Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Fiction List

After a few days off (complete with several good volumes of summer fiction), I returned to find an email newsletter from Mr. Rogers. I don't know if there's an award for Boldest Use of Inaccurate Facts, but if there was such a thing I'd be the first to nominate Mr. Rogers!

In the interest of fair play, I'll stick to reviewing the substance of his letter... no comment on the icky earth-tone graphics or run-on sentences found therein.

Each item in the newsletter reflected Rogers' amazing ability to spin the issues. Check out the things he takes credit for when he's back home, and compare it with what he actually did while in Washington:

He's Extending Unemployment Benefits for Michigan Workers!

Despite his repeated insistence that all unemployed folks need is a few hundred dollars' worth of a stimulus check,
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, said Friday that Congress should not spend more on government programs like unemployment compensation, but instead should quickly get the rebate checks into the hands of taxpayers.
Mr. Rogers got a little nervous as spring wore on into summer, since the jobless rate didn't improve with the "stimulus." So he whistled his usual weaselly tune and voted against extending unemployment comp, all the while tossing out a constant stream of excuses to make it sound as though he cared.

He's Fighting Medicare Cuts for Michigan Seniors!

Rogers says that even though he didn't want to see doctors take a 10% cut, he couldn't "support this fix" at seniors' expense.

Well, it wasn't at seniors' expense -- it was a cut to Medicare Advantage, a program that benefits private insurance companies. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that between 2007 and 2017, spending on MA will total $1.5 trillion -- more than 25% of all spending for benefits under traditional Medicare. (Click here for a previous post on the wasteful Medicare Advantage program.)

He's for Energy Independence by 2015!

Mr. Rogers has been pushing HARD on this one -- he's been on WHMI, the Jack Ebeling Show, WXYZ-Detroit... he's even got a cartoon on his website to help 'splain the tricky parts. According to Rogers, the answer isn't conservation, technological innovation, alternative energy or even more efficient cars. Nope, what we need is to drill for oil in right here in America. Never mind that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (home to official U.S. energy statistics) says we won't see anything from the OCS [Outer Continental Shelf] for quite a while:
The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. [snip] For the lower 48 OCS, annual crude oil production in 2030 is projected to be 7 percent higher—2.4 million barrels per day in the OCS access case compared with 2.2 million barrels per day in the reference case (Figure 20). Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.
Translation? It's going to take a while to get this out of the ground. When it does come out, it won't give us too much more than we already have. And it will be sold on the world oil market, which means our production is literally a drop in the bucket -- so no downward pressure on prices.

Oh, Mr. Rogers! Everyone enjoys a good work of fiction during the summer, but that doesn't mean we want to pay you $162,000 a year to tell stories.

No comments: