Sunday, October 29, 2006

PHOTOSHOP: Arnold Schwarzenegger's resume

While the guy running against Arnold here in CA is doing the best he can, some of the big dogs in the Democratic Party (with the exception of Kerry, Boxer, Dean, and a few others) seem content to let the terminator run loose until '08.

When he 'won' last time, a quarter of the instructors at one of the community colleges where I teach were fired, and tuition doubled.

I'd say Arnold is nearly as big a threat America and the Democratic Party as the GOP Congress. But I guess they'll figure that out the same way they did when they forgave and forgot Iran Contra, the October Surprise, election 2000 & 2004, and...

click to see full sized


CA governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
CA governor
california governor

VIDEO: Great 'stamp act' ad against Allen, sad story on use...

This is exactly the kind of ad I've been waiting for the Democrats to run and it is on a substantive issue.

Click on pic to see flick

The tragedy is the story the guy who made this told, which I hope is not true:

I made this ad as a free gift to the Webb campaign. I felt this would strike a chord across party lines. The Webb campaign and the DSCC "LOVE IT," but tell me that they cannot run it because they did originate the concept, and their "rules" prevent its use. Webb is at least 4 points behind Allen. I believe that if they ran this ad, Webb would take Virginia. If anyone knows someone with the guts to run this thing on the air, about half a million dollars is all it would take!

Why in god's name would you NOT run a memorable, issue based, effective ad?

I can't believe that it is just that the Democrats are married to some brain dead campaign consultants who couldn't sell water to someone whose ass was on fire.

If Webb is running a better ad, post it, so I'll have a reason to hope the Dems aren't shooting themselves in the foot with blandness again.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Help remove Arnold Schwarzenegger--take 30 sec to google bomb

Arnold Schwarzenegger will no longer be a California problem if he is re-elected--he will like be promoted to the Senate and they will try to run him for president (in spite of the Constitution).

He is as much a tool of the same handful of corporate interests as Bush & Cheney, but is a test product for areas where the religous right shtick doesn't sell. The result is the same though. Essential services like education cut, teachers, nurses, and firefighters get the beat down, corporations get a free ride, and the rich get a tax cut.

This bit of code will take someone to a page of Arnold with his hand on a woman's ass, smoking pot, and off to the side, links to his dealings with Enron, and other embarassments.

This is not just a political itch for me--it could be the difference between losing my job or not. When Arnold 'won' the recall, he cut education so draconianly that one of the community colleges I worked at fired a third of their part time faculty (and we make up three fourths of the faculty at most schools), and then tried to raid the public employees pensions.

If you have a blogspot blog, this is easy: just post this in your blog's template, then after you save, hit the 'republish entire blog' button so it puts the tag on all your archived pages.

CA governor <a href=" ">Arnold Schwarzenegger</a><Br>

CA governor <a href=" " rel="tag">Arnold Schwarzenegger</a><Br>

california governor<a href=" " rel="tag">Arnold Schwarzenegger</a>

For instructions on pasting in other blog software, go here:

At the very least, you can paste it into a post on your blog or comments on discussion boards. Given the personal attacks the right has used in the past not just on Democrats but even Republicans who weren't slavish enough, like John McCain, you know this is the kind of article they will pay attention to, but there are also links to more substantive issues.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

VIDEO: Bush & co. "Stay the course" then "NEVER said stay the course"

click to see video:

One of the most effective hits on Kerry during the 2004 campaign was "flip flopper," that helped by saying he "voted for the bill before he voted against it" instead of "the later version had changes that I couldn't support" or something like that. But at least he didn't say he never supported it.

This is remarkably similar to what the Bushies did with weapons inspectors in Iraq before the war. One of Bush's demands was that Saddam let weapons inspectors back into Iraq. Apparently, he didn't expect Saddam would actually agree, which he did, and the inspectors found nothing. The Bushies improvised by saying it was because Saddam was hiding the weapons from them therefore we must attack anyway. But once the weapons inspectors pulled out before our attack, Bush went back to saying the war was because he wouldn't let weapons inspectors in as if they had never been there.

And most people swallowed it.

The protagonist's job in the commie dictatorship in 1984 was cutting people who fell from government favor out of news stories and photos, but in real life, that is unnecessary. Most people never think to check the archives and those who get their news from Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Fox News probably believed Bush never said "stay the course" as soon as he said he never said it. And if he says he never said he never said it, they will believe that too and dutifully forget the previous revision.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Michael J. Fox stem cell commercial for Senate candidate

For the past couple of decades when it comes to advertising, the GOP has been like Coca-Cola and the Democrats have been like a local mortgage company offering a new way to amortize your mortgage.

Until now.

The first ad that made it's point in a simple, direct and memorable way was this ad on the obsolete body armor given to our troops:

still screenshots


Vote up youtube video of this ad

Now Michael J. Fox nails it in this ad on stem cell research for US Senate candidate from Missouri, Claire McCaskill.

