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Archive for the ‘oil’ Category

President Obama has vetoed Congress’s bill that tried to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline! But the president still has to make his final decision on whether KXL is in our national interest. Let’s face it. It isn’t.

Read More Here From the Sierra Club

Estimates are that building the pipeline will bring a few hundred to a few thousand permanent jobs to the United States, but the potential environmental impact is massive. On the other hand, the battle over the pipeline is a battle between heavyweight billionaires.

In one corner are the Koch Brothers. Warren Buffett is in the other corner. The Koch Brothers have a sizable investment in the pipeline and the tar sands. Buffett owns the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, which is the largest transporter of crude oil in the United States.

If Obama approves of the pipeline, Buffett loses and the Koch’s win. If Obama disapproves of the pipeline, the Koch Brothers lose and Buffett wins.

The Koch Brothers are big investors in the Republican Party. Buffett is a big investor in the Democratic Party. Obama will make his decision based on the priorities of the Democratic Party, just like a Republican president would make this decision based on the priorities of the Republican Party.

Expect Buffett to win.

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The Democrats in congress are mostly against the Keystone Pipeline, which will transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, if approved by congress and not vetoed by President Obama. The Republican senators and representatives are, by and large, for this potential environmental disaster.

If the pipeline doesn’t make it past a veto the Republicans will blame environmentalists that supposedly influence the Democratic members of congress and President Obama. However, one can rightly suspect that there is something more to this than meets the eye.

Perhaps the Democratic position has something to do with billionaire investor Warren Buffett doling out $15 billion to purchase the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad earlier this year, the largest railroad shipper of crude oil in the nation, according to its website. Buffett is a big financial supporter of the Democrats, but he financially dabbles a little bit with some Republicans.

Buffett heads Berkshire Hathaway, one the largest hedge funds in the world. Its stock price is currently over $200,000 per share. A hedge fund is nothing more than an unregulated investment firm that buys and sells stocks and bonds, sort of like a Goldman Sachs without any rules.

The Keystone Pipeline will transport oil from Canada and the United States to the Gulf of Mexico for export elsewhere. If completed, the pipeline may take a lot of business from Burlington Northern Santa Fe. In which case, the share price of Burlington Northern Santa Fe will likely drop as its profits decline. The profits from Burlington that Berkshire Hathaway receives will also fall, which could put downward pressure on its stock price. The result would be less money for all of those Democratic politicians who count on that money.

The billionaire Koch Brothers are a major financial player behind the building of the Keystone Pipeline. They invest billions in the Republican party and its candidates. They stand to make billions from building the pipeline, and the pipeline will service one of their Texas oil refineries.

Quite naturally, the pipeline represents a conduit of future cash for Republican Party candidates, whereas Burlington and Berkshire Hathaway represent a stream of cash for Democratic Party candidates.

There are other perks candidates of both parties receive from big contributors, such as vacations in Scotland and cushy jobs that make them rich after they leave office.

Notice none of the major corporate news media is mentioning issues such as these. That’s because the job of reporters and editors of the corporate news media is to keep you ignorant, and biased against the political party you don’t like.

In government, in legislation, in negotiating trade treaties, the Democrats represent a fraction of the 0.01 percent richest Americans, the Republicans represent another fraction of the 0.01 percent wealthiest Americans, and a third fraction of the richest Americans play both sides, such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, both of which are corporations whose primary interests are to increase the amount of income and wealth of the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent.

When the president vetoes the legislation approving the Keystone Pipeline, and the Republicans won’t have sufficient votes to override that veto, the press will dutifully quote Republican Party leaders about the alleged jobs lost due to not building the pipeline. They will, conveniently, not mention the jobs that might have been lost because of a decline in Burlington Northern Santa Fe profits had the pipeline been approved.

They will blame the environmentalists, and turn that word into an epithet. Naturally, the environmentalists will have played no role in the failure of government to approve of the pipeline because it’s all about who gets the money. Follow the money folks!

Republican and Democratic Party leaders don’t want the 99 percent to know that the real political battles in Washington D.C., and in state capitals across the nation, are being fought between a small group of billionaires at the expense of everyone else. And the corporate news media will continue to ensure that the debate over this issue is vigorous, but limited enough to deceive the American public. In other words, the corporate media intends to keep us in the dark over this issue, and then lie to us and point their fingers at the environmentalists for the failure of government to approve the Keystone Pipeline.

The battle over the Keystone Pipeline is all about money, and keeping us ignorant of this fact. Because once you know this fact, then you’ll begin to understand how the political and economic games, and the games the corporate media plays with information, are all rigged against the 99 percent.

One last note, the second job of the corporate news media is to keep the 99 percent divided over social issues, such as abortion, gun rights, the war against Christmas, red vs. blue state, gay marriage, and immigration, among many others, while keeping our eyes off the things that really matter, and that is what’s in your wallet. The corporate news media has done a marvelous in this respect.

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The rumors have been confirmed, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is reaching out to Wall Street Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) on a new version of Fast Track – an expired trade policy-making process that would allow harmful trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be railroaded through Congress. President Obama and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have already begun working to pass Fast Track.

Ranking Republican Hatch is one of the original architects of the last Fast Track bill that was introduced in January and is primed to take over Senator Wyden’s key position as the Senate Finance Committee Chair, the committee that oversees international trade.

PLEASE ACT NOW: Senator Wyden opposed Hatch-Baucus-Camp Fast Track legislation in early 2014. Tell him to now say “NO” to a Fast Track deal with Sen. Hatch. The Fast Track process is outdated, undemocratic and needs to be completely eliminated.

