brazil that "We want to be your best customer." Meanwhile his ban on US offshore drilling has cost Louisiana 9000 jobs so far.

The double talk is killing me. We don't drill because we think that oil is environmentally unsafe but it is ok for Brazil to endanger the environment? Is not Brazil on the same planet?

Purchasing oil from Brazil reduces our dependency on middle east oil and Venezuelan oil but at the same time it promotes another state owned industry over private US business and continues our balance of payments problems. Was this payback for Brazil abstaining from the vote on Libya? If so, what did we promise Russia for their abstaining? (I understand Russia's Muslim problem.)

Drilling in North America for oil can solve many of the US's economic problems and we need to do it now. It creates jobs. It provides tax revenues to both Federal and State budgets. It reduces our balance of payments overseas. It reduces our vulnerability to overseas supplies. It keeps our gasoline prices lower. It increases the value of Federal land (remember the US government owns 66% of the land west of the Mississippi River) for sale and mineral leases allowing us to reduce the national debt through land sales and leasing rights. Oil is oil. It matters not where it comes from when you refine it but with all these benefits why would one prefer Middle East oil, Brazilian oil over our own? We will not stop buying overseas oil for decades no matter how green we become. This policy is unexplainable and the double talk insulting to Americans who understand economics and the danger of our debt burden.

YOU GOTTA LOVE EM------

The press is all over the politicians for the war effort. Both sides picking at the way it is being handled. The conservatives are complaining there is no clear end game or even objective. They are upset that the people in charge will not say they are targeting Quaddafi. Last I remember it was illegal to target heads of state specifically and you expect them to tell the guy they are after him?
The liberals are claiming that the President didn't go to Congress for authority to attack. I guess that explains why they liked GWB so much because he actually did get Congressional authority to bomb. On the other hand a few months ago the President was on the cover of Time or Newsweek shoulder to shoulder with Reagan. reagan wouldn't have bothered with Congressional authority and perhaps he is Obama's new hero. The press and the politicians should simply be glad we finally did something and watch the results. Then figure out what we will do in Yemen, Syria and Iran to protect the rebels. In the meantime decision making versus indecision seems to have stabalized the markets. This war will be over before we know it. The aftermath of all this remains to unfold. That is the scary part.

FINALLY------

Libya---Better late than never they say. Let's hope. While international cooperation is usually preferred (over not) there is a tradeoff in war with the urgency and effectiveness. Perhaps there were unknown reasons militarily for the delay but to the casual observer it appeared to be more of a wait for approval. It remains to be seen if the rebels have enough left to overcome the government and to what extent the French and British forces will engage in Air to ground support to help determine the outcome. I suspect in this case a quick war is preferred to a long one so help should be in ample supply.

I would think that this war is a message to the other dicators of the middle east and perhaps the world that it might be better to quietly slink of into exile with your billions of dollars than face the west. Let's hope so because a series of fights are on the horizon in Syria, Yemen, Iran and North Korea perhaps even Pakistan. In the more moderate dicatorships like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc perhaps this will bring about a "moment of reflection" about making some moves toward democracy. In the end this transistion in the middle east will either benefit the West as GWB forsaw and President Obama urged in his Cairo speech or it will lead to a big opportunity for the radical Muslims to gain control of a major protion of the world's oil. A coin flip for analysts and President Obama.

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