Does Big Oil Control Bush? You Decide

B’Man: From Open Left by David Sirota:

Bush Cites Enviro Concerns to Curb Solar Development…While Accelerating Oil Drilling

LAFAYETTE, IN – A few weeks back, I wrote a New York Times magazine article about the populist uprising against unbridled oil and gas drilling in the Mountain West. The article highlighted a major theme in my new book, THE UPRISING. In the article, I discussed how the Bush Bureau of Land Management has thrown the principle of environmental caution overboard by opening up a huge amount of federal land to drilling. So it is with more than a little bit absurd to read this New York Times story today:

“Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years. The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states.”

Look – I agree that we need to do a better job of measuring environmental impacts of all proposed energy development – whether that development is solar, oil or gas. But what’s so incredible about this story is that the BLM is working to curtail solar development in Western states by citing environmental concerns while at the same actively accelerating oil and gas drilling in Western states – drilling that is way, way worse for the environment than solar energy, from both an emissions perspective and a land-use perspective.

This kind of government fealty to the rapacious fossil fuel industry is precisely what the energy-related populist uprising in West is revolting against.

B’Man: The Oil Companies must be shitting their pants that they might lose some record profits, so Presnit Idiotass slows alternative energy development for them to reap even more. If you rednecks ever thought that Big Oil and Big Money doesn’t own W’s ass, surely this proves it to you. They don’t care about you.

B’Man’s Hypocrite Watch: Keith Olbermann

B’Man: OK, I ragged the man already, but saw this posted the other day at The Smirking Chimp by Michael Kwiatkowski and thought, “What better way than to add this as an exclamation mark to my presentation.” Keith either needs to back off his indefensible bullshit, apologize or prepare for a loss of dedicated viewers.

Olbermann has sold out.

I just got done reading Keith Olbermann’s tortured excuse for not calling out Barack Obama on his FISA cave, and frankly, it’s as lame as it can get. Sorry, Keith, but you’ve sold out to the far right without even realizing it. Here’s why.

Throughout this campaign, you’ve been doing little or nothing but bash Hillary Clinton for all the wrong reasons. While the senator supposedly representing New York has undoubtedly made plenty of verbal gaffes and has a poor record of defending the Constitution against the shrub and his gargoyle, you focused your rage exclusively upon her, and for all the wrong things. One example is her suggestion that the bigot bloc might not vote for Obama, which is true: no matter how much he panders to the far right, no matter how often he bashes blacks to their faces, the bigots in this country simply are not going to vote for a black man for president; they’d sooner cast their ballots for a white woman. You, however, joined in with those who relentlessly attacked her for pointing out this fundamental truth.

The selling your soul to the Obama fan club isn’t apparent only in your relentless attacks on Clinton; you’ve failed time and again to jump on your candidate of choice for things you would never have let others get away with. In a piece by Counterpunch’s Gregory Kafoury, the writer reminds us that the senator supposedly representing Illinois has committed a slew of misdeeds on the campaign trail that include:

- Obama announced a new financial team of supply-side economists led by Jason Furman, famous for declaring that it would be “damaging to working people” if Wal-Mart were to raise its wages and benefits. Obama had recently criticized Clinton for serving on the Wal-Mart board, declaring, “I won’t shop there.” In the Audacity of Hope, he sympathized with “Wal-Mart associates who hold their breath every single month in the hope they’ll have enough money to support their children.”

-When questioned in a Fortune interview about his promise to renegotiate NAFTA to protect workers and the environment, Obama replied, “Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified.”

- In a close congressional primary race in Georgia, Obama endorsed a troglodyte incumbent – a “Bush enabler” – over an exemplary progressive insurgent.

- In a speech to the Israeli lobby, he moved to the right of Israel’s government by ruling out negotiations with Hamas. A day earlier, Obama had told Cuban exile groups that he would only sit down with Raul Castro if the exiles had a seat at the table, a precondition that Cuba will never agree to.

- Obama refused to criticize recent Israeli war maneuvers and accompanying threats to launch massive air attacks on Iran. He failed to even urge restraint.

- Just as a move was growing in the Senate to strip the House-passed Telecom bill of its immunity provisions, Obama declared his support for the House version. Obama’s opposition to immunity had been our best hope to learn whose phones and emails had been wiretapped by the Bush administration, and to punish those Telecom companies that assisted this massive criminal enterprise.

