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Archive for March 2012

One of the many stories from Prison Nation

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The United States is the Prison Nation: we imprison a far higher proportion of our citizens than any other country. From Wikipedia:

The United States’ incarceration rate is, according to official reports, the highest in the world, at 737 persons imprisoned per 100,000 (as of 2005).[7] A report released in 2008 indicates that in the United States more than 1 in 100 adults is now confined in an American jail or prison.[8] The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated population.[9]

Unfortunately the chart does not include China, which the article states has an incarceration rate of 111 per 100,000, or about 10% of the US rate of incarceration. And unfortunately the graph is out of date on the US incarcertaion rate: it shows 700 per 100,000 and it’s now just over 1,000 per 100,000: adjust that first bar upwards. And note the heavy-handed irony of the US referring to itself as “the land of the free”: lots of countries have freedom, but none lock up their citizens to the degree that the US does. A more accurate tagline would be “the land of the imprisoned.”

So the US is Number One in locking up its citizens, with no other nation even a close second. We’re head and shoulders above the rest (as we are, say, with military spending). But you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, so we get things like this story reported in the NY Times by Michael Hall of the Texas Monthly:

A couple of Fridays ago, Kerry Max Cook, who was released from Texas’ death row in 1997 after two decades, went to pick up his 11-year-old son, Kerry Justice, from his North Dallas school. Class was just letting out. As Mr. Cook approached a group of children and their parents, a little girl squirmed out of her mother’s arms and ran toward him. “Mr. Kerry!” she called. He laughed as she jumped into his arms. “Haleigh!” he shouted, and began tickling her. “She adores Mr. Kerry,” her mother said.

The same jolly scene followed Mr. Cook as he walked around the small campus — children calling out to him, laughing, jumping into his arms. Vicki Johnston, the school’s director, looked on, smiling. “Kerry’s such a big part of the school,” she said. “He’s like a pied piper to the kids.” Asked about his past, Ms. Johnston simply said: “We know him. We know what kind of man he is.”

Unfortunately for Mr. Cook, 15 years after his release, the State of Texas still does not share Ms. Johnston’s view. Though he is widely recognized as one of the country’s most famous exonerated prisoners, Mr. Cook is not legally exonerated. In fact, in the eyes of the state, he is still a killer — convicted of the 1977 rape and murder of Linda Jo Edwards.

Mr. Cook’s situation is complex. His death sentence was twice overturned by higher courts, and DNA taken from the victim’s underwear did not match his own, and the evidence used to convict him has been shown to be entirely fallacious — but because Mr. Cook pleaded no-contest to the murder on the eve of what would have been his fourth trial, he cannot be declared actually not guilty.

Nevertheless, Mr. Cook has become a high-profile spokesman for the wrongfully imprisoned. He has published a book about his experience and has been one of the subjects of a popular Off Broadway play, “The Exonerated,” which was later made into a film. He has given speeches all over the United States and Europe. His Facebook page contains pictures of Mr. Cook with actors like Robin Williams, Richard Dreyfuss and Ben Stiller, who have been drawn to his story.

Yet Mr. Cook lives in the shadows with his wife and their son, knowing that whenever he applies for a job or gets on an international flight, he will be identified as a convicted murderer. Now he hopes to change that, with two motions filed recently in Smith County, where the case was originally heard, that could finally clear his name. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 March 2012 at 1:23 pm

Grüb of pork, cabbage, apples, walnuts, and more

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The Wife really doesn’t like the term “grub” very much. I adopted the word to signify a meal made purely on nutritional principles—to combine nutritionally desirable foods to hit my standard meal template—without regard to what foods they are, other than they’re foods I like. I do often try to find some sort of theme, which indeed helps: the two flops were themeless meals.

So I decided to drop the down-home “grub” and go to the more uptown “grüb” (pronounced “groob“, accent on the “oo“). That’s a made-up word (can you tell?), derived from the phrase “GReens ÜBer alles,” denoting the importance of greens, the center of the meal in this style of cooking.

(The meal template is as follows: not more than 2 tsp oil, 3-4 oz protein, 1/3-1/2 c cooked starch (1/2 c is typically one serving), at least one serving of leafy greens, and vegetables, spices, and herbs to suit, always with allium well represented.)

