Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gail Collins is an idiot.

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:59 PM Permalink

Sometimes, when I read the New York Times Op Ed section, I just want to pull my hair out. I mean, it’s usually riddled with flat out misrepresentations. Those polemicists have the good fortune to get paid well to write crap; really stupid crap. Meanwhile, they tend to base their arguments on oft-repeated, ‘common knowledge’ information that nobody ever bothers to challenge. Like, for instance, they'll say, "democrats are for big government" or "republicans are corrupt" when the truth of the matter is that both dems and repubs LOVE big government; the bigger the better, all the more to skim off the top for themselves. Additionally, ALL politicians are corrupt, not just republicans. The tools of the trade for these folks are false dichotomies, misrepresentations and half-truths.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when Gail Collins wrote something incredibly stupid. She was busting on Jindal’s Obama-rebuttal speech and she wrote:
Louisiana has gotten $130 billion in post-Katrina aid. How is it that the stars of the Republican austerity movement come from the states that suck up the most federal money? Taxpayers in New York send way more to Washington than they get back so more can go to places like Alaska and Louisiana. Which is fine, as long as we don’t have to hear their governors bragging about how the folks who elected them want to keep their tax money to themselves. Of course they do! That’s because they’re living off ours.
Had she been much of a deep thinker or even remotely intellectually curious, Ms. Collins would know that Louisiana is a mess because they’ve been REPEATEDLY SCREWED by the oil companies, with the collusion of the Federal government.
In 2001, the Minerals Management Service collected over $7.5 billion in oil and gas revenues from federal offshore leases. Of the $7.5 billion, $5 billion came from offshore Louisiana. 80% of oil and 87% of gas from this nation’s offshore waters comes from offshore Louisiana.

On federal lands within a state, the state shares 50% of the revenues. In 2005, Wyoming received over $878 million in revenues.

Outside of 6 miles offshore, Louisiana receives no share of revenue. In 2005, Louisiana received only $32 million, less than of one percent of the federal revenues generated off of its coast.

In 2005, the total revenue collected by MMS from OCS was $5,705,953,872. Offshore Louisiana provided 74.2% of that total.
Although Louisiana is now an oil and gas processing state instead of a major producing state, the system adopted 86 years ago collects a tax ONLY on minerals produced in Louisiana. But 95 percent of oil and gas produced and processed in Louisiana--most of it from foreign oil companies and companies owned by foreign nations--is untaxed. That’s unfair to producers in Louisiana and allows foreign companies to use our offshore waters and coastal wetlands without charge
So it's really not like Louisiana is sucking off the Federal teat. The fact is the Federal government, which is nothing more than a enabler and policeman for corporate interests, has been, for all intents and purposes, raping Louisiana.

If I were governor of Louisiana, I would secede from the Union and I would do it now. Between the royal screwing pre- and post-Katrina, the long history of ransacking oil revenue and taxes, and the destruction of the wetlands by the oil companies, there's no benefit to Louisiana being a part of the United States.

None. What. So. Ever.

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At 6:43 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

It's an unfair system for sure. I worked on production platforms and rigs offshore from Louisiana 200 miles out. And they were for American companies.

But Gov Ding-a-ling has no intention of not sucking up billions in recovery money, just in rejecting the part that would help poor unemployed people.

I hope it doesn't work because Govs shouldn't have line item veto over Fed budgets.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

While I agree that Jindal's refusal of a part of the money was silly and politically motivated, I DO think that every state, no matter what ding-a-ling is in charge, should be able to say F-ck you to whatever they want when it comes to the Feds. State's rights reign supreme.

At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you sent your facts to Ms. Collins? Perhaps she'll consider revisiting her op ed piece.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

I would, but most of those folks are loath to admit their wrong, no matter how wrong they are. I'll give it a shot though I doubt she'll like the title of my post.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger The Sailor said...

>"I DO think that every state, no matter what ding-a-ling is in charge, should be able to say F-ck you to whatever they want when it comes to the Feds. State's rights reign supreme.

Really!? Consider THIS

Or slavery.


At 11:09 AM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

Prop 8 was what the residents of that state wanted. I know it's horrible, I don't agree with it either. But how would you feel if the federal government said that even though everyone in your state is for medical marijuana, you still can't smoke it because federally, it's a law.

Oh, wait, that's the way it is.

Additionally, slavery was bad, but it was NOT the reason for the civil war. The reason for the civil war was trade issues. The South, with their source of cheap labor, was putting companies in the north right out of business. The South was way better able to compete with the North with regards to foreign trade as well. Of course slavery was reprehensible, but it was merely used by the North as a popular justification for the war. It would've ended anyway. It ended in the North of its own accord, why wouldn't it have ended in the South?


At 5:53 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

What an interesting debate!

I disagree that prop 8 was wanted by the majority of CA citizens, it was just advertised better by Utah Mormons with more $$.

Regardless, states rights should not trump peoples' rights.

I agree that the civil war was not fought over slavery, that's always been a dumb argument for primary school books.

Maybe slavery would have ended on its own. It's way more expensive to keep a slave than a migrant worker or indentured servant. But I think the South was addicted.

But tyranny is easier to inflict on a populous at a local level than a Federal level, the last 8 years not withstanding.

Peoples' right should reign supreme, AKA the Constitution.

And maybe, in a way, they did, because the legislature overrode the idiot governor.

Anarchy doesn't work, we need infrastructure; and I think libertarianism is proven to have failed. And the majority shouldn't rule.

What we are left with is an imperfect system that mostly works when all 3 bodies do their jobs.


At 10:05 AM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

The federal government has usurped more rights than any other entity everrrrr. It's at the local level that real rights are asserted and supported. It's not until, locally, they population vocalizes their rights and starts fighting for them that the feds will even think of reacting, and they may react by either supporting or destroying the movement, depending on whether or not the particular right being exercised does anything to the capitalist system's 'bottom line'

I guess I've stopped believing in government as "daddy figure". I don't believe government is benevolent, thoughtful or wise, no matter how many branches there are. I've come to realize that government -- and I mean ALL government -- as the demented uncle who comes over, drinks all the booze, fondles all the little kids then pukes on the carpet. Unfortunately, he carries a gun and whip, so he's scary and dangerous.


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