Vision, Mission, and Strategy

Hillbilly Politics

Monthly Archives: August 2008

First, apologies because this will be extremely long. Unfortunately, the article writers had to use a lot of words to make their case. I will endeavor to make it as short as possible, so you really should read the entire linked article.

6 things Palin pick says about McCain

The selection of a running mate is among the most consequential and the most defining decisions a presidential nominee can make. John McCain‘s pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says a lot about his decision-making – and some of it is downright breathtaking. […]

1. He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters – and too close for comfort in several states, such as Indiana and Montana, that the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election – and very sick of the Bush years.

McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike.

So, Palin is a desperate move? Hardly. Anyone following the explosion of jubilation across the conservative blogosphere and news outlets would see the brilliance of the his pick. In addition, less than two days after the annoucement, McCain/Palin drew in $7 million. Is that what one calls desperation these days?

2. He’s willing to gamble – bigtime. Let’s face it: This is not the pick of a self-confident candidate. It is the political equivalent of a trick play or, as some Democrats called it, a Hail Mary pass in football. McCain talks incessantly about experience, and then goes and selects a woman he hardly knows, who hardly knows foreign policy and who can hardly be seen as instantly ready for the presidency.

He is smart enough to know it could work, at least politically. Many Republicans see this pick as a brilliant stroke, because it will be difficult for Democrats to run hard against a woman in the wake of the Hillary Clinton drama. Will this push those disgruntled Hillary voters McCain’s way? Perhaps. But this is hardly aimed at them: It is directed at the huge bloc of independent women who could decide this election – especially those who do not see abortion as a make-or-break issue.

McCain has a history of taking dares. Palin represents his biggest one yet.

Why isn’t it she pick of a self-confident candidate? McCain challenged Obama to twelve debates. Obama refused them, yet, McCain is the one who lacks confidence? Sarah Palin is the right choice for McCain. McCain has stated over and over, ad infintum, that he wants to reform Washington, D.C. Palin has a reputation as a reformer herself plus she’s an outsider with good instincts and a whole lot of common sense. What better way to make sure his reform message is heard loud and clear? 

As for the female factor, I suppose McCain could have picked Bobby Jindal and still got his message across but Palin has a bit more experience than Jindal plus the fact that Jindal wants to work on his state first. I like that about him. He doesn’t want to leave a job unfinished. I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of Jindal in the future and not just because of Gustav, either.

It’s not taking a dare. It is actually playing it safe. With that choice, he solidified his support from the conservative base who was left hanging after the primaries. In addition, McCain has shown he can keep a secret in comparison to the botched announcement of Obama’s running mate. That says something many may have overlooked in the furor. McCain had a plan and executed it to his timetable. Obama had a plan, too, that was doomed from the start. Perhaps, someone will say something about it was only an a VP choice announcement but it speaks volumes to his management skills when there might be state secrets involved.  

3. He’s worried about the political implications of his age. Like a driver overcorrecting out of a swerve, he chooses someone who is two years younger than the youthful Obama and 28 years younger than he is. (He turned 72 on Friday.) The father-daughter comparison was inevitable when they appeared next to each other.

The “Byrd Basics”

First elected to the Senate in 1958
Born: November 20, 1917, in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Home: Sophia, West Virginia
Education: American U., J.D. 1963; Marshall University, B.A., 1994
Married on May 29,1937, to his high school sweetheart, Erma Ora Byrd

He’s a Democrat. He’s still in the Senate. Do you still want to talk about age? Oh, and Biden is a youngster, too, I suppose.

4. He’s not worried about the actuarial implications of his age. He thinks he’s in fine fettle and Palin wouldn’t be performing the main constitutional duty of a vice president, which is standing by in case a president dies or becomes incapacitated. If he were really concerned about an inexperienced person sitting in the Oval Office, we would be writing about vice presidential nominee Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge or Condoleezza Rice.

