Congress Gets A Well-Deserved Raise

on Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The economy is in shambles, millions of Americans have lost jobs (with potentially millions more to be lost in the coming months), and every industry from banking to cars to prostitution is getting a nice slice of the delicious bailout pie from Washington at the expense of mere trillions to the United States taxpayer.

...And what better way to reward one of the worst Congresses in American history than by giving each and every blowhard in Washington a nice, fat raise. You know, cuz they deserve it so much.

Each lawmaker's annual salary is due for a $4,700 cost-of-living increase starting in January, which will amount to a cost to taxpayers of $2.5 million in 2009...

Members of Congress make an average of $169,300 a year, with Congressional leaders making slightly more. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Cailf., makes $217,400, while the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate each make $188,100.

The raise will increase the average salary to about $174,000, up 2.8 percent.
While $2.5 million is mere chump change in Monopoly U.S. government dollars, it's the principle that bothers me here. At my place of work we are given raises which reflect the merit of our working contributions to the company over the past year. On the other hand, your 110th Congress after having approval ratings in the single digits and accomplishing nothing of real value or recognition over the last 12 months - and after having taken a whopping 50 days of vacation by September's end (just in time for them to take yet another 6 weeks of pure vacation in the Fall) - Nancy Pelosi and crew have decided that they deserve yet another raise for all their hard work.

Now, while cost-of-living allowances are rather standard in almost every line of work, what baffles me here is the shameless double-standard seeping from the depths of Capitol Hill. While lawmakers virtually force automaker executives to take $1 per year salaries until they pay off their debts, Congress (whose debt exceeds that of the automakers by 1,000 fold, mind you) quietly takes a raise. While Pelosi screams at executives for flying around in corporate jets, the Madame Speaker is herself paddling around in a private jet of her own - paid for by you, of course.

My question is this: Why do the rules seem to apply to everyone else except for our beloved politicians? Why is it that lawmakers can tell one failing industry to make cuts, while they themselves take raises in spite of their own failure? Why is it that Pelosi and crew can tell corporate executives how to fiscally manage their businesses when Congress themselves have failed at every feduciary task appointed to them over the last 50 years? Why is it that Obama can tell us that "we can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times" while he himself vacations and golfs in a $9 million extravagant mansion on a secluded beach in Hawaii?

Just another day in Washington's "Do as I say, not as I do" world.

Define "Absolutely Certain"

on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Barack Obama, December 11, regarding the Blagojevich scandal:

What I'm absolutely certain about is that our office had no involvement in any deal-making around my Senate seat. That I'm absolutely certain of.
Chicago Sun-Times, December 16, regarding Obama's very own Chief of Staff:

President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is reportedly on 21 different taped conversations by the feds -- dealing with his boss' vacant Senate seat

Obama's an idiot. Not because I think he's guilty (which I don't), but because in politics, it's ALWAYS best just to get the truth out as quickly and painlessly as possible. Instead of saying that he was "absolutely certain" that nobody in his staff was dirty (which is stupid in itself seeing as he hadn't even conducted an internal investigation yet, thereby leaving me to wonder how he could come to such a conclusion with no evidence), Obama should've just told the truth and got it over with. But instead, Obama decided to jump on the ol' Chicago reflex and deny any wrongdoing before even gathering any facts.

"I haven't interviewed any of my staff and have conducted no internal investigation whatsoever... but I'm 'absolutely certain' that nobody was involved."

How do those words taste, Barry?

Best Corruption Scandal Evah!

on Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I wrote a lenghtier post about this earlier today, but decided not to post it. So here's the short version:

  • Illinois Governor gets arrested on charges of corruption and graft for offering Obama's vacant senate seat to the highest bidder.

  • ...In Crook County.

  • ...On International Anti-Corruption Day.

  • Hollywood writers couldn't have scripted it better.

    Bias? What Bias?

    on Monday, December 8, 2008

    A good catch by Warner Todd Huston who points out yet another shamefully pathetic double standard creeping up from the foul depths of the Obama-worshipping media:

    [In early 2001] as Bush tried to warn the nation, the media jumped all over him for "talking down the economy." Yet, as we watch the reporting of Obama's current down talking of the economy, the media has said nothing similar to the condemnation reigned upon Bush...

    On CNN, Lou Waters needled Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer on January 12, 2001 about the "politicalization " of the economy. "President Clinton, sort of, answered that as well today. He's talking up the economy. There are economists who say you guys are talking down the economy. What's happening here in this transition period, the whole, sort of, politicalization [of the economy]...," Waters said.

    On March 19, 2001, The New York Times scolded Bush that presidents were supposed to be "cheerleaders for the nation's economy."

    [On March 26, 2001, Alter unleashed his Newsweek piece headlined "Thanks Ever So Much, President Poor-Mouth."]

    Yet, has anyone seen any similar scolding of the new "cheerleader" in chief, Obama? Has anyone seen an Alter sternly scolding Obama for "poor-mouthing" the economy? Has there been any hectoring from CNN over Obama's grave warnings? Where is The New York Times beating up that downcast Obama?

    In fact, every single report I have seen about Obama's talk on the economy has been matter of fact. Even sometimes giving him cover for changing his campaign rhetoric about the economy by asserting his acknowledgment that he has changed his tune.

    The New York Times went so far as to assess Obama's mood as optimistic, despite his claims of an further economic downslide. "Despite the bleak economic picture awaiting him, Mr. Obama sought to project an air of determined optimism," the Times published on December 7.

    For its coverage, the Washington Post, assures us all that Obama is putting things in "perspective" for us as he prepares to take office.
    I was thinking this very same thing on Suunday after catching Tom Brokaw's interview with Obama on Meet the Press this past weekend in which Obama claimed that the economy "is going to get worse".

    I'm confused. You see, from what I recall, during the election our media outlets assured us that Obama was the redeemer of all things dreadful. The cure for all of America's woes. Yea, the veritable messiah himself come down in mortal form to heal the earth and all the underlying troubles within...

    Yet now we have Obama telling us it's going to get worse? And all while forming a committee to lower American's expectations of what the rookie will actually accomplish as president?

    Why is the media setting up a cushion for Obama before he even takes office? Are they are already expecting him to fail? If so, (which I assume is the case), then why in the world are so many anchors calling for an amendment to the Constitution allowing Obama to take office early so he can get us into a deeper mess sooner?

    Barack Obama: Fear Monger

    on Monday, December 1, 2008

    How many times have we heard liberals that seem to be suffering from an incurable case of Bush Derangement Syndrome accuse the current Commander-in-chief of "playing on our fears" to push his own agenda?

    And yet we have this. Straight from Obama's own administration, regarding the country's current condition:

    You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
    Would any of you malpracticing wizards of intellect in the Obama-worshipping media like to explain to me how this doesn't qualify as fear mongering? Ask any financial guru to sum up in one word why the Dow is tanking and you'll likely hear the following response: Fear.

    ...and yet here we have Obama's own right-hand man stating on record that the Obama administration wants to utilize this fear to push forward an agenda that's so radical that even Obama's cronies themselves admit that it would not likely pass but for this financial crisis.

    You asked for "change" America. And you're about to get it.

    Congress Finally Does Something Right

    on Friday, November 21, 2008

    ...well, sort of. But if you can believe it, I actually agree with Nancy Pelosi for once:

    Congressional efforts to rescue Detroit's auto makers collapsed Thursday, with lawmakers saying the industry lacked credible plans to return to profitability.

    The decision came after two days in which leaders of three of America's largest corporations pleaded for a taxpayer-financed rescue from lawmakers in front of a national television audience. The spurning of their pleas leaves in question the future of companies that have been synonymous with American industry for decades and together employ 239,000 people in the U.S.

