Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Overheard at the RNC

"God Bless America!"
- Every single speaker at the convention. Seriously, Republicans can we give this one a rest? Please?

"And I for one welcome our new Republican Overlords!"
- Senator Joe Lieberman. Well, OK, he didn't actually say that, but it sure sounded like it.


I tell you, I love the giant American flag on the Jumbotron screen that forms the backdrop for each speaker. Toss in John Wayne and a Lee Greenwood song and I might even hold up my lighter.

Somebody please explain why, exactly, the GOP is spending bushels of money on this convention? I mean, seriously, folks is there any doubt whatsoever that John McCain is the Republican candidate? Do a quick hand vote, and let's get on with it.

You know the drill, put up your favorite RNC quote in the comments section.


  1. Say, did you know John McCain was a POW? Yeah, I know it. Most of the people I talk to know it. But considering just how often the Republicans and John McCain repeat it there must be some brain addled people out there who just haven't fucking heard it yet. Obviously it was John's shinning moment. I guess he's never done anything else since then, except, you know, be a "maverick" by casting the overwhelming majority of votes with his party.

  2. He's not a maverick, he's a sidekick! - Bob Casey, DNC hehehe

    Yeah, I know it's not from the RNC, but it fit in too well w/ Steve's post.
    I can't stomach watching the RNC, so I'll have to rely on your quotes.

  3. I cannot provide you with pithy quotes.

    I have decided to abstain from politics. Total political celibacy. Just say no. Until November 4, at which point I will close my eyes, vote, and think of baseball.

    And then resume the ignore cycle for the next four years.

    Nobody will notice my own little refusal to put out, in disgust, still, both parties and the news media can go sleep on the couch.

  4. Did I just kill the thread with all that hamhanded innuendo? Or are folks waiting until after tonight's festivities to unleash the hounds?

  5. Well, so far there really haven't been any good quote. Unlike the DNC the GOP is a uniformly humorless bunch.

    So far today about the only thing I've heard is: 8 hours until Palin's speech, 7 hours until Palin's speech, 6 hours until Palin's speech, and so on and so forth.

    Right now the countdown clock stands at 1:41 until blast off. I sure as hell hope it's a doozy of a speech - or it's going to be a letdown like the one Lucas gave us at the opening of The Phantom Menace". Frankly I hope the woman lives up to the hype.

  6. Yes Jeri, you killed it. It's all your fault the Republicans are a bunch of pompous asses w/ sticks up their butts!
    Political celibacy, I like that term. I've been politically celibate my whole life, until my cherry was popped this spring. hee I finally woke up & smelled the coffee.

  7. Bad Jeri! Bad!

    Just for that, Janiece will send you a copy of the card she's sending to Lieberman.

  8. waitasecond... So you mean people are actually watching the GOP convention?

    I turned the radio off so I wouldn't fly into a rage and destroy things.

  9. "Drill, Baby, Drill!"
    - Chanted by Everybody in the audience, in response to Rudy's statement on offshore oil drilling.

    Holy fucking crap. That's my winner, right there.

  10. "If I were Joe Biden, I'd get that VP thing in writing"

    You know, Rudy, he gives great speech, he does.

  11. "Drill, Baby, Drill!"

    (blink) (blink)

    I think sometimes I live in a different reality from the people like that.

    Then again, income wise I actually do.

  12. No fucking way Jim, they actually chanted that???? How clever of them. That is a winner for sure.
    So you're watching this for fun Jim? No way I could handle watching any of it, but please, keep supplying quotes.

    I live in your reality too Michelle, financially & intellectually. They're in a different solar system, not just on another planet.

  13. OK... let me tackle the drilling thing.

    Yes, I understand that Alaskan oil won't solve anything in the long term. But US sources of natural resources WILL help. Somewhat.

    The conflict is between those who want to preserve the ANWR wildlife reserve, and those who want to drill our nation's richest oil reservoir which is in exactly the same place.

    I may be presuming to speak for Jim and Tania, as a recently departed Alaskan, but many Alaskans don't view this the same way. Most Alaskans are pro-development, this is their state's lifeblood, their primary industry and tax revenue is oil.