There is no plausible way McCain could say that he picked Palin, who was only elected governor in 2006 and whose most extended public service was as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (population 8,471), because she was ready to be president on Day One.

Nor can McCain argue that he was looking for someone he could trust as a close adviser. Most people know the staff at the local Starbucks better than McCain knows Palin. They met for the first time last February at a National Governors Association meeting in Washington. Then, they spoke again – by phone – on Sunday while she was at the Alaska state fair and he was at home in Arizona. […]

Is he or isn’t he? Oh, and let’s not forget the “experience” factor. Truth is, Sarah Palin has a thicker resume than Obama, yet, the Democrats believe he’s The One to be president. 

Plausible? Would you know plausible if it hit you in the face? The only “plausible” reason you’d accept is the one you put forward yourselves and label plausible, whether it really is or not. How do you know how many times they’ve spoken? Have you tapped McCain’s phones?

You can’t have it both ways although it’s a recurrent failure of the Democrats: Always trying to have it both ways. 

5. He’s worried about his conservative base. If he had room to maneuver, there were lots of people McCain could have selected who would have represented a break from Washington politics as usual. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman comes to mind (and it certainly came to McCain’s throughout the process). He had no such room. GOP stalwarts were furious over trial balloons about the possibility of choosing a supporter of abortion rights, including the possibility that he would reach out to his friend. […]

Oh, please. Choosing Lieberman would have been no “politics as usual?” Yes, we were furious over that possibility. However, if the VP selection were strong in other areas, we could have lived with it because it’s not like much would get done in that area anyway with a Democratic majority Congress.

What McCain did was “fake you out.” Palin was mentioned months ago and discounted. You’re so used to phony and fake politics, you don’t even recognize a “fake-out” when you see it. He played your game and won. 

6. At the end of the day, McCain is still McCain. People may find him a refreshing maverick or an erratic egotist. In either event, he marches to his own beat.

On the upside, his team did manage to play to the media’s love of drama, fanning speculation about his possible choices and maximizing coverage of the decision.

On the potential downside, the drama was evidently entirely genuine. The fact that McCain only spoke with Palin about the vice presidency for the first time on Sunday, and that he was seriously considering Lieberman until days ago, suggests just how hectic and improvisational his process was.

In the end, this selection gives him a chance to reclaim the mantle of a different kind of politician intent on changing Washington. He once had a legitimate claim to this: After all, he took on his own party over campaign finance reform and immigration. He jeopardized this claim in recent months by embracing ideas he once opposed (Bush tax cuts) and ideas that appeared politically motivated (gas tax holiday).

Spontaneity, with a touch of impulsiveness, is one of the traits that attract some of McCain’s admirers. Whether it’s a good calling card for a potential president will depend on the reaction in coming days to what, for the moment, looks like the most daring vice presidential selection in generations.

Yes, at the end of the day McCain is still McCain. However, in your summation, you forget one thing: McCain has said time and again that he wants to reform Washington, D.C.  His choice of Sarah Palin made clear his intent and created a Reform ticket that is going to be difficult for the Democrats to beat.

McCain has made some turns in a different direction from past positions but each time he had a reasoned explanation for those changes, whereas Obama claims he always supported this or that thing we have seen as a change from a past position.  Yet, there are some things McCain will never change on, such as illegal immigration, which is another story much too long in this already long article.

McCain created a ticket that has the Obama camp scrambling as well as their supporters. Expect more of this sort of smear, not to mention the rampant sexism from the party of identity politics. And let’s not forget Obama’s reaction (a reaction he’s now scrambling to cover up).

Message to the Democratic Party: In times past, you’ve shown yourselves to be sore losers. If you really want change someone can believe, changing that aspect of your party would be the place to start, as in: Stop Being Sore Losers. However, I fully expect, whether McCain wins by a small majority or a large one, the Democratic Party will once again challenge the election results.

