A bunch of funny stories to report on this Friday. First, some Hugo Chavez nonsense. Now, Hugo has said some kooky things in his time, including accusing Colombia of planning to invade his country (after a Colombian raid on a FARC base found the group was receiving funding from Venezuela, of course), threatening to arrest people who disagree with his policies and the usual anti-American ranting. But this week, the man took the cake. I mean he has really, really lost it. Chavez has accused the U.S. of using a seismic weapon to cause the Haitian earthquake. No, seriously. Between having to fight two wars, bailing out Wall Street and dealing with a fragile economy, President Barack Obama found the time to detonate a subsurface weapon and cause a 7.1-scale earthquake, killing 200,000 people for the fun of it, I suppose. You heard it from Chavez first folks: the U.S. controls the tectonic plates! Darn, why didn't George W. Bush employ this technology in California and knock Berkeley off the map? I for one am in favor of the U.S. controlling seismic activity. I always felt there wasn't enough Hawaiian Islands. A few good blast from the Earthquake gun and Obama can double the size of his home state! It's win-win! Thank goodness we have Hugo Chavez to liberate the truth from the hands of the evil imperialist journalists and scientist! Without his brave speeches, we might have to rely on things like facts and logic to determine how earthquakes happen. Next up, some schadenfreude for yours truly. Air America will be going off the air. Oh boo-hoo! Lefties like Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo complained for years that the right had a stranglehold on AM talk radio. You know, the format that gave birth to stringent conservatives like Howard Stern. In any case, the success of people like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage had Franken and his ilk upset that there was no place for liberals to have their voices heard in popular culture. Without radio, they would be stuck having to get their progressive messages out in movies, newspapers, television, CNN, MSNBC, Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, David Letterman, Keith Olbermann, think tanks, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones, editorial comics, cartoons, stand-up comedians, college professors, rock singers, rap artists, political demonstrations... I mean, they were practically being silenced by the Man! How dare the right have people on the radio, talking about stuff that wasn't approved by Noam Chomsky! Air America was launched one fate full day in in March 2004. Less then six years later, it was finished. The backlash of "thinking" people who were just waiting for a left-wing news network to combat Clear Channel? It just never materialized. The network fought to stay on the air the entire time it existed. It's last 10 financial quarters were pitiful. The company NEVER made any sort of profit. It was an embarrassment to news programming, and it had to be propped up with angel investors and begging for handouts. It filed bankruptcy withing two years of being founded, was bought for a low price of $4 million dollars by New York real estate investor Stephen Green (he overpaid, if you ask me) and slowly died a quiet death as the stars of the flagship shows on the network, including Franken, Garofalo and later MSNBC darling Rachel Maddow all left to pursue other interests. Well, even rats know when to leave a sinking ship. Today, Franken is a U.S. senator, Garofalo is making appearances on "safe" programs like "Real Time with Bill Maher" and "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" where her whack-job conspiracy theories are never challenged, Maddow enjoys her sad late prime-time slot, getting a decreasing number of viewers with each passing month. Speaking of Rachel Maddow, was there no satisfying feeling that having to watch her fight back tears and supress her rage upon reporting that Scott Brown had won Ted Kennedy's seat in the U.S. Senate? Oh, it's hysterical! I wish I could use that look on her face for my computer desktop! Browns' victory... can it be that a mere one year after Obama's election, people are already fed up with meaningless platforms of home and change? *shrug* I tell you what though, if you want a real laugh over this, go to Huffington Post and read all the complaining there. Don't play any drinking games, though! If you promise to take a swig every time a poster says teabagger, racist, homophobe of Rethugs, you'll drown in alcohol. -Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; www.OilandGasInvestor.com; spayne@hartenergy.com