Tuesday, June 24, 2008

McCain, Republicans - No (truthful) Energy Plan Whatsoever

The latest atrocity being pushed by John McCain and the Republicans is that we need to boost oil production by drilling off the gulf shore shore and in the Alaskan National Wildlife Arctic Refuge (ANWAR).

Virtually every reason they give for this is, at best - completely baseless; and, at worst - a total lie.

The fact is that the Republicans’ stance on energy and oil has been abysmal and that McCain has no plan whatsoever to offer other than to keep doing what Bush is doing - subsidizing oil companies like Exxon-Mobil who made $8 billion per year when Bush took office, but who now make over $40 billion per year giving them the largest yearly corporate profit in the history of planet Earth.

We also have no reason to need it. The oil companies are sitting on 68 million acres of leased drilling land in the United States and purposely NOT drilling on it. They are hoarding at our expense and their republican backed puppets are floating other abominations now.

Misrepresentation #1 - Increasing offshore drilling will help bring down the cost of oil quickly.

Fact - Increasing offshore may produce a little more oil by the year 2025 or so, but the amount will be only a slight fraction of the nation’s total output. Republicans are basing this on the theory that we can drill our way out of the problem.

This is truly the most ludicrous of all their arguments. The United States has two percent of the world’s oil, but use 25 percent. Increasing that to 2.02 percent in 20 years will not make up the difference. If it was a difference maker, why won't they drill on the already secured 68 million acres they're sitting on? Because we're already refining oil at our full capacity. More oil won't get us more gasoline or lower prices.

Misrepresentation #2 - Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 did no damage to the environment from offshore oil platforms. McCain said, “They’re safe enough.”

Fact - Hurricanes Katrina and Rita forced 700,000 gallons of oil to spill during the hurricanes. The chance of further disasters not related to weather also factor into a possible catastrophic disaster to not only the ecology, but also the gulf states’ industries along the coast, such as the seafood industry and tourism on the beaches.

Misrepresentation #3 (actually a blatant lie) - “China is drilling off the coast of Florida...” (optional aside - “with the help of Cuba.”)

Fact - It’s a LIE. This rumor has been alleged by Vice-President Dick Cheney, Republican Congressmen John Boehner and Roy Blount, and media personalties Michelle Bachman and George Will over the past week. Dick Cheney actually apologized and corrected himself the day after this assertion, but it has a life that lives on thanks to Bachman and friends at the Republican Headquarters known as “Fox News.” It simply happens to be a fabrication.

Misrepresentation #4 (and the most fanciful of all) - ANWAR helps caribou in Alaska because the pipeline is warm. One Republican congresswoman from Minnesota even said the caribou will have coffee klatches with such a warm pipeline! I’m not making that up.

Fact - This is the silliest one yet. Think about it a second - the animals native to Alaska... are freezing??? Wouldn’t they have moved or become extinct long ago if they needed more warmth? And oh, by the way, why would we be HEATING the oil to such a degree that it will make the outside of the pipes warm? Is there some reason we’d need to do that? Would we need portable heaters along the pipeline to keep it warm the entire length? If not, then why has no one ever proposed simply putting in heaters FOR THE CARIBOU?

The simple truth is that the wealthiest corporations in the history of civilization, who are already being subsidized with additional tax dollars paid by hard-working Americans, want more. The Republicans are just the people who will rob the bottom 99 percent to make it happen.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bobby Jindal - Puppet, Heretic, Exorcist

Bobby Jindal is the Indian-American, 36-year-old governor of Louisiana and the only non-white Republican to hold high political office in the United States.

Some have thrown out his name as a possible vice-presidential running mate for John McCain. It won’t happen because, if for no other reason, the age difference would make John McCain look really old.

Jindal has been appointed to most of his positions by upper-echelon Republicans who taught him to obey, and he has throughout his career in Congress and, now, Governor. He has voted with George W. Bush more than 95 percent of the time and kissed up to every conservative politician who came into the state.