Now that the Republicans have won the Senate, they are gungho to pass Fast Track and the TPP. If Senator Wyden teams up with them on Fast Track, this could be just the thing to undo the years of successful organizing Oregon Fair Trade and others have done to beat back Fast Track. It would grease the skids to a dangerous trade deal by giving Wall Street Democrats like Wyden the cover they need to support Fast Track.

The secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your votes on local and state levels for and against such things (which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination), outsource millions of jobs, offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent), limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent), and block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). It will also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. And we can’t forgot that it will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent. Wyden is not the stupid little boy he pretends he is in public forums, for knows all of this. McConnell knows it, too. Hatch knows it. Obama knows it. All we have to do to stop this mammoth income redistribution scam from moving forward is to stop Fast Track.

We can win! Just as we did fifteen years ago at the Battle in Seattle in 1999. But it’s going to take all of us sending the message to Senator Wyden, it’s time to box and bury Fast Track for good!

Call that traitorous dog Wyden and let him know what you think about this scam.

Office Locations

Washington D.C.
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C., 20510
tel (202) 224-5244
fax (202) 228-2717

Portland
911 NE 11th Ave., Suite 630
Portland, OR, 97232
tel (503) 326-7525

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The Senate – which is still controlled by Democrats – voted to go behind President Obama’s back and vote on Keystone XL. At least for now, the Keystone pipeline lost on a 59-41 vote. In other words, there were 59 yes votes, and only 41 no votes. Luckily, the senate has been reconstructed to ensure that 60 percent of votes is needed to pass just about anything. That’s a convenient excuse to not get anything done that the 99 percent wants and needs.

The Keystone pipeline would have been an environmental boondoogle. It would have transported Canadian oil to US Gulf of Mexico ports and then exported them elsewhere, to the benefit almost exclusively of the most wealthy of people. In other words, Keystone was an income and environmental scam against the 99 percent.

Democratic Wall Street Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana was the sponsor of the bill. The $1.5 million she has received in her career from the oil industry is once again paying off.

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Inflation redistributes income from the 99 percent and delivers said income to the 1 percent. This is a no-brainer, making inflation nothing more than an income redistribution scam that those on the right and those on the left lie about, although maybe they just don’t know, which is unlikely. Case in point is a Paul Krugman op-ed below.

Krugman claims there is little inflation nowadays, while his right wing opponents claim there is ton’s of inflation and its caused by the Federal Reserve. They’re both right and they’re both wrong, kind of, but not really.

Krugman claimed in his op-ed that inflation is close to zero, and that’s true, kind of. In reality, inflation is currently closer to 8 percent if it was measured as it was back in 1980. Since then the government has switched the way it measures inflation twenty times, and all of these changes show less and less inflation. That is why inflation as measured today is less than 3 percent when it’s probably slightly above 8 percent. The purpose of doing this was to keep people from protesting and getting mad about their loss of real spending power, such as happened back in the 1970s.

Conservatives rightfully claim the inflation numbers are understated, which is remarkably true. However, Republicans claim this is caused by the Federal Reserve and its massive printing of money, which is perhaps a tad true, but mostly false.

Inflation mostly comes from corporate planning. Publicly traded limited liability corporations must always have rising share prices, which is largely a product of increasing profits and dividends. The best way to ensure these constantly increasing returns on investment is for corporate competitors to gather together and plan price increases. Thousands of corporations plan their prices rises in tandem, for the most part, and that’s why we have inflation.

When corporations raise their prices in tandem, it’s called a conspiracy in restraint of trade, a violation of the law, but the government almost always looks the other way, which is a function of corruption. This is not to suggest that to some degree competition doesn’t exist in the corporate world, because it does, but it’s a minor nuisance to our captains of industry which is quickly eliminated when the competition gets too hot, and saner minds quickly impose a truce on any hostilities since the primary enemy of the corporations are their unwitting customers.

Guess who pays the cost of this non-competition? You do. When the price of tuna, or lettuce, or gasoline, or cars, or airline tickets rise due to corporate planning, the difference between the old prices and the new higher prices goes from your pockets into those of rich shareholders.

That’s what the politicos and corporate fat cats don’t want you to know, so they keep the argument within unrealistic and narrow lines of debate.

See Krugman’s op-ed below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/07/opinion/paul-krugman-conservative-delusions-about-inflation.html?_r=0

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The truth is that we pay more for services from private companies than we do from government. The Social Security Administration has a less than 1 percent overhead cost. Medicare is less than three percent. Virtually all the health insurance companies have overheads of 20-30 percent. For all of its so-called inefficiencies, such as $10,000 toilet seats, the US military is far more cost effective than Halliburton or any other corporation that provides mercenaries for the US government.

The politicians of the corrupt US government love using mercenaries because they’re called “contractors,” as if these rifle wielding private soldiers are building houses. The corrupt US propaganda machine, erroneously called the news media, go along with this scam. In this way, US military casualties are limited in their quest for oil and other profits on behalf of US based corporations, which sponsor and corrupt the politicians of the US government, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden.

In the meantime, Halliburton’s stock price rises with a steady stream of taxpayer money for massively overpriced employees and CEOs. That’s the game; redistributing income to keep stock prices higher.

The US stock and bond markets would have collapses to nothingness back in 2008 had it not been for these kinds of scams perpetrated on the US public.

Check out the link below for more on these income transfers and government and corporate corruption.

breakdown-of-the-26-trillion-the-federal-reserve-handed-out-to-save-rich-incompetent-investors-but-who-purchase-political-power–JohnHively.wordpress.com

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