Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:35 pm

Junk shot; or, What a really free market might look like

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 8:35 pm
Tags: , , , ,

How ’bout we plug the Deepwater Horizon with U.S. Sen. James Inhofe? He seems fond enough of oil that I think he’d actually enjoy the experience:

Republican Senator James Inhofe has stepped up to the plate yet again for big oil, pledging a Republican filibuster against legislation offered by New Jersey’s Robert Menendez that would completely lift the $75 million liability cap currently protecting big oil companies from claims of economic damage from oil spills.

That’s right, ladies and germs: A Republican Senator is calling for a taxpayer bailout of BP. Because that, in effect, is what blocking Menendez’s measure would do.

You know, Republicans are all for “free markets” when the markets in question are actually crony capitalism and they get to be cronies. But when they might actually have to face economic consequences for their actions, they’re all, like, “Oh, help, Uncle Sugar, SAVE us!”

Why is there a liability cap at all? Why shouldn’t BP have to pay every last dime it takes to clean up the mess and restore, or compensate for, the lives and livelihoods ruined by this disaster?

It might cost BP’s stock- and bondholders their investment? Well, yeah, that’s what’s supposed to happen when a corporation makes a mistake of world-historical proportions.

It might make other companies reluctant to invest in deepwater drilling? So? Maybe that might lead companies to take a second look at fields that, while more expensive, would also be safer.

So the price of oil would go up? So? Maybe people would use less of it, which would benefit the economy and the environment. Maybe competing, cleaner energy sources that aren’t cost-efficient now would become more so.

I don’t want to have to pay more for oil. But it’s pretty clear that we’re going to pay for it one way or the other, and everything else being equal I’m inclined toward anything that does not involve my paying for a private corporation’s mistakes.

Sunday, February 28, 2010 10:25 pm

James Inhofe, likely abuser of process

Filed under: We're so screwed — Lex @ 10:25 pm
Tags: ,

Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma thinks not only that global warming is a fraud (despite zero evidence for believing it) but also that scientists supporting the theory should be criminally investigated.

And the thing is, if Republicans retake the Senate, Inhofe will once again be a committee chairman with subpoena power. The fact that he is batsh*t, in the pocket of Big Awl AND dumber than a box of rocks will be no protection.

Friday, November 20, 2009 9:33 pm

Odds and ends for 11/20

Huge win for the good guys, by which I mean taxpayers: House Finance Committee overwhelmingly and with true bipartisan support votes to audit the Fed. Barney Frank, previously a supporter, voted against. He’s going to need a damn good explanation.

Welcome to the 21st century, beehortches: Muslims want an anti-blasphemy law? Well, I want a jet pack and I ain’t getting that, either.

Come for the counsel, stay for the funny anecdotes (or vice versa): The NYT asks a shrink to tackle the fraught topic of holiday family get-togethers.

Transact this: Economist Dean Baker on the case for a financial-transaction tax. Short version: Yes, it would raise (microscopically) the cost of capital, but like booze and cigarette taxes, it would discourage something harmful: in this case, the kind of high-frequency, high-volume, low-value trading currently dominating the stock market. (Let’s face it, when the market can go up significantly on a day when more than a third of all trading involves the stock of just four companies — four basically insolvent companies — does the economy really benefit?)

Show some respect: A large majority of Americans, and 53% of Republicans, think it’s OK for the president of the United States to bow to the leader of a foreign country he’s visiting when it’s custom to bow in that country, according to a poll from that hotbed of pro-Obama liberalism, Fox News (question 18).

Shorter Amanda Hess, for the win: Why is sexism only a problem when it affects Sarah Palin?

Funding priorities: Can we please all agree that whatever else goes into health-care reform legislation, it ought not contain a dime for stuff that doesn’t work? Or has Teh Stoopid rendered even that common-sense position untenable?

Consumer advocacy: Elizabeth Warren sez, “We need a new model: If you can’t explain it, you can’t sell it.”

Once-a-century confluence?; or, Who are you and what have you done with the senator?: When Sen. James Inhofe and former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer agree that it’s time SecTreas Tim Geithner resigned, maybe it really is time Tim Geithner resigned.

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