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U.S. Oil Supplies Are Higher Today Than at Any Time During the 90's
Yesterday the Senate failed to advance the Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act (S3268), a bill which would have eliminated excessive speculation by changing the definition of “legitimate hedge trading” to include only those producers and purchasers of actual physical energy commodities, and places limits on trading by those who are not trading actual physical petroleum products."
The vote was 50-43, 10 votes shy of the 60 necessary to invoke cloture, end debate, and get some real oil/gas price relief underway. The vote fell along party lines--with Democrats voting to restore sanity to an out of control market by reigning in speculation and Republicans voting to keep the lie of limited supply going and the hope big oil has (and has had since 1980) for a land grab alive.
Given the choice to make what many experts believe would be an almost immediate and drastic difference (up to 60% reduction) in the price of oi and gasoline, the Republicans chose instead to side with big oil and speculators and against closing what is the real culprit behind crippling energy prices--the "Enron Loophole."
Their plan? Lie and hope no one with bothers to check the facts. Hope that no one fires up their browser and checks out the Bush Administration's own Energy Information Administration figures. Hope against hope that if a person does check those numbers that they don't graph them and put the visual kibosh on GOP LIES by posting such graph of the data on their blog. See the pretty bar graph at the end of this post?. Oops... (got a plan B boys?).
They are betting that they, along with help from the Bushed Administration, can pull the wool over the American public's eyes and get environmentally protected areas opened to exploitation by oil companies for what amounts to what even John McCave-in admits will be nothing more than a short term psychological effect on a financially pained American psyche.
For those unfamiliar with the "Enron Loophole", the following short clip (from the must see documentary film Enron:The Smartest Guys in the Room) should prove equal parts enlightening and infuriating. Energy traders laughed about steeling money "from those poor fucking grandmothers" then, and they are doing it again today (as Ben Stein has pointed out). The the Right refused to protect Americans then, and it's doing it again now. The arguments being made now on behalf of drilling will one day look as preposterous as Cheney's defense of Enron back then.
"The problem you had in California was caused by a combination of things: an unwise regulatory scheme, because they didn't really deregulate. Now they're trapped from unwise regulatory schemes, plus not having addressed the supply side of issues. They've [Californians] obviously created major problems for themselves." —Vice-President Dick Cheney, May 17, 2001, on PBS's Frontline
The Lie and The Lang Grab:
Republicans, and those in the Energy and Financial industries, say that increased demand and decreased supply are at the core of high oil and gas prices. LIES. This disingenuous rallying cry of Republicans (soulless oil and financial industry shills that they are) has found resonance with the same uncritical masses on the right who swallow whatever poisonous pablum the right shoves in their mouths. Talk Radio tools and Fox News satisfy their need to be told what to think rather than actually having to think for themselves.
The short supply LIES being shamelessly put forward by the GOP are destructive and craven, and the people who can't find Iraq on a map are eating them up.
Some have even been duped into signing petitions demanding we "Drill Now!" The whole thing would be laughable if the situation weren't so serious. There is almost universal expert agreement that opening environmentally sensitive protected areas to drilling will never have any significant effect on the prices of either gas or oil and would provide only a very short term fix (12-32 years of oil at the low and high estimates) for what is a very long term energy, environmental, National Security problem.
With an economy on the ropes, stagflation in full effect, Republicans are bent on using the glint of fools gold to distract the American public from getting behind any effective redress of high oil prices or any a real plan for energy independence. The Gas and Oil industry have long sought access to Anwar and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), and the GOP plans to do whatever it takes to give their corporate masters what they want (and what their lobbyists have paid handsomely for).
The Right has absolutely no shame in using the crisis (which they created (thanks Dr. Phil) via deregulation) of high gas prices to create a ginned up rationale for drilling, and to use that false argument not only to give Exxon what it wants on a platter but also as subterfuge to kill the re-regulation necessary to avoid this speculation fueled crisis in the future. No, given enough cover, GOP Congressional lackeys will continue their attempt make the land grab before the American public wises up.
In what may only be sadly described as a a yet another low in a long pattern of lows, the Bush administration's farce of an energy secretary, Sam Bodman, is joining in the misinformation effort by making false statements himself to bolster the GOP's completely manufactured case:
"Market fundamentals show us that production has not kept pace with growing demand for oil, resulting in increasing prices and increasingly volatile prices. There is no evidence that we can find that speculators are driving futures prices for oil." —Secretary of Energy Sam Bodman, June 21, 2008, on MSNBC
The truth, of course, is that Oil Prices are almost exclusively the result of speculation. Just listen to what that left wing bastion of tree huggers over at BusinessWeek has to say on the matter:
On January of this year, the U.S. used 4% less petroleum than we did a year ago. (Oil demand was down 3.2% in February.) Furthermore, demand has been falling slowly since July of last year. Ronald Bailey of Reason Online has pointed out that worldwide production of oil has risen 2.5% in the first quarter, while worldwide demand has grown by only 2%.
