William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Why I Am Becoming A Democrat

The One

This will come as a severe shock to long-time readers, but I am changing my political affiliation. Perhaps some of you saw it coming. I did not. To me, the shift arose with frightening rapidity. I awoke yesterday startled, shocked to the realization that I am, and perhaps always was, a Democrat.

Let me explain.

A short while back I was reading in the Wall Street Journal a review of Alexander Pantsov (must he have been beat up a lot as a kid) and Steven Levine’s Mao: The Real Story, in which the reviewer Andrew Roberts, quoting the authors, said:

“Our task as historians was neither to praise nor to blame Mao.” [The authors] state categorically that Mao’s policies “cost the lives of tens of millions of Chinese,” yet they also boast: “We show that Mao was neither a saint nor a demon, but rather a complicated figure who indeed tried his best to bring about prosperity and gain international respect for his country.”

It is true that despite his noble intentions, Mao instead created privation and misery and that he mercilessly—some even say gleefully—slaughtered tens of millions, but these innuendos ignore the most cogent datum. Mao acted for the public good. Mao cared. I figure the old syphilitic satyr deserved the rotating harem of underage girls he lovingly taught the facts of life.

Now don’t jump to any conclusions. I do not say Democrats are like Mao. Though Mao is, by her own admission, Anita Dunn’s, once the White House Communications Director, and now MSNBC contributer and advisor to Mr Obama, “favorite philosopher.” And what did Mr Obama’s Czar Van Jones say about Stalin’s brand of communism? Never mind. What I admire about men like Mao and Stalin is that even after compiling a body count so large that if they were stacked from end to end would have reached the moon and back (I’m guessing), these statesmen are still not condemned, can still be mentioned in polite company, can still be admired.

Because why? Because they cared about the little guy.

I care, too. That’s point one.

Point two. Besides the academicians and intellectuals who openly admire Mao and Stalin and their modern-day wannabes, there are three other kinds of Democrat voters. A, those who believe Democrats are the party of the poor and downtrodden; B, those who enjoy telling people what to do; and C, those who want “free” stuff.

About A-people I have nothing to say, because they are honest, sincere people. But I do sometimes wonder if they know that Democrat politicians are, just as much as Republican politicians, “members of the 1%”? Haven’t they heard of crony capitalism, and don’t they gape in wonder at how Harry Reid and others routinely write legislation and craft regulation to support hand chosen-rich corporate industries and penalize others? Solyndra anyone? The EPA if you please? Are we talking Nelsonian blind eyes among some A-people, or are their hearts so big that any promise that what politicians are doing is best for them is enough? Only history will say.

Here is why I changed. I, like academicians Pantsov and Levine, am a B-person. I have a PhD. From Cornell. An institution in the Ivy League. Harvard’s League.

That should be all that need be said about that, but since some of you reading this won’t be of my orientation, I’d best elucidate. I have worked out, to the tiniest detail, what an Ideal Society would look like, how it would function and how beautiful it would be, and since I am so astonishingly intelligent that one can resist this solution only if one is immoral, or is evil.

Some examples. I know how to make people into the body shape I find most pleasing, and I’ll get them there by denying them certain foodstuffs and requiring ingestion of certain others. I know that people can’t take care of their personal safety, so I’ll tell them, for their own good, where they can go and how they’ll get there.

There is plenty more, but since I am among the elite of the elite, I doubt you’d understand if I told you. So I’ll keep quiet, bide my time, and wait for a government office to be bestowed upon me so that I can start making change.

Finally, there a C-people, the Sandra Flukes of the world, folks who really have everything, but want more and don’t want to pay or work for it. Fluke went after the Catholic Church, for example, for not providing her “free” birth prevention drugs. Mr Obama then mandated that the Church pay up, and be damned to their religious convictions. That’s the kind of rule making I’m talking about!

Remember all this Tuesday.

A vote for Obama is a vote to increase the rate of government control. A vote for Romney is a vote to decrease that rate, though it will still remain solidly positive.

Update I forgot to mention how I like a riotous good time.

Update I just did the calculation. If we assume that those sacrificed in the name of progress were on average 5 feet tall (there were kids and emaciated adults in the mix), then using a conservative body count of 100 million, we have 500 million feet of flesh to stretch. That translates to just under 100,000 miles. The moon is on average about 240,000 miles away. So we’re left dangling in space. But have no fear. There is still time to make up the rest.

