Category Archives: Politics

CPAC 2013 Paul Ryan Full Speech Video

Paul Ryan American Flag Photo

Very sad that Paul Ryan didn’t replace Joe Biden as Vice President.

Paul Ryan stepped onto the CPAC 2013 stage in this speech (full video).

He is the current House Budget Committee Leader (paraphrase) and Congressman from Wisconsin and the former 2012 Republican Vice Presidential nominee to Mitt Romney that you surely all remember well.

In this speech he speaks about the fiscal issues that America is facing and his plan to reverse our current course (which includes repealing Obamacare).

I love Paul Ryan and look forward to seeing him have a bright future. I hope that he will run again for President some day.


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CPAC 2013 Rick Santorum Full Speech Video At Conservative Political Action Conference 40th Anniversary

Rick Santorum American Flag Photo

This guy would’ve made a GREAT President.

Rick Santorum gave a powerful and touching speech at CPAC 2013. You’ll remember former Senator Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania as one of the 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee’s who faced off fiercely against Mitt Romney and nearly won… earning second place to Mitt’s first (third went to Newt Gingrich) in the right to face-off against President Barack Obama.

During Rick Santorum’s speech he speaks passionately about life and the ideal’s of America, following a close death in the family just the day before his speech that greatly effected him and his loved ones. It’s an incredible speech, watch it!


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CPAC 2013 Rand Paul Full Speech Video At Conservative Political Action Conference 40th Anniversary

Rand Paul American Flag PhotoRand Paul (Ron Paul’s son) gave an incredible speech at CPAC 2013. He’s been making waves and gaining huge support from Tea Partiers, Independents, Libertarians, Conservatives and a few Democrats following his 13 hour filibuster at the Senate due to Obama’s CIA Director nominee.

If you want to know what Rand Paul is all about, and what his new budget that entirely eliminates the Dept. of Education contains, check out his awesome CPAC 2013 speech.


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CPAC 2013 Allen West Full Speech Video At Conservative Political Action Conference 40th Anniversary

Allen West Facebook Cover Timeline CoverColonel Allen West gave an absolutely amazing speech at CPAC 2013. Here is the antithesis of Barack Obama, a strong black Conservative Republican who is a doer, not a talker. Not a speech writer and an academic professor, but a war veteran who talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Let’s hope our next President is more like Lt. Col. Allen West.


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Political Photo of the Day – Obama Pie Kid (Happy Pi Day 2013!)

Obama Pie Kid (Happy Pi Day 2013)

Happy Pie Day 2013!

Obama pie kid! In celebration of Pi Day 2013!

Hahahaha. Gotta love this photo. It’s great to see playful pics of the President visiting with children, these pics always bring a smile to my face. :D

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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Photo Of the Day, Politics


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Why Gas Prices Fluctuate (Did You Know 95% of Gas Stations Are Owned By Independent Convenience Store Companies?)

Why Are Gas Prices So Damn High Banner Artwork

Why are gas prices too damn high?!

Why do gas prices fluctuate? Did you know 95% of gas stations are independently owned by convenience store companies? Big Oil only owns 1% of actual gas stations, that set the prices you pay at the pump.

I came across this really interesting article on Herman Cain’s website CainTV (You’ll remember him as the black Pizza Businessman that ran for Republican President in 2012), posted on JobCreator’, and thought I’d share it (which they encourage, they even write at the bottom of the article… “Please steal our stuff!” :D)

Gas Prices And My Mom

As I drove my kids home from school Monday, I noted a nearby gas station had regular unleaded posted at $3.74 per gallon. My children will attest to the next part. As we drove by, I announced to them that “after I drop you guys off, I’m coming back to fill up, because the two stations a half mile down the road has it for $3.99 a gallon.”

For a 2003 Ford Explorer, that’s a pretty significant savings.

Less than 20 minutes later, I returned to take advantage of this quarter-per-gallon difference, only to find the price had jumped to the same $3.99 per gallon as its competitors down the street.

When I realized how much more I’d be forking over to fill my SUV, I heard echoes of conversations my late mother and I had over gas prices. (“Conversations”, by the way, is a polite word for outright arguments between mothers and daughters.)

Notice of any fluctuation in the price of gasoline would inevitably prompt numerous complaints from my mom. The most common of which became the basis of our frequent ‘conversations’: Her belief that gas station owners collude with one another to rig prices so as to make tons of money from gasoline sales at the expense of hardworking, taxpaying motorists.

My mother was a smart woman. But her career path of registered nurse-turned-college instructor took her nowhere near energy policy or economics. Like many Americans, she simply never took the time to see how gas prices are determined and just who benefits from them.

My trade, on the other hand, is journalism that has conjoined with public policy. I tried to counter her arguments with at least rudimentary facts and logic to prove her wrong, but I failed on every level. I know fuel sales profits are miniscule for retailers. I know commodities futures play a role in wholesale gas prices, and this has a big impact on how retailers set their prices. I also know ‘Big Oil’ doesn’t own each individual retailer.

But try telling any of this to my mother.

