Friday, August 31, 2012

GOP clown car crashes one last time while the green agenda rolls on.

While the GOP clown car heading Eastwood for Tampa crashed into the finish wall, President Obama was approving legislation that will provide jobs for thousands of skilled trades workers, reduce American carbon emissions and lower operating costs for energy intensive manufacturers.  

Aug 31 (Reuters Point Carbon) - President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Thursday that would increase the number of cogeneration plants in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2020, a move that would boost U.S. industrial energy efficiency and slash carbon emissions by 150 million tons per year...
The measure aims to accelerate investments to help manufacturers expand their use of combined heat and power (CHP) facilities, which generate thermal and generating power in a single process.
The White House said increased investments in the industrial sector, which accounts for over 30 percent of energy consumed in the U.S., would improve its competitiveness, lower energy costs and reduce heat trapping emissions.

This is a win-win-win.  Businesses save operating costs by reducing energy loads, consumers benefit through lower market prices for the energy thanks to the conservation efforts, and we all help reduce carbon emissions ever so slightly.  Everyone has something to like here.  Unless of course you are in the business of selling energy that your company extracted from the ground.  Or if you are a politician on the payroll of the people who drill for oil and gas who expect a return on their investment for their millions in "donations". [Its not technically a donation when you expect something in return, thus the "scare quotes" -ed]     

If the Republicans won't stand up and admit this is good policy for American business, American consumers, and the environment, then they are just being stupid on purpose.  They have misled, obfuscated, told half-truths and outright lies because they know the base lives on red meat only.

Next thing you know they'll totally lose their shit and start arguing with furniture.   

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pinata Capitalism

If economic growth requires increasing the supply of limited resources than it can not possibly be sustainable.  It may work in the short term, but eventually it leads into economic abyss.  No numbers or statistics are required, the shape of the curve is enough.

If the strategy for economic growth requires increasing the supply of limited resources to drive market prices lower, eventually the decreasing supply of the limited resource will limit the increasing demand by creating a shortage and price increases that will derail growth.  This is really simple shit people.

In order for an economy to grow, it needs to first be sustainable and for it to be sustainable we need to continually find new ways to reduce waste in the consumption of our limited resources. By reducing waste in consumption we maintain our standard of living while reducing the demand and this will lead to lower prices that will spur more economic growth.   It's a concept that could lead current political enemies into agreement about economic and environmental strategies.   Eleven words sum up my entire point.   
The enemy of economic growth is wasted consumption of limited resources.     

But when politicians are under the influence of short-term profits, they promote short-term solutions.  Here is a classic case of a plan that fails even if the plan works.  There is no possible way this strategy for economic growth can sustain itself.   Mitt just wants to bust open the pinata and let people grab what they can while the getting is good.

Romney Energy Plan Would Expand Oil Drilling on U.S. Land and Offshore
HOUSTON — Mitt Romney plans to unveil an energy plan Thursday morning in Hobbs, N.M., that would allow states more control over the development of energy resources on federal lands within their borders, as well as aggressively expand offshore oil and gas drilling — including along the coasts of Virginia and the Carolinas — as part of a broader effort to reach energy independence.
Mr. Romney has raised considerable money from donors with ties to the oil industry. Over the past two days, he pulled in nearly $10 million in oil money: $6 million to $7 million Tuesday from two fund-raisers in Texas (in Houston and Midland), and $2 million at a fund-raiser Wednesday in Little Rock, Ark. Claiborne P. Deming, who introduced Mr. Romney at the Arkansas event and is a finance co-chairman in the state, is chairman of Murphy Oil, a global gas and oil company.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paul Ryan says he is a fan of St. Thomas Aquinas. Yeah right.

"The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false."- Thomas Aquinas

Disregard for a moment all of the evidence from Paul Ryan's public record of his support for the teachings of Ayn Rand.  Now, to placate the GOP base that is more than a bit squeamish of Ryan's record for supporting Rand's atheistic, dog-eat-dog worldview, the Vice Presidential candidate is saying he is a actually a big fan of the teachings of Catholic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas.

