Archive for the politics Category

Sarah Palin Won’t Run for President in 2012

Posted in misc.blurbs, politics with tags , , on Wednesday, 2011 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Even the people who aren’t fooled by Sarah Palin are still fooled by Sarah Palin. We, er, they are going to talk and speculate and talk some more about will-she or won’t-she run for President. This will go on ad nausea for most of 2011. All while she’ll soak up way too much attention from the “lame-stream media,” cuz all press is good press, and whatever moves the ratings needle and whatever keeps her in, near, or around political news and pop culture will help her sell more books and land new TV gigs and make her more money on the speech circuit.

She’ll make TV appearances, and ridiculous comments, and her stupid talking points will continue to drive the national conversation despite the fact that even leading conservatives and republicans know she’s unqualified and unelectable. But that stuff is easy. Running for (let alone being) President is not. So she won’t do it. She’s lazy.

So she’ll ride the wave of speculation all the way to her eventual destiny as the White Trash Oprah. And she’ll stroke her ego by holding out her eventual endorsement of one of the Republican candidates as long as possible, as if she’s some sort of kingmaker. But she won’t run for President.

A Quick Review on How We Got Into Iraq

Posted in politics with tags , on Friday, 2010 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Andrew Joseph Stack IS a Terrorist

Posted in politics with tags , , , on Friday, 2010 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Can anyone explain to me all the hemming and hawing by both the media and government/law enforcement officials about whether to use the word “terrorism” to describe Joseph Stack’s suicide crashing of a plane into a government building?

You know damn well if his name was Mohammed Al-Something or Jheet M’Droors that it would be Terrorism. But no, this was an American white guy named Andrew Joseph Stack. Well darn if that name doesn’t sound more “Presidential” than Barack Hussein Obama.

The Associated Press reported that “Police in Austin, Texas, say the crash of a small plane into a building that houses the IRS is an isolated incident and not an act of terrorism.” Really? THE GUY PURPOSELY CRASHED A PLANE INTO A GOVERNMENT BUILDING. He also left a manifesto/note with such gems as “violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer” and “Nothing changes unless there is a body count.” How is that not terrorism?

Another news report noted, “The FBI launched an investigation and Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin on the Homeland Security Committee, said the panel will take up the issue of how to better protect buildings from attacks with planes.” Yea? We’re gonna launch an investigation and have some panel take a little gander at this all-new out-of-the-blue idea of crazies attacking buildings with planes? Cuz that hasn’t happen since this one obscure time on September 11, 2001 when planes were crashed into those tower thingies and the Penta-something. Might want to look into that…

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported this nice little backtracking from White House spokesman Robert Gibbs by saying he “initially said that the incident did not appear to be related to terrorism but later said that he meant that it appeared not to be a foreign-based plot by a group such as al-Qaeda. He declined to rule out the possibility that the crash was a case of domestic terrorism.” Yea, he declined to rule out the possibility that maybe this coulda possibly been, y’know, umm, something sorta related to that thing that only Muslims usually do. Starts with a T.

Of course, when that guy opened fire at Fort Hood, that was definitely Terrorism cuz his name was Nidal Hasan.

It’s ironic that this country’s media and government LOVE to label anything and everything Terrorism if and when it will help their ratings or their political agenda. But when it comes with a white face and a “normal” name they all scratch their heads like they’ve just seen a unicorn.

Just last week Tom Engelhardt had a great piece on our irrational fear of terrorism and then of course today Glenn Greenwald nailed this whole subject of why we’re avoiding the T-word when talking about the plane crash in Austin.

SC Rep. Joe Wilson Should STFU and Love His Country

Posted in politics on Wednesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Really Congressman? You fucking yelled out during a speech by the President of the United States while he was addressing Congress on national TV?

