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Member since: Thu Nov 19, 2020, 11:10 AM
Number of posts: 1,389

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The politics of gas prices vs the facts.

OPEC has announced a reduction in crude production which will lead to an increase in US gas prices. The Republicans love to jump on that news topic, blaming Biden for US dependency on imported crude oil. They rarely, if ever, tell the whole story.

It is true the US imports a lot of petroleum but the US also exports a lot of petroleum. In fact, exports about equal imports. And why is that?

That happens because of a combination of economics and chemistry. The economics are simple: overseas oil, even after shipping costs, is often cheaper than domestically-produced crude. That is because what oil people call "lifting costs," the cost of actually getting the oil out of the ground, are so much lower in some other countries. That, in turn, is down to a number of factors. Environmental and other regulations here play a part in that cost differential of course, but, contrary to what some would have you believe, they are far from the be-all and end-all in affecting prices.

Still, the U.S. probably wouldn’t be one of those client nations at all if it weren’t for the chemistry.

You see, the U.S. does produce enough oil to meet its own needs, but it is the wrong type of oil.

Most of the oil produced in the U.S. fields in Texas, Oklahoma, and elsewhere is light and sweet, compared to what comes from the Middle East and Russia. The problem is that for many years, imported oil met most of the U.S.’s energy needs, so a large percentage of the refining capacity here is geared towards dealing with oil that is heavier and less sweet than the kind produced here.

A coordinated, forward-looking energy policy over the last few decades would have targeted that issue through subsidies and incentives. That money has been paid out anyway: it wouldn’t have been hard to use it to make America truly energy independent. However, politicians, it seems, would rather keep a situation where periodic energy crises give them a cudgel with which to beat an incumbent. Lest you think I am making a partisan point here, current criticism is of a Democrat by Republicans, but the last time crude was at these levels it was Democrats criticizing George W. Bush, a Republican, for policies and actions that they said forced oil higher back then.


So, the Republican attack on the Democrats about high gas prices is far from the simplistic argument they make on the talk shows. The US is actually the top producer of oil...imagine that.


But the Republicans never mention the truth. And they never mention Biden doesn't dictate oil prices nor have any control over oil production facilities.

Anyone having an issue copying and pasting to this forum?

I copy text from media publications and try to paste it but it doesn't paste???

Trump actually believes "his" SCOTUS judges...

..are going to save his ass. Not likely and the latest lawsuit may worsen his situation.



I think it's time for...

..all the world leaders to agree to shut Russia down before Putin goes any further with his insane crusade to take control of Ukraine, before he wrecks the rest of the planet.

Not sure if that's possible but the powers to be got to stop his crazy shit somehow.

To indict or not.

I stumbled onto the link and decided it's a pretty good argument for indictment. Much of what has already been posted on this forum. Rather lengthy...


America is grappling with an unprecedented choice: Should we, or should we not, indict an ex-president?

The Jan. 6 Committee has shown a ton of evidence that former President Donald Trump and various accomplices committed conspiracy to defraud the United States when he tried to stay in power after losing re-election. The FBI search of Mar-a-Lago—and Trump’s many shifting, contradictory excuses—indicate he likely committed felonies regarding the removal and concealment of national defense material, and obstruction of justice.

The legal answer, the one from rule of law, is straightforward. Prosecutors have ample evidence of serious criminal activity. The government has a legitimate interest in deterring a repeat of these crimes (especially the coup-related ones). No one is above the law, not even the person who was once the most powerful in the world.

But the political answer is more complicated.

Whatever the Department of Justice (DOJ) decides, it will set precedent, provoke public reactions, and shape history.

The American people voted him out, but he wouldn’t peacefully transfer power.

American institutions—courts, military, and though it was a close call, Congress—overcame Trump’s scheming, upheld the rule of law, and got him out of office. But he kept lying, plotting, and committing more crimes. In response, prosecutors filing charges in criminal court based on evidence acquired in a well-predicated, legally authorized federal investigation is what passing this ongoing stress test would look like.

This is the moment for the institutions of Constitutional democracy to make their stand. Trump’s bluff must be called. Ours is a government of laws, not of men.

Straight talk from Rep Ro Khanna, (D) California

"If the republicans take back the House, they're going to be talking about Hunter Biden all the time...all they want to do is have investigations into this Presidency...it will be two years of obstructionism."

Source: Politics Nation-MSNBC

Lies, damn lies and statistics...inflation.

I switched to Fox this AM to see if they were talking about any of Trump's legal issues and of course they weren't...the border, crime and inflation dominate their daily air time. At some point Bartiroma was going on about our inflation being due to government spending, suggesting it's all Biden's fault. And she knows better than me, it's a false narrative. Needles to say, if the rest of the world was at 3 or 4%, we could point at Biden for the US inflationary conditions but the rest of the world ain't at 3 or 4%.

So as I've done so many times, I called upon Google to give me the facts, again.

Inflation’s root cause is demand outstripping supply. Many factors go into either increasing demand or reducing supply. For instance, when interest rates are lower, businesses and consumers find it easier and cheaper to borrow, which can spur increased demand. From the other direction, when supplies shrink significantly even though demand stays constant, as is particularly often the case with oil, inflation can also occur.

Some studies of the historical record suggest that government spending has no effect on inflation. Others find that it has some impact on inflation but is likely only partially responsible for the post-pandemic inflation spike. One study, for instance, suggested that government spending had contributed 3% of the increase in inflation.


And all that makes perfect sense. It's supple-demand, with a little corporate greed thrown in.


I get this call every day...beware.


Misguided priorities

We have an ex-president (Trump) who left office at about 3/4 autocrat status. He had taken control of the Justice Dept and the Republican (former) Party caucus in D.C. He tried to invalidate an election, incited a riot in an attempted overthrow of the government, left office with 100+ classified documents, saying they belong to him and now has a judge who is making every effort to protect him...

Meanwhile, Fox news is reporting on the southern border "crisis"...

"..the likes of which the country has never seen..."

Is Trump so presumptively arrogant, he believes DOJ would actually be intimidated by a veiled threat of violence in making a decision to indict him?

I'm not even sure there would be a "likes of which we've never seen" violent result by his fanatical base. I don't doubt there would be an uproar from the Republicans running the talk show circuits (that's already happening) and some spotty protests by the kooks but something to a 'degree we've never seen' is a stretch. I know there is a large number of his base who also dispense with the threats of civil war but I just don't think there is a big enough number of truly committed militants willing to go the distance.

Per Google searches, 2000+ people entered the Capitol on Jan 6...900 (near half) have been charged with related crimes. That fact, in itself, would be a mental impediment to most when considering doing something that would lead to arrest and jail. And as said before, some dude with a wife, kids and mortgage can't just wake up one morning and say "Well, I got to go overthrow the government today." It's just not something I can realistically accept taking place. And I don't believe Trump is all that popular, it's just what he has led his followers to believe he stands for.

And of course, Trump's only strategy in dealing with any negative issues for him, is to mouth off a lot of nonsensical bluster.

Jan 6 was a riot "the likes of which we've never seen" that no one thought could or would happen and there simply wasn't adequate defensive measures taken to thwart it...but it won't happen again. We learn from our mistakes.

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