Texas Tea

As I read the business section of a paper, July 3rd, it struck me as very interesting three of the articles were about oil.  I think our energy policy is as screwed up as our foreign policy, and that’s saying something.  John Stossel has mentioned our million dollar outhouse several times to everyone’s head-shaking laugh, only in America.  We’ve spent millions studying billboards and prostitutes in foreign countries. Some funny stuff, makes Leno’s job easier.  But when you talk about the policy of the United States, it’s billions, not millions that are in the punch-line.  Ex. our foreign policy, the billions we have given away to a world where those nations that like us seem to be the minority.  But wait, there’s even more…  How many billions(trillions?) have we paid to nations hostile or resentful to the US for the privilege of using their oil instead of our own?  Just last week, I read a story about a  Dubai diplomat being robbed in London.  He had withdrawn some spending money to go “shopping”, two million pounds of spending money.  (1)

Statfjord A

Those articles:(memory, no links)

China looks to invest in Canada’s tar sands

Cuba set to start deepwater drilling between Cuba and the Florida Keys

Saudia”s post record profit due to high oil prices

Does anyone think China or Cuba cares more about the environment than the US?  How many millions of Chinese are trading in their bicycles for automobiles?  The US is prohibited by law from assisting Cuba if there is a spill.  We are also prohibited from drilling for the oil that by international law, is ours, right next to Cuba’s, including a relief well if they have a blowout.  Way to protect those Florida reefs!!!

I think the dominate factor in our energy policy has become the green movement.  Pick any form of energy and there’s some tree-hugging group with their lawyers fighting it as if it’s the end of the world.  I’m sure you’ve all read some of them making remarks such as humans being the biggest blight on nature or rat=cat=pig=boy, all lives are of equal value.  They are as extreme as any terrorist, some even making the FBI’s list on threats to the US.  And somehow, these wackos are able to influence our entire nation.  ANWR is nothing but a hellhole for every species on earth.  A swamp one month out of the year, frozen most other months.  Even polar bears avoid it because there’s nothing else there for them to eat.  So how is it ANWR had to be protected from anything that might damage it’s ecosystem?  The only answer, they don’t care about ANWR, they just want to stop us from getting and using that oil.

Why do our elected officials go along with what they know to be a lie?  I will give Pelosi credit, that she probably does believe she was “saving the world.”  Most others, I think only consider the cost/benifit to themselves.  Remember the Civil War was fought because of the tariffs forced on the south that was breaking their economy.  The north used its political power for economic gain.  And aren’t Alaska and Texas the main oil producers in the US?  Can the US’s screwed up energy policy really be another civil war brewing, blue state vs red state?  Obama and Reid keep talking about the obscene profits oil companies make and how we need to eliminate their tax breaks.  I’m OK with that, cut out their tax breaks along with everyone else, level that playing field!  I wonder how the Honorable Mr. Reid would feel?

Minerals Mined on Federal Land Spared Taxes, Aided by Senator Reid

May 17: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks to reporters as the Senate votes to continue tax breaks for oil companies, at the Capitol in Washington.

AP May 17: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks to reporters as the Senate votes to continue tax breaks for oil companies, at the Capitol in Washington.

While Democrats rip into oil and gas companies for failing to pay their “fair share” because of tax breaks Congress gave them, another special interest break they’re not talking about is the billions of dollars worth of gold, silver, uranium and other minerals that mining companies take off federal lands for which they pay nothing.

“They don’t pay a dime, not a penny for the gold and uranium they remove from public lands,” says Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “Virtually every other country in world charges a royalty on hard rock minerals. It is absurd that we don’t do this.”

Both mining and oil companies pay corporate taxes, and both get generous write-offs in the tax code.

But mining companies get two huge subsidies oil companies do not: leases and royalties.

Mining entities pay no more than $5 an acre for land from which they extract billions of dollars worth of minerals. By contrast, multinational oil and gas firms are required to competitively bid against one another just for the right to drill on specific leases. Those bids typically pay taxpayers from tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on how much oil a company believes is in the field.

A royalty or fee represents an annual percentage the federal government charges based on the value of the resource extracted from public lands. For oil and other fuel sources, the numbers are in the double-digits.

The government receives 12.5 percent in royalties for onshore oil and gas while the royalties for offshore drilling amount to18.75 percent. For coal, that number is 8 percent for underground mining and 12.5 percent for surface mining.

For gold, silver, uranium and copper mining: 0 percent

Reformers in Congress tried to raise the last figure but failed.

In 1993, the House passed a bill imposing an 8 percent royalty, but Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., helped kill an agreement in the Senate. In 2007, West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall helped pass a bill in the House that imposed a 4 percent royalty on gross revenue on existing operations and 8 percent on new operations. Again Reid stepped in, saying the House bill “won’t stand over here.”

Since taking office, Reid has received $750,000 in campaign contributions from the mining industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That number includes $127,000 from Nevada’s two largest gold producers in the 2010 election. Together, those two companies had profits of $5 billion last year yet they paid taxpayers nothing for minerals taken off public lands.

According to Yahoo Finance, three of the 10 most profitable industries in the U.S. right now are in mining, including copper, gold and silver, which enjoy a 47 percent net-profit margin. Oil and gas exploration, by contrast, ranks 50th with a net margin of 11 percent.

Yet oil and gas are singled out, particularly by Reid.

“We should all agree, in the interest of fairness, common sense and saving taxpayer money that we can cut out corporate welfare to those big oil firms who need it the least,” Reid said last week.

President Obama weighed in on Saturday, noting that the “American people shouldn’t be subsidizing oil companies at a time when they’re making near-record profits.”

Gold and silver both closed last week near record highs.(2)

Harry Reid is demogoguing the issue to death:

“My Republican colleagues have walked away from the negotiating table when we were nearing a solution and so close to disaster,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday. “Why? To protect oil companies. To protect the owners of yachts and corporate jets. To protect corporations that ship jobs overseas. To protect millionaires and billionaires from paying their fair share.”

Except, as Politico points out, the cuts Reid is skewering the GOP for not making don’t amount to a hill of beans:

The reality is that yacht and jet provisions add up to very little – hardly a hill to government bean counters – and they’re certainly not the magic key that will unlock a deal to raise the nation’s debt limit.

Cuts to oil company subsidies could bring in between $20 billion and $40 billion over 10 years, taxing hedge fund managers’ earnings as regular income would amount to roughly $20 billion more over a decade, and the much-heralded jet tax would yield an additional $3 billion, according to various estimates from Democratic and Republican sources.(3)

Another funny for Lenno & co, global warming advocates are now blaming China for recent global cooling.  Do they know about China offering to build Canada’s new oil pipeline to the Pacific?  Since the Obama administration has not approved the pipeline project for several years, could be others want that tar sand oil.(4)

And then the President released 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Why do we have a “strategic reserve”?  Sounds very military and important, doesn’t it?  Not something one would use for political games.  President Obama explained it was to offset the reduced supply brought about due to the Libya conflict.  He failed to mention Saudi Arabia increased their production when the conflict began to prevent any disruption of the oil supply,  They later reduced their output because demand had dropped.

Their words:

White House officials said the oil-sale decision was prompted by the Libyan civil-war, which cut the flow from the Libyan oil-fields. “We’re focused on the disruption of supply,” said a White House official said June 23. “140 million barrels have been taken off the market since the Libyan disruption… it has had effect on the tightness of the market,” he said.

The oil-sale was intended to offset the normal price increases that come during summer, as people take summer vacations, said the White House official. (5)

Oh, that makes a little more sense, the normal price increase around the 4th is now a strategic issue.  Will Labor Day require 60 million to be released?  Hey, any excuse to party is good with me!.  BUT, it’s gonna cost you and me.  We think about the cost every time we fill out tank, we don’t think about the cost of the strategic reserve oil.  All taxpayer paid for that, did we get a good deal?

* The SPR’s release of 30 million barrels of oil was sold to oil refiners and traders at more than $10/bbl BELOW market. Can the US taxpayer afford the $300mm subsidy?(5)

Happy Fourth of July everyone, we just added three hundred million dollars to our debt.  Was it good for you?

President Barack Obama’s sale “did not make a damn bit of difference,” said Dan Kish, vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research. Eight days after the announcement, “the price of oil was higher than it was the day he announced” the release of oil from the reserve, Kish said.

Oil prices fell roughly $4 a barrel to roughly $91 a barrel when the announcement was made. Since then, prices have climbed up to near $100 a barrel, according to an July 7.  Gas prices rise and fall in line with oil prices, and the national average price nudged up 1.4 cents on Thursday to reach $3.58 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. That’s a price increase of 4.2 cents per gallon from a week ago.

“Crude prices are back to where they were,” said Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute. “It was just a temporary blip.”

Prices won’t come down, she said, until the federal government allows greater use of new energy resources being found in the United States and Canada. We need policymakers to face the facts, and make sure we have reliable, affordable supplies of fuel,” she said.(6)

I think I’ve expressed my opinion before that words matter.  This is especially true of the supposed “leader of the free world”.  I have stated Obama announcing  his troop draw-down from Afghanistan was a mistake, you don’t tell your enemy what you plan to do.  Anyone noticed the increase in attacks?  American soldiers are dying because he wants to help his re-election bid.  I can’t recall him saying anything about the US increasing its domestic oil production, sunshine and windmills are all the only energy source for his positive words.  Ya’ll remember that warmonger that got congressional approval for his wars?  Maybe Obama should borrow a few of his speeches….

In June 2008, President George W. Bush pushed down oil prices by $9.26 a barrel during his speech in which he announced vigorous new onshore and offshore oil-exploration and production initiatives, said Kish. Prices continued downwards, he said, because “people said ‘Finally the United States is getting off its ass, and instead of just talking about increasing oil production, they’re doing something about it.’”

The administration recognizes that increased supplies reduces prices, but they continue to restrict U.S. energy supplies, said Dougher. For example, Obama’s restrictions on oil-drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has reduced oil-supply by roughly 60 million barrels, and its refusal to approve a planned oil-pipeline from Canada is cutting future oil-supplies by nearly one million barrels a day, she said.(6)

So SUFA, have I made a decent case?  Oil companies are not good or evil, but they are paying much more than their fair share of taxes.  This cost is passed on to you and I, while WallStreet, gold miners and others get their special favors.  And then there is all those Middle East countries with oil providing them extravagant revenue, which I would not mine except it seems to somehow also aid the terrorists.  How many Saudi’s were in the 9/11 attacks?  Maybe if they had less revenue, they might find other interest than attacking the US?  America can choose it’s pathway, and we are right now.  Door #1, Reid and Obama say we have to punish big oil.  Is there a door #2?

sources:

(1)http://newsleaks.in/arab-diplomat-robbed-of-2-million-pounds-in-london/

(2)http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/18/minerals-mined-federal-land-spared-taxes-aided-senator-reid/#ixzz1MhxknZJ8

(3)http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/07/obama_rejects_short_term_debt_deal.html

(4)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2011667/Global-warming-new-ice-age-YOURE-paying-politicians-hysteria.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

(5)http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/07/buy_oil_high_sell_it_low.html

(6) http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/07/oil-stimulus-drains-away/#ixzz1RWANIOsV

sources not used:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/obamas_plan_for_10_gas.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-08/corporate-earnings-poised-for-smallest-gain-in-2-years-in-u-s-.html

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/05/16/dem_congressman_eliminating_oil_subsidies_would_lower_fuel_prices.html

http://www.politicspa.com/sharpton-slams-rep-kelly-re-big-oil-with-video/25885/

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Comments

  1. I lost my job offshore last September. Jobs in Louisiana were scarce, so in May I walked away from my Mortgage and moved to Georgia. I recently got hired on to return offshore in another week or so. This company has a big contract with BP, so job security is looking good. As a guy who works on ROV’s, the slowdown in deepwater exploration has affected mine and others’ jobs, savings, mortgages etc.