“You lie!” is what you screamed? You inconsiderate, disrespectful piece of shit. Why do you hate America? Here was President Barack Obama, trying to debunk all the bullshit lies and myths being spread by your side (all the garbage about death panels and insuring illegal aliens, etc.) and you disturb the proceedings by screaming? How old are you? How unprofessional are you? You should be ashamed of yourself. And you should shut the fuck up and love your country and respect the President (as the rest of us were repeatedly told to do during the previous 8 years).

Don’t have a nice day.

Video clip HERE.

Hide Your Kids! It’s the American President!

Posted in politics on Friday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

I’m having a hard time understanding why President Barack Obama (he’s the President of the United States, the American President) shouldn’t be allowed to give a speech to school children all about the importance of education and staying in school.

Amazingly, I am not making up these quotes: “Thinking about my kids in school having to listen to that just really upsets me,” a suburban Colorado mother, Shanneen Barron, told KMGH-TV in Denver. Sounds like they were going to be forced to listen some evil satanic rock music or some lewd, profanity-laced comedy routine.

Then she added: “I’m an American. They are Americans, and I don’t feel that’s OK. I feel very scared to be in this country with our leadership right now.”

Memo to Mrs. Barron: Barack Obama is also an American. He’s the President, as I mentioned there at the top. We had 8 years of George W. Bush: asleep at the wheel while 9/11 was planned and carried out; still napping in the aftermath of Katrina; knowingly lying us into a war of choice that didn’t keep us safer and wasted trillions of dollars; approving and carrying out TORTURE and suspending Habeus Corpus (Google it Mrs. Barron); and illegally spying on innocent Americans through warrant-less wiretapping. But NOW you’re “very scared to be in this country with our leadership”??

And it’s not just some ignorant uninformed citizen making these ridiculous statements. The Chairman of the Florida Republican Party actually accused Obama of using taxpayer money to indoctrinate children. “As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” Greer said. Really Mr. Greer? As a human being, I am absolutely appalled that you are the chairman of anything semi-official. And the S-word again?

“The idea that schoolchildren across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans … is not only infuriating but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.”

First of all, no one is being forced. Second, last I checked the majority of Americans voted for Barack Obama to be our President. Third… abuse of power? Again, does everyone have amnesia from the previous 8 years, or just the Obama haters? And finally, it is not a speech for the president to “justify his plans,” it is a freakin’ pep talk to our nations youth about education. From an official White House statement:

“The goal of the speech and the lesson plans is to challenge students to work hard, stay in school and dramatically reduce the dropout rate,” an administration spokesman said. “This isn’t a policy speech. It’s a speech designed to encourage kids to stay in school.”

Oh the horror! He’s gonna, he’s gonna…. Tell… kids… smart… stuff.

Incredible Photo Art That Makes You Think

Posted in misc.blurbs, photos, politics on Monday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

I highly recommend checking out Running The Numbers: An American Self-Portrait by Chris Jordan.

His statement about it:

Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.

This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

~chris jordan, Seattle, 2008

Among his fine work you’ll see:

  • 410,000 paper cups, equal to the number of disposable hot-beverage paper cups used in the US every fifteen minutes.
  • 28,000 42-gallon barrels, the amount of of oil consumed in the United States every two minutes (equal to the flow of a medium-sized river).
  • 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds.
  • 125,000 one-hundred dollar bills ($12.5 million), the amount our government spends every hour on the war in Iraq.
  • One hundred million toothpicks, equal to the number of trees cut in the U.S. yearly to make the paper for junk mail.

One of his incredible pieces shows 200,000 cigarette packs to symbolize the number of Americans who die from smoking every six months. So 400,000 Americans DIE every year from cigarette smoking. In the name of national security and keeping us safe….. why are cigarettes still legal? I mean, approximately 3,000 were killed on that Tuesday morning in September and we waged war on terror. Where’s the war on tobacco?

Another piece depicts 65,000 cigarettes, equal to the number of American teenagers under age eighteen who become addicted to cigarettes every month.

Man, we are really not keeping Americans safe!!

Anyway, be sure to also poke around the rest of his website to check out his portraits from the wake of Katrina, a global version of Running The Numbers, and other fine stuff.

