The Aeration Zone: A liberal breath of fresh air

Contributors (otherwise known as "The Aerheads"):

Walldon in New Jersey ---- Marketingace in Pennsylvania ---- Simoneyezd in Ontario
ChiTom in Illinois -- KISSweb in Illinois -- HoundDog in Kansas City -- The Binger in Ohio

About us:

e-mail us at:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Healthcare Reform Not Dead in California

The single payer Bill has been signed in CA. What happened to the Tea Baggers?

We need single payer systems like in CA and with Medicare and not privatized Ryan's plan that ends Medicare and replaces it with for-profit health insurers that soak up 20-30% of premiums for administrative costs for multimillion CEO salaries, shareholder profits and denial of coverage. Medicare operates on 4% administarive costs with the head of Medicare earning just over $170,000.

California Department of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is advocating on behalf of consumers to stop exorbitant healthcare insurance premium hikes, including efforts with the legislature through Calif. AB 52, and his unique perspective on the passage and signing by Gov. Brown of SB810 Single Payer for California.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Jim McDermott introduced of the American Health Security Act, S915/HR1200, Both bills envision a national health plan under a single-payer, social insurance model that would be administered by the states. National Nurses United/California Nurses Association worked with their allies in both the Labor Caucus for Single Payer and the Labor Campaign for Single Payer to secure the support of the 13-million member national AFL-CIO for these bills.

Big Oil Welfare

Urgent: They're Stealing Your Tax Dollars!

By Jeff Siegel
Monday, May 16th, 2011, Wash. Post

I got the following instant message from my colleague Keith Kohl last week:

77% of global energy will be renewable by 2050? They taking bets on that one?

Keith was commenting on a report released last week that suggested renewable energy could supply 77 percent of global electricity demand by 2050.
The truth is this is absolutely correct.
In theory, the world could get 77 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2050.
But in practice, well, I wouldn't hold your breath.

Read the Fine Print!
On page three of the report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, you can find the following sentence:

Public policies that recognize and reflect the wider economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energies, including their potential to cut air pollution and improve public health, will be key for meeting the highest renewable deployment scenarios.

And there you have it: the escape clause — at least for the United States, anyway.
When it comes to providing strong public policies that support renewable energy — on a federal level — we continue to come up short. And that will continue to be the case, as special interests with fat pockets will always dictate policy in Washington... especially when it comes to energy.
Why else do you think Washington continues to allow billions of dollars in continued welfare for the oil industry — an industry that is both profitable and mature?

And despite what some "news" sources would have you believe, it isn't just Republicans turning a blind eye to these subsidies. They're all on the take. In fact Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu recently had a temper tantrum over her party seeking to end $4 billion in Big Oil handouts. She actually called it “unfair”, saying the end of those subsidies would not reduce gasoline prices by one penny.
Interestingly, that was never the point. And she knows it. It's not about reducing the price of gasoline. Thanks to the basic fundamentals of supply and demand, you can kiss that pipe dream goodbye. And I say good riddance! No, this is about no longer expecting the oil companies to do business on the backs of hard-working American tax payers.

Check out this excerpt from a ConocoPhillips press release that went out last Wednesday:

Further expanding on the outlook for the company, Mulva expressed concerns about the challenging political environment facing the energy industry, in particular, the potential impacts of increased regulatory burdens and proposed tax increases."These unprecedented proposed taxes, targeted at only five companies, would have serious effects on our company. We already have the highest effective tax rate among companies in the United States and these proposals unfairly single us out for additional taxes," said Mulva.

"Not only would increased taxes cost jobs, raise consumer prices and shrink government revenue, but they would also hamper our ability to remain competitive and reinvest in jobs, new energy technologies and resources in the United States and internationally."

So basically, Conoco CEO James Mulva (along with plenty of his supporters in Washington) has turned the idea of ending $4 billion worth of subsidies for a mature and profitable industry into “additional taxes”.Then he claims that these “additional taxes” — or as we like to call them, unnecessary uses of your tax dollars — will hamper the oil industry's ability to reinvest in new energy technologies.

Is it just me, or does it seem a little ridiculous to expect all of us to pay for the oil industry to develop new technologies? These guys made $32 billion in profits in the first quarter of this year alone. And they need your money in order to remain competitive?

