Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin: An Offensive Pick.

It is day three and I have woke up to check the news to see if the McCain camp have had a Harriet Miers moment. That was the unknown inexperienced "close friend" of GWB who he tried to ram into the Supreme Court. He eventually got berated into forcing her to withdraw.

Sarah Palin was that mayor of a town that doesn’t require a full time mayor. She was a part time legislator. At this point if you still support McCain, you believe that anybody, including a "Soccer mom" from a rural town outside of the US could make the foreign and domestic decisions of a president. Go to Wikipedia and look at her resume!! (I rarely curse on the blog, which is way different then real life.) But are you fucking kidding me. Who would risk selecting a "bimbo beauty queen" to take the second seat to a 72 year old man as leader of the free world. We are not talking about some state or even senate seat. We are talking about president of the US. More decision making fallacies by John McCain.

If you still support this guy, you are as sold on the republican party as the Germans were on Hitler. There is no logical methodology that would arrive at this being a good decision. I can’t imagine a senator, representative, or governor that has put their life and time in Washington being happy with this. You spend your life in "public service". You are in your 50’s maybe even early 60’s and think, "I would make a good pick. I have a solid background, won election after election, and solid bipartisan but conservative voting record." Yet you are upstaged by Sarah Bambi Palin? What is her plan for national healthcare? What is her experience with education, poverty, national security? All of the sudden that stuff doesn’t matter? And this bogus claim that she is "more experienced" then Obama is preposterous.

The other real reason is to ask if anybody out there has any naked pictures of Sarah Palin. Especially, if they are from the years as a "beauty contestant". Alright that might be a little "sexist" but they started it. And besides just putting that on my blog will certainly increase the hit count.

To think that John McCain thinks so lowly of the office in which he is trying to hold is truly offensive. I am not even going to legitimize the republican defense and comparisons to the Democratic ticket

Friday, August 29, 2008

Let Me Make Sure I Understand The Palin Story

So let me get this straight. A woman who was Mayor of a 650 person town 6 months ago, and head of her PTA (exactly how many people go to that school would be nice to know.) in Alaska is ridding second seat to a 72 year old dying cancer patient with a bad ticker and post traumatic stress disorder? In the short time she has been in office she has already done things that she has had to admit "could be perceived as a conflict of interest." Now I like Washington outsiders as much as the next independent, but outsider doesn't mean that you pick the guy in the stands with a ball glove to pitch the next inning. (I may be exaggerating some of those figures for you sticklers for details.) Not that it matter, but what if he dies, or suffers a stroke or a brain hemorrhage?

I think the Obama campaign are struck and not sure where to start. They are being way too cautious. If they were smart they wouldn't have even bothered to recognize her. They would have said they were waiting for McCain's real pick.

Palin Not Just a Gimmik, But a Scary Choice.

In the few hours since we have been introduced to Sarah Palin. We have learned a few things.

Up until 2 years ago she was mayor of a town of 6700 in Alaska. She was a former Commercial fisherman. She has been in politics all of 8 years. That is if you remove the time she was unemployed due to failed bids for mayor and governor. She is pro-life, pro-gun, and anti-social programs. She has only been on the job for a year and a half and she is under investigation for using her position to get revenge on her sisters ex-husband.

This will be a big issue so I will go into a little more detail. She is under investigation for using her position to try to get her ex brother-in-law fired. When it failed she fired the Commissioner of Public Safety who refused her. She saw him fit to be director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, but wanted somebody more agreeable int the Public Safety position.

A friend asked me if it was abuse of power to use your position to remove somebody from authority who doesn't deserve to be there. My answer was, “yes”. We have suffered 8 years of people circumventing and warping the system. They all claim it is for the good of the people. It even makes them more dangerous. We must have faith that the system works or we must work to change it. We don't know the story behind this divorce. We all know that divorces often get messy and accusations fly. I can tell you in a small secluded town such as that one, every domestic dispute has sides and everybody in town is on one or the other. We know that whatever his offense it only warranted a 10 day suspension that the union got reduced to a 5 day. We know that training and equipping a St. Trooper cost tens of thousands of dollars. Getting rid of one should not be taken lightly.

