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It is more like a thumb, as from this image of the polling across America that was customized by Delaware Liberal., a Florida peninsula jutting between to wide thighs of blue…   This state voted for Jimmy Carter over Reagan.  This state was one of the few that voted for Dukakis!  But since 2000 it has been solidly red….  The reason is coal.. Coal is not just an industry there, it is one’s pride.   Coal is who they are…

Al Gore’s anti carbon kick spooked them.   Coal provides most of that state’s  charity.  Coal is a big supporter of the Mountaineers.  Coal trains are shown on their TV’s commercials at least 15 times a day…   West Virginia IS coal…

Actually the true facts are different.  Wyoming, is now the true heart of real coal…   West Virginia is drying up….  The only real coal left, is the stuff running through their blood….

Yet more people have died from mining deaths under Bush than died the entire time under Democratic leadership.  Now Mitt Romney is saying get rid of all  safety regulations….  regulations which are 1) there  to  protect people, and 2)  there to spread coal’s costs evenly.

For example:  if you breath coal dust, you get black lung, a form of lung cancer.  Pure and simple…   Breathe it in, get cancer, and die.  Since miners shouldn’t pay out of their own pocket for work related materials,  current regulations now require companies to pay for safety equipment and its upkeep….  It is this type regulation,  which keeps coal dust out of lungs,  is one that is targeted for Mitt Romney to eradicate.

Coal if seeped into a water supply causes premature death.  So who should pay?  The coal company whose actions caused the seepage, or each person living downstream for hundreds of miles downriver?  It is this type of regulation which Mitt Romney will eradicate….

Coal mines are notorious for abusing human capital, (thats a proper name for laborers or real human beings who have kids and say “hi” when they see you.)  Here are some examples….

R & H Coal Company (Jewel, VA) was ordered to back pay its miners for cut wages.  It had substituted a bonus system contingent on mining over 600 tons a day.   The courts decided that even though the pay was consistent to the set average wage  if the miners met the quota, the expectations for netting that same money were different.  The  lesser pay had to be reimbursed to meet acceptable levels.

Paying miners less is what Bain Capital or Romney propose to do for all coal miners… Make them work harder for less.  Fewer jobs.  Less pay. No Benefits…

Romney says he wants to protect coal companies…  Romney’s only real concern is to make the hedge funds that own 51% of these companies far more profitable…

That’s the bad guy.  Now the good guy.

Obama wants to protect West Virginia, not the hedge funds.  Obama and the Department of Energy see coal production rising, increasing to keep up with world demand.  There is no way coal production can possibly decrease when one looks at the macro global future energy needs.  The market is just too demanding… This year coal exports were the highest they have been since 1981 and yes, that was under Obama.  In 2000 and 2004 George W. Bush campaigned in West Virginia promising that he would increase coal production…  It actually decreased, meanwhile oil and gas prices climbed to the highest levels ever recorded… ( he was heavily invested in oil and gas)…

Republicans have always, always, always sold out WV  in actuality, … while touting lip service to their cause.  Sort of like Romney does today… Much has been made on how coal miners were made to report for a Romney photo op by their employers on their day off,  and were not paid for dressing up, getting dirty, then cleaning up again,  just for a faked picture to make Romney look like he is the protector of coal…

Romney is the protector of hedge funds… Nothing else.  Everything else  flows down from that.  He protects coal, because he has coal investments…  He protects Chinese jobs, because he has investments in Chinese Jobs…  He protects hospital’s excessively high payments, because he has investments in hospitals.

President Obama has always felt people are more important than money….  When a person dies, something miraculous and unique, is gone forever.  We can print more money every day.

President Obama went to bat for the Auto Workers Union when GM and Chrysler were on Mitt Romney’s chopping block (see this story ). When was the last time since Jimmy Carter, that someone went to bat for those real, genuine human beings, who actually do the work and produce the coal?

When that question gets asked, the room is silent for a long time……

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Not Obama versus Romney. That gets too polished.  No issues get covered.

If Obama was Teddy Roosevelt, here is how I see it happening.

Obama would challenge Nick Rahall, a Blue Dog Democrat to a series of debates in his home state of WV.  Nick would take the bait, because it would be a great way for him to solidify his stature above all future challengers, as being the one who represents WV’s true values.  And it would be a great debate, it would challenge the myths of the right, with the grind of government reality.

Why WV?  One, it needs to be in a conservative state, and I can think of no state that hates Obama more than WV.

Two, just having a president come to town can be a boom to the economy.  He will win friends on the inside if he simply does this.  Also, his visit will empower those silent in that state, who are afraid to speak up against the overwhelming anti-Obama chorus of their peers.  Perhaps that state is not as one sided as its vocal profile makes it look like after all.

Three.  The debate will be just awesome.   Two things will happen. One, those conservatives will see he is not the liberal demigod they are “told” he his.  (Yes, they believe what they are told there).  They will see he is a rational human being working within pretty tight parameters.  That is the first step; opening their hearts.  To be honest, all many West Virginians know of black people comes from Fox Television.  So this debate will a wall coming down event for most of them.

Second,  it will take liberal and conservative values, strip them bare, and let all see the fallacies of both, and the benefits of both.   The lies can be breeched:

Cutting taxes helps job creation:  answer, we’ve been cutting  taxes over and over for the past 12 years, where the jobs?  Instead of jobs we have bankrupt cities, states teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, the Federal Government cutting 400,000 jobs, and a debt soaring into oblivion.  If we had just kept taxes where they were in 2000, when Bill Clinton left office,  our national debt would have been paid in full before I even came into office.

Big Government is Bad;  no one should tell me or my state what to do.   Answer:  we tried that.  The Articles of Confederation established a loose bunch of states, each acting like they were their own country, and that didn’t work.  Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Madison, Monroe, all said we need a stronger government. We need one entity in control.  How can we do this fairly?  And the Constitution was born.   Problem is, sometimes states can’t agree;  we need a higher authority to be the judge.  That authority is elected by all the people across this land.

