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F*ckin’ Republicans…

July 28, 2011 Leave a comment

source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/science/earth/28enviro.html?_r=1&src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB

EXCERPTS:

“‘The new Republican majority seems intent on restoring the robber-baron era where there were no controls on pollution from power plants, oil refineries and factories,’ said Representative Henry A. Waxman, a California Democrat, excoriating the proposal on the floor….

There is little chance that all the 39 proposals identified by Democrats will be approved by the Senate, which they control, or that a substantial number could elude a presidential veto. In fact, one measure — to forbid the Fish and Wildlife Service to list any new plants or animals as endangered — was so extreme that 37 Republicans broke ranks Wednesday and voted to strip it from the bill….

[A Republican proposed measure] would prevent the Bureau of Land Management from designating new wilderness areas for preservation. Another would severely restrict the Department of Interior’s ability to police mountaintop-removal mining. And then there is the call to allow new uranium prospecting near Grand Canyon National Park.”

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We have to label things: orange, apple, man, woman. Words exist so that we can call things by recognizable names instead of grunting while pointing, which doesn’t work over the internet. I use words to grab the attention of the reader, because it is important to realize the economic calamity that Republicans leave in their wake when they cut taxes and eliminate environmental regulations for the top 1-2% richest people in this country at the expense of the rest of us.
 
The Conservatives call this “trickle-down.” The only problem is that “recession-down” has been the result under Ronald Reagan/Bush I and Bush II. Of course, George W. Bush’s recession was so special that we called it “The Great Recession.” Look at the economic data from a reputable source and you will see that under Republicans the rich get richer while the majority of Americans lose wealth. With Clinton, everybody gained wealth in every economic group, except maybe the poorest of the poor. But the Middle Class prospered and many became Upper Middle Class during the 1990s.
 
Right now, the Republican Party is a shill for greedy corporations. It’s about money. Republicans take from the poor and give to the rich. And by Republicans I mean Republican politicians, elected representatives. The Congressional Republican leaders do not seem to care about protecting public lands near National Parks for future generations to enjoy. They seem to prefer uranium mining (presumably for nuclear energy) and drilling/fracturing the earth for oil and natural gas…right next to National Parks! The process for acquiring natural gas is called “fracking,” which is short for fracturing. Accidents can occur that contaminate the nearby groundwater. Since visitors to National Parks want to drink water, it is not advisable to allow an industrial energy operation in the vicinity. Try explaining that to a greedy Republican.
 
And that’s why I wrote: “F*ckin’ Republicans…”

source:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2011/0509/Fracking-for-natural-gas-is-polluting-ground-water-study-concludes

EXCERPT:

“A Duke University study finds high methane levels in ground water near where fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has occurred. Fracking is a controversial practice to extract natural gas from shale.” 

Corporations have all the advantages over the labor force since 2009. During this Great Recession companies are making existing employees take on another person’s job instead of hiring somebody else and then having to pay an extra salary. The corporations and the banks got bailed out – everybody was borrowing from the FED on top of TARP – but the American workers are getting hung out to dry.

* Click the Dilbert link (7-7-11) for an example of corporations squeezing the labor force for more work without more pay, while simultaneously not hiring during the Great Recession.

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-07-07/

On top of all of the economic messes left in the wake of the Bush White House and the Republican majority in both houses of Congress for 6 years of Bush’s presidency, Republicans want to trample through public lands for oil and natural gas by weakening the Environmental Protection Agency during Barack Obama’s presidency. That’s not cool. And this environmental disregard is a pattern of action for Republicans. Did you not read or hear about Tim DeChristopher who faked an auction buy during an 11th hour public land auction in December 2008, just before George W. Bush left office? The Republican White House tried to rush through some sales of plots near National Parks in Utah for oil&gas drilling. DeChristopher bid and won for some land, but he did not have the money to pay. He just received his sentence in court: 2 years in prison. He considers what he did an act of Civil Disobedience, like when black people sat at “White Only” lunch counters for the first time in the 1950s.

sources:
 
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/26/opinion/la-oe-yarrow-oil-leases-20110726
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/us/27brfs-MANGETSJAILF_BRF.html

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source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/opinion/krugman-the-centrist-cop-out.html?_r=1&src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB

EXCERPT:

“The problem with American politics right now is Republican extremism, and if you’re not willing to say that, you’re helping make that problem worse.” — Paul Krugman

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Debt Ceiling Scorecard

July 28, 2011 Leave a comment

F*ckin’ Republicans…they spend all the money and then when it’s time to raise the debt ceiling to pay for what they spent they drag their feet right up to the August deadline. WTF?! That is some lame-ass politicking bullshit. Republicans are the problem. The truest words David Brooks ever wrote: “Republicans are not fit to govern.”

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/opinion/05brooks.html

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source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/us/politics/28default.html

EXCERPTS:

[My words in brackets.]

“As a senator, Mr. Obama voted against raising the [debt] limit himself [in 2006, when George W. Bush was maxing out America’s credit card to the tune of $Trillions of Dollars$ giving tax cuts for the majority benefit of the Superwealthy and sending us on a wild-goose chase for non-existent WMDs in Iraq – yeah, while Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan the whole time]….

“Q. How many times has the debt ceiling been raised, and by whom?

A. It has been a bipartisan exercise. By the Treasury Department’s count, Congress has acted 78 times since 1960 to raise, extend or alter the definition of the debt limit — 49 times under Republican presidents, and 29 times under Democratic presidents. The Obama administration has taken pains to note that President Ronald Reagan, a hero to many Republicans in Congress, raised the debt limit. In a letter on the debt ceiling last month to Republicans in the Senate, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner quoted a letter Mr. Reagan wrote a generation ago, urging Congress to increase the debt limit. ‘The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate,’ he quoted Mr. Reagan as writing. ‘Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result.’

Q. How has the debt risen this high, and how much are we paying in interest as a nation?

A. The United States has not always operated with such a large debt. After financing World War II with substantial borrowing, the outstanding debt held pretty stable for the next 25 years, going up to $283 billion in 1970 from $242 billion in 1946. But over the last 30 years, the debt has increased under every president — with the biggest increase under President George W. Bush, who cut taxes, added a drug benefit to Medicare and fought two wars. As the debt has grown, so have the country’s interest payments. In 2003, for instance, the government paid about $150 billion in interest costs; this year it is up to $250 billion. These interest payments are taking up more federal spending now than federal outlays on education, transportation and housing and urban development combined. Though the interest costs are substantial, they have remained lower than some economists predicted because the world has continued to lend money to the United States at very low interest rates, even as the nation’s debt has grown….

Q. Republicans and Democrats alike keep talking about the need to reduce the federal deficit. Won’t refusing to raise the debt limit cut the deficit?

A. No. The debt limit, or ceiling, which is the amount that the nation is allowed to borrow, must be raised if the United States is to pay for all the things that Congress has already bought: the spending in the budget bills it has already passed, the Social Security checks promised to retirees, the payments due to private companies with federal contracts and the interest on bonds it has sold. Washington has long spent more money than it takes in, and planned to make up the difference with borrowing. Both parties agree that this cannot go on forever. But if the debt limit is not raised, it will not cut the nation’s deficit or allow the government to get out of its existing obligations. It will simply make it impossible to borrow the money that the government needs to pay for them….

The Bipartisan Policy Center analysis notes that if the government were to choose to pay the interest on its debt, Social Security benefits, Medicaid and Medicare payments, defense contractors and unemployment benefits, it could not have enough left to pay for the salaries of federal workers and members of the military, Pell grants for college, highway construction or tax refunds, among other things….

Then, consumers could also feel the pinch: because the interest rates paid by corporations and consumers in the United States are tied to the rate the nation pays, interest rates could go up for everything from credit cards to mortgages. A homeowner with a mortgage for $100,000 might see her annual mortgage costs go up by $100 to $200 a year, economists say.”

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Civil Disobedience or Criminality? You mean like sitting at a “Whites Only” lunch counter when you’re black? Or how about faking an auction buy when the George W. Bush administration tried to sell public land to oil & gas companies?

