Friday, March 18, 2011

SAR #11077

These are not my people, this is not my country.

Blankly: The difference between Libya and places like Dafur or Rwanda is ______. Hint: three letters beginning with 'O'.

Testing. One, Two: While Gaddafi prepares to annihilate the pro-democracy movement in Libya, the US continues to end up on the side of whoever – no matter how bloody – controls the Middle Eastern oilfields - today. That dictators, tyrants and kings won't last forever is a given, but then neither will the oil and we want it now. Bahrain is the object lesson for what the Saudi response to protesters will be, and 'democracy now' does not figure into it.  Ignore the bribery, it's the stick that counts.

Inflated Inflation: Inflation is increasing at either 2.1% or 1.1% annually, depending on how much you drive and what you eat. I'm on a low-carb diet except when I watch sports on TV.

Previews: A single US drone strike killed nearly 40 people in Pakistan. Some say all the dead were 'suspected militants'. Others claim the drone hit a house where elders were meeting to resolve a business dispute and had nothing to do with Taliban/al Qaeda. The US has not yet made up issued any comment.

Factor In...According to the GOP's talking points, if we'd just 'drill, baby drill!' we could be energy independent and gasoline would be 32 cents a gallon forever. Except the US has only 2% of the world's oil reserves and uses 20% of the world's oil. Also, oil is a global commodity – cars don't care where they are or where their gasoline comes from – so the price is set by global supply and demand. The US simply cannot pump enough oil to drive down world oil prices. Only Saudi Arabia even pretends to have that much spare capacity.

Spring Flowers? Initial unemployment claims fell 16,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, and the four-week moving average stayed below 400,000 for the third consecutive week. Employers added 192,000 jobs in February, the most in nine months.

Easy Does It: Senate Republicans oppose lifting the country's debt ceiling unless entitlements – codeword for Social Security and Medicare - are cut significantly. Medicare is a problem, but the GOP is set against health care reform that would take the profits out of the big pharma and the insurance scams, so they really want to cut Social Security and turn our retirements over to Wall Street. This another area where the GOP is courting voter backlash, for nearly 60% of Americans are against raising the retirement age and almost 70 percent were against cutting benefits. What the public wants is to tax all income, not just the first $107,000. And that, the CBO says, would wipe out virtually all of Social Security’s shortfall.

Know Nothings: All 31 Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee refuse to accept the overwhelming and unequivocal scientific evidence that global climate change is underway. It's not in the Bible and the coal companies don't like it.

Point of View: Representative Spencer Bachus, (R-AL), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee: “ view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”

Health Un-Caring Act: The US Government is on temporary life support, so House Republicans will seize the opportunity to pass a tax bill that will curtail abortion access for most Americans, by eliminating employer tax deductions for health insurance for workers if the plan covers abortion. This would either force the employers to stop giving employees health coverage or force the health industry to change their policies – 87% of all policies now cover abortion costs. Polls show that 54% of Americans support the right to legal abortions, and the Democratic Senate is not about to pass such a bill, so this is simply the GOP grandstanding for the far right.

Declawing: Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) wants the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be run by a 5-member commission (3 Republicans and 2 Democrats in his dream) instead of by a Commissioner. Which is his way of throwing Elizabeth Warren under a bus before she can do anything that might actually protect the consumer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Factor In: . The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has issued a report that claims that the US has far more recoverable reserves in oil and natural gas than previously thought:

U.S. proved reserves of oil total 19.1 billion barrels, reserves of natural gas total 244.7 trillion cubic feet, and natural gas liquids reserves of 9.3 billion barrels. Undiscovered technically recoverable oil in the United States is 145.5 billion barrels, and undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas is 1,162.7 trillion cubic feet. The demonstrated reserve base for coal is 488 billion short tons, of which 261 billion short tons are considered technically recoverable. …

Proved reserves are those amounts of oil, natural gas, or coal that have been discovered and defined, typically by drilling wells or other exploratory measures, and which can be economically recovered. In the United States, proved reserves are typically measured by private companies, who report their findings to the Securities and Exchange Commission because they are considered capital assets. In addition to the volumes of proved reserves are deposits of oil and gas that have not yet been discovered, which are called undiscovered resources. The term has a specific meaning: undiscovered resources are amounts of oil and gas estimated to exist in unexplored areas. If they are considered to be recoverable using existing production technologies, they are referred to as undiscovered technically recoverable resources (UTRR). In-place resources are intended to represent all of the oil, natural gas, or coal contained in a formation or basin without regard to technical or economic recoverability.

The report is here:

Opponents of domestic production in oil and gas claim we cannot drill our way out of the energy crisis and our dependence on imported oil. However, the findings certainly suggest that we can in fact do so, and that we can make that solution last for a very long time. Even on its own, those reserves would last 22 years if we stopped all current areas of American production. Furthermore, we’re likely to find more as we take the leash off of exploration.

It’s time to start acting like adults. We need to use oil, and we have plenty under our feet. Let’s start using it and create thousands of high paying jobs instead of putting cash into the pockets of unstable and unfriendly regimes.