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Conservation, Exploration and Innovation

Patrick Dorinson
Host of The Cowboy Libertarian Radio Talk Show in Sacramento

"If Saudi Arabia were to increase its production by 1 million barrels per day that translates to a reduction of 20 percent to 25 percent in the world price of crude oil, and crude oil prices could fall by more than $25 dollar per barrel from its current level of $126 per barrel. In turn, that would lower the price of gasoline between 13 percent and 17 percent, or by more than 62 cents off the expected summer regular-grade price – offering much needed relief to struggling families. "

So said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat from New York recently at a hearing designed to embarrass, berate and attack the oil industry and not to find real solutions to our energy problems. This ersatz oil industry expert knows as much about energy markets as I do about brain surgery.  Schumer reminds me of Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire" who breathlessly stated as she was led to a mental institution, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." In this case the strangers are the Saudis.

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Drowning 30 feet From Shore

Patrick Dorinson
Host of The Cowboy Libertarian Radio Talk Show in Sacramento

There is an old story that used to be told that defined the differences between the two major political parties, Republican and Democrat. It goes something like this.

There is a person drowning in a lake 30 feet from shore. A Democrat walks by and throws him 60 feet of rope, drops his end to go do another good deed and wishes him luck. A Republican then walks by, throws 25 feet of rope, tells him to swim 5 feet to grab it because it is good for his character and then considers further assistance.

But America has a growing bunch of voters who ascribe to a different theory. They will throw you 30 feet of rope and they will pull to help you out of your predicament, but you had better be helping yourself by kicking like hell on your end. Americans are willing to help, but they refuse to haul dead weight. These voters have abandoned both parties because playing for partisan advantage has trumped solving the country’s problems.

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Cowboy Diplomacy, Cowboy Ethics and Cowboy Values

Patrick Dorinson
Host of The Cowboy Libertarian Radio Talk Show in Sacramento

Before the budget process swings into high gear and Sacramento becomes consumed by the back and forth haggling between the Governor and the Legislature, Big 5 meetings and press conferences decrying the coming catastrophe if we cut too much and the competing ones saying we need to cut more, I want to take a moment to talk about something that in my mind is every bit as important.

It is something that has been sticking in my craw for years, and I just have to spit it out. It has to do with not just "what" we are doing in politics, business and government, but "how" we are doing it. Because the "how" is every bit as important as the" what".

Now stay with me on this one and I hope it will make sense.

The other day I heard yet another jack-legged East Coast political pundit talk about President Bush and his "cowboy diplomacy" symbolized by his "reckless" foreign policy. What this person knows about real cowboys you could fit in a thimble. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton also have this phrase in embedded into their political lexicon.

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Taking a Good Hard Look in the Mirror

Patrick Dorinson
Host of The Cowboy Libertarian Radio Talk Show in Sacramento

There’s an old saying about the weather. Everybody talks about it but nobody ever seems to do anything about it. The same can be said about the price of gasoline. And while the pain at the pump continues, everyone is looking for scapegoats to blame for high gasoline prices.

Number one on the list are the "greedy" oil companies and their "windfall profits", followed by the Saudis and their fellow travelers at OPEC, China and India for daring to prosper and thus increasing demand, and a whole host of other things. All convenient, but something is missing.

The one thing we always leave out is ourselves.

Now before you start heating up the tar, gathering the feathers and looking for a rail to run me out of town on, hear me out.

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Standing in the Schoolhouse Doorway

Patrick Dorinson
Host of The Cowboy Libertarian Radio Talk Show in Sacramento

The budget theater continues on the grounds of the State Capitol with high school students protesting the Governor’s budget cuts and being exhorted on by the Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell. Watching this spectacle two things came to mind.

First, why weren’t these kids in school? And second, although we have been going through this exercise about education spending and proposed cuts during every budget season for I don’t know how many years, the problem never seems to get resolved. We keep spending more money with not much to show for it in turning out the kind of educated workforce our economy needs now and into the future. Although California kids should rank high nationally in how to skip school and protest since they get a lot of practice.

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Time for California Government to Ride into the Sunset

Patrick Dorinson
Host of The Cowboy Libertarian Radio Talk Show in Sacramento

With the preliminaries now over, the annual California Budget Goat Rodeo will kick-off this week with the unveiling of the fabled and eagerly awaited Governor’s May Revise. I don’t know about you but I’m as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs in anticipation of what the new deficit number will be. $10 billion? $15 billion? $20 billion?

We will soon hear the cries against cuts to programs grow louder from one side of the Building and the line in the sand statements of "no new taxes" from the other side.

But the one thing you probably won’t hear is "how about eliminating some programs?" That is a concept that seems to be foreign to the Legislature.

I don’t mean indiscriminately taking the budget ax to a particular program or agency, but review the program to see if it is still effective and necessary. You can’t tell me there are not things we are currently funding that don’t need close scrutiny and could be eliminated.
Enter the Sunset Commission.

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