Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obama's soul firesale:

William Yardly reports in the NYT today the natives are getting restless in the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

Young grassroots activists, the types who would have otherwise have been voting for Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich, got sucked into Obama's message of . . . whatever it is . . . and registered as Dems to vote for the new messiah.

Now, however, Yardly writes, "after critics have accused Mr. Obama of shifting positions on issues like the war in Iraq, the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants, gun control and the death penalty — all in what some view as a shameless play to a general election audience "many of these kids have had it.

They're warning the Party they're going back to the green party or whereever they came from.

This is the part that kind of torks me off a little, this additude coming from the establishment, the grownups.

"Many Obama supporters said the most vocal complaining about various policy positions was largely relegated to liberal bloggers . . . 'I think it’s accentuated by the fact that Obama’s appeal is an appeal to idealism,' said Kari Chisholm, who runs a blog,, and does Internet strategy for Democratic candidates.

'They believe their ideology is the only idealism and Obama’s is very mainstream. I’m not surprised they’re getting a little cranky. They’ve always been kind of cranky. A mainstream Democrat has always been too mainstream for them.'”

A mainstream Democrat? Richard Nixon would be a liberal crank these days compared to how far right the Party has gone. All that crazy stuff about the environment, the death penalty, government spying, taxpayer funded faith-based policies (and probably abortion, too, if Obama's handlers think he thinks he can get a bump in the polls) is so out there on the fringe for the Democratic party.

Before you know it, Obama will be leading the charge on the march to Tehran (he's already ceded jerusalem to Israel) and anyone who dares question that will also be some wide-eyed liberal crank.

I understand the all out effort to get the White House back, but not at any price. If Obama winds up just being tweedle-dum once he gets in, what's the point?


Hello from the world's biggest polluter.

The Independent reports:

"President George Bush signed off with a defiant farewell over his refusal to accept global climate change targets at his last G8 summit. As he prepared to fly out from Japan, he told his fellow leaders: 'Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter.'

His remarks were taken as a two-fingered salute from the President from Texas who is wedded to the oil industry. He had given some ground at the summit by saying he would 'seriously consider' a 50 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2050.'"

Of course, he said that before he made his little "joke."

In case the Europeans still have any illusions about where W. stands on Global Warming, AP reports:

"President Bush on Saturday tried to pin the blame on Congress for soaring energy prices and said lawmakers need to lift long-standing restrictions on drilling for oil in pristine lands and offshore tracts believed to hold huge reserves of fuel.

'It's time for members of Congress to address the pain that high gas prices are causing our citizens," the president said. 'Every extra dollar that American families spend because of high gas prices is one less dollar they can use to put food on the table or send a child to college.'" [I'm sure he really meant one less dollar they can use to put food on their families.]

Drill, drill, drill, that's all he's got. The Democrats in Congress, on the other hand, are surely fighting tooth and nail to save our pristine land and offshore tracts, right?

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said in the Democrats' radio address, "Democrats support more drilling. In fact, what the president hasn't told you is that the oil companies are already sitting on 68 million acres of federal lands with the potential to nearly double U.S. oil production. That is why in the coming days congressional Democrats will vote on 'Use It or Lose It' legislation requiring the big oil companies to develop these resources or lose their leases to someone else who will."

Wow, I'm speechless. Is there anything these dems won't roll over on? The FISA law was just unforgivable -- they not only handed over the Bill of Rights to W. to shred, but they actually bought the shredder and then put the constitution in themselves -- but this is just mind boggling!

But, it's not about principles or preserving our national lands and shorelines for future American generations, it's all about the polls.


"Nearly half the people surveyed by the Pew Research Center in late June said they now consider energy exploration and drilling more important than conservation, compared with a little over a third who felt that way only five months ago."

These are the same people, presumably, who forgot about the 70's and then went out and bought the biggest Hummers they could fine, because oil would always be plentiful and cheap. Wasn't that what the Iraq war was all about? Get an oil guy into the White House and then we can get away with driving around in tanks that get five miles to the gallon forever!

So, go ahead and kowtow to the masses and the lame duck president who gets everything he wants, no matter how outrageous. Just follow the polls democrats, that's the way to victory.