On many issues, Democrats have the right ideas, but talk like accountants and bureaucrats instead of like and to real people. They also seem to be so afraid of offending the religious right and corporations that they forget a lot of people would vote FOR them if they were actively AGAINST those core GOP supporters who are screwing the rest of us while our elected representatives sit on their hands.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

LETTER: Re. Max Boot's training Iraqi troops excuse

To: Los Angeles Times

Max Boot's Oct. 18 column "Bring Iraqi Forces Up to Speed," implies Iraqis are apes who just descended from the trees, and can't figure out how to put a military and police force together. Somehow, the insurgents aren't having a problem attacking our troops, and a decade before we invaded, Iraq fought a Iran, a much larger country to a draw. The problem is not training, but motivation.

The current problem is getting troops and cops to fire on their own people who they know may have a legitimate beef with us being there. Which sounds a hell of a lot like Vietnam. Wasn't that the big plan there? Train the Vietnamese to fight for us in our absence? Altough it was never put that bluntly, that's the real problem.

When the perception and reality are we are there to screw them out of their oil wealth and kill those who protest too much with either airstrikes or death squads, it's going to be tough to find people to consistently fight for us. Those who do are unlikely to be choir boys, and will likely inspire even less love for the puppet government.

Maybe if pissants like Max Boot spent less time making up fake macho names for themselves or more time reading history, talking to Iraqis, or God forbid, actually serving in the military themselves, they wouldn't say things that get thousands of our troops and over half a million Iraqis killed.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

ALTERNET: Bush's Petro-Cronies almost lock in control of Iraq's OIL

This is the most aggravatingly ignored story of the Iraq War,and the real reason why we are there. Bush hase given his oil cronies a gift worth up to $20 TRillion right now, that will probably be worth a lot more by the time the last barrel is pumped, and doesn't include large undiscovered reserves that they think are out there.

Beneath the obvious lies about WMD, terrorism, and spreading democracy, a second layer of argument for the war is that strategically, we needed control of that oil for our economy.

We didn't.

We could have simply bought it the way China and others are doing. If Saddam or anyone else stopped selling to us, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot since we use 25% of the world's supply. That would be like a drug dealer cutting off Robert Downey Jr.

Second, if we needed control of that amount of energy, the half trillion we have already spent in Iraq could have built enough solar panels and wind turbines to power new cars with electricity, and could have provided subsidies for ethanol and biodiesel until those electrics are on the road.

No, this war was simply about which companies profited from pumping the oil, and whether it bought a yacht in Shaghai or Houston.

The Iraqis and the rest of the world know this story. Most Americans and even progressives seem to be oblivious to it, but if this is why we are there, it stands to reason that we won't be able to pull out of Iraq until we figure out how to separate those oil companies from Iraq's oil teat, or at least a way to make their deals something the average Iraqis doesn't think is a scam.

Ironically, while people in Iraq and Venezuela vote and march in the streets on this issue, most Americans don't know how much we get for oil taken on public lands or even that we get or should get anything for that.


Bush's Petro-Cartel Almost Has Iraq's Oil

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted October 16, 2006.

During the 12-year sanction period, the Big Four were forced to sit on the sidelines while the government of Saddam Hussein cut deals with the Chinese, French, Russians and others
(despite the sanctions, the United States ultimately received 37 percent of Iraq's oil during that period, according to the independent committee that investigated the oil-for-food program, but almost all of it arrived through foreign firms). In a 1999 speech, Dick Cheney, then CEO of the oil services company Halliburton, told a London audience that the Middle East was where the West would find the additional 50 million barrels of oil per day that he predicted it would need by 2010, but, he lamented, "while even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow."

Chafing at the idea that the Chinese and Russians might end up with what is arguably the world's greatest energy prize, industry leaders lobbied hard for regime change throughout the 1990s. With the election of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in 2000 -- the first time in U.S. history that two veterans of the oil industry had ever occupied the nation's top two jobs -- they would finally get the "greater access" to the region's oil wealth, which they had long lusted after.

If the U.S. invasion of Iraq had occurred during the colonial era a hundred years earlier, the oil giants, backed by U.S. forces, would have simply seized Iraq's oil fields. Much has changed since then in terms of international custom and law (when then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz did in fact suggest seizing Iraq's Southern oil fields in 2002, Colin Powell dismissed the idea as "lunacy").

But the execs from Big Oil didn't just want access to Iraq's oil; they wanted access on terms that would be inconceivable unless negotiated at the barrel of a gun.
Specifically, they wanted an Iraqi government that would enter into production service agreements (PSAs) for the extraction of Iraq's oil.

PSAs, developed in the 1960s, are a tool of today's kinder, gentler neocolonialism; they allow countries to retain technical ownership over energy reserves but, in actuality, lock in multinationals' control and extremely high profit margins -- up to 13 times oil companies' minimum target, according to an analysis by the British-based oil watchdog Platform.




(covers nearly all sources mentioned in article)

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Why did Bush invade Iraq? $6-20 TRILLION minimum for oil companies

Take the current price of oil, about $60 per barrel, and assume that won't change much (the general trend will be up though) and multiply that by the range of estimates of unpumped oil in Iraq. The Brookings Institute says the DOE lowballs it at 112 billion barrels but some estimates are as high as 300 bbl.

