Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"McCain Proposes a $300 Million Prize for a Next-Generation Car Battery"

The stupidest idea to date!
This falls into hair brained schemes!

FRESNO, Calif. — In the 18th century the British offered a £20,000 prize to anyone who figured out how to calculate longitude. More recently, Netflix offered a million dollars for improving movie recommendations on its Web site. Now Senator John McCain is suggesting a new national prize: He said here Monday that if elected president he would offer $300 million to anyone who could build a better car battery.

The high cost of gasoline — a gallon of regular was selling for $4.65 at a gas station near California State University, Fresno, where Mr. McCain spoke — has made energy policy a big issue in this year’s presidential campaign, and barely a day has passed recently without one of the candidates weighing in with new energy policies, proposals and attacks on opponents.

Mr. McCain, of Arizona, alienated some environmentalists last week during a speech in Houston when he dropped his opposition to allowing offshore drilling for oil; this week, in a swing through California, he spoke about trying to wean the nation from its dependence on oil. He called for improving the enforcement of fuel economy standards, building more cars that could run on alternative fuels, dropping the tariff on imports of sugar-based ethanol from Brazil and offering big tax credits for nonpolluting cars.

“I further propose we inspire the ingenuity and resolve of the American people,” Mr. McCain said, “by offering a $300 million prize for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars.”

He said the winner should deliver power at 30 percent of current costs. “That’s one dollar, one dollar, for every man, woman and child in the U.S. — a small price to pay for helping to break the back of our oil dependency,” he said.

The Obama campaign countered by noting that Mr. McCain had voted against improving fuel efficiency standards in the Senate. Jason Furman, the Obama campaign’s economic policy director, said in a conference call that Mr. McCain had been focused on “meaningful relief for oil companies that are struggling with record profits.”

In his speech in Fresno, Mr. McCain called for automakers to act more quickly to build so-called flex-fuel vehicles than can run on alternative fuel. He approvingly cited the example of Brazil, which he said had moved to building 70 percent of all new vehicles that way in just three years, and he issued a not-so-veiled threat to automakers.

“Whether it takes a meeting with automakers during my first month in office, or my signature on an act of Congress,” he said, “we will meet the goal of a swift conversion of American vehicles away from oil.”

And Mr. McCain emphasized one of his differences with Mr. Obama, without mentioning him by name, by restating his opposition to subsidies for corn-based ethanol, which Mr. Obama supports.

“As taxpayers, we foot the bill for the enormous subsidies paid to corn producers,” he said. “And as consumers, we pay extra at the pump because of government barriers to cheaper products from abroad.”

Mr. McCain, who spoke against corn-based ethanol when he ran for president in 2000, said this time around that he became a supporter of it when oil grew too expensive, but he has said he still opposes subsidies for ethanol.

While the McCain and Obama campaigns were sparring over energy, Mr. Obama was in Albuquerque, where he focused on the economy and working women, a critical constituency. He journeyed deep into the prosaic land of gut-level economics at the Flying Star Café Commissary, where talk of globalization and vertical economies yields to “how can I afford to make it through this week and the one after that?”

Speaking to a group of women, Mr. Obama, of Illinois, was offered a glimpse into one of the realities of the American economy: that wages for the working-class have lagged far behind those of upper-income Americans. Some of the women at the commissary, like Carrie Hummel, 28, told of holding down multiple jobs and still barely being able to find the money to pay for gas, much less for her health insurance. “You know, this life is pretty hard,” she said.

Ms. Hummel was followed by a woman who asked Mr. Obama if he would consider waiving taxes on tips, and another who asked about the cost of college tuition, which has risen at a rate far outstripping inflation.

Mr. Obama offered a variety of proposals, including requiring employers t0 provide seven paid sick days for all employees (he has not specified the size of the employer) and extending the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover any company with 25 or more employees (the act now applies to those with 50 or more employees).

He also criticized Mr. McCain over his opposition to legislative action to help bring wages of women up to those of men. The McCain campaign fired back, saying the legislation to do so would have been a boon to trial lawyers, who have supported Mr. Obama’s campaign.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Vonage Cancellation Numbers
So very hard to find!

It's unfortunate that Vonage makes it so hard and frustrating to cancel your account or port your number to another provider. This is documented throughout the internets. Just Google Vonage and customer care, etc. There are other reports that they "Can't do that".

