Not a fan of Nader since 2000 but this article puts him back up in my book. GREAT essay and LOL lines that ring true.
In The Public Interest
By Ralph Nader 12/6/10
If there was a mental health hospital for institutions the Republican Party and
its top leaders would be admissible as clinically insane. Their bizarre
wackopedia seems to contain no discernible boundaries. Repeatedly, these
corporate supplicants oppose any measure, any regulation, any legislation that
will directly help workers, consumers, the environment, small taxpayers and even
There are some exceptions. Since these Republican politicians eat, some did vote
for the long-delayed food safety bill last week so that e-coli does not enter
their intestines to disrupt the drivel drooling from their daily repertoire.
The Republicans get away with countless absurdities for at least two reasons.
One is that their nominal opponents are the spineless, clueless, gutless
Democrats (with a few notable exceptions) who present themselves as uncertain
waverers, dialing for the same corporate dollars as the Republicans chase. The
other is the political reporters who dwell on questions directed toward tactics
and horseraces that the dimmest of Republicans can handle easily.
Take the evasive next Speaker of the House, Ohio Republican John Boehner. I’ve
lost count of the times he said the recent health care law would "kill jobs in
America, ruin the best health care system in the world, and bankrupt our
country." I don’t recall one reporter asking him to be specific on these claims.
Instead, the questions focused on Capitol Hill timing and tactics.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, makes similar declarations
such as: “I’ve said over and over again, you don’t raise taxes in a recession.”
Really? Of all previous presidents, only Only George W. Bush did not raise taxes
but actually reduced them in wartime. But don’t expect a reporter to ask
McConnell whether he thinks the children and grandchildren should be sent the
bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Or if he thinks repealing the Bush tax
cuts on the rich would help reduce the deficit.
How many times have you heard the Republicans demand cutting the national
deficit? Probably as often as they did nothing when George W. Bush piled up
trillions of dollars in red ink. Now that Obama is president, they rarely get
specific about just how they are going to do this, other than jumping on
Medicare (where corporate fraud is indeed rampant and untreated by them) or
social security which is solvent for another 30 years.
For most Republicans, it is never about cutting the bloated military
budget—ridden with corporate crime and fraud and burdened with massive
redundancies that keep the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower
warned about deep in profitable government contracts.
Nor do the Republicans go after the corporate welfare budget—the hundreds of
billions of dollars per year of subsidies, giveaways and handouts to domestic
and even foreign corporations. Except for Ron Paul and a very few others, that
is. (See: http://www.taxpayers.org and http://www.goodjobsfirst.org )
Another assertion made in this year’s mid-term elections by Republican
candidates for Congress all over the country is that: “Government does not
create jobs, only the private sector does.” Let’s see. Government not only
creates jobs, taxpayers have paid trillions of dollars for research, development
and tax credits that are given over to build entire industries. These include
the semi-conductor, computer, aerospace, pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device
and containerization industries, to name a few.
The Pentagon created the job-producing Internet, for example. When the
government funds public works or expands the armed forces, millions of jobs are
Will there be one reporter who challenges this Republican nonsense, often
expressed in press interviews on cell phones while driving on highways in cars
with seat belts and air bags either based on taxpayer-funded research, directly
paid for, or regulated into being through the government?
Mute Democrats and mindless reporters make insane Republicans possible. Bringing
these cruel descendants of Lincoln’s Party down their ladder of generalities is
to become concrete, to give substantiating examples that will either show that
they have no clothes or that they prefer mink.
The American people deserve to have reporters ask one question again and again:
“Senator, Representative, Governor, President, would you be specific, give
examples and cite your sources for your general assertions?”
