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There is a really great article in Rolling Stone talking about the oil spill and the Obama response. I urge you all to read it. It really underscores what I’ve been starting to believe more and more since Obama took office: Politicians from both parties once they make it to the national stage are completely identical. They are beholden to special interests to the point of them being fully untrustworthy.
Following are some ‘highlights’ and my notes:
“Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them”. This is amazing to me. I had hoped that the Obama administration would be a breath of fresh air and would pay attention to warnings about things…
Here’s a nugget about something I didn’t know about, there are other ticking timebomb wells out there that BP is running : “Most troubling of all, the government has allowed BP to continue deep-sea production at its Atlantis rig – one of the world’s largest oil platforms. Capable of drawing 200,000 barrels a day from the seafloor, Atlantis is located only 150 miles off the coast of Louisiana, in waters nearly 2,000 feet deeper than BP drilled at Deepwater Horizon. According to congressional documents, the platform lacks required engineering certification for as much as 90 percent of its subsea components – a flaw that internal BP documents reveal could lead to ‘catastrophic; errors”
Then we get to the heart of this problem: the Minerals Management Service (MMS). This agency is in charge of making sure these wells are safe but for years they have been well on the side of the oil industry thanks to the Bush administration:
“During the Bush years, the Minerals Management Service, the agency in the Interior Department charged with safeguarding the environment from the ravages of drilling, descended into rank criminality. According to reports by Interior’s inspector general, MMS staffers were both literally and figuratively in bed with the oil industry. When agency staffers weren’t joining industry employees for coke parties or trips to corporate ski chalets, they were having sex with oil-company officials. But it was American taxpayers and the environment that were getting screwed.”
and :
“In reality, MMS had little way to assess the risk to wildlife, since a new policy instituted under Bush scrapped environmental analysis and fast-tracked permits. Declaring that oil companies themselves were ‘in the best position to determine the environmental effects’ of drilling, the new rules pre-qualified deep-sea drillers to receive a ‘categorical exclusion’ – an exemption from environmental review that was originally intended to prevent minor projects, like outhouses on hiking trails, from being tied up in red tape…”
But the sad part? Salazar, Obamas new secretary of the interior who was to clean up MMS did pretty much nothing. This article really exposes this point and its just shameful. How can it not give the impression that Obama is in league with the oil interests?
Then it goes on to talk about how Obama said one thing about drilling (something I totally heard and believed when he said it) and then did another once elected : “On the campaign trail, Obama had stressed that offshore drilling ‘will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence.’ But once in office, he bowed to the politics of ‘drill, baby, drill.’ Hoping to use oil as a bargaining chip to win votes for climate legislation in Congress, Obama unveiled an aggressive push for new offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Southeastern seaboard and new waters in the Gulf, closer to Florida than ever before.”
Later on page 7 the article talks about the lack of govt. response. I actually bought the administrations line about them legally having their hands tied (as if they could not help if they wanted to) but in fact it’s the opposite! “…the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan – the federal regulations that lay out the command-and-control responsibilities for cleaning up an oil spill – makes clear that an oil company like BP cannot be left in charge of such a serious disaster. The plan plainly states that the government must “direct all federal, state or private actions” to clean up a spill “where a discharge or threat of discharge poses a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States.”
Then theres this : “But rather than applying such skepticism to BP’s math, the Obama administration has instead attacked scientists who released independent estimates of the spill. When one scientist funded by NOAA released a figure much higher than the government’s estimate, he found himself being pressured to retract it by officials at the agency.”.. sounds like the Bush administration again to me! “Scientists were stunned that NOAA, an agency widely respected for its scientific integrity, appeared to have been co-opted by the White House spin machine. ‘NOAA has actively pushed back on every fact that has ever come out,’ says one ocean scientist who works with the agency.”
All in all it’s just so sad that Obama has failed us as a president. I worked so hard to see him elected and he has proven here (and in other areas) that he is simply George Bush in a new body. Its really troubling and it just goes to show that it doesn’t really matter who we elect as president.

There is a really great article in Rolling Stone talking about the oil spill and the Obama response. I urge you all to read it. It really underscores what I’ve been starting to believe more and more since Obama took office: Politicians from both parties once they make it to the national stage are completely identical. They are beholden to special interests to the point of them being fully untrustworthy.

Following are some ‘highlights’ and my notes:

“Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them”.

