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McCain’s Oil Money

The latest campaign kerfuffle is the shocking fact that John McCain is receiving significant donations from the oil industry.  A new Obama ad says the amount is $2.1 million; FactCheck.org says it’s a mere $1.33 million.  Either way, it’s about triple what the industry is giving to Obama.

More damning, critics say, is that there has been an uptick in oil money flowing to McCain’s coffers since he started pushing for offshore drilling, a position he previously opposed.  Aha!  Many on the Left seem to think this is a big winner.

The problem with this analysis, however, is that it occurs in a vaccum.  Republicans always get more money from Big Oil than Democrats, just as Democrats always get more from unions and trial lawyers than Republicans.  Is it really all that shocking that industry groups donate to the candidates and parties that are most likely to advance their interests while in office?

As to McCain’s supposed flip-flop on this issue, it’s rather easy to explain by reasons other than the lure of Big Oil dollars. First, the situation “on the ground” has changed radically.  Gas prices have skyrocketed, changing dramatically the cost-benefit analysis of drilling.  Second, the politics have changed for the same reasons.  Hell, even Obama is now coming out for (limited) off-shore drilling.

Sure enough, if you look at the Top Industries lists compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets websites for Obama and McCain, you’ll see the old familiar pattern:

OpenSecrets.org 4 August 2008

I don’t worry about industries and interest groups donating to advance their candidates.  I do, however, have some concerns when I see industries giving almost equally to both sides.  One suspects, though, that much of that is a function of the limitation of large category lists like these.  Perhaps, for example, doctors donate to Republicans and nurses and orderlies donate to Democrats.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. markm says:

    I don’t see on that list Obama’s contributions from oil & gas. Surely he’s gotten some.

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  2. Bithead says:

    The latest campaign kerfuffle is the shocking fact that John McCain is receiving significant donations from the oil industry. A new Obama ad says the amount is $2.1 million; FactCheck.org says it’s a mere $1.33 million. Either way, it’s about triple what the industry is giving to Obama.

    Obama delaced war on oil. He’s made all the proper noises about nationalising oil, ala Hugo Chavez. Does anyone not understand why Oil conmpany execs might donate to someone who is not overtly out to destroy them?

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  3. Boyd says:

    Sure Obama’s gotten some, Mark, but the ~$400,00 wasn’t enough to put them in the top 20 contributors list.

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  4. Hal says:

    He’s made all the proper noises about nationalising oil,

    Wow. I’d ask you for some shred of evidence backing that up, but we both know you haven’t got jack, right?

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  5. Our Paul says:

    Maybe it is that the coffee has not yet kicked in, maybe it all relates to the time my mother dropped me, or just the fact that your sense of irony at times require a bit more wattage than what this old brain can generate, but I am chocking a bit on this:

    ”Perhaps, for example, doctors donate to Republicans and nurses and orderlies donate to Democrats.”

    There must be a word, or a pithy phrase that might encapsulate such a sentence. Certainly it activates the theater of the mind. The doctor drives up to the hospital in his shiny Rolls, the nurse I her battered Chevy, while at the entrance way, the orderlies are picketing for the right to unionize and increase in pay.

    Be that as it may, I failed to find the table on the site you quoted. Thus, I will offer but two comments on the data:

    (1) You have discovered McCain’s central weakness. He has totally failed to enlist the support of “other” (#16 in the Obama column). As this category usually is at the bottom of a table, it further emphasizes Obama’s underlying strength.

    (2) The lack of Accountants in the Obama list begins to explain why the forces of liberalism have been overwhelmed by the dark side. Surely just a few of these professionals would have helped pin point the magic of market place veering off course.

    My apologies to your more serious correspondents for taking up valuable space, but I was trying to sneak this link into the conversation. Big money docs oppose single payer reimbursement systems (aka socialized medicine, aka McCain), small money docs + (nurses and other health professionals), favor single payer (aka Obama). There is more of the latter than of the former, thus canceling each other out at the “lucky” #7 on the table…

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  6. This happens every election cycle. Candidates receive from everybody. If you look far enough down the list you’ll even see some union/labor money going to McCain even though Republicans, generally, rail on labor like stinky cheese.

    The fact that some industries give equally to both parties is just smart politics. Cynical, yes, but this way they have access to whoever is in the majority.

