Political Quick Hits

Another One Bites the Dust

Another myth perpetrated by Republicans seeking to deceive the public has been shattered. Last week, Governor Brian Schweitzer shot down the GOP’s claims that  “taxes and regulations,” are to blame differing oil development levels in Montana and North Dakota, the AP reported.   This week, the Great Falls Tribune is reporting that more domestic oil drilling does not drive the price of oil down.  In fact, as domestic drilling has increased, oil prices have shot up.

 

The Weird Just Get Weirder

If one Googles the name of the Republican running against Rep. Bryce Bennett in Missoula’s House District 92, this comes up:

If this is the same guy, it’s looking like GOP candidates this cycle are veering further into strange territory.

 

Posted: March 25, 2012 at 9:34 am

79 thoughts on “Political Quick Hits

  1. Ingemar Johansson

    Really? An increase in supply doesn’t mean a decrease in price?

    Then why is Obama considering releasing the Strategic Oil Supply in order (albeit temporary) to lower pump prices?

      1. Ingemar Johansson

        That’s all ya got? It’s complicated?

        How ’bout this one?

        Obama could drive down oil prices right now simply by announcing a more aggressive effort to boost domestic supplies. When President Bush lifted a moratorium in 2008, oil prices immediately fell $9 a barrel

        1. Backwoods Monty

          What have you been smoking man????? Its not that complicated:
          Coincidence is not causation, and in this instance I’d say that the two events – the lifting of the moratoria and the ensuing reduction in oil prices – are much more in the coincidence realm than one of causation. I say that for several reasons.

          1. There was a Congressional moratorium on offshore drilling in place at the time, and this moratorium was not lifted with the President’s action.

          2. Even had that not been the case, the time from lifting of a moratorium to offshore leasing to drilling to discovery to production is measured in years, not weeks or months. At best, the possibility of future production from the lifting of a moratorium might have had some very slight impact on the present price of oil, but even that is questionable because of the uncertainties and timing involved.

          3. Any such impact would be slight at best because worldwide production and consumption of oil at the time was about 85 million barrels per day, whereas new offshore U.S. discoveries from lifting of the moratorium likely would have yielded production of several hundred thousand barrels per day to maybe a million barrels per day, not many millions. While every bit helps, such incremental amounts could not have reduced world prices by over one hundred dollars per barrel.

          4. Most oil market experts believe that the rapid and sustained reduction in oil prices that began in 2008 and extended beyond occurred because the world economy began to slow down and ultimately to experience a deep recession. This is one way to reduce oil prices, but not a very attractive one.

          5. Finally, it is useful to put the President’s lifting of the moratorium into context. It occurred during the election campaign of 2008, at a time when gasoline prices had skyrocketed in the U.S., and it was accompanied by a request to Congress to remove the Congressional moratorium, putting pressure on Democrats to respond. Just a normal part of politics, both sides push for such advantage during election season, the point only is that it’s useful to understand the context of an action to better understand its rationale.

          From:
          Michael Canes, Senior Research Fellow at the Logistics Management Institute and former Chief Economist of the American Petroleum Institute March 8, 2011

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/19/AR2009021903434.html

          Tell me another bullshit story, I bet your full of them!

    1. Backwoods Monty

      I keep trying to tell you guys this on the Con side and know one listens….

      Out of all the oil and gas leases in Montana, only 13% of gov land leased by any of these energy companies is producing! Companies are not drilling purposely. They want oil and gas prices to remain high. But it is all Obamas fault? Really?

      I say if they cannot start drilling on leased property within a year they should lose the lease. Right now they get ten years per lease, at 3 to 4 dollars an acre, and all they are doing is sitting on the leases as an asset! It makes their companies look bigger, it makes it easier to get a bank loan, but it isn’t producing shit!

      If you want to get more oil production and gas in Montana, Make the companies that sit on 87% of their leases, get to work now! Make them responsible, or yank those leases and give them to someone else.

      Or….. you can continue to listen to the lies, of the GOP like Rehberg! ” The USA is not producing,” he cries. What a load of manure.

      What these companies want is a handout to start drilling, they want to suck more money out of Montana healthcare and Public education, F**k um!

      They want more respect in EPA Laws and workers compensation laws? Let them start doing their part to make drilling for these products safer… no more leaks in the Pipes, no more botched safety valves… Make sure every worker is working as safely as possible. How hard is that?

      Stop making this a right side. left side conversation and get after the real culprits……. the energy companies!

