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Respect My Hypocrisay!

June 14, 2010

Whether it’s foreign policy or domestic policy, the way the US chose its “leaders” or how it deals with emergencies manmade or otherwise, it’s pretty clear to those that are paying attention that at this point the rest of the world views the US as a colossal joke. The punchline may still pack a wallop in some places, but not enough of one to bring its adversaries to heel or make them forget the “Do as I say, not as I do” bushwa that government officials spout off to anyone they can still find who is able to stop laughing long enough to listen for a minute or two before bursting into hysterics again.

Looking through the news this morning it didn’t take more than a few minutes to find several instances of blinding hypocrisy. Glenn Greenwald notes that the man who thought dim bulb Caribou Barbie would be an excellent running mate had some strong words for Iran, uttered with no sense of irony whatsoever.

Is it any wonder that this is the same regime that spends its people’s precious resources not on roads, or schools, or hospitals, or jobs that benefit all Iranians — but on funding violent groups of foreign extremists who murder the innocent?

As the American war in Afghanistan enters its ninth full year and our occupation of Iraq its seventh, and as we continue to find all new ways to kill innocent civilians in various countries around the world, and as we continue to transfer billions of dollars every year to Israel and the Egyptian dictatorship — all while thinking about how to slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and thus erode the weak safety net even further, while confronting collapsing domestic infrastructure, rampant unemployment, and massive teacher lay-offs and even grade elimination for American children — is there any other country you can think of, besides Iran, which “spends its people’s precious resources not on roads, or schools, or hospitals, or jobs that benefit all [citizens]” but rather on wars and support for foreign groups which kill “the innocent”?

Helen Thomas is shown the door for having the temerity to suggest in off the cuff comments to a teenager that Israel stop violating international law, but Chuck Schumer in prepared remarks to a Jewish organization likely to lavish him with campaign dollars can call for the economic strangulation of an entire people with no adverse consequences whatsoever. As long as the Palestinians don’t die too much, then it “makes sense” to Chuckles.

Rachel Maddow reminds us in the video at the bottom of this Bradblog post that last year Congress rushed to condemn ACORN based on trumped up videos made by some jackass in a pimp suit and hurriedly passed legislation to completely deny them federal funding before investigations which eventually cleared them of any wrongdoing whatsoever could be completed. The legislation barring this community organizing group from federal funds was signed into law by the equivocator in chief Barack Obama who had once touted his own community organizing bona fides on the campaign trail, showing once again his willingness to dump all over those who helped get him elected. And yet this same Congress rushes to the defense of British Petroleum which continues to receive billions of dollars in federal funding despite having been responsible for the deaths of 11 people and the destruction of an entire ecosystem while the whole world watches. The president, who asserts the authority to murder US citizens on his say-so alone, can only mutter platitude filled palaver when it comes to holding BP accountable. He’d really like to fire somebody or hold somebody responsible, but who the responsible parties are just isn’t clear quite yet.

Even though ACORN is now defunct, Brad Friedman notes that somehow that hasn’t solved all the problems with the US election system, as the recent victory of unknown candidate Alvin Greene is the South Carolina Democratic Senate primary makes abundantly clear. The chattering classes try to come up with one ludicrous explanation after another to explain this – some suggest that the SC Republicans urged their constituents to cross party lines in the open primary and cast their votes for Greene although there is absolutely no evidence to back this claim up, while others suggest that the “e” at the end of Greene’s name was some secret code to let his fellow blacks know he was one of them – while completely ignoring the obvious conclusion that it’s the voting machines, stupid, because if anybody looked into that too closely we might have to ask just how many members of Congress got there through election tampering.

And then there’s the conservative Senator from Arkansas who calls herself a Democrat, Blanche Lincoln. Lincoln has been accused by those deluded enough to still believe that the Democratic party gives a rat’s ass about anybody other than their corporate contributors of being an impediment to the “change” that Barry assures us he’d really like to get passed through Congress. Lincoln was facing a primary challenger for her Senate seat who accused her of being a little to cozy with the banking industry, which she, like most members of the Senate, most assuredly is. So not from any personal conviction, but in a transparent attempt to soften her opponent’s charges against her, she proposed an amendment to the financial reform legislation that would severely limit the ability of banks to trade in dangerous financial derivatives. Although I sincerely doubt Lincoln understood exactly what was in the amendment she put her name to, it turns out the amendment was not the usual weak tea remedy but actually had some teeth to it and the Senate for one reason or another was unable to gut the amendment before having to vote on the reform package as they normally would, so it is currently still operative. As we saw last week, Barry didn’t consider Blanche an impediment to his real agenda at all and actively campaigned for her re-election. Now that Barry’s assistance has helped her win the primary, he’s working behind the scenes with best pal Timmeh the Elvin One to make sure Lincoln’s amendment is watered down or removed completely so Goldman Sachs and the like will still have plenty of cash to send the Democrat’s way. If any of that makes logical sense to you, please seek help immediately.