The information presented below has been taken directly from that radical far far left bastion of statistical insanity, the Bush Administration's own Energy information Administration. It should be apparent to all but the legally blind (I'm working on a braille version) that Domestic Oil supplies, far from decreasing, have actually increased during the Bush administration and in large part mirror the upward arc Oil Company Profits have taken during the same period.
In short, THE TRUTH is that Domestic oil on hand is higher today than it was when Bush took office, and significantly higher since 2004 than at any time during the previous 13 years.
Believe your eyes (and the government's own data) and reject the Republican hype. Don't let the Republicans use the fuel cost crisis that they created to grab the land their Big Oil benefactors have been after for decades. They're in it for the money, not America's long term best interests, and they're betting you won't bother to check the facts. Don't let them twist the facts surrounding this crisis in order bypass critical thought and put into action drilling plans long on the books of Big Oil backers.
But hey, it's not like Republicans would ever use a crisis to get what they wanted all along? Is it?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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OMFG Serena, did you see that bitch, The New Yorker last week? She thinks she's soo Queen B now! Well I've got news for her, she's no “It Girl”! Doesn't she know that this is a Vanity Fair, and there's only room for one bitch at the top of this heap!? (Hair flip)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
This one comes from our friends over at JibJab.com, and no Donkeys, Elephants or Cows are sacred. Enjoy! Might take a sec to load...but it is totally worth it!
Monday, July 14, 2008
The problem I have with the latest New Yorker cover and accompanying article isn't one of intent. The editor has described his goal in publishing the caricatured image of a Tribal/Muslim garbed Barack fist-bumping a militant Michelle as an attempt to "hold up a mirror to the prejudice and dark imaginings about Barack Obama's — both Obamas' — past". Got it. Good. But road to hell is paved with the best intentions (Dukakis...tank).
My problem is that the image itself, when added superficially to the aggregate American collective unconscious, will likely do more to fuel these dark imaginings than to dispel them. Tune into MSNBC, CNN, or Fox (if you must), and you'll see the image repeated again and again. Most will catch it while channel surfing and process it no further than what confronts them at first blush--backstory and nuanced explanation lost...Secret Muslim meme fueled...yet again.
Edward Bernays himself would be marvel (but not be shocked) at just how effectively and easily the Secret Muslim meme has been propagated and how pernicious this particular untruth has been. If you doubt the disproportionate weight viewers/readers give images over the words spoken/written you needn't look any further than Leslie Stahl's experiences with the Reagan White House and the way the substance of her stories was overshadowed by the accompanying images (excerpted from criticism.com):
In his book Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy, James Fallows shows how TV images smother speech with an anecdote about a CBS reporter doing a story on President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The reporter, Lesley Stahl, had documented the contradiction between what Reagan said and what he did by showing him speaking at the Special Olympics and at a nursing home while reporting that Reagan had cut funding to children with disabilities and opposed funding for public health.I love satire (can you tell?), even when it's pointed at my guy. But when someone who should know better publishes a cover image that negates the very story he is ostensibly trying to tell, well, that I have a problem with. Dave, maybe you should give Leslie a call. Just a thought. Sphere: Related Content
After Stahl's piece was broadcast, she got a call from a White House official, who praised her. Surprised by the compliments, She asked the White House official why he wasn't upset, pointing out that her piece had nailed the president. The official replied: "You television people still don't get it. No one heard what you said. Don't you people realize that the picture is all that counts. A powerful picture drowns out the words."
Sunday, July 13, 2008
This $55 million, 7 part mini-series follows 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, an elite unit of Marines during the initial phase of (first 40 days) the Iraq Invasion/War in 2003.
The mini-series is based upon Evan Wright's book, Generation Kill, which was such a naked and brutal (and humorous at times) portrayal of the obscenity, irreverence, and effects of war that there were repercussions for those involved: Evan Wright was attacked, handcuffed, and threatened by Marines at a 1rst RECON BN homecoming he'd been invited to attend, and some of the men he wrote about experienced difficulties as a result of military reaction to what was written (Wickipedia):
"Sgt. Espera was forced to leave the battalion, Sgt. Eric Kocher was disciplined and one Marine's promotion from corporal to sergeant was canceled as a direct result of the publication of the original articles"Eventually though, Arthur Schopenhauer's phases of Truth willed out, and Generation Kill and Wright's articles became recommended reading for new(and old) officers of 1st Reconnaissance, offering them insight into the realities of war they themselves may face in Iraq.
