19 August, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

It's official. Bush has a scorched-earth policy:
F. Chase Hutto III, a senior aide to Vice President Dick Cheney with a long history of promoting anti-environmental regulation policy, is a top choice for a post at the Energy Department, the Washington Post reports today.

Hutto, who is being considered for the position of assistant secretary for policy and international affairs, has been a contact within the administration for the oil and gas industry on energy and environmental issues.

The administration's controversial decision to delay action on regulating greenhouse gas emissions was shaped in part by Hutto.

Highlights of this dumbass's career are here.

Bush has a perfect record of chosing the worst possible people for jobs. I'd love to get my hands on the interview questions. One of them has got to be, "Are you completely opposed to the purpose and principles of the department you want to work in?" It's like it's permanent Opposite Day at the Bush White House, and the assclown in office is doing his level best to ensure he leaves America destroyed behind him.

And then we have McLame, babbling the bullshit about offshore drilling on an oil rig. Well, let's have a look at what might be driving his determination to drill:

It should come as no surprise that the McCain chose to visit a Chevron-owned drilling platform, considering that lobbyists for Chevron both fundraise and work for his campaign:
Wayne Berman: Berman, the managing director of lobbying firm Ogilvy Government Relations, is McCain’s national finance co-chairman and has bundled over $500,000 dollars for his campaign. Berman has lobbied for Chevron since 2004.

John Green: Green, who also works for Oglivy, has been the McCain campaign’s chief Congressional liaison since March. Green has lobbied for Chevron since 2005.

Richard Hohlt: Hohlt, who is the leader of a group of Washington, DC insiders called the “Off the Record Club” that includes top McCain strategist Charlie Black, is a fundraiser for the McCain campaign. Holht has lobbied for Chevron since 2005.

In June, McCain went before oil executives in Texas to reverse his position on offshore
drilling and lay out a set of policy proposals that add up to
a big fat kiss to Big Oil. Since
then, the oil industry has
flooded McCain with money and McCain has begun promoting the advice of “the oil executives.”

Yup. Big Oil has big pockets, and McCain's happily snuggled right inside of 'em.

Continuing our delve into dirty energy, let's see what Peabody Coal's head honcho has got to say about his product:

Speaking to USA Today, Gregory Boyce, CEO of Peabody, the world’s largest coal company, “shrugged off any worries” about coal’s enormous greenhouse gas emissions or moves to make energy more environmentally friendly, declaring the U.S. would never move away from coal:

“It’s a good time to be Peabody,” says Boyce, an affable man who speaks in a confident baritone. “There’s not enough natural gas. There’s not enough renewables (such as wind and solar energy) to go around. So I’m not concerned that coal is going to disappear. For us not to use that resource, we are just shooting ourselves in the foot.” […]

“There’s a perception out there that coal is dirty, and we have to change that,” he adds, noting that coal plants already have cut emissions of some pollutants and boosted efficiency to slash CO2 discharges. “Black is the new green."

My ass. Black is the new green only if we learn to live in monochrome. And develop lungs that run on dirty air. Oh, and don't mind that runaway greenhouse effect stuff. Peabody's been lying about the environmental impact of its product for generations.

The last thing this country needs is more drilling and more mining. What this country needs is a completely new energy policy that will explore clean, renewable energy. We need to enrich America, not the fat bastards who so love to rape it.

If McCain gets elected, I'm afraid that a continued assault is all we have to look forward to.


Cujo359 said...

We may have that energy policy to look forward to, anyway. Looks like Pelosi, Obama, and Reid are caving on offshore oil drilling.

What a crew of pissants.

You'd think that in a country this large we could find 300 people with a enough brains to find their asses without using both hands, and with enough integrity to do what their brains tell them.

I'm in a real "throw the bums out" mood today. It's a different kind of election, but I've never voted for third party candidates more than once an election before. Today I voted for three, and it would have been four if there'd been one in Smith's congressional district.

Efrique said...

Voting "third" party is a very viable and popular option in Australia. We have two main parties (well, one party, and a very close long-term coalition of two parties), but if you vote for someone else, that vote isn't "wasted", because if the other guy doesn't get in, your vote just drops down to your next preference.

So if both main parties piss me off (but one is still way worse than the other), I can put several other people above them (and whoever I put first gets a small amount of funding - close to a couple of dollars, IIRC). The bastards may end up with my vote, but they sure as hell can tell I wasn't happy about something (well, collectively, at least) - and the policies of the parties I put above them is a damn clear signal about what I wasn't happy about. Major party policy usually tends to move before they're a serious risk of being deposed by a small party or an independent candidate... though not always.

Cujo359 said...

I wrote that first comment before reading the link under the "ass". Turns out that Senator Obama thinks "coal jobs are green jobs", and Sen. Clinton seems to feel similarly. Now I'm even less inclined to think things will be different.

Incumbent congressmen have so much of an advantage here, Efrique, that it's sometimes not worth running someone against them. This year, my Representative, who has done a lackluster job at best, and hasn't tried to accomplished a damn thing we sent him and the other Democrats there to do, is ahead something like 69 - 31 at this point. I suspect that margin will increase as the remaining votes are counted.

Unfortunately, the game's rigged here so that there will only be two parties.

Efrique said...

Over here, the game's rigged the other way - it's relatively easy and inexpensive to start a party, and its within the finances of almost anyone with a good job to run outside of a party. If you can garner enough of the vote (a small percentage), you get a small amount of funding back (to defray the costs of running) for every vote, which means you can probably afford to run again the next time - as long as you represent a few percent of the population of whichever constituency it is you're going for, you don't need deep pockets.

[It used to be even easier - but *so* many people were running (almost everyone with a beef in some elections, I remember one state election, the voting paper for the state equivalent of the senate was like a tablecloth - about a square meter in area) - that the rules were tightened and the costs increased. It's still pretty easy, and even very small organizations can afford to run candidates.]

The small party candidates don't get voted in, in general, but even when they don't, they do have a political impact. For example, they can have an impact in the way that they direct vote preferences (you *can* put your own preferences, but most people vote as their favourite party asks, especially since it is a lot faster to vote that way than not).

That can sometimes win a concession on some aspect of big party policy. But for a lot of small parties it's realistically just about getting your issues talked about in public.

As an example, here's a campaign launch from a guy (actually, someone I know, though I haven't seen him f2f in a few years) from a very small party - Secular Party; to give an idea of scale, they tend to hold meetings in a pub - that ran two senate candidates in every state in the last election. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70bUrTrySnk
(You probably won't want to watch the whole thing, but the first couple of minutes gives a sense of the issues they're interested in and the degree to which direct participation in elections is possible for even small groups with little funding)

Actually, I don't think they even got enough votes to get their money back, but even so they ran a very inexpensive campaign - they just need to raise a little money again and they could run next time.

Efrique said...

Another data point: a guy I roleplay with ran as the green candidate in the next electorate over in the last state election.

He's just a pretty ordinary student, he has no money at all, but he's committed to the green movement, and that and a small bunch of friends is enough to run a campaign.