Obama’s first year. Tasers. Pennsylvania senators. Plus more.
Re: George H. Wittman’s Ghana’s Oil Bonanza Battle:
At first glance, the promise of Ghana’s impending oil boom paints a picture of a country with everything to gain. But as Mr. Wittman rightly stated, when oil arrives on the scene, things can get complicated quite quickly. Ideally, the anticipated oil revenues are the pathway out of poverty for the 80 percent of Ghanaians living on $2 per day. However, this never came to fruition in oil-rich countries like Nigeria and Angola where billions have been squandered and mismanaged. Ghana runs the risk of following the same path — one that does not lead to citizens benefiting from resource revenues.
This time around, for the oil boom to fulfill its potential in Ghana, transparency and accountability by both the government and oil companies are essential. If this industry is to work for Ghana, President Mills should make good on his March, 2009 pledge to disclose all petroleum contracts. He must insist on transparency from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and other government institutions.
And for their part, companies operating in Ghana and elsewhere
should disclose the payments they make to host governments. The
US Congress can help foster an environment of accountability by
introducing and passing mandatory payment disclosure legislation,
which would require major oil and mining companies, including
many invested in Ghana, to publish what they pay to host
governments. Ghanaian citizens can use this information to hold
the government to its reputation for good governance and devote
oil revenues to the long-term reduction of poverty.
— Ian Gary
Senior Policy Manager - Extractive Industries
George H. Wittman
It is my understanding that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 requires all American corporations operating abroad to file regular reports on their activities. It is the responsibility of local U.S. embassies to report any and all questionable activity on the part of these commercial groups. Legally, therefore, the action that Mr. Gary calls for in his letter is already in place. Enforcement is the issue. This has been true since the Carter Administration. It is worthwhile to note that commercial organizations hardly need to force financial advantage onto host government officials. That there is a lack of appropriate “trickle down” effect bringing economic advancement to the people of the host countries is a matter of poor governance and not commercial exploitation.
TELLING US OUR VALUES
Re: Andrew Cline’s Obama Prepares to Squander Another Year:
Mr. Cline is right on the money.
I’ve been struggling for a while to figure out why I find myself so irritated by the president. I know there are many reasons, but I was curious as to the root cause of my irritation. Leave it to Mr. Obama himself to assist me in finding the cause. He said in his ABC interview, “I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values.”
To my mind, this statement represents the full expression of the
president’s hubris. I find it insulting that Mr. Obama believes
that it is his job to tell us, the American people, what our
values are or should be. It is his job to listen to us about our
values and to adjust his positions accordingly. The arrogance of
the man, his administration, and the radical left from which they
come, is nothing short of astounding. They should be removed from
office as soon as the electorate has the opportunity.
— Dr. Robert T. Jones IV
What the nation fails to understand is that Barack Obama’s
approach to governing is based upon the Chicago model, a
foundation set in stone by the Mayor Daley dynasty. No
understanding of Chicago styled politics can be comprehended
without first understanding the late author Franz Kafka, novels
like The Castle and The Trial. Myth holds that
Chicago is a toddling town when in reality it is totalitarian
town. The majority of the population is always against the
policies and politics of the mayor, but he can care less because
he knows better. He must be right, for he is always elected,
again and again. The main canon of Chicago politics is that
PAYOLA, doled out liberally and in all directions will make
everyone happy and everything all right. Mr. Obama proceeds under
this illusion. His election begged one basic question: Is Chicago
styled politics ready for prime time? Evidently, it is not. At
this point, this is what Barack Obama fails “to get.”
— Frank Pulaski
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Mom Gets Sick: Why Scott Brown Should Listen to Dr. James Rich:
Mr. Lord gets it right again.
There should be no surprise that Dr. Rich has heard nothing back from the two Senators from Pennsylvania.
I write regularly to both of them. I have even written a couple of times regarding the perception in this country that our elected officials in Washington do not care to listen to us.
Senator Specter has responded with some form letters, and by putting me on his bulk mailing list.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?