The Real Cost of Obama's Drill Ban




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A temporary moment of good news: A U.S. district court judge has ruled in favor of ending a six-month moratorium on drilling for oil in deepwater. The ruling just came down in New Orleans a few hours ago. Moments later, the White House said they would appeal it.

Do you remember when the president had this to say at the State of the Union address?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interest, including foreign corporations to spend without limit in our election. I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps correct some of these problems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

When I heard that, it kind of reminded me of FDR. When the Supreme Court started striking down the new deal, he targeted four senior members of the court, and tried to add four new ones to "pack" it and circumvent the efforts of those that opposed the new deal.

This is nothing new for progressives. They jam things down your throat, cut deals, and if that doesn't work, they jam it through the court system. Watch him dismantle the court system, but celebrate while you can.

Yesterday I showed you this. It's like a circle of organized crime, but it's also something more. It's a death sentence for two reasons:

1. Energy

2. Corruption

Let's start with energy. Why did the U.S. prosper after World War II? For a number of reasons; no one worked harder than Americans.

While the Frenchy Frenchmen were working 11 hours a week and retiring at 38, we were grinding it out. We had the biggest dreamers and the brightest entrepreneurs, and we had a country that gave them the best possible platform to let their ideas and their imaginations reach their potential: the free market system.

The other important key was cheap energy. We had the technology and we used it —by 1957 the first nuke plant was created. Compare that with today — do we still have the hardest workers? Yup. The best dreamers? Yup. Entrepreneurs? Yes. Is the free market engine still running? No. Companies are beholden to the almighty unions, and when the unions drag a company down to its knees, the government steps in and takes control, micromanaging and crippling the company even more. And what about energy? Not only is it expensive, but we have an administration who is actively trying to make it more expensive! Not my words, his:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Who thinks that's a good idea? They're going to shove us into alternative energies that aren't ready yet. It's like being forced to drive over a bridge before it's been completed; it'll be great when it's done, but try to cross it now and you'll plummet to certain death.

Look at the destruction this six-month moratorium on drilling is and will continue to cause if the court doesn't stop it. Drilling suspension alone will result in a loss of 3,000 to 6,000 Louisiana jobs in the first two to three weeks and possibly over 10,000 in a few months; when the entire country is only creating about 40,000 non-government jobs. How could this president do something to cripple us further?

The state risks losing more than 20,000 jobs over the next year and a half. Tighter supply leads to higher prices, some say $150 a barrel and $4 gallon gas are on the way and Harvard is saying $7 a gallon with cap-and-trade. Thirty-three oil rigs are now being fought over for anyone to use but us.

No politician is listening to you. Let them know you want the madness to stop. Block this attempt. Mr. President, you have your out, you fought and the court decided. This cannot be dragged out, if they do that it's over anyway. It needs to be decided now.

Given the extremely negative effect this drilling ban will have, is it any wonder that the people of Louisiana are upset with the way this president has handled the crisis? Polls show they believe Bush would handle this better, and only 32 percent think Obama's doing a good job.

That's partly because they want the drilling to continue by a narrow 77 percent to 12 percent margin. Even 60 percent of Louisiana Obama supporters want the drilling to continue, and the facts back up the sentiment.

There have been over 50,000 wells drilled in the Gulf of Mexico, over 4,000 of them deepwater wells and 700 ultra-deepwater wells; all this with no major incidents until now. That is a 99.998 percent success ratio. But they are going to punish Louisiana anyway. They have invested over $150 million for its fleet of vessels that are now being shut down for six months. When in the history of the country has an entire industry been shut down for six months? Why do it now? It doesn't make any sense. But this isn't the first time the administration has defied logic and public will.

Over 60 percent opposed health care; 63 percent support the Arizona immigration law that the president is about to sue the state over. And now this. Why?

That brings me to corruption. With 33 rigs about to be put out of commission, one company that contracts their oil rig vessels (Laborde Marine) received a call. And it didn't take long till the call came in; only 48 hours after Obama issued the drilling moratorium. One guess who that call came from: Petrobras. Yes, that's right, the George Soros heavily-backed Brazilian state run oil company Petrobras wants to lease the unused rigs. Here's how Governor Jindal responded to the 6-month ban:

(BEGIN CLIP)

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA.: This isn't about the multinational companies. They're going to pick up and they're going to move those rigs. They're going to move those rigs to Brazil. They'll move those rigs to Africa. They'll move those rigs to other countries and they won't come back for years. Once they're gone, once they're contracted somewhere else, they're not coming back.

