effluvia 31 July 2010Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, The Battle for New Orleans.
Seashells coated with oil on the shore in Dalian, China, nine days after a pipeline blast leaked 1,500 tonnes of heavy crude into the sea [Greenpeace/Reuters]
Beyond the horror in the Gulf, which is essentially a huge, ugly experiment we have been forced into, the struggle of the local people, on their own in Dalian to clean up the masses of heavy crude by hand, unprotected hands moving oil to barrels and buckets, navigating the thick oil in the small wood fishing boats, their legs, arms and faces bare, is a terrible thing to watch.
While we are eye balls deep in oil, lambert at corrente led to this… a story of BP, Blackrock, Larry Fink [ Here is the Vanity Fair profile on Larry Fink: Larry Fink’s $12 Trillion Shadow ], Obbie’s ever present minders and bookends (as I see it), Geithner and Summers and recent events in the US Gulf. AND Kaufman, the EPA whistleblower, who has been on Democracy NOW! and cable as well…
The close of her post:
[N]ow let’s connect the dots. The Obama administration owes Larry Fink bigtime for his central role in keeping the U.S. economy from completely crashing. The corporation owned by Larry Fink, Blackrock has been the recipient of millions (billions?) in government contracts. BlackRock also owns a majority–one billion shares–of BP Therefore Larry Fink has a powerful economic motivation to keep the full horror of what BP has done to the Gulf of Mexico hidden from the American public.
Now I have no idea if President Obama is aware of all this or not. I think this situation strongly suggests that Tim Geither has even more influence in the administration than anyone has previously thought. Kaufman mentioned in the Democracy Now interview that Larry Summers is also close to Larry Fink. Apparently the two became friends when Summers was working in hedge funds. (Oh, and BTW, 49% of BlackRock is owned by Bank of America, according to that link.)
I hope I’ve made my point clear. I believe that the reason President Obama has failed to act forcefully to deal with the worst ecological crisis in U.S. history because he or someone who has great influence over him doesn’t want to cross Larry Fink.
Now it could be that President Obama is simply a figurehead who follows orders from his underlings. Or it could be that Obama has made the decision to go alone with all this. But whatever role the president has played, the result is that BP has been permitted to dump around 2 billion gallons of Corexit into the Gulf of Mexico, and that will result in horrendous consequences for both wildlife and human beings.
I will have another post on the toxic effects of Corexit mixed with oil soon–perhaps later today or tomorrow.
I’d never give Obbie credit for being an independent operator. Nor credit that he commands some crew of ”underlings”, who do as they please as he stares into space…. I do think he feels he is USDA grade “prime” fixer to the oligarchy and his pay-off, post pretzelness, will be inclusion. Yeah right. Whistle Dixie honey.
The thread to the post is rather interesting, in particular for what I think are very mistaken, blinkered takes on both Hillary and Reagan. Hillary, as seen by several commenters, is some savior we were denied.
Oh gah. Save me from the pre-digested Democratic party baby bird food.
And Reagan is over and over described as a “true believer”. Who later was senile. He seems to be seen as less cynical than Obby.
Oh puh-leeze. I realise much of the nation did not catch the Reagan of the early, middle, or late sixties, nor even the RR of the early seventies… Both his venality and his political sleekness were much in evidence…. but he was what he was, a GE mouthpiece and, tho adept for the medium, a B movie actor, who Buckley and others of the conservative movement latched onto and very successfully used.
Even when semi- or pre-senile (and shot up in what could be argued was an attempted take over from within his own party), he was well represented by his alter ego who served as his AG here in California, Edwin Meese III. (It is rarely mentioned, but he served on the 9/11 Commission.)
And his ”kitchen cabinet” of a dozen or so very wealthy California businessmen.
I am getting a kick out of ‘new fixer man’ calling out ‘old time fixer man’. And calling him over and done with…
President Obama to Harry Smith, on the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric”:
“I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served his constituents very well. But these allegations are very troubling, and, you know, he’s somebody who is at the end of his career, 80 years old. I’m sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity, and my hope is that that happens.”
