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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

U.S. Supreme Court: 6th Biggest Threat

Posted by msrb on January 23, 2010

Previously, in  10 Biggest Threats to the US National Security, the US Supreme Court was listed as the sixth biggest threat to the US national security!

The best Congress money can buy!

Time to Reign in Out-of-Control Corporate Influences on Our Democracy

by Ralph Nader

Yesterday’s 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission shreds the fabric of our already weakened democracy by allowing corporations to more completely dominate our corrupted electoral process. It is outrageous that corporations already attempt to influence or bribe our political candidates through their political action committees (PACs), which solicit employees and shareholders for donations.

With this decision, corporations can now directly pour vast amounts of corporate money, through independent expenditures, into the electoral swamp already flooded with corporate campaign PAC contribution dollars. Without approval from their shareholders, corporations can reward or intimidate people running for office at the local, state, and national levels.

Much of this 183 page opinion requires readers to enter into a fantasy world and accept the twisted logic of Justice Kennedy, who delivered the opinion of the Court, joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Alito, and Thomas. Imagine the majority saying the “Government may not suppress political speech based on the speaker’s corporate identity.”

Perhaps Justice Kennedy didn’t hear that the financial sector invested more than $5 billion in political influence purchasing in Washington over the past decade, with as many as 3,000 lobbyists winning deregulation and other policy decisions that led directly to the current financial collapse, according to a 231-page report titled: “Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America” (See: WallStreetWatch.org).

The Center for Responsive Politics reported that last year the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $144 million to influence Congress and state legislatures.

The Center also reported big lobbying expenditures by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) which spent $26 million in 2009. Drug companies like Pfizer, Amgen and Eli Lilly also poured tens of millions of dollars into federal lobbying in 2009. The health insurance industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) also spent several million lobbying Congress. No wonder Single Payer Health insurance – supported by the majority of people, doctors, and nurses – isn’t moving in Congress.

Energy companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron are also big spenders. No wonder we have a national energy policy that is pro-fossil fuel and that does little to advance renewable energy (See: OpenSecrets.Org).

No wonder we have the best Congress money can buy.

I suppose Justice Kennedy thinks corporations that overwhelm members of Congress with campaign contributions need to have still more influence in the electoral arena. Spending millions to lobby Congress and making substantial PAC contributions just isn’t enough for a majority of the Supreme Court. The dictate by the five activist Justices was too much for even Republican Senator John McCain, who commented that he was troubled by their “extreme naivete.”

There is a glimmer of hope and a touch of reality in yesterday’s Supreme Court decision. Unfortunately it is the powerful 90 page dissent in this case by Justice Stevens joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. Justice Stevens recognizes the power corporations wield in our political economy. Justice Stevens finds it “absurd to think that the First Amendment prohibits legislatures from taking into account the corporate identity of a sponsor of electoral advocacy.” He flatly declares that, “The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation.”

He notes that the, Framers of our Constitution “had little trouble distinguishing corporations from human beings, and when they constitutionalized the right to free speech in the First Amendment, it was the free speech of individual Americans that they had in mind.” Right he is, for the words “corporation” or “company” do not exist in our Constitution.

Justice Stevens concludes his dissent as follows:

“At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.”

Indeed, this corporatist, anti-voter majority decision is so extreme that it should galvanize a grassroots effort to enact a simple Constitutional amendment to once and for all end corporate personhood and curtail the corrosive impact of big money on politics. It is time to prevent corporate campaign contributions from commercializing our elections and drowning out the voices and values of citizens and voters. It is way overdue to overthrow “King Corporation” and restore the sovereignty of “We the People”! Remember that corporations, chartered by the state, are our servants, not our masters.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Representative John Larson (D-CT) would encourage unlimited small-dollar donations from individuals and provide candidates with public funding in exchange for refusing corporate contributions or private contributions of more than $100.

It is also time for shareholder resolutions, company by company, directing the corporate boards of directors to pledge not to use company money to directly favor or oppose candidates for public office.

If you want to join the efforts to rollback the corporate concessions the Supreme Court made yesterday, visit Citizen.Org and freespeechforpeople.org.

