published Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

The Heat Wave

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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nucanuck said...

Lemonade is likely more volatile than oil.

Despite OPEC,the oil industry is not of one mind. Some want to pump all they can now,some want flat steady production and some want to slow production to conserve their long term assets in the ground.

With production of conventional crude having stalled,and with worldwide demand rising,prices should remain firm to up,unless an economic slump slows demand.

July 27, 2010 at 12:25 a.m.
OllieH said...

I guess you're never be too young to learn the fine art of gouging.

Very nice, Clay!

July 27, 2010 at 1:12 a.m.
woody said...

Here's a perfect oxymoron for you.."Free Enterprise."

Stay cool, Woody

July 27, 2010 at 8:43 a.m.

Bennett, is someone holding a gun to your head making you purchase oil products?

To the economic-challenged Progressives: at least the thirsty lady has a choice to purchase lemonade or not. Not so with the Littlefield property tax increases and the federal income tax increases due January 1, 2011.

July 27, 2010 at 9:17 a.m.
toonfan said...

bookieturnersghost- Actually, we have exactly the same choice when it comes to supporting oil companies as we have in paying city taxes. Taxpayers are currently paying oil companies billions of dollars a year without purchasing one gallon of gasoline.

The oil industry gets billions of dollars in direct and indirect taxpayer subsidies go to the industry (almost 40 billion dollars in taxpayer help over the next decade), plus the additional perk of a liability cap of $75 million per accident. BP has ponied up additional billions in this latest calamity, but the containment and cleanup costs of other oil industry disasters (over the 75 million cap) were paid for by you and me.

July 27, 2010 at 9:43 a.m.
OllieH said...

In a very real way, we are forced to buy gasoline, just as we are forced to buy electricity to heat our house. Like many of our public utilities, transportation is a basic need. I suppose we could take the bus, but that too supports the oil industry. Do us all a favor, bookie.- If you feel the urge to make a point in the future, try really hard to make sense.

July 27, 2010 at 9:54 a.m.
Salsa said...

Naw, that isn't what happened. Ron and the City Council passed a 75 cent lemonade tax.

July 27, 2010 at 10:16 a.m.
alprova said...

bookieturnersghost wrote: "To the economic-challenged Progressives: at least the thirsty lady has a choice to purchase lemonade or not. Not so with the Littlefield property tax increases and the federal income tax increases due January 1, 2011."


To the absent-minded Conservatives, try to focus on the fact that the "tax increases" as you call them, were time bombs, set to expire on January 1, 2011 -- put in place by the Bush Administration and the Republican led Congress and Senate in power at the time those tax cuts were created.

Further, only those who make more than $250,000 have anything to fear in January 2011, in terms of any income tax increase. Anyone who thinks that any politician, Republican or Democrat, would allow income taxes to increase on those making less than six figure incomes, especially in this economy, has their head embedded up where the sun does not shine.

The Bush tax cuts, set to expire in January will most certainly be addressed, but don't look for the Republicans to do a doggone thing about them before November. They want people to spread fear and devastation in forums just like this one, hoping that people will believe such tripe and rush to vote for Republicans, who will ride in on white horses and save us all, that is if they actually succeed in regaining any power.

Mark my word. The Republican Party of "NO!" will stall, delay, and stand in the way of any passing of a bill to insure that middle and lower incomes are not affected by the expiration of those tax cuts, unless the Democrats keep the taxes for the rich right where they are.

July 27, 2010 at 11:07 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Prices convey information, so forcing price changes forces people to tell lies. If the lady raises the price of lemonade, that tells others who could sell lemonade for 50 cents to go into business, and competition--increased supply--will bring the price down. If the price of oil stays up, alternatives will look better. If a hurricane knocks out the Florida water supply and water sells for $20 per gallon, people will rent trucks, load them with water, and supply Florida with water. Not free of charge, Woody, but "Free" if you let it happen. Trouble is government doesn't. A $75 million cap on actual oil spill damages (?) tells BP that if they make a mess, someone else will clean it up. Our mayor runs for re-election and then tells us, Oh yeah, fork over $100 for stormwater runoff, and more property taxes; government needs the money to support Volkswagon. Well, we taxpayers could use the money ourselves. Instead of letting us pay for whatever schooling we choose, we're forced to pay $8000 per student for schools that fail to teach prayer and Bible. I keep saying, let them pay students $4000 per year to leave the public schools--increase diversity of education, increase competition, increase parental involvement (especially if they go to homeschool), save tax dollars...Likewise with any government program: if someone is in line to hit up the taxpayers for $500 or $5000 or whatever in program costs, let 'em take half of that in cash instead. alprova, wasn't our President supposed to prevent any (federal) tax increase on anyone making under $250,000 per year? Not just income tax, but any federal tax? www.lohr84.com>

nucanuck said...