In your defense, sometimes a government gets too big so it can’t know what is best for every single community.  I support that;  I too was once a community organizer.  However when it comes to taxes,  states alone simply can’t collect enough.  With gigantic multinational corporations, it takes a Federal Government to follow through and collect that money, and then, dispense it back down to the states.  If states need more leeway on how to spend that money, perhaps having the money returned with less strings attached,  then that is something I think we can agree on.  But this idea that “small government is good” does not square well in a global economy, with giants such as China, India, and all of Europe.  Not to pick on any one country, but if every state was just another Estonia, how would that help us?

You want to get religion out of government.  That is immoral…..

Answer:  you have God on the one hand, and government on the other…  I believe in God with all my heart.  For example,  I firmly believe that my being here is God’s will.  God has blessed me and my family and I am grateful.   There is a proper way to put God into government so hear me out till the end.  Government is about making decisions about people.  Sometimes those decisions are not always good.  Government to survive, must take money.  Sometimes a government to survive, must enforce the law and incarcerate people for really stupid petty crimes, but it is the law.  Sometimes a government must take your son or daughter, and expend him or her to protect this nation.  All these are bad things.. When you want to say we are a Christian nation,  that God is running our country,  then God then gets the full blame for all those terrible things.   God took my money; I’m not trusting him anymore;  God put my innocent Joey in jail:  I’m not trusting him anymore.  God took my son and killed him:  I am against God now….

None of those are good for society.  Our founding fathers actually lived under a church that was sanctioned by the state. The Church of England and the Royal Governor were closely entwined.  If you were a Baptist, the Governor would not hear your plea.  If you were a Presbyterian, the Governor would not hear your plea.  If you were a Catholic, the Governor (except in MD) would not hear your plea.  You could not get any redress from the colony or be heard for any grievance.  It is not surprising that the major force of the Independence movement came from those not of the Church of England, and those royalist who continued to support the King, were all of that same church….

Furthermore,  if you do choose to become an official  Christian nation, which religion will it be?  Probably Catholic, they are the largest denomination.   Are you prepared for an act of Congress that says the Eucharist will now become the body of Jesus the minute it touches your tongue?  Or a giant battle over how much all people must tithe their church on top of what they pay in taxes?

These are the demons that get unleashed when you try to put God into Government, and government into God.   There is a reason, and Jesus put it best that we give to God, what is God’s, and give to government (which he titled Caesar) what is the governments.   When you mix good and bad you water both sides  down.  Putting God into government will tarnish the image of God, even if for a moment it enhances the  godly perception of Government.

It is a very bad thing to mix the two.  Our founding fathers lived it, and they were pretty clear they wanted to keep the two separate.  Now, the way I mentioned, and it is what Americans have done effectively for 236 years, is elect people who have the same values as you.  That way,  you know when they go and come back, they did the best they could in their situation.  If our government is full of all good men,  there is a very good chance that God will work his will through that government a lot easier than if he had to deal with all the negativity of  having the US be called a Christian nation.   Not to mention, there are a lot of people like Jews, Muslims, Hindus and others who are here, because we have no state religion.  This is America; our motto is to welcome those not wanted elsewhere.

When no one wanted the Scotch-Irish; they were welcome here.  When no one wanted the Germans, they were welcome here. When no one wanted the Irish, they were welcome here.  When no one wanted the Italians, they were welcome here. When no one wanted the Poles, they were welcome here.   When no one wanted the Holocaust Jews, they were welcome here. And that is just up to the point where my generation began.  Since then, a lot more groups have come.

But I share your feelings for a sense of a loss of virtue.  There seems much less these days and in part, it may be due to the economy.  With everyone straining to stay alive, spending much more time and effort to keep their own nose above the water, more friction between people is expected.  When everyone is prospering, then getting along is second nature.  Which is why we need to have only Democrats in government during this next term so we can all get along and prosper.   As you see between me and Mr. Rahall, we democrats don’t always agree, but at least we are on the same side, so when compromise is necessary, unlike the Republicans, we can get it done.

If taxes go up, we can’t afford to live.  why do you insist on raising taxes?

Answer:  First remember this, during the most prosperous time of our nation’s history, the only time we ever had a balanced budget and a surplus to pay off debt, taxes were where they will go when these cuts expire.  So the argument that we cannot afford these taxes is  debatable.  For the wealthy, they can easily pay that amount.  For those of you  below $60,000, well since the Clinton era,  your insurance bills have gone up, your utility bills have gone up, your medical bills have gone up,   there are a lot of costs you are paying now that didn’t exist back then.  Which means out of your money you used to spend on yourself back then, the insurance companies are now sitting on part of that, the utilities are sitting on part, and medical companies are sitting on part of what used to be YOUR money.  They should be the ones paying those taxes; not you.  So there is a great chance, especially if you vote all Democrats in for every office this cycle that those under a certain income level will not pay any more in taxes. But you must give us only Democrats in office to get that done.

You want national health care.  No Obama care.

Answer:  When I was elected everywhere I went, Americans complained about their health care options.  They were paying more; and getting less and less.  The insurance companies were taking money from well people, and denying coverage to everyone who got sick.   I promised to fix that and did.  One thing you have to realize.  If you already have insurance, this will not affect you, accept give you more benefits than you had before.  This bill only makes a difference for those who are NOT happy with their current insurance plans or who have no insurance.  It use to be the insurance companies could tell you to go suck it.  Now, they can’t.  That is a huge win that people are just now discovering.

I’m sure history will look very kindly on this bill .  When we came in we looked around for the best model to build off .  That best model was my current opponent Mitt Romney’s health care plan.   The Republicans in Congress had added the exchanges as a part to provide competition and since that appeared to be the best bill out there, we used it…  I think history will be kind to me that I did not scrap the Republican plan just because it was Republican.   I used it in spite of it being Republican.  So when Republicans say the Obamacare is no good, they are in essence, saying Republicans are no good.