My husband was fired about two weeks ago. Not for doing a poor job in his position. Not for not making the company profits, but for being too old. This happened the day before his 50th birthday. Not only did they fire him for being too old, they haven’t paid him his last paycheck, which is sure to have and has had financial repercussions. They’ve begun already but we’ll survive them. We have to admit this is a first. Being in construction, he has been laid off and so on because there just weren’t enough jobs to go around, as new construction waxes and wanes with the economy, but being fired is a new one, especially for the reason he was fired. The person who did the firing told my husband he wasn’t impressed with his 30 years experience in the field, having only 3 years of his own experience as not even considered an apprentice craftsman, yet, and numerous courses under his belt as well.

Now, in a slow economy, it really doesn’t make sense to fire one of the very few people in your company who has the knowledge and experience to bring in a construction project on budget and with a healthy profit, but that’s what this company did. Oh, the new owners of this company are young, too. When my husband contacted one of them about his being fired, he was told it “was probably best because they wanted to build the company around people their own age.” This was when he also found out the person who fired him had been promoted to Field Supervisor.

All they have left now are young people. Young people with lots of book knowledge and no practical experience. Oh, one other thing they did was they doctored my husband’s last time sheet to say he quit voluntarily in spite of the fact that he was fired in front of witnesses. This will prevent him applying for unemployment benefits. Why would they do that, you ask? Because they have to pay the insurance and it goes up if there are a lot of claims against them.

Can we say lawsuit? Actually, yes, we can. Will we? Probably not. Yes, it’s been a demoralizing experience and yes, it is hitting us a bit hard in the financial department, but in the end, there’s no amount of money that will repair the damage done. In the end, the damage the company has done to itself will be more than enough reparations but that’s another story and not really worth telling. 

Welcome to the left. The way this company is being operated reminds me of the Democratic Convention and the happenings around it. I’m not watching live but can’t help but be inundated with video clips and parts of speeches and so on.  Everywhere you look there are young people with lots of education and no practical knowledge, but easy to control. They believe they are liberating themselves while signing on to government control. Every censure they commit will, in time, be committed against them tenfold. When they realize what they’ve done they’ll chafe against the bonds to which they willingly submitted but there will be no other recourse as they are bent on destroying the greatest democracy on the face of the earth.

For a good idea of how the young left thinks, here’s This

Just like there’s no amount of money to repair the damage done to us in terms of self-worth and other frustrations with which we have been beset, there is no amount of money that will repair the damage done by people who will advocate and force upon us a system that has failed time and again throughout history. They will work to hide the bad parts while talking about how they will save this nation’s soul and make the world what it should be. They talk about change as if it’s some miracle that will happen the day Obama is elected to the presidency. Without practical real world knowledge, I suppose it’s easy to buy that notion. However, those with real world knowledge know that change must come from inside firstand is usually commiserate with life experience. Only children believe it just happens magically. I know, raising my own children, that this was a reoccurring thought process. They believed that when they became a certain age, they would magically be imbued with all the knowledge that other people of that age have; that they didn’t have to listen to older and wiser people who have already experienced what they are about to experience. It never worked out for them that way, which they slowly realized over time as the knowledge never materialized at the magic hour, no matter how often they wished for it. It’s called growing up. I’m unsure why some believe it would work out for a nation in that manner. Perhaps because they haven’t learned that lesson, yet.

One could respond to this by pointing out that you have to let them learn from their mistakes and I agree with that to a point; the point where their mistakes can do irreparable harm not only to themselves but to others. Before that point is reached, those with more knowledge and experience have a duty to interfere and prevent the harm from happening, in spite of the fact that we’re hated and reviled for it.

Unlike waiting for future vindication against that company who fired my husband for being too old for them, we can’t allow the attrocities of total government control to happen because, once done, it will be impossible to undo without a complete dismantling of the country and starting anew.

