“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, August 04, 2008

Obama, Off-Shore Drilling, On-Shore Politics

Wall Street Journal

Democrats Get Drilled

Some cracks are appearing in the solid wall of opposition that Democrats have erected against proposals for expanding domestic production of oil.

The House voted to adjourn for its August recess yesterday, but only by a vote of 213 to 212 as minority Republicans were able to convince over a dozen Democrats to break with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and support staying in session in order to deal with high energy prices. On the Senate side, Majority Leader Harry Reid broached the idea of an "energy summit" that would convene in September and consider more domestic drilling.

Even the Obama campaign, stung by a new John McCain commercial that contrasts his celebrity cult status in Europe with his refusal to address high gas prices at home, may be in motion. Former Sen. Gary Hart, an Obama surrogate, told the Denver Post that the gas price issue is a top concern of voters. He said it was possible that Senator Obama would back offshore domestic drilling if it were part of a much larger package that focused on clean energy and conservation. But the Obama campaign still insists that the Senator views calls for offshore drilling as a distraction from the real energy debate.

That could change if polls continue to show the power of the issue to move voters. Last week, a poll in the swing state of Colorado found that 9% of state voters say they've changed their minds and become supporters of offshore energy exploration.

Don't be surprised if Democrats use the August recess to meet behind the scenes with their environmentalist allies to put together a Plan B approach to block further Republican exploitation of the drilling issue.

-- John Fund


  1. A Majority of Californians now support offshore, even offshore CA!
    ...but they've elected a Moron Governor, and an overwhelmingly moronic legislature, so far be it for their "leaders" to lead.

    I saw some big Euro Water Company is putting in a plant in McCloud. People are upset about taking millions of gallons of water and shipping billions of plastic water bottles from the pristine forests.
    Our neighbor @the farm worked on the Railroad there as a young man.
    ...also used to supply fire lookouts in Santa Barbara County with a Mule.
    Had a Humungous Indian Arrowhead Collection.

  2. - The Cognitive Age -

    The globalization paradigm emphasizes the fact that information can now travel 15,000 miles in an instant. But the most important part of information’s journey is the last few inches — the space between a person’s eyes or ears and the various regions of the brain. Does the individual have the capacity to understand the information? Does he or she have the training to exploit it? Are there cultural assumptions that distort the way it is perceived?

    Nor is the globalization paradigm even accurate when applied to manufacturing. Instead of fleeing to Asia, U.S. manufacturing output is up over recent decades. As Thomas Duesterberg of Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, a research firm, has pointed out, the U.S.’s share of global manufacturing output has actually increased slightly since 1980.

    The chief force reshaping manufacturing is technological change (hastened by competition with other companies in Canada, Germany or down the street). Thanks to innovation, manufacturing productivity has doubled over two decades. Employers now require fewer but more highly skilled workers. Technological change affects China just as it does the America. William Overholt of the RAND Corporation has noted that between 1994 and 2004 the Chinese shed 25 million manufacturing jobs, 10 times more than the U.S.

    The central process driving this is not globalization. It’s the skills revolution. We’re moving into a more demanding cognitive age.
    ...and we're stuck w/the gd NEA/Democrap Conspiracy, Dumbing Down Our Kids like Never Before.

  3. ...not to mention welcoming the least educated and least assimilated immigrants/illegals on the planet.

    In NY City and LA, the most watched news stations are now broadcast in Spanish. the 90's Mexicans watched Hispanic stations, which is easy to understand, but in the 90's some of those stations still broadcast ENGLISH!

    Mark Steyn knows we are insane to encourage bilingualism, having seen it's effect on Canada firsthand.

  4. "The odd thing is that Obama bears a distinct resemblance to the most cherished hero in chick-lit history. The senator is a modern incarnation of the clever, haughty, reserved and fastidious Mr. Darcy.

    Like the leading man of Jane Austen and Bridget Jones, Obama can, as Austen wrote, draw “the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien. ...he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased.”

    The master of Pemberley “had yet to learn to be laught at,” and this sometimes caused “a deeper shade of hauteur” to “overspread his features.”

    The New Hampshire debate incident in which Obama condescendingly said,
    “You’re likable enough, Hillary,”
    was reminiscent of that early scene in “Pride and Prejudice” when Darcy coldly refuses to dance with Elizabeth Bennet, noting,
    “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me.”
    - Mo Dowd

  5. But on drilling in ANWAR both Maverick and Obama agree, as well.

    NO! is the word

    No drilling in that pristine area.

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  8. wo"o" tells us that Israel is not all bluster, because some few Mussulmen headliners have been dispatched.

    Which is well and good.

    But these few deaths do not rise to the level of the release of Samir Qantar on a propaganda basis.

    Trading the living for the dead, and claiming success, that's bluster

  9. Som this morning Maverick releases his Education Program, announcing he stands shoulder to shoulder with Rev. Al Sharpton

    These days, the cause of education reform crosses all boundaries of party, race and financial means. In New York, Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein have taken up the cause of reform, as have many others, including the Rev. Al Sharpton. These men are strong supporters of the Education Equality Project, a group dedicated to finally changing the status quo in our education system.

    Maverick wants the Federal government to have a presence in every school. Obama does not.

    If I am elected President, school choice for all who want it, an expansion of Opportunity Scholarships and alternative certification for teachers will all be part of a serious agenda of education reform. We will pay bonuses to teachers working in our most troubled schools because we need their fine minds and good hearts to help turn those schools around.

    We will award bonuses as well to our highest-achieving teachers. And instead of measuring teacher achievement by conformity to process, we will measure it by the success of their students. Moreover, the funds for these bonuses will not be controlled by faraway officials. Under my reforms, we will put the money and the responsibilities where they belong - in the office of the school principal. One reason charter schools are so successful is that principals have spending discretion.

