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State Dept Says Modified Keystone Would Have Negligible Impact? (updated)
Mar 4th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy

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IT'S A MIRACLE!Last May, after the original Keystone XL Pipeline proposal had been rejected by the Obama Administration, TransCanada submitted a new modified proposal for a shorter, more direct route for the same pipeline to pipe saturated tarsands “oil” from Alberta, Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. After a ten-month review, the U.S. State Department released a preliminary report on Friday concluding that the revised pipeline is “unlikely to have a significant impact on the environment”. Why? Well basically, because compared to the old KXL proposal, the new one seems almost sane (it isn’t). The revised pipeline would be shorter (in theory, only because it only extends to Nebraska where it will hookup with the already approved “Keystone extension” approved by the Obama Administration last year.) I wrote about the myths surrounding the original KXL project way back in April of 2011. ThinkProgress reported on the State Departments’ positive review of the revised plan last Friday and noted that for the next 45 days, the State Department would be accepting public comments (keystonecomments@state.gov) on the matter before a final decision is made. Here is a copy of my own comments. I highly encourage you to do the same:

 

Dear Sir or Madam,
  I am writing to express my deep disappointment and serious concern regarding the potential approval of a revised Keystone XL Pipeline project. Based on my own research, it is quite clear that the KXL would not only be an environmental catastrophe, but would not produce an abundance of jobs as many have claimed, and would in fact lead to higher gas prices (also in direct contradiction to stated claims) to go along with the aforementioned ecological disaster.

Even the premise of the pipeline “lowering gas prices” is absurd on its face. WHY would any company lobby so hard and spend tens of millions to push a project that would REDUCE their profits?

Reading the latest report on the revised pipeline proposal, right from the beginning I find myself gravely concerned that what is to be pumped through this pipeline being referred to as “oil” as it is not. It is in fact an oily sludge called “bitumen” that must be extracted from the sand and converted into oil. Thick bitumen sludge does not flow like oil, so it must be mixed with water… and LOTS of it (a minimum ratio of 3:1) to liquify it to the point it can be “pumped” like oil. That’s a horrendous waste of fresh water at a time when record heat means record drought.

Upon arrival at its destination, much of the water must then be extracted before the refining process may begin. The waste water… now a muddy chemical sludge, is dumped into giant “tailing ponds” of toxic waste that seep into the ground water, poison the soil for centuries, and kill off local wildlife.

The resulting “heavy-sour crude” is unsuitable for the production of gasoline (which relies on “light-sweet crude”), making it only suitable for producing “diesel” for export to Europe & South America. American refineries will have to give up roughly 15% of their existing refining capacity to convert this sludge into diesel, diverting gasoline production intended for the U.S. market to diesel production for export. Less gasoline being produced means HIGHER prices, not lower.

And there is no question “export” is the ultimate goal. Why else build a pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico? Wouldn’t it be cheaper/faster/easier to simply build a refinery in Canada (or anyplace between Alberta and the Gulf Coast?)

So TransCanada (the owners of the resulting “oil”) gets to export its oil and reap huge profits, while we get higher gas prices, toxic waste ponds and a leaky pipeline bisecting the nation and endangering ground water (and it WILL leak, as the sandy sludge “sandblasts” the thin metal pipeline transporting it.)

We also learned this past week that construction of the pipeline itself would produce no more that 42,100 temporary jobs and only between 35-50 permanent jobs. That’s a FAR cry from the “nearly 1 million jobs” falsely claimed by the pipeline’s supporters.

The solution to America’s energy problems is not to further embed our dependence on fossil fuels from one of the worst sources of oil on the planet, for an energy supply that would last only a few years (not “100+” as claimed), wreak havoc with our environment, increase gas prices and not produce anything close to a significant number of jobs to justify such a costly project. For a fraction of the cost, making our energy grid more efficient and investing in Green energy technology would produce FAR more “bang for the buck”… more jobs, better paying sustainable jobs with an actual future.

The idea that a revised pipeline proposal might be approved simply because the “new” proposal isn’t as an environmentally devastating as the first one is simply insane.

Thank you.

In the same report that says the pipeline is “unlikely” to have any affect on the GPA (“Great Plains Aquifer”) because the groundwater runs too deep and below bedrock, just three bullet points down it says this:
 

There are 2,537 wells within 1 mile of the proposed Project, including 39 public water supply wells and 20 private wells within 100 feet of the pipeline ROW. The vast majority of these wells are in Nebraska. Those wells that were in the vicinity may be affected by a petroleum release from the proposed Project.Executive Summary, pg.12.

 
Tell us again how the pipeline is “unlikely” to affect the ground water?
 

UPDATE: A week after release of the report (March 9th), an investigation revealed that this latest report claiming a negligible impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline on the environment was not prepared by neutral government officials, but instead:“Environmental Resources Management (ERM) was paid an undisclosed amount under contract to TransCanada to write the statement.” Color me shocked.

 

Just for fun, and a reminder of what once was, the intro from the 2008 Apocalyptic comedy “Zombie Strippers” joked about “Bush’s Fourth Term”:


 


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Why Would Anyone Vote for Someone With This Record (Romney)?
Oct 22nd, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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Truth in advertisingThis past week, I’ve listened incredulously to reports that President Obama’s lead over Governor Mitt Romney has continued to shrink following Romney’s impressive first debate performance despite his embarrassing second debate humiliation and VP Biden also being seen as “the winner” in his debate performance. Team Romney is 1-for-3 (and likely 1-for-4 tonight), and “fact checkers” have not been kind to Romney’s debate claims, yet we are to believe that none of this matters because… well, basically, because no matter what you believe, the governor has agreed with you at some point. But when you go down the list issue-by-issue, I find it unimaginable that this country would even consider putting these people back in control. But then again, I felt the same way leading up to the 2010 midterm elections. That prompted me the day before Election Day to openly wonder: When did “Republican” become this nations fall-back position? It seemed to me (and still does) that this country is WAY quicker to give Republicans’ the benefit of the doubt, and incredibly impatient with Democrats when they don’t fix the Republican’s mess fast enough, ready to go back to their “default” setting of Republicans in charge because they are really good at making themselves sound like they know what in the heck they are doing. But let’s look at that list issue-by-issue:

1) Fiscal Responsibility:

It has reached the point of “common knowledge” that “Republicans are the fiscally responsible ones” DESPITE the fact that TEN POINT THREE TRILLION of our $11.9 Trillion National Debt before Obama took office was run up by just three presidents: Reagan, Bush-41 & Bush-43. And Bush-43 took a projected $250-Billion dollar SURPLUS left to him by DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton, and stuck his successor, Barack Obama, with a $1.2-Trillion dollar annual DEFICIT. Hamstrung with the most astronomical deficit any president has ever left another administration, Obama’s presidency was hobbled from the day he took office by Trillion dollar annual deficits that HE DIDN’T CREATE. In fact, the Deficit will actually be LOWER next year (PDF) than it was when President Obama took office. Only two presidents have CUT SPENDING AND REDUCED THE DEFICIT in past 40 years: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama… both DEMOCRATS. So someone PLEASE explain to me where this myth of “Republican fiscal responsibility” comes from? Republicans LOVE to talk about the deficit, but only when DEMOCRATS are in charge.
 

Only Democrats cut spending

Imagine for a moment that a co-worker asked you to meet him for lunch at some fancy restaurant. He arrives an hour early, orders a steak and drinks a bottle of expensive wine, but when you arrive, all you see him with is a salad and a glass of water. Getting up to leave just as you arrive, he tells you, “Sorry, but I’ve been called away on an emergency”, and you generously offer to pay his bill, only to find out after he’s gone that he hosed you. You didn’t order so much as a slice of bread, but YOU are the one stuck with the huge bill. Meanwhile, you’re starving and can barely afford to buy yourself lunch. Worse, his buddies at the office all blame YOU for draining the expense account and try to get you fired. Republicans blaming president Obama for the size of the National Debt today is a lot like that. And how many years do you think it would take before you stopped criticizing the guy that hosed you?

2) National Security

Somehow, Republicans have an entirely undeserved record as being strong on “National Security” despite having a terrible track record (especially recently) when it comes to actually winning wars:

Wars since 1900 (only wars that have ended are shown in color):

  • World War I: President Woodrow Wilson. Democrat.
  • World War II: Presidents’ FDR and Truman. (Democrats), defeating both Germany in Europe and Japan in Asia.
  • Korea: War never ended. Armistice signed under Eisenhower (Republican). North Korea still exists and we are technically still at war with them today.
  • Vietnam: America falls behind under Nixon and pulls out under Ford (both Republicans).
  • Reagan: (the “Cold War” with Russia wasn’t an actual war.) It was fought with checkbooks, not artillery.
  • Gulf War-I: President George HW Bush (Republican) kicking Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in 1991.
  • Bosnia: Clinton. Democrat.
  • Afghanistan: Started but not ended under Bush. Pending.
  • Iraq: President Obama (Democrat).

Governor Romney OPPOSED pulling our troops out of Iraq, criticized our intervention in Libya to depose Qadaffy, and is already saber-rattling about using military force in Syria and Iran. And just like his Republican predecessor, wants to do it all on the Federal Credit Card while giving enormous fiscally irresponsible tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. Republicans are BIG on increasing defense spending… even when the military doesn’t want it… because it makes them sound tough on national security (even though General Mike Mullen told President Bush that the National Debt is probably the greatest threat to our national security.

And as you already know, the latest batch of Neocons pimping all this war talk are notoriously short on military credentials. “In the Land of the Blind, the one eyed man is king”, and so was President Bush who (questionably) “served” stateside in the National Guard during Vietnam, placing him head and shoulders above the likes of “five deferments” Cheney and now Mitt “went to talk French people out of drinking wine during Vietnam” Romney (the fact Romney actually protested IN SUPPORT of the Vietnam War makes it all the more sickening.)

3) Pro-Life, anti-abortion

I’ve often said, “You can’t be Pro-War, Pro-Gun and Pro-Death Penalty and still call yourself Pro-Life.” The fact is, three things reduce abortion rates more than anything else: a strong economy (so parents can support their children), access to affordable health care (especially prenatal care), and the availability of birth control. As you read here on M.R.S. last week, Passing Laws does NOT curb abortion“.

Under President Obama… with absolutely no help from Republicans, the economy is improving, everyone will have medical coverage under “ObamaCare”, and insurance plans MUST provide contraception coverage. The GOP has vowed to do away with the second two, and their “plan” to grow the economy is Bush-onomics on Steroids, continuing to believe despite ALL evidence to the contrary that if we just cut tax-rates… not just “a little more”, but by a staggering 20%… that’ll magically create jobs and balance the budget.

If you’re “Pro-Life” and want to reduce the number of abortions, simply passing a law doesn’t do it. All it does is drive the problem underground. If simply passing laws stopped things from happening, there would be no murders, no crime and no drugs. Look around. Do we still have murder, theft and drugs? Thinking you can stop abortion simply by passing laws prohibiting them should earn you some time in a rubber room somewhere.

If you want to bring down abortion rates, the LAST thing you should be calling for is to repeal “ObamaCare”, object to contraception coverage, and make The Pill illegal (and yes, that’s EXACTLY what Romney’s support for a “Personhood Amendment” would do.)

4) Bain Capital didn’t “create jobs”, it DESTROYED them

This to me is insane. The idea that Mitt Romney knows anything about “creating jobs” because of his experience at Bain Capital is absurd. The business that Romney ran was a “venture capital” firm (which I’ve had plenty of experience with). They don’t RUN businesses. Early on, they gave out business loans to companies that someone else ran (Venture capitalists do typically sit on the Board and approve/reject decisions, but rarely MAKE those decisions unilaterally. So their record as a “job creator” based on that is weak at best.

But soon, making money by giving out loans was deemed “too slow” (by Romney?), leading them to acts of (as Rick Perry called it) “Vulture Capitalism”, where they bought up successful yet cash-strapped companies, bled them for all they were worth, fired all the employees, and then sold off the empty husk, reaping huge profits.

Is THAT the kind of “business experience” you believe “creates jobs” and would be good for this country?

Meanwhile, our current president (and again I point this out because it can’t be said often enough), with NO help from the GOP, reversed a loss of 750,000 jobs a month to where we’ve actually been GAINING jobs each month (not as many as we’d like, but tell that to the Republicans who filibustered “The Jobs Act” or “The Veterans Jobs Bill”), with over 5-Million jobs created since taking office (more than twice the net number of jobs Bush created in eight).

And finally…

5) “No Core”

I still find it astounding that in 2004, Republicans savaged Presidential nominee John Kerry for ONE inartfully stated fact: a reporter asked him to explain his vote opposing supplemental funding for the Iraq War. This led to the famed “I was FOR it before I was against it” remark. What the Senator was referring to there was voting in favor of the funding when it was to be paid for by repealing the Bush Tax Cuts for the very wealthy, but then voted against the bill when that provision was stripped out by the GOP. And for that one poorly worded response, Kerry was branded a “flip-flopper” by the Right like it were The Mark of Cain. Bush supporters showed up at rallies waving flip flops (the sandals), and the GOP ran TV ads of him engaging in the pretentious sport of “wind surfing” and saying his positions shift “as the wind blows”.

