News & Notes September 29, 2010

Things got a bit crazy there last week between preparing for my trip, changing the plans to drive instead of flying, having the lightning strike then spending four days on the road all the while campaigns and events were happening.  There’s tons of stuff to get to so I might do more than one News & Notes today catching up.

While I’m here in New Mexico’s state capitol I might mosey over to the Roundhouse and rustle up some information on this state’s experience with shale gas drilling.  The energy companies have been in some New Mexican areas fracking for gas for several years.  I’ll see what I can dig up.

Meanwhile the Pennsylvania Budget & Policy Center has their latest report on Marcellus Shale severance tax rates and its interesting.  The industry, through its bought and paid for mouths in the legislature, is claiming falsely that SB 1155 calls for a severance tax rate of 7.3% which puts it below that of western states which include property taxes on top of the gas tax to bring an effective rate of 7.9%  The gas drillers haven’t left any of these states for “greener pastures” and New Mexico’s shale gas is a fraction of that in the Marcellus formation.  These are scare tactics designed to let them exploit a non renewable resource belonging to Pennsylvanians.

President Obama was in Albuquerque yesterday before traveling to Wisconsin trying to motivate liberal Democrats to vote.  He and VP Biden, who was at Penn State, are criticizing us for being “whiners.”  The White House is so f*cking tone deaf it is beyond comprehension.  Instead of castigating those it betrayed they should be apologizing and begging for understanding.  I’m simply astounded by their cluelessness.

polls seem to be all the place this fall.  I’m not sure, going forward, how accurate any polling is.  More and more of us are going to cell phone only, especially the youth, and are outside the scope of traditional polling.  I also think these samples are highly sensitive to whomever happened to be contacted and show a divergent electorate.  I think anything can and will happen in November.  For example last week an F&M poll showed Mike Fitzpatrick leading Patrick Murphy by double digits in PA-10, something I found hard to comprehend.  Yesterday another poll puts Murphy ahead by 3.  The only poll which counts will be the one on election day.

Veterans and labor are joining other groups to do canvassing and phone banking at a feverish pace.  While organizations such as Karl Rove’s American Crossroads are pumping $50 million into ads this year the work on the ground remains the focal point of voter contact.  The Citizens United decision is having a serious impact on this race as billionaires are dumping millions into anonymous contributions.  You, the voter have a right to know who is funding these ads.

Manan Trivedi has a very effective ad attacking Jim Gerlach for his giant faux pas attacking his opponent for being out of the district for eight years.  Manan explains why to the voters with this ad:

Commonwealth Court went after Big Pharma Bristol-Myers Squibb for gouging Pennsylvania taxpayers last week.  They caught the company cheating us for drugs for the senior prescription program.  Businesses are constantly crying about all the regulations they are forced to endure but if they weren’t all crooks these wouldn’t be necessary.  Honest people don’t need someone holding them accountable, crooked ones do.  This is but one more example.  I’m fed up with Chamber of Commerces crying and whining about this through their elected representatives.

On my drive west through Pennsylvania Saturday I heard a radio ad by Pat Toomey touting his experience as a small business owner.  Toomey’s family owned and operated several restaurants in the Lehigh Valley, presumably with the funds he earned on Wall Street.  Pat co-owned the business but never managed or operated it, his brothers did that work.  Pat Toomey was in Hong Kong then working for an Enron investor who was caught defrauding shareholders:

I’ve nailed down what Toomey did during that year: His campaign confirms to me that he did research on capital market formation in southeast Asia for a company owned by the billionaire Chan brothers, one of whom, Ronnie Chan, was a former Enron director who settled a massive $168 million lawsuit brought against the company by shareholders.

Toomey’s boss has been fighting democratic progress in China and is tied to China’s refusal to float their currency.  That policy is costing millions of American jobs.

12 thoughts on “News & Notes September 29, 2010”

  1. 1) speaking of china…guess who is shipping jobs to China?

    remember when barry said that if we pass the stimulus Caterpillar would start hiring again?  He did that swell little press conference?  Well…guess who is opening up a new plant…in China?  Yea, that same company.

    2) remember that thread we had about banning texting while driving and i wondered if anyone had bothered to look up whether or not deaths had increase in the age of cell phones?   well…someone did a study…

    have a great day :)

  2. I do agree with you that I am just as befuddled the way barry/kerry/biden etc are calling you guys whiners and telling you to suck it up rather than trying to rally the same very base that put him (well, more so the real leftys in congress) in the White House.

    He had 2 groups in his corner in 08…you hard core leftys and the independents. The independents are bailing on him in droves (his tanking approval numbers) and those who remained loyal…he dumps on.

    Im no fan of most of your policies…but him dumping on the same group that was so loyal they put their political lives on the line makes NO sense to me.

    have a good trip :)

  3. It always seemed to me that the main difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is this: The Republicans are composed of people who tend to all have the same core political philosophy. There are some disagreements between them of course–social conservatives vs. social libertarians for example–but by and large they all basically agree with each other. The Democrats on the other hand are a loose coalition of different groups who sometimes–hell, frequently–squabble. For example, union members and environmentalists don’t get along (although that is starting to change), white union members tend to be socially conservative and thus somewhat racist, blacks and gays don’t always get along, etc. When Democrats have a leader who can get these groups to get along, they win. When they can’t rally these groups, they lose. Right now they are losing.  

  4. “I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witness, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant…I will apply treatment for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”

    -Hippocratic oath

    Does one see the words “for profit” anywhere in this same ancient oath that every medical practitioner still swears to?

    Those who choose to make their money on millions of sick and dying Americans hold first rank as society’s bottom-feeders.

    Anyone who feels compelled to defend such social parasites is at best a fool…and at worst, a groveling toady for the unconscionable rich.  

    Matt Thomas

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