Today’s grüb was made in the 4-qt sauté pan and has an obvious theme: the pork-cabbage-apple-walnut nexis.

1.5 Tbsp EVOO
1 c. thinly sliced shallots (I just happened to have a lot of already-peeled shallots—you could just as well use a whole large Spanish onion thinly sliced, or (as I originally planned) a sweet onion and a leek or two: but no leeks)

As that sautés, add:

good sprinkling crushed red pepper
big pinch salt
a couple of grindings of black pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Cook over low heat until shallots fully limp and starting to brown. Add:

2-4 Tbsp minced garlic
8 oz boneless pork chop, cut into chunks
3 oz extra firm tofu, small cubes (once I was assembling, I clearly needed more protein)

Sauté while stirring for a few minutes, then add:

1/2 c chicken stock
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Amontillado

And deglaze pan, scraping with spatula. Add:

cooked Minnesota wild rice (I cooked 1/2 cup in 1 c water, and used all that rice in this dish)
1/2 head red cabbage, chopped
1 bulb fennel, quartered, cored, and sliced thinly
2 apples, diced small (I used Gala. I throw away the stem, but use all the rest of the apple.)
1/2-3/4 c English walnuts
1/2 c raisins
1/3-1/2 c black garlic (see update below)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard (suggested by The Eldest—and it seems now essential)
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until heated, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. I forgot celery again, but there’s little room. I think it’ll be good anyway. I’m going to try it topped with Greek yogurt.

UPDATE: Man, this is good! And I just added black garlic. I got this package.

UPDATE 2: The black garlic and raisins do that little trick I learned from The Son: little surprises. Another: chunks of green olives and coarsely chopped jalapeños (and, of course, jalapeños and green pepper); and so on. And they’re both sort of chewy and sweet, so the difference is more interesting.

The crushed red pepper works extremely well with the spices, which play well with the cabbage and apples and raisins and walnuts—altogether a very nice dish. Next time, understanding the volume better, I’ll get two 8-oz boneless pork chops: this thing is four meals easy. And the Minnesota wild rice was an excellent choice.

The Eldest suggested including Dijon mustard, and so I did and it works perfectly in the dish: essential. Maybe next time the zest and juice of two lemons, though.

UPDATE 3: Comment on the spices:

I thought about cinnamon, decided against it: wise, I think. This dish has a lot of sweetness (apples, raisins, cabbage, black garlic, and—if you use them—sweet onions), and cinnamon combined with sweetness produces a cinnamon-roll tendency unless chocolate is present, whereupon you are directed toward Mexican chocolate. Good idea to avoid cinnamon here.

As it is, the spices used are more ambiguous than cinnamon, often showing up in savory dishes, and the Dijon mustard helps a lot in pushing this more toward savory.

I wanted to start using more spices because of the health benefits. To that end, I’m thinking the next batch will include 1 tsp turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 March 2012 at 12:49 pm

In some countries, at least, irresponsible bankers face accountability

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Fascinating article at FT.com (Financial Times), free registration required. The article is by Michael Stothard in Reykjavik and begins:

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8a0390dc-78c7-11e1-9f49-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1qiiMQDz8

visitor seeking a sense of how Iceland’s clique of powerful financiers saw themselves before their empire came tumbling down need look no further than Reykjavik’s Harpa concert hall. The extravagant steel and glass structure, which has more seats than London’s Royal Opera House, looks like a futuristic beehive glowing above the grey buildings that make up most of the capital.

It was commissioned by Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, one of the “Icelandic oligarchs” who exploited cheap credit following the aggressive financial deregulation of the early 2000s to create a billion-dollar empire. He set out in 2007 to build a cultural venue to match the country’s new found wealth – but when the global financial crisis hit the next year, and Iceland’s overleveraged banks collapsed, he went bankrupt, leaving the state to complete the project.

The Harpa finally opened last May amid grumbling about the cost to overburdened taxpayers. But nearly a year on, like Iceland itself, it is proving surprisingly successful. A source of growing national pride, it has played host to musicians including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bjork and Yoko Ono, as well as half a million visitors.

