Gas Prices

It’s been in the news a lot lately and now I got this email:

Ok, so let’s investigate these “soaring” gas prices.  I went ahead and checked out gas prices before President Obama took office.  That is, before the start of this GOP graph.  Here is the result:

Now, you can easily see how the GOP tries to trick you.  The prices dove to levels that haven’t been seen in about 8 or so years (note, this is crude oil but it should be about the same):

Now, under what President prices started to go up?  President Bush in his first term.

Ok, so we now have established that President Obama didn’t create the rise in gas prices, but what has he done to counter them?

In order to answer that question, we have to look at what causes gas prices to rise.  First of all, the US does have a lot of oil and this can be used for gasoline.  Other places on this planet also have oil.  So what does that mean?  Well, if other places can sell us oil at a cheaper rate than we can produce, we will do that, as well as, produce some of our own to consume.  The point is, producing a large amount of the oil in the US–oil dependency–will cause prices to rise.

Another reason is that there are other countries that want a lot of oil and thus, they will pay more for it.  Take China for example, they need a ton of oil to support their massive economy.  And what happens when they demand a lot of oil?  The prices go up.  This is a big cause of increasing gas prices.

Now there are other things that can cause prices to fluctuate, war (yes the ones we are in), oil spills, etc.  But what do these all have in common?  The President can’t directly control prices like many people think.

So, let’s look at what President Obama has done about this:

barackobama.com,

American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years, and we are less reliant on foreign oil than at any time in the last 16 years. Natural gas production is at an all-time high.

Now, republicans always complain about how he has reduced our national security by relying on others for oil, etc  Here you can easily see that is not true:

So then, what has President Obama done?

He has lowered the dependence on foreign oil, increased production at home, all while keeping prices consistent or lower to the previous 4 years.  Republicans wanted independence from foreign oil, wanted more oil production at home and wanted gas prices lower.  This has for all practical purposes been done by President Obama.  And now, what has the delusional party acknowledged?  That prices are higher than the day President Obama took office.  That’s how you lie with statistics.

This is exactly how the republicans treat anything a democrat does, regardless of weather or not they wanted it.  When they get everything they asked for, it’s still not good enough.  So the question really is, are they actually that delusional?  I think it varies, but overall, it’s an overwhelming yes.

Now I should note, that a gas tax would be helpful.  See here: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2012/03/the-benefits-of-a-gas-tax.html

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Sarah Palin Not Running In 2012–(Silly Post)

As HuffPo reports,

Sarah Palin will not run for president in the next election cycle, according to multiple reports.

“After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for president of the United States,” said Palin in a statement on her decision.” As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.”

Well, honestly, I didn’t really expect her to run.  Either way, I enjoy that she based her decision on prayer.  She also goes on to say that “my family always comes first…” but then goes on to say, “When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country.  My decision maintains this order.”  I think it’s a little confusing, is your family first, or is God?

Honestly putting a fairy-tale above your family and country is pretty outrageous, but it happens all the time.

Either way, I’m glad that God chose to be on my side this time and presumably, told Palin that she shouldn’t run.  Interesting that he chose to take sides with an atheist.  Hm, I wonder why….  Or maybe God wasn’t taking sides with an atheist, but instead, realized that the person who becomes president should at least have a decent IQ.  Hm, both of these seem plausible, so one must be true.  /sarcasm

Noteworthy Parts of the Neanderthal Debate–Fox News and Google

I cringe when I type that there are noteworthy moments. But here is an ad hoc list.

The following from ThinkProgress:

9:02: Rick Perry opens with a shoutout to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the most unpopular governorin the country.

Interesting to name drop the most unpopular Governor. But really, did we expect anything different?

9:06: Perry, when asked for his jobs plan, says “look what we’ve done in the state of Texas.” So we can all look forward to lots of minimum wage jobs?

Perry is an expert in creating jobs that are minimum and below minimum wage.

9:06: Mitt Romney calls for cutting corporate taxes. Yesterday, he called for raising taxes on the poor.

As I pointed out here, US corporations pay the second lowest taxes in the developed world.

9:27: Yesterday, Romney, worth up to $250 million, called himself part of the “middle class.” But a majority of Fox News views voted in a poll that earning over $1 million makes you “rich.” For the record, just 0.3 percent of the country makes that much.