So, we fight and continue to fight against such encroachment. In the end, we may lose as it seems we have steadily been losing to a larger bloated and ever greedier government, but that doesn’t mean we stop fighting. If we stop fighting, we’ll surely lose and the result will be untold suffering. I can’t live with that on my conscience. How about you?

At about 2:48 into this video, ostensibly about the new movie Religulous, Bill Maher makes a statement: “… Americans are too dumb to be governed.” He further states, in summation, that all you have to do is package it just right and people will buy anything. Unfortunately, he’s right.

My initial response was he was wrong because it offended me and I try hard to have faith in the American people. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized he’s right. The majority of Americans will buy anything as long as it’s packaged just right. What the left is selling is the same old tired failed marxist policies they’ve been selling for decades upon decades. They just packaged it differently and called it new and improved in the form of Obama. Here’s a guy who talks well while the only things he’s really saying that should matter, you don’t even hear because of the way he’s talked it up.

How many times have you gone to a grocery store and bought a product because it has this new packaging and said new and improved only to find the only thing new about it was the packaging? How about Microsoft Windows? What’s so great about Vista that XP can’t handle and actually does some things worse? The price and the packaging. But you gotta have it because it’s new and improved, right? This is marketing 101.

By the way, the big wig of Microsoft, Bill Gates, is also an avid leftist.

Take away all Obama’s trappings that have hyped him into rock star/cult  status and what do you have? The same old tired failed marxist policies the left has been trying to sell for decades upon decades. There is nothing there but that. Everything Obama promises to do has been done before with disastrous effects, so what makes it different this time? The packaging.

Unfortunately, there’s a huge swath of America that really is that dumb.  As for the fact that Bill Maher, an avid leftist made the remark. Well, the left won’t care. I doubt it even registered with them because they are that dumb. Yeah, I said it, so there.

If I’m wrong, prove it.  Prove to me that his policies aren’t the same old tired failed marxist policies of the past. Prove to me he’s not just an empty suit trying to force feed us marxism in a pretty package. Not by telling me I’m stupid or calling me a bunch of infantile names but by actually proving that Obama’s somebody worth voting for outside the love affair with the MSM; that you’re not that dumb.

She makes a compelling argument:

Is America ready for a black president? Absolutely; it has been for some time. We probably would have had one by now if the black community had ever supported a conservative the way they are now supporting one of the most liberal. More than likely the first black president will be a Republican.

On August 5, the New York Young Republican Club had a fund-raiser in Manhattan for Colonel Allen West, who is running for Congress. The irony is that Colonel West is running for Congress in Florida and therefore has a chance. The black community in New York only supports Democrats.

I followed the link to his campaign site,, and read his superb bio. Colonel West has a B.S. and M.S. in political science; spent 22 years in the military and won a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals (one with Valor), and, yes, he’s black. The best recommendation for his candidacy may be that Keith Olbermann put him on his Worst Person in the World list.  […]

New York is not the only state that dooms black conservatives. In 2006, Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and a man many Republicans would support for president, ran for the U.S. Senate and almost won. He managed to win the support of prominent blacks such as Russell Simmons and Michael Mfume. He even had a group called Democrats for Steele organize large turnouts at events. Mr. Steele almost won against Benjamin Cardin until Parkinson’s sufferer Michael J. Fox came to town and played the sympathy card, falsely alleging that Mr. Steele was against stem cell research. To this day many voters still do not understand the difference between embryonic and adult stem cell research. Had Mr. Steele had the full support of his community this tactic would not have succeeded, but as usual, many blacks still vote straight down the Democratic ticket.

One would think that a Hall of Fame football star such as Lynn Swann would have aced his run for Pennsylvania governor, but once again, he lost because he ran as a Republican.

The blacks who have attained the strongest national leadership roles have been Republicans: the first black secretary of state, Colin Powell, and the first black female secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.

Republicans have been ready for a black president since Lincoln.