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Posted in Chief Justice Roberts, Federal Election Commission, Justice Alito, Justice Scalia, justice Thomas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Bailout Fallout

Posted by msrb on February 25, 2009

Angry citizen(s) spray paint Congressman’s car and home

By: D. H. Williams @ 10:48 AM – EST

“On October 22, just after the first round of bankster bailouts was passed by Congress against the will of the American people several representatives in Minnesota found their cars and homes spray painted by angry constituents.  You can read about the story HERE.

“It has just been reported by ABC Eyewitness News 5 in Missouri that Congressman Russ Carnahan’s home and car where spray painted in a similar manner.”

Original Story + Video from ABC Eyewitness News 5 HERE

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Posted in angry constituents, angry taxpayers, bailout fallout, Missouri | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Republic of Wall Street Saga Goes On

Posted by msrb on February 15, 2009

Can Congress “walk and chew gum at the same time?”

by Ralph Nader                                                                               February 14, 2009

This phrase used by President Lyndon Johnson for one of his political opponents comes to mind at a time early in the first 100 days of the Obama Administration when supposedly many long-overdue changes and rollbacks are possible.

It is not just that Congress is completely absorbed with the tax-cut-stimulus package. It is stasis that seems to be enveloping, even within its numerous well-funded and staffed committees in the House and Senate, from even the signaling of serious movement toward rolling back Bush-pushed legislation and starting widely supported forays that take hope to change.

The continuation of this state of stasis is made more likely because the Republican minority is feeling its oats. It put the White House on the defensive during the struggle to enact economic recovery legislation even though previous Republican policies and coddling of Wall Street for eight years build a steep cliff for financial collapse. Add the de-regulatory moves of 1999 and 2000 by the Clinton-Rubin crowd and the financial meltdown accelerates.

There is something else operating. One gets the feel on Capitol Hill among some fairly sharp people of a lack of horizon, a paucity of progressive determination, a sense of being overwhelmed by the corporate forces still bearing down on Congress—easily the most powerful branch of government under our Constitution.

But Congress does not act as if it is the most powerful branch. It routinely abdicates its constitutional responsibilities—the declaration of war authority and the plenary authority to investigate and require access to information in the executive branch.

Even after the Democrats took control of the Congress in January 2007, George W. Bush again and again got his way including a rubber stamp for the huge Iraq and Afghanistan war budgets outside of the normal appropriations processes.

Efforts by Senator Russ Feingold and Cong. John Conyers to move a modest censure resolution of Bush and Cheney for their many constitutional and statutory violations were aggressively rejected by their leaders—Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid. In January 2007, Pelosi and Reid two took impeachment off the table allowing the most chronically impeachable presidency in our history to continue undisturbed.

Some staffers in Congress privately assert that the Democrats are not acting like a majority party. It is worse than that. They are not acting—period.

From their majority status in 2007 to 2009 and a Democratic President in the White House, the Congressional Democrats are not moving swiftly to repeal the ban on Uncle Sam negotiating drug prices from volume discounts under the drug benefit law. They are not moving to amend the Patriot Act, regain control of warrantless surveillance, strengthen the corporate criminal laws and enforcement budgets. Congress is not even pushing to require taxing Hedge Fund manager’s income as ordinary income not as capital gains.

I cite these policies because they are policies much favored by many Democratic lawmakers. But in practice lawmakers duck and duck and duck from translating their beliefs into contentious action vis-à-vis the lobbyists and their captive legislators.

Senator Chris Dodd and the vast majority of the American people want to do something about credit card company abuses and gouges. But he is surrounded not just by the Republicans on the Senate Banking Committees but high-ranking Democrats beholden to the financial goliaths who, are demanding and receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts.

There is word from the politicians that consideration of health care insurance—apart from a quickly enacted expansion of some coverage for more poor children—will be put off for a year.  The trade unions’ top priority to enact labor law reforms, supported by Obama during his presidential campaign, are being held back by the Democrats.

There is even doubt whether the District of Columbia will get a voting Representative in the House when push comes to shove in the Senate.

The one-subject-at-a-time attitude is coming from the White House. “Obama doesn’t want it now” is a common phrase used by legislators to excuse themselves from exercising the separate but equal Congressional powers. This pretext applies to taking away some of the hugely expensive and unnecessary weapons systems like the F-22 aircraft decried by many military and retired military analysts. The vast, bloated military budget is sacrosanct on Capitol Hill as it is in the White House.

