Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Big Fucking Oil Mess

Obama fails again. Hot on the heels of utterly tanking healthcare and financial reforms, we see Obama fail yet again on the closely related issues of energy and environmental protection. Reform? I'd be happy to see even real incremental change instead of the ongoing plutocracy cock-sucking.

Always remember that Obama was so busy achieving nothing at all that he also failed to aggressively push a more environmentally friendly agenda as a matter of public policy. The fucker actually argued for more offshore drilling! That's right, the oil industry's fluff boy is Obama.

Head slap.

Here's some David Sirota for you:


We know that before the disaster, President Obama recklessly pushed to expand offshore drilling. We also know that his Interior Department gave British Petroleum's rig a "categorical exclusion" from environmental scrutiny and, according to The New York Times, "gave permission to BP and dozens of other oil companies to drill in the Gulf without first getting required (environmental) permits." Worse, we know that after the spill, the same Interior Department kept issuing "categorical exclusions" for new Gulf oil operations, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar still refuses "to rule out continued use of categorical exclusions," as the Denver Post reported (heckuva job, Kenny!).

Undoubtedly, had this been the behavior of a Republican administration, "The Left's" big environmental organizations would be scheduling D.C. protests and calling for firings, if not criminal charges. Yet, somehow, there are no protests. Somehow, there have been almost no calls for the resignation of Salazar, who oversaw this disaster and who, before that, took $323,000 in campaign contributions from energy interests and backed more offshore drilling as a U.S. senator. Somehow, facing environmental apocalypse, there has been mostly silence from "The Left."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Politics is Pro Wrestling

I'm seeing a lot of people on the info-pipes analogize politics to professional wrestling. I guess the point is this: there's lots of bullshitting, meaningless posturing, endless boasting, pretend skirmishes, big fucking cage matches, etc. - but ultimately all of the outcomes are known well in advance. The whole thing is theater for the average American voter who might as well be a tea-bagger given how little they understand about most things generally.

That sounds about right to me. And remember, it's not fake just scripted. There is a difference.

The winners and losers are all very real.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Health-Care Lawsuits "Unlikely to Succeed"

Read about it here:

"This claim of power by Congress under the commerce clause goes beyond any claim that has been upheld by the Supreme Court in the past," Barnett said in a phone interview. "Congress has never mandated that private individuals enter into a contract with a private company."

Barnett drew a distinction between the health-insurance mandate and laws compelling the purchase of auto insurance. Such regulations are enacted by states, not the federal government, and regulate the act of choosing to drive, he said.


I just wanted to note that I am not alone in recognizing that there is something very odd about this new mandate. What I find kind of funny is that I am on the side of the naysayers in this regard even though I actually support health care reform that would ultimately be even more far-reaching than anything they could ideologically tolerate.

I support at minimum a public option. I would prefer a single payer system. When I dream of things that will never happen I truly want a national health service.

But this particular issue puts me on the side of the GOP naysayers because I think this supposed "health care reform" that we've been given is actually just a big fucking corporate giveaway. Cost containment is nowhere to be found. Millions will continue to go uncovered altogether.

This bill is still a sham.

Monday, March 22, 2010

We Supposedly Have "Health Care Reform"
(a.k.a. More Corporate Giveaways!)

Jane Hamsher has become one of the more studied and thoughtful voices on all things political, and especially on "health care reform." Here's a small quote:


FDL Statement on the Passage of the Health Care Bill

But this is not health care reform, and the task of providing health care that Americans can afford is still before us. Too much was sacrificed to corporate interests in the sausage-making process. Rather than address the fundamental flaws in our health care system, we applied a giant band-aid. This health care bill does not come close to doing all that needs to be done to meet the needs of our citizens and our businesses as we retool our economy for the 21st century.

...(skipped bit)...Never before has the government mandated that its citizens pay directly to private corporations almost as much as they do in federal taxes, especially when those corporations have been granted unregulated monopolies.


Her whole statement is worthy of a deep reading.

One fundamental thing that has to be observed is that Obama, and the whole Democratic party with him, have utterly caved to corporate interests. As it now stands, this "health care reform" is possibly the biggest corporate giveaway in U.S. history! "Health care reform" now competes with the other historic corporate giveaway that was recently called TARP and a whole host of other things when we bailed out the banks and Wall Street. Don't our public servants ever tire of giving money away to corporate welfare queens?