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  7. Bithead says:

    Wow. I’d ask you for some shred of evidence backing that up, but we both know you haven’t got jack, right?

    Well, as always you’re wrong. to begin with, his voting record speaks for him. It’s indentical, vote for vote with Maxine Waters. You remember THAT individual, right? She’s on record as calling for exactly that.

    John Hoffmeister from Shell Oil: I can guarantee to the American people because of the inaction of the United States Congress ever increasing prices unless the demand comes down and the five dollars will look like a very low price in the years to come if we are prohibited from finding new reserves and new opportunities to increase supplies.

    Rep. Maxine Waters: And, guess what this liberal will be all about? This liberal will be about socializing… uh, will be about, basically taking over and the government running all of your companies.

    Again, their voting records are indential, vote for vote, and speak loudly of an identical political line of non-thought.

    What is it, do you suppose, that Obama’s stated ‘war on oil” entails, but removing the control of the oil copanies from private control?

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  8. Steve Plunk says:

    It’s no kerfuffle to me. I expect some Dems want to use it to paint McCain as in the pocket of “Big Oil” but that’s a battle they will lose. Oil will turn out to be a bigger issue this election than the war, privacy, and the economy. Of course the economy is oil. The candidate that gets serious about energy will win and that candidate is John McCain. Talk about a lucky son of a gun.

    I too have concerns about any industry or company, more specifically, that gives to both sides. That’s not about advancing issues but about buying influence. They should grow a pair and pick a side.

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  9. Bithead says:

    Steve; I’d go further, and suggest that painting ‘big oil” as an evil entity is going to be a hard sell.

    Bsides, “Big Oil” isn’t all that big anymore… controlling about 3% of the world’s oil at this stage. That point aside, luck has little to do with this. Boil it down and what you have is the logical conclusion of Leftist energy policy being expopsed as such.

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  10. anjin-san says:

    The candidate that gets serious about energy will win and that candidate is John McCain. Talk about a lucky son of a gun.

    Not sure this is a slam-dunk for McCain. The Bush family blocked drilling for almost 2 decades. The GOP congress did not lift the congressional ban. McCain was there while all this was going on.

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  11. anjin-san says:

    Bsides, “Big Oil” isn’t all that big anymore… controlling about 3% of the world’s oil at this stage.

    Exxon Mobile recorded the highest profit in the history of corporate America last quarter. If that ain’t big, what the hell is?

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  12. Bithead says:

    Do you understand the difference between profit and profit MARGIN?

    The Bush family blocked drilling for almost 2 decades.

    More go along to get along. He was placating liberals. It’s one reason I’ve never been overly excited by him, and whay I’ve been saying for decades that Bush (either will do) is no conservative.

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  13. anjin-san says:

    Do you understand the difference between profit and profit MARGIN?

    How is that even relevant? If you have tight margins, but huge volume, you can still make a killing. Obviously.

    Repeat. Largest quarterly profit in the history of corporate America.

    Either you do not understand business fundamentals, or you are simply trying to cloud the issue. Probably a bit of both.

    More go along to get along. He was placating liberals

    One thing Bush has been consistent about is not giving a flying F—K what liberals think. The Saudis got their payback for their long sponsorship of the Bush family, and it had a hell of a lot of zeros attached to it.

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  14. Hal says:

    I’m also pretty sure that Dr. B’s 3% figure is his mistaking the 3% of the world’s oil reserves that are in the US for the amount of oil controlled by the corporations that constitute “Big Oil” for some unknown definition of “Big Oil”. It’d probably be interesting to see how he rationalizes this figure but we all know where that leads.

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  15. Steve Plunk says:

    anjin-san,

    Far and away the big winners in the oil price ramp up have been governments. Like Bit said private companies own very little of the world’s oil and have essentially just been riding the coattails of foreign governments to big profits. Heck, even our own government makes more per gallon in taxes than the oil companies make in profits. Oil companies are not saints but they are far from demons as well. They are in business to make money and are very honest about it. Somebody has to have the largest profit in the history of the US so why not them?

    The cheap oil of the 80′s and 90′s allowed us to keep oil drilling to a minimum domestically. Why drill ours when we could buy Saudi oil for $10-15 a barrel? But times change and it has now become important to drill our own. Blaming Bush I or II for the offshore ban is misplaced indignation. The executive ban was like me forbidding murder in my own house, what matters is the state statute or in the case of drilling congressional approval.

