What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 1, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance #2

Cognitive dissonance #2:

1) Barack Obama anti Exxon/oil companies ad running in PA:

2) From FactCheck.org on the above ad:
Obama: I don’t take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I won’t let them block change anymore.

It's true that Obama doesn't take money directly from oil companies, but then, no presidential, House or Senate candidate does. They can't: Corporations have been prohibited from contributing directly to federal candidates since the Tillman Act became law in 1907.

Obama has, however, accepted more than $213,000 in contributions from individuals who work for, or whose spouses work for, companies in the oil and gas industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That's not as much as Sen. Hillary Clinton, who has received more than $306,000 in donations from people tied to the industry, but it's still a substantial amount.


We'd say the Obama campaign is trying to create a distinction without very much of a practical difference. Political action committee funds are pooled contributions from a company's or an organization's individual employees or members; corporate lobbyists often have a big say as to where a PAC's donations go. But a PAC can give no more than $5,000 per candidate, per election. We're not sure how a $5,000 contribution from, say, Chevron's PAC would have more influence on a candidate than, for example, the $9,500 Obama has received from Chevron employees giving money individually.

In addition, two oil industry executives are bundling money for Obama – drumming up contributions from individuals and turning them over to the campaign. George Kaiser, the chairman of Oklahoma-based Kaiser-Francis Oil Co., ranks 68th on the Forbes list of world billionaires. He's listed on Obama's Web site as raising between $50,000 and $100,000 for the candidate. Robert Cavnar is president and CEO of Milagro Exploration LLC, an oil exploration and production company. He's named as a bundler in the same category as Kaiser.
3) So they both took oil money -- and Hillary took more -- but when it came down to voting on the Cheney Energy Bill of 2005 which The Washington Post called "a piñata of perks for energy industries" which Democratic hopeful voted for it and which voted against it? It went down like this:

Barack Obama voted Aye on the committee reports.
Barack Obama voted Aye on the conference report.
Barack Obama voted Aye for the 2005 giveaway to the Oil and Gas Industry.

Hillary Clinton voted against the bill.



Anonymous said...

The 2005 energy bill was a boon to renewable energy.


The headline of the link repudiates Senator Clinton's statement that the bill was "a big step backwards on the path to clean, renewable energy" with the following: "No, it was a boon to renewable fuel industry."

Also, how is Senator Obama to screen contributions from individual donors? I am an attorney and I have donated to Senator Obama-- will there soon be a statement showing that Senator Obama received a bunch of money from attorneys so he is now controlled by the trial lawyers? Senator Obama has my e-mail address, but I have no control over his agenda.

Senator Obama has asked that we hold him accountable and this I will do. I will not, however, skewer him simply because people who work in a certain industry have given him campaign donations.

Who can Senator Obama accept money from? Who is necessarily a pariah? Which industries must he exclude? Which industries must he include? Should his website tell folks, if you work in the oil industry, do go away? Nonsense. We are all Americans no matter who we work for and no presidential candidate should turn us (or our money away) because we work in an industry that many do not like. It is a living, not a mindset.


Anonymous said...

Quote from fiction: "When Kendall was growing up, American politicians denied that the United States was an empire. But they weren't doing that anymore. They'd given up. Everyone knew about the empire now. Everyone was pleased." (fiction, "The great Experiment" by Jeffery Eugenides. The New Yorker, Mar. 31,o8) We do not believe, but can we convince the majority?

Schultz said...


Maybe you should post htis stuff at a seperate blog titled "Political Junk."

Here is the truth straight from FactCheck.org

"The mailer further charges that Obama "voted for Dick Cheney's energy bill that gives huge tax breaks to oil companies." Obama did vote for the 2005 energy bill to which Clinton refers. But as we've said more than once before, her claim that the legislation resulted in large tax breaks for the oil industry is misleading.

In fact, the bill President Bush signed into law in 2005 actually raised taxes on the oil industry overall. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said that the Energy Policy Act "included several oil and gas tax incentives, providing about $2.6 billion of tax cuts for the oil and gas industry. In addition, [the act] provided for $2.9 billion of tax increases on the oil and gas industry, for a net tax increase on the industry of nearly $300 million over 11 years."

Many subsidies were proposed during debate, but they didn't make it into the final bill, which contained a total of $14.3 billion in tax breaks, most of which didn't go to the oil industry. Instead, they benefited electric utilities and nuclear power, as well as alternative fuels research and subsidies for energy-efficient buildings and vehicles.

