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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Court rejects US bid to keep drilling moratorium

Source: AP

NEW ORLEANS – A federal appeals court has rejected the U.S. government's effort to keep a six-month deepwater drilling moratorium in place.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled soon after a Thursday afternoon hearing in a lawsuit filed by companies that oppose the drilling ban.

The Interior Department said the moratorium was necessary while it studied deepwater drilling risks in the wake of the BP oil spill.

The moratorium was previously struck down by a lower court on June 22. LinkHere

Last month, Judge Martin Feldman, a federal trial judge in Louisiana, handed down a poorly-reasoned opinion lifting the Obama Administration’s temportary moratorium on new oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Judge Feldman’s most recent financial disclosure form indicates that he is heavily invested in oil companies.
Today in New Orleans, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will consider whether to stay Feldman’s decision. According to a new report by the Alliance for Justice, however, it is unlikely that these Fifth Circuit judges will approach the case without the perception of bias.
Judges Jerry Smith and Eugene Davis, both of whom are assigned to today’s panel, attended expense-paid “junkets for judges” sponsored by an oil-industry front group:
[Judge Smith] attended a seminar hosted by the Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment (FREE) in Big Sky, Montana, for which he was reimbursed transportation, lodging, and meal expenses. FREE is a think-tank that promotes free-market environmentalism rather than environmental regulation and is funded largely by corporations like ExxonMobil and conservative foundations. FREE hosts industry-funded seminars for judges, often including leisure activities such as golf and horseback riding, to “explain why ecological values are not the only important ones.” The year that Judge Smith attended the seminar, FREE received $70,000 from ExxonMobil, of which $20,000 was for “Federal Judicial Seminars,” $30,000 was for “General Operating Support,” and $20,000 was for a “Climate Seminar.” . . .
Additionally, in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008, Judge Davis attended the same seminar as Judge Smith run by the FREE Foundation, the free market environmentalism group described above, and sought corresponding reimbursement for transportation, food, and housing. Judge Davis has attended another of other judicial seminars, and in fact, was ranked tenth in the country on a list of judges who accept free trips.
Both men also worked as oil-industry litigators before their appointments to the federal bench, and Judge Davis owns as much as $30,000 in oil investments. The third judge on the panel, Judge James Dennis, has not received any free trips from the oil industry, but he is heavily invested in oil stocks with investments that may total as much as $305,000.
Should this oil-soaked panel nonetheless decide to reinstate the drilling moratorium, the industry may appeal that decision to the full Fifth Circuit. Of the sixteen active judges eligible to hear such an appeal, ten of them have oil investments, including the court’s Chief Judge. In addition to owning as much as $330,000 in oil investments, Chief Judge Edith Jones ranked fourth of a list of judges who have attended junkets.
A full list of the Fifth Circuit’s judges and the extent of their financial holdings in oil companies is copied below: LinkHere

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


From now until Nov. 2, the Republican Party will be the party of unemployment. The logic is straightforward: The more people who are unemployed on Election Day, the better the prospects for Republicans in the fall election. They expect, with good cause, that voters will hold the Democrats responsible for the state of the economy. Therefore anything that the Republicans can do to make the economy worse between now and then will help their election prospects.
While it might be bad taste to accuse a major national political party of deliberately wanting to throw people out of jobs, there is no other plausible explanation for the Republicans' behavior. The Republicans have balked at supporting nearly every bill that had any serious hope of creating or keeping jobs, most recently filibustering on bills that provided aid to state and local governments and extending unemployment benefits. The result of the Republicans' actions, unless they are reversed quickly, is that hundreds of thousands more workers will be thrown out of work by Election Day.
The story is straightforward. Nearly every state and local government across the country is looking at large budget shortfalls for their 2011 fiscal years, most of which begin July 1, 2010. Since they are generally required by state constitutions or local charters to balance their budgets, they will have no choice except to raise taxes and/or make large cutbacks and layoff workers to bring spending and revenue into line.

Bobby Jindal Signs 'Guns-In-Church' Bill Into Law

A truely sad day, hmmmmmm?

Will the RNC put their money where their mouth is and allow concealed carry at their next convention? If not, why not?