I agree.  That is why I encourage everyone within the sound of my voice, both here in the present and electronically, to realize the real reason America is foundering is because of the Republican reign of inadequacy and that any future Republicans getting elected to office, only acerbates the problem.

Ironically, and this is said humorously of course, since Republicans are against their own health care plan, it appears that in heart at least, they all agree with me: that Republicans should not be in government.

And just one more thing,  I know and follow the Mountaineers, and I know this is a rebuilding year for them too.  Just like they will rebuild and once again reign, so will we as America.  But it takes the right coach.  It takes the right coach.  You may have allegiances to someone else, but when you look at his record,  versus mine which has guided this nation through its roughest seas since the 40’s ,  it comes down to a simple statistic:  the number of games won, and the toughness of those opponents.   You may complain with how that coach handled one play, or another play, or should he have yelled or not yelled at a player, but in the end, it comes down to his record, and what conditions that record was achieved.  You can have a 10-0 record out West, and that doesn’t mean a thing.  But to have a 10-0 record here on the East Coast,  well that means something.  My guess, that coach who pulled some wins out of some very hairy situations, as opposed to one who has had a cake walk his whole career,  would be the one deserving of the title:  Head Coach of the  West Virginia Mountaineers.  That’s how I’d vote if I were on the Board of Trustees.

I can only hope that the same philosophy will prevail when you, the trustees of America,  sift through the facts before November  6th,  and decide on who really will be the better coach to lead us these next few tough seasons…..

May God bless both you, and the Mountaineers, and my God bless America.

Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains….

Someone mentioned in conversation recently, which I believe was centered around music, that John Denver died too young…..

Sad to say, but with Tuesday’s primary results, he is perhaps better off not to have to forbear his association with that state right now.

Just in case you haven’t heard, West Virginia primaried a felon in prison against Obama, and the felon got 41% of the vote.

There is a thread over at Delaware Liberal whose comment stream should be read.

I’m sure West Virginians thought they were making a statement about Obama… When actually they were making a sad statement about themselves… I’m sure West Virginians were trying to say, we’d rather have a felon then have Obama.. They would be wise to remember their Lord and Savior, standing next to Pilate, was dissed by the very people he’d tried to teach and save, for a felon by the name of Barrabas. Instead, they made themselves, as did the Jews on the first Good Friday, look like laughingstocks among the stupidest people imaginable.

Emotions are transient, but a vote is permanent. Seriously, West Virginia? 41% of you would put a felon in the White House? What does that say about you? That you hate the United States of America so much, you don’t care if a felon gets in and steals everything? That you seriously don’t understand government to the point that you would vote in a felon, who himself is banned from voting, to run the country?
Are you seriously that stupid, to think, that voting in a felon sends a message? Well it does, and that message it sends, makes every incest joke, every hillbilly joke, every racist joke, every Goober joke, every hick joke, every dumbass joke, every West Virginian joke, a lot more believable now.

Those of us who’ve defended you, talking about your higher morals, your higher standards of ethics, you willingness to give others the benefit of the doubt, your deep religious nature, are now shutting the fuck up. You’ve made so just defending you, makes US the butt of jokes.. Well it ain’t happening here..

I’m not defending you. I can’t. No one can. What you did was so stupid, you’ve probably damaged your state more than you will ever know…

Think about it. You just ruined WVU… From this point forward, at every televised game, every announcer will jump on the crack your state almost voted in a felon, and an ugly one at that, to be president of the United States of America. It doesn’t matter how good your football team is. Everyone is going to be talking about how stupid people in West Virginia are. How backwards. How retarded. How ridiculous.

It will of course, be blamed, (as it always is by Jay Leno), on you guys fucking your cousins, making them pregnant, then marrying them and inbreeding 18 children who will then repeat the process. But after your decision, in people’s minds, it’s the only way that rational people will be able to explain what you’ve done.

And when your pride and joy, WVU competes for top notch players? Put yourself in a prospective player’s shoes the minute after he tells his girlfriend he’s going to WVU. What young man wants to be labeled as a dumb hillbilly? Not me. I’ll take Clemson. or Duke, or Kentucky… I won’t play for a team carrying the name of a state that voted for a felon to be president of the United States of America. Without top notch players, how will your team win? Without winning, who is going to pay big television money to watch. West Virginia used to the the brunt of sports jokes. I remember back when Penn State beat them 50 times in a row? Well, get used to that again.

Do you realize your action probably cost your state university, WVU, at least $400,000,000 over the next ten years? It will take that long before people finally forget, or stop blaming you, and move on.

And what corporate interest is now going to move into West Virgina. What business will want your state’s name on their corporate letterhead. “Yes, our headquarters are in the state that voted 40% to put a felon in the White House”. Do you realize you’ve probably cost your state a minimum of $10 billion over the next ten years for your action?

What were you thinking? That this would embarrass Obama and make you look tough?

Well, it backfired. Everyone is talking instead about how stupid you are. About how idiotic, dumb, hateful, disgusting, sick, creepy, unDeliverancable, (even the word suck-ass was used) you are…

Sorry, … you guys did it. You must now live by your actions. Don’t waste your breath trying to defend your stance here or elsewhere. You just cost WVU the National football title. You just lost any hope of economic recovery. Whatever it was you thought… it is now your problem.

There were less harmful ways. You could have not voted. You could have written in. But your choice, to vote for the stupidest looking person on the face of the planet, and a felon to boot, as your choice for President… well, you will have to lay in the bed you made.