This last is especially relevant, because while you dismiss Glenn Greenwald’s critique of you, the fact remains that you would have ripped into any other prominent politician for caving in to the shrub on FISA and telecomm immunity. That it happens to be Obama selling out to the far right in exchange for power changes nothing; it’s still a craven capitulation to the shrub, no matter how one tries to spin it.

You’ve lost your impartiality, Keith, and for that you must apologize. Not only that, you must recognize that it is more important to tell the Truth than to get another corporate-conservative Democrat elected to office. You’re an intelligent man, Keith. You know as well as anyone else that if Obama will not stand up and defend the Constitution and the rule of law as a senator running for president, he certainly won’t do it as president. I expect to see you on the air from now on, ripping into Obama with all the passion and fury you reserved for the shrub and Hillary Clinton. The enemy is not confined to the ranks of the Republican Party: it is the entirety of the power structure, and this includes Obama.

You owe it to us, your viewers, to return to the standard you helped set by going after all the powerful, not just those you dislike.

Taking On The White Establishment: Delusional?

One reason I like Ralph Nader so much is that he holds back no punches on the issues (Manila Ryce at The Largest Minority called him the “Termi-Nader” and made the pic to the right). Nader goes straight to the heart of the issue, where the others will avoid those true issues with all their ability. No matter whether or not Ralph stands a chance in winning, his being on the ballot will insure that America hears the heart of the issue and we won’t allow the Big Two to hide those things MOST important.

In the meantime, if America would awake from its hopelie-induced slumber, maybe they will see that the issues Ralph supports are the best for each and every American (except the richest who have been stealing us blind all along: the White Establishment.)

So, when Nader told Obama that he needs to “take on the white establishment”, do you know what he means? Is Nader “delusional” as Obama claimed or is Obama “illusional” as Nader claimed?

If you are a black person, do you feel like Nader meant that Obama should take on the white people in some retributive way? If you are white, do you feel like Nader is asking for an assault against whites by blacks?

Do you (virtually anyone who reads this blog) think that YOU are a part of the white establishment? Unless there are people reading this piss ant blog that I am unaware of (who knows which government agency reads here) you ain’t a part of it. I guarantee it. Being white don’t buy you shit with Big Money, but the truth is that most Big Money is white. There are, of course, the Arab exceptions (and they are barely allowed to play in Big Money’s back yard) and a few others dispersed throughout the world, but by and large, it is white people (how many blacks have been in Skull and Bones?).

I’m obviously white and I hold no illusions to my standing in The White Establishment. They don’t give a damn about me.

But back to Obama. Could Nader be right about this? That Obama needs to challenge the establishment instead of give in? Instead of becoming THEM? Looking at his recent flip-flops on key issues… seeing that he supports enlarging the military, instead of taking on the Military Industrial Complex… seeing him capitualte on any number of issues shows me that 1) either he is changing before our eyes… or 2) he has been lying all along.

That is the “illusion”. Obama has been an illusion all along and has fooled many Americans into thinking he was different. he’s not. Never has been, but milked the suckers for all they are worth.

Take ON the White Establishment? Shit. Don’t make me laugh.

He is their puppet.

B’Man’s Sabbath Watch: Suing Exorcists

B’Man: I have been a witness to these sorts of things. The people never called it an exorcism, but it was essentially casting out demons “in Jesus Name”. I watched a insane preacher (Danny Lovelace, who I actually like, but I know he is “out there”) ride on the back of a woman in church, like he was riding a bronco. Swear to God.

But he was saying something about snakes and serpents, but literally had his legs around the woman while she was on the ground on all fours.

I have seen people be “prayed for” who would thrash and roll on the floor like crazy people, then get up like nothing happened. In many cases, every week, the same people would thrash and roll and run around the pews (like everyweek they needed another exorcism from their previous week’s demon-possession). Its like it only takes in church while others are watching the spectacle.

But now, one better be careful because the courts won’t protect you if these maniacs cause you harm. From McClatchy:

Texas Supreme Court rules church can’t be sued in exorcism

A divided Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former Colleyville church Friday, saying church members who were involved in a traumatic exorcism that ultimately injured a young woman are protected by the First Amendment.

