Archive for July, 2008
I totally agree with McCain wanting to drill offshore and I thought it was a good idea even before he flip flopped on the issue. I think it can be done safely. Plus it will eventually help alleviate a bad situation with us importing so much oil. But at the same time I agree with Obama that the time of oil as a primary energy source must come to an end. It is stupid to keep riding a dead horse. There are too many problems with oil to keep using it forever as some seem to think we can do. Anyhow it appears that McCain is going to follow in the footsteps of Bush and let big oil make the decisions for us. As soon as McCain announced that he favors drilling offshore the oil companies lined right up to fill his campaign coffers to the tune of about a million bucks. A Lot of money that insures he is obligated to them the same way Bush has been. Big Oil does not need huge tax credits. They are making obscene amounts of money as it is. We need to invest in the future and alternate energy sources instead of depending on a source that is running out, rising in price, and being imported from people that mostly hate us and use our money against us. Anyhow check out the video and make your own decision.
I have watched the coverage that Obama got on his overseas trip and then the campaign ads that McCain ran afterwards. It was quite refreshing to see our flag waved by someone in another country. Something I have not seen since Reagan did his famous “Tear Down This Wall” speech. Anyhow the McCain camp is now running an ad telling us how Obama doesn’t care for the troops like he does when in actuality Obama has a better record than McCain does on voting for the troops and our veterans. Watch the video and see Keith Olbermann take him to task on his record.
Louisiana recently lost their case in front of the Supreme Court and therefore denied them from executing child rapists. Personally I feel they do not deserve to breath the same air anyone else does and felt that the death penalty was not too harsh in child rape cases. Indeed if there were a worse method of killing them I would be happy to see that done. Give me a rock and I’ll throw the first stone.
Well anyhow apparently the lawyers for the state of Louisiana overlooked a law on the books for the military that calls for the death penalty for child rapists. Their request to reopen the case in front of the Supreme Court is based on the failure of anyone involved in the case – lawyers on both sides as well as the justices – to take account of this law when the case was heard and the decision handed down.
The court almost never reopens a case once ruled upon but the 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy relied in part on what Kennedy called a “national consensus” against executing convicted rapists. We do not know if the case will be reopened as it takes five justices, a majority, to?reconsider a ruling.
The ruling in June struck down laws in Louisiana and five other states and spared the lives of two Louisiana men convicted of raping girls 5 and 8. I hope this case is overturned and the death penalty is once again applied to these sicko’s. I feel anyone that sick does not deserve to take another breath and should be killed ASAP.
Great news for wolf lovers. Wolves in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho who were about to be slaughtered in wolf hunts this fall have been given a temporary reprieve in the decision of U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy who in a forty page decision over ruled the federal governments new rules that took wolves off the endangered species list. Environmentalists had sued the courts to overturn the decision by the federal government to allow wolf hunts. As many as five hundred of the estimated one thousand wolves could have been killed in hunts scheduled to begin in the fall.
In his ruling?Molloy said the federal government had not met its own standard for wolf recovery, including interbreeding of wolves between the three states to ensure healthy genetics. He also said that the killing of wolves in hunts and for livestock attacks would likely “eliminate any chance for genetic exchange to occur.” Look for resistance from both sides on this issue. It is a delicate balancing act keeping enough wolves for genetic diversity while keeping them away from livestock predation
The Bush administration has not had a very good track record of protecting the enviroment but in a rare moment they were sided by environmental groups when a component of President Bush’s clean air policies was challenged in court by utility companies. A federal court ruled against them in what many consider to be the worst enviromental news of the year. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that the regulation [The Clean Air Interstate Rule] would save 17,000 premature deaths a year. The rule would dramatically reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, saving as much as $100 billion in health benefits, besides the reduction in premature deaths. Large power companies even the ones in the lawsuit are somewhat surprised by the ruling. Most utility companies have been gearing up for the rule and have invested billions in order to comply with the regulation. Hopefully the Bush administration will appeal this ruling or we can get our congress to rewrite the law to allow the EPA the legal right to regulate more pollutants emitted by power plants more stringently.
Congress has finally gave in to the Presidents threats of a veto and passed a new FISA bill that give immunity to the telecoms without even knowing if they did anything wrong. President Bush has praised it as he signed it into law. As it stands now we may never know the extent of illegal wiretapping that was going on under the administrations direction. In my opinion everyone who gave in has cheated the people of the truth.
We are in the middle of an economic crisis brought on by our dependence upon foreign oil imports that are running the prices of necessary commodities up to astronomical prices. The dependence on foreign oil is the biggest threat we as a country face today. Prices of food and any product that relies upon transportation to your stores is going up in price. Way up and hurting America as it does. Plus the money we spend on foreign oil helps feed the coffers of terrorists. It is insane to send money to people who hate us and are dedicated to destroying us and driving us out of the region.
Currently we produce 8 million barrels of oil per day here in the United States but consume 20 million barrels a day. That is sending about 45 billion dollars a month out of our country. The CBO [Congressional Budget Office] estimates the cost of the Iraq war at about 9 billion dollars a month, a staggering amount of money but that is only about 20% of what we spend on foreign oil.
In the short term we can all start driving less. Consolidate activities into one trip whenever possible. We may need to limit highway speeds again like we did in the 70′s. We should already require that all vehicles sold in the U.S. either be flex fuel – running on gas or alcohol – or be hybrid or electric. Brazil has already done it and now only imports about 20% of its fuel requirements, growing the rest as sugar cane. And while we are talking about Brazil we need to eliminate the 54 cents per gallon tariff on sugar cane ethanol imported from Brazil.
In the long term we need to build non petroleum cars and trucks, expand our oil drilling into possible offshore wells. It is being done safely already, we need to at least look into it. Right now I am still against drilling in the ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] as I feel that right now they will not protect sensitive species that depend upon it for their survival. Also with more studies and new technologies we may have the ability to protect wildlife species in the future when oil will be at even more of a premium than it is now. Besides there is nothing like having an ace to hold in the hole. We need to give incentives to companies and individuals to invest in green technologies. Hybrids, electric, hydrogen, clean liquid coal and a myriad of technologies that we may have not even thought of yet. The sky is the limit if we break the foreign oil dependency that has a strangle hold on us right now.
Across the country low income senior citizens and disabled people will lose help paying their Medicare part B premiums next Monday because the federal money that funded the program has dried up. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted for the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act by a margin of 355 to 60. But once it made it to the Senate it has died because it fell two votes short of reaching the required sixty votes to bring it to the floor for a full Senate vote. My Congressional Representative voted for it in the house but both of my Senators voted against it. I applaud Bob Inglis and denounce Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham for voting against a program that helps seniors who need it badly in favor of a bill that helps the insurance companies. Losing part “B” will cost these low income seniors and disabled people to the tune of $96.40 a month but it will also cause a drop of 10.6 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors. This will cause more doctors to cut the number of Medicare patients they accept, or refuse them all together. The American Medical Association said it was “outraged that the senators voted to protect insurance companies at the expense of seniors”. Check and see how your senator voted on this issue and vote accordingly in the fall, I will.