So rather than trotting out one ridiculous political cartoon after another in an attempt to justify the actions of the US government, why not just drop the pretense of seriousness and use a real cartoon to do the talking instead? Eric Cartman probably comes a lot cheaper than Robert Gibbs or Joe Biden – maybe Barry can use the savings to balance the budget and keep his republican friends happy.

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58 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    June 14, 2010 10:38 am

  2. cometman permalink*
    June 14, 2010 10:48 am

    More hypocrisy – Chris Floyd on the recent discovery of vast mineral deposits in Afghanistan.

    The New York Times reports on the discovery by American geologists that Afghanistan contains “vast riches” in untapped mineral deposits: at least $1 trillion worth — including huge troves of lithium, “a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys,” as the paper breathlessly relates.

    Unfortunately, given the realities of our world, one’s first reaction to such news is not a cheery “How nice for the Afghan people!” but rather a heart-sinking, dread-clammy “Uh oh.” For what this discovery almost certainly portends are many more decades of war, warlordism and foreign intervention, as the forces of greed and power fight like hyenas to tear off the juiciest chunks of this windfall.

    ~snip~

    Oh yes, the great danger is that China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth! They’ve already got one copper mine and they want more, the greedy bastards!

    This passage gives us a vivid display of the quintessential NYT stew of PR, spin and tiny fragments of reality. First comes the head fake toward the Yellow Peril, then we get a bit of truth: the Washington believes the United States should dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, “given its heavy investment in the region.” China can’t have it, because we’ve got it.

    ~snip~

    In other words, the warlords of a foreign power will develop the mining operations in order to keep them out of the hands of, er, foreign powers and warlords.

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 14, 2010 2:26 pm

      Poor Afghanistan. It should about do them in that they are, like Congo, like the Gulf, cursed with natural resources.

  3. cometman permalink*
    June 14, 2010 11:02 am

    David Michael Green has another excellent post – The Do-Nothing 44th President – which includes the following fictional (although it sounds highly plausible) exchange:

    Obama: “Hey, Tony, your oil spill is really causing me problems, so I thought I’d call to kick your ass a little.”

    Hayward: “Screw you, punk. You do what I tell you.”

    Obama: “Oh god, you’re right. Christ! Sorry. I forgot myself. For a minute there I thought I was talking to my daughter about her homework.”

    Hayward: “Get your facts straight, pal. Starting with who here works for whom.”

    Obama: “Yes, sir. Right away, sir. What can we do for you?”

    Hayward: “Nothing at all would be perfect, just like you have been doing. Just let us drill where we want, spill where want, thrill as is our wont to the sheer brazenness of our lies, and bill your account for the damages. We’re not greedy we won’t ask for more than that.”

    Obama: “You got it, Mr. Hayward. We’ll get right on it. Raaaahhm!!!”

  4. cometman permalink*
    June 14, 2010 12:29 pm

    And speaking of cartoons, I was looking for some info on when Zappa Plays Zappa would be playing, and I noticed that Zappa Records released a new album by Warren Cuccurullo entitled “Playing in Tongues: Holographic Jesus And The Cee Gee Alien Attack” which also features Terry Bozzio.

    Here’s one of the songs called “Think Kartoonz”. Warning: viewing may cause seizures :)

    Cuccurullo also collaborated with Bozzio and others in a band called “Chicanery” and they’ve just released a new album. You can find out more about it and hear some of the music here.

  5. artemis54 permalink
    June 14, 2010 2:21 pm

    For all his imbecility, Chrissiepoo Mathews hits it once in a while. Responding to some oil $enators going on about the years of drilling without a catastrophe, he pointed out the John Wilkes Booth had a clean record too.

  6. cometman permalink*
    June 14, 2010 4:40 pm

    Just checked the Octocam! and the octopus is currently out cruising around its tank if anybody wants to try and catch it in action.

