Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Republicans Too Frightened To Vote Against Democratic Oil Speculation Bill


Mitch McConnell is well practiced at operating in the shadows

Not a single Republican-- not even Cornyn (R-TX-$480,100), McConnell (R-KY-$197,150), Landrieu (D-LA-$184,850), or Inhofe (R-OK-$220,350), the worst of the Big Oil's paid-off shills-- dared to vote against a bill meant to rein in the oil speculators who have added as much as $2/gallon to the price of gasoline. McConnell still plans to ambush the bill and kill it off with parliamentary procedures before it becomes law. A sneaky closet queen, McConnell has become adept at working in the shadows and accomplishing his goals when no one else can see. "Republicans may still block a vote on approving the bill unless amendments are added to increase U.S. oil production, such as expanding offshore drilling and developing oil shale fields in the West."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said the legislation was a good first step toward bringing down fuel costs.

"If we did nothing else but pass this speculation bill, the American people would be very, very happy and the markets would be struck quickly and the price of oil would go down," he said.

But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the speculation-only bill was "a very little piece" of the solution to the country's energy problems.

Not unrelated was a story in the Politico this morning, GOP Senators Scramble For Lifeboats. Even the most zombie-like of the rubber stamps-- Republicans like Saxby Chambliss and John Cornyn-- have suddenly figured out that they could lose their cushy jobs if they don't start voting in the interests of their homestate voters instead of their corporate campaign contributors. Chambliss went so far as to brag that he had stood up to Cheney when he abandoned the cherished Republican dream of weakening and destroying Medicare.
Republican Senate leaders-- terrified by the prospect of losing five or more seats in November-- have freed their members to vote however they need to vote to get reelected, even if that means bucking the president or the party’s leadership.

On at least four votes over the past month-- Medicare, housing, the GI Bill and the Farm Bill-- Republican leaders haven’t even bothered whipping members to toe the party line or back President Bush’s veto threats. Instead, a GOP leadership aide says leaders have told vulnerable senators that it’s all right to “get well” with voters by siding with Democrats on anything but energy and national security.

It’s unusual for rank-and-file members to get a green light to blow off their party leaders. But these are unusual times for Republicans. They are genuinely worried they could get their clocks cleaned in November. The prevailing attitude: It is better to lose some big votes now than big races in November.

This helps explain why so many Senate Republicans are taking flight from President Bush and their own leaders-- and doing it loudly and proudly.

Shortly after the Medicare vote, the website for Sen. John Cornyn featured news that the Texas Republican-- best known as a Bush loyalist-- had voted to override the president’s veto.

The Texas Medical Association had already run anti-Cornyn TV and radio spots and had withdrawn it's endorsement of the rubber stamp senator. Many in Texas consider his vote to override Bush's veto, to be Rick Noriega's first Senate vote. Republican strategists think that by allowing habitual rubber stamps like Norm Coleman of Minnesota, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Ted Stevens of Alaska, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Susan Collins of Maine, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Gordon Smith of Oregon suddenly switch up and start voting with Democrats, the issues they are most terrified of-- unemployment, high gas prices, inflation, the housing crisis (all problems brought on by GOP ideological fanaticism supported by each of these senators for years and years)-- will suddenly be "neutralized." They're in a dream world.

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At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The democrats are too afraid to even put up an offshore drilling bill for a vote - which by the way is what over 70% of the Americans want.

Sounds to me like the democrats would rather keep on sponsoring terrorist by giving money to countries that turn around and give it to people who want to kill Americans then allow the oil companies to have more leases.

Even if you believe the lie that they have 68 million acres they are not using - who would you rather give the money to an American company who povides American jobs and pays taxes to America or a foreign country who uses the money to support terrorist who want to Kill Americans.

The 68 million acres the oil companies lease or in different stages of development. It is not like they can bring an oil rig to the spot set it down and start to drill. Also, ALL oil leases are already use it or lose it. They hvae 5, 8 or 10 year leases that state if the company is not producing at the end of the lease they LOSE the lease.

On one hand the democrats say the oil companies are greedy and on the other hand say they do not want to produce oil on the leases they are paying millions of dollars for and where they spent millions of dollars exploring when the price of oil is so high they could be a killing.

Do you actually think it would be good policy for the oil companies to attempt to produce oil on a location they know they one lose money on. They have an obligation to their shareholders to make money if they do not the investors will not invest and the oil companies would go belly up and guess who would have to bail them out....you guessed it the taxpayer.

SO keep giving the tax money to foreign countries and then cry about the economy, people not having jobs, etc.

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I don't usually favor government intervention in everday matters, this whole oil price gouging is completely out of control. Even if the oil companies themselves are not directly responsible for this (and I think they are in part) I'm still convinced the prices we are paying are way beyond the surge in demand. When you have huge retirement funds and speculators pouring billions into oil futures you are going to see the price go up. Granted another large factor is the decline in the value of the dollar due to the endless pork projects given out by congress and the trillions spent on the war in Iraq/Afghanistan. When are we going to wake up?? We can't afford this endless red ink!!

But before you blow off these concerns don't forget it was only a few years ago when our electricity was going thru the roof out West due to speculators and Enron's lies. Clearly this demonstrates government intervention via regulation is essential to discourage this from ever happening again in our energy sector.

The next thing we must do is get our automotive companies in America to wake up and start making economical cars. The technology is out there but they either want to charge us outrageous prices to have one or they offer 2-3 mpg improvements. Our future could be irreparably damaged if we don't find solutions quickly.

One solution could be to use existing technology to manufacture cars that run on ethanol from corn. This burns clean for the air and is a lot cheaper to produce than oil. Brazil has already implemented this program nationwide and uses sugar cane as its source.

Another solution is the hydrogen car that is being produced on a trial basis in California. Let's get this done now!

If congress keeps fighting (stalling) then lets throw as many of them out as we can this year!


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