It didn’t hurt Obama. It actually helped. Everyone who supports Romney, is now being identified with you… and if they’re seeing in that picture what we’re seeing, they don’t want be in the same room with you, on the same team as you, or in the same political tent as you…

Ewwwwwwwww…. You are so disgusting. Don’t even want to look at you. Get back in your hole.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Call it temporary insanity but let’s pretend, let’s just say, …that at one moment in time, if I chose to donate my youth out for my country, to be compensated back in the form of low pay; to completely and unjudgingly offer my fate up to the will of bureaucrats, all for the loss of my own self esteem, all for unending stretches of boredom, sparsed with interludes of a few intense seconds, that fortunately thorough my reactions and training, enabled me to continue living as I do today………….

I could reasonably be expected to be honored for that service to my nation, right?

In a perfect world, that is….

One would think, that in a perfect world, as needs were being debated across the universe of public funding, that a hierarchy resembling this, would sort of be the guideline, if not the rule?

National Heroes…..

over

We, The People…..

over

LLC corporations….

After all, if it weren’t for us, there’s a good chance those LLC. corporations wouldn’t be able to do business in a free and prosperous society, you would think?….

One would think, that if one of these heroes needed medical care, with the tremendous amounts of money being thrown away by our government daily, in the forms of corporate tax breaks enabling corporations to make “record breaking profits”…. that they would be put at the top of the list.. don’t you think?

Sorry, CEO… your operation will have to wait… We have a veteran who is in dire need ahead of you….

In a perfect world….

One would think, that a voucher system would be in place, or a blank check, where any veteran could walk into any hospital, and get immediate, necessary medical attention, have his prescriptions filled as a privilege for his service, and that the bill would be willing be paid by those with monetary resources more than adequate for their own needs?

One would think, (right?)… that it would be CEO’s, those who give pink slips so they can break profit records, those who cut benefits so they can break profit records, those who don’t invest in America so they can break record profits, ….who should be the ones finding themselves regulated to CEO hospitals, where they would then have to settle in on a waiting list for the next opening to occur, where they had to endure budget cutbacks and go without life-saving medicine because there was no money left in the CEO fund, perhaps because it had all gone to Veterans to pay THEIR expenses?

In a perfect world…..

In a perfect world, veterans would need no freebies…. They would not need welfare, or a pension, or a humble stipend to eke an existence… They would be working, contributing to society, in any way they could… If they had no legs, they would be outfitted at corporate’s expense, so that would not be an issue… If they had no arms, they could be outfitted at corporate’s expense so that was not an issue. If they had psychological damage, (and who wouldn’t?) they could be treated at corporate’s expense… so that was not an issue.

If they were so badly damaged that they create an efficiency drain on society, they could be honored for their sacrifice, and a useful voluntary capacity could be created to honor that commitment once made so long ago… Perhaps speaking about serving one’s country in every class, in every school, in every county? Can you think of any better civic’s lesson?

There’s a lot that can be done…

The problem is that veterans are deemed as just another expense…. Because to corporate America, that is just what they are… An expense, an obligation to be met that gets in the way of their making more money…

Unfortunately, our Congress is owned by Corporate America….

What should and does need to happen, is this relationship needs to be exposed. We need to call them out on it…

Republicans and Democrats are both complicit in allowing corporate raiders this unprecedented power. But Republicans are the symbol of Corporate America. Republicans are the ones who championed the Corporate Takeover. Republicans are the ones who dismanteled the safeguards that had been put in place to prevent that takeover from happening. That is why they need to go. Disappear… Whoever is left, the remainder, most likely after seeing the elimination of a large majority of their peers, will think twice before following their Dark Lord, now a soul less wanderer eking existence.. ……

In a perfect world…

Unfortunately, today we need to contend with obscene amounts of money saying Corporate is Good; Government Fairness is Bad….

But we have our lives telling us the opposite… It will take courage and strong will, to override all the overload of sensory data being pipelined into our soul, but we still have hearts, and those hearts are attuned to what makes America special. great, and the best place to live on this earth….

WE can still dream….

And those dreams should include a perfect world… one we CAN make happen, at least for those without whom we would not have the freedom, the resources, the nation, we have today….

Here’s to a perfect world?

Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
Courtesy of NYT

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.

A bridge to the future, if collapsed, takes you no where… –kavips

This chapter looks at rebuilding our infrastructure. We have highway problems, energy problems, educational problems, as well as health problems, environmental problems, and social problems. Can rebuilding our infrastructure be a tool to begin the mending process?

Up to now very little has been spent on maintaining our highways. Most highway money was earmarked for new growth.. It was as if no one gave consideration of the fact that maintenance of what we already had up and running was a cost that needed budgeted in.. After all, what political points are ever given for repairing a road before it goes bad? (Damn it, why are they tearing up good highway, costing me twenty five minutes in each direction?) But with the August 1, 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35 Bridge in Minneapolis, we see what happens when highway infrastructure is ignored.

For example in the United States alone, 25% of our bridges are deficient. In Delaware, 15.4 % of our bridges are either functionally or structurally deficient, which is actually good when compared to our fellow small state Rhode Island with 52.9% of its bridges deficient. As one travels back and forth, one crosses an unknown number of tiny bridges; of these, one out of four is deficient. How would you like to be on the I 95 bridge across the Susquehanna… when its time came to fall?….. or perhaps driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge between Kent Island and Annapolis? Thinking “one out of four” may raise your apprehension rate the next time you find yourself traveling unknowingly across a potential deathtrap…

The need to improve our infrastructure is obviously there. So if we have the labor available, how will we pay for the construction and repairs with our treasury bottomed out?

That depends on whether bonds still had any worth, meaning whether or not anyone still had any interest in buying them… Normally bonds are sold at a low interest rate, and the money taken in is used for construction. The notes are paid back in regular payments. But if there is no demand for, or more money out there with which to buy the notes, who will fund the infrastructure investment?

Today the bottom line is that the money will have to come from the Treasury. Being broke, that also means the Treasury will no choice but to print more money in order to accommodate the economy’s need. As more money starts chasing fewer goods, inflation looks at us dead center down it’s barrel. Unfortunately we are in such dire straits, that we have no choice but risk the chance of inflation just to keep the next Great Depression at bay….