Now, in a month where the country has put on trial Geir Haarde, the former prime minister, begun legal proceedings against its once almighty bankers, and received a steady stream of good economic news, many in government and beyond argue that the Harpa should serve not as a symbol of hubris but as a monument to a nation putting the past behind it.

Iceland’s recovery from the shock of the crisis matters more than its small size and 320,000 strong population would suggest. Formerly one of the richest nations in the world in terms of income per head, it won the dubious honour of being the first and among the most calamitous victims of the crisis, a prime example of the risks of financial deregulation. Today Iceland is not only the first country to put its political leader on trial for the crisis but it also offers a test of the advantages of indebted nations simply letting their banks collapse and default on their loans.

Steingrimur Sigfusson, minister for economic affairs and one of those who sings the praises of the Harpa, points to the significance of the trial of Mr Haarde, who ran the country from 2006 to 2009. It “is one of the big things that needs to be dealt with . . . before the country can return to normal”, he says.

It is the first of a series of legal procedures designed to salve national anger at the cost of the crisis, which led to a 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product and a sevenfold increase in unemployment. Mr Haarde is, in effect, charged with failing to do everything in his power to prevent the demise in 2008 of the three biggest banks by assets – Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitnir. Their downfall and default on $85bn of debt led directly to the collapse of the currency, the government and much of the economy.

The proceedings have so far disappointed those expecting substantial revelations of wrongdoing, but people on the streets of Reykjavik say there was satisfaction at seeing a politician face his accusers in court. The former prime minister faces two years in jail if found guilty next month. He denies the charges.

Some say it is the trial of the bankers, which began a few weeks ago, that will help Iceland shake off the demons of its financial crisis. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 March 2012 at 11:25 am

Posted in Business, Government, Law

Why is the Wee Scot the only brush to which Alexander Simpson affixed his signature?

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ShoeboxShaveshop.com has a compelling disquisition on the Wee Scot, pointed out to me by flaheadle on Wicked_Edge. (I’d been linking to the brush as a recommendation for face latherers, but I hadn’t noticed that the description had been revised and extended.) Here it is:

Like all Simpsons, the Wee Scot is hand turned on a lathe. Then it is buffed and smoothed and polished to a lustrous perfection.

Like all Simpsons, the loft is hand filled, in this case with Simpsons justifiably famed Best Badger.

Like all Simpsons, the hand filled knot is very densely packed and deeply seated in the handle.

Like all Simpsons, the Wee Scot is truly a bargain for a high end, high class, hand crafted luxury product.

Unlike all Simpsons, the Wee Scot is the only work that its maker, the master craftsman Alexander Simpson, put his signature to…

While this fact is usually, ahem, noted by Simpsons sellers. It is, well, noted, and that is that.

Think about it for a minute. Nobody else seems to think about it except in passing, but this SIGNATURE fact needs to be seriously thought about by the prospective brush buyer.

What does it mean when a master craftsman SIGNS his work? Particularly, what does it mean when a master craftsman selects one and only one work from a large body of work to sign?

Well, to me it means the master craftsman considered that work to be a triumph—a personal triumph of his craft, his years and years of experience. A signed work is a work of which the craftsman is particularly proud.

For the master craftsman shave brush maker Mr Alexander Simpson, a man who built brushes for royals, nobles and the most wealthy of a Gilded Age, the work he affixed his signature to, the full honor of his whole name was the WEE SCOT and only the WEE SCOT.

Why is the master craftsman’s Master Work so unappreciated, indeed even deprecated by the modern cadre of shaving cognoscenti ???

In today’s culture, size matters and big is culturally GOOD, without any examination or grounds.

I constantly read posts by wet-shavers searching for the nearly perfect brush: lots of backbone, silvertip but scritchy, a monster latherer of the hardest soaps and the softest luxury creams.

The brush they are describing is right there under their nose and has been all the time. It is Mr Simpsons signature brush, the WEE SCOT. And, LOL, it is not even expensive.

The only shaver who got the WEE SCOT right was Corey Greenberg in some of the later entries of his outstanding SHAVE BLOG.

Corey had made the journey from BIG HONKING brushes through smaller knot brushes until arriving at the WEE SCOT.

