A Solution To High Gas Prices

and one that will probably work at least as well as the Clinton/McSame gas tax holiday!

“Someone’s making a lot of money and it’s really, really wrong,” added Twyman, who founded the Prayer at the Pump movement last week to seek help from a higher power to bring down fuel prices, because the powers in Washington haven’t.

The half-dozen activists — Twyman, a former Miss Washington DC, the owner of a small construction company and two volunteers at a local soup kitchen — joined hands, bowed their heads and intoned a heartfelt prayer.

“Lord, come down in a mighty way and strengthen us so that we can bring down these high gas prices,” Twyman said to a chorus of “amens”.

“Prayer is the answer to every problem in life… We call on God to intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high,”

I simply have no words, although I am sure commenters will fill in that gap. (via PZ Myers, who links to lots of wierdness)






142 replies
  1. 1
    Justin says:

    It’s inaccurate to link Clinton and McCain on this issue; their proposals are substantively very different. Clinton has said many times that hers would be paired with a windfall profits tax…so why do you persist?

  2. 2
    Lavocat says:

    And I pray that these dumb mofos won’t be voting come November.

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    “Lord, come down in a mighty way and strengthen us so that we can bring down these high gas prices,” Twyman said to a chorus of “amens”.

    Translation: Please let us bomb Iran so oil goes to $200 a barrell, gas goes to $5-6/gallon, and we get more publicity than we ever deserved.

  4. 4
    Xenos says:

    Um… how in hell is Clinton supposed to get a windfall profits tax in place in the next few weeks? Or is she talking about summer 2009?

    Or is she just blowing smoke here? One vote for blowing smoke, which matches the waterfall of BS that her campaign has been producing for the last few weeks.

    Unfortunately, the BS campaign is working. Americans, even Democrats, are demonstrating that they prefer to be lied to. This country is, again, going to get the government it deserves, not the government it needs.

  5. 5
    drag0n says:

    It’s all bullshit anyways because according to NBC the senate is unlikely to pass this idiotic tax holiday anyways. Clinton McSame is just, typically, blowing smoke up peoples asses.

    Clinton’s and McCain’s separate proposals for suspending the gas tax this summer will very likely run out of gas shortly after hitting the Senate floor later this month. Because it takes 60 votes to pass any controversial bill in the Senate, McCain and Clinton will easily fall short. Democrats would loath to support virtually any proposal from the presumptive Republican nominee, and support for Clinton’s measure is lukewarm among her own Democratic colleagues.

  6. 6
    4tehlulz says:

    Because it takes 60 votes to pass any controversial bill in the Senate, McCain and Clinton will easily fall short.

    A real press would note that this is due to a Republican filibuster, not some bizarre rule about controversial bills needing 60 votes….

  7. 7
    PeakVT says:

    What’s unusual about this? American as a whole has taken the same approach, blaming high prices on oil companies, Arabs, and basically anything but their own grotesque levels of consumption.

    It’s been 35 years since the first oil crisis and we still haven’t learned jack shit.

  8. 8
    TR says:

    I stumbled across MyIQis2’s home planet — a land as deranged as Hillaryis44.org.

    My favorite comment there is his assertion that Hillary’s idea is a good one, despite the universal mockery from economists, because “People need immediate relief, not something that won’t kick in for months or years.”

    Really? Hillary’s proposal will provide immediate relief? She hasn’t even drafted a bill for the proposals or submitted them to Congress!

    Do you think her nonexistent bills are going to make it through the committees, up for a floor vote, and survive a presidential veto (in the case of the windfall tax bill) … in the span of two weeks? If so, you’re more deluded than I thought.

  9. 9
    Marshall says:

    A real leader would advocate raising gasoline taxes right now. The US Government needs the money, much of it would be paid for by the oil companies, and it would suppress the usage of petroleum, which we also need. Nixon, Ford or Carter would probably have been able to do this, but that was before the right wing demagogues took over and suppressed our ability to actually deal with problems, as opposed to pretending to.

  10. 10
    TR says:

    It’s inaccurate to link Clinton and McCain on this issue; their proposals are substantively very different.

    The windfall tax proposal — which, again, doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of achieving a veto-proof majority and surviving Bush’s veto — merely covers the lost revenue.

    The gas tax reprieve remains the same in both plans — an ill-conceived scheme to lower prices which will, as all economists agree, ratchet up the price in the end. We’ve tried this before, we’ve seen it happen, and no amount of clapping from the Clinton cultists is going to change the result.

  11. 11
    Michael D. says:

    Justin:

    Clinton has said many times that hers would be paired with a windfall profits tax…so why do you persist?

    Because a windfall profits tax makes her proposal even stupider.

    A. Oil supplies aren’t going up.
    B. Eliminating the tax would, presumably, increase the demand.
    C. Since oil supplies aren’t increasing, increased demand would cause prices to go up even higher (phase 1 of hike in gas prices)
    D. Oil companies get taxed on windfall profits
    E. Oil companies add these costs to the price of a gallon (phase two of additional hike in gas prices.)

    What part of this don’t you understand????

  12. 12
    says says:

    Americans are as dumb as rocks. It’s far too late for them to learn how to think for themselves again.

    I had hopes that we would get through the Bush years without him breaking every freaking thing. I was wrong. Time to tune up the bicycle and check the food cache. A question: What will they call all the little gardens that will soon pop up in peoples back yards all across the country? Victory Gardens? No. How about Defeat Gardens?

  13. 13
    drag0n says:

    Freedom Gardens of course!

  14. 14
    jnfr says:

    When Clinton or McCain actually introduces a bill on this into Congress, then we’ll know they are serious. The bill doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing, but at least it would be a solid move. Since neither of them has bothered to actually introduce legislation, we know this is pure B.S., and it’s stupid to discuss it.

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    What part of this don’t you understand????

    If you are talking to someone who is STILL defending the idiotic Clinton pander, the answer is all of it, and a whole lot more.

  16. 16
    cleek says:

    Clinton has said many times that hers would be paired with a windfall profits tax

    fascinating. so where’s the relevant legislation, so we can see the details ? got a Senate bill number i can look up?

  17. 17
    Scrutinizer says:

    their proposals are substantively very different.

    No, they aren’t. They are both moonshine, empty promises to distract voters from real issues by pushing the button labeled “Tax Cuts”.

  18. 18
    jake says:

    OMFG:

    “Lord, the prices at this pump have gone up since last week. We know that you are able, that you have all the power in the world,” he prayed, before former beauty queen Rashida Jolley led the group in a modified version of the spiritual, “We Shall Overcome“.

    “We’ll have lower gas prices, we’ll have lower gas prices…” they sang.

    You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

    “Lord, come down in a mighty way and strengthen us so that we can bring down these high gas prices,” Twyman said to a chorus of “amens”.

    Lord, please excuse us for violating your command about praying in public but could you do us a favor and cause cheap gas to flow from these pumps like milk and honey?

    fascinating. so where’s the relevant legislation, so we can see the details? got a Senate bill number i can look up?

    Don’t be silly. This is a natural extension of BushCo’s “Hey, we tried,” policy. McHillary doesn’t have to do shit, s/he just has to talk and if anyone ever asks for a draft of the wunnerful bill that will make it all better there’s a ton of excuses at hand ranging from the tough campaigning schedule to negative feedback from elitists.

  19. 19
    Peter Johnson says:

    Laugh all you want. You’ll be laughing John McCain right into the White House by alienating normal Americans.

  20. 20

    Of all the things in this world that people can pray about and this is what they spend time on? You know the best way to pay less for gas? Use less of it. Start by not driving to a gas station to pray over the pump. That’s what Jesus wants you to do.

  21. 21
    Chris Johnson says:

    Does anybody else find Americans praying for lower gas prices an obscene circus and bizarre self-parody?

    I mean, this is ‘The Onion’ material. Are you sure that isn’t an Onion story?

  22. 22
    Chris Johnson says:

    In a country that pre-emptively invaded Iraq in hopes of seizing its oil or at least keeping it tied to the dollar for good, this is just wrong on so many levels.

  23. 23

    This article at the Salon is pretty much the most intellectually dishonest thing I’ve read this year, and that’s not saying nuthin’…

  24. 24
    4tehlulz says:

    The half-dozen activists—Twyman, a former Miss Washington DC, the owner of a small construction company and two volunteers at a local soup kitchen—joined hands, bowed their heads and intoned a heartfelt prayer.

    And then they filled up their SUVs and basked in their accomplishment.

  25. 25
    bootlegger says:

    Anyone recall late last summer during the worse drought in memory down in Alabama and Georgia, the governors called for a day of prayer to alleviate the drought. They announced the big day would be in three days, which, oddly enough, the weather forcasters had just pegged with a closing storm system. Then when it rained they all said “see, prayer really does work.” Idiots. They should all have their balls taken away.