Because a lot of folks often change carriers, Vonage has managed to delete themselves now from my ever returning to them due to the hassle. The original issue is that my ISP is not reliable. When the computer's down so is Vonage and one's left with neither computer nor "home" phone. Having a cell phone as a back up is very helpful.

Customer Care = 1- 866-243-4357 (1-VONAGE-HELP)
M - F 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Eastern time

Cancellation Department = X - 55862 He didn't know the main number to call that goes with this extension.

Other numbers:
1 888 510-1820
Vonage UK 0808 168 1000

You talk with multiple people who keep repeating themselves. You need to have the following information available. Some of it's found in your online account

Phone number

Security number


Year service started

That you need to have changed to another provider, FIRST, which I'd already done. That stumped him.

You need to understand foreign accents.

The conversation ended with me laughing as I know what I have to do. I need to call during business hours and stop at the bank and close the account from which this is being debited.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The FISA "Compromise" Big Brother, Again
Here are the Dems who voted for this sorry thing
Read 'em and weep

Aye AL-5 Cramer, Robert [D]
Aye AL-7 Davis, Artur [D]
Aye AR-1 Berry, Robert [D]
Aye AR-2 Snyder, Victor [D]
Aye AR-4 Ross, Mike [D]
Aye AZ-5 Mitchell, Harry [D]
Aye AZ-8 Giffords, Gabrielle [D]
Aye CA-10 Tauscher, Ellen [D]
Aye CA-11 McNerney, Jerry [D]
Aye CA-18 Cardoza, Dennis [D]
Aye CA-20 Costa, Jim [D]
Aye CA-27 Sherman, Brad [D]
Aye CA-28 Berman, Howard [D]
Aye CA-29 Schiff, Adam [D]
Aye CA-36 Harman, Jane [D]
Aye CA-37 Richardson, Laura [D]
Aye CA-43 Baca, Joe [D]
Aye CA-8 Pelosi, Nancy [D]
Aye CO-2 Udall, Mark [D]
Aye CO-3 Salazar, John [D]
Aye CO-7 Perlmutter, Ed [D]
Aye FL-11 Castor, Kathy [D]
Aye FL-16 Mahoney, Tim [D]
Aye FL-2 Boyd, F. [D]
Aye FL-22 Klein, Ron [D]
Aye FL-23 Hastings, Alcee [D]
Aye FL-3 Brown, Corrine [D]
Aye GA-12 Barrow, John [D]
Aye GA-13 Scott, David [D]
Aye GA-2 Bishop, Sanford [D]
Aye GA-8 Marshall, James [D]
Aye IA-3 Boswell, Leonard [D]
Aye IL-3 Lipinski, Daniel [D]
Aye IL-4 Gutierrez, Luis [D]
Aye IL-5 Emanuel, Rahm [D]
Aye IL-8 Bean, Melissa [D]
Aye IN-2 Donnelly, Joe [D]
Aye IN-8 Ellsworth, Brad [D]
Aye KS-2 Boyda, Nancy [D]
Aye KS-3 Moore, Dennis [D]
Aye KY-3 Yarmuth, John [D]
Aye KY-6 Chandler, Ben [D]
Aye LA-3 Melancon, Charles [D]
Aye LA-6 Cazayoux, Donald [D]
Aye MD-2 Ruppersberger, C.A. [D]
Aye MD-5 Hoyer, Steny [D]
Aye MI-1 Stupak, Bart [D]
Aye MI-5 Kildee, Dale [D]
Aye MN-7 Peterson, Collin [D]
Aye MO-4 Skelton, Ike [D]
Aye MO-5 Cleaver, Emanuel [D]
Aye MS-1 Childers, Travis [D]
Aye MS-2 Thompson, Bennie [D]
Aye MS-4 Taylor, Gene [D]
Aye NC-1 Butterfield, George [D]
Aye NC-11 Shuler, Heath [D]
Aye NC-2 Etheridge, Bob [D]
Aye NC-7 McIntyre, Mike [D]
Aye ND-0 Pomeroy, Earl [D]
Aye NJ-13 Sires, Albio [D]
Aye NV-1 Berkley, Shelley [D]
Aye NY-1 Bishop, Timothy [D]
Aye NY-17 Engel, Eliot [D]
Aye NY-18 Lowey, Nita [D]
Aye NY-20 Gillibrand, Kirsten [D]
Aye NY-24 Arcuri, Michael [D]
Aye NY-27 Higgins, Brian [D]
Aye NY-4 McCarthy, Carolyn [D]
Aye NY-5 Ackerman, Gary [D]
Aye NY-6 Meeks, Gregory [D]
Aye NY-7 Crowley, Joseph [D]
Aye OH-18 Space, Zackary [D]
Aye OH-6 Wilson, Charles [D]
Aye OK-2 Boren, Dan [D]
Aye PA-10 Carney, Christopher [D]
Aye PA-11 Kanjorski, Paul [D]
Aye PA-12 Murtha, John [D]
Aye PA-17 Holden, Tim [D]
Aye PA-4 Altmire, Jason [D]
Aye PA-7 Sestak, Joe [D]
Aye PA-8 Murphy, Patrick [D]
Aye RI-2 Langevin, James [D]
Aye SC-5 Spratt, John [D]
Aye SC-6 Clyburn, James [D]
Aye SD-0 Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [D]
Aye TN-4 Davis, Lincoln [D]
Aye TN-5 Cooper, Jim [D]
Aye TN-6 Gordon, Barton [D]
Aye TN-8 Tanner, John [D]
Aye TX-15 Hinojosa, Rubén [D]
Aye TX-16 Reyes, Silvestre [D]
Aye TX-17 Edwards, Thomas [D]
Aye TX-22 Lampson, Nicholas [D]
Aye TX-23 Rodriguez, Ciro [D]
Aye TX-27 Ortiz, Solomon [D]
Aye TX-28 Cuellar, Henry [D]
Aye TX-29 Green, Raymond [D]
Aye TX-9 Green, Al [D]
Aye UT-2 Matheson, Jim [D]
Aye VA-9 Boucher, Frederick [D]
Aye WA-3 Baird, Brian [D]
Aye WA-6 Dicks, Norman [D]
Aye WA-9 Smith, Adam [D]
Aye WI-3 Kind, Ronald [D]
Aye WV-3 Rahall, Nick [D]