At a time of widely perceived needs for Congressional action, with large corporations busy applying for corporate welfare and on the defensive, the Democrats are not generating any momentum for standing for and with the people. Even in the midst of food contamination, illnesses and fatalities, they cannot turn around forty years of delay on giving the Food and Drug Administration adequate authority and inspectors to protect our food supply.

It is going to take a very focused civic jolt from you all to your Senators and Representatives. A couple of million jolters from our large country can get the train moving on the tracks. It doesn’t take much time to holler, yell or bellow with the facts.

END.

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Posted in financial meltdown, senate, Wall Street, war budget, White House | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Our Justice System Functioning?

Posted by msrb on October 28, 2008

submitted by a reader:

Ted Stevens found guilty of all seven felony counts against him!

If the disgraced Sen Ted Stevens is not a subject of selective targeting and our justice system is functional, then how come the President [sic] continues to get away with mass murder?

Stevens, 84, was convicted of all seven corruption charges against him and if this conviction doesn’t end his 40-year political career as Alaska’s Senator, then we have an even bigger problem than we thought.


Disgraced Sen. Ted Stevens seen in this undated photo with OTT Gov. Sarah Palin. Blog Moderators have been unable to establish the origin of this photo. Image may be subject to copyright.

Stevens felony charges included lying about free home renovations and other gifts from a wealthy oil magnet. Although he faces up to five years in prison on each count, he may receive much less prison time under federal guidelines!

Interestingly, despite his conviction, he is not automatically disqualified as a Senator. In fact, if he wins re-election, he can keep his seat simply because there is no rule preventing felons from serving in Congress! Only the Senate could vote to expel him.

A prospect he finds unlikely: “Put this down: That will never happen — ever, OK?” Stevens said before his trial. “I am not stepping down. I’m going to run through, and I’m going to win this election.”

Posted in big oil, Corruption, Energy, government, politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Who’s Responsible For All Of U.S. Woes?

Posted by msrb on October 24, 2008

Submitted by a reader:

The 545 People Responsible For All Of U.S. Woes

BY Charley Reese
[First published: date Unknown]

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices – 545 human beings out of the 235 million – are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all but the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.

No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislation’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

A CONFIDENCE CONSPIRACY

Don’t you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O’Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits.

The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes.

O’neill is the speaker of the House. He is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetos it, they can pass it over his veto.

REPLACE SCOUNDRELS

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts – of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can’t think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.

When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red. If the Marines are in Lebanon, it’s because they want them in Lebanon.

There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exist disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone have the power. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses – provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

This article was taken from the Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper. (Source). Copyright author/newspaper.

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Posted in Federal Reserve, fiscal policy, foreign policy, monetary policy, National Security | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Taxpayers Taken to the Cleaners BIG TIME!

Posted by msrb on October 4, 2008

submitted by a reader

Some More of Other People’s Money [OPM]

As expected, the House sells out to Wall Street

The house signed bailout plan, and so did Mr Bush, probably in record time—just in case someone changed their mind!

In scenes reminiscent of selling the Iraqi invasion to find the illusive WMD, the House readily approved the bailout plan to search and destroy the “Weapons of Monetary Discomfort.”  It took less than 90 minutes for Pelosi to sign and enroll the bill, and for Bush to sign it into law!

Hail to Thee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (center) holds aloft the $700 billion financial bailout bill after signing it. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst. Image may be subject to copyright.

Hailing Democratic and Republican leaders alike, President [sic] Bush said: “We have shown the world that the United States of America will stabilize our financial markets and maintain a leading role in the global economy.” As to why the market found itself in a mess in the first place, he had nothing to say.

Speaking on behalf of probably a lot of Reps., Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), who like many voted for the bill after initially opposing it said: “I may lose my race over this, but that’s OK. Because I believe in my heart I’m doing the right thing.”

Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), referring to “blue dog” fiscal conservatives said: “On Monday I cast a blue dog vote. Today I am casting a red, white and blue vote for this country.” Reiterating his approval for the bailout package, Wamp urged colleagues to “hold your vote over the heart and vote yes.” He then quoted Warren Buffet why the bailout was necessary for the nation: “We don’t have any choice [because] small businesses can’t meet their payrolls. Pension funds are upside down.” However, he didn’t say what the lawmakers should do in the next “meltdown.”