  26. 26
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    “There are no Atheists in gas stations.”

    On another note; ME instability is playing its own part in rising gas prices so it strikes me as a bit incongruous that the two candidates lobbying for a gas tax holiday are also the two candidates who threaten to bomb another OPEC nation in the ME.

  27. 27
    chopper says:

    Lord, please excuse us for violating your command about praying in public but could you do us a favor and cause cheap gas to flow from these pumps like milk and honey?

    “But let oil run down as waters, and gasoline as a mighty stream”

  28. 28
    TR says:

    Laugh all you want. You’ll be laughing John McCain right into the White House by alienating normal Americans.

    As much as I love this blog, I think you might be overestimating the size of its readership just a little bit.

  29. 29
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Laugh all you want. You’ll be laughing John McCain right into the White House by alienating normal gullible Americans.

    Fixt.

  30. 30
    r€nato says:

    Clearly, God meant for us to conquer and kill the Muslim hordes and take their oil for our SUVs.

    Otherwise, why would he have put all that oil underneath the sands of those heathens?

  31. 31
    steve davis says:

    Remember, it’s insane, apparently, to believe that rural voters are so embittered by Washington impotence that they turn to God, guns, and religion, as well as a host of hot-button issues attached to those areas, in order to have some sense of control over their lives.

  32. 32
    Zifnab says:

    Because a windfall profits tax makes her proposal even stupider [more stupid].

    First. Grammar = fail.

    Second, the windfall profits tax is about the only good idea to come out of this mess. As has been stated ad nauseum by commentators including but not limited to myself, some 20-30% of the oil price increase is caused by speculation.

    We have not seen a giant shift in oil production in the last 7 years. Saudi Arabia is still pumping. Venezuela is still pumping. Texas is still pumping. The amount of oil has not shifted significantly enough to explain a 300% increase in prices.

    The price of oil shouldn’t be over $100 / barrel as a simple consumer good. But oil isn’t just a consumer good, its a commodity. And as a commodity, it gets traded at inflated rates when people run out of mortgaged back securities and china funds to invest in.

    So now you’ve got brokers flipping giant stacks of oil between each other for increasing sums of money like real estate agents were flipping houses back in ’05 and ’06. They raise the price of gas by another $10 on Wall Street because some investment firm drops another hundred million dollars on oil futures. You eat the price at the pump.

    Speculation is killing the fundamental market system. Windfall profits taxes will – hopefully – discourage aggressive trading. When there’s an x% surcharge every time brokers flip over an investment, the investment becomes less attractive. That’s the ONLY good idea Clinton has brought to the table, and I guarantee it’ll be the idea that gets stripped, gutted, drawn, and quartered in the Senate while the gas tax holiday floats through.

  33. 33
    Cyrus says:

    Dennis – SGMM Says:

    Laugh all you want. You’ll be laughing John McCain right into the White House by alienating normal gullible Americans.

    Fixt.

    I think this way is the most accurate of all, unfortunately.

  34. 34
    joe says:

    Like the immigrant-bashing of 2-3 years ago, I am pleasantly surprised to see how utterly this lowbrow pander is failing.

    Seen any polling on this? People see right through it.

  35. 35
    r€nato says:

    I thought the windfall profits tax was aimed at oil companies, not speculators. So it would do exactly nothing to stop speculation.

    I also think it’s a really, really, really lousy idea for the government to step in and say, ‘your business makes too much money, so we are going to take some of it for ourselves and spend it on something worthwhile, like bridges to nowhere!!!!’ I would even venture to say it has the whiff of communism.

  36. 36
    Zifnab says:

    Anyone recall late last summer during the worse drought in memory down in Alabama and Georgia, the governors called for a day of prayer to alleviate the drought. They announced the big day would be in three days, which, oddly enough, the weather forcasters had just pegged with a closing storm system. Then when it rained they all said “see, prayer really does work.” Idiots. They should all have their balls taken away.

    Actually, if I recall correctly, they had to try that trick a couple of times because the predicted weather front never actually showed up on the first two occasions. It would have been really funny if people weren’t losing their farms in the process.

    The GOP is just a living example of all the horrors of religion. I know a great number of religious people who are genuinely good at heart and fairly logical and intelligent. All those people are made to look incredibly foolish by this sort of horse shit.

  37. 37

    It’s inaccurate to link Clinton and McCain on this issue; their proposals are substantively very different. Clinton has said many times that hers would be paired with a windfall profits tax…so why do you persist?

    Substantively different? So fucking what. The Clinton plan is putting lipstick on pig. Jesus!

    Consumer’s will reap almost none of the savings from the Fabulous Gas Tax Holiday and Resort Spa Treatment. (Its call economics for dummies) Market prices will rise when demand stays at current levels or increases, leaving prices at roughly where they are at now. Then … the oil companies are taxed for that difference and we then have money in the Treasury for (hopefully) repairing and renewing our infrastructure needs. Net effect. Not-one-fucking-penny was saved, by consumers, because the net was close enough to zero to make this as stupid an idea as praying for prices to go down.

    Increase the gas tax so we can repair and update our infrastructure. This should put downward pressure on demand so we may even reap the benefit of less carbon and green house gases in the atmosphere. (All those experts in the science community keep saying we have a problem with that stuff. Oh yeah, we don’t listen to “experts” because the hate normal Americans.)

  38. 38
    Zifnab says:

    I thought the windfall profits tax was aimed at oil companies, not speculators. So it would do exactly nothing to stop speculation.

    The tax is leveled on the barrel-head every time oil is sold above $80 a barrel. So if you buy direct from Iran or Venezuela, where the price of oil is closer to $20-$30 / barrel, refine it, and ship it straight to the pump, you should come in tax free. But if you stick it in a warehouse, write up a contract on it, and start trading the contract like a treasury bond, every time you sell it for above $80 / barrel you get hit with the tax.

    That is, at least, how I understand the windfall profits tax to be worded.

  39. 39
    flitterbic says:

    Prices at the pump won’t come down until after the NBA Playoffs because, well, you know, He is too busy helping His beloved Celtics win the title.

  40. 40
    r€nato says:

    The GOP is just a living example of all the horrors of religion. I know a great number of religious people who are genuinely good at heart and fairly logical and intelligent. All those people are made to look incredibly foolish by this sort of horse shit.

    The fundie Xians have really soiled the name of Christianity, and when criticizing them I have to remind myself constantly that Xian != fundie Xian and that a fair amount of them even think that creationism/ID is a crock and the Enlightenment was actually a good thing.

    Although I really don’t care much for any form of imaginary friend-worshipping.

  41. 41
    r€nato says:

    you may well be right, Zifnab. But I still think it’s a lousy idea.

  42. 42

    I think I’m going to send Senator Clinton my copy of Freakanomics. McCain can buy his own.

  43. 43
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    I’ve been hearing about how a lot of gasoline retailers are being squeezed for profits. Seems that they make the bulk of their profits from selling convenience store stuff. I’m certain that they’d never add a few cents per gallon if the gas tax was repealed – would they?

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    Ok, rather than blather my trap about how I think a Windfall Profits Tax would work, I’ll just link you to legislation originally proposed by Dick Durbin as the closest approximation I could find.

    Durbin’s Windfall Profits Tax bill would impose an excise tax on integrated oil and gas companies equal to 50% of their profits over a baseline price of $40 per barrel of oil. The $40 baseline was established by taking the average price of oil in the year 2004. In 2004, oil and gas companies were already realizing record profits.

    The revenue would be used to fund a consumer rebate, provide additional resources to fully fund the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, provide for a manufacturers incentive to improve the fuel efficiency of automobiles and provide additional revenue to the Highway Trust Fund to improve roadways.

    The Washington Post recently reported that refineries have recognized a 255% increase in the profits they realize from the sale of one gallon of gasoline. Last year, refiners received 27 cents for every gallon of gasoline purchased by Illinois consumers, but this year, they are profiting nearly one dollar for every gallon.

    Note that this was written up in ’04 so the times, they have a-changed slightly.

  45. 45
    4tehlulz says:

    He is too busy helping His beloved Celtics win the title.

    Bitter Hawks fan is biiiiiiiitteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrr.

  46. 46
    r€nato says:

    …if damping speculation in oil markets is the problem (and many say that it is), then a far better solution than just taxing anybody we don’t like, would be to enact economic policies which make other investments more attractive. Such as, raising interest rates so that the dollar is a more attractive currency. Money is going into commodities because the dollar sucks, real estate sucks, pretty much everything sucks as far as somewhere to get a good return on your capital.