More and more savvy shavers are recognizing the merits of small bore knots and they are many: parsimonious use of expensive soaps and creams, pin point precise lather targeting, better exfoliation and whisker softening.

The Wee Scot Best Badger loft and Loft-to-Knot ratio give it the most backbone of any brush except maybe the Chubby. In addition to back-bone, the Wee Scot also has HEART. The Wee Scot is an extraordinary exfoliator and face latherer.

As proprietor of a shave shop, I could have pretty much any brush I want, but I use the Wee Scot. It is the brush I want.

I really think that Mr Alexander Simpson knew what he was doing when he signed his Wee Scots. It is a magnificent work, a work worthy of his pride, worthy of his personal signature.

Ht: 67 mm Loft: 36 mm Base: 31 Knot: 14 mm

Dimensions approximate. In plain English the Wee Scot is about as tall as the average pinkie finger.

Hand crafted on the Isle Of Man, England.

If you have put up with me this far, I ask that you compare our prices on the Wee Scot and all the other Simpsons in stock to our competitors. We have really good deals on this Legendary Name in Shave Brushes.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 March 2012 at 10:10 am

Posted in Shaving

Getting Americans to spy on each other

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One of the characteristics of the dystopian society in the novel 1984 as well as in the real-life Soviet Union and in the Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain was the degree to which citizens would spy on each other report each other to the authorities—in the Soviet Union, dissenters were shipped off to the gulag archipelago, a string of prison camps in eastern Russia and Siberia (though millions were imprisoned there, the U.S. already has more of its own citizens in prison than the Soviet Union had in its gulags, not even counting those we have hidden away in “black” prisons, where we know suspects were routinely tortured and murdered). Note how domestic police are encouraging us to spy on each other and report, well, things we don’t like (under the heading “suspicious activities”—note that “suspicious” in fact is not a characteristic of the activity but of the observer). Uzma Kolsy has an article on the topic in Salon:

Crime in Los Angeles is a gritty enterprise, and donning an LAPD badge has historically involved getting your hands dirty. Long before the New York Police Department was spying on Muslim students, the LAPD was running a large-scale domestic spy operation in the 1970s and ’80s, snooping on and infiltrating more than 200 political, labor and civic organizations including the office of then Mayor Tom Bradley. Today, the LAPD isn’t quite so aggressive, but it still employs a directive titled Special Order 1, which permits police officers to deem what is “suspicious” and then act on it.

SO 1 enables LAPD officers to file Suspicious Activity Reports on observed behaviors or activities. Where things get murky, however, is how SAR guidelines categorize constitutionally protected, non-criminal and commonplace activities such as using binoculars, snapping photographs and taking notes as indicators of terrorism-related activity. The SARs are coupled with the LAPD’s iWatch program, a campaign the police pioneered to encourage regular citizens to report “suspicious” activity, including “a person wearing clothes that are too big or too hot for the weather,” or things that just plain old don’t “look right.”

Far from being merely a local phenomenon, the standardized program that the LAPD developed in 2008 served as the lead model for a National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. “Success” stories from the LAPD’s program are used in national training material, and the LAPD touts it as “the first program in the U.S. to create a national standard” for terrorism-related procedures.

According to the Information Sharing Environment, the nationwide SAR initiative “establishes a standardized process whereby SAR information can be shared among agencies to help detect and prevent terrorism-related criminal activity.” Personal data that is collected on these individuals is treated as criminal intelligence. The rapidly expanding and dangerously intrusive network houses personal data on thousands of Americans. “The level and the rate at which local law enforcement is expanding its intelligence-gathering activity is very alarming,” said Ameena Mirza Qazi, deputy executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations-LA. “We as community advocacy groups hope to continue to work with law enforcement and encourage them to maintain their community policing models working with communities to identify criminal behavior.”

The SAR program’s broad reach extends into every level of the security hierarchy, from citizen policing to federal intelligence agencies. The Minnesota Joint Analysis Center, one of the nation’s 72 “fusion” centers — information-sharing centers created by the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security — is where the SAR report on Najam Qureshi, as well as thousands of others, found its final destination. Qureshi was a kiosk owner at the Mall of America, where security guards stop and question, on average, up to 1,200 people each year.  He was questioned by guards and later visited by the FBI at home after his 70-year-old father negligently left his cellphone at a table in the mall’s food court in 2007. The FBI prodded Qureshi and his family, asking “how many people they knew in Afghanistan” and if “they knew anyone who might want to hurt the United States.”