    And we view violating the ANWR through the lens of Lower 48 scarcity of green spaces. Everywhere we go there is encroachment on forest lands, national reserves, parks, etc - we have to fight to keep some pristine land.

    I am there. I am a huge conservation proponent, a Sierra club supporter, and clearcut National Forest lands make me want to cry.

    Wilderness land scarcity just is NOT the case in AK. Of Alaska's 571,951 square miles, ANWR occupies roughly 29,687 square miles. In Alaska, there are approximately 670,000 residents in 276,000 households, for a population density of 1.1 people per square mile. This number is deceptive, though, because 2/3 of that population live in the small area of the state designated as urban, and the remaining 200,000 are spread across the entire state.

    My point, here, is that there is NO SHORTAGE of wild, unpopulated, never-gonna-be-developed green space for wildlife to roam free and unmolested in Alaska. The fact that the one space set aside as a wildlife reserve coincides with the nation's richest oil deposit sucks. Can't we find another, alternate wildlife reserve from the remaining approximate 450,000 square miles of wild, untouched land in Alaska?

    So while I'm all for alternative energy resources and reducing our energy use altogether, I also think that those who oppose drilling ANWR need to understand Alaska a little bit better before freaking out about chants of "Drill Now!"

    Jim, feel free to smack me down. This probably belonged on my own blog. ;)

  14. Jeri, no I'm good with you posting it here.

    And I'd like to address your comment, but I'm having intermittent connectivity issues at the moment. And my email is down completely and has been for about three hours now. I think somebody you know is having a major meltdown at the moment.

  15. Quickly before I head to work,

    Why am I distraught by "Drill baby drill"?

    Because I live in an under populated state that is rich in natural resources.

    Do you know what they're doing to get to those resources? They're flattening the mountains and filling in the valleys because that's the easiest way to get what they want.

    When a state becomes valued only for its resources, it because an ends to a means.

    And I don't accept that anywhere.

  16. The trade off is that you can only pump so much oil through the pipeline. And while the pipeline is not at full capacity now, it only can pump about twice as much as it does now. While I could go into all the numbers (I did in posts on my blog last month) the end result is this; if we open up all the oil reserves that we can foreseeably exploit (this leaves out the shale-oil reserves which nobody can figure out a commercially viable way to extract), we will at about 300,000 barrels of oil a day from domestic production. That's Alaska's ANWR, the new offshore fields in the Arctic, and offshore drilling on the East, West, and Gulf Coasts (mostly form off coast). Sounds like a lot. Although it's half the oil we get from Angola (#7 importer) and a little over Brazil (#8).

    Here's the list from the US government.

    That approximately 3000 new average wells here in the US, pumping at full steam. It's approximately 3 wells in Saudi Arabia, which is already upset at having increased their production at our request. So, to equalize the oil on the world market (all oil is sold on the world market) SA, Iran, and the UAE only need close one well each. Iran probably won't, they consistently over produce their OPEC limits, but as I said SA is already pumping more than they want to. And the UAE are just barely friendly to us.

    There's 18 billion barrels of oil off the coasts (that's a statistical median, not average, more than likely there's less). Let's say we could get all that oil (not a given), and it was the type of oil we can distill (also not a given), if we could instantaneously transport all of it into storage farms, if we continued our other domestic production, we would only stop importing oil for 5.5 years.

    Does drilling still make sense?

    Oil is $35 less per barrel than three months ago. Why? Because we shored up the dollar and used 2-3% less gasoline (not other distillate products, just gas). The call for drilling is pandering.

  17. Now, if you want to say, "Drill here" as a jobs program and redeveloping the technical expertise (which have all gone to Africa, BTW), then I can support that. But saying, "Drill now" as a way to reduce the cost of gas, it won't work.

  18. Steve - one thing that Palin said made sense. (OMG, I'm agreeing with a Republican. I think they have counseling for that.)

    If we can't solve the whole problem with a given solution - should we not try to solve part of the problem? Or is refusing to try at all some sort of mark of valor? Black and white thinking? Because it's a guarantee that doing nothing will accomplish nothing.