      1. TP

        You really show a lack of knowledge about drilling for oil and natural gas. It takes a while to prove reserves and even longer to get them to produce. Many leases never produce any oil or gas at all. Companies quickly scoop up the leases in areas where there MIGHT be oil or gas. Then, they have to find it and decide if it’s worth the investment to get it out of the ground. They can’t use leases as assets so that it’s “easier to get a bank loan” unless they have PROVEN reserves. It’s really much more complex than you make it out to be.

        1. Backwoods Monty

          TP,

          I show a lack of knowlwdge?????? Bwah ha ha ha ha I guess you guys don’t get out into the real world much. there are 3,670,000 instances of articles relating to a Google search of Oil and Gas companies sitting on leases! It is a pandemic you are sorely too lazy to see.

          Majority of U.S. Oil and Gas Leases Lie Idle
          http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2011/2011-03-29-091.htmlMar 29, 2011 – Majority of U.S. Oil and Gas Leases Lie Idle … millions of acres that have already been leased to industry for oil and gas productions sit idle.” ..

          Hundreds of oil and gas leases sitting idle in Bighorn Basin
          billingsgazette.com/…/article_7cebf307-42ca-5230-9796-2de5afe0ee…Apr 14, 2011 – In its report, the Interior Department accused oil and natural gas companies of sitting on the leases and not using them to produce energy.

          Oil and gas industry “sitting pretty” | The Wilderness Society
          wilderness.org/content/pr-leasing-20110720Jul 20, 2011 – The oil and gas industry has failed to develop 6573 drilling permits issued by the Bureau of Land Management, even though the agency has …

          Two-thirds of oil and gas leases in Gulf inactive – politics – White …
          http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/…/two-thirds-oil-gas-leases-gulf-inactive/Mar 29, 2011 – More than two-thirds of offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico are sitting idle, neither producing oil and gas, nor being actively explored by the …

          Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale plans fail to impress industry …
          http://www.nola.com › … › Breaking NewsJan 26, 2012 – Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale plans fail to impress industry critics …. companies about not developing leases that they have been sitting …

          The only people who are too blinded to see that they are being lied too………. is you…. the republican base. Instead of arguing with us, you should be joining real Americans, and making these companies explain why they aren’t doing their Business. and why they are not producing jobs.

          On and on and On and ON for 3 million + more times!

          I think The market for oil is getting ready for another recession, and Oil and gas companies are trying for as long as possible to artificially hold up the price of their products.

            1. Backwoods Monty

              Your reading Industry Propaganda I am reading Independent and verifiable news stories with independent investigations that weren’t paid by some Oil company and proof read by an Oil insider before publication. I get it TP your an Oil Dude! You see I read all the University papers and research on Oil, before they all started disappearing from the internet.

              Try and change someone else’s mind!

              1. TP

                I’m not trying to change your mind. If you want to ignore facts, feel free. I happen to know quite a bit about the industry. There’s a BIG difference between academia and what happens in the real world. If a company is sitting on a lease with proven reserves it’s because they can make a better ROI on another asset. Do you really think these companies are passing up an opportunity to make a buck? Get your talking points straight. Are they greedy money grubbing corporations or are they sitting on leases and voluntarily not making money?

                Perhaps you’re confusing this with fraud that goes on in the industry. Sitting on “proven” reserves, quotations emphasized. There are companies out there who “prove” (aka inflate sometimes non-existent) reserves to beef up their balance sheets. That, of course, is fraud and the SEC doesn’t have the capability to keep up with it.

                In short, a lease DOES NOT equal proven reserves, “proven” reserves do not equal proven reserves, and oil companies will drill projects with the highest potential ROI.

                1. Backwoods Monty

                  Listen I started as a “Worm/ and a student at the same time,” so I think I know a thing or two about Drilling/Academia myself. I just didn’t marry myself to any company, I ever worked for either.

                  The company I worked for bought their leases after Through geological and geophysical seismic interpretation and use of orthorectified satellite images, which provided insight on the selection of areas to plan 2D or 3D seismic surveys for an exploration drilling program. they had been doing it for over 20 years before I came along. They didn’t have to lease the property first sir, that was after!

                  The Company pretty much knew were to dig, and what properties to lease before anyone got their hands dirty! So you must have been working with idiots that just keep drilling holes until they finally found something!

                  Keep up your story line though, it is kinda fascinating to hear you spin the tale!

                  1. TP

                    Either you’re lying, you worked for a very low tech oil and gas company, or it was all 15+ years ago. That’s not how it works with the big boys who know what they’re doing.

                    1. Backwoods Monty

                      Yeah it was about 12 years ago, But I don’t think Schlumberger is a small low tech Company. Pretty much cutting edge, and one of the biggest drilling companies now in the world. They still use top of line satellite imagery and the newest Thumper trucks around. I worked for them out of the Houston office for a couple of years. Went were ever they sent me!