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 14, 2010 6:16 pm

      He(?) seems intent on something at the far end of the room right now. Caught him the other day hurling all around the tank.

      Speaking of critter cams:

      Sea turtle films Caribbean vacation

      Video – This is only five minutes of the twenty that survived. This is a hell of an ad for Nikon if they want to get on it. Apparently there was enough recognizable footage to tie the camera to Aruba and the lost owner. I find the beach footage interesting.

      • cometman permalink*
        June 15, 2010 7:35 am

        That was very cool. Maybe this turtle can partner with the camera snatching octopus, swim over to Hollywood and give David Lynch some lessons ;)

  7. artemis54 permalink
    June 15, 2010 7:04 am

    Speaking of hypocrisy, your tax dollars are financing and arming child soldiers in Somalia, some nine years old. Tell me how this is okay.

  8. artemis54 permalink
    June 15, 2010 7:21 am

    Jay Inslee, on CO2 emissions:

    Every oil well is an oil spill.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 15, 2010 7:40 am

      I thought Inslee was one of the more reasonable WA Reps but that’s about as boneheaded as it gets.

      • artemis54 permalink
        June 15, 2010 7:48 am

        I think in context – which I didn’t provide, he talked about his granddaughter never being able to see a coral reef – it was a good point. Where we are headed: this little incident will teach us valuable lessons about how to pull out those last drops of oil – problem solved! And then it will be full steam ahead.

        There is perversity here, and also in the notion that a certain number of dollars will fully compensate for the loss of the Gulf of Mexico.

        I dread this speech tonight. Am equipping the tv room with lots of styrofoam and other nonlethal objects.

        • cometman permalink*
          June 15, 2010 8:41 am

          That makes more sense. I didn’t see the context at the link and I thought he was trying to make a point along the lines of the ones Haley Barbour and others have been making trying to downplay the disaster.

  9. artemis54 permalink
    June 15, 2010 7:54 am

    Maybe of niche interest only, but cdroots is currently knocking 15% off orders over $100. Enter coupon “cdr15” and recalculate. My entire annual cd budget goes here. It’s a bitch that world/roots/whatever music folks never seem to part with their cds, so they never pop up in the used market.

  10. cometman permalink*
    June 15, 2010 8:37 am

    Ha! Jeebus warned that a house built upon the sand will not stand but he neglected to mention that the same holds true for gigantic statues built of plastic foam and fiberglass.

    A six-story-tall statue of Jesus Christ with his arms raised along a highway was struck by lightning in a thunderstorm Monday night and burned to the ground, police said.

    The “King of Kings” statue, one of southwest Ohio’s most familiar landmarks, had stood since 2004 at the evangelical Solid Rock Church along Interstate 75 in Monroe, just north of Cincinnati.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 15, 2010 8:51 am

      Best fucking thing I’ve read in weeks! Bwahahaha
      The wrath of Thor has banhammered Jeebus!! hahahaha

    • cometman permalink*
      June 15, 2010 3:41 pm

      Video footage of the Lake of Fire!

  11. Stemella permalink*
    June 15, 2010 8:47 am

    If y’all would like an overload of hypocrisy, there is a live showing of the Energy Commission’s hearing with the CEO’s of the major oil companies. Once upon a time I might have believed these kinds of hearing mattered. Now it is only soap opera, but it is still entertaining to watch the oily fuckers pretend to squirm.

    Gulf Oil hearing

    Also, related to oily fuckers Check this out

    This oily fucker was also a vampire squid. See full discussion at Zedge.
    Chairman of Goldman Sachs International Was – Until Last Year – Also Chairman of BP

    Here’s the wiki on the guy. I expected to see connections to Cane Toad and Robert Rubin, but I’ll have to dig deeper to find them. This person and his role in neo-liberal globalization seems to be at the root of the problems we see flowering around the world.

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 15, 2010 9:17 am

      At the hearing, Seatak is raising considerable hell. Pointing out that in the various spill response plans of these companies, there are 5 – 9 pages on how to remove oil and 40 pages on how to deal with the media.

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 15, 2010 9:54 am

      Under questioning from Inslee, Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, denies global warming and ocean acidification, saying it is the subject of much scientific debate. Inslee calls bullshit.

      Tillerson also denies that anyone anywhere requires relief wells to be drilled concurrent. But I thought Canada requires specifically that in its Arctic wells?

