BP Oil Spill – How Reagan Created MMS to Fail the U.S.

You’ve been hearing about the Minerals Management Service (MMS) lately and their friendly relationship to the oil industry. Their mission is to “manage the mineral resources of the Outer Continental Shelf in an environmentally sound and safe manner.”

That seems a bit optimistic nowadays doesn’t it? 

From the start, when it was created as little more than a lobbying office located right in the Department of the Interior, courtesy of Ronald Reagan and James Watts in the 1980’s and after eight years of Bush-Cheney, MMS has been busy cuddling up to big oil. This was pushed to a logical and absurd conclusion when the Bush administration signed off on big oil’s desire for voluntary, “trust me,” self-regulation — and caved in to industry demands not to mandate the backup shut off switch for offshore rigs that Brazil and Norway require. In fact, this dangerous relationship was taken to the extreme and manifested in the  Sex-for-Oil scandal two years ago. 

Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.

Between 2002 and 2006, nearly one-third of the staff in the Denver MMS office received gifts and gratuities from oil and gas companies, the investigators found. There was also sex, allegations of drug use and the other usual ‘government workers behaving badly’ sorts of thing going on.

So now what are wer left with?

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Filed under Congress, Democratic Party, Energy, Environmental Policy, George Bush, Politics, Republican Party

Your Morning Cereal – A Quick Word on Bananas…Yep…Bananas

Did you know that if you separate bananas when you store them, they last up to 30% longer. It’s true. I tried it! Several websites  confirm that if bananas are pulled apart rather than left in a bunch, they don’t ripen nearly as fast! Besides, who wants to read the morning news about the BP oil ‘kill’ while they’re peeling a brown banana. That would be an appetite killer for sure.

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Filed under Health and Wellness, Humor, Life Tips, Morning Cereal, Politics

It will live on…

After a rather lengthy vacation, Capitol Street will begin to breath with new life. Look for regular posts over the next few weeks and into June. We’ll be back with all of your favorite daily info including “Your Morning Cereal” and “Saturday Morning Cartoons” along with some new stuff.

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Obama May be the ‘Black’ John F. Kennedy

jfkobama-photo1

I was speaking with a colleague recently and asked him about the parallels between Obama and Kennedy.

The similarities are startling.

In 1960 Kennedy’s campaign staff knew that John F. Kennedy would defeat Richard Nixon, and it was confirmed just before their first televised debate – a debate where Nixon looked old and tired, offering the same tired solutions. Sound familiar?

The then Senator Kennedy, a Democrat, was a fresh face from Massachusetts, much like Obama from Illinois. Eventually, Kennedy’s solid performance in the debate boosted his standing in the polls. Moreover, the image of Kennedy we see is considered to be one of the most dynamic images in U.S. presidential history. Nixon, conversely, looked terrible during the debate. Nixon’s appearance cost him votes that night, despite a solid intellectual performance. Separate surveys later demonstrated this. Among those voters polled who watched the debate on television, a majority thought Kennedy won the debate. However, among those voters polled who listened to the debate on radio, a majority thought Nixon won the debate. The key here, as was the case with Obama and McCain, was that separation was achieved in the minds of the American people in favor of the younger, fresher, more appealing Democrat.

The question to ask now is whether or not President-elect Barack Obama is on the same political road as Kennedy. It may be too soon to tell, but the beginnings of a big change in American politics, and in public policy, seems afoot.

Obama attracted new voters in large numbers, primarily African-Americans and young voters ages 18-21. He also attracted young couples and young, urban professionals that became a twenty year base for the Democratic party.

Some elements of the answer are even more apparent: his high-toned oratory, his promises of reconciliation in a divisive time, a background in community organizing that suggests both idealism and a talent for problem-solving. When answering the charge that the Illinois senator lacks the record of achievement befitting a White House aspirant, Obama’s backers often stack him next to JFK. Obama is 44, they note, older than JFK was when he ran. Skeptics derided JFK, as they now do Obama, as callow and ill-versed in substantive issues. And yet Obama, similar to JFK, manages to inspire people with sex appeal, cerebral cool headedness, and a message of generational change. Maybe the most important aspect of Kennedy mirrored in Obama may be the way that JFK handled his Catholicism. In the 1960 campaign, Kennedy turned his religion from a liability into an asset. Obama did the same thing with his race.

We can only hope their presidencies don’t end the same way.

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Filed under Democratic Party, Election 2008, Politics

Former Senator Chafee Calls Sarah Palin a “Cocky Wacko” and I Couldn’t Agree More

Former, easygoing, Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee has referred to Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, as a, “cocky wacko,” during comments to a Washington think tank.

I couldn’t agree more.

Chafee claims that Palin’s mere nomination and recent foolish comments have energized Obama backers. “People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, ‘I just sent money to Obama, I couldn’t sleep last night’ — from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there,” he said.

Chafee has come out and said what most on the left are already thinking, and that is that Palin, a fundamentalist Christian, social Conservative, harbors positions that are downright dangerous. These positions include:

– Choose life, even if her own daughter were raped. (Nov 2006)

– Ok to deny benefits to homosexual couples. (Aug 2006)

– No spousal benefits for same-sex couples. (Jul 2006) 

– Wants exit plan; also assurances to keep our troops safe. (Mar 2007)

– We don’t know what the plan is to ever end the war. (Aug 2008)

– Focus on fighting Al-Qaeda terrorists, not on reading rights. (Sep 2008)

– “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?” –Sarah Palin, interview with CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co”, July 2008

– “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending soldiers out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.” –Sarah Pailn, on the Iraq war, speaking to students at the Wasilla Assembly of God, June 2008

– God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats.”

I think it was a bit longer than 4000 years ago…the Egyptians were not riding dinosaurs last time I checked. Oh! That’s right! Sarah is a Christian fundamentalist, so that means the world is only four thousand years old. I’m so silly…

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Back from Break…

Just a quick heads up…I’m back from my little vacation. There’s much to catch up on and I’ll be posting tomorrow all next week.

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Taking a Little Break

You may have noticed that posts have been a bit infrequent of late. I’m taking  a little vacation from the blog for a few weeks, as I ponder some changes. Comments in moderation will continue to be reviewed and posted, and I will replying to comments as well. See you in September…

Regards,

Matthew Podoba

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