Saturday, November 10, 2012

Obama Adminstration Plans To Close 1.6 Million Acres Slated For Oil Shale Development

The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.

The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration.

The administration and Democrats said that the plan would curtail what was originally sought for oil shale development.

The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.

GOP lawmakers, along with some Democrats, have pushed for more fossil fuel production in the West. Republicans have led the charge, saying Obama’s policies on fossil fuel drilling on federal lands are too restrictive.

“This proposal will place further limitations on the exploration and development of our country’s natural resources and is yet another example of how this administration continues to stand in the way of North American energy independence," Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), the chairman of House Energy and Commerce's subcommittee on Energy and Power, said in a statement to The Hill.

Oil and gas lobby the American Petroleum Institute, an ally of congressional Republicans, slammed the decision.

Jack Gerard, the group's chief, said Thursday he would take a "wait-and-see" approach to Obama's second term to gauge whether he would live up to campaign rhetoric in which he praised the domestic oil-and-gas industry.

Reid Porter, the lobby's spokesman, said Friday's news was a disappointing sign from the administration.

“This is another step in the wrong direction that limits development and investment in one of the nation’s most energy-rich areas and goes against a prior government decision that would allow for research and development over a much wider geographical area. Just days after the election this decision by the administration sends negative signals to industry and capital markets at a time when we need to encourage growth and innovation in the U.S.," Porter said in a statement to The Hill.
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Thursday, November 08, 2012

CBO: Fiscal Cliff Costs

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Thursday laid out in substantial detail the costs of not dealing with the so-called "fiscal cliff."

CBO had already estimated that going over the cliff would spark a recession, while simply voiding the tax and spending increases would add trillions to the debt.

But a new study breaks down the costs and benefits of allowing various parts of the fiscal cliff to remain in place.

Unemployment would rise from 7.9 to 9.1 percent by the end of 2013 if the nation went over the cliff.

The fiscal cliff consists of a set of tax hikes and spending cuts all set to be implemented in January.

Tax rates ushered in by former President George W. Bush are set to expire at the end of the year, which would raise rates on most households and businesses. A payroll tax cut in place for two years is also set to expire, and Congress has yet to pass legislation to prevent millions of people from being hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Spending cuts triggered by last summer's debt deal are also set to begin in January.

The report's estimate that preventing tax hikes set to kick in on Jan. 1. will add or save 1.8 million jobs next year.

Democrats will point out that allowing tax rates to rise for households with annual incomes above $250,000 but extending rates for other people would save 1.6 million jobs — nearly as many as if all the rates were extended.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office immediately highlighted through Twitter the fact CBO says growth is only reduced by .1 percent if the tax breaks for the wealthy are ended
Republicans, meanwhile, focused on the job losses that would result from tax increases

“Today’s report confirms that raising taxes on all taxpayers will result in fewer ‘help wanted’ signs hanging in the windows of businesses across the country," said House Ways and Means spokeswoman Michelle Dimarob.

She said “the House stands ready to work with the White House and Senate” to avoid all the tax rate increases and reform the tax code.

Republicans since the summer have pointed to an Ernst and Young report that estimated 700,000 jobs would be lost by allowing the tax rates on high-earners to rise.

The CBO report says that extending all the Bush-era rates and patching the Alternative Minimum Tax would help the economy expand by an additional 1.4 percent by the beginning of next year.

Doing that but allowing the top tax rates to rise would add only 1.3 percent to the GDP, an “effect nearly as large” as extending all the Bush cuts, CBO states.

Avoiding the spending cuts in the automatic sequestration would boost GDP by .75 percent, CBO said, while extending the expiring payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits would add another .75 percent.

Doing all of the above boosts GDP by 3 percentage points by the end of 2013.
CBO also provides job figures with each of these choices.

Avoiding the cliff altogether would add 3.4 million full-time-equivalent jobs, the report estimates.

Just extending the payroll tax and unemployment benefits — as some Democrats are advocating — would add 800,000 jobs.

Preventing the cliff would also expand the deficit. The report says it would add $503 billion to the deficit in 2013 and $682 billion in 2014.
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Exit Polling: Pro-Lifers Failed to Vote Pro-Life

Exit polling data from Tuesday’s presidential election shows the pro-life movement may have itself to blame partly as pro-life voters failed to either show up to vote in the election or did not support pro-life candidate Mitt Romney if they did.

“The 41% of Americans who now identify themselves as “pro-choice” is down from 47% last July and is one percentage point below the previous record low in Gallup trends, recorded in May 2009,” the polling firm noted.

On the other hand, 51 percent of Americans call themselves pro-life, one percentage point away from the record high.

