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An Open Letter to the Democrats and Those Who Elect Them “The Purveyors of Evil”

By: jbade Saturday January 24, 2015 11:17 am

When Obama came to office he maintained and/or strengthened all important right-wing policies.

1.On monetary policy exactly the same as Bush.

2. Dems and their supporters  are aptly described as the main protector/enabler of wall street’s extraction of wealth from the middle-class.

3.On war-making, they stayed in Iraq .until forced by the Iraqis/American People to leave and escalated to  122, 000 active combat troops from under 100,000 for Bush.

4. They have, legislatively, made Afghanistan a forever war. Approaching 2 trillion in costs. Those costs made permanent.

5.They have showered the military industrial complex with continuously escalating riches.

6.They have redefined war, to allow the slaughter of all as long as Americans don’t die.

7. They have redefined casualties of war to, by example, exclude 70,000 Libyan men, women and children.  They  have ingrained this policy by  legislation  requiring  that we not acknowledge any deaths  from our bombs we  are, presently, dropping in Iraq/Syria.

8. The Huff Post, the Dems most important propaganda tool, is really just a stenographer for, warmongering AP.  If you can stomach reading the Huff Post, you are a hard core Democrat partisan. You need therapy to jolt you from your right wing delusion.

9.They have decreased the tax burden on the wealthy/corporations while increasing the burdens on average Americans.

10. The real question- has the Obama Administration employed anyone who is not from wall street. who is that person, what have they accomplished?

11. Trying to out-do Bill Clinton as A corporate shill, Obama is raising his NAFTA bid with a Trans Pacific  Trade reaming that will stop our kids/grand-kids from undoing what we have bound  them to- you can not break or alter a trade pact and/or security  pact. There are indications that our children/ grand children, the 30 and unders  have rejected both parties in favor of the facts and common sense. This generation must do their duty to their corporate masters and bind the next generation to wars/warmaking(afagn) and corporate fidelity they have implemented- nutured, the declining standard of living they  have assured, their loyalty oaths to MSNBC and the Huff Post must be maintained- the next generation must be stopped from altering what we have wrought.

12. Dems have enacted legislation that allows the the Government to kill any American without Judicial due process. Like the redefinition of war, casualties- due process is just given a new meaning that takes dissolves that civil liberty not to be killed by your government without some ability to challenge your assassination.  Orwell.

13. I could go on to 100 and not labor at all.

14Unprecedented assault on whistle-blowers.

15. Unprecedented assault on journalists/ the truth

If you ever voted for Obama or Democrats you are the intended recipient of this open letter.  If you are forwarding hopeful diaries directed at what  the Dems might do, that Obama is talking about the middle class(better late than never), ect yeah! your part of the problem not the cure.

Obama forwarded as a young man of color who against all odds climbed to the world’s highest office solely by by the content of his character and brilliance, a feat that should inspire every and all Americans and the world.  If  the democrat herd would have put out the slightest bit of effort it  would have revealed a very articulate young man of privilege travelling to Europe and the world being groomed for high office. A man who received his first job from  Henry Kissinger, A man whose deep political connections got him into Harvard and  into the politically not academically achieved  position as President of Harvard Law. His immediate elevation into the machine did not have the sheep asking a single question– just hope because they knew how effective their hope had been at making meaningful progress.

Then the sheep got what they deserved for their lack of due diligence, coupled with their lack of any effective demands and receiving  no assurances of  any progressive progress, nothing! The first things I remember  from Obama after his election were:   that federal employee’s retirement was a big problem and he was taking action to remedy that and That Social Security and Medicare caid were on the table to be cut- two weeks before he took office. Since then he has engaged in right-wing policies and hiring practices at every opportunity.

