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Hi folks.  I am having a hectic day today on the Hill in between meetings and Rules Committee Hearing. However, I wanted to follow up on our Nancy's blunt words on Congressional Republicans selling out of the American people to their friends in big oil companies. Today Henry A. Waxman, Kendrick Meek, and yours truly will hold a press conference at 1:00 p.m. (in about half an hour) to highlight the cost of the corruption embraced by the current Republican rubberstamp Congress and its impact on skyrocketing gas prices nationwide.

The event comes on the heels of Thursday's expected vote on a sham Republican lobby "reform" bill (here is a link to today's New York Time's editorial) that fails to change the way of Washington's culture of corruption.

We hope the traditional media will report our message to Americans coast to coast: that each time we spend 60, 80, or even 100 dollars to fill up their car with gas...we are, in large part, paying for the systemic corruption and cronyism that have come to define this Republican Congress.

For two years, Democrats have been talking about the problem of corruption in this Congress.  We have talked about lobbyists and corporate executives being allowed to write the bills in backrooms with no accountability and no transparency whatsoever.

For your reference I am posting information available in my report,  "America for Sale: The Costs of Republican Corruption," which exposes this corrupt Administration's record on energy policy and how Americans are paying a steep price with their pocketbooks.

Please accept my apologies for not being able to lurk in the comment threads this mornings. But as I mentioned last Friday we are going to read every single one of your comments and feedback and do our best to incorporate them in our strategy to confront a Majority Party that has sold out America to its wealthy friends on Washington's K Street and big oil companies. The energy and passion from the communities in the progressive blogosphere give me the energy to get up and fight against the rampant corruption and abuse of power every day in Washington. - LMS

REPUBLICAN TRACK RECORD ON DEVELOPING ENERGY POLICY

The Bush-Cheney energy bill was written by energy executives and their lobbyists, for the benefit of major energy and oil companies, and then rammed through this House by the Republican leadership. They did this while shutting out major Democratic and Bipartisan amendments designed to deal directly dealt with skyrocketing gas and heating oil prices.  

One such amendment would have provided a tax credit to low-income families in years where the cost of gasoline has increased more than twice the rate of inflation.  

Another would have implemented a windfall profit tax on gasoline (as some of you wrote about in response to my last post), with revenue going toward a tax credit for purchases of efficient vehicles and grants for reduced mass transit fares.

Yet another Democratic amendment which I offered would have prohibited the practice of zone pricing for gasoline, insuring a free and open retail gasoline market.

Other amendments dealt with using supplies in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to address sustained price increases in gasoline or oil.  

The Republicans refused to allow any of these worthwhile Democratic amendments to be even considered by the full House. Measures which could have prevented the crisis we are facing today were not even allowed to be debated on the house floor because they didn't fit with the agenda of this Republican leadership.

AMERICANS PAYING THE PRICE OF CORRUPT ENERGY POLICY

CHENEY'S ENERGY PLAN FAILS TO REDUCE OVERALL ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN THE US: Republicans failed to pass the Cheney energy plan in the first four years of the Bush Administration and finally passed it in the first session of the 109th Congress.  While the final version of the bill did not contain many of the most controversial provisions Republicans had pushed during the course of the debate, it still contained billions of dollars of subsidies for the energy sector at a time when oil companies were recording historic profits.  In fact, according to a 2004 analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy, the Republican energy plan will not reduce the overall amount of energy consumption in the United States, and will cause the average gas prices in the year 2015 to be 3-8 cents higher than they would be under current law. [http://www.eia.doe.gov/...]

