Daily Archives: March 7, 2012

LUV News on Funding Nukes

 THE NUCLEAR MAFIA HAS AN ACHILLES HEEL

We’ve spent a great deal of time interviewing military leaders with control over nuclear weapons, scientists who made them, and State Department officials who negotiated major nuclear arms agreements, leaving us with the conclusion that the only reason we make nuclear weapons is for the massive profits in making them — they have nothing to do with defense, or any other sane concept.

Now a movement is starting to target the funds behind the nuclear weapons industry, as a report from IPS News begins, “The world’s nuclear weapons industry is being funded – and kept alive – by more than 300 banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers in 30 countries, according to a new study.”

A coordinated global campaign for nuclear weapons divestment is urgently needed, the study says, providing hope for the vision of a nuclear free world in which funding might instead go to medical care, food for the hungry, and other programs to benefit civilization rather than destroy it.

Don’t expect to hear this from your mass media, they are heavily invested in the Nuclear Mafia through their owners, board members and advertisers.

Mario Piperni and Why It Sucks to Be a Repug

Romney – Between a Rock and a Hard Place

March 7, 2012 By

The GOP’s race to the bottom carries on and the man who once said,

“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”

…reaffirmed his position as the Inevitable One. Mitt Romney won Super Tuesday which should not have been a surprise to anyone. Romney had this thing wrapped up three months ago but is being dragged further to the right by his fellow candidates, Gingrich and Santorum, who refuse to leave the race.

Gingrich is hanging in there because of a) an oversized ego which fuels just about everything the man says and does…and b) the millions of billionaire backer, Sheldon Adelson.  Those two factors alone will keep Newt in his book tour presidential race for as long as the money lasts.

And what keeps Rick Santorum trudging on? This: he honestly believes he’s been chosen to sweep down from his lofty perch at the right hand side of God and save America from itself. He does. He believes this. Santorum might talk about budgets and deficits and Iran and other domestic and foreign policy issues but they’re not his main concern. Nope. He wants and needs to save you from the gay, abortion and contraceptives. He wants and needs to restore America to some fictional, moralistically perfect time which he believes once existed but which in truth exists only in the sick, little mind of a sanctimonious jerk.

As long as Rick Santorum keeps on winning a state or two as he did last night, he’s not going anywhere.

Combine the presence of those two bozos with Romney’s desperate need to prove his conservative bona fides and you’re left with a man forced to adopt extreme right-wing positions on just about ever issue. In a normal nomination race, a candidate can edge back toward the center once he or she is chosen as their party’s nominee. Not this time. A Republican base which is already dubious about Romney’s conservatism will eat him alive if he ever attempts to retreat an inch from his stated positions.

Yep, it must suck to be a Republican these days but as long as they believe in an America which believes in millions of Americans who believe in an America of millions of conservative Americans who believe in Mitt Romney who believes in anything and everything which the millions of Americans want him to believe…well, you get the idea.

Jacking with Gas Prices

Koch Industries Lackeys Admit To Manipulating Oil Prices…And Gloat About It, Too

The Kochs Give a Big Enron Fuck You to America

Last week, I wrote that Kochs Industries’ recent fight against financial regulation and aggressive defense of unregulated derivatives via the “Enron Loophole” was a clear sign that the company was using its position as a large-scale marketer of oil and other energy commodities to manipulate prices.

Well, thanks to recent reporting by Lee Fang, we now know this for a fact. Traders working for Koch Industries not only gave PowerPoint presentations outlining their plans to drive up the price of oil, but openly boasted about gaming the market in the business press.