In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that the Pleasant Glade Assembly of God staff’s efforts to cast out demons from Laura Schubert presents an ecclesiastical dispute over religious conduct that would unconstitutionally entangle the court in church doctrine.

Schubert described a wild night in 1996 that involved casting out demons from the church and two attempts to exorcise demons from her. The incident left Schubert physically bruised and so emotionally scarred she later tried to commit suicide. She was 17 at the time.

Read the complete story at star-telegram.com

B’Man: Jonathon Turley also addresses this subject here.

What Is Your Idea Of Bipartisanship?

B’Man: Apparently many of the Bushie Demublicans feel like this idea constitutes reTHUGlicans voting 100% lockstep and the Bushie Dems “reaching across the aisle” in “bipartisan” fashion, so that the THUGS always win. I’m so happy that you guys are so “fair”. Glenn Greenwald points out specific cases and lays out the vote for you to judge for yourself:

Many people, especially partisans, always believe that their own side is compromising too much and that the other side is always winning, so it’s best to consult objective facts in order to know how “bipartisanship” works. Here are the vote breakdowns by party over the last couple years on the most significant and contentious pieces of legislation, particularly (though not only) in the area of national security.

In almost every case, the proposals that are enacted are ones favored by the White House and supported by all GOP lawmakers, and then Democrats split and enough of them join with Republicans to ensure that the GOP gets what it wants. That’s “bipartisanhip” in Washington:

To support the new Bush-supported FISA law:

GOP – 48-0

Dems – 12-36

To compel redeployment of troops from Iraq:

GOP – 0-49

Dems – 24-21

To confirm Michael Mukasey as Attorney General:

GOP – 46-0

Dems – 7-40

To confirm Leslie Southwick as Circuit Court Judge:

GOP – 49-0

Dems – 8-38

Kyl-Lieberman Resolution on Iran:

GOP – 46-2

Dems – 30-20

To condemn MoveOn.org:

GOP – 49-0

Dems – 23-25

The Protect America Act:

GOP – 44-0

Dems – 20-28

Declaring English to be the Government’s official language:

GOP – 48-1

Dems – 16-33

The Military Commissions Act:

GOP – 53-0

Dems – 12-34

To renew the Patriot Act:

GOP – 54-0

Dems – 34-10

Cloture Vote on Sam Alito’s confirmation to the Supreme Court:

GOP – 54-0

Dems – 18-25

Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq:

GOP – 48-1

Dems – 29-22

On virtually every major controversial issue — particularly, though not only, ones involving national security and terrorism — the Republicans (including their vaunted mythical moderates and mavericks) vote in almost complete lockstep in favor of the President, the Democratic caucus splits, and the Republicans then get their way on every issue thanks to “bipartisan” support. That’s what “bipartisanship” in Washington means.

B’Man: They are playing us, people. Always just enough to claim a fight, but losing nonetheless. And the money continues to flow… and you get poorer and sicker and lose your rights.

h/t Digby at Hullabaloo

Progressives Getting Pissed

B’Man: Anyone reading here knows I’m pissed about what is happening to this election right before our eyes. We witnessed a man (a black man on top of that) rise to the top of the heap of the Democratic candidates (I never felt he was the best choice to begin with) by telling the Progressives and the base that he was the same as they and made many statements to wistfully brainwash them with “Change” and “Hope”… understandable after what we have endured the last 8 years.

We are at a crossroads in our country and the only way to address the issues is with truth… to hell with party affiliation and commitment.

Dan Fejes wrote a good article (although he didn’t even mention Ralph as a potential third party candidate, but did Bob Barr… wtf?) called The Democrat’s Risky Strategy posted at OpEdNews. The bigger point of the article is that in this particular year of “change” from the maniac, it is not a smart idea to lie and flip-flop on the ones that brought you to the dance, as it were.