    Of course, our financial system is in precarious condition so raising short-term interest rates is a non-starter in practical terms. I may be a liberal and proud of it, but I have always believed this lefty tendency to tax people we don’t like is populism at its absolute worst.

  47. 47
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    The $40 baseline was established by taking the average price of oil in the year 2004. In 2004, oil and gas companies were already realizing record profits.

    Oil hit $122/bbl this morning. Ah, the good ol’ days.

  48. 48

    I’ve been hearing about how a lot of gasoline retailers are being squeezed for profits. Seems that they make the bulk of their profits from selling convenience store stuff. I’m certain that they’d never add a few cents per gallon if the gas tax was repealed – would they?

    Of course they are getting screwed, just as we are. They aren’t controlling supply. This is simple. If demand is high, those who control supply, or can get their hands on supply to control, reap the benefits, those doing the demanding, get the screwing. Your local gas station owner buys his gas just like everyone else, but he gets some percentage off of retail. He does not control supply, but he does have to survive fierce competition, which means that if he holds on to his margin, he loses business, which doesn’t do his profits any damn good. So he cuts his margin, and so does his competitor. Meanwhile, he’s still purchasing gas at ever increasing prices. Don’t get me wrong. Vast sums of money are being made here. I just don’t see any evidence that it’s going into the pockets of Johnny Gas Man.

  49. 49
    r€nato says:

    I’ve been hearing about how a lot of gasoline retailers are being squeezed for profits. Seems that they make the bulk of their profits from selling convenience store stuff. I’m certain that they’d never add a few cents per gallon if the gas tax was repealed – would they?

    That’s absolutely right, whenever you see a c-store with gas pumps, the gas is a come-on to sell high margin items inside the store. I worked for a major c-store retailer (as a contractor) for many years so I know this stuff. The gasoline retailer – with or without the c-store – makes a few pennies a gallon at best. Their price is largely dictated by what they pay wholesale. Competition is very, very stiff, since they know all too well that even people on comfortable incomes will go out of their way to pay a penny or two less per gallon. Plus it’s often the case that there is a competitor across the street, if not two or three, to keep prices ‘honest’.

    If gas tax were repealed, the ultimate price per gallon – including how much of the gas tax savings were passed on to consumers – would be dictated by the oil companies, not by the corner gas station.

    Incidentally, you would not believe the profit margin on some of the things C-stores sell. That Big Gulp you bought yesterday for $1.19? Almost pure profit. The soda costs a fraction of a penny. The cup, I forget – maybe a penny or two or so.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Justin says:

    Nobody here is doing any favors to their credibility by using phrases like “Clinton McSame” and asserting that this is just such a huuge pander (unlike our man Barack who NEVER ‘panders,’ except when he is forced to…oh, wait). John, I have over the years watched you become absolutely infuriated with liberals of every stripe, only to confess later that you were suffering from [name your] derangement syndrome and that in the end you helped perpetrate right-wing memes. Andrew Sullivan has published similar mea culpas, and yet both he and you still tend to fall for it every time.

    Paul Krugman has an entry up today pointing out that Obama, in his ad, distorted his words:

    I did not say that the Clinton proposal would increase oil industry profits. If the ad implies that I did, it should be retracted.

    ….I was very clear when I wrote about the Clinton proposal that while I didn’t think it was good policy, it was not the same as McCain’s, and relatively harmless. If the Obama people are suggesting otherwise, they’re being deliberately dishonest.

  52. 52
    Birdzilla says:

    Time to drill in the ANWR tell OPEC and the GREENS to GO TAKE A HIKE AND FEED THE GREENS TO THE POLAR BEARS KILLER WHALES AND SKUAS

  53. 53
    Svensker says:

    On another note; ME instability is playing its own part in rising gas prices so it strikes me as a bit incongruous that the two candidates lobbying for a gas tax holiday are also the two candidates who threaten to bomb another OPEC nation in the ME.

    Bingo.

    And Bush’s spend and borrow policies, because of his f**king wars and threats of war, have tanked the dollar, also increasing the price of oil.

    Why doesn’t Obama hammer that home? The righties are always talking about “don’t raise my taxes” — well, they’re paying for the Iraq war at the pump, the damn fools. Every time we fill our tanks, we are paying for Bush’s war mongering. Hammer it, Obama. Hillary doesn’t give a shit — she likes the war and just wants to pander with the tax holiday. But why the hell doesn’t Obama bring this up, again and again?

  54. 54
    John S. says:

    That Big Gulp you bought yesterday for $1.19? Almost pure profit.

    That has been a fact with gas stations (and movie theaters) for quite some time, and is becoming an increasing reality for many other retailers. They don’t make shit on the chief commodities they sell, but they do make a killing on concessions.

    My wife runs a pretzel store. You think she makes more money on the pretzels (with the skyrocketing cost of wheat, flour, butter, etc.) or on the soda and lemonade?

  55. 55
    John S. says:

    Paul Krugman has an entry up today pointing out that Obama, in his ad, distorted his words

    Somebody call the WAAAAHmbulance.

  56. 56
    jake says:

    They announced the big day would be in three days, which, oddly enough, the weather forcasters had just pegged with a closing storm system. Then when it rained they all said “see, prayer really does work.” Idiots. They should all have their balls taken away.

    As I recall the rain came with a tornado that tore up Atlanta. If prayer did indeed cause the rain, who the hell knows what God will do in response to this nonsense. I just hope He doesn’t do it here.

  57. 57
    Justin says:

    When all this is over I hope you all realize that we’re on the same side. Yes, there are some crazed Clinton supporters just as there are some crazed Obama supporters, but to impugn the sincerity and intelligence of all supporters simply because you have some “gut” dislike for one candidate. And let’s not pretend that this isn’t what this is about. You like Obama, and so you’re more willing to defend his panders and what-not, while at the same time working all your baseless preconceptions about Hillary into your analysis of why she would do this or that. I found myself wondering why Obama would distance himself (i.e. pander to public opinion) from his pastor that said nothing except “God damn America for treating its citizens as less than human” (Gee, why would he ever say such a thing?), and that road could lead to a lot of suspicion and fear of ‘betrayal’ but I make a conscious effort to see things with clear eyes and keep it in perspective. If only Obama fans on the blogs could do the same.

    Question: If Hillary wins the nomination, what are you all going to say now that you have shamelessly and baselessly run her name through the mud? Guess what folks – Swift Boat 2008 (Hillary edition) has already arrived and is in operation. Except this time, it was carried out with the full cooperation of the same people who denounced in 2004.

  58. 58
    Tim Fuller says:

    I also think it’s a really, really, really lousy idea for the government to step in and say, ‘your business makes too much money, so we are going to take some of it for ourselves and spend it on something worthwhile, like bridges to nowhere!’ I would even venture to say it has the whiff of communism.

    Great theory, bad in practice. I think it is perfectly reasonable for people of goodwill (government) to step in and limit usury in any form FOR THE COMMON GOOD. It’s got biblical backing and is something I think even godless humanists agree is outrageous. How many should starve so I can drive my car even if I’m willing to pay an inflated price for the luxury? How long will we continue to let doctors and hospitals charge obscene prices for minimal treatment and truly ruinous prices for catastophic injuries? How many people should go without regular MRI screenings as the hospitals continue to charge ruthlessly for such (now) common and ubiquitous technologies?

    Enjoy.

  59. 59
    r€nato says:

    Every time we fill our tanks, we are paying for Bush’s war mongering.

    Only instead of the US Treasury getting the marginal increase in revenue, OPEC does.

    Thanks a lot, GOP.

    You think she makes more money on the pretzels (with the skyrocketing cost of wheat, flour, butter, etc.) or on the soda and lemonade?

    I don’t run into this too often, but I occasionally run into a restaurant which actually charges for refills on iced tea. (Not that charging for refills on soda is any less of a ripoff, I guess) I don’t return to such restaurants.

  60. 60
    r€nato says:

    I think it is perfectly reasonable for people of goodwill (government) to step in and limit usury in any form FOR THE COMMON GOOD.

    I don’t wish to start a flame-war, but this sounds suspiciously like a command economy.

  61. 61
    myiq2xu says:

    Ahhh, I see the gas tax wankfest is still going strong.

  62. 62
    wasabi gasp says:

    The best holidays have really good symbols like Santa and the Easter Bunny and Halloween has the Swarms of Little Bastards.

    But, this Gas-Tax thing ain’t got shit. No Hippitty Hoppitty Dildo, no Jolly Old Tickle Finger, not even a Stuffed Pucker with Cranberry Sauce. If it wasn’t for the anxiety and dread, I wouldn’t think its a holiday at all.

  63. 63
    Shygetz says:

    Laugh all you want. You’ll be laughing John McCain right into the White House by alienating normal Americans.

