Sunday, March 11, 2012

Obama Can Do More on Oil Prices

Guest Perspective by Ralph Nader
Gasoline and heating oil prices are ratcheting up. In California, some motorists are paying over $5 per gallon. President Obama declared that "there is no quick fix" for this problem. Meanwhile, the hapless but howling Republicans are blaming him for the fuel surge as if he is a price control czar.
Indeed, President Obama has some proper power to cool off retail petroleum prices. David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan's Budget Director, said it plainly on CNN last week, "Stop beating the war drums right now [against Iran], and Obama could do that, and he could say the neocons are history." Having done his stint on Wall Street, Stockman knows that war talk by the war hawks inside and outside of our government is just what the speculators on the New York Mercantile Exchange want to hear as they bid up the price. Your gasoline prices are not charging up due to strains between supply and demand. Speculation, with those notorious derivatives and swaps, is what is poking larger holes in your fuel budget, according to Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyers. The too-big-to-fail Wall Street gamblers - Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley - are at it again.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

MTV airs NDAA PSAs ... wow

Thoughts on the contraception controversies

Here are some simple thoughts about the contraception controversies going on right now.
First, what Rush Limbaugh said on a recent program about a young woman testifying about the issue was inappropriate and offensive, and like a lot of what is going on in the political world, was unnecessary for moving the issue forward. Speaking out on an issue often makes people targets (I know this from firsthand experience). But targeting this woman - or any woman - with the use of words which suggest promiscuity for wanting an active and healthy sex life and decent insurance coverage is just wrong in so many ways.
Of course, we shouldn't expect much from Limbaugh (or Limboob, as I've often called him), since he is wrong a lot of the time and has a tendency to go overboard on things (marriages, drugs, hypocrisies, opinions, etc.).
Second point, and let's be very clear on this one: The government, insurance companies, and businesses/nonprofits that offer health benefits to employees are not responsible for preventing unwanted pregnancies. The people having sex are the ones who are responsible for preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Minimum Wage: Catching up with 1968

Guest Perspective By Ralph Nader
How inert can the Democratic Party be? Do they reallywant to defeat the Congressional Republicans in the fall by doing the rightthing?
A winning issue is to raise the federal minimum wage,stuck at $7.25 since 2007. If it was adjusted for inflation since 1968, not tomention other erosions of wage levels, the federal minimum would be around $10.
Here are some arguments for raising the minimum wage thisyear to catch up with 1968 when worker productivity was half of what it istoday.