Monday, September 5, 2011

Headlines - Monday September 5

Obama's worst enemy, and the climate's as well, the ever-famous Koch Brothers and Koch Industries, are positioned to be big winners if (when) the Keystone Tar Sands pipeline is approved.

Think about it this way — that pipeline isn't carrying toxic sludge through two provinces and 12 states to Texas. It's carrying money into the dirty pockets of two of the most power-mad, driven billionaires on the planet. (Did I mention that their daddy was a
John Birch Society founder?)

Thanks to an alert reader,
we find this via email. It's from February, and so far, way off the radar. Time to make this connection a feature of the Keystone story — call it the Keystone–Koch Bros Pipeline.

David Sassoon writing at
Solve Climate News (my emphasis):
The Keystone XL pipeline, awaiting a thumbs up or down on a presidential permit, would increase the import of heavy oil from Canada's oil sands to the U.S. by as much as 510,000 barrels a day, if it gets built. ... Opponents say it would magnify an environmental nightmare at great cost and provide only the illusion of national benefit.

What's been left out of the ferocious debate over the pipeline, however, is the prospect that if president Obama allows a permit for the Keystone XL to be granted, he would be handing a big victory and great financial opportunity to Charles and David Koch, his bitterest political enemies and among the most powerful opponents of his clean economy agenda.
There is so much in the article that it's hard to summarize. It's also very well researched, especially considering that Koch Industries is privately owned (by the brothers, natch).

For example, there's this detail, one of many:
An unknown amount of company profits — figures are unavailable as the company is privately held — come from the Pine Bend Refinery near St. Paul, Minnesota, which supplies 30 to 40 percent of Wisconsin's transportation fuel[.] ... About 80 percent of what the Koch refinery processes is heavy crude from Alberta's oil sands, a company spokesperson told the media last year. The oil that reaches the refinery is supplied through the Koch brothers' Flint Hills operation in Calgary, the company's website says. ... [T]he oil sands crude which reaches the Pine Bend refinery on American soil accounts for about a quarter of the total supply reaching the U.S. from Alberta's tar sands mining operations.
The Koch Brothers are deep into the Tar Sands project, and will be huge beneficiaries of the Keystone XL Pipeline. They own sludge-oil (called "heavy oil" by insiders), refineries, even regional pipelines for distribution.

For a nice interactive map of the Keystone pipeline, helpfully provided by TransCanada Corporation,
click here.

The Keystone–Koch Brothers Pipeline. Remember that name. If Obama wants to do them a dis-service, he will un-approve that pipeline. Or he can serve up more "
mush from the wimp" and give them everything they want.

It's his call,
and his alone. Sir.
Outlaw. Mercenaries. Period. "A leaked US diplomatic cable says that "hundreds" of former employees of Blackwater, which was barred from Iraq over a deadly 2007 shooting, later worked with other firms guarding US diplomats here. ... Iraq announced in January 2009 that it would not renew Blackwater's operating licence due to a September 16, 2007 incident in which guards protecting a US diplomatic convoy opened fire in Baghdad's busy Nisur Square, killing at least 14 civilians. ... After that announcement, the US State Department did not renew its contract with Blackwater, which has renamed itself Xe, for security services in Iraq. ... But US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks confirm that ex-Blackwater employees kept working in Iraq with other security firms. ... "There are many former Blackwater employees at other private security companies in Iraq, most notably Triple Canopy and DynCorp, providing security services to us," said a January 4, 2010 cable from the US embassy in Baghdad, which was released on August 30."
Al Jazeera reported US links the other day between the CIA and Gadhafi, and now even more is emerging.
The CIA and other Western intelligence agencies worked closely with the ousted regime of Moammar Gadhafi, sharing tips and cooperating in handing over terror suspects for interrogation to a regime known to use torture, according to a trove of security documents discovered after the fall of Tripoli.

The revelations provide new details on the West's efforts to turn Libya's mercurial leader from foe to ally and provide an embarrassing example of the U.S. administration's collaboration with authoritarian regimes in the war on terror.