"Heath care reform" must now be placed in quotes because it is so far from the ordinary meaning of that phrase.

But I have a very slender hope for "health care reform." I believe that this kind of legal requirement to contract with a private health insurance company may very well not pass Constitutional scrutiny. Why not?

Well, let's consider the most obvious parallel: automobile liability insurance as is demanded of many motorists throughout the union. The main thing to know about automobile liability insurance is that you don't need it if you don't drive. No one can arbitrarily force you to buy it. You trigger the requirement by the intent to drive. So, if you want to drive, you need automobile liability insurance. Some states even offer their own insurance.

The requirement to purchase health care insurance under our new "health care reform" is a simple legal requirement: you do it because it is now required. There is no trigger - you don't have to want something special to require it. You simply have to get it. And right now that means buying it from a private corporate entity. You are now legally required by virtue of being alive and a U.S. citizen to contract with a private, significantly unregulated, monopolistic corporate entity to buy health care insurance.

Yeah, that may not fly.

And therein lies my hope! The fact that it probably won't pass muster means that the legal requirement as it stands will fail. When it fails the most likely remedy is to require you to buy into a government run scheme that will offer the same protection. Something like single payer.

No one has yet won any significant legal challenge to the notion that the government can make you pay a tax for the benefits it provides to everyone as a whole.

So, I don't think they can make you buy it from a corporation, but I do think they can make you buy it from the government itself. They'll just call it a tax.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Health Care Reform Bill Isn't Real Reform

I'm just going to give this link to Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake:

Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill

This bill sucks fat cock in hell. I hope it doesn't pass. The Democrats continue on their merry course toward political suicide because they are blissfully unaware of what precisely they were voted into office to accomplish. When they fail to accomplish it, the payback is going to be so severe the sound of the blow will echo down the centuries.

More cynically I have to accept that the Democrats know exactly what they are doing and just don't care. Because...

They got theirs. Fuck You.

Just like the GOP.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Geithner = "Chief Facilitator"

This is all getting fairly ridiculous. When will someone go to jail? Jeez, give us a scapegoat if nothing else. I don't know how they expect anyone to respect the law at this point. The fraud and malfeasance reaches to the very top.

Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism said: "Quite a few observers, including this blogger, have been stunned and frustrated at the refusal to investigate what was almost certain accounting fraud at Lehman." He goes on to note the possibility of "accounting fraud," noting "collusion" on the part of the Fed, ultimately condemning the activities described as the probable "aiding and abetting Lehman in accounting fraud and Sarbox violations." But we will never know for sure unless the matter is investigated, which it most likely won't be. See:

Our government now regularly bends over backwards to suborn criminal activity. And when the wrong-doers are caught, not only do they not go to prison as they should, they get made whole again on the back of everyone else's money.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ongoing "This Modern World" Content Theft

or visit this link:

If memory serves, Tom Tomorrow is quoting Glenn Greenwald with that "Master tactician" shit. Of course, it's brilliant and I think I have quoted it myself on this very blog.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Clueless Obama

OMFG! Cut spending?!!! What a fucking retard!

Here's what Sirota said:
Yes, cutting social safety-net programs during a recession, while increasing spending on wars, underwriting a no-strings-attached bank bailout and pushing a health care bill that is a massive giveaway to the insurance and drug companies.

Jesus, what could I possibly add to that? We've been utterly hijacked.

And Obama is all over the news claiming how he's willing to be a good one-term president. He's got that half right: one-term. Good? Not so much...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Future of Our Republic

Is voting with your libido! Scott Brown ascends the public stage:

I wish I were kidding...!

The Prez One Year On...

Shit, does it have to be said?

Obama is toast on every front. Everything he promised is gone. Yes, we have some few incremental victories for which we can congratulate ourselves - as if those small successes even matter when we are losing the thread of any real, substantive "change."

Progressives are of one mind on this matter. Everyone is noting how weak the President has been on every issue of substance. The 1% are getting bailed out while the average citizen can't even get the same safety net enjoyed by every other western nation in the form of a single-payer or national health care system.

The bailout is particularly shameful. Not only are those corporations NOT too big to fail, but the idiots running the show by their own admissions this last week are know-nothing, brain-dead zombies to a man. Why in the fuck are we saving these bastards from the trash-heap of failed business men? We should be setting fire to those motherfuckers and their institutions!

Obama's message remains "hope." That's all you're gonna get from Obama: hope, but no change. A vain fantasy from a smooth-talking snake.