July 27, 2011 Leave a comment

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/us/27brfs-MANGETSJAILF_BRF.html?ref=us

EXCERPT:

“An environmental activist has been sentenced to two years in prison for derailing a 2008 government auction of oil and gas leases.

source: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-yarrow-oil-leases-20110726,0,7950599.story

EXCERPT:

“The auction Tim [DeChristopher] disrupted was being conducted during the final weeks of the George W. Bush administration, in what many believed was a push to sell one last batch of public leases before President Obama took office. Tim’s intention at the December 2008 auction was to prevent the parcels, some of them on scenic land near Arches and Canyonlands national parks, from going to oil and gas companies….

He could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison for his actions….[after being] convicted of two felony counts for a nonviolent act of civil disobedience. ”

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BACKGROUND

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/world/americas/07iht-08lease.17639827.html

EXCERPTS:

“The tracts will be sold at auction on Dec. 19, [2008] the last lease sale before President George W. Bush leaves office a month later….

The Dec. 19 auction was expected to include energy leases of some land previously off limits, like Desolation Canyon. But not until Tuesday did the bureau release the final maps containing the new leases near park boundaries….

The Bureau of Land Management has expanded its oil and gas lease program in eastern Utah to include tens of thousands of acres on or near the boundaries of three national parks, according to revised maps published this week.

National Park Service officials say that the decision to open lands close to Arches National Park and Dinosaur National Monument and within eyeshot of Canyonlands National Park was made without the kind of consultation that had previously been routine.

The inclusion of the new lease tracts angered environmental groups, which were already critical of the bureau’s original lease proposal, made public this fall, because they said it could lead to industrial activity in empty areas of the state, some prized for their sweeping vistas, like Desolation Canyon, and others for their ancient petroglyphs, like Nine Mile Canyon.”

Read more: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/prog/more/cultural/archaeology/rock_art.html

picture source: http://www.mountainsofstone.com/images/Fremont%20Cottonwood%20Panel.jpg

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“How the Deficit Got This Big” by The New York Times’ Teresa Tritch

July 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Remember: President Bill Clinton balanced the budget and gave the United States a surplus of $200-300 billion. We had more money than we needed, until George W. Bush put us hundreds of billions of dollars in the hole in just his first few years. Bush eventually left U.S. with a multi-Trillion dollar deficit and an economy in a free-fall recession.

Bush blew through all the surplus cash giving away tax cuts for the majority benefit of millionaires and billionaires. Then Bush started an unnecessary war in Iraq for the majority benefit of rich military contractors and rich oil companies, like Halliburton, where Dick Cheney was the CEO.

* Before Cheney was CEO at Halliburton, he was the Defense Secretary for Bush I; and after running Halliburton, Cheney became the Vice President for Bush II.

Also, Bush and Cheney allowed Wall Street banks to self-regulate, which led to the Subprime-Mortgage Meltdown, bailouts of Wall Street banks with taxpayers’ money, and the fallout of long-term mass unemployment, 30% or more loss of home equity value across America, crushed stock values (meaning 401ks that were worth less)…all as a part of the continuing pain of The Great Recession, which officially started in the 4th quarter of 2007, under President George W. Bush.

Oh, and President Obama moved the “off-the-books” accounting for the Iraq War onto the official balance sheet, which added to the deficit. At least Barack Obama was being honest with the American people, unlike George W. Bush, who is an example of how Republicans and Conservatives will lie, cheat and steal.

* Click the link to see the graphs as visual aids.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24sun4.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

EXCERPTS:

“A few lessons can be drawn from the numbers. First, the Bush tax cuts have had a huge damaging effect. If all of them expired as scheduled at the end of 2012, future deficits would be cut by about half, to sustainable levels. Second, a healthy budget requires a healthy economy; recessions wreak havoc by reducing tax revenue. Government has to spur demand and create jobs in a deep downturn, even though doing so worsens the deficit in the short run. Third, spending cuts alone will not close the gap. The chronic revenue shortfalls from serial tax cuts are simply too deep to fill with spending cuts alone. Taxes have to go up.

In future decades, when rising health costs with an aging population hit the budget in full force, deficits are projected to be far deeper than they are now. Effective health care reform, and a willingness to pay more taxes, will be the biggest factors in controlling those deficits.”

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Read more: http://www.slate.com/id/2109242/

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“Old News” from Pete Miser’s album, Camouflage is Relative (2004)

Lyrics from “Old News” below:

Every day I pull out 50 cents, pick up the news

Jews killin’ Muslims

Flip it, Muslims killin’ the Jews

Fake Christians get rich on some conservative shit

Greasin’ each other’s palms to extinguish the itch

It’s not Freedom or Democracy. It’s Capitalist!