This is amazing to me. I had hoped that the Obama administration would be a breath of fresh air and would pay attention to warnings about things…

Here’s a nugget about something I didn’t know about, there are other ticking timebomb wells out there that BP is running :

Most troubling of all, the government has allowed BP to continue deep-sea production at its Atlantis rig – one of the world’s largest oil platforms. Capable of drawing 200,000 barrels a day from the seafloor, Atlantis is located only 150 miles off the coast of Louisiana, in waters nearly 2,000 feet deeper than BP drilled at Deepwater Horizon. According to congressional documents, the platform lacks required engineering certification for as much as 90 percent of its subsea components – a flaw that internal BP documents reveal could lead to ‘catastrophic errors’

Then we get to the heart of this problem: the Minerals Management Service (MMS). This agency is in charge of making sure these wells are safe but for years they have been well on the side of the oil industry thanks to the Bush administration:

During the Bush years, the Minerals Management Service, the agency in the Interior Department charged with safeguarding the environment from the ravages of drilling, descended into rank criminality. According to reports by Interior’s inspector general, MMS staffers were both literally and figuratively in bed with the oil industry. When agency staffers weren’t joining industry employees for coke parties or trips to corporate ski chalets, they were having sex with oil-company officials. But it was American taxpayers and the environment that were getting screwed.

and :

In reality, MMS had little way to assess the risk to wildlife, since a new policy instituted under Bush scrapped environmental analysis and fast-tracked permits. Declaring that oil companies themselves were ‘in the best position to determine the environmental effects’ of drilling, the new rules pre-qualified deep-sea drillers to receive a ‘categorical exclusion’ – an exemption from environmental review that was originally intended to prevent minor projects, like outhouses on hiking trails, from being tied up in red tape…

But the sad part? Salazar, Obamas new secretary of the interior who was to clean up MMS did pretty much nothing. This article really exposes this point and its just shameful. How can it not give the impression that Obama is in league with the oil interests?

Then it goes on to talk about how Obama said one thing about drilling (something I totally heard and believed when he said it) and then did another once elected :

On the campaign trail, Obama had stressed that offshore drilling ‘will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence.’ But once in office, he bowed to the politics of ‘drill, baby, drill.’ Hoping to use oil as a bargaining chip to win votes for climate legislation in Congress, Obama unveiled an aggressive push for new offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Southeastern seaboard and new waters in the Gulf, closer to Florida than ever before.

Later on page 7 the article talks about the lack of govt. response. I actually bought the administrations line about them legally having their hands tied (as if they could not help if they wanted to) but in fact it’s the opposite!

…the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan – the federal regulations that lay out the command-and-control responsibilities for cleaning up an oil spill – makes clear that an oil company like BP cannot be left in charge of such a serious disaster. The plan plainly states that the government must “direct all federal, state or private actions” to clean up a spill “where a discharge or threat of discharge poses a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States.

Then theres this :

But rather than applying such skepticism to BP’s math, the Obama administration has instead attacked scientists who released independent estimates of the spill. When one scientist funded by NOAA released a figure much higher than the government’s estimate, he found himself being pressured to retract it by officials at the agency.

Hmn. Sounds like the Bush administration again to me!

Scientists were stunned that NOAA, an agency widely respected for its scientific integrity, appeared to have been co-opted by the White House spin machine. ‘NOAA has actively pushed back on every fact that has ever come out,’ says one ocean scientist who works with the agency.

All in all it’s just so sad that Obama has failed us as a president. I worked so hard to see him elected and he has proven here (and in other areas) that he is simply George Bush in a new body. Its really troubling and it just goes to show that it doesn’t really matter who we elect as president.

The Senate, yea lost cause, but the house has some balls

Nice to see that some congressmen are standing up to the president on this wiretap issue.. I wish I could say the same for our US Senators (even ones I voted for!)

If our nation is left vulnerable in the coming months, it will not be because we don’t have enough domestic spying powers.  It will be because your Administration has not done enough to defeat terrorist organizations – including al Qaeda — that have gained strength since 9/11.  We do not have nearly enough linguists to translate the reams of information we currently collect.  We do not have enough intelligence officers who can penetrate the hardest targets, such as al Qaeda.  We have surged so many intelligence resources into Iraq that we have taken our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a result, you have allowed al Qaeda to reconstitute itself on your watch.
You have also suggested that Congress must grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies.  As someone who has been briefed on our most sensitive intelligence programs, I can see no argument why the future security of our country depends on whether past actions of telecommunications companies are immunized.

Um Yup! from a letter to GWB from Congressman Reyes of Texas.

Bushes Right Arm

Am I the only one who has noticed that there is something wrong with GWBs right hand/arm? Every time I see the guy walking around he always has his right arm stiffened up like it’s not even his.. It looks like a fake arm. When he moves his right hand it is slow and fake looking as well. I wonder what this could be? Anyone seen this?