                      Why is this some kinda of Penis envy or something, you just found out someone knows a little something about Oil too, and all you can do is try and degrade me? HA HA HA! Get a life TP.

      1. Moorcat

        I will sail right on past the fact that this video is just one more propoganda piece from Fox News and actually address the implied assumption that President Obama doesn’t want to issue permits.

        Facts are meaningless without context. This video was ripe with throwing facts on the screen but no context to those facts were given. The assumption is that since the President’s administration issued less permits, then the Administration must not want more oil produced.

        There is absolutely NOTHING to back up that assumption. There are a thousand reasons that fewer permits were issued (the most likely is that fewer permits were applied for). This stands to reason given the accident in the Gulf, the political battle over drilling in ANWAR and the slowdown of the American Oil Production industry. None of these things were mentioned in the video because it is counter to the propoganda that Fox News wants you to take from the video.

        Nice try, Ingy, but once again, it is complete fail.

        1. Backwoods Monty

          The minute I saw it was a Fox news production I shut it down. they stopped backing up assertions with facts long time ago.

          While media ratings are important for advertising revenue, they don’t necessarily imply quality. Compare any program on NPR with the highly rated Fox&Friends and you know what I’m talking about. Thus, we have Fox News, ”real journalism, fair and balanced,” being #1 in cable news while not receiving any awards from any news organization like Peabody that values real journalism.

          Quantity does not mean Quality never has never will!

    1. Backwoods Monty

      A statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production by The Associated Press shows no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump. Read the article Cowgirl put out and stop kissing big Oils butt!

      1. Ingemar Johansson

        The Associated Press. Who are they voting for?

        They also believed the global warming scam, didn’t they?

        1. Ingemar Johansson

          Let’s cut to the chase Monty.

          Do you agree with Sec. Chu when he said that we should be paying as much for gas as Euorpeans?

          1. Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS

            Come on Ingemar, think about it for a moment…. you must mean what he said 4 years ago, when Chu had argued that raising gasoline prices, through taxes, would make solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies competitive with fossil fuels. All the economists agreed with him, but the politicians in both parties, including President Obama, have been loath to recommend raising energy taxes since the spectacular crash of former President Bill Clinton’s proposed BTU (British thermal unit) tax in 1993. To bad politicans don’t listen more to economists, we wouldn’t be in this trouble if both the parties agreed, but the democrats didn’t try to crash the economy like the republicans did, and ruin the countries triple a rating.

            So since the republicans tried and managed to trash the economy, Chu said, “I no longer share that view,” of his previous support for higher gasoline prices. As “secretary of energy and a representative of the U.S. government,” Chu said rising energy prices “could well affect the comeback of our economy, and we’re very worried about that.”

            It was sound judgement then according to the economists… to at least tax a little more for clean energy of the future. but the Teatards of your party were to busy trying scewing the middle class, and trying to kick a black man out of office with their insistant ‘No’s.”

            SO your point is…… it is all right for your presidental candidate to flip flop daily, but it is not okay for Chu to change his mind once in 4 years??? Really? This is you argument, when of economy is still fragile?

            1. Ingemar Johansson

              What Chu and this adm. believed is European prices are the eventual goal.

              Now that their poll #’s sinking and the banishment of drilling on state/fed lands off and on shore, saber rattling in the mideast, bad economy, high employment and an election looming they’re back tracking.

              My prediction they’ll use the Oil Reserves right before the election to signal a lull in the rising price.

              Problem is the damage is too great and oil platforms have moved out of the region.

              I’m sure Monty can speak for himself. Does he endorse european prices. And if he doesn’t does he really mean just until Obama is re-elected.

              1. Moorcat

                There is a nugget of truth in what you are saying, Ingemar and this is one of the more substancial comments you have made. I actually agree with you that the administration will free up some of the reserves prior to the election (and actually more likely, during the summer when the demand is higher) to bring down gas prices. It is only smart for them to do so and there is little risk in doing it.

                I also agree that the problem is large (though not in the same way you do). Both sides of the political spectrum recognise that energy and gas is a HUGE issue that has to be addressed.. they simply differ in how to address it.

                The Republican meme that President Obama can wave a magic wand and fix things is just silly, though. To address the issue will take years (if not decades) but people aren’t interested in hearing that. You are so very wrong that platforms and operations have moved away, though. Look at the boom in the Dakotas. They didn’t seem to have any problem getting together the manpower, equipment and technology to drill there. As has been pointed out by many people, though, the issue isn’t obtaining the oil/gas – it is in processing the raw material to obtain a useable result. More importantly, the damage we are doing to ourselves by focusing only on oil and gas is beyond question at this point.