Flash forward just eight short years, and the GOP has nominated a man that a member of his own Party called “a perfectly lubricated [political] weather vane” in a TV ad depicting just a few of Romney’s flip-flops:
 

Jon Huntsman’s “Perfectly Lubricated Weather Vane” TV ad

 

Romney’s flip flopping has become legendary, clearly telling people whatever he thinks they want to hear at that particular time, and when caught, insists he has not changed positions. Probably the best example of this was when he ran for Senator in 1994, he gave an impassioned defense of how he was “pro-choice” as the result of a family tragedy regarding an illegal cross-border abortion in Mexico (his sister-in-law died), and because of that, would never change his position. He repeated that claim as he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002. No change, no way, no how. And when Mitt Romney gives you his word on something, you can take it to the bank.

One guy, John Kerry, was a wind-surfing elitist “flip flopper” on a single issue that Republicans used to paint him as out-of-touch and untrustworthy. The other, someone whose dancing “dressage horse” was entered into the Olympics, as he himself sets an Olympic record for “flip flopping” that would put Gabrielle Douglas to shame.

Mitt Romney has no core. He’s whatever you need him to be at that particular moment as a matter of political expediency. His own campaign director compared this philosophy to “an Etch-a-Sketch”. We got a real good look at this in action during the first presidential debate, where Romney basically “won” by abandoning just about every principle he’d ever had and repeatedly lied about his own position on various issues: from birth-control to the size of his tax plan. If the hypocrisy wasn’t bad enough to make Republicans question everything they believe, it should (at the very least) make you question your vote.
 

PS: And for those still asking, “Okay, you’ve given me plenty of reasons not to vote for Romney, but why should I vote FOR Obama?”
 

Obama lists many of his first-term accomplishments.

 


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10 Things You WON’T Hear Mentioned at the Republican Convention This Week
Aug 27th, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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Ask Mitt Anything* (*except...)As you know, the GOP will be holding its Presidential Convention & Cross Burning Clambake all this week in Tampa Bay. Well, not ALL week, because for the second convention in a row, the first day of the RNC Convention will be canceled due to a hurricane lashing the pavilion. In 2008, religious morons “prayed for rain” to disrupt the DNC Convention in Denver. Instead, they saw temps in the low 80’s, and the clouds parting on the night of Obama’s big acceptance speech. God is clearly a Democrat. Meanwhile, the GOP brazenly chose to host their convention at the site of Bush’s SECOND greatest failure (or, if you prefer, “Greatest failure of his SECOND term”), New Orleans during the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005). In response, God sent “Hurricane Gustav”, forcing the GOP to cancel Day-1 of their convention. Clearly, the GOP didn’t get the hint, because God decided in His infinite wisdom to disrupt the 2012 Convention as well with YET ANOTHER hurricane (“Isaac”) on the seventh anniversary of Katrina, once again headed for New Orleans. The Lord Almighty announced he’s “going to keep lobbing hurricanes at GOP Presidential Conventions until [they] admit Global Warming is real.” It’s true, I swear! God told me so himself (or maybe it was just Marcus Bachmann?)

And that’s Item #1 of things you WON’T hear being discussed at the Republican National Committee Convention this week: “Global Warming”. No, if history is any teacher, rather than ponder what effect turning our planet into a giant Easy-Bake Oven has on hurricanes, Asshats-in-cowboy-hats will be chanting, “Drill Baby, drill!” (or “Build the damn pipeline!”) despite the fact that oil production is higher now under President Obama than it EVER was under President Bush. (I have also pointed out that the KXL pipeline would result in HIGHER gas prices because giving up Refinery capacity to refine KXL oil for export means less gas for us, creating an artificial shortage that pushes prices UP.) But don’t confuse a Republican with “facts”. While Oil Billionaires in Tampa will be toasting the fact that hurricane in the Gulf means shutting down dozens of Refineries and Drilling Platforms across the Gulf Coast, pushing gas prices… and by extension… profits much higher (and the economy much lower), it will never occur to a single monsoon-soaked conventioneer that maybe what we should be looking for are ways to get OFF oil as a way to reduce prices, not suck the planet dry like the last Grape Nehi on Planet Diablo.

Number #2 on the list: While Governor Romney and several Convention Speakers will vow to “Repeal ObamaCare”, you will NOT hear ANYONE explain WHAT exactly they plan to replace ObamaCare with. On yesterday’s “Fox news Sunday”, host Chris Wallace interviewing Romney, asked him about “the consequences of repealing ObamaCare”. Romney ACTUALLY said that he would replace “ObamaCare” with “things”. You think I’m kidding?

Romney: (“the things I will replace ObamaCare with will also help hold down the cost of health care”)

Number #3: “Personhood”, or more specifically: “The Personhood Amendment. Oh, you’ll hear tons of lofty talk about the GOP being “The Party of Life” from a bunch of rabid pro-war, pro-gun, pro-death penalty zealots, and how the vile Liberal Left wants every woman to rely on Planned Parenthood for their health care so they can be talked into getting an abortion (especially if they’re black), but in the toxic fog of Rep. Todd Akin, any mention of the ultimate goal of that “pro-life” agenda will be harder to hear than a mouse-fart in church. If the camera catches glimpse of a single “Ban The Pill” or “Pass the Personhood Amendment” sign, you can bet that person will be yanked faster than a 6-inch nose hair.

No one during the entire event will connect the dots between “Personhood” and how it could ban most forms of hormonal contraception. In fact, you might even hear some Speaker claim that “No one is talking about banning contraception!” What a ridiculous thought!

Which of course leads to Number #4: Todd Akin. Last Monday, people were aghast by the Right-Wing nuttery of Republican Congressman Todd Akin for saying that victims of “legitimate rape” (RW code for suggesting there are a number of women who falsely claim rape simply to obtain an abortion) “secrete a substance” that prevents them from becoming pregnant (ergo, if you got pregnant, you must have wanted it.) But lets keep in mind that this is a Party where one of it’s leading presidential candidates… Ron Paulsaid almost the exact same thing last February, and no one on the Right said “Boo”.

As ThinkProgress pointed out, Paul Ryan teamed up with Akin on a slew of “personhood”, “anti-abortion” and “anti-contraception” acts of legislation as recently as THIS YEAR, so naturally the GOP makes him their Vice-Presidential nominee. If anyone brings up Akin or Ryan’s connection to him, it will be reporters, not anyone from the dais.

Number #5 on the list of thing you’ll never hear mentioned at this convention: The rash of recent “gun violence”. From the “Batman” shooting in Colorado, the near-fatal shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the attack on an Indian Seik Temple, or even the “suicide-by-cop” incident in front of The Empire State Building just last week. The GOP might as well change its name to The NRA for all the difference it would make. I’m sorry, but for a group of peacock-strutting macho Rednecks that loves guns & war, they sure talk tough, but I’ve never met a bigger bunch of frightened p@ssies in all my life. They live in constant terror of “Muslims”, “Illegal Immigrants”, “Black people”, “Black helicopters”… heck, the government in general. I couldn’t fathom living in their world. What a dark scary place they live in. It must be horrible living in such constant fear like that. So, if the word “gun” is mentioned at all during this Convention, it will be in the context of “Fast & Furious”… the botched “gun walking” program that never actually allowed a single gun to “walk”.

(UPDATE: On the morning of opening day of the Convention, a student at Perry Hall High School in Maryland was shot & wounded by another student opening fire in the school cafeteria.)

Number #6 on the list of things you’ll never hear at this convention: Mitt Romney’s tax returns or his tax shelters. While I wouldn’t be surprised if some minor league GOP “rising star” or disgruntled “Bachmann-type” in a waaaay off-primetime speaking slot ridicules the idea that anyone needs to see more than the one-years’ worth of tax returns that Mitt has already released, the very subject of Romney’s taxes will be verboten.

Number #7: The words “filibuster” or “obstruction”. It is imperative to the governor’s election chances that everyone forget that the last election wasn’t 2008, it was 2010. On yesterdays’ “ThisWeek” on ABC, Right-Wing putz George Will pointed to how little things have improved over the past year, and how that’s evidence “President Obama’s policies have failed”. Just once, I’d like someone to ask him if he thinks the GOP controlled Congress (yes, that includes the Dem-led Senate that has been held hostage via the filibuster) deserves ANY of the blame for the lack of improvement over the past two years? I mean, they DID come in promising “Jobs, jobs, jobs”, no? Or was I just imagining that? I’d almost bet cash/money that someone will (falsely) claim, “President Obama had a filibuster proof majority” his first two years (in truth, it was a grand total of only 24 working days) to support the idea he accomplished nothing (except pass the most sweeping health care reform law in 50 years.)

Number #8 on our list is “Voter ID” and the millions that are likely to be disenfranchised in order to “safeguard our elections” from a crime that’s rarer than death by lightning strike. The GOP is very excited about the passage of “Voter ID” laws that will require millions of legal Registered voters to unnecessarily jump through all sorts of ridiculous hoops just to exercise their Constitutional Right (“The Constitution”… you remember that Right-Wingers? It’s that thing you wrap yourselves in when it suits your purposes, and you push to “Amend” when it doesn’t?) They’ll ACTUALLY tell you, “It’s about making sure that only Citizens actually vote in our elections”, yet they accept a “Drivers License” (among other things) that doesn’t actually require proof of citizenship to get. In fact, NON-citizens can get a Drivers License, and do so all the time. Tell me again how “Voter ID” has anything to do with “making sure only citizens vote”? No, it’s just about making it more difficult for minorities and The Poor… groups that typically vote Democratic… to vote. I actually had one Right-Winger say to me, “Hey, if you can’t do something as simple as get an ID from the DMV, you shouldn’t be voting anyway!” Yes, it’s SO EASY for people WITHOUT A DRIVERS LICENSE OR A CAR to get to the DMV. It’s SO EASY for someone on Minimum Wage to take time off from work and wait in line all day at the DMV to get an ID they never needed before just to do something they’ve been doing for decades without incident. That taxi cab you might have to take to get to the DMV, or that time off you must take from work, that costs money and is tantamount to an illegal Poll Tax. If by some disaster Romney should “win” this November, you can BET “Voter ID” played a BIG part in making it happen.

Number #9: “The Dream Act”. Republicans are already on the outs with Millions of Hispanic voters for their “shoot first” at anyone that comes near their “1,100 mile long electrified fence” position on Border Security. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who signed Arizona’s “Papers Please” law that gave local police the ability to stop anyone they deemed “suspicious” on any trumped-up charge they could think-up to give them legal justification to harass brown people, didn’t win them any friends in the Hispanic community. After alienating just about every sane black person in the country with their “Birther” nonsense, the GOP can’t afford to alienate any more minorities. But they’ve already labled President Obama’s “Dream Act”something that was once a GOP idea… “Amnesty”. In an interview on “Meet the Press” yesterday, Jeb Bush (who will be speaking at the convention while his brother will not) criticized his own party for being so anti-immigration, stressing the need for legal immigration. Jeb also acknowledged that President Obama “inherited a very difficult situation”, and will be using his speech to promote the need for “education” to a bunch of Home-Schoolers that want to abolish the Department of Education. So you can relax folks, there’s now ZERO chance we’ll ever see another Bush in the White House.

And last but not least…

Number #10 on the list of Things no one will hear mentioned at the RNC Convention? Osama bin Laden or Kadaffy.

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Some rants: JobsJobsJobs, Oil, Hypocrisy and My Integrity (UPDATED)
Jun 4th, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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In Mitt's upside-down world.There was so much going on last week, that I couldn’t pick a single topic to focus on. First off was (of course) the dismal jobs report for May released last week. Republicans were quick to pounce on the disappointing figures, pointing to it was “PROOF!” that President Obama’s economic policies are a failure. Also, it came as little relief last week when the price of oil fell below $90/barrel for the first time since last October (when I think about how oil used to be below $30/barrel for decades, and gas never broke $2/gallon before President Bush invaded Iraq, I get nauseous). And Mitt Romney gave a “top secret” presser in front of “Solyndra”… “top secret” because he claimed fearing “Obama-campaign inference” had it of been publicly announced… at the same time the Romney campaign sent its OWN campaign goon-squad to heckle Obama-spokesman David Axelrod during a campaign event of his own, once again demonstrating my long-held belief that “if Republicans accuse you of doing something, it’s either because they ARE doing it themselves or WOULD do it if they were in a position to do so (ie: “projection”). And lastly, my big report last week questioning the disturbing appearance of cronyism by Romney while governor of Massachusetts, was criticized and contested… calling my own integrity into question… by picking at the fringes while never addressing the core issue. Let’s take these one at a time:

First off, that dismal “jobs report”. Am I the only person wondering just how Republicans… who were swept into office in 2010 promising “jobs, jobs, jobs”… can get away with laying all the blame for the bad jobs numbers at the feet of President Obama? Really now, Conservatives. You ran to the polls and voted en masse for Republicans promising “a laser-like focus on jobs”, and this is what you got (actually, THIS is what you got). And now you want to blame President Obama solely for the poor economy? Do you get it yet? This is a Party willing to unemploy hundreds of thousands of people just to put one man out of work. You doubt me? This is the same Party that threatened to throw this nation into default just to score some cheap political points during last years Debt Ceiling debacle (a move that cost us our Triple-A bond rating.) And now they are threatening to do it again. I urge you to take a good long look at the infamous “bikini graph” once more:
 

Job Creation by president (yellow line added by me for emphasis)
Job creation chart to May 2012
(click to enlarge)

Note that yellow line. That’s job creation under a DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS before Republicans decided to make spending a campaign issue, and started blocking everything in sight. Now you want to reward these same obstructionists on the grounds that President Obama failed to get anything done? When you have the Senate Minority Leader saying his Party’s “#1 political goal is to make President Obama a one-term president“, or when the Indiana GOP nominee for Senate says that “bipartisanship is when Democrats give in to Republicans”, you’re only rewarding bad behavior that puts partisan-politics ahead of the good of the country. And don’t be surprised if Democrats then turn around and use the exact same techniques against Republicans if Romney wins in November. (Of course, Republicans would do a FAR better job of vilifying the Democrats for doing it if they did.) Why do we allow the obstructionists to criticize Obama’s “lack of progress”, and get away with it?