Update Rank Sophist suggests that National Socialism’s Hitler was of the right. According to Golderg’s Liberal Fascists this is a debatable point, but it is as least widely believed. And therein lies the difference.

No politician or intellectual on the right can invoke National Socialism’s ideas or policies and remain an employed politician or intellectual. And rightly so. But politicians and intellectuals on the left can and do invoke Mao’s or Stalin’s International Socialism’s ideas and policies—members of Mr Obama’s inner circle did so—and not only do they remain employed (though not always in the White House) but they even see themselves promoted and feted.

Now since the body count of International Socialism is much higher—an order of magnitude?—than the body count of National Socialism, why is this? My only theory is that most of the victims of National Socialism were actively exterminated, while most (not all) of the victims of International Socialism were purposely, willfully, heartlessly left to starve.

Is this a distinction without a difference? I have the idea that intellectuals—the main target of sarcasm in this post—are rightly sickened about the first method of producing corpses, but their massive brains allow them to rationalize the second. Sure people starved, they probably reason, but if only they were a little smarter, they needn’t have. I don’t know.

The real enemy of the people, I tried to imply, but failed, is that those, of the right or left, who favor government control. Now since “government” is just people—government is not a thing—this is people who want to be in charge because they believe that since they are so smart they have everything figured out.

Nothing is more complicated that human behavior, so the absence of humility in a person’s theory of government is always telling. And if any intellectual can praise people like Mao or the CCCP, they can’t be that smart after all.

Incidentally, because of the discontent in China, there is a growing movement to resurrect Mao, both his reputation and policies. “Mao,” these modern-day Chinese intellectuals says, “Is a man who got things done.” He sure did.

Anyway, next time a return to better jokes.

43 Comments

  1. C, those who want “free: stuff.

    Everybody wants free stuff. Not everybody knows that, “there is no free lunch.”

  2. You’d doubtless understand that it is impossible to say ‘liberty for all’ with your tongue pressed so firmly into one’s cheek.
    Or have I misunderstood?

  3. The set of “C” people includes the current President of the United States. Therein lies the problem.

    Last Friday, President Barack Obama sought to placate outraged leaders of the Catholic church, which opposes contraception, by making insurers responsible for providing the free birth control.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/16/us-insurers-birth-control-idUSTRE81F28620120216

  4. Briggs,
    I appreciate most of what you write but in this case I want to say that
    your prose is counter productive. You left out the d type persons. These
    are people who honestly believe in democracy. I call them little d
    democrats. They need to be reminded many times that what they want costs
    more than society has in assets. But it does no good to insult them into
    blindly following their big D masters.

  5. they cared about the little guy.

    Then why is Che Guevara, a psycopathic killer, admired? He sure didn’t care about anybody. When he was captured, he told his followers to fight to the death then he sneaked off and surrendered.

  6. Yeah, lets forget all those people who actually believe in D policies, like the healthcare reform, a progressive tax burden, and so on. Lets say that all D voters are dumb because only D politicians are stealing their public money (boy have I bridges to sell you), and Rs are pure and filled with great small-g desires.

    You do realise I could write a completely symmetrical editorial than of yours, and perhaps just fail in your offensive a-hole tone, because your lack of self reflexion coupled with your pseudo rational analysis of leftists is really obnoxious.

    And don’t feel offended by this. I have worse things to say to a lot of leftists who embark on similar attacks to their “political enemies”. All junk, all incompetence at understanding the other human being.

  7. Oh, come on, Mr. Briggs if you want to join the predicted winning team, just say so. I completely understand all of us want our respective teams to win, but this post… stinks.

  8. Hi,

    I come from a country, which had before quite social democratic politic atmosphere (that may sound like DDR but that was not the case).

    We had high taxes, low income gaps and decent way of life. Wellfare state.

    Now the things have changed. We still have high taxes but income gaps and unemployment have grown. Real estate prices have shoot up. Twenty years of expanded financial freedom have brought some great things but lot of turbulence too.

    Times change.

    However, what I would like to point out to you Americans is that we had very good public healthcare system. It worked. Everyone was taken care of. No matter what your income or insurance status was.