Democrats are playing a dangerous game. They apparently reason that Republicans will bear the brunt of dissatisfaction over Washington’s unpopular policies. That may well be true. The GOP faces a disaster this year because they gained control of all major parts of government and then engaged in an orgy of excess, alienating moderates and depressing their loyalists. Having achieved their electoral goal they spent all their credibility very quickly. Democrats seem to be in the process of a sellout of a different sort. They seized control of both houses of Congress but seem oblivious (or indifferent) to the public’s anger. Instead they seem to be playing a game of political jujitsu, using the overexertions of the right to give them leverage to flip them totally off the mat. It may be a brilliant tactical move but one with long term risks. First, urgent policy issues fester because no meaningful action can happen under such a strategy. That leads to the second problem, deep dissatisfaction with what comes to be seen as a lesser of two evils. By eschewing opposition the Democrats are creating a pool of thwarted activists. Such people are primed to create new realities or respond to the latest version of a quirky billionaire with homemade charts. I’ve written before about the Republicans’ implosion; the ground may be shifting underneath the Democrats as well.

B’Man: Political jujitsu is an apt description. They feel like they can because most Americans are so afraid of McBush that they think they can sit on their ass and do ANYTHING they desire without fear of losing. This political game is the last thing America needs right now. We need a leader who is truthful from day one and throughout the election process and his time in office.

Then we have two articles written by Jason Rosenbaum and Sam Stein from the Huffington Post and featured at Alternet examining this phenomena and come to the conclusion of bending over and taking the screwing, because we have no real choice… … the choice being McBush.

The Obama Problem
by Jason Rosenbaum

In the last week, Barack Obama has handed progressives a string of stinging rebukes. First, he all but capitulated on the issue of retroactive immunity for lawbreaking telecom companies by endorsing the FISA “compromise.” Next came his disagreement with the Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty shouldn’t be imposed for rape. And then his flip on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling allowing the sale of handguns in DC.

It’s been a hell of a week.

So, what are progressives to do? As has been evident for some time now, Obama is only loosely affected by progressive pressure. While he has moved left on some important issues, overall he has bigger constituencies to please, and he will do what he wants.

B’Man: He is a smart politician and has snookered America. He knows we feel we have no choice, so does the Democratic Party as a whole. He has calculated this from the beginning and can now approach the right, even to the extent of total capitulation on issue promises that got him the nomination… and we are supposed to select the lesser of two evils, then offers the real “hope” of the Obama campaign… the hope that we can change him after he is elected:

I am not willing to actively work against him. I’m not willing to call on people to pull their money and their volunteer hours either. But two can play at Obama’s game.

To me, Obama’s methods are obvious. He is selling out a constituency without leverage (progressives) to burnish his centrist image, which he believes will bring him more votes in November. Obama is practicing, as BooMan puts it, “raw political calculation.” Well, guess what; I can do that, too!

I will work to elect Obama because, a la “Crashing The Gate,” he is the candidate who will most likely bring about the change I want. But I realize that this raw political calculation is only a marriage of convenience. As soon as Obama is elected, I become his critic, looking to move him left.

B’Man: Well, folks. Here is where I differ. Why the hell should we accept this as what it is without a fight up front? Why accept that another person, no matter the color, can lie and shift-change with abandon and we not stand up and call a liar a damned liar? Demand truth and honor?

I’m sick of this shit.

Jane Hamsher said we should have expected this. I agree. They apparently all lie if in the Dem or reTHUG parties.

Its time for the people of this country to wake up and realize what they are doing to us and stop it.

Are Black People Experts at Trashing?

Dexter at Not Another CONspiracy has a video of Pastor James Manning warning white people of the retribution coming from black people, should we elect Barack “Hussein” Obama. You gotta see it.

I think this man is pretty strange (I took the time to view a couple of his sermon snips a while back), but he does have credentials (for whatever one thinks that is worth). He has also been correct before, as well.

How about now?

If you support the candidacy of Barack Hussein Obama and he becomes president, black America, at the opportune time, will rise up and will trash you… all the way back to the plantations of Mississippi.

Many black Americans have a reputation of biting the hand that feeds them, and even more, black Americans have a reputation of hating to hear the truth about themselves and their own social responsibility.

They are experts at trashing.

Receive this warning: do not support Barack Hussein Obama, you white folk, if you wish not to be turned into white trash, a few years from now.

Peace.