Political junkies like you and me who probably watched all the Sunday shows yesterday… did you ONCE hear anyone ask these Republicans, “You came in promising jobs, jobs, jobs. And here we are. Don’t you think YOU deserve a share of the blame for these poor jobs numbers?” If anyone asked that question yesterday, I sure missed it. Sorry Republicans, but you can’t claim all the credit when things look good, and assume none of the blame when things look bad. That’s called “taking personal responsibility.” Ah, but look who I’m talking to! You know all about “personal responsibility”. It’s your catch-phrase… or it least it used to be when you proposed “insurance mandates” before “ObamaCare” took them up.

A blog posting I wrote back in January entitled “Why the economy is so bad. And why Obama should be trusted to fix it” started picking up a number of fresh hits last week. I encourage you to go back and give it a second read.

Several factors played into the poor jobs numbers for May. Continued Republican insistence on “austerity” being high on that list. Once again, while the number of jobs created was low, the unnecessary loss of 13,000 Public Sector jobs made it worse. That’s another 13,000 people competing for the same jobs as millions of longterm unemployed. You now have to create another 13,000 jobs just to get the number of unemployed back the to where it was before the layoffs. Can we all just finally agree that this insane adherence to “austerity” demanded by Republicans is killing our recovery (by design?) As I pointed out three weeks ago, while Democrats and President Obama are stupidly cutting public employment, Republican governors have been on a hiring binge to make their unemployment numbers look good.

Another factor: oil & gas prices… while coming down… are sucking the lifeblood out of our economy. While the price of oil fell below $90/barrel for the first time since last October, the National Average price for a gallon of gas is 17cents higher today than it was back then, once again demonstrating the lack of a connection between falling oil prices and a decline in gas prices (while the opposite is imminently true). I just want to shout from the rooftops (and metaphorically speaking, that’s what this blog is): “It’s the dependence on oil, Stupid!” (apologies to Clinton’s 1992 campaign catch-phrase). While I heard multiple Talking Heads on TV yesterday excoriate President Obama’s obstruction of “the keystone XL pipeline” (read my rant on that subject here), I heard NO ONE suggest that maybe we should focus on using LESS oil rather than continuing our dependence upon it (and the Middle East)… not to mention inviting certain environmental disaster, all for short-term gain that won’t have an impact on the market for at least three years. I actually heard Romney’s campaign manager on “Meet the Press” ridicule obstruction of the KXL, calling it “a project that would create thousands of jobs immediately.” Thousands? Thousands? We need 110,000 jobs every month just to keep up with population growth. What happened to the “million” jobs they were boasting of just a few months ago? (ibid my KXL rant) Are we (read: “they”) really so stupid that we’d pass a construction project two-to-three times as massive as the Alaskan Pipeline just to create a few thousand low-paying construction jobs in an industry that doesn’t need government help to make money? I can think of A DOZEN other ways to create TENS of thousands of green energy jobs… long-term, high-paying, high-tech GREEN jobs with a future… in less time for a fraction of the cost. Roughly 8 percent of our electricity is still generated using oil-powered turbines. Replace them with Wind, Solar, tidal or geothermal plants. That would have a MASSIVE and direct impact on this nation’s oil consumption, and a direct impact on global oil prices. One might easily jump to the conclusion that this would be the equivalent of removing 8% of all the cars off America’s roads, but in fact, it would be MUCH more. Keep in mind these massive plants run 24 hours a day 7 days a week, using FAR more oil than the equivalent of “8% of all U.S. cars on the road”. Yank that demand off the world market and watch oil prices PLUNGE. Gas prices would fall in conjunction (though not at the same rate) providing a huge economic boost to the country. Plus all the new jobs building/running these new plants, not to mention the benefit to the environment. And it could all be paid for by rescinding those asinine $6Billion/year oil subsidies the GOP fought to keep. I certainly wouldn’t stop there. There are still some 600 coal fired powerplants in the U.S. that need to be phased out… though “coal” is a MUCH more touchy subject since the “fuel” for these plants comes from mining jobs here in the U.S..

Of course, convincing this parsimonious Congress to agree to spend even one dime on something that might create jobs and help the president’s reelection chances in November is about as unlikely as our Milky Way galaxy colliding with another galaxy. Both are likely to happen in about four-Billion years time.

Next issue: Romney’s “top secret” press conference in front of the closed Solyndra plant. This was a joke from start-to-finish. First off, the Big Show the Romney campaign made about having to having to keep the location of his speech secret (bringing the Press along but not telling them where) under the claim that it was done that way to thwart Obama-Campaign saboteurs. At the same time on the other side of the country the Romney campaign organized hecklers via Twitter to disrupt a speech by Obama advisor David Axelrod… once again proving my contention that “if a Republican accuses you of doing something, it is only because they are either doing it themselves or would do it if they were in your shoes.” I’ve seen it at least once a week for the past 12 years (starting with the 2000 Florida fight when Republicans accused Democrats of trying to steal the election.)

Okay. If you’re one of those people that thinks political campaigns should operate with all the maturity of a Redneck kindergarten class, then score one for Romney. Unless of course, facts matter to you and not just showmanship. Romney actually claimed that President Obama had engaged in illegal activity, claiming that “the Inspector General found” that President Obama steered the Solyndra contract to “friends and family.” That’s a flatout lie. The truth is… at Right-wing prompting… the Inspector General looked into the possibility and found “no evidence” of cronyism. In truth, the contract approval process began under President Bush, and I can assure you they weren’t looking to do him any favors.

To compound the issue, it turns out Romney has TWO THREE FOUR numerous failed high-tech firms (many, many belonging to Romney supporters or run by Bain Capital) in his own closet that received millions from the Romney Administration while he was governor of Massachusetts. Two biotech firms called “Acusphere” and “Spherics Inc” received/lost a combined $2.1 million in loans and Two solar energy companies. Company number three was a solar energy company called “Konarka Technologies”, which filed for Chapter-7 bankruptcy the day after Romney’s speech before solar energy company Solyndra, After Konarka received $1.5 Million in state funds, Romney himself praised the deal, claiming it would act as “an economic springboard”. Number four I learned about only after posting today’s blog entry. “Evergreen Solar” went belly up just last year after receiving $2.5 Million from the Romney Administration. Just one more example of Republicans attacking Democrats for things they themselves do or did. This goes beyond hypocrisy, wading into the realm of “mental disorder”.

A brief aside on these failed high-tech firms: The REAL scandal here isn’t the allegations of cronyism, or the viability of green energy, or even the economic downturn (started under Bush) that put them out of business. No, the REAL scandal here is HOW they were put out of business. THEY COULDN’T COMPETE AGAINST CHEAP CHINESE TECHNOLOGIES SUBSIDIZED BY THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. This absurd Conservative belief that “tariffs would create a trade war” rather than make our products competitive enough to create jobs here at home, is burying America in a hole it might never dig its way out of. Ross Perot was right about that “giant sucking sound” of jobs leaving the country if we massively expanded (so-called) “Free Trade”.

Another bug up my butt this week: all of last month, I railed about how “public sector job losses” were dragging down the recovery, and the hypocrisy of Republicans… who have a LONG history of using government-jobs to bring down unemployment… turn a blind-eye to Republican governors CURRENTLY doing that very thing, at the same time they are attacking President Obama on “spending” and “weak jobs numbers”.

So imagine my surprise last week to see my beloved ThinkProgress link to a story Friday on how “public sector job creation soared under President Bush” while it has plunged under President Obama. Glad to see them FINALLY come to the Party, but I emailed them my own coverage of the topic nearly a month ago. A “hat-tip” would of been nice (not that I do this for the attaboys).

Also of note, Tuesday will be the Recall election of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. It is almost unimaginable that someone who: publicly (and unwittingly) confessed to considering “planting troublemakers within anti-Walker protest rallies”, admitted that his plan to break up public unions had nothing to do with balancing the states’ budget, and even admitted (again unwittingly) on camera that his strategy to “permanently turn the state red” was “divide & conquer” (pitting the people against unions until the unions were destroyed), and carries the distinction of being “the only governor in the nation with a criminal defense fund“… could be leading the polls by as many as 7-points the weekend before the election. But then again, thanks to the “Citizens United” ruling, a flood of money from some very rich special interests from outside the state that would also like to see the unions destroyed, have flooded money into the Walker campaign at a more than 10-to-1 cash advantage, to the point where even some union members are supporting him (that’s a link to the “Union Members for Walker” Facebook page.) All I can ask is: “Are you out of your freakin’ minds?” I pray that the polls are wildly off because they don’t poll the most motivated anti-Walker voters: young people with cell phones.

Republicans, I have to ask: Do you believe in Class Action Lawsuits? That’s when a group of people harmed by the same corporation join forces to sue as a group because no single person could go up against a Billion dollar company and not get squashed like a bug. THAT’S what a UNION is. It levels the playing field between corporations with all the money and employees with limited resources. Destroy the unions and you better pray you never have to go up against them in court. As the bumper sticker says:
 

United We Stand

Another topic on my mind this week, I want to rant for a moment about My Integrity… or more precisely, Republicans who call it into question.

Last weeks column was on a very complex subject deserving (as I noted repeatedly) deeper investigation by people with more time & resources than myself. While examining Governor Romney’s “job creation” record, I came away with more questions than I started, namely, why a close friend of Mitt’s came to him with a “jobs program” in which all of the risk fell on himself and asked nothing of the state? Then, when I found two criminal indictments before the Massachusetts state court connected to the same bank at the same time as their deal with the governor, it certainly got my Spidey-sense tingling.

But I made a small error in my report (which I updated to note), saying that Romney had recently cost the state “4,000 jobs” by allowing a merger to go through that he had to power to stop but didn’t (and thus in need of a lifeline.) But, as was pointed out to me in the comments, the “4,000 figure” was the “total number of jobs affected by the merger” (the entire company workforce), not “lost”. My integrity was also called into question for not pointing out that the same sweetheart deal offered Romney was also going on in Pennsylvania by the same bank. (Note: If it matters, the same bank was being sued in Pennsylvania for “copyright infringement” at the same time.)

Note, I don’t blog for a living. As you’ve noticed, there are no adds on this site, nor requests for donations. It’s a hobby. It’s my “rooftop” to shout from that I pay for out of pocket. I tried ads once, but when they started showing ads for people/causes that I don’t support, I dumped them. And while mistakes are bound to be made, I take great pains not to flub The Big Stuff. Hopefully you’ve noticed that I attempt to provide a link to EVERY assertion I make to back me up. And like my “4,000” flub, if I make a mistake, let me know and I’ll correct it. I find it almost comical that anyone would accuse me of “hiding” something that they only know BECAUSE I LINKED TO IT.

But that’s what Conservatives do. When presented with something they can’t refute, they’ll pick it apart for the tiniest flaw, then go after that tiny flaw like a dog that hasn’t eaten in a week, believing that if they can destroy that one thing, they’ve destroyed your entire argument. “How can you trust anything he says when he got this one simple thing wrong?” Once again, if I’m not certain about something, I’ll say so, and recommend further investigation. Do NOT question my integrity you little Brownshirt crotch-lice.

Note to Republicans: Just because you tell me you “hate Mitt Romney” DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE NOT A REPUBLICAN. Only in GOP-land does a 100% adherence to each and every thing your Party says or does make you “a Republican”, and if you disagree on anything, that makes you “an Independent”. No children, I disagree with my Party… even President Obama… frequently. But I still call myself a Democrat. That’s because I’m an adult. I believe in an “ideal”, not an “ideology”.

Whew! Glad to get all that off my chest.
 