    I think that’s the ideal. Who wouldn’t?

    **

    Totally agree about Stalin.

  9. Briggs

    4 November 2012 at 9:34 pm

    JH,

    I just trying to exact revenge!

  10. JH wrote, “Oh, come on, Mr. Briggs if you want to join the predicted winning team, just say so.”

    BBC wrote, “US election: Obama and Romney deadlocked for final push.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20196459#

  11. Isn’t that the Republican that refused to cancel the multi billion dollars subsidies to oil industries?

    The oil industry is making record profit and you still give them billion of dollars in subsidy. How much money did the oil industry, and coal gave to Romney’s campaign and Superpac? More than 100 millions would be a conservative estimate.

  12. If I life to see another primary I may change my registration (which will not change what I am) just to play with the pollsters, since party registration no longer matters.

    I don’t understand what you are saying here–if I survive surgery tomorrow, I may come back and see if I can work it out.

  13. @Sylvain Allard

    What multi-billion dollar subsidies is the US government giving to the oil industries?

    When the Democrates were proposing doing so a year or two back, I saw a list of exactly what they were proposing to eliminate.

    Every single item on the list was either genaric tax deductions available to all manufacturing companies or GAAP accounting rules.

    I dare you to name even one subsidy to the oil industries.

    NOTE: To qualify your proposed subsidy must go exclusively to the oil industry. Roads don’t count because they are not limited to use only by gas powered vehicles.

  14. Mao and Stalin, like the Democrats, were leftists. Far more extreme leftists, but leftists nonetheless. On the other hand, Hitler and Mussolini and Franco were far-right. I don’t see an Obama re-election looking like Mao’s China, just like I don’t see a Romney election looking like Mussolini’s Italy.

  15. MattS,

    First, I did read your last post to me in the other thread but didn’t have time to respond.

    I don’t really like wiki as a source but:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies

    1) I’m not sure why the oil industry would need a tax foreign tax credit.

    2) Why would they need a credit for non-conventional fuel production?

    3) Why would they need a credit for fuel exploration?

    These credits are not offered to any other mining industries like gold, silver, etc.

    When these subsidies were first established in the 1970s the situation was very different. There were no energy market back then and many oil companies were in fact losing money. So the subsidies were offered to keep the price of gas lower and to keep the oil industry running.

    Today there is an Energy Market which works like any other stock exchange and where people can buy and sell oil (crude and refine), coal, electricity, etc. The market, which I think started in the 1990s, is left to speculator which is the reason for the high gas prices. Gas is now sold to the highest offer about 3 month in advanced.

    Anyhow this is a paper I haven’t had time to read yet but which seems promising to explain how these markets works.
    http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/pennwell/Dahl.pdf

    Since the creation of the energy market the price of energy keeps increasing and energy companies are making record profit. Profit for the oil industries have reached over $140 billion for 1 year.

    So, why should the oil industry receive any handout from the government because this is a handout? Last year Shell Corporation closed a refinery in Montreal because it was not profitable (after all it had only made about $50 million in profit in the previous year). Sure enough when they closed less oil was refined and gas price jumped about $0.10/liter and Shell profit also jumped because less production of refine gas mean higher price.

    Mr. Briggs mentioned Solyndra in this post. How much money did Solyndra received? None, since it was a guaranteed loan of $527 million which the government will be able to recover the most part. See here:
    http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/30/technology/solyndra/index.htm
    In total, about $20 billion dollars in loan were guaranteed by the stimulus plan of 2009. To date only Solyndra as failed and the government should be able to get back most of this money. This money put a lot of people to work. First, the money covered the loan to build the manufacture that cost $527 million. Second, people did work there and very sadly lost their job because companies based in China were able to sell solar panel cheaper than them. Still this $20 billion dollars did put many people to work that would not have been working otherwise.
    In the same stimulus there was $3.5 billion given to coal industries for «clean coal».
    How much money did people associated to Obama raised for him? About $100,000.
    Now let’s compare with the vote in the Senate that maintained the oil subsidy. Let’s forget that only in the US can 47 people can defeat a motion that 53 people voted for. How much money did these 47 senators received from the oil industry?
    «Noting that Republican senators has voted overwhelmingly in favor of oil company interests in recent months, Think Progress performed an analysis to determine whether campaign contributions from oil companies had any correlation with those who voted against the subsidies ban. They found that the 47 senators who voted against the bill (thus to keep the subsidies) have received $23,582,500 in oil contributions, while those who voted for the bill (and thus against subsidies) had received $5,873,600 in gas company contributions. That discrepancy appears to be telling.»

    Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/u-s-senate-votes-to-continue-oil-subsidies.html#ixzz2BK2Tdw2R

    If it is outrageous that Solyndra received a loan guarantee of $527 million for a participation of about $100,000, how outrageous is it that republican received $23 million to preserve billion in subsidy? I mean it doesn’t compare.

    It is unbelievable how you people are bashing on individuals who work and receives food stamps or basic subsistence because is employer doesn’t pay him enough while you have no problem giving billions of dollars to companies that makes billions in profit. Do they have brainwash machine in the US?

  16. Chuck Norris’ wife said recently that there will be a thousand years of darkness if Obama is reelected.

    Just in case any “undecided’s” are reading this blog, I thought you might like to see those words of wisdom.

    Although Kirk Cameron has suggested that there will be, at most, 500 years of darkness.

    So you may still have some deciding to do.

  17. This past two years has been so much fun!!!!!! May we do it again in a couple of years? Huh? Please? Can we? Please?

  18. MattS asked, “What multi-billion dollar subsidies is the US government giving to the oil industries?”

    Depletion Allowance … although A. Barton Hinkle at Reason argues that a tax break is not a subsidy.

  19. @Sylvain Allard,

    I am not against eliminating genuine subsidies to the oil industry.

    However, as to the specific examples you put up:

    1) To the best of my knowledge all US based multinationals are allowed to deduct taxes paied to foriegn governments. This is not oil industry specific so not a subsidy.

    2) This is a credit recieved for producing non-conventional fules (non-fossil) To the extent that this is a subsidy, it is subsidising non oil based fules, so it isn’t a subsidy for oil production.

    3) Read the wiki page again. This is not a credit at all. They are allowed to expense exploration costs. Exploration would fall under Research & Development (R&D). All industries with high R&D costs (Pharmacuticles) are allowed to expense these costs. Not a subsidy and not oil specific.

    Also, If you want to fairly compare subsides between wind / solar to other energy sectors it should be done on a unit energy basis because the wind and solar sectors are so small. Second since wind and solar are electric generation it would be fairer to compaire against subsidies to coal and nuclear generation. I have seen an analysis of this and while I don’t have a link handy as I recall, the subsidies to wind and solar are orders of magnitude higher on a per megawatt-hour basis.

    @Speed

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Depletion+Allowance

    A tax deduction authorized by federal law for the exhaustion of oil and gas wells, mines, timber, mineral deposits or reserves, and other natural deposits.

    Aside from the issue that a tax break is not a subsidy, this is not oil industry specific.

  20. Why does this post disappear when I hit “Home”? I had to use Google to get back to it.

  21. MattS wrote, ” … this is not oil industry specific.” But but the depletion allowance for oil is up to 100% of taxable income from the property while other minerals have limits between 22% (Sulphur, uranium, and, if from deposits in the United States, asbestos, lead ore, zinc ore, nickel ore, and mica) and 5% (Clay used or sold for use in making drainage and roofing tile, flower pots, and kindred products, and gravel, sand, and stone (other than stone used or sold for use by a mine owner or operator as dimension or ornamental stone))
    IRS Publication 535 (211)

  22. DAV asks, “Why does this post disappear when I hit “Home”? I had to use Google to get back to it.”

    The date changed so this post is now the third one down on the home page.

  23. Mao and Stalin, like the Democrats, were leftists. Far more extreme leftists, but leftists nonetheless. On the other hand, Hitler and Mussolini and Franco were far-right. I don’t see an Obama re-election looking like Mao’s China, just like I don’t see a Romney election looking like Mussolini’s Italy.

    You know, it’s a crazy world we live in to someone feel the need to make that point above. The media is so preposterously polarizing and idiotic that it really drowns any possible intelligent discussion under the rethoric of “you are a fascist” “shut up you communist pig!” (fight)

  24. @Speed,

    Finally someone comes up with an actual subsidy to the oil industry. However, this is the only actual subsidy we have found to date and I very much doubt that this ammounts to billions of dollars per year.