    I understand the bottlenecks and limitations related to the US's potential for oil production. And I'm not entirely sure that the end-goal of reducing gas price at the pump is ever viable.

    Reducing dependence upon middle eastern oil, yeah, that is possible.

    My point, though, was not whether the solution solves the entire problem, but that the framework we view the environmental questions doesn't necessarily apply to the Alaskan question. It's all green space there, hundreds of thousands of square miles, and the developers are not leveling any mountains or producing any toxic sludge in our rivers to get at the oil.

    The other question - one not addressed here at all - is incentives to develop alternative energy sources, like solar, wind & geothermal. When we drove west to South Dakota we saw huge turbine farms, entire rural enclaves powered by wind. This is great, because all too soon we will have used up all easily obtainable oil resources and it will be a rude and painful wakeup call for the world.

    The creatures in the movie Independence Day, that go from planet to planet, consuming all the natural resources and moving on? That is us, except we have noplace to go. We'll be living in the desert, scrabbling for the last precious remnants of oil with Mad Max before we know it.

  19. Thanks for your comments, Jeri. I was wondering about that. I come from a similar background as Michelle (seeing whole mountains torn away in an effort to get to resources cheaply) and I am also a diver, which means I have a heightened awareness of reefs and the effect of human choices on ocean life. So, you might imagine that I had the same cold chill upon hearing "drill baby drill!" (It put me in mind of a mob encouraging a rapist.) However, I wondered if, with thought and consideration, we could do some drilling, if necessary, without negatively affecting the Alaskan wilds.

    Ultimately though, drilling is just a stopgap solution and I would feel better if I heard more people acknowledge that.

  20. It put me in mind of a mob encouraging a rapist

    Heh. I was thinking along the lines of a crowd encouraging a suicide jumper (Jump! Jump! Jump!).

    Back in a minute and I'll give you my two cents as an Alaskan on drilling.

  21. To give a quote, ahem, ::adjusts voice to a Beavis&Butthead timbre::

    "We need to start laying pipeline"

    Laying pipe - heh heh

    Ok, that's my juvenile and innappropriate comment.

  22. Hee! As you well know, we love the juvenile and inappropriate around here. ;)

  23. Laying pipe, the perfect follow-up to Drill, Baby, Drill.

    Heh, I said drill.

  24. I guess my point is, we can drill all we want, and it won't do a damn thing except give the US oil companies greater profits. If we exploit everything we've got (except the shale-oil, which is a whole 'nother discussion, but we can't do it yet anyway), it won't change a damn thing, except give Big Oil tax breaks for "development" and keep Alaska income-tax free for a little longer. Our total extra oil from domestic sources is easily negligible by those very countries we're trying to "stick it to them." Also, exploiting these resources means that oil will not go below $50 a barrel. Why? Because it won't be economical to pull the oil out of these places (I'm talking about the far off shore wells here, Alaska oil is something like $22 a barrel IIRC - that gas pipeline BTW has price guarantees, if NG goes below a certain price point the US government will make up the difference).

    Tell me it's about jobs and developing technology domestically (how much do you want to bet the oil companies will ask for another expansion of the H1B visa program), that argument I'll buy. Saying it'll reduce our dependence or shackles to foreign oil and I'm going to laugh. 300,000 barrels a day is one-sixth what we import from Canada (our #1 importer - and their number is down, it used to be over 2 million barrels a day, Canadian oil is only profitable at $35 a barrel IIRC). And again, that's the daily output of three average wells in the SA Peninsula.

    So, to do nothing to bring the cost of oil/gas down, allow those "who don't like us very much" (damn Canadians) to go back to the production levels they want to be at, and puts more money in the pockets of companies making the highest profit levels ever (BTW, opening up off-shore drilling doesn't mean we will drill, it just means those oil companies stock goes up because of their "potential") is it worth it?

  25. Songs played after McCain's speech:
    "Raisin' McCain" (sung by some country singer - not a good choice, since it made me think of "raising the dead" and yep, McCain's getting up there ;)

    "Barracuda" - Heart


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