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There are myths, and there is reality.  Sometimes they coincide, but usually myths are invented to achieve a reality that otherwise would have such opposition, it would never occur.

Keystone is like that.

The myth is that Keystone will lower oil for us at the pump, and create jobs in the construction industry. If those were true then the bill would have a much easier time passing… They aren’t.  The truth is that the Koch’s own a large part of the tar sands in Alberta and must have that pipeline to move that oil southward to their refineries.  Otherwise if the pipeline goes east or west, other billionaire’s refineries will get the profit, not the Koch’s.

The oil is for import only.  Not domestic consumption.  There is no benefit to the USA to transport Canadian oil across America to refine it near Houston, and send it overseas in tankers.  At best, we would have 10 more people monitoring the flow of oil, provided technical advances do not replace even them.  There is a good likelihood they will.

As for jobs-building the pipeline, it appears that perhaps 2,500-3,000, most of them non-union and therefore low wages, would be the short term benefit…  I believe Senator Mitch McConnell estimated 40,000 jobs.  However Kinder Morgan which is building a bigger, better pipeline than the Keystone in question, is only swelling its job estimates to 4500, the equivalent number EDIS hires in Wilmington to build one single building, or Reybold hires to build one apartment complex in a former cornfield.

This is paltry.  We create 250,000 new private sector jobs a month… 2500 + or –  won’t make a dent anywhere.

The negatives are far more severe.  First it would transfer the worst type of oil through America… Whereas an oil well is environmentally non-intrusive, a tar sands operation creates an environmental hell.

Tar Baby

Photo courtesy of KQED

Far more worse than any train wreck to which Rick Jensen was alluding. Secondly, this pipeline crosses an aquifer that supplies the central US with almost all of its water.  Were oil to seep, that water though plentiful, would be useless as ocean water for any agriculture purposes…  No farming from North Dakota to Oklahoma. The bread basket of America, simply gone.

Proponents say pipelines are safe… they point to tankers on highways and trains that derail. However they go completely out of their way, even banning reporters from the town on Keystone I that had oil come up out of the ground and take over that town.  It’s water supply is undrinkable.

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If this already happened on Keystone I, it is a safe bet to assume it will certainly happen somewhere along the 1000 miles where the pipeline crosses America’s most important aquifer.

Tar leak Arkansas

Courtesy of The Star

We have so far completely put a dent in any argument stating that Keystone is important for America’s survival.

Now we shall show you why it is currently a hot topic and is being rushed through a Republican Congress over all cognizant objections.

it is not a random occurrence that Sen. Mitch McConnell went to the Koch’s summit, promised a load of goods, got campaign money, and upon arriving as Majority Leader, made Senate Bill #1 the passage of Keystone.   The Koch’s funded 44,000 ads in 2014. 

The following map shows why.  From this it is clear the pipeline has no other purpose than to get Koch oils sands down to existing Koch refineries.

koch props

Courtesy of Google Maps. 

Koch operates crude oil gathering systems and pipelines across North America. Its Flint Hills Resources subsidiary owns refineries in Alaska, Minnesota, and Texas that process more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The company owns a 3% stake in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, 4,000 miles of oil and products pipelines in the US, and an 80,000 barrels-per day refinery in Rotterdam. In addition, Koch Industries has held multiple leases on the polluting tar sands of Alberta, Canada since the 1990s and the Koch Pipeline Company operates the pipelines that carry tar sands crude from Canada into Minnesota and Wisconsin where Koch’s Flint Hill Resources owns oil refineries.

So it is clear as this debate goes forward.  There is no advantage for America to build this pipeline.   In fact there is a huge disadvantage if the slightest thing goes wrong.  Yet there is a great advantage to the Koch Brothers who funded a large number of congressional races with both dark and legal money.  In this time and age, it appears that if you spend enough to get in who you want, then they do exactly what you originally asked them to

The People be damned.

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Yesterday, the first day of the Republican Congress, a bill was rushed through the House and passed:  requiring the Congressional Budget Office to use dynamic scoring when figuring out future budgets…

Republicans have been saying lower taxes cause the economy to grow and that growth generates more revenue. They’ve said that for years… We’ve tried it for the past 15 but things got worse for all of us, instead of better…

Last couple of years, under Paul Ryan (that little whiz-boy from Wisconsin), they tried writing budgets for their first time and found, that everything they have been saying, was indeed wrong…  The math would not work out…

The reason the math would not work out, is because of a simple fact that when you don’t pay your bills and instead splurge and waste that bill-money, at some future point there will be a reckoning.   Like if you choose spend your mortgage, electricity bill, water bill, gas bill money on big-ticket orgies, there comes a point where you are left dry, cold, in the dark, and have no domicile.

This is terrible they said… What can we do… ..