Selling Out Americans to Save America

Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), scared out of hits wits for selling out his voters,  has already begun a TV ad campaign in his district proclaiming, “I don’t like this rescue plan any more than you do.” He didn’t say why he disliked the plan, of course, was it some minor tremor, or a major fault line?

Traders pause to watch the House vote on television on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange today in New York City. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $700-billion bailout of the U.S. financial system. Spencer Platt/Getty Images. Image may be subject to copyright.

The general excuse for voting is pretty much the same across the board. The elected Reps are telling the electorate that they, the electorate, have no idea what’s good for them. And although they, the Reps themselves, don’t like the plan either, they have to agree to it. “I’m not going to stand by and let this crisis undermine our economy and damage the financial future of everyone in America.” Marshall declared.

Hold on a moment, Jim Marshall, if we the electorate don’t like the idea because we believe it’s bad for the economy, and you as our Rep agree that it’s a bad idea, too, then why must you act against our wish and vote for it?

Democratic Suicide on Behalf of America

Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), one of the “hero’s” of the day, who also supported the bill after first opposing it, said “the sky may fall tomorrow, but it will fall upon my head. It won’t fall upon anyone else.”

This is truly the politics of self sacrifice, when the Reps become “democracy suiciders,” by destroying both their political future and the voice of their electorate to, in the words of Jim Marshall, save the “financial future of everyone in America [sic.]”

“Do I still have concerns about how this will affect the free market system? Yes, but  we have to act and we have to act now [because] if we don’t solve these problems [then] America will fail.” Said Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.).

Stealing money from Mr. and Mrs. Jones on Main Street and  giving it to Mr and Mrs Smith on Wall Street

Pelosi, hammering the final nail, said, “While the focus has been on Dow Jones and Wall Street, we are addressing the real pain felt by Mr. and Mrs. Jones on Main Street.” [And the only possible way to help Mr. and Mrs. Jones on Main Street, of course, is by stealing their wallet and purse and  giving it to Mr and Mrs Smith on Wall Street.]

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a letter read by Rep. Lofgren (D-San Jose), warned: “The credit market has already frozen up to the point that it chills even the state of California’s ability to meets its short-term cash flow needs.”  [And we need lots of money for the 2009 wildfires, I must tell you in advance!]

The Miracles of Capitalism

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Visalia), a critic of the bailout extravaganza, warned against Paulson having the power to buy toxic mortgages. “If the secretary wants to run a hedge fund, he should go back to Wall Street,” he said.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), referring to the case of Addie Polk, 90, who shot herself Wednesday as deputies tried to evict her, said: “This bill does nothing for the Addie Polks of the world [because it] fails to address the fact that millions of homeowners are facing foreclosure.”

“[The bill] will take care of Wall Street,” Kucinich said, “but democracy is going down here.”

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Posted in Democracy Suicider, Democratic Suicider, Dennis Kucinich, Federal Reserve, Kucinich, OPM, Other People's Money, WMD | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Fuel and Food Strikes Flare in South Korea

Posted by msrb on June 16, 2008

Fuel and Food Strikes Spreads to South Korea

About 18,000 operators of construction machinery went on strike in South Korea on Monday demanding cheaper fuel and higher pay, joining thousands of truckers who began their strike last week.


South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Lee may be forced to resign in the coming weeks.

The strikers are also angry over the policies of the new President Lee Myung-bak, who came to office amid a landslide victory in December, but has since become increasingly unpopular because of a decision to resume imports of U.S. beef.


Protesters chant slogans at a candlelight vigil on a street leading to the U.S. embassy and the presidential Blue House in central Seoul June 10, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won.
Image may be subject to copyright. See PRO Fair Use Notice!

There have been waves of street protest in the recent weeks demanding the government to repeal of the U.S. beef deal. The South Koreans are concerned about the threats of mad cow disease associated with the US beef.

Adding to the pressure, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is expected to call on its 600,000 members to stage a walkout against Lee’s privatization and pension reform plans, Reuters reported.

The strikes have so far cost Korea $3.5 billion, the commerce ministry said.