                What is needed is a rational, well thought out approach that meets the current needs but looks to the future of reducing our dependancy on fossil fuels. Since neither side of the debate is willing to work with the other, this is worse than pulling teeth. Too little is actively being done to actually accomplish either of these goals – instead we find ourselves bending over backwards to call each other idiots and do nothing.

                1. larry kurtz

                  Just North Dakota is experiencing a “boom,” Mr. Kailey; the southern one is collapsing under single-party rule.

                  1. Moorcat

                    Which changes or effects what I said not in the least. The lack of willingness to work together simply ensures that the problem fails to be addressed and, by inaction, gets worse.

                    1. larry kurtz

                      The fallout from oil shale development is just being assessed and the mere willingness to work hardly ensures safer workplaces or encourage whistle-blowing.

                      Democrats=safe; Republicans=cheap.

                    2. Moorcat

                      Larry, this is where you and I part ways. If something is industry backed or worse, Republican backed, you immediately assume it is either A) earth shatteringly horrible for the environment B) meant solely to put down the average citizen and enhance the wealth of the 1% or C) a smokescreen. The idea that something can be said or done by either is not even considered by you. This is where the Left is failing just as painfully as the right. Your generalization of partisanship is just silly. I would remind you that it was a Democrat that gave us the Abortion that is the ACA – Senator Baucus. I would also remind you that it was a Republican Legislator that supported both the Start Act and the end of DADT. The world isn’t as black and white as you would like to make it, no matter how many times you repeat your meme.

                    3. larry kurtz

                      Guilty as charged.

                      ACA was built to be amended. It wasn’t our side who branded it ObamaCare: history did that.

                      The final result will be universal single-payer health care, or as fellow South Dakotan, George McGovern, calls it: “Medicare for all.”

                      ObamaCare works for me.

                    4. Moorcat

                      What you (and others that have taken a similar stance) are failing to recognise is that the “boom” in North Dakota is having real effects on real people. For example –

                      Three guys I know from town have been either out of work or working part time/temporary jobs for over a year. Their unemployement is gone, and the bills are piling up. One is was in emminent danger of losing his home to foreclosure.

                      Four months ago, they decided to hook up John’s 25 year old camping trailer to a pickup and they all three headed to North Dakota to try their luck. None of them had training in that industry, but they were all despirate to find work.

                      Today, John’s mortgage is caught up and his wife and two daughters are covered by health insurance. For the first time in years, John’s two wonderful daughters are in new cloths and when their 15 year old washing machine died, John’s wife was able to purchase a new (used) machine.

                      This may sound mundane to you, but to John, his family, and the other two families involved, it was little short of a miracle. It was (and is) hard on them being so far apart, but they are working and moving forward.

                      Come November, who do you think John, his wife and the other two men are going to vote for? Are they going to vote for the guys supporting the creation of new jobs like those in North Dakota or are they going to vote to for the guys who are condemning those jobs (or worse, those people who call workers like them “earth haters”)?

                      It is good to be idealistic. In truth, I am still fairly idealistic – it is why I never pursued a career in law even though I went through law school. Keep in mind, though, that all the idealism in the world won’t feed your family, provide them with health care or put a roof over their heads. It is nice to be able to sit in a comfortable chair and rail against the unfairness of it all, but when the hammer meets the metal, a person is far more likely to vote their wallets rather than their ideals.

                    5. Moorcat

                      None of which I am arguing. You are likely correct that much of North Dakota will end up a superfund site and I am the very last person to argue against the existance of Global warming. I am just saying that your idealism isn’t going to convince John to vote for your candidates while he is working there and supporting his family.

              2. Backwoods Monty

                Your Opinion doesn’t count as fact here Ingy, You know what facts are Ingy? those pesky little accounts of proof?

                I disagree, with your concept that oil prices will can be lowered anytime soon.

                Stop and think about a basic rule of economics. When demand is low and supply is strong, prices should fall. Right? Not any more! There is not much any president, even Obama can do about it!

                Our Prices to Oil should be low right now.

                People drive less in the winter. The American economy is slow. The Euro Zone has stalled. China and India are slowing down. So demand for oil worldwide is low. So why is oil trading high at $113 a barrel, more than twice the price it was trading at five years ago when the global economy was booming?

                Speculators and traders at Wall St, and the global markets is the answer!