Meanwhile, over the past 20 years, huge advances in solar and wind technology have been made — without billions in annual subsidies. Electric cars have gone from being nothing more than glorified golf carts to high-torque monsters rocketing from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds — again, without billions of tax payer dollars. And over the past 20 years, how far has oil drilling technology advanced? It's advanced tremendously! Yet, even with those advances — partially funded by your tax dollars — we still can't quench our thirst.My friends, it's supply and demand, not lack of effort, that's dictating our energy future. But those dolts in Washington are still betting on the losing horse in this race. And their doing it with your money.

Of course, no matter how hard Big Oil tries to keep sucking off the government teat, essentially stealing your tax dollars via high-priced lobbyists and bureaucratic prostitutes, they can't change the basic fundamentals of supply and demand in a post-Peak world. Come election day, remember who voted to pilfer your pockets for Big Oil welfare. And keep buying oil on dips. Make no mistake about it — $100 oil is a gift! To a new way of life, and a new generation of wealth...

Comments from the DC underground:

By the way, the $4 billion in tax credits refers to oil depletion credits and enhanced oil recovery credits. I listened to the oil executives testimony and there are other credits they get like a $6 billion credit for blending ethanol with gasoline and multibillion dollar credit for manufacturing that the oil lobbyists were able to push thru and probably other credits. What the hell does producing oil have to do with manufacturing in the USA?
By 2050 we should be well past the high point of peak oil and heading toward the bottom of the bucket. Oil use didn't take off until the wide spread use of automobiles beginning in 1900. At this point all the easy and not so easy oil has been found. Exxon recently announced that they were not able to replace the oil they pumped with new crude production. Our largest elephant oil field BP's Alaska Prudhoe Bay peaked in 1991 and now we are at 32 % of the peak. Same is true in the North Sea, Mexico ( one of the largest US suppliers) and China and elsewhere around the world. Many people in the business think we may have hit Peak Oil in 2005. We now are talking about drilling in the deep waters in the GOM and we know how BP's Horizon turned out. They are even talking about drilling for oil at the North Pole ... can you think of a more hostile environment. Oh yeh Shale oil where you don't drill for crude oil but mine for oil. To get the oil from shale rock requires lots of water and energy to heat the rocks to get the oil. Then what do with all the oily rocks and all the pollution?? It's not cheap oil.

So what else is there besides solar PV and wind and other renewables for sustainable energy. Oh there is nuclear which also is not cheap energy even forgetting about Japan's disaster. It's primarily for this reason with enormous cost overruns that there has not been a new nuclear power plant ordered in the USA since 1978.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Please explain to me why it is that the headline reads "Senate Refuses to End Tax Breaks for Big Oil" instead of "Republicans Block Efforts to End Tax Breaks for Big Oil with Filibuster"? To the casual reader, knowing that the Senate is controlled by Democrats, it sounds like Democrats blocked the effort to end the tax subsidies. Ah, I get it. It's the LIBERAL media again.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Megyn Kelly and Fox News Helped Sen. Ensign Cover-Up His Crimes

Megyn Kelly and Fox News Helped Sen. Ensign Cover-Up His Crimes

Posted by Mark on May 13, 2011 at 9:52 am.Nevada Senator John Ensign resigned from the Senate last week, but his troubles may not end there. The New York Times is reporting that the results of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation may leave Ensign liable for charges of obstructing an FEC investigation, violating federal lobbying bans, and making unlawful payments to the husband of his congressional aide with whom he was having an affair – among other things.However, any investigation of this matter needs to include possible interference on the part of Fox News and Glenn Beck-wannabe, Megyn Kelly. There is evidence that Kelly, who received a letter from Doug Hampton revealing Ensign’s infidelity, warned Ensign that the news was about to come out rather than reporting on it. As I wrote on June 19, 2009:
“Fox News knew of Ensign’s infidelity five days before Ensign came forward. They got the information from the husband of Ensign’s mistress. That’s a pretty good source, especially when he asserts that he had corroborating evidence.”
First Fox denied having received any letter. Then they admitted that they had received the letter a day before the news broke. Then a FedEx receipt revealed that they had received the letter three days earlier. And Fox broadcast no stories about the Ensign affair during any of that time, or even for several days after.When Ensign came forward to confess his sins, he told the press that he was doing so because the story was about to come out in the media. So the question is: did he learn that from Megyn Kelly?The evidence strongly suggests that Kelly tipped Ensign off and set the stage for his announcement. Then she and Fox kept the story quiet in the days that followed. That is not the behavior of a “news” network. It is the behavior of an accomplice.Comment:
Faux Noise is also the propaganda arm of the rich and powerful vested interests in America. If you are poor or middle class and watch Faux Noise you are fools.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Anti-Freedom Libertarians