  25. Briggs

    5 November 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Speed, DAV,

    The Presidential Polls piece has been linked to at other places this morning and I wanted it to have more prominence, so I shifted the date of this one down so it wouldn’t appear at the top. It isn’t that great a post anyway.

  26. Sylvain Allard asked and answered, “How much money did the oil industry, and coal gave to Romney’s campaign and Superpac? More than 100 millions would be a conservative estimate.”

    Sylvain … please provide an authoritative source for this assertion.

    Those interested in distortions to the energy markets caused by government tax policies and subsidies might enjoy reading the World Energy Outlook 2010 Factsheet.

    Fossil-fuel consumption subsidies, comprising subsidies to fossil fuels used in final consumption and to fossil-fuel inputs to power generation, worldwide amounted to $312 billion in 2009. The annual level fluctuates widely with changes in international energy prices, domestic pricing policy, exchange rates and demand. In 2008, when international energy prices spiked, subsidies amounted to $558 billion. In 2009, oil products and natural gas were the most heavily subsidised fuels, attracting subsidies totalling $126 billion and $85 billion, respectively. Subsidies to electricity consumption were also significant, reaching $95 billion in 2009. At only $6 billion, coal subsidies were comparatively small. The vast majority of these subsidies are in non-OECD countries, which are projected to contribute 93% of incremental global energy demand to 2035 in the
    New Policies Scenario.

    Considerable momentum is building globally to cut fossil-fuel subsidies. In September 2009, G20 leaders committed to phase out and rationalise inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies, a move that was closely mirrored in November 2009 by APEC leaders. Many countries are now pursuing reforms, but steep economic, political and social hurdles will need to be overcome to realise lasting gains.

    For those really really interested, the 2012 World Energy Outlook is scheduled for release on November 12, 2012.
    http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/publications/weo-2012/

    Governmental attempts to manage social structure, industries and the economy in general lead to (among many problems) rent seeking and regulatory capture which more than offset the theoretical benefits of government incursion.

  27. @Speed

    It looks like Sylvain Allard continues his streak of knowing nothing about US politics.

    Per http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/index.php#out

    The total contributions to Romney from the Energy & Natural Resources sector (includes more than just the oil industry) is less than $9 million.

    On your quote on world wide oil subsides it should be noted that the vast majority of that total is money going to state controled/owned oil companies in the oil producing contries.

  28. MattS,

    It looks like you have a little bit of trouble reading your firgures doesn’t include Superpac. The Koch brother and Sheldon Adelson will have given more than $150 million, and this is only 2 contributor. Romeny has refuse to give the list of its biggest contributor so people can only guess.

    And your link only considers companies contribution and not the individuals that own those companies.

    From this site:

    http://www.fec.gov/disclosurep/pnational.do

    You can see that a lot of people give small amount of money to Obama while Romney has raised much of its money from small number of individuals who gives a lot of money.

    Out of $632 millions raised by Obama about 2/3 ($423 millions) comes from people who gave less than $200. of the $388 raised by Romney 70% comes from people who gave more than $500 and 48% comes from people who have given more than $2000.

    Who do you think will benefit the most from electing Romney? The top 1% will see a decrease in their taxes, while the poorest will see a huge increase of their taxes.

  29. MattS,

    «Also, If you want to fairly compare subsides between wind / solar to other energy sectors it should be done on a unit energy basis because the wind and solar sectors are so small. Second since wind and solar are electric generation it would be fairer to compaire against subsidies to coal and nuclear generation. I have seen an analysis of this and while I don’t have a link handy as I recall, the subsidies to wind and solar are orders of magnitude higher on a per megawatt-hour basis.»

    When you want to compare subsidies you compare the amount of money not the output of that money. The elimination of the oil subsidies would have no effect on gas price since the price is established by offer and demand and not the cost of production.

    R&D is trying to find something that does not exist or to make something that exist better. Looking for oil is not R&D. Researching for more environmentally friendly way to drill for oil, or to make oil cleaner is R&D. So you can not compare with pharmaceutical industry.