                The biggest risk to oil supplies is the threat of war in the Persian Gulf. Nigeria another Large Oil Producer is seeing mass protests, and raising worries about the supply of fuel from there. Venezuela is in a slow-motion collapse because of Hugo Chavez’s mismanagement. There have also been protests in Russia, the world’s top oil producer( Yea that’s right Russia is bigger then us in Oil). And remember the fallout of the Arab Spring – Libya’s oil production in 2011 was severely curtailed, and still not back on track. Iraq continues to disappoint with its oil output as well.

                And I havent even mentioned Iran, who isn’t allow to sell its oil anywhere because of the embargos set by the UN

                Oil producers Need and want these sky high prices Now. Usually the major oil producers understand that keeping prices too high in the short term means people start finding alternatives to oil. But, it is in these countries’ interest to keep oil prices high, which they do by curtailing supply in one way or the other. This is perhaps the most lasting impact of the year of global protest: High oil prices.

                Look closer at the Arab Spring. The only oil rich country that has been forced into regime change is Libya. Why? The OPEC Gulf states lavish subsidies and salary increases on their citizens. They’ve upped spending to record levels to suppress any popular discontent, paying off the citizens with money.

                Look at the “break-even” costs for the world’s top oil producers. That is the minimum price at which these countries need to sell oil so that they can balance their budgets.

                Russia now needs oil at $110 a barrel to manage its finances. For Iraq, the number is $100( You can Thank Bush for not only scewing up our economy, but theirs as well in rebuilding). Even Saudi Arabia now needs oil to trade around $80 a barrel just to balance its budgets. The numbers are also high for Algeria, Qatar, and Oman. Only a decade ago Saudi Arabia was able to balance its budget with oil prices averaging around $25 a barrel.

                Your Living in LaLa Land Ingy! Your thinking that we are somehow not part of a Global Market when it comes to energy! This kind of Dangerous, Narrow minded thinking is indicative of the Republican base, and flat ass wrong!

              3. Backwoods Monty

                Norma stated it right! Chu was looking out for America Better then you and your republican buddies are. Think about this Ingy Baby….

                The Texan’s Sold out their refineries years ago to foreign companies like the Chinese. 80% of the refineries in Texas are now own by foreign interests. You think they are gonna help us poor Americans, by lowering gasoline costs!

                Bwah ha ha ha ha!!!!!

                T- Boone Pickens, and lots of other rich Oilman are moving on to wind Turbines and solar panel Companies. They knew years ago that the easy oil in the Continental US is pretty much gone! They got out of the Oil Business. Why is it the GOP can’t do the same?

                Because now your party is getting their monies from foreign money bundlers…. this is another reason Citizens United was needed to cover your foreign investors Identity. When they finally force open the books from GPS Crossroads and the Chamber of commerce, a lot of people will be going to jail on your side of the Isle. Expect it!

  2. Craig Moore

    http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_3ada9a14-2d00-11e0-aecf-001cc4c03286.html

    “I don’t think this is a Republican or Democrat issue,” Reichner said last week. “This is a state of Montana issue. We don’t like being the highest cost of anything.”

    Reichner said for an oil-rig worker, Montana’s work-comp premiums average $3,600 more per worker than in neighboring North Dakota.

    “These are big operations,” he said. “You multiply that times 1,000 employees, and that’s a $3.5 million pop.”

    Funny how this was not mentioned by Schweitzer.

    1. Ingemar Johansson

      BS and the Dem leadership are playing cover up. Gas prices will kill their chances in Nov.

      In Billings we’re starting a sticky note campaign.

      “How’s that $3.50/gal. Hope and Change working out?”

    2. Backwoods Monty

      Thats a lie also! the rate in Montana is around $3.49 per day so if the guy had no days off, no weekends and worked 356 straight days, that equals

      $1242.44 Do your math man! the guy is telling a lie. he is probably getting hit with extra premiums cause he has to many accidents within his company! Thats why he is paying twice as much!

      Our state does have the highest amount for workers compensation in the nation, but the state takes into account what the Businesses work ethic is, in other states as well.

  3. larry kurtz

    If the Bakken and KXL have taught anything it is to show the importance of organized labor building the nation’s infrastructure.

    It would be revolutionary to see unions encouraged in the oil patch and coal fields where membership would buy health care insurance and take it out of the hands of the employers who could impose religious restrictions on coverage.

    Expect another blowout in the Gulf unless President Obama gets ahead of that story, too. Plastics gasification, biofuels, and ending subsidies for Big Oil=landslide for Barack in November.

  4. Havre Voter

    If you read the article, it’s obvious that U. S. markets are too small to make a difference, so obviously Montana’s are.

    1. Backwoods Monty

      Right you are also with only 7% of Montana economy based on mineral wealth at the moment!