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Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Could Food and Fuel Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

Posted by msrb on June 13, 2008

Update: More Fuel Strikes Flare Across Europe

Europe Fuel Protests Turn Deadly

Two truck drivers were killed in fuel protests in Spain and Portugal, while a third driver received serious burn in a suspected arson attack.

The imapct of haulers’ strike is now being felt throughout the Spanish and Portuguese economies.

In Spain the country’s 18 car factories are running out of parts and fuel. The car industry accounts for about 5 percent of Spain’s GDP.

As the blockade continues in the European nations, consumers rush to stockpile food and fuel causing severe shortages in some areas.

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msrb

Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pinheads in the House: Fanning Oil Chaos

Posted by terres on May 22, 2008

Summited by a member

The pinheads in the House of Reps. make even White House look “smart!”

House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices

The House of Representatives voted 324-84 to approve legislation allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for not pumping out enough oil. The White House has reportedly threatened to veto the bill.

“This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities,” said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.

Just exactly what are the supply and demand economic rules in a political economy, Rep. Kagen of Wisconsin? I bet you don’t have a single clue what you are talking about.


Uncle Sam: I Want You, Your Oil, ‘n Your Money!

Uncle Sam’s Drinking Habits and the OPEC Dimwits

Lo and behold, the good ol’ lynch mob [the House of Representatives] is out to get someone: The bartender [OPEC], no less!

They are desperate to hang the bartender, not because he had Uncle Sam smashed out of his tiny head by giving him too much to drink; they are lynching him because he refused to serve more of “them devil’s brew” to the usual clientèle who would never leave the bar sober: The runaway economy, the corporations from hell and the rest of the morons who are so addicted to their waste-intensive lifestyles they wouldn’t know their sustainable energy sh*t from Shinola.

Weak dollar and inflation are eating out the heart of the system; the cars are getting thirstier than ever before [and a hell of a lot more of them hit the roads each day;] Mrs Rabbit is breeding too many bunnies, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 even 9 bunnies a throw; the bunnies diets are getting more exotic, they’d no longer settle for carrots; four times as many lambs air-cruise today as they did a decade or so ago; Exxon [Valdeez] Mobil and other oil monsters broke all their previous profit records.

But all of those factors put together couldn’t possibly play more than a minor part in the overall picture. They could probably account for 5-10 percent of the price rise. That’s child’s play when compared to the wholesale fleecing of an entire flock of marsupial boneheads by Wall Street speculators. How do they do it?

Uncertainty!

The oil price is rising rapidly because of the uncertainty created by the US military presence in the Gulf. The continued occupation of Iraq, the threat of war [true or false] against Iran and Syria [fed by the frenzy created by the free media, trusted journalist prima donna and venerable “ex-CIA” political activists] and the implied warning of a US military takeover in Saudi Arabia, in case their ruling regime loses favor with its own people, are the main drivers for the rapid price rise. [The perils of a possible regional war in South America, waged by US-backed Colombia against Venezuela, and fears of supply disruptions in Nigeria also help increase the uncertainty factor.] Who created the chaos in the first place? The Prez and the Congress, of course! And who is responsible for the rapidly rising oil prices? It is the OPEC, stupid!

Gotta strike while the iron is hot!

Who else can we sue, while the proverbial iron is still hot, Rep. Kagen of Wisconsin? I know, let’s sue the pants off the National Corn Growers Association. Just look at the mess they have created. So what they are producing overcapacity? It’s not enough! Look at price of corn, $6 dollars a bushel and there isn’t nearly enough of it going around to feed the poor. [Stay clear of any absurd argument about the obscene amounts of grains wasted to produce ethanol. Why, don’t you drive a car? Start with the ethanol and you’ll end up in a feedlot looking a red heifer in the eye.]


Uncle Sam Supplying the World with Berry Brothers Hard Oil Finish, chromolithographic print c. 1880.

OPEC: Damned if they do; damned if they don’t!

It’s very difficult to sympathize with some of the OPEC members, for example, Saudi Arabia. But to blame OPEC for the inebriated Uncle Sam’s bladder mishaps goes an extra mile and a half beyond the Reps. standard milestone of hypocrisy.

In the first three months of 2008, the five companies Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil, Chevron and BP America earned $36 billion.