Read the middle.  It’s informative and makes a good case. Not much I can add to the article except to note the irony. In her mention of Steele, she left out the Oreo cookies incident. It’s very ironic that some of the best black leaders come out of the Republican party, the so-called party of racists, while the Democratic Party has to use the race card to get a foot in the door.

I hope she’s right. I’d vote for a good conservative candidate regardless of race. Here’s wishing we had a good conservative candidate, regardless of race.

Emphasis added.

The rich are not so different after all: Hamptons town struggles with $12M deficit

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) _ The social calendar is still a whirl of glamorous lawn parties, wine tastings, gallery openings, beach get-togethers and gala benefits in the Hamptons, the summer playground for the millionaire Learjet Set. But down at Town Hall, the local government could use a handout.

East Hampton, one of the main towns on the eastern end of Long Island that make up the Hamptons, is burdened with a deficit that could exceed $12 million. And that has become a rich source of irony, given the community’s spectacular wealth and its concentration of Wall Street money-management talent.

“LEA$T HAMPTON IS GOING BROKE; GLAM TOWN $12M IN THE HOLE,” screamed a recent New York Post headline.

Exactly how the town got into this mess is under investigation. The state comptroller is reviewing the books, and the district attorney has subpoenaed records.

Town Supervisor William McGintee acknowledged making mistakes since taking office in 2004 but said he is also a victim of economic circumstances, including rising health care costs for employees and waning tax revenue because of the downturn in real estate.

“Everybody perceives East Hampton to be the home of the rich and famous,” said McGintee, the target of a petition drive to remove him from office. “When the summer’s over, it’s just the same old town just like all these other towns.”

While East Hampton is home to billionaires and celebrities such as financier Ronald Perelman, Alec Baldwin and Steven Spielberg, the Hamptons also have a large number of working-class people, many of them illegal immigrants, who mow the lawns, trim the hedges, clean the swimming pools, park the cars, serve the hors d’oeuvres, tidy up the mansions and do many of the other things that make life so enjoyable for the rich.

East Hampton – which includes such hamlets as Montauk and Amangansett and parts of Sag Harbor – has about 21,000 year-round residents, but its population can swell to 80,000 or 90,000 in the summer, when the haves and the have-mores show up.

“There really are two Hamptons,” said McGintee’s predecessor, Jay Schneiderman. “The disparity between rich and poor is probably unmatched anywhere in the world. You have the heads of multinational corporations, billionaires, but of the year-round population, half the work force are undocumented immigrants living below the poverty level.”

The bolded  names are all people who believe in income redistribution, socialist policies, and anti-capitalism. How could they let something like this happen in their own backyards? Oh, I get it. Only when it’s other people’s money are they for it. When theirs is involved, well, now that’s a different story, isn’t it?

If he persists in being part of a Gang of 10, which then rams down the throats of Americans, their solution to our energy problems, that’s what a great many Tennesseans should be saying to this junior Senator. In its entirety:

Politics has its puzzling moments. John McCain and most of the GOP experienced one late last week. That was when five of their own set about dismantling the best issue Republicans have in the upcoming election.

It’s taken time, but Sen. McCain and his party have finally found — in energy — an issue that’s working for them. Riding voter discontent over high gas prices, the GOP has made antidrilling Democrats this summer’s headlines.

Their enthusiasm has given conservative candidates a boost in tough races. And Mr. McCain has pressured Barack Obama into an energy debate, where the Democrat has struggled to explain shifting and confused policy proposals.

Still, it was probably too much to assume every Republican would work out that their side was winning this issue. And so, last Friday, in stumbled Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker and Johnny Isakson — alongside five Senate Democrats. This “Gang of 10” announced a “sweeping” and “bipartisan” energy plan to break Washington’s energy “stalemate.” What they did was throw every vulnerable Democrat, and Mr. Obama, a life preserver.

That’s because the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast — putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska’s oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.