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The Truth About the Keystone XL Pipeline: Few jobs, higher gas prices, eco disaster (updated)
Mar 23rd, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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Obama keeps catering to the RightFrequent readers of M.R.S. already know how I feel about the proposed “Keystone XL pipeline” and the absurd level of hyperbole from Conservatives regarding the supposed windfall of jobs it would produce along with its ability to bring down gas prices, while downplaying the environmental consequences. With the deep pockets of BigOil and oil tycoons like the Billionaire Koch Brothers flooding the airways with ads trying to convince the general public to support the pipeline (ask yourself “Why anyone would spend millions in TV ads and lobbying Congress to drive prices/profits DOWN?”), I was heartened for a long time by President Obama’s resistance to this disastrous proposed pipeline. But on March 22nd (2012), President Obama announced that he was caving in to pressure from The Right and would be “fast-tracking a portion of the Keystone pipeline extending it from Oklahoma to the Texas gulf”. (I apologize in advance if this report seems a bit rushed and not as well organized. I had hoped to do a more extensive report at a later date, but felt my hand was rushed with the presidents announcement.)

Myth #1: “1 million jobs”:

A flood of TV & radio ads are on the airwaves right now suggesting the pipeline would be a huge job creator:

American Petroleum Institute TV Ad
API ad claiming Keystone “could create 1 million new jobs”.

 

“Could” create? Interestingly enough, when you checkout the link they cite at the end of their ad… “EnergyTomorrow.org”their own website contradicts this claim:

Only 500,000 jobs in 3 years
Only 500,000 jobs in 3 years (click to enlarge)

 

Every independent study estimating the number of jobs that might be created by this pipeline say the actual number is lower. FAR lover. Not even in the “hundreds of thousands”. The company that will actually build the pipeline, TransCanada says Keystone would create “20,000 direct jobs”, consisting of 13,000 construction jobs and 7,000 jobs making stuff like pump houses and the pipe itself. TransCanada also estimates a grand total of just “120,000 indirect jobs” added to local economies along the construction route. That’s roughly 15 percent of the total figure claimed in those ads. So where do they get “1 million jobs?” That’s spread out over 20 years. And it won’t take 20 years to construct the pipeline. The number of jobs they estimated refers to “person-years” of employment— a single job that lasts two years is counted twice! You read that right. Since the jobs are temporary, after two years, when that temp job ends and they are replaced (often by the same person) they count the same job again as a “new” job, even though the net job increase is ZERO.
 

(Update 3/1/2013: Reuters reports Keystone would create no more than 42,100 temporary construction jobs and just 35-50 permanent jobs.)

 
Probably the most damning proof that the number of jobs KXL might produce has been WILDLY exaggerated can be seen in this video of Fox “news” hosts gradually inflating the number of jobs from “5,000” to “over a million”, followed by TransCanada VP Robert Jones admitting the actual number would actually be closer to “just 1,000 jobs”:


To infinity, and beyond!

 

The primary jobs created by this pipeline would come from its actual construction. This is low-skill low-pay contract employment that at most would last only two years. The Washington Post “FactChecker” gives the “million jobs” claim “two Pinocchio’s”, finding the actual number of jobs closer to “13,000 construction jobs over two years.”

Myth #2: Energy Independence:

Republicans are astoundingly good at “catapulting the propaganda”. Far better than Democrats. But part of the reason Republicans are so good at spreading misinformation that benefits them is because they have a huge pool of uninformed, undereducated, Evangelical followers that have been conditioned after decades of religious teaching to never question what you are told, to accept everything “on faith”, and trust pro-Rich, anti-Poor, pro-Big Business, pro-Death Penalty, pro-War, pro-Gun, anti-Environment extremists that they are acting in their best interests. Democrats are far more likely to question everything they are told. This makes for a far more educated voter pool that’s piss-poor at organizing.

Enough of that. Conservatives are absolutely convinced that those Canadian Oilsands contain “100 years worth of oil” that could help reduce/eliminate our dependence on “foreign” oil (someone should point out to them that Canada is also a “foreign country”). And if we don’t have to buy all that oil from the Middle East, we can tell those countries to “go to Hell” and stop “bowing down to the Saudis”.

It is actually incredibly difficult to get accurate figures on how much oil can be extracted from the Canadian Oilsands/tarsands because no one really knows exactly how much “oil” there is. “Oil” is in quotes because the black tar saturating these sands is actually a chemical sludge called “bitumen”, which, when mixed with water and chemicals releases heavy black crude oil (more on that later). The area in question… an expanse of Canada’s Boreal Forest… covers 1.4 billion acres. The number of actual “barrels of oil per acre” depends both on the saturation (how deep into the ground the tar goes) and just how “oily” the soil is, but one study puts the number at “175 billion barrels of retrievable oil”. At our current usage rate of (if Wiki can be trusted) “20 million barrels per day”… if we never use more oil than we do today… that translates to just under 24 years worth of oil. Of course, we use more and more oil every year. One estimate claims an increase of 2 percent a year. I suck at math, so I’m not even going to attempt it, but I don’t see “100 to 300 years worth of oil” coming out of those tarsands. That’s a FAR cry from “energy independence”.

So first, the amount of oil from the tarsands is not enough to make us “self-sufficient” so that we don’t need to import any Middle Eastern oil even if we don’t export a single drop to the rest of the world. But we WILL be exporting that oil. Not just “some” or “a lot”, but MOST of it is intended for export. Six major exporters have laid claim to 76 percent (pdf) of the oil that is to be pumped through the KXL pipeline. The “heavy sour” crude one extracts from tarsand is not very good for producing light low-sulfur gasoline, but is just dandy for producing diesel like they use in Europe and South America. And since “petrol” sells for WAY more in Europe than gasoline does in the U.S., the oil companies are going where the money is. Ask yourself, “Why build a 2,000 mile pipeline through six states, bisecting the entire continental U.S. and risking a major aquifer, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico? Are there no closer refineries? Wouldn’t it be cheaper/safer just to build a refinery in Canada?” Very little of this oil will ever find its way to American gas tanks. So much for “energy independence”.
 

Which bring us to Myth #3: Lower gas prices:

There is currently a major lack of refining capacity in Europe and South America. That is why the tarsand oil is to be refined here in the U.S. (ibid above PDF). Presently, American refineries produce gasoline for use here in America and export to the rest of the world. But if you shift a portion of American refineries over from refining gasoline for us to refining diesel for export, that means the supply of gasoline will go DOWN not up… driving UP the price at the pump. The KXL is expected to carry roughly 1.1 million barrels a day. That translates to about 8% of our total refining capacity. That’s the equivalent of an 8% cut in the supply of gasoline. And if you think Speculators on Wall Street will stop after the price of oil rises just 8 percent, you haven’t been paying attention these past eight years.

The Washington Post FactChecker also points out that “even if the pipeline were approved tomorrow, it wouldn’t carry it’s first barrel of oil” for another two years. So if gas prices were to fall at all (and they won’t), it won’t be from the “near $4/gallon” it is NOW but the “God-only-knows” price it will be two years from now.

ThinkProgress released a study this week (March 2012) that finds that in 36 years, they could find NO evidence that “increased drilling reduces gas prices”. If anything, looking at their graph, the exact opposite appears to be true, with gas prices typically increasing as production rises.

Keep in mind, unless you plan on SOCIALIZING the entire oil industry (like Venezuela), there’s NO WAY to insulate oil prices in the U.S. from the price set on the Open Market. So whatever the price is in the rest of the world, that’s how much that tarsands oil will go for… and gas prices accordingly. The amount of oil from the tarsands is not enough to glut the market and drive down prices, BUT EVEN IF IT WERE, since prices are set by the World Market, OPEC would simply cut production driving the price back up (something “Professor Newt” fails to take into account when promising “$2.50/gallon gas”.) So gas won’t be any cheaper either.
 

Then there’s #4 The Environmental issues:

If you wanted to design the dirtiest, least environmentally friendly way of obtaining oil, you couldn’t invent a worse source than tarsand. Unlike conventional drilling, tarsand actually involves “open-pit strip-mining” the Earth and trucking billions of tons of oily soil to a “pumping station”. And you can’t pump “sludge” though a pipeline, so you must mix it with water. “Four barrels of water for every barrel of bitumen” (pdf report). That dirty toxic water is later separated from the oil upon refining where it is dumped into “tailing ponds”… a sea of toxic waste. And since you get TWO barrels of toxic waste for every ONE barrel of oil (ibid same report), that leaves you with a PERMANENT TOXIC WASTE DUMP OF TWICE THE AMOUNT OF OIL CREATED. So Europe gets 15 years worth of diesel and Texas gets giant disgusting lakes of toxic waste staring at us from now till eternity.

Tailing pond
“Tailing pond”

 

Did you know that the “Keystone Pipeline” already exists? The proposed “Keystone XL” is a larger alternate pipeline replacing an existing 1,661 mile pipeline that currently extends as far South as Cushing, Oklahoma (the extension approved by President Obama mentioned at the top of this report will allow it to now reach the rest of the way to the Port of Houston and Port Arthur). The new… more direct route… into Nebraska that would take the pipeline thru some very environmentally sensitive areas and beneath the famed “Ogallala Aquifer”… the primary source of clean drinking water for as many as five states. The currently existing pipeline, when it was built, was predicted to leak (due to aging or unforeseen events) “once every seven years”. Instead, it LEAKED TWELVE TIMES LAST YEAR (its first year). On May 7th of last year near Millner, N.D., the pipeline spilled about 21,000 gallons of oil. So not only do you get giant lakes of toxic waste, you also get thick black oil spills as all that toxic sludge rips holes in our wonderful new pipleline.

And that thick black sludge doesn’t float on the surface where it can be mopped up with skimmer boats like we saw in the Gulf after the BP spill. No, this thick black sludge sinks to the bottom of the river or sinks back into the ground, making it next to impossible to clean up. This just keeps getting better & better.

Diesel fuel also produces more Greenhouse gasses than gasoline when it is burned, making the high-sulfur diesel refined from the tarsands oil one giant “carbon bomb” that renowned NASA climatologist James Hansen said would spell “Game Over” for the environment.
 

And there you have it. Keystone WON’T “create hundreds of thousands of jobs”, WON’T “decrease our dependence on foreign oil”, WON’T bring down gas prices, but WILL produce an environmental disaster the likes of which you can’t begin to imagine.

President Obama, you should know by now that if you are doing this to please the Right, it won’t. Instead, they’ll use it as a weapon to prove that “they were right all along” and it took them fighting you on this issue to get you to see the error of your ways and “do what the people want.” They are ALREADY saying that the only reason you’re doing this is “because your approval ratings are down”.

Remember what George Bush said about “Fool me once”.

PS: Oh, and for any Right-Wingers reading this: Several sources for this article came from a Fox “news” report entitled “Six reasons Keystone XL was a bad deal all along.”
 


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So much stupid (part 2). The Kingmakers, Global Warming denied and the key is not Keystone
Mar 21st, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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The GOP StoogesContinuing from Monday, there was plenty of stupidity to report last week. A man that had no business even being in Afghanistan was overextended to the point tragedy. And there was the stupidity of a Media that inflicts John McCain upon us for yet one more Sunday show appearance to critique the man he lost to. Do you know how many times John Kerry AND Al Gore were invited on these Sunday shows to comment on George W Bush? If you held up two fingers, you raised one too many. Also, the normally brilliant and well-prepared Rachel Maddow completely botched an exclusive interview with America’s preeminent Global Warming denier, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) last Thursday, failing to challenge him on ANY of his ridiculous arguments… not just climate change, but Inhofe even argues that the planet is “cooling”. Unchallenged, I’m sure this incredibly dangerous man went home more confident in his delusions than ever before. And the GOP… most notably the Republican candidates, have been ramping up the rhetoric and even outright boldfaced lying about the supposed benefits of the “Keystone XL pipeline”. But let’s start with the topic I didn’t have time to get to on Monday:

The Kingmakers: Gingrich & Paul:

With the most recent primary results, most people looking at the numbers agree the GOP Primary is now a “two man race” (UPDATE: Last night, the Illinois Primary ended with Gingrich and Paul in single digits.) Gingrich said he “needed to win either Alabama and/or Mississippi to remain a credible candidate”, but despite losing both, Gingrich announced that he was “going all the way to the convention” in Tampa this year. And mathematically, there’s no path to victory for Ron Paul either. So why are they still in the race? Simple. If Newt were to drop out, not all of his supporters would automatically switch to Rick Santorum. About a quarter of Newt’s supporters say they would go to Romney. So by staying in the race, Gingrich can deny Romney those future delegates and perhaps prevent Romney from reaching the 1,144 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination, forcing a brokered convention. Newt can then hand ALL of his delegates to Santorum in exchange for the VP spot. This is not so unlikely, since Gingrich frequently praised Santorum on everything from his record on Iran to “running a positive campaign.”