I Did Not Take This Photo

Posted in misc.blurbs, photos, politics on Saturday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Starting to Clean Up the Mess

Posted in first 100 days, politics on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Some more good news a few days in to the Obama Administration. As promised and expected, Obama moved fast on changing the direction of our energy and environmental policies. From Reuters news service:

Obama takes steps to reverse Bush climate policies

By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama began reversing the climate policies of the Bush administration on Monday, clearing the way for the government to allow states to set stricter limits on greenhouse gas emissions from cars.
The president told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider California’s request, denied under President George W. Bush, that would allow it to impose stricter limits on vehicle carbon dioxide emissions, blamed for contributing to global warming.
As many as 18 other states have indicated they may follow California’s lead, putting tailpipe emissions standards that are tougher than federal requirements into effect.
“The federal government must work with, not against, states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Obama said at the White House, taking a stab at his predecessor’s policies.
California has shown bold and bipartisan leadership through its effort to 21st century standards. And over a dozen states have followed its lead.”
The president also directed the Department of Transportation to move forward with setting vehicle fuel efficiency standards for 2011 by March, giving automakers an 18 month period to impose them.
He also instructed the U.S. government in general to become more energy efficient.
“The days of Washington dragging its heels are over. My administration will not deny facts. We will be guided by them,” he said.
Obama laid out broad principles that he said his administration would follow. It was time for the United States to lead on climate change, he said, and reduce its dependence on foreign oil.
“It will be the policy of my administration to reverse our dependence on foreign oil,” he said, adding previous administrations had made similar goals.
“We need more than the same old empty promises. We need to show that this time it will be different,” he said.

Breaking News: Pen Still Mightier Than Sword

Posted in first 100 days, politics on Friday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Some great news already. I know some of this might only be symbolic, but it’s just so refreshing after the last 8 years. From today’s Washington Post:

President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects. With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the “war on terror,” as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the U.S. government in battling its enemies will not be limitless.

While Obama says he has no plans to diminish counterterrorism operations abroad, the notion that a president can circumvent long-standing U.S. laws simply by declaring war was halted by executive order in the Oval Office.

Key components of the secret structure developed under Bush are being swept away: The military’s Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility, where the rights of habeas corpus and due process had been denied detainees, will close, and the CIA is now prohibited from maintaining its own overseas prisons. And in a broad swipe at the Bush administration’s lawyers, Obama nullified every legal order and opinion on interrogations issued by any lawyer in the executive branch after Sept. 11, 2001.

It was a swift and sudden end to an era that was slowly drawing to a close anyway, as public sentiment grew against perceived abuses of government power.

Day One, er Two?

Posted in first 100 days, politics on Thursday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

When they say “the First 100 Days,” does Inauguration count as the first day? Do weekends count or is it “The First 100 Business Days”??

Either way, I cant promise a post every day, but I’ll try to keep track of what PRESIDENT OBAMA does for a little while.

From various wire reports:

In his inaugural address Tuesday, Barack Obama identified “a sapping of confidence across our land” as one of many worrisome symptoms of American crisis. On Wednesday he moved remarkably quickly to restore national confidence in a dizzying day of action on symbols and substance, all of it pretty much pitch-perfect.

By noon on his first day in office, Obama had called the leaders of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to talk about next steps for peace; asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to halt Guantánamo trials and circulated a draft executive order to close the prison within the year; and attended a prayer service that included the first-ever sermon by a woman minister and the prayers of a Muslim imam.

In the afternoon he signed two executive orders and three presidential memoranda, tightening ethics rules for his staff, strengthening the Freedom of Information Act and giving the public greater access to presidential records. “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency,” he said as he signed the documents. Then he watched Vice President Joe Biden swear in his senior staff, and stayed to shake hands or embrace every one of them. After that he met with senior economic advisors and top military staff to discuss plans for the economy and Iraq; later, he hosted an open house for the American people, a new symbol of his commitment to access and transparency.