    I personally don’t buy the conspiracy theories concerning Bush and the Saudis. However I do buy the conspiracy theories concerning Clinton and the Indonesians. Conspiracy theories are convenient explanations for complex events. We can pick and choose according to our needs.

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  16. Hal says:

    Hey, just a shout out to congratulate Dr. B on his mention in Roy’s weekly column. You’ve come a long way, Dr. B! Nice to see the scum rise to the top.

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  17. Hal says:

    Whoops, strike that. It’s Dr. B’s blog, but DavidL who’s the author of the winning post. Oh well. Still, not bad anyway.

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  18. Bithead says:

    ‘m also pretty sure that Dr. B’s 3% figure is his mistaking the 3% of the world’s oil reserves that are in the US for the amount of oil controlled by the corporations that constitute “Big Oil” for some unknown definition of “Big Oil”. It’d probably be interesting to see how he rationalizes this figure but we all know where that leads.

    Usually to you having your backside handed you. As it happens, this is no exception to that rule.It’s hardly undefined, first off.

    And as for the percentages, it varies depending on who is reporting. First link i happened to locate says 6%…

    Another from about the same period in time….

    The fact remains, big oil… well… big oil isn’t. They haven’t the ability to control pries as you suggest. The real big oil is government.

    I mean, I know that kinda precludes you from being able to use a commonly used liberal pejorative accurately. But since when has accuracy been a concern for you?

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  19. Hal says:

    Usually to you having your backside handed you

    Is that even grammatical?

    It’s hardly undefined, first off.

    Um, as usual you link to someone asserting something – i.e. putting words in someone’s mouth. AFAIK, Andrew Bolt doesn’t get to tell anyone what they mean by “Big Oil”. But what the heck. I’ll give you a cookie and pat you on the head for providing links for once. Kudos!

    says 6%..

    You get a cookie! Well, kind of. It’s actually double the number what you quoted with absolute confidence.

    big oil isn’t.

    Um, people who control 6% of the world’s oil reserves aren’t big? Man, you set a high bar. You’re tough.

    They haven’t the ability to control pries as you suggest.

    I know this is useless to point out to you, but I never said that they have the ability to control prices. Are you confusing me for someone else again? Perhaps some other thread you’re commenting on?

    The real big oil is government.

    As usual, you’re being kind of obtuse and probably referring to some context that’s only in your head or in some other thread. But touche’! For some value of touche.

    But let’s just step back a bit and see what straw man you’re arguing against here. All I did was speculate that you were confusing your numbers – nothing more. You invented entire arguments literally out of thin air. Then you demolished them – oddly, not that well, but what the heck as they’re your straw men. All the while peppering your comment with insults, and punctuated with rubbing my nose in some victory you’ve won over a straw man you’ve managed to wrestle to the ground.

    Again, Bit. Bravo!

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  20. Hal says:

    Back to the original post, I’m kind of wondering how John McCain is going to “take on Big Oil” (go get ‘em, Bit! C’mon, you know you want to!) when he’s their recipient of their largess? I guess this must be another example of the exceedingly clever plan of reverse psychology republicans are famous for that Dr. Bit will have to explain to me.

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  21. Bithead says:

    Hal you tried to imply with your ‘question’ that they were able to dictate to the world, prices and such, because they control this massive percentage of oil. I’ve seen this kind of nonsense too often before.

    As usual, you’re being kind of obtuse and probably referring to some context that’s only in your head or in some other thread. But touche’! For some value of touche.

    Well, it’s clear it’s above YOUR head. Fine. I’ll put this in terms any 6 year old should be able to grasp… let’s see if your up for this. According to CNN Money, Exxon total “profits” if you don’t count exploration costs, were $40BUSD, in 2007. Their taxes, however, were $100BUSD.

    (Oh… Actually, that’s only federal taxes and the pre-pump federal taxes, at that, since the states add more, but I digress)

    The real story here is that the federal government is taking far more profit in taxes, than the oil folks… you remember them… they’re the ones who actually produce the stuff… are making. And that’s added to the end cost long before it gets to the pump, and is thereby hidden from the consumer.

