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Neo Feudalism On The Bayou: Well-Connected DC Attorney/BP Payout Czar Decrees Gulf Clean-up Fishermen Work For Free

1:02 pm in Uncategorized by Kirk Murphy

No wonder payout czar Feinberg’s a wealthy successful well-connected DC attorney. He’s so slick he’s decreed the fisherman who contracted to work cleaning up the poisons BP spews will have their income from that work deducted. From what? From whatever settlement he may award them for damages…damages from BP’s oil apocalypse.

Mississippi (Reuters) – Fishermen in Mississippi say they are angry that under the terms of BP’s $20 billion oil spill fund, money they earn doing clean-up will be subtracted from their claim against the company.

The fishermen reacted after Kenneth Feinberg, the federal official in charge of administering the compensation fund, announced the decision at a town hall meeting in Biloxi on Friday.

Some walked out of the meeting in protest, arguing it was pointless to work under the Vessels of Opportunity program, set up by BP to help clean up the damage from the deepwater leak that started in April….

"I am furious about this," said Tuget Nguyen, who works with family members as a fisherman in Pass Christian, Mississippi.

"If he takes away the money we are making from BP when we get our claims, then nobody is going to work for BP to clean up this oil and we will not rent our boats to BP either. It is not fair," Nguyen said.

Thousands of fishermen in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, out of work because federal authorities have closed much of the Gulf to fishing, are working for the Vessels of Opportunity program, skimming oil from the water and protecting coastlines.

The oil volcano may have been sorta plugged, but the sticky toxic goo just keeps on giving. BP and Obama created a whole new meaning for "opportunity"!

Yep, Czar Feinberg, in his generosity, demands the fisherman cleaning up BP’s posions from our public waters do their work for free. Such an opportunity! Shock Doctrine, meet Czar Doctrine: Czar Feinberg’s gone neo-feudal on the Gulf.

This Czar’s using the job Obama and BP’s top man picked him for to get back to his roots….in 16th centruy Russia. Is that where the President hopes to bring the wounded Gulf?

Cajun Canutes’ Shock Doctrine: Lethally Incompetent Corps Of Engineers Should Build Toxic Mud Pies To Stop Toxic Oil Slick

3:59 pm in BP oil disaster, Energy by Kirk Murphy

Remember the Corps of Engineers? The uniformed mass killers with dredges and cement who drowned New Orleans because they were too freakin’ stupid to know how to build stuff that can stay upright in mud? The soldiers who waged a war to turn the Mississippi Basin into a bathtub for barges carrying subsidized grain – starving the Mississippi River of the sediment that once replenished Louisiana’s coastal marshes? The serial wetlands assassins who insisted on cutting open the heart of the remaining marshes protecting New Orleans with a near-useless shipping canal that channels storm surges directly at the below sea level city? The addled, deadly courtiers in mufti who abandoned their core mission to protect America when they shopped out their agency’s priorities to crooked pols pushing make-work projects?

Yep – that Corps – the city drowning, grandparent killing, eco-saboteurs with epaulettes who burn through billion dollar budgets to repeatedly deliver sweet fuck all: except lucrative pork.

What could possibly be more ignorant? Hard as it is to imagine, Louisiana’s managed to hatch out politicians so terminally stupid they actually make the Corps look sentient.

The two Louisiana pols wriggling to the surface from the latest hatch of stupid are Republican Governor Bobby Jindal and Plaquemines Parish’s President, Republican Billy Nungesser. Showing classic Republican Shock Doctrine values, the two of them latched onto BP’s Oil Volcano like tapeworms stick to your intestinal walls.

Yesterday the Globe and Mail’s Josh Wingrove – clearly a brave journalist with a well-controlled gag reflex – warned the cerebrate world what his political endoscopy revealed.

In a plan revealed Saturday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Billy Nungesser, president of the local coastal municipality, are asking for funding to dredge up sand and mud from across the shallows of Louisiana and move it into a series of barriers, or fake reefs, that would rise about two metres above the ocean surface.