  5. TP

    If Obama wasn’t in bed with Wall Street he’d tell you the fastest way to curb rising energy prices…regulate derivatives trading.

    1. Mark Tokarski

      To Wall Street, Obama is an investment. If he were not producing a return, they’d be backing a Republican to take his place, and he’d be suffering bad publicity.

      Wall Street has its man. His name: Obama.

      1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

        Go away, Buttinski. Go seek your absolution somewhere else. You killed’em, dufus. YOU did! No one else here did. YOU did. One hundred thousand dead Iraqis to haunt your dumb ass! THINK about it, dink! Think about the needless death and suffering YOU caused with your naderism and bush = Gore schtick! Now just leave. You’re bad Karma. A real downer. You have no cred! You’re finished here. No one here wants to even BE on the same blog with a dipshit like you. Don’t your get it? You’re persona non grata!

        1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          OK, Buttinski, I’ll hear your confession. So, your narcissistic naderistic bullshit idealism MURDERED over one hundred thousand Iraqis, destroyed a country, and caused untold suffering, SIMPLY because you’re an ASShole who has NO sense of history, and adopted the ridiculously teatardian soundbite easy way of bush = gore.

          Sorry, my son, but only GOD can forgive you now! But, to get you started, I suggest one hundred THOUSAND Holy Marys, Our Fathers, and Glory Be’s, ONE for each of the Iraqi people that YOU murdered with your bullshit nonsensical idealism!

          There. How’s that, Buttinski? You’re on you way to abolution. But first you must make your confession, little man!

            1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

              HEY, Monty, doncha know? Mr.
              Smart Man Buttisnki says that Dems = Pubbies! Profound, huh? Profoundly STOOPID! Not only is he a tool, he’s a pathetic tool. He’s havin’ some real trouble livin’ with the guilt! And I don’t blame him. He should!

              1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                Bush and his dick, cheney, may very well be the death blow of this country, and Buttinski and his adnaderism ad nauseum buddies DID it! Now, it’s left for others to attempt to rectify. And he still feels SO superior because he hastened the suffering necessary to open peoples’ eyes. What a man! What a man!……..what a little, teensy, tiny, pathetic little charlie chaplan man!

      2. TP

        You must have seen his winks and nods when he was out claiming to support Occupy Wallstreet. What a joke.

    1. Moorcat

      Three problems with your comment, Larry –

      First, I have the same issue with the poll you quote as I do when Craig throws up his polls. Polling right now in the US is a crap shoot and for every poll you throw up claiming the majority of people in the US support the ACA, Craig or I can find one that says the exact opposite.

      Second, the poll you quote is questionable at best given the source. A poll conducted by an Organization called “AmericanProgress” is just as suspect as a poll about President Obama’s chances of reelection conducted by an organization called “Lets Get rid of Obama”. Even the PEW research poll they quote does not support the conclusion they make. In the PEW poll, they combine answers to try to indicate that the majority of people do not support a repeal. That is problematic at best. If someone indicates they feel a law should be expanded, this does not mean that they support it. I would have answered the poll that way and I certainly do NOT support the ACA.

      Third (and this is the important one) – All bets are off until after the Supreme Court makes it’s decision on the ACA. Testimony in that case started today and when the court makes it’s decision, we will have deal with that fact. Legal authorities are arguing amoungst themselves of which way the court will fall. Personally, given the political makeup of the court, I think the decision will NOT be in favor of the ACA. This would not only sway a lot of public opinion against the ACA, it would also have the effect of damaging the chances of President Obama being re-elected.

        1. Moorcat

          You may be right and a number of legal analyists agree with you. That said, even if they choose this route, it is not a win for either the ACA or President Obama. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The legal limbo this would leave the ACA in is both detrimental to it’s enforcement and detrimental to those that support it.

          Personally, while I think some of the Judges would like to take this route, I think it more likely that they will decide to hear the case.

            1. Moorcat

              Again, that is but one analysis of the case. I can post links to at least four I have read today that would disagree with that analysis.

              I don’t think people realise just how landmark this case is. There are previous decisions that can relate to this case but no one case gives a solid direction for the court to take. The court can go LOTS of directs with this case and it will be interesting to see which direction it does decide to go. I personally prefer the review posted by the Harvard Law Review, but it is likely to be a crap shoot as to who ends up calling this one right.

