Patterico's Pontifications


Texas Officials to Feds: Don’t Mess With Texas’ Oil and Gas

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 4:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Ten top Texas officials including Governor Rick Perry have written an open letter to the Texas Congressional delegation asking them to oppose legislation that would replace state authority to regulate oil and gas production with federal control:

“Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding legislation contemplated by Congress that would effectively strip states of the right to regulate oil and gas exploration and production within their own borders:

“This week, I joined a number of state leaders in urging the Texas Congressional delegation to fight back against this latest encroachment into states’ authority, which would effectively strip states of the right to regulate oil and gas exploration and production within their own borders.

“This pending legislation represents a sad continuation of Washington’s ongoing efforts to seize control over every facet of American industry and life, efforts that continue to place untold numbers of Texas jobs at risk. This latest takeover attempt is as unprecedented as it is illogical, given that it essentially hands authority over all gas and oil exploration to the same people who were overseeing the process when the Deepwater Horizon exploded.”

Here is the letter.


An Early Look at 2012

Filed under: 2012 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 4:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Newt Gingrich reviews the GOP field for President in 2012 and sees several candidates including Romney, Palin, Huckabee and several others.

Meanwhile, PowerLine’s John Hinderaker likes Tim Pawlenty.


Oregon Officials Won’t Prosecute Gore

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports former Vice President Al Gore won’t be prosecuted regarding allegations made by a massage therapist. More concerns about the accuser’s story are detailed at the link, including this:

“The Portland Tribune said it thoroughly investigated her allegations – including interviewing the accuser – only to determine it wasn’t responsible to move forward with a story. The paper reported that she failed a polygraph test. At least one other news organization also declined to publish a story.”

I didn’t realize newspapers investigated criminal allegations this aggressively.


Bleak Economic News

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 3:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bloomberg News posts two reports that together paint a bleak picture of the American economy:

  • U.S. economy grew 2.4% in Second Quarter, Below Forecast
  • U.S. Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index Fell to 67.8
  • A third report seems reassuring but if we look deeper, is also troubling:

  • Most U.S. Stocks Rise as Confidence Overshadows GDP
  • Stocks grew because the Dow corporations have been able to keep earnings high, but revenues continue to fall below expectations. In other words, businesses have been able to maximize productivity from workers but they can’t increase revenues as more and more consumers spend less and less.

    And that is not good news.

    — DRJ

    Hey, Rangel! Just Take Your Payoffs in the Form of a Campaign Donation Like the Rest of Us!

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:09 am

    Charlie Rangel may be having his ethics trial during campaign season, when we can all sit in front of the TV with our buckets of popcorn and be captivated by stories like this:

    In one of the more important allegations against Mr. Rangel, the committee charged him with ethics violations for his solicitation of Eugene Isenberg, the chief executive of Nabors Industries, an oil company that was seeking a tax break from the Ways and Means Committee when he pledged $1 million to the Rangel Center.

    Mr. Rangel met with Mr. Isenberg and his lobbyist to discuss the tax break, which the congressman previously opposed, in February 2007 — the day it was being considered by the Ways and Means Committee.

    The tax break ultimately passed, with Mr. Rangel’s vote, saving Nabors more than half a billion dollars. Eleven days after the meeting, City College cashed a $100,000 check from Mr. Isenberg.

    The committee charged that the interactions violated ethics rules because they could be construed as influencing the congressman’s vote. But Mr. Rangel and Mr. Isenberg have both said that the contribution was unrelated to the tax issue, and Mr. Rangel’s written response Thursday asserted that he never did political favors for donors, or anyone else.

    You’ve heard of members of Congress wrangling over chairmanships and such. I think we need to invent a new term for when you change your vote after getting paid off: “Rangeling.”

    At least, that’s how it seems to me today. I might change my mind tomorrow, after a meeting with a person I’ll simply call “Mr. Green.”

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