“The problem with this program is that the behavior range of what can be reported is so broad that it just lends itself to discriminatory application,” said Jumana Musa, deputy director of Rights Working Group, an advocacy group based in Washington. “When it comes to these innocuous activities, what people are reporting on is not necessarily the activity, but who is doing the activity.”

As a counter-terrorism initiative, the SAR program is already in place in major cities like Boston, Miami and Seattle, and is in the process of being rolled out across the nation by September of this year. The Los Angeles model gives citizens in other places an idea of what they can expect. Between 2008 and 2010, the LAPD shared 2,668 SARs with the local fusion center, which only uploaded 2 percent of them to the database — meaning that the majority of the reports did not have a reasonable indication of criminal activity. Though only a fraction were used by the fusion center, the LAPD retained the remaining 98 percent of its SARs in intelligence files, even though they did not serve as evidence of crime.

This is in stark contrast to former LAPD policy, which mandated that any intel amassed to follow a lead had to be destroyed if reasonable suspicion of criminal activity hadn’t been established. “This is such a drain of resources when there are real crime threats out there where these resources could much better be utilized,” said Michael German, a former FBI agent and currently the policy counsel on national security, immigration and privacy at ACLU National. “The real problem with these systems is that they encourage and cause waste and drive resources away from legitimate investigations.”

According to an independent analysis conducted by the Institute for Homeland Security Solutions in April 2011, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 March 2012 at 9:45 am

More veggieburger recipes

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Tara Parker-Pope quotes Martha Rose Shulman in the NY Times and links to several veggieburger recipes:

For burger lovers who want to cut back on meat, vegetarian burgers can be a tasty and healthful way to recreate the burger experience. In this week’s Recipes for Health, Martha Rose Shulman offers five ways to create vegetarian burgers at home. She writes:

I wanted to work on veggie burgers because I have never had a commercial one that I liked. They all taste overprocessed to me, with no fresh flavors. I’ve had much better luck making burgers from Luke Volger’s excellent cookbook “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.” I especially like his bean and vegetable combos.

Puréed beans make a great binder for grain and vegetable burgers, and an egg added to the mixture will help to hold it together. (If you want to keep them vegan you can, though you have to be careful when you flip the burgers over because they tend to fall apart.) I found that all of these burgers somehow tasted better a day after they were assembled ― the flavors had gelled, the burgers held together better, and a burger that seemed a bit dry to me right after cooking did not seem so dry the next day when reheated. I can’t tell you why.

Like Mr. Volger, I found the best way to cook these vegetarian burgers was to brown them on one side in an ovenproof frying pan, then turn them and stick the pan in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes. Turning can be tricky, but if the burgers do crumble, just patch them back together with your spatula, apply a little pressure and put the pan into the oven.

Here are five new recipes for homemade veggie burgers.

Beet, Rice and Goat Cheese Burgers: Make these ahead for quick meals through the week and reheat in a medium oven or a frying pan.

Curried Lentil, Rice and Carrot Burgers: Indian spices liven up these burgers. The turmeric offers bonus antioxidant health benefits, but even without it, they’re in abundance in this recipe, with all the carrots and ginger.

Quinoa and Greens Burger: Rainbow quinoa is a great choice for this recipe — because it’s pretty, and because the red, black and golden quinoa grains all have slightly different textures.

Quinoa and Vegetable Burgers With Asian Flavors: This vibrant burger is made with both cooked and uncooked vegetables.

Mushroom and Grain Cheeseburgers: Barley is a traditional hearty partner for mushrooms, but brown rice is just as tasty in this burger.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 March 2012 at 9:37 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Government helping those who do not need help

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Our Congress is loath to help those who actually need help—the poor and powerless, who can offer little in the way of campaign contributions. The wealthy and the powerful—well, that’s another story: they have plenty to give members of Congress, so members of Congress make sure they get plenty. The NY Times editors take note of one such action by Senate Republicans:

President Obama and the Senate Democrats have again fallen short in their quest to eliminate billions of dollars in unnecessary tax breaks for an oil industry that is rolling in enormous profits. A big reason for that failure is that some of those profits are being continuously recycled to win the support of pliable legislators, underwrite misleading advertising campaigns and advance an energy policy defined solely by more oil and gas production.