    Democrats in Congress offered only a glimmer of hope, saying they would reconsider a rescue if General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC submit convincing turnaround plans by Dec. 2.

    "Until they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat.
    Don't get too excited about a fiscally conservative turnaround from our friend Pelosi, though, as the same article later states that Congress is still planning to make a $10 billion check written out to "cash" for Detroit in the weeks to come...

    These guys just don't seem to get it, do they? They roll up on Washington tarmacs in their private, executive jets and then walk into a congressional session with absoultely no business plan whatsoever - and then they have the nerve to ask Congress for $25 billion of our tax money.

    Amazing, isn't it?

    The underlying problem here is that Detroit wants to use these bailout funds to pursue the very same business model that got them into this mess in the first place! Unless Detroit gets serious about making some drastic changes, the only thing a bailout will do is push the inevitable bankruptcy back another 6-12 months. Mitt Romney sums it up nicely in this op-ed piece for the New York Times:

    If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

    Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.
    ...and that's coming from the mouth of a guy who was born in Detroit and whose father was even the president of American Motors.

    Look, if the government really wanted to help, they have plenty of options at their disposal - none of which that would cost $10 billion. For starters, it's time to cancel some of the union contracts that are pulling Detroit into the water with them as they drown. Second, Washington needs to ease up on the CAFE standards. Does anybody besides Washington find it wise to burden an already struggling industry with further, more expensive environmental standards that they can't afford?

    It's time we demand that Washington says "enough" to these endless bailouts. According to Forbes magazine, the cost of the original $700 billion bailout is now up to $5 trillion! Think about that for a second... 5. Trillion. Dollars. And yet this bailout, that was supposed to solve the whole economic crisis mind you, hasn't done jack for the market. Did you see the Dow Jones or S&P 500 yesterday? The S&P is at an 11-year low. But wait, Washington, you told us that this bailout was going to fix the market.

    I've never supported any part of this bailout. It's not working, everybody wants a piece, and we can't even afford it in the first place. It's not like Washington has $5 trillion in some drawer somewhere that they can pull out and use for this. They're printing it! In fact, they're printing it faster than your local neighborhood burger joint can print McNapkins. But if if you guys in Congress are so set on printing it anyway, then give it to the American people! My back of the envelope math says that $5 trillion evenly distributed to the American public amounts to almost $17,000 per person - every man, woman, child, and infant. Does anybody here not think that if Washington gave a household of 4 a check for $68,000 - and then did the same for every household in America - that it wouldn't supercharge the economy?

    But instead, Washington would rather give that money to the very same people that misappropriated it in the first place. Brilliant, Congress.

    What Democracy?...

    on Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    So, apparently, voting on a public matter of legislation only matters when the public votes the way liberals want them to...

    ...otherwise, the votes don't count:

    In an appearance Sunday on CNN, Schwarzenegger said the state Supreme Court might overturn Proposition 8, the Los Angeles Times reported...

    "It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," Schwarzenegger told CNN. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."
    This is absurd. For weeks now opponents of California's proposition 8 have rioted in the streets accusing prop 8 supporters of bigotry and hate, but so far the only bigotry and hate I've witnessed has come from the gay rights activists themselves.

    First, they boycotted restaurants and theaters owned by individuals who donated to support prop 8, which ultimately even cost one man his job. Then they published a blacklist website listing the personal information of "Yes on 8" donors with the heading: "The following individuals or organizations have donated money to the California Proposition 8 campaign which seeks to ban same sex marriages. Please do not patronize them." And now:

    A letter containing white powder was discovered at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City [a few days ago]. The scare shut down a temple annex building for more than an hour.

    About the same time, another envelope filled with white powder forced the closure of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' temple in the Westwood area of Los Angeles.
    I'm gonna call this exactly what it is - a hissy fit. A temper tantrum. Did you see any conservatives rushing the streets and protesting in front of Trinity United Church in Chicago when we lost our election on November 4? Did we boycott any establishments that had an "Obama" sign hanging in the window? Did we start a website that listed the personal information of Obama donors calling for the "blacklisting" of such individuals?

    If we had done any of the above, the left would be breathing into a paper bag. But opponents of prop 8 can send anthrax-ish letters to Mormon establishments and everything is just dandy. Am I the only one seeing a frightening double standard here?

    Look, I have never used this blog as a religious forum, and I intend to keep it that way in the future. But why is the Mormon church experiencing such a backlash? Is it because they donated funds to support proposition 8? Oh, I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that only opponents of prop 8 were legally allowed to donate to the cause.

    It’s called democracy, people. Both sides donated heavily and campaigned fervently for their cause. And even though Mormons only account for 2% of California's entire population, last time I checked, the final vote on prop 8 was nowhere near 2% YES and 98% NO.

    Look, if you gay rights activists can make an affirmative argument and pitch it to the majority of voters, then success is yours. If not, you got the outcome you deserved - twice now.

    In a rare twist to the issue, however, supporters of prop 8 can probably credit Obama for getting prop 8 to pass since, as my brother notes, Obama's election resulted in record numbers of minoroties at the polls with blacks voting 70% YES on prop 8 and hispanics voting 65% YES.

    Prediction: Gay rights activists will keep placing the issue on the ballot every 2 years until it passes, and then, once it finally does pass (which it ultimately will), they will try to stop the issue from ever going to the polls again in an attempt to prevent gay marriage from ever being overturned.

    The new slogan of the liberal left: "Democracy for me, but not for thee"

    Obama Vows to Make Healthcare Better By Making It Worse

    on Friday, November 14, 2008

    And so we take a journey into the demented realm of Obama wherein we find that, even though socialized medicine has failed in numerous countries across the globe, somehow The One feels that it will work out just fine here in America.

    President-elect Barack Obama's plans to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system would cost the federal government $75 billion the first year but would provide health insurance for 95 percent of Americans...

    This works out to about $2,500 per newly insured person, the firm [PriceWaterhouseCoopers] said in a report.

    "The plan would increase to $1 trillion cumulatively by 2018 or approximately $130 billion per year," the report said.

    While the plan would extend health insurance to two-thirds of the 47 million people who currently lack it, the overhaul may worsen some problems, such as a shortage of primary care doctors, the analysis found.

    "Unless costs are cut, growing health care costs will increase the costs of Obama's plan dramatically over time and reduce the effectiveness of mandates. This could make the federal costs unsustainably high," the report said.
    Obama's plan for health care parallels the same health care structures that have failed miserably in Canada and Great Britain. But please Mr. Obama, pay no attention to the fact that the very man who came up with Canada's government-run health care system has now disowned it in embarrassing fasion:

    As this presidential campaign continues [this article was written before the election, ed.], the candidates' comments about health care will continue to include stories of their own experiences and anecdotes of people across the country: the uninsured woman in Ohio, the diabetic in Detroit, the overworked doctor in Orlando, to name a few.

    But no one will mention Claude Castonguay — perhaps not surprising because this statesman isn't an American and hasn't held office in over three decades.

    Castonguay's evolving view of Canadian health care, however, should weigh heavily on how the candidates think about the issue in this country.

    Back in the 1960s, Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

    The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: "the father of Quebec medicare." Even this title seems modest; Castonguay's work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.

    Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in "crisis."

    "We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: "We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice."

    Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, going so far as suggesting that public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, the man who championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.
    (For the record, this is the same Canada that deports its own cancer-stricken residents just to save costs.)

    And this situation isn't unique to just Canada. Just 3 weeks ago, it was reported that the NHS (Britain's government-run health care system) are themselves refusing to use the same health care services that they themselves run! Instead, they are turning to private health care for faster, more efficient treatment.