    Who supports futher expansion of Federal power?
    Who is the conservative?

  10. The candidate that supports Vouchers!

  11. Can someone please tell me why, given a choice between Anwar, where nobody is, and our coasts, where plenty of people are, anyone would chose to drill the coasts, rather then Anwar? Seems like a no brainer to me. If you don't like oil rigs around, why hell, put 'em up in the Arctic.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. It is not the voucher that counts, doug, but the source of the funding and control that matters most.

    The McCain program outs the Feds in every school, with a checkbook.

    Who controls the agenda, the lesson plan, then, but the Feds.

    Amother locally controlled segment of government absorbed by the Federal collective.

    Maverick wraps a liberal agenda, supported by Sharpton in a voucher and calls it good.
    This plan is ass backwards, removing local control and substituting the Feds as the lord & master of Education

  14. Little muzzie on muzzie action this morning--

    Eleven Dead in Hamas Raid on Pro-Fatah Clan in Gaza - Ethan Bronner
    The worst intra-Palestinian violence in more than a year left 11 people dead and 90 injured in Gaza on Saturday as Hamas cracked down on a clan loyal to its rival, Fatah. Israel allowed 180 Fatah men into Israel and is treating two dozen of its wounded. (New York Times)

  15. doug playing true to form, calls it a conservative solution to a local problem, putting the Feds in charge.

  16. Because, bob, the candidates are posing. Both were opposed to off shore drilling, last month.

    They will be again, in December.

    The hoops to jump through, off shore, are going to oreclude any substantial drilling, there.

    But ANWAR does not present the same local roadblocks, so both still oppose it, Because drilling could really happen, in ANWAR, if Congress approved.

  17. The big plus for Sen. McCain comes from the fact that $4 gasoline has forced voters to re-evaluate their view that more drilling for oil and natural gas in previously protected areas offshore or in Alaska is not worth potential environmental risks.

    They’ve shed that notion along with their previous reluctance to support expansion of nuclear power – long unpopular due to safety concerns — to produce electricity.

    An empty belly makes it a lot easier to pull the trigger on Bambi.

  18. In his newfound voice, Mr. Voight also boldly warns of the consequences of electing the current antiwar candidate: "If, God forbid, we live to see [Barack] Obama president, we will live through a socialist era that America has not seen before, and our country will be weakened in every way."

    Right. Best to elect another defense establishment oil mafia stooge, so as to increase the national debt by several more trillion dollars so that the US national debt is finally at 100% parity with GDP, and the US dollar is finally at parity with the Mexican Peso.

    US GDP: $13.84 trillion (2007 est.)
    US debt: $9.59 trillion (2008 est.)

    That debt is increasing by $0.7 trillion every year, just on account of oil imports alone.

  19. That debt is increasing by $0.7 trillion every year, just on account of oil imports alone.

    Only if you believe that 100% of oil imports are financed by the federal government.

  20. "Only if you believe that 100% of oil imports are financed by the federal government."


  21. dr: But these few deaths do not rise to the level of the release of Samir Qantar on a propaganda basis.

    Trading the living for the dead, and claiming success, that's bluster

    Did the lebanese WIN by making a baby killer a hero?

    Dr, read more of the lebanese press....

    Dr, the trade with lebanon (not hezbollah) but the State of Lebanon (an unofficial province of Syria & appendage of Iran) has changed the region....

    Watching Lebanon, who's army received 1/2 billion in weapons for Bush 43 last year, now come out as part and parcel of Iran, welcoming the baby killer as a national hero has damaged Lebanon more than it gained..

    Many of the terrorists families are pissed that israel got to evacuate it's graveyards of the bodies of their martyrs, thus erasing them from Palestine....

    The release of Sammy {FatAssed) Kunt is actually quite the study in the difference between Israel and her barbaric neighbors...

    Sammy the Kunt, Got FAT in prison, Got married, Got a Degree...

    At the same time 100's of Lebanese still and rot and die in Syrian jails for longer time periods....

    Sammy the Kunt's release is really not a victory for Lebanon, it has dragged them now down into the pit of Hezbollah/Iran & Syria, and this pit is not going to be easy to get out of...

    By Lebanon declaring a national day of rejoicing (for the return of Sammy the Kunt & Company) combined with the now controlled Lebanese government submitting to allowing hezbollah to be armed to resistance to Israel, Lebanon is now supports the concept of kidnapping as a legit tool of war...

    Lebanon will not get out of this unscathed...

    In the next Battle in Lebanon, Lebanese targets will not be avoided (as condi insisted in 2006). Lebanon's army, government & people are now all fair game...

    Lebanon has just slit it's own throat...

  22. Mat,
    I think Oil is responsible for well over half of our yearly deficit, at present.

  23. "doug playing true to form, calls it a conservative solution to a local problem, putting the Feds in charge."
    Vouchers need not be federally funded.

  24. al-Bob,
    Additionally, ANWAR Oil could start flowing in TWO Years through existing Prudhoe transportation infrastructure, a mere 76 miles away.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Thursday, July 24, 2008


    Seeing Jumblatt posing with Kantar increased my disgust with Lebanese politics, and added days of absence from this blog. Kantar is the ghost not only from Jumblatt's past, but from ours: back when some idolized the few who "infiltrated" the enemy, and killed in the name of resistance. Kantar may not have been the best of them, and indeed, he may have given others a bad image by allegedly killing a child. But seeing him there, resurrected, was like a slap in the face: We are stuck.

    Jumblatt may have tried to absorb a potential competitor by posing with him in a parade, but Hizbullah's "liberation" action had a more profound and lasting effect. When your entire raison d'etre is being questioned, the best thing you can do is inject the populace with something from the past. Remind them of their own past, the common enemy, and prove that you were on the right path.