    It is tragic and sad that those men lost their lives on the Deepwater Horizon. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, mistakes can compound and snowball into disaster. Anyone who works on a drilling rig has got to understand that they are basically sitting on a bomb, flammable substances at high pressures.

    It seems like this disaster was used for political purposes, and the Govt response was a comedy of errors that made the problem much worse. 10 WEEKS it took for the oil to reach the beaches, so we could see the same pelican repeatedly on TV. Why wasn’t that prevented? More stupid regulations and environmental considerations.

    Then there was the $30B shakedown. Unfortunately it is very difficult to qualify for any of that relief fund, while Ken Salazar and his band of thieves command huge salaries, and IMO will try to see how much of that $ they can legally steal. I personally went from $80K a year to $406 a week in unemployment benefits. I applied for some of the relief money and was denied. My losses weren’t due to the spill, but the Moratorium. Therefore, BP was not responsible. Now I could try to sue the Govt, but all I would be doing is helping lawyers get rich.

    Personally, I think this Job-killing Moratorium is being used to punish the Southern right-to-work States with Republican Governors. And to put the USA on the path to European Socialism. We are having problems that increased drilling would help solve. If 50,000 to 100,000 people go back to work in the industry, the Govt revenue from those people’s taxes would be appreciable. Less unemployment benefits would reduce Govt spending. Our National Security would be improved by less dependence on Arab oil. The Strategic Reserve was used for purely political purposes. It hasn’t helped at all.

    I guess the solution is for Govt to get out of the way and let people go to work. What good is a pristine environment if we all starve because we don’t have jobs?

    • Wasabi,
      Glad you’ve found work, think it stinks you have to re-locate to do so. I could almost buy the deepwater moratorium, but they applied it to shallow water as well. It was/is not about protecting the environment. They (Obama administration) want to kill all US oil production and will use the any excuse, such as an ice breaker.
      http://www.redstate.com/vladimir/2011/04/25/epa-ruling-kills-shells-plans-to-drill-offshore-alaska/

      Out trade imbalance is at a three year high due to oil imports. Several groups say opening up oil and gas drilling would have a significant effect on jobs, but again, Obama is more concerned with forcing the USA’s fundamental transformation.

    • I have never been one to jump to conspiracy theories. But seeing what this administration is doing is changing my mind. I am knowledgeable on the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, ANd Clinton administrations. The most corrupt to date…..Obama. Even more so than Johnson and Nixon and that is saying something.

      Our family is in the oil and gas businsess as Independents and we have more oil sitting in storage than we know what to do with and It galls me, that American Citizens with excess oil are being bypassed in favor of foreign oil and release of strategic reserves when it is totally not necessary.

      • Mathius™ says:

        D, I have a question,

        I was thinking of starting a venture and I’m having trouble finding people who know enough to really advise me on the feasibility of such. So, here goes:

        I want to buy a gas station or two. I want to call it “Buy American” or “Terror-Free Gas” or some such. All gas is derived from 100% American (or, possibly, legitimately friendly countries, ie Canada). I suspect that consumers might be willing to shell out a premium to not send their money to Saudi Arabia (ally my ass), especially in a wealthy area. Brand and theme the whole thing with US flags and patriotic hoopla, maybe add in some free wifi, why not. Really, do it up, like an old-school classic 50’s Americana deal, full service, they’ll top off your windshield fluid, clean the windows, etc.

        Now, here’s the problem. I don’t know what the price differential is between domestic/friendly crude and other. I also don’t know if it’s even possible to segregate out the domestic/friendly oil from the other stuff since I wouldn’t be selling crude, I’d be selling gasoline. The whole thing has to be processed at a plant and I don’t know if they are able/willing to seg out specific batches (I don’t believe this is something one could do for themselves.. or is it?). What are your thoughts on all this?

        • Can’t get into the oil thing but I posed a question for Matt on yesterday’s comments (regarding work/earning). I’ll check back to see if there’s a response.

        • Buy a station.
          Theme it how you wish. Patriotic, American produced etc…
          Set up contract with a private oil company such as Murphy or American refining group to supply your station. American oil, American refining.
          I had tossed the same idea around a bit in my head…have a full service garage…would probably do very well considering how inhospitable the majority of gas stations are in regards to being consumer friendly and customer recognition/service.

          • Naten53 says:

            Just remember the best buisness model is to get them to stop for gas and make the profit in the convienence store. If it is full service they don’t get out of the car.

        • Here is the Midwest, we already have gas stations pumping only American oil…And Ads on the television to make sure we know!

          http://www.countrymark.com/cap_and_trade.cfm

        • Hi Mathius….sorry that I did not get back to you any faster. The home in New Mexico is ok now. The fire got to a ridge behind the house about 2 miles away and turned.

          As to your question. The idea is pretty cool and I would pay more to keep it American, however, the main problem is not the price of oil. The type of oil you are talking about needs to be light sweet crude for refining and not heavy oil for use in plastics, etc. You would need gasoline. There is no shortage of oil anywhere. Demand is outstripping supply because supply has been limited due to the environmental lobby preventing the building of new refineries. However, to answer your question, you can by gasoline direct from SOME (not all refineries).You would then need to contract with an appropriate trucking company for transportation. Gasoline is not sold on the spot market.as is oil. The wholesale price,like everything else,is dependent upon quantity. And before you ask, a small operator can buy gasoline..it is not controlled by the oil companies.

          Hope this helps. Also, I would recommend selling ONLY one grade of gasoline. Make it universal but that is my opinion.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @D13 – I don’t know that I would call any of this conspiracy theory – most of it is mere strategy. Some type of stuff that led to shrieking about death panels that precluded any meaningful debate about healthcare reform. Same crap that removes funding from Planned Parenthood (and include the Hyde Amendment here) because someone’s base is whipped into enough of a frenzy about taxpayer funded abortion (where I’ve shown before that anyone who is ok with rape/incest/save-Mom’s-life abortion inherently okays a level of public funding for abortion). Even more strategy will be played out rolling up to 2012 – Obama gets the boot if the economic story is the same old song – wanna bet it will be coming vote time?

        File all this under “Sponsored by the Less Government folks who think we need a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage between man and woman – cuz Lord knows its the gays and homos that are ruining the institution”

        All two sides of the same coin.

        • Ray-I am not going to argue that both sides talk crap- non stop-but the point here is WHY does the man keep doing and supporting stuff that is obviously stupid!!!!!! And No-my agreeing that abortion is okay for mothers who will Die if they have the baby-is not support for government paying for abortion. If a woman is going to die from child birth-than it should be paid for-in the same way that anyone walking into a hospital is paid for-if and only if they can’t pay for it themselves.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @V.H. – your tax dollars fund the health plans for government employees which include female soldiers. Under the criteria I offered you’d pay for her abortion via your tax dollars. Again – not everything is black and white.

            As to why The Man does anything you or I consider stupid? He is a politician – he cannot help it.

            I also know practically that us humans rarely agree 100% with everything that our fellow humans do – its a matter of what the mix of agree/disagree is. What you find stupid someone else (maybe?) may consider practical/tactical/compromise/brilliant/………

            • Okay, I will concede(To acknowledge, often reluctantly, as being true 🙂 ) your claim that by supporting abortion in anyway-I am supporting government paying for abortion. But I do not concede that is a basis for supporting abortion at Planned Parenthood clinics. If a woman’s life is truly in danger-she needs and I suspect will be in a hospital-not a clinic.

    • You said: “It seems like this disaster was used for political purposes”

      It should read: “It seems like this diaster was caused for political purposes”

      • There were theories about sabotage in the Horizon and numerous other pipeline breaks, mine cave-ins, etc., but none proven. Still, I wouldn’t put it past the enviro nuts to attempt such a thing.

  2. Ray Hawkins says:

    Interesting article I am still trying to digest…..

    Just one housekeeping remark – what is this stink about “bad bad Obama for announcing troop withdrawals”? Assuming most of these Afghan and drooling idiots – don’t we think a lot of them would figure something out once we start abandoning forward operating bases, shipping more out than we ship in and generally demonstrating less presence?

    Or

    Wouldn’t our geniuses in the American press figure something out as well?

    Just askin’

  3. Ray Hawkins says:

    Question for LOI – had a young lady knock on my door last night representing a Clean Water group that is organizing grass roots to address health, life, and safety issues regarding the unregulated gas drilling (“fracking”) going on in Pennsylvania (the Marcellus Shale). Should I have politely dismissed her as an environmental whacko (from my take you think they all are?) or should I listen to what she has to say, accept some literature to do my own research (I am on well water fwiw), and politely decline to donate money at this time? What do you think I did and why?

    Would also be curious what G-man thinks about this since he would likely be more impacted if there is an impact.

    FTR – price of cabin in NW PA are dropping – lot of inventory on that market.

    • Should I have politely dismissed her as an environmental whacko (from my take you think they all are?) I don’t think they are all wacko’s, but it’s too easy to jump to cause when the effect is there for all to see. The AGW crowd is at it again with the heatwave, and it is HOT. Does that prove mankind is the cause? Well water is being contaminated by natural gas, does that prove fracking is the cause? Gas is hard to contain, seeps, so it also may be natural. I think Lisa Jackson is a posterchild for eco-wacko, so if she say’s fracking is not the cause, it’s a pretty definite answer.

      http://www.newsok.com/epa-chief-lisa-jackson-says-natural-gas-production-is-a-good-thing/article/3571012

      “or should I listen to what she has to say, accept some literature to do my own research” That would be reasonable. Always do your own research. Maybe you should have educated her a little….

      I think you accepted her lit, patted her little head, told her thanks but you had diapers calling..

    • I try to send everyone form any organization away politely because the petition you sign or the words that are coming out of their mouths are put in such a way that you will agree with them even if you do not agree with the groups message (just like political polls).

      The worst it has ever gotten for me was when some young kids trying to get signatures for SEIU had to be sent away very impolitely. It is very irritating because they say things like “we only want to support workers rights.” The last polite thing I said was something along the lines of “I fully support workers rights, but the union management that SEIU supports is corrupt and does not have the people’s intentions in their best interest and I refuse to support them.” That was met with blank stares and more insisting that it only takes a minute of your time to sign.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Naten – I was actually surprised to see anyone given my proximity to the drilling. You are closer no? Any knocks on your door?

        • nothing for drilling yet, but they will get the same as everyone and be sent away. I am sick and tired of the mailers that these organizations will send. I get enough with credit card offers everyday two from the same company yesterday alone.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Ray, FTR, Drilling his very regulated here. There are strict guidlines that must be followed because so many, like me, use well water. There have been sveral new drills in the area, one cannot extract because they failed on a distance regulation, but for the most part, it’s not a problem at all.

    • Ray

      If she was simply organizing neighbors then I would have signed up for the information and invites to meetings. I would then attend and do more research to make sure it was the correct thing to do.

      If it was a petition for action or some such then I usually read it, then politely tell them I need to do more research before putting my name to anything. Thank them and wish them a nice day.

      I am suspecting your response wasn’t much different.

      For the record, this “fracking” business is high risk for the quality of water tables. Problems are popping up all over the place, not just the burning faucets put in the media. I understand there is a dry fracking process about to be tested. This would eliminate the water quality issue.

