Earth Mom Journal
War has been declared on Dems. Let's call it what it is people.
Whistleblower Group Sues To Find Out Why Administration Lowballed BP Oil Spill Estimates
by Dan Froomkin
First Posted: 09-16-10 02:03 PM | Updated: 09-16-10 02:03 PM
What led Obama administration officials to wildly understate the size of the BP oil spill until it was all over? Was it just a series of honest mistakes? Or was science being manipulated for political purposes?
Several more estimates ensued. Finally in early August, after the well was capped, the government announced that the daily flow had ranged from about 62,000 barrels at the beginning of the spill to about 53,000 barrels a day at the end -- making it the worst accidental offshore oil spill in the planet's history. Administration officials have never explained why their estimates were so far off, or why they spun them in a way to even further minimize them.
A similar mystery to that which surrounds the flow rate estimates involves the administration's public release in early August of a report based on an internal "oil budget calculator" that had been put together in a hurry and solely to provide general guidance to the emergency response. Instead, the report was released with great fanfare, media appearances and a White House press conference -- and top administration officials cited its conclusions as evidence that "the vast majority of the oil is gone".
Several documents show administration officials consulting each other regarding the best way to duck questions from reporters -- one of those reporters being me.
Geithner Refuses To Say Whether He'd Be Happy With Warren Leading Consumer Agency (VIDEO)
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner conspicuously stopped short of endorsing Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Thursday morning. And while he praised her for her effective advocacy on behalf of consumers, he also refused to say whether he would be happy if she got the job.
Indeed, it is something of an open secret in Washington that there is no love lost between the two. And the Huffington Post reported last week that according to one unnamed source, Geithner has privately expressed his opposition to her nomination.
Geithner on Thursday said the leader of the agency should bring credibility and "fresh perspective" to the job. And he called Warren "one of the most effective advocates for reform in the country." He acknowledged her role as a champion of those who "view the system as fundamentally broken."
Nevertheless, it seems likely that the only way Warren will get the job is if Geithner is overruled.
Geithner is such an asshole.
Kathy Griffin isn't backing down from her feud with "View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
After the two sparred on-air last month on "The View," Hasselbeck called Griffin "scum" this week for her joke that Scott Brown's daughters are prostitutes.
Griffin's response? Hasselbeck can "suck it."
"Now I have to send Elisabeth Hasselbeck two muffin baskets because she confronted me when I was a guest on the show two weeks ago and then this morning she called me 'scum,'" Griffin told E!. "I have to send two baskets because as a comedian, I'm loving it."
"Suck it!" she added. "As the great Bette Midler said, 'F--k 'em if they can't take a joke.'"
Top Secret America Expose Highlights Extensive Network of Private Intelligence Contractors
To ensure that the country's most sensitive duties are carried out only by people loyal above all to the nation's interest, federal rules say contractors may not perform what are called "inherently government functions." But they do, all the time and in every intelligence and counterterrorism agency, according to a two-year investigation by The Washington Post.
What started as a temporary fix in response to the terrorist attacks has turned into a dependency that calls into question whether the federal workforce includes too many people obligated to shareholders rather than the public interest -- and whether the government is still in control of its most sensitive activities. In interviews last week, both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta said they agreed with such concerns.
The Post investigation uncovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America created since 9/11 that is hidden from public view, lacking in thorough oversight and so unwieldy that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.
It is also a system in which contractors are playing an ever more important role. The Post estimates that out of 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, 265,000 are contractors. There is no better example of the government's dependency on them than at the CIA, the one place in government that exists to do things overseas that no other U.S. agency is allowed to do.
Washington Post 'Top Secret America' Investigation: Intelligence Community Inefficient, Unmanageable
WASHINGTON — Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, top-secret intelligence gathering by the government has grown so unwieldy and expensive that no one really knows what it cost and how many people are involved, The Washington Post reported Monday.
A two-year investigation by the newspaper uncovered what it termed a "Top Secret America" that's mostly hidden from public view and largely lacking in oversight.
In its first installment of a series of reports, the Post said there are now more than 1,200 government organizations and more than 1,900 private companies working on counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in some 10,000 locations across the U.S. Some 854,000 people – or nearly 1 1/2 times the number of people who live in Washington – have top-secret security clearance, the paper said.
