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Archive for June 22nd, 2010

Go Ahead, Block the Moratorium

June 22nd, 2010 No comments

A federal judge blocked Obama’s 6-month moratorium on oil drilling. The administration reasoned that since the cause of the Deepwater Horizons disaster was unclear, we need to make sure continued drilling can be done safely. Apparently, the judge was convinced that it would do too much damage to the local economy:

This Court is persuaded that the public interest weighs in favor of granting a preliminary injunction. While a suspension of activities directed after a rational interpretation of the evidence could outweigh the impact on the plaintiffs and the public, here, the Court has found the plaintiffs would likely succeed in showing that the agency’s decision was arbitrary and capricious. An invalidagency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country.

A few quick thoughts about this:

1- Interesting how a single judge could overturn a decision by the president of the United States.

2- If the unthinkable happens and another well explodes, what will this judge say then?

3- In all fairness, the 6-month moratorium was purely a political move on Obama’s part that wasn’t really going to solve the underlying issues about the inherently unsafe nature of deep-water oil drilling. It would have been nice to take a 6-month breather and really examine the issue, but in all likelihood Obama was never going to try something as radical as halting offshore drilling and moving full-speed ahead on clean energy anyway.

So let the oil-workers go back to their jobs. I would call on them to make sacrifices for the sake of this country’s long-term future, but not for the sake of short-term politics.

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Afghanistan in the Headlines

June 22nd, 2010 No comments

Well, not Afghanistan per se, but at least something to do with Afghanistan:

(CNN) — Gen. Stanley McChrystal, America’s top military commander in Afghanistan, has been recalled to Washington amid his controversial remarks about colleagues in a Rolling Stone article, officials said.

Apparently he cracked a little joke about Biden and said some less-than-flattering things about Obama. Now he’s been recalled to Washington, presumably to make his proper apologies for the sake of public perception.

Am I the only one who doesn’t give a shit? What would it take for CNN or any other major news organization to actually publish stories that have to do with what we’re actually doing in Afghanistan? You know–what our strategy is, how we’re going about implementing it, whether or not we’re succeeding, what to do if we’re not…that sort of thing.

Instead we only hear about Afghanistan when a general faints or cracks a joke in Rolling Stone. Here’s an idea: don’t just recall McChrystal to Washington–fire his ass completely. Put someone in who might be willing to tell it like it is, who has the guts to tell the president and the American people that this war can’t be won and it’s become nothing more than an endless drain on our economy as soldiers continue to lose their lives, Afghani civilians continue to be terrorized, President Karzai continues to run his corrupt, horribly unpopular government with our support, and Osama bin Laden continues to breathe the free air in fucking Pakistan.

Seriously, what the hell are we still doing there?

UPDATE: The whole article for Rolling Stone is up now, and it’s the best article I’ve read on the Afghanistan issue in months. This is how the rest of the media should be doing it.

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Oil Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head

June 22nd, 2010 No comments

This is easily the most frightening piece on the BP oil disaster I’ve read so far:

The problem is that BP may not only have hit the mother of high-pressure wells, but there is also a vast amount of methane down there that could come exploding out like an underwater volcano.

It almost is like something out of Lord of the Rings. We’ve dug too far and too deep, and now we might have released a power too great and terrible to imagine.

Why else would BP have so easily agreed to the $20 billion escrow fund if they didn’t think the damage would probably be much worse than that? They probably agreed to this in order to be able to say “We already agreed to $20 billion, and we won’t agree to any more.”

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Independent Progressive Movement

June 22nd, 2010 No comments

Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake has been fighting WAAAAAY harder for the kind of Change that Barack Obama promised than Barack Obama has.

The Democratic Party is just another arm of corporate America, aiming to protect the status quo by pretending to fight to change it. But why would they want to change anything? The existing system lets them hold power and make shitloads of money, so of course they’re not going to fight for real change.

That’s why we need a strong independent progressive movement, one that won’t just tow the Democratic Party line and that will stand up and challenge democrats (like Blanche Lincoln) who most egregiously side with corporate interests at the public expense. Only by sending a message to democrats that they can’t just be “Republican Lite” will we have any hope of getting people in Washington who actually give a damn about you and me.

I almost never donate to activist organizations, but this is a cause that is absolutely essential to prevent what little democracy we have left from completely dissolving into plutocracy.

Feux Abortion Clinics

June 22nd, 2010 No comments

I get lots of e-mails from activist groups asking me to donate money or sign a petition, but this one about CPCs really caught my eye.

Never heard of a CPC? They look like women’s health-care clinics. But most of the estimated 4,000 CPCs are unlicensed and unregulated storefronts staffed by anti-choice volunteers.

Their number-one goal is to make women feel too guilty or scared to choose abortion by providing information that is medically inaccurate and manipulative.

Women who are facing an unwanted pregnancy are under enough emotional turmoil without being deceived and harassed by self-righteous assholes who want to make the decision even harder for them.

Sign the petition to prevent these groups from advertizing themselves as “abortion services” in the Yellow Pages and online. It’s hard enough to get an abortion in America.

Don’t get me wrong–of course I think abortion is wrong and I wish there were less of them, but this kind of underhanded deceit is wrong too. If the anti-choice crowd want the moral high ground, they need to find better ways to achieve their goal than intimidating abortion doctors and women.

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