Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Manuscript of Woody Guthrie's 'Lost' Novel Turns Up in Tulsa University Library

We like this story—a small literary detective story that involves Tulsa.

More accurately, it involves a "lost" Woody Guthrie novel and the TU library, where a manuscript of the novel was recently discovered. Or rediscovered.

Arts writer James Watts of the Tulsa World reported the story and all its twists and turns. It's worth a read, and not just because Johnny Depp (really!) is part of the story.

Read it and learn more. The link is here.

Paranoia Alert! Mitt Romney Embraces Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories

 It's one thing when blowhards like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity promote whacked-out ideas about one-world government, black helicopters and similar nonsense.

But it's another when a supposedly serious person repeats this baloney. So, naturally, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has now done just that at a town hall meeting in Ohio.

We suspect Romney knows this is crap too, but he needs the GOP's base. Wingnuts love a good conspiracy—the facts be damned.

Read more about it here: Romney Embraces Conspiracy Theories.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Very Interesting: Chesapeake Energy's Incredibly Low Tax Payments

In case you missed it (as we did), Bloomberg News reported some amazing facts surrounding the Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corporation last week.

Here's the lead of the story, as published in the Tulsa World:
Chesapeake Energy Corp. made $5.5 billion in pretax profit since its founding more than two decades ago. So far, the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer has paid income taxes on almost none of it.
But wait, there's more. Bloomberg's analysis found that the company paid $53 million in taxes over its 23-year history, "or about 1 percent of the cumulative pretax profits during that period."

That's a pretty low tax burden, you'd think. We should all be so lucky.

And then there's this: "That's less than half of CEO Aubrey McClendon's compensation…in 2008 alone."

Amazing—and infuriating. The rich keep getting richer.

Bloomberg explains that Chesapeake's tax breaks are the result of a decades-old rule that allows the company to postpone taxes "in recognition of the inherent risk of drilling wells that may turn out to be dry."

Improved technology has lowered that risk drastically, so much so that Chesapeake struck oil or gas in 99.6 percent of its wells last year." Some risk.

Meanwhile, Chesapeake has lost more than $7 billion in market value in the past year and McClendon has been replaced as chairman of the company, Bloomberg reports.