With a 51-41 percentage-point pro-life split in the number of Americans who take a position on abortion, pro-life Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should have had a greater percentage of the popular vote on Tuesday. President Barack Obama, who favors unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy, takes a position that very few Americans support.

Despite the breakdown, exit polling data shows just 36 percent of voters who showed up to the polls took a pro-life position supporting making all or most abortions illegal while 59 percent took a pro-abortion position favoring keeping all or most abortions legal.

The disconnect in the numbers mean one of a number of things happened: a) pro-life voters did not turn out in the same numbers as abortion advocates, b) pro-life voters went to the polls and either voted for a third-party candidate or did not vote in the presidential election, or c) pro-life voters supported the most pro-abortion president in history.

If b) and c) are true, and pro-life voters either supported Obama or voted for another candidate and failed to support the nominee who had pledged to help overturn Roe, sign pro-life bills, de-fund abortion and Planned Parenthood, the pro-life movement needs to do a better job convincing these people how to truly vote pro-life.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Poll: Evangelical Turnout Increased in 2012

A national post-election survey commissioned by the Faith and Freedom Coalition last night found that the evangelical vote increased in 2012 to a record 27% of the electorate and that white evangelicals voted roughly 78% for Mitt Romney to 21% for Barack Obama. This was the highest share of the vote in modern political history for evangelicals, Reed said.

Evangelicals turned out in record numbers and voted as heavily for Mitt Romney yesterday as they did for George W. Bush in 2004,” Reed observed. “That is an astonishing outcome that few would have predicted even a few months ago. But Romney underperformed with younger voters and minorities and that in the end made the difference for Obama.”

Catholic voters who regularly attend Mass broke 67% for Romney to 32% for Obama. This represented a swing of 35% in the direction of the GOP since 2008. Romney also won white Catholics by a margin of 59% to 40%, a margin of 19 points among a group that historically has voted for the winner. Nevertheless, Obama narrowly won the Catholic vote driven largely by over-performing among Hispanic Catholics.

“Virtually the entire increase in Mitt Romney’s vote compared to John McCain’s in 2008 came because of higher turnout and higher support from evangelical voters,” said Glen Bolger, the pollster who conducted the survey.


“This election was a tale of two cities,” said Reed. “Evangelicals and faithful Catholics turned out in large numbers and voted overwhelmingly for religious liberty, the sanctity of life and marriage, and limited government. But younger voters and minorities turned out in even larger numbers in 2008 and delivered Obama to victory.”

Reed added:

 “If the Republican Party wants to be competitive in national elections, it will have to nominate candidates who can appeal to young voters, women, Hispanics and other minorities. Otherwise, they will likely see more elections similar to the 2012 outcome. The good news for the GOP is many of those voters are conservative and are people of faith.”
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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Voting Corrections

You’ve cast your vote page by page. You get to the summary of all your votes at the end of the electronic voting process. BUT YOU SEE THAT THE MACHINE HAS FLIPPED YOUR VOTES OR RECORDED THE WRONG VOTES!!!

1. Do not panic; it happens, especially if you’ve voted quickly (like typing too fast on Facebook).

2. Call for one of the poll workers to come over because your machine has made an error.

3. Show the poll worker what’s happened.

4. The poll worker will ask you to try again to see if the machine repeats the error.

5. If it does NOT repeat the error, press the “cast ballot” button and finish voting.

6. If it DOES repeat the error, insist on having the poll supervisor come over. With the original poll worker helper present explain what’s happened. Tell the supervisor you want this machine taken offline and you want to vote on a machine that’s working properly.

7. The poll supervisor will have to cancel your voting “booth” before doing anything else.

8. Then the supervisor will take the machine offline (disconnect it from the daisy chain of machines).

9. The poll supervisor will re-issue the code you need to vote.

10. Go through the process again.

DO NOT take a photo of the machine or of anything in the polling area. In almost every state this is ILLEGAL and can get you thrown out of the poll without being able to vote.

If the poll supervisor DOES NOT follow the above steps, insist that he/she call the county/municipal election authority and let you speak with them. (That’s your right as a voter.)

Get them to direct the poll supervisor to take the correct actions. If they won’t help, ask for the toll free number to your state Secretary of State. Call them and ask them to resolve the problem.

If they won’t help call 855-444-6100. That’s the True the Vote hotline. But DON’T CALL that line until AFTER you’ve tried the county/municipal authority AND the Secretary of State. We have lawyers standing by to help.

Please only call if YOU are the person to whom this happens. NOBODY can take 2nd or 3rd hand reports and take action.