I remember posting against his policies/actions after/before his election and being branded by many on this site as hating him because he was black. That shielded Obama for years and when it became  overwhelming apparent that he was Bush, they were forced to shut their pie-holes, but that did little to mitigate the damage of their unquestioning fidelity to “the one bringing hope”. Now, at the stroke of midnight, we are subjected to Obama’s worn-out rhetoric one more time in his state of the union. As in his campaign rhetoric of “08 he has immediately moved farther to the right after election doubling down on his efforts for the   1 %  with his advocacy for Trns pacific sell out of workers/ global empowerment of multi-national corporations and his advocacy for  a fairer tax code for those multi-national corporations to continue working in the interest of workers/ the middle-class by shifting the tax burden from Corps.  Obama pleads for an Authorization on Iraq/Syria that will allow the war to become permanent allow us to continue and escalate the money that we send over seas to build our communities here at home.

Yes, I have no respect for those who have voted for dems starting with the Corporatist Bill Clinton through the Obama years. That some of the brain-dead have had some sort of an epiphany, as of late, after devotedly voting for dems is the same thing as – running your car into me at a 4-way stop at which I had been advocating for stop signs because  there are three wrecks a week there. instead of reasonably advocating for  stop signs you assert it is racist to challenge the lack of stop signs and  now admit that it was right to advocate for them in the first place . Nice, but it does not mitigate the damage that you caused by your careless, uninformed at best,  vote, your lack of desire or effort to access the basic reality of facts to reasonably support your belief that your vote , against stop signs,would do some good and not even have a requirement that  the facts would support your vote- just Hope was sufficient. the definition of being a sheep.

That would be all good and well, except for the delusion that you have no part, no responsibility in what your vote has wrought. You are a democrat. incapable of change. For you I have  the Lybia Award that sums up what your apathy, at best, has helped support.  This is one of 70,000 victims of your vote( sorry could not find the Libyan Boy missing his jaw but still alive-very moving). see Video, that child is no longer here thanks to your vote. But the child is here to help you understand the burden of your vote- if for a second people were moral enough to equate that child to a child of  theirs or next door we could end war, we don’t even come close Madeliene Albright- pillar of the democrat establishment slaughter of 500,000 children in a single outing- her position supported, forwarded, advocated for those who supported Dems, by their vote.

I will never, ever, ever even remotely support that evil, others can answer for why they did/do. Why it wasn’t  ’important enough to not vote for?

That would be the equivalent of a vote to sell my soul.





Federal Court Order: Explosive DOT-111 “Bomb Train” Oil Tank Cars Can Continue to Roll

By: Steve Horn Friday January 23, 2015 3:39 pm

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

A U.S. federal court has ordered a halt in proceedings until May in a case centering around oil-by-rail tankers pitting the Sierra Club and ForestEthics against the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). As a result, potentially explosive DOT-111 oil tank cars, dubbed “bomb trains” by activists, can continue to roll through towns and cities across the U.S.indefinitely.

“The briefing schedule previously established by the court is vacated,” wrote Chris Goelz, a mediator for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. “This appeal is stayed until May 12, 2015, or pending publication in the Federal Register of the final tank car standards and phase out of DOT-111 tank cars, whichever occurs first.”

Filing its initial petition for review on December 2, the Sierra Club/ForestEthics lawsuit had barely gotten off the ground before being delayed.

That initial petition called for a judicial review of the DOT’s denial of a July 15, 2014 Petition to Issue an Emergency Order Prohibiting the Shipment of Bakken Crude Oil in Unsafe Tank Cars written by EarthJustice on behalf of the two groups. On November 7, DOT denied Earthjustice’s petition, leading the groups to file the lawsuit.

Initially, DOT told the public it would release its draft updated oil-by-rail regulations by March 31, but now will wait until May 12 to do so. As reported by The Journal News, the delay came in the aftermath of pressure from Big Oil and Big Rail.

“In a joint filing, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) contend the tank car industry doesn’t have the capacity to retrofit the estimated 143,000 tank cars that would need to be modernized to meet the new specifications,” wrote The Journal News. “Nor can manufacturers build new tank cars fast enough, they say.”

The “bomb trains” carrying volatile crude oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from the Bakken Shale, then, will continue to roll unimpeded for the foreseeable future. They will do so in the same DOT-111 rail cars that put the fracked oil-by-rail safety issue on the map to begin with — the July 2013 deadly explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.

