ExxonMobil

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Deutsch: Logo von ExxonMobil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ExxonMobil is running ads on TV supporting teachers. I find that hard to believe when the GOP in Congress is trying to destroy teachers’ unions. Is ExxonMobil trying to say it supports a teacher, but opposes teachers when they band together to support each other?

ExxonMobil is also running ads on TV supporting students studying math and science. And yet the GOP in Congress and elsewhere denies the results of science if scientific thinking leads to challenging fracking or the existence of global warming. Is it ExxonMobil’s position that studying math and science is good and that believing the results of math and science is bad?

I am confused by ExxonMobil ads. Is that deliberate?

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Cartels

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Cartels are small groups of individuals, companies or countries that band together to control market prices by the artificial manipulation of supply and/or demand to enrich themselves by keeping prices higher than unfettered supply and demand would determine.

There are two (or more) cartels operating in the US that are gravely injuring the vast majority of the American people: big oil and big banks. I think that recent events have demonstrated clearly how big banks are making tons of money at the public’s and the taxpayers’ expense. Until the real estate bubble burst, they were creating CDOs, Collateralized Debt Obligations, also known in the industry as Chernobyl Death Objects, and selling them worldwide as a safe investment.

A portion of those CDOs included mortgages created by predatory lenders. When the bubble burst, some borrowers began to default, and it became impossible to fairly value or to sell additional CDOs. The banks began illiquid and required $trillions from us to remain in business. Once the banks had taxpayer dollars, they returned to the very profitable selling of additional derivatives, this time not based on predatory lending to home owners. And they returned to compensating their top managers with outrageous salaries and bonuses.

The other cartel operating in the US is big oil. Contrary to what they want us to believe, there is NO shortage of oil. Historically and still true today, there is a glut of oil and big oil’s biggest problem is concealing and managing that glut. When OPEC was formed, it did big oil a big favor of creating the appearance of a shortage and presenting a target for the public’s wrath about rising gas prices. The apparent shortage of oil and gasoline is a perfect pretext for big oil to manipulate pricing for their advantage and profit.

The remedy for the evils of both cartels is to breakup both into pieces small enough that competition is restored. Either that or regulate both industries as monopolistic utilities. We must not allow too-big-to-fail to become embedded in our nation’s consciousness. We can and must dismantle both big oil and big banks.

Please see Let them eat cake

Fantasy baseball

Republican Elephants

The baseball season is about to begin and I will root once again that the Cubs make it to the World Series. I have been a Cub fan since 1950 and my fantasy is that they win the championship before I die.

Thinking of fantasies, my thoughts turned to what a GOP baseball team would be like if they played baseball instead of politics. The team name would of course be the Elephants and the owner the US Chamber of Commerce and the manager would be Grover Norquist. They would play in a new stadium each year financed 100% by the taxpayers. The stadium was formerly named BP Field, but BP sold the naming rights to Exxon Mobil to raise a quick $20 billion to fund the “slush” fund required by President Obama after the Gulf oil spill. The Elephants now play at home in Exxon Mobil Field.

Now let’s select our players. On the mound is our star pitcher, John “Teardrops” Boehner, famed for his tear ball. Like a spit ball, but wetted by tears rather than spit. Behind the plate and calling the balls and strikes (the Elephants play without umpires) is Eric Cantor. He wears the catcher’s usual protective gear plus rubber gloves, a raincoat and hat and goggles when he is catching John’s tear ball. On third base and keeping the official score wearing an accountant’s green eyeshade is Paul Ryan.

The rest of the infield is composed of the Elephants’ famed double play combination. Not yet as famous as Tinkers to Evers to Chance, they are Ignorance at shortstop, Apathy on second and Inertia on first base. These three are who keep the GOP Elephants in close games. Additionally, if the Elephants fall behind in the score, Paul just stops counting the runs the other side scores.

The Elephants have an unusual and especially weak outfield defensively. In far right field hugging the foul line is Michele Bachmann. Playing center and most of right field is Willard “Moss” Romney. Known as Mitt Romney off the diamond for his golden glove and golden bank account, he was given the nickname “Moss”, short for a rolling stone gathers no moss, for his constant movement in the outfield, changing positions at the drop of a hat or a change in the wind direction. The Elephants also field a second center fielder because no one will play left field. That leaves a huge gap that other teams can exploit. The Elephants are the only team in baseball with no left hand batters or pitchers.

The Elephants plan to use the 2011 season to prepare for the important 2012 season. I am particularly looking forward to the 2012 series scheduled to end on the first Tuesday of November, 2012.  If the Elephants survive the next two years, we will believe that miracles do happen, even in fantasy baseball.

Wrigley Field

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Democratic Donkeys

On the mound is their ace left-hander, Barack “No Drama” Obama. Behind the plate is their catcher, Joe Biden. On third is their main numbers man, Tim Geithner. The heart of the Donkeys’s defense is their double play combination of the 3 Cs, Bill Clinton as shortstop, Hillary Clinton on second base and Jimmy Carter on first.

In the outfield, there is Dennis Kucinich in left, Bernie sanders in center and Al Gore in right who bats fourth in the clean up position. The Donkeys wear an all green uniform and are nicknamed the Green Team. Their manager is Howard Dean. Their farm system includes two teams, the Washington Senators and the Baltimore Ballots. The Donkeys, unlike the Elephants, are known as a team of much internal dissension.

Exxon Mobil for president

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According to Mitt Romney today, corporations are people. If that is true, why don't the Republicans nominate Exxon Mobil for president and Koch Industries for vice president? Eliminate the human middle-men.

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