I may have had more success if I had the National Association of Convenience Stores’ Annual Fuels Report 2011 in hand during these ‘conversations’. Since convenience stores (a.k.a. small businesses) sell about 80 percent of all the fuel bought in the United States, the NACS knows of which it speaks.

Black Guy Gas Prices Are Too Damn High Jimmy McMillan Republican 2012 Presidential Candidate

Everyone remembers this black guy? Right? RIGHT?!

I’d be able to tell my mom the following, and show it to her in black and white:

* The typical retailer averages about 3 cents per gallon in profit. This is based on the premise that it costs a retailer some 12 cents to sell a gallon of gasoline, with a five year average markup of 15 cents. Consider as well that credit card fees per transaction can eat into even that 3 cent profit. In fact, in 2009, credit and debit card fees averaged 4.7 cents per gallon, with plastic used for 60 to 70 percent of all transactions at the pump. Gas stations make a much bigger profit on non-fuel sales.

* Small businesses ‘often don’t have the resources to brand their stores as anything beyond the brand of fuel they sell.’ That leads people like my mom to think all gas stations are owned by ‘big oil’. In reality, 95 percent of stores are owned by independent convenience store companies (only one percent, by the way, is owned by one of the ‘big oil’ companies.)

* Motor fuel sales accounted for more than two-thirds of all convenience store sales in 2009. But with low profit margins, fuel sales brought in less than one third of the stores’ gross margin dollars. (In normal-speak, this means gasoline sales accounted for two-thirds of the stores’ revenue but only one-third of the stores’ profits.)

NACS also provides a handy primer on just what influences gas prices, boiling it down to two basic areas.

First, the retailer itself:

* Branded vs. Unbranded Fuel – This is like my local grocery store which pays much more to sell General Mills’ Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal vs. its generic brand called ‘Cinnamon Swirls’. Therefore, the store has to charge me more for General Mills’ cereals than its own brand. Like the grocery store, fuel retailers pay more for brand name fuel, which means they have to charge a little more at the pump.

* Dealer Tank Wagon vs. Rack – Basically, a ‘tank wagon’ delivers fuel right to the gas station. This may cost more than the retailer having to go get it from a ‘rack’ or terminal.

* Length of Contract – A retailer could have a long-term contract with a specific refiner. A contract can be for 20 years or longer, which NACS says can also affect the price a retailer pays for fuel.

* Volume – As with nearly all other businesses, fuel retailers could get a better deal buying in bulk.

Secondly, and much more impactful, is what happens before the gasoline even reaches the retailer:

* Crude Oil Prices – According to NACS, this is the granddaddy of all gas price influencers. Not only does the cost of crude oil account for 68 percent of the retail price of gasoline, but they can have “huge swings.” And with about 42 gallons in a barrel, “a rough calculation is that retail prices ultimately move approximately 2.5 cents for every $1 change in the price of crude oil.”

* Replacement Costs – Since stores typically sell 120,000 gallons of gas a month, they need to think about how much they’ll shell out for their next fuel shipment. As NACS puts it, “even slight wholesale price variations can increase a retailer’s replacement cost by hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars.”

* Taxes – These have nowhere near the impact on our day to day gas prices as the crude oil fluctuations. While there is much to be debated about the federal and state fuel taxes, it is highly improbable there was a 25 cents per gallon tax increase in the Michigan town over a 20 minute period on a Monday afternoon.

That leaves refining costs and distribution/marketing, which, like taxes, tend to be more static in terms of the frequent price hikes and drops we see on a day-to-day basis.

I’ll never know if all of these facts would have convinced my mom to let go of her lifelong stable of preconceived – and incorrect – notions about why gas prices at all the neighborhood stations go up the same amount all within a few hours of each other.

But it’s not too late to explain to my kids on the next trip home from school. And they’re both boys. I do not anticipate the same degree of ‘conversation’ on this topic.


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Photo of the Day – Obama Martin Luthor King MLK Day Painting. Artwork By Ben Heine. Beautiful Piece

Obama Martin Luthor King MLK Day Painting By Ben Heine

Absolutely gorgeous painting.

Martin Luthor King Jr. and Barack Obama together in this amazing painting by Ben Heine via DevianArt. Two major events collided recently that are absolutely incredible: The 2nd inauguration of the first ever black President transpired on the same day as Martin Luthor King Jr. Day, a day that celebrates all MLK did for the civil rights of minorities and African Americans in America.

It was a historical moment of epic proportions whose historical impact cannot be denied by anyone. Martin Luthor King Jr. paved the way for Barack Obama’s and other blacks who aspire to the highest office in the land; and gives them hope that they can too, one day, lay claim to it. Hopefully it will be someone like Herman Cain, Condoleezza Rice, Mia Love, Allen West, Collin Powell, Tim Scott or Bobby Jindel… But I digress.

This is an absolutely gorgeous, beautiful painting. Kudos to artist Ben Heine of DeviantArt for drawing it. Check out his DeviantArt profile and give him some love!


Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Artwork, History, Photo Of the Day, Politics


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