Obama signs order to close Guantanamo in a year

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama began overhauling U.S. treatment of terror suspects Thursday, signing orders to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, shut down secret overseas CIA prisons, review military war crimes trials and ban the harshest interrogation methods.

With his action, Obama started changing how the United States prosecutes and questions al-Qaida, Taliban or other foreign fighters who pose a threat to Americans — and overhauling America’s image abroad, battered by accusations of the use of torture and the indefinite detention of suspects at the Guantanamo prison in Cuba.

“The message that we are sending the world is that the United States intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism and we are going to do so vigilantly and we are going to do so effectively and we are going to do so in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals,” the president said.

The centerpiece order would close the much-maligned Guantanamo facility within a year, a complicated process with many unanswered questions that was nonetheless a key campaign promise of Obama’s. The administration already has suspended trials for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo for 120 days pending a review of the military tribunals.

In the other actions, Obama:

_Created a task force to recommend policies on handling terror suspects who are detained in the future. Specifically, the group would look at where those detainees should be housed since Guantanamo is closing.

_Required all U.S. personnel to follow the U.S. Army Field Manual while interrogating detainees. The manual explicitly prohibits threats, coercion, physical abuse and waterboarding, a technique that creates the sensation of drowning and has been termed a form of torture. However, a Capitol Hill aide says that the administration also is planning a study of more aggressive interrogation methods that could be added to the Army manual — which would create a significant loophole to Obama’s action Thursday.

“We believe that the Army Field Manual reflects the best judgment of our military, that we can abide by a rule that says we don’t torture, but that we can still effectively obtain the intelligence that we need,” Obama said. He said his action reflects an understanding that “we are willing to observe core standards of conduct, not just when it’s easy, but also when it’s hard.”

A task force will study whether other interrogation guidelines — beyond what’s spelled out in the Army manual — are necessary for intelligence professionals in dealing with terror suspects.

But an Obama administration official said that provision should not be considered a loophole that will allow controversial “enhanced interrogation techniques” to be re-introduced. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to speak candidly about the administration’s thinking.

The order also orders the CIA to close all its existing detention facilities abroad for terror suspects — and prohibits those prisons from being used in the future. The agency has used those secret “black site” prisons around the world to question terror suspects.

_Directed the Justice Department to review the case of Qatar native Ali al-Marri, who is the only enemy combatant currently being held on U.S. soil. The directive will ask the high court for a stay in al-Marri’s appeals case while the review is ongoing. The government says al-Marri is an al-Qaida sleeper agent.

An estimated 245 men are being held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba, most of whom have been detained for years without being charged with a crime. Among the sticky issues the Obama administration has to resolve are where to put those detainees — whether back in their home countries or at other federal detention centers — and how to prosecute some of them for war crimes.

“We intend to win this fight. We’re going to win it on our terms,” Obama said as he signed three executive orders and a presidential directive.

The administration official said Obama’s government will not transfer detainees to countries that will mistreat them, including their own home country.

In his first Oval Office signing ceremony, Obama was surrounded by retired senior military leaders. He described them as outstanding Americans who have defended the country — and its ideals.

It’s Got Great Flourish

Posted in first 100 days, misc.blurbs, politics on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

At 1:04pm eastern time, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer tells us that Barack Obama has extraordinairy penmanship. David Gergen concurs.

Cheney In a Wheelchair

Posted in first 100 days, politics on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

So Dick Cheney is in a wheelchair allegedly cuz he twisted his back “moving boxes” in his new house. And First Lady Michelle Obama looks like she’s wearing green rubber gloves. It’s so wierd to see the Bushes and Obamas standing there together sorta joking a bit as they wait to approach the helicopter that will take them back to Texas.

They’re smiling… Barack looks like a kid who cant wait for his parents to leave on vacation or something. W looks like he’s finally un-clinched his asshole. And as the helicopter leaves, the Obamas and Bidens noticibly sigh with a shoulder shrug like “phew, they’re finally gone.”