    I’ve been buying gas here in the rural South for over a decade, and I have not once seen anyone praying at the pump for lower prices. So, I think you insult “normal Americans”.

  64. 64
    r€nato says:

    …of course, since you brought up ‘usury’ (which is not the same as ‘making obscene profits’), I’m also in favor of bringing back usury laws, specifically WRT credit card companies and payday loan stores.

    But that’s not the same as taxing people simply because the mob thinks they make too damned much money. It’s consumer protection. I’m all in favor of free markets but most people with common sense realize that free markets need some regulation. We don’t let drug companies sell whatever they want and caveat emptor, yet that same argument is used by free-market cultists who abhor any sort of regulation of payday loan stores.

    People should be left free to make foolish decisions to some extent, but surely our society should be decent enough to not allow the gullible/financially illiterate to be preyed upon.

  65. 65
    Zifnab says:

    Ahhh, I see the gas tax wankfest is still going strong.

    Shorter Myiq2xu: Ahhh

  66. 66
    cleek says:

    Question: If Hillary wins the nomination, what are you all going to say now that you have shamelessly and baselessly run her name through the mud?

    golly, them Clinton supporters are sure good at projection, ain’t they ?

  67. 67
    cleek says:

    But, this Gas-Tax thing ain’t got shit. No Hippitty Hoppitty Dildo, no Jolly Old Tickle Finger, not even a Stuffed Pucker with Cranberry Sauce. If it wasn’t for the anxiety and dread, I wouldn’t think its a holiday at all.

    i suggest Pander the Panda.

  68. 68
    Tim Fuller says:

    When all this is over I hope you all realize that we’re on the same side.

    When it’s ultimately ‘all over’ we’ll definitely all be on the same side, but if you are referring to the election, I think you have nothing to fear.

    Not that the Republicans wouldn’t do their best to package Satan as an attractive candidate for their flock of sheep if it might perpetuate their lust for power and bloodshed.

    The only way a Repub wins this cycle is by outright theft no matter who the Dem candidate is. I just hope we can get the best of the bunch. Ordered my new OBAMA08 custom Mississippi Car Tag yesterday! Replacing my IMPEACH tag from last year. LOL.

    Enjoy.

  69. 69
    Shygetz says:

    Guess what folks – Swift Boat 2008 (Hillary edition) has already arrived and is in operation. Except this time, it was carried out with the full cooperation of the same people who denounced in 2004.

    You’re right; we’ve taken a bona fide war hero who stared down snipers in Tuzla and lied to say she never did any such thing. Oh, wait…

    When all this is over I hope you all realize that we’re on the same side. Yes, there are some crazed Clinton supporters just as there are some crazed Obama supporters, but to impugn the sincerity and intelligence of all supporters simply because you have some “gut” dislike for one candidate.

    My dislike is not nested in my gut. It is nested in my brain which, being situated between my ears, has gotten tired of being bombarded with her lies, smears, and blatant panders that are against the best interests of her constituents and her party. But hey, I can be persuaded. Tell me exactly how this master politician and horse trader plans on passing both a gas tax holiday AND a windfall profits tax in time to help this summer. And then, after you’ve done that, I’m willing to listen to how this combo would help consumers without ruining a sustainable energy policy. I’m listening intently.

  70. 70
    ThymeZone says:

    I haven’t read the thread (too busy today), and besides, myiq0xu has crapped it up I see.

    But as for the top post … I don’t see how the prayer thing is much different from what I do.

    Whenever I go to the gas station, I look at the price and say “Jesus H. Fucking Christ.”

    It doesn’t seem to lower the price any, but it does make me feel better. And I know that the Lord hears me.

    Heh.

  71. 71
    Justin says:

    Wrong, I know that Obama would make a fine president — and I would much prefer that he be on the ticket regardless of whether it’s President or V.P. His contributions to the campaign in energizing grassroots support and his measured approach to foreign policy are an important part of the Democratic message (talking to our enemies, etc). I wanted John Edwards to be our next President, but too much attention to his hairstyle and the “Breck girl” narrative, perpetuated by the press and even to a lesser degree the blogosphere, deprived us of his candidacy. I know I didn’t post too many comments here defending Jeremiah Wright and Obama against the smears leveled against them, but that’s simply because I didn’t need to. You all knew what horseshit it was from day one. I still prefer that these candidates make an attempt to earn my vote and that we extract crucial campaign pledges from them that they will feel obliged to keep — not just hand them the nomination to them because we want to end this party and have “unity.” We don’t have unity of opinions and we likely never will. But we can work together to achieve a common goal, and uncautiously smearing Clinton not only makes it more likely that McCain will be elected, but that her more progressive policy proposals (that are still sound, no matter what kind of immature jokes you make) will appear to have been discredited. Think about the story Hillary related about the woman dying because she was turned away from a hospital — because so many jumped the gun and called her a liar, the message at the end of the day seemed to be that “Hillary is lying to make hospital look bad” and that we all actually do have health care. Which we know is not the case…the story turned out to be true, but even if it was false it would not change that immutable fact.

  72. 72
    4tehlulz says:

    Question: If Hillary wins the nomination, what are you all going to say now that you have shamelessly and baselessly run her name through the mud?

    Please kindly don’t threaten to “obliterate” countries kthx.

  73. 73
    JHinAZ says:

    “Prayer is the answer to every problem in life…”

    Yeah — how did that work out for the miners trapped in Sago and Crandall Canyon? Everybody all across the nation praying. That did so much good – solved the problem…

    It never ceases to amaze me how these dumb shits never get a prayer answered, but it “just strengthens my faith”. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

    They can keep praying, I’ll keep watching the price of gas to see how that works out for ’em.

  74. 74
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    God answers all prayers; usually, the answer is “No.”

  75. 75
    Justin says:

    But hey, I can be persuaded. Tell me exactly how this master politician and horse trader plans on passing both a gas tax holiday AND a windfall profits tax in time to help this summer. And then, after you’ve done that, I’m willing to listen to how this combo would help consumers without ruining a sustainable energy policy. I’m listening intently.

    Neither Senator Clinton, nor Senator Obama, can “pass” these alone by this summer. The point of this is what they are willing to publicly say that they would support – they are for good or ill the leaders of our party right now, and I for one have been waiting to see the candidates make proposals or make campaign pledges so that we might get a better idea of who we should support.

  76. 76
    jake says:

    Question: If Hillary wins the nomination, what are you all going to say now that you have shamelessly and baselessly run her name through the mud? Guess what folks – Swift Boat 2008 (Hillary edition) has already arrived and is in operation. Except this time, it was carried out with the full cooperation of the same people who denounced in 2004.

    Because people snarking on a blog is exactly the same as a carefully orchestrated ad campaign. I guess we’d better be nice to Hillary no matter how distasteful and obnoxious we find her behavior, because she is on “our side.”

    Maybe it would help if we marched in lock step. Come on, if Republicans can do it, so can you!

  77. 77
    Justin says:

    And if this is such a stupid idea, why did Obama support it multiple times in the Illinois state senate?

  78. 78
    r€nato says:

    why did Obama support it multiple times in the Illinois state senate?

    It could be that, you know, he learned something from that, like it doesn’t work.

    Or maybe he should just refuse to admit he made a mistake, just like our wonderful president.

  79. 79
    crw says:

    And if this is such a stupid idea, why did Obama support it multiple times in the Illinois state senate?

    Oh for fuck’s sake. Obama admitted this was a mistake on Press the Meat this weekend. Nice try, though.

  80. 80
    srv says:

    “Prayer is the answer to every problem in life… We call on God to intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high,”

    If this is winning, it would appear that their god is obviously bigger than our god.

  81. 81
    Andrew says:

    And if this is such a stupid idea, why did Obama support it multiple times in the Illinois state senate?

    (1) Because it’s not quite the same idea. Indeed there are important differences between a state levied percentage sales tax on consumers versus the flat per gallon federal tax paid by producers. I don’t expect Clinton supporters to grasp any kind of basic economics at this point, so I won’t bother explaining why these differences are important.

    (2) It was STILL a bad idea, though not nearly as bad as a federal gas tax suspension. Obama apparently has the capability to LEARN.

  82. 82
    RSA says:

    “We call on God to intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high”

    Why does this guy hate Americans who own SUVs? Or maybe he’s calling on God to repeal the law of supply and demand.

  83. 83
    Ripley says:

    The thing to remember is that even if Hillary were to somehow breeze a windfall tax bill thru Legislature and the White House, Big Oil would. not. pay. the. tax.

    They’ve learned, through years of hanging out with BushCo scofflaws, that there will be no consequences for failure, theft, fraud and generally dismissing any sort of laws or demands made by the Legislature. These people are living on a different moral plane and have no regard for the quaint notion of right & wrong or what’s best for the country.