Clinton has been consistent, however, in her opposition to the tax breaks the bill contained. She voted for the bill that originally passed the Senate, but spoke out against and opposed the final conference bill, objecting to tax provisions it included as well as the deletion of provisions to reduce oil consumption and increase the use of electricity from renewable sources. Obama voted for both bills and lauded provisions regarding ethanol, which is produced in his state of Illinois."

C.H. said...

This civil war that has torn the left apart is really amusing. It's almost as if I don't even have to say anything anymore to try and offer a reality check...you guys are just destroying each other.

By the way, where's Shitrock?

C.H. said...

I think you guys just need to accept that these two candidates-Obama and Clinton--are highlighting their incompetence by beating each other up while Mccain meets with our allies overseas and shows voters he is the best choice for president.

Bram Reichbaum said...


Nice shot. Will soak it in.

I like the track that Kim is on. Let's examine whether this was a "huge giveaway to the energy companies", or whether it was the best that could be done under the current administration.

Also, although Obama did pledge not to take money from "companies and lobbyists" and you are right to say companies is saying little, to say LOBBYISTS means a little something more. Another way these companies exert political influence is through their trade organizations ... and before you say it, yes, Barack has relations with the nuclear industry, but how doing so is a betrayal of anything is still a mystery.

infinonymous said...

Has anyone forgotten the manner in which the other Republican candidates, and most Republican voters, savaged Sen. McCain before he used the winner-take-all system to turn pluralities into slim majorities and pull away from a weak field? Mr. McCain is still having problems collecting from traditional Republican fundraising heavyweights. Yet now that the nomination has been decided, even 'anyone but McPain' Republicans are coalescing around their party's candidate. (Don't take my word for it -- visit redstate or freerepublic or powerline to get a taste of how most Republicans considered McCain unacceptable and hopeless until he turned some 35-percent victories into a controlling position? Even after Sen. McCain controlled the nomination, a fringer like Mike Huckabee was getting 40 percent in Republican primaries.

Similarly, when the Democrats assemble behind a nominee and turn their attention to Sen. McCain's pathetic embrace of discredited Bush administration policies, they will shred Sen. McCain.

There is too much motivation (and too many new voters) on the Democratic side, too many dispirited Republicans, and too much Bush administration wreckage for any Republican to easily overcome. Bush has become toxic to American voters, and it will be Sen. McCain's misfortune to wear the "third Bush term" label around his neck throughout the months preceding Election Day.

Anonymous said...

It's really sad to watch people post attack after attack on the Democratic Nominee for President and use up their credibility out of some misguided loyalty to Hillary Clinton.

Here's the real Cognitive Dissonance: Hillary Clinton voted FOR the War in Iraq. The number one reason for increased fuel costs. Obama staked his political career on a courageous stand against the war.

And before you go on with the typical Hillary talking point about how he didn't have a vote: he was starting to build a campaign for US Senate at the time. He was intending on running in the 2004 primary. He was being told to support the war by political advisers. By opposing the war, he risked being viewed as a "boutique" candidate. It was the riskiest move of his career, and it was the best move. If he hadn't done it, I doub he'd be a Senator or a Presidential candidate today...

Anonymous said...


As we all now that Obama has in effect won the party's nomination, I suggest you turn all your attention to ensure that we do not have 4 more years of a Republican presidency.

The crisis is too severe to be wasting precious time and effort and pretending that Hillary has not already lost.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Now now now, Sen. Clinton is welcome to avail herself to the full electoral process, and it was a relatively clean hit. I don't want anyone complaining "she was forced out; the media and the mindless Obama drones did it to her!"

Anonymous said...

Continue the charade...

Fillippelli the Cook said...

Oh, yes, C.H., McCain, who has embraced/championed the disastrous course in Iraq (how's all that surge "progress" going, BTW? What's the going rate of dead u.s. soldiers and attacks on the Green Zone per percentage point of said "progress"?); embraced tax cuts for the rich as a way to strengthen the economy (because it's worked so well for the last few years); is promoting a health care plan under which he, as a cancer survivor, could not gain coverage that would be, by any measure, affordable; can't figure out if Sadr's influence is strong or waning (which, at this point, doesn't really seem to matter anyway); has violated campaign finance laws, despite being the namesake of a (flawed) campaign finance law; who now just LOVES torture, despite being tortured himself and speaking out against the use of torture not too long ago. Shall I go on?