For instance, especially Republicans regularly roar their demand for “tort
reform.” A reporter could ask for clarification such as: “Sir, do you mean by
‘tort reform’ giving more access to the courts to millions of excluded Americans
who get nothing for injuries and illnesses recklessly caused by manufacturers,
hospitals, and other wrongdoers, or do you mean further restricting the law
designed to afford these people compensation for their harms? (See:
The same demand for concreteness can be directed to the dittoheads who cry out
against “over-regulation.” Where? Over Wall Street? For health and safety
requirements that are either weak when issued, technically obsolete or rarely
enforced? (See: http://www.progressivereform.org )
Bringing these well-greased pontificators down their abstraction ladder to where
people live, work, overpay, bleed and suffer is a major step forward so the
sovereignty of the people can begin exercising itself.
I have this terrible, life-threatening pre-existing condition of acne which was finally treated and cured by a good dermatologist (as opposed to the not-so-good dermatologists I've seen in the past) several months ago. I just put on a topical ointment and, voila! the acne is gone for good.
I also had one basal cell removed and 100% cured by the same dermatologist. This is my "condition" which is the only one I've had, ever, and I'm in my late 50's.
I needed a new health insurance co. and since I'm very healthy, I selected a high deductible, catastrophic health insurance plan for $200/mo. I was accepted into the plan but at a doubled premium rate due to the acne and basal cell----again, neither life threatening and both 100% treated and cured. The irony is the bare bones plan I chose doesn't cover meds, so I have to pay 100% for the topical ointment for the acne and Aetna wouldn't be responsible for even a tiny portion.
This is just another example of the powerful insurance companies doing all they can to make lots of money and provide nothing. Aetna is terrible and I've contacted my congresspeople about their practices. Suggest no one go with this company.
I pulled my enrollment. Any ideas as to where to go next?
In these times of economic crisis, rising poverty, and diet-related health problems, you'd think local governments would have bigger priorities than counting the number of squash and broccoli plants on people's lawns. Unfortunately that's not the case for Georgia resident Steve Miller, a landscaper by profession and organic farmer by heart, who's been caught tomato-red-handed growing a downright offensive number of vegetable plants on his property outside of Atlanta. (The exact number of criminal plants unknown.)
Dubbed "Cabbage-Gate" by friends and neighbors of Miller, officials in Dekalb County, Georgia, are suing him for $5,000 in fines for not having his land properly zoned to grow such an apparently ridiculous number of vegetables -- even after he stopped growing them and got rezoned.
If the county is suing this long-time hobby farmer for growing too many vegetables, how many are "acceptable" anyway? Twenty? Eleven? As many as you want as long as that doesn't include cabbage?
apparently the DeKalb County officials don't realize our heritage as an agrarian nation
Let's just keep all those diesel trucks coming in from thousands of miles away with anemic, tasteless, chemical-laden veggies from TX and CA
Ralph is trying to help us here. Dems need to listen! What, me worry?
From: Ralph Nader firstname.lastname@example.org
It is astonishing how many Democrats in the past three months have been making
the worst case scenario for their prospects in the November mid-term
Congressional elections. Do they believe that the most craven Republican Party
in history needs their help in such a self-fulfilling prophecy?
The arguments that the Democratic pundits, along with some elected lawmakers,
are giving focus on the slowing of the recessionary economy and the “natural
giveback” to the Republicans of the hitherto safe seats that they lost to the
Democrats in 2008.
The mass media-exaggerated aura of the Tea Party, pumped by Limbaugh, Hannity
and the histrionic Glen Beck, has put the Democrats in a defensive posture. It
is giving the puzzled Republicans an offensive image. I say puzzled because they
can’t figure out the many disparate strands of the Tea Party eruption which
includes turning on the Republicans and George W. Bush for launching this
epidemic of deficits, debt, bailouts and unconstitutional military adventures.
Being on the defensive politically becomes a nightmarish self-replicating wave
among that 10 percent slice of swing voters who can make the difference between
a big win or a big loss. These are also the non-hereditary party voters whose
philosophy is to “throw the bums out” again and again until they get the
Gallup’s most recent poll predicted the Republicans taking the House of
Representatives. While political scientist, Larry Babato, with a 98% predictive
accuracy in Congressional races over ten years, sees the House gone and the
Senate as a toss-up. But it is still early.