If you're like most Americans, there's probably been a time in your life when you've been sitting in church, listening to a particularly ennui-inducing homily or enduring another warbly version of "Holy Holy Holy" and thought, "Man! I could really reach for some steel right now, squeeze off a few rounds, and let these fools know what the score is!" Well, in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has recently signed into law a measure that would allow you to at least feel comforted by the presence of your gun in the house of the Lord. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law one of the more controversial bills from the recent legislative session, one allowing guns to be carried into houses of worship.
[State Representative Henry] Burns' [R-Haughton] bill would authorize persons who qualified to carry concealed weapons having passed the training and background checks to bring them to churches, mosques, synagogues or other houses of worship as part of a security force.
I am only too sure that a law allowing mosque-goers to carry guns to service will not rile up Louisiana's paranoiacs at all! LinkHere

Jon Stewart on unemployment

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Rove Admits His ‘Shadow RNC’ Attack Group Functions Largely Because Of The Citizens United Decision

Given the weak leadership of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove launched a “shadow RNC” in April called American Crossroads, vowing to spend $50 million to influence this Fall’s election. After an embarrassing first month of fundraising, Crossroads raised $8.5 million in June, “from an even split of individuals and corporations.”
On Fox News today, Rove directly credited his group’s success to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which overturned the decades-old ban on corporate money in politics:
HOST: Some suggest that the money that goes to American Crossroads might otherwise go to an organization like the RNC.
ROVE: Well that’s not correct, because American Crossroads is collecting money in excess of the individual contribution limits the RNC has allowed to give. What we’ve essentially said, is if you’ve maxed out the to senatorial committee, the congressional committee or the RNC and would like to do more, under the Citizens United decisions, you can give money to the American Crossroads 527, or Crossroads GPS, so we’re not tapping the people who — if you’ve giving to American Crossroads, you’re fully capable, in all likelihood, of giving the maximum to one of the national committee organizations. LinkHere

Chris Matthews Nails It

He [President Obama] is going to destroy this country, and we're either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist."

Alan Keyes

By the way, over a decade ago, Keyes had a nightly program on MSNBC. Are you ready for the punchline? It was called, Alan Keyes Is Making Sense. I'm not kidding you.

Just in case you happened to miss Hardball last night on MSNBC, Chris Matthews' special report, The Rise of the New Right , was one of those rare (these days) moments of essential viewing that we would be wise not to ignore. It will probably be repeated several times in the next few weeks and I urge you to keep your eye out for it. Seriously, if Matthews doesn't get an Emmy for this program there is no justice in this world.

The program is the most comprehensive look yet (at least on non-public television) at the crack-up the Conservative movement in this country is now going through. Let's face some serious facts here, boys and girls: The right wing in this country has always been (since the days of the Confederacy and before) a tad crazy - not to mention dumber than doggy dung. What is happening to them now is beyond anything in their long and entertainingly weird history. In effect they've totally lost it. Here's a quaint little soundbite from last night's program that illustrates perfectly what I'm talking about. The words were uttered by some pathetic, bat shit-crazy woman at last year's "March on Washington":

"We are losing our country. We think the Muslims are moving in and taking over. We do not believe our president is a Christian - and he let us believe that. The president is a liar. God bless Joe Wilson."

Isn't that sweet? We can only assume she was not referring to the same "Joe Wilson" who is married to Valerie Plame, but that's just a hunch on my part.

Once upon a time people this - "ill informed" shall we say? - were to be found mostly on the fringes of the American political scene. Not even in the days of old Joe McCarthy did it get this strange - not on such a national level anyway. Back in the good ol' days, the type of behavior we are witnessing today was pretty much restricted to KKK rallies in the deep south and the editorial offices of the Wall Street Journal. A half a century ago political extremism hadn't yet gone mainstream. It has now. In fact it's ready for prime time! For this we can all thank the nice people at FOX Noise.

It was Rupert Murdoch's "News Group" that promoted this movement from its inception. Murdoch himself has denied this accusation over and over again, but the videotapes are there - and video doesn't lie - unless, of course, it's a taped replay of a typical Sean Hannity program. The Plutocracy, with FOX as its propaganda arm, has brilliantly managed to convince a huge segment of the American public - a lot of whom could barely be qualified as middle class - that the problem with this country is all those damned, bleeding heart Liberals. The question needs to be put to them: "Where were you assholes when George W. Bush was driving this nation into the economic ditch?"

"We need to defeat these bastards. We need to wipe them out."

-Rush Limbaugh
Here is a link to where you can watch The Rise of the New Right in all its nasty entirety on the Hardball website:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/vp=37742996�&from=en-us_msnhp&snid=18424736

Saddam Hussein Struck Out of History to Split Iraq Even More

Source: pravda ru
Iraq’s Ministry for Education has decided to erase the memory of the former dictator of the nation Saddam Hussein. The scientific conference, which took place in Iraq last week, decided to not mention the name of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in textbooks on history. It was also decided not to use such word combinations as the “US incursion” or the “US occupation.”

The head of the committee for educational programs of the ministry stated that new education programs were not supposed to become a reason for discord in the society.

As for the word combinations related to the US military presence, Iraqi education ministry officials most likely decided to please US Vice President Joe Biden, who was visiting Baghdad at the time when the conference was being held.

The decision to strike Saddam Hussein’s name out of the history of Iraq may lead to unexpected results. The name of the Iraqi dictator may fall into the national mythology, which is a dangerous phenomenon. It is worthy of note that American tax payers will have to cover the costs connected with the production of new textbooks on the history of Iraq. LinkHere
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