I just mention this in passing; a new Rasmussen poll finds:

"The percentage of voters who give Congress good or excellent ratings has fallen to single digits for the first time in Rasmussen Reports tracking history. This month, just 9% say Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Most voters (52%) say Congress is doing a poor job, which ties the record high in that dubious category. Last month, 11% of voters gave the legislature good or excellent ratings. Congress has not received higher than a 15% approval rating since the beginning of 2008."

You know, I voted for Van Hollen (and I still get his mail) even though I thought Connie Morella was the better candidate for my district. I'm sure all the folks in the People's Republic of Takoma Park who voted for him, just because of that "d" next to his name, will be thinking twice next time.

Next thing you know, W. will be advocating drilling on the National Mall and Van Hollen & Co. will be falling over each other to be the first in line to get their pictures taken next to the derrick in front of the newly renamed Lincoln Memorial: "The Reagan, Exxon-Mobil Memorial."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jesse Helms: He hated II

Alternets reports:

"L.F. Eason, a 29-year veteran of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, 'instructed his staff at a small Raleigh lab not to fly the U.S. or North Carolina flags at half-staff Monday' to honor the late senator Jesse Helms, 'was called for in a directive to all state agencies by Gov. Mike Easley.' In a string of e-mail messages with his superiors, Eason was told he could either lower the flags or retire effective immediately. Here is Eason’s reasoning for his decision to retire.

'This is in no way a political decision. I simply do not feel it is appropriate to honor a person whose epitaph of government service was to have voted against or blocked every civil rights issue that came before the US Congress. His doctrine of negativity, hate, and prejudice cost North Carolina and our Nation much that we may never regain.'"

The News Observer reports:

"A registered Democrat who frequently votes a split ticket, he said he had no problems lowering the flag for former Sen. Terry Sanford or President Reagan. But he remembers wondering whether he would be willing to lower the flag after President Nixon's death.
He never had to make that decision, since it rained both days.
Monday was sunny. And Eason was out of a job."

Way to go North Carolina!

Way to make your state look like a backward, redneck bastion!


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Iran ups the anti, Condi hawks missiles for Raytheon and Boeing.

It looks like the war is on again . . .


"One day after threatening to strike Tel Aviv and United States interests if attacked, Iran's Revolutionary Guards were reported on Wednesday to have test-fired nine missiles, including one which the government in Tehran says has the range to reach Israel."

TIME online reported yesterday:

"The website of the elite Iranian force . . . quoted guard official Ali Shirazi as saying that Israel's coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv and U.S. warships in the Gulf would be among the first targets if Iran comes under attack. 'The Zionist regime is pushing the White House to prepare for a military strike on Iran,' Shirazi was quoted as saying. 'If such a stupidity is done by them, Tel Aviv and the U.S. naval fleet in the Persian Gulf will be the first targets which will be set on fire in Iran's crushing response.'"

So much for all that reasonableness of the past week.

Through the looking glass. The tale of two regimes:

It's like peering through the looking glass viewing the actions of the regime in Tehran and the Oil Junta in the White House. Apparently, both antagonists have their war wings and their peaceniks. In Washington, there are the neocon hawks, working out of the vice-president's office, who are being countered by the Condi Rice "peace" faction, which includes Sec Def Robert Gates and a sizable group of general officers who've done the math and figured out they'll be without a military to fight with if they get into another war.

In Tehran, meanwhile, there's the Quds wing represented by Ahmadinejad who are waiting for the messiah being countered by the relatively sane faction (compared to Ahmadinejad, anyway)led by the Mottakis, Larijanis and the Rafsanjanis, who've done their own math, apparently, and come up with the conclusion that they'll wind up with an irradiated country if they go to war.

In both cases, the competing sides are being mediated by one leader who hasn't made up his mind yet whether to go to war or not. In Tehran it's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and in Washington it's W.

[Wow, I just read that back to myself; this is a pretty scary scenario. We're basically doomed, aren't we?]

All quiet on the oil front:

Naturally, all of this saber rattling is good news for the oil industry. Things were getting a little scary last week with all this talk of peace breaking out, but oil prices are heading back in the right direction now. Nothing like a few Shahab 3's to buy daddy a brand new pair of shoes.

The NYT:

"Energy traders reacted to the news by bidding up oil prices, which had been falling in recent days. Light, low-sulfur crude for delivery next month, the most-watched oil price benchmark, rose more than $2 a barrel in early-morning electronic trading, though by late morning in New York the gain had been pared somewhat."