In what the Governor called a “very innovative plan,” crews would plant trees along new artificial reefs with sandy beaches to slow the progress of storms and keep future oil slicks off inner shores.

And they’d do it in a matter of months.

“ We know what’s good for south Louisiana. We need an opportunity to save it. … This is our shot. ”— Billy Nungesser, Louisiana municipal official

“What we are proposing is the re-establishment of our coastal barrier shorelines as an important defence against the intrusion of oil. …

What we’d do is basically pump the sand into gaps along our historic island chains,” Gov. Jindal said. “It’d be so much easier for us to clean the oil off the sand rather than deal with it on our interior, in our wetlands, in our marshes.”

They will seek an emergency measure to bypass an environmental impact study, to get to work fast – “in days or weeks, if not months,” Gov. Jindal said.

The idea was developed in consultation with unidentified experts from the Netherlands and has already been informally proposed to BP and the Coast Guard, he said. It will be brought to Washington by Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson, a New Orleans native, Mr. Nungesser said.

If there’s a competition for most ecologically illiterate proposal of the 21st Century, the Jindal-Nungesser plan must be a leading candidate.

Outside of Planet Jindal, turns out the shallows of the Gulf Coast are the anterooms of the Coast’s aquatic nurseries. Digging them up to protect against BP’s oil volcano makes as much sense as pulverizing neonatal ICU’s entrances to protect against asbestos in the hospital walls.

Moreover, what keeps grasses and trees rooted in riparian / tidewater islets is *soil* – a living ecosystem. Not fill dirt. Jindal’s proposed barrier islands will have all the viability of mine tailing mounds sprayed with fertilizer and grass seeds: a combination that will grow sprouts on your roof, but will never grow a lawn.

Oh – the sediment that eco-idiots Nussgesser and Jindal want to dig up has one other small problem. That sediment that washes down the Lower Mississippi? The sediment’s thoroughly mixed with long-lasting deadly persistent organic pollutants.

Not "organic" as in your local farmers’ market. "Organic" as in your local college’s chemistry lab. Sadly for Southern Louisiana, the Mississippi carries the toxic pesticide runoff from the entire Corn Belt – the river carries much of that toxic waste right down to the Gulf. Worse still, for decades the oil, gas, and chemical industries clustered around the lower Mississippi’s "cancer alley" dumped many of the most deadly toxic wastes man has ever created right into the Mississippi. The poor River, in turn, carries them down stream, and uncounted tons of deadly goo are irretrievably mixed in with the sediments that comprise the "shallows" off of Louisiana’s coast.

The very same "shallows" Nungesser and Jindal want to heap up in piles off Louisiana’s already poisoned coast: the perfect mechanism to ensure winds, tides, and hurricanes carry the once-buried toxins inland to the marshes and wetlands these crackpots purport to be saving.

Whatever idiots in the Netherlands who’ve come forth to support this are either Shell golems or have been hitting the hash bars way too often.

Freaking ludicrous: only thing more pathetic would be for Lisa Jackson to ferry this back to DC. Oh, wait…

How noble of New Orleans native Nungesser to set forth to restore the Louisiana barrier islands and wetlands the oil and gas industries have destroyed over the last decades.

Offshore drilling operations carve out channels in coastal wetlands for exploration as well as for transporting resources back to the mainland. Those channels in turn provide a route for Gulf waters to wash inland, the salinity eventually killing trees and other plants that help stabilize land, further exacerbating its erosion.

To date, oil and gas companies have dug an estimated 10,000 miles of canals across the state’s wetlands. Since 1983, Shell Oil alone has dredged about 22,000 acres of Louisiana wetlands for placement or maintenance of pipeline canals and other production facilities. Environmental advocates recently tried to present the company with a bill for $362 million for the damage.

What motivates Billy Nungesser? Could it be deep filial eco-guilt? After all, Billy’s daddy retired from the family business that serviced the oil and gas companies that did so much to destroy the wetlands and barrier islands that survived the Corps’ onslaught

He was a retired executive with General Marine and Catering, a family business that serviced the offshore industry….

He was a former president of the Westbank Petroleum Club.