Most importantly we know that people in her office, a state office called down the chain to get a Trooper fired over a domestic dispute. We know it is irregular enough to still be under investigation. These are not things that a governors office aught to be taking part in on a daily basis. I could see if the local media had done a story about this guy getting away with repeated offenses, wasting state time, or committing fraud. No such story can be found.

The pick of a 1 year governor from a state that is distant and unrelated to the problems and needs of the mainland, already under investigation by her own legislature, just because she is a female shows just how out of touch the republican party is with the problems that face this nation. I was not opposed to the Clinton's because of their name or any shallow issue like she was a woman. I disliked Billary because they had a reputation of fraud and unsavory relations.

Palin seems to be a young version cut from the same mold. At 72 we truly have to consider what happens if McCain up and croaks. His body suffered badly during captivity. He has had bouts with cancer even this past year. There are equally angry democrats out there. Would you trust your national security, worlds largest economy, and all the problems that come with a presidency to the mayor of a town of 6,700 people in Alaska? We have seen the power a VP could wield over the past 8 years. Can we expect some one who was fishing for a few season ago to understand the power of the VP position? She may very well be the first person to accept and then have to turn down the VP selection.

Palin replied: “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? - Sarah Palin.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

How Do You Know A Candidate Has Nothing To Offer?

There are a few ways to tell, but one sure way to see the hand tipped of somebody who is without a solid base in reality is when you note that they have prerecorded attack ads for whoever he picks as a VP. That candidate would have paid people to make negative non-issue ads prior to even knowing who it was. If you believe in yourself and your positions, wouldn’t that be unnecessary?

Taken one step further, Shouldn’t a candidate have something better to do with his time and money then to spend it pointing out what his competitor’s VP pick had said about him earlier? If the media wants to bring it up, that is fine, but shouldn’t a candidate be spending his resources telling the voters what he has done with his, say, 30 years in congress? Shouldn’t we hear how after 30 years the candidate introduced, supported, and enacted legislation that made the country better? Tell us how in the 30 years has he helped to reduce poverty, lower unemployment rates, strengthen the dollar, reduced the cost of education, funded social security, created better foreign relations, strengthened national security, reduced wage disparity, curbed illegal immigration, or capped the cost of living? Oh wait nobody can talk about that because it hasn’t happened yet!!

I am waiting to hear from a candidate with all of his "experience" how he plans on making all these changes when the legislative branch is made up of people not of his party. Why now he would want to change if he had 30 years to do it. I want to hear why now it is critical that we solve the energy crisis, even though the problem was identified in the late 70’s? I say step aside old man.

I have seen very few Obama ads around these parts as of yet. When I do they discuss what he perceives as wrong with the current status and what he plans to do about it. I have seen plenty of McCain ads. Every one of them talk about what Obama has or hasn’t done. With so much "experience" you would think that McCain could talk endlessly about his triumphs.

The fact that Obama chose Biden and not Clinton shows that he is not puppet or democratic stooge. He is willing to pick somebody who will not necessarily agree with him. Somebody who is going to point out the other side from time to time. There was this little known president that was notorious for having political rivals in his cabinet. Oh what was his name, Oh yeah, Abraham Lincoln. He also served only one term as a congressman. He was seen as being having too much interest in advancement of the black race. He never supported the Mexican-American war of President Polk. Many in his district had volunteered to go fight in it and he was unpopular because of his outspoken statements against it. So it seems that Obama is following in the footsteps of greatness. Even if he is just mimicking the moves, It is better then acting like a "maverick" and striking out on his own in the image of tyranny.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Russia/ Georgian Conflict From The American People’s Perspective

This should scare most People. Of course most Americans think Georgia is part of the US. So their concern over either of these groups of people are limited. If you are a book of Revelations fan or a Nostradamus fan, the events of the weekend should have made you poo your pants. No not the “Edwards lied about the affair news”. It is that “The Great Bear” has come back to life and is now attacking from the north. Here is a quick look at the map for those of you who are geographically challenged.