He Just Gives Good Speeches

Posted in first 100 days, politics on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

That’s right. And the world is listening, and now we have a brilliant new POSITVE message. Words do matter.

“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.”

It was a grand and subtle send-off to George W. Bush. It was like ding dong the witch is dead and we really do want to start fresh.

Musical Interlude

Posted in first 100 days, misc.blurbs, music, politics on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

My 13-month-old son is taking a nap. I’ll show him this later when he’s old enough to understand. But when we were watching the motorcades and introductions he would clap and then bounce to the marching-band music.

I remember when I was a kid, if Itzak Perlman was playing his violin it must be a pretty big important event. I was told and felt like I always knew that he is Jewish, and has some physical handicap. And that he was the greatest violinist in the world. It was a subtle “you can be anything in this world” feeling I guess.

Let Freedom Ring

Posted in first 100 days, politics on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Aretha Franklin is wailing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, surrounded by the VIP Elite of all branches of government past and present… along with a sea of humanity filling the streets of Washington… and millions around the world on TV.


And in a minute I will watch a black man be sworn in as the President of The United States.
Here we go…. the future is now.

Redistribution of Wealth: Demented and Sad, But Socialism

Posted in politics on Wednesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

While most of us start 2009 hoping to hold on to our jobs, houses, and 401k’s and still afford groceries and credit card bills….. the outgoing White House occupant has been busy pissing away large amounts of our money in broad daylight. And not just in the form of wasteful corporate welfare, aka Wall Street bailouts. From various wire reports this week:

BAGHDAD — The United States inaugurated its largest embassy ever in the heart of the Green Zone on Monday, officially opening the fortress-like compound that was built as a testament to America ‘s commitment to Iraq .

Addressing an inauguration ceremony under tight security, Ambassador Ryan Crocker said the $700 million embassy was testimony to America ‘s long-term friendship with Iraq , where about 146,000 U.S. troops are deployed.

For nearly six years, the grandiose and gaudy palace, with its gold-plated bathroom fixtures and enormous chandeliers, served as both headquarters for occupying forces and the hub for the Green Zone _ the walled-off swath of central Baghdad that was formally turned over to the Iraqi government on New Year’s Day.

OK, so somehow we can afford to spend $700 MILLION on a “grandiose and gaudy palace” as our embassy, complete with gold-plated bathroom fixtures, and yet in late 2007 George W. Bush vetoed a bill that would have helped provide health care for 4 million American children. He said the Democrats were “irresponsible” and that the program was too costly. And yet it would have been funded by an increased cigarette tax.

From the AP in October 2007:

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program is a joint state-federal effort that subsidizes health coverage for 6.6 million people, mostly children, from families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford their own private coverage.

The Democrats who control Congress, with significant support from Republicans, passed the legislation to allow an additional 4 million children into the program. It would be funded by raising the federal cigarette tax by 61 cents to $1 per pack.

Of the over 43 million people nationwide who lack health insurance, over 6 million are under 18 years old. That’s over 9 percent of all children.

In other money matters, according to recent analysis by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard’s Linda Bilmes put out by the American Friends Service Committee, the war in Iraq costs $500,000 per minute. This study found that this $720 million a day could buy homes for 6,500 families or health care for 423,529 children.

Naa… that would be socialism.

Born to Run From Your Principles: Springsteen Partners With Wal-mart

Posted in music, politics on Wednesday, 2008 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Yesterday it was announced that Bruce Springsteen would sell a new (another) Greatest Hits CD exclusively through Wal-Mart. He already has a Greatest Hits collection, and this one is certainly geared toward very new/casual fans who don’t own any of his CD’s. I don’t have a problem with that part of it. Nor do I mind that recently he’s been more than willing to appear on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and the upcoming Super Bowl.