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 15, 2010 10:14 am

      Parker Griffith (AL) bitching that these captains of industry are not being shown the appropriate respect by mere members of congress. This guy is a piece of work.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 15, 2010 10:48 am

      That Sutherland guy is very oily indeed. Appears that he’s a member of a few of those “New World Order” – type groups we’re told only conspiracy theorists bring up. Here’s his bio from the Trilateral Commission website. That one hasn’t been updated in a while and still lists him as a board member of RBS, one of the biggest bad actors in the whole banking meltdown, although his wiki mentions he was “asked to leave the board” when the UK government had to take them over.

      Both the Trilateral bio and his wiki page mention that he is a financial advisor to the motherfucking Pope.

      He also wrote a book with this neocon douchebag.

      Couldn’t find much to tie him to Summers yet either except that according to this list which may not be entirely accurate he attended the same Bilderberg conference as the Cane Toad. I’d be very surprised if they didn’t know each other personally.

      All I know is that the next time somebody accuses me of conspiracy theories for mentioning that there are shady characters with their tentacles in everything, I’m going to bring up this guy – Goldman Sachs, BP, Trilaterals, Bilderbergs, WTO, and the motherfucking Pope – don’t know how one could possibly be more connected than this guy and still be largely anonymous.

      • Stemella permalink*
        June 15, 2010 11:37 am

        Oh wow. I missed the motherfucking pope connection. I played around with his muckety page for a while earlier and was amazed at all the tentacles. I think he is one to add to our “fishing” expeditions along with Scheunemann et al. They all reek of New World Odor and require constant spritzes of disinfectant by sunlight and exposure. That’s pretty much all that we have the ability to do at this point.

        • cometman permalink*
          June 15, 2010 11:56 am

          Sounds good to me. maybe we can put up a Go Fish Part Deux post specifically for links related to this guy. I really wish I had access to LexisNexis for stuff like this. I bet a lot more would come up.

        • cometman permalink*
          June 15, 2010 12:33 pm

          Haven’t checked his extensive links yet, but Washington’s blog has a post on Sutherland here.

          Also found this tidbit there as well. Remember the huge number of put options on airlines that were purchased just prior to 9/11/2001? They’ve now been destroyed. Not sure what to make of that yet.

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 15, 2010 11:12 am

      !

      Rep. Cao (LA), commenting on calls for BP exec McKay to resign, suggests harakiri might be more appropriate. I’m liking this guy.

  12. artemis54 permalink
    June 15, 2010 8:52 am

    Holy cows, I think Obama may have stripped a couple gears. He’s basically giving his 2004 convention speech to the troops at Pensacola naval station, with a little bit of economic recovery thrown in along with spill recovery – which he just seems to see as a little economic hiccup – and everything else including the kitchen sink and every bromide from the last ten years about Iraq, etc. No red states, no blue states, just a fog of rhetoric.

    If this is a preview of tonight, it will be total disaster. There is no focus at all, just a regurgitation of his greatest hits.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 15, 2010 9:41 am

      This Preview of <O's script certainly doesn’t look too promising, hopeful or changey. Regurgitation is the theme du jour with this Administration.

      • artemis54 permalink
        June 15, 2010 9:57 am

        Sounds like a snooze. After all this the worst thing Obama could do is put everyone to sleep with recitations of the nubers of boats and feet of boom. If he doesn’t understand that, he is much more stupid and out of touch than I could have imagined.

  13. Stemella permalink*
    June 15, 2010 9:44 am

    Another hypocrite of the Jeebus lovin variety exposed!

    “Artist” Thomas Kinkade faces DUI arrest

    The painter of light is having a dark period.

    Thomas Kinkade, the Placerville native who became one of the world’s wealthiest artists with his sentimental landscapes and Christian motifs, has had a string of legal troubles.

    His company owes millions of dollars to art gallery owners who successfully pressed fraud claims.

    Earlier this month the firm filed for bankruptcy protection from those gallery owners and hundreds of other creditors.

    I suggest this “Inspirational Artwork” be used for the next junk shot in the Gulf oil disaster.

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 15, 2010 9:50 am

      Now that is the most hilarious thing I’ve heard in weeks.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 15, 2010 10:22 am

      What’s so bad about Kinkade?!?!?!?! I thought this one was top notch! Bwaaaaahahaha!