B’Man:

;-)

Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass what color Mr. Obama is. I don’t care what his middle name is. What I care about is what he says and what he represents. I care about whether or not the leader of my country is lying to me for ulterior reasons. When the candidate of change’s only change is becoming like his competition and the rest of the corrupt government personalities that control us and our future, then I don’t care for that kind of change. I don’t support the same old bullshit anymore. It is NOT acceptable…

ANYMORE.

A Message From The Queen

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

  

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

(You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as “colour,” “favour,” “labour” and “neighbour.” Likewise, you will learn to spell “doughnut” without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up “vocabulary”).

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter “u” and the elimination of -ize.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

8. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

10. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

11. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

12. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don’t try rugby ? the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

13. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

16. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, with saucers, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

 

 

Richard Noggin Saturday: A Twofer

B’Man: I had to check to see if it was April 1 (h/t Faiz at ThinkProgress):

Sens. Craig and Vitter team up to co-sponsor Marriage Protection Amendment.

Larry Craig and David Vitter — “two United States Senators implicated in extramarital sexual activity” — have named themselves as co-sponsors of S.J. Res. 43, the Marriage Protection Amendment. If passed, the bill would amend the Constitution to declare that marriage “shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.”

Must Avoid TV: When Olbermann Became Owned

He used to put on a decent show. He would rave and rant at the right times. He made it “acceptable” to accuse the President of his shenanigans and evil-doing. He helped many Americans realize that the Right has taken over, by brute force, the airways and mindset of the American people, even though many Americans knew these things to be against their core values and beliefs.

Keith used to help me to feel like we had hope that the political movement “could” be changed. That maybe, just maybe, someone from the progressive side of the political spectrum could actually become a voice again. But, slowly and surely, he has become owned by “them” and I feel he has either been told something that changed his mind or he is a flip-flopper on one of the most crucial things happening today in Washigton.

I have found myself becoming less attentive to his show and over the last week or so have not really watched at all. Why? Because he has fallen for the Obama rhetoric and has totally capitulated on a Special Comment regarding the telecom immunity deal that Obama now flip-floppingly supports (his flip-flops are becoming quite regular now).

So Keith has decided that it isn’t so bad now that Obama has capitulated to Big Telecom’s influence and has decided that Mr Obama simply knows something the rest doesn’t and that stopping the civil court process will enable a super-secret Criminal attack when Obama wins. Its all planned and we should believe that they will be held accountable in the future. Just elect him to get it done, I suppose (the carrot dangles before the Progressives, again).

Keith, who still holds some of my admiration, has become just another TV personality. You know, the kind that you can’t trust for anything truthful, but will be controlled by other rationale. They all seem to do it. I still hold out hope for Bill Moyers.

Glenn Greenwald took Keith to task about this and Olbermann replied… thing is, with Glenn, you better have your shit together, for he will proverbially spank you if you bullshit him. I recommend everyone subscribing to his blog.

In his Kos reply, Olbermann pronounces that my piece yesterday was “simplistic and childish” but then adds the standard dismissive Journalist defense: “I don’t know much about Mr. Greenwald and I didn’t read his full piece.” He says that he refrained from criticizing Obama’s support for the FISA bill in reliance on John Dean’s comments, and “John Dean is the smartest person I’ve ever met” and “John Dean is worth 25 Glenn Greenwalds” — so that settles that (for what it’s worth, I also have a high opinion of Dean’s legal acumen; hosted his appearance at FDL’s Book Salon; don’t disagree with him about this bill at all; have communicated with him about many issues; and he has said many complimentary things about my work in the past, so waving the flag of Dean’s Unassailable Authority establishes nothing).

Olbermman then denies that he was justifying Obama’s support for the FISA bill but then goes on to do exactly that:

Seriously, there is little in the polls to suggest McCain has anything to run with other than terror . . . . So why hand them a brick to hit him with — Obama Voted Against FISA — if voting Aye enhances his chances of getting himself his own Attorney General to prosecute FISA.

How can Olbermann accuse me of distorting his commentary and deny that he’s rationalizing Obama’s support for the bill and then write the above — which does nothing but justify Obama’s support for the bill? That’s exactly the mentality I was criticizing yesterday — that Obama should be excused for supporting this assault on core Constitutional liberties and the rule of law because doing so is necessary to avoid appearing Weak on Terrorism. That’s the behavior which Obama has repeatedly vowed to reject, and it’s that precise mentality that has to be extinguished, not perpetuated.