    2. Craig Moore

      It’s funny Larry how you completely ignore the Quinnipiac poll.

      http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=1709

      TREND: Do you think Congress should try to repeal the health care law, or should they let it stand? (2011 wording referenced “new” health care law)

      Feb 23 Nov 23 May 04 Jan 18
      2012 2011 2011 2011

      Should repeal it 52 47 44 48
      Should let it stand 39 41 45 43
      DK/NA 10 12 11 8

      TREND: The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the health care law. Do you want the Supreme Court to uphold the health care law or overturn it? (2011 wording referenced “new” health care law)

      Feb 23 Nov 23
      2012 2011

      Uphold it 39 40
      Overturn it 50 48
      DK/NA 11 12

      1. Moorcat

        I would reply to you, Craig, the same way I replied to Larry. Polls are questionable at best at this point and the subject matter is moot until the Supreme Court makes a decision – even if that decision is to postpone making a decision till 2015.

        1. Moorcat

          There is one polling statistic we should be paying attention to regarding this debate, though – not because the number itself is significant but because the idea is even being polled.

          In this country, our legal system is based in part on the assumption that a judge’s decision is fair and impartial. This is almost a magical belief because, in reality, no single person on the planet is completely impartial, but I digress.

          The polls being taken by CNN, MSNBC, PEW research etc, have all included the question (in some form or another) – “Do you think the Supreme Court Decision will be based on political concerns?”

          In the CNN poll, over 50% answered that question “Yes”. WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!?

          The fact that a significant portion of the the population considers the Supreme Court corrupted by political concerns is beyond frightening. It calls into question the very basics of our legal system and whether the Supreme Court can even operate as a check and balance to the Executive or Legislative Branch of the Government.

          The Supreme Court is suppose to be able to answer questions about the Constitutionality of a Law, based not in politics but in the Law itself. That is their only function. If they are not able to perform that function, then the Supreme Court is broken.

          If the idea that the Supreme Court (or any court for that matter) is making decisions based on politics, not Law, scares the living crap out of me. Our entire society in America is predicated on the rule of Law. If the Law is no longer sacred, then we stop being a land of Law, but instead the land of Partisan Politics. This is NOT what the founding fathers laid out for us.

            1. Moorcat

              Believe me when I tell you that I have considered it. Sadly, I have too much baggage to ever run for a public office. I am not ashamed of the baggage, but it would effectively prevent me from effectively running.

              That said, I have spent a lot of time (both in the past and recently) working for others running for office. My wife won her election against an established City Councilman here in Dillon.

              I have found that most people of either political view want – more than anything else – a reasonable, personable person representing them. If you can show that you are a rational, dedicated person, your “agenda” is often seen as secondary. If you come across as a used car salesman, your agenda will be used against you. The rest is window dressing.

              Most people in this country are willing to listen to reason, no matter what the media wants to tell you. The trick is to get that across to people. The media has set themselves up as kingmakers and often, it is they who decide how the public views many candidates – especially at the national level. The fourth estate is well and truly broken.

            2. Moorcat

              The other thing to keep in mind is the universal catch 22 of politics. The person most likely to do the job well is also the person least interested in the job. Tester is one exception to that rule and those exceptions are rare. The correlary is also true – the person least likely to do a good job is usually the one most likely to want the job.

              The days of true “citizen legislators” are waning (in fact, some people consider them dead). We have an entire class of legislators that have never done an honest day’s work in thier life and know nothing about what the average person deals with in their day to day life.

              There is an internet meme (it surfaced during the Clinton era and I have seen it reposted about President Obama). In this meme, the President is informed that Colorado is “retiring” half of their 100,000 cattle guards. The President and Vice President respond by guarenteeing that those guards put out of work will recieve retraining to a new job field.

              Yes, it is probably funny to those of us that know what a cattle guard is, but consider for second just how many people probably DON’T know what a cattle gaurd is. This is indicative of the problem with our noble “Political” class. They read things on paper but have no context to place those things in. What is obvious insanity to us – at the bottom and middle of the food chain – is logical and reasonable to them.

              It should come as no wonder why people like me and Rob have celebrated Tester’s success as a legislator. More people should wake up and demand the same from ALL of our legislators.

  6. Moorcat

    All this argument over gas prices is simply political posturing. I even wonder if anyone actually read the articles linked in the original post by Cowgirl. The key to gas prices in the US are that they are A WORLD COMMODITY and that the actual production of oil in the us is only a small fraction of the world production. What the article failed to mention is that since Oil is a world market commodity, oil speculation has a far greater impact on price than even production does.

    As a political tactic, arguing against increased production in the US right now is just as much a losing argument as the social conservative issues are for the Republicans. You can scream about superfund sites, the evil that is large oil companies and the dangers of global warming until you are blue in the face but for the average voter, the far more important issue is their wallet. If the Republicans can point to people making money (read – jobs) with increasing the production in the US, and as long as the Republicans can convince people that increasing production will reduce the price at the pumps (even if it is a lie…), they will win that issue. You can try to educate people on the lie (and this is what Cowgirl was attempting to do – Kudos on that), but at the end of the day, high gas prices and high unemployment will work against you while lower gas prices and lower unemployment (or a plan to increase employment through utilization of natural resources) will work in the Democrat’s favor. Taking a page from Mark’s playbook, it is a propoganda war.

