Monday, May 31, 2010

Some NM "Dems" Take Campaign Cash From GOPuke PACs

This is not unprecedented, of course. During the last elections, GOPuke groups have funneled cash to marginal presidential candidates such as Ralph Nader because they believed a vote for Nader was one which wouldn't go to a main-stream Dim opponent.

In New Mexico, this year, there are a handful of "former" GOPukes--folks with long, deep GOPuke roots--who are running in the Dim primaries, mostly for judicial positions.

Now, via NMFBIHOP's blog comes the news that GOPuke agents are taking an active part in state Dim politics, trying to move the party "to the center."

No, really! NO! Really!
Garth Simms heads the board on the New Mexico Turn Around PAC that gave money to Democratic challengers and is largely funded by the top-dogs at the state Republican Party.

The group's website says, "NMTA supports the transfer of control of the New Mexico State House to Republican control. Its goal is to help that transfer occur over the next two or three election cycles. Its goal, also, is to get you to help it in this endeavor."

Here is what he told Heath Haussamen while trying to play down the controversy:
"Our focus is just to get the Democrat Party representation mainly a little back more toward the center instead of just being controlled by the progressive wing of the party," Simms said. "That's where we're coming from. There's nothing nefarious about it."
Simms tipped his hand with the classic partisan Republican jab at Democrats by referring to the "Democrat Party." As usual, when I see this, I link to this piece from Hendrik Hertzberg on "the ic factor" -- or Republicans' reference to the "Democrat Party" instead of "Democratic Party."

This is no surprise, as Simms is a former Republican state legislator. And the money comes largely from Republican sources, including money from the state Republican Party chairman, Harvey Yates, Jr. and the company of Republican Party executive director Ryan Cangiolosi (who also sits on the board).

The front page of the committee's website features an article from Yates that criticizes Democrats (as one from a head of a political party would likely do).

They reprint articles from the National Review Online something Glenn Beck would write. They are teaming with groups heavily involved in the tea party for candidate training this year (though the timing is a bit odd since the conference comes after the primaries).

So why is a group that "supports the transfer of control of the New Mexico State House to Republican control" getting involved in Democratic primaries?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Petitio Pretenditii? Just Sign It ?

We all know the emancipatory potential of the Netz ALMOST outweighs its enormous commercial and supervisory potential, and that anti-democratic, authoritarian interests in Big Bidness labor ceaselessly to re-establish elite sovereignty over the means of (information) production which the proliferation of the Netz has somewhat reduced.

The linked site connects to a page at which you can sign a petition to the FCC commissioners requesting them politely to ignore the specious importunings of more than 100 venal, corrupt. sold-out Congress-critters who signed a Tel-Com industry letter demanding the FCC effectively kill-off net neutrality.

That's not good.

I don't know if on-line-generated "letters" are useful in matters like this, or not.

But it does provide one an opportunity to exercise the finer points of revising boiler-plate to reflect one's true sentiments. Below, I pasted my version of the letter the site provides:
Dear FCC:

I hope it is beginning to intrude on your consciences that some in Congress must have made a mistake. Dozens of elected representatives recently affixed their names to an INDUSTRY letter instructing the FCC NOT to protect Internet users or bridge the digital divide.

I'm writing to tell you that these venal, reprehensible, unprincipled, Congressional low-lifes don't speak for me, President Obama or the millions of other Americans who have called upon the FCC and Congress to protect the open Internet and promote universal access.

The Internet is the last forum in the public square not entirely susceptible to being overwhelmed simply by an onslaught of raw cash. The FCC must now do the right thing and re-assert its Title II authority to protect Americans' access to the open Internet.

Please do your duty to the People, and resist the misleading, and specious claims of those tools of Big Business doing their (pay) masters' bidding. Protect the Internet from being captured by interests inimical to open, democratic discourse.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

These Skeevy Fux Need Just To be Shut The Fuck DOWN, Now, Before They Fuck Up Something Else

(Image: Toby Oxborrow (no photo graphic) & US Coast Guard (controlled burn of oil spill)
Via Treehugger:
BP Now Owns the Airspace Above the Spill, Too - Bars Journalists From Flying Over It

Stories about BP contractors working hand in glove with the Coast Guard and local police to prevent full coverage of the effects of the oil spill have been coming out for some time now--and don't seem to be going away. Newsweek reports that everyone from traditional and independent journalists and photojournalists to Jean-Michel Cousteau have been denied access--they've even go so far to establish no-fly zones.