    I am sure March 14 had its justification for partaking in the national circus that accompanied the so called liberation of the prisoners. They may have even thought they scored against their opponents. But did they see how this event completely emasculated them? Hizbullah had done all the work. If they truly felt that strongly about Kantar and the other prisoners, Siniora and his government should have made some effort towards their release, as opposed to letting Hizbullah run the show, dictate the conditions and win legitimacy.

    Israelis are horrified that "moderate" Lebanese would celebrate "child killers". I am horrified for different reasons, because to me, both sides have killed children. I am horrified that after two years of fighting Hizbullah and calling it a militia, we now let them prove their point and weaken our own argument against their weapons. Worse, we let them tell us that we're prisoners of a battle they only picked up after we traded in the cause for a seat in a Syrian card game. We let them tell us: you reap what you sow, and here is the ghost of a past that you can never escape, no matter how pretty your post-Hariri assassination rhetoric is.

    With Sanine allegedly falling under the control of Hizbullah and Jumblatt's ghosts, Lebanon seems destined for another round of delusion, mixed in with pointless fighting by March 14.

    I think the time has come for March 14 to call it quits as a group that has become an oppressive force, and for the dissenting voices to rise against the machine which Hizbullah has learned how to manipulate. Those who believe the rhetoric they fed us over the past two years need to stand up for what they preached, or forever shut up, or be silenced. Hopefully by voters.

  27. Excluding oil, is the US running a trade surplus?

  28. The Parties starting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Islamists kill 16 Chinese policemen four days before Olympic opening
    August 4, 2008, 2:26 PM (GMT+02:00)

    The attackers are said to have driven up to a border post near Kashgar, in the Muslim region of Xinjiang, in a rubbish truck and thrown two grenades before attacking the policemen with knives. The post, 4,000 km from Beijing, is on the border with Tajikistan. No group has claimed the attack.
    A Chinese army officer has warned that the Islamic separatists of the province, the East Turkestan terrorist organization, are the biggest danger to the Olympics.
    Last month, the Turkestan Islamic Party claimed to have blown up buses in Shanghai and Yunnan killing five people. In a videotape, the group claimed responsibility for those attacks and threatened the Olympic Games.

  29. Got's to love it....

    What a wonderful day....

    hamas killing fatah

    fatah killing hamas

    syria killing hezbollah in lebanon

    islamists killing chinese


    too funny, what a great monday

  30. Time to Boycott Tyson?

    Maybe we should take a page from Jessie "Hymietown/Bastard Child Maker" Jackson and call for a boycott of Tyson?

    Tyson drops Labor Day holiday for Eid al-Fitr

    Friday, August 1, 2008
    By Brian Mosely
    Workers at Tyson Foods' poultry processing plant in Shelbyville will no longer have a paid day off on Labor Day, but will instead take the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in the fall.
    A recent press release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) stated that a new contract at the Shelbyville facility "implements a new holiday to accommodate the ... Muslim workers at the plant."

    The RWDSU stated that "the five-year contract creates an additional paid holiday, Iidal Fitil, a Muslim holiday that occurs toward the end of Ramadan."

    Eid al-Fitr falls on Oct. 1 this year.

    Tyson's Director of Media Relations, Gary Mickelson, stated that while the new contract does not provide an additional holiday, as the union claimed, "the new contract includes eight paid holidays, which is the same number provided in the old contract."

    "However, the union leadership did request and receive Eid al-Fitr (which is apparently spelled various ways including Id al-Fitr and Eid ul-Fitr) as a paid holiday in place of Labor Day," Mickelson confirmed in an e-mail to the T-G.

    "Since all Team Members will still have eight paid holidays, the change will not affect production," Mickelson said.

    Eid al-Fitr means "Festival of the Breaking of the Fast" in Arabic, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, and marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

    The festival "is distinguished by the performance of communal prayer (salat) at daybreak on its first day. It is a time of official receptions and private visits, when friends greet one another, presents are given, new clothes are worn, and the graves of relatives are visited," the encyclopedia said.

    Mickelson said that "Eid al-Fitr is one of eight paid holidays for all Team Members covered by the contract, while Labor Day is not a paid holiday."

    "Based on the contract, the other paid holidays include: The Team Member's birthday, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day," Mickelson said.

    "Implementing this holiday was a challenge, since it falls on a different day every year and is declared on fairly short notice," RWDSU Representative Randy Hadley said in the press release. "But the negotiating committee felt this was extremely crucial, since this holiday is as important to Muslims as Christmas is to Christians."

    "The date for this holiday (Eid al-Fitr) is not the same each year," Mickelson said. "however, it is in the early fall."

    The press release stated there are approximatly 700 Muslims working at Tyson, but Mickelson said that Somalis only represent approximately 250 of the 1,200 employed at the plant, a little over 20 percent of the workforce.

    "All Team Members who have completed their probationary period are eligible for all eight paid holidays including Eid al-Fitr," the Tyson spokeman said.

    The union also claimed that in addition to the observance of the Muslim holiday, "two prayer rooms have been created to allow Muslim workers to pray twice a day and return to work without leaving the plant."

    Mickelson said that Shelbyville's Tyson plant "does have a prayer room to accommodate the needs of Muslim Team Members."

    "In addition to regular, non-paid breaks, all Team Members are allotted a seven-minute paid break," the Tyson spokesman said. "Some Team Members choose to pray during this time."

    However, Mickelson took issue with another claim made by RWDSU, which stated that another "improvement" in the contract is time-and-a-half pay for Team Members who work more than an eight hour shift.

