Stuff you won’t learn about in tonight’s debate, or, half a dozen ways you’re getting screwed, from Molly Ivins is her usual terrific kind of rant. A couple of points that particularly caught me:
The price of a barrel of oil went over $50 for the first time early this week, and the price of gassing up my vehicle, Truck Bob the Ford, is now $36 a pop. According to oil-ologists, this is on account of the unrest in oil-producing countries and rising global demand destabilizing world energy markets. Don’t you love the jargon? The petro experts say this ain’t gonna get better. Also Not Helping — in fact, headed in completely the wrong direction — is U.S. energy policy under You Know Who. More than half the oil we use today is imported, much of it from such stable, democratic regimes as Iraq. The Energy Department predicts this will rise to 70 percent in 20 years. The Natural Resources Defense Council has just put out a new study showing that the five biggest oil companies (ExxonMobil, Total, Shell, BP and ChevronTexaco) reported a $5.5 billion, or 16 percent, increase in profits (emphasis added) during the first half of 2004 compared with the same period last year, which was no slouch either. Both ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco posted record second quarter profits in 2004.
GET IT???? Profits up, costs up, imported? Can you connect a few dots, silly nation? Still wanna drive those big big vehicles? Still want that break on a SUV, bimbo box, hummer?
How about this?
The 6 million of you who will lose overtime pay under the new Department of Labor regulations — a pet cause of business groups — will not be pleased to learn that although the House of Representatives voted against the regs (’tis the season for elections), the R’s are fighting against a Senate vote and Bush says he’ll veto the bill even if it gets passed.
And just a few other nuggets…(thank you Molly)
Forget the bull about "a middle class tax cut" as a pre-election gift from Congress. The Urban Institute reports the middle 20 percent of earners will get an average tax cut of $162 in 2005 — the top fifth of earners will get an average cut of $1,317. Same old, same old.
Bush promised at the Republican convention to spend $1 billion to enroll "millions of poor children" in CHIP, the federal health insurance program. Too bad, this week he’s returning $1.1 billion in unspent CHIP money despite pleas from the states that they really, really need it. That would cover 750,000 uninsured children nationwide.
Molly Ivins is my favorite take on Bush. She’s been watching since Texas years – want more? Check out her archive or read any of her books. They are witty, pithy and accurate.