      The sad thing is that other energy restrictions have created the demand for gas and the fracking used to extract it.

      Hope all is well with you and yours. And I got your note on the Rand comment. Sorry, I take back my jab at you.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        No worries JAC.

        I’ve been trying to read up on the fracking issue – its getting fairly heated debate-wise in PA.

        I did thank the young girl for taking her time for visiting us. I accepted some literature but declined to give money until I could better research her organization.

      • Bama dad says:

        Howdy there JAC, don’t know much about the fracking business because in our neck of the woods we don’t have the rock formations to breakup for gas. You don’t need fracking to have gas in your water; it can be a natural process. In south Alabama where I was raised, a large water well was drilled about 100 years ago and it blew up in the process. From then on it became an artisan well that burned continuously, unless a bunch of teenagers managed to extinguish it and let the gas bubbles float on down steam a few hundred feet only to be relit so said teenagers could watch the flame run back up steam and reignite the wellhead. (Not that I would know anything about that, it’s just what I heard) Anyway about 30 years ago they put in gas wells all around that area and pumped out the gas and in the process the well quit burning and eventually the water stopped flowing and we quit going there to play. In this case the removal of the gas made the water in that area usable if you wanted to drill deep enough to find it.

        • Bama

          Sounds like fun, for those kids you heard about!!! 🙂

          Yes, ground water contamination occurs both naturally and due to human mistakes. And human actions can resolve both natural and human caused problems.

          My youngerl years were spent drinking well water high in arsenic and boron. All natural.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      I had one stop by last week also (must have been fracking week). Intense young lady. Pointed out my environmental credentials back to before the first Earth day and then dropped the following on her, “How does your organization feel about the thousands of windmills proposed for the Jersey Shore?” She was unaware of them so I took the opportunity to follow up with the questions about their safety and environmental impact. My son, the environmental scientist, has been reading about the effect that the wind farms have on local weather and climate. Apparently these suckers create vortexes downwind which seem to lead to unusual weather patterns. This does not of course include the issues of bird kills caused by windmills or how they seem to scramble radar.

      She got to leave my house with more questions than she had when she started and hopefully will research the answers.

  4. We have lots of oil ONSHORE: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911

    And anyway, for those of you who balk at the obscene profits of oil companies. Did you know that the government makes MORE MONEY on each gallon of oil than do the oil companies themselves? And anyway, why is it such a bad thing that a company makes a lot of money? It’s no skin off my back as long as they aren’t gauging and I don’t think that’s the case. I think the regulations imposed on oil production are primarily to blame. Of course the Saudis squeezing production does a lot as well.

    I’m all for ending subsidies, but don’t be so quick to blame the oil companies when the government takes more off the top than the companies themselves do.

    I think the bottom line in all of this is that the progressives do not want to see the price of oil drop. If it does, there is less incentive to switch to renewable energies.

  5. Almost 190,000 jobs could be created by 2013 if offshore drilling returns to pre-spill levels, according to a study sponsored by two oil trade groups, the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API).

    The study, conducted by Quest Offshore Inc., found that if permits for exploration and drilling returned to historic levels, and if backlogged requests were granted, 400,000 jobs could be supported across the United States with a GDP increase of $45 billion by 2013.

    “The president says he wants ideas for putting Americans back to work right now,” said Jack Gerard, API president, during a conference call today. “So we urge him, again, to take a look at policies that will encourage oil, and domestic gas development.”

    The offshore oil and natural gas industries suffered losses in 2008 due to the economic recession, the moratorium on deepwater drilling, and slowdowns in permits issued for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The study’s authors claim tens of thousands of jobs have been lost due to the downturn.

    Gerard echoed the study’s conclusions, saying the United States has the opportunity to increase employment and secure “as much as 92 percent of [its] oil needs from North American resources.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/12/oil-trade-groups-drilling-deregulation-could-create-190000-jobs/#ixzz1RziD3Ls2

  6. LOI

    Sorry my friend but I strongly disagree with this point: “ANWR is nothing but a hellhole for every species on earth. ”

    Not only is it false but it displays the typical human trait of judging animals based on human characteristics. Let alone that it only considers the warm and fuzzy critters, which is a typical environmentalist trick when it comes to media.

    And because it is inaccurate it damages your larger argument that IS valid.

    • JAC,

      You may be correct about ANWR, but then again, you could be wrong. I mean the 2000 acre coastal plain where they actually want to drill, not the rest. But, I have never been there, so have to rely on what info I can find on the internet. Best I can tell, the coastal plan is not supportive to many lifeforms. If you have other info, would appreciate.

      http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/anwr.asp

      • LOI

        I am only challenging the comments like “it is a barren wasteland”, which was used in your referenced article. Living things live there. It is part of the living ecosystem.

        I do not think that reason to NOT drill there. The Greenies have been lying about ANWR from the beginning. Which includes by the way their agreement to allow drilling if the R’s let ANWR be created.

        So the issue is magnitude of potential impacts, not that this is a wasteland so what the hell.

        My bigger point however is that all to often we pick up on these little talking points or easy rhetoric and spread them like a virus. When they are not true it damages the larger message.

        • JAC,

          I see your point. There are mosquitoes there, so there has to be other animals to sustain them, Caribou or something. Likely passing through Alaska’s 2,000 acre litterbox. I will try to mend my ways on the talking points and rhetoric, but I bet the litterbox comment has brought a couple chuckles.

        • “barren wasteland” is how some people describe Cleveland, but I guess something has to be there for their river to catch on fire.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyahoga_River
          There have reportedly been at least thirteen fires on the Cuyahoga River, the first occurring in 1868.[12] The largest river fire in 1952 caused over $1 million in damage to boats and a riverfront office building.[13] Fires erupted on the river several more times before June 22, 1969, when a river fire captured the attention of Time magazine, which described the Cuyahoga as the river that “oozes rather than flows” and in which a person “does not drown but decays.”

  7. Just got this joke in my email. Sorry, but just had to share.

    “President Obama’s approval ratings are so low now, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the United States …”

  8. Canine Weapon says:
  9. President Barack Obama walked out of debt limit negotiations Wednesday.

    One Republican aide said the president quickly ended what was described as a “tense” meeting with congressional leaders about a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

    Wednesday’s meeting came to a quick halt when Speaker of the House John Boehner responded negatively to spending cuts offered by the White House and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor offered to support two separate debt ceiling votes.

    One GOP aide familiar with the talks told The Daily Caller that Wednesday’s meeting was the “most tense meeting of the week.”

    “The Speaker challenged the President to offer real spending cuts,” said the aide. “He said the gimmicks and accounting tricks that Washington has used for decades are not applicable here. When White House officials attempted to justify budgetary gimmicks, the speaker said pointedly, ‘We’re not doing that anymore.’”

    Cantor told reporters after the meeting that all progress in the negotiations had been erased. (Budget deal turns into P.R. duel)

    The meeting was the fourth consecutive one of its kind. Republicans and Democrats have been struggling for weeks to find common ground. In recent days, an agreement has appeared to become increasingly unlikely.

    Obama also told lawmakers today that the group has until Friday to figure out a deal.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/13/obama-walks-out-of-debt-limit-talks-wednesday/#ixzz1S5HtNh1i

    • Naten53 says:

      There is too much money to lose by the companies that line the politicians pockets for them not to raise the debt limit on time. Just playing politics as usual and in the end the middle class will get screwed again.

    • LOI

      It was reported on Progressive Talk Radio yesterday that Mr. Obama told Cantor when storming out “I’m warning you, don’t call my bluff”.

      So, he admits he is bluffing, which means he is playing games at the table instead of facilitating a solution.

      Which proves my point about why “negotiations” like this never create any real positive or lasting “progress”.

    • Time to bring in the cameras. Obama says he will bring it to the American people? Good – bring us into their negotiations so they can’t play these PR games.

      • Obama may be spineless and incompetent but he’s not stupid. He’ll only bring one side of the story to the press conferences. He’ll present an anti-Wall Street perspective (even though he did more for Wall Street than any President ever) … although I doubt he’ll mention union workers after the way he tossed them under the bus in WI. It’ll be scripted garbage, sort of like MSNBC and FOX … but with what the GOP is doing right now and their field of “candidates”, he (Obama) will win in a blowout in 2012.

  10. Obama hits Chicago for 50th birthday fund-raisers at the Aragon
    By Lynn Sweet on July 13, 2011 9:38 PM | No Comments

    obama 50th.pngLogo for the Obama Aug. 3 birthday fund-raiser.

    WASHINGTON–President Obama returns to Chicago on Aug. 3 to mark his 50th birthday with fund-raisers at the Aragon Ballroom, with tickets ranging from $50 a person to $35,800 per couple, which includes VIP seating at a “Birthday Concert” where celebs will be performing and a dinner with the president.

    The fundraiser at the Aragon, the historic ballroom in Uptown, will be one of the biggest third quarter events, expected to draw in national supporters. Obama’s 50th birthday is Aug. 4.

    The Obama team on Wednesday reported collecting more than $86 million in second quarter fund-raising over $47 million directly for the Obama 2012 campaign and more than $38 million for the Democratic National Committee.

    On Wednesday night, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Obama 2012 campaign chairman Jim Messina headlined a $44 per person event at the East Bank Club.

    Obama’s birthday bash at the Aragon was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times Stella Foster.

    The event is multi-tiered: There is a concert at 4 p.m.–Foster said songstress Jennifer Hudson may perform–for the basic $50 contribution, of which there is supposed to be “limited availability.”

    For $10,000, a person gets a souvenir photo with Obama at a reception and preferred seating at the concert. For $1,000 a person gets seated in a “premium section” with a “hosted bar.” A general admission ticket is $200.

    The events are a benefit for the Obama Victory Fund 2012, a joint Obama 2012 re-election campaign/Democratic National Committee fund.
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2011/07/obama_hits_chicago_for_50th_bi.html

  11. Oil, shmoil …

    Like I say, I’d prefer somebody like Bernie Sanders or Ralph Nader, but I’d accept Ron Paul because I don’t believe he’d sell out on principle (even though I don’t agree with his theory on the free market):

    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2011/07/tk-news-pray-gay-away-ouch-foreclosures.html

  12. Obama is a sleeper agent for Al Qieda. Why else would he be deliberately destroying this country and it’s economy? No One can be THAT stupid.

    • Esom

      Come on my friend, that’s not true. You know the LEFT is saying the same thing about the Republicans these days.

      How did the baseball season go this summer? Must be getting close to the end.

      • Actually, as biased as the “LEFT” can be, I seriously doubt they think George Bush was an agent for Al Qeada. A moron who brought the economy down, yes … agent of Al Qeada, no.

      • Of course I do! But it sure got your attention didn’t it? 😉 However, sometimes I have to wonder just what his real, secret, intentions are. His decisions are too stupid for someone as smart as he is SUPPOSED to be. Maybe he ain’t really that smart?

        My youngun’ had a fine baseball season. Made Varsity AND letttered his freshman year. The only one. His travel team has won all of their tournaments and are going to a World Series in Panama City, FL @ the end of July.
        He will already be there on a mission trip for the church though. He might, I say might, play a couple of games. They want him to pitch for them. IF they are still there after his mission trip is done. 15 yr old wit5h an 87mph fastball.

  13. SUFA

    The best case for legalizing POT that I have seen yet.

    Also, now we know who is funding the anti-legalization campaign. Millions would be lost if the psychotic zombies could medicate themselves.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/07/20117313948379987.html

  14. Debt Ceiling Negotiations

    No need for more meetings or cameras or press conferences, etc.