    “Fuck you, Jack, I got mine!”

  84. 84
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    And if this is such a stupid idea, why did Obama support it multiple times in the Illinois state senate?

    0/10. I may award a point if you find yourself a paragraph break or two, though.

  85. 85
    David Hunt says:

    Clinton has said many times that hers would be paired with a windfall profits tax…so why do you persist?

    It’s been a long time since my high school Government class, but IIRC, any new tax bill cannot be started in the Senate. The Constitution states that new taxes have to first be proposed in the House of Representatives. Once (or if) it gets out of the House, the Senate can then debate/amend/kill it and then the two of them will get together and try to work out a bill that they can both pass (if it gets that far).

    So…although it’s not really fair to criticize Senator Clinton for not introducing legislation for a windfall profits tax as some have done here, she still deserves derision for the statement. Just how is she going to convince the House get her little gem of an idea to the Senate for her to work on in the first place? I haven’t heard Word One about any steps she’s taking to bring that about. Plus the whole idea of the the gas tax holiday is stupid due to the inelasticity of Supply that has been discussed here and other places many times. Oh, and she hasn’t even introduced legislation to bring that about, so we know that it’s entirely pandering, anyway…

  86. 86
    r€nato says:

    “Prayer is the answer to every problem in life”

    is it, really? Great! Next time you get sick, don’t bother with the hospital or the doctor. Just pray your illness away! When your PC gets infected with multiple viruses, don’t take it to the PC fixit guy. Just pray over it!

    Oy.

  87. 87
    Justin says:

    But it did work, it did what it was designed to do, as the Salon article that was so casually dismissed illustrated.

  88. 88
    cleek says:

    Neither Senator Clinton, nor Senator Obama, can “pass” these alone by this summer.

    then she should STFU about it. why the hell would she pander on and on and on about a thing that she knows can’t happen ? why try to smear her opponent over not supporting something that she has no intention of following-through on herself ?

    because she’s a disingenuous pandering hack? why, yes.

  89. 89
    r€nato says:

    Just how is she going to convince the House get her little gem of an idea to the Senate for her to work on in the first place?

    well, that’s the beauty of her pandering, isn’t it? She can just blame the House for any inaction on her part.

    Elite experts would tell you that the House is controlled by the members of her party and Hillary W. Clinton could just call Nancy Pelosi and ask her to introduce the bill, but are you going to listen to those effete out-of-touch so-called ‘experts’???

  90. 90
    lethargytartare says:

    Justin Says:
    Paul Krugman has an entry up today pointing out that Obama, in his ad, distorted his words:

    Which ad, Justin? Or did you follow Krugman’s lead and simply decide it wasn’t worth your time to verify that any distortion, in fact, happened?

    His blog readers did, maybe you should try reading their comments and get back to us.

  91. 91
    Svensker says:

    Or maybe he’s calling on God to repeal the law of supply and demand.

    Dubya’s God would just do a signing statement.

  92. 92
    TR says:

    Ahhh, I see the gas tax wankfest is still going strong.

    You mean the Clinton campaign? Yeah, they’re still going through the motions.

  93. 93
    JHinAZ says:

    “God answers all prayers; usually, the answer is “No.””
    Yeah, right – this and the standard “We mere mortals can’t understand God’s great plan” are the totally vacuous, meaningless “answers” that you religious types come up with to explain away the fact that prayer does nothing.

    One person actually doing something is better than 10,000 people praying. Question – if you were trapped in a mine which would you rather have on your side (no fair choosing both):
    1) A group of rescuers with a drill rig, drilling a shaft to give you air and to drop food and water down to you.
    2) 10,000 people with hands joined praying fervently.

    I know which I’d choose.

  94. 94
    Davebo says:

    Question: If Hillary wins the nomination, what are you all going to say now that you have shamelessly and baselessly run her name through the mud?

    Depends on how Clinton managed to win the nomination.

    Does she murder Obama at a debate? Or kidnap thousands of children of superdelegates?

  95. 95
    Martin says:

    Gas tax is small potatoes next to breaking up OPEC. Busting up OPEC is economic doom for the US since they’re the ones that make our dollars worth anything. Kick OPEC in the ass and they’ll hop over to Euros in a heartbeat.

    would. not. pay. the. tax.

    Actually, they would. The IRS is one of the agencies that actually does shit. Corporations don’t like their auditors crawling up their asses either. Granted, they do try and hide money from the IRS like mad, but they wouldn’t be so dumb as to willingly refuse to pay a high-profile tax like that.

    Among the better programs, the IRS will pay whistleblowers a commission if they turn their employers in for tax evasion (with documentation and you will be investigated to be sure you weren’t knowingly complicit in the act):

    As long as the total amount of tax fraud comes out to at least $2 million (including penalties, interest, and whatever else the government ultimately collects based on your report), you can get a 15 to 30 percent cut.

    On Exxon-sized taxes that hits a sweet-ass retirement package in no time at all.

  96. 96
    The Moar You Know says:

    I, for one, am very happy to see Birdzilla back, and in classic form.

    TIME TO NUKE SOME KIDS AND TAKE THEIR PARENTS AND OBAMA AND HILLARY AND FEED THEM INTO A WOODCHIPPER AND TAKE THE PILE OF PARENTS AND OBAMA AND HILLARY AND FEED IT TO THE BIRDS AND THEN GRIND UP THE BIRDS IN THE WOODCHIPPER AND FEED THE BIRDS TO MY KITTIES WHO WILL THEN POOP AND THE POOP WILL MAKE MOAR REPUBLICANS

    You know, I’m going to stop, I think I’m a little too good at that. We missed ya, Birdzilla. Thankfully, like a good herpes infection, you keep coming back.

  97. 97
    jake says:

    Justin Translated: Don’t trust anyone who learns from past mistakes!

    This is why we should admire Hillary for refusing to say her vote on the AUMF was a bit of a boner. And her sabre rattling in Iran’s general direction? Pure. Genius.

  98. 98
    Fledermaus says:

    Neither Senator Clinton, nor Senator Obama, can “pass” these alone by this summer.

    And how will this change if HRC is in the white house? The president has even less power to propose legislation. If she can’t get enough votes in congress to pass it now, what will be different next summer? She’s spent most of her campaign talking, and talking and talking, about how only she can get things done – well, let’s see it.

  99. 99
    Andrew says:

    Actually, they would. The IRS is one of the agencies that actually does shit. Corporations don’t like their auditors crawling up their asses either. Granted, they do try and hide money from the IRS like mad, but they wouldn’t be so dumb as to willingly refuse to pay a high-profile tax like that.

    No, they won’t. A temporary windfall tax is perhaps the single easiest type of tax for companies to avoid. They can take pending charges during the windfall period, they can delay reporting income or profits, they can accelerate spending, etc.

  100. 100
    r€nato says:

    funny how the oil companies haven’t said jack about the gas tax holiday.

    Not. A. Word.

    Methinks they know something. Such as, let’s keep our mouths shut, it probably won’t happen but if it does we will get quite a gift.

  101. 101
    Shygetz says:

    Neither Senator Clinton, nor Senator Obama, can “pass” these alone by this summer. The point of this is what they are willing to publicly say that they would support

    Geoff Garin, her top strategist, said “People need relief now and you can’t say that you have to wait for a couple of years, help is on the way. People are hurting now.” Clinton is telling Congressmen to declare if they are with her or against her on the gas tax NOW. So, are you misrepresenting Senator Clinton, or are Sen. Clinton and her chief strategist misrepresenting her? Is she proposing something real for right now (which you insist she is not), or is she just pandering with something not only universely derided by experts, but wholly impossible to enact (which makes her claim to be a seasoned and experienced politico a bit specious). And before you elaborate on you “Obama did it too!” portion of the argument, what part of “don’t reduce the gas tax” can Obama not “enact”?

    Honestly, how far does the woman have to go before you say “Okay, now she’s just pandering.” Promise a chicken in every pot?

  102. 102
    jake says:

    funny how the oil companies haven’t said jack about the gas tax holiday.

    Not. A. Word.

    Methinks they know something. Such as, let’s keep our mouths shut, it probably won’t happen but if it does we will get quite a gift.

    If they thought there was a chance in hell we’d be bombarded by ads sponsored by “Citizens for Sane Gas Prices,” or some other completely independent and totally not owned by gas companies organization.

    BTW renato, it seems you haven’t been around for a while. Welcome back. Unless you have been and I just haven’t noticed in which case er … uh … never mind.

  103. 103
    Zifnab says:

    No, they won’t. A temporary windfall tax is perhaps the single easiest type of tax for companies to avoid. They can take pending charges during the windfall period, they can delay reporting income or profits, they can accelerate spending, etc.

    Or they can just tie up the tax in courts on Constitutional grounds.