The same scenario applies to our efforts to revamp our educational system. Now estimated to require between 45 to 50 billion (how much was AIG’s bailout?) the infrastructure of our schools systems faces the same challenge of acquiring minimum funding, as does that of rebuilding our highway system.. Up until August of this year it could still have been done. Now due to insufficient funds, this accomplishment is unlikely. But if we choose to go forward, we will have to do so again funded by printed money with inflation drawing another bead upon the target on our own purchasing power..

Even today, there is enough work to employ every man, woman and child in America if we can find the resources to pay for them doing so… Work such as environmentally cleaning up Superfund Sites, energetically laying new transmission lines, socially integrating our square pegs into round holes, educationally teaching problem readers to become literate, or simply maintaining hospice care over those citizens who cannot survive long enough to see America turn its corner; yes, work can be found…

But the underlying question still remains as to how we will be able to fund the privilege of keeping America employed… and at whose expense? If we were unable to solve these problems during the past 8 years of plenty, how will we deal with them during a time of shortage?

Fortunately, we are not the first group of people in our lifetimes to rebuild our world around us… Three examples of what can be accomplished, are found in three post war states who after war’s end, found themselves under American influence. That would be Germany, Japan, and South Korea. These are the models we need to turn to. Someway and somehow they bounced back from complete devastation to becoming the the second, third, and fourteenth largest economies behind that of the United States…

At war’s end, there were very poor resources to spread around. Everything possible needed fixed at once. But with a small amount of seed money provided by the Marshall plan, a major currency adjustment, and a release from price controls, the German population pulled themselves up and today have roaring economies better than do any of our allies of that past conflict. (It doesn’t seem fair.)

History shows us that for two years after the war, while post war punitive policies were kept in place, all of the occupied countries’ economies decreased. The Soviet sector opted to maintain those policies and their economy continued to suffer accordingly until German Reunification in 1990. However in the western Allied sector, starting in 1948 with the abolition of price controls and most post war rationing, along with the devaluation of their currency designed to shrink the amount (by 93% contraction) of the money in circulation, their economy took off; lost days decreased by half, and industrial production climbed within six months by 50%. Both nations were blessed with the post war abundance of skilled cheap labor; therefore both nations were able to increase the flow of money into and around their country.

Rising to the challenge imposed upon them by history, all three countries had able leadership which was effective in communicating this to each countries’ populations: … that their time and effort were to be properly considered as an investment. Their rewards would not be reaped immediately, …but would someday be magnificent. Their leadership was also effective in communicating that timing was critical. If they did not begin immediately… their nation’s dreams would never materialize. It was their competent leadership that marshaled the populations of both WWII nations back to work “on the cheap” and that…. the bottom line, is how both counties bounced back. Not dictatorially, but economically. One should note that both of the two occupied economies fared much better than our Allies, who received far more Marshall Plan aid than did the conquered nations, and who did not have to pay for war repatriations as did both of the war-torn countries.

From here I pulled this little piece of history, showing the progressiveness that forced the German economy forward…..

Colonel:“How dare you relax our rationing system, when there is a widespread food shortage?”

Erhard:“But, Herr Oberst. I have not relaxed rationing; I have abolished it! Henceforth, the only rationing ticket the people will need will be the deutschemark. And they will work hard to get these deutschemarks, just wait and see.”

That they did.

Obviously sitting in our armchairs looking forward, we too understand that we will face the specter of inflation. It MUST come with the copious amounts of money we are currently and anticipated soon to be printing. However as does any nation in a war, our country does what is needed. Currently and just like it was after WWII, the US right now is the only global entity strong enough to expand its money supply fast enough to put most of its citizens back to work. As we begin earning extra spendable income, our demand increases; when that demand pushes up prices, more and more entrepreneurs race to fill in the vacuum of goods… bringing them back down. Greed is good.

As for actual rebuilding of infrastructure, postwar Japan offers a slightly different model. In Japan we meshed the government, banking system, and large industrial players to fund, construct, and grow their infrastructure during the sixties. The local banks, backed by the government of Japan, used a system of overloaning. This policy is one which the Bank of Japan guarantees all loans issued by city banks to their industrial conglomerates. Because there was a shortage of capital in Japan at the time, industrial conglomerates borrowed beyond their capacity to repay, often beyond their own net worth, thereby causing city banks in turn to over borrow from the Bank of Japan. This gave the national Bank of Japan complete control over all dependent local banks until the loans were repaid.

The primary difference between the Japan of then and America today, is that today, the money is still not being lent out by those banks receiving Federal assistance. Instead, today’s over loaning is being wasted on the buying up of other banks; today that mass infusion of capital is being used to consolidate the financial industry, instead of financing large projects that actually put citizens to work, and in turn funnel money back through the economy.

The question remains. Does rebuilding our infrastructure get us back on our feet?

Yes and no. The economic impact on the local level at the location where the federally funded project is being built, is huge. But it is a localized effect. For an economic turnaround to be effective, infrastructure building must occur simultaneously in almost every town or village across the United States. If funded solely by the federal government, that significant cost would appear prohibitive. But if instead of being funded solely by the Federal Government, it is done as did the Japanese during their infrastructural rebuild, (where all local banks simultaneously financed local projects close to their locations), much more capital becomes available. If we place our bets on the option that local banks WILL lend out the money, if we guarantee that they lose none of the amount lent out,…. then that outcome could start some infrastructure development in the very near future somewhere near every community’s small bank, no matter where it may be located.

So if as a nation, we choose this plan, and we attempt the Japanese-tried approach, the question next arises over which infrastructural improvements will return the largest investment? The consensus seems to be that Energy, Education, and Technological advancement lead the pack.