And as DeSmogBlog has reported, industry promises to phase-out DOT-111s on a voluntary basis have rung hollow.

“The courts and the administration are dragging their feet on common sense safety steps that will take the most dangerous oil tanker cars off the tracks, slow down these trains, and help emergency responders prepare for accidents,” Eddie Scher, communications director for ForestEthics, told DeSmogBlog.

“We filed our lawsuit because the DOT is not moving fast enough on safety. This court’s decision ignored the imminent threat to the 25 million Americans who live in the blast zone and the communities around the nation that don’t have the luxury of waiting for DOT and the rail and oil industry lobbyists to finish their rule.”

Distrust But Verify

By: David Swanson Friday January 23, 2015 10:35 am

What the U.S. government does openly is many times worse than anything it can be doing secretly, and yet the secrets fascinate us.

If you compare polling on majority views on most political topics with actual U.S. policy, there’s little overlap. Scholars now produce reports finding that the United States is an oligarchy. Most people don’t vote. Those who try to engage with U.S. politics get excited when the Democrats fall back into the minority and start pretending to favor popular policies again. People hope to find reflected bits of decency in official rhetoric during a two-year-long period of pretended governance that amounts to a public sales pitch and a private wink to the campaign funding overlords.

Our government openly subsidizes the destruction of our planet’s climate, openly allows corporations to pay negative taxes, openly redistributes wealth upward, openly funds a military as costly as the rest of the globe’s nations’ combined, openly serves as the marketing firm for the U.S. weapons that make up much of that other half of the globe’s armed forces, openly enacts corporate trade policies that ruin economies and the environment, openly denies us basic human services, openly prosecutes whistleblowers, openly restricts our civil liberties, openly murders large numbers of people with drone strikes. We can watch a police officer in New York choke a man to death on video and walk away without being prosecuted for any crime. We can watch the U.S. Congress take direction in promoting a new war from a foreign leader (tune in February 11 for the latest), and yet what goes on in secret obsesses us.

I don’t mean the lies that have been exposed, the false excuses for wars, the miscalculations, the “misplacement” of billions of dollars. I mean the human drama. It’s not enough to know that Obamacare is a grotesque and deadly monstrosity; we want to know about the insurance executives’ roles in writing it. It’s not enough to know that Iraq has been destroyed. We want to hear about the oil barons drawing up the plans with Dick Cheney. It’s not enough to know that a tragic crime was used to launch catastrophic wars, we want to know whether the crime was staged. We want to know who was behind every assassination, and every powerful bit of propaganda. We want to know whether each CIA operation can be explained by evil or incompetence. We’re like Mark Twain, who said, “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.”

This is what I wonder in looking at Operation Merlin, over which Jeffrey Sterling is now on trial as a whistleblower. Whether giving nuclear weapons plans to Iran can be explained by incompetence that surpasses my understanding or must be explained by evil, the U.S. government is openly trying to incarcerate a whistleblower who did his legal duty. I just happen to have read a book by Donald Jeffries called Hidden History: An Expose of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover-ups in American Politics. I’ve been thinking over dozens of alleged conspiracies from the killing of President Kennedy to the supposed forging of Obama’s birth certificate. Some I think are real, others nonsense. The point is that I think there may be a hybrid solution. I may not have to choose incompetence or evil to explain the CIA giving nukes to Iran. I can choose incompetence combined with bureaucratic dysfunction combined with evil priorities.

If the CIA’s top priority was nuclear disarmament, it wouldn’t have tried, as it claims to have tried, to slow down an Iranian nuclear weapons program (if one existed, it didn’t know) by giving Iran nuclear plans. The CIA officers involved testified in court that they knew their action risked proliferating nuclear weapons technology. That also means that if their top priority had been obeying the law, they wouldn’t have created Operation Merlin. But if their top priority was being involved, appearing to be doing something important, and if they were risking an outcome that didn’t much worry them, Operation Merlin is exactly what they would have done — assuming gargantuan levels of incompetence. That is, if they didn’t much care if Iran got nukes, if they in fact thought it would be a pretty cool excuse to start a war if Iran could be shown to be working on nukes, well then, why the heck not find the most outlandishly stupid and illegal way in which to try to slow Iran down — a way that could very well speed Iran up?