    That’s why the best way to tax the oil companies, themselves, would be to revoke all their tax breaks. You can’t easily challenge a revoked tax break in court. You’d have to argue that the Constitution protects you against a tax levied against everyone else. You can, however, argue that a new windfall tax singles you out for discrimination on any number of grounds.

    But, again, the problem isn’t really the oil companies. They benefit from the market forces and they manipulate the market forces, but Exxon and Shell aren’t strong-arming private investors to buy up futures in record numbers.

    The fundamental problem is gasoline as a commodity. So long as the demand for investment vehicles makes oil a lucrative purchase, you’ll continue to see prices rise. A better idea than a simple Windfall Profits Tax would be to raise the Capital Gains Tax to pre-Bush Cut levels. 5% off the top of all investment income would be as effective as anything.

  104. 104
    Martin says:

    No, they won’t. A temporary windfall tax is perhaps the single easiest type of tax for companies to avoid. They can take pending charges during the windfall period, they can delay reporting income or profits, they can accelerate spending, etc.

    Ah, true. If the windfall was just for summer, they’d mysteriously not make much money during the summer yet make twice as much during fall. That goes under “try and hide money from the IRS like mad”. But if it was a permanent deal, they really couldn’t. Sooner or later you have to report the profits.

    IIRC, Obama is proposing something essentially permanent. Not sure if Clinton is proposing a permanent or a summer thing – but I always assumed it was a permanent deal on the profits and just a summer thing on the taxes.

    And I don’t think anyone has mentioned that these are taxing two different groups. The $.18 tax is paid by the retailer – which could be Chevron, Costco, or your aunt and uncle with their station out in the woods. The windfall is paid presumably by the drillers – they’re the ones really making out here. Only Chevron would get hit here. The profits to be made from the tax holiday are by the refiners, with the retailers probably holding on to as much of it as competition will allow, but they’ll ultimately bid up the wholesale price of gas which will benefit the refiners. That too is Chevron, but also refiner/retailers like Velaro, who I would guess would also be subject to the windfall tax law, though the refiners are struggling:

    Oil refiner Valero Energy said today its first-quarter profit tumbled 77 percent as higher oil prices cut into its margins for gasoline and other refined products.

    The San Antonio-based company, North America’s largest refiner, said it earned $261 million, or 48 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31 compared with $1.14 billion, or $1.86 per share, for the same quarter in 2007.

    The latest quarter’s results include a pretax benefit of $101 million, or 12 cents per share. Thomson Financial says analysts expected a profit of 29 cents per share. The estimates typically exclude one-time items.

    Revenue was up to $27.9 billion from $18.7 billion a year ago.

    The company noted the average price of the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude increased nearly $40 a barrel in the quarter, while the average wholesale price of Gulf Coast conventional gasoline rose by about $34 a barrel.

    $261M profit on $28B in sales is shitty. The drillers that also have refining operations are killing the non-drillers.

    This is just more reason why this gas tax thing is utterly retarded and why economists are right to come out against it. It simply won’t translate to lower prices at the pump.

  105. 105
    John S. says:

    Justin Translated: Don’t trust anyone who learns from past mistakes!

    You took the words out of my mouth.

    Justin frames Obama’s ‘duplicity’ on the gas tax from a Hillary POV. Since she cannot admit to mistakes (and by extension learn from them), he assumes Obama is the same.

    This is yet another clear distinction between the two candidates.

  106. 106
    myiq2xu says:

    Der Krugman:

    OK, this has gone overboard.

    Hillary Clinton’s proposed gas tax holiday is not, in my view, a good idea. But the furor over what is, when all is said and done, a small and temporary policy proposal is entirely disproportionate. What’s going on?

    Part of it, clearly, is the fact that many people in the media really, really want Obama to win and Clinton to lose — read Kurt Andersen — and have seized on the gas tax as their latest proof that she is ee-ee-vil.

    Yep. The OFB have panties in a real twist. I guess it ain’t no fun trying to drag that dead pony across the finish line.

    “Hurry! She’s gaining on us!”

    Weekend at Bernie’s Barry’s.

  107. 107
    Tax Analyst says:

    4tehlulz Says:

    Because it takes 60 votes to pass any controversial bill in the Senate, McCain and Clinton will easily fall short.

    A real press would note that this is due to a Republican filibuster, not some bizarre rule about controversial bills needing 60 votes….

    Totally true and a source of incredible annoyance to me. Rather than explain WHY it now takes 60 votes to pass anything the press has decided it’s easier to skip that part and just tell people that 60 votes are needed.

    Every time I see that in the lead paragraph of a news story in a major newspaper (the L.A. Times, for example – a major offender) all I can do is stop and go “WTF”…although sometimes I throw the paper across the room for a little added emphasis.

    And newspapers wonder why they are dying. They’re by nature slower than the InterNet and the one area they can do better is explain and give details, but they don’t.

  108. 108
    MFA says:

    Wait–“Twyman, a former Miss Washington DC, the owner of a small construction company and two volunteers…”

    She owns the two volunteers? I thought that was illegal.

    .

  109. 109
    r€nato says:

    renato, it seems you haven’t been around for a while. Welcome back.

    thanks. Once in a while I take a break from commenting in order to have a life.

  110. 110

    Part of it, clearly, is the fact that many people in the media really, really want Obama to win and Clinton to lose — read Kurt Andersen — and have seized on the gas tax as their latest proof that she is ee-ee-vil.

    Someone needs to tell Krugman that Clinton just called him an elitist … all because he knows how to count.

    Anyone outside Clinton’s bloc of rustbelt losers and the menopause caucus, we’re all elitists!
    .

  111. 111
    Dork says:

    $261M profit on $28B in sales is shitty.

    Could very easily be the understatement of the month.

  112. 112
    Punchy says:

    Doesn’t Obizzle owe us a honorary post or Op-Ed here? I mean, we raised $15 large for his sorry ass. That’s good for 15 Vegas hookers, a decent used car, or perhaps grub for the homeless for a year….or, you’d think, perhaps at least an obligatory thread post or comment from That Crazy Black Man….no?

  113. 113
    Shygetz says:

    Clinton’s biggest sin on the gas tax issue is not proposing the gas tax holiday and windfall tax. It’s the fact that, when the experts all line up and say the idea is bad, rather than say “Hmmm, maybe I should rethink this idea” which would be commendable, she says “Screw the experts!” I’ve had enough of that from Bush, thank you very much.

  114. 114
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    I guess it ain’t no fun trying to drag that dead pony across the finish line.

    At what stage of the grief cycle does ‘Rampant Projection’ come into play?

  115. 115
    jake says:

    thanks. Once in a while I take a break from commenting in order to have a life.

    Elitist!

  116. 116
    Fledermaus says:

    Part of it, clearly, is the fact that many people in the media really, really want Obama to win and Clinton to lose

    For the life of me I don’t understand how the “everyone hates HRC and want to see her lose” argument is a reason to support her. Yeah – let’s nominate the person that a bunch of the country has taken an irrational dislike to.

  117. 117
    Martin says:

    But the furor over what is, when all is said and done, a small and temporary policy proposal is entirely disproportionate. What’s going on?

    When the candidate runs on being the policy wonk that will actually get things done and then floats bad policy, that sorta calls the whole basis of that assessment in question, no?

    Further, when the candidate puts all their energy behind that bad policy to the exclusion of almost everything else (is she running any non-gas tax ads?) and challenges Congress to back her up, even though it risks being an endorsement for the Republican by doing so, then it goes beyond being a question.

    Sometimes it’s the small things that gives people away, not the big ones. If she’s willing to argue with the economists on a simple, unanimously viewed issue like this, what about the big complicated ones where there is a mixed opinion? Seems we’d be back in voodoo territory on the big stuff.

  118. 118
    myiq2xu says:

    For the life of me I don’t understand how the “everyone hates HRC and want to see her lose” argument is a reason to support her. Yeah – let’s nominate the person that a bunch of the country has taken an irrational dislike to.

    Massive fail: You try to convert “many people in the media” into “everyone.”

    At least you were honest about the fact that disliking Hillary is irrational.

  119. 119
    Martin says:

    Yeah – let’s nominate the person that a bunch of the country has taken an irrational dislike to.

    Ah, because she’s doing pretty well in spite of that, which means that rationally she must be like, 1000 times better than anyone else.

    Contrarianism doesn’t mean that everyone else is wrong, merely that you’re doing something different. That’s why so much focus on cult/stuffed shirt/elite/etc. It has nothing to do with us or Obama rationally, just that those that toss those comments feel the need to cut across the herd. myiq has admitted that he doesn’t like Clinton, he just hates the herd. p.luc is different – he pathologically sees sexism behind the whole thing based on his comments here and elsewhere. Everyone hates Clinton because of her vagina.

