Sen. Ron Wyden is a Moron
Not generally, mind you. I'm sure in this chosen field-
ass kissing vote sucking politics-he's very smart. But when it comes to economics, I mean really basic economics, he's as dumb as a box of rocks.
Sen. Wyden staged his own personal mini-filibuster today to try to force a vote to make oil companies pay royalties for oil pulled from federally owned land if the price of oil is over $55 a barrel. Now, leaving aside the libertarian question of why the hell does the .fedgov even own these lands, or whether oil companies should be paying royalties, we've got gas going for $3, oil at $70+ a barrel, and this idiot wants to make that oil cost more?
Now, I'm not from from Oregon, so I don't know if this dumbass is up for re-election and trying to suck up to his constituents, or if he's going to run for president and is sucking up to everybody who fell asleep Econ in high school (as I recall, that may just be a majority), but how does he fail to grasp that increasing the cost of production is going to send the cost of gas up, not down? Is he really that stupid, or does he really think voters are that stupid?
Hey, Senator Stupid, how about you spending 4 hours demanding that the Senate revote on opening up ANWR for oil exploration and drilling, and that this time you'll vote in favor of it? And while you're at it, how about off the coast of Florida, where the fucking CUBANS are getting set to start drilling? Oh, right, you want Castro and his merry band of Commie thug murderers to be successful. Or how about off the coast of California? We know there's oil there, but Barbra Fucking Streisand and the rest of the Democrat party's Hollywood donor base don't want to look at drilling rigs from their mansions in Malibu.
Or maybe, just maybe, you could think about lowering corporate income tax rates? Because guess what? To Exxon, it's just another expense, which they pay for by increasing the price of their product. Oh, that's right, corporations are evil. It's not like they're mandated by law to maximize profits for their owners, aka shareholders, aka John Q. Investing Public. Oh, they are? So why is everybody complaining about them complying with the fucking law?
Guess what, Senator Dumbass? We start drilling for oil in those places, and those OPEC twits will start pumping out enough that the price drops far enough that pumping oil out of a frozen wasteland (because that's what ANWR is) is no longer worth it, if for no other reason than they don't want the competition.
Thus endeth today's economics lesson.
Being a West Coast Hockey Fan Sucks
OK, first of all, for those who don't know, I grew up in the greater SF Bay Area. I've been a Sharks fan since they started in 1991. As much as I loathe California politically, I love my home teams.
So, in last nights NHL playoff action, there were 3 games in the 7:30 pm (Pacific) time slot: Calgary-Anaheim, Detroit-Edmonton, and San Jose-Nashville. In my little corner of the world, there are two TV networks-CBC and OLN-showing NHL playoff games on weeknights. CBC, being Canadian, had one of the games featuring a Canadian team, Calgary-Anaheim. OLN had the other, Detroit-Edmonton, leaving me to listen to the internet radio broadcast of the Sharks game. I can understand this decision by the TV guys-Detroit is a much bigger market, hockey-wise, than either San Jose or Nashville.
Fast forward to the next morning. I turn on Sportscenter, hoping to catch some highlights of the Sharks game. I was able to catch about the first 30 minutes before I had to leave for work, and they didn't show any from the one game that I wanted to see. They managed to show about 10 minutes about Brett Favre-and it's not even !@#$%ing football season, and I'm not in Wisconsin, and I flat out don't @$&!ing care. They also showed a couple of basketball playoff games, which I don't give a rat's ass about, HR #710 for Bonds, at least one other mostly meaningless early season baseball game, and the other two hockey games. I hate ESPN.
Because My Wife is Hot II
The pic is an older one, but I like it. You might call this "Studying One of the Classics."
The rifle is a Finn rework Mosin-Nagant Model 1891. Barrel by VKT circa 1942. Receiver is by Sestroryetsk, vintage 1898. Which means, boys and girls, that, legally, it is an antique. I picked it up around Christmas '04, purely by accident, as it happened to be at the pawnshop that I was using to transfer the receiver for my wife's AR-15. Cost me all of $100.
Thoughts on Gas Prices
Politicians of just about every stripe are running around spouting about high prices and investigations into 'price gouging' and calling for investigations into oil company prices. (Oil companies, BTW, have one of the lowest profit margins of any industry, at around 8%, if memory serves.) Honestly, this is just politicians being politicians-constituents complain, so they have to at least seem like their doing something. For Democrats, it's also a chance to bash Bush and the GOP.
But let's take a closer look at those gas prices-$2.88 a gallon in Tacoma, WA this week-shall we?
First, the price of oil. Roughly $75 a barrel right now. 42 gallons of crude oil in a petro barrel, breaks down to $1.786 per gallon. (Actually, I'm fudging here-it doesn't yield 42 gallons of gas, but you get other stuff, like heating oil, as well.) Add Federal tax at $0.184/gal ($1.97/gal total) and state tax ($0.31/gal here in WA) for $2.28 a gallon. Which means there's $0.60 a gallon left to get that gas from the refinery to a distribution point somewhere near Tacoma, then from there to the gas station, pay for the overhead (taxes, utilities, upkeep, etc.) at both places, the salary of the sulky teenager manning the register, and have enough profit to make it worthwhile for the station owner to keep selling gas instead of turning his station into a Starbucks.
As far as 'price fixing' goes, how many companies are there selling gas? Shell, BP, Citgo (all those foreign owned, BTW), Exxon-Mobil, ConocoPhilips, Texaco (or did they get bought up by someone else?). Too many to all get together in some vast conspiracy to fix prices. You want to talk price fixing, go talk to the OPEC people, since their little cartel exists for exactly that purpose.