    As I said previously:

    It is unbelievable how you people are bashing on individuals who work and receives food stamps or basic subsistance because is employer doesn’t pay him enough while you have no problem giving billions of dollars to companies (albeit it taxe credit) that makes billions in profit.

    You want your economy to run better. Instead of having a few individuals who can afford million dollars home, have more people who can afford $150,000 homes. A lot more people will be put to work if 10 small homes are built than 1 big one. 10 familly building houses will need 20 to 50 cars, 10 of everything else.

  30. OWWWWWW!

    The sound of Sylvain Allard’s logic being tortured.

    From ExxonMobil’s 2011 Annual Report

    Income, sales based and all other taxes and duties totaled $108.1
    billion in 2011, an increase of $18.9 billion or 21 percent from
    2010. Income tax expense, both current and deferred, was $31.1
    billion, $9.5 billion higher than 2010, reflecting higher pre-tax
    income in 2011. A higher share of pre-tax income from the
    Upstream segment in 2011 increased the effective tax rate to 46
    percent compared to 45 percent in 2010. Sales-based and all other
    taxes and duties of $77.0 billion in 2011 increased $9.4 billion,
    reflecting higher prices.

    ExxonMobil paid shareholders $9.0 billion in cash dividends in 2011 — compare that to the taxes paid
    ExxonMobil had 82.1 million employees at the end of 2011
    ExxonMobil had another 17.0 million employees at company-operated retail outlets.
    One nice thing about large profitable companies is that they provide well paying jobs to lots and lots of people.

    I don’t believe that the US government should be subsidizing any person, business or other entity. But I wonder what Sylvain Allard believes would be an appropriate tax bill for ExxonMobil.

  31. @speed,

    What is the normal taxe rate that a company pay and this is what they should pay.

    I think you have made some errors in your number of employee.

    Retail employment is exactly the kind of low paying jobs that might require food stamp to survive.

    They paid more taxes but you forgot to state how much more profit they made. They pay a lot if taxes because they make huge amount of money and the more people are able to by gas and other merchandizing at their station, the more profit they will make.

    And they also received about $7 B in subsidies or the amount they paid in dividend.

  32. Speed,

    The date changed so this post is now the third one down on the home page.

    And so it is. I didn’t look far enough.

    Briggs,

    It isn’t that great a post anyway.

    I dunno. Too bad the new month isn’t April, though.

  33. @Sylvain Allard

    On Romney’s contributions, your own link offers nothing to support your contentions. From http://www.fec.gov/disclosurep/pnational.do

    Romney’s total contributions in ammounds over $2000 is only $187,636,361 This goes completly against your suggestion that he recieved over $150,000,000 from just two contributors.

    Looking at individual contributions for the name Sheldon Adelson shows only $5000 in contributions (Two contributions of $2500)

    Also, my original link if you look at the whole page shows PAC independent spending.

  34. @Sylvain Allard

    “When you want to compare subsidies you compare the amount of money not the output of that money.”

    This is absurdly incorrect. If you want to compare subsides for two energy sector sub sets that are at wildly different scales you have to do it at a per unit energy basis to equalize the scale.

    From http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/energy-overview/solar/

    Solar only accounts for 0.04% of net electricity generated in the United States

    Coal on the other hand generates 42% of the US Electric supply.

    From http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903285704576559103573673300.html

    2010 subsidies for solar were $968,000,000 or $775.64 per MWH
    2010 subsidies for Coal were $1,189,000,000 or just $0.64 per MWH

    The subsidies for coal are larger, but not by much and yet it generates far mor power. If solar were to reach the scale of current electic production and the subsidy per MWH were to remain the same the total subsidy for solar would increase by a factor of 1000 to $968,000,000,000 dwarfing the subsidy to coal by nearly three orders of magnitude.

    If the US were to eliminate one of these two subsidies which are similar in size in absolute terms then which one would be more cost effective to retain?

  35. The general notion that we shouldn’t judge government subsidies based on cost vs amount of benift to the public is ecconomic nonsense.

  36. MattS.

    On electoral contribution you forget to include the Super pac:

    On the Koch brother:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/koch-opens-up-about-his-financing-of-super-pacs/

    «Mr. Koch, who with his brother donates almost exclusively to political organizations that do not disclose their donors»

    No respecting country would/should accept that politician be funded by anonymous people.