Same system had me locked up in a slavery ship

Same genocidal reasons all these people are gone

Like the Chippewa, the Iroquois, the list goes on

News is nothing new. It’s propaganda and lies.

Common justifications tryin’ to legitimize

Gross historical crimes

That imperial vine

That be stretching across the planet to take over our minds

So a few, fat, inbred pigs can stack gold

And right now they after that Texas black gold

Just like before about a decade ago [first Gulf War in 1990/ ’91 with Bush 1]

It’s almost boring the story is so old

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CHORUS:

What’s news is old and what’s old is new

What up, man?

Yo, what’s good, son? What up with you?

Same struggle, different day, bro. I thought you knew.

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Now let me speak for a second

on behalf of those we claim we representin’

With expansion plans and big weapons

Use for baggin’ land and cash-gettin’

In the name of the future and the present

Like the past and teach my ass a few lessons

About the reasons behind your transgressions

Liberty and Justice? Yeah, right!

You [George W. Bush] ain’t the type, so stop messin’….

CHORUS

(Pete Miser’s part)

Now I don’t wanna sound like a broken record, but look

We all know the politicians are crooks

Corporations cook the books

No one gets caught for what they took

And in the end we defend and elect ‘em again

I can’t pretend that you ain’t heard this before

I know you’re sayin’–”I done been through this shit for sure

Anytime I start to win, then they flip the board,

Change up rules, confuse me and switch the score”

May as well run up in here yellin’ “Hit the floor!”

Brandishin’ guns, like “Everybody run your funds!”

Just them white-collar thugs, ain’t gotta Hanukkahs

They got the system backin’ ‘em up, just like the dollar does

George Bush is a criminal, like his father was

Abu Ghraib ain’t nothin’ new. What you thought it was?

Ain’t shit changed but dates and names

Unless the People take back the game

CHORUS

The Murdoch Rule

July 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m just sayin’…one or the other, Entertainment or News…a couple media outlets, a few…but not newspapers, TV News, cable news, Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, Harper Collins book publishers, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, 20th Century Fox movies, and on and on across Asia, Europe, the Americas, Australia, the Earth.

Should we as a planet allow one man to dominate the discussion on planet Earth? “No,” to use Murdoch’s answer to wave away responsibility for his employees at the recently deceased newspaper, News of the World, hacking cellphones and bribing police. The 168-year-old newspaper, News of the World, employed former editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, who were arrested in the last few weeks by British police in connection with the phone hacking scandal.  Andy Coulson left News of the World to become an aide to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Rebekah Brooks was promoted from editor at News of the World to CEO of News International, the European arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which is also the parent company of Fox News. Point: News of the World was a powerful force within News International if one could jump from editor of the newspaper to running the whole show in Europe.

Before Brooks’ ascent, the Chairman of News International was Les Hinton, who became the head of The Wall Street Journal when Rupert Murdoch bought the newspaper in 2007. Last week, Hinton resigned from running The Wall Street Journal because of his tenure overseeing News of the World when reporters were hacking the cellphone messages of a murder victim, and allegedly hacking the cellphones of 9-11 victims as well as family members of soldiers who died in Afghanistan.

Oh yeah, and the two top cops at Scotland Yard – Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates – quit over the News of the World phone hacking scandal. And Sean Hoare, a reporter from News of the World who confessed to hacking cellphones and admitted that it was done with editors’ approval…he was found dead this week.

Basically, everybody is jumping ship and swimming to shore to grab a martini once they change out of their wet things. Rupert Murdoch has way too much power to corrupt information and public officials. If Fox News wasn’t around would we have had 8 years of George W. Bush? Fox News was the first channel to call the 2000 Florida election results for Bush, which prompted all the other channels to follow Fox News’ prediction that George W. Bush was the next president, even though it took a few more weeks for the Supreme Court to decide on the matter.

Reminder: Fox News is the channel that brought us the propaganda puppet theatre of Glenn Beck and Company. Coincidentally, Fox News host Tony Snow became White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush in 2006 – just when we were all finding out that there really were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

Ironically, Fox also brought us The Simpsons and Family Guy – obvious apostates of the Murdoch modus operandi and tormentors of the channel that broadcasts them.