He was a Hindu until converting to Catholicism at 15. But it was revealed this week that he admitted to committing one of the most  egregious sins in the Catholic church when he took the role of a priest in performing an exorcism.

That’s right - he performed an exorcism - on a girlfriend he once knew. He wrote about it in a magazine article.

In the Catholic church, only an ordained priest can perform an exorcism, and, even then, it takes quite a high authority to appoint a priest to that function.

Obviously, Jindal thought rather highly of himself to appoint himself to this task.

He said it worked. He claimed the demon was cast out of the girl’s body.

Furthermore, Jindal said he also cured her of cancer!

It’s too bad he can’t use some of those magical powers to keep some his campaign promises about transparency in the Louisiana governor’s office regarding ethics.

Maybe the devil made him do it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Obama's Record on New Orleans

I wrote yesterday about more misstatements by John McCain about Iraq and New Orleans.

Obama's record in speaking out against Republican lies on Iraq is well-documented, but less well-known are his actions regarding New Orleans. Here's a rundown of what Obama has done for this area. Here's what the blog, "Think On These Things," compiled through February 2008.


Sept. 2, 2005: Obama holds press conference urging Illinoisans to contribute to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Sept. 5, 2005: Obama goes to Houston to visit evacuees with Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Sept. 7, 2005: Obama introduces bill to create a national emergency family locator system

Sept. 8, 2005: Obama introduces bill to create a National Emergency Volunteers Corps.

Sept. 8, 2005: Obama co-sponsors the Katrina Emergency Relief Act of 2005 introduced by Senator Harry Reid

Sept. 8, 2005: Obama co-sponsors the Hurricane Katrina Bankruptcy Relief and Community Protection Act of 2005 introduced by Senator Russ Feingold

Sept. 12, 2005: Obama introduces legislation requiring states to create an emergency evacuation plan for society’s most vulnerable

Sept. 15, 2005: Obama issues public response to President Bush’s speech about Gulf Coast rebuilding.

Sept. 21, 2005: Obama co-sponsors bill to establish a Katrina commission to investigate response to the disaster introduced by Hillary Clinton

Sept. 21, 2005: Obama appears on NPR to discuss the role of poverty in Hurricane Katrina.

Sept. 22, 2005: Obama and Coburn’s Hurricane Katrina financial oversight bill unanimously passes Senate committee.

Sept. 22, 2005: Obama’s amendment requiring evacuation plans unanimously passes Senate committee.

Sept. 28, 2005: Obama and Coburn issue statement about the need for a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the financial mismanagement and suspicious contracts occurring in the reconstruction process

Sept. 29, 2005: Obama and Coburn investigate possible FEMA refusal of free cruise ship offer

Oct. 6, 2005: Obama and Coburn issue statement on FEMA Decision to re-bid Katrina contracts

Oct. 6, 2005: Obama co-sponsors Gulf Coast Infrastructure Redevelopment and Recovery Act of 2005.

Oct. 21, 2005: Obama releases statement decrying the extension of FEMA director, Michael “Brownie” Brown’s contract. Obama calls Brown’s contract extension, “unconscionable.”

Nov. 17, 2005: Obama and Coburn introduce legislation asking FEMA to immediately re-bid all Katrina reconstruction contracts.

Feb. 1, 2006: Obama gives Senate floor speech on his legislation to help children affected by Hurricane Katrina

Feb. 2, 2006: Obama introduces legislation to help low-income children affected by Hurricane Katrina

Feb. 23, 2006: Obama issues statement responding to a White House report on Hurricane Katrina. Obama noted that the top two recommendations that the report had for the federal government were initiatives he had been working on since immediately after the storm hit. Obama called the administration’s response “delinquent.”

May 2, 2006: Obama gives speech about no-bid contracts in Hurricane Katrina reconstruction

May 4, 2006: Obama’s legislation to end no-bid contracts for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction passed the Senate.

June 15, 2006: Obama and Coburn announce legislation to require amendment to create competitive bidding for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction for federal contracts over $500,000. Although it passed previously, the language was stripped in conference.