Serving the oilmen’s own club – now that’s loyalty!

And Billy’s following in his dad’s oily wake – making a pile from the corporations that poison Louisiana’s people, lands, and waters while destoying the coast’s natural defenses.

While working in the offshore catering business Nungesser found an alternative use for metal ship containers. In 1991, he established General Marine Leasing Company. The first of its kind business modified and outfitted containers as improved, portable living quarters for offshore workers. The company was successful, growing to employ 200 people and reaching $20 million in sales.

So is Billy Nungesser spurred into sudden action by a mid-life conversion to deep green values?

“This plan is on its way to Washington,” said Mr. Nungesser, clutching a copy of the plan to his chest, and hoping the EPA waives any lengthy environmental assessments, which he feels are unnecessary.

Sure doen’t look like Billy’s signed up for EarthFirst! or Greenpeace…

Oh – that plan on the way to Washington? Where does it come from? Turns out the plan’s an expansion of Louisiana pols’ earlier proposal.

The plan has been in the works locally for three years, Mr. Nungesser said, and will be modified and expanded to protect the region.

“This is nothing new,” said Mr. Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, the municipality encompassing many of these coastal communities south of New Orleans.

The barrier islands are viewed as a permanent and more effective alternative to "booms," the inflatable barriers being stung out in marshes daily to keep oil away. The islands would last "forever," Mr. Nungesser said.

Nope, nothing new: the magnitude is greater, but the stupid burns just as brightly.

…[O]fficials in Louisiana’s southern parishes have been pushing for a series of gigantic levees, starting with a 72-mile project known as Morganza-to-the-Gulf. Morganza (the name of a small inland community) would protect the city of Houma as well as a series of tiny bayou towns, but it would also cut off 135,000 acres of wetlands from their natural tidal exchanges. Scientists have said the project would make the area even less safe by ravaging natural storm buffers, amplifying storm surges and encouraging a false sense of security. First proposed in 1992, the project was finally authorized by Congress last year. "It’s just insane," says Tulane law professor Oliver Houck, who has been warning about the vanishing coast for decades. "The politicians get tears in their eyes when they talk about restoring wetlands, but at the same time they push this mega-levee system to destroy our natural protections."

And which Louisiana pols were pushing Morganza-to-the-Gulf and other too-dumb-to-succeed schemes?

Bobby Jindal – who showed up for the January, 2009 groundbreaking….

"For too long, the federal government has been sitting on their hands while our coasts remain vulnerable, " Jindal said during the ceremony, according to a news release from his office.

"I told you last year, and I will repeat again today: The time for studies and waiting is over, " Jindal said….

During the ceremony, Jindal announced that the state will allocate $101 million to jump-start construction of the levee, with the money coming from a 2008 state surplus, the state’s capital outlay budget and the state’s share of federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program dollars.

and Billy Nungesser.

Plaquemines Parish officials on Wednesday presented a homegrown hurricane protection and marsh-restoration plan to the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority that aims to reduce storm surge in the parish by as much as five feet in the next two years.

The hitch: figuring out how to pay for it.

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser and two consultants who developed the plan over the past year presented it as a way to build up land in the short term and prevent flooding risks that could force buildings to be elevated as high as 18 feet in the vulnerable parish.

For a while, it looked like even the Corps wouldn’t swallow Morganza-to-the-Gulf. In 2008 Michael Grunwald – the journalist who wrote for the WaPo on the Corps failures that allowed Katrina to flood New Orleans – described how the whole project seemed to be stopped.

But Morganza no longer seems as inevitable as it did last year. The Corps has agreed to review its original cost-benefit study, and a preliminary analysis suggested that building the levee according to real 100-year standards could cost $10.7 billion — a 1,200% increase. Meanwhile, Governor Jindal has convened a science panel to review whether Morganza is consistent with restoration plans.

But now BP’s massive oil volcano gives oily pols like Jindal and Nungesser the perfect Shock Doctrine opportunity to dust the toxic waste off their failed plans. And they’re hoping the rest of us will pay billions for giant toxic mud pies designed to plug up gaps between the barrier islands…ensuring the wetlands trapped behind the barrier will become giant toxic ponds.


