Thursday, March 31, 2011
The current scenario shows all signs of massive corruption:
Beaches still not fully cleaned up. Check.
No workers actively cleaning up beaches. Check.
BP rent-a-cops patrolling beaches that are still dirty with oil to make sure journalists can't take pics. Check.
Lawyer in charge of distributing $20 billion fund gets salary from BP. Check.
Fresh oil washes ashore with no reports of any new spills. Check
Same lawyer's salary goes from $800,000 PER MONTH, to $1.25 million PER MONTH. Check.
Widespread charges of fraud and negligence charged against BP fund. Check.
BP fund recipients claim their payouts were inadequate. Check.
BP fund recipients legally unable to sue BP, or any other company involved for further damages. Check.
I hate that the media is so obsessed with the cobra escape, the teen mom backyard brawl, and Charlie Sheen that they can't do their actual job of watchdog and report on something like this.
Anybody want to play Joe Barton?
Not. The GOP governor of Pennsylvania's new regulation proposal forces regulators to get the OK from political appointees on all oil and gas industry safety violations. The fines paid for these violations are already small and are ignored by many companies, so this proposal cripples needed regulations that are already pretty weak.
Could this be an issue that the free market, deficit-obsessed, tea party right, and the hippy, environment-loving left could agree on?
Also, here's Ron Paul on hemp, the non-drug, industrial form of marijuana that can be used to make paper, rope, ethanol, and many other industrial products. It is currently outlawed in the US even though it cannot be used by people as a drug.
I think we will see a turn-around for the Dems in 2012 not necessarily because of sweeping support for Obama but because of the losses we saw in 2010. What I am saying is that I do not think Obama will have anything to do with people coming out rather Dems, who have suffered over the past few months watching the new GOP freshman, will come out because of their guilt for failing to come out last election. While it’s impossible to predict where we will be in 2012, with Obama’s approval rating being the lowest it has ever been, I can’t foresee Obamanation saving the day for Congressional Dems like in 2010. However, I can see all the Dems that watched the GOP “young guns” take control of the House come to the polls to try and reclaim lost ground.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Two major reasons: race and the GOP. Favorite line: "to establish a vote in Congress for Washingtonians, who are overwhelmingly Democrats, Republicans would have to place a moral imperative ahead of partisan interests." I don't see the modern Republican party ever doing anything close to that. If the tea party really wanted to emulate the real tea party and the American founders, they would end DC's system of "taxation without representation."
Here's another take on it that touches on Fox's supposed distinction between news and opinion:
GOP Spending Cuts Don't Include Any Items on GAO's List of Programs at High Risk for Waste, Fraud and Abuse
I am not a big Dennis Kucinich fan but politifact ranks his comment on this as true. The GAO is the government accountability office, which is a federal agency that acts as a watchdog for waste, fraud and abuse, among other things. They published a list of programs that were wasteful, yet the GOP ignored them. I think the most interesting item on GAO's list is the $295 BILLION the IRS could collect if it was adequately staffed. It seems here that the GOP is not only against higher taxes, but also against properly collecting them at all. Their budget cuts IRS funding, which will result in less revenue. This is another signal to me that the GOP doesn't care about cutting deficits, just about cutting programs they don't like.
President Jimmy Carter is currently visiting Cuba, and as the article suggests, possibly going on a diplomatic mission to rescue an American that was sentenced to 15 years in jail. I think there is a good chance that Carter will be successful in helping the prisoner. What I am unsure of is what this will mean for Cuba-US relations. Raul Castro has been much more receptive to the United States, than his brother was. I wonder if this could be the start of something bigger or simply a blip on the radar.
Monday, March 28, 2011
So, we are headed for a government shutdown because the White House is offering to cut spending including mandatory spending, aka entitlements, by $ 30 billion through the end of this fiscal year, but the GOP wants Dems to pick from "their menu" aka the CR, and does not accept these newly proposed cuts. Basically, they want Dems to only agree to cuts from non-defense discretionary spending. Aren't they the ones saying we need to tackle entitlements? Aren't they the supposedly serious deficit reducers?