The Democratic Party’s problems are much deeper than the Sunday talk shows
indicate. First the Democrats do not have a progressive political philosophy.
They could learn from a four time winner—Franklin Delano Roosevelt—when it comes
to being perceived as the working families friend.
One has only to listen to the debates on C-Span between Democrats and
Republicans running for Congress or the Governorships. Too often, apart from a
Libertarian or Green in the mix, there are very few bright lines or contrasts
between the Republicans and Democrats, however much they try to magnify personal
differences. Indeed, the freshman Blue Dog Democrats, who won in 2008, go out of
their way to criticize their Congressional leaders and President Obama, with the
full encouragement of the national Democratic Leaders. The latter stayed away
from the hustings during the long Congressional recess. The Democrats lost
August to the Republicans and the right-wing radio and cable yahoos who speak of
the stimulus, the health care law and the proposed restoration of Bush’s tax
cuts for the wealthy as “job-killing agendas” and a disaster “for families and
small businesses.” Such Republican false statements fill the Congressional
What keeps the Democrats from making their case? Is it their desire to keep
raising big money from big business at the cost of muzzling a far more effective
political message than their post-Labor Day offerings of more small business tax
cuts and a ten year $100 billion tax credit for corporate research and
Do they believe those two actions are vote-getters or balm for getting more
campaign money from business? Indeed, the tax credit mainly goes to
super-profitable computer companies (Cisco, Intel, Microsoft) and big drug
companies that already have outsourced their production to China and India.
And small business, which is receiving eight tax cuts under Obama, is waiting
for consumer spending to increase. President Obama should fulfill his campaign
pledge in 2008 to raise the federal minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2011,
which would increase that buying power. Even that increase, while worthwhile,
still wouldn’t equal the minimum wage of 1968, adjusted for inflation.
The Democrats might listen to some of the articulate callers to C-Span radio or
WPFW in Washington, D.C. to catch the powerful vernacular of protest. One caller
succinctly made the case for policies, including using the tax code, to
encourage companies to bring back industry and outsourced jobs that were shipped
to China and other repressive or low-wage countries, with Washington’s help no
People are really upset about where corporate globalization, one-sided trade
treaties, and costly foreign wars have taken our country. Working Americans who
have lost their jobs can stay at home in November and cost the Democrats
elections as they did in 2004. Voters look for politicians who take a stand,
who know who they are and can show they side with the people, not global
companies that have no allegiance to the country that bred, subsidized and
How did Reagan, even as a big business apologist, hold the 54 GOP Senate seats
and only lose 26 House seats in the mid-term election of 1982? Reagan was, in
the words of Jim Kessler, “facing 10.8 percent unemployment, 6 percent
inflation, a declining GDP, an approval rating barely above freezing and the
indignity of having drastically increased the budget deficit over the previous
year after running as a fiscal hawk.” Maybe it is because enough voters saw the
“Gipper” as knowing what he stood for and showing steadfastness and better times
coming soon, in comparison to the wavering, concessionary posture of the
then-majority Democrats in the Congress.
While on vacation in another state on Aug. 7, I accidentally found Fox News, which had this story on about a massive fish kill off the Miss. coast:
I tried to find more information on better MSM news stations whenever I was in my room, but there was NOTHING. I have not even seen this story on MSNBC.
Now that I'm back home, I've found this other recent story:
Mass Fish Kill in Fourchon, LA http://bpoilslick.blogspot.com/2010/08/mas...
and here is a good site, too: Oil Spill Citizen Report http://drlatulane.org/community/groups/gul...
The question is: We can see the ongoing environmental damage with these fish kills and damaged crabs, so why is the Obama Admin. opening more areas to fishing? THIS is one reason this Obama supporter will be supporting any good progressive challenger in the 2012 primary, unless this admin gets its act together.