The locals’ review of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf project dug up the answers:

Morganza is a system of levees, floodgates, locks and other structures designed to protect Terrebonne and western Lafourche from storm-related flooding.

During a presentation in which parish Planning and Zoning Director Pat Gordon and Parish President Michel Claudet reviewed Terrebonne’s potential economic growth, panel members quizzed officials about the safeguards in place to protect wetlands inside the levee from development.

Terrebonne is about 90 percent environmentally sensitive marsh and wetlands, said Gordon, and only about 8 percent of parish land is suitable for development.

Of that small amount of developable land, Gordon said, 44 percent is vacant, open land ready for the substantial growth the parish is experiencing.

Though officials with the parish stressed that development outside of existing forced-drainage systems in lower bayou communities is very unlikely, at least one panel member expressed skepticism.

"Let’s assume that this levee goes up," said Technical Committee Chairman Robert Twilley, an ecologist at the Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute at Louisiana State University. "You’re saying that we’re not going to invest in any more forced-drainage systems, now that it is economically feasible, with all the growth you expect in this area?"…

The notion of building a levee that snakes down to encompass small, static bayou communities provoked more questions from the panel.

"Let’s be very candid and put it all out there," said Shirley Laska, professor of environmental sociology at University of New Orleans. "Why do we need to build a wall to protect all this wetland?"

Short answer: we don’t. The benefits from Morganza and this weekend’s insane plan to choke off other wetlands with toxic mud pies will flow to the Corps, the civil engineering/construction contractors that always back the Corps’ make work projects, their local subcontractors, and the local firms that supply the offshore operations. Firms like Billy Nungessers’ – and his family’s.

The Globe and Mail caught the bottom line:

They’ve already lined up 12 dredges to start working.

Will Lisa Jackson and Barack Obama stick us all with Jindal and Nungesser’s tab?

Will Obama and Harry Reid back DiFi’s secret deal to sell billions of publicly owned water to her wealthy donor?

4:51 pm in Politics by Kirk Murphy

Last night Sen Diane Feinstein (D-Billionaires) announced her last minute secret deal to revoke Federal environmental law and a century of Western water law so that we taxpayers can subsidize a few hundred deadbeat welfare millionaires and one billionaire in California’s Central Valley.

In keeping with her visceral contempt for representative democracy and the citizens she purports to represent, Lord DiFi plans to push through her multi-billion dollar giveaway as a rider on the fast track Senate jobs bill.

Feinstein has long supported California agriculture but began to weigh in on the side of farmers in the water wars after requests from Stewart Resnick, the well-connected owner of Paramount Farms, which grows citrus and nuts on 118,000 acres in Kern County.

In September, Resnick wrote Feinstein complaining that "sloppy science" by federal wildlife agencies was causing farm water shortages. A week later, Feinstein forwarded the letter to Obama administration officials, who authorized a review by the National Academy of Sciences….

Feinstein made no mention Thursday of her demand for the National Academy of Sciences report, due next month, to verify the science behind fish-conservation demands.

Resnick’s business has given $29,000 to Feinstein’s campaigns and $246,000 more to Democratic political committees during years when she sought re-election, according to a report by California Watch, an investigative journalism nonprofit organization, that was published in The Chronicle in December.

DiFi’s billioniare donor Stewart Resnick will do very well from DiFi’s last-minute deal. You see, Resnick’s not merely a farmer: Resnick’s a water broker.

The Kern Water Bank, which was owned by the state Department of Water Resources from 1988 to 1995, is now in the hands of Kern County interests and is 48 percent owned by Westside Mutual Water Company, a private water company controlled by Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick.

And DiFi’s giveaway will give him and the few hundred deadbeat welfare farmers who own the Westlands Water District cheap public subsidized water. Water the billionaire and the deadbeat millionaires can turn around and sell to the public who once owned it, and still pay for the infrastucture that collects it. Water the billioniare and the deadbeat welfare millionaires can sell at market rates – which means they’ll make tens of billions. From the public who own the water DiFi wants to give away with her last minute rider on the jobs bill.