I could not, and will not, ever argue that Obama or Clinton are the best suited to be president, but given the choices available, McCain has amply demonstrated that he is no longer interested in true leadership and, beyond that, does not have the mental faculties to be president.

I just keep waiting to hear when you're going to enlist, C.H., since you're such a firm believer in aiding the downtrodden, think the Iraq war is so important and that Iran should be our next target. Haven't you heard: we could use a few good men.

Bram Reichbaum said...

OH THAT REMINDS ME ... what was the nature of the negative attack contained in the rude Obama e-mail that woke you up at 3 in the morning?

Anonymous said...

It's really sad to watch people post attack after attack on the Democratic Nominee for President and use up their credibility out of some misguided loyalty to Hillary Clinton.
I find your use of attacking one's credibility incredible. Do you really think your attacks can shame others into a self-protective mode? I think that's cheap and stupid.

Anonymous said...

on April 2, 1980, Carter signed the WPT into law (P.L. 96-223). Lawmakers had imposed an excise levy on domestic oil production, taxing the difference between the market price of oil and a predetermined base price. The base price was derived from 1979 oil prices, and it required annual adjustments for inflation and state severance taxes. (For an excellent description of the tax, its structure, and its legislative odyssey, see the fine postmortem published in 1990 by Salvatore Lazzari of the Congressional Research Service, Doc 90-6824 or 90 TNT 198-43 .)

Now there's an Idea Obama could run with. (from Taxanalysts, Josseph Thorndike. "Tax History Project")

Anonymous said...

more from the Taxananysts:
In its eight years of existence, the WPT raised $79 billion in revenue, the CRS later reported. But since those payments were deductible against income, affected companies enjoyed a lower burden under the regular corporate income tax, effectively reducing the net yield to about $40 billion -- a far cry from early hopes.

Meanwhile, domestic oil production had fallen to its lowest level in 20 years. While demand had continued to rise, domestic producers had fallen behind in the search for new oil reserves. As a result, the United States had increased its reliance on foreign oil supplies. According to the American Petroleum Institute, the United States had derived about 32 percent of its energy from foreign sources in 1983. By 1986 that figure had climbed to 38 percent. Some analysts expected the trend to continue, although not everyone believed that taxes were driving the dynamic.

Can Obama make it work. Carter couldn't.

"Fair and Balanced" Dave said...

Somebody call an exorcist. Randi Rhodes has been possessed by Ann Coulter.

Anonymous said...

It is not true that Obama has won... you are as undemocratic as your candidate. You are acting as a common repukelican.There is no denying that Obama voted for the energy bill. Why do you B.O. followers continue to attempt to explain it away. You've lost your ability to think rationally. I am not misguided in my support for Hillary.I will not defend her when I feel that she is wrong, unlike B.O. followers. Tkkjodishere are many reasons why I would never vote for B.O. and his followers are at the top of the list.

Anonymous said...

" a boon to renewable energy"
If you understand percentages then you realize that renewables got only crumbs while the polluters made out like bandits. So I quess Obama is just another oil man. Like his cousins Bush and Cheney.

C.H. said...

Well, Fellipelli, maybe you should read about the progress in Iraq yourself.

How much time did Keith Olbermann devote to covering the story above (and the thousands like it) last week?

On the other hand, how much time did the haters on the far-left spend jumping up and down over the news that Al-Sadr and the Iranian backed miltias were fighting against the ISF?

I have a feeling they are still sulking over the decision by the JAM to declare a cease-fire and join the political process.

C.H. said...

For those of you who care about the future of Iraq and stand with the Iraqis as they fight against extremism, here is the second part of the success story I linked to above.

Anonymous said...

why don't you respond to the articles aboun Windfall taxes? Is it not a pipe dream? Can Obama keep his promise or is he just talking to our pain with no power to do anything after he is elected? Who Lies ? Which lies will become our future?

Anonymous said...

Somebody up above said that they would not vote for Senator Obama because of his supporters. Seriously? Senator Obama's supporters aren't running for any office. Senator Obama is.

Also, the poster is correct that Senator Obama has not won the required number of delegates to clinch this nomination. Yet, since Senator Obama won Texas (98-93) and gained another delegate from Mississippi, Senator Clinton needs to win all of the remaining contests by 65% to gain the lead in actual democratically cast votes. This is highly unlikely, but is possible. Senator Clinton has every right to try and get that 65% victory everywhere she wants and everyone who wants to has every right to support her.
This is America and we all have the right to vote how we choose.