Charlie is to be escorted to the side of the bus!! Some white-gloved lackey, playing Master of Ceremonies, indicates he is to get under the bus, thus becoming, as lambert calls it, unterbussen.
–Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Allen:
“[A] person close to Rangel tells POLITICO the embattled Democrat ‘doesn’t give a damn about what the president thinks about this’ and won’t step down. Yet, Obama’s statement changes the dynamics and makes it much harder for the tenacious Rangel to hold on … One member of the Congressional Black Caucus … expressed bitterness that the president would turn publicly on Rangel, a decorated Korean War combat veteran. ‘Charlie Rangel has served our nation with honor and distinction for more than four decades – before I was born and the president was a twinkle in his parents’ eye,’ the CBC member said.”
Twinkle twinkle… All things come to an end. Rangel, meet Ob’s white grannie while you’re under the bus. She conveniently died (shed a tear, he did) on the eve of the election that would deliver him as a transcendant hero figure, her death showing he is subject to the ordinary tragedies of mortals.
Quite the political story-making.
On schedule… 30 July 2010Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
A fast moving wildfire burns above Elizabeth Lake Road in Leona Valley near Palmdale, Calif. on Thursday, July 29, 2010. Mandatory evacuations were issued for the community of Leona Valley on Thursday evening, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Matt Levesque said. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
Photo Gallery at Insider Business: Breathtaking Photos of California Burning – 2010
We are following our seasons: fire, rain, mudslide, landslide, selective drought (even when we have rain they declare drought as the water is endlessly diverted)… and here we are, in Fire Season.
PALMDALE — A huge wildfire burning in the high desert wilderness north of Los Angeles has jumped the California Aqueduct and is making a run at a subdivision of homes.
Winds apparently carried embers across the wide concrete channel this afternoon and flames rapidly spread to backyard fences.
Helicopters have been dipping buckets into the aqueduct to make rapid water drops. No homes appear to have been damaged. Numerous fire engines are in the area.
The fire has burned more than 12 square miles since erupting Thursday afternoon.
From yesterday, before it jumped the Aqueduct:
On Thursday, the fire stopped at the California Aqueduct, which runs along foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The concrete channel acted as a natural firebreak, fire Inspector Matt Levesque said.
“That fire burned right up to the homes (but there is) no more fuel for it to burn,” he said.
Southern California’s big wildfires are usually associated with the fierce Santa Ana winds that blow withering dry air from the interior toward the coast. Winds this week have been blowing inland from out of the southwest as California experiences an unusually cool July with persistent coastal clouds and record lows.
It’s been cold, but also painfully dry, and that is in San Francisco, with a return of our normal fog this summer. Not the past two weeks, however, just cold and very very dry.
About to have a bad day… 29 July 2010Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. House.
Rep. Charles Rangel, who is charged with ethics violations, speaks to reporters from the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building on W 125th St. in Harlem, New York, NY. [Giancarli for News]
From the People mag report being floated tonight on Charlie Rangel, pol extraordinaire from Harlem…
Rangel famously wrote in his autobiography, “I haven’t had a bad day since” the Korean War, but the ethics trial might change that sentiment.
In the email in box tonight from Eastern Seabord Little Birdie…
I think Charlie is out tommorrow…The parents of a CR staffer, AA, suddenly packed up and left their NJ shore home … heading with haste back to DC… literally broke camp and all but shuttered the beach house removing two of the 3 Benzes. . Longtime DC AA’s , Daddy was in Fed procurement, Grandaddy in Wilders entourage..
Methinks they got the call for stage backdrop at Charlies wake…
They own multiple multiple multiple homes DC NJ VA Fla. with matching Benz’s at each joint…On a GS 12 level salary. Their 20 something babykins literally of works right outside Cholly’s inner office door.
Please Charlie, take your crew with you…
I laughed especially hard at what is apparently a criminal organisation being rattled… as one of the themes being pounded on our local talk radio, tightly tied to the Dem machine in town, is that we cannot stand for the Mexican Mafia, the drug cartels moving into the USA!! USA!!, the land of cheerleaders and pom poms!, because, yes sirree, we cleaned all of that up, our own mob problems… and we cannot stand for invading criminal element mobs.
We cleaned it up? We did? Where? When?
Aside from BOTH political parties are gangs, thieving and dealing gangs… money laundering (even Jay Cost, well to the Right of me, at RCP says both parties are money launderers)… BUT + ALSO, we have made sure successive waves of immigrant gangs have joined our home grown gangs.
I cannot even begin to count the ethnic gangs in Cali. Where to begin. Aside from the Whites.
Oh yes, right, how could I forget: Good Bye Charlie R.
Hat door hit you hurry, etc.
Of course the running, endless joke is that one of the contenders to fill his seat is Adam Clayton Powell the third, or fourth or fifteenth.
Fantastical landscape 27 July 2010Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, The Battle for New Orleans.
Oily Sand Blown Far — Photograph by Chris Combs, National Geographic
Madman linked to a series of National Geographic photographs taken down on the Gulf beaches, using a high powered UV light to expose oil, where it does not appear to be.
Oily Sand Blown Far
Photograph by Chris Combs, National Geographic
Many yards from the Gulf of Mexico, dunes at the Gulf Islands National Seashore appear dotted with constellations of oil-contaminated, glowing sand under ultraviolet light.
Describing similar dunes, Kirby said that “dried sand particles that were contaminated by oil were blowing into the dunes of the back beach. If you consider how much sand can be moved in a short period of time by wind, this is a big deal.”
If clean-up workers on a beach are using a net to sift lumps of oil from sand, “clean sand goes through the oily net and gets coated with oil,” he said. “You’ve contaminated another quart of sand in order to get a couple of ounces of oil out, and it’ll end up in the [dunes].”
Published July 8, 2010
Trunks 25 July 2010Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, UK.
Chester Zoo’s new male Asian elephant calf, which is yet to be named, takes his first steps in the zoo’s outdoor elephant enclosure Picture: PA
Well… they say it’s a pic of the baby but, really, it’s a photo of trunks. Hard to miss that… It does look like his mother – or someone – is chucking his chin…
I think Lockerbie is heating up, not necessarily for BP (already so hate-able… ) but for the US administration…
At the time, in one instance, I read that the US ultimately agreed to the release and that “some” of the families in the US were consulted.
My own guess is that with the additional investigations over the years, carried out in Scotland, it is more and more possible that Megrahi was framed by US intel entities… and this move got him out of the UK on some illness dodge and, they all hoped, with not too many fingerprints showing….
The London Times claims to have a letter, indicating the US compliance with the ultimate disposition.
Barack Obama’s administration urged Edinburgh to base the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds, it has emerged.
Newspapers had quoted a letter from Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US Embassy in London, to Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.
It read: “If Scottish authorities come to the conclusion that Megrahi must be released from custody, the US position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer.”
Mr Salmond told Sky News this morning that the American government’s position was that they did not want Megrahi to be released – but preferred a compassionate release over a prisoner transfer deal.
“Presumably the reason that they were so opposed to the prisoner transfer agreement is on roughly the same grounds as the Scottish government had for opposing that agreement – because it was signed initially at the same time as an oil deal was being signed in the famous deal in the desert,” he said. snip
On to the next crisis!!
Summer? 23 July 2010Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco, UK.
Seaside buckets and spades vie for attention with more modern beach toys at this seafront stall [Matt Cardy/Getty Images]
Just an excuse to put up a silly pic… tho:
Madman (and the Milwaukee streets) is under a summer squall for days, catnip’s just-planted garden is beaten half to death by hail and I am freezing to death in San Francisco, a very cold week here.