Here's the latest (and to me one of the most infuriating examples):

The latest instance of denied press access comes from Belle Chasse, La.-based Southern Seaplane Inc., which was scheduled to take a New Orleans Times-Picayune photographer for a flyover on Tuesday afternoon, and says it was denied permission once BP officials learned that a member of the press would be on board.
"We are not at liberty to fly media, journalists, photographers, or scientists," the company said in a letter it sent on Tuesday to Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). "We strongly feel that the reason for this massive [temporary flight restriction] is that BP wants to control their exposure to the press."
You can justify limiting access on the ground over legitimate safety concerns, too many people causing interference with cleanup efforts, etc.; and the article does quote a photographer saying that the Coast Guard at times has been very helpful--indeed, if only indirectly I can second that; if it weren't for Coast Guard photos TreeHugger would be coming up short on imagery of the cleanup.

However, limiting people from flying over the spill?!? Utterly ridiculous.

It May Be BP's Oil But It's Everyone's Disaster
The article also quotes one fishermen who says he understands BP's restrictions, saying, "If there was a major fire in a warehouse, would you let reporters go inside and start taking pictures?"

Fair enough, but if that fire starts spreading the street, to the public park, and onto the neighboring town the owner of the warehouse doesn't get to say you can't go there too. The warehouse may be their's but the fire itself and the damage it causes is everyone's.
There is criminal liability involved in this case, including manslaughter (at least) for the 11 men who were killed.

But I Gay-Ron-FUUKIN-TEE you, chers: Not a single one of the execs of any of the implicated companies--BP, TransOcean, or Halliburton--will EVER see the inside of a jail, much less the end of the rope they so richly deserve...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Gusher Continues

Via PBS:
Nobody knows for certain how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since last month's oil rig explosion. What we do have are estimates -- from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from outside experts, from British Petroleum -- of how fast crude is flowing out of two remaining leaks (a third was plugged Wednesday).

Oil has been flowing out of ruptures in the Deepwater Horizon well on the ocean floor since around 10 a.m. on April 22, two days after the BP-leased rig exploded, leaving 11 workers missing and presumed dead.

According to NOAA, an estimated 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) a day is coming from the remaining ruptures. At that rate, this leak would surpass the 11 million gallons spilled by the Exxon Valdez in 1989 in mid-June if left unchecked.

Other estimates are far more grim. The New York Times reported that BP told members of Congress the rate could be much, much higher:
In a closed-door briefing for members of Congress, a senior BP executive conceded Tuesday that the ruptured oil well could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow.
A barrel of crude oil contains roughly 42 gallons. In a follow-up story, the Times talked to a BP spokesman for more on the estimate:
"The rate could go up to that," Mr. Suttles of BP said, when asked to verify a report in The Times. "It's not the situation we have at this moment, but it's not impossible."
Based on this range of figures, we built the meter atop this post to give a ballpark figure of how much oil may have leaked into the Gulf based on each scenario (by multiplying the rate of leakage by the amount of time passed since the rupture) and other possible rates between those estimates.

At the low end is NOAA's estimate of 210,000 gallons per day. At the high end is what BP told Congress. Drag the slider between those poles to see other possible rates. Keep in mind that all of this is only an estimate.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Perils of "Libertarianism"/Conservative Values

According to GOPologist/lickspittle/toady, WaPo's David Weigle today, "Paul believes, as many conservatives believe, that the government should ban bias in all of its institutions but cannot intervene in the policies of private businesses."

Which would be an unexceptional position, if those businesses would simply disconnect from the ALL public services which make it possible for them to function in racist/discriminatory fashion: hiways/streets, police/fire protection, water lines, etc--to which ALL the people make some contribution.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mr. Deity and the Quitter (Final Ep., Season Three)

Wherein Jesus realizes he's been played (April, 2010):

Speaking of Prequels, in case you missed them, here's the previous two episodes.
Wherein Mr. Deity frantically throws together his own version of science in an attempt to save his job. (March, 2010)

Wherein Mr. Deity and Jesus have an awkward dinner meeting with John, The Baptist. (Feb 2010):

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Beppers, bliss!" : Surviving Your Encounter With Cops.

I have long advised that every citizen should have the experience of being on the wrong end of a police "investigation." Everyone should know, in their deepest awareness, what it's like to be rousted--to be seen as a "perp"--by a "good cop" on a bad day, or a bad cop ANY day. As the GOP and the Teahadists gin up enthusiasm for the "New Police State" ("Beppers, bliss!"), it will become more and more impingent upon the populace to understand and protect our rights when confronted with the fatal power of the state, and its vicious, violent, vindictive minions, the fucking cops. Here's some decent advice (DOTOF to Terry V. Bitzelo):

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This Is What "Reason" Sounds Like

This'll tighten up a few assholes in Eretz Israel

"The Future of Palestine:
Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners"

By Professor John J. Mearsheimer

Talk presented on 29 April 2010 - The Palestine Center - Washington, DC

Posted May 02, 2010 - Transcript HERE