This same hybrid explanation applies to other mysteries as well, of course. If the U.S. government’s top priority had been preventing a crime like 911, it would have stopped bombing and occupying Muslim nations, adopted an approach of cooperation and generosity with the world, and invested at least a wee bit of effort into preventing the crime, especially when the president was handed a memo warning about it and when his top advisor was shouting about the need.  But if the people running the U.S. government didn’t really give much of a damn about preventing such a crime, and if they in fact thought it would be just about the only way to get new wars started, well then, they would have done at least what we know them to have done and perhaps more that we could learn from a proper investigation.  Part incompetent, part evil — how evil, we don’t know. But we don’t need to conclude that the hijackers didn’t exist or a missile hit the Pentagon or the World Trade Center was blown up from within to achieve a satisfactory explanation. All such things could coexist with this theory, but they’re not needed.

What argues against such explanations of unknown government misdeeds is not the degree of evilness. Remember, we’re talking about a government that has used 911 as an excuse to destroy whole countries and kill upwards of a million human beings. Blowing up a couple of buildings is perfectly acceptable to most people who would launch wars. The exception is anyone whose sincere nationalism actually makes them value U.S. lives while considering non-U.S. lives to be worthless. But, remember, we’re talking about the U.S. government. They send U.S. troops off to kill and die in the process of slaughtering the foreigners. They allow millions in the U.S. to die for lack of basic services while they dump funding into war preparations. Dick Cheney contemplated a proposal to stage a shooting of U.S. troops disguised as Iranians. The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved Operation Northwoods, which would have murdered Americans to frame Cuba. At question is not level of evil, but particular level of competent engagement in particular acts of evil.

Jeffries’ book mixes a half century of well-documented crimes with pure speculation. I don’t think the inclusion in a book of dubious conspiracies should hurt the inclusion of likely ones. If we aren’t open to questioning everything, we’ll miss lots of things. But it’s simply not possible that every unusual plane crash over a period of decades has been an assassination. At least one or two of them must have been accidents. That Jeffries throws in completely random silliness, such as that Janet Reno was rumored to be gay (so what?) or that a couple killed on 911 had been married at the Vatican (gasp!), or that he thinks the Institute for Policy Studies is part of the elite establishment, doesn’t mean that Lee Harvey Oswald actually killed Kennedy. I think we have to look at every case seriously and go where the evidence leads. I think that our approach should be: Distrust but verify. Begin with the assumption that the government is lying, and see if it can prove itself honest.

When I read that Karl Rove views religion as a useful tool for manipulating the gullible or that Bill Clinton had a seat on a jet known for providing sex with underage girls, I don’t think such gossip is as significant as trade, energy, and war policies that will result in millions of deaths. But I don’t think the public interest in such stories is completely beside the point either. “Whether important policy decisions are made at Bohemian Grove or not,” writes Jeffries, “it is at the very least disturbing to know that our leaders are gathering together to worship a massive owl, dress in robes, and recite occult incantations.” Is it? We just had a president who openly said God had told him to attack Afghanistan and Iraq. Who cares if he worships an owl, unless it was the owl who told him that? But it is disturbing because of the secrecy. Politicians who will pretend they want to end wars or tax billionaires whenever they’re in the minority and in no danger of actually doing it are politicians with contempt for you and me; they are people who believe they are above us and can, like Henry V, make their own laws. Of course Michael Hastings’ death could have been an accident, but to assume so, and to suggest that investigating it as a murder would be loony is to demonstrate a remarkable ignorance of history.  Recently, with each new FBI terror plot foiled and celebrated, I’ve assumed it would be shown to have been a case of entrapment in which the FBI encouraged the crime before preventing it. In each case, I’ve been right. That doesn’t mean that tomorrow the FBI won’t capture a terrorist it had nothing to do with creating; it just means: Distrust but verify.