The answer obvious to any 5 year old, is to pretend.    We can pretend that we will get tons of money later and pay our debts off then…

So we convince ourselves that IF we spend $10,000 over budget, we will soon be making $100,000 more so we can pay it back then.  IF we get a $10,000 raise every year, then next year we just run the same as this, and have $10,000 extra dollars with which to pay it back.

Now this does work if you are indeed guaranteed to get $10,000 increases every year… What dynamic scoring does is make the assumption we will set-in-stone increases to our salary by $10,000 every year for ten years straight.  So your yearly income will climb like this:

  • Base rate:  $40,000 per year
  • After Year One:  $50,000 per year
  • After Year Two   $60,000 per year
  • After Year Three  $70,000 per year
  • After Year Four   $ 80,000 per year
  • After Year Five   $90,000 per year
  • After Year Six   $100,000 per year
  • After Year Seven $110,000 per year
  • After Year Eight $120,000 per year
  • After Year Nine $130,000 per year
  • After Year Ten:  $140,000 per year

Then what they do is add all these together and come up with an argument like this…  We can easily afford this orgy and hire Taylor Swift to sing for it because look, over ten years we are going to earn $990,000 so we can easily pay back the $10,000 we blow on ourselves right now… ( Now if you’ve been a Republican shut out from parties for a long while, not being invited to do the bump with Jerry Jones) just hearing this may make you decide to jump in, no clothes and all.

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But here is reality… You probably are not going to get a $10,000 (25%) raise… Let us look at this logically.. How long have you been working?  How many $10,000 raises have you ever gotten before?  Did any of your costs also rise with that raise, so you really didn’t have all that money to spend?  Across history, was there ever a time when $10,000 raises per year were the norm?  If not, why would they suddenly start now?

So what usually happens in households that pursue false dreams, is that if they do not tie expenses to actual income, they usually come up short and that shorted gap grows bigger and bigger.

Here is what to expect in reality… The first year we spend $10,000 over what we make.  It is either loaned to us, or we simply just skip paying our bills for one year… The next year we not only again spend $10,000 more than we make, but we still make the same $40,000… So that year on our $40,000 income we owe $10,000 from year one, and $10,000 from year two. We can’t live on just $20,000 in order to pay it all back… So, assuming we will get much more income the following year, we stretch the loan a little further…  But again, no raise comes that year.

Where we pretended that we would be making $60,000 by that year (year 3) {and over the three year span would have accumulated $150,000 (40,000 + 50,000 + 60,000), enabling us to pay back three years ($30,000) of $10,000 overdrafts having $120,000 left over}… Instead due to a lack of “pretended raise” amounts,  we only got $120,000 over those three years, and borrowed $10,000 each year, so our net balance is $90, 000, which as you see divided by 3, equals $30,000 per year, whereas our regular living expenses continued at the original $40,000 per year.Yet we live like we are making $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 each subsequent year due to our over-extended loans….

This is dynamic scoring…. It should be illegal, and until yesterday, it was.

It is possible, it can work if the assumptions work out… So one must look at the assumptions very carefully to see if they are realistic… Dynamic scoring has only one reason for existence.  To convince people who don’t want to spend that hard earned money of theirs on a risky venture, to go ahead and spend it on that risky venture by consoling them it will be painless when looked back upon from the future.

And the” risky venture” this time, is again take the bulk of your money and hand it over to the top one percent, giving them even more power over you… If you do that these people say, money will just grow for them and everyone will be rich…. give them your money; give it to them now.

Alas we’ve tried that already… We didn’t get rich. For it, we got a very deep recession, We got the 1% owning more than ever; the 99% owning less. We got 80% of our population living day to day, week to week, just a little above subsistence…  We went backward.  Now with this Congress we are about to have a new battle of inequality on a level unseen in America, And this time: it will all take place up within the top 1%… Who among them will win the final championship monopoly game?.. Who will lose?… It matters little to most of us, Most of us were eliminated long time ago.

But first, for all of this to occur, they first have to change the way we do math itself in order to justify it, because it doesn’t work out their way using real numbers.  And that, my friends,… is what was done yesterday.

You may have awakened this morning to news that the bill to curb the NSA failed to win its filibuster margin of 60 and proceed forward…

Do not be dissuaded. This is probably a good thing.  It was watered down considerably to get enough Republican votes to pass.

The good news, is that without renewal, in the next Republican Congress, it will expire if nothing is done to re-pass it.  And everyone knows, it is far easier for Republicans to vote “no” against weakening our defense against terrorism, than it is to vote “yes” to putting every American’s deepest private thoughts and spoken words on speaker phone.

The parts of the reauthorized Patriot Act which were interpreted to allow for the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden last year, expire midnight of June 1st of next year, if no action to reauthorize them is taken….

Had this bill been passed last night, they would have remained intact far longer.  As it is, next Spring there will not be enough votes in the House or Senate to pass a new Patriot Act based on the shake up that occurred in both houses this past election.

In a recent debate:  What would get you to change your mind?

