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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pickens Plan is a good one.

Dear Shelley,

On Wednesday, oil billionaire T.Boone Pickens, Center for American Progress head John Podesta, and I sat down with bloggers at the Democratic National Convention to discuss our energy future. Pickens, who believes the Bush Administration is wildly exaggerating how much oil there is to be found off-shore and in Alaska, discussed his "Pickens Plan" -- a two-pronged plan he details in a massive million dollar advertising buy running nationally now.

In the ad, Pickens says the current debate over drilling "misses the point." I concur. The current political emphasis on whether or not to open up more of the coastline to drilling is a distraction, a Karl Rove-style "head fake."

And while the Sierra Club doesn't agree with Pickens on everything -- we do agree with the elements of his plan, which includes a huge increase in the investment and production of wind power, and giving consumers the choice to replace foreign oil with American natural gas for cars and trucks, in the period while we wait for all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

According to Pickens, " It's cleaner. It's cheaper. It's abundant and it's ours...and it buys us the one thing money can't buy -- time to develop the renewable fuels that will break our dependence on foreign oil."

When an oilman and environmentalists agree -- you know the momentum for real change is building.

Help us add to that momentum.

Will you send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper identifying yourself as a Sierra Club member or supporter and amplifying the message of clean energy? Click here to tell us that you are submitting a letter, and for some example letters.


Carl Pope
Executive Director

The newest Sitcom!

A McCain/Palin pairing? I'm sorry, but that's just... weird. It's a pairing that seems to be drawn not from politics, but from a 1980's network sitcom.

HE is an ex-POW turned multimillionaire. He has power, wealth, and more houses than most people have ties. But can anything -- or anyone -- calm his savage temper, and teach him to love again?

SHE's a young creationist who knows little about politics and is in trouble with the law. He'll take her in -- but can he teach her the ways of Washington before she embarrasses him at the big Telecom Ball?

Find out this fall on Dharma and Methuselah...

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another republican liar

Kyl said that Clinton cited some inaccurate statistics but when asked what those inaccurate stats were he ran away from the reporter.  This is funny.  Watch it!!!  :)  It is such typical republican pseudo intellectualism.  Just say anything and know that your brain dead republican listeners will believe what you say without question..  As always.

Embedded Video

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Slavery never left the south

  Thought slavery ended in america in the 1800's?  Think again.  The prison industrial complex has cleverly turned their inmates into slaves with the lie that they are learning a skill for when they leave.  Yeah right.  I know slavery when i see it and we arrest far too many people in this country for almost nothing.  This system needs new customers you see because it is privatizing.  And private industry needs profit.  They get paid by the farmers who's crops these slaves work on.  They get paid by tax payers.  but only if they keep up the inmate population by keeping draconian laws on the books like prison for a joint of pot.  or a gram of coke.  riduculous reasons for locking humans in cages.  Our prisons should be saved for real criminals who are hurting others.  not for people who like to get high.


On an expanse of 18,000 acres of farmland, 59 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, long rows of men, mostly African-American, till the fields under the hot Louisiana sun. The men pick cotton, wheat, soybeans and corn. They work for pennies, literally. Armed guards, mostly white, ride up and down the rows on horseback, keeping watch. At the end of a long workweek, a bad disciplinary report from a guard - whether true or false - could mean a weekend toiling in the fields. The farm is called Angola, after the homeland of the slaves who first worked its soil.

    This scene is not a glimpse of plantation days long gone by. It's the present-day reality of thousands of prisoners at the maximum security Louisiana State Penitentiary, otherwise known as Angola. The block of land on which the prison sits is a composite of several slave plantations, bought up in the decades following the Civil War. Acre-wise, it is the largest prison in the United States. Eighty percent of its prisoners are African-American.

    "Angola is disturbing every time I go there," Tory Pegram, who coordinates the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3, told Truthout. "It's not even really a metaphor for slavery. Slavery is what's going on."

    Mwalimu Johnson, who spent 15 years as a prisoner at the penitentiary and now works as executive secretary of the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana, concurred.