Exxon [Valdeez] Mobil made a profit of $1,504 per second in the first quarter of 2008. That’s stealing an additional 43 cents a day [each and every day] from each US citizen [woman, man and child,] thanks to Wall Street speculators. But even Exxon knows that level of corporate racketeering is unsustainable. That’s the stuff riots are made of.

Do the Reps. dare upset their old paymasters, the oil monsters like Exxon? Of course not. Can they afford to point a finger at Wall Street? Not a chance. Or mess with their own future by saying something stupid like healthy economy, renewable energy, or other scary stuff like that? No way!

The ol’ lynch mob have eyed their “nigga,” and are about to unleash the bloodhounds.

With a bunch of remarkable idiots making moronic queen-of-hearts laws for the greatest flock of sheeple on Earth, is it any wonder the world is teetering precariously on the brink of catastrophe?

What Others Say

[ Updated May 24, 2008 ]

JOAN CLAYBROOK, president of Public Citizen, said: “You are paying sky-high prices at the gas pump because the barons of ‘big oil’ have bushwacked the American people. With the help of major league lobbyists and the high-ranking politicians receptive to them, oil companies are earning enormous profits through a combination of anti-competitive practices — including market manipulation — made even easier by the wave of recent oil company mergers and the government’s outrageously weak regulatory oversight.

“Every time you buy gas, you know you are being price-gouged, but did you know that, for every gallon of gas you buy, you are being charged an extra 70 cents — at least — that is related purely to market speculation and not a function of supply-and-demand? The oil barons not only get away with this, they use their considerable influence to prevent the passage of meaningful fuel economy legislation, further squeezing consumers by ensuring automakers will continue to build gas-guzzling cars.”

Steve Kretzmann, Founder, Oil Change International, said: “In their testimony about high gasoline prices, top oil executives repeatedly ducked questions about gas prices, demanded access to more drilling, and could not tell Senators how much they earn. Not a single suggestion came from the oil executives that will lower gas prices. There’s a reason for that, which is that the only answer is one they don’t want to discuss — an urgent transition to renewable energy.

“We could drill every last inch of Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and our coasts and it would barely make a dent in supply or prices. Congress needs to stop this political theater and get serious about the transition to renewable forms of energy. So far, they’re continuing to lavish the industry with billions in subsidies, while receiving millions from the industry in campaign contributions.”

Nadine Bloch, field director with Oil Change International, said: today: “I was arrested in the Senate hearing room yesterday for demanding a Separation of Oil and State. We can’t drill our way out of this problem. We need to get Big Oil money out of our Congress.” [Source]

Jeroen van der Veer, CEO, Shell, second largest oil monster in the world, said: “What we say and what we see is there are no physical shortages […] There are no tankers waiting in the Middle East, there are no cars waiting at gasoline stations because they are out of stock. This has to do with psychology in the markets and you cannot forecast psychology.” (Source)

[Update: May 28, 2008 ]

Deborah Fineman [via Ralph Nader,] president of Mitchell Supreme Fuel Co. in Orange, New Jersey: “Energy markets have been dictated for too long by hedge funds and speculators, who artificially manipulate the numbers for their own benefit. The current market isn’t based on the sound principles of supply and demand but it is being rigged by companies and speculators who are jacking up prices for their own greed.”

Harry C. Johnson [via Ralph Nader,] former banker and oil executive said, “some industry experts, who profit greatly from the high price of crude, and have stated openly that the worldwide economic price of crude, absent speculators, would be around $50 to $60 per barrel.

Ralph Nader: “Oil was at $50 a barrel in January 2007, then $75 a barrel in August 2007. Now at $130 or so a barrel, it is clear that oil pricing is speculative activity, having very little to do with physical supply and demand. An essential product—petroleum—is set by speculators operating on rumor, greed, and fear of wild predictions. “

“A sane government would drop all subsidies and tax loopholes for Big Oil’s huge profits and other fossil fuels and promote a national mission to solarize our economy to achieve major savings from energy conservation technology, retrofitting buildings, and upgrading efficiency standards for motor vehicles, home appliances, industrial engines and electric generating plants.

“Those are the permanent ways to achieve energy independence, reduce our trade deficit, create good jobs that can’t be exported and protect the environmental health of people and nature.

“Those are the reforms and advances that a muscular consumer, worker and small business revolt can focus on in the coming weeks.

“What say you, America?”

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