Distrusting may have started with Kennedy’s assassination, even if the need for distrusting today can be advanced further through an honest retelling of Pearl Harbor, and myths of losing innocence ought by all rights to go back to the genocide of the Native Americans if not to the agricultural revolution. Hidden History is not where I think people should start reading about Kennedy (James Douglass’s book might be better). But I learned new things about Kennedy from Hidden History and think we should all consider Jeffries’ remark: “[O]nce I realized that the president of the United States could be killed in broad daylight, without a single high-ranking public official questioning what really happened, and without any supposed journalist having the slightest curiosity about the subject, I understood that anything was possible.”

Jeffries’ book roams chronologically through a long list of scandals. He briefly mentions numerous outrages that are not really in dispute: Northwoods, Tonkin, Mongoose, Mockingbird, MK-Ultra, Cointelpro,  Fred Hampton, etc., etc. He focuses at greater length on a smaller number of possible conspiracies, providing good summaries of what’s known about the killing of JFK and RFK in particular. On Chappaquiddick he’s less convincing, on the October Surprise he’s vague and truly bizarre (but could have been completely convincing as I think the evidence is well established). He strays into economics and politics and general corruption, speculates on AIDS, Vince Foster, Oklahoma City, etc. His sections on JFK Jr. and on the Anthrax scare are of interest, I think.

Do the surveillance state and the proliferation of private cameras end these mysteries? Imagine Kennedy shot in Dallas today. The video footage would be voluminous, and it would be around the world on the internet before the blood dried. But imagine Abdulrahman al Awlaki’s killing today. Much of the world doesn’t have the same technology one could expect in Dallas. And imagine Eric Garner’s killing today. We have the video, but we’re told not to believe our lying eyes. What could end bad government — as well as misplaced suspicions of bad government — would be open government, including the elimination of secret agencies. And what could accomplish that would be if the public, including Jeffrey Sterling’s jury, assumed that anything the CIA said was more than likely a lie.

US media lies – Video proof the NAF delivered the Kiev regime an astounding defeat two days ago

By: operationmindcrime Friday January 23, 2015 9:55 am

5 days ago the US media reported (across the board) that the Kiev regime had taken Donetsk airport and delt the rebels of Novorossiya an astounding defeat. Nothing could be further from the truth as proven by the videos below.

The rebels not only took complete control of the airport, they wiped out an entire Kiev battalion of over 500 men and took over 50 prisoners. How did they do this? They led the Kiev ‘cyborgs’ (their own nickname) into a trap of their own making. They flanked them on both sides as the Kiev soldiers entered the new terminal which they had become accustomed to fighting from. At the same time the NAF attacked directly from the front bravely losing over a dozen soldiers. The Kiev regime had no idea that the ceilings in the new terminal had been rigged with explosives during the time the NAF had recently held the building. In the midst of the massive firefight the NAF blew up and dropped the entire ceiling on the Kiev battalion. Hence, the reason so many of them surrendered as seen in the videos below. Please keep in mind that the Kiev spokesperson reported that only 8 troops were captured and the US media parroted that lie (across the board) as usual. These videos prove that many, many more were captured.

Graphic warnings for all the videos below:

The first video is an amazing video that shows the true difference between the NAF freedom fighters and the Ukrainian ‘cyborgs’. Their spirits are high. They show understanding and respect the enemy. Notice the level of enthusiasm as the tanks drive by. They remind the world that they voted to be free of the Kiev fascist regime. This is an example of true democracy, humanity and fighting for a good cause.

Videos of the captured Ukrainian ‘cyborg’ child killers. They do not seem to be smiling as much as they were when they were killing innocent women, children and elderly civilians.

8 Bandera Right Sector captured in this one.

In this one 3 captured conscripts confess what is really happening.

Many of these poor conscripts are being drafted from the poorest western Ukrainian villages and sent to their deaths with little or no training. It is rumored that they were ordered to take the airport once again in order to impress the US General that was visiting Kiev. It backfired and they were simply used as cannon fodder by the fascist Kiev regime.

This link is to 7 more captured.

