Interesting contradictions per John Oliver

Our world is filled with interesting contradictions. It is especially apparent when people ignore facts or try to tell you other so-called alternate facts. Here are a few that I find amusing courtesy of John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight:”

– The Kentucky Museum on Coal is powered by solar energy. They save $13,000 per annum on energy cost using renewable energy.

– Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA notes that 50,000 coal jobs have been created under this President, when there are only 76,000 jobs to begin with. The correct answer is 1,300 jobs, which is positive, but 48,700 lower than advertised.

– While coal energy CEOs like to blame President Obama, it should be noted coal jobs have been on the decline for decades. And, 50% of more recent job losses have been due to natural gas, 18% due to renewable energy and the rest due to technological improvements. That means 32% of the job losses are on the shoulders of the coal CEOs.

– As one coal company went into bankruptcy to reorganize, the CEO petitioned the court to allow him to cancel a non-union retiree medical and life insurance plan to save $3 million, but permit them to set up a retention bonus plan for management for $11 million.

– While the President has touted his interest in serving the needs of coal miners, his proposed budget eliminated funding for an Appalachian retraining program for displaced coal workers.

As Oliver points out, there is a huge distinction between actions that support the coal industry and actions that help coal workers. The President and others owe these coal miners the truth. Their jobs are going away and we need to work on career redevelopment.

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16 thoughts on “Interesting contradictions per John Oliver

  1. I am always impressed by your ability to set people straight with the facts when they seem to be perfectly content with opinions. Yours is a voice that needs to be heard over and over!

    • Hugh, many thanks. I think it bothers the both of us when politicians know they can be flippant with the facts. Pruitt’s 50,000 figure is obviously wrong, but it did not stop him. And, when the President is corrected, he rarely if ever says he was wrong, he read it somewhere or it was someone else’s fault. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: Whether you support the positions of Senator Bernie Sanders, the man deserves respect for being the only Presidential candidate to stand up in front of a group of coal miners and tell them their jobs are not coming back. Then, he mentioned his proposed retraining and transition plan which included temporary compensation while being retrained.

    Politicians from coal states, whether they are national, state or local have done a huge disservice to coal miners. They have seen this train coming for several years. Why have they not shot straight with these folks and done something about it? The President has made it worse as he said he will reverse the course. The best he can do is stem the tide, but redevelopment plans are a must. In the mountains, the wind blows and the sun shines. Keith

    • As an addendum to my Note to Readers, it would be entirely appropriate to ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about shooting straight with Kentucky and other states coal miners. He is in a position to be a leader on helping people and has been for some time.

  3. I am not surprised in the least that so many continue to believe that a figurative “Carmac” in some figurative or imaginative form is going to save them from…reality. Again, Keith, well done. Raye

    • Raye, using your analogy, Carmac got points for going to coal country. But, what the audience failed to realize, Carmac was telling them what they wanted to hear. That is a major tenet of his sales success. Delivery of promises was less important. Sadly, Carmac has learned if he over sells small successes and lies about results, uninformed people can be fooled. Eventually, though, reality has to come home to roost. Keith

  4. Good post, Keith! I was particularly incensed by the one about the coal company that wished to cut out life & medical insurance to save $3 mil while setting up a bonus plan for executives to the tune of $11 mil. These are the facts that coal miners and their families need to be hearing, not the Trump/Pruitt rhetoric, or ‘alternative facts’ version.

    • Jill, you can find his piece online. It is worth the watch. I have seen companies do this before. The go out of their way to pay the white collar workers and not so much for the blue collar ones. Keith

      • Yes, another reader also recommended it, and I do plan to check it out. I thought that companies had learned their lesson about that behaviour a few decades ago. Guess they forgot and will have to learn all over again. Sigh. Perhaps the Chinese philosophy that history is cyclic bears a bit of truth.

      • Jill, some companies learn lessons, but most still have a top heavy mindset. It was less than 20 years ago when we had the likes of Enron, HealthSouth, Adelphia, Tyco, et al as poster children for unethical and illegal behavior. Keith

    • Linda, that summarizes why it is so difficult to get underneath the hood of a Trump fan. The less extreme fans are peeling off which is why is favorabilty rating has declined. Keith

      • Yabbut, there are still a LOT of folks who don’t know a fact from their fanny and others who are just happy with disruption. Last night’s election proves the point, I fear.

      • Linda, I view the two elections differently, but your point is well taken and facts are less valued these days. The SC one was supposed to be a runaway, double digit win for the Republican. Archie Parnell only lost by 3% and had the best campaign commercials. Ossoff fared much better than the Democrat in the fall.

        We need to start asking people where they got their information. Or, why do they say that? I love the factoid on the Kentucky Museum of Coal. I speaks loudly. Keith

      • Good point. I did just that recently with someone on FB. He kept skirting my question and coming back with sideline issues or obfuscating. I kept repeating my question: Please share a link with me so that I can be educated, too. He could not.

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