    The Republicans simply need to walk away, pass a budget reduction attached to the debt ceiling increase and send it to the Senate.

    If Reid sits on it then pass another and another and another, each with bigger cuts.

    Then explain to the American public that you want a complete revision of the tax code that would increase revenues. But those increases must be targeted at reducing the DEBT, not the deficit. Keep the Big Three out of the budget discussion except to say that the General Tax Revenue will NOT be used to bail out the program.

  15. Terry Evans says:

    Charlie…win he might, but in a landslide, nope, not going to happen…at least not with the popular vote. That is unless you consider 50% a landslide…he will not top that mark…IMHO. I am holding on to the hope that he will go the way of Carter and be a one term germ…

  16. “The loveable dinosaur playfully promotes the benefits of natural gas and paints a picture of a magical world filled with smiling rocks and grinning animals,” Markey said in prepared remarks. “The problem is that unless you are a ‘FRACK-A-SAURUS’ [sic] named ‘Talisman Terry,’ this world doesn’t exist. For communities around this country the expansion of natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing has meant contamination of water supplies, loss of property value, deteriorating health conditions, dead livestock, and destruction of pristine forest and agricultural lands.”

    Comedy Channel’s Stephen Colbert also gave the coloring book some prime-time exposure during a five-minute segment earlier this week. Colbert said the book was a way for Talisman to “counter [its] image problem,” citing its 145 violations in 2010 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

    “This coloring book also tugs at heart strings,” Colbert said on Monday. “Because as Terry says, natural gas is created from organic material like the dinosaur pictured right here. Now keep in mind, Terry is a dinosaur and he’s encouraging us to use the remains of his own dead relatives to heat our homes.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/07/14/fracking-coloring-book-by-talisman-energy-blasted-by-critics/#ixzz1S60eztG6

      • Kathy

        I left the state and everything went to hell. Didn’t realize my living there was holding it all together.

        Sad part Kathy is that I’ll bet most of those kids were from the town where I was living.

        Believe me when I say that Portland is only a small leap from the crazies in Missoula, Montana. The only difference is there were more “righties” around Missoula to give some balance. Hard time finding many around here.

        Boy the Progressive Radio folks were all over the Wisconsin recall elections yesterday. I didn’t know that anyone who is a Republican also “hates America”, is a “traitor to this country”, is a “psychotic sociopath”, and the congressman who dared point out that the USA will NOT be in default on Aug 2 is “a pathological liar”.

        Notice a common theme in the left wing rhetoric? Apparently everyone on the left has a pHD in psychology.

        • Yep, any of us that actually want government to be reigned in are psychos. Name calling is all they got and we are seeing it big time here and of course, at the national level too. Fortunately, so many of us are now aware of their Alinksy tactics that it is just laughable. Umm, libs, we’ve read your playbook!

          BO’s image is being shaken too. Since image is all he’s got, that is a not a good thing for him. I love that politicians are now being emboldened and one after another are coming out and shining some light on what is really happening. Walsh clip above is incredible and gutsy. Ron Johnson (Feingold’s replacement) has called for cameras to be in negotiating room – says American people no longer want behind the door discussions about their money. Rubio has been very outspoken and blunt about BO’s incompentence.

          Then, after pulling the SS check BS, this comes out – the WH PR people must be going crazy trying to spin this:

          http://legalinsurrection.com/2011/07/huge-obama-birthday-fundraiser-day-after-debt-ceiling-deadline/

        • Mathius™ says:

          Right.. because the right didn’t extensively use this exact same type of rhetoric against us during Bush’s terms..

          Remember “it’s unpatriotic to question the commander in chief in a time of war”? How ’bout “left-wing dissent endangers the troops”? Oh, I could go on.. but for some reason, we’re going to acknowledge it only when the left is making these ridiculous statements.

          ::sigh::

          “psychotic sociopath”… has a nice ring to it, though…

          • Mathius

            So in your mind questioning the effect of openly criticizing the purpose of war while our troops are engaged is equivalent to calling someone a psychopath?

            Questioning patriotism over discussions and positions of war is equivalent to questioning patriotism over an unwillingness to raise taxes?

            You telling me you really see no difference in the context or meaning here?

            By the way, the “unpatriotic” claims during Iraq were coming primarily from a few talking heads, not political leadership. To my knowledge Cheney was the only one to even get close to this. What we have now is elected Dems going on the national radio and TV and claiming ANYBODY who is republican is mentally damaged. The President has contributed by getting right up to that line. “Grownups” indeed.

            Sorry Mathius, but the side that so arrogantly likes to claim its intellectual superiority has become completely irrational. And this is the Presidents “Progressive” base.

        • Here’s another good, “shine some light on” moment!

          • Mathius™ says:

            Wow.. that’s a steaming pile of BS.. but I imagine that I think so for different reasons than you..

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Can you provide a transcript? Can’t listen while at work… Or perhaps a summary of what he said?

            • Mathius™ says:

              Short version:

              Red Shirt (Mr. Mack): Is it true you used to work for unions?
              Poor Schmuck (Mr. Bloom): Yes.
              Red Shirt: Do you think the free market is nonsense?
              Poor Schmuck: No.
              Red Shirt: Here is a clip taken out of context where you seem to be saying that “free market is nonsense.”
              Poor Schmuck: Yes, it was a light-hearted comment where I was exagerating and using sarcasm to make my point.
              Red Shirt: ” Do you think it’s appropriate for someone who was a union leader and doesn’t believe in the free market to be picked by the President and placed in charge of restructuring a company in our American free market?”
              Poor Schmuck: I already explained my comment was in jest. But I’ll let others make up their own minds whether it’s appropriate for me to hold this position.
              Red Shirt: Just to hit the high points so far: you spent most of your life working for unions and you did say that the free market is nonsense in that video. Here’s a little more o the clip, still out of context, where you seemed to agree with Mao on something. Are you a commie?
              Poor Schmuck: (gets up and charges the podium, beating the Red Shirt to death with his own name plaque.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Much obliged…

                But i’m pretty sure that last part didn’t happen, did it?

              • Shorter version:

                Any tapes you have of me saying something that shows my true colors, but is offensive to most of Americans must certainly have been taken out of context, or I mean, I misspoke, or or or I mean said in jest, or or or….

  17. Canine Weapon says:

    Did anyone here’s military training teach you how to deal with this scenario?

  18. So-what’s wrong with this idea-raise the limit-along with some cuts-and agree to cap spending in the big money spending areas -and work towards a balanced budget. Seems like a good idea to me.

    Just in time: A debt ceiling game changer
    Published: 11:29 PM 07/12/2011

    America’s debt bomb is ticking. No one knows for sure when, but at some point in the next couple of months it will go off unless Congress and President Barack Obama can reach some kind of agreement that raises the debt ceiling.

    Right now it looks like negotiations are stalled. Each side has taken a position the other side finds unacceptable. Republicans say, “No net increase in taxes.” Democrats say, “No cuts to entitlement programs.” It’s a stalemate, one the media portrays as a simple, if classic, battle of the wills between those who oppose higher taxes and those who oppose cuts to entitlements.

    In the last few days, however, a new way to bring the parties together has emerged that promises to be a game changer: the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, offered by Senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey.

    The plan — which would substantially cut next year’s projected deficit, institute statutory spending caps and require Congress pass and send to the states a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution that has real teeth — is still the only serious proposal out there that would amount to a permanent fix.

    The plan originated as three separate, related policy proposals supported by over 100 members of Congress. It first came together as a pledge in which the three elements were linked as a single set of preconditions. Lawmakers who signed it pledged not to support a debt ceiling increase unless all three preconditions were met. A coalition supporting the pledge was formed, and it quickly grew to over 200 groups, both conservative and Tea Party in nature, making it the largest ever center-right coalition of outside groups.

    All Pledge signers to date have been Republicans, in large part because Democrats do not support a balanced-budget amendment — the one element of the plan that requires a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress to pass — even though the idea is supported by 80 percent of the voting public.

    Last week, Senators Lee, Toomey and Paul introduced the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which took the three elements of the original plan and turned them into a specific piece of legislation. Here’s the twist: Instead of requiring that all three preconditions be met before voting on a debt ceiling increase, this new bill includes the $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase that Democrats want, conditioned on the passage of a balanced-budget amendment.

    The Cut, Cap and Balance Act would only require simple majorities to pass, not two-thirds majorities (although it might procedurally require 60 votes in the Senate). Once passed, the pre-approved debt ceiling increase would sit like a bunch of grapes, ripe for the picking but inaccessible until Congress passes the balanced-budget amendment. This would give Democrats an incentive to support the balanced-budget amendment. And it would give Republicans the holy grail of fiscal responsibility, a strong balanced-budget amendment that cannot be easily watered down by successive Congresses the way that a package of budget and program cuts can be.
    Ads by Google

    Voters are tired of accounting tricks and typical Washington deals. They understand that the solution, the real solution, is a simple one: to change the way Congress does its business — permanently. The Cut, Cap and Balance Act is such a solution. It has already garnered more than 20 co-sponsors in the Senate and is expected to be introduced in the House this week.

    It’s what America wants. More importantly, it’s what America needs.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/12/just-in-time-a-debt-ceiling-game-changer/#ixzz1S6ffZp8j

  19. 😐

  20. This sounds scary!!!

    Return of the Gold Standard as world order unravels

    As the twin pillars of international monetary system threaten to come tumbling down in unison, gold has reclaimed its ancient status as the anchor of stability. The spot price surged to an all-time high of $1,594 an ounce in London, lifting silver to $39 in its train.

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

    By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

    9:28PM BST 14 Jul 2011

    On one side of the Atlantic, the eurozone debt crisis has spread to the countries that may be too big to save – Spain and Italy – though RBS thinks a €3.5 trillion rescue fund would ensure survival of Europe’s currency union.

    On the other side, the recovery has sputtered out and the printing presses are being oiled again. Brinkmanship between the Congress and the White House over the US debt ceiling has compelled Moody’s to warn of a “very small but rising risk” that the world’s paramount power may default within two weeks. “The unthinkable is now thinkable,” said Ross Norman, director of thebulliondesk.com.

    Fed chair Ben Bernanke confessed to Congress that growth has failed to gain traction. “Deflationary risks might re-emerge, implying a need for additional policy support,” he said.

    The bar to QE3 – yet more bond purchases – is even lower than markets had thought. The new intake of hard-money men on the voting committee has not shifted Fed thinking, despite global anger at dollar debasement under QE2.

    Fuelling the blaze, the emerging powers of Asia are almost all running uber-loose monetary policies. Most have negative real interest rates that push citizens out of bank accounts and into gold, or property. China is an arch-inflater. Prices are rising at 6.4pc, yet the one-year deposit rate is just 3.5pc. India’s central bank is far behind the curve.

    “It is very scary: the flight to gold is accelerating at a faster and faster speed,” said Peter Hambro, chairman of Britain’s biggest pure gold listing Petropavlovsk.

    “One of the big US banks texted me today to say that if QE3 actually happens, we could see gold at $5,000 and silver at $1,000. I feel terribly sorry for anybody on fixed incomes tied to a fiat currency because they are not going to be able to buy things with that paper money.”

    China, Russia, Brazil, India, the Mid-East petro-powers have diversified their $7 trillion reserves into euros over the last decade to limit dollar exposure. As Europe’s monetary union itself faces an existential crisis, there is no other safe-haven currency able to absorb the flows. The Swiss franc, Canada’s loonie, the Aussie, and Korea’s won are too small.