Condi's pie in the sky:

As if on que, the Iranian missle launches played right into the hands of Condi's push to load Europe up with US missiles. State Department spokesman Sean McCormick explained: "Iran has an active missile program as is evidenced by these launches today and it underscores the importance of pursuing a number of different tracks to deal with various threats emanating from Iran."

Condi, meanwhile, was in Prague getting the Czechs to sign on the dotted line for a radar system that will be the eyes and ears of W.'s pie in the sky missile defense system to be based in Poland, which supposedly will shoot down any incoming Iranian Shahabs (but more likely our own fighters, based on Raytheon's vaunted missile defense systems to date.]

Rice said, "We face with the Iranians, and so do our allies and friends, a growing missile threat that is growing ever longer and ever deeper and where the Iranian appetite for nuclear technology to this point is still unchecked."

Unchecked, perhaps, but her own Undersecretary of State, William Burns, told Congress yesterday Iran's nuclear appetites weren't all they were cracked up to be. He said Iran was talking a good game about how far ahead they are with their nukes, but "real progress has been more modest."

So a threat which is somewhat less deep and long than Condi is letting on, in other words. [What makes Rice think anyone is going to buy any of this Iranian nuclear threat jazz after her fevered warnings of mushroom clouds over Manhattan, before the Iraqi invasion?]

According to Rice this multi zillion dollar Star Wars boondoggle [Funding for the system would total $4.5 billion through 2013, according to documents provided to Bloomberg] is intended to "defend our territory (and) the territory of our allies." [AP] She didn't exactly explain, though, how a defense system based in Eastern Europe would defend our territory from missiles that couldn't possibly reach us.

It seems, our good friends the Poles might be thinking along the same lines. They're the fly in the ointment here, the ants at the picnic. The thing that could blow W.'s grand plans out of the water -- and also lose Raytheon some big bucks in multi-year pentagon contracts, with all the resulting cost over-runs -- is the damn Poles.

They're holding out on becoming our missile launching pad until we come up with some serious dinaro to defend them against the Russians who have threatened to turn them into a gigantic hole in the ground. The Russian reaction to Rice's visit was characteristically bellicose; their Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying: "We will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods,." if the Czech parliament signs off on the plan.

The Poles have dealt with the business end of Russian "military-technical methods" a few times before so they're understandably soiling their collective undies at the prospect.

They probably also remember the Brits and the French promising to help them out against Hitler, so they're going to need some serious convincing, in the form of billions of dollars worth of US weaponry which, presumably, a new Democratic Congress might balk to pay for.

Something tells me W.'s word isn't going to do the trick. By the time they break ground for these missile launchers W. will be comfortably pulling weeds in Crawford, so good luck with this particular piece of W.'s legacy.

Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran:

One technical guestion I have, by the way, about the threat of Iranian rockets raining down on Prague is; aren't we all buddy, buddy with the very countries that gave the Iranians the stuff to build their bombs and rockets in the first place?

The web site says:

"There have been reports from Iran since 1986, of the development of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile and the programme has been given various names including Shahab 3, Shihab 3, Shehob 3 or Zelzal 3. In 1993, it is believed that Iran and North Korea agreed on the joint development of the North Korean No-dong 1 and No-dong 2 single-stage liquid-propellant missiles and that Pakistan probably joined the programme (for the Ghauri 1/2 missiles)."

Ah yes, our good friends the Pakistanis, the ones who sold the Iranians the centrifuges they're using to enrich their uranium. In fact, A. Q. Khan, Pakistan's father of the Islamic Bomb sold nuclear technology to anyone who could pay for it.

The North Koreans, our new good buddies, and the Pakistanis are serial proliferators, the Iranians, on the other hand, are not. So, naturally, we make peace deal with the North Koreans, send Pakistan billions of dollars and we attack Iran. It all makes perfect sense.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Oil Junta and Ahmadinejad tone down war talk because of this blog.

CNNmoney reports:

"Oil prices extended a post-July 4th descent Tuesday - falling more than $9 a barrel over two days - as Iran's president downplayed concerns about possible war in the Middle East and investors anticipated falling demand due to high gasoline prices . . . The price of light sweet crude for August delivery tumbled $5.33 to settle at $136.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the lowest level in nearly two weeks, and followed a drop of $3.92 Monday."

It looks like they have been monitoring my posts and have decided to allow the price of a barrel of oil to fall slightly in order, obviously, to undermine my centeral arguement that the Oil Junta in the WH and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are in league to make money for the oil giants.