On last Sunday’s “ThisWeek” on ABC, Santorum was given the opportunity to criticize Gingrich and suggest that he drop out of the race. He didn’t. Instead, choosing to attack Romney for not being “a true Conservative”. This follows another opportunity earlier this month when Rick was asked if he thought Newt should “get out of the race”. Again, Rick eschewed criticizing Gingrich, instead simply stating (jokingly) that if would be nice “if everyone dropped out of the race… including President Obama…” and just handed him the presidency. Two chances to tell Newt to get out of the race and he side-stepped both. That tells me he’s thinking the same thing I am: Don’t piss off the Kingmaker.

Meanwhile, Ron Paul has been quietly collecting delegates… more than most people realize, focusing on “caucus” states where the delegates are selected independent of the number of votes received. Using this strategy, Paul may be the actual “winner” in Iowa. While Santorum and Romney were fighting over who received the most votes in Iowa, the Paul campaign was quietly working behind the scenes to make sure they had the most Precinct Captains who actually choose the delegates. Should we see a “Brokered Convention”, Paul could provide Romney with the extra votes needed to put him over the top in exchange for the VP spot… either for himself or (more likely IMHO) his idiot son Rand. And there is plenty of good reason to suspect this: Paul has NEVER criticized Romney in a debate. Not once. And Romney has spoken positively of Paul and his supporters on more than one occasion. He knows he may need those votes.

So don’t bother asking Santorum or Romney if they think the other candidates should get out of the race. It’s far preferable to convince one man to give you ALL of his delegates, then take your chances trying to win over their supporters. And the other two know it.

Next up: The abysmal Maddow/Inhofe interview. A week later and I’m still fuming.

I watch the “Rachel Maddow Show” video podcast each & every weekday. There isn’t a better, more consistently brilliant Lefty political show on TV imho, so it pains me greatly to criticize her for failing so miserably to swat down the giant softball that was Jim Inhofe. Rachel even took the day off the day before her big interview, and I was hoping it was to do show-prep for their big “show-down”. So you can imagine my disappointment.

Senator Inhofe is the King of the Global Warming deniers, having just completed a book entitled “The Greatest Hoax”, where he not only denies the existence of Global Warming, but tries to claim the opposite, that the Earth is in fact “cooling“. The senator’s lead argument against Global Warming is to (selectively) quote The Bible and passages that say God gave us the Earth to use as we see fit and that it will always be with us for that purpose. NOT EVEN THE POPE denies the existence of Global Warming. But to my great disappointment, Rachel didn’t challenge the Senator on a whole host of points:

  1. During the blizzard of 2010 (“Snowmageddon”) Senator, you dubbed the “igloo” your grandkids built in their front yard: ‘Al Gore’s Summer Home’. Question: Where do you think all that snow came from? (hint: Think massive evaporation.) If he says the snow is evidence it is getting colder, point out that there are regions of Antarctica where it hasn’t snowed in over 10,000 years. Cold weather does not equal snow.
  2. Senator, you cite Bible passages that claim God said, “the Earth will always be at the service of man” to refute Climate Change, yet you believe in “Global Cooling“… a theory that not only has FAR less evidence to support it, but would be every bit as destructive to the Earth as Global Warming, and refuted by those very same Bible passages you use to refute Global Warming. Please explain the inconsistency.
  3. Senator, do you believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth? Because the Bible (Joshua 10:13) was used to torture & imprison Galileo for claiming “the Earth revolves around the Sun”, and suppress science for hundreds of years. How can you use the Bible as your basis for refuting any scientific matter knowing this?
  4. A question I would of like to of heard the answer to: Is it okay for any person or group of people to put their own religious beliefs ahead of the personal safety of over SIX BILLION PEOPLE?
  5. The Vatican has warned of: “serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases…”, and that “humans must act decisively now to avert a coming crisis”. Why are you right and The Pope wrong?

And those are just off the top of my head. As for his “Global Cooling” stupidity, I’m certain he bases his belief on “increased snowfall” (due to increased evaporation) and “tree ring data”. Tree rings were once used to determine “cold” years, but with rising temperatures, tree rings have narrowed in “warm” years as well. Inhofe likely believes recent narrow tree rings prove that it has been getting “colder” (never mind that we have temperature records. Those can be faked, right?) rather than simply recording “inclimate” weather when the tree did not flourish. Not only did Rachel not point this fact out, she actually said, “we don’t know why” tree ring data is now considered “unreliable”. Rachel, you seriously let us down.

Three REAL ways to bring down gas prices quickly:

The GOP thinks it has found a winning issue when it comes to the infamous “Keystone XL Pipeline” (KXL for short). The benefits of KXL has been ridiculously overblown while the dangers have been almost totally absent from the conversation thanks to a multi-million dollar PR campaign by Big Oil to convince Americans that construction of KXL will mean “1 million new jobs” (a lie the Washington Post fact checker gives two Pinocchios) and lower prices at the pump (which WaPo gives one Pinocchio… but fails to take into consideration the loss of refinery capacity). As I’ve noted on here repeatedly, the number of jobs has been WILDLY over-hyped, they want the pipeline to go to the Gulf for a reason: Export. And reallocating refinery capacity… currently used to refine gasoline for OUR use… to instead refine tarsand into diesel for sale in South America and Europe means LESS gasoline will be produced, driving prices UP not “down”.

But even if you don’t believe any of that, simply ask yourself “why would the oil companies spend $100million dollars in advertising to do something that would drive prices (and their profits) DOWN?”

Oh, and BTW: While Republicans are in hysterics over the number of “jobs that would be created” by the KXL, House Republicans have threatened to block the Highway Transportation Bill that would create over 1 million jobs. Hard to take The Right seriously when they claim to support the pipeline for the jobs it would create, and then threaten to block a desperately needed highway infrastructure bill that would create more jobs in less time.

“Supply” only has an effect on the price of oil when supply is LOW, and right now, production is higher than it was at any point under the Bush Administration, and (thanks to people cutting back due to high prices and environmental concerns), gasoline consumption is at its lowest in 15 years. So why are gas prices climbing back into the stratosphere? When supply is high (like now), the price is manipulated in two ways: “speculation” and “manipulation”.

  1. Speculation – Speculators on Wall Street take every opportunity to drive prices up to increase profits. Be it a busted pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico or saber-rattling of war with Iran, Speculators will invest in “oil futures” on the Commodities Market or purchase “Hedge Funds” betting against a decline in the price of oil, driving the price up regardless of supply. Over a decade ago, we used to require anyone that invests in the Commodities Market to PROVE they can “take delivery” of the commodities they invest in. Today, any schmuck living in Mommy’s basement with a “Trading App” on their iPhone can purchase 100 barrels of oil. We need to bring this rule back, allowing only those who can take possession of the Commodities they purchase, actually buy them. This will DRAMATICALLY reduce speculation by people simply looking to make a quick buck off driving up prices. (Some have expressed concern to me that such Regulation will simply drive investors to overseas markets w/o the restriction. Where the price is higher? I don’t think so. The big investors are going to go where the Commodities are cheapest, driving the price down everywhere else.)
  2.  

  3. Make “hoarding” illegal. – Okay, “hoarding” is a bit of a misnomer here. Oil companies aren’t actually filling tankers up with oil to send floating out to sea for months on end. Nor are they filling up giant land-based tanks with unrefined petroleum waiting for the price to go up. Why go through all that when the oil is already being “stored” just fine underground? No, “hoarding” in this case refers to active wells being “capped” deliberately, creating artificial shortages to drive prices up. Admittedly, this is very difficult to prove. If oil companies WERE actually storing oil in tanks/tankers, it would be easy to prove “hoarding”, but with capping wells, it would take a substantial amount of “hoarding” to affect the global price of oil and prove manipulation.
  4.  

  5. Refinery closures – You might remember in the late 1990’s, Enron bought out most of the electricity generation plants in California and then randomly ordered those plants to shut down (for totally made-up reasons), creating artificial shortages to drive the price up (The Tonight Show even did an episode in the dark in June of 2001 because of it). Oil companies today are doing the same with refineries, closing down plants and refining less oil (so says a 2006 FTC investigation) to deliberately drive up prices (I even wrote about this back in May of 2007), and it should be illegal.

(Please note that the words “Drill” and “Keystone” appear nowhere in that list.)

And while we’re at it, how about we end those Billion dollar tax subsidies to Big Oil at a time when they are already reaping record profits that have made Exxon the richest corporation on the face of the planet?

Three quick and simple ways to bring down gas prices quickly. Good luck finding a politician with the stones to call the oil companies and Wall Street out on it.

And another hat-tip to the WaPo Fact Checker for debunking the current GOP meme that “President Obama and his staff said they actually WANT higher gas prices.” That ridiculous bit of nonsense earned Three Pinocchio’s. Why do Republicans insist on making crap up when it’s so easy to debunk?

It’s no wonder Republicans wax nostalgic for the 1950’s. No videotape.


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So much stupid, so little time (part 1). Afghanistan, the Kingmakers & John McCain (again)
Mar 19th, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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If GOP campaign buttons were honestI had great difficulty deciding on just one topic to focus on in this week. A week that saw a U.S. soldier go “nuts”, sneak out under cover of darkness and murder 16 Afghan civilians (NINE of whom were children); A week that saw the otherwise brilliant Rachel Maddow completely blow an exclusive interview (full podcast here) with lead Global Warming denier Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), wasting half of the interview to confront him on his support for Uganda’s “kill the gays” legislation and never actually challenging him on his anti-Climate Change crackpottery; and yesterday watching as ABC’s “ThisWeek” bring on Fmr. Gov Haley “pardoned 210 felons” Barbour (R-MS) to critique President Obama (only later, fill-in host Karl directing viewers to “visit the ABC News website for their discussion of Barbour’s controversial pardons). Oh, and “Meet The Press” officially declared its irrelevance and became “The John McCain Show” after (as Gregory admitted by the end) McCain’s “68th appearance” on that program (with the Iraq War now over, McCain only leaves his tent in the NBC courtyard long enough to appear on other network shows). With all that, I decided it was best to split this op/ed into two parts, rather than allow any “one” topic to fester in my brain any longer than necessary.

First, the Afghanistan Massacre. Question: Why was a soldier sent on his FOURTH deployment DESPITE having suffered a traumatic brain injury and loss of half of one foot (yet never received a Purple Heart and was passed up for promotion) even IN Afghanistan? And despite supposedly lauded service prior to this incident, what was someone with a civilian criminal record even doing in the military? THAT little loophole came courtesy of President George W Bush in 2005, when he granted “moral waivers”, allowing the recruitment of people with “criminal records, emotional problems, and weak educational backgrounds” after he started running out of cannon-fodder to feed the Iraq War Machine he switched on but couldn’t switch off.

As horrific as this crime was, people are once again asking, “Why are we still there?” The consensus finally appears to be that it is time to leave. Even Conservative icon George Will said on ABC’s “ThisWeek” yesterday: “It is time. To. Come. Home.” The lone holdout? John “100 Years” McCain, who revived his old reasoning for staying in Iraq, declaring there’s no reason to not stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, telling MtP’s David Gregory, “We still have troops in Korea and Germany.” Good point, Senator. why in the Hell are we still in THOSE countries too?

McCain flat-out lies to The Gregory, claiming that Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants us to stay longer, but after President Obama unilaterally declared a timetable for our withdrawal, Karzai was left with no option but to come out in support of it. Complete bullshit. As author/vet Wes Moore pointed out later in the broadcast, “Obama didn’t set the 2014 deadline. Karzai did!”

Also of note yesterday, both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were invited on as “exclusive guests” to several Sunday shows. Romney appeared on Fox “news” Sunday, while Santorum appeared on ABC’s “ThisWeek” and CNN’s “State of the Union”. On FnS, Romney accused President Obama of a “Failure of leadership” in Afghanistan, claiming Obama is “not engaged” and that if he/Romney were president, he’d “be on the phone with Karzai every day”.

He says this twice. And I’m wondering, “What exactly would Mittens be telling the president of Afghanistan to do? Order Karzai to tell his people to please stop shooting at us?” Maybe have him politely ask the Afghans not to burn the American flag when they protest the massacre of seven adults and nine children? What exactly does Romney think he can fix with daily phone calls to Afghanistan? I’m mean, seriously.

Romney goes on to say, “Time and again he proves this is a president that just does not have experience in tough situations.

Forget for a moment bin Laden, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, et al I’m wondering just what “experience” Romney has in “tough situations” that makes him more qualified to be president? “Nerves of steel” that allowed him to fire thousands of workers and still sleep at night? “Tough situations” like “calmly pulling over to hose off the car when your terrified dog loses all bowel control after you strapped him to the roof? (Note: The reporter that first documented the anecdote in a profile of Mitt Romney said it was meant to illustrate Romney’s “emotion-free crisis management” skills. No, I’m not kidding.)