    “There is no depth of market in these other currencies, so gold is the obvious play,” said Neil Mellor from BNY Mellon. Western central banks (though not the US, Germany, or Italy) sold much of their gold at the depths of the bear market a decade ago. The Bank of England wins the booby prize for selling into the bottom at €254 an ounce on Gordon Brown’s orders in 1999. But Russia, China, India, the Gulf states, the Philippines, and Kazakhstan have been buying.

    China is coy, revealing purchases with a long delay. It has admitted to doubling its gold reserves to 1,054 tonnes or $54bn. This is just a tiny sliver of its $3.2 trillion reserves. China’s Chamber of Commerce said this should be raised eightfold to 8,000 tonnes.

    Xia Bin, an adviser to China’s central bank, said in June that the country’s reserve strategy needs an “urgent” overhaul. Instead of buying paper IOU’s from a prostrate West, China should invest in strategic assets and accumulate gold by “buying the dips”.

    Step by step, the world is edging towards a revived Gold Standard as it becomes clearer that Japan and the West have reached debt saturation. World Bank chief Robert Zoellick said it was time to “consider employing gold as an international reference point.” The Swiss parliament is to hold hearings on a parallel “Gold Franc”. Utah has recognised gold as legal tender for tax payments.

    A new Gold Standard would probably be based on a variant of the ‘Bancor’ proposed by Keynes in the late 1940s. This was a basket of 30 commodities intended to be less deflationary than pure gold, which had compounded in the Great Depression. The idea was revived by China’s central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan two years ago as a way of curbing the “credit-based” excess.

    Mr Bernanke himself was grilled by Congress this week on the role of gold. Why do people by gold? “As protection against of what we call tail risks: really, really bad outcomes,” he replied.

    Indeed.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8638644/Return-of-the-Gold-Standard-as-world-order-unravels.html

  21. Mathius™ says:
    • Buck the Wala says:

      Stop posting things that don’t fit neatly in the story line!

    • 25 Billion << 10 Trillion

      Even when Texas is one of the largest states in the country. I'll have to get more info before I make my decision, I just wanted to toss that out there.

    • Mathius

      I’m sure D13 or TexChem can fill in the details, but I do have a few comments.

      1. The left has been trying to find something wrong with Texas for three years. They have to because it defies their story line. So far most things they blow up, like the text book issue, are just that …… blown up out of proportion.

      2. The story admits this is infrastructure borrowing. Which means it will be in municiple bonds or state bonds.

      3. Texas has a balanced budget. Which means the payments on the debt are being paid concurrently and no additional debt is being incurred due to an ongoing deficit.

      4. The US debt is the result of deficits in the ongoing programs, as in operating expenses. NOT borrowing for infrastructrue.

      5. The additional revenue needed to make payments on the federal debt, that is pay them off like Texas has to do, would be about $2.5 trillion. That is double the existing revenues.

      6. I am sure things in Texas are not as rosy and Gov Perry and the Fox talking heads would like us to believe. But I’ll bet its not as bad as the Left wing media talking heads claim either. But the fact remains. Their budget is in balance and they are the fastest growing economy in the country, along with North Dakota.

    • While Texas lawmakers have refused to raise taxes — and often criticize Washington for borrowing and spending — the state has been paying for much of its expansion with borrowed money.

      That’s not a bad thing, if everybody can handle the debt service and spend the money prudently. Texas’ population grew almost twice as fast as the nation’s in the past decade, so it needs new highways, schools, prisons and more.

      Local borrowing accounts for almost 85 percent of public debt in Texas, because the government is so decentralized. Combine state and local borrowing, and Texas ended fiscal 2008 with $216 billion in total debt, up from $98 billion in 2001, according to census figures. (The latest census data for local debt is 2008.)

      The borrowing isn’t slowing. New issues expected for 2011 include $2 billion for transportation, $434 million for water projects and $235 million for cancer research. All those are paid from the state’s general fund.

      Much more borrowing is planned for debt that’s supported by revenue and user fees. And local borrowing dwarfs all the categories.

      Texas doesn’t appear to be overextended. In a May report, Standard & Poor’s gave the state an AA+ rating, citing its outperforming economy, strong cash management and constitutional limits on debt.

      “Texas has what we consider to be a very low net debt burden,” S&P wrote. In part, that’s because so much debt is borne by local governments. Per capita, only Tennessee has a smaller state tax burden than Texas. But on local debt, only New York and Washington, D.C., are larger, according to the website

      Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/07/12/3217429/texas-debt-growing-at-faster-rate.html#ixzz1SBV2A5sz

    • YEP……you knew I would. Think progress is full of Texas sized bull dookey. I suggest that you look at the public figures and the budget. I suggest that Think Progress needs to take a look at the State documents before putting left foot in left mouth. We are a pay as you go state and the borrowing is local and bond driven. We have user fees. You dont want it…you dont pay. However, they can keep thinking the way that they want…….the results are speaking for themselves.

      And when a town of 2400 people lay off it’s 3 man police force and decide to do their own patrolling and volunteer enforcement, I suggest that Think Progress put all the facts out there.

      Now, having said this, Texas has planned for the long term. However, the short term issues are going to hurt some. The steps we have taken to not fund illegal immigrant education and health will put billions back in the coffers. We will be the fore runner and when other states see that it works…they will follow. But……do not believe me…..check out our results. Every program was CUT to meet our budget. We raised no taxes. Plug the leaks first…..we are doing that.

      • Mathius™ says:

        AARRGH!

        I asked you a question yesterday (above, July 13, 2011 at 9:29 am) .. didn’t see a response from you – got some other interesting feedback – but nothing from the colonel. I’d be interested in your take.

        Mateo

        • Hi, My Friend……..I did not see your question as I was not online. I have had to make a trip to New Mexico in that we have a home and property in the mountains West of Los Alamos. The wild fire is within 1.5 miles but moving the other way, thankfully. Please rest assured that the illustrious D13 will respond.

          PS. Don’t tell Charlie. He will have to rant on me for having more than one home.

  22. Terry Evans says:

    Nowhere near the subject, but I got this today and wanted to post it…just because!

    Let’s be clear on this: OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden. An American sailor, who Obama, just a few weeks ago, was debating on whether or not to PAY, did. In fact, if you remember a little less than two years ago, his administration actually charged and attempted to court-martial 3 Navy Seals from Seal Team Six, when a terrorist suspect they captured, complained they had punched him during the take down and bloodied his nose. His administration further commented how brutal they were. The left were calling them Nazi’s and Baby Killers. Now all of a sudden, the very brave men they vilified are now heroes when they make his administration look good in the eyes of the public. Obama just happened to be the one in office when the CIA finally found the b…… And our sailors took him out. Essentially, Obama only gave an answer. Yes or No, to him being taken out. This is NOT an Obama victory, but an AMERICAN victory!!

    • Terry Evans says:

      And to add to that…

      OBAMA’S OWN WORDS TRAP HIM:

      2008: “Navy Seal Team 6 is Cheney’s private assassination team.”
      2011: “I put together Seal Team 6 to take out Bin Laden.”

      2008: “Bin Laden is innocent until proven guilty, and must be captured alive and given a fair trial.”
      2011: “I authorized Seal Team 6 to kill Bin Laden.”

      2008: ” Guantanamo is entirely unnecessary, and the detainees should not be interrogated.”
      2011: “Vital intelligence was obtained from Guantanamo detainees that led to our locating Bin Laden.”

    • Mathius™ says:

      First, let’s not pretend that the 3 seals who punched a suspect IN CUSTODY are the same seals who took out OBL. I suppose it’s possible, I wouldn’t bet on it.

      Secondly, punching a suspect in custody is a criminal act. There is ZERO justification for it. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Period. What those men did, if they did in fact do it, merits a general court marshal. If his administration called them brutal, it is only because that is a perfectly accurate description. Beyond being flatly criminal, it is also flatly immoral and barbaric and it is something that the President of the United States of America – a country whose own Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits cruel and unusual punishment – should absolutely decry.

      Third, if you think the extent of Obama’s involvement in OBL’s assassination is limited to saying “yes or no,” you’re insane. And, even if that were all he did, it’s a difficult decision involving risk and reward on a geopolitical scale. While I have no doubt that some (much?) of the groundwork was laid under GWB, Obama was certainly more involved than this mockery of an opinion seems to indicate.

      Deep into my second RB of the day…

      In the words of the Joker: And.. here.. we.. go.

  23. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/07/ny_times_hit_job_on_shale_gas_dealt_another_blow.html

    BHP Billiton, the Australian-based mining giant, agreed to purchase American oil and gas company Petrohawk Energy corporation at a huge premium to its stock price. Petrohawk closed yesterday at $23.49 a share and BHP is sweeping in to buy the company for $38.75 in cash for a total purchase price of $12.1 billion dollars. BHP is buying Petrohawk for its shale gas and oil reserves in Texas and Louisiana.

    The Wall Street Journal reports:

    BHP Billiton Ltd. said Thursday it plans to acquire Petrohawk Energy Corp. for more than $12 billion in cash, giving the Anglo-Australian mining company access to large shale assets in Texas and Louisiana in one of the largest deals of the year…

    The transaction reflects the intensifying interest in shale, a rock formation dense with oil and gas. In recent years, energy companies have found a way economically to extract hydrocarbons from shale by injecting a high-pressure stream of water, sand and chemicals into the rock strata.

    The technique, known as hydraulic fracturing, has drawn criticisms for potential environmental and safety concerns. But the energy industry sees it as a crucial procedure in unlocking reserves that could reduce U.S. dependence on foreign natural resource imports, and says environmental concerns are overblown.

    Shale gas assets have emerged as popular acquisition targets for oil and other companies. Royal Dutch Shell PLC last year said it would pay US$4.7 billion to buy most of the shale gas assets of East Resources and Exxon Mobil Corp. in 2009 paid $31 billion for XTO Energy, the largest natural gas producer in the U.S.

    Unlocking natural gas from shale has glutted the U.S. market and kept prices low. BHP’s investment is a bet that gas prices will rise as power generators switch from coal to the cleaner burning fuel and U.S. gas can be exported and linked to the world market, where the commodity is more valuable.

    In the last few months, the New York Times has engaged in a campaign to call into question the safety and the success of the shale gas and oil industry. The ability to tap oil and gas trapped in shale rock far below our feet has unleashed vast amounts of natural gas – and increasingly oil. The price of natural gas has plummeted, reviving communities in shale gas belt areas, enriching city and state coffers, revitalizing manufacturing and chemical industries that rely on the now cheap natural gas feedstock, and increasingly large amounts are being exported to Mexico (with more exports on the way as orders are placed for Liquefied Natural Gas ships and ports are reconfigured to boost natural gas exports). Yet the Times has been casting aspersions on the viability of the industry.

    Their latest effort is to allege that the reserves of shale gas are easily depleted and that the hype regarding its potential is overblown. Robert Bryce comments today in the National Review on the Times war on shale gas:

    … two recent articles by Ian Urbina, the Times’ designated reporter on shale development, claim that the shale business is overhyped. On Sunday, June 25, the paper ran a front-page story that relied largely on anonymous sources who used phrases such as “giant Ponzi schemes,” “inherently unprofitable,” and “an Enron moment” to describe the last few years of shale development in the U.S. The story ended with yet another unattributed quote, which discussed a rather lackluster well that had been drilled into a shale bed in Europe. An employee of an oil-field-services company said the well “looked like crap” and that it would likely be sold to another company. According to the anonymous source, there’s “always a greater sucker.”