    "This statement is not accurate," Mickelson said. "This overtime pay provision is not new nor is it unique. In fact, it was included in the previous contract."

    © Copyright 2008, Shelbyville Times-Gazette
    Story URL:

  31. Metuselah: Teresita: "Only if you believe that 100% of oil imports are financed by the federal government."


    The The National Debt is the amount of money owed by the United States federal government to creditors (bankers) who hold U.S. debt instruments.

    It is currently about 9.5 trillion dollars.

  32. So?

    What does that have to do with the statement:

    "Only if you believe that 100% of oil imports are financed by the federal government."


    US exports are not keeping up with imports. When exports don't cover imports the gov finances the delta. As of 2008, that delta is about $0.7 trillion or about 100% the cost of imported oil.

  33. But, doug, Maverick wants Federally fnded vouchers, you said that makes him conservative.

    Which is the furthest from reality one could get on that subject.

    With Federal money comes Federal control. More impact from the Unions, not less.

    But wrap it up in vouchers, it becomes conservative and when it fails to perform, is the conservative program gone bad.

  34. Why boycott Tyson?

    Because its Muslim workers get a holiday?

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  36. McCain endorses the Sharpton position, by name, and doug tells us that's the conservative way to go.

    Some how I just do not believe that is really the case. That Al Sharpton has become a conservative, anti-Union advocate.

    Nor Bloomberg, for that matter.

  37. desert rat said...
    Why boycott Tyson?

    Because its Muslim workers get a holiday?

    Why not?

    Jessie Jackson certainly had no good reason to organize his RAINBOW PUSH boycotts...

    I figured we all can get some free halal chicken bits...

  38. When I read that about Tyson, it crossed my mind to quit buying Tyson, which is carried here. Good chicken though, I think.

    Dr. Bill was repeating his mantra last night that ethanol is a big fraud, according to U of Cal. studies showing it costs as much in energy to make it as you get out of it. Big gift to the farmers from their farm state Senators. N U C L E A R--NEW CLEAR ENERGY

  39. N U C L E A R--

    Glow green like Bob's alien friends. :)

  40. McCain Ahead!

    Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows the race for the White House is tied with Barack Obama and John McCain each attracting 44% of the vote. However, when "leaners" are included, it's McCain 47% and Obama 46%.

  41. Have energy on a cold windless night- Nuclear! :)

  42. Obama, flopping around like a dying fish, now wants to Tap our oil reserve. Right at the time all hell might break loose in the mid-east. Instead of drilling Anwar. We don't need this guy as Commander-ion-Chief.

  43. Metuselah: US exports are not keeping up with imports. When exports don't cover imports the gov finances the delta. As of 2008, that delta is about $0.7 trillion or about 100% the cost of imported oil.

    You ARE serious, aren't you? Where do you get the idea that the government shells out for imports when they exceed exports?

    The government earns revenues from taxes and spends on programs like defense and social security. When revenues exceed expenditures like they did for three years under Clinton, the delta is applied to the debt, and the debt goes down. But most of the time, expenditures exceed tax revenues coming in, so the national debt rises. But exports and imports are financed in the private sector. The government does not get anything from exports, other than taxes on the profits that are made, and it gets a small tariff from imports, but that's all. Not even Communist China's government finances their trade.

  44. Have energy on a cold windless night- Nuclear! :)

    For peak energy on cold evenings, plug in the EV to your distributive grid, while others pass on hot wind. :)

  45. Palestinians Donate money, that was probably donated to them from the West, to Obama Campaign. They recognize a friend.

  46. "Where do you get the idea that the government shells out for imports when they exceed exports?"

    How do you think them imports get paid for?

  47. When it's cold outside
    And your battery's low
    Your house in drifts of snow
    Dream N U C L E A R

  48. Who cares about about Obama? Let's look at what the GOP has to offer. And so far, it aint much.

  49. Dream N U C L E A R

    Live S O L A R


  50. The times they are a changin'

    A week ago today, Obama had a three-percentage point lead and the candidates were even among unaffiliated voters. Today, McCain leads 52% to 37% among unaffiliateds.

    McCain is currently viewed favorably by 55% of the nation’s voters, Obama by 51%. That is the lowest rating for Obama since he wrapped up the nomination. Obama is viewed favorably by 83% of Democrats, 22% of Republicans, and 47% of unaffiliated voters. For McCain, the numbers are 87% favorable among Republicans, 26% among Democrats, and 61% among unaffiliated voters.

    Sixty percent (60%) of voters now see Obama as politically liberal while 65% see McCain as politically conservative. Among liberals, 71% see Obama as one of them, but just 18% of liberals see Obama as Very Liberal. Among conservatives, 71% say McCain is also a conservative, including 38% who say he is Very Conservative. Thirty-five percent (35%) of politically moderate voters say that McCain is politically moderate and 33% say the same of Obama. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Democrats see McCain as conservative while 69% of Republicans see Obama as liberal (see other recent demographic highlights).

    Forty-six percent (46%) of voters trust McCain more than Obama on energy issues while Obama is trusted more by 42%. Two months ago, Obama had a four point edge on the energy issue (Premium Members can review Crosstabs and Trends). The presumptive Democratic nominee is addressing economic issues in Michigan this morning and Rasmussen Reports will release polling data at 10:00 a.m. Eastern on his key proposals (available for Premium Members now at the Daily Snapshot).

    Forty-six percent (46%) of voters nationwide now say that Obama views U.S. society as unfair and discriminatory. That’s up from 43% in July and 39% in June. By a three-to-one margin, American voters hold the opposite view and believe that our society is generally fair and decent (Premium Members can review Crosstabs and Trends).

  51. Who cares about about Obama? Let's look at what the GOP has to offer. And so far, it aint much.

    No one thinks McCain is the messiah, Mat, that's for sure. But he won't gut the military, raise taxes through the roof, and he'd be more likely to stand by Israel, than his opponent.