The highlight is instead $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and federal handouts for alternative fuels and renewables. The Gang of 10 intends to pay for all this in part by raising taxes on . . . oil companies! The Sierra Club couldn’t have penned it better. And so the Republican Five has potentially given antidrilling Democrats the political cover they need to neutralize energy through November.

Sen. Obama was thrilled. He quickly praised the Gang’s bipartisan spirit, and warmed up to a possible compromise. Of course, he means removing even the token drilling provisions now in the bill. But he’s only too happy for the focus to remain on the Gang’s efforts, and in particular on the five Republicans providing his party its fig leaf.

Equally gleeful was Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, the Senate’s most vulnerable Democrat. She had been sweating the energy debate, especially after her vote against more oil-shale production — a position her Republican opponent, John Kennedy, had used against her to great effect. Yet there she was, chummily standing with the Gang of 10 and boasting that she is working with “five Republicans” to “lower prices at the pump by increasing offshore drilling here at home.”

Mr. McCain, who had been commanding the energy debate, was left to explain why he, of all people, wasn’t more enthusiastic about a “bipartisan” effort on energy, especially one that includes “drilling.” His camp was forced to take refuge in taxes, explaining that their boss couldn’t sign up for a bill that included more. If this is what Mr. McCain’s good friend Lindsey Graham considers “helping,” somebody might want to ask him to stop.

And pity poor Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been working overtime to stanch GOP losses this fall and head off a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate. His dogged efforts to highlight Democratic opposition to drilling has kept energy in the news and laid the groundwork for GOP candidates to use the issue to their advantage.

In the Colorado Senate race, Democrats had christened former GOP Rep. Bob Schaffer “Big Oil Bob” — hoping to smear his oil industry career. “Big Oil Bob” has instead embraced his pro-drilling positions and is pummeling opponent Mark Udall for his antidrilling stance. In recent weeks, Mr. Schaffer has erased Mr. Udall’s lead. Polls show Republican Sens. Norm Coleman (Minnesota) and John Sununu (New Hampshire) both climbing in the polls on the back of strong energy arguments. As two of the GOP’s most vulnerable senators, both might well have run for cover with the Gang of 10. Instead they’re fighting on the merits.

The “bipartisan” Republican senators have undercut these efforts, and boosted Ms. Landrieu. They’ve even put a smile on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s face. He’d been struggling to tamp down the energy debate through November, where he hopes to increase his majority and permanently shelve drilling. He’s now counting on the Gang to fruitlessly continue “negotiations” straight through the Senate’s short September session and solve his problem for him.

Not one of the five Republicans in the Gang is facing a tough election this year. That’s the sort of security that leads to bad decisions. And theirs is the sort of thinking that could leave Republicans in a permanent minority.

You’d think Grahamnesty would have learned his lesson but apparently his reelection just gave him more leeway to stick to Americans. Yesterday, I posted about the hike in utility rates that are coming down the pike because of rising fuel costs and this is the best the Senate Gang of 10 can do, a plan that will further cripple us well into the future and make us more dependent on foreign oil, along with higher taxes and everything else that goes with it?

You can read Rush Limbaugh’s interview with Chambliss for an eye-opening nonexplanation, then follow that with Rush’s analysis. Much like the amnesty bill they tried to slip through without even reading the thing, so will this be done if we don’t put the pressure back on them.

Since they can’t shut us up by name calling, they’re into threats now. How come the liberals never seem to be all that liberal when it comes to somebody else’s liberty?

via Michelle Malkin

Apparently a new “watchdog” group, called America Accountable, a spin off from the same group as with their General Petraeus ad calling him a traitor, is now threatening conservative activist organizations while feeling free to “do their own thing.” America Unaccountable is a better name for that group since they don’t consider themselves accountable for anything.

One wonders what they think they’re going to accomplish with such a mission. People have been scared of them for a long time now but that fear is beginning to turn to anger. I’d feel sorry for them when the anger hits the full boiling point but they deserve whatever they get.