    Shortages of doctors, longer lines to see a physician, bureaucrats in some Washington office making your health decisions for you, and higher taxes from you to pay for health care for the 32 million uninsured Americans who currently have access to health care, but otherwise have decided not to pay fot it or sign up themselves... Isn't Obama's "change" just awesome!?

    ...not that it matters though. Once Obama cures all known diseases through his grace, we won't need health care anyway.

    So It Begins...

    on Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    All we ever heard about during the election was "change" this and "change" that. And yet, to my amazement, somehow nobody ever came to the realization that there IS such a thing as change for the worse.

    And on that note, we take a windowless journey into Obama's legislative abyss where we find that socialism is creeping up on us much, much sooner than we think.

    From Obama's own website:

    The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start. least that's what it USED to say. Here's how the mandatory service agreement reads now, via Steve Gilbert:

    Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit...
    For what it's worth, this isn't the first time since being elected that Obama has scrubbed his website of phony, and even illegal, promises.

    Here's my beef with the issue: Wasn't Obama a constituional law professor? If so, Barry may wish to head back to school himself for a refresher course on what the document he will soon swear to uphold says about manadatory service.


    Amendment XIII
    Consitution of The United States of America

    Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    My friends, this is how communism starts...

    Obama's administration is starting to sound less like "Yes we can!" and more like "Yes you will!"


    on Monday, November 10, 2008

    ...not to be confused with "abomination", although I'm not sure there's a difference.

    My conscience told me not to get caught up in the hope that Obama would govern as he said he would, and not how his record showed he would. But after the appointment of partison hack Rahm Emanuel as Obama's chief of staff, and with rumors of John Kerry as a possible choice for Secretary of State, my utopia-filled dreams of a centrist government have now turned to nightmares akin to the horror of watching any movie starring Lindsay Lohan.

    Which, oh which leftist policies will Barry use to break my heart by implementing first:

  • Freedom of Choice Act

  • Single-payer health care

  • Card Check

  • Defense cuts

  • Fairness Doctrine

  • Amnesty

  • Estate tax increases

  • Capital gains tax increases

  • Defense cuts

  • More bans on oil drilling

  • Global poverty tax

  • Elimination of the second amendment

  • Socialism / Spreading the wealth around

  • My nightmare. Nikita Khrushchev's dream come true:

    Change You Can Believe In... But Never Experience

    on Friday, November 7, 2008

    Is there anything Obama hasn't promised to do as president? Jake Tapper has compiled a nice list of all the "door prizes" Obama promised to every American while he was running for president. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Give a tax break to 95 percent of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paycheck every week

  • Not increase taxes on anyone if they "make under $250,000; you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime –- not your income taxes, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax"

  • End those breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas

  • Give tax breaks to companies that invest right here in the United States (which contradicts the previous point, as corporations usually do both)

  • Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-up companies that are the engine of job creation in this country

  • Invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade

  • Reopen old factories, old plants, to build solar panels and wind turbines

  • Build "a new electricity grid"

  • Eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East in 10 years

  • If you don't have health insurance, you'll be able to get the same kind of health insurance that members of Congress give themselves

  • Recruit an army of new teachers

  • Make a deal with every young person who's here and every young person in America: If you are willing to commit yourself to national service, whether it's serving in our military or in the Peace Corps, working in a veterans home or a homeless shelter, then we will guarantee that you can afford to go to college no ifs ands or buts

  • End this war in Iraq

  • Finish the fight and snuff out al Qaeda and bin Laden (which, again, somewhat contradicts the previous point as al Qaeda currently has groups stationed in Iraq)

  • Increase our ground troops and our investments in the finest fighting force in the world

  • No more homeless veterans

  • No more fighting for disability payments

  • And that list doesn't even count all of the additional promises he made during his 30-minute infomercial. How is Obama going to pay for all of this while simultaneously promising tax breaks to 95% of working Americans??

    Answer: He isn't. Now that Obama has been elected, he is forming a comittee to "lower American's expectations" of everything he promised them:

    Barack Obama’s senior advisers have drawn up plans to lower expectations for his presidency... amid concerns that many of his euphoric supporters are harboring unrealistic hopes of what he can achieve.

    The sudden financial crisis and the prospect of a deep and painful recession have increased the urgency inside the Obama team to bring people down to earth, after a campaign in which his soaring rhetoric and promises of “hope” and “change” are now confronted with the reality of a stricken economy.

    One senior adviser told The Times that the first few weeks of the transition, immediately after the election, were critical, “so there’s not a vast mood swing from exhilaration and euphoria to despair”.
    There's nothing new or fresh about Obama. He's no different than every other liberal politican who panders and demagogues to appeal to the masses, and then, once he's finished using your back as a stepping stone to achieve his power, he forsakes every phony, unrealistic promise he made to you.

    That's the kind of change Obama believes in.

    Peggy Joseph is going to be heartbroken:

    Why I'm Not Voting For Barack Obama

    on Sunday, November 2, 2008

    So why aren't I voting for the same candidate endorsed by both the terrorist organization Hamas, as well as communist murderer Fidel Castro? Lotsa reasons:

    Who Is He

    Answer: Nobody knows. Obama’s resume is thin, and his teleprompter has been careful not to reveal his honest feelings on major political positions. So to understand who he truly is on the inside, we need to study those with whom he associates himself. After all, I tend to befriend people I agree with and I married a woman whose opinions I usually see eye-to-eye on. So let’s recap Barry’s buddies:

    His Wife
    Michelle Obama was only in the spotlight for a short period of time, during which she was able to confirm that (1) she hadn’t been proud of her country until her messianic husband started running for president, (2) she thinks America is an ignorant country, and (3) that America is a “downright mean” place to live. No wonder the Obama campaign pulled her off the mike. Has anyone even seen Michelle lately? So where does somebody get views like that in the first place?

    Reverend Wright
    This disgrace of a man has been reviewed extensively on this blog already. But in case you need a refresher, here are some of my favorite quotes from the Reverend Wright reel:

    William Ayers
    Bill Ayers is a former terrorist who was a member of the Weather Underground, a group responsible for multiple bombings and deaths at the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, military bases, and other law enforcement agencies. Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn, who was also the leader of the Weather Underground, has the unique resume tag of making it on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list. Obama launched his political campaign in Ayers’ and Dohrn’s living room. Ayers and Barack served on boards together - The Woods Fund and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge - and have been friends for over a decade.

    When confronted with his association with Ayers, Barack first tried to claim that he didn’t know about Ayers’ past and that he was “just some guy in the neighborhood,” But CNN was quick to fact check these claims by Obama and ultimately ruled that his relationship with Ayers runs “much deeper” than Obama wants to admit. Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, later confirmed that Obama did, in fact, know about Ayers’ past, yet Barack still continued to work with him. Obama then tried to spin his relationship by stating that he was only 8-years-old when Ayers committed his despicable acts. Well, read the recent words of Ayers himself in a post-9/11 interview regarding his actions at the Weather Underground:

    I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough.
    Does that sound like a man who has changed his former hate-filled views? And if, by some freak means, you still think that Ayers has rehabilitated himself and no longer hates America, just have a look at a picture of Ayers taken earlier this year desecrating the American flag:

    Rashid Khalidi
    Khalidi is among the most radical of Obama’s associations; a man who harbors anti-Semitic views towards Israel, and was even the spokesman for Yasser Arafat’s terroristic organization, the PLO. Khalidi is even on record praising the terrorist bombings during the 1972 Munich Olympics. So what does Obama think of a man who harbors such opinions? To fully answer that question you’ll need to petition the The L.A. Times who has in their possession a video of Obama praising Khalidi at a speech a few years ago. The Times is refusing to release the video as it would make their candidate look bad. There are even rumors that the Khalidi’s babysat Barack and Michelle Obama’s children.

