Posts Tagged ‘clean energy’

PUBLIC ENEMIES 1 and 2

December 9, 2009

BILLIONAIRE BASTARDS:

Meet the Billionaire Brothers Funding the Right-Wing War on Obama, Think Progress. by Faiz Shakir, et al.

They’re the 9th richest people in America and they’re pushing hard to upend President Obama’s progressive agenda.

Billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch are the wealthiest, and perhaps most effective, opponents of President Obama’s progressive agenda. They loom in the background of every major domestic policy dispute this year. Ranked as the 9th richest men in America, the Koch brothers sit at the helm of Koch Industries, a massive privately owned conglomerate of manufacturing, oil, gas, and timber interests. David and Charles are also responsible for a vicious attack campaign aimed directly at obstructing and killing progressive reform. Over the years, millions of dollars in Koch money has flowed to various right-wing think tanks, front groups, and publications. At the dawn of the Obama presidency, Koch groups launched television and radio ads deriding the recovery stimulus package as simply “pork” spending. The Cato Institute — founded by Charles — as well as other Koch-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, produced a blizzard of reports distorting the stimulus and calling for a return to Bush-style tax cuts to combat the recession. David’s Americans for Prosperity (AFP) placed calls and helped organize the very first “tea party” protests. AFP, founded in 1984 by David and managed by astroturf lobbyist Tim Phillips, mobilized “tea party” opposition to health reform, clean energy legislation, and financial regulations.

STOPPING CLEAN ENERGY: David Koch presents himself as a champion of science. Nevertheless, Koch has done more to undermine the public’s understanding of climate change science than any other person in America. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, funded by Koch, wages an underhanded campaign to falsely charge that a set of hacked e-mails unravels the scientific consensus that global warming is real. Despite the brothers’ extravagant wealth, Koch’s Americans for Prosperity has run populist ads mocking environmentalists as spoiled brats. Koch Industries has spent nearly $9 million dollars so far to misinform the public on climate change legislation. Koch-funded operatives attempted to crash the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this week, and may succeed in scuttling any prospect for addressing climate change.

STOPPING HEALTH REFORM: Much of the fierce opposition to health reform can be credited to the Kochs. Their Patients United has blanketed the country with ads distorting provisions of the health reform legislation, particularly the public option. Koch groups foster extremism. A speaker with the Patients United bus tour compared health reform to the Holocaust while an eight-by-five foot banner at AFP health care rallies read, “National Socialist Health Care: Dachau, Germany” superimposed over corpses from a concentration camp. AFP channeled anger into Democratic healthcare town halls in August. It wasn’t the first time Koch groups helped hijack the health reform debate. In 1994, Americans for Prosperity, then known as Citizens for a Sound Economy, worked closely with then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich to bring mobs of angry men to health reform rallies [to intimidate] then-First Lady Hillary Clinton.

A LONG HISTORY OF STOPPING PROGRESS: The Koch brothers clearly have a financial stake in blocking reform. Koch Industry oil refineries are major carbon dioxide polluters, and Georgia-Pacific, a Koch Industries timber subsidiary, is one of the largest contributors to the loss of carbon-sink capacity. According to the EPA, Koch Industries is responsible for over 300 oil spills in the U.S. and has leaked three million gallons of crude oil into fisheries and drinking waters. Their opposition is a long family tradition of trying to shift the country to the far right. Fred Koch, father of Charles and David helped to found the John Burch Society in the late 1950s. The John Burch Society harnessed Cold War fears into hate against progressives, warning that President Kennedy, Civil Rights activists, and organized labor were in league with communists. His sons continue to galvanize hundreds of thousands of middle class people into supporting the Kochs’ narrow agenda of cutting corporate taxes and avoiding consumer regulations [to the ruin of our equality and democracy]. READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/politics/144455/meet_the_billionaire_brothers_funding_the_right-wing_war_on_obama

Obama Far Outdoes Bush in Escalating War — The Numbers Will Surprise You By David DeGraw, Amped Status.

Increasing numbers of deployed soldiers, mercenaries and drones all add up to Obama being more of a war president than Bush, in terms of hard numbers. READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/world/144449/obama_far_outdoes_bush_in_escalating_war_–_the_numbers_will_surprise_you

Copenhagen Won’t Be Enough — Only a ‘Human Movement’ Can Save Civilization from the Climate Crisis By Fred Branfman, Sacramento News & Review.

A strange cloud envelops human civilization as its leaders fail to take the measures to protect it in Copenhagen that they themselves endorsed just five months ago.

To be or not to be, that is the question.–William Shakespeare, Hamlet. READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/environment/144451/copenhagen_won%27t_be_enough_–_only_a_%27human_movement%27_can_save_civilization_from_the_climate_crisis

The Public Option That Isn’t Public At All By James Ridgeway, Mother Jones Online.