  14. cometman permalink*
    June 15, 2010 10:18 am

    Been a long time coming, but 5 New Orleans police officers have been indicted for murder for the death of Henry Glover in the aftermath of Katrina. Remains to be seen whether the Thin Blue Line will be broken in this case or not. Based on past history of murderous cops getting a pass, I’m guessing not.

    Meanwhile, there will be definitely be no justice for Maher Arar as the Supremes took the advice of <O and denied Arar's bid to have the case reviewed.

    Also, if he isn't already dead, Osama Bin Laden will live another day as some crazy American motherfucker armed with a sword has been arrested in Pakistan.

  15. cometman permalink*
    June 15, 2010 12:14 pm

    Mike Whitney says the worst may be yet to come for the real estate market – The Next Housing Crisis .

    Evidently the banks have been keeping foreclosed properties off the market in order to keep prices up, making it look like there wasn’t a glut of unsold homes. Now that they’ve squirreled away all the free money they received that they were supposed to lend but didn’t, they’re about to put all that inventory on the market which will drive down prices even further, making it very likely that even more people with upside down mortgages will walk away from their homes.

    Inventory steadily declined during the period the Fed was exchanging cash-for-trash (toxic assets and non performing loans for reserves) with the banks. Now inventories have begun to rise again as the banks get back to business as usual, in other words, throwing people out of their homes. The sudden uptick in repossessions and property seizures coincides perfectly with the ending of the Fed’s giant “no bankster left behind” program. Clearly, there must have been a quid pro quo.

    What’s so impressive about Bernanke’s trillion dollar sleight-of-hand operation is its simplicity. We’re just talking “supply and demand” here, not rocket science. The banks agreed to cut supply (by temporarily stockpiling homes) while the Fed loaded them up with a cold trillion-plus in reserves. Meanwhile, John Q. Public assumed (incorrectly) that Bernanke’s program stabilized prices. It’s a very ingenious deception.

  16. cometman permalink*
    June 15, 2010 1:12 pm

    Jeremy Scahill with the latest on Blackwater. Sounds like Erik Prince feels he may be in hot water soon.

    Sources close to Blackwater and its secretive owner Erik Prince claim that the embattled head of the world’s most infamous mercenary firm is planning to move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Middle Eastern nation, a major hub for the US war industry, has no extradition treaty with the United States.

  17. cometman permalink*
    June 15, 2010 1:23 pm

    This Billy Blog post was particularly good – The assault on workers’ rights continues.

    Definitely worth reading it all but a couple points stood out. He discusses the remedies that are supposed to “help” Greece, but of course the intent of the oligarchs was never to help, but to squeeze its people for every last drachma they could. The measures taken really make no logical sense at all unless helping was never part of the plan.

    Can you believe the circularity that is going on? First, Greece suffers a massive negative demand shock which drives its budget deficit up as a result of the automatic stabilisers and some discretionary bailout efforts.

    Second, the conservatives scream that the Stability and Growth Pact rules, which bear no relation to the reality these nations are in, have to be met.

    Third, the bond markets start to screw Greek debt issues.

    Fourth, a bailout package is implemented to ease the reliance on the bond markets but a nasty austerity package is imposed on the Greek government.

    Fifth, the austerity package is designed to damage economic growth.

    Sixth, Moody’s seeing the “substantial” risks to growth put the boot in.

    Seventh, stay tuned for the budget deficit rising, the bond markets getting nastier, the bailouts getting larger, although Moody’s and the other criminal rating agencies can’t downgrade Greek public debt much more.

    He goes on to describe how demand is down worldwide and workers are suffering for it. To me a permanent reduction in demand is necessary – we can’t just keep consuming more and more indefinitely. However this means there is a lot less work that needs to be done and something needs to change significantly to avoid massive crushing poverty since people aren’t just going to disappear overnight. What is needed is to pay people a living wage and have them work less for it, which means those at the top will need to give up some to the rest of us. I do believe the oligarchs realize what the future will bring and rather than trying to fix the problem, they are deserting the sinking ship and taking everything they can grab before it goes down. Getting more for working less is fine for them and has been for time immemorial, but the rest of us can go to hell.

    So you match that policy perspective with the reality at present and you can guess that things are going to get much worse for workers in the coming years. It is clear that the imposition of austerity programs will damage the bottom end of the income distribution significantly while the top-end-of-town will be spared. In fact the latter will be able to buy up (steal) valuable public assets at bargain prices as the governments are forced by the IMF, the EU and their own stupidity to privatise them.