However, if the superdelegates will overturn the pledged delegate lead, they could do this tomorrow and it would be better for the party if they did it sooner rather than later. If this goes to August we will only have 2 months to beat Senator McCain and our party will be angry and divided. Conversely, if the superdelegates are not going to overturn the pledged delegate lead, it is better that the candidate with fewer pledged delegates withdraws voluntarily -- again so we can unify the party and win in November. Isn't ending the last
7+ years of incompetence, corruption and pathetic government more important than all else?

Where I get aggravated with Senator Clinton is when she personally insults me (and the millions of others like me) by calling us "delusional" simply because we find Senator Obama to be the better candidate. Isn't it part of the Democratic process that we get to pick the candidate we prefer? How is it appropriate for a candidate to insult millions of voters? I get aggravated with Senator Clinton when she provides the Republicans with fuel to use against Senator Obama and she offers up millions of voters to ridicule both by herself and eventually by the Republicans if Senator Obama is the nominee in the general election.

Why do some of you apparently believe that insulting people simply because they disagree with you and questioning their intelligence, maturity and choice is a good road to victory? This is a horrible campaign strategy and if there is incivility on the part of Senator Obama's supporters, you might want to ask yourself if we have not been given cause to be uncivil.

I joined the Democratic party recently because of Senator Obama and I have read how many of Senator Clinton's supporters wish that I (and the kids, and the others like me) would go home. This is the fondest wish of the Republican political hierarchy. Remember, if we work together, we can end Republican hegemony, we can elect a Democratic President, gain more seats in the House and Senate and actually get something REAL done.


Fillippelli the Cook said...

So tell me, C.H., what have these little pockets of "success" achieved? Is the government stable? Is there any evidence of political progress? Are we still arming and paying "former" insurgents to establish these little pockets of normalcy? And, again, try to answer my two questions:

1) How many dead U.S. soldiers is enough? If 6 months from now, things are effectively the same, with only more dead soldiers, will that be enough to say it's time to start some form of measured withdrawal?

And you keep talking about Iran and the danger it poses, and suggesting we need to do something about it. Even if we wanted to, how would we do it? The military is motherfucking broken! And I don't see you stepping up to try to fix it.

Again, you don't give a shit about innocent people dying. What you care about is that you have supported this war from the get go and you refuse to admit that you were wrong about it. You're so much worse than John K. He's just deluded. But like I said before, you're just a fraud, and there's nothing more pathetic and vile than that.

C.H. said...

That does not make any sense, FTC

You're sad attempts to portray me as a conservative zealot or a "neocon" go up in flames because I disagree with a huge variety of beliefs the right continuously preaches about...and I frequently remind you guys about it.

I have tried to avoid using harsh language and personal attacks, but you have gone from legitimate debate to outright hate. How often do you talk about dead soldiers and Iraqis, while at the same time you celebrate the deaths of innocent people solely for the purpose of getting your agenda accomplished. Therefore, if the scum of the earth, murderous AQI terrorists wipe out a neighborhood in an Iraqi town, you people tout their accomplishment and scream about how America is evil and "Bush lied". Anyone with eyes can see what will happen if these horrendous human beings ever managed to come to power in a place like Iraq, but you people won't care--just like in Vietnam. How many nuts and activists danced in the streets back then and screamed about how we needed to "give peace a chance", even though after we left, it led to re-education camps, Pol Pot, genocide, and a mass refugee crisis.

One more thing...

Think about how angry your side gets if someone on the right "questions your patriotism" when you speak out against the Iraq War. Well, explain to me how your questioning of my devotion to my beliefs is any different?

Fillippelli the Cook said...

I'm personally attacking you, C.H., because you invite it with your veiled warmongering.

First, nobody on this site, including me, has ever "celebrated" the deaths of innocent people. I, and others, use sarcasm some times, but that's only to mask a profound sadness and, yes, anger, about so much loss of innocent lives.

Second, AQI is not responsible for the vast majority of deaths in Iraq during this 5-year mess. The majority of deaths are due to sectarian violence, the ethnic cleansing that is directly responsible for a good portion of the surge's "success."

So most of your argument is disingenuous, just like you. And that's why I directly attack you, because frauds deserve to be called out for what they are. If the Democrats would have done that with GWB leading up to the 2000 elections, the country and world would be a whole lot better off, for sure.

Anonymous said...

Try having a conversation about politics with a goat. It can hear the sounds, but it can't begin to understand what you are saying.

Now imagine trying to communicate with that goat in writing.