    What is it that the executives of the world’s most successful resource company see that the Times refuses to see? They are paying a huge premium to grab the assets that the Times tries to peddle as the object of a giant Ponzi scheme. The Times articles include the claim that shale gas production in “inherently unprofitable”.

    Are the executives at BHP suckers and chumps? If so they are not alone , since overseas companies – European, Middle Eastern, and Chinese (as well as domestic ones, such as Exxon) – have been snapping up these shale gas and oil assets as quickly as they can get their checkbooks out.

    The Times evidently has been trying to derail shale gas development in New York where efforts are underway by some Democratic politicians to ban shale gas development in that state (the rich Marcellus Shale formation lies beneath part of the state). Ian Urbana, the point man for the Times in this effort, was not objective in his reporting. He relied on “experts” with an agenda against development of our energy resources – including on Art Berman, who proposed that we get rid of private cars.

  24. The 2010 elections, which changed the balance of power in the House, were driven by popular opposition to government spending, debt and the threat of tax increases. Yet even with the federal debt limit already breached and only days left to prevent a national default, the media continue to ignore the public’s wishes.

    The theme of network reports on the debt ceiling battle is that some agreement MUST be reached so that the limit can be increased, but many Americans disagree with raising the debt limit and are more concerned about government spending. But that has barely been mentioned in stories.

    Polls taken by Gallup, CBS and AP have all registered significant worry about federal debt and opposition to an increase in the debt ceiling. But ABC, CBS and NBC coverage of the debt limit battle being waged on Capitol Hill has not reflected that fact.

    Out of 45 reports on the broadcast network’s evening news programs between June 16 and July 12, only one mentioned a poll that showed public opposition to raising the debt ceiling. That’s a mere 2 percent of reports. An additional two stories had some reference to what the public might think, but without polling data.

    Those two other stories included a politician and journalist’s respective opinions about public sentiment. In one, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said that that the public opposes tax increases but supports a balanced budget. In the other, Bob Schieffer claimed he knew what public opinion was without giving any poll to back it up. He declared, “I doubt that many people would argue with the president when he says it can only get worse if Congress does not find a way to raise the debt ceiling.”

    The network’s willingness to ignore public opinion on the issue is shocking given the poll numbers. Gallup found that nearly twice as much opposition to an increase than support for one. In that July 7-10 poll, 42 percent of Americans indicated that they want their representative to vote against raising the debt ceiling, compared to only 22 percent who want them to vote for such a bill.

    A June AP/GFK poll taken between June 16 and 20 also showed more public opposition to raising the debt ceiling than support for increasing it.

    Gallup also found widespread fear of runaway spending. When asked “Which concerns you more – [the government would not raise the debt ceiling and a major economic crisis would result (or) the government would raise the debt ceiling but without plans for major cuts in future spending]?” A 51 percent majority said their greater concern would be raising the debt ceiling without plans to cut spending, compared to 32 percent worried about an economic crisis caused by not raising the limit.

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/julia-seymour/2011/07/15/only-2-network-reports-debt-ceiling-battle-mention-public-opposition-#ixzz1SBXut1WZ

  25. I just watched the President’s Press Conference on the negotiations.

    WE ARE SO SCREWED.

    NOTHING is going to happen except we might see the debt limit increased. We will NOT see any real reductions in spending. The best we will see is some small reduction in projected future budgets, which of course this Congress has no control over.

    As of today I would put my money on his re-election, given the Press’ unwillingness/inability to challenge the contradictions and falsehoods in his talk. But he is smoother than ever and can talk circles around the best of snake oil salesmen.

    • Mathius™ says:
      • Mathius

        Curious as to why you posted that link.

        • Mathius™ says:

          You seemed like you could use a chuckle.. guess not?

          Anyway, debt ceiling will be raised at the 11th hour. It’s going to be a massive political victory for the blue shirts (over a fight the red shirts never should have been stupid enough to get into in the first place). The only question, to me, is what’s going to be in the “deal.” My guess is not much of anything.

          We shall see.

          • Mathius

            I pretty much agree, including they shouldn’t have tried to use this as leverage.

            They should have simply extended for 4 months at a time. That is one quarter plus a month to see the data.

            Then they should have just moved forward with budget and tax legislation.

    • Naten53 says:
      • Mathius™ says:

        You know.. I’m not a Constitutional lawyer.. but I do know how to read..

        I’m sitting here, thumbing through my pocket copy of the US Constitution… and here it is, the Fourteenth Amendment (section 4):

        Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. […].

        OK, so I’m looking at your link..

        The 14th Amendment to the Constitution requires that the debt payments come first before any other spending.

        Not seeing how they equate… well sort of.. shall not be questioned..

        But this was inserted to stop southern senators from voiding the debt incurred in the civil war (“What, ruin us, and then make us help pay the cost of our own whipping?” one asked a Northern journalist in 1865. “I reckon not.” ). I guess it’d be pretty easy to go from there to “debt payments come first”.. I suppose.. Just, looking at legislative intent, I don’t know that I arrive at the same conclusion…

        Just seems flimsy to me.. not making any claims here.. just mulling it over. Anyone? Buck? How ’bout you?

        • Mathius

          I think most would assume that a refusal to pay debt due is a repudiation of that debt, and thus a questioning of its validity.

          As an originalist I agree with your comment. But we all know what the lawyers have done with the Constitution.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @JAC – not so fast – your money is better spent on my retirement home than Obama winning re-election. Merely raising the debt ceiling will not alleviate the myriad of problems that will be rightly or wrongly blamed on Obama (housing, jobs, wars, gas prices) – if the GOP doesn’t shit the bed and nominate a bozo there is plenty to stir their base on – and they don’t even have to ring up the culture war crap.

      As a concrete example – my company (I work in Healthcare, provider-side) put on the brakes a while back because of the potential changes in entitlement programs that are a major source of revenue for us. Any solution perceived to be short will impact strategy well into 2012.

      • Ray

        My view is based on two things, one of which you mention.

        1. Weakness in the elephant field and no legitimate third party candidate.

        2. The ability of Mr. O to talk 25% of the population into thinking he’s a nice guy just looking out for us poor middle class folks. And THOSE guys want to push granny off the cliff.

        Quite frankly the one guy I think could make him look silly is Herman Cain. Right now he stands little chance. That leave Romney, on the economy/business issues. He just isn’t as smooth and a little to stiff.

        Your right, there is a lot of time and politicking left to be done. It will largely depend on whether the press continues its love affair with the guy or they finally turn on him like they normally do.

  26. The story line is that Corporations are getting away with paying zero or very little in taxes. We have a revenue problem and need to tax businesses more. The taxes paid by corporations has nothing to do with them seeking to move away.

    Well can somebody explain this graph to me if the Corporations have been paying less than their fair share?

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FCTAX?cid=107

    • Here is the state and local tax data on corporations. Very interesting.

      http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ASLCTAX?cid=107

    • Hi JAC…..no one can explain it except to say that thegraphs are not a true depiction. That is the story line.

      • Mathius™ says:

        Many are getting away with 0. Many are not. I see the number going up, but current ($300BB-ish) figure doesn’t really give any perspective. $300BB out of what? 3T, perhaps (just making that number up so the math is easy)? If that’s the case then they’re paying 10% ON AVERAGE. To get that 10%, some (like GM) paid no federal income taxes in 2010. Others paid 30%. When it is all added up, the amount came to that $300BB.

        In the interest of full disclosure, you’ll note that I said “federal income taxes in 2010.” I’m quite sure they paid other taxes in 2010, and/or paid federal income taxes in other years – it seem highly unlikely that a company would be able to stay in business long if it’s writing down losses to offset their income every single year.

  27. Ray Hawkins says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/15/libya-rebels-us-recognize_n_899702.html

    “Libya Rebels Recognized By U.S. ”

    Say what?

    Do we really know who the hell these people are? WTF, over.

    • Ray….Ray….Ray…………this is in response to Congress threatening to cut the funds for Obama’s War. Now, in recognizing the rebels as a legit govt…he can by pass Congress and release confiscated funds……30 billion and change.

      • Seems I remember that Obama was criticizing the Iraq war and all wars……then he widened the Afghan War, went into Pakistan, and started a new war………and no one seems upset.

        • Mathius™ says:

          I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!

          • Mathius

            You mean until Nov 2012, when you mark the spot next to his name.

            • Mathius™ says:

              Pretty much.. I’ll continue to be mad as hell, but I’ll continue to take it, I guess.

              In all honesty, it depends on who the Red Shirts throw against him. If it’s someone I can tolerate, I’ll vote for whoever I want (even if 3rd party). If it’s someone I can’t stomach (Bachmann? Palin? Santorum? Etc) – which is more than likely – I’ll vote for Obama.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Is Ron Paul an option for you?

                Les Paul?

                Paul Stanley?

                Stanley Kubrick?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

              • Ray Hawkins says:

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Dedicated to my SUFA friends in New York……. 😉

              • Mathius™ says:

                Ron Paul.. not without a lobotomy first.

                Les Paul.. I think he’s dead.. so I’d vote for him, sure.

                Paul Stanley.. you’re kidding, right? Jews can’t win the Presidency.

                Stanley Kubrick.. hell yea! But he’s dead too. I worry about zombies with with finger on the nuclear button..

                Let’s start with Kucinich, maybe?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I’m voting for this guy – he knows what he wants to do….

              • I have to ask-out of the ones running now and Perry -who is likely too -Is their one you would vote for?

              • @V.H. – well……I am precluded from voting for Obama again (more on that later). I need to see who else emerges. Unfortunately Pat Paulson is no longer around……

              • Hi, Ray-I wasn’t asking for specifics 🙂 I was just asking because Matt brought it up that he would vote for a republican IF-so I was just wondering if there was one around now that would be acceptable to him or anyone who would normally vote democrat. 🙂

                But really interested in that more later comment 🙂

  28. Ray Hawkins says:

    Answer(s):
    2010 – Healthcare reform led by Obama will kill Grandma = Good Message

    2011 – Cuts in entitlement programs will kill Grandma = Bad Message

    Question: ?????

  29. Ray Hawkins says:

    Jesus H. Christ…..

    “A clause hidden in the Obamacare bill, which is now law, gives Obama the right to form a private army.

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=322057

    • Mathius™ says:
      • Another big apple story,

        http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/07/14/un-bee-lievable-nyc-fines-man-2000-for-not-watering-his-hive/

        NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This story probably falls into the category of Ripley’s “bee-lieve” it or not.

        The Bloomberg administration socked a Queens man with a hefty fine for failing to water his beehive, reports CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer.

        It’s a new one in the annals of city government. The cash-strapped Bloomberg administration has mounted a “sting operation” against city beekeepers — ticketing a Douglaston man an unbelievable $2,000 for not watering his beehive.

        “It’s outrageous. It’s difficult to understand how this could happen,” Tip Sempliner said.

        And here’s why: there is a beehive waterer a few feet from the hive.

        When asked if it’s logical to assume the bees could fly two feet to get the water, Sempliner said, “I don’t know if they’d bother. They could just step out of the hive and fall in the water.”

        But that’s not all. Sempliner’s property is right on Little Neck Bay and he has several fresh water ponds nearby, so if the bees don’t like their water dish. There are many other bee-utiful options.

        “I felt sorry for the inspector. I thought we should probably buy him some glasses,” Sempliner said.

        The hive actually belongs to Sempliner’s friend, Jon Pettingill, who said the beehive waterer has been there since the hive was put up over a year ago.

        “It does seem like the city is a little revenue hungry and trying to bring it in wherever they can,” Pettingill said.

        Queens Councilman Daniel Halloran agreed.