It’s only to be expected with the rising cost of other fuels but the timing couldn’t be worse. Amid other high energy costs and inflation outpacing stagnant wages, TVA will be raising the rates for electricity by a staggering 10 – 20%.

Nashvillians’ monthly electricity bills could jump 10 percent to 20 percent to cover the rising costs of coal and other fuels used to generate electricity, the Tennessee Valley Authority has announced.

The increase applies to customers of Nashville Electric Service, Middle Tennessee Membership Cooperative and virtually every other electricity distributor in the state and parts of six others.

The hike, the amount of which will be determined later this month, would take effect Oct. 1. It’s a temporary adjustment that could go up or down in January.

The agency blames mainly “skyrocketing” costs of fuels in a world of increasing demand for electricity.

“I don’t personally like to go out in times of rising gasoline prices and rising food prices and say, ‘Your electric bill is going up, too,’ ” TVA Chief Executive Officer and President Tom Kilgore said during a media teleconference Wednesday. “But that is what is happening.”

TVA began making quarterly adjustments – usually upward – last year on top of its base rate to make up for shifting fuel costs.

The amounts generally have been incremental, but Kilgore said this one is “expected to be large.”

He put the range from 10 percent to 20 percent on the average household bill, saying it’s in line with what other utilities have been adding.

Since January, coal prices have leaped by 128 percent, eclipsing oil prices, though oil has drawn the most attention, he said. Natural gas prices are up by 66 percent.

About 60 percent of TVA’s electricity comes from coal, and much of the power it purchases to sell – when it’s not generating enough at its plants to cover demand – comes from natural gas. Hydroelectric power has been down as a result of continuing below-normal rainfall in the eastern part of the Tennessee Valley. […]

I have a problem with some of the explanation. Although I’m sure I’m not one of a great crowd but we did all the energy saving things here and our usage is way down… way down. However, the bill isn’t way down. To date, the TVA has done a Fuel Cost Adjustment which has padded my monthly bill anywhere from $10-$20 every month since they started it last year. Couple that with a cooler than last year summer, you’d think it would add up to some savings. The more I scrimp the more they pad until there is virtually no difference in my bill this year than last year although the usage is way way way down.

Granted fuel they use to power the plants have gone up.

TVA rates among lowest

While some utilities are required to go back to state public service commissions to push up rates, TVA is a self-financing, independent federal agency that sets its own rates and fuel cost adjustments. No permission is needed from an outside agency.

It has worked out in some ways. Ratepayers in the TVA system traditionally have had some of the lowest rates in the country. This has not encouraged conservation, however, and residential electricity consumption in Tennessee ranks among the highest in the nation.

TVA announced a commitment this year to programs to encourage customers to use less energy. It also touts its nuclear building plans as a way out of the fuel situation.

The last major increase in rates came in the late 1970s as a result of a massive nuclear plant building program that was later scaled back.

Though fuel cost pressures have been “staggering even to us on the inside,” Kilgore said, “relatively speaking, we are still in pretty good position.

“In the valley and at TVA, we think we are still going to be below most everybody else.”

Rates, perhaps, but they fail to mention that fuel cost adjustment. Considering Tennessee is a coal producer bordered by other coal producing states, coupled with the other factors of a cooler than last year summer, more rain because rainfall is slightly above average even for East Tennessee, the explanation doesn’t hold very well. As one commenter on the article put it:

I’m about conserved out and my bill keeps getting higher due to the “Fuel cost adjustment” they add to my bill every month, and now they’re going to add more? Coserve? Might as well go back to cooking and heating by fires. Either tht or finish the Hartsville nuclear plant we paid for years ago. But they may need that money for their CEO and a few others who are down to their last few lobster tails. Maybe they could limo over to Al Gore’s house and talk to him about conserving as well.

August 2008


Copyright © 2012 Hillbilly Politics. All Rights Reserved.