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Cotton holds press conference to challenge Pryor to unmoderated debates April 13, 2014 at 6:21 p.m.

To be fair, one mustn't exclude other party candidates. The Green Party candidate Mark Swaney is quite a sharp debater and would have no problems whipping Cotton in battle of wits.

BTW -- the actual format of the Lincoln-Douglas debates was one speaking for 60 minutes, the other for 90 minutes, and then back to the first speaker for 30 minutes. Talk about producing zzzzz's. The other option is where they interrupt each other for about an hour, making viewers reach for the channel changer within minutes of the freeforall start.

Moderators serve a good purpose: keep the speakers on topic, manage the debaters time, and help present in-depth questions on the issues. Also, it would be nice to include a format where the public can submit questions.

Cotton's record is the poorest of the two candidates: one can hardly point to any accomplishments or bills he got passed. He actually has cost Arkansans benefits and jobs. Pryor or Swaney would have a field day holding Cotton's dismal record up to the light of public scrutiny. Cotton's strategy will just be to repeat the tired wingnut mantra "obama-obama-obama-obama". Discerning listeners will soon tire of that kind of empty argumentation.

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LETTERS April 12, 2014 at 1 p.m.

In reference to the request for data on global warming: see realclimate(dot)org. All the data requested (and plenty more most lay folks don't even consider) is presented by the experts with plenty of links to access the research cited.

Sick9, your statement that there is no global warming data is a lie. Shame on you for being so foolish to think folks would fall for your fabulations.

The moving finger, having writ, moves on. (Uncle Omar)

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Score one for the kids April 10, 2014 at 8:07 p.m.

John said it well enough. What little argument against it was based on cherry-picked information or semi-anecdotal references. Purebunk still maintains standards that require negative numbers to properly identify. That's why he likes absolute values so much.

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Higher gas prices likely for summer April 9, 2014 at 6:28 p.m.

If you have noticed Stupordude's notice you will have noticed that his notice is not worth noticing.

But never fear, somewhere Jessica Simpson is thanking the Allmighty Whitey for S-dupe.

And, nothing describes L'Stupe better than the immortal words of former Prez GW Bushmeister: "They misunderestimated me."

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Higher gas prices likely for summer April 9, 2014 at 1:32 p.m.

Recommend online article:
Historical Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) Data byTim McMahon on March 18, 2014

The chart provided breaks down the CPI numbers by year & by month. When comparing the yearly numbers, one finds that the CPI change is very consistent over 4 to 8 year spans (which I used to check how various presidential administration performed). The current administration is on a trend to be slightly better than some of the recent presidential terms, provided similar average rate changes continue in the next 3 years.

But, be warned that a low CPI change gives a very incomplete picture. Citing an article by McMahon in 2009:
The Historical Inflation Rates show that even when we have had price deflation (falling prices) the country has been prosperous if the reason for the falling prices is that goods are being produced so economically that prices can fall and producers can still make a profit. This generally occurs after major productivity enhancements like the invention of the assembly line or the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

Disinflationary pressures in the late 1990s and early 2000s were most likely the result of cheap productive capacity in China and other former communist countries coupled with the deflationary forces of the 9/11 attack and the stock market crash.

The deflationary period that began in late 2008 was the direct result of a collapsing stock market which destroyed trillions of dollars of paper “wealth”. This caused millions of people to cut back on expenditures and banks to refuse to loan to questionable borrowers. This type of deflation is not the same as a productivity induced deflation.
The CPI change from 2008 to 2009 saw the following: comparing January numbers from both years, Jan 09 was 0.063 higher; comparing December numbers likewise, Dec 09 was 0.676 lower. Yet, as noted by McMahon, the low CPI came during a major economic slump and crisis.
The key to CPI is simple: low but stable inflation. Stability is the main key for market forces -- that's what they react to. Uncertainty is anathema to the market.

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Higher gas prices likely for summer April 9, 2014 at 9:32 a.m.

Part 2

But America desperately needs to develop new sources of energy.
That's a fact that virtually everyone agrees upon. But TransCanada estimates that, if completed, the Keystone XL pipeline would provide just five percent of U.S. oil needs. That doesn't really give America a great deal of energy security, doesn't reduce our dependence on foreign oil (remember, Canada is a foreign country with its own government and its own priorities), and the Keystone pipeline won't lower prices at the pump in any meaningful way, if at all.
Critics of the project -- and there are millions of them -- note that the Keystone pipeline network will do little more than enable America's crippling addiction to oil, and further delay our development of less-polluting renewable sources of energy.

There has to be some way to address the environmental concerns.
Some efforts have been made to minimize the impact: The Republican governor of Nebraska, Dave Heineman -- whose state is almost completely underlain by the Ogallala Aquifer and is utterly dependent on its water -- has insisted that the Keystone XL pipeline be rerouted to minimize the risk to Nebraska's land and water.
Even if it is rerouted, the oil industry has a miserable track record on health, safety and environmental issues. The State Department has found that the existing Keystone pipeline has already failed 14 times since it began operations in 2010 -- one of those leaks dumped 21,000 gallons of crude oil -- and the new Keystone XL pipeline could be reasonably expected to fail about two times a year each year of operation.