It seems to be summer, resplendent with cheap and colorful beach toys, in Weymouth England, and I am sure, elsewhere…
And, above all else, let’s not be UNFAIR to the biggest of the too big to fail on Wall St.
I don’t want any bankers CRYING … do you? That would be just so UNFAIR.
Think of all the used-once-and-thrown-away hankies that would end up in the ocean and, inevitably, choking an endangered whale. A female whale, probably with a baby whale inside her. You don’t want to kill a whale do you?
[M]r. Feinberg’s study, which was required by the 2009 stimulus law that also created his post, covered the five-month window during which firms were getting government assistance but policy makers hadn’t yet enacted executive-compensation restrictions. Those rules came into force in early February 2009.
The payments “were ill advised, they were troublesome. But I do not believe it is fair to declare…that the payments were ‘contrary to the public interest,'” he said. In fact, Mr. Feinberg said he undertook the compensation review, which was required by the 2009 stimulus law, with “some reluctance.”
“This is arm-chair quarterbacking,” he said.
Mr. Feinberg also said he felt it was inappropriate for him to ask any of the 17 firms to claw back or reimburse taxpayers for the bonus payouts. Under the law he has no authority to demand repayment, but Congress did direct him to request reimbursement if appropriate. snip
Only do what is appropriate… be safe. Take care. Be fair. Love thy neighbor. Arm-chair quarterbacking is a sin. A double sin if done on Mondays… Help those in need. Be kind to the bankers, they are human too.
Wall St is just another street, don’t discriminate. You know they’d do the same for you. Don’t make trouble.
And, remember we HAD to save them, otherwise the entire financial system would have failed. We did the right thing. Or it would have been a Depression. Bernanke, an expert on the GD, told us that.
All the congress people repeated what he said, as tho speaking with authority..
A Great Recession is so much better. Even if it never ends.
Can’t we all just get along?
Thief in the night… 21 July 2010Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Photograph from Garden Tenders Blog
In a thread over at corrente is a lovely recipe, said to be from Alice B Toklas (and it does sound like recipes from her Flavors and Aromas cook book, which I have)…
I would love to have chickens, by which I mean keep laying hens.. and of course I cannot, but I do have eggs… ;) And butter.
For the present I content myself with a large poster on the fridge door, exotic chickens, 4 of them, in what is all but a fashion lay-out, exotic of feather, headress and plumage, proud in stance… fully the equal of a Paris cat-walk.
By ohio on Wed, 07/21/2010 – 9:48pm
Alice B., that is.
In a saucepan melt 1-2 Tb for each egg (or as much as you can stand). Add salt and pepper to taste. Break eggs in a bowl so no shells get in and add to melted butter one at a time. Whip egg until blended before adding next egg.
Fresher eggs and butter, the better. The trick is in the whipping them together over gentle heat. It ends up kinda fluffy.
uh… no. 21 July 2010Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.
Thousands of Chinese people gather a swimming pool to cool off from the summer heat in Suining, southwest China’s Sichuan province [AFP/GETTY]
In the spirit of that picture, showing how not to spend your summer vaca, Al Gore has two more massage therapists piping up. One in BH and one in Tokyo.
I’d say the National Enquirer needs for this story to prove out… just to keep their leg up.
Al, however… seems to be toast. An object of laughter…
Don’t laugh too hard tho, save some! The John Edwards story is moving to the movie screen, based on the book by the former aide. Sorkin of The West Wing is doing it.
And what does that say? From President Bartlett, cosily played by an actor who played the Kennedys (an awful lot, he did), to now, the ambulance chasing (he was, the Dems worked to hide it) Southern Lothario.
Mission creep… 20 July 2010Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Border Issues, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco, The Battle for New Orleans, WAR!.
A vinca flower floats in brown, oily sludge in a canal behind a home just off Lake Pontchartrain near Slidell, Louisiana [Chuck Cook/AP]
But it’s capped now and little things like sludge in Lake Pontchartrain, which lies to the North of NO btw, will be dealt with soon.