My bro, a staunch Repub, recently called Obama "incompetent." Normally I would have argued with him, but I just remained silent when he said it. Although I recognize O is better than Bush, I am starting to agree.
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: June 20, 2010
This article is by David Barstow, Laura Dodd, James Glanz, Stephanie Saul and Ian Urbina.
It was the last line of defense, the final barrier between the rushing volcanic fury of oil and gas and one of the worst environmental disasters in United States history.
Its very name — the blind shear ram — suggested its blunt purpose. When all else failed, if the crew of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig lost control of a well, if a dreaded blowout came, the blind shear ram’s two tough blades were poised to slice through the drill pipe, seal the well and save the day. Everything else could go wrong, just so long as “the pinchers” went right. All it took was one mighty stroke. snip
An examination by The New York Times highlights the chasm between the oil industry’s assertions about the reliability of its blowout preventers and a more complex reality. It reveals that the federal agency charged with regulating offshore drilling, the Minerals Management Service, repeatedly declined to act on advice from its own experts on how it could minimize the risk of a blind shear ram failure.
It also shows that the Obama administration failed to grapple with either the well-known weaknesses of blowout preventers or the sufficiency of the nation’s drilling regulations even as it made plans this spring to expand offshore oil exploration. snip
This sort of “single-point failure” figures prominently in an emerging theory of what went wrong with the Deepwater Horizon’s blind shear ram, according to interviews and documents. Some evidence suggests that when the crew activated the blind shear ram, its blades tried to cut the drill pipe, but then failed to finish the job because one or more of its shuttle valves leaked hydraulic fluid.
These kinds of weaknesses were understood inside the oil industry, documents and interviews show. And given the critical importance of the blind shear ram, offshore drillers began adding a layer of redundancy by equipping their blowout preventers with two blind shear rams.
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
SIGN PETITION TO STOP TAXPAYER BAILOUT OF WEALTHY NUCLEAR COMPANIES!
March 2, 2010
Here is the next step in our ongoing battle to end a taxpayer bailout of the nuclear power industry and stop President Obama's proposal to triple the nuclear loan "guarantee" program to $54 Billion.
As we all now know, it's not a loan "guarantee" program at all. It's direct taxpayer financing provided to some of the richest utilities on earth--like Electricite de France, Progress Energy, NRG Energy, etc.-- to buy nuclear reactors from even wealthier nuclear corporations--like General Electric, the largest corporation in the world; Areva, Westinghouse/Toshiba, and so on.
They want to build reactors that would continue to be dangerous and dirty--just like those now leaking toxic tritium and other elements into our air and water. Reactors that would continue to generate lethal radioactive waste with no storage solution. Reactors that would continue to be extraordinarily expensive--even NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko says they'll average at least $10 Billion each. Reactors that would divert scarce taxpayer resources from solar, wind, energy efficiency and other technologies that can provide real energy independence and national security, and reduce carbon emissions safer, faster, cleaner and cheaper than nuclear power.
Please sign a taxpayers petition to Congress here.
We will hand-deliver the petition with signatures (and we hope it's hundreds of pages) to Members of Congress--especially the critical members of the Appropriations Committees--before any vote on this issue. Remember, Congress has to approve Obama's $54 Billion nuclear bailout: with your help, we can stop this.
Let's see if we can get 10,000 signatures on this petition in the next month or so before any votes come up! Help us spread the word: as always, tell your friends and family, send to your organizational mailing lists, post on Facebook and Twitter, write about it on your blogs. Make paper copies and post in your local food co-op, cafe, or other gathering place and send the completed sheets back to us. Want a pdf to copy? Just ask, we'll send you one.
We're happy to report that more than 2,200 new people have taken action in the past 2 months! That's thanks to your outreach efforts and to your contributions that helped us buy ads on Alternet and Google Adwords. If you want to see this kind of successful outreach continue and build (and we certainly do!), please make a tax-deductible contribution, of whatever size you can, now.
Your actions do matter, so please sign the petition.