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Finally, the real reason for the war in Iraq

"Big Oil Firms Ready to Sign Agreements With Iraq

Two-Year, No-Bid Contracts Aimed at Boosting Production"

Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, June 20, 2008; Page A12

BAGHDAD, June 19 -- Iraq is preparing to award contracts to several Western energy companies to help develop its vast oil resources, allowing them to consolidate their positions in a country that has seemed less threatening in recent months as security has improved.

The two-year, no-bid contracts will be awarded to companies that have been advising the Iraqi Oil Ministry in recent years, said Asim Jihad, a spokesman for the ministry. He said officials expect that U.S.-based Exxon Mobil and Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, France's Total and British oil company BP will secure the biggest contracts.

"We have had discussions since last year" regarding deals that would formalize the advisory role some of them are already playing, Jihad said. "The discussions have now ended."

The contracts will be presented to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's cabinet for approval in coming days and could be announced by the end of the month, Jihad said. He added that more than 30 contracts will be signed but declined to describe their scope or provide other details.

He said the Iraqi government informed oil companies several months ago of its needs. Subsequent negotiations led to the contracts, which would allow the government to step up efforts to increase production while legislation setting guidelines for foreign investment in the oil sector remains deadlocked in parliament.

The contracts would expand relationships between the Iraqi government and the energy giants, which have eyed the country's oil fields with interest and apprehension since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Some companies have been working with the ministry under memorandums of understanding.

While the contracts would limit the companies' role to infrastructure refurbishment and technical support, the agreements would also position the firms for future deals in Iraq that could include exploration and drilling.

The impending signing of the contracts, which was reported in the New York Times on Thursday, comes as members of Iraq's parliament remain at loggerheads over legislation to regulate the country's oil reserves.

Iraq's largest oil fields are in the heavily Shiite south and predominantly Kurdish areas in the north. Parliament members and leaders have argued over whether oil revenue should be distributed evenly across the country or whether oil-rich provinces should be entitled to a larger share.

They also have squabbled over the role foreign companies should play in Iraq, particularly whether they should be given licenses to drill.

A higher-profile role for Western companies in Iraq's oil industry is likely to revive speculation that the Iraq war was motivated by a desire to tap into reserves that were controlled by foreigners until the 1960s, when the industry was nationalized. The belief is widespread in the Arab world.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday said the U.S. government played no role in securing the deals. She called the impending contracts a sign that security gains are attracting foreign investment in Iraq.