    And these are just a few of Obama’s friends. We also have Tony Rezko, Louis Farrakhan, Franklin Raines, and Reverend Pfleger to add to the mix if the punch ever gets watered down.

    Now many Obama supporters will claim that associates shouldn’t matter and that we all know people who have dirty laundry in their closets. I counter with this argument: They absolutely matter! Obama could have launched his political career anywhere in the world, instead HE CHOSE the living room of an unrepentant terrorist. Obama could have gone to any church in Chicago, instead HE CHOSE the church of Reverend Wright. He could have refused to speak at a terrorist-supporters banquet, instead HE CHOSE to lavish praise on such a man.

    Obama chose to associate with these people. He chose to befriend them. He chose to work with them. And if the reports hold true, he even chose them to babysit his kids. If Obama has made such an effort to associate with men and women who hold such horrible views of this country and our allies, why should we think that Barack Obama thinks any differently than they do?


    Obama served roughly 140 days as a U.S. senator before he felt he was experienced enough to be president. In fact, if Obama completes only one term as president, it will be the longest full-time job he’s ever held. All he’s ever done is use his newest political promotion as a platform on which to climb to a higher level of office. As such, he has an extremely thin record and is on record voting “present” on roughly 130 votes as a state senator – many of which were on extremely tough issues. And to all you Obama supporters out there who feel that he is best suited to help fix the economy, be advised that he was too cowardly to take any other position than “present” when he voted on the Fannie/Freddie reform. But to say that Obama hasn’t ever passed any legislation as a U.S. senator is misleading. After all, he did almost co-sponsor an ethics bill. What leadership!


    Senator Obama has often referred to his experience in educational reform as a highlight of his political career in Chicago. But just how successful was this reform? Look no further than the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Executive Summary Report for that answer. After Obama spent $50 million taxpayer dollars, the executive summary found that:

    There were no statistically significant differences between Annenberg schools and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain [and] any improvements were much like those occurring in demographically similar non-Annenberg schools… Classroom behavior, students' sense of self-efficacy, and social competence were [actually] weaker in 2001 than before the Challenge… In 2001, students in Annenberg schools were somewhat less inclined than in 1994 to respect each other, work well together and help each other learn.
    So, after spending $50 million on educational reform, Obama’s schools were no better off than schools that got no new additional funding and, in fact, were more segregationist and less-respectful of each other than they were before Obama got his hands on them. Basically he failed miserably. What makes him think that he can run education, or anything else for that matter, better this time around?

    Foreign Policy

    I’m no big fan of McCain, but when it comes to matters of war and foreign policy, Obama knows he can’t hold a candle to McCain’s decades of military experience. And, like most liberal Democrats, Obama tends to act more on emotion than rationale when forming his executive foreign policy opinions.

    Exibit A
    Bask in the nuance of his retarded response to when Georgia was invaded by Russia earlier this year. First, Obama called for restraint from both sides, even though Georgia had done nothing provocative and was on the verge of being invaded. Then he changed his opinion to state that both sides still needed to be restrained, but that Russia was 100% at fault – which was wrong again. Finally, after several days, he decided to copy McCain’s original stance on the matter almost verbatim. This one act alone showed us all just how inexperienced Obama is on matters of war and foreign policy. And when he was finally called out on his original moronic responses to the conflict, Obama could only find solace in some demented realm in which he blamed McCain for Obama’s own moronic original responses. Now, THAT’S leadership you can believe in.

    Exhibit B
    Shortly after the Bhutto assassination, Obama decided to show us just how green he truly is when he said the following via his top foreign policy advisor:

    Those who made the judgment that we ought to divert our attention from Afghanistan to invade Iraq and allow Al Qaeda to reconstitute and strengthen are now having to assess the wisdom of that judgment as we may be seeing yet another manifestation of Al Qaeda’s potency… Sen. Clinton’s view has been closer to Bush’s, which is to see Musharraf as the linchpin but democracy as something that is desirable, but not necessarily essential to our security interests, whereas Obama feels that democracy and human rights in the context of Pakistan are essential to our security.
    Is Obama seriously suggesting that, because we’ve spent the past 5 years in Iraq, Pakistan has become destabilized which led to the ultimate murder of Benazir Bhutto? I’m starting to wonder if Obama has ever even taken a class on Middle Eastern history. If he had, surely he would have known that Pakistan has not once been stabilized in its 50 years of existence and Bhutto has been receiving death threats since the 1980s.

    Exhibit C
    Hear Obama’s cowardly plan on defense right from his own mouth:

    Obama’s Plan: Cut military investments in new weapons, slow development of future combat systems, disarm our nukes while other countries build and develop more, and refuse to weaponize space while the Russians and Chinese are doing just the opposite. Basically he wants us to be sitting ducks in the event of an international war. Brilliant, Barack.

    Exhibit D
    Barack has been dangerously wrong on several aspects regarding the war in Iraq. His supporters try to swallow his other multiple foreign policy gaffes by claiming “Well, sure, he may be wrong on most foreign policy issues – but at least he was right about Iraq!”

    Unfortunately, there is minimal validity to that kind of logic.

    First of all, I’m constantly baffled as to how Obama constantly claims that he originally voted against the war in Iraq considering the fact that the United States Senate voted on the war in 2003, and yet he wasn’t a senator until 2006. How could he vote against the war when he didn’t become a U.S. senator until 3 years AFTER the vote took place? And to any who argue that he might have voted against it as a state senator I ask: Since when does the Illinois State Senate control U. S. military action?

    Secondly, those who are pulling the lever for Obama based solely on his stance on “immediate” troop withdrawals should remember his recent comments confirming that he’s willing to “refine his policies” regarding the war in Iraq and that he will keep troops on the ground in Iraq indefinitely based on current conditions there. Even the Obama worshiping ABC News claims that Obama’s plan for Iraq is virtually impossible.

    And finally, he was completely wrong about the surge. Here he is claiming that the surge would have no effect:

    We can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops: I don't know any expert on the region or any military officer that I've spoken to privately that believes that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.
    …and then we have him later trying to convince Americans that the surge will only make things worse:

    But to Obama’s horror, the surge has indeed worked. And as soon as Barry was confronted with the harsh reality that he was dreadfully wrong, he tried to purge his own website of the previous comments he had made longing for the surge’s failure.

    In a time of international war and tension such as this, does anyone find it wise to nominate a man whose comments regarding foreign policy have been proven wrong time and time again?


    Obama foolishly declared that he would meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea without preconditions. But when asked if he would sit down and have a town-hall chat with John McCain, Obama shows he is a spineless as they come. McCain originally wanted 10 town-hall style debates in which the crowd can ask unscripted questions to either candidate. Obama refused this offer and agreed to only 3 debates, none of which were allowed to be town-hall style? How can he be tough on terror when he isn’t even brave enough to do a free-style debate with the other presidential candidate?

    This isn’t the only time Barack has dodged an opportunity to run away from having to answer unscripted questions. Just this past weekend Jake Tapper of ABC news tried to get Obama to answer a question regarding the stimulus package. Here’s what Obama had to say:

    ABC News: Senator Obama, what would you tell your Treasury Secretary do differently with the $700 billion?!
    Obama: (laughs)
    ABC News: It's a substantive question!
    Obama: It is! But Jake, we're on a tarmac! That's a pretty good question!
    ABC News: Have a press conference then!
    Obama: I will! On Wednesday!
    The man hasn’t had a press conference in who knows how long, and when asked when he will start answering some tough questions, his only response is that he won’t answer until AFTER Election Day.