    "I would truthfully say that Angola prison is a sophisticated plantation," Johnson told Truthout. "'Cotton is King' still applies when it come to Angola."

    Angola is not alone. Sixteen percent of Louisiana prisoners are compelled to perform farm labor, as are 17 percent of Texas prisoners and a full 40 percent of Arkansas prisoners, according to the 2002 Corrections Yearbook, compiled by the Criminal Justice Institute. They are paid little to nothing for planting and picking the same crops harvested by slaves 150 years ago.

On land previously occupied by a slave plantation, Louisiana prisoners pick cotton, earning 4 cents an hour. (Photo: Louisiana State Penitentiary)

    Many prison farms, Angola included, have gruesome post-bellum histories. In the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Angola made news with a host of assaults - and killings - of inmates by guards. In 1952, a group of Angola prisoners found their work conditions so oppressive that they resorted to cutting their Achilles' tendons in protest. At Mississippi's Parchman Farm, another plantation-to-prison convert, prisoners were routinely subjected to near-death whippings and even shootings for the first half of the 20th century. Cummins Farm, in Arkansas, sported a "prison hospital" that doubled as a torture chamber until a federal investigation exposed it in 1970. And Texas's Jester State Prison Farm, formerly Harlem Prison Farm, garnered its claim to fame from eight prisoners who suffocated to death after being sealed into a tiny cell and abandoned by guards.

t r u t h o u t | Slavery Haunts America's Plantation Prisons

Crooks and Liars » US Threatens UK On Gitmo Case

In a remarkable development at the High Court in London, an email from a senior US State Dept. official has been revealed, apparently threatening to curb co-operation with Britain on international intelligence sharing if details on a detainees interrogation are revealed. Lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, held at Gitmo, have taken legal action in the UK to force the release of details which, they say, will prove Mohamed was ilegally abducted and tortured into a confession. Mohamed claims that his torture included having his penis cut with a razor blade by Moroccan proxies for the US.

In an email to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which was sent on to the court, Stephen Mathias, a legal adviser to the US state department, said that the disclosure of information would cause “serious and lasting damage to the US-UK intelligence-sharing relationship and thus the national security of the UK, and the aggressive and unprecedented intervention in the apparently functioning adjudicatory processes of a longtime ally of the UK, in contravention of well-established principles of international comity.”

Put simply, if the British High Court forces disclosure,  the Bush administration will stop treating the Uk as a trusted ally. The High Court may not be in the mood to be bullied, given what has gone before on the case:

Last week, in the initial hearing of the case, the high court found that MI5 had participated in the unlawful interrogation of Mohamed. It emerged that one MI5 officer was so concerned about incriminating himself that he initially declined to answer questions from the judges even in private. Although the judges said that “no adverse conclusions” should be drawn by the plea against self-incrimination, it was disclosed that the officer, Witness B, was questioned about alleged war crimes, including torture, under the international criminal court act.

The Bush administration must be very worried about war crimes charges if they’re willing to go to these lengths to bully an ally into keeping torture secret. But if the High Court rules for Mohamed, then the British government won’t have a choice. It cannot overule the Court.

Crooks and Liars » US Threatens UK On Gitmo Case

Excerpts from the convention

I'd never heard of Brian Schweitzer before i heard him speak.  What a character!  You can probably youtube him if you're interested.  i sure enjoyed listening to him.

"So, as Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey declared, McCain isn't a maverick--he's Bush's sidekick. And, as Ohio Governor Ted Strickland explained: "You know, it was once said of the first George Bush that he was born on third base and thought he'd hit a triple. Well, with the 22 million new jobs and the budget surplus Bill Clinton left behind, George W. Bush came into office on third base, and then he stole second. And John McCain cheered him every step of the way." Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer--the surprise star of the evening--said that the nation couldn't meet its energy needs just by drilling for oil, even if we drilled in every one of John McCain's back yards."


McCain booed on immigration, Iraq - Politics- msnbc.com

When American workers complained that immigrants, legal and illegal, were suppressing wages for all American workers:

"McCain responded by saying immigrants were taking jobs nobody else wanted. He offered anybody in the crowd $50 an hour to pick lettuce in Arizona.

