Archive for June, 2008

Obama and the lobbyists

Posted in Activism on June 20, 2008 by poyers

According to Mr. Obama, “John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs.” 

According to Fact Check (http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obamas_lame_claim_about_mccains_money.html ) “We find that to be a large exaggeration and a lame excuse. In fact, donations from PACs and lobbyists make up less than 1.7 percent of McCain’s total receipts, and they account for only about 1.1 percent of the RNC’s receipts.”

Furthermore, “As of the end of April, the McCain campaign had reported receiving $655,576 from lobbyists, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That is less than seven-tenths of 1 percent of his total receipts of $96,654,783. His campaign also took in $960,990 from PACs, amounting to just under 1 percent of total receipts. The two sources combined make up less than 1.7 percent of his total.”

“The Republican National Committee has raised $143,298,225, of which only $135,000 has been come from lobbyists, according to the CRP. That’s less than one-tenth of 1 percent. It also took in about 1 percent of its receipts from PACs, CRP said. Taken together, that’s about 1.1 percent from PACs and lobbyists.”

Now compare that to Obama.  According to opensecret.org, Obama’s corporate and lobbyist receipts dwarf McCains significantly.  “The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organization’s PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.

Because of contribution limits, organizations that bundle together many individual contributions are often among the top donors to presidential candidates. These contributions can come from the organization’s members or employees (and their families). The organization may support one candidate, or hedge its bets by supporting multiple candidates. Groups with national networks of donors – like EMILY’s List and Club for Growth – make for particularly big bundlers.”  Obama has the following receipts:

Goldman Sachs $571,330
University of California $437,236
UBS AG $364,806
JPMorgan Chase & Co $362,207
Citigroup Inc $358,054
National Amusements Inc $320,750
Lehman Brothers $318,647
Google Inc $309,514
Harvard University $309,025
Sidley Austin LLP $294,245
Skadden, Arps et al $270,013
Time Warner $262,677
Morgan Stanley $259,876
Jones Day $250,725
Exelon Corp $236,211
University of Chicago $218,857
Wilmerhale LLP $218,680
Latham & Watkins $218,615
Microsoft Corp $209,242
Stanford University $195,262

 

Obama likes to pretend that Fortune 500 company employees are all entirely independent individual donors, each contributing for no purpose greater or lesser than their belief in Hopenchange.  Hogwash!

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Obama for or against free trade?

Posted in Activism on June 19, 2008 by poyers

  Maybe he is not really against free trade afterall??????

In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine’s upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn’t want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA.

“Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,” he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA “devastating” and “a big mistake,” despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? “Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don’t exempt myself,” he answered.

But I thought that he was not just another politician?  If we want just another politician, can we get one with some executive experience, military experience, and/or a legislative track record that exceeds what can be counted on the thumbs of one hand?

Obama is all over the place and does so depending on who he is speaking with…just like…Bill Clinton.  First he wants meetings with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (among others) without preconditions, then he only wants them if they agree to stop sponsoring terrorism and funding militias in Iraq, which sounds a lot like a “precondition” to everyone but Barack Obama.  He wants to pull all the troops out of Iraq, but then tells the Iraqi foreign minister that he will be the second coming of John McCain.  He tells AIPAC that he wants an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and then tells the Palestinians that he wants to divvy it up if that’s what they want.

“I’m voting Republican” YouTube post

Posted in Activism on June 18, 2008 by poyers

A new video on YouTube is taking the Internet by storm. Entitled “I’m Voting Republican,” the satirical clip depicts actors playing conservative Americans of all shapes and sizes explaining why they would vote for the GOP.  I am not even going to link to it because it is so odd and the implications are reminiscent of Howard Dean’s comments that Republicans want children to go to bed hungry in “counter-distinction” to Democrats.