112 billion x $60 = $6.7 trillion

300 billion x $60 = $18 trillion

If you fool around with different pricing scenarios, it's not hard to imagine those numbers being a lot higher, particularly as other oil reserves run dry, the prices run up, and the Persian Gulf is the last place with easily recoverable oil.

Bush forced the Iraqis to denationalize their oil, cancelled Saddam's contracts with other countries, and gave them to American companies.

Everything else Bush has done has been about cronyism or suckering the religious right enough to vote for him so that he can practice cronyism.

Why is it so hard for the press, the Democrats, and even most in the "progressive" press to say out loud that Bush went there to steal oil and give it to his friends?


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Update on the censored struggle for Iraq's OIL

I've got to do more research on this, but my opinion of Joe Biden has just gone up. Apparently, he tried to pass legislation that said the US should not exert "control over any oil resource of Iraq."

The GOP gutted the original bill and Biden tried to add it as an amendment to something else.

Given the virtual news blackout of the oil machinations in Iraq and in particular how American oil companies are profiting from it, Biden's action looks like a thankless (and in fact dangerous) act of principle rather than the glory dog opportunism and corporate toadying he often appears to be doing.

It never ceases to amaze me that we invaded the country with the world's second largest oil reserves, and not only do neither the administration and the mainstream media rarely discuss it, but neither does most of the progressive media, instead rehashing how the reasons given for going in were lies (WMD, terrorism) or buying into the reasons the administration gives for staying (democracy, stability, security) but claiming they aren't succeeding at those equally imaginary or at least secondary objectives.

A lot of people say it is enough to note that we wouldn't be in Iraq if it's main export was coconuts, but we publish and critique every bullshit pronouncement about the number two al qaeda man in Iraq, or new defense of the war that is simply a reworking of the same speech given since 2002.

The case for the war for oil is pretty well established and documented though not widely published.
(see oil links after article)

For those who see through the more embarrassing excuses for the war, there's a second level of lies that seems to assuage the consciences of people in the Pentagon and State Department: we need that oil for our economy. Colin Powell's lieutenant Larry Wilkerson said as much plainly.

But this argument is also a lie. If it was just about access to oil, we could get it the way China from Iran, Canada, and Venezuela: buy it on long-term contracts.

Instead, this is about who profits from pump Iraq's oil--Iraqis and foreign oil companies, or American oil companies (tipping the Iraqis whatever their generosity moves them to).


Oil Pressure

When it comes to oil, the U.S. administration is bypassing democracy in Iraq

Greg Muttitt | August 28, 2006

The U.S. campaign on the fledgling Iraqi government has been successful. Following his appointment in May, new Oil Minister Husayn al-Shahristani announced that one of his top priorities would be the writing of an oil law to allow Iraq to sign contracts with "the largest companies."

This would be the first time in more than thirty years that foreign companies would receive a major stake in Iraq's oil. Oil was brought into public ownership and control back in 1975.

Mr. Bodman did not stop at reviewing the draft law himself in Baghdad: he also arranged for Dr. Al-Shahristani to meet with nine major oil companies - including Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips - for them to comment on the draft as well, during the Minister's trip to Washington DC the following week.

Given the pressures involved, perhaps the Minister felt he did not have much choice. His promise to pass the law through parliament by the end of 2006 was set in Iraq's agreement with the International Monetary Fund last December. According to that agreement, IMF officials would also review and comment on a draft in September. And still, the draft law has not been seen by the Iraqi parliament. Meanwhile, an official from the Oil Ministry has stated that Iraqi civil society and the general public will not be consulted at all.

The issues could hardly be more important for Iraq. Oil accounts for more than 90% of government revenue, and is the main driver of Iraq's economy. And decisions made in the coming months will not be reversible - once contracts are signed, they will have a major bearing on Iraq's economy and politics for decades to come. No wonder a recent poll showed that when asked what Iraqis thought were the three main reasons why the United States invaded Iraq, 76% gave "to control Iraqi oil" as their first choice.

Attempting to reverse this perception and change U.S. policy, lawmakers in the House and Senate have passed legislation stating that the United States should not exert "control over any oil resource of Iraq."
But usurping democracy here at home, Republicans stripped this language out of the bill's final version Hoping for better luck the second time around, Senator Joe Biden successfully led the charge to add this language to another bill currently awaiting final passage.


Biden Iraq Oil Amendment:
Amends: H.R.4939


To provide that none of the funds made available by title I of this Act may be made available to establish permanent military bases in Iraq or to exercise control over the oil infrastructure or oil resources of Iraq.
Author of this article's detailed report on restructuring of Iraq's oil industry to benefit our oil companies:

Greg Palast's timeline of Iraq oil meetings (with video interviews with the players):

Colin Powell's chief of staff on oil motive for Iraq War:

Broader background on oil, war, and foreign policy:

Naomi Klein on privatization and its effects in Iraq:

Economic war crimes in Geneva and Hague Conventions:

The Hague Convention of 1907 (IV) see articles 47, 53, 55

The Geneva Convention of 1949 (IV) we've broken almost every section of article 147, and Bush has personally broken article 148.
The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time author's website:

A good brief summary of neoliberalism:

How "economic hit men" set it up and enforce it:

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