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The fracking fight

Big Gas goes after Josh Fox, the filmmaker who made “Gasland”, for exposing what they’re up to:

When speaking before audiences, Fox often employs his map to highlight the risks of secondary contamination. “When you include fracking’s effect on local water tables, you can color in much of the rest of the country red,” says Fox. “This includes some of our biggest cities.”

As research deepens our understanding of fracking’s environmental impacts, the incidents continue to pile up. Most of these fracking spills do not make headlines. An investigation conducted last year by Scripps Howard found that in Ohio alone, gas companies have in the last decade been charged with nearly 2,000 violations resulting in pollution and contamination of the local environment. Similar numbers could soon be reported across Fox’s gas map of the United States, where 34 states are now being targeted for drilling.

Kochs: they’re the evil thing

This is great:

Last night

David Dayen and Mike Rogers, informative as always! Plus, Ted from Vermont with lots of interesting things to say about local organizing…

Click here to listen.

Rise of the Obamabots

Ted Rall writes about how he’s been pushed out of the liberal freelance world because of his criticisms of Obama. (If you want to donate a few bucks, by all means do so. He could use it.)

Does Obama ever do anything right? Not often, but sure. And when he does, I shut up about it. Cartoonists and columnists who promote government policy are an embarrassment.

But that’s what “liberal” media outlets want in the age of Obama.

I can’t prove it in every case. (That’s how blackballing works.) The Nation and Mother Jones and Harper’s, liberal magazines that gave me freelance work under Clinton and Bush, now ignore my queries. Even when I offered them first-person, unembedded war reporting from Afghanistan. Hey, maybe they’re too busy to answer email or voicemail. You never know.

Other censors are brazen.

There’s been a push among political cartoonists to get our work into the big editorial blogs and online magazines that seem poised to displace traditional print political magazines like The Progressive. In the past, editorial rejections had numerous causes: low budgets, lack of space, an editor who simply preferred another creator’s work over yours.

Now there’ s a new cause for refusal: Too tough on the president.

I’ve heard that from enough “liberal” websites and print publications to consider it a significant trend.

A sample of recent rejections, each from editors at different left-of-center media outlets:
· “I am familiar with and enjoy your cartoons. However the readers of our site would not be comfortable with your (admittedly on point) criticism of Obama.”
· “Don’t be such a hater on O and we could use your stuff. Can’t you focus more on the GOP?”
· “Our first African-American president deserves a chance to clean up Bush’s mess without being attacked by us.”

I have many more like that.
Continue Reading »

Cats in tanks

Very funny, very gruesome (probably not suitable for work):

Cats in Tanks from Whitehouse Post on Vimeo.

Elderly protesters maced

Gives “To protect and serve” a whole new slant, huh?

WASHINGTON — Police maced several elderly protesters Tuesday at JPMorgan Chase’s annual shareholder meeting in Columbus, Ohio, according to activists present at the event.

Hundreds of people from dozens of community organizing groups swarmed the Tuesday meeting to demand the company overhaul its widely criticized foreclosure policies. JPMorgan Chase has improperly broken into the homes of its borrowers in order to pursue foreclosures and has been accused of robo-signing thousands of key foreclosure documents. Federal regulators slapped the company with a consent order over foreclosure problems earlier this year, and the federal government is currently contemplating filing charges that the company defrauded taxpayers with its foreclosure policies on government-backed loans.

In telephone interviews with HuffPost, multiple protesters complained of an overly aggressive police presence.

George Goehl, Executive Director of National People’s Action, which helped organize the protest, said he and several elderly protesters were maced as police attempted to move protesters back from the building.
Continue Reading »

Support killing people

Or lose your job. Nice little system we have here, huh?

America held hostage

You can tell Krugman is approaching a state of chronic hopelessness over Obama:

So hitting the debt ceiling would be a very bad thing. Unfortunately, it may be unavoidable.

Why? Because this is a hostage situation. If the president and his allies operate on the principle that failure to raise the debt ceiling is an unthinkable outcome, to be avoided at all cost, then they have ceded all power to those willing to bring that outcome about. In effect, they will have ripped up the Constitution and given control over America’s government to a party that only controls one house of Congress, but claims to be willing to bring down the economy unless it gets what it wants.

Now, there are good reasons to believe that the G.O.P. isn’t nearly as willing to burn the house down as it claims. Business interests have made it clear that they’re horrified at the prospect of hitting the debt ceiling. Even the virulently anti-Obama U.S. Chamber of Commerce has urged Congress to raise the ceiling “as expeditiously as possible.” And a confrontation over spending would only highlight the fact that Republicans won big last year largely by promising to protect Medicare, then promptly voted to dismantle the program.

But the president can’t call the extortionists’ bluff unless he’s willing to confront them, and accept the associated risks.

According to Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, Mr. Obama has told Democrats not to draw any “line in the sand” in debt negotiations. Well, count me among those who find this strategy completely baffling. At some point — and sooner rather than later — the president has to draw a line. Otherwise, he might as well move out of the White House, and hand the keys over to the Tea Party.

Like Digby, I don’t believe the Republicans will do it. They’ve already said they won’t do it, and if that’s true, Obama is merely using the debt ceiling crisis as cover for what he wants to do, anyway.

Glenzilla

This is so fucking depressing. Go read it all:

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton told the House of Representatives that “the White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission.”  AsTPM put it:  “the administration would ignore any and all attempts by Congress to shackle President Obama’s power as commander in chief to make military and wartime decisions,” as such attempts would constitute “an unconstitutional encroachment on executive power.”  As Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman noted, Clinton was not relying on the War Powers Resolution of 1973 (WPR); to the contrary, her position is that the Obama administration has the power to wage war in violation even of the permissive dictates of that Resolution.  And, of course, the Obama administration has indeed involved the U.S. in a major, risky war, in a country that has neither attacked us nor threatened to, without even a pretense of Congressional approval or any form of democratic consent.  Whether the U.S. should go to war is a decision, they obviously believe, “for the President alone to make.”

Initially, I defy anyone to identify any differences between the administration’s view of its own authority — that it has the right to ignore Congressional restrictions on its war powers — and the crux of Bush radicalism as expressed in the once-controversial memos by John Yoo and the Bush DOJ.  There is none.  That’s why Yoo went to The Wall Street Journal to lavish praise on Obama’s new war power theory:  because it’s Yoo’s theory (as I was finishing this post, I saw that Adam Serwer makes a similar point today).  If anything, one could argue that Yoo’s theory of unilateral war-making was more reasonable, as it was at least tied to an actual attack on the U.S.:  the 9/11 attacks.  Here, the Obama administration is arrogating unto the President the unilateral, unrestrained right to start wars in all circumstances, whether or not the U.S. is attacked.

Yes, but but but… Cornell West is petty!

Ben Stein

Becomes quite the civil libertarian when a member of the establishment is accused!

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