    So why does Obama run hide from such events? It’s quite simple really: He is so incredibly radical that he can’t tell the American public his true positions on numerous policies. As a perfect example of this, check out his response to a question on abortion at the Saddleback Church debate:

    His views on abortion are so incredibly radical that he can’t even answer an abortion question in front of a Christian congregation. In fact, let’s dive a little further into his views on abortion…


    When Obama was a state senator in Illinois, a woman by the name of Jill Stanek (a nurse at Christ Hospital in Chicago), as well as several other nurses, had the nightmarish experience of watching tiny infants who survived abortion be completely discarded without any comfort as they slowly died. The worst part: The nurses were not allowed to intervene in any way. After she found a helpless infant left to die in a soiled linen closet, she knew she had to act. She contacted numerous prosecutors, both in and out of state. Ultimately the Born Alive Infants Protection Act was drafted which extends legal protection and medical care to an infant born alive after a failed attempt at induced abortion.

    Sounds reasonable, right? Not according to Barack Obama. He was the only legislator in the entire state senate that actively spoke against the bill, and spent his efforts trying to stop it. When confronted on such a despicable position regarding the sanctity of human life, Obama first tried to lie about his original stance on the vote. When that lie was debunked, Obama was then forced to admit that he, in fact, DID try to stop the bill that would save infants from suffering a miserable and terrifying death.

    So just how is a partial birth abortion performed? The baby's feet are held by the abortionist who jams a pair of Metzenbaum scissors into the skull of the baby – that is still alive, mind you. While the head is still in the womb, the abortionist then opens the scissors which cracks open the tender skull and then inserts a suction device to remove the brain material and collapse the brain of the infant, thereby killing it.

    A bunch of horrified nurses tried to stop that from happening, but Obama wanted it to continue. That’s the kind of change Obama believes in.


    What’s Obama’s solution to the energy crisis?

    Tire gauges for everybody! While Obama apologists have emphasized that tire gauges are not necessarily a bad idea, Obama’s ignorance lies in the fact that he thinks inflating our tires would “save just as much” oil as drilling would produce.

    But it gets better. Obama is also on record claiming that he will “bankrupt” any new coal plants - the same power supply that provides half of our nation’s energy. He also vowed earlier this year to make energy prices skyrocket.

    So just how does Obama plan to provide our nation’s energy: Turn off your lights, don’t drive a car, and pray for wind.


    If you ask most Americans what their biggest concern is this election cycle, the answer is virtually unanimous: The economy. So just how has Obama stacked up during our current economic crisis?

    Several weeks ago he tried to solely claim credit for the stimulus, and was harshly rebuked for this false claim by his own favorite news outlet. How did he handle the mortgage crisis? He did nothing more than write a simple letter to the Federal Reserve. How did he handle wasteful spending while federal money starting getting tight? He asked for $750 BILLION in earmarks for special interests – surpassed amongst all the other candidates only by his running mate Joe Biden. Even former president Bill Clinton admits that Obama told him that he didn’t know what to do regarding the economy.

    And now millions of Americans want this man to fix the problem. Amazing, isn’t it.


    To those who argue that Obama has the ability to “reach across the aisle” as some kind of great uniter, allow me to refer you to his voting record, which the National Journal shows was the most liberal in the entire United States Senate. But just how liberal is he? Here’s a short breakdown of my particular favorite positions of the candidate of change:

  • Wants to teach sex education to kindergarteners.
  • Vows amnesty for illegal aliens before his first term is over.
  • Would rather give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens than deport them.
  • He would rather your kids to learn Spanish, than have make English our official language.
  • Thinks that border enforcement = terrorism.
  • Wants to implement the same system of single-payer health care that has failed miserably in other nations across the globe.

  • Wants to impose a fine on parents who don’t pay for health care.

    Finally, my personal favorite…


    It all started with this:

    “Spread the wealth around.” Now where have I heard that before? Oh that’s right, Karl Marx:

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
    Obama’s surrogates in the media tried to cover this up as some sort of misunderstanding, further claiming that his socialist comments about redistributing your success were taken out of context.

    But then another interview surfaced from a 2001 radio interview:
    The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution…

    One of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.
    And if that wasn’t enough to convince you of his views on redistribution of wealth, a third quote from Obama tried to drive the final nail into capitalism’s coffin:

    The state government can also play a role in redistribution, the allocation of wages and jobs.
    Imagine there are two kids trick-or-treating. One child walked the streets for hours while the other, who was lazy, went to only 3 houses. Obama wants to take half of the candy from child that worked hard and give it to the lazy child solely for the purposes of being “fair.”

    And to those who disagree with Obama's forced welfare, well according to Barack himself, you’re “selfish.”

    And just how rich do you need to be before Obama starts taking? First he claimed $250 thousand, then $200 thousand, then $150 thousand, then $120 thousand, ans is even on record going as low as $70 thousand. He'll counter by arguing that he plans to give tax cuts to 95% of working Americans - which is impossible considering only 60% of Americans even pay taxes to begin with.

    And what has he promised do with all your money? The real question should be, what HASN'T he promised to do?


    With all the radical positions he holds, how does Barack Obama deal with criticism from those who dare to question him? Answer: He silences them.

    Take, for instance, Joe the Plumber, who did nothing more than ask Obama a fair and simple question regarding his tax plan. How did Barack treat him? He mocked him, as well as his profession.

    Or when anchor Barabara West dared to ask Joe Biden yet another fair question, Team Obama censored them.
  • Or how about the 3 newspapers traveling with the Obama campaign that endorsed McCain? Obama kicked them off just this past weekend to make room for news outlets that have spent more time worshipping him. Is this what we should expect from Obama's presidency? Thuggish intimidation of any who dare question him?

    Regardless of what you may think, Barack Obama doesn't care about you. He once claimed to be his brother's keeper. Well just ask Obama's actual brother what he thinks of that statement. He lives in a run-down hut in Nairobi on $20 a year - comapred to his brother Barack who lives in a mansion, and has offered no financial or temporal assistance to his own flesh and blood. Or if you have a hard time tracking him down, just ask Obama's aunt who lives in the ghetto slums of Boston, who also has received no assistance from her multimillionaire nephew. What makes anybody think that Obama will treat the American public any differently?

    As I already stated, McCain isn't my favorite pick for president either, but an Obama administration would be disastrous for America. He is easily the most radical, inexperienced candidate to ever run for president of this country.

    You can keep the change, Barack.

    Why Are Gas Prices So High - Part 3

    on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    This is part 3 of a 3-part series on high gas prices. Before continuing on, you should have read parts 1 and 2, which can be found here and here respectively.

    Part 1 of our series on gas prices detailed the reasons your government is to blame for high gas prices. Part 2 focused more on other global factors that push oil prices up and explained the fact that oil companies are not to blame for high prices, oil company gouging doesn’t exist, and that high profits for them are actually a good thing. And finally we’ve reached the concluding part of our series. Part 3 below highlights the reasons that, while alternative energy will ultimately be the wave of the future, it is still unrealistic, unaffordable, and for the most part, unavailable.


    First of all, let it be known that I support alternative energy sources. Nobody is arguing that oil needs to be our one and only source of energy. As such, I have no problem with a car that burns nothing more than seawater and gets 300 miles per gallon. But that technology doesn’t currently exist, does it? That being said, there are many other problems that lie within the quest for alternative energy. Here are just a few:

    1) One of the largest talking points of anti-drilling proponents is that, even if we started pumping more oil today, we won’t see relief from that drilling for roughly ten years. Instead, they suggest that alternative energy forms should be used. Barack Obama, for example, has proposed a plan that he calls the “fast-track” to alternative energy sources.