The Post said its investigation also found that:
_In the area around Washington, 33 building complexes – totaling some 17 million square feet of space – for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since 9/11.
_Many intelligence agencies are doing the same work, wasting money and resources on redundancy.
_So many intelligence reports are published each year that many are routinely ignored.
-"There has been so much growth since 9/11 that getting your arms around that – not just for the DNI, but for any individual, for the director of the CIA, for the secretary of defense – is a challenge," Gates told the Post.
What would Orwell have to say about this?
Check out the video BP did not want you to see of the Oil Gusher here:
BP Releases Oil Spill Video After Pressure From White House and Media
Underwater Gusher From Deepwater Disaster Spews Gas and Oil Into the Gulf of Mexico
By BRIAN ROSS
May 12, 2010
Twenty-three days after the explosion and under pressure from the White House and the media, BP today finally released a thirty second underwater video of the oil from its broken well spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.
The video shows the black plume of the oil and a white plume which industry experts said was natural gas escaping into the water.
BP said the video was released only today because the it had not received a request for the video until Monday. In fact, ABC News and other news organizations made numerous requests over the past few weeks for the video. When ABC News reporters were allowed into the BP command center last week, the monitors showing the video had been turned off.
Requests for the video to the White House and the Coast Guard had been referred to BP, because as a Coast Guard officials told reporters today, "the video is BP's."
Unless we change our present course soon, the future of human civilization will be in dire jeopardy. ~Al Gore
The Crisis Comes Ashore
Why the oil spill could change everything.
Al GoreMay 8, 2010 | 12:00 am
The continuing undersea gusher of oil 50 miles off the shores of Louisiana is not the only source of dangerous uncontrolled pollution spewing into the environment. Worldwide, the amount of man-made CO2 being spilled every three seconds into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding the planet equals the highest current estimate of the amount of oil spilling from the Macondo well every day. Indeed, the average American coal-fired power generating plant gushes more than three times as much global-warming pollution into the atmosphere each day—and there are over 1,400 of them.
Just as the oil companies told us that deep-water drilling was safe, they tell us that it’s perfectly all right to dump 90 million tons of CO2 into the air of the world every 24 hours. Even as the oil spill continues to grow—even as BP warns that the flow could increase multi-fold, to 60,000 barrels per day, and that it may continue for months—the head of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, says, "Nothing has changed. When we get back to the politics of energy, oil and natural gas are essential to the economy and our way of life." His reaction reminds me of the day Elvis Presley died. Upon hearing the tragic news, Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, said, “This changes nothing.”
However, both the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the CO2 spill into the global atmosphere are causing profound and harmful changes—directly and indirectly. The oil is having a direct impact on fish, shellfish, turtles, seabirds, coral reefs, marshes, and the entire web of life in the Gulf Coast. The indirect effects include the loss of jobs in the fishing and tourism industries; the destruction of the health, vitality, and rich culture of communities in the region; imminent bankruptcies; vast environmental damage expected to persist for decades; and the disruption of seafood markets nationwide.
During the last 22 years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has produced four massive studies warning the world of the looming catastrophe that is being caused by the massive dumping of global-warming pollution into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, this process has been vulnerable to disruption and paralysis by a cynical and lavishly funded disinformation campaign. A number of large carbon polluters, whose business plans rely on their continued ability to freely dump their gaseous waste products into the global atmospheric commons—as if it is an open sewer—have chosen to pursue a determined and highly organized campaign aimed at undermining public confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the global scientific community. They have attacked the scientific community by financing pseudo-studies aimed at creating public doubt about peer-reviewed science. They have also manipulated the political and regulatory process with outsized campaign contributions and legions of lobbyists (there are now four anti-climate lobbyists for every single member of the House and Senate).
More from this MUST READ article:
Obviously, Thorsen is nothing but a FRAUD and CRIMINAL!
"Thorsen, who was a psychiatrist and not a research scientist or toxicologist, parlayed that study into a long-term relationship with CDC. He built a research empire called the North Atlantic Epidemiology Alliances (NANEA) that advertised its close association with the CDC autism team, a relationship that had the agency paying Thorsen and his research staff millions of dollars to churn out research papers, many of them assuring the public on the issue of vaccine safety.