DiFi’s muliti-billion giveaway piggybacks on the Shock Doctrine campaign Fox , the Westland Water District‘s few hundred millionaire owners, and a few mega-wealthy Kern County water brokers are waging to take publicly subsidized Federal and State Water Project water away from the taxpayers who own it and turn over control of the resource to a relative handful of private players.

The private players have been beavering away to make certain they can sell off DiFi’s giveaway at market rates…to the same taxpayers who owned the water before DiFi gave it away. And the billions in profits the private beneficiaries of DiFi’s giveaway will make will come from – you guessed it – the public who now own the water DiFi wants to give away.

Of course, DiFi hasn’t been alone in laying the groundwork for private Water Lords to take control of the most essential public resource: water. A couple of months ago CA’s pliant, ambitious Assembly Speaker Karen Bass joined lawmakers on both sides of the aisle (Take a bow, Jared Huffman of Marin County! Stand up proud, Abel Maldonado!) and the usual cast of PEW-captured Big Green groups (hi NRDC and EDF – thanks for nothing!) to help Arnold make his own end run around democracy and place before CA’s voters a mega-billion bond measure that effectively gives over control of California’s vast Delta to a tiny unelected group, ostensibly guided by the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Who pushed hardest for the scam? You guessed it: the same tiny handful of millionaire/billionaire welfare farmers DiFi’s deal will benefit.

Now Jared Huffman is shocked, shocked – and EDF are crying like babies. Why, EDF’s so mad they want to take their access and go home.

” … Ann Hayden, a senior water analyst at Environmental Defense Fund, said her group would quit the conservation planning process if the Feinstein amendment passes.

She called it an act of betrayal, since some water interests on the committee undoubtedly asked Feinstein for the amendment.

“It doesn’t help to know that folks we’re partnering with are playing it both ways,” Hayden said. “It will make the long-term planning almost meaningless if, in the short term, actions are taken that push some species to the point of extinction.” … “

Meanwhile, outside the PEW neutered groups and captive pols, ordinary folk saw Arnie’s grand plan clearly.

"However, the Schwarzenegger plan to build a 50 mile- long
canal will not generate any new water
, abdicates any
meaningful oversight, cedes absolute authority to faceless
bureaucrats and will cost over $10 billion, even more once you
add mitigation and restoration costs. The language in this
legislation does nothing to change those facts," added Minton.

Representatives from the Sierra Club California, Restore the
Delta, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Friends
of the River and the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
joined PCL in expressing concern over the fact that the
Legislature developed these bills (SB229 – Pavley; SB12 -
Simitian; AB39 – Huffman; and SB458 – Wolk) with no public
input and their worry that the bills will be rushed through in the
last three weeks of the legislative session.

"There is no question that the Delta is in crisis and we
must find a way to work together to save the Delta and
the San Francisco Bay," Minton noted. "But there has
to be a better way than jamming this down the public’s
throat and asking them to pay billions for a project
they haven’t had any say in at a time when the state
has been issuing IOU’s, cutting back on schools, and
shutting down parks."

Too bad Assembly Speaker Bass and Rep. Jared Huffman and EDF and NRDC and their pals ignored all the grass-roots enviros who spent months warning them Arnie’s push was merely a giant giveaway to BiggestAg and Hugest Contractors. Of course, for groups like EDF and NRDC who long ago drank the PEW kool-aid, the name of the game isn’t winning: it’s keeping that all important access.

Cause Power cares so much about their opinions, right? That’s why, when Power fucks them over, they’ll give up – you guessed it! – their precious access. Cause it was worth trading away the Delta for, right? Sure.

I’d call them suckers, but that would reflect poorly on fish.

The bond issue Speaker Karen Bass personally made it possible for Arnold to put before California voters gives voters the opportunity to vote for them to pay dozens of billions to subsidize the construction required for Westlands Water District and DiFi’s billionaire supporter to make maximun profits selling public water on the private market – to the taxpayers very own water districts.