Sooner than soon.
The local talk radio tonight, in so liberal San Francisco, is pushing a real war with Mexico, as in, ‘go in and clean up that problem’, a shooting war with Mexico. Or, at least the North of Mexico. (Little wars always promise to stay that way, I guess…)
WE can’t have that on our border.
That should work… take care of all those pesky problems.
Sean Penn is on with Charlie Rose… and did manage to say an interesting thing or two about Haiti… but all goodness lies with Pretzel Clinton, and “the First Lady”, by which he means Mother Michelle. Clinton really got everyone on board, and MM will see to the education.
I think she is so busy hunting for baby fat that she has no time. Meanwhile the babies are being thrown out, bath water or no…
And, Haiti suffers as “there is no Warren Buffett there”.
Vote the party! Early and often! Then, take the only rational next step: lie face down in very wet mud and breathe deeply.
Spectacular fail *is* a reason to end it… 19 July 2010Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Afghanistan War, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, WAR!.
The Boys back in May, 2009 at fav Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington. (AP)
From the Fox News report:
The president has said he wants to keep his finger on the pulse of the regular guy, but traveling with his “Regular Joe” deputy in a massive motorcade is certainly not something your average Joe can do.
Nonetheless, the two waited patiently in the food line at the Arlington, Va burger joint amongst surprised customers and Obama even pulled out his own cash to pay for both his and the press’ food. He also tossed a 5-buck tip into the tip jar. [big guy big tip -- Mcat]
When the food came, Obama ushered the press out, in what appeared to be his attempt to focus on solving the world’s ills with the veep from his perch on a stool at Ray’s.
Tho who knows what the real objective was in Afghanistan… another headline at The Guardian said there is a water shortage in Kabul. The bomber that made it to the market in Kabul, killing three yesterday, crossed thru the (don’t make me laugh too hard) “ring of steel”.
For years now it is said, all we hold (and we should drop it and flee) IS Kabul, for however long we can hold it.
The US military build-up in Kandahar is likely to further strengthen the hold of the Taliban over the vital southern Afghanistan city, a highly respected security organisation said today in a bleak report warning of record Taliban violence and rising civilian deaths across the country.
The report by the Afghanistan NGO Security Office, which monitors trends in violence on behalf of aid organisations, said Nato’s counter-insurgency strategy was not showing any signs of succeeding amid rising violence, the unchecked establishment of local militias and a huge increase in attacks on private development workers across the country.
It revealed that June marked a record for Taliban attacks – up 51% on the previous year to 1,319 operations. snip
Marjah, which was utterly misrepresented in every way, from build up to assault, to the American people (those listening) failed. Kandahar shows every sign of failing (whatever that may be) and both are, in a new report assessing NATO and US Afghan war expeditions, compared to Helmand. Which failed.
[I]t was sceptical that the next stage of the operation, in and around Kandahar, would be any better. It said the operation was “very unlikely to be the ‘breaking point’ of the Taliban”.
“It seems more likely to go the way of Operation Moshtarak, in Helmand, with lots of public ballyhoo around the actions of the IMF while the Afghan ‘partners’ discreetly pursue their own, often countervailing, agendas.”
It added that the military buildup in Kandahar, which will see fighting take place in districts surrounding the city in the autumn, “will cause a significant rise in support for the armed opposition in Kandahar and, with that, make eventual Taliban ascendency feasible”. snip
Here is an idea: Let the people have their own country…
However, I don’t see us giving up our long distance race wars and slave patrolling. Seems to be our evil hobby.
It also raised concerns about the increasing use of local people to defend their own villages – a strategy that David Petraeus, the US commander of Nato forces in the country, is strongly in favour of expanding.
There were already cases of the so-called “militias” causing the same problems as the 1963 South Vietnamese Self Defence Corps, including partnering with insurgents to steal from the local population, the report said.
Could we stop killing people? Here and there? All the theres?