What I do have a problem with is Bruce Springsteen getting in bed with a notorious corporation like Wal-Mart. I try to keep the art/music separate from the artist and his personal life and politics. But since Bruce has always been one to speak out on the socio-economical injustices in America and the world, he’s opened himself up to some sort of scrutiny. While I don’t begrudge him trying to make an extra buck or million, even through repacking old products and making mainstream TV appearances to maximize his exposure, I’m still a bit shocked that he would allow himself to be associated with Wal-Mart.

As many of you may already know, Wal-Mart has a notorious reputation as a company with serious blemishes on it’s record relating to worker’s rights and compensation, discrimination against women and minorities, the environment, and health care.

If you know me, you know that I’ve been a big Bruce fan since I was about 13 years old. I love his music, his legendary concerts always live up to the hype, and his willingness to speak out on social and political issues was almost always a little icing on the musical cake for those of us who agreed with him. But now this. Is it possible that Bruce’s record company cut this deal and Bruce had no choice or control to stop it? Maybe. But I doubt it.

Shame on you Bruce. Yea, there’s bigger fish to fry in this world… if you can still afford seafood in the present economy. And sure, I’m a hypocrite cuz there’s several things in my house made in China and I’ve inadvertently given money to companies with sketchy labor practices. But unlike myself, Bruce Springsteen is one of the few people in the world who has the money, power, and platform to not only say no to corporations like Wal-Mart, but could speak out against them.

Please visit the following sites for more information about Wal-Mart:

Wake Up WalMart
WalMart Watch/issues
Facts from the documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices

Keep an Eye on W

Posted in politics on Thursday, 2008 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

As I mentioned in a previous post a few weeks ago… while we all bask in the afterglow of Barack Obama’s victory and follow news of his new administration (and the daily horrors about the economy), lame duck President Bush is quietly sticking it to us (and the environment) one last time.

From the Associated Press: “Angry environmentalists launched an online campaign Wednesday urging President-elect Barack Obama to undo a federal rule that clarifies when coal companies can dump mining waste in streams, calling it a long-awaited ‘parting gift’ from the Bush administration.

“North Carolina-based Appalachian Voices and others blasted Tuesday’s Environmental Protection Agency decision to endorse the mining rule as the death of freshwater streams and the likely start of a new surge in mountaintop removal surface mining across Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.”

Juliet Eilperin wrote in yesterday’s Washington Post: “The regulation got signoffs from the Office of Management and Budget and the Environmental Protection Agency this week and will go into effect 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The change is intended to resolve a nearly five-year-old fight over how companies can dispose of the vast amounts of rubble and sludge created when they blow the tops off mountains to get to the coal buried below, although the incoming Obama administration could revisit the issue.”

In the New York Times, Robert Pear and Felicity Barringer write: “The rule is one of the most contentious of all the regulations emerging from the White House in President Bush’s last weeks in office. Mr. Bush has boasted of his efforts to cooperate with President-elect Barack Obama to ensure a smooth transition, but the administration is rushing to complete work on regulations to which Mr. Obama and his advisers object. The rules deal with air pollution, auto safety, abortion and workers’ exposure to toxic chemicals, among other issues. The coal industry could be the largest beneficiary of last-minute environmental rules.”

‘This is unmistakably a fire sale of epic size for coal and the entire fossil fuel industry, with flagrant disregard for human health, the environment or the rule of law,’ said Vickie Patton, deputy general counsel of the Environmental Defense Fund.”

Who Killed The Electric Car?

Posted in movies, politics, video on Tuesday, 2008 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

I can’t recommend this film highly enough. It’s called WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? and is available thru Netflix and probably any other source you might get DVD’s from. It’s a couple years old now, but it’s so very timely: we could help save the auto industry AND the economy AND the earth AND start to break free not just from foreign oil, but OIL. Please watch this film and tell others to do the same. Here’s the trailer:

Reclaiming the L Word

Posted in misc.blurbs, politics on Tuesday, 2008 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Sorry folks, “liberal” is not a dirty word.

What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label “Liberal?” If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

–John F. Kennedy, 1960


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