I am not particularly influenced by old men and their prophecies. I am influenced by Chess. Looking at this map, for those of you who used to play risk, you can see that the US is out numbered a bit when it comes to enemies, friends and indeterminate parties. Notice how Georgia is sandwiched in between Russia and Iran. Notice how Iraq is pretty removed from friendlies to the US with any strength. This also my be some of yours first look at the size of Iran to Iraq and the general terrain.

Now take into account that the US has been over there stirring up the hornets nest for the past 6 years. Saudis are loosing interest in us because we are showing a slowing of oil purchasing power. Syria is non too happy with our support of Israel and the bombing of their “nuclear sites.” Turkey seems to hold no regard for the US and it’s presence in Iraq. They regularly bomb inside the Iraqis borders even though they have been repeatedly told not to by the US. And then there is Iran, who we have been threatening for the past 7 years. They would like nuclear technology. The Russians have nuclear weapons and technology to spare. The Russians would like help regaining control of its former state. Then there is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline which moves oil from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. It is a major artery to the markets. Both would like to get control of that. (Since right now we are in the middle of a “Futures sell off” the news of war near this pipeline is having little effect on oil prices.) If Georgia was under NATO treaties as they are likely to be later this year, The US and all of it’s allies would be obligated to go and protect them. Having that kind of US presence in the Middle East would be a bomb just waiting to blow. As it is we have a knife stuck in our belly. Every move we make over there affects the price of oil. Every penny we spend over there is one not spent rebuilding the devastation on our economy.

So the question the American voter has to ask themselves is this. What kind of actions and personality is most likely to diffuse the ticking time bomb on the map above? Is it the guy who says we should stay for 100 years and thinks talking to people we are told not to like by an administration who has countless times been wrong in the past is a “bad approach”? Or is it the “rock star” that everybody likes, can get 200,000 people to show up at a foreign venue, and wants to remove our presence from the above map in 16 months, and wants to start open dialogue to quell hostilities?

Friday, August 8, 2008

How To Really Bring Oil Prices Down: No Drilling Required

It seems that the best answer to bring down the cost of oil is not drilling after all. We have not drilled, not announced drilling, and there is no sign that congress is going to come back and authorized drilling in the restricted regions. So what happened? Really it is the combining of many things at once all related and all converging on a single point.

First the US economy has its "stimulation" in full swing now. (Settle down I know what I said, and gas prices are still 60% higher then they were 2 years ago. And other then gas, food, textiles, and other products still are on the rise.) Secondly, those who bought "futures" are starting to sell off because they saw the price head south. So there has been a "virtual" surplus in the market. That has scared the herd in the downward trend direction. Third, the economy has taken a hit. Jobless figures are out and there are even more unemployed.

I know what you are thinking right now. I just said "the economy is stimulated and that caused cheaper gas, but then in the next breath you said the economy is worse and that brought down gas prices." This is a little sticky. With their economic stimulus packages the cheap goods and not gasoline. That means in the short run our economy picked up a pace and the dollar gained value. However, the fact that none of us have jobs cuts into our fuel consumption. That has reduced demand.

What caused the reduced demand is that people are not driving to work, taking vacations, or going out on their powerboats. Americans have begun to curb their habits. The last major notable is that the rest of the world is starting to catch Americas cold. Their economies are starting to slow down too. What that means is that the ever slipping dollar has rebounded against the eruo. So it isn’t that were are paying less for oil, It is that our dollar is worth more. That is why we don’t see the economic improvements in other sectors besides gasoline. trade with ourselves is still the same. Trade with others countries is on the rebound.

This recent "glitch" demonstrates just how finicky the market is. When our economy is bad, prices go up because the dollar looses value. That is until we curb our use and drop demand. Then the price goes down. That causes the future traders playing the game of "guts" to drop their cards. When the rest of the world starts feeling the affects of the US not buying stuff from them, the value of our dollar goes up and reduces the price we pay at the pump.