Despite pleading by Mr. Obama, the Senate on Thursday could not produce the 60 votes necessary to pass a bill eliminating $2.5 billion a year of these subsidies. [This is an egregious error by the NY Times: it requires only 51 votes to pass a bill. It requires 60 votes to end a filibuster, which the GOP uses so frequently that many---like the uninformed writer of the editorial---come to believe that 60 votes are required to pass a bill. Not so: just to end a filibuster. James Fallows has been beating this drum for a long time. - LG] This is a minuscule amount for an industry whose top three companies in the United States alone earned more than $80 billion in profits last year. Nevertheless, in the days leading up to the vote, the American Petroleum Institute spent several million dollars on an ad campaigncalling the bill “another bad idea from Washington — higher taxes that could lead to higher prices.”

Studies by the Congressional Research Service, among others, say that ending these tax breaks would increase prices by a penny or two a gallon. Yet all but two Senate Republicans have been conditioned by years of industry largess to accept its propaganda. In the last year, the industry spent more than $146 million lobbying Congress. In Thursday’s vote, senators who voted to preserve the tax breaks received more than four times as much as those who voted against.

Money has always talked in Congress. Now industry allies are aiming at voters. The American Energy Alliance, a Washington-based group that does not disclose its financial sources, on Thursday began an ad campaign in eight states with competitive Congressional races.

Voters in Michigan, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado will hear a 30-second spot peddling the industry’s misleading arguments against the Obama administration’s energy policies — including the fiction that those policies have led to higher gas prices: “Since Obama became president,” it says in part, “gas prices have nearly doubled. Obama opposed exploring for energy in Alaska. He gave millions of dollars to Solyndra, which then went bankrupt. And he blocked the Keystone pipeline, so we will all pay more at the pump.”

Four sentences, four misrepresentations. Gas prices, tied to the world market, would have gone up no matter who was president. Mr. Obama has not ruled out further leasing in Alaskan waters. Solyndra, a solar panel maker, is the only big failure in a broader program aimed at encouraging nascent energy technologies. The Keystone XL oil pipeline has nothing to do with gas prices now and, even if built, would have only a marginal effect.

The message war has really just begun. The oil industry has the money, but Mr. Obama has a formidable megaphone. He must continue to use it.

See also this story by Helene Cooper and Jennifer Steinhauer on Obama’s call to end (wasteful, pointless, unnecessary, corrupt) oil subsidies:

 President Obama called on Congress to end $4 billion in tax subsidies for oil and natural gas companies on Thursday, casting the issue as a choice between plumbing scarce resources versus investing in clean energy research.

“That’s the choice facing Congress today,” Mr. Obama said, before the Senate voted on repealing the tax breaks. “They can either vote to spend billions of dollars on oil subsidies that keep us trapped in the past. Or they can vote to end these taxpayer subsidies so that we can invest in the future. It’s that simple.”

The president made his remarks in the Rose Garden as gas prices across the country have soared, becoming an issue that could hamper his re-election bid. Administration officials said in an e-mail to reporters that the three largest oil companies in the United States have made a combined profit of more than $80 billion last year, or $200 million a day.

“Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour,” Mr. Obama said.

“The biggest oil companies are raking in record profits — profits that go up every time folks like these pull into a gas station,” Mr. Obama said, flanked by a cast of ordinary Americans who administration officials said have been hurt by rising gas prices.

“But on top of these record profits,” Mr. Obama said, “oil companies are also getting billions a year in taxpayer subsidies — a subsidy they’ve enjoyed year after year for the last century.”

“It’s like hitting the American people twice,” Mr. Obama said.

He said the money saved should be used on clean energy projects, including wind power, solar powerbiofuels and fuel-efficient cars, trucks, homes and buildings. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 March 2012 at 9:25 am

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