  120. 120
    cleek says:

    I mean, we raised $15 large for his sorry ass. That’s good for 15 Vegas hookers, a decent used car, or perhaps grub for the homeless for a year

    or 90,000 packages of ramen.

  121. 121
    myiq2xu says:

    Sometimes it’s the small things that gives people away, not the big ones.

    Small things like their choice of friends? (cough, cough, Rezko, Ayers, cough)

    How about their choice of spiritual advisor? Or maybe small things like what they say about some Americans clinging to guns and religion because they are bitter?

  122. 122
    cbear says:

    I guess it ain’t no fun trying to drag that dead pony across the finish line.

    You’re right, but it’s going to take you at least 3 trips to haul her ass across that line.

  123. 123
    Martin says:

    Massive fail: You try to convert “many people in the media” into “everyone.”

    Double massive fail:

    He wasn’t saying that everyone hates HRC. He’s saying that HRC supporters say everyone hates HRC. And generally, that seems to be the case. mydd has boycotted every media outlet except Fox and a huge chunk of the blogosphere. The Clinton campaign has been calling out the media this entire campaign:

    Bill Clinton voiced his abiding anger at the media’s coverage of him and his wife in Durham, N.H., today, and suggested that media bias will force Clinton to go negative on Barack Obama.

    That was just before Iowa. The media made HRC the presumptive nominee throughout 2007 and they are biased against her? They were biased against the entire rest of the field for most of 2007.

  124. 124
    myiq2xu says:

    myiq has admitted that he doesn’t like Clinton, he just hates the herd.

    I never said that. I said she wasn’t my first choice, she was my fifth.

    But as the campaign has gone on, I realize she should have been my second choice. (I would still like to see Gore as President)

  125. 125
    myiq2xu says:

    He’s saying that HRC supporters say everyone hates HRC.

    Not everyone hates Hillary. Just the irrational ones.

  126. 126
    Martin says:

    Small things like their choice of friends?

    How about their choice of spiritual advisor?

    Are you seriously suggesting that associations should be dragged into this? And that it favors Clinton? Who in the Obama camp is dragging her associations out? Granted, there are so many opportunities there, but it’s not relevant, so we stay off of it.

    You have been hammering on policy, experience, etc. mattering and when we hit Clinton on policy judgement we’re back to who sits next to who in a meeting. Let’s try this again:

    How does the gas tax holiday reinforce her claim that she’s an experienced policy wonk that will deliver real solutions to the nation?

  127. 127

    Or maybe small things like what they say about some Americans clinging to guns and religion because they are bitter?

    Or cling to some rustbelt poseuse who’s suddenly gone populist about as quickly as she’ll go back to the DLC?

    Bitter isn’t even the word for that.
    .

  128. 128
    Martin says:

    Not everyone hates Hillary. Just the irrational ones.

    So nobody can rationally hate Hillary as a candidate? Gotcha.

  129. 129
    PeterJ says:

    If Hillary wins the nomination, what are you all going to say now that you have shamelessly and baselessly run her name through the mud?

    If pigs can fly…

  130. 130
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Are you seriously suggesting that associations should be dragged into this? And that it favors Clinton?

    Desperation is never a very pretty sight.

  131. 131
    Genine says:

    But we can work together to achieve a common goal, and uncautiously smearing Clinton not only makes it more likely that McCain will be elected, but that her more progressive policy proposals (that are still sound, no matter what kind of immature jokes you make) will appear to have been discredited. Think about the story Hillary related about the woman dying because she was turned away from a hospital—because so many jumped the gun and called her a liar, the message at the end of the day seemed to be that “Hillary is lying to make hospital look bad” and that we all actually do have health care. Which we know is not the case…the story turned out to be true, but even if it was false it would not change that immutable fact.

    Neither Senator Clinton, nor Senator Obama, can “pass” these alone by this summer. The point of this is what they are willing to publicly say that they would support – they are for good or ill the leaders of our party right now, and I for one have been waiting to see the candidates make proposals or make campaign pledges so that we might get a better idea of who we should support.

    Justin, I totally agree that we should work together on common goals and, once the primary is done with, come back together to defeat McCain. However, people have a right to their anger and the anger at Hillary is totally justified in many ways. People, a lot of people, have had enough with the lies and bullshit over the past 8 years. Democrats are “suppose” (I hate that word) to be above all that and do something different. Of course neither Clinton or Obama are the Dalai Lama or anything, but really it doesn’t take much to be better than Bush or Rove.

    And, maybe that’s what’s so infuriating is that Clinton is acting just like them when really it wouldn’t take much to rise above all of that. It’s a betrayal and so when there is a betrayal, there tends to be a little anger. John mentioned how he’s been a Republican for almost 20 years, just recently switched parties and he is a better Democrat than Hillary is. He said “How fucked up is that?”. Well, I have no way of quantifying fucked-upedness, but I’d have to say that situation is fucked up to an extraordinary degree.

    I’ve said before, Obama has ruined politics for me in a way. I really feel as though he is trying to raise the bar on politics and political discourse and whether he succeeds or not, I admire and am grateful for the fact that he is trying. I don’t think anyone, whether you support her or not, can say that Hillary is trying to raise anything. She’s just pandering to the lowest common denominator and trying to capitalize on the worst in people. And that kind of shit needs to stop for the good of everyone because it’s bringing us down as a nation and as human beings, in general.

  132. 132
    Fledermaus says:

    So nobody can rationally hate Hillary as a candidate?

    No, no. the irration haters – like small states and caucus states. After all they’ve added a question on all presidential ballots – “is your vote based on irrational reasons?” if they mark yes then the vote will not be counted.

    Less snarky – it doesn’t matter that a bunch of people don’t like her for reasons that make little sense, they won’t vote for her. Now I can understand why HRC supporters think that is not fair. But turning that around into a reason to support her defies all reason.

  133. 133
    Tax Analyst says:

    Grumpy Code Monkey Says:

    God answers all prayers; usually, the answer is “No.”

    That’s funny, I usually get, “Reply hazy, ask again later”…Oh, wait – that’s from my 8-ball. Sorry, I get God and the 8-ball mixed up all the time.

  134. 134
    Martin says:

    Sorry, I get God and the 8-ball mixed up all the time.

    The 8-ball is the one that doesn’t hate fags.

  135. 135
    Tax Analyst says:

    Martin says:

    The 8-ball is the one that doesn’t hate fags.

    Got it. Thanks.

    I knew there was a reason I used the 8-ball more often.

  136. 136
    Soylent Green says:

    Justin Says:
    When all this is over I hope you all realize that we’re on the same side

    .

    Except that we’re not. I’m on the side that favors honesty and integrity over political expediency. The side that knows the difference between a meaningful campaign pledge and a cynical pander. The side that treats a Democratic competitor with more deference and care than the Republican nominee gets. The side that puts the nation’s future above personal ambition.

    When this started up my list was Edwards, Clinton, and Richardson, in that order. I barely knew who Obama was. When Edwards quit I went to Hillary and thought a Clinton/Obama ticket was a great idea. Then Hillary lost me in about 20 seconds with “Barack is not a Muslim, as far as I know.” The light bulb went on over my head and I started to see Hillary in another light. Every thing she has done since then has brightened that light into a very painful glare. Her politics are okay, her qualifications are good enough, I don’t blame her for still running. It’s her character I can’t abide.

    We don’t have unity of opinions and we likely never will. But we can work together to achieve a common goal, and uncautiously smearing Clinton not only makes it more likely that McCain will be elected…

    In the highly unlikely prospect that she wins the nomination. Much more likely is Obama’s win, and the Clinton camp’s eagerness to make him unelectable may do just that. That’s the much bigger transgression to the party.

    If she wins I’ll vote for her, but she’ll never see a dime or minute of support from me, and in future I’ll be sure to remember the difference between our two sides. One has inspired me to think we still have democracy in this country. The other is the same old power-politics bullshit.

  137. 137
    ThymeZone says:

    It’s her character I can’t abide.

    Bingo. That summarizes it for most of the anti-HRC crowd here, I’m sure. Her character is … how should I put it … scary bad. She is a classic example of what people can turn into when you give them political power. Everything is caculated, everything is politics, and politics is everything. If Obama never said anything other than that Ends Justify Means politics is a bad idea, I’d be for him. Just on that one point, alone. It’s my belief that EJM is not compatible with democracy, and my further belief that HRC is just as much a committed EJM thinker as GWB is, maybe more.