    Pull on your boots
    And your snow cap
    Grab broom and shovel
    To the roof of your hovel
    Clean those solar panels
    In your flannels
    Go N U C L E A R


  52. Obama's Drill Bit
    August 4, 2008; Page A12

    Even as he proposes to arbitrarily soak the profits from oil exploration (see here), Barack Obama is finally beginning to bend on offshore drilling. Late last week he said he could perhaps support more U.S. energy exploration, so long as it was part of a larger "bipartisan" deal that presumably includes more rules for conservation, subsidies for noncarbon fuels, and other favorites of his green backers.

    Leave aside the economic contradiction in allowing more drilling to find more oil only to strip the profits from companies that succeed in finding it. The real news here is political, as Mr. Obama and his advisers have begun to see the polls move against them on energy. With gas at $4 a gallon, voters even in such drilling-averse states as Florida increasingly see the need for more domestic oil supplies. So Mr. Obama is now doing a modified, limited switcheroo to block any John McCain traction on the issue.

    Only last week, Mr. Obama couldn't have been more opposed, calling more drilling a "scheme" that wouldn't reduce gas prices. He's also been telling voters that we don't need to open more areas to drilling because the oil companies weren't drilling enough on the leases they already have. That is nonsense, since not every lease yields oil in amounts worth developing and drilling permits aren't automatic even on leased land.

    The question for Mr. Obama is whether this latest switch is merely a rhetorical move for campaign purposes. If he's serious, he'll start to publicly lobby Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill to allow a vote on drilling when they return from their August recess. The McCain campaign should keep the pressure on until he does, and until Congress moves.


  53. 1/ Why is gutting the military such a bad thing?

    2/ Disposable income is disposable income. Who cares how you get there, as long as you get there.

    3/ Transferring trillions of dollars to hajjis only increases their ability to corrupt and deform our institutions. This does not help Israel's cause.

  54. teresita said...
    Metuselah: US exports are not keeping up with imports. When exports don't cover imports the gov finances the delta. As of 2008, that delta is about $0.7 trillion or about 100% the cost of imported oil.

    So look into that crystal ball of your and tell us what happens to american exports when the dollar falls 40%?


    hear that noise?

    that's the great BOOM to us EXPORTING American Companies Exporting the SHIT out of our MADE in the USA wares....

    Couple that with a increase the in the chinese yuan of 18% (still needs to go further) I'd say America is on the cusp of an export boom.

    That goodness for the devalued dollar!!!!

    Reagan did that to the Japanese in 1984 (or near there abouts)

    Now couple that with US DECLINE of CRUDE consumption of 5% (a historic drop), combined with all sorts of folks using al gore's internet to shop by, i'd say we are CHANGING the import/export equation on a daily basis...

    Now T you will appreciate this....

    With every "conflict" the USA shows just how GOOD it's weapons are and how inferior the Russians stuff is...

    Iraq has made the case for good ole USA made weapons ONCE again...

    So look for all the up and coming rich oil sheiks of any stature to want AMERICA arms!

    yep the world is a changing...


  55. M: Who cares about about Obama? Let's look at what the GOP has to offer. And so far, it aint much.

    Obama is one scary marxist radical...

    His 2 decades old friends? terrorists, terrorist's friends & jew hating anti-semites...

    McCain? I could date his wife.......

    now that's hot... (to quote paris)

  56. "So look into that crystal ball of your and tell us what happens to american exports when the dollar falls 40%?"

    The dollar is no longer accepted currency to buy anything, that's what happens.

  57. m:The dollar is no longer accepted currency to buy anything, that's what happens.

    nonsense M

  58. "Obama is one scary marxist radical..."

    I don't care about Obama. I care about a viable solution to get the US out of the hole it dug itself in to.

  59. "nonsense M"

    I really don't care to find out. And I'm really worried.

  60. -Mat, our military has been downsized since forever. The Clintons had a big go at it too. We're stretched to the max right now. If anything it ought to be built back up a bit, I believe. And, Obama's against all these new systems we have coming along.

  61. The Potlatch Forests mill here has been having great days exporting ass wipe around the world, with the lower dollar. So, the union decides it's a great time to call a strike, which they have announced for next week, I think it is.

  62. M: I really don't care to find out. And I'm really worried.

    I'm not....

    The basic truth is that the USA economy is strong and varied.

    The American work was (before the devaluation) was already one of the MOST competitive work forces in the world.

    American innovation still is breathtaking....

    Sectors of the American economy have been hit but if you look at the housing market less than 1% of all home loans are in default...

    The world embraced the cheap chinese money and that is why world wide there is a housing crisis...

    Its not talk about but it was copied across the globe and across the globe areas of real estate appreciated 60-90% over 4 years, far beyond any reasonable increases....

    So today when Las Vegas, Miami & LA's prices are falling by 28% in one year big deal, they should drop another 40% to come in line with reasonableness

    If you look at a global POV where are you going to invest your cash?

    EU? (funny) Russia? (are you on crack) China? (good luck getting it BACK OUT) Africa? (get real) India? (invest after the nuke exchange with the pakis) nope, in the end, investment seeks stability and the USA AS COMPARED to the rest of the world is by far the best...

    I am quite bullish that the US is still a great place to be, work from and EXPORT FROM

  63. The US military budget is 10x that of Russia. I'd say there's quite a bit left to cut. There's absolutely no rational military reason to keep the military at its current size and with its current set of missions. No reason, that is, other than military welfare.

  64. mətušélaḥ said...
    The US military budget is 10x that of Russia. I'd say there's quite a bit left to cut. There's absolutely no rational military reason to keep the military at its current size and with its current set of missions. No reason, that is, other than military welfare.