The problem is that none of this is stable. The economic stimulus will come and go. Future traders won’t avoid that rush of the gamble long. Emerging economies have lots of tricks up their sleeves to adjust their current dilemma. And as the Christmas season come to us, we will be buying cheap goods from china by the boat load soon enough.

What this does demonstrate though is that the best way to solve our oil woes is to improve our economy. It will fix things way faster then drilling ever could.

Why Not Sell Oil To Ourselves?

I know I am kind of enamored with this oil topic lately, and both of my readers might be getting a little tired of it. However, a comment came in the other day that is common to most perspectives when I explain my stance on drilling. I have talked about the answer before in a general sense, but her is a more specific answer. The question asked was:

"You say that opening drilling in ANWR won't effect the cost of oil, but can't we as the U.S. who is drilling for our own oil charge ourselves a lower cost for the oil we actually have in our own ground?"

There are couple of misconceptions that are common among most people. The main one highlighted by this question is that people think "the government" owns the oil that is extracted. They do not. The companies that buy the leases own the oil. The two biggest "American owned" companies are ExonMobil and Texaco-Cheveron. Even these companies have interest around the world that would be jeopardized if they started snubbing other countries and causing the price to drop. Another overlooked fact is that leases are offered to the highest bidder. They may not be American owned companies.

The next step in the Supply chain is refining. Now if you first check out who is doing the worlds refining here. Then you add up all of the top listed American refineries production capacity is. What you come up with is a US production level of gasoline at a rate of nearly 4 million BPD. While you are there look at some of the players and where their refineries are located. Even the "American" companies. However, if you check that status of US oil consumption here, what you find is that in 2006 (the latest data) we used 20,167,000 gallons per day. See the problem? How do you get gas from oil that you don’t have the capacity to refine.

So in conclusion, most of them are not strictly American owned. To demonstrate the importance of this I offer this story. I once worked for Phillips Petroleum in their Benzoyl Peroxide facility. Phillips was a British owned Company, headquartered in Germany, with nearly half of it’s major production facilities here in the states. The "price of gas" is what matters to most of us. The supply chain that moves petroleum from the ground to the gas tank is never wholly American.

Another thing that makes this true and what happens in all inidutries including oil is to consider what used happen at the Ridge Tool factory where I used to work. We once made, packaged, and shipped to location pipe wrenches that had "made in Korea" written on the box and on a tag we stuck in the box. I saw the metal get delivered on the pallets with the rest of the raw parts right from the foundry down the street. We machined them right there. Then we shipped them. What did that have to do with "Korea"? I asked one of the salesmen. He said that they regularly worked deals. Foreign producers would send their specs and molds to a like competitor overseas. They would agree to produce each others parts one-for-one in order to gain many mutual benefits. Logistics being the most predominate. Shipping 100s of thousands of tons of steel across the water can be costly. So they just traded across instead. This only worked as long as mutual competitors were on good terms.

Oil works the same way. These companies might deliver American drilled oil from American soil. But really in the end they are selling oil that was originally sold on the open market to the Americans from the Saudis. But the American sold theirs to the Chinese. The Saudis and the Americans agree to save each other money by delivering from the nearest supply.

Let us face it, oil is oil. If that doesn’t make it clear enough, most Americans understand expecting the companies they invest in to make profitable decisions. In the end, all of the oil and refining companies answer to their share holders first. What do you think would happen if those companies said to their stock holders, "we are going to sell our oil at a lower cost to just the Americans, thus reducing our own profitability." My guess is the next day they wouldn’t have stock holders. Especially the foreign ones who actually have money to invest these days. Besides that, the reduction in global supply would increase the price of oil. Our trading partners would be blamed the rising cost due to the "selling just to ourselves" decision. Many of our suppliers would get mad and reduce the amount they sell to us. Since we only produce 2% and consume 25% of the global production, that would be very bad in the very short and long run.

Much like many drug addicts believe they are in control of their own addiction, so do many Americans believe the government is in control of the US’s energy fate. "They" are not. This should scare the heck out of us, but the writers strike is a thing of the distant past, and new episodes of 24 will be on soon. It will be too easy to forget about it.

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