People can watch the videos for themselves and see how those prisoners are doing and what they think about the US initiated war they are participating in. This next one is of the captured Ukrainian battalion commander having his ass handed to him by the locals whose family members he has been killing.

Graphic Warnings: Videos feature dead soldiers

Graham Phillips also has plenty of videos up of the Ukrainian troops that have been killed at the airport. Graphic Warning:

Link to video showing over 25 more captured Ukrainian military personnel. They are losing on a large scale. It is no wonder they now want another cease fire.

Even the Kiev Post is now admitting they lost the battle for the airport.
Finally some western media outlets (in Europe) are showing some humanity and portraying a little bit of truth about what the Ukrainian army are doing. Kudos to Agency press France.

A father buries his 4-year-old son and curses Ukraine’s war – Yahoo/Agence Presse France
Donetsk (Ukraine) (AFP) – Vladimir Bobryshchev was returning home early on a recent morning after a long night of work when a rocket ripped through the sky, falling straight toward his home.

He saw it hit his house, and he rushed over to save his two sons and his wife. This week, he stood in a cemetery in the rebel bastion of Donetsk burying his four-year-old boy Artyom while his wife and seven-year-old were in a hospital with serious wounds.

“My son was a terrorist like they say?” he said in anger, blaming Ukrainian forces for the rocket strike and referring to the label authorities in Kiev use for the rebels they are fighting.

His hands covered with scars, the 30-year-old metal-worker said through tears: “I tried to get them out of the debris … But I couldn’t save my son.”

For Vladimir, those who fired the rocket that wrecked his home and killed his son intended to hit civilians.

“There is no military target within a kilometre all around. They targeted houses!” he shouted, calling for those responsible to be brought to justice.

In the cemetery in the Kirovskiy neighbourhood in the once-bustling industrial city under thick fog and light rain, about 10 people gathered around the boy’s open casket with candles and blank faces.

Artyom’s grandmother was unable to hold back her tears and cries, and she sought a way to comfort him one last time.

“He needs his rabbit,” she said before placing a stuffed animal in the coffin.

Vladimir’s wife, meanwhile, remained in serious condition, having lost a leg, and his seven-year-old son Mikhail may have to lose one of his eyes.

“He doesn’t know yet that he no longer has a brother,” the father said of his hospitalised son.

He then pulled out an apple juice and piece of candy from his pocket. Artyom had been waiting for his father to return home on the morning the rocket hit.

“It was for him,” he said of the small gifts in his pocket.

This final video is a weird video circulating on Facebook from after the airport battle. In the video rebel leader Motorola shows small solar powered digital recorders that he says the Ukrainian troops had on them at the airport. The recorders play religious end time messages of US preacher Charles Stanley from Georgia and seem to have a hypnotic affect on the Ukrainian ‘cyborgs’ that were in possession of them. Over 30 of the recorders were found on dead Ukrainian soldiers bodies. Link here to You Tube video of the find:

Challenging the pro-Israel Democrats in Congress

By: jaango Friday January 23, 2015 7:24 am

Challenging the pro-Israel Democrats in Congress
When it comes to elevating Israel from a second rate Democracy and into a first rate Democracy, progressive Democrats and in particular, the House Progressive Caucus, will not or cannot advocate or effectively represent us, when it comes to this insolence among Democrats. And by my usage of “us” I am speaking of us as the “racial and ethnics” and where we are the majority of Progressives, given our demographics of today, and albeit, even from a more reinforcing perspective that is tomorrow’s politics.
And for years now, we, here at the Chicano Veterans Organization, have been on record that no Native American or Chicano soldiers will fight and die on Israeli soil defending Israel’s second rate democracy.
To wit, for years now we have advocated that the Congress pass their collective Resolution and which asks that the United Nations establish the Commission to Define the Border of Israel and Palestine. Thusly and with formal approval by the general membership of the United Nations, this Study would be conducted on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis, and once completed within a 12 month time frame, the general membership would again take another vote on the anticipated results as per this study. And once accomplished, this study would be placed on the earliest possible ballot for the consideration of voters in Israel and Palestine, respectively.
And given America’s current mindset for perpetuating the AUMF, Peace can be achieved should the Democrats demonstrate, not for more War but for more Peace and where political violence need not occur, otherwise, the accrual or extraction of Privilege will confound historians of the future relative to our addiction to War. And sadly, today, the House Progressive Caucus cannot admit that America’s financial bankruptcy has occurred and yet, will not provide answers to this political dilemma, as well. As such, our moral decline is now front and center and as will be exemplified via Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before in Congress in March.