This blog post does a superb job pointing out how Paul Ryan's political career has been defined by promoting policies in direct opposition to what Aquinas taught.

Village Voice Blog: Paul Ryan Is In Love With St. Thomas Aquinas; What Does This Mean? 
For starters, some -- such as the Guardian's Giles Fraser -- have pointed out that it's kinda impossible to be a good Catholic and/or Christian and advocate economic policies that Jesus would outright abhor...

In his Summa Theologica -- which you should probably, like, read if you claim to be an Aquinas fan, considering it's his most well known work (WE ARE TALKING TO YOU PAUL RYAN!!!) -- the saint had a few things to say about economics, and none of them are very free market sounding.
I would add that its not just economics in which Paul Ryan and Thomas Aquinas are in complete disagreement.  On the subject of science, the theologian from the 13th century had a very different and far more sophisticated perspective than the modern day, college graduate, career politician who is allegedly known for his astute intellect.

The GOP is promoting an anti-science agenda on a number of fronts.  Climate change, evolution, medical research are just a few scientific fields that the GOP has declared war against in their State and National platforms, their legislation and their rhetoric.  All for the same reason, that scientific findings dispute their religious faith, and since their faith is supposed to be the most important thing in their lives, then science goes right under the bus.

The modern GOP is so far off the rails that they actually think they as a political party need to defend God in the laws, courts, schools, and media, lest the creator of heaven and earth suffer a mortal wound from the infidels who used the brains God gave them to make scientific discoveries.

Aquinas said that if faith flies in the face of facts, reason and science, then that faith becomes a mockery.

The GOP led by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan don't understand that very basic point and they are willingly making a mockery out of the entire conservative movement rather than try to educate their ignorant base of voters.  

Overt discrimination proudly on display in Ohio

It's hard to imagine this is happening in the USA in 2012, but then it is Ohio.

If you live in Butler or Warren counties in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Cincinnati, you can vote for president beginning in October by going to a polling place in the evening or on weekends. Republican officials in those counties want to make it convenient for their residents to vote early and avoid long lines on Election Day.
But, if you live in Cincinnati, you’re out of luck. Republicans on the county election board are planning to end early voting in the city promptly at 5 p.m., and ban it completely on weekends, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. The convenience, in other words, will not be extended to the city’s working people...
This is just the latest alarming example of how Republicans across the country are trying to manipulate the electoral system by blocking the voting rights of their opponents. These actions have a disproportionate effect on blacks, Hispanics and other ethnic minorities who struggled for so long to participate in American democracy.
It was no secret that Jim Tressel was running a dirty football program at Ohio State, but everyone from the fans and boosters to the University Administration loved him and defended him by simply pretending not to see what was happening right out in public. Mums the word, not just the fans but even the local media who decided not to do the simple investigation that Sports Illustrated finally did that ended it all.  Buckeye nation reacted in shock and dismay at the NCAA penalties and acted like their program was a victim in the whole affair.   (More about the guy in the red sweater vest's willfull ignorance and violations here

So that the Ohio Tea Party /GOP is institutionalizing cheating in their electoral process comes as little surprise. Maybe decade after decade of having zero professional sports championships in their State has morphed the collective mentality in Ohio to accept cheating as a legitimate way to win. Maybe its the smoldering racism among the undereducated masses that leads them to collectively see no problem treating minorities as second class citizens as long as it gets a white male back in the White House.  Maybe there are religious folk who feel it is their duty to defend God by electing Tea Party/GOP candidates and they're more than ready to cheat to do it.    

My take is that its a toxic mix of ignorance, desperation, religious fanaticism, and racism that has institutionalized and mainstreamed outright cheating in Ohio politics.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mitt picks a running mate.

This picture made it into the Sunday morning Detroit Free Press print edition.  And if you think that's scary, you should read through Paul Ryan's budget plan.