Wednesday, March 09, 2005

President Bush & SoCalPundit: Open ANWR To Drilling For Oil

The Alaskan Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is indeed a desolate and virtually unihabitable region of Alaska. You may have heard that drilling in this area will "kill the caribou", that is total hogwash. The people responsible for the region in question say that only a small stamp of the entire ANWR region will be used to drill. It is not a situation that will kill any animals but rather this is a political issue.

Oddly, it was President Jimmy Carter's administration that originally signed over hundreds of acres of the region for oil drilling, before Democrats realized the only prayer they had to hold on to power was to oppose Republicans on the environment.

The fact is, America can n o longer afford to rely on places like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia for oil. The Democrats know this and are using their ban against drilling in ANWR as a way of keeping President Bush and The Republicans from solving the problem.

As President Bush said today, "Developing small section of ANWR would not only create thousands of new jobs, but it would eventually reduce our dependence on foreign oil by up to 1 million barrels of oil a day". Bush also said oil exploration can be limited to a 2,000-acre site -- "the size of the Columbus airport" -- and could be done "with almost no impact on land or local wildlife."

He said drilling in ANWR should be part of an overall energy bill that would promote conservation, increase domestic energy production and modernize infrastructure such as power grids and pipelines.

The vote on this energy policy is expected as early as next week and with increased majorities by supporters in the House and Senate, it is expected to pass and the issue will be solved. Thank God because gas will be at nearly $2.80 per gallon this summer if we do nothing.

UPDATE: Friday's (3-11-05) close: Oil Back Over $54 as IEA Ups Demand View

UPDATE 2: Poll: Eskimos Back ANWR Drilling

Continue Reading

Deja Vu All Over Again

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Incumbent Mayor James Hahn survived a close call, making it into a May runoff against a Hispanic city councilman after the third-place candidate conceded defeat Wednesday.

The outcome of Tuesday's primary election sets up a rematch of the 2001 runoff, pitting Hahn, who has been weakened by corruption and other problems, against councilman Antonio Villaraigosa, who is seeking to become the first Hispanic to win the mayoralty in the nation's second-largest city in more than a century.

Nearly 24,000 absentee and other ballots remained to be counted, but candidate Bob Hertzberg trailed second-place Hahn by 5,800 votes, a margin his campaign concluded was too great.

"I called Mayor Hahn this morning and congratulated him on his victory," Hertzberg said during a morning news conference.

Delayed because of foggy weather, the vote tally had continued into early Wednesday.

In 2001, Villaraigosa, a high school dropout who went on to become speaker of the California Assembly, was also the top vote-getter in the primary, but he lost the runoff to Hahn, 53 percent to 46 percent.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, Villaraigosa led with 124,561 votes, or 33 percent.

The mayor tallied 89,189 votes, or 24 percent, while Hertzberg, also a former Assembly speaker, had 83,420 votes, or 22 percent.

Villaraigosa would have had to get more than 50 percent to have won the election outright.

"L.A. is ready, and we're ready," Villaraigosa told cheering supporters at a Hollywood club Tuesday night.

Election officials blamed the weather for unusually slow returns. Evening fog forced organizers to abandon plans to use two helicopters to ferry returns to the city's downtown election center. Instead, a fleet of cars was deployed.

No Los Angeles mayor has been bounced from office in more than 30 years. Hahn, whose family has been active in Los Angeles politics since the 1940s, has been beset by the corruption allegations at City Hall and his own drab image in the most star-studded city in America.

Villaraigosa and Hertzberg had pounded Hahn over ongoing investigations at City Hall that centered on allegations that members of his administration traded city contracts for campaign donations.

The Los Angeles Times posted on its Web site results of an exit poll of 2,789 voters that found the investigations appeared to make a difference. Nearly half of those surveyed said the corruption allegations affected their choice.

Running fourth in the counting was Councilman Bernard Parks, the black former police chief who was ousted in 2002 with Hahn's blessing. The Times exit poll found that, as expected, Parks siphoned off significant black support from Hahn.

Villaraigosa, 52, grew up in a broken home on the city's heavily Hispanic Eastside. His up-from-the-barrio story defines his political image - the son of a Mexican immigrant who rose from a gritty neighborhood to the halls of power in Sacramento and Los Angeles.

In other election results, Doris Matsui, a lobbyist and former Clinton White House official, handily won the special election to succeed her dead husband in Congress. Rep. Robert T. Matsui, who died Jan. 1, had served the House from a Sacramento district for more than 25 years.

Continue Reading

Illegals: "Driving Privilege Cards Not Enough"

You know, most countries arrest and deport illegal immigrants. Here, illegals practically expect legal citizenship after breaking our laws and sneaking through our borders. They expect full rights, protections, documentation, even government handouts, after violating our sovereignty. I say they ought to be grateful, take the card and be glad we don't kick them out of the "park" for "linejumping".

SALT LAKE CITY -- Gov. Jon Huntsman on Tuesday signed a bill replacing regular Utah driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants with driving privilege cards that can't be used as official identification to board airplanes or register to vote.

The move comes a day after hundreds of demonstrators gathered to protest the bill, arguing that the cards amount to second-class status for minorities.

The driving privilege card must be renewed annually. Undocumented immigrants must surrender their driver's licenses on their birthdays or on July 1, whichever is sooner.

Huntsman spokeswoman Tammy Kikuchi said the governor has been "pretty strong, from the beginning, in support of this bill" and was undeterred by opposition in the minority community.

The bill's Republican sponsor, Sen. Curtis Bramble, said the measure was a compromise, because it still allowed undocumented immigrants to drive.

"I don't believe that it's the role of the State of Utah to provide documentation or some type of ID so that someone who is illegal can travel with impunity," Bramble said.

Bob Gallegos, president of the Hispanic lobbying group RAZ-PAC, vowed Tuesday to seek legal action against the law, and said he and other minority leaders would organize a one-day strike to prove how important undocumented workers are to the Utah economy.

Continue Reading