        “This is another example of the city going out of its way to collect revenue at the expense of our citizens. There are criminals who get cases in city criminal court who don’t have a $500 fine, let alone a $2,000 … this is absolutely absurd,” Halloran said.

        Sempliner’s message to Mayor Michael Bloomberg is simple: you can catch more bees with honey than you can with vinegar — or in this case a city summons. He said City Hall should dismiss it.

        Apparently the mayor agrees – you can catch more bees with honey, within limits. Because after Kramer called, a decision was made to change the violation to a “warning.”

        Why, asked Kramer? Because, said a mayoral spokesman, officials “thought it through.”

      • Mathius

        I don’t know if factcheck accurately captured the intent or not.

        But I do know that they would have no way of knowing what this “allows” or how it could be “used” in the short time they commented.

        As the Judge stated in the video clip, the language is vague and gives broad authority to “somebody” to draft federal regulations.

        The key point made in the Fox piece as that it was poorly written and typical of massive bills where nobody has a chance to review in advance. I would say that was accurate.

        Yes, the “army” thing is ridiculous, but the issues raised by the Judge were not.

  30. Ray Hawkins says:

    Hope everyone has a great weekend – headed to the car, opening sunroof and all windows and blasting this…..

  31. A Puritan Descendant says:

    I often thought the left could have all the social programs they desire if they were open to deregulation.

    The following is from Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine. >

    “With last week’s disturbing unemployment report indicating the nation’s unemployment rate increased to 9.2%, Congress’ imperative to focus on pro-growth initiatives could not be clearer. And as we work to rein in bloated federal spending and chart a sustainable course for our fiscal future, there are steps and can take immediately to help create good jobs for Americans. We can start by removing the needlessly onerous regulatory burdens on America’s small businesses, the engines of our economy. In fact, a thirty percent reduction in regulatory costs would save nearly $32,000 for a 10-person firm – enough to hire one additional person. Think of what that would mean for our economy if every small firm experienced that relief.

    In Congress, I have introduced the FREEDOM Act, legislation that would require agencies conduct comprehensive analyses of the potential impacts that regulations have on small businesses. The fact is that Congress CAN help the economy – by relieving small business of outdated, inefficient, overly onerous, and economically stifling regulations.”

    • I would like to nominate this woman for the first manned flight to mars. The ship leaves in 6 months, regardless.

      Yeah, lets reduce cost of govt by requiring govt agencies to do more BS analysis, which by the way they are supposed to be doing under previous laws anyway.

      JUST CUT THE FREAKEN REGS OLYMPIA.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Here is part of an e-mail by Senator Snowe followed by more from Senator Snowe about one week later >

        “Throughout my service in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, I have made fiscal responsibility a hallmark of my work and have fought consistently to rein in government spending and the increasing debt – including my long-standing leadership in support of a Constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. In fact, I recently joined Senators Hatch and Cornyn in introducing a balanced budget amendment that would cap spending and lay a foundation for Congress to consider other effective budget enforcement tools that have worked in the past. As a senior member on the Senate Finance Committee, I remain committed to fiscal responsibility and restrained government spending. I believe the 112th Congress must approach the issue of our national debt with utmost consideration and craft legislation that will effectively return the country to a path of fiscal responsibility.”

        about one week later >

        Snowe, Harkin Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Financially Strained Americans Afford Hearing Aids
        Senators Snowe and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced legislation to help individuals with hearing loss purchase hearing aids. The bipartisan Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act seeks to provide a $500 credit for the purchase of hearing aids for both adults and children. To read more, click here http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ContentRecord_id=178c5403-b54f-47de-8b9f-c5b558a96084

        sigh…..

  32. The greatness of the founding fathers (from the Wall Street Journal). Ladies and Gentlemen, the GOP Iowa frontrunner …

    Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann created a stir recently by insisting on television that America’s Founding Fathers “worked day and night” to abolish slavery. When asked to identify one of them and say what he did on behalf of this noble cause, the only name she produced was John Quincy Adams. He was all of 9 years old when his father, John Adams, persuaded the Continental Congress to vote for independence in 1776.

    Ms. Bachmann’s historical gaffe notwithstanding, there is surely a legitimate question here: Was slavery a day and night preoccupation of America’s top leaders during the founding era—1775 to 1800? Dismaying as it may be to many admirers of our revolutionary past, the correct response is: no.

    • http://www.mass.gov/courts/sjc/john-adams-b.html

      John Adams did in deed worked to outlaw slavery in MA and you can be assured argued against it in the constitutional convention. John Q Adams was also strongly antislavery. Because the FF compromised on this one issue, you discount all the good they did. That is like saying Babe Ruth was not a a great BB player because he struck out a lot.

      • That is like saying Babe Ruth was not a a great BB player because he struck out a lot.

        Somehow equating Babe Ruth’s strikeout-to-home-ratio with slavery seems a bit awkward. Let’s try it this way. “That’s like saying the founding fathers weren’t so great because they permitted slavery.”

        Yep, that works better.

        • So we are too dense this morning to see analogies for what they are. Babe Ruth contributed heavily to the success of the Yankees but he had one flaw and that is he struck out a lot. So by your logic, you would not consider him a great play because you discount his one failure against the 9 things he did well. In your view that is what FFs did. They got it 95% right at a time when many were clamoring for a weak government or a monarchy. The only thing they were strongly split on was slavery. Most of the northern delegates wanted it abolished while the southern states mostly disliked it but were economically tied to the institution. To abolish it meant bankruptcy. So they compromised on this one issue. They did lay the ground work for its eventual elimination by forbidding importation of slaves after 1800. Under the A of C, they outlawed it in the NW territories (OH, IL, IN, WI, MI). They understood the hypocrisy. However, not to make the compromise meant the failure of their effort to unite the country under a viable government. I think that given the circumstances, if you had to make the same decision, you would compromise as well for the greater good.

          • So we are too dense this morning to see analogies for what they are.

            Pay attention, you crazies on the right (who claims us lefties are nasty/childish). This is how it STARTS.

            In your view that is what FFs did. They got it 95% right at a time when many were clamoring for a weak government or a monarchy.

            Buddy, where did I say they got anything 95% right? I’d say they got less than 50% right, but what do I know.

            The only thing they were strongly split on was slavery.

            I think you should probably ask the slaves how they felt about that 95% statistic you use (and/or their “greatness”). You do realize you’re talking about the physical bondage of an entire race of people, I hope. Because lord knows I wouldn’t want to accuse you of using racist diatribe. You seem awful content to excuse friggin’ SLAVERY as a 5% wrong.

            Seriously, think about it.

            To abolish it meant bankruptcy. So they compromised on this one issue.

            How did Ronald Regan put it? There you go again. Yes, imagine having to substitute economic factors over keeping people in chains? The nerve …

            They did lay the ground work for its eventual elimination by forbidding importation of slaves after 1800.

            Not to mention that nasty little thing called the civil war, but it wasn’t until 1965 that voter rights legislation was passed. What’s another 200+ years …

            I think that given the circumstances, if you had to make the same decision, you would compromise as well for the greater good.

            I don’t think you’re getting me Mr. (or MRS.) DENSE. Ending the persecution of people in friggin’ chains seems a bit more important.

            • Slavery was outlawed in 50% of the country within 25 years of the ratification of the Constitution. So there is your 50%. Then by your figures, the FF accomplished nothing since slavery is your only issue. As for the CW and subsequent legislation and events, that was not the FFs. Also after the CW, blacks voted and held office. It was after the ending of Reconstruction that the system fell apart. At was the Republican party that supported civil rights after the CW and again the Republicans that were instrumental in passing the voting rights bill.

            • “Ending the persecution of people in friggin’ chains seems a bit more important.” Who can argue with this statement-such a true and just statement-but the truth is- saying it, is a lot easier than accomplishing it.

              So what would you have had the FF’s do-how were they to stop an institutional horror that had gone on for centuries in almost all cultures? There is a big difference in can’t and won’t. But what they did led to the ending of slavery-they put in place the necessary steps to end it-no they didn’t immediately stop it-because they COULDN’T. It is sad and horrible that slavery ever existed-but it did-and the FF’s and the Constitution that they created-a GREAT accomplishment-the “all men are created equal” foundation for that document-made ending slavery possible.

              • But what they did led to the ending of slavery

                You’re joking, right? I know T-Ray can’t get beyond this, but seriously, you’re joking, right?

                T-Ray didn’t get my reference to the civil war or 1965 … how long whatever they “put in place” (in your minds) got it done.

                What would I have had them do? I think that’s obvious. Abolish it and have their civil war up front; divide the country if they had to. Whatever it took. Slavery … come on, man.

              • No, I’m not kidding Charlie-there has been article after article posted that state what all the Constitution did to promote the ending of slavery.

                I’m also not a history buff but just trying to use common sense to think about the time-tells me another war was impossible. These states and men had just fought together to get their independence from the British and you think they were prepared to start a war killing each other at that time in history or even that they could get the people to go along with doing so-I just don’t think could or would have happened-no matter what the FF’s did-and that doesn’t even take into consideration the ability to wage a war based on other factors.

  33. A Puritan Descendant says:

    GM Charlie, FWIW, the following,
    “Springfield is well known for its firsts but also has the distinction of freeing the last slave in Massachusetts. Slavery had existed since the early settlement and several residents, including the Pynchons owned slaves, but the cruel institution was outlawed by 1783 court decision upholding the 1780 state Constitution. A man from New York came to town in 1808 to seize an escaped slave named Jenny who had lived in Springfield for several years. The people of Springfield rallied to Jenny’s aid and raised enough money to buy her freedom from the New Yorker.” http://www.masslive.com/history/index.ssf/2011/05/springfields_375th_from_puritans_to_presidents.html

  34. V.H., Does the same reluctance to go to war again apply to those who would’ve fought for slavery? Do you see what I’m getting at here? It is very easy for anybody today to assign 5% blame (or less than 50% blame) on the FF for allowing slavery but imagine that argument being fed to slaves … or to those who wanted to abolish it?

    The point being, we’re talking about people here, actual human beings. To attempt to justify their enslavement (literal slavery) seems a bit nonchalant by any standard, but to suggest it had to be done seems absurd. Maybe for those who need to hold the FF’s up to some holy grail it was a necessary evil, but that’s taking stretching reality to a level I’m not comfortable with. They had options and chose the path of least resistance … which involved enslaving human beings. I don’t know how you even attempt to argue that away.

    • You want to go back 250 years and judge all these men based on the cultural norms of today-norms alot of them were fighting to change-that simply isn’t fair-but if your going too , at least acknowledge that the ones who voted to pass the Constitution on the basis of the equality of man-were the ones standing against the norms of their time. They were the ones fighting for the rights of man -and yes that lead to the right of men-not to be slaves.

      • Why use today’s standards to judge your precious FF? If there was discontent over the issue 250 years ago, maybe they shouldn’t have gone along with ENSLAVING PEOPLE.

        • All I can say is -I give up-you have closed your mind to everything but repeating the words slavery is wrong. You do not acknowledge anything except that one fact. How much do you want to bet -that the people who were originally forced into slavery-came from societies that also had slavery. But lets blame it all on the FF’s and America.

          The truth is man changes slowly and the FF’s helped to promote that change. And all your unreasonable demands will not change that fact.

        • CS, you clearly are biased on the issue of the FFs. These are a group of men who took on the world super power of their time. They risked their very fortunes and lives in the process. England has a long history of dealing harshly with traitors. They fought them to a stalemate on the battle field, out maneuvered them on the world stage by aligning French and other supporters, then established a form of government not seen on the planet prior to that. It was based upon English, Greek, Roman, Swiss, Scottish, and Native American principles. For the first time it divorced religion from government. Its founding principles were individual freedom with minimal government interference. This form of government was incredibly novel for its time. How can you not consider this alone a great achievement?

