Sunday, March 13, 2011

Do you know what "fracking" is? If not, I highly encourage you to watch the Oscar-nominated "Gasland" documentary, made by Josh Fox. It's scary to say the least.

On a related note, this news from PA:
Pennsylvania has come under fire lately as pollution from drilling in the Marcellus Shale threatens water resources across the state. But instead of ratcheting up oversight, Gov. Tom Corbett wants to hand authority over some of the state’s most critical environmental decisions to C. Alan Walker, a Pennsylvania energy executive with his own track record of running up against the state’s environmental regulations.
Private water wells have been contaminated with methane gas and other pollutants across the state, and in many cases the DEP has found that hasty or insufficient gas well construction was to blame. Several drilling site accidents have led to spills where wastewater, including from hydraulic fracturing, contaminated streams.

A 2009 ProPublica investigation revealed that Pennsylvania’s sewage treatment plants were accepting millions of gallons of drilling wastewater, but lacked the technology to remove or treat many of the chemicals and pollutants the water contained. In 2008 people along one stretch of the Monongahela River were advised to drink bottled water because the level of dissolved minerals and salts in the river was almost twice as high as the DEP considers safe.
In January, the Associated Press found that about 150 million gallons of Marcellus Shale wastewater—the majority of the wastewater for the period examined—had been dumped into rivers and streams after only partial treatment. A subsequent story from the New York Times revealed that much of that wastewater was dangerously radioactive, and that drinking water facilities have not been testing their intake for this radioactivity.

On Monday the EPA leaned on Pennsylvania’s DEP to tighten its oversight of drilling waste disposal. The next day, Gov. Corbett released his budget, reducing DEP funding and stating that job creation should trump lengthy permitting delays.
It's not shocking to learn that Republican Corbett accepted more than $800,000 in campaign contributions from the oil & gas industry.

Another bought-and-paid-for politician paying back his supporters at the expense of the people -- in this case possibly their health, not to mention land value.
Every so often Fox News gets it correct. It's an extremely rare occurrence but it does happen, almost by accident.

Shep Smith is caught telling it like it truly is in Wisconsin.
Shepard Smith said the battle over union rights in Wisconsin was all about busting unions and securing Republican political power, not about the state's budget deficit....Smith said the fight was "100 percent politics."
"There is no budget crisis in Wisconsin," he said, adding that the unions "[have] given concessions." The real point of the fight, Smith said, could be found in the list of the top ten donors to political campaigns. Seven out of the ten donated to Republicans; the other three were unions donating to Democrats.
"Bust the unions, and it's over," Smith said. He then brought up the Koch brothers, the billionaires who have bankrolled much of the anti-union pushback in Wisconsin. The fight, Smith said, "started" with the Kochs, who he said were trying to get a return on the money they donated to Walker's campaign.
"I'm not taking a side on this, I'm just telling you what's going pretend this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey," Smith said.
Watch the video.
  • Michele Bachmann gets her facts and history wrong, again. I thought Tea Party folks were all about getting this stuff right?
  • For those who haven't figured it out yet, it's fairly obvious that with the start of this year the Republicans had put together and implemented a strategy where they would try to systematically go after those who tended to vote for Democrats. It's what they're doing to unions in Wisconsin, with attempts to do similar in other states (Indiana, Ohio). Break the unions and strip them of all power and you succeed in extinguishing a primary donor to Democrats. That's the real goal in Wisconsin, ignore the trumped-up nonsense about a fiscal emergency. Next on the list: make it harder for minorities and college students to vote, two groups that generally side with Democrats. My question is are Democrats in Washington DC too naive or stupid to realize this is going on? Do they care?? WAKE UP!
  • Matt Taibbi on John Boehner: "He's a five-tool insider who can lie, cheat, steal, play golf, change his mind on command and do anything else his lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors require of him to get the job done....Look back over almost every controversial episode in the recent history of the U.S. Congress and you will find Boehner's face appearing, Zelig-like, somewhere in the foreground....Boehner, in short, has for most of his career been a Bush Republican, i.e., a corporate schmoozer and a remorseless spender of taxpayer money for whom the notion of small government is just something to say when the cameras are on."

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Niall Ferguson's Newsweek piece is just more proof that Obama is anything but a socialist, much less a radical progressive. I would say (as I have many times) that he's slightly left of center -- slightly. In other words, he's a fairly conventional politician.

The right has been doing to Obama what they did to Clinton for eight years: attempt to define him as more of an extreme ideologue than is truthful. They succeeded in convincing their base that Clinton was a far-left liberal -- a joke at the time and even more so looking back. And the same is true now with Obama, with their tireless effort to cast him as a pinko-socialist "community organizer." He's of course nothing of the sort -- if anything, he's been pissing off his own supporters for not being liberal enough!

But the right and Republicans control via fear-mongering and their base complies, allowing such tactics to prevail repeatedly. The base gets played over and over.... Idiots.
So Newt Gingrich is very likely going to jump in the race in 2012. This despite him being a member of the party of family values, a guy who is on his third wife, apparently cheating on his first two.

Best of luck to you Newt!
Regarding the mess in Wisconsin, it's fairly simple to understand at this point. It's all about politics and very little is about fiscal concerns. If the prank phone call was not revealing enough for you, all you have to know is Gov. Walker exempted those unions that supported him in his run for office.

If the state is in such financial trouble, requiring unions to sacrifice, going so far as to demand the abolishment of collective bargaining, than why is it some unions don't have to relinquish that right?
So Orrin Hatch is in danger of losing because he's not conservative enough...??!! Come again!! That's like saying the Devil is to be replaced in Hell for not being evil enough.

Just how far to the right is the GOP going to drift?? Reagan today would be the equivalent of Jerry Brown.
Given this latest news, isn't Glenn Beck supposed to be passing out on air at this point??