    As I pointed out above, there are a lot of people from Montana currently working in North Dakota. These people are working real jobs, getting paid real money. It is foolish to think that these people will support an agenda that doesn’t recognise that fact.

      1. Moorcat

        I guess I don’t get your point, here, Larry. I support the EPA’s decision on the grounds that I, too, would like to see cleaner air in Montana, but what does that have to do with the discussion at hand?

  7. Farmboy

    When my dad died back in 07 I was digging through his papers and I found his lay off notice from July of 1982, from Cliff’s drilling, a company that is no longer in business that was in the oil business back in the late 70s and early 80s during the last oil boom. The reason the last oil boom ended was cause OPEC cut their prices and they were able to drill oil and ship it over to American shores for less then what American oil could be drilled for here at home. So yes Im not suprised that domestic oil drilling does not lower your price. The reason it was sat on for 20 to 30 years is because it was cheaper to buy from OPEC then to drill our own. Now OPEC oil is expensive, and it gets more expensive if you figure in the cost of military hardware and troops on the ground in these countries, that dont want us there. Then you add the Chinesse to the mix and China increasing their oil consumption, oil as a whole gets expensive cause of supply and demand economics.

  8. larry kurtz

    Maybe the point was that Lee Newspapers are pros at diverting attention from the negatives of their immediate sponsorships.

    There is a discussion in the political blog of the Rapid City Journal about the press being handicapped in coverage of environmental degradation and corruption in state legislatures.

    Scary times, Mr. Kailey.

  9. Moorcat

    One last comment before I get back to my real work.

    Someone up above mentioned ending subsidies (yes, I am too damn lazy to look it up.. sue me).

    This is a very shortsighted statement and one that really needs to be addressed. Bare with me while I break this down. My actual views on it are at the end.

    First, it is irrational and unreasonable to expect Government subsidies for energy/oil production and distribution to end. Period. If for no other reason, than that energy/oil production and distribution is direct matter of national security. It really is that simple. There is no industrial/developed country in the world that doesn’t subsidize (or outright own) their energy/oil distribution and production industry. This is as basic as it can get. The minute we became a mobile, power centered country, we gave up the ability to allow a truly free market approach to energy/fuel production and distribution.

    That said, anyone that advocates for a free market approach to energy/fuel production or distribution system is either ignorant of that simple fact or trying to sell you something. Repeat after me… IT WON’T HAPPEN.

    So where do we go from here? To me, the answer is very simple. If the American Public is subsidizing energy production and distribution, we have the RIGHT to demand regulations be placed on those that profit from the energy/fuel production and distribution system. Tit for tat as it were. Regardless of how loudly the corporate complex screams, they would be lost without those subsidies. They need them as much as we need the products they are producing. The only question is who is making money off it and how much they are making.

    The next thing to keep in mind is that – as it stands now – money buys elections. We certainly do not want to think of it in those terms because it is distasteful, but it is reality and we damn well better deal with it. All this talk of “grassroots” campaigning and voter funded campaigns looks good on paper but it is unrealistic. Campaigns win or lose in today’s world in part depending on how big someone’s war chest is. The fact is, the deep pockets can make or break a candidate regardless of what his ideology is.

    It is no stretch to understand why Tester, Rehberg, Baucus or Schweitzer would want to court money from energy or oil companies. When it comes to deep pockets, there guys have some of the deepest. Our taxpayer funded subsidies aid in making those pockets deep. When an oil company can make or break a campaign by donating to your opponent, you are less likely to enact legislation that would make that company go running to your opponent.

    This very catch 22 is the reason subsidies are unlikely to even be discussed in the Halls of Congress beyond short sound bites. Until we can collectively convince a candidate that his election is NOT dependant on money from big oil or energy companies, this situation is likely to remain unchanged.

    In my opinion, we do need to revisit subsidies for oil and energy companies. As I stated above, the subsidies will never go away but what we can (and should) work for is some control over these industries. THEY CANNOT SURVIVE WITHOUT THEM. We need to let them know that we know that. It is long past time that we limit the profits they take off our money and we need to start pushing them into working toward a more sustainable future both for our country and our environment. This will not happen until you deal with the business of subsidies.

    1. Craig Moore

      It’s always comical when union leadership dictate what the membership “endorse” without asking them.

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