As we now all know, even during prosperous times our nation gives up a large percentage of its income to other overseas nations just for oil. By simply keeping that dollar amount in the United States we could provide our economy a substantial boost. Furthermore, manufacturing and exporting new technology which help frees the rest of the world from their dependence on oil, would certainly assist us in turning the trade balance back in our favor. Both of these lines of thought converge to point out this: the increase of our energy independency could become the primary viaduct which could bring America back into prominence.

As for increasing our energy independency, there are several options for doing so. One, is to create new sources. Here is one startling fact: there is enough potential wind power in North Dakota alone to cover 25% of America’s energy needs. The problem is getting it to where it needs to be used. Building transmission lines from America’s heartland out to its extremities, where its largest users are, should be a first priority. For one, it actually uses the free market plan and opens markets to a cheaper supplier of that required product. Two, transmission costs are a significant portion of the energy costs we pay for electrical energy today. Three, poorly outdated transmission grids eat up a lot of energy that could instead be used to power America.

Likewise building transmission lines from our local shores to major metropolitan areas, provides those city areas with cheaper electricity from off shore wind, thereby increasing the likelihood that more wind power generating companies will set up off-shore. The larger the wind farms are off shore, the better our economy will weather that upcoming Depression that appears to be looming off our horizon… And if hydrogen is one day destined to become our replacement fuel, then locating their manufacturing plants in close proximity to offshore wind farms, in order to capitalize on a wind farm’s free excess energy during non peak hours….. could certainly help build an industrial base to back up the tourist economies of rural shoreline counties.,.

Directly related to the new technology of wind power, would be the need to construct electrical storage facilities in areas that have no jobs. Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia would be ideal localities to build closed circuit water generators that use free excess wind power during non-peak times to pump water up a hill to reservoirs on top, from which water can then be released during peak times, flowing downhill turning a series of giant generators as it falls to the valley floor. These massive projects would put large numbers of Americans to work in those areas desperately needing new development.

But these three investment strategies are all dependent on the knowledge that wind driven energy will be a big player in the years to come. No one will make such an major investment in a climate of doubt. The Federal government over the next few years … has to make that clear.

For other hard hit areas, an investment in solar power out in America’s Southwest can do the same. A conglomerate of local banks issuing out loans, guaranteed by the Federal Banking System, should have sufficient resources necessary to begin the immediate construction of a series of large solar farms in that area. With such an investment to attract large numbers of employees to that area hardest hit by the housing crises, local banks could with the Federal bank’s support., begin paying workers who in turn would help out the local banks by buying back some of those foreclosed mortgages at market prices…

But unquestionably, the largest saving can be made by simply conserving more energy in our homes and businesses. Just re-insulating every home in America, can save the cost of its installation within a year. According to the Department of Energy, re-insulating a home can save between 5% and 22% of its energy costs per year. At their estimated energy cost of $1500 a year (seems low, doesn’t it), the range would be from $75 dollars to $300 dollars a year. So paying someone a bounty of $75 dollars for each house, just to infra-red, then re-caulk it’s leaky windows and insulate it’s doors, would see its return within one year on every dwelling visited. Paying someone to go through a city’s public housing could save that city government tremendous amounts of money which could be better spent putting its citizens back to work.

Educational infrastructure is likewise needed. Our nation’s schools for the most part, have not been updated on a grand scale since they were originally built for the influx of baby boomers … What is more important than structural additions to existing buildings, is a revamping of the educational process itself.

America needs to regain their technological prowess… Our educational system ranks behind most of Europe and civilized Asia. One Duke study concluded that 137,437 engineering graduated in the United States, compared to 112,000 for India and 351,537 for China. Of course the quality of those foreign engineers are open to debate. But still, with lopsided numbers like that, it is obvious that over time…. we lose the technological war. Today… whoever is driving the global need for technology… drives the global economy.

Putting additional parents or motivators inside of class rooms, increasing allocations for science supplies (simply dropping sodium into water turns most students on to science as well as instantly explains the clarity of the periodic table), and increasing the social status of the “geeks” in teenage classrooms, are just some of the ways we can rebuild our educational infrastructural needs, without large investments of cash… Where we most often complain that the educational system is broken and in dire need of fixing, at the core of the problem is broken down people. Whether it is administrators, teachers, school board members, parents, or the students themselves, what we have throughout our education system is a group of talented, but leaderless individuals. All are spinning their wheels independently in their effort of trying to find some type of traction in improving education. Often within the same schools, different partners are spinning in opposite ways.

What American education needs is a grand goal, one that is set nationally and bought into by all of its people. Once again, America needs to be challenged. At its forefront it needs a leader capable and willing to stake his reputation on meeting and achieving that goal.. And most importantly, that challenge needs to me made without any financial strings attached. You know: the usual “we need to invest $$$ in …….”. Instead, what is needed by our incoming leadership is to voice a measurable goal such as this one for example: that says by 2015 we will as a nation, turn out as many engineers as does China….. (Goal reaching against a competitor worked for reaching the moon). Perhaps to achieve it, some additional funding may be necessary. But what is more important, is that is sends a real signal to students that fun and games as they have been portrayed on children’s TV, can no longer be tolerated within our high schools. Every young person now has the survivalist duty to apply themselves to the best of their ability, for the honor of their country in whatever the direction their talents lead them… (With proper leadership, this can be done fairly cheaply: it takes just one big speech.)

The long term return on this cheap investment is that by 2020, our engineers should be in the field working at top notch organizations, benefit them and us from their training and expertise…. The longer we wait… the further behind China and India we find ourselves… We are already talking twelve years from now before we can get any return on both ours, and our student’s investment….

Likewise, tying in with improvement of our educational output, is our need to advance ourselves further along the road of technological innovation, ie. creating new patients. For which ever nation builds the most savvy technical gadgets, that is the country from whom all others will want to buy…

But in today’s economical climate one must realize that a risky investment on some new technological device, untested in the market place, will have difficulty finding financiers. Once again, the Federal government, if it is spending its resources elsewhere, has the option of only printing more money to pay for this investment, assuming that private lenders are too scared to lend. Therefore as mentioned above, as in the post-WWII-Japanese model where the small city banks overloan to businesses and corporations allowing them to invest in research and development, if these loans are themselves guaranteed by the national bank, private lending can fulfill the need.

