June 23, 2010 archive

Another Brilliant Week for Barack Obama

 This week the President of the United States watched cluelessly while what was already the worst environmental disaster in American history somehow got even worse, winked while a Democratic Congress refused to extend unemployment benefits for millions of desperate citizens, and fired his battlefield commander because of… opinions which the general’s assistants expressed in a bar.

It gets worse.

As the Senate scrambles to scale back a $140-billion recession relief bill, the poor, the elderly and the unemployed are bearing the brunt of the squeeze. But NASCAR track developers, movie producers and other special interests are likely to escape unscathed.

In the hunt for ways to cut costs, neither party has proposed curbing the panoply of narrow tax preferences, which Congress has routinely extended each year.

Instead, Senate leaders have proposed a $25 cut in weekly unemployment benefits; temporarily allowed a 21% cut in Medicare fees for doctors; and are planning to withhold or scale back $24 billion in payments many states expected to help pay for Medicaid for the poor.

Tax-breaks for NASCAR developers!

Cuts in Medicaid for the poor!

You gotta love those Democrats!

Oil Rain In Louisiana?

Posted to youtube June 22, 2010 by user HistoryTours

this looked exactly like what we saw yesterday under the Bay Saint Louis Miss Bridge On Our Way Out To Cat Island In The Gulf. Thick Brown Gooey Foam


Qualification: I have no way of knowing if that video is of a current event or if it is raining in the video scenes. Although I suspect undecomposed oil is probably too heavy to evaporate, I think that strong storms (hurricanes, etc) can probably physically transport crude oil and spread it inland, and I would imagine that some of the products of chemical breakdown of oil, and reaction products between oil and corexit, the dispersant BP is using, can evaporate and produce toxic rain. Some of those reaction products I imagine might cause ‘rainbow’ slicks on streets like what is shown in the video.

Crude oil contains the powerful cancer-causing chemicals benzene, toluene, heavy metals and arsenic.

(hat tip to Washington’s Blog: Health Risks from Oil Spill: “Some of the Most Toxic Chemicals that We Know” ,  “Every Place Can be Ground Zero”, CDC Advises “Everyone” to Avoid Oil)

See the following links to and excerpts from Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effect (2003), a paper produced by the Committee on Oil in the Sea: Inputs, Fates, and Effects, Ocean Studies Board (OSB), the Marine Board (MB), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB)

BP Stopping Rescuers! (Update: With Action Page)

(Cross-posted at firefly-dreaming)

Is there no one, no one that has any control over BP?

BP is blocking access to rescuing turtles and is incinerating turtles in the oil.

(Interview by Catherine Craig)

Venice, Louisiana, Boat Captain speaks!  

S I C K!  




    BP is burning endangered sea

               turtles alive.

       Click on Photo for Action Page

(h/t dharmasyd)

Clean-Up Worker Alert!

This is not really a diary, folks!  But it’s an important action alert (also, cross-posted at Firefly-dreaming).

Please everyone, take a moment to sign FireDogLake’s petition to BP insisting they provide respirators and the proper equipment for the clean-up workers along the Gulf coast.  BP is threatening to fire anyone who wears their own bought masks or whatever — seems BP is worried about its PR image (WTF?).

        Tell BP: Oil Cleanup Workers Need Respirators and Safety Training

                                         Click on photo to sign the petition.

It seems to me that OSHA should be on BP’s back to get them to buy the proper safety and health equipment for these people, who are exposed to many dangerous illnesses!  But, then, it seems to me . . . . . a lot of things . . . . . . !

Thank you, ALL!      

The Forever War implodes.

I have long maintained that the only thing that will stop America’s Forever War is the exhaustion of the US Treasury. Some view the removal of McChrystal as the unexpected consequence of a careless interview, but if one considers the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan it is more logically seen as a meltdown of a defeated leader. McChrystal grasped that he would never have enough resources to achieve what he had promised: a sweeping counter-insurgency victory that would make Afghanistan a tractable ally. I believe that this realization fueled the rage that led to his intemperate outbursts.

America is now in the terminal phase of its addiction to war. It is spending its last available (borrowed) resources on two hugely expensive and futile crusades to control strategic nations. When our unsustainable budget deficits force budget cuts, the military will not be spared, and these brutal wars will end. Never in the history of our nation have we squandered so much wealth to such little effect. We have wrecked Iraq, one of the most ancient civilizations of the world, and we have made Afghanistan a failed state, at a cost of over a trillion dollars. Fortunately there is no more money where that came from.

What decency and shame could not achieve, our pending bankruptcy (moral and financial) will necessitate: the end of America’s Forever War.

Open Web


News at Noon

From Reuters

Soros says Germany could cause Euro collapse

by Reuters

June 23, 2010

(Reuters) – Germany’s budget savings policy risks destroying the European project and a collapse of the euro cannot be ruled out, billionaire investor George Soros said in a newspaper interview released on Wednesday.

“German policy is a danger for Europe, it could destroy the European project,” he told German weekly Die Zeit.

Soros, who earned $1 billion in 1992 by betting against the British pound, added that he “could not rule out a collapse of the euro.”

Related Stories:

Euro steady but vulnerable as risk rally fails

G20 to warn against complacency on economy

Europeans act alone on bank tax before G20

McChrystal is the Tip of the Iceberg

Cross-posted at DKOS.

In his latest column David Ignatius says McCrystal’s…

…comments actually understate the backbiting among these senior policymakers and their staffs.

Anybody who has been around Washington’s foreign policy elite (I have, at times had a window into that world) knows the tension between civilian leadership and various faction of the military and, indeed, between not only the services but between factions within those services. Also, most people don’t understand the balance of power has shifted, over the decades, toward the Pentagon because, frankly, money talks and the Pentagon budget has a enormous influence over political realities in Congress. So, at the moment, we are as close to military rule as we’ve ever been as should be obvious by the MSM’s obvious reluctance to criticize the military despite the overwhelming evidence of atrocities practiced by both low and high ranking personnel. It is important to understand that this civilian vs. military conflict is very much a cultural conflict between an institution dominated by southerners and red-state Republicans who have a strong need to have “enemies” to be psychically healthy and a strong disdain for people who can see both sides of issues. Life to them is a simple matter of “them and us.” Frankly, these guys just consider themselves more manly than the civilians involved in FP discussions.  

A Clear difference: setting the Price of Carbon, so WE get a Share

Clearly America needs to reach for, and achieve, a Clean Energy Future.

Not so Clear is the Road we will take, if any, to ultimately get there …

Kerry says Obama intends to move votes on energy

Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Richard Cowan, Editing by Sandra Maler, Reuters — June 22, 2010


Obama is slated to meet leading Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday to discuss a way forward for the energy legislation.


Kerry said the bill must include ways to price carbon but was not “locked into any one single way of doing it.”

“The fact is if we don’t price carbon, we will create one tenth of the jobs and reduce only one tenth of the emissions,” he said. “It would essentially be an energy-only bill.”

Meet Sen. Vitter’s Trusted Aide

Looks like the ‘family values’ Louisiana Senator, who apparently loved playing the hooker scene, has another, and I’ll bet he decribes himself as a ‘family values’ gobper, fun lovin staff family member among his closest advisors, this ones so good he oversee’s the Senators Issues concerning Women.

Meet Sen. Vitter’s {Womens Issues} Trusted Aide

Looks like the ‘family values’ Louisiana Senator, who apparently loved playing the hooker scene, has another, and I’ll bet he decribes himself as a ‘family values’ gobper, fun lovin staff family member among his closest advisors, this ones so good he oversee’s the Senators Issues concerning Women.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Sprouts 1

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