    As a % of GDP the US military is a historic LOW....

    less than 1% of GDP

    Vietnam was closer to 4%........

  65. Mat, Russia doesn't guard the world's sea lanes, have a navy, have much money, has a shrinking population, and doesn't guard Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and who knows what else.

    RCP Staff
    August 04, 2008
    Palin Takes a Hit

    Just simmering beneath all the Sarah Palin buzz is an investigation into her firing of state Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Last week, the state Senate approved the hiring of an independent investigator into the firing, thereby throwing some cold water on the Palin-for-VP bandwagon.

    The controversy is over whether Palin, or someone close to her, pressured Monegan to fire a state trooper who got a divorce from Palin's sister. The Anchorage Daily News reported last week:

    Monegan contends he did feel such pressure, and the question for the investigator will be whether Monegan might have lost his job for failing to dismiss trooper Mike Wooten.

    Palin has denied applying any pressure or otherwise abusing her power as governor.

    Sharon Leighow, the governor's spokeswoman, said Palin "doesn't see a need for a formal investigation," but is willing to answer questions.

    "The governor has said all along that she will fully cooperate with an investigation and her staff will cooperate as well," Leighow said.

    Some think this could sink Palin's VP chances no matter the outcome. Maybe. One reason it might is that with the investigation just beginning, there isn't enough time to clear Palin's name before McCain has to make a decision. Going into the fall with a running mate under investigation isn't the best move.

  66. "Mat, Russia doesn't guard the world's sea lanes, have a navy, have much money, has a shrinking population, and doesn't guard Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and who knows what else."

    It doesn't need to. And neither should the US.

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. "less than 1% of GDP"

    Show me how you arrive at this.

  69. mətušélaḥ said...
    "less than 1% of GDP"

    Show me how you arrive at this.

    Cant right now, end of day craziness, but i will see if i can find it tonight


  70. No problem. WiO, you also need to consider that much of what was once American no longer is. The value of Assets held by Americans is much less than reflected in that GDP number.

  71. The United States spends 3.7% of its GDP on its military, more than France's 2.6% and less than Saudi Arabia's 10%.[9] This is historically low for the United States since it peaked in 1944 at 37.8% of GDP (it reached the lowest point of 3.0% in 1999-2001). Even during the peak of the Vietnam War the percentage reached a high of 9.4% in 1968.[10]

    MIlitary Budget of USA according to wiki

    I seem to remember wio's figures too, though wiki has it a little differently, but, our spending has gone down and down percent wise since Vietnam. I'm not sure wiki has the figures exactly right.

  72. "The United States spends 3.7% of its GDP on its military"

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    US gov military related expenditures as a percentage of its budget is way beyond any reasonable limit. By my quick calculation it is close to 60% of US gov tax income. That is insane.

  73. The Military's Slice of the Pie

    The military gets the biggest piece of what's left -- the 30 percent of the budget called discretionary spending because it's the part of the budget that Congress and the White House can control from year to year.

    About two-thirds of this spending (20 percent of the total budget) pays for the tanks, jets, ships, missiles, rifles and other paraphernalia of defense, not to mention the salaries of our country's soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. In the next fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1, this will amount to nearly $600 billion, possibly more if costs in Iraq and Afghanistan climb higher than expected.

    How Your Tax Dollars Are Spent

  74. Current US Military expenditure
    $965 billion:
    • Military Personnel $129 billion
    • Operation & Maint. $241 billion
    • Procurement $143 billion
    • Research & Dev. $79 billion
    • Construction $15 billion
    • Family Housing $3 billion
    • DoD misc. $4 billion
    • Retired Pay $70 billion
    • DoE nuclear weapons $17 billion
    • NASA (50%) $9 billion
    • International Security $9 billion
    • Homeland Secur. (military) $35 billion
    • State Dept. (partial) $6 billion
    • other military (non-DoD) $5 billion
    • "Global War on Terror" $200 billion [$162 billion added to the last item to supplement the Budget's grossly underestimated $38 billion in "allowances" to be spent in 2009 for the "War on Terror," which includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan]

    Past Military expenditure
    $484 billion:
    • Veterans' Benefits $94 billion
    • Interest on national debt (80%) created by military spending, $390 billion

    $484 billion + $965 billion
    = $1,449 billion

    US gov tax income
    $2,566 billion:
    $1,163 billion - Individual income tax
    $869.6 billion - Social Security other payroll taxes
    $370.2 billion - Corporate income tax
    $65.1 billion - Excise taxes
    $26.0 billion - Customs duties
    $26.0 billion - Estate and gift taxes
    $47.2 billion - Other

    If you take out SS income, the percentage on spent on the military become: 85%

    $2566 billion - $869 billion
    = $1,697 billion

    $1,449 billion / $1,697 billion
    x 100%
    = 85% !!

    1.45 trillion on defense welfare. These fsckers should be hanged for this.

  75. If you take out SS income, the percentage spent on the military becomes: 85%

  76. If you take out everything else, it becomes 100%.

  77. A lot of people might be comfortable with that, thinking the National Defense is the only legitimate function of the Federal Government.

  78. Why should Social Security income be included?

  79. $1.45 trillion. You're comfortable with that?

  80. Martian soil may contain detrimental substance
    Email this Story

    Aug 4, 6:23 PM (ET)


    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Scientists say the Phoenix spacecraft has found a substance in the Martian soil that might be detrimental to possible life.

    If confirmed, it could mean the soil may not be as friendly as once thought.

    Scientists previously reported that the soil where Phoenix landed in May was Earth-like, containing nutrients such as magnesium, sodium and chloride.

    The latest lab tests show the presence of an oxidizing substance.