    Now add the at the pump taxes which is the only part they’re planning on putting on hold, and you begin to see the reality of the situation. Taxes, and regulatory costs are in fact, already the lion’s share of energy costs, even assuming you’re talking just the federal government. Add the state government, whose tax take is usually even higher, and tell me again, who is making “obscene profits” off the sale of gasoline, Hal. PLease tell us.

    Go ahead, Hal and tell us who’s really making the big bucks here.

    Second angle; In the case of oil outside the US, the majority of countries have government controlling their oil. Once again, government is the big profiteer, here.

    All I did was speculate that you were confusing your numbers – nothing more.

    As I say, I’ve seen this before. You’re not getting anywhere with this line of argument, so stop trying to dance around a 3% variance in oil holdings as if it’s going to amount to anything, and focus on the reality that the problem is government.

    Period.

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  22. Beldar says:

    Dr. Joyner, there are many contributors who view their contributions as purchasing future access and attention, rather than contributing to the chance of a particular candidate to win. With that viewpoint and a fat wallet, it makes perfect sense to give to both candidates in a single race.

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  23. peterh says:

    “Heck, even our own government makes more per gallon in taxes than the oil companies make in profits”

    Steve….you are such a friggin’ idiot….to even post such crap when a sane person would know better (oh…forgot…you’re a wingnut)….

    In California (for instance)….state & federal excise tax = 37.6 cts/gal…sales tax (which btw is double taxation) is determined on top of the excise tax and sales price…..so for conversation purposes, let’s say the gov take is 50 cts/gal

    Compare that with, say, ANS (Alaskan North Slope) which guarders roughly $118 per barrel today. The well-head cost for ANS is roughly $13.00…lets add on roughly $7.00 processing cost and you’ve got a $98 profit per barrel which equates in a 42 gallon barrel to……..drum roll……$2.33 cts/gal

    Now, I could rightfully be criticized for my lack of tact, but heck, when it comes to stupidity, tack lacks….

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  24. Bithead says:

    Compare that with, say, ANS (Alaskan North Slope) which guarders roughly $118 per barrel today. The well-head cost for ANS is roughly $13.00…lets add on roughly $7.00 processing cost and you’ve got a $98 profit per barrel which equates in a 42 gallon barrel to……..drum roll……$2.33 cts/gal

    Source? And how does that mesh with the low prift margin we’re seeing?

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  25. Hal says:

    Wow Bit, I must say that every time I pull another layer off the onion that is Dr. B, I think I’ve finally reached the true, black core. However, each and every layer only reveals some incredible new wackiness that I could not imagine.

    No wonder you’re a conspiracy theorist. You can create straw men like a wild man. You go girl!

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  26. Michael says:

    Again, their voting records are indential, vote for vote, and speak loudly of an identical political line of non-thought.

    Non-sequiter, just because they vote alike does not imply that they think alike, even on the same issue. Only if they have drafted similar legislation on the issue, can you infer that they share the same thoughts on the issue. Otherwise, they’re just agreeing or disagreeing with a third party’s thoughts.

    How is that even relevant? If you have tight margins, but huge volume, you can still make a killing. Obviously.

    Yes, but can you justify punishing (windfall profit tax) them because they sold in high volume?

    The fact remains, big oil… well… big oil isn’t. They haven’t the ability to control pries as you suggest.

    If you assert that a small percentage of additional oil from ANWR/Off-shore drilling can control global oil prices, then you can’t discount the ability of companies holding a similarly small percentage of that ability simply because of their size.

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  27. Steve Plunk says:

    peterh,

    I always like it when people resort to name calling when debating serious issues. It reinforces my belief that liberals have little substance in their arguments and must rely on raw emotion to advance what they believe.

    I have an accounting background so I could instantly see the flaws in your argument. Of course my degree from “friggin idiot” University provided me with such deep idiocy I hesitate to point out where your superior intellect has failed you.

    You see oil companies have more costs than you included in your astute analysis. You included well head costs and refining costs. I’m not sure where you got those figures but I’ll go with them. There are also costs associated with exploration, fixed corporate cost, advertising, transportation and distribution,and so forth. Your figures are more closely associated with a gross profit margin on a product which is far from net profit for the company.

    So it seem I’ll weather your insult and remind you of how it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. There are many things I remain silent on since I lack the expertise but this idiot stands behind the statement made earlier.