Go Team America!

Pardon me while the powers that be squeeze every last drop of blood from this turnip.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Monsanto's GMO Corn Linked To Organ Failure

A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health the three GM maize varieties that formed the basis of this investigation, new side effects linked to the consumption of these cereals were revealed, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others [4]. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity. This can be due to the new pesticides (herbicide or insecticide) present specifically in each type of GM maize, although unintended metabolic effects due to the mutagenic properties of the GM transformation process cannot be excluded [42]. All three GM maize varieties contain a distinctly different pesticide residue associated with their particular GM event (glyphosate and AMPA in NK 603, modified Cry1Ab in MON 810, modified Cry3Bb1 in MON 863). These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.


Monsanto has immediately responded to the study, stating that the research is "based on faulty analytical methods and reasoning and do not call into question the safety findings for these products."

The IJBS study's author Gilles-Eric Séralini responded to the Monsanto statement on the blog, Food Freedom, "Our study contradicts Monsanto conclusions because Monsanto systematically neglects significant health effects in mammals that are different in males and females eating GMOs, or not proportional to the dose. This is a very serious mistake, dramatic for public health. This is the major conclusion revealed by our work, the only careful reanalysis of Monsanto crude statistical data."


HuffPo commenter "pontesisto" said:
What I have a problem with is that we are all being forced to be part of Monsanto's great food experiment. I understand that respected and well meaning scientists claims these foods are perfectly safe to eat and that they will prevent future food shortage problems but I do not think it is right that they are forcing us to eat them. We should have a choice and these foods should be labeled.

That's an even-handed statement.

Why doesn't the U.S. government, and more particularly the FDA, understand that many of us do not want to participate in a toxicity experiment that enriches the truly evil Monsanto corporation. This GMO corn shit is all over the food supply. Growers of traditional corn varieties are being forced out of business by Monsanto's insane food patents and market force thuggery.

You want nutrition. You may be getting poison instead. Isn't it getting pretty hard to swallow?

Calories: Margin of Error

Restaurant Food Has Up To 200% More Calories Than Advertised

Dieters can't believe everything they read: The food at many popular chain restaurants and in the freezer section of the supermarket may contain a lot more calories than advertised.

A study of 10 chain restaurants, including Wendy's and Ruby Tuesday, found that the number of calories in 29 meals or other menu items was an average of 18 percent higher than listed.
Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University who was not involved in the study, said she was not surprised by the findings. People might think nutrition labels are scientifically precise, but they are mostly ballpark figures, she said.
The study said most of the packaged food tested fell within the 20 percent margin of error allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Chang's large Sichuan-style asparagus had more than double the 200 calories it was supposed to have.


While the legally allowed 20% deviation is quite bad, 200% isn't even close. The U.S. Food Industrial Complex surely knows this guideline is poorly enforced and then targets you as a consumer of their "bliss point" foods loaded in fat, salt, and sugars.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

An Eye For An Eye

Individual liberty is often discussed in terms of having the freedom to swing one's fist right up to the tip of someone else's nose. Ideally, no one else cares what one may doing as long as it doesn't harm others. So far so good...

In the real world. the mischief lies in the fact that we do violate each others' rights all the time, even if only accidentally. Accidents are occasionally but not always forgiven. Things that are done on purpose have a way of rarely or never being forgiven.

For the reasons discussed above life often seems like a very complicated game of retaliatory moves. There's a lot of talk about "turning one's cheek" from our supposed spiritual leaders, but down here on earth most people at least defend themselves if not actually take the fight right back to their enemies. Americans seem to forget that even if there may be no such things as "instant karma" there is the reality of retaliatory acts on the part of others. How long can we - as Americans - expect to piss in everyone else's soup and not be taken to task for it? It's not an idle question. Because I am a man of peace and wish to tread softly upon the earth I try to behave as to do injury to no one and no thing unless I must. but as a nation we are doing harm all over the planet. Where we do no actual harm we behave intrusively as if we had every right to do so. We act like bullies and every other nation on earth knows this about us.

We need to start behaving in a manner more consistent with keeping the peace. I write that as if there were a peace to be maintained when in reality the U.S. is at war or engaged in aggressive acts all over the world, just as it has been for several decades.

We pretend one thing while we do another. It's not hard to imagine that the people of other nations have caught us out for the hypocrites that we obviously are.

So, what do we suppose they will do in return?