  138. 138
    Stoney says:

    What really pisses me off about Clinton and McCain’s “Gas Tax Holiday” is that not one economist thinks it’s a good idea or the fact that anyone with a High School education should know that it won’t work or that if it did work the savings would be a drop in the bucket or that it doesn’t address the real issue…what really pisses me off is that Clinton and McCain fully realize that it’s a non-start proposal. No one in Congress is pushing the idea and you know if it harms his oil buddies in the slightest, Bush will veto. This is pure pandering. It’s just plain dishonest and insulting to the voters.

  139. 139
    DonkeyKong says:

    There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil oil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and gas tax holidays, shepherds the weak through the valley of the oil futures. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of 30 to 40 bucks a month. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my voter. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.” I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before you price fixed a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. Now I’m thinkin’: it could mean you’re the evil oil man. And I’m the righteous bitch. And Mrs. pander here, she’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could be you’re the righteous bitch and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of desperation. But I’m tryin, Barak. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.

    Not!

  140. 140
    Michael Lewis says:

    Demand $2 a Gallon Gas

    Oil was $120 a barrel on May 5, 2008.

    The cost of a barrel of synthetic fuel from coal is estimated to be $55, including the infrastructure and labor force necessary to operate plants.

    Germany fueled WWII with synfuel from coal. It is proven technology.

    America has 1/3rd of the coal on Earth and can eliminate dependence on foreign oil.

    Reducing America’s trade imbalance keeps money and jobs here in America.

    Every billion in trade deficit costs 13,000 American jobs. $400 billion for oil last year: you do the math.

    And we can stop sending billions to countries that sponsor terrorism.

    Synfuels are cleaner burning than gasoline and carbon sequestration can remove CO2.
    Visit http://governor.mt.gov/hottopics/faqsynthetic.asp

    Harness your anger at the pump. Call you’re US Senators and demand they break ground on America’s energy independence by encouraging an American synfuel industry in this decade.

    If you don’t raise your voice the oil companies, lobbyist and politicians will assume you are fat, dumb and happy and ready to pay even more.

  141. 141
    Michael Lewis says:

    HOW AMERICA BECAME FOREIGN OIL DEPENDENT & WHY IT STAYS THAT WAY

    Perhaps the legitimate desire to preserve water front property plays a role in stopping the development of new refineries and oil exploration. But international agreements and foreign tax credits have much more to do with it:

    The United States agreed to transfer jobs and technology to developing countries under
    INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT
    Algiers Declaration
    Algiers, Algeria, 4-6 March 1975

    In this context, they emphasize the necessity for the full implementation of the Programme of Action adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its VI Special Session, and accordingly they emphasize the following requirements [excerpt from full declaration]

    “With regard to the depletable natural resources, as OPEC’s petroleum resources are, it is essential that the transfer of technology must be commensurate in speed and volume with the rate of their depletion, which is being accelerated for the benefit and growth of the economies of the developed countries”

    A major portion of the planned or new petrochemical complexes, oil refineries and fertilizer plants be built in the territories of OPEC Member Countries with the co-operation of industrialized nations for export purposes to the developed countries with guaranteed access for such products to the markets of these countries. [Excerpt from declaration Read sections 10 and 11]
    FOREIGN TAX CREDITS
    In 1977 Representative Benjamin Rosenthal of New York produced secret Internal Revenue Service documents going back to 1950. They showed that the tax laws of Saudi Arabia were drafted with the help of Aramco to call the added price of oil not a “royalty” or “cost of doing business,” as was proper, but an income tax.” The Saudis did this knowing that income tax paid to a foreign country is deductible from the income taxes an oil company pays the United States on all income received in the United States by the parent firm. From Pgs. 61-64 The Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian 5th edition paperback color emphasis added

    “This plan was approved in secret session of the National Security Council and carried out without any request for authorization by Congress. A quarter of a century later, when members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee un-earthed details, the source of the king’s added income had become too self-evident for comment.” From pgs. 193-196 Oil Power The Rise and Fall of An American Empire by Carl Solberg 1976 paperback

    “Essential to the deal was a renegotiation of Aramco’s royalties, most of which were now called taxes. These were increased to a level equal to half the company’s expected profits for the year. The amount of the rise just happened to equal the income taxes the company had been paying to the U.S. Treasury. Thus, by a transfer to the Saudis of a sum that would henceforth have to be made up to the U.S. government by its taxpayers, the 12. progressive fitly-fifty profit-split plan was introduced to the Eastern Hemisphere, and the lord of the world’s richest oil pools was bound over to the United States as never before: the Saudi monarchy became outspoken in its anticommunism.” From pgs. 193-196 Oil Power The Rise and Fall of An American Empire by Carl Solberg 1976 paperback

    “This practice, perfected in Saudi Arabia, was quickly adopted elsewhere. Eventually, every oil-producing nation where American companies had a concession enacted an income tax law to increase its oil revenue by tapping the foreign tax credit provision of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.” From pgs. 183-190 America: Who Really Pays The Taxes by Donald L.Barlett & James B. Steele paperback

    “Since that time the major multinational U.S. oil companies have paid hardly a penny of U.S. income tax on their foreign income.” page130 BANKS. BORROWERS, AND THE ESTABLISHMENT

    Excepts from Aramco’s Stormy Petrol
    Monday, Dec. 24, 1979
    http://www.time.com/time/magaz.....-1,00.html

    In their middleman role, Aramco’s American chiefs plainly have divided loyalties. From Chairman John J. Kelberer, a career-long Aramco engineering manager, on down, executives remain determined to do nothing that would anger their Saudi hosts or jeopardize the company’s concession. During the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo, Aramco’s executives not only did as they were told by the Saudi government, but cut back production by more than requested just to show that they were good Saudi corporate citizens.
    SO CONSUMERS WILL ULTIMATELY PAY MORE

    REFINERIES IN AMERICA OPERATING AT 85% CAPACITY
    Excerpts from Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois floor statement http://durbin.senate.gov/showR.....eId=296989 below:

    That is fact. The oil companies say: Well, the problem is we do not have enough refineries. If we had more, then we would have more product and we might have a smaller spread and we would not be. Let me tell you what: Today, the refineries in America are operating at 85 percent of capacity. Do not buy this argument that it is about refineries. They have more capacity. They are holding back so they can keep their product dear and limited and short, and so the consumers will ultimately pay more.

    This morning, British Petroleum, BP, announced they made $7.6 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2008. Royal Dutch Shell announced $9.08 billion in the first quarter. We are still waiting for ExxonMobil.

    Understand, these are not the biggest profits in the history of the oil industry, these are the largest profits in the history of American business, some say in the history of all business throughout mankind; the largest profit taking ever. At whose expense? At the expense of consumers and families, small businesses, truckers, airlines, and our economy.
    GLOBAL WARMING

    The Green Phantom
    Global warming’s curious absence as a campaign issue.
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/133652

    In the summer of 2006 I went to see Congressman Rahm Emanuel, who was running the Democrats’ successful effort to regain control of the House of Representatives. I had been reading a great deal about global warming in the mainstream press (“Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid” warned Time). So I asked Emanuel, how are the environment and global warming playing out there in the heartland? Is it stirring voters? No, he replied. In the 2006 congressional elections global warming was virtually a nonissue, he said, a low-priority item way behind the war and the economy and old staples like education and health care. Global warming is an issue for the elites, he said, not for the average voter.

    SO Who Benefits from the Global Warming Advertisement Campaigns that discourage exploration for oil in Alaska & the Gulf of Mexico and new coal fired power plants?
    By Michael Lewis

    • 3rd world countries who are the beneficiaries of a transfer of wealth and technology from America.

    • The bottom lines of International Oil Companies that use foreign tax credits to avoid paying taxes in the US and show loyalty to no nation state.

    Or

    • American taxpayers

    Pennsylvania Governor and Former CIA Director Warn Foreign Oil Is a Threat to America’s Economy
    Friday, September 14, 2007
    http://www.foodandfuelamerica......r-cia.html

    Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell and former director of the CIA James Woolsey this week called America’s growing dependence on foreign oil one of the greatest threats to the nation’s security and economy.

    According to the governor during a press conference:

    “As a nation, we import more than 60 percent of our liquid fuel supplies. That kind of dependence on foreign oil leaves us exposed to political upheaval or hostile agendas from elsewhere in the world. “It is intolerable that our economy and way of life are so much at the mercy of foreign nations. We need to act now and spur the development of biofuels here at home. Instead of Pennsylvanians sending $30 billion each year overseas to buy gas and fuels, we can invest that money here and support our farmers who grow the crops that produce ethanol and biodiesel, the new manufacturers that refine the oils and the trucking and rail industries that ship it.”

  142. 142
    z man says:

    So what will be happen? we will stop to go work,school,outdoors,travel,

    Yes I agree a good prayer will can change the word the power of prayer can impact against the greedy and dangerous peopole,
    as Jesus said
    Dont let your heart be troubled believing in God and believe in me also

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