Gasoline – Only a By-Product?

This is very interesting. In The Real Economics of Oil, Sheldon Drobny sats that gasoline is really only a waste product from the refining process. The real profit is from products like asphalt, lubricating oils, paraffin wax, heating oil, tar and others.

Essentially, gasoline is a waste product of the oil refining process and the oil companies get rid of their hazardous waste and charge the public to do that. It actually reduces the cost of the oil refining process and at the same time contributes greatly to the greenhouse effect of global warming.

Go have a read.

m4s0n501

Charter School Teacher Fired For Talking Union

At the Edwize blog: Do charter schools need unions? about charter school teachers in New York being fired for mentioning the ‘U’ word.
Fortunately things turned out all right for one teacher, because she was so highly regarded:

Nichole applied for a position teaching English at one of New York City’s very best public high schools, Brooklyn Tech, which hired her last week. Having quickly landed on her feet, Nichole now says “I will never again work in a school where I don’t belong to a union.” Her dismissed colleague was hired at a top private New York City school.

New Bush Rule Coming Prohibiting Many Workers From Forming Unions

Please read this Kos diary American Workers’ Freedom to Form Unions Threatened Under Bush NLRB. “Supervisors” are prohibited by law from forming unions. Bush’s Labor Board is about to issue a rule saying that nurses, along with “building trades workers, newspaper and television employees, port workers and many others” are supervisors, and therefore prohibited from being in unions.
Go read the whole thing.

Why I Think Sen. Obama Helped the Right

Senator Barack Obama gave a speech and there is a lot of reaction in the blogosphere. In the speech, he said,

“At worst, some liberals dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, insisting on a caricature of religious Americans that paints them as fanatical, or thinking that the very word “Christian” describes one’s political opponents, not people of faith.”

Atrios writes,

If you think it’s important to court evangelicals, then court them. If, on the other hand, you think it’s important to confirm and embrace the false idea that Democrats are hostile to religion in order to set yourself apart, then continue doing what you’re doing. It won’t help the Democrats, and it probably won’t even help you, but whatever makes you happy.

David Sirota says Obama is “Reinforcing Dishonest Storylines”,

One of the most infuriating behaviors among some Democrats these days is their willingness to create fake straw men that undermine progressives and reinforce false narratives about the Democratic Party?
… Obama, of course, is trying to portray himself as having the courage to stand up against these supposed Democrats that constitute the “we” in his rhetoric – the “we” that supposedly make this mistake of “fail[ing] to acknowledge the power of faith.” Yet, again, he doesn’t offer any names to tell us who constitutes the “we.” Why? Because there are none.

[Update – More at the end of the post]
I think it is important that we get the point here, so I’m going to keep this going. I think the point is about understanding the Right’s long-term strategic narratives, what they are, how they work, and how it harms us. We all need to understand the battle we are in, and learn how to all aim at our targets instead of at each other.

Continue reading

Time For Dems To Redraw Some Maps!

The Supreme Court ruled that it was OK for Texas to re-draw Congressional districts after they took control of the Texas legislature. The Texas redistricting gained them six seats in Congress, making it much more difficult for Democrats to take back the House – ever.
This sounds bad. It isn’t. Why not? Because it means that states with Democrats in control can now do the same thing. Over at MyDD Chris Bowers explains,

We have a pretty good chance to take the trifecta this year in California, Colorado, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. We already have the trifecta in Illinois. After the 2006 elections, Democrats need the guts to wake up and realize that the public will not revolt in the face of Republican power grabs, and that Republicans will not play nice because we decide to do so. Redrawing the maps in those states will make it all but impossible for Republicans to hold the House after the 2006 elections. Further, we can take out several committee chairs and even the Speaker of the House out in so doing. If these are the tactics Republicans want to use, and if their Supreme Court say these tactics are legal, then its time we use these tactics to decapitate the most of Republican leadership. Let’s see them whine and squirm when their own strategies are used against them. Failure to do so is a failure to fight the conservative movement’s long march toward theocracy and totalitarianism.

So, do the state Democrats have the fight in them to do it?
Chris also links to this analysis at Off the Cuff.

Bush Pulls Ladder Up Behind Him

Bush issued an executive order today limiting “eminent domain” — public seizure of private property to enrich private interests.
Does this mean that Bush is going to give the money back?

A copy of the secret agreement among Mr. Bush and the other Rangers owners shows that they intended to make money not just by running a baseball club but also by land speculation.
For example, one owner found a nice chunk of land and sent a memo suggesting that it “sounds like another condemnation candidate if you want to work the site into your master plan,” according to the court documents. Another of the owners’ internal memos casts a proprietary gaze on a property and declares: “We plan to condemn this land.”
For a group of financiers to go around town admiring properties and deciding which to seize through the government power of condemnation so that they can acquire free land and speculate on it is appalling.”

Continue reading

Bush Sending Signals By Endorsing Coulter

United States Attorney General Gonzales is on the Rush Limbaugh Show as I write this. Coming up soon, Ann Coulter.
I know it’s too much to expect of this crowd that they would denounce Coulter for saying Representative Murtha should be murdered for disagreeing with Bush’s Iraq policy, or for saying that widows of the 9/11 attack enjoyed their husbands’ deaths. But appearing on the Limbaugh show with Coulter is an endorsement.
Previously, the Vice President appeared on a platform with Coulter. This was before these latest remarks, but after she called for the murder of New York Times employees.

Juan Cole McCarthyism

The other day I wrote about Juan Cole Denied Position At Yale For Criticizing Bush Policies.
Over at History News Network today, Juan Cole: Burning Juan Cole.
A few years ago I had a piece at HNN on a related subject, Who’s Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors? That piece is as relevant today as it was three years ago. I see that people are STILL leaving comments there!

Time For A New Party

Over at Hullabaloo, tristero asks when we will have an opposition party,

“When will America again have two national political parties?”
I honestly wish I could say 2006. There are some positive signs that a second party could emerge, in the face of major attempts to suppress it, from what’s left of the Democratic Party. It certainly would save a lot of time. Building a second party from scratch will be no picnic.

Go read.