Karen Bass ran for office touting her environmental justice credentials. As Speaker, she used her Power to ram through the Delta scam over the objections of the poor folks with the temerity to actually live in the Delta. (What do those cheeky proles think they’re doing living in the way of the billionaires’ new construction project, Arnie’s Ditch To Nowhere?)

Fortunately, despite decades of Grover Norquist’s jihad against public education, even CA’s low-info voters will likely see through the con job and vote down the bond issues. Unless, of course, they buy the Shock Doctrine propaganda FOX and DiFi and Arnie are selling. Yet buried in the (one hopes) doomed bond measure is a sneaky little bit of text effectively allowing the few hundered deadbeat owners of the Westlands Water District and DiFi’s mega-donor Resnick to resell the public water DiFi hopes to give them with her rider on the Jobs Bill.

Whatever happens to the execrable bond issue Speaker Karen Bass made possible – and lets hope it sinks – look for the water resale legislation to keep floating to the surface….like the 77,000 bloated, putrid salmon who clogged the lower Klamath in 2002 after Cheney ordered the National Marine Fisheries Service to join his Shock Doctrine war against the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Together with Arnie and his new BFF Abel Maldonado, Dems Jared Huffman, Fran Pavley, and Speaker Karen Bass were able to push through the water bond issue scam in no large part because the Fox propaganda network had spent months spewing Shock Doctrine. Fox hypes the 2009/2010 Big Fish Lie about California’s water: fish kill farms. This year’s Big Fish Lie echoes Cheney’s earlier secret effort to destroy Klamath River salmon protections just in time for Shrub to show up in the upper Klamath Basin and try to win Ag voters by punching the Endangered Species Act full of holes. Fox hyped that scam, too.

No surprise that in announcing her multi-billion dollar giveaway rider, DiFi parroted Fox’s Biggest Lies about California’s water.

Over the last few years, 400,000 acres of farmland have been fallowed, permanent crops uprooted, and tens of thousands of people are unemployed.

In the real world, turns out the 400,000 acres DiFi claims were fallowed by decreased Federal/State water supply – well – they don’t seem to exist.

In the real world the few hundred wealthy landowners who control the Westlands Water District in CA’s San Joaquin Valley have stiffed the US Treasury – that’s us, the taxpayers – for nearly half a billion dollars. You see, they just never got around to paying back their share of the Federal Water Project. The same Water Project they and Fox want us to believe has made the poor millionaires into neglected victims.

In the real world, the deadbeat owners of Westlands Water District – one-quarter the size of Connecticut – run vast welfare farms, collecting triple Federal subsidies: for the water wasting commodity crops they grow, for subsidized electricity to pump the below-market water, and for the subsidized water. And they get the subsidies even though they’ve blown off their debt to the Feds.

In the real world, the few hundred deadbeat welfare farmers who own the Westlands Water District propped up their astroturf group, the California Latino Water Coalition, to tell us all how we need to give away public wealth to help Westlands help the poor Latino farmworkers who get to suck down pesticides while they work for next to nothing on Westlands farmland.

As I wrote last May for FDL:

A pretty good joke, considering that the tiny ag communities where many of Westlands’ farm workers and their families have lived for decades are the Appalachia of the west. Unemployment rates over 30%, median income less than $8,000, massive pesticide exposure, and very high rates of cancer, infertility, and learning disorders associated with ag chemicals (from Westlands District farmers) were normal in these communities even before the last three years of drought. Because the few hundred wealthy families who own Westlands love their farmworkers so much.

In the real world, Associate Professor Jeffery Michael – director of the University of the Pacific’s Business Resource Center – sees though the lie. Westlands, along with nearly every other big farmers in the San Joaquin Valley, fuck over their farmworkers even when water’s abundant.

Water contractors point to 40 percent unemployment in Mendota as evidence of the water crisis. These unemployment estimates for towns aren’t a current survey, but are crude extrapolations from the 2000 Census, the last time any real data were compiled for these areas….