Only 0.3% of this country is rich?  Somehow I doubt that.  This just shows how out of touch Republicans, Tea Baggers, etc. really are. (Yes, I said Tea Baggers. Like Bill Maher said, “When they stop saying Obamacare, I’ll stop saying Tea Baggers.”)

9:30: Perry says he never proposed sending Social Security back to the states. He definitely did.

Why does he keep saying back to the states? When was it in the states control?  How come nobody has pointed this out?

9:34: Mitt Romney says “Europe isn’t working in Europe.” The austerity-wracked Eurozone is certainly in trouble, but Norway is the richest country in the world and non-Euroized Sweden is enjoying its fastest economic growth ever thanks to a combination of fiscal and monetary stimulus.

As I and many others have said, austerity does not lead to economic growth.  How do you expect to reduce everything and in turn make the economy expand?  It’s ridiculous.

9:35: Audience goes nuts at Cain’s promise to eliminate the EPA. (A better idea: eliminating the Department of Commerce.) Over the summer, Cain said he would literally appoint Shell Oil’s CEO to set EPA regulations.

Ok, everyone that wants to eliminate the EPA should do this challenge and prove me wrong.  I say that if you go to China and position yourself on top of the output of pollution for a warehouse and stay there for 10 days with no adverse health effects, then I will re-evaluate my position on pollution and environmental regulations.  It isn’t difficult to realize that we need strict regulations.  Just look at the sky in China.

9:47: Bachmann says it is “reprehensible” that the Obama Administration sued to strike down Arizona’s unconstitutional anti-immigrant law. Maybe it’s because Obama swore an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

This is more than expected, especially since the candidates are courting a racist, bigoted, and criminal sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

10:11: Amidst all this foreign aid bashing, nobody notes that Israel is the largest recipient of American foreign aid.

10:10: Florida pander! Bachmann says Cuba is a state-sponsor of terrorism, catering to the influential Cuban-American exile population.

Those are both noteworthy.  It pretty much says it all.

10:17: Audience boos gay servicemember for wanting to serve openly. “Any kind of sexual activity has no place in the military” says Rick Santorum, apparently planning to raise an army of monks and kick all the married officers out of the military. Watch it:

This will get much media attention. Not only was it egregious to boo a serviceman, but Santorum also claimed that being gay was equivalent to sexual activity in the military.

10:26: Bachmann defends repeating unsubstantiated rumors from a stranger about mental retardation and the HPV vaccine — which experts have said is counter-productive — saying the woman was distraught and she “merely related” her story.

No one was made retarded from any vaccine.  Period.  The way we eradicate a disease is through vaccination of nearly the entire population.  It doesn’t matter if it is for an STI or STD or for polio or smallpox.  Receiving a vaccination implies that one wants to maintain healthy as well as help prevent others from obtaining that disease.  This is why a mandate is necessary.  Furthermore, the HPV vaccine is one of the safest available.  For more information, see here.

10:27: Rick Perry promises that he “will always err on the side of life,” except when executing people.

He enjoys killing many people.  The count now is at 236, give or take.  See here.

10:31: Again, as President, Romney couldn’t provide a waiver from ObamaCare to all 50 states.

Yes, the waiver is illegal.

10:38: Romney concedes: “There are a lot of reasons not to elect me.”

Finally! Something truthful!  I see no reasons to elect him, or any of the others for that matter.

10:54: Moderators did not ask candidates about the death penalty, one day after a Georgia man who may have been innocent was executed. Were they trying to avoid another “cheering death” moment from the audience?

This was noteworthy.  I was hoping the whole time that a question regarding capital punishment would be asked.  Not so much to see the candidate’s responses, but rather, to listen to the audience.

Well, that pretty much sums up all of the interesting points in the debate.  It was terribly painful writing this and I had to cringe many times.

Note: I didn’t care much to include Gingrich, Paul, Cain, Johnson, Santorum as they have practically no chance of making it.  I included some from Bachmann for comedic purposes.

One last note: Fox News Allows Hate Group to Participate in Debate.  This should not be the least bit surprising.

It’s sad that Google co-sponsored such a ridiculous event with Fox News.

h/t ThinkProgress for the debate transcript/analysis.