Here is the direct link to the petition that you can pass on to friends and colleagues: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5502/p... . It also will be posted soon on the front page of NIRS' website: www.nirs.org .
I know we sometimes ask a lot, but remember, we're up against an industry that has spent more than $600 million on lobbying in the past decade. We can win, but it will take all of us acting together.
Thanks for all you do,
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
I am researching the H1N1 vaccine to figure out if I and/or my elderly mother need the vaccine. A friend turned me on to this video. Dr. Horowitz is very convincing
This is a mostly repuke town that used to be mostly Dem. I have been heavily involved in town politics for several years, particularly concerning a public schools improvement project in an environmentally sensitive area. For five years, I wrote and spoke to all the boards and commissions involved (most headed by repukes) about the particulars of this project, including legal, financial and environmental issues, poor planning, energy inefficiency, documented site violations, lack of inspections for new construction--- which costs a lot when you have to redo shoddy work---- and exceeding the voter-approved cap on the cost of the project.
The upshot was, I was ignored on every issue. I can always expect that from the repukes, but even the Dems on the committees and boards mostly remained silent when I brought up these issues (backed up by minutes and official statements). Dems just did not want to criticize a town project ---and a Dem was the treasurer of the school bldg. comm---other Dems did not want to hold him accountable. A Dem friend of mine with whom I watchdogged this project ended up voting for repubs, she was so disgusted.
As for the election, repukes smashed the Dems worse than ever. We kept ONE seat on ONE town board and lost lots of them.
Repugs will vote repug and when Dems act like repugs, the Dem base just won't vote for them. THAT is the lesson of this election.
Posted by wordpix in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Jan 20th 2009, 03:26 PM
Here's what I saw:
1) Two points of access to the Mall , 9th St. and 18th St. NW, for what appeared to be millions of people. When I was on 9th, there were tens of thousands of people thronging the streets without being able to move, waiting to go through security (I think) toward the Mall. A security guard told me I could access the Mall via 18th St. This is where I would find a big screen to see the swearing in. I started heading there ---along with thousands of people.
2) There were several streets to the Mall closed with lots of security guards hanging around with not much to do. They told me I needed a ticket to go down so I kept heading to 18th, all the while wondering why all those streets were empty and open for the ticket holders, and only two streets in 9 blocks were open for the millions without tickets.
3) Walking down 18th or near it, I saw a bunch of locked porta potties and overflowing trash cans. The overflowing trash was a theme throughout the day because there were very few trash cans provided. All day long, I saw only one recycling container. Every trash can was overflowing with trash all over the streets and sidewalks.
4) When I got to 18th it was really crowded all the way down to the Wash. Monument grounds. The trinitron sound sucked where I was standing but luckily a man near me had a radio. The high point was Obama's swearing in, YEAH!
5) Walking back was insane. The barricades guided, er, herded everyone north toward 18th St. with a major bottleneck to get off the Monument grounds. I'm guessing there were hundreds of thousands of people waiting to go through the same one narrow spot, with no security guards or police to direct people elsewhere. "Security" was mostly at the head of the closed streets with nothing to do but check the belongings of the ticketed few.
6) A lot of people wanted to go to the parade but every street was closed off and you couldn't get within four blocks of Pennsylvania Ave. So people kept walking up 18th St., which was the only through street open. The street was crowded cheek-by-jowl for many blocks. The crowd was very nice and patient but you could tell the celebratory mood was over and people weren't going to the parade, they were going home.
I really would like to know why it's "secure" to herd millions of people onto one street where they are crowded in so badly they can barely walk, and they certainly can't turn around and walk the other way. If there had been an incident in that crowd, there would have been no escape route. I hope that when Obama is re-elected, he will fix this for the next inauguration. And how about a trash can and recycling bin on every corner, instead of the rare few I saw in these many blocks? It would also help to have the big screens at strategic spots on streets near the Mall so everyone wouldn't have to actually be on the Mall to watch the event.