    NASA is investigating whether the substance could have gotten there by contamination.

  81. Papa was againt Social Security from the gitgo. I think he was wrong on that, but I thought Bush's idea of kinda privatizing the deal made some sense.

    Mat, I've seen a lot of bases closed in my lifetime. I hardly ever see anyone in uniform any more. There are no missile silos west of Spokane now, for instance. They were sold to private parties.

    If we're paying 3.7% of our gross domestic product each year to defend ourselves and others I'm comfortable with that.

  82. Because it goes into the general fund, mat.

    It is not held in seperate accounts.

    It is a general, non progressive income tax, with a name that was pure marketing genius.

  83. What percent of Israel's gdp goes to the military each year?

  84. You‘re paying 85% of your gov tax income on defense expenditures that are completely superfluous. In my opinion, what’s going on here is outright theft. You want to talk about commie gov redistribution, this is as cynical and predatory as it gets.

  85. Hell, the SS tax is actually counter progressive, with the lower incomes paying a much, much higher rate than those making over $100,000 per year.

  86. My aunt Agnes beat the Social Security game. But, she had to live to 98 1/2 to do it. :) great ol' gal, she was.

  87. "What percent of Israel's gdp goes to the military each year?"

    If I remember correctly, it's 10% of gov income. Gimme a min, I'll check.

  88. jeez, look at This How can any records be broken in that smog?

  89. They ought to have an Olympic contest at holding your breath.

  90. What percentage of Israeli GDP is spent on national defense?

    According to the two articles below between 7.2 and 10% of Israeli GDP
    is spent on defense.

    “Defense Industry Environment Israel's $6.8 billion defense budget
    accounted for ten percent of GDP. Approximately twenty five percent of
    the annual defense budget is spent on procurement. In addition, the
    U.S. in1995 provided $1.8 billion of which $1.325 billion must be
    spent on purchases from the U.S. The balance of $475 million was
    authorized for use for defense procurements within Israel.”

    “IDF officials say. Today the defense budget accounts for 7.2% of the
    GDP and they forecast that by 2010 it will be 4.6%.”

    Source: Jerusalem Post


    “Israel's ground, air, and naval forces, known as the Israel Defense
    Force (IDF), fall under the command of a single general staff.
    Conscription is universal for Jewish men and women over the age of 18,
    although exemptions may be made on religious grounds. Druze, members
    of a small Islamic sect living in Israel's mountains, also serve in
    the IDF. Israeli Arabs, with few exceptions, do not serve. During
    1950-66, Israel spent an average of 9% of GDP on defense. Real defense
    expenditures increased dramatically after both the 1967 and 1973 wars.
    The 2001 defense budget represented about 16% of the total government
    budget, or 7.2% of GDP. The United States provides approximately $2
    billion per year in security assistance.”

    International Security Group

    GDP in 2001: $ 111.8 billion

  91. That's the most visible sign of the current phase of the exploitaion of China for fun and profit, bob.

  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

  93. If the Israeli are spending between 7 and 10% of GDP, the percentage of their tax revenues has to be right at 34%.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $185.9 billion (2007 est.)

    10% = $18.6 bn

    revenues: $53.6 billion
    expenditures: $53.63 billion (2007 est.)

    Now 18.6 is what percentage of 53.6?

    My calculator puts it at 34% how about yours?

  94. "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

    Homogenizers in Retreat

  95. Here you go:

    I'm not sure if that defense figure includes US aid or not. If so, then my number of 10% would about right.

  96. number of 10% would ^be about right..

  97. In addition to unca Sam--

    Here in Idaho, Mat, I pay the State of Idaho Income Tax--

    If your income range is $22,075 and over, your tax rate on every dollar of income earned is 7.8%--


    Sales Tax on damned near everything of 6% I think it is now,


    Property taxes on my rentals up the ass

    Plus the taxes on the home.

    I pay and pay and pay, and it's why I'm sensitive to Obama, and am voting McCain.

    Oregon, Montana and Nevada don't have the same situation. Montana has no sales tax, or Oregon either(I think). Washington, a mile away, is where we buy most of our food, as there is no sales tax on grocery food there. Just don't buy smokes or booze.

  98. Bob,

    Forget Obama. This rot is a bipartisan affair. The system is gamed. And the big loser is the middle class tax payer.

  99. I try to keep a sense of humor, Mat, about things like this from American Thinker on Obama's new energy speech--

    The McCain campaign decided to get in on Obama's policy announcement by handing out tire gauges to those assembled to hear him speak. You will recall that Obama said we could virtually solve the energy crisis if everybody kept their tires inflated to manufacturers standards:

    [T]op McCain aide Salter, "practically giddy," hands out tire gauges to reporters aboard McCain's campaign plane.

    And campaign topper Davis uses the spat in a fund-raising e-mail:"I'm asking for your help in putting Senator Obama's ‘tire gauge' energy policy to the test. With an immediate donation of $25 or more, we will send you an ‘Obama Energy Plan' tire pressure gauge."

    Earlier: The RNC says it will deliver gauges reading "Obama's energy plan" to Washington newsrooms.


  100. Tyson drops Labor Day holiday for Eid al-Fitr

    This happened in Tennessee. Tyson's HQ is in NW Arkansas, cheek-by-jowl with Wal*Mart and H.B. Hunt. Rock-ribbed fundamentalist Christian communities, or used to be. Churches on every corner.

    Last year a Baptist congregation wanted to put up a tall cross monument on its front lawn which would conceal a money making cell phone antennae array. Objections included property owners who cited concerns that it might be offensive to muslims and affect property values if their property were ever put up for sale. I happened to meet one of the preachers circulating a petition to allow the contraption. I signed it. What the hell? Another cross in that county would be like another oak tree, and I kind of liked the size of it.