Come “contango” with the Kochs. It only costs $1 more per gallon…

Their methods weren’t that different from the ones used by Enron to boost the price of electricity: instead of shutting down power plants, Koch Industries siphons millions of gallons of oil into storage tanks. ThinkProgress’ Lee Fang writes:

In 2008, Koch called attention to itself for “contango” oil market manipulation. A commodity market is said to be in contango when future prices are expected to rise, that is, when demand is expected to outstrip supply. Big banks and companies like Koch employ a contango strategy by buying up oil and storing it in massive containers both on land and offshore to lock in the oil for sale later at a set price. In December of 2008, Koch leased “four supertankers to hold oil in the U.S. Gulf Coast to take advantage of rising prices in the months ahead.” Writing about Koch’s contango efforts to artificially drive down supply, Fortune magazine writer Jon Birger noted they could be raising “gasoline prices by anywhere from 20 to 40 cents a gallon” at the time. Speaking with the Business Times, Koch executive David Chang even boasted that falling crude prices in 2008 provided an opportunity remove oil from the market for future delivery:

CHANG: The drop in crude oil prices from more than US$145 per barrel in July 2008 to less than US$35 per barrel in December 2008 has presented opportunities for companies such as ours. In the physical business, purchases of crude oil from producers and storing offshore in tankers allow us to benefit from the contango market where crude prices are higher for future delivery than for prompt delivery.

Yep, I guess all the speculatory fraud apologists at Cato are totally right. There’s nothing evil or sinister about billionaires who physically hoard oil supplies to drive up prices. No sir, nothing wrong with it. It’s all a necessary part of the new market economy, where speculators, billionaires, small farmers, young professionals and nice old pensioners all come together in harmony to find prosperity and happiness. Sure, commodities might come with a built-in billionaire tax. But so what? We can’t expect a free capitalistic society to be free. It costs an extra buck or two per gallon.

Here’s one more bit from Fang’s piece:

In recent weeks, gas prices around the country have surged to levels unseen since the 2008 oil spike. However, market fundamentals are not driving the nearly $4.00/gallon gas prices. In fact, under the Obama administration, oil production is at record highs and there is adequate global supply of crude. As Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner Bart Chilton has explained, rampant oil speculation, which is at its highest level on record right now, is to blame for current prices.

To put it another way: Forget what you learned about supply and demand. Everyone agrees the oil market is more rigged than a truckstop slot machine.

“What? Is the price of oil going up because of scarcity? Ah…Yeah, sure thing. That, and because of green shoots economic recovery! Haaaaaaaaahaa!

This is why I’ve always been skeptical of the peak oil crowd. Their constant hysteria and focus on dwindling oil supplies—which they say will be tapped out very soon, plunging us into a post-apocalyptic world filled with roving bands of cannibals, dirty midgets, a gold-based economy, dehydrated veggies and Thunderdome entertainment—works only to the benefit of market manipulators like the Kochs. It helps reinforce in the popular mind the idea that today’s astronomical oil prices are somehow linked to scarcity and dwindling world oil reserves–which of course they are not.

Try searching the Internet for information on the oil market. Peak oil theories will be on 7 out of 10 pages you’ll hit.

The Borowitz Report

Overjoyed Romney Celebrates Voters Hating Him Marginally Less Than Santorum

Mitt: ‘Voters Want the Lesser of Two Evils, and I am Lesser’

BOSTON (The Borowitz Report) – Moments after squeaking out a razor-thin victory in Super Tuesday’s crucial Ohio primary, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was in an exuberant mood, telling supporters in Boston, “I stand before you tonight as the man people hate slightly less than Rick Santorum.”

Mr. Romney said that he hoped to take the momentum of being marginally less despised than Mr. Santorum all the way to the Republican convention in Tampa.

“The voters of Ohio have said that they want the lesser of two evils,” he told the crowd, “and I am lesser.”

But in the Santorum camp, the former Pennsylvania senator showed no signs that he is ready to get out of the race: “In states like Oklahoma and Tennessee, voters spoke loudly and clearly that they can’t stand Mitt more than they detest me.  That’s what I call a recipe for success.”

Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich vowed to stay in the race, noting that voters in his home state of Georgia hated both Messrs. Romney and Santorum more than they loathed him.

“This race isn’t about winning or losing,” he said. “This is about me standing in front of a microphone and listening to the sound of my own voice for as long as possible.”

And former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin hinted that she might have a role to play if the GOP contest becomes deadlocked: “Remember, it was my historic lowering of the bar that made this Republican race possible.”