Isn’t it amazing how Keith finds himself in such a mixed up conundrum? I call it hypocrisy.

to give Obama a pass on his support for such a heinous bill — one which Dean himself describes as a grave assault on the Constitution — based on this imagined secret plan for the Good that Obama is harboring is to illustrate exactly the sort of blind faith in political leaders that is so dangerous. That’s been the Right’s mentality to excuse every last thing Bush does:

It may look to you like Bush is breaking the law or doing something wrong, but he’s a Good person and so we can trust in him that he’s doing it for our own Good, even when he doesn’t tell us why he’s doing it and even when he keeps his real motives a secret. He probably has a good reason for doing these things and we don’t need to know what that is. Besides, we’re facing such an extreme crisis that it’s more important to support him than criticize him even when we don’t understand why he’s doing something and even when we don’t know what it is that he’s doing.

No political leader deserves that sort of blind faith — not Bush and not Obama.

There is so much more in Glenn’s article, but let me finish with the following observation that I totally agree with. I am sick and tired of hearing about chnage in how leadership operates. I want to SEE IT IN ACTION!

As he mentions in his Kos diary, Olbermann had the vocally pro-Obama Markos Moulitsas on his show on Monday night and tried to get Markos to embrace this excuse for Obama. Markos rejected it emphatically:

OLBERMANN: But to the point of the Constitution, John Dean made a fascinating point on this news hour on Friday. He read this bill and he knows a little something about the Constitution, too. He says it’s so sloppily written that nothing in there would rule out later criminal liabilities for the telecom companies.Could that be, actually, what Obama is counting on, just sort of cede this civil action stuff which is basically in lieu of sending these people to jail and just concentrate on, you know, closing up whatever perceived weakness there is of the Democrats being soft on counterterror and, in fact, just hold a bigger punch back until after the election?

MOULITSAS: Well, if that’s the strategy, he has said nothing to indicate that and this is not the sort of thing that I think you have to keep quiet and secretive. I mean, if that’s his strategy, he can say, “This is a bill that’s flawed,” but, really at the end of the day he has a chance to stand for the Constitution and to show that he will protect it against forces that seek to undermine it and he will show that he has, like I said before, that he is a leader and will take the mantle of leadership on this issue and take control of the Democratic Party.

Markos — who observed: “I don’t think he’s going to lose any support, I mean, let’s be honest. I mean, it’s either Obama or John McCain” — nonetheless added:

I think what’s at stake, though, is a lot of the intensity of support for Barack Obama. And he spent the last two years telling us how he’s going to be the leader of the free world, not to mention the Democratic Party and this nation . . . . I don’t want to hear him talk about leadership. I don’t want to hear him talk about defending the Constitution; I want to see him do it.

That is precisely the point, and of course those who believe in defending core constitutional liberties shouldn’t remain quiet when any politician — including Obama — takes actions to erode them.

A Fitting Ending To The Piece of Shit We Call “W”

From PRWatch.org:

The Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is engaged in an effort to rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the “George W. Bush Sewage Plant.” The group has been gathering signatures at local festivals, events and city parks and has already collected 8,500 signatures, about 1,300 more than is needed to put the question on the city’s ballot in November. If the measure passes, the new name will become effective starting next January, when the new president is sworn in. Supporters plan to engage in a “synchronized flush” during the inauguration as a way to send a “gift” to the newly-renamed plant, saying they believe this will be a “fitting monument to this president’s work.” The chair of the San Francisco Republican Party called the group’s effort “loony bin direct democracy,” and vowed to defeat it. A spokesman for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which owns the plant, says that while his agency understands the humorous intent of the endeavor, the award-winning facility has been efficient at keeping the streets and ocean clean, thus the plant should be “the last place” the group should use to make a negative statement about George Bush.

B’Man: Personally, I keep hoping America will get “the cramp” and expel this sickening diarrhea before Jan 09.

Nader: Obama trying to ‘talk white’ : DNC candidates – Barack Obama : The Rocky Mountain News

Mambi Pambis are freaking out over the “racist” statement. Listen to the man and tell me he meant this in a “racist” intent.