Note:  Originally posted on Chicano Veterans Organization


Disgusted in Euclid’s Response to Bob Dylan–Take That, Ignorant Rich Man

By: Ohio Barbarian Thursday January 22, 2015 2:36 pm

My wife, Disgusted in Euclid, saw a post on Facebook about Bob Dylan’s assertion in Rolling Stone that billionaires create jobs, not the government. “The government’s not going to create jobs,” Dylan said.  ”It doesn’t have to. People have to create jobs, and these big billionaires are the ones who can do it.” Compounding his display of intellectual ineptitude, he went on to say that “no one can tell (billionaires) what to do, God’s got to lead them.”

My wife responded with this:

Once upon a time, not very long ago in the little Kingdom of East Cleveland there was an electric company. Not just ANY electric company, but the MOTHER of all electric companies across the land. This company was called “General Electric” and it employed many, many people, who in turn had houses built so that they could live close to their work, opened up businesses for the employees and community members could frequent and worked hard to make a living for their families and the company strong.

Soon, the owners of this electric company became rich; rich beyond their wildest dreams! Wealth was flowing throughout the company, but these owners of this electric company wanted more; millionaire status was no longer good enough, they wanted to become BILLIONAIRES! They decided that they needed to find a bean counter; not just ANY bean counter, but the wisest and finest bean counter in the land. So they searched high and low until the found a very wise bean counter, found him, and paid him handsomely for his sage advice.

The bean counter scratched his head for a moment, wondering how this group of millionaires could maximize their own profits without having to compromise too much of their own riches…..ZING!!!! A light went on in this wise bean counter’s head and he told his idea to the group of millionaires! “You would become vastly wealthier, wealthy beyond your wildest dreams if only you could operate this electric company in the giant land of Asia!” the bean counter proclaimed.

Well, the owners of the electric company thought this was a wonderfully brilliant idea and did just that! These owners handed out thousands of pink slips to the hard working employees, packed up the majority of the electric company and moved to the land of Asia, where they became wealthier than even they could have dreamed because they hired thousands upon thousands of desperately poor peasants who would gladly work in the electric company for a mere fraction of what the community of the kingdom of East Cleveland would work for. And so, the inns and shops started shutting their doors because the people of East Cleveland did not have any extra money to buy the shopkeepers’ wares or eat at the inns. Pretty soon, the people of East Cleveland started moving away because there was not enough work for them.

The people who did stay got poorer and poorer; unable to maintain their humble domiciles or continue to pay on the loans to the banker, the homes started to become derelict and vacant. This condition continued for many eons, the little kingdom getting poorer and uglier every day. Men and woman had no work and nothing to do until one day, some lunatic called out to all the people in all the kingdoms in lands just like the tiny kingdom of East Cleveland and proclaimed “Let’s find us a billionaire!”

The people pulled out their torches and pitchforks and sharpened guillotine blades…..Moral of the story: Been there, done that!


Heather Zichal, Former Top Obama Energy Aide, Named Fellow at Industry-Funded Atlantic Council

By: Steve Horn Thursday January 22, 2015 1:39 pm

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Heather Zichal, former top climate and energy aide to President Barack Obama his top aide in crafting his 2008 presidential campaign energy platform, has joined the industry-funded Atlantic Council as a fellow at its Global Energy Center.

As revealed in multiple articles by DeSmogBlog, Zichal also sits on the Board of Directors of Cheniere, the first company to receive a permit from the Obama Administration to export gas obtained via the controversial hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process in 2012. Cheniere is one among dozens of the corporate donors to Atlantic Council.