As the Senate negotiates its health-care reform bill, liberals appear ready to throw in the towel on a real public option. READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/politics/144446/the_public_option_that_isn%27t_public_at_all

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SOME LIGHT, SOME DARK

November 6, 2009

Victory

State of Mind

COAL:

We can’t afford the fiction of “clean” coal anymore.  Coal is dirty.  It cannot be cleaned within the foreseeable future by any known technology – all lies, wishful thinking and futuristic theory certainly not withstanding.

We will kill all life as we know it on this planet if we do not reduce our current rate of carbon emissions.  Trust the science, not the propaganda spin of the coal merchants.  Time is running out for human survival on this earth – and if not this one, which one?  Coal burning accelerates our suicide.

Earth is in the midst of its Sixth Great Species Extinction.  Do we want to go the way of the dinosaurs?  Do we want to watch our sons and daughters, grandchildren, spouse, friends or ourselves die in our own waste and secondhand smoke?

Stop coal energy production at once.  Lead and start mass development of alternative clean energy resources today: wind, water, solar.  Protect life from ignorance, superstition, lack of vision, and selfish greed.

We have to change our basic survival assumptions if we are going to cope with this self-inflicted disaster.  Bite the bullet: stop it now.  Coal is a fuel for dead men on a dead planet.

Spokane Considers Community Bill of Rights by Mari Margil YES! Magazine

Thousands of people voted to protect nine basic rights, ranging from the right of the environment to exist and flourish to the rights of residents to have a locally based economy and to determine the future of their neighborhoods.

Of all the candidates, bills, and proposals on ballots around the country yesterday, one of the most exciting is a proposition that didn’t pass.

In Spokane, Washington, despite intense opposition from business interests, a coalition of residents succeeded in bringing an innovative “Community Bill of Rights” to the ballot. Proposition 4 would have amended the city’s Home Rule Charter (akin to a local constitution) to recognize nine basic rights, ranging from the right of the environment to exist and flourish to the rights of residents to have a locally based economy and to determine the future of their neighborhoods.

A coalition of the city’s residents drafted the amendments after finding that they didn’t have the legal authority to make decisions about their own neighborhoods; the amendments were debated and fine-tuned in town hall meetings.  READ MORE:

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/11/05-8

How a Public Jobs Program Could Put America Back on Track By Julianne Malveaux, The Progressive.

The same nation that created a Works Progress Administration in the 1930s should create another one in the 21st century.

Eighty years ago this week, the stock market crashed and ushered in the Great Depression. We need to apply the lessons from that era to our own to relieve the needless suffering of the Great Recession.

In just two days, between Oct. 28 and 29, 1929, the stock market plummeted by 25 percent. Between September and November of that year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 40 percent of its value. By July of 1932, the Dow had lost nearly 90 percent of its value.

By then the Great Depression was raging, with unemployment rates rising to 25 percent.

To combat unemployment and alleviate poverty, the federal government engaged in a massive public works and jobs program through the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Private markets weren’t about to create jobs, and the public sector became the employer of last resort. The job creation from the WPA provided survival and sustenance for millions of American families. Where is the contemporary WPA?  READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/workplace/143710/how_a_public_jobs_program_could_put_america_back_on_track

Thousands of Right-Wingers Rally at Capitol to Hear Lies About Health-Care Reform, Courtesy of Bachmann and GOP Leaders By Adele Stan, AlterNet.

Days before a health bill is expected to pass the House, Republicans rallied their flock with the help of FOX News, Michele Bachmann and leading conservative groups.

Thousands of right-wingers rallied yesterday on the lawn on the U.S. Capitol building to hear a parade of Republican lawmakers warn them of an alleged threat to their freedom embedded in the secret channels of the health-care reform bill unveiled last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Lawmakers expect to vote on the bill this Saturday.

Congressional star power was provided on the podium by the likes of Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who called for the rally from the hallowed platform of Sean Hannity’s FOX News program. Other big names on the Capitol podium included House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio; Joe “You Lie” Wilson, R-S.C., (who got a huge ovation from the crowd) and Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., who promised that he was doing all he could to ensure that “not one Republican” votes for the health-care reform bill.

Actors Jon Voight and John Deszo Ratzenberger (the guy who played Cliff on Cheers) provided the glamor quotient.  READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/politics/143768/thousands_of_right-wingers_rally_at_capitol_to_hear_lies_about_health-care_reform%2C_courtesy_of_bachmann_and_gop_leaders

doodoocaacaapoopoo

REPUBLICAN INSURANCE NAZIS

Jon Stewart Gets Teary-Eyed Over the Plight of Glenn Beck’s Internal Organs

Posted by AlterNet Staff, AlterNet