Thursday, March 13, 2008

Americans Start to Curb Their Thirst for Gasoline

By ANA CAMPOY March 3, 2008; Page A1 Wall Street Journal

As crude-oil prices climb to historic highs, steep gasoline prices and the weak economy are beginning to curb Americans' gas-guzzling ways.In the past six weeks, the nation's gasoline consumption has fallen by an average 1.1% from year-earlier levels, according to weekly government data.That's the most sustained drop in demand in at least 16 years, except for the declines that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which temporarily knocked out a big chunk of the U.S. gasoline supply system. (link)

Commentary: What a concept! If something cost more people will consume less of it.

This is not rocket science. This is basic Economics 101.

The reason we have not seen an even greater reduction in consumption is because prices are not high enough for a long enough period of time. People look at high gas prices as an anomaly and think they will come back down. If gas prices reached, say, $5 a gallon and people did not expect prices to fall, is there any doubt that people would change their consumption patterns? Would that young family contemplating a housing purchase be as likely to more to the far-flung suburbs if gas was $5 a gallon as they would when it is $2.50 a gallon? When contemplating a car purchase, would MPG matter less or more if gas were $5 a gallon?

The other thing that would change if gas reached $5 a gallon and stayed there is that alternative renewable energy, technological innovation, and conservation would flourish. Automakers are already producing hybrid vehicles and developing new improved batteries. If gas cost more the alternative would be cheaper in comparison. The only thing holding back the alternatives is that they cannot compete with cheap gas.

For those who do not believe global warming is real, I can understand why they would oppose efforts to combat it. What I do not understand is why so many environmentalist who claim to care deeply about the issue of global warming are wasting their energy advocating feel-good measures and meaningless cajole and control schemes rather than getting behind a gas tax.

Some argue that sustained higher gas prices would be detrimental to the economy. If a gas tax was revenue-neutral and any increased revenue from a gas tax was off set, dollar for dollar, by an income tax reduction, a gas tax should have no detrimental effect on the economy. In fact, a reduction in the tax on income could result in greater production of income.I would much rather tax carbon, which I think is not desirable, than to tax income which I think is desirable.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer Caught in Sex Scandal

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the one-time "Sheriff" of Wall Street who campaigned on a promise to clean up state politics, was embroiled in a sex scandal on Monday that threatened to force his resignation.

A New York Times report linked him to a $1,000-an-hour prostitute, saying he was caught on a federal wiretap at least six times on February 12 and 13 arranging to meet with her at a Washington hotel last month.

The Times said he was the man described in court papers as Client 9 who patronized the Emperors Club, which federal investigators allege was a prostitution ring whose most expensive professionals charged more than $5,500 an hour.

Spitzer, a married 48-year-old Democrat who investigated prostitution as New York's attorney general, apologized for what he described as "private matter" but said nothing about resigning. State Republicans called for him to step down. (link)

For the Emperors Club web site and picture gallery click here.

Comment: I have only one question: How could ANY pussy be worth $5500 an Hour??

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Grab Your Pitchforks! American Pizza Parlor Accepts Pesos!

DALLAS - A pizza chain has been hit with death threats and hate mail after offering to accept Mexican pesos, becoming another flashpoint in the nation’s debate over immigrants.

“This is the United States of America, not the United States of Mexico,” one e-mail read. “Quit catering to the damn illegal Mexicans,” demanded another.

Dallas-based Pizza Patron said it was not trying to inject itself into a larger political debate about illegal immigration when it posted signs this week saying “Aceptamos pesos” — or “We accept pesos” — at its 59 stores across Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and California.

Pizza Patron spokesman Andy Gamm said the company was just trying to sell more pizza to its customers, 60 percent of whom are Hispanic.

Wal-Mart, H-E-B supermarkets and other American businesses in towns along the Mexican border accept pesos. And some businesses in New York and Minnesota communities along the northern border accept Canadian dollars. (link)

My Comment: Lighten up People! Money is only a medium of exchange. If someone can buy a pizza with Mexican Pesos it does not undermine American sovereignty. By the way, is not Pizza an Italian food? Maybe we should feel threatened that all of that Pizza is being sold in America. Real Americans eat hamburgers. Right?

What is the big deal? Why would one feel threatened that a Pizza parlor accepts pesos? The world is getting smaller. People travel more than ever. We do not live in isolation from the rest of the world. You may encounter people who don't speak English and who also happen to have another currency in their wallet. What is the difference between the foreigner exchanging his pesos for dollars and then purchasing a pizza, than a pizza parlor accepting the pesos and then exchanging them for dollars?

I had an occasion to visit a Caribbean island last year, and US dollars were accepted everywhere. I have been to Mexico on several occasions and on a recent trip I did not even bother to get local currency. On those rare occasions that I could not use my Visa card I used US dollars.

Some people need to get out more; maybe, visit a foreign country. Of course, real Americans don't visit foreign countries, do they?

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

McCain Sings Streisand

This is hilarious! This was found on youtube and is from "mrmcphsto."

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