“Arnold Jones” says he’s voting Republican because “all other countries are inferior to us” — and his wife, “Trudy Jones,” adds, “and we should start as many wars as we need to keep it that way.” A soldier in Iraq states that he’s voting Republican “so I can stay in Iraq” — and a young boy, labeled “future draftee,” points a fake gun at the camera and smiles while saying “so I can go to Iran!”

A black couple says they’re voting Republican because they “like a conservative majority on the Supreme Court,” with the wife noting, “we really like knowing that even if we’re separate, we’ll still be called equal.”

This insulting nonsense is precisely what liberals think of conservatives: We’re all warmongers, racists, environmental rapists and secret emissaries of big corporations. We’re going to reinstitute the draft, start a war with Canada and then relocate African-Americans to Quebec.

I could counter this with a mockery of Democrat principles but it would be foolish.  One thing that this does point out to me, however, is that Democrats have such a command on marketing, distribution, and technology right now that they are killing the Republican image.  The GOP is so far behind that it is painful.  Why can they not catch up and why are they avoiding this.  YAF, Hot Air, and others are trying and doing a great job, but until Republicans catch up on the internet.  It is too bad that Ron Paul cannot jump on board and help us out a bit as his people seemed to do a good job.

Al Gore is a fraud!!! Arghhhh!

Posted in Activism on June 18, 2008 by poyers

In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research…

In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month…

After the Tennessee Center for Policy Research exposed Gore’s massive home energy use [in February 2007], the former Vice President scurried to make his home more energy-efficient. Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the “green” overhaul.

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month – 1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533. By comparison, the average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

As everyone knows we’re all going to do from global warming.  What you might not know is that in the process, you can do something for an unfortunate soul who could really use your help. Namely, Al Gore!

Al is the chairman of Generation Investment Management, a company that… er… I’ll let them tell it:

Generation has built a global research platform to integrate sustainability research into fundamental equity analysis. We focus on the economic, environmental, social, and governance risks and opportunities that can materially affect a company’s ability to sustain profitability and deliver returns. Our research plays an important role in forming our views on the quality of the business, the quality of management, and valuation.

I cannot stand this man.  Now that he has endorsed Obama with such gusto, my mind has been made absolutely clear that the Democrats have no answers.

Democrat voters favor nationalizing oil companies???

Posted in Activism on June 17, 2008 by poyers

   I did not think that this was even possible to think this way in America.  What is going on:

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 29% of voters favor nationalizing the oil industry. Just 47% are opposed and 24% are not sure.

The survey found that a plurality of Democrats (37%) believe the oil industry should be nationalized. Just 32% of voters in Barack Obama’s party disagree with that approach. Republicans oppose nationalizing the oil industry by a 66% to 16% margin. Unaffiliated voters are opposed by a 47% to 33% margin…

Data released yesterday showed that Americans believe developing new energy sources is the best long-term solution to the nation’s energy problem. Forty-seven percent (47%) said private companies were more likely to solve the nation’s energy problem than government research programs. But, at the same time, only 52% said companies should be allowed to keep the profits from the discovery of any alternative fuel sources.

How gas stations price their product

Posted in Activism on June 13, 2008 by poyers

Gasoline and Diesel are priced by rack though out the country.  I suggest googling “Gasoline Rack Prices” for more information. Companies such as OPIS make a business out of monitoring and reporting wholesale rack prices at 200+ racks across the country. For a price any one can access this information including the local gas station owner.

 

Refining/Transportation companies price the racks in an array by location based on their cost to supply. Their power in the market place (perception of quality XOM vs. Sinclair), the retailer relationship with the supplier (i.e. are they carrying a branded flag and what volumes are they allowed to pull), etc.  The pricing is dynamic to avoid runs on inventory by retailers who see a price discontinuity, etc.

What happens at the retail level after the fuel is purchased at the bulk wholesale rack is usually driven by local issues and may have less transparency. However fast is the local gas station turning over inventory, where do they make their money (Beer, Twinkies, car wash, etc), are they branded, location, etc.

Government and charity

Posted in Activism on June 13, 2008 by poyers

“The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state government, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government”

 – James Madison