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  28. Hal says:

    Steve Plunk,

    Well, you may know your accounting, but you don’t seem to understand the actual system internals

    Why are oil companies making record profits?

    Because the wells they are producing from today were drilled in past years, where they used $15-25 per barrel as their estimated selling price for the oil. Thus when the market got tight, they have cheap oil going at a higher price. Why? Simple—demand is high.

    Now this higher priced oil is filtering back to them in the form of higher priced goods, so the profits decline slowly over time as higher priced energy enters the economic mill. But right now, they are making a lot of money.

    If you were really serious about being thought a fool, silence and removing all doubt, I think you would have not have made the original assertion.

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  29. Michael says:

    Hal,
    So your complaint is that the oil companies are reaping the rewards of prior investments when demand for the product of those investments goes up?

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  30. Bithead says:

    Non-sequiter, just because they vote alike does not imply that they think alike, even on the same issue. Only if they have drafted similar legislation on the issue, can you infer that they share the same thoughts on the issue

    I’ll remind the room of that the next time I see McCain being chided for usually having voted with Bush.

    You see oil companies have more costs than you included in your astute analysis. You included well head costs and refining costs. I’m not sure where you got those figures but I’ll go with them. There are also costs associated with exploration, fixed corporate cost, advertising, transportation and distribution,and so forth. Your figures are more closely associated with a gross profit margin on a product which is far from net profit for the company.

    Well, don’t forget taxation on the comany that doesn’t show up at the pump. Look again at what I said as regards taxes with Exxon-Mobil.

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  31. Bithead says:

    Wow Bit, I must say that every time I pull another layer off the onion that is Dr. B, I think I’ve finally reached the true, black core

    .

    All because I pulled a Hal, and asked for a source?

    Amazing.

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  32. Hal says:

    So your complaint is that the oil companies are reaping the rewards of prior investments when demand for the product of those investments goes up?

    Geebus, Michael. Where in the heck do I have any complaint against the oil companies in any of my comments on this thread? I mean, do people just inject their fantasy Hal comment of what they wish I said into their reading?

    Bizarre.

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  33. Hal says:

    All because I pulled a Hal, and asked for a source?

    No, because you seem to be completely delusional. This kafka-esque interaction with you all started because I speculated where you got your numbers and made a jab at not defining “big oil”. from that, you proceeded to assign to me statements I didn’t make, arguments I hadn’t made and a whole host of other shit you pulled out of your butt while you were scratching down there. Then when this was pointed out, you manifested a new army of straw men, painted my face on them and went all Bruce Lee on their ass.

    That is why I marvel at you. You have a reading comprehension level of a seventh grader and you seem genetically unable to actually distinguish between arguments you think I’m making and actual arguments put forth.

    That’s talent. And I honor the place where my dark comedy and your complete lack of any self critical skills meet.

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  34. Michael says:

    I’ll remind the room of that the next time I see McCain being chided for usually having voted with Bush.

    Not so fast. You can chide Obama for having voted with Waters. You can even claim that he agrees with Waters on the thoughts of those bills. But you can not extent that agreement to other beliefs or opinions not contained in those bills.

    So, people can chide McCain for voting with the President on the issues in those bills. However, they can’t use a similar voting record to link McCain to any other beliefs or opinions held by President Bush.

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  35. Michael says:

    Geebus, Michael. Where in the heck do I have any complaint against the oil companies in any of my comments on this thread? I mean, do people just inject their fantasy Hal comment of what they wish I said into their reading?

    Sorry, but it seemed to me, and I would bet most reasonable people, that when you are talking about the “massive profit” of oil companies, that you think it is a bad thing. If I am wrong on that assumption, I apologize.

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  36. Hal says:

    If I am wrong on that assumption, I apologize.

    I quoted a post from a knowledgeable source regarding the mechanism as to how the oil companies are able to make huge profits when the illusion of thin margins – from naive calculations – is so palpable.

    That does not an argument about the morality of such profits make.

    That they are “massive” is an objective fact: they are world record corporate profits coming on the back of previous quarters of world record corporate profits from the same industry.

    Further, just for future record, I’m a capitalist to the bone. I’ve owned, run and sold my own company at a very tidy profit during the silly years and work, have worked in several startups and now slave away as a VP level minion in a Fortune 100 company on Geidi prime. I’m hardly what anyone would call a socialist and don’t have anything even remotely approaching a knee jerk reaction to making money.