          The one area they failed in was abolishing slavery. Much of this was in fact tied to the economics at the time. Many of the southern planters were deeply in debt. Their slave holdings represented a major asset which in many cases was pledged against those debts. Jefferson himself died a pauper with his slaves confiscated for debts. The honor code at the time did not allow them to free their slaves under such conditions. V. H. is correct in that you are applying 20th century morals to 18th century men and problems.

          Like our debt problems now, the FFs did push the issue of slavery down the road. But prior to that, they did lay the ground work for its eventual elimination. Had not the future generations failed, it might have worked. Slavery was still legal in England and in many other western countries at this time and was very prevalent in other parts of the Americas. The US was certainly not alone in this regards. As I said earlier, they were quite conscience of the hypocrisy of the situation.

          It was the politicians that followed that allowed and set up the conditions for the CW. The compromise of 1820 limited the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Had not Stephen Douglas and others broken that agreement and allowed popular suffrage to rule in Kansas and other territories, the CW might have been averted. Slavery would have limited to the existing states and would probably have died of natural causes. The CW also had many other causes besides slavery. In fact Lincoln only freed the slaves late in the war and then only in the CSA states since they would be under martial law once subdued. He did not free the slaves in MO, MD, and KY. It took an amendment to do that.

          Jim Crow is another story altogether that had nothing to do with the FFs. It was entirely due to bigotry and racism of the individuals that created and supported it. Had those individuals followed the teachings of the FFs, it would not have happened. Instead of blaming the FFs, blame the individuals responsible.

          • CS, you clearly are biased on the issue of the FFs.

            And you, sir, are clearly head over heels with mythology.

            V. H. is correct in that you are applying 20th century morals to 18th century men and problems.

            And you, like V.H., are ignoring the fact that people were used as chattel and trying to justify a decision based on economics (although you’re probably doing the Ayn Randers proud). You are talking about people, human beings and defending slavery for the sake of economics sounds a bit racist (intended or not). But keep on explaining … and digging that hole just a little deeper.

            • You know Charlie, your opinion of the FF’s or mine, doesn’t really matter. What matters is when those negative views are used as a political weapon to make false claims of racism. And to help destroy the foundational truths of the Constitution.

    • Good Grief!!! What was the catalyst for this decision-Lack of respect for freedom is my guess.

    • It’s not as bad as them shooting their fire chief. Maybe in a way it’s good, that it will result in a very new city council, and the old can move back to DC where that kind of mindset comes from….I think Gould is a few hills and hollers away from me.

  35. A Puritan Descendant says:

    I find it amazing how much Conservative Republican politicians appear to be ignorant about what could happen after Aug 2. Some think SS has a pile of cash waiting. Or that revenues well just magically be there right on time when we need them. Not that Dems are any more clued in. Apparently from what I have read on the net, not only will SS checks not all be mailed out on time but also maturing Treasury bonds/bills amounting to more than SS will not be paid. = Default!

    If we go past Aug 2nd with no deal I hope I am wrong about this.

    From the American Thinker >

    “At a closed-door meeting Friday morning, GOP leaders turned to their most trusted budget expert, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, to explain to rank-and-file members what many others have come to understand: A fiscal meltdown could occur if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.
    House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio underscored the point to dispel the notion that failure to allow more borrowing is an option.
    “He said if we pass Aug. 2, it would be like ‘Star Wars,'” said Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a freshman from Tennessee. “I don’t think the people who are railing against raising the debt ceiling fully understand that.”
    The warnings appeared to have softened the views of at least some House members who, until now, were inclined to dismiss statements by administration officials, business leaders and outside economists that the economic impact would be dire if the federal government were suddenly unable to pay its bills.
    Freshman Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) said the presentation about skyrocketing interest rates that could result from downgraded bond ratings was “sobering.”

    Also >

    “That is how the GOP leadership is putting it to the rank and file. It is a powerful argument which probably means by Monday, some kind of deal will be in place. And it will include some sort of tax increase.”
    Read complete article here > http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/07/is_the_gop_about_to_cave_on_taxes.html

    Maybe Obama will blink first, but can we risk it?

    • I wish I knew-I’ve read so many articles on this-many stating that we do have the money to pay all essentials-others claiming we don’t. All I know is if we continue to allow our politicians to scare us into raising the debt ceiling-nothing will change. And just raising the ceiling without a plan that Actually puts us back on the path to some kind of economic sanity-I don’t believe will save us from a downgrading of our credit anyway. And since I truly believe giving into the progressives on this will just give the government more power to spend and lead to another debt ceiling increase-I have to ask when does it stop. Are we just being manipulated by the screams of default-are we stupid to risk it-or stupid to let them force us into going along-AGAIN-which will lead to an actual default. I simply don’t know-but I can see many Federal departments that could be eliminated or at the least reduced-and many things we pay for -that we simply don’t have to pay for.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Yes, I understand it is all so frustrating. Even if we have a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, it would most likely have an exception in times of war rendering it useless.
        As far as having enough money to pay SS and the debt payments, it is apparently true we will have more than enough on an annual basis, but Not just after Aug 2nd. We have to wait for enough revenues to come into the treasury. Once we have a default on our debt even if only briefly it will be hard to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Interest rates for treasuries could go so high we may have no further hope of ever recovering.

        • Which leaves me with a question-I’d like to ask the progressives who still support and will vote for Obama-If he seriously wants to help the US and not just increase governmental power-why won’t he do a short term agreement?

    • In case you have forgotten, SS is taken out of your paycheck and sent directly to the government as are your Medicare and income taxes. Hence there is a continuous inflow of SS $s into the Treasury. It is slightly short of the outflow but should cover over 90% of it. Also any bonds that are due and payable can be rolled over as they are already under the debt ceiling. The interest rate may be higher. The real crunch comes in paying the interest on bonds plus paying soldiers, employees and other bills. The incoming tax revenues will cover the interest and some of the other expenses but will fall significantly short at some point. Nonessential employees could be furloughed as many states have done. Some bills can be delayed, i.e. put on a 60d, 90d or 120d payment schedule. Severe austerity measures should be implemented in all departments. We could sell some oil leases and other properties to raise more capital although all of this is a stop gap. We could stop all welfare payments to foreign governments, and payments the UN. There are a host of other things that Obama could do as any good CEO would do if he had the experience.

      In short, I think a short debt ceiling hold could be bridged. It would be much more harmful to the economy and the country in the long term to continue on this tax and spend path. We need to get control of the situation and this is probably as good a time to stand fast and force the issue. Since the pols cannot control themselves, then a balanced budget amendment is necessary. I would also support a line item veto but would lower the override vote to a simple 60% +1.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        “In case you have forgotten, SS is taken out of your paycheck and sent directly to the government as are your Medicare and income taxes. Hence there is a continuous inflow of SS $s into the Treasury. It is slightly short of the outflow but should cover over 90% of it.”

        Yes, but enough to mail the monthly checks on Aug 2nd when they claim we will be broke? I think we would need to wait a while before we had enough to mail out the SS checks.

        “rolled over”

        does that not = technical default?

        “The interest rate may be higher”

        How much higher? How much will that increase our debt payments?

        “Line item veto”

        I believe that has been ruled unconstitutional at the Federal level because only congress can write law.

        “balanced budget amendment is necessary”

        Will the morons write it in a way it has teeth, without a war loophole?

        Thanks for the reply, I have to go and escape from reality for a while, it is Cider time.

      • “Nonessential employees could be furloughed as many states have done. Some bills can be delayed, i.e. put on a 60d, 90d or 120d payment schedule. Severe austerity measures should be implemented in all departments.”

        That would all be done by the Obama administration, which has committed itself to growing government. They could be presenting a plan to allow the government to continue to operate with raising the debt ceiling, but have not because they need that threat to force it to be raised again and again. Obama has said he would veto any short therm extension, 30,60 or 90 day. If the limit must be raise, pass a 30 or 60 day extension and let Obama veto it! Then pass a 25% pay cut to all federal employee’s across the board except military. Every congressman and staffer, every WH employee including secret service and chef would have their pay cut until this is resolved. No vacations. Cut out all travel, zero it’s funding so Obama has to pay to fill Air Force One for any and every fundraiser!

  36. TexasChem says:

    Obama: Public is ‘sold’ on tax increases in a debt-ceiling deal
    By Sam Youngman and Alicia M. Cohn – 07/15/11 11:54 AM ET

    President Obama on Friday kept up the pressure on Republicans to agree to revenue increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, claiming 80 percent of the public supports Democrats’ demand for tax increases.

    “The American people are sold,” Obama said. “The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically.”

    Are you frickn’ kiddn’ me man? What a liar.

  37. This is horrible!! Just horrible

    After Jail Time for Contempt, Alleged Rape Victim Returns to Testify

    Updated: Friday, 15 Jul 2011, 10:47 PM EDT
    Published : Friday, 15 Jul 2011, 10:37 PM EDT

    Taryn Asher, Fox 2 News

    myFOXdetroit.com – It’s already extremely hard for rape victims to come to court and testify. This alleged rape victim says the only reason she came back was to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

    This woman found the courage to come back to court and testify against one of the men who she says beat her with everything from a chair, to a two-by-four and raped her repeatedly before she found a way to escape from this Strasberg Street in Detroit.

    That nightmare only continued at a Wednesday hearing , when she claims defense attorney Gabi Silver kept badgering her on the stand insinuating that she brought this attack on herself, causing this victim to snap in court.

    “I said just get to the point bitch, it slipped out, it was inappropriate… all the bottled anger” says the alleged victim.

    Without a warning, she says 36th District Judge Vanessa Bradley held her in contempt and ordered her to spend three days in jail.

    After our story aired Wednesday, exposing what happened – the judge seemed to have a change of heart and released her a day early.

    But to make matters even worse, she says her time in a holding cell was spent right next door to her alleged attacker who she says threatened her life, claiming the suspect who is still on the loose will come back and kill her. An investigation into this matter is underway.

    In the end, the judge bound suspect Curtis King over for trial. The alleged victim says she’s one step closer to justice, but she hopes no other rape victim will have to go through what she did to get it.

  38. Very interesting article-Need to add ” and how the republican big wigs blew it” to the title.

    Spend Spend, Elect Elect, Tax Tax
    The White House debt strategy.
    Jul 25, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 42 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/spend-spend-elect-elect-tax-tax_576920.html

  39. Since we are all talking about taxes and spending and debt ceilings etc I thought this might be good information for everyone to look at.

    It addresses Mathius’ question regarding the “share” business taxes play in tax revenue. For those who don’t want to use the graph tools, Federal revenue from business taxes was zero until 1960 and then bounces up and down BELOW 1% of GDP.

    Also remember my comment long ago under solutions where I said the Federal Income tax rate should be held at 10% of GDP? Note how the Fed Income tax revenue hovers around this line.

    http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/revenue_history

  40. Refreshing article, that is if you like politicians who care more about what they do than re-election.

    Time will tell if they drink the poisoned waters.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/us/politics/17debt.html?_r=1&hpw

    P.S. I have been trying to explain this to many the past 6 months, especially the lefties. This is why the Repub leadership has not been able to get these folks in line. It is why the debt ceiling negotiations look so out of control. It may also be why the Dems have a much better year in 2012 than they should. Or…….. it could be the only reason the R’s have a chance to increase their seats.

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