RECORD HIGH GAS AND HOME HEATING OIL PRICES (UPDATED FROM AMERICA FROM SALE REPORT): According to a report from January of 2006 by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy, the average price of gas per gallon would rise to $2.41 in 2006. [EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook, 1/10/06] The pain at the gas pump has been lot worse than the actual projection of that EIA report as the national price for gasoline skyrocketed 13.1 cents over the last week to $2.91 a gallon, the fourth highest average retail price on record.  [Reuters, "Average pump price hits $2.91, 4th highest ever," 4/26/06] The EIA report also predicted households heating with home heating oil will likely spend 23% more ($275) for fuel this winter than they did last winter, and homes using natural gas will spend 35% ($257) more than last winter.  [EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook, 1/10/06]

RECORD HIGH PROFITS FOR AMERICA'S OIL INDUSTRIES (UPDATED FROM AMERICA FROM SALE REPORT): According to reports today the nation's three largest oil and gas companies are expected to report combined first-quarter profits this week in excess of $16 billion, a 19 percent surge from last year. "[W]ith world oil prices trading around $72 a barrel, analysts say full-year profits for the oil majors are likely to surpass the record-setting earnings of 2005, when Exxon reported a $36.13 billion profit -- the highest ever for a U.S. company." [Brad Fossand Steve Quinn, "Oil companies likely to report record profits" Associated Press, 4/26/06]
AMERICA CONTINUES TO GROW MORE DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN SOURCES OF ENERGY.  As a group of concerned national security experts and environmentalists led by prominent conservative Frank Gaffney recently wrote in an open letter to the American people: "America consumes a quarter of the world's oil supply while holding a mere 3% of global oil reserves. It is therefore forced to import over 60% of its oil, and this dependency is growing. Since most of the world's oil is controlled by countries that are unstable or at odds with the United States this dependency is a matter of national security. At the strategic level, it is dangerous to be buying billions of dollars worth of oil from nations that are sponsors of or allied with radical Islamists who foment hatred against the United States." [Set America Free Coalition, "Open Letter to the American People," available at: http://www.setamericafree.org/...

ENERGY/OIL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES DOMINATING NATION'S ENERGY POLICY

KEN LAY AND BIG OIL WRITE THE CHENEY ENERGY PLAN: Early in the Bush Administration, Ken Lay, the now-indicted former head of Enron, was not only helping write America's energy policy, headed by former Halliburton executive, Vice President Dick Cheney, he was also interviewing candidates for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and recommending the ones who would be most friendly to Enron's agenda. Lay even offered to put in a good word for a FERC Commissioner with the White House if the commissioner changed his policy on electricity competition. [Lowell Bergman and Jeff Gerth, "Power Trader Tied to Bush Finds Washington All Ears," New York Times, 5/25/01.]
COMPANIES SUCH AS KEN LAY'S ENRON CORP. RACKED UP HUGE PROFITS AT CONSUMERS EXPENSE WHILE GAMING CALIFORNIA'S ENERGY CRISIS IN 2000-01: Enron was one of dozens of electricity wholesalers that "allegedly gamed California's haphazardly deregulated wholesale electricity market."   California utility customers, hammered by soaring bills, learned how "Enron employees chuckling about how they had forced "Grandma Millie" and other helpless ratepayers to spend more to keep their lights on."  "Enron's widely copied manipulation schemes, dubbed such colorful names as "Fat Boy" and "Death Star," pulled billions of dollars from the pockets of California ratepayers and contributed to the rolling blackouts that plagued the state during the crisis." [Marc Lifsher, "Trader's Effect Felt Powerfully in the West, 1/30/06]

CHENEY'S "ENERGY TASK FORCE" MADE UP OF OIL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES MAKES INDUSTRY FRIENDLY RECOMMENDATIONS: Bush Administration formed an "energy task force" (officially known as the National Energy Policy Development Group) headed by former Halliburton executive, Vice President Dick Cheney.  The Cheney task force met secretly for several months and then issued a report in May 2001 making a number of energy industry-friendly recommendations, such as opening protected lands to oil and gas drillers, building hundreds of power plants, and easing some environmental regulations. [Joseph Kahn, "Bush Advisers On Energy Report Ties To Industry," New York Times