    The project was ruled down by the planning muckity-mucks and city council.

    Go figure...

  101. ...hear that noise?

    that's the great BOOM to us EXPORTING American Companies Exporting the SHIT out of our MADE in the USA wares....

    Couple that with a increase the in the chinese yuan of 18% (still needs to go further) I'd say America is on the cusp of an export boom.

    [Thank] goodness for the devalued dollar!!!!


    And it's really helped my precious metals mutual fund. Hint: Drop what you can afford into USAGX at the next market correction, and let it ride.

  102. Har! RNC sleight of hand. Now you see $1.45 trillion missing from your pocket, now you don't.

  103. "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it."
    -- H. L. Mencken

    Why I'm Thanking God For Obama

    Good article from American Thinker

    --We have a cell phone tower on our church property here, Linear. Big debate in the church over the propriety of going into the business world, but mammon won out. Needed the money for a second pastoress. I voted against it, mammon won out with me too, hoping to get it on my property, a short distance away. :) Vote carried by a large margin.

    I learned alot about cell phone legislation. It was totally written by the cell phone industry. A city cannot even consider the health affects when siting a cell phone tower. Basically a city can't turn 'em down. No group of ordinary Americans would have come up with that legislation on their own. Lobbyists. There was even a small village somewhere in Hawaii where the locals were fighting the cell phone tower. Don't know how that came out.

    If you attach a couple clips to a light bulb and the chain link security fence around the tower, you can read a newspaper at night. And cows don't give milk in the area. So says my friend's dad in Boise, who worked for Boise Electric for years.

    The church is getting nearly $1600 a month for the tower. The cell phone companies got plenty of money.

    We're going to see 'Dark Knight'. Later.

  104. Bob said, "I thought Bush's idea of kinda privatizing the deal made some sense."

    It does. That's why Congress let the Federal workforce begin doing it during Reagan's time. Check out TSP in Google. But Congress thinks the rest of Americans are too stupid to trust with the same tool. Now, who do you trust? A government employee, or your neighbor?

  105. Why McCain Has Caught Obama and What Obama Can Do About It
    by Cenk Uygur


    Hundreds of anxious Kossacks make for some fun reading.

  106. Jim Geraghty at NRO:

    Monday, August 04, 2008


    'There have been troubling signs that you are moving away from the core commitments shared by many who have supported your campaign.'

    An open letter from high-profile liberals to Obama:

    Since your historic victory in the primary, there have been troubling signs that you are moving away from the core commitments shared by many who have supported your campaign, toward a more cautious and centrist stance—including, most notably, your vote for the FISA legislation granting telecom companies immunity from prosecution for illegal wiretapping, which angered and dismayed so many of your supporters.

    The open letter includes a list of "key positions you have embraced that we believe are essential to sustaining this movement", which might translate as, "don't you dare flip-flop on these." Among them: a "fixed timetable" for Iraq withdrawal, "fair trade policies", universal healthcare, "restoration of the freedom to organize unions" (when was that rescinded?) path to citizenship for illegal aliens, and abortion (Duh, though one wonders how these folks would greet Running Mate Tim Kaine).

    One of the signers? Obama delegate Norman Soloman.

    08/04 05:13 PM

  107. "Obama is viewed favorably by 83% of Democrats, 22% of Republicans, and 47% of unaffiliated voters."
    There's some dumbass (or ignerent) mofo Pubs there in that 22%!
    I didn't say I was for McCain's federal vouchers!
    I just said a candidate that favors vouchers is conservative.
    Shit, only present day "conservatives" like W and Mac could figure out a way to screw up even vouchers.
    I was not previously aware of that brilliant plan.
    Maybe Mac will favor federal vouchers, and a Pub Majority Congress lead by Mike Pence will demand local funding/control?
    Could happen!
    ...but I'm not a betting man.

  108. Old news.

    Iran has carried out missile tests for what could be a plan for a nuclear strike on the United States, the head of a national security panel has warned.

    In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee and in remarks to a private conference on missile defense over the weekend hosted by the Claremont Institute, Dr. William Graham warned that the U.S. intelligence community “doesn’t have a story” to explain the recent Iranian tests.

    One group of tests that troubled Graham, the former White House science adviser under President Ronald Reagan, were successful efforts to launch a Scud missile from a platform in the Caspian Sea.

    “They’ve got [test] ranges in Iran which are more than long enough to handle Scud launches and even Shahab-3 launches,” Dr. Graham said. “Why would they be launching from the surface of the Caspian Sea? They obviously have not explained that to us.”

    Another troubling group of tests involved Shahab-3 launches where the Iranians "detonated the warhead near apogee, not over the target area where the thing would eventually land, but at altitude,” Graham said. “Why would they do that?”


    Several participants in last weekend’s conference in Dearborn, Mich., hosted by the conservative Claremont Institute argued that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was thinking about an EMP attack when he opined that “a world without America is conceivable.”


    Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld first detailed the “Scud-in-a-bucket” threat during a briefing in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 18, 2004.

    While not explicitly naming Iran, Rumsfeld revealed that “one of the nations in the Middle East had launched a ballistic missile from a cargo vessel. They had taken a short-range, probably Scud missile, put it on a transporter-erector launcher, lowered it in, taken the vessel out into the water, peeled back the top, erected it, fired it, lowered it, and covered it up. And the ship that they used was using a radar and electronic equipment that was no different than 50, 60, 100 other ships operating in the immediate area.”


    “Senator Obama has been quoted as saying, ‘I don’t agree with a missile defense system,’ and that we can cut $10 billion of the research out — never mind, as I say, that the entire budget is $9.6 billion, or $9.3 billion,” Kyl said.