A very strong incentive to promote new research and development by corporations, would be to allow all such expenses devoted to the creation of new products, to become tax deductible under the newer higher rates that will be forthcoming shortly. Every bit of money spent on research and development, is our nation’s best investment. Innovative new products lead to the quickest economic turnaround as those new developed ideas soon become commercially viable…

Other areas where infrastructure can also be propped up by an infusion of small loans made by city banks which are then guaranteed by the Federal Reserve, are in the areas of environmental protection, health care, social services. Western forest fire fighting companies, environmental detoxification companies, and tree reforestation companies, could begin putting people to work.

It could work like this. A company such as Guardian, on call for disaster, receives a payroll loan from a small bank guaranteed by the Federal Government to keep itself afloat until money comes in from charging an oil tanking firm for the mess they made… Most of that loan money is used to buy necessary additional equipment, which puts someone to work in the manufacturing plant where that piece of equipment came ….. As work eventually comes in, the Federally guaranteed loan is paid back to banks… In this and most cases, no direct Federal investment is required. They just stand behind the guarantee.

In the health care industry, private companies providing hospice care, watching over psychiatric patients, creating new MRI’s, handling billing requests and follow up from insurance claims, can now receive a private loan from a small bank guaranteed by the Federal Government to carry them over until their money returns. Needing new equipment keeps a job at the plant where that piece was manufactured…

Companies specializing in assisting the poor, handicapped, impoverished, hungry, homeless, can also stay afloat by these private loans over lent by their banks, but guaranteed by the Federal Government. When the money returns from their clients, the loans are paid off.

In each of these areas, existing goods and services are maintained. The businesses don’t fold. Here is a different way of looking at it. This Keynesian jolt of economic activity is metaphorically like starting a heart of a human being temporarily stopped in cardiac arrest. At that time, all the systems are in place to work…. the heart just needs pressed to get started….. Our economy is like that. Inattention to the core of our economic problem, which is money not flowing out of banks, will lead to the same result to us as it would to a patient who does not get his heart restarted….

So this chapter can be summed up this way. The Federal Reserve is given responsibility for making sure that all projects having a viable chance of success, receive funding from, and eventually pay back… the small local banks making those loans. The Fed just guarantees the loans won’t fail….

Those out going loans should be focused on projects giving us our biggest bang for our money. Those areas providing the best return on their investment, are in the areas of energy, education, and technological advancement……

Instead of direct investment, the use of Federal guarantees in these three areas, coupled with the Federal Reserve’s monitoring the effects of inflation, are one way our nation can capitalize on its current hardship, and pull itself out through our effort, grit, and tenacity….

There is a rap song going around the youth today and its source is nebulous. If someone steers me in the right direction, I will be glad to give them credit.

It goes like this:

‘I heard it from your mama…..
You might vote for Obama……
They’ll lock you in the sauna……
For smokin’ marijuana………”

Tommywonk writes along the same lines tonight…..

This idea came to me and I was told today to send it to the Obama campaign in an effort to get us to better America when the time comes…

It’s not just Obama who is having difficulty with this crowd. Bill Clinton himself, who Hillary holds up in West Virginia as the new wave of the future, was booed by a similar crowd at Darlington Race Track very early in his tenure…..

Here is how I would advise it’s being handled by the next Democratic nominee……

I’ll use West Virginia as the example, even thought it’s time has past….And my underlying premise for taking this tack is that real leaders don’t follow polls, they take actions and the polls follow the results of those actions…..

(Also because I know West Virginia heavily influenced Robert Kennedy forever after he campaigned through it in 1960. His fight against poverty was distilled from his West Virginian experience.)

Here is what needs to happen. The Obama camp randomly picks a hollow preferably in “hostile” territory and the county blocks all subsequent access up the entrance road. Only the candidate and security detachment are allowed to continue. With no press, no camera’s except those owned by the citizens, he has an open town meeting…..There is no grandstanding. He listens, he answers questions, he asks questions……real questions that need to be heard……’What do you need a president to do for you? What do you need the most, and how fast do you need it….”

Acknowledge to them that they are suspicious of him….Admit he can’t really blame them…..Have a long meeting, tour their houses, ask them how on earth they get by…..get to know them as real people…..It shouldn’t be hard. There are a large number of similarities between those living in poverty on Chicago South Side projects, and those living in poverty off a strip mined hillside…It’s amazing how similar people actually can be when they lack those items they need to survive……

Then say goodbye, shake hands, give your hugs, and split…..Open the gates and let the press flow upstream to get their interviews, and buy permission to print the local’s photographs….

What Obama says by doing this, is this: “I know you are often put down by others outside your area. But know this…..I respect you……You are better people than I…….I would be proud to help you get through these next four years…”

These people are joked about on national television. They’ve never gotten any respect. Until now….

The bottom line is this. As of right now, Obama has a problem among the working class. He needs to fix it…He doesn’t need to win any more delegates, they will come, but what he does need to do, is fix this misperception. Doing so in a state where he is expected to lose, would go a long way to overturn the media’s perception of how he is perceived.

Obama at His Best

I was given this story……

It was in the ’60’s, in a small West Virginian town. An existing dam across the New River had been built for flood control with leftover WPA funds, forcing the creation of a large lake behind it. Part of the dam had been built for future power generation, but that part had not been finalized.

Appalachian Power wanted to put hydroelectric turbines in that dam.

The community below that dam, was trying to build tourism as its source of income. Responsible for that town’s revival were a group of WWII veterans and young men, known as the Hinton Jaycees.