    But are these proposals really as “fast track” as he suggests? According to scientists who actually work in the field, we’re still another 10-20 years away from cheaply and efficiently using the alternative energy sources that global warming zealots and anti-drilling activists falsely claim are immediately available.

    Truth: Are we able to tap wind and solar power? Absolutely!

    Another truth: Nanotechnology is still years away from being able to cheaply and efficiently use and store those forms of energy in a vehicle. Even though Obama may falsely claim so, there is no “fast track” to alternative energy. In fact, alternative energy will take longer and will take more money to develop than drilling oil will. And with oil we have a guarantee that it will work; future alternative energy sources, as history has shown, are not always a sure thing.

    Also keep in mind that if we start drilling now we won’t need to wait 10 years for those new oil reserves to hit the pumps before prices go down. Just talking about drilling helps to lower prices. Several weeks ago, President Bush lifted his executive ban on drilling. Drilling hadn’t even started, yet prices dropped $10/barrel almost overnight. And the price on a barrel of oil has dropped (as of this writing) over $30 largely in part because of President Bush doing nothing more than simply talking about producing more supply. On the flip-side, just talking about alternative energy sources to this date has had no such effect.

    2) Alternative energy proponents will try to convince you that oil is a resource that is “rapidly” diminishing. To make such a claim is dishonest and is used as a scare tactic to instill fear in the public in a misguided effort to convince you to join the cause in finding alternative energy – lest you die. Fact is there are over 800 billion barrels of oil in the shale fields of Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. Billions more are available in ANWR and off-shore. The Unites States has over 1 trillion barrels of oil at her disposal – enough to provide our country with almost 125 years of an uninterrupted flow of oil. And that’s just by calculating what’s already been discovered; there are still undiscovered deposits of oil throughout the U.S. and off our shores. 125 years is plenty of time for science to invent a new vehicle that doesn’t burn oil. There is no dire emergency to stop drilling something we clearly have vast amounts of.

    3) Another claim used to promote alternative energy is that oil must be transported overseas. And in being transported, tankers have a small chance that they will spill. Alternative energy, on the other hand, is clean and has a slim chance of harming the environment when being transported.

    While the above statement is true, it is misleading. Yes, oil spills have happened. But what is the actual effect on the environment from these spills? According to a recent study published by the National Academy of Science, human-caused oil spills only account for less than 1% of all oil seepage into the oceans. Mother Earth, on the other hand, is responsible for 46% of all the oil that naturally seeps into the ocean which means that Mother Earth causes roughly 46 times more oil “spills” in the ocean than big mean oil companies do. If tree-huggers truly wanted to minimize oil spills they should support more drilling in our own country. The more oil we have to import, the more tankers have to float on the ocean and into our ports. By drilling our own oil, we can reduce the already almost extinct dilemma of oil tanker spills.

    It should also be remembered that, even if we start using more alternative energy, we will still have to ship oil overseas. Oil is used for food, plastics, lubricants and a host of other products (shoes, clothing, medicines, hair care products, lotions, make-up, bandages, cleaners, fabrics, anti-freeze, car seats, safety helmets, tires, computers, printers, ink, carpet, furniture, roofs, roads, CDs, etc, etc...). You can’t make any of these things that we all use and rely on every day, from wind power. Using alternative energy won’t take tankers off the oceans.

    4) Forms of energy supported by environmental advocates aren’t always as “renewable” as they seem. Take a battery for example. Ask Al Gore what he thinks of batteries in cars and he’ll probably tell you that we need more of them. He might even go as far to say that every car should have a battery to increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollution. But here’s the part that environmental activists like him seem to skip: You still have to charge the battery. And how do you charge a battery? By plugging it in, of course. And where does that electricity come from? Depending on where you live it may come from a power plant that uses coal or oil to ultimately make electricity. And with the Democrats calling for a 15% reduction in the amount of electricity we use in America, having everyone plug in their car battery every night will most certainly have the opposite effect.

    Face it: Unless we want to go back to a 17th century style of living, we need energy. That energy is available to us in many forms from oil, to wind, to solar, to hydrogen, to nuclear. And we should use all of those sources! Sure, let’s keep researching and working on finding a safe way to store and transport hydrogen (which is extracted from oil, by the way), but let’s drill in the meantime. Sure, let’s find a way to advance nanotechnology enough to put tiny solar panels onto a car, but let’s drill in the meantime. Sure, let’s create an engine that runs on nothing more than seawater, but let’s drill in the meantime!! We’re tired of paying $4 and $5 a gallon for gasoline while you guys in Washington keep telling us that future forms of energy are just around the corner when, in fact, they aren’t! Here’s the real truth Washington:

    • Hydrogen can’t be safely shipped or stored and is expensive to extract.

    • Biofuels like ethanol are even more expensive than gasoline. They are also recently believed to be more harmful to the environment than gasoline emissions are and have helped send corn prices skyrocketing. With millions starving every day in the world, is burning our food such a good idea anyway?

    • Batteries aren’t yet efficient enough for sole use in cars, are hazardous to the environment when disposed of, and still require charging from energy sources like oil. Also, charging a car battery every night, or even twice or three times a day to some out there, would be a huge inconvenience and is completely impractical for the long haul trucking industry.

    • Solar panel technology has existed for years, but is still too big to be practical and too expensive for the average American to afford. Scientists argue that it will be at least 10 more years until solar panel technology is “competitive”

    • Hydro power has been used for years effectively, but we are years away from creating a car engine that runs on nothing more than water.

    • Wind power has not yet reached its peak efficiency and, so far, it can’t be used in cars. Also, what happens when the weather is calm?

    And even once these forms of energy come online years down the road, how will we set up the infrastructure for production and distribution of these energies. Also, how will Americans afford the expensive new technologies? Given the average American’s current savings rate of -2%, by the time these become available on a free market, nobody will be able to come up with the money for them.

    Look, we Republicans have nothing against researching and continuing to develop alternative forms of energy... We just have problems with those who want us to abandon our current forms of energy and switch to uncertain energy forms that are either even more costly, or don’t even exist in the first place.

    Time to start drilling.

    Why Are Gas Prices So High - Part 2

    on Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    This is part 2 of a 3-part series on high gas prices. Before continuing, be sure to read part 1 which can be found here. Part 3 coming soon.

    My previous post on gas prices elaborated on the specific reasons your government is mostly to blame for high gas prices. And yet, many people still have a nagging feeling that somehow the oil companies themselves are taking advantage of the situation. In order to address this effectively, let’s discuss all of the other reasons gas prices are high and why the oil companies are NOT to blame:

    Behold a well-known fact that many people, whether intentionally or not, choose to ignore – oil company profits are only 8%. That means that for every dollar of gas you put in your tank, the oil companies will only see a few pennies of that dollar as profit. The rest goes to pay for the crude product itself, the refining costs, shipping, and, of course, government taxes which currently clock in at an unwelcome 18.4 cents a gallon. And when you add state taxes to that, people in some states are paying upwards of 70 cents a gallon just in taxes alone!

    In order to put that 8% into perspective, let’s compare that figure to the profit margins of other companies whose products you use on a regular basis:

    Microsoft: 28.3
    Google: 24.9
    Merck and Pfizer: 20.1
    Bank of America: 20.0

    Oil: 8.4

    I can already hear you saying, “But Mike, we don’t “need” to use products from companies like Microsoft and Google, but we have no choice when it comes to using the oil companies’ product. We need oil!”