The discovery of Thorsen's fraud came as the result of an investigation by Aarhus University and CDC which discovered that Thorsen had falsified documents and, in violation of university rules, was accepting salaries from both the Danish university and Emory University in Atlanta -- near CDC headquarters -- where he led research efforts to defend the role of vaccines in causing autism and other brain disorders. Thorsen's center has received $14.6 million from CDC since 2002.
Thorsen's partner Kreesten Madsen recently came under fierce criticism after damning e-mails surfaced showing Madsen in cahoots with CDC officials intent on fraudulently cherry picking facts to prove vaccine safety.
Leading independent scientists have accused CDC of concealing the clear link between the dramatic increases in mercury-laced child vaccinations beginning in 1989 and the epidemic of autism, neurological disorders and other illnesses affecting every generation of American children since. Questions about Thorsens's scientific integrity may finally force CDC to rethink the vaccine protocols since most of the other key pro vaccine studies cited by CDC rely on the findings of Thorsen's research group. These include oft referenced research articles published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the New England Journal of Medicine and others. The validity of all these studies is now in question."
Told all you naysayers so!
not some bullshit slogan like "hope & change" that means absolutely nothing and amounts to absolutely nothing!
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One of the loudest populist voices in the Democratic Caucus predicted on Thursday that the party may have to forcefully challenge the White House on economic matters if it wants to hold on to power after the 2010 elections.
One day after calling on Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to resign, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) told the Huffington Post that there were a lot of Democrats who were "upset and nervous with" the handling of the economy by the administration.
"It is pretty embarrassing for a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress to be identified with total attention to Wall Street and nothing for Main Street and jobs," he said. "There are a lot of Democrats who... want to see something more effective done to create employment."
DeFazio insisted that President Obama and, by extension, the Democratic Party were hampered by Geithner's policies for economic recovery. He pointed to the inability of the administration to spur small business lending and the lack of effective TARP oversight as particularly egregious examples of mismanagement. More than anything else, the Oregon Democrat deemed it untenable for the president to continue employing his current economic team given the taint of Wall Street that clings to many of those advisers.
Goldman Sachs Execs Skirt Christmas Party Ban
At Goldman Sachs, tis the season of giving. Not only is the firm lavishing huge bonuses on its employees, but its executives are finding ways around the company's ban on Christmas parties - by calling them "dinners."
Goldman announced the ban earlier this month - the second year in a row it has canceled Christmas. But The Business Insider has uncovered at least six dinners organized by executives and paid for by the executives or sponsored by an outside law firm:
"It's an important morale booster at a time when lots of Goldman people feel they are constantly under attack," an employee told us.
Warren Buffett: Put Down the Pom-Poms and Tell Us the Truth About the Economy
Difficult times need wise men to tell difficult truths.
All this pom-pom shaking would have been okay if it had been accompanied by some ideas -- any ideas -- for what steps need to be taken for "the American economy to come back." The assumption being that it would, somehow, just happen. That the rising tide of unemployment, foreclosures, and bankruptcies drowning so many Americans would, somehow, reverse itself. But the bout of truth-telling we so desperately need was absent.
The media spotlight needs to move off Wall Street and the green shoots sprouting across the Dow's ticker and onto ways to turn the real economy around. It's not going to happen by clicking our heels together three times and saying "The American economy will come back... The American economy will come back... The American economy will come back."
We need Warren Buffett to put down his pom-poms and tell the president -- and the American people -- the truth about the economy.
FYI: Don't forget to check out some of the great comments on Huffington Post following this article.
Glitch Could Force 15 MILLION People To Repay Obama's Stimulus Tax Credit
WASHINGTON – More than 15 million taxpayers may owe the government $250 or more because of how the IRS last spring set up President Barack Obama's tax break that was designed to help consumers spend the U.S. economy out of recession.
Individuals with more than one job and married couples in which both spouses work may have to repay the government $400, either through a smaller tax refund or a larger tax bill, according to a report released Monday by the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration. Social Security recipients who also earn taxable wages may have to repay $250.
The tax credit, which is supposed to pay individuals up to $400 and couples up to $800, was Obama's signature tax break in the massive stimulus package enacted in February. The credit has increased weekly paychecks for 95 percent of working families, giving them cash to help boost consumer spending during the worst economic recession in decades.
But for 15.4 million taxpayers, the new tax tables will mean an unexpected tax bill, according the IG report.
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I love DU2!
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By No Elephants
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