    About Sheldon Adelson:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/06/14/sheldon-adelson-willing-to-spend-100-million-to-beat-obama

    «Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson just donated $10 million to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC, and told Forbes he is willing to spend $100 million or more to ensure President Obama is not re-elected.»

    In the Super pac financing Romney is laregely in advance on Obama. The most negative add on TV are usually from the Super pac.

  37. Even the Republican agreed that eliminating Oil industry subsidies would change nothing about gas prices.

    «”Is this the best we have to offer folks who are staring at $4-a-gallon gasoline? A bill that even Democrats admit won’t do anything to lower the price of gas?” McConnell said just before the vote.»

    So the government as no benefit in maintaining these subsidies, it doesn’t give more energy output.

    I believe in climate change but I don’t believe in catastrophic climate change and even less that CO2 is the main cause. But I do believe in energy in all its form.

    Yes solar and wind are less performant energies at the moment. But the research in these domain are really recent and you don’t want to stop it, like they didn’t stop space research in the 1960s which created all the evolution of techonoligies. The space program was expensive but it has been paid off many time since. Clean energy is in the same situation.

    Imagine that there is a breakthrough in renewable energy research were the USA doesn’t need to import gas anmore. No need to have wars in the middle east or to maintain ship over there. The billion of dollars invested would be regained fast.

  38. Sylvain,

    If everyone agrees that “eliminating Oil industry subsidies would change nothing about gas prices,” then perhaps then why are they such a big deal? FWIW, I think using the term “subsidy” is simply wrong, for reasons pointed out by others.

  39. @Sylvain Allard,

    «Mr. Koch, who with his brother donates almost exclusively to political organizations that do not disclose their donors»

    1. Over the last decade the New York Times had several of its writers confess to fabricating stories. It is NOT a relaiable source.

    2. My original link and your first link both provide totals for independent PAC spending for both candidates, both sites agree on the totals. Total PAC spending for Romney is NOT high enough to support your contentions. You have ZERO evidence that there is any PAC spending not captured on these sites.

    “«Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson just donated $10 million to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC, and told Forbes he is willing to spend $100 million or more to ensure President Obama is not re-elected.»”

    Being willing to spend $100 million dollars on the campaign is NOT evidence that he acutally did spend that much.

  40. @Sylvain Allard,

    One last comment on Mr Adelson. He is a casino magnate, not an oil magnate. Even if he did spend $100 Million this does not support your original contention that the oil industry gave that much money to the Romney campaign.

  41. @Sylvain Allard,

    “No respecting country would/should accept that politician be funded by anonymous people.”

    Independent spending on a campaign by outside sources is not equal to funding said candidate.

    The US has a very long tradition of anonymous speach on political issues / campaigns going all the way back to it’s founding. Try reading up on the Federalist Papers.

  42. @Sylvain Allard,

    “Even the Republican agreed that eliminating Oil industry subsidies would change nothing about gas prices.”

    You have yet to name even one actual subsidy by the US government. This statement is true because to the extent that such subsidies exist in the US they are negligable in the face of the operating costs of the Oil Industry.

    “Yes solar and wind are less performant energies at the moment. But the research in these domain are really recent and you don’t want to stop it, like they didn’t stop space research in the 1960s which created all the evolution of techonoligies. The space program was expensive but it has been paid off many time since. Clean energy is in the same situation.”

    You admit to beliving that global warming isn’t a problem and CO2 isnt the cause. Given this clean energy does not mean low carbon.

    “Imagine that there is a breakthrough in renewable energy research were the USA doesn’t need to import gas anmore. No need to have wars in the middle east or to maintain ship over there. The billion of dollars invested would be regained fast.”

    Such a breakthrough is extreamly unlikely to come in the areas of wind or solar. Wind and solar are a waste of time and money. The basic physics says these sources are too difuse to help. Even if they could be captured at a point source at %100 efficiency (imposible) these energy sources are so difuse that the sheer volume of physical infrastructure needed to make them anything other than an after thought means they will nevery be cost competitive with fossil or nuclear based electric generation.

    If you think that we need to get off fossil fules now, before they actually run out then the only option that there is any hope of actually implementing in the next 100 years is nuclear.

  43. Briggs

    7 November 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Larry,

    Did you live? I hope and pray?

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