Maybe this shows my illiteracy in political philosophy, but I haven't seen this argument before. I get so sick of seeing people who claim to be "libertarians" wanting to eliminate all government programs that people want, and nobody pointing out the logical fallacy in it. Here is a comment I put on another political blog website:

OK, you so-called libertarians out there determined to end Medicare and Social Security as we know them simply because they are government programs: have you considered how illogical your position is? You believe in freedom, right? The overwhelming majority of Americans want health insurance for senior citizens and retirement income security to be available to everyone through our Federal government. After all, if you believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, it is supposed to be "our" government, not just "the" government. But you would use the power of government to impose your ideology even though the majority of Americans, exercising their freedom, want the government to run these programs.

What in the hell is "libertarian" about that? If you want to try to convince people that they shouldn't want such programs because they are some kind of interference with liberty, fine, have at it. But when you have failed to make that case successfully and the people have spoken, especially when it's this clearly, then your job is to shut up about eliminating the program and work to make it as consistent with shared notions of liberty as you can.

Otherwise, if you encourage your representatives to try to eliminate a program the majority of Americans want, especially when they try to pretend that's not what they are doing -- e.g., pretending that privatizing Social Security into forced 401 Ks is not eliminating Social Security, or that a voucher program for private insurance is not eliminating Medicare -- it is perfectly fair to call you an Anti-Freedom Libertarian. You are against the people exercising their freedom to ask their government to do certain things they want it to do, and you would use the government to deny them their freedom.

I like the ring of that: Anti-Freedom Libertarians. Maybe it will catch on. Is that how you want to be known?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Terrifying Adventure

I went to move some money to pay my contractors for the work they are doing to replace my kitchen and baths etc. However, I was told that since the death of Osama, all my investments in the Al Queada theme park named "Terrifying Adventure, LLP" have tanked, so I'm going to have to wash dishes for the next 200 years to pay the contractors. I'll leave it to you what the rides at Terrifying Adventure would have been like.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Obama: Rising Gas Prices Mean Oil Company Profits

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama declared Saturday that oil companies are profiting from rising gasoline prices and urged Congress once again to end $4 billion a year in oil and gas company tax breaks.

"These tax giveaways aren't right," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "They aren't smart. And we need to end them."

Obama has been sparring with congressional Republicans over the skyrocketing cost of gasoline, which has topped $4 a gallon in some regions of the country, more than $1 dollar higher than a year ago. The rising prices have contributed to a slowdown in economic growth and have hurt Obama's public approval ratings.

The Exxon Mobile Corp. this week reported nearly $11 billion in profits for the first quarter of this year but said it had no control over oil prices. Other oil companies also reported huge gains.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says he plans to consider Obama's proposal as early as next week. The president said money recouped from ending the oil and gas tax subsidies should be used on new energy resources and research. He said he refuses to cut spending on clean energy initiatives. "An investment in clean energy today is an investment in a better tomorrow," he said. "And I think that's an investment worth making."

Obama's critics say his call to end such subsidies is merely support for new tax increases that would end up costing jobs. "The president may think he's punishing CEOs of big companies, but his plan will hurt the everyday consumer of energy and imperil the jobs of millions of hardworking people in American-based companies," Rep. James Lankford, a first-term congressman from Oklahoma, said in the Republicans' weekly address.

(However,) High gasoline prices, bad winter weather and steep government spending cuts were responsible for the slowdown.

In his address, Obama said the economy was growing again and took note of nearly 2 million new private sector jobs in the last 13 months. But the president did not mention that the pace of the recovery slowed significantly in the first three months of this year. The nation's economy grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate during that quarter, a much slower pace than the 3.1 percent rate reported in the previous three months.

Eager to show action on gas costs, Obama has repeatedly called for ending the tax subsidies to oil and gas companies, even while conceding that they would not have an immediate effect on prices. He has also called for the Justice Department to investigate possible price fixing and said this week that he was also prodding OPEC nations such as Saudi Arabia to increase production.

"I also believe that instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, we should invest in tomorrow's," he said. Lankford also warned that Republicans would not vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling — now at $14.3 trillion — in the coming weeks unless the measure also includes steps to cut government spending. Presidents have agreed to such deals in the past, and Obama this month, in an interview with The Associated Press, conceded that some spending restrictions might be necessary to win an increase in the debt ceiling. Without raising that limit, the government would default on its debts.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Isn't it amazing how George W. Bush could single handedly go out and capture and kill Bin Laden even after being out of office for almost three years?