Then came Rick Santorum, who doubled down on his ridiculous lie to the people of Puerto Rico, telling them that their statehood was legally dependent upon their ability to speak English. More bovine excrement. There is no “you must speak English before you’re granted statehood” law or Constitutional requirement. Rick just pulled that out of his Santorum. But when asked about his comment on ABC’s “ThisWeek”, Santorum claimed that “in the past, SOME states were required to speak English first before becoming states.” Another flat-out lie. This would come as a huge surprise to Alaska or Hawaii… the last two states admitted to the union. Just before them, New Mexico and Arizona were granted statehood simultaneously in 1906. 50% of New Mexicans spoke Spanish while 20% of Arizonians were Native American. It’s also worth noting most Puerto Ricans ALREADY speak English. Rick probably got the idea from the “English only requirement” that elected officials… both state & Federal… must speak English. But this has nothing to do with statehood. Conservatives have NO problem making up ridiculous nonsense out of thin air simply to support their mistaken beliefs. Just watch Fox “news” for half a day and I guarantee you’ll hear at least five examples before lunch.

Well, that’s enough head shaking and eye-rolling for one morning. I’ll have to get to the “Kingmarkers: Gingrich & Paul, later. Be sure to return Wednesday for Part-2. Oh, and… as noted above… be sure to subscribe to our Twitter Feed.


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It Couldn’t Be More Clear: GOP running against fictional president with fictional record
Mar 7th, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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History LessonSuper Tuesday is now history, and the Republican presidential candidates have all given their “victory” speeches (not Ron Paul, who won no states). And it is clear from listening to them that each one of them absatively-posalutely believes they will be running in November against some fictional “un-American” president with a record that bears no resemblance to the record of President Obama.

Newt Gingrich talked about high gas prices. He noted that when HE was Speaker, “gas was only $1.13 a gallon.” Yes, and a Democrat was president. And the country was at peace rather than waging a preemptive war in the Middle East. Newt tacks on The Sin of Omission: “Gas was only $1.89 when President Obama entered office”. Yes, but JUST SIX MONTHS earlier, it was $4.11. The resulting economic contraction followed by the collapse of Wall Street caused gas prices to plunge by the end of the year. Is THAT Newt’s recipe to bring gas prices down to “just $2.50/gallon”… which is were it was just one year ago before The Right started saber-rattling over Iran. Newt (and Romney, and Santorum) have ALL said they would “send aircraft carriers into the Straights of Hormuz” to “stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon”. Just what does Gingrich think would happen to gas prices if he did that? Forget “$2.50”, try $6.00/gallon. “Moonbase” Gingrich recently called President Obama’s encouragement of Algae-based biofuels: “wacky” (Exxon doesn’t seem to think it’s “wacky”), so we KNOW “Green Energy” is not part of Newt’s strategy. Instead, Gingrich again raises the “Drill here. Drill now!” battle cry. THE ONLY WAY “threatening war with Iran” does NOT affect gas prices here at home AND for us to have enough fuel to be “energy independent”, Gingrich would have to NATIONALIZE all the oil companies (like Venezuela) and not trade it on the open market. That seems awfully COMMUNIST to me. “Government takeover” of the largest industry in this nation and eschew “The Free Market”? I’m happy to debate this conclusion with anyone. Go for it in the Comments below.

Next was Rick Santorum, who proclaimed that “When ObamaCare takes full affect in a few years, 100% of the country will be dependent upon the Federal government!” Huh??? Like just about every other Republican, Ricky CLEARLY has NO CLUE what “ObamaCare” is: a mandate that everyone must purchase PRIVATE health insurance from a PRIVATE insurance company. Rick seems to be confusing “ObamaCare” with “Single Payer” (where the government is the only insurance company.) I truly WISH Santorum were right and “ObamaCare” were “Single Payer”, but it’s not. (Why am I reminded of all the Limbaugh-defenders this past week defending his “slut” comment because they all think Sandra Fluke’s testimony had ANYTHING to do with “having sex” and not treating ovarian cysts?) And is this a sneak-peak into what Santorum thinks of “Medicare”… which IS “Single-Payer”?

Mitt Romney gave his usual laundry list of “Obama failures” that started on Bush’s watch. But his signature line was his “formula for reviving the economy”: a “20% across-the-board tax cut”, followed by “I will repeal the minimum tax and eliminate the Death Tax!”, which the crowd behind him wildly applauded. How many of the people on the grandstand behind Romney do you think make “at least one million dollars a year” or would inherit an “estate” worth “$5 Million dollars or more” so that either tax would affect them? I’d wager the only multimillionaires on that stage answer to the name of “Romney”.

The returns are still coming in as I type this, and the coveted state of Ohio is still “too close to call” between Romney and Santorum. Ricky has led in Ohio nearly all night, but the powers-that-be KNOW Mitt Romney MUST win Ohio or it’s all over for him, so, much like in Iowa (where he lost but was prematurely declared the winner the next day so be would be perceived as “inevitable”.) A Santorum win would be a disaster as Rick polls FAR worse against Obama, so I expect to learn “Mitt won Ohio by 2%” tomorrow morning. (UPDATE: Mitt “won” Ohio by less than one percent. As noted on DailyKOS, Rick Perry received more votes in Ohio than the margin of error between Romney & Santorum: 6,559.)


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Anyone else remember why gas hit $4 in ’08? It was saber-rattling over Iran’s nukes.
Feb 27th, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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War is a Racket

I find the short memory of the average voter endlessly frustrating. The Bush Presidency was an unmitigated disaster, from a DOW that had plunged over 1,000 points by September 10th, 2001; the refusal of the Bush Administration to focus on al Qaeda until it was too late; to the Iraq War itself launched under false pretenses, plunging an already weak economy over the cliff. Yet, three short years after Bush’s departure, the idea that we might launch ANOTHER needless preemptive war against a country three times the size of Iraq over suspicions that Iran might be developing “weapons of mass destruction” seems absolutely insane. Republicans are suddenly in a tizzy over “rising gas prices” and making hay over the possibility that we “might see $5/gallon gasoline by this Summer”. Where were they four years ago when gasoline… which hadn’t EVER broken $2/gallon before Bush… was on the brink of breaking $4/gallon in 2008? And just why DID gas hit $4/gallon by July of that year? Because President Bush had spent the better part of a year saber-rattling about possible military action against Iran. First, in 2007, it was because “Iran was meddling in the Iraq War”:
 

Failing to rally war-weary Americans into supporting another mindless preemptive war, President Bush then turned to fear-mongering over “Iran developing a ‘nukeular’ program”:

Bush Administration hyping the threat of Iran pursuing nuclear weapons…

Bush remains hawkish over Iran’s nuclear program. – Dec 4, 2007
US: “No confidence” Iran’s nuclear program peaceful. – Feb 22, 2008
IAEA to probe alleged Iranian nuclear weapons. – Mar 3, 2008
EU Widens Iran Sanctions, Shuts Bank Melli’s European Offices. – June 23, 2008
U.S. strike may delay, not stop Iran nuclear program. – June 25, 2008

…Gas hits a record high of $4.11/gallon on July 14, 2008.

US changes tack on Iran, giving diplomacy a chance. – July 17, 2008
U.S. fails to sway Iran at 7-nation nuclear talks. – July 20, 2008

(While President Bush was threatening military action over “Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons”: U.S. report says Iran halted nuclear weapons program in 2003. – Dec 3, 2007.)

By June, President Bush had convinced Europe to take part in sanctions against Iran until they halted their nuclear enrichment program. The following month, oil hit the previously unfathomable height of $147/barrel on July 11, 2008. Consider that:

On September 12, 2001, crude oil closed at $29 a barrel… the day after the attacks of 9/11. While the U.S. Stock & Mercantile markets may have been closed in the U.S., the rest of the world went on without us. The price of oil rose only slightly, up just $1.55 from the day before. Oil has now risen an additional $100 a barrel since 9/11.

If you were a Republican, you might stop there and exonerate President Bush by blaming current oil prices on “9/11”. But exactly 18 months later on March 11, 2003, the price of oil had climbed a mere $9 to just $37 a barrel a little over a week before the invasion of Iraq. 9/11 had NOTHING to do with the meteoric rise in gas prices that we see today.

Mugsy’s Rap Sheet, May 21, 2008

By 2008, I noticed a new trend among all the gas stations in my neighborhood. Digital signs. Gas prices had been climbing so fast and frequently, changing the plastic numbers on the marque was becoming a full-time job. Today, finding a station that still uses the old plastic numbers changed by hand is almost a novelty. So to hear Republicans today whine about gas prices that are still 50cents a gallon lower than they were six months before Bush left office is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

And that’s another thing: All these people (Republicans and Media alike) noting that “gas was just $1.79/gallon when Bush left office”… like that’s where it had been all eight years of Bush’s presidency. As I noted, gas prices hit a record $4.11/gallon just six months earlier, nearly doubling in price climbing $2/gallon in just 18 months. President Bush quickly stopped saber-rattling against Iran just long enough for oil prices to plummet 52%… and gas prices along with it… in time for the November election (having the Democratic Party presidential nominee and likely 2008 winner suggesting we TALK to Iran certainly didn’t hurt.)

Ronald Reagan’s former Budget Director David Stockman made the same observation on CNN last week:

As Stockman points out, the reason gas prices are as high as they are right now has nothing to do with the “supply” of oil and everything to do with “speculators” on Wall Street, driving up the price of oil regardless of output/availability. We used to require that people who purchased “Commodities” (like corn, cotton, wheat or oil) on the Mercantile Exchange prove they can actually take possession of the commodities they are buying. Not so today. Today, any ignorant Day-Trader living in a 1-bedroom apartment can buy 100 barrels of crude oil, “speculating” on the price, hoping to make a quick profit, driving up the price without regard for the impact on the economy.

I leave you with this:

“It is a particular sort of triumph that bankers have made the word “speculation” synonymous with “adventure”. – Charles Dickens’ “Nicholas Nickleby” – 1839


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Responding to Stupid. Republicans ‘correcting’ Democrats need a clue
Jan 25th, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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GOP (non)MaximsSpecial post-SotU Edition

Listening to Bush’s Budget Director… Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels… lecture President Obama on the size of the deficit was like being lectured to on political ethics by Richard Nixon. When President Bush took office, he had a budget surplus and the government was on track to pay off the Debt by 2014. Instead, the Debt exploded as we gave a massive tax cut to the wealthiest people in America while embroiling the country in two (arguably unnecessary) wars.

Size of National Debt before Mitch Daniels became “Budget Director”: $5,662,216,013,697 (2% smaller than the year before).
Size of the National Debt after Mitch Daniels: $10,699,804,864,612 (an increase of 189% in just eight years.)

When Republicans attack President Obama for “creating a $1 Trillion annual deficit”, they are including the 2009 Stimulus. If Republicans get to include the $800 Billion dollar Stimulus as part of Obama’s Debt, then I get to include Bush’s $800 Billion Wall Street bailout as part of HIS Debt.

Next: While President Obama was delivering his State of the Union speech, Republicans were already Tweeting about the rejected “Keystone XL Pipeline”, claiming Obama “can’t be taken seriously on job creation” when he vetoed the “KXL”.

(UPDATE: MediaMatters has video of how the Right-Wing has WILDLY inflated the number of jobs Keystone Pipeline is likely to produce. Not 20,000. Not even 5,000. Would you believe less than 1,000 low-wage construction jobs spread across two years?… according to TransCanada’s own VP Robert Jones.)

Fact: Even the most optimistic estimates are that Keystone would of created no more than 21,000 low wage construction jobs spread over two years, all for oil marked for EXPORT that would not only NOT reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but would drive gasoline prices UP in this country as we shift refinery capacity from making gasoline for OUR use to making diesel for EXPORT.

President Obama spoke of promoting GREEN energy, which would create MORE jobs… and better PAYING, longer lasting jobs FASTER than Keystone. Jobs with a FUTURE (you don’t run out of renewable energy) that would actually REDUCE our dependence on foreign oil (not to mention being FAR better for the environment.) Anyone complaining about the rejection of Keystone while criticizing the more sane solution of promoting Green energy aren’t worried about “jobs”. They’re worried about oil company profits.

And last (but certainly not least), ThinkProgress reported on a local Fox News Director upset of their campaign to pressure Right-Wing TV Weathermen to stop pushing anti-Climate change pseudo-science (because more people get their knowledge of the weather & climate from local weathermen than any other source). Both the news director and their meteorologist dismiss Climate change science by saying “Predicting the weather in the long range is an impossible feat the farther out in time you go”. Clearly, these morons don’t understand the difference between “weather” and “climate”. The science of “climate change” is not “predicting it will rain on May 23rd, 2182.” Climate is the knowledge that if you set your house on fire, the temperature inside is going to go up. That’s not rocket science.

But these guys aren’t exactly Rocket Scientists either.


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Why the economy is so bad. And why Obama should be trusted to fix it.
Jan 2nd, 2012 by Admin Mugsy

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(THIS OP/ED IS FROM 2012. IF YOU WERE NOTIFIED OF A RECENT CORRECTION, I APOLOGIZE.)

Tax cuts = jobs? Really?Happy New Year. I hope all my readers had a safe and happy holiday. A friend of mine asked me recently about my “Lists” of reasons not to vote for any of the Republican candidates for president, wondering if perhaps “someone other than Obama might do a better job” at fixing the economy? The big question though: “Why are things so bad?” To answer that, we have to go back a few years.