    As a result there will massive wealth shifts from the public to the wealthy end of the private sector.

  18. cometman permalink*
    June 15, 2010 2:12 pm

    If you have $10,000 burning a hole in your pocket, don’t give it to this guy.

    Thirteen years ago, Bartmann was a member of the Forbes 400, the list of the richest Americans. He founded and led Commercial Financial Services Inc., which appeared to be making a killing by buying bad debt for pennies on the dollar and then collecting it for more.

    ~snip~

    By the end of 1998, CFS was collapsing amid allegations of corporate wrongdoing. Its liabilities exceeded its assets by $1.5 billion. Nearly 4,000 people lost their jobs. The company filed for bankruptcy, as did Bartmann himself when his former company went after him for millions in outstanding loans.

    ~snip~

    Today, Bartmann has a lucrative business teaching people how to get rich — or at least to try. He holds two-day seminars in Palm Springs every month to explain a wealth-building system to anyone willing to pay $3,000. But that seminar is really “kind of a litmus test,” Bartmann said. “It keeps away the looky-loos and the people who just want to talk about it.”

    The real meat of the system, Bartmann said, is presented at a five-day seminar that carries a $10,000 price tag. That course details how to evaluate, purchase and collect consumer credit card debt as part of a money-making venture that Bartmann thinks almost anyone can pull off.

    Since January 2009, Bartmann said, at least 1,700 students have taken the two-day seminar. “It’s a nice gig if you can get it,” he said.

    Really amazing to me that so many still fall for these kinds of get rich quick scams. Even more amazing is that anyone would pay their debts because they got a call from some jackass who fell for this kind of scam. Got a call a couple years ago from some collection agent who was trying to collect on a couple hundred dollar debt I owed from 14 years earlier on a gas card issued by a company that no longer exists. It was actually kind of fun explaining to this person why they’d never get a dime from me and why the company they worked for was stupid for buying old debt like that. Not surprisingly they didn’t call back.

  19. cometman permalink*
    June 15, 2010 4:20 pm

    I was just checking to see if that new DEVO album had come out yet and evidently it was released today. Currently there is a cat listening party at the Devo website which runs until 8:00 PM Pacific time tonight. Czech it out!

  20. artemis54 permalink
    June 15, 2010 9:07 pm

    Urkel Milquetoast Obama

    feet of boom

    number of boats

    did you know that Chu has a Nobel prize? This is as tone deaf as it gets.

    and of course inoffensive, asserting nothing, chasing some imaginary precise center of the polls a la Gore’s pathetic 2000 campaign

    This is just sad.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 16, 2010 8:47 am

      Here’s one I thought was pretty good pointing out the glaring difference between what Obama said last night and what he’s actually done – Deconstructing Obama’s BP Speech .

      • artemis54 permalink
        June 16, 2010 9:03 am

        Excellent. I would only add that my gasket blew right about here:

        So I’m happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party . . . .

        What exactly do parties have to do with it? This is his way of telegraphing that any group of nuts in the Senate will continue to have a veto, that the republican party will be met halfway, regardless of whether they represent half the public or five percent.

        And of course he said absolutley nothing about plugging the hole. Not an easy thing to address, but dodging it is worse. Better to come right out and say it looks like it ain’t gonna happen.

  21. cometman permalink*
    June 16, 2010 7:15 am

    Looks like Jon Stewart has been reading Cephaloblog again ;)

    Check out the video from last night at about the 6:30 mark.

  22. cometman permalink*
    June 16, 2010 7:28 am

    This can’t be good –Nightmare vision for Europe as EU chief warns ‘democracy could disappear’ in Greece, Spain and Portugal .

    But it’s the same warning we’ve seen over and over again from the likes of Chris Hedges and many others. When everything turns to shit, it gives the strongmen, backed by the crazies, the opportunity to take over.

  23. cometman permalink*
    June 16, 2010 9:13 am

    Jason Leopold on the current state of BP’s Prudhoe Bay oil field, and it isn’t pretty – New Documents, Employees Reveal BP’s Alaska Oilfield Plagued by Major Safety Issues.

    According to internal BP documents obtained by Truthout, and after interviewing more than a dozen employees over the past month, the Prudhoe Bay oil field, in a remote corner of North America on Alaska’s north shore, is in danger.