The documents, among tens of thousands found in an External Security building in Tripoli, show an increasingly warm relationship, with CIA agents proposing to set up a permanent Tripoli office, addressing their Libyan counterparts by their first names and giving them advice. In one memo, a British agent even sends Christmas greetings.

The Associated Press is reporting that Missouri legislators are about to repeal a $750 state tax credit that has helped over 100,000 disabled and elderly residents who live in rental housing.


Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said Sunday that she was "open" to implementing Sarah Palin's suggestion that all corporate income taxes be abolished.

"I propose to eliminate all federal corporate income tax," Palin had said in a speech to the tea party in Iowa Saturday. "This is how we create millions of high-paying jobs… To eliminate any loss of federal revenues from this tax cut, we eliminate corporate welfare and all the loopholes, and we eliminate all the bailouts."

"We could go that route," Bachmann told CBS' Bob Schieffer Sunday. "If we went that route then we'd have to have a fundamental restructuring of the tax code. I'm open to having that debate… What we do know is that the current corporate tax rate is killing job creation."

"So you could see a way to do that?" Schieffer pressed.

"It would be possible if we have a fundamental restructuring of the tax code," Bachmann insisted. "But immediately what we could do is repatriation of bringing this money in from American companies that are earning the money overseas. But second, I do believe that the president at minimum should lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent so that businesses can see that they will have a more competitive rate. We certainly could get down to a 0 percent corporate tax rate but it would mean a fundamental restructuring of the tax code."

So we're going to zero out the corporate income tax, and then to ensure that we don't lose any revenue while zeroing it out, we're also going to eliminate loopholes?

Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?

There's just one problem — How can you have loopholes if the income tax rate is zero to begin with? How do you maintain revenue with a tax rate of zero? Magic?


In the mind of business analyst Gary B. Smith, the only way the American economy will recover is "to ditch the minimum wage."

Screwing the poor people and helping the rich.

Here's one of their victims. "A 24-year-old Cincinnati father died from a tooth infection this week because he couldn't afford his medication, offering a sobering reminder of the importance of oral health and the number of people without access to dental or health care. ... According to NBC affiliate WLWT, Kyle Willis' wisdom tooth started hurting two weeks ago. When dentists told him it needed to be pulled, he decided to forgo the procedure, because he was unemployed and had no health insurance. ... When his face started swelling and his head began to ache, Willis went to the emergency room, where he received prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications. Willis couldn't afford both, so he chose the pain medications. ... The tooth infection spread, causing his brain to swell. He died Tuesday."


By crushing labor, capitalism destroys itself


The Republicans claim their lords and masters want to create jobs and that the Republicans are truly the party of the working class?  Then explain this.

Sean Savett guest blogging @ TP: Since 2009, 88 Percent Of Income Growth Went To Corporate Profits, Just One Percent Went To Wages

How's all that union killing working out for you folks who thought all they did was take your dues do nothing in return?

*One more time people... the rich don't MAKE nearly 25%, the rich merely  TAKE nearly 25%.  As long as we continue to use words like "make" and "earn" when referring to these parasitic bloodsuckers, we play into their rhetoric that they are the producers while American workers are the takers.


Chris Wallace: When [Colin Powell] says 'these are cheap shots and you're wrong'…

Dick Cheney: Obviously I disagree with him.

Wallace: Anything you'd want to take back?

Cheney: No.

Wallace: Powell's former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson, I don't know if you know this, has also weighed in. He says you're worried about being tried as war criminal.

Cheney: Well it's news to me. I don't pay a lot of attention to Mr. Wilkerson. I don't know him. As far as I know I've never met the gentleman. I know he speaks out from time to time and that strikes me as a cheap shot.

Wallace: Your heads not going to explode?

Cheney: No.


Red State Official Trailer


Focus On The Family, which went through an embarrassing reduction in their hate force just last year, is back on the financial ropes. Squee!


"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." ~John Kenneth Galbraith


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