Delta water exports were above average in 2000, and local farm employment was at a nine-year peak. Despite this, the 2000 census found unemployment in Mendota exceeded 32 percent, highest of the state’s 494 towns.

Per-capita income was below $8,000, the lowest level in the state, nearly 20 percent lower than Mexico and many developing nations in Africa, Eastern Europe and South America. Not surprisingly, water contractors don’t issue news releases about unemployment when they have water.

In the real world, as Dr. Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute wrote, California’s California’s robust agricultural sector added farm jobs even as Westside Water District farmers (whose water rights are junior to other water users) received less water.

. . . the drought has had very little overall impact on agricultural employment, compared to the much larger impacts of the recession. In fact, in the last three years, while State Water Project allocations have decreased statewide, California’s agricultural job sector has grown (see figure). Further, according to Professor Jeffrey Michael, director of the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, rising unemployment in the Central Valley is largely the result of the bad economy, not a lack of water.

In the real world, several years ago, so many Westlands Water District nut farmers planted new trees that in the subsequent years the farmers created a "nut glut". Then prices crashed, decreasing ag jobs. Because of this market failure, life is even harder for the people of Mendota than it was before.

What’s the biggest priority for FOX’s new pal, the Latino Water Coalition? Food, water, and air free of pesticides? Nope. The LWC’s biggest priority? Suspending the Endangered Species Act and getting more water for the Westlands Water District, the official victim for FOX’s May sweeps.

OK, that was last May. What are those "junior water rights" Dr. Gleick referred to? Well, in the real world, Western water rights are first come, first serve: and Westlands is at the end of the line. You see, the State Water Project supplies "back-up" water. The SWP was created with the explicit intent it would provide water when possible, but in dry years there would be no water for junior users. Like the Westlands Water District.

Which is why planting trees – the plants that require water every year, unlike annual food crops – was a boneheadedly stupid business decision for the deadbeat welfare farmers of the Westlands Water District.

The very same decision the deadbeat welfare farmers of the Westlands Water District, Fox, Sean Hannity, Abel Maldonado, Arnold, and the Teabaggers all want the rest of us to pay for. By giving away billions worth public water. You see, welfare’s OK for billionaire Resnick and the Westlands deadbeat welfare millionaires, but not for the farmworkers DiFi wants us all to believe she suddenly cares about so much.

Is DiFi’s multibillion scheme to give away thirty billion people’s water to a few hundred deadbeat welfare millionaires and one billionaire OK with Senate Majority Leader and President Obama?

Call them, and find out. But better call soon: the jobs bill – like DiFi’s obscenely wealthy pals – is on a fast track.

Or you can simply roll over, do nothing, and repeat the mantra: Forget it Jake. It’s the Delta.

Arnold’s Shock Drilling Doctrine: Slash Up To 30 Billion Of Revenues, Veto Oil Depletion Tax. Use Budget “Crisis” To Resume Offshore Drilling…For $100 Million

2:22 pm in Uncategorized by Kirk Murphy

In the 2003 recall election, Arnold and California’s terminally uninformed elctorate made a suicide pact to put him in office. He’d kill California’s income stream: they’d elect him.

Arnold ran for ofice promising to destroy 4 billion in annual revenue from recent increases in the state’s vehicle license fee. He won and slashed back the fee. Since the 2003 recall, annual lost revenue may have grown to exceed 6 billion.

Net cost in lost revenue: 20 billion to nearly 30 billion.

Size of California’s deficit?

Even the "mere" 20 billion would come in handy right about now: California’s looking at a 21.3 billion dollar budget deficit. Add in the subsequent fiscal year, and the total net deficit may be $40 bilion.

Thanks, Chub For Growth, Richard Scaife, and John and Ken.

And thanks, Arnold. California’s one of only two states with no state oil depletion tax. So this January when CA’s Legislature finally passed an oil severance tax fee that would bring California hundreds of millions (or more), what did Arnold do?

He vetoed it. Guess he couldn’t leave those Louisiana pols sleazing up to Big Oil all by themselves.

Now that the national Dem party Read the rest of this entry →