As I’ve pointed out here on M.R.S. many MANY times before, oil was selling for a mere $37.83 a barrel (currently over $100/barrel) the week before the invasion of Iraq… roughly within 50% of where it had been for the prior 20 years. As long as I could remember, gasoline had always hovered around the “$1-and-change” mark for years. I remember in 2000… Bill Clinton’s final year in office… independent truckers threatened to go on strike when the price of diesel fuel went up to an “intolerable” $1.69/gal, complaining that the cost of fuel was destroying their take-home income. But it was an election year and Bush & Cheney were doing their best to talk the economy into a recession. The economy had been going gang-busters up until then and the Stock Market hit a record high of 11,722 in January of that year. Then the economy started to tank as Bush & Cheney kept repeating at every campaign stop that “the economy isn’t as good as they’re saying” in order to downplay the Clinton economy and prevent Al Gore from being elected. People started to save their money and spend less. The economy contracted and the claim of a bad economy became a self-fulfilling prophecy. By the time they took office in January of 2001, the DOW had fallen over 1,000 points (to 10,678) and Bush & Cheney were telling everyone how they had “inherited a recession”. One of Bush’s first actions as president was a massive tax cut tilted heavily in favor of the wealthy (the “job creators”) in order to spur job growth. On September 10th, the economy was already in the toilet, with the DOW closing down 1073 points lower than the day Bush took office. And you know what happened next.

But the price of oil still remained in that mid-30’s sweet-spot for the next year, and the price of gasoline only rose slightly, hitting a record high of only $1.72/gallon the week before the invasion of Iraq.

As the war dragged on and the economy continued to tank, gasoline prices broke the $2.00, $3.00, $4.00 a gallon thresholds, sucking TRILLIONS out of the economy. Things people might otherwise of been spending their money on were now going to pay for gas. And to make matters worse, higher gas prices meant the cost of manufacturing went up, as did the cost of shipping those goods to the store, so prices had to go up to compensate. So not only did people have less money to spend on goods & services, but they were buying less when they did. And when people buy less, companies need fewer employees, so they start laying people off. People out of work buy even less, resulting in a vicious cycle.

To make matters worse, with rapidly rising unemployment, suddenly people couldn’t afford to make their mortgage payments anymore, so people started defaulting on their mortgages left & right. And more people HAD mortgages than ever before thanks to a “housing bubble” resulting from the Bush Administration cutting interest rates to zero in order to encourage spending to boost the economy after 9/11. Everyone was investing in real estate as home prices soared. People were “flipping homes” (buying cheap properties, fixing them up and reselling them) to make quick cash. So when people started defaulting and the housing bubble popped, it took the BANKS down with it. And here we are.

The problem has improved only slightly because the very thing we need the government to do to fix the economy… which is SPEND, SPEND, SPEND to inject money into the economy and give businesses a reason to start hiring again… Republicans won’t let President Obama do, citing the rapid growth of “the Deficit” (note they NEVER say “the DEBT“) as “bankrupting our economy”. (President Bush tried to do the same thing by giving everyone $250 “Stimulus checks” to “spend, spend, spend”, but instead, they paid off old debts and saved the rest, doing nothing to help the economy while ballooning the Debt.) Funny, Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush nearly DOUBLED the National Debt in just six years (before Democrats retook Congress) thanks to cutting taxes at the same time we were spending Billions fighting two wars (last I checked, up until last month, we were STILL fighting “TWO wars”. So why was it okay for Bush to spend like a drunken sailor to fight two wars, but Obama is “bankrupting the country”?)

Gas prices are still up over $3.00 a gallon… money consumers could be spending elsewhere. And it’ll take a very long time for the economy to adjust to gas prices being that high. Republicans would have us believe that this supports their argument that we must “drill MORE” to bring down the price of gas/oil. The problems with that ridiculously simplistic “solution” are: 1) If you started drilling today, any oil you find wouldn’t reach our gas tanks for TEN YEARS, doing nothing to improve our economy NOW. 2) Any amount of oil that we find here would automatically go into the WORLD MARKET, knocking no more than one percent [ibid] off the per-barrel price of oil. 3) EVEN IF we found a huge oil reserve, OPEC would simply cut their own production to keep the amount of oil in the Market (and prices) at the same level, and 4) There just isn’t that much oil left to be found in our country. Even the most optimistic estimates for drilling in ANWR: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (and now talk of Canadian Tarsands and the Keystone-XL Pipeline) would only produce TWO years worth of oil… and that’s if we didn’t sell it on the world market… which we would.

No, the solution to high gas prices is to make gasoline less necessary… not to make us EVEN MORE dependent by drilling for more. And the benefits of needing less gasoline would be felt FAR faster than the benefits from increased drilling temporarily increasing the world’s supply of oil several years from now. If we increased the gas mileage of every new car, replaced oil-burning electricity generators with wind, solar, tidal and geothermal generators, not only would the global price of oil plummet as demand plunged, but we wouldn’t need to import a drop of oil from countries that hate us. And it’s a long term solution, not a temporary fix (not to mention good for the environment.)

President Obama knows all this (or at least should, and if he doesn’t, would be receptive to the idea), while ALL the current GOP candidates think the solutions to our economic ills are to give Millionaires & Billionaires more & even bigger tax cuts (because the tax cuts of the past eleven years have worked so well) and to “Drill Baby, drill!”

That’s a recipe for disaster, not economic revival. That’s how we got here, and why you don’t vote Republican in November.


Sign my petition for GREEN JOBS TOMORROW fast & cheap. Use those $4 Billion in oil subsidies to put Solar Panels on the roofs of 40,000 government buildings, or order 100,000 hybrid mail-trucks. Not only would this INSTANTLY CREATE JOBS, it would spark ENTIRE INDUSTRIES with a future, reduce our dependency on oil, reduce greenhouse emissions, and quickly pay for itself (and cut future expenses) with the energy savings. We need 5,000 signatures by December 20th (extended to January 20th).

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The List II: Santorum, Huntsman, and The Rest.
Dec 22nd, 2011 by Admin Mugsy

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The Me-Too CrowdThis week raps up our review of the remaining “also-rans” in the GOP primary… the candidates that have never polled out of the single digits and never will: former Senator Rick “Don’t Google My Name” Santorum of PA (Oops! Shortly after posting this op/ed, Santorum became the last “Not-Romney” standing to finally break out of the single-digits into the Top Tier as we headed into Iowa. – Mugsy), former Utah Governor Jon “The Other Mormon” Huntsman, and Louisiana Governor Buddy “Who Dat?” Roemer (two more GOP candidates are “technically” in the race: Former NM Governor “Gary Johnson” and political consultant and gay rights activist “Fred Karger”, but neither are currently polling outside “the margin of error”, so I have absolutely NO information on either of them.) For each of the Top Four GOP one-time front-runners (all except for Ron Paul), I was able to produce a LONG lists of links to their general insanity and extremist positions. But the longer a candidate stays out of the spotlight, the more difficult that becomes. (I also had a nice long list for former pizza mogul Herman “Libya? 9.9.9.” Cain until he dropped out after it was discovered he’d been topping more than just pizzas for the past 15 years.)

There is very little danger of any of the remaining GOP candidates in this sixth and final list of ever becoming president, though there is always the possibility that one of them might be chosen as a running-mate or (heaven forbid) a cabinet position. So it’s not a complete waste of time listing why none of these remaining candidates should ever be be considered “Presidential” (or anything else) material.

The remaining GOP field looks like a bad Gilligan’s Island spin-off:
 

Here on GOP Island
(Click to Enlarge)

(Clockwise from top: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman.)

Rick “Don’t Google My Name” Santorum

Of the remaining candidates, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has about the best chance of actually pulling off an upset in one or two state primaries, but almost no chance of winning the nomination (much less the presidency). Vegas odds put Santorum as a 30:1 shot… miserable odds, yet (surprisingly) ahead of one person: BSC* Michele Bachmann… someone that has actually seen double-digit poll numbers… now coming in at 35:1. A horse with a busted leg has a better chance at winning a race than these whack-a-doodles.

Rick Santorum’s is probably the biggest Holy Roller in the GOP race. Bigger than even Michele “Jehovah God” Bachmann or Rick “Prayed for rain, God sent wildfires” Perry, Santorum’s entire campaign is based on bedrock GOP “Family Values” Conservatism. Not the “Family Values” of Herman “I Never Told My Wife About Her” Cain or Newt “Married His Mistress After Handing His Cancer Stricken First Wife Divorce Papers in Her Hospital Bed” Gingrich (whom he later left for Mistress #2). No, Ricky is obsessed with the “Family Value” of “God Hates teh Gays”. Ricky seems absolutely obsessed with gay sex (read into that what you will.) Before Googling Santorum’s name became a workout for your PC’s profanity filtering software, the former Senator was most commonly known as Rick “Man on dog” Santorum… a reference to him comparing Gay Marriage to Pedophilia or Bestiality in a 2003 interview. So angry was AP’s sex columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage, that he started a contest amongst his readers to come up with something offensive that could be labeled “Santorum”, in protest of the senator’s bigoted ignorant comments. Once the winner was chosen (if you don’t already know, it’s REAL easy to find out), Savage created a website defining the term and asked all his listeners to Google-bomb his site (click on his site when Googling the Senators’ name), making his website/definition the #1 result when Googling the senator’s name. Pretty clever. So many people have since searched just to find out what the new contrived definition is, that the term is now permanently affixed at the top of any search of the former senator’s name.

Jon “The Other Mormon” Huntsman

Then there’s former 2-Term Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, former Ambassador to China under President Obama. Huntsman is easily the sanest, most moderate GOP presidential candidate… which instantly disqualifies him amongst today’s far-Right GOP ideologues. Like Romney, Huntsman is a Mormon, which instantly disqualifies him amongst Evangelical GOP voters. Huntsman has also said he believes in “Global Warming” and “Evolution”, which… all combined… makes Huntsman totally unacceptable to 98% of all Republicans. But before any Democrats think Huntsman might be worthy of their support, he IS still a Republican, believing in most all the remaining GOP insanity: “tax cuts for the wealthy”, preemptive war with Iran, and deregulation to aid Big Business. To make matters worse, stuck at the bottom of most polls since the day he entered the race, unable to break out of single digits, knowing how unpopular his “pro-science” declarations have been with GOP voters, Huntsman has walked back his belief in Climate Change, saying of the global consensus of over 8,000 climate scientists: “the onus is on the scientific community to help clarify the situation.” (translation: it’s THEIR fault Republicans are confused, not the GOP Misinformation campaign to discredit the science.)

And the Rest…

As I mentioned in my opening, there actually ARE other candidates running for the GOP nomination. One such candidate is former Louisiana Governor Charles Elson “Buddy” Roemer III. Every bit as Conservative as his colleagues on the economy, Roemer’s lead issue is the toxic effects of Corporate money in politics. “Buddy” hasn’t appeared in ANY of the televised GOP debates, where the “minimum requirements” for inclusion are to have polled above 5% in any state/national poll, and have raised several million dollars ($5 million IIRC). Roemer has rejected all PAC money, accepting only donations of “$100 or less” from individual donors. His most high-profile interviews to date have been his appearances on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show”, where he called for an end to “tax loopholes”, “no special interests”, and “energy independence” that includes “wind, solar and nuclear power” as well as additional drilling “in non-environmentally sensitive areas”. Like Huntsman, Roemer shows signs of sanity that instantly disqualify him for the GOP nomination.