    Really? Compare how much time you spent on a computer today to how much time you spent in your car. Bet you’ll be surprised. And if you still aren’t convinced, try going a month without using the internet, a computer, or even having a bank float your mortgage. Then come back and talk to me about how you don’t “need” to use those companies’ products. Face it, we need oil equally as much as we need the products made by companies whose profits are quadruple what the oil companies make. But you never hear Barack Obama calling for a windfall profits tax on Bill Gates now, do you? This, to me, is further evidence that your government would rather demagogue this oil crisis for political expediency than fix it.

    Nevertheless, politicians, news anchors, and uninformed citizens alike continue to use words like “gouge”, “dishonest”, or “obscene” when talking about oil company profits. To this ignorance I ask: Since when is a few pennies considered gouging? And to the state and federal politicians I pose this legitimate question: If only a few pennies of profit is “obscene”, then what do you call the 70 cents per gallon of pure profit you receive?

    Face it folks, the only “gouging” that may be occurring is coming from none other than your own government. In fact, over 30 investigations have been done into oil companies’ profits from all across the board. Groups ranging from independent think tanks, auditing firms, the IRS, and even the United States Supreme Court have all concluded the same thing – oil companies are NOT gouging. So leave it be.

    But if the oil companies aren’t jacking up the price for fun, then what factors are contributing to the high costs of oil? Well let’s take a look at a handful of reasons:

    1) As previously addressed in the prior post, your government is doing everything it can to block exploration, drilling, and refining capabilities. In fact, the only solutions they’ve offered to the problem are an emissions-rationing system and a windfall-profits tax, both if which increase the cost of gas instead of driving it down. These shameful, ignorant performances from the government are kneecapping us all in ways that are only going to get worse before they get better. (If you haven’t already, click here to see my first post on gas prices for a more detailed analysis of Washington’s lack of efforts to help American’s wallets in this matter.)

    2) The economies of India and China are booming rapidly. As such, they are consuming larger and larger amounts of oil. In fact, if China were to continue its pace in growth, in 10 years China alone would consume about 85 million barrels of oil a day – which is our current daily worldwide production amount! So in other words, in 10 years China would need to use every drop of the world’s oil leaving none for the rest of us. You can see how drilling and producing more oil more vital now than ever.

    3) Oil is traded on a futures market. Oil that is bought on Wall Street today hasn’t even been pumped out of the ground yet and won’t even make it to the pumps for 8 months. Tensions in the Middle East, threats of war in foreign countries that don’t even involve America, and widespread natural disasters can easily sway oil futures prices – which drive up the price of a barrel which, again, constitutes for roughly 80% of what you pay at the pump.

    4) On a similar note, oil production is severely slowed during times of natural disasters. Hurricanes Rita and Katrina are perfect examples of this. Many refineries were damaged due to the aforementioned hurricanes which slowed and even halted oil production in the affected region. When you add to this the fact that, since several different states often require their own specific, yet unnecessary blends of gasoline, the ability to ship reserves in times of emergency becomes impossible. Slowed oil production from disasters combined with the inability to ship reserves during a crisis is a horrible recipe when trying to keep gasoline prices down.

    5) Our dollar is weaker. Keep in mind that while the price oil has tripled as far as the raw dollar value is concerned; it has only doubled in price in Euros. Since oil is bought and traded with dollars, the falling value of the dollar has been a key contributor to the high costs of oil. It now takes more dollars to buy the same thing you bought for fewer dollars months earlier.

    6) Speculation is becoming more and more of a problem in the oil markets. In fact, some estimates state that oil speculation is to account for up to 60% of today’s price of oil! Speculators from large trade banks and hedge funds are buying more and more oil hoping that the price goes up so that they can sell it and make a quick profit. This oil isn’t even being purchased for its intended purpose, but is instead being bought only so a few hedge funds can make a quick dollar. These speculators are all abusing the free market system by intentionally accumulating oil, (which drives up the price for you) so that they can profit from it – and all at your ultimate expense.

    Concerning speculative oil buyers, my brother writes to add: “Deferred contract months are selling for big premiums over spot or nearby contracts. Normally that would not be the case in situations of tight supply, as so many say we are in. This tidal wave of speculative buying is fostering the artificial hoarding of oil. It is dangerous, and it should be stopped.”

    Other factors contribute to worldwide and domestic oil prices, but those listed above are the primary reasons. So the next time you hear someone talk about how the oil companies are solely to blame for high oil prices, you can immediately flag them as uninformed and hopelessly uneducated on the matter.

    As a solution to many of the problems listed above, many are calling for alternative and renewable sources of energy, which I discuss in my third and final post concerning oil prices. Stay tuned.

    Why Are Gas Prices So High?

    on Thursday, May 29, 2008

    It’s hard to turn on the TV or radio or read a newspaper these days without hearing someone complaining about high gas prices. But the more I listen, the more I realize that these people have no clue what they’re talking about. In fact, in most cases, they seem to be venting their frustrations towards the wrong people.

    In light of all this, I’ve decided to clearly state once and for all the REAL reasons gas prices are so high. Some of these reasons may not be unfamiliar to you, but some reasons listed here may actually surprise you...

    To begin, we must all first understand that oil is traded on a world market – just like stocks, gold, and wheat are. As such, the price for the commodity is largely a factor of the global supply of it and the global demand for it. Think of it this way, if there was a shortage of wheat in the world, or if the global demand for wheat suddenly doubled, what do you think would happen to the global price of wheat? Not surprisingly, you would probably expect it to go up. Increased demand coupled with decreased supply will always result in higher prices for that commodity. Always. And so it is with oil. Countries like China and India have doubled their demand for oil within just the last few years. But we aren’t drilling enough oil to keep up with the rising demand. In fact, recent estimates state that globally we only produce 85 million barrels of oil per day, yet we currently demand 87 million. According to one oil company executive who recently was called on to testify (again) to Congress, if all is working to capacity we only have about a 3% spare capacity worldwide. The worldwide demand continues to rise as over 1 billion of the world’s population have a standard of living similar to ours, and there are billions more who would like to. As the worldwide demand continues to rise, there is no room for error. Any disruption or perceived threat of disruption has a significant impact on pricing. Economic factors such as these have pushed the price of oil up (as of this writing) to the $135/barrel mark.

    Now the key to fully understanding all of this is to recognize that oil prices are NOT controlled by the oil companies. Crude oil prices are set by the world market factors listed above.

    Are we all clear up to this point?... Good.

    Unfortunately, many of our Ivy-League educated politicians have, for some unknown reason, not yet learned this simple fact and, instead, have decided to penalize the oil companies as if it will offer some sort of fix to the problem. Several Democrats in Congress have motioned that oil companies should be heavily taxed and prevented from receiving good profits. One Democratic Congresswoman, taking a page from the book on Socialism, even recently suggested that our government should nationalize the entire oil industry and just run oil by itself.

    There are several problems with this: First of all, since when has the government ever been able to manage anything effectively? Remember how well they managed your social security? What in the world makes them think that they can run oil more efficiently than a competitive capitalist market can? A secondly, how does taxing the oil companies fix the problem? Remember, the underlying problem here is that we simply don’t have enough oil. Taxing some corporation or taking away profits isn’t going to produce a single drop, and therefore, doesn’t offer any sort of solution to the oil shortage problem. It should also be remembered that oil companies use their profits for exploration to find more oil reserves. Taking those profits away from them would reduce the money available for worldwide exploration and production and would be a death blow to the entire industry. Without exploration, we would be out of oil in just a few short decades. What then?

    So at this point you may be asking, “Well then, smart guy, just how do we lower the price of oil?” There are several answers to that question, all of which I will ultimately address, but the most effective solution is simpler than you might expect: Either increase supply or decrease demand. In this situation we need to do both, although significantly decreasing global demand for oil is probably not going to happen soon, so the only option we have left at this time is to drill for more oil, thereby increasing our supply of it.