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  37. Michael says:

    In that case, I apologize for my assumptions.

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  38. Bithead says:

    This kafka-esque interaction with you all started because I speculated where you got your numbers and made a jab at not defining “big oil”.

    And on why, pray would you have done THAT, save as a prepitory for arguing about how ‘big oil’ is screwing us all, and I’m being an apologist for them? I mean, spare us the innocent protestations, Hal. The pattern is all too well established for us to fall for that, sorry.

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  39. Steve Plunk says:

    Hal my liberal friend,

    If you read my earlier post you will see I talk of the oil companies riding the coattails of foreign governments and high oil prices just as you point out. I understand that concept but want to point out recent high profits are offset by moderate profits in earlier years and that government reaps tax revenue in excess of oil company profits over the long term.

    If I own an apple orchard and prices spike because of an apple blight in Washington am I gouging the consumer by accepting market price for my commodity? I didn’t drive up the price and neither did the oil companies drive up the price of oil. The small percentage of crude oil they own is suddenly worth much more and helps their bottom line.

    So my understanding of the system is fine and my explanation to you came in a civilized manner unlike my friend peterh who must add insult to explanation.

    My original assertion of government making more money from fuel taxes than oil companies make from pumping the oil and selling the fuel still stands. It seems I’m not the fool like you believe.

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  40. Hal says:

    save as a prepitory for arguing about how ‘big oil’ is screwing us all, and I’m being an apologist for them?

    Or could it be that I just enjoy yanking your chain and seeing what new layers of surreality you’ll present for us?

    I bow to no man wrt the right to make rapacious profits. I’m a firm believer the markets. I also have no issues with taxes, but I tend to come down on the side that thinks windfall profit taxes on oil companies are useless, at best. However, I do like the basis of the arguments to be somewhat based on objective facts rather than just wild assertions from bit-land.

    I just like to see you dance, puppet boy. It amuses me to no end.

    It’s fascinating to think that you have some programming skills and yet so little understanding of logic. Your conspiracy theories and an impressive preternatural skill of jumping to completely unwarranted conclusions based on no (or contradictory) evidence reminds me of the good old days doing bong hits and whippets in the dorms with fellow Libertarians.

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  41. Hal says:

    Steve, my conservative adversary,

    It’s not a matter of what defines gouging. The objective issue is simply how could they be possibly making world record profits if they control a fraction of the supply and their margins are so thin. A paradox? You stated that the government “makes” so much more off gasoline than the poor, poor oil companies and refineries. You were called on this and then brought up all the attendant costs they have which are bleeding all the imagined profits of these noble examples of cloth coat capitalists as they selflessly provide the life blood of our global economy.

    Your explanation is purely qualitative and merely hand waving. Saying that there’s a bunch of ill defined “stuff” that cuts their profits to razor thin margins is not an explanation – it’s a smoke screen. You might think to add actual or estimated numbers next time in order to have any convincing effect on the argument.

    The post I pointed to provides a convincing quantitative argument – from actual facts – that you’re theory is based on a misunderstanding of how things work in the market.

    If I sell apples that cost me $0.002 for $10, even though the apples I’m currently growing cost me $9.50, I’m still making a huge profit – even though my *current* margins are nothing compared to what I used to have. The only thing that matters to my profits is the cost of what I’m selling, not the cost of what I will be selling in the future.

    It’s the *definition* of a “windfall”, thus the phrase “windfall profit tax”.

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  42. Bithead says:

    It’s fascinating to think that you have some programming skills and yet so little understanding of logic.

    So, you find your own illousions, fascinating. This is news I needed to hear to know it?

    It’s the *definition* of a “windfall”, thus the phrase “windfall profit tax”.

    No.
    They use the phrase because it sounds better than what it is in reality: A punishment for their success.

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  43. Bithead says:

    And let’s face it, Hal… “Big Oil” is used by the left as a perjorative. Using it labels you accordingly.

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  44. Hal says:

    you find your own illousions, fascinating.

    Well, I had assumed – due to your bio – that you had some programming skills. You’re right, it was an assumption on my part. My bad.

    A punishment for their success.

    Hmmm. The price rise wasn’t engineered by their hard work, was it? They were *lucky*. Chance. Something completely untied to efforts cannot possibly be called “success”.