Truth hurts, Barack. You have shown your capitulation and I suppose you think that we won’t notice your move to the right and to the rich white class.

Sorry, we know.

I hate when people try to lie and deceive me. With a passion.

Truth Hurts… But Obama Is Owned By Big Money Influence

Ralph Nader for President 2008

June 25, 2008
www.votenader.org

www.officialnaderstore.com

Senator Obama said earlier today that I haven’t been paying attention to his campaign.

Actually, I have.

Obama And it’s clear from Senator Obama’s campaign that he is not willing to tackle the white power structure – whether in the form of the corporate power structure or many of the super-rich – who are taking advantage of 100 million low income Americans who are suffering in poverty or near poverty.

Senator Obama is opposed to single payer national health insurance.

Why?

Because he favors the health insurance giants over the millions of Americans in poverty or near poverty who are uninsured or under-insured. Eighteen thousand Americans die every year because they cannot afford health insurance, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Senator Obama wants to expand the military budget which is loaded with waste, fraud and abuse – instead of cutting it and investing the long ignored peace dividend in the inner cities with good jobs and public works – including schools, clinics, and libraries.

Why?

Because he fears and favors those thousands of lobbyists in charge of enlarging the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us against.

Senator Obama says he favors a living wage. But he doesn’t say he would immediately increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour, which is the equivalent of the 1968 minimum wage adjusted for inflation – because by doing so he would offend the big corporations who exploit labor in places like Wal-Mart and fast food chains. (The minimum wage needs to be increased immediately, not phased in over a number of years, as Senator Obama would have it.)

So Senator Obama, let’s get specific.

We’re looking for deeds, not, as Shakespeare put it, words, words, mere words.

Your public career, which I have also been paying attention to, is long on words, and short on action when it comes to consumer protection, cracking down on corporate crime, curbing the violence of toxic environmental racism, and extending clean, affordable public transit, among other issues.

For the purposes of the here and now, three things:

One, why don’t you support single payer national health insurance, which is supported by a majority of doctors and the American people?

Two, why do you favor expanding the military budget which is replete with waste, fraud and abuse?

And three, why don’t you come out and support an immediate increase of the minimum wage to $10 an hour?

When can we expect the authenticity of hope and change?
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Oil Companies Win (A Supreme Court Gimmee)