So here it is…the Murdoch Rule: One or the other…News or Entertainment. Not both. Or some news and some entertainment, but not too much. Because right now Rupert Murdoch has way too much power to corrupt. What happened at News of the World is a violation of the Free Press and an affront to Democracy. The parent company is responsible, as is the CEO.

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Read more:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/19/john-yates-resignations-news-international

http://www.npr.org/2011/07/22/138588497/how-has-wall-street-journal-fared-under-murdoch

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/sunday-review/24england.html?ref=opinion

Categories: Original Thought Tags: ,

Rupert Murdoch = The Cult of Irresponsibility

July 20, 2011 Leave a comment

According to Rupert Murdoch’s testimony in front of British Parliament concerning employees of his media empire engaging in criminal activity – hacking private cellphone messages for public report as well as bribing members of the police – as Chief Executive Officer, he takes no responsibility.

* News Corporation paid out almost £1 million pounds as part of legal settlements concerning phone hacking victims, and Rupert Murdoch didn’t know about it? WTF does he do all day? He’s the CEO, so he should know about payments in legal cases, eh? Because if Rupert Murdoch doesn’t know what’s going on in his company, and James Murdoch doesn’t know what’s going on either, then maybe it’s time for regime change at News Corp.

Because such negligence or irresponsibility exists at the highest executive levels of News Corp during instances of criminality that led to the two top cops at Scotland Yard resigning, the arrest of Andy Coulson (aide to Prime Minister David Cameron), along with Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton jumping the News Corp ship before Brooks’ arrest, possibly it is time for Rupert and James Murdoch, as the irresponsible bystanders, to follow the trend by also tendering their resignations…for the greatest public good. The way the Murdochs talked on Tuesday, I had a feeling that this phone hacking and bribing police could very easily happen again; and their response would be predictably, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. Wasn’t us.”

This is the grand scheme of big business on planet Earth? To have the Murdochs running a multi-billion dollar media empire that reaches around the globe is beyond disturbing. Wow! No responsibility. None. It is time to break up News Corp’s holdings because these irresponsible Murdochs have way too much power to influence the public and corrupt public servants. Especially when they admit that they don’t know what’s going on; it’s all news to them. Maybe the irresponsibility they cultivated at News Corp reaches all levels of employees throughout the company? I don’t know, I’m just asking the question. Where does the irresponsibility at News Corp stop if it goes all the way to the top?

FAH-Q Rupert Murdoch

July 20, 2011 Leave a comment

FAH-Q = For All to Hear & Question. ; )

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-20/murdoch-s-refusal-to-take-responsibility-may-undermine-credibility-as-ceo.html

EXCERPTS:

“Deflecting Blame

The blame for the phone-hacking scandal lies with employees, Murdoch told U.K. lawmakers.

‘Do you accept that ultimately you are responsible for this whole fiasco?’ lawmaker Jim Sheridan asked.

‘No,’ Murdoch answered.

‘You’re not responsible? Who is responsible?’ Sheridan said, according to a Roll Call transcript.

‘The people that I trusted to run [the tabloid], and then maybe the people that they trusted.’

When Murdoch was asked if he was guilty of ‘willful blindness’ or ignoring ‘knowledge that you could have had and should have had,’ he said: ‘We were not ever guilty of that.’

Murdoch’s testimony cast doubts about his leadership abilities and judgment, said Finkelstein, the Dartmouth professor.

‘You can’t just say you’re humbled,’ Finkelstein said. ‘There’s no world-class company around that doesn’t want a CEO who demands to hear about these types of things in real time. Rupert didn’t seem the least bit concerned about that.’

Investors reacted positively to the testimony, which produced no new headlines that were immediately damaging to the company. News Corp. Class A shares rose 83 cents, or 5.5 percent, to $15.79 yesterday in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. In Australia, they rose 4.7 percent to A$15.18 at 2:53 p.m. Sydney time….

Rupert Murdoch’s refusal to take responsibility for the hacking scandal that has slashed $5.89 billion from the market value of News Corp. (NWSA) may undermine his credibility as chief executive officer.”