Links for the remaining GOP candidates are as follows:

Rick Santorum:

  1. Rick Santorum Borrows Campaign Slogan From Pro-Union Poem Written By Gay Rights Advocate
  2. VIDEO: Rick Santorum Says He Has ‘Nothing To Do’ With His Own Campaign Slogan
  3. Santorum: Ryan Is ‘Wrong’ Because He Doesn’t Force Current Seniors Into Medicare Privatization Scheme
  4. Santorum Pledges To Reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
  5. Rick Santorum’s Greatest Hits – 12 Most Offensive Statements
  6. Santorum: Poor History Scores A Result Of ‘Conscious Effort’ By ‘The Left’ To Keep Students Uninformed
  7. Inside Rick Santorum-Linked Universal Health Services Facility: Herpes, Porn and Drug Dealing
  8. Santorum’s Message To People Who Can’t Afford Health Care Costs: Lower Your Cell Phone Bill
  9. Santorum: Iran ‘Tramples The Rights Of Gays’
  10. Santorum Says Criticism Of His Views On Homosexuality Is ‘An Act Of Bigotry’
  11. Santorum: I Stand By My 'Man on Dog' Comment
  12. Rick Santorum Endorses Pennsylvania Election Scheme Because It Will Rig Presidential Election For Republicans
  13. Santorum: Honoring God Is Essential To National Security
  14. Rick Santorum Advocates Getting Rid of All Public Sector Unions
  15. Forget 9-9-9, Santorum Unveils 0-0-0 Tax Plan
  16. Santorum Flip-Flops: Protesters Were A ‘Fringe Group’ In The Morning, But He ‘Understands’ Them In The Afternoon
  17. Santorum Pledges To ‘Fight In Every State’ To Outlaw Marriage Equality
  18. Santorum: Homosexuality 'Is a Behavioral Issue'
  19. Santorum Compares His Fight Against Marriage Equality To Lincoln Fighting Slavery
  20. Rick Santorum wants to take away your contraception to ensure sex for procreation only
  21. Santorum: 'I'll Die' to Stop Same Sex Marriages
  22. Santorum: Dead Foreign Scientists a 'Wonderful Thing'
  23. Santorum: Americans Should Suffer
  24. As incentive to get off their butt and find a job.
  25. Santorum: ‘Our Country Will Fall’ As A Result Of Same-Sex Marriage
  26. Santorum: Insurers Should Discriminate Against People With Pre-Existing Conditions
  27. Santorum doesn't understand science (Wants Schools To Undermine Evolution)
  28. Santorum Is Outraged That Gay ‘Sexual Activity’ Is ‘Being Seen As Equal’ To Heterosexual Sex
  29. Santorum: Obama 'Doesn't Deserve Credit' For Killing Bin Laden
  30. Yet, if raid had gone badly, whom do you think Ricky would of blamed first?
  31. Fun Fact: Santorum Represented The World Wresting Association
  32. Santorum: We Don’t Need Food Stamps Because Obesity Rates Are So High
  33. I forgot about this one: Fox Radio host Alan Colmes reminds everyone how, in 1996, when Rick Santorum’s wife Karen gave birth prematurely at just 20 weeks, upon the death of the child, the Santorum’s wrapped their dead son in a blanket and brought him home to meet what would of been his siblings, ages 6, 4 and 1 1/2, for them to cuddle and kiss. (Reported by the Washington Post in 2005.)
  34. In 2006, Fox “news” reported that Senator Santorum excitedly pointed to the discovery of 500 discarded “Gulf War I” era (1991) munitions found buried in Iraq thusly: “We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons,” Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said in a quickly called press conference late Wednesday afternoon.
  35. Rick Santorum’s Top 10 Most Outrageous Campaign Statements:
  36. 1. ANNUL EXISTING SAME-SEX MARRIAGES on the grounds that gay relationships “destabilize” society.
    2. ‘I’M FOR INCOME INEQUALITY’: Saying, “I think some people should make more than other people” because some people “work harder”. That’s not what “income inequality” is about, Ricky. It has nothing to do with everyone being paid exactly the same no matter the job. Santorum is an idiot.
    3. CONTRACEPTION IS ‘A LICENSE TO DO THINGS’: Santorum wants to outlaw contraception because he thinks it encourages “immoral behavior”. These are your “Small Government Republicans” folks. Deregulate business, but regulate personal behavior.
    4. GAY SOLDIERS ‘CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN CLOSE QUARTERS’: The repeal of DADT has been an unqualified success resulting in NO problems. Santorum wants gay soldiers back in the closet.
    5. “OBAMA SHOULD OPPOSE ABORTION BECAUSE HE’S BLACK”: Because blacks should understand more than anyone what it means to not be considered “a human being”.
    6. “WE DON’T NEED FOOD STAMPS BECAUSE OBESITY RATES ARE SO HIGH”: Rick doesn’t get that “cheap” food is also the least healthy.
    7. ABORTION EXCEPTIONS TO PROTECT WOMEN’S HEALTH ARE ‘PHONY’: Flat out calls exceptions to protect the life of the mother, “Phony”.
    8. “HEALTH REFORM WILL KILL MY CHILD”: Claims his disabled child would of died under in a country with “socialized medicine.” (like Great Britain or France?) Conservatives think “socialized medicine” = rationed care under the bankrupt “Soviet Union”.
    9. UNINSURED AMERICANS SHOULD SPEND LESS ON CELL-PHONE BILLS: Average monthly cost of a cell phone? $40. Average monthly cost of health insurance? $600.
    10. INSURERS SHOULD DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: Like that disabled child of yours, Rick, whom you believe would have died if you lived in Canada?
  37. Santorum’s Racist Welfare Rant: ‘I Don’t Want To Make Black People’s Lives Better’ With Taxpayer Money. Santorum seems to equate “black” with “welfare recipient”.
  38. Santorum’s response the next day? “I didn’t say ‘black’ people, I said ‘blah’ people.”
  39. Last May, when Sen. John McCain denounced the use of torture to interrogate terror suspects, Santorum said of the former POW: “he doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative.”
  40. Santorum: There is no Middle Class in America – Claims a distinction between “Middle income” and “Middle Class“. Still think these are serious candidates?
  41. Santorum Tells Kids With Gay Parents: You’d Be Better Off With Parents In Prison. – Cites “a study” that claims a child whose father abandoned then and goes in prison is better off than a child with two same-sex parents.
  42. Santorum Accuses Obama Of ‘Elitist Snobbery’ For Wanting Every Child To Go To College. – “Elite” is GOP-speak for “Reader”.
  43. Before running for President, Santorum was best known for his pro-Life activism. How obsessed? Santorum’s Obsession: As Senator, He Mentioned Abortion 1,014 Times.
  44. After Supporting Health Care Mandate In 1994, Santorum Now Says He Never Supported Mandates.
  45. Rick Santorum Lies About Calling for Congressional Intervention in Terri Schiavo Case.
  46. After this racist old crone supporter of Rick Santorum says to him that President Obama is a “devote Muslim” that’s “not legally president” (aka: foreign-born), rather than reprimand nor even correct his befuddled supporter the way John McCain did in 2008, Santorum instead just smiles and tells her he’s “doing his best to get Obama out of office.” (When asked the next day why he didn’t correct her, Santorum simply said he “doesn’t feel any obligation” to refute every Birther out there.
  47. Santorum believes it is a BAD thing that ‘Obama Wants Every Kid to Go to College” because it is part of a secret plan to “indoctrinate” kids into becoming Liberals. – College’s don’t “convert” students into becoming Liberals, it’s just something that happens once you become educated. Santorum is basically admitting that the only way to stay keep your kids Conservative is to keep them stupid.
  48. Santorum: ‘There’s No Such Thing As Global Warming’. – “There are hundreds of factors that cause the earth to warm and cool,” Santorum tells outgoing Fox host Glenn Beck.
  49. Santorum Tells Sick Kid Not To Complain About $1 Million Drug Costs Because People Pay $900 For An iPad. – If this clueless jackass wasn’t already irrelevant, he certainly is now. Ricky, people who pay $900 for an iPad 1) Make that choice voluntarily IF they feel they can afford it, and 2) if they had to buy a new $900 iPad EVERY MONTH, I suspect they wouldn’t sell very many of them. There’s a special place in Hell for clueless self-righteous “Compassionate Conservative” SOB’s like Santorum.
  50. Santorum Suggests Abortion Causes Breast Cancer. – In case you were wondering if Santorum could render himself any less irrelevant in this years’ race, Rick repeats the latest insane Right Wing fear-mongering myth that there is a link between abortions and breast cancer, which he argues in defense of the (reversed) decision of the Susan G. Komen foundation to cut off breast-cancer screening funding for Planned Parenthood. Promotion of this idiotic myth is not only incredibly irresponsible, it’s DANGEROUS.
  51. Rick has figured out President Obama’s secret plan: Obama Wants Female Catholic Priests.
  52. In response to news that the DoD will allow women in more combat roles, opening up new opportunities for career advancement, Santorum says: Women Shouldn’t be in Combat Because of ‘Other Types of Emotions’.
  53. When asked what he meant by “Other types of emotions”, Santorum explained he meant that men might be distracted by the need to protect a woman in ‘vulnerable positions’. (goes on to suggest women can fly ‘small planes’ rather than be put in harms way.) Demeaning much?
  54. As expected, Santorum Froths At CPAC About ‘Facade Of Man-Made Global Warming’. – I wish I understood the Religious Rights seething visceral HATRED for anyone that dare suggest we care for God’s creation.
  55. Santorum thinks it’s “absurd” that a Federal Appeals Court can declare a state’s Constitutional Amendment “unconstitutional”. – Wonder if he’d feel the same way if the state tried to ban guns instead of “gay marriage”?
  56. Santorum: LGBT Equality ‘Waters Down Marriage’. – Unlike Britney Spears’ 48-hour marriage or Kim Kardashian’s 72-hour marriage.
  57. Santorum In Idaho: Sell Off Public Lands To The Private Sector. – This adds Santorum to the list of GOP candidates promising to sell off public lands for corporate exploitation.
  58. Santorum: The Democratic Party Is About ‘Homosexuality’. – Everything you need to know about Rick Santorum beautifully summarized into a single paragraph by Rick himself:
  59. “Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. They prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.”
  60. “Satan is systematically destroying America.” – This is who Rick Santorum is folks… a dangerous religious zealot with a fragile grip on reality, and why he initially polled in the single digits until the last Not-Romney flamed out before Iowa:
  61. Santorum defends claim “JFK speech on the Separation of Church & State” made him “want to throw up. – Rick thinks presidents should be allowed to inject their faith into public policy and the Founders agreed (they didn’t). But Rick and his devotees are full of crap and I can prove it: These are same people that think “President Obama is a secret Muslim”, outraged that he’s “injecting his faith into Public Policy.”
  62. Lord only know where he gets this crap, but Santorum falsely Claims Rampant Euthanasia in Dutch Elderly. – And the Dutch are none-too-happy about it. Of course, Republicans making ridiculous claims about health care in other countries that then anger those countries is nothing new.
  63. Rick Santorum on President Obama: ‘What a snob!’ for wanting “Every child to have the opportunity to go to college.”
  64. Santorum: Contraception a ‘Grievous Moral Wrong’.
  65. In an interview, Santorum Implicitly Conceded the need For Obamacare when he pointed out that caring for his Special Needs Child took up much of his income.
  66. “We have to have around-the-clock care for her, and our insurance company doesn’t cover it so I have to cover it.”
  67. Santorum In 1994: Single Moms Are ‘Simply Breeding More Criminals’. – The Republican “War on Women” has been going on far longer than most people realize.
  68. Rick Santorum once again focused on being the nations’ “morality police chief”, promising a “war on ‘hardcore’ pornography” on his campaign website. This is after his condemnation of “birth control” for women as “promoting sexual promiscuity”. If he had his way, non-reproductive sex would be all but illegal in Rick’s Amerika.
  69. Rick Santorum is forced to recant after saying he’s: ‘Not Concerned’ About Unemployment, Country Needs A ‘Strong Fighter For Freedom’.
  70. The April Fool: Remember Rick’s ridiculous made-up “fact” about Dutch hospitals & Rampant Euthanasia among elderly? (above), well, he’s at it again, this time claiming (on April 1st) that “he read last night” that “7 or 8 of the colleges in the University of California system don’t even offer courses in American history.” For the record, 9 of the 10 colleges all have American history classes. The tenth… UC San Francisco… is a MEDICAL school. The remaining nine ALL require students to take an American History course to graduate.
  71. Remember when Bachmann falsely claimed she heard that “the HPV vaccine can cause mental retardation”? Republicans hear a rumor, and if it supports what they already wish to believe about a subject, will repeat it as fact without bothering to check it out first with a two-second Google search on their iPhone.

Jon Huntsman:

  1. Huntsman In 2007: ‘I’m Comfortable’ With Individual Mandate, Would ‘Make System More Efficient’
  2. Issue for Jon Huntsman: His family's Iran business – Glenn Thrush and Kasie Hunt – POLITICO.com
  3. Six Ways Jon Huntsman Would Hurt The American Economy
  4. Huntsman Campaign Fundraising Off Civil Unions Legislation He Never Signed
  5. Huntsman Bows To Right Wing, Reverses Position On Climate Science
  6. Huntsman Says He'd Launch A Ground Invasion To Prevent Iran From Getting Nukes
  7. PolitiFact rates “Mostly False”: Jon Huntsman says U.S. natural gas in greater supply than Saudi Arabian oil.
  8. Huntsman equated “one cubic foot of NG to one barrel of oil.” It actually takes about 5-THOUSAND cubic feet of NG to equal one barrel of oil.

     
    (Huntsman drops out and endorses Mitt Romney in advance of the South Carolina primary in response to polls showing his 3rd place win in NH did not provide the bounce he had hoped for.)

Buddy Roemer:

  1. Buddy Roemer says “Senator Joe Lieberman has a reputation as a reformer and a man of integrity, unrivaled in American politics.”
  2. Instant disqualification.

Creating and updating these list has been a lot of work, but it’s worth it if it keeps these insane, duplicitous, clueless, amoral bastards out of the White House… a more terrifying end to this country I could not imagine.

Other “Lists” still available for review:

 


Sign my petition for GREEN JOBS TOMORROW fast & cheap. Use those $4 Billion in oil subsidies to put Solar Panels on the roofs of 40,000 government buildings, or order 100,000 hybrid mail-trucks. Not only would this INSTANTLY CREATE JOBS, it would spark ENTIRE INDUSTRIES with a future, reduce our dependency on oil, reduce greenhouse emissions, and quickly pay for itself (and cut future expenses) with the energy savings. We need 5,000 signatures by December 20th (extended to January 20th).

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