The supply and demand equalibrium runs into tough sledding when supply peaks and alternatives can't make up the difference.

July 27, 2010 at 1:58 p.m.
MountainJoe said...

Yeah, things get tough for a while, nucanuck. But there's nothing like a little motivation to get people to look for additional alternatives.

A free market doesn't promise utopia. It can't solve all problems optimally since there are always scarce resources, and sometimes they are more scarce than others. It does work better than government meddling, though.

July 27, 2010 at 2:08 p.m.
redbearded said...

Alprova, your usual whining and crying and temper tantrums, doesn't erase the fact that the current idiot-in-chief has spent untold trillions, tripled the deficit in mere months, added at least three pieces of useless legislation which will accomplish nothing but adding to the burden of the middle class, and has taken over his own little war in Afghanistan. If he knew anything at all he would know that of all places in this world to try and occupy, Afghanistan is not the place. He has, however, lived up to his resume.

July 27, 2010 at 2:25 p.m.
nucanuck said...

MJ,

Free markets exist in the minds of men. Undue influence and intervention are the rule,not the exception.

July 27, 2010 at 2:32 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

Speaking of little bush... Strange how shrub worshippers forget how the national debt was increased by baby bush to more than double of daddy bush's attempt.

http://www.lafn.org/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html

July 27, 2010 at 3:09 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Vote for Bill Haslam...then you'll see some real price gouging in the gas industry!

July 27, 2010 at 5:05 p.m.
alprova said...

AndrewLohr wrote: "alprova, wasn't our President supposed to prevent any (federal) tax increase on anyone making under $250,000 per year? Not just income tax, but any federal tax?"


I believe that he campaigned on that very issue. To date, he has kept that promise too. No one has had their taxes increase at all.

He has no control whatsoever you are taxed for schools. That is done at the state, county, city, or local municipality level.

July 27, 2010 at 6:12 p.m.
alprova said...

Redbearded wrote: "Alprova, your usual whining and crying and temper tantrums, doesn't erase the fact that the current idiot-in-chief has spent untold trillions, tripled the deficit in mere months, added at least three pieces of useless legislation which will accomplish nothing but adding to the burden of the middle class, and has taken over his own little war in Afghanistan."


You need to do a little research. Obama is not responsible for tripling the debt. Most of the spending was put in place before he took office. $1.8 trillion in fact. He's responsible for asking for $750 billion spent to stimulate the economy. He did bailout Detroit, which most certainly has proven to be a wise decision with tens of thousands of jobs saved that would have been lost.

As to the war in Afghanistan, it's quite clear that the right-wing is trying all it can to make it Obama's burden and choice, but the people of this nation are not that dumb.

That will most certainly backfire on any politician that tries to do it, just like it did on RNC Chair Michael Steele. So, by all means...keep saying it.


"If he knew anything at all he would know that of all places in this world to try and occupy, Afghanistan is not the place. He has, however, lived up to his resume."


See how funny that statement is? Not many people are completely unaware that GWB gave the order to send troops into Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.

Our current President is in the midst of cleaning up all the messes left behind by GWB, INCLUDING the war in Afghanistan.

I find it so amazingly funny to read people spewing this nonsense, mere months after the President made it clear that he would honor the request by the military to send in additional troops, with one condition. They would have a year to get the job done or he would start pulling the troops back out.

Oh the howls could be heard for miles. "Timelines for war? Whoever heard of such a thing?"

Now the cry is..."It's Obama's war now. He chose to escalate it."

Does anyone think that the people of this country are truly that stupid? They know doggone well who stood up in front of the nation and claimed that it had to be done. They know who gave the orders to send in our men and women.

They are not going to buy this attempt to pin the war on The President.

But you fine folks that think that people will, keep up the good work of attempting to propagandize the issue. Because the minute that it starts working, that may well be the second that the President pulls the plug on the Middle East and demands that our men and women hop a plane home.