Shouts of protest rose from the crowd, with some accepting McCain’s job offer.

“I’ll take it!” one man shouted.

McCain insisted none of them would do such menial labor for a complete season. “You can’t do it, my friends.”

Some in the crowd said they didn’t appreciate McCain questioning their work ethic."

McCain booed on immigration, Iraq - Politics- msnbc.com

(11 unread) Yahoo! Mail, shelley9595

There's a new letter going around claiming that we have trillions of barrels of oil under our feet here in America.  Who ever sent it out, obviously didn't read the link on the new report released in April, that they refer to in this email.  First my response.

Somebody's lying.  I just went to the U.S. geological services page and they have an april 2008 report but it says:
"Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered volumes of 3.65 billion barrels of oil, 1.85 trillion cubic feet of associated/dissolved natural gas, and 148 million barrels of natural gas liquids in the Bakken Formation of the Williston Basin Province, Montana and North Dakota."
That's more than the '95 estimate but it is far from all those over blown numbers comparing us to the Middle Ease.  When you consider that in America we use 7 billion barrels of oil per year, this equates to about half a year of oil.  The natural gas looks very good though.  If we can do this without flattening the Rockies, let's go!
"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

Original letter:

Subject: US Oil Reserves

OK Congress the cat is out of the bag...it is time for you to get of your back sides and gfet us some cheaper oil!
Rev. Hollis Stanford
CWO US Army, Retired
16150 Early Lane
Lebanon, Missouri 65536
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 7:24 PM
Subject: US Oil Reserves

1. Ever heard of the Bakken Formation?


GOOGLE it or follow this link.  It will blow your mind. 



The U.S. Geological Service issued a report in April ('08) that only scientists and

oilmen knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn't been

updated since '95) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North

Dakota; western South Dakota; and extreme eastern Montana ... check THIS out:


The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, and has

the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy

Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just

10% of the oil is recoverable... at $107 a barrel, we're looking at a resource base

worth more than $5.3 trillion.


'When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit

the floor. They had no idea, says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature's financial



'This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past

56 years,' reports The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It's a formation known as the

Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the 'Bakken.' And it stretches

from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada. For years, U. S. oil

exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the 'Big Oil' companies gave up

searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological

breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive reserves... and we now have access

of up to 500 billion barrels.  And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions

of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL!

>That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight.


2. And if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one should - because

it's from TWO YEARS AGO, people! U.S.Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World!

Stansberry Report Online - 4/20/2006 Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the

Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world is more than 2

TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction.


They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders, than all the

other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:


>-8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia

>-18-times as much oil as Iraq

>-21-times as much oil as Kuwait

>-22-times as much oil as Iran

>-500-times as much oil as Yemen- and it's all right here in the Western United States.


HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this!?  Because the democrats,

environmentalists and left wing republicans have blocked all efforts to help America

become independent of foreign oil.


James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we've got more oil in this very

compact area than the entire Middle East -more than 2 TRILLION barrels. Untapped. 

That's more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today,

reports The Denver Post.


Don't think 'OPEC' will drop its price - even with this find?  Think again! It's all

about the competitive marketplace, - it has to.


Got your attention/ire up yet? Hope so! Now, while you're thinking about it ... and

hopefully P.O'd, do this:


3. Take 10 minutes and compose an e-mail; fax or good old-fashioned letter to all

your friends and associates.  Alert them to the fact that democrats and 'liberal'

republicans have been and will continue to obstruct all plans to make America

independent of foreign oil. The only solution is to vote all democrats and Marxist

oriented out of office.


If you don't take a little time to do this, then you should stifle yourself the next

time you want to complain about gas prices .. because by doing NOTHING, you've

forfeited your right to complain.


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Should Uncle Sam Be Helping CEOs Get Richer? | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet

The just-released latest edition of the annual CEO pay report from the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy tells two stories. The first will likely remind most Americans why they get so angry about CEO pay. The second will get them even angrier.