    Punishment? Whatever dude. Put on the black beret and start preaching against the man, brother!

    Using it labels you accordingly

    Hmmm. IIRC, I was just using a term that you, yourself, used. So that labels you accordingly? I don’t care what you call them. I was just jibing your use of the term without defining it.

    Again, Dr. B, you’re simply making sh*t up and arguing against it.

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  45. Bithead says:

    You can chide Obama for having voted with Waters.

    Well, is it a valid angle, or not, then? Ya can’t pick and chose. Which way we goin’ here?

    Again, Dr. B, you’re simply making sh*t up and arguing against it.

    In looking over the comments, at least two others came to the same conclusions I have about your intentions, here. How is it you’ve not commented on these?

    Back in your corner.

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  46. Hal says:

    Back in your corner.

    First, it’d be a hell of a lot easier if you’d – you know – take advantage of this amazing intertube technology and actually link to the comments that you are referring to. This whole “search for what I’m talking about yourself” is a really bizarre tick y’all on the right have. In the case of Michael’s comment, I responded to his satisfaction and he withdrew his assertion. WRT Steve Plunk, he didn’t actually make wacky sh*t up out of thin air like you are wont to do, rather he was replying to actual arguments I was making – not arguments he imagined I was making. And you’ll note that I actually responded to his arguments with my own comment. So, rather than have me try to divine the comments you’re referring to with my handy water stick, why don’t you just – you know – provide the links?

    Seriously, Dr. B. You don’t argue against arguments you think people are making. You don’t argue against what you interpret as their intent. You don’t assume that they are going down the long trail of your paranoid fantasies. What you do is actually argue against what they actually say.

    For a handy reference guide, see the helpful post on How to Disagree. If you want a visual diagram to refer to, see this post on How to Write Strong Arguments.

    You’ll note that nowhere will you find that responding to “intent” is considered a valid mode of argument. Rather, it’s simply straw man – i.e. arguing against something that the other party didn’t say. Burn that straw if it’s what you use to get stoned, but it ain’t anywhere near an actual argument.

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  47. Michael says:

    Well, is it a valid angle, or not, then? Ya can’t pick and chose. Which way we goin’ here?

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear. You can chide him for the things he has agreed with Waters on (the Senate bills), but you cannot chide him for the things Waters says that he hasn’t agreed with (the socialization bit).

    Or, to put it simpler, chide him for what he says and does, not for what other people say or do.

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  48. Bithead says:

    This whole “search for what I’m talking about yourself” is a really bizarre tick y’all on the right have

    yes, this requirement for you to do your own friggin research is sooooooo harrrrdddd…

    Rather, it’s simply straw man -

    As I suggested… several others came to exactly the same conclusion I did. And you know as well as I it was the correct conclusion to draw, and still is. Trust me, Hal you’re not that complex an individual, that people can’t see through your ploys. Sorry, what it is.

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  49. Hal says:

    yes, this requirement for you to do your own friggin research is sooooooo harrrrdddd…

    It’s simply that when you’re dealing with a delusional person such as yourself, I literally have NO IDEA what you are referring to.

    several others came to exactly the same conclusion I did.

    Just give the goddamn links will you? As I pointed out, Michael withdrew his assertion, so if you’re counting that you just a moron. And I’d LOVE to know who you count as the “several others”. C’mon. I dare you. Show me the links.

    But you won’t. You can’t.

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  50. Bithead says:

    It’s simply that when you’re dealing with a delusional person such as yourself, I literally have NO IDEA what you are referring to.

    Nice try, Hal. But, nobody’s buying this.

    Just give the goddamn links will you? As I pointed out, Michael withdrew his assertion, so if you’re counting that you just a moron.

    I will when I feel it needed. You just refuse to do your own legwork for fear of what you’ll find.

    C’mon. I dare you. Show me the links.

    Oh, come on. You can’t even scroll up a few comments? You are hopeless.

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  51. Hal says:

    Okay, last comment. I looked through the comments. I’ve already repeatedly told you what I found. I’ve challenged you to show me differently. You’ve refused.

    You’re a little child. Cya puppet boy.

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  52. [...] Obama campaign has made quite a big deal of John McCain’s campaign contributions from Big Oil than  and the Democratic National Committee even created an Exxon-McCain [...]

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