(END CLIP)

It costs at least $10 million to move the rigs, so it's unlikely they'd find their way back if they are leased. The jobs won't ever come back. How about that. The same company that the administration was willing to loan $2 billion dollars to, a company with vast resources, $15 billion in profits a year at least, will make off with our rigs. They are planning to invest 95 percent of $224 billion they plan to spend on exploration back into Brazil. So what's in it for us? Nothing!

But there's something in it for the players in Crime Inc. George Soros had at one time $900 million invested in Petrobras. And before you dismiss the connection, look at how much influence Soros' Center for American Progress (CAP) has on this administration.


Soros wants wind and solar: Obama uses CAP to spin against damaging facts.

Soros wants a smart grid: Obama (through GE) wants it too, and California passed a bill that requires the Public Utilities Commission to develop a plan for Smart Grid use

Soros has suggested the president should have nationalized the banks. In the House bill, "Regulators would have the power to stop banks on a case-by-case basis from risky activities."

They want to ban corporate influence on campaign commercials? What about the influence one guy is having through Media Matters (smear campaigns), CAP (public policy), Tides (indoctrination).

Forget God, it's in George we trust. He's gonna get his. This isn't about saving the planet. They tell us global warming is a moral issue; well how can he justify drilling in Brazil? The same people who claim to be the earth's saviors are raping the earth, so please, spare me the lecture on my SUV and filling up the air in my tires. I'm sick of the Al Gore's of the world telling me to drive a crappy 'Smart' car (doesn't look all that smart, or safe, to drive one). And I'm sick of them telling me to inflate my tires before every time I drive, when they have multiple mansions and fleets of SUVs. Stop telling me what to do and who to be like.

Hillary Clinton said we need to be like Brazil:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere. And guess what? It's growing like crazy. And the rich are getting richer, but they're pulling people out of poverty. There is a certain formula there that used to work for us until we abandoned it; to our regret, in my opinion.

(END VIDO CLIP)

Here's a news flash, Hillary: I don't want to be like Brazil! Why the hell would we want to be Brazil? Yeah, I know they have the beaches, the bikinis, and the statue of Jesus, but what's life there really like? One in four live below the poverty line. And believe me, their poverty line ain't your poverty line. Our poverty line is no HD or no DVR. Theirs is going to the bathroom in a ditch. And what about crime? It's rapidly rising, and the murder rates are four times that of the United States. A human rights expert from the U.N. writes:

"Many Brazilians, especially inhabitants of shanty towns, continue to be subject to murder and other forms of brutal violence by various gangs, militias, death squads and the police, despite efforts by the government to end the crimes...There were at least 11,000 so-called resistance killings in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro between 2003 and 2009....many of these killings were actually executions."

I've got a friend who does business in Brazil and spends a lot of time there. He's had to hire a security team because cars like his down there are riddled with bullet holes. Here's what happens on a regular basis in the cities:

(FOOTAGE OF VIOLENCE IN BRAZIL)

Wow, Hillary, when can we be like Brazil? It looks great. And that's where we are 'investing' our money while people here on our own shores are suffering. And the spill is bad enough, but the drill ban is the nail in the coffin.

We used to inspire the world with our pursuits of the unknown and our exploration. It's in our blood. America was discovered on an amazing, daring exploration. We led the global space race, the searching of the seas, the quest for energy and oil. Americans don't want to sit around and wait for others to do it. That's not who we are, but apparently that's who the president wants you to be.

Does anyone really believe the world will like us better by chopping America down to size? Do you think the people we are supposedly 'lifting up' out of poverty will care about the rain forest? We care because we are blessed and fortunate enough to have vast resources; our bellies are full, our kids are fed. So we can spend time caring about distant forests. Do you think Brazil will care about it? China? They'll cut the rain forest and they'll eat every spotted owl for lunch and import polar bear for dinner if they have to, because they're hungry.

You aren't saving a rain forest or the earth with this ban. All you are doing is making a rich progressive even richer, and punishing Americans at the same time.

— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on Fox News Channel

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.