A hearing was to be held before the state regulatory board, and a decision was to be handed down. With no opposition, the power company thought it would turn into a slam dunk. The Jaycees thought differently and the small town editor covered the meeting which discussed the upcoming regulatory board meeting. He mentioned they would attend the meeting.

The next day, the bank informed all participants that if anyone showed up for the meeting, the bank would call their loans…..The only one who they had no hold over was a back-woods preacher; no problem, they needed some opposition to give the hearing some legitimacy, What harm could some religious kook do?

The hearing progressed and the “focal point” of the regulators quickly became exactly what the power company meant by “run of river.”

The power company said that was hardly anything at all. It meant that if they didn’t need power, they filled the lake. if power was needed they released it. No big deal. Water level rise and fall all the time; every time it rained. Silly to let good jobs go over concern over something that occurs naturally. And they would not stop with this one dam. They wanted to build a series of dams down the river, all the way to Charleston. Doing so gave them the potential to supply much of the energy required of the growing Mid Atlantic area….. and there would be no pollution to boot……

The backwoods preacher was called to testify. Thinking it was over the power exec’s and their lawyers made a presentation of leaving the room. After the commotion was over, the preacher began to speak.

With him he said, were the past night’s data showing the release of Appalachian Power’s Radnor Virginia dam upriver. The data showed the rise of six to eight feet in as little as twenty minutes. Flood stage was set at fourteen feet. It did not take great imagination to realize that there could be no fishing below any dam releasing sporadic flows of such volume. For one, the fish would not survive such turbulence, and two, any fisherman, getting their foot caught in a crevasse (a rather common occurrence) while racing to beat the rising water, would also not survive. Secondly he brought a topographical map showing that the water level of one of the proposed dams, would cover a planned state lodge with forty feet of water. The board was amazed because the proposed dam was so far away from the site of the planned state park, but it was such a shallow rise, that indeed, the planned hotel would be under water……

The regulatory board looked at the release data provided (which incidentally the power company said they had no way of providing), and the topographical maps, and voted to kill the power project right then and there….

Had that project gone forward, and it was considered by all to be a slam dunk, (just as the Connectiv gas turbine here in Delaware was also once considered to be a slam dunk…) the New River Gorge National River, would never have come about. Instead we would see a series of lakes, stair stepping down the New River Gorge, all with “run of the river.”.

There is a lesson to be learned from this little tale……of a battle that took place against a power company “far, far away……”

You fight powerful power companies with facts.

They can’t run from facts.

Power Companies Wanted This Under Forty Feet of Water
This would have been under water had the deal gone through.

Sandstone Falls Might Have Been Hidden Underwater Forever

This landmark, Sandstone Falls, would have been buried underneath one of the dam’s lakes.

Grandview Park Would Have A View Not So Grand

This Grandview, would have appeared differently.

Bluestone Dam seperated into Flood Stage and Power Generation Segments

Below this dam in question, is the spot rated best fishing East of the Mississippi by many fishing magazines, primarily because of its constant stream flow, because there is no “run of river” at this location.

A lot can be said of our Federal Government. Like it or not, it does accumulate and catalog lot of useful information. Of particular relevance is this chart which compares the average price each state pays for electricity. Looking directly at the evidence puts a lot of pipe dream precognitions in their proper place.

The first is deregulation. How does deregulation affect the price of electricity. Or as republicans are prone to say, “let the market place determine the rates……..

If you click on the above link you find a map of states regulated and not regulated. Cross referencing deregulation with the price of electricity, shows us some interesting facets. Notice the prices in Indiana and West Virginia, both of which are regulated, versus their neighboring states around them. Indiana pays 8.25 while Illinois (11.05), Michigan (10.76), Ohio (10.36), and Wisconsin (11.07) all pay more. The chart show our neighbor Maryland (13.60) deregulated June 2007, paid 10.56 last year. Across the Mason-Dixon line they are howling like we did last year.

Granted there are some anomalies, Virginia (9.28) is deregulated, whereas North Carolina (9.22) is still regulated. Perhaps because the same utility supplies both states; this inconsistency may explain the discrepancy with the other states.

The states producing the most power from wind. Texas (12.74), California (14.59), Iowa (9.95). Minnesota (9.72) and Washington (7.34) show a fairly wide range in average state costs. Most of the differences can be shown to be due to other factors.

Those states receiving most of their power from natural gas: Connecticut (19.43), Massachusetts (16.49), New Jersey (15.87), Maine (15.10), New Hampshire (14.96). This helps explain the high spikes for Texas and California, which are the first and second largest users of natural gas for electrical generation.

Gas is not cheap. Coal is still the cheapest. Those states burning most of the coal are Texas (12.74), Ohio (10.36), Pennsylvania (11.69), and regulated Indiana (8.25).

Those states along the Columbia River, benefiting from the Columbia Power Associations massive hydro-electric dams, have good rates: Washington (7.34), Oregon (8.33), and Idaho (6.96). This model is most likely the best comparison to the windfarm, since both were combined private and government investments, both have free fuel, and both spread out the investment costs over a long period of time.

So what can we derive from this data? We can see off hand that natural gas is bad. We can derive that deregulation is bad. We can derive that if the cost of coal goes up with carbon tax associated with it, coal will go the way of natural gas, which is be bad. We see through many years of long term investment in hydroelectric power, over a period of time, is good.

From that, we can deduce that wind power, will run in the same vein, a cost effective way to meet our demanding energy needs. For those of you who actually read Blue Water’s letter on September 12th of last month, you too saw that they were willing to hand over electricity at 10.596, guaranteed for the next 25 years!

After all was said and done, at June’s 2007 price of 13.73 that residential Delawarean paid for their electricity, Delmarva would have cleared 3.13 cents off every kilowatt hour, which amounts to a profit markup of 29.52%…….Wow, I wish all my investments performed at rates like that!!

AND THEY WANT MORE?? What’s wrong with “those people”?

I don’t know about you but I’m beginning to think it is time to regulate “those bitches”.