Will the Republican campaign strategy this coming fall include more of those infamous "I was for the war, before I was against it, then voted to send more troops into Afghanistan, but I now am against that?

Obama made me do it!!

Too funny!!

July 27, 2010 at 6:56 p.m.
alprova said...

SavartiTN wrote: "Vote for Bill Haslam...then you'll see some real price gouging in the gas industry!"


Speaking of Mr. Haslam, I found Zach Wamp's latest attempt to take a swipe at him to be utterly hilarious.

He referred to Mr. Haslam as someone associated with "big oil." Hilarious!! The man's family owns the largest chain of truck stops in America. That's the definition of big oil these days?

Pilot buys their fuels from big oil companies. Pilot does not pump it from the ground nor do they own any refineries.

Why not attack him for selling fast food? Why not attack him for selling beer? Why not attack him for selling unhealthy snacks? They do that for sure.

Pilot Travel Centers are known throughout the trucking industry for providing the best bang for the buck, when it comes to the price of diesel for big trucks. The contracts they set up for their customers are unparalleled by any other competitor out there. In fact, they have bought out a great deal of their competitors, because they could not compete.

I'm not touting anything but his family's success in rising to number one in the market. I don't like large corporations, as I have made abundantly clear in the past. I would prefer to see several competitor out there duking for customers, but you can't discount the fact that Pilot Oil has done rather well for themselves over the past couple of decades.

They started out with one store in the Knoxville area, that is still in business today.

And trust me, running Tennessee would be a walk in the park for Bill Haslam. He's certainly had his hands full in running outlets spread out across the lower 48 states and Canada, I assure you.

July 27, 2010 at 7:15 p.m.
moonpie said...

Amen, alprova.

I am astounded at the speed at which Republicans and conservatives have run to the middle regarding Afghanistan since Bush left office.

On most issues, they're running so far to the right, but on this they're running so hard left, I'm surprised they don't get a coup contrecoup injury.

I confess, I debate myself on this issue. In moments of sheer frustration, I have said "we need to get our now and let the chips fall where they may." (I often speak in cliche when I am frustrated.) But in times of considered thought, I think it is very unjust for us to abandon a people to whom we brought upheaval. If we leave Afghanistan now, I think you would agree that the Taliban would return to power within 5-10 years.

This war would have been for nothing. Our supporters within Afghanistan would be assassinated, executed.... dessimated. Is that how we treat people who believe in our ideals or trust us?

Do our Republican friends now really want to hand back that country to the Taliban?

Some say its an unwinnable war. I've said it myself.

I don't know if we can win or not. All I can say for sure is that I am dissapointed by most politicians today who use this for political gain and don't think about the human toll.

The problem in Afghanistan and many of our problems are going to take diplomats, statesmen, and not party-line politicos to solve them.

Sadly, between Chuck, Robin and Van... I don't think Tennessee has a statesman in their bag.... we have idealogues.

I don't say this because they are Republican, but because of what they say. They all cloak themselves in rather extreme rhetoric.... not unlike the Taliban or Al Queda, if you think about it.

So, I know we've drifted off topic from oil gouging. There is a lot to say on that issue, too.... but my wife will make fun of me if I keep talking to my fellow monikers.

Nonetheless, as always, I appreciated your posts.

July 27, 2010 at 8:27 p.m.
alprova said...

Thank you Moonpie. I am truly honored by your pat on the back.

July 27, 2010 at 9:51 p.m.
alprova said...

Moonpie, I meant to add that I also appreciate your posts. They force me to think about things every now and then.

July 27, 2010 at 9:52 p.m.
alprova said...

I was confused as to why the issue of oil price gouging was a current issue, that is until I went to fill up the family vehicles today.

Gas has gone up 17 cents a gallon since I filled them up last.

I expected this back when the spill happened. I wonder what justification, if any, there is for jacking up prices now.

July 27, 2010 at 9:55 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

I stand by my earlier statement about Haslam. Here is an excerpt from Transport Topics regarding how the FTC feels about the Pilot/Flying J merger:

“The proposed settlement will resolve the competitive concerns resulting from Pilot’s acquisition of Flying J’s travel center business, which would have likely resulted in higher diesel fuel prices for long-haul trucking fleets,” Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement.

http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=24689

Yes, indeed, the Haslams have done VERY well for themselves.

August 1, 2010 at 1:52 a.m.
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