Case in point:

"Iran: Concerns over supply disruptions in the oil-rich Middle East eased after Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he did not believe there would be an armed conflict between Iran and Israel or the United States. At a summit of Muslim nations in Malaysia on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said he believed the United States and Israel have been using propaganda and psychology against Iran, but that he did not see war in the future, the Associated Press reported."

Well, based on that, I'd say war is a near impossibility, now. You can take what Mahmoud says to the bank. (Unless, that is, the bank goes under.)

Investors are thinking that beside the good news about the war, demand for oil is going to go down and the value of the dollar is going up. Problem solved! Let's start investing in risky paper again. Investors are very serious people who you can always trust to do the right thing, so go out and spend, spend, spend.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Ahmadinejad might be a mole for Halliburton! A working theory.

AP reported earlier today:

" Oil prices tumbled nearly $4 a barrel Monday, erasing many of last week's record gains in a single session as concerns about potential supply disruptions eased. . . Traders drove prices sharply higher at the end of last week as they bet that conflict with Iran or some other event could cut supplies, and they didn't want to get caught unprepared over the long Independence Day weekend, analysts said. . . As concerns about supply disruptions subsided, many traders on Monday sold off contracts they had bought as insurance last week. 'We got through the holiday without any major news,' said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. 'No news is good news, or in this case, no news is bearish news.'"

Well, so much for that . . . Remember all that stuff at the end of last week about the Iranians acting reasonable about the carrots the P5+1 (the permanent five U.N. Security Council members plus Germany) were offering the Iranians to halt their nuclear enrichment program and CJCS Adm. Mike Mullen was saying a war with Iran in his opinion would be "extremely stressful" to the overstretched US military?

Well, it's all a distant memory now. Reuters reported about three hours ago:

"Iran started war games on Monday and its president rejected a demand by major powers that it stop enriching uranium as 'illegitimate,' showing no sign of backing down in a stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions . . . Missile units of the elite Revolutionary Guards' naval and air forces began war games, Iranian news agencies said, hours after the U.S. Navy said it had begun exercises in the Gulf . . . The U.S. Navy on Monday said two U.S. vessels were taking part in its exercise alongside a British warship and one from Bahrain, a Gulf Arab ally which hosts the Fifth Fleet."


Why is everyone all hell bent on going to war in the Persian Gulf? What could be the incentive?


"Americans are now paying more than $1 billion more for gasoline per day than they did five years ago, according to an OPIS report Monday. In June, the world's largest oil consumer spent about $47.38 billion on the motor fuel — nearly three times as much as in 2003."

You know, when you're talking about billions, you're starting to talk about real money.

No one wants to mess up that gravy train! Ever since the housing bust, the credit bust and the ever falling dollar, all the folks with real money need to make some and commodities is the only game left in town.

It's as if the Iranians and the US government were actually conspiring to keep the price of a barrel of oil sky high. We all the know about the oil junta in the White House, that's no secret, but what's going on with the Iranians?

I have a working theory, based on the fact that throughout this whole back and forth with the P5+1 of late, a certain crazy person has been surprisingly silent; until now, that is.

The price of a barrel of oil starts to dip and the world's best known dip, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, suddenly decides to chime in . . . Coincidence?


"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday his country would not stop enriching uranium, work which Tehran says is aimed at generating power but which the West fears may be part of a covert nuclear weapons program. . . They offer to hold talks but at the same time they threaten us and say we should accept their illegitimate demand to halt (enrichment work)," Ahmadinejad told reporters in Malaysia, where he was attending a summit of eight developing countries. 'They want us to abandon our right (to nuclear technology),' the president said."

BINGO! I'm going to go way out on a limb here and say the price oil will be rocketing up in the next 12 hours or so.

Do the Cheney/Carlyle death corp. have a mole in Tehran? Along the same lines, perhaps, as spelled out in the X-Files episode "Dreamland II" when super spook Morris Fletcher tells Agent Mulder that Saddam Hussein was really "[a] dinner theater actor named John Gillnitz from Tulsa [who] was known for his good ethnic portrayal in The King and I," who was set up by Majestic "in 1979 as ruler of Iraq in order to keep people distracted?"[X-Files wiki]

Expiring minds want to know. It's more plausible explanation for whats going on than any of the crap the US media is foisting on us.

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