Other oil and gas industry donors to the Atlantic Council include Chevron,ExxonMobilBP and many more.

“At the Atlantic Council, Zichal will focus on tomorrow’s energy challenges through global energy security, the responsible development of energy resources, and strategic foresight,” according to a press release announcing the hire.

On January 27, Zichal will moderate an Atlantic Council panel in Washington, DCtitled, “‘The Road to Paris’ Climate Series: Assessing US and Chinese National Plans and Their Potential Impacts on a Paris Agreement.”

Not Just Heather Zichal

Zichal follows in the footsteps of other former Obama Administration officials who have passed through the revolving door and now work for the Atlantic Council on energy issues.

They include:

-David Goldwyn, a former head of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources under former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Goldwyn also headed up and help found the State Department’s Global Shale Gas Initiative.

Among the many other hats he wears, Goldwyn serves as a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and as the chair of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Advisory Group.

“In that position, Goldwyn will spearhead the transformation of the Council’s energy program, providing strategic advice on the focus and direction of the program, and take a leading role in recruitment of the program’s director and experts,” explained a press release announcing Goldwyn’s ascendancy to a chairmanship. “The Energy Advisory Group will serve as a policy advisory board for energy issues across the Atlantic Council.”

Goldwyn has been an influential voice in support of the reforms opening up Mexico to international oil and gas corporations, authoring two reports on the subject for the Atlantic Council.

-Carlos Pascual, a former head of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources under both Hillary Clinton and current U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the aftermath of Goldwyn’s time at the helm. Pascual serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlantic Council.

-Cynthia Quarterman, former administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) under the Obama Administration.

Before heading up PHMSA, Quarterman worked as an attorney at the corporate law firm Steptoe & Johnson, “where she represented producers and pipeline companies in matters before the Department of the Interior, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Transportation,” according to the Atlantic Council.

Neither the Atlantic Council nor Heather Zichal responded to an email query from DeSmogBlog.

Governor Scott Walker is Focused on Property Tax Cuts, but Overlooks the Best Solution

By: WI Budget Project Thursday January 22, 2015 12:49 pm

Governor Walker has made it clear that he wants to continue to cut property taxes. The best way to do this would be to strengthen a state tax credit that helps keep property taxes affordable for people with low incomes. Yet despite the Governor’s focus on property tax cuts, making improvements to the Homestead Credit does not seem to be part of his agenda.

Governor Walker recently said his goal is for property taxes to be lower in 2018 than when he took office in 2011. The legislature already cut property taxes by $466 million in fiscal year 2015, and given Governor Walker’s high priority on the issue, there are likely to be more property tax cuts coming.

The property tax cuts so far have been broadly distributed, meaning that even taxpayers in the top 1% received a tax cut. In fact, the top 1% – a group with an average income of $1.1 million – received an average property tax cut of more than $1,000 in 2014.

If lawmakers are set on cutting property taxes further, a better way to do it would be to make sure the tax cuts go to people who need it the most, by strengthening the Homestead Credit.

In 2011, lawmakers froze the formula used to calculate the Homestead Credit, driving up property tax bills for people with low incomes. Each year the formula remains frozen and is not adjusted for increases in the cost of living, the value of the credit drops, and many Wisconsinites lose eligibility as their incomes gradually climb above the upper income limit.

The erosion of the Homestead Credit is an example of how failing to account for even small increases in the cost of living can harm tax relief in a significant way. In the three years after the formula was frozen, the number of Wisconsin residents receiving the credit dropped by nearly 28,000 and the average amount of tax relief declined by $41.

Nearly all other elements of the tax code except for the Homestead Credit are indexed, or adjusted to keep up with inflation and other rising costs. For example, each year the income levels for different income tax brackets increase slightly, so that the brackets are kept comparable from year to year.

The cost of strengthening the Homestead Credit is tiny compared to the size of tax cuts recently passed by the legislature. By setting aside 6¢ from every $100 in tax cuts passed for 2015, lawmakers could make sure that property tax relief is available for people who need it. Lawmakers who want to cut property taxes should start fixing the Homestead Credit.