June 15, 2006: Obama releases podcast about his pending Katrina reconstruction legislation in the Senate.

June 16, 2006: Obama and Coburn get no-bid Hurricane Katrina reconstruction amendment into Department of Defense authorization bill.

July 14, 2006: Obama and Coburn’s legislation to end abuse of no-bid contracts passes senate as amendment to Department of Defense authorization bill.

August 11, 2006: Obama visits Xavier University in New Orleans to give Commencement address

August 14, 2006: Obama and Coburn ask FEMA to address ballooning no-bid contracts for Gulf Coast reconstruction

Sept. 29, 2006: Obama and Coburn legislation to prevent abuse of no-bid contracts in the wake of disaster passes Senate to be sent to President’s desk to become law.

Feb. 2007-Present: As Obama begins his Presidential campaign he references Katrina as a part of his stump speech as he travels around the country in his familiar line, “That we are not a country which preaches compassion and justice to others while we allow bodies to float down the streets of a major American city. That is not who we are.”

June 20, 2007: Obama co-sponsors Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007 introduced by Senator Chris Dodd.

July 27, 2007: Obama and colleagues get a measure in the Homeland Security bill that will

investigate FEMA trailers that may contain the toxic chemical, formaldehyde.

Aug. 26, 2007: Obama outlines a detailed Hurricane Katrina recovery plan.

December 18, 2007: Obama calls on President Bush to protect affordable housing in New Orleans.

February 16, 2008: Obama releases statement on toxic Gulf Coast trailers.

And something tells me he's not finished speaking to the problems in the Crescent City.

Friday, June 6, 2008

More McCain Blunders - Iraq (again), Iran (again), and New Orleans

Because I've been away for awhile, I haven't been able to keep up with all of the recent John McCain goofs. Still, the last seven days have shown us that even upon reflection the best McCain can do is compound the errors with more mistakes.

On his least knowledgeable topic, the Middle East, his seemingly unending streak of misstatements, foul-ups, and lies continued last week with his assertion that troop levels in Iraq were below what they were before the Republican escalation of the war in January 2007. WRONG!

In fact, troop levels are higher now. So he tried to “correct” that the next day by saying he meant they would be below pre-surge levels by July.

Again, that simply wasn’t true. The ending of already Republican-extended troop deployments will force levels to reduce somewhat this summer, but they will still be a full 10,000 troops above what they were before the January 2007 troop escalation.

The week began on Monday with McCain speaking to the conservative Jewish group, AIPAC, and bashed Barack Obama for proposing to speak with other countries before beginning to bomb them. McCain made his point by speaking about the divestment campaign against South Africa and how that lead to the end of apartheid. If only he were president, he would begin a divestment campaign against Iran as well.

That was all good, except for three BIG problems.

First, the Senate already proposed an Iran divestment bill last year. It was written by Barack Obama. Oops. In case you think it was a democrat version, it wasn't. In fact, the bill was co-sponsored by conservative republican Sam Brownback.

Second, John McCain voted AGAINST the bill he's now proposing. Double oops.

Third, he had also voted years ago against the divestment bill against South Africa, the very example he held up as a basis for pursuing one against Iran!!! WHAT A MORON!!!

McCain continued his sightseeing tour of forgotten truths this week when he was asked why he twice voted against independent investigations into governmental failings before and after Hurricane Katrina. McCain said, I’ve supported every investigation and ways of finding out what caused the tragedy." WRONG!

In 2005 and in 2006, Democrats proposed an independent commission to look into the problems regarding the handling of the worst natural disaster in American history. It would have been comprised of non-federal-government analysts appointed by both Democrats and Republicans.

McCain and his fellow Republicans killed both proposals.

Again, McCain tried to later “correct” his misstatement by saying he voted against the bills because they were filled with pork barrel projects that had “billions for projects and programs that had nothing to do with the recovery of the city of New Orleans.”

Once again, McCain’s attempt to explain away his earlier incorrect recollection was completely wrong. The bills would have provided $3 million for the projects, but had no allocations for anything else.

McCain’s Magical Misery Tour continues.