The first of these two stories doesn’t take long to tell. Last year, the new Executive Excess 2008 report notes, top CEOs in the United States continued to pocket outlandishly large paychecks, $10.5 million on average. That’s 344 times the pay of an average U.S. worker -- and ten times the pay gap that existed 30 years ago.

The second story takes a bit more explaining: Our tax dollars are actually subsidizing this incredible excess. The federal government, through the tax code, is directly rewarding companies that overpay their top executives.

Executive Excess 2008 details five of these direct subsidies. Two involve rather arcane accounting conventions that corporations exploit to both cheat Uncle Sam at tax time and pump up their quarterly earnings. But the other three don’t require a CPA to decipher.

Many Americans, for instance, already have experience with the concept of “deferred pay” — through 401(k) plans. If you have a 401(k), you can have part of your income deferred from taxes. But you can only defer a limited amount -- usually just $15,500 a year -- and if the investments where you put that money go sour, you’re out of luck.

Top executives, by contrast, can have deferred pay plans with no limits whatsoever. They can defer millions every year -- and they quite often get a guaranteed, above-market rate return on all the dollars they stuff in these no-limit stashes. Last January, Target CEO Robert Ulrich retired with over $140 million in his deferred pay account.

America’s highest-paid power suits -- the managers of hedge and private equity fund partnerships -- have even a sweeter deal. The top 50 of these fund managers last year averaged $588 million each in earnings. These incomes don’t up show in the annual CEO pay rankings because fund managers aren’t technically CEOs. They don’t get paid like CEOs either.

Fund managers take their compensation in the form of fees they assess on the investments they manage. They typically cream off, as a “carried interest” fee, 20 percent of the profits they make buying and selling companies and other assets. On these windfalls, fund managers pay taxes at just a 15 percent rate -- not the 35 percent top rate on ordinary income -- because the tax code lets them claim their “carried interest” as a capital gain.

On every $1 million pocketed in carried interest, in other words, an investment fund manager saves about $200,000 in taxes. This subsidy costs taxpayers $2.6 billion a year.

Corporations save twice that much every year from an even more outrageous loophole, what Executive Excess 2008 dubs the “unlimited tax deductibility of executive pay.” Top companies can essentially deduct whatever they pay their executives off their corporate income taxes, so long as they define that pay as a performance-based incentive.

The more corporations pay their top execs, in effect, the less they pay in taxes.

Direct subsidies for America’s most powerful, Executive Excess 2008 estimates, add up to $20 billion a year. To place this $20 billion in context, the report also notes what the federal government is currently spending to educate America’s most vulnerable, children with disabilities and other special needs: only $10.8 billion a year.

Billions more in CEO pay subsidies, Executive Excess adds, flow indirectly, through government bailouts and procurement. Federal officials regularly let out contracts to corporations that pay their executives hundreds of times more than their workers.

One example: Lockheed Martin is currently getting about 80 percent of its revenue from the federal contracts. Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens made $24 million last year, 787 times the pay of a typical U.S. worker.

Legislation that would end this indirect subsidy for lush CEO compensation, Executive Excess 2008 makes clear, is already before Congress. The pending Patriot Corporations Act would give preference in federal contract bidding to companies that pay their executives no more than 100 times the pay of their lowest-paid employee.

Bills that would end all the subsidies that encourage lavish CEO pay, Executive Excess 2008 takes pains to emphasize, are already pending before Congress. But this legislation is going nowhere, and neither Senators Obama or McCain have yet staked out a position of most of these needed legislative fixes.

Still, the tide may be shifting.

“Historically, troubled economic times in the United States have helped generate long overdue public policy reforms,” sums up the new Executive Excess. “We have now entered troubled economic times, likely our worst since executive pay started ballooning in the 1980s. Ballooning executive pay has helped create our current economic woes. Deflating that excess can help end them.”