Good news/Bad news

I’ve been telling anyone who would listen for about 3 years now about the fraudulent recount effort of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio that would (in my opinion) have proved that the election was stolen by the evil slimy Bush bastards. It was also recounted quite well in the HBO documentary “HackingDemocracy“. Well, two of the election workers involved were charged with rigging the recount and they have been found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in jail. This is good news. The bad news is multi-faceted. First I’m upset that they only got 18 months. Clearly what they did was tantamount to treason and they should have at least gotten life in prison for subverting our constitution. Second I’m upset becasue you won’t find anywhere in the MSM this story.. I looked with no luck and I’m sure you won’t see this on TV. Lastly, I’m most upset because this does nothing to remove Bush from the White House.. at the least, congress could investigate.. According to Bradblog only 6 Kerry votes in each Ohio precinct would have made him the winner. oh wait.. the ballots have been destroyed even though a Judge ordered them saved.. hmn.. interesting. Fuckers. Why aren’t more of us upset about this?

Is a coup coming?

So, according to NSPD-51 the president can skip the constitution, ignore congress and take over state and local govts. and private companies in the event of an “emergency” (which the president can define) for as long as he wants! So he could either declare an emergency or perhaps stage a fake terrorist attack and then take over the govt, dissolve congress and become supreme leader.. scary stuff! What kind of nation do we have that allows the president to simply declare stuff like this and get away with it? Why does our media ignore this? People, pay attention!

Here’s a video about it. Also, here’s a nice written piece about it.

Lastly.. in slate we see an article that at first appears skeptical but eventually you see that they are really paying attention :

I wish I did, but I see nothing in the document to prevent even a “localized” forest fire or hurricane from giving the president the right to throw long-established constitutional government out the window, institute a number of unspecified continuity policies, and run the country with the guidance of the “National Continuity Coordinator” and with the “Continuity Policy Coordination Committee” for as long as the president sees fit.

This order has been issued by executive fiat and has not been subjected to any public examination by the other two branches, which have behaved in a supine way that suggests how they’ll behave when comity time arrives and urgent decisions on the fate of the nation and perhaps the world (nuclear retaliation being what it is) need to be made immediately.

The fact that Congress has not scrutinized and challenged the potential here for an emergency-situation power grab is scandalous, unacceptable.

I can’t take it anymore

Does anyone care that on any given day 33 people die in the Sudan or that 33 people (a good portion american) die in Iraq? Does anyone care that the executive branch of the US govt. is under congressional investigation? Or that the Secretary of State may be be facing a subpoena soon? You wouldn’t think so if you watched or read the news lately. When I come in to work, the lobby of my building has CNN on a big flat screen TV. For the past 3 days the only thing I’ve seen on it (and I’ve walked past it quite a bit) has been this shooting incident at GT. Look, it’s pretty sad that this happened and innocent people died, but guess what? It’s over and its time to report on real news.. stuff that is happening right now..

Yea yea, we need time to grieve.. Blah Blah Blah. Grieve about the other deaths around the world that either we caused directly or by our inaction allowed and allow to happen all the time. Lets grieve about that. Lets grieve about how badly we ruined the environment and how we still have no plan on how to fix it. Lets grieve about New Orleans and how it isn’t much better than it was 2 years ago. And the list goes on.

We need to start questioning why nobody is standing up and pushing back against the fact that our media is failing us, that it is feeding us useless shit every day and we just eat it up. We need to complain. We need to stand up and demand that the media start focusing on things that are important. Don’t you all see where this is headed?

We’re fucked man

So. Is it possible to be happy about the world we live in today? I’m not sure.. Everything seems so fucked up. I write about here all the time.. I wonder if maybe I think this way because I’m critical of the world and if I just put on my happy person blinders and gave in to society I would feel a lot better. If I wanted to I could come up with 10 fucked up stories a day and post them here. Here’s one. Here’s another. I mean, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. When I was younger, the world was full of promise. The future was a place we wanted to get to.. Now, the future scares me. Well, actually it used to scare me. I’ve become resolved to our demise. Now I look forward to the decay of our civilization. I look forward to the day when people look back and say “what the hell have we done?”.. or maybe that day will never come. Maybe we will simply forget our potential and become complacent in our mediocrity.

Will we ever start treating each other as equals? Will we ever give up the endless pursuit of pointless things? Will we ever decide as a species to improve ourselves? Will we ever stop and realize that we could be doing so much more? Will we ever stop killing? Will we ever stop exploiting? Will we ever care for our planet? Will we ever think beyond the next earnings cycle? Or the next election?

I sure don’t think so.