I have photos but don't know how to post them. Would someone let me know?
Posted by wordpix in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Aug 16th 2008, 11:22 PM
WHY IS DHS STARTING CONSTRUCTION AT 5 AM SATURDAY MORNING?
Posted by WORDPIX - Saturday, August 15, 2008
5 AM SATURDAY WAKEUP by DHS CONSTRUCTION CREW LEADS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT DEPARTMENT's MISMANAGEMENT
Having lived in DC for the past week directly next door to the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), I learned that a new, Very Large Building is going up next door. It's obvious the secretive DHS has a construction project in full, exceedingly noisy swing---- making it difficult for the department to be secretive. Especially when the decibel levels rise at 5 am on Saturday morning, waking the neighbors in this residential section of DC.
I am really posting this, though, because my investigation into why I was awakened so early Saturday led me to learn firsthand about the "public" face of DHS and military departments. They are so poorly managed it reminds me of the KATRINA operation---oh yeah, and Michael Chertoff is still in charge of DHS. What a coincidence
I quickly saw holes in our national security with about eight phone calls today. I would be irresponsible if I were to publicize here what I learned.
I discovered these holes because DHS management (Michael Chertoff/BushCo) is so arrogant they think that hard working Americans who are DHS neighbors, including many longtime residents, should put up with the department's excessively loud construction at 5 a.m on Saturdays.
I am thinking this new DHS building is BushCo's monument to themselves. Please help me discover what is going on at DHS with this "secretive" construction that neighbors are just waking up to. I have not read anything about this new building.
the environment. Development is rampant, roads are clogged and full of potholes, public transportation is dismal, there's corruption in every corner from local to regional to state, and state contractors grease the palms of government officials, who do anything to please them. New England MAY have been the land of steady virtues but today it's as messy, polluted and corrupt as anywhere else. Sorry to burst your bubble but that's the truth right now---sadly.
WASHINGTON, April 28 — No foreign diplomat has been closer or had more access to President Bush, his family and his administration than the magnetic and fabulously wealthy Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia.
Prince Bandar has mentored Mr. Bush and his father through three wars and the broader campaign against terrorism, reliably delivering — sometimes in the Oval Office — his nation’s support for crucial Middle East initiatives dependent on the regional legitimacy the Saudis could bring, as well as timely warnings of Saudi regional priorities that might put it into apparent conflict with the United States. Even after his 22-year term as Saudi ambassador ended in 2005, he still seemed the insider’s insider. But now, current and former Bush administration officials are wondering if the longtime reliance on him has begun to outlive its usefulness.
snip: But there can be separation. And several associates of Prince Bandar acknowledge that he feels caught between the opposing pressure of the king and that of his close friends in the Bush administration. It is a relationship that Prince Bandar has fostered with great care and attention to detail over the years, making himself practically indispensable to Mr. Bush, his family and his aides.
snip: Even since he left the Saudi ambassador’s post in Washington and returned to Saudi Arabia two years ago, Prince Bandar has continued his long courtship, over decades, of the Bush family and Vice President Dick Cheney, flying into Washington for unofficial meetings at the White House. He cruises in without consulting the Saudi Embassy in Washington, where miffed officials have sometimes said they had no idea that he was in town — a perceived slight that contributed to the resignation of his cousin Prince Turki al-Faisal as ambassador to the United States last year. He has been succeeded by Adel al-Jubeir, who is said to have strong support from the king.
snip: But Saudi frustration has mounted over the past four years, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated. King Abdullah was angry that the Bush administration ignored his advice against de-Baathification and the disbanding of the Iraqi military. He became more frustrated as America’s image in the Muslim world deteriorated, because Saudi Arabia is viewed as a close American ally.
Tensions between King Abdullah and top Bush officials escalated further when Mr. Bush announced a new energy initiative to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil during his 2006 State of the Union address, and announced new initiatives in that direction this year.
Now we are beginning to connect the dots between BushCo and the SA royals.
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