From the mining wastes created by strip mines and open-pit mines, to the water quality problems caused by oil leaks and pipeline failures, to the air pollution problems caused by an increase in greenhouse gases and toxic fumes, the Keystone pipeline network is fraught with real environmental hazards, both immediate and long-term.

SOURCE: Marc Lallanilla, who is a science, health and environmental journalist. A member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, Marc has decades of experience as an environmental consultant, a writer and an editor.


Marc has spent many years as an environmental consultant and natural resource planner for private companies and governmental agencies, including Unocal, the City of Austin, Texas and the California Department of Water Resources. Additionally, he has worked as a writer and editor covering topics as diverse as prefab housing, war and the environment, green-collar jobs and sustainable design. His work has appeared in print and online publications like the Los Angeles Times, ABCNews(dot)com and elsewhere.

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Higher gas prices likely for summer April 9, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

Two part entry:
(Part 1)
Is oil from tar sands different from other oil sources?
Very different. Because tar sands -- also called oil sands -- aren't in liquid form, they can't be pumped out of the ground like other sources of oil. Instead, tar sands are mined using open-pit or strip-mining techniques. Getting the oil out of the tar sands is a more complex process, too, requiring extensive extraction, separation and refining before it can even be moved through a pipeline. All this extra processing means that tar sands oil is more expensive to deliver and has a bigger environmental impact, with greenhouse gas emissions that are estimated to be about 20 percent greater than other oil sources.
Is that the only problem with the Keystone pipeline?
That's just one problem. A larger and thornier issue is the proposed route of the new Keystone XL pipeline, which travels directly over the Ogallala Aquifer, an enormous -- and enormously important -- underground lake of water that extends from South Dakota to Texas. The Ogallala Aquifer provides drinking water for millions of people and irrigates a whopping 20 percent of America's agricultural harvest. An oil leak into the Ogallala would have devastating effects on residents, businesses and farmland in the Great Plains. (This NRDC report has a map of the Ogallala Aquifer and the Keystone pipeline network.)
But the Keystone pipeline would provide jobs, right?
Some jobs would certainly be created by the Keystone XL pipeline. How many jobs, and how long-lasting they would be, is the subject of an ongoing debate. TransCanada, the Canadian developer of the pipeline, estimates that the project would "create more than 20,000 high-wage manufacturing jobs and construction jobs in 2011-2012." The U.S. State Department, which is directly involved in the Keystone XL pipeline since it crosses an international border, places the number of jobs created much lower, in the neighborhood of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs.
Critics of the project, however, note that most of the jobs created are temporary jobs that would not last beyond the construction phase; the number of permanent jobs created is not expected to be more than 200 or 300 positions at most. And an analysis by the Washington Post finds that many of the jobs being hyped by supporters of the Keystone pipeline project include jobs like dancers, bartenders and hairdressers, which makes all these optimistic job estimates seem more than a little specious.

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Higher gas prices likely for summer April 9, 2014 at 9:21 a.m.

Bloomberg Business Week:

This argument is tenuous at best—one that relies on some broad assumptions that, even if they do come to pass, are years down the road. At worst, it’s a politically motivated simplification of a complex issue that will have next-to-no impact on the fortunes of Russia or Europe. In other words, it’s wrong.
For every barrel of Canadian crude that Keystone would bring to the U.S. Gulf Coast, that is one more barrel of crude displaced on the world oil market. Would that lower oil prices? Not necessarily. For one, Keystone would move only 830,000 barrels of oil a day. The world uses about 92 million barrels a day. Increasing the supply by less than 1 percent isn’t going to do much to prices.
The idea that any of that new Canadian crude would make its way to Europe is a non-starter: the U.S. is banned from exporting crude oil. Approving Keystone doesn’t change that. So might Keystone cause U.S. refiners in the Gulf to export more refined fuel to Europe? Perhaps, but they’re doing that already. As of December 2013, the amount of refined petroleum products exported by the U.S. to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. had increased by more than 400 percent vs. 12 months prior.

Finally, even if President Obama were to approve Keystone tomorrow, construction wouldn’t be completed until about 2016. That’s no solution for the current situation we face in Ukraine.

Instead of focusing on Keystone, Palin and pro-energy conservatives should be talking about the U.S. exporting natural gas. Europe gets 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia, almost all of which flows through Ukraine. There’s a very good case to be made for the U.S. to use its new-found natural gas abundance as a way to blunt Russia’s control over Europe’s (and Asia’s) natural gas supply.
There are lot of reasons to approve Keystone, (and plenty more not to) but to argue that going ahead would help save Europe from Russia’s grasp isn’t close to being one of them.

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Don’t make victory lap yet April 9, 2014 at 8:14 a.m.

And biased, disappointed people are still biased and disappointed after reading how their favorites trail in this poll.

The correct question and one which John has provided the answer for is why Hutchinson and Cotton are mired in the middle and even slipping.

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LETTERS April 8, 2014 at 12:52 p.m.

Maybe Steve Gibson remembers reading about a Republican president named Teddy Roosevelt who fought big business and power lobbies for trying to take over this nation.
Besides Sickmind has no room to talk. He's just a puppet who dances for his masters.

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