  • Republican:  “Nothing, I’m a Christian.”
  • Democrat:  “Evidence.”

Think about the campaigns of 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000…..  Doesn’t that snippet above ring true?  Evidence based decisions versus wishful thinking….

One Republican vote is standing in the way of 1.7 million Americans getting unemployment benefits.  Reid is making an emotional appeal now…

One Republican vote is standing in the way….. 

Yet 60 votes were needed.  Proving once more we need a filibuster proof Senate where the majority does not get undercut by a minority…..  Deadlock continues in the worst Congress ever… as usual.

Hung up at 58-39  the final vote was cast by,,,, Harry Reid, in the negative… making it 58-40…

A procedural vote to end the filibuster was undertaken immediately thereafter.

This is brief.

One can make all types of distinctions to explain things in simplier ways.  The best way to understand politics is to acknowledge that the two groups fighting each other over everything, are you, all of you, the people, and the interests of money, supported by all those who are supported by big investments…

So at every junction of domestic politics, we have to consider how a plan or action affects a) those who are people, and how it affects those who are business.

Business versus the People.  Obamacare, Taxes, and Israel.

Now take Obamacare.

Obamacare is good for the people. Not so good for those making money.  But if you are a average person, it is kind of hard for you to get to a microphone now isn’t it?  It is relatively easy for a business type to garner one.  That helps explains how all the talk is over how bad Obamacare is.  Because, face it, it is bad for those charging too much for you to get sick.  But if you are the ones on the buying end, it is good for you if you get sick.

Likewise higher tax rates are good for the majority of people. They create jobs, they cause money to flood into the economy in their dodge from the tax man. They cause ones wages to rise, and cause purchasing to increase…  They cause building and construction trades to boom.  Unfortunately they somewhat cost the financial world in commissions.  People have to put their money into factories now instead of commissions arising from the buying and selling of financial packages… But it is hard to get a microphone to express your view of a grateful public.  It is easy for an advertiser to demand air time for his cause, after all, “he paid for this microphone.”

Israel.  One must realize that Israel’s existence creates an world’s most expensive arms market involving Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, That is huge money for America’s defense industry as well as those of other nations.  However having peace and cooperation in the Holy Land would be far better for the American people. Just think: no terrorism. Telling Israel to stand down, would benefit all of the American people; doing so would cut into the profits of those arm’s dealers who readily exploit the fear of both sides to get supply contracts signed.  No fear; no contracts.

This explains the great disconnect from how you feel, and how America actually is… That gigantic gulf between the two is due to the fact that our media, you don’t matter as long as they can tell advertisers that you are watching.  No one cares what’s best for the people.  They matter now, only money matters…

So do something.  Don’t vote for anyone, Democrat, Republican, or Independent who puts the interest of (compounded) interest, over his interest in you… And stop watching any MSNBC, FOX, ABC, NBC, PBS, OR CBS NEWS….  There is a much better source of news and you can do other things, like drive, while you are listening…..

Deal is sweetened by stretching pension plan payments for big business and is down to 3 month of extension. The Bill not only pays for the $6.4 billion price tag but also reduces the deficit by $1.2 billion.

There is no reason for Republicans to vote against it, except to screw the middle class over one more time..

Check back to see which choice they make….

Recently all of Delaware called out Chris Coons for supporting war with Iran.

He has now pulled his support from that piece of legislation..

  • Obama promised to veto that bill last night in his State of the Union.
  • Two others pulled out today as well: Sen. james Manchin (D-WV) and  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

“But he acknowledged that moving the bill now would interfere with a deal in place between Iran and six world powers, including the United States. Under that six-month deal, Iran has agreed to scale back its uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief. Iranian leaders have already warned that congressional action involving new sanctions would sink the current deal, which would leave the U.S. with few options for resolving concerns with Iran other than going to war.

“I think, to the extent that we simply excite the distance and the tension between the Congress and administration on this, that doesn’t serve our shared view of making certain that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapons capability,” Coons said.”

It’s emotionally tough to go back on one’s word, when one realizes one has made a mistake.  However, It is intellectually stupid NOT to do so.

Hat’s off to Chris Coons for listening to the right angel whispering in his ear……

Worst Congress Ever
Worst Congress Ever

Graphs Courtesy of Washington Post

Everyone knows the Republicans are the party of “no” . However not many of you have seen the full effect these Republicans have caused.

House Schedule 2014

Introducing Next Year’s Republican House Schedule… Number of days working; 10% fewer than 2013.

Between August and Nov. 4 — Election Day 2014 — the House will be in session 12 days. The chamber will be in session for 27 days between August and the year’s end.

No week longer then 4 days.

One month they work 4 weeks. All others are three weeks or less.

For all intents and purposes, it looks like since Republicans cannot win elections, they have chosen to be famous for being the most unproductive party ever assembled in the once great United States of America……

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