"It demonstrates that the private sector is beginning to get interested in Iraq, that it recognizes the tremendous potential for Iraq to become an even more major oil supplier," Rice told Fox News. "That's really a good sign, and it will be a good sign if Iraq can increase its oil production, because of course the supply and demand of oil is a major concern to all of us."

Iraq's oil reserves are among the largest in the world, but years of economic sanctions, war and political turmoil have taken a toll on the industry. During the first few months of this year, output reached 2 million barrels a day. Hussein al-Shahristani, Iraq's oil minister, told parliament this year that output could more than double within five years.

Officials at some of the oil companies that are expected to sign contracts issued muted statements.

A spokeswoman for Exxon Mobil, regarded as one of the most risk-adverse players in the industry, said the company would be interested in working in Iraq.

Toby Odone, a BP spokesman, said the company has been providing technical assistance to Iraq for years and is formalizing its role in the country.

Shell spokesman Adam Newton said that the company is negotiating "service agreements" with the Iraqi Oil Ministry but that the details are confidential.

Total spokesman Kevin Church confirmed that the company is discussing its future role in West Qurna, one of Iraq's largest oil fields in the south.

Large energy companies have in recent years lost ground in oil-rich countries such as Russia and Venezuela, as governments have tightened their control over the industry.

Manouchehr Takin, a senior analyst at the London-based Center for Global Energy Studies, said the names of the companies negotiating contracts is not surprising.

"They're the big international companies," he said. "They're qualified and experienced."


It wasn't Sadam nor democracy nor WMD's. It was oil all along. Reminds me of the film, "Mad Max".

There was a long time early on in this administration when we neither saw nor heard from Cheney. I suspected then that he was carefully mapping out Iraq for oil and cutting the slices just a little thicker for his buddies.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Underlying Cause of the Gas Chaos
Keith Olbermann Speaks to It

It has to do with the ENRON Loophole and, of course, THIS administration, and the Farm Bill to rescind it. And then there's this: Deregulation of the futures market & mergers of refineries allowed by antitrust types.

KO did a Special comment about this tonight.

"McCain, gas prices & the Enron loophole"


We don't need to drill for oil. Congress needs to rescind this unregulated futures market on oil and the price will quickly drop as the futures floor won't be able to keep bidding the price sky high. I suspect that if this doesn't happen, there'll be a big oil balloon bust.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Obama’s New Web Site Strikes Back at ‘Dishonest Smears’


Kucinich's 35 articles of impeachment
Bush should be impeached

"Resolved, that President George W. Bush be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:

Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against President George W. Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors.

In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has committed the following abuses of power.

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture

Article XX
Imprisoning Children

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders"


Olbermann: McCain should know better

Context and decency elude the GOP presidential nominee

"You have attested to: a fairly easy success; an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time; in which we would be welcomed as liberators; which you assured us would not require our troops stay for decades but merely for years; from which we could bring them all home, since you noted many Iraqis resent American military presence; in which all those troops coming home will also stay there, not being injured, for a hundred years; but most will be back by 2013; and the timing of their return, is not that important.

That, Sen. McCain, is context.

And that, Sen. McCain, is madness.

To die, for your misdirection, for Mr. Bush’s lies, for whoever makes the money off building 58 permanent American bases and all the weapons and all the bullets and all the wiring so costly and so slip-shod that it electrocutes our comrades as they step, not to fight freedom’s enemies, but into the shower at the base.

That, Senator, that is context.

It is an easy thing to dismiss Sen. McCain as a sad and befuddled figure, already challenging for some kind of campaign record for malaprops.

"I don’t know if I would want him (Cheney) as Vice President. He and I have the same strengths. But to serve in other capacities? Hell, yeah."

The context of the kaleidoscope of confused rhetoric, and endless non sequitur, and mutually exclusive conclusions—and what they add up to: a veritable tragedy, a microcosm of the American tragedy that is Iraq, a tragedy of a man who himself will never understand… "the context."'

These particular comments are spot on. McBush, besides being too old for the job, has presented a bumbling and befuddling list of "endless non sequiturs".

KO continues to speak for me!

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Vote for McCain
is Another 4 More Years of Bush

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"We the willing,
led by the unknowing, are
doing the impossible
or the ungrateful.
We've done so much for so long
with so little,
we're now qualified
to do anything with nothing"
... Anonymous

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Vote for Obama
He's the ONLY choice!