Should Uncle Sam Be Helping CEOs Get Richer? | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet

3000 anti-war protesters in Denver

Marching behind a police vehicle that flashed the words "Follow Us. Welcome to Denver." on an electronic sign, at least 3,000 Iraq war veterans and anti-war protesters made their way through downtown Denver on Wednesday during the largest demonstration of the Democratic National Convention to date. Though the event, co-sponsored by the anti-war group Tent State University and Iraq Veterans Against the War, was unpermitted, the parade proceeded peacefully. It began at the Denver Coliseum and ended at the Pepsi Center perimeter about three hours later. There, veterans attempted to contact aides of presidential candidate Barack Obama to deliver a statement urging Obama to endorse the idea of an immediate withdrawal of "all occupying forces" from Iraq among other positions. The letter also upbraided the Democratic Party for their "initial and continued" support for the war.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cut-n-run Bush

This administration would be laughable if they hadn't been so damaging to our country this past 8 years.  When Democrats wanted a time table all you heard was "cut and run", "these colors don't run", brain dead platitudes that riled the mentally deficient in this country to stand up and wave their flags.  We don't run!  We don't quit!  Kill um all, let God sort them out!  and various other stupidities.
Now the Bush administration is quitting.  They don't call it cutting and running anymore since it's them doing it.  But it's the same thing the democrats have been asking for this past 4 years.  If you read this whole article you will see how this administration is trying to cause a violent implosion with their method of withdrawal so that they can put it on Obama when things blow up.  But the only thing keeping things from blowing up right now is us paying the Sunni's (The "Sunni awakening" is our policy of paying them to not be violent.) to not attack us or the Shiia.  As soon as the money stops, the peace stops.  The new Shiia government aren't giving out jobs equitably to their sects and the Sunni sects.  The Sunnis are getting screwed by not being allowed to work.  This is where the violence will come from once Americans pull out unless we can force the government to give more jobs to Sunni's. 

BAGHDAD -- U.S. and Iraqi negotiators reached agreement on a security deal that calls for American military forces to leave Iraq's cities by next summer as a prelude to a full withdrawal of combat troops from the country, according to senior American officials.

Let's see how sovereign Iraq really is, shall we?

Iraqi prime minister demands US pullout timetable - washingtonpost.com

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says there can be no security agreement with the United States unless there is a "specific deadline" for the withdrawal of American troops. Al-Maliki also says that unless some clauses in the draft agreement under discussion are changed, it will be "difficult" for the pact to be adopted. He did not identify all those clauses. But the prime minister told tribal leaders Monday that he cannot grant "open immunity" to Iraqis or foreigners because that would violate the "sanctity of Iraqi blood." Baghdad and Washington are negotiating an agreement on the future of U.S. troops in Iraq. Al-Maliki aides say Iraq insists on 2011 as the target date for the withdrawal of the last U.S. soldier.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why Jim will Vote Obama/Biden. Me too!

I'm an American.  I'm an Independent.  I'm a Vietnam Veteran and military retiree.
Why I am voting for Obama/Biden
In the first place, the United States needs a change of direction with new leadership---leadership that stands with the troops not just as a TV backdrop for political op-eds all the while undermining their benefits and services when they return as casualties (and I regard every blessed one of them as a casualty) from an illegal, immoral war.  Not just the same tired rhetoric that has proven to be a disaster for the majority of the people in this country ever since 9/11.  The Bush direction of the War On Terror will join the War On Drugs and War On Poverty as failed endeavors designed to enrich a few and hold millions of others hostage to an administration that cares less about preserving and defending the Constitution than it does preserving, growing, and defending the wealth and power of its loyal followers.  An administration which for the past 8 years has held America hostage with a lapel pin and patriot or traitor labels, solely dependent upon your political party affiliation and support or detraction of the Iraq War.  We no longer can afford the Bush operative phrase, 'if you're not with us, you're against us,' that divided a nation.
The truth must out, justice must prevail, and real courage and patriotism must return to all Americans this November.  What we have at stake is nothing less than our freedom.
That is why I am voting for Barack Hussein Obama and Joseph Robinette Biden.  True, both of them have unusual middle names. One is 'new' and the other an experienced icon in American politics.  I believe the partnership will yield a common sense direction for and belief in America once again and this time the importance of having competent leadership to preserve and defend our Constitution will hopefully reverse the previous eight years of deception, corruption, and incompetence.
Join me this November and let's get the country back on track.
Jim Pankey, USN (Ret.)