    That’s the key to lowering current oil prices – Producing more oil! And seeing how the price of crude oil constitutes for roughly 80% of the price you pay for gas at the pump, you can see why that's important.

    Estimates state that there is more oil in Southern Utah, Texas, Alaska, and off the coasts of Florida and California than there is in all of the discovered oil deposits in the world combined – but your government won’t let us drill any of it. Just to put that into perspective, Venezuela, whose government allows them to drill their own oil, is currently enjoying prices around 14 cents a gallon after subsidies! Many other countries in Asia and the Middle East that drill their own oil pay less than $1.50 per gallon. In fact, a neighbor of mine who is currently living in the Middle East emailed to say that she just filled up her large SUV for $14. There are other factors involved in lower regional prices amongst other countries as well, but the fact remains - drilling more oil reduces regional prices.

    So if these oil-independent countries are enjoying such low prices partially because of drilling their own oil you may be asking, “Why in the world aren’t we doing that?” It’s quite simple really, your government is doing every possible thing they can to prevent it. While Congress is pointing the finger at everyone else for high gas prices, I've decided to include a comprehensive list of all the things your government is doing to “help” lower fuel costs:

    1) Your government doesn’t want to drill in ANWR Alaska, which is the location of the second largest oil discovery in U.S. history. Back in the mid-90s, President Clinton signed legislation that prevented us from drilling in ANWR arguing that it would be 10 years until we would even see a drop of that oil. Well guess what, Mr. Clinton, it’s been 10 years now and had you not signed that legislation, we would be enjoying the benefits of those oil reserves right now. Way to go! Environmentalist zealots also argue that we would disturb the environment in ANWR should we drill there. Here, take a look for yourself:

    That, my friends, is ANWR, which as you can see is nothing more than a patch of barren tundra. There isn’t even a tree within 700 miles of the area. What environment would we be disturbing? There’s nothing there! Now the most frustrating part in all this is that your lousy politicians are purposely lying to you when it comes to projected price drops from drilling in ANWR. For example, Democratic Congressman Chuck Shumer recently stated that if we drill in ANWR at a one million barrel/day output it would only reduce the price per gallon one penny. Yet just last week he stated that if President Bush can talk the Saudis into increasing output another one million barrels/day (the same output as ANWR), it will lower the price per gallon almost $0.65! Why the difference in prices, Chuck? Is oil from Saudi Arabia somehow more magical than oil from America? Look, the fact is drilling in ANWR WILL reduce the price at the pump, but your government is refusing to allow it.

    2) Your government is beholden to a very small group of environmentalists that don’t want to disturb the caribou in Alaska by drilling there. It seems they would rather you pay 4 bucks a gallon than disturb some caribou which means you are, on average, “donating” $350 a month to the “Save a Few Caribou in Alaska Fund”… Hope it’s worth it! And for the record, the caribou population has thrived and increased ever since the nearby Alaska North Slope oil has been in production.

    3) We have plenty of oil off the coast of Florida, but your government won’t let us touch it.

    4) We have plenty of oil off the coast of California, but your government won’t let us touch it.

    5) Your government is preventing the exploration of oil almost everywhere in America. Also, 2/3 of America’s federal lands are off-limits to drilling, as is almost all of the Outer Continental Shelf.

    6) Right now, Cuba, India, China, and Venezuela are purchasing 100-year leases which allow them to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, but your government is not allowing us to purchase any of those new leases.

    7) Your government is currently shutting down oil fields in Colorado.

    8) Your government, because of permitting challenges and environmental restrictions, hasn’t allowed us to build a new refinery in about 35 years and operational refineries in the U.S. have been cut in half since the early 1980s. However, it would only be fair to mention that many of those remaining refineries have been added to and expanded over the last 30 years.

    9) Your state governments require roughly 20 different blends (or recipes) of gasoline which makes it impossible to ship certain gasoline reserves during catastrophes or other shortages which can drive the price you pay up even more.

    10) At a time when prices had already begun to rise, your Congress thought it would be a good idea to increase taxes on oil producers. Taxes are a cost that must be managed and they are managed by passing them along to consumers, thereby increasing the price you pay at the pump.

    11) Since the Great Depression we have had the technology to convert coal into oil. But, once again, your government doesn’t allow it. They have also blocked the opening of shale oil fields in numerous states nationwide and, just last week, passed legislation to keep it that way.

    And yet somehow, after all that, your government is curious as to why gas prices are so high...

    Please don’t allow yourself to be foolishly misled. Your government has blocked every single opportunity we have had to lower oil prices in the last 30 years. But instead of loosening restrictions on our own oil supplies when increased future demand from India and China was beginning to occur, Congress decided to tighten them instead. Drilling our own oil is estimated to cut the current price for a barrel of oil in half, and the only ones preventing that from happening are your politicians in Washington. If anyone should be pointing the finger at someone for high gas prices, it should be Congress - - pointing the finger at themselves.

    This is Part 1 of a 3-part series on gas prices. Part 2 can be found here.

    Game Over

    on Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    Hillary's done. Yet Obama supporters nationwide are continuing to rip their hair out over the fact that Hillary refuses to drop out, regardless of the fact that her tiny victory in Indiana has clearly spelled defeat for her campaign. But instead of turning to their own party, Obamatrons are now venting their frustration for their party's retarded election rules on, gasp, the evil republicans.

    Take Obamatron-in-Chief, Chris "thrill up my leg" Matthews as an example of one who perfectly illustrates this point. Last night he criticised Republicans for "wasting their votes" by taking part in Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" - a plan created by Rush in which he challenged Republican voters to cross over and vote for the ol' lady in an effort to keep the Democratic campaign in disorder (a plan that many would say has succeeded quite successfully).

    Matthews has this to say to the Republicans who, can you believe it, actually exercised their constitutional right to vote: "What a ridiculous way to use the vote for which people fought and died" adding sarcastically "I hope you’re proud of yourselves"

    Oh really, Chris?... What about all those Independents you praised for crossing over and voting McCain in an early effort to eliminate your arch nemesis Mitt Romney. Why weren't you whining then? In fact, for fun, let's take a trip down memory lane and recall a handful of things some people on your side of the fence had to say a few months ago during the Republican campaign:

    From Markos Moulitsas himself:

    Michigan Democrats and independents who want to see the Republican battle royale continue should just take a few minutes on Tuesday, January 15th to cast a ballot for Mitt Romney in the Republican primary.
    If we can help push Mitt over the line, not only do we help keep their field fragmented, but we also pollute Romney's victory. How "legitimate" will the Mittster's victory look if liberals provide the margin of victory? Think of the hilarity that will ensue.
    How is that any different than "Operation Chaos" Chris? Why didn't you criticise Kos when he said that to his millions of nutroots followers, you phony hypocrite? Oh right, because you're a typical liberal who loves to play dirty - except for when someone on the opposing team uses the same dirty tricks on you. You can dish it out, but you can't take it.

    Look, the fact of the matter is, your whole "superdelegate" system is bunk to begin with. It was originally created so that Democratic politicians could control the vote in order to secure the outcome they wanted. But now it seems your party's moronic voter-suppression system is coming back to bite you in the butt. And, as usual, in your demented mind, it's the Republicans fault.

    Don't be mad at us at the fact that Hillary is refusing to drop out. What do you expect? After all, she is a Clinton. She's waited her whole life for this, and she's surely not going to concede the nom to some racist rookie until the last votes have been counted. It ain't our fault that your Messiah hasn't taken the nomination yet, Chris. Go cry to somebody who cares.