Court Rewards Exxon for Valdez Spill

by Greg Palast
Chicago Tribune (revised)
[Thursday, June 26, 2008] Twenty years after Exxon Valdez slimed over one thousand miles of Alaskan beaches, the company has yet to pay the $5 billion in punitive damages awarded by the jury. And now they won’t have to. The Supreme Court today cut Exxon’s liability by 90% to half a billion. It’s so cheap, it’s like a permit to spill.
Exxon knew this would happen. Right after the spill, I was brought to Alaska by the Natives whose Prince William Sound islands, livelihoods, and their food source was contaminated by Exxon crude. My assignment: to investigate oil company frauds that led to to the disaster. There were plenty.
But before we brought charges, the Natives hoped to settle with the oil company, to receive just enough compensation to buy some boats and rebuild their island villages to withstand what would be a decade of trying to survive in a polluted ecological death zone.
In San Diego, I met with Exxon’s US production chief, Otto Harrison, who said, “Admit it; the oil spill’s the best thing to happen” to the Natives.
His company offered the Natives pennies on the dollar. The oil men added a cruel threat: take it or leave it and wait twenty years to get even the pennies. Exxon is immortal – but Natives die.
And they did. A third of the Native fishermen and seal hunters I worked with are dead. Now their families will collect one tenth of their award, two decades too late.
In today’s ruling, Supreme Court Justice David Souter wrote that Exxon’s recklessness was ”profitless” – so the company shouldn’t have to pay punitive damages. Profitless, Mr. Souter? Exxon and it’s oil shipping partners saved billions – BILLIONS – by operating for sixteen years without the oil spill safety equipment they promised, in writing, under oath and by contract.
The official story is, “Drunken Skipper Hits Reef.” But don’t believe it, Mr. Souter. Alaska’s Native lands and coastline were destroyed by a systematic fraud motivated by profit-crazed penny-pinching. Here’s the unreported story, the one you won’t get tonight on the Petroleum Broadcast System:
It begins in 1969 when big shots from Humble Oil and ARCO (now known as Exxon and British Petroleum) met with the Chugach Natives, owners of the most valuable parcel of land on the planet: Valdez Port, the only conceivable terminus for a pipeline that would handle a trillion dollars in crude oil.
These Alaskan natives ultimately agreed to sell the Exxon consortium this astronomically valuable patch of land — for a single dollar. The Natives refused cash. Rather, in 1969, they asked only that the oil companies promise to protect their Prince William Sound fishing and seal hunting grounds from oil.
In 1971, Exxon and partners agreed to place the Natives’ specific list of safeguards into federal law. These commitment to safety reassured enough Congressmen for the oil group to win, by one vote, the right to ship oil from Valdez.
The oil companies repeated their promises under oath to the US Congress.
The spill disaster was the result of Exxon and partners breaking every one of those promises – cynically, systematically, disastrously, in the fifteen years leading up to the spill.
Forget the drunken skipper fable. As to Captain Joe Hazelwood, he was below decks, sleeping off his bender. At the helm, the third mate would never have collided with Bligh Reef had he looked at his Raycas radar. But the radar was not turned on. In fact, the tanker’s radar was left broken and disasbled for more than a year before the disaster, and Exxon management knew it. It was just too expensive to fix and operate.
For the Chugach, this discovery was poignantly ironic. On their list of safety demands in return for Valdez was “state-of-the-art” on-ship radar.
We discovered more, but because of the labyrinthine ways of litigation, little became public, especially about the reckless acts of the industry consortium, Alyeska, which controls the Alaska Pipeline.
  • Several smaller oil spills before the Exxon Valdez could have warned of a system breakdown. But a former Senior Lab Technician with Alyeska, Erlene Blake, told our investigators that management routinely ordered her to toss out test samples of water evidencing spilled oil. She was ordered to refill the test tubes with a bucket of clean sea water called, “The Miracle Barrel.”
  • In a secret meeting in April 1988, Alyeska Vice-President T.L. Polasek confidentially warned the oil group executives that, because Alyeska had never purchased promised safety equipment, it was simply “not possible” to contain an oil spill past the Valdez Narrows — exactly where the Exxon Valdez ran aground 10 months later.
  • The Natives demanded (and law requires) that the shippers maintain round- the-clock oil spill response teams. Alyeska hired the Natives, especiallly qualified by their generations-old knowledge of the Sound, for this emergency work. They trained to drop from helicopters into the water with special equipment to contain an oil slick at a moments notice. But in 1979, quietly, Alyeska fired them all. To deflect inquisitive state inspectors, the oil consortium created sham teams, listing names of oil terminal workers who had not the foggiest idea how to use spill equipment which, in any event, was missing, broken or existed only on paper.
In 1989, when the oil poured from the tanker, there was no Native response team, only chaos.
Today, twenty years after the oil washed over the Chugach beaches, you can kick over a rock and it will smell like an old gas station.
The cover story of the Drunken Captain serves the oil industry well. It falsely presents America’s greatest environmental disaster as a tale of human frailty, a one-time accident. But broken radar, missing equipment, phantom spill teams, faked tests — the profit-driven disregard of the law — made the spill an inevitability, not an accident.
Yet Big Oil tells us, as they plead to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, as Senator John McCain calls for drilling off the shores of the Lower 48, it can’t happen again. They promise.
*****************

Greg Palast is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for Investigative Reporting at the Nation Institute, New York. Read and view his investigations for BBC Television at http://www.GregPalast.com. An earlier version of this report originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune. Photos by James Macalpine (1993). Support the Palast Investigative Fund and find out more about this “well-designed disaster” by picking up Palast’s NY Times best-selling book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy at http://www.palastinvestigativefund.org/

GOP ‘Ins’ Alabama Representative

WASHINGTON, DC—In another high-profile inning, Republican leaders praised homosexual Rep. Tom Priegle (R-AL) as “a dedicated husband and father who’s fighting for old-fashioned values.” “Rep. Priegle, your deep commitment to the family and the homespun values that made America great are what this party is all about,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said of the now secretly gay Priegle. “You are to be commended for your dedication to God and country.” Priegle is the fifth member of Congress to be inned by the GOP since 1996.