"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth." The "Cornerstone Speech" delivered by Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, 150 years ago yesterday
Don't let anyone tell you the Civil War wasn't about slavery. It was. When they say "states' rights," the best reply is, "States' rights to do... what, exactly?" To own slaves. That's why they seceded, and that's why we went to war, and that's why the southern Confederacy is responsible for 600,000 dead Americans. Slavery. The south wanted to enslave a race of human beings as the cornerstone of its economy.
ProPublica reports that Pennsylvania is limiting the ability of inspectors to cite operators of hydrofracking operations:
The memos require that each of the hundreds of enforcement actions taken routinely against oil and gas operators in Pennsylvania each month now be approved by the department's executive deputy secretary, John Hines. The memos are raising concerns that the state's environmental inspectors can no longer act independently and that regulations could be overridden by the political whims of the state's new governor, Tom Corbett.
"What this apparently is saying is that before any final action, the inspector must get approval by two political appointees: the secretary and the deputy secretary," said John Hanger, who headed the DEP until January under former Gov. Ed Rendell and worked to strengthen the state's oil and gas regulations. "It's an extraordinary directive. It represents a break from how business has been done in the department within the Marcellus Shale and within the oil and gas program for probably 20 years.
ProPublica also reports that there are 120,000 deteriorating gas wells across the country, some of which are leaking gas into homes and causing explosions. Some of those wells are close to 100 years old.
As Fukushima dumps radioactive water into the sea, and it's revealed that the Japanese government didn't release projections that showed high levels of radiation far from the plant, it's worth remembering that it isn't just nuclear energy that leaves a toxic legacy, and that the Republican decision to leave frackers to their own devices will probably be causing problems long after the last victim of thyroid cancer is buried in Japan.
That's right, my little Ned Beattys. When you start hearing banjos in the distance, it means only one thing: Republicans are forming exploratory committees to see just how unelectable they are in the upcoming presidential race.
And it's pretty telling that the names we're hearing most often from Baggerville are Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, proving at the very least that there's no way Obama can lose except if they dig up Reagan, attach cables to his limbs and make him a roadside attraction.
But others, some hardcore lunatics who have long since proven their Republican bona fides and others just trying, for some unfathomable reason, to attach themselves to the Republican brand. So let's look at the top ten Republican presidential hopefuls in a thumbtack Assclowns of the Week, shall we?
Now they're just taunting us, daring us peasants to do something about it and calling us chicken. "AN ERA of bonus ''restraint'' at Goldman Sachs came to a shuddering halt as the Wall Street bank almost doubled the pay package of its chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, to $US18.6 million for last year despite a 38 per cent slump in profits. ... Mr Blankfein, 56, who once quipped that his firm does ''God's work'', received share awards of $12.6 million on top of a $5.4 million performance-related cash bonus, and a salary of $600,000. He also received additional benefits worth $464,000, a filing by Goldman at the US Securities and Exchange Commission shows."
592 Americans have died in Afghanistan since Obama announced the surge.
Politicians are the sellers, but who--specifically--is buying America's democracy? We will devote this and one other issue of the Lowdown to answering this crucial question.Read the whole thing.
This month, drawing on donor reports that individuals and corporations must file with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), we're identifying many of the largest givers to last year's Republican victors in the House and Senate. With officials in Washington now pushing hard to strengthen the grip that big bankers and corporations have over consumers, workers, the environment, and others, the public has a right to follow the money, including--where possible--tracing the funds to recognizable brand names and logos.
In our second issue, we'll do the best we can to lift the veil on the massive amounts of secret cash that was funneled into the 2010 elections through corporate front groups. This "mystery money" is the diabolical product of the Supreme Court's edict last year that corporations are "persons" with a First Amendment right to spend unlimited and unreported sums of their shareholders' funds to pervert America's elections.
Both issues of the Logo Lowdown are largely based on the exhaustive, nationally recognized research of two excellent public interest groups: www.opensecrets.org and www.sunlightfoundation.com. In this month's report, we break the donors into industry groups, listing corporate interests that gave $100,000 or more, with at least 60 percent of their money going to support Republican candidates. We also list the top Democratic donors.