Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mid-week Thoughts

This is Wednesday, and while we had a day of summer recently, we're back to subnormal temperatures with occasional showers with rain in the mountains. But we know eventually, normally the week after the Independence holiday. We can wait because we know when summer does come, it will be nice, with milder warm temperature, rarely above 85-90 degrees, with clear blue skies. Ok, at least until Labor Day.

And yes, the Seattle Mariners won last night too. Ok, they're like 25 wins and 46 losses, still the worst in baseball. They're second to last in pitching and hitting too. And every senior player is hitting at least 20-30 percentage points and some 50 percentage points below their career average. They fired the GM, like that matters, but he was the one who built the team from 2003 to 2008 with only one (2007) winning season.

And who's next? The manager? Likely since he was the GM's choice. But who would replace him? And where is the blame, or better lack of performance? The team won when they had a strong manager, like Mike Hargrove and Lou Pinella. Under Bob Melvin and John McLaren, they've been lackluster at best. And the reality is if there are any real answers to revive the team, besides hoping, as we've done the last five years? Not really, but we will hope they at least get to .500 by the end of the season, and look forward to next year.

Ok, enough of bitching about baseball.

Bush, and does John McClain, want to lift the ban for drilling off-shore. That's the danger of Bush's last 6 months, getting the ban lifted before he leaves office. The reality is that it wouldn't help, even in the next 3-5 years, the time it takes to explore and develop the areas. And even then it wouldn't add that much to reduce the price of gas very much.

The reality as has been noted is that we don't have the refineries to process the oil into the products. There hasn't been a new refinery built in over 20 years, and there is more than enough evidence to show the the refinery companies have been manipulating their operations to sustain high prices by taking facilities off-line just before they're needed to produce new quanities.

And then they are routinely having to stop to switch operations for changing products, such as fuel oil for winter needs, summer gas-ethanol mixtures, etc. In short, it's not always a supply problem the oil companies want to sell you, because drilling and producing oil is their profit, it's the refineries too, who haven't kept pace with the supply and demand since the 1980's. That's what need to change, not adding more oil into the funnel that doesn't have the capacity.

The campaign? Well, it's still at full speed and will only go faster. They're already talking about swiftboating Obama. The republican organizations are already gearing up to produce ads depicting him and his record. Beware of these ads as we've seen what they did to John Kerry. There was nothing accurate or correct about those ads, so I don't expect any one about Obama to be nothing but lies.

Hey, that's my experience seeing the ads and reading about them later.

Question. Why is it that the Republicans scream bloody murder when government contractors commit fraud, abuse, or simply don't do the work when the Democrats are in power, especially a Democratic President, but then sit on their hands with the mouths shut when this same happens with the government contractors in Iraq? When Billions and Billions of US government, meaning our tax money, in cash and checks has been spent in Iraq without any accounting, only the Democrats are asking for investigations.

And only now five years later, and 3-4+ years after the government contracts in Iraq have been issued, are the Inspector General arms of agencies are finding and reporting widespread abuse and fraud but US corporation and some government employees in Iraq. And after all the money is gone the Republicans are asking for more money to correct the situation, with government contractors of course.

Money chasing money, except it's all our money.

Ok, it's a short day, too much other stuff to do this week and still another two days of newspapers to read and report. I'll see you later. Parting jesture? This little guy. What's not to like?

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