    After two serious oil spills and other mishaps, the BP employees fingered a long list of safety issues that have not been adequately addressed, making the Prudhoe Bay oilfield vulnerable to a devastating accident that potentially could rival the havoc in the Gulf.

    “The condition of the [Prudhoe Bay] field is a lot worse and in my opinion a lot more dangerous,” said Marc Kovac, who has worked for BP on Alaska’s North Slope for more than three decades. “We still have hundreds of miles of rotting pipe ready to break that needs to be replaced. We are totally unprepared for a large spill.”

    Kovac, a mechanic and welder who is the steward of the United Steelworkers union local 4959, said a lot of employees share his feelings, but “don’t want to risk their jobs for speaking out.” Kovac said he was willing to take the risk because BP has been slow to deal with the Prudhoe Bay problems and that “many lives are at stake.”

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 16, 2010 9:22 am

      The Triple Crown: the Gulf of Mexico, the North Slope (and Chukchi, etc), and let’s not forget the Gulf of Alberta. The push is on already to promote the tar sands as “safe.”

  24. cometman permalink*
    June 16, 2010 9:25 am

    And lest anybody think that “austerity measures” are just for Europe, check this out – Senate Democrats dismantling aid package due to deficit.

    That’s right, the same Congress who made damn sure the bankers got their trillions are now making sure that those damned poor and unemployed people don’t lead us down the road to perdition.

    This is the “Shock Doctrine” Naomi Klein warned about, not in some undeveloped country the US would like to ravage, but coming home to roost right in the good ol’ US of A.

    We are completely fucked.

  25. cometman permalink*
    June 16, 2010 9:41 am

    After the recent ouster of the president, things turn very ugly in Kyrgyzstan.

  26. cometman permalink*
    June 16, 2010 11:47 am

    Not sure if this book would help with rattus problems, but it worked for other rodents. Check out this review of “Outwitting Squirrels”. Ha!

  27. artemis54 permalink
    June 16, 2010 11:48 am

    Okay.

    Result of the BP summit at the white house:

    No dividend payout.

    $20 billion in escrow, and it is not any sort of cap.

    Good. Although the new face of BP has a language problem, talking about “the small people” who are affected. That ain’t gonna fly.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 16, 2010 1:15 pm

      Just found this post about the statement after seeing your comment, and yeah, that isn’t going to get very far off the ground. Noticed that the spokesperson also had the following to say:

      Emerging from White House talks with President Barack Obama, Svanberg said the British energy giant had “always met our obligations and responsibilities.”

      Always?!?!?!?! Reeeeeeeeaaaaaaally?!?!?! Then please explain Iran.

  28. artemis54 permalink
    June 16, 2010 12:31 pm

    Must say the current Gibbs/Browner presser is most satisfying, it is everything Obama’s speech was not. Browner is masterful really in the face of the usual imbecilic questions.

  29. artemis54 permalink
    June 16, 2010 6:13 pm

    Maddow is on fucking fire tonight re the artificial barrier islands, etc. She just needs to go that one more step and point out that the Mississippi used to do it right, for free. C’mon Rachel, go another step and talk about the missing science here, biology. How many tons of phytoplankton, how many thousand fish, are dead for each pelican?

  30. artemis54 permalink
    June 17, 2010 6:39 am

    Who needs sci fi? The caterpillar fungus trade at least looks like healthy outdoor work. I’d prefer it to a factory job.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 17, 2010 9:47 am

      Fascinating. And it pays better than factory work too. It does sound like something out of a post-apocalyptic sci fi novel though.

  31. artemis54 permalink
    June 17, 2010 7:09 am

    Afghanistan has a new export crop!

    Children, as young as nine. This UNHCR investigation is focussed entirely on boys. One shudders to even think of the girls.

    One wonders if the 5900/year number is not way low. After all, the prospect of immediate deportation is a powerful disincentive to disclose one’s status.

    This makes me too ill to enjoy the special tapenade I made for Hayward’s public burning.

  32. artemis54 permalink
    June 17, 2010 8:50 am

    Keith has left the building

    • cometman permalink*
      June 17, 2010 9:53 am

      Ha! Who will the pom pom girls go to now? I’m thinking it isn’t going to be Jon Stewart, who has been hammering Obama pretty good lately. He wasn’t buying what Obama (or any of the last 8 presidents) was selling last night. Very good clip here for anybody who hasn’t seen it already.

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