If the potency of the original material weren't enough to guarantee a truly compelling and gritty viewing experience, David Simon and Ed Burns ( remember The Wire?) bring their brutal and alternately humanizing story telling skills to this mini-series as producers of Generation Kill.If you loved the documentary No End In Sight, you'll enjoy this one. If you haven't seen No End In Sight, well... add that to your Netflix cue! Definitely recommended (and delightfully infuriating) viewing for inquiring minds.
(PS, tomorrow night, same time, same channel, you'll find the heartbreaking documentary CHINA’S STOLEN CHILDREN. Definitely worth a couple of hours. Gotta warn ya' though...it is more than slightly disturbing.
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Saturday, July 12, 2008
Sure he was a Conservative, but having once called the President "something of an embarrassment" in conservative circles, he was clearly a guy not completely affected by the red Kool-Aid at all times. He was also a guy who loved to play guitar. The world is indeed a poorer place with his passing. My heart goes out to his wife of 21 years, Jill Ellen Walker, and their three children.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
We at headquarters applaud the devastatingly effective rhetorical skill employed while conducting Sub-Op Whiner! Another nail in the coffin-Bravo! The political aftershocks will continue for days.
Agent Gramm, your hard work and personal sacrifice over these many years has helped to lay the groundwork for Operation Elephant Enema's ultimate success. In agreeing to go "fake rogue" in 1981 by switching parties you put your true blue "take one for the team" spirit out there for all of the Top Brass to see, and we appreciate your efforts more than we could ever convey in a simple letter. So why try, right? Sub-section #13427-98 of the SDDOSUO regulation #86- 1980, that's why. One day school children sing (mmm...maybe not so much sing as hum) songs in your praise (Maybe not so much about you necessarily...the humming 'll probably happen only around Christmas and most likely involve the Batmobile losing a wheel), but for now we must persevere as the Operation enters it's final stages.
Anyhooo...back to why I'm writing in first place. The boys back in Control have voted you the Super-Duper-Secret Undercover Democratic-Obama Operative of the month! It's not just the Whiner thing (though, again, bravo), it's also the way you fully sabotaged the GOP by introducing the Enron Loophole and laid the ground work for the Sub-Prime Crisis. Though you can't hear it, we're all applauding here (ok..ok..mostly 'cause the Suitcase Babes just showed up...OMFG!). Whatev, right? Congratulations!BTW, you may use the enclosed "Wild Card" to claim up your prize T-shirt (see enclosed pic) after the debreifing in early '09.
Be sure to watch Monday night for coded puzzle updates to your next and most difficult to date assignment-- Sub-Op Chunky Peanut-Butter. Pay close attention to the second prize puzzle and Vanna's dress. You have your orders soldier! This letter will self destruct in 60 seconds, so be sure to remove your Wild Card/ POOP (Proof-Of-Overachiever-Prize). If you loose it...no T.Sincerely,Dr.RsTLnAnd Remember...The Wheel is Always Watching.
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Sunday, July 6, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
The Dream is dying people! One by one, the extra chromosome crowd is going belly up. What will the party that derides book lernin' and smarts do when all that's left are five fingered people who can read? Hell, even the mentally challenged are offended at the thought of being lumped in with Republicans.
Oh, don't get me wrong, the mouth breathers (self help) are still hanging on...just take a look at the button that was being sold at mid-June at the Texas Republican state convention:
Then of course there's the famous and now reluctantly discontinued Sock Obama Monkey Doll:
And lets not forget the Curious George T's sold in Georgia and sent to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington and other African American Organizations by by Kelly Newcom of Ash Flat, Ark :(
The racist dream/nightmare is dying slowly, but it is dying. Though I've mentioned it before, it bears repeating:The kind of Conservatives (it's not all of 'em) that fan the flames of and respond like Pavlovian dogs to Dominionism/regressive populism/Theocratic Governance are provably mentally deficient when measuring ability to engage in adaptive and dynamic thought. They should be pitied and put in homes to save the world from the shoot yourself in the foot, short sighted, fuck the world over while claiming to be the promoter of Democracy Wilsonian iteration of the Monroe Doctrine. And let's not forget the renewed and romanticized Republican/Racist fantasy of a return to the horrific all-white power patriarchy of American 1950's.
I say good good riddance to the likes of Jessie Helms (Died today but lived 86 years too long), Strom Thurmond, and William F. Buckley---three cancer cells vanquished forever from from the shrinking conservative/racist tumor that will one day finally and forever R.I.P (Rest In Pieces.) For now though, the open mouthed knuckle dragging continues on the right, where real monkeys, apes and neanderthals proudly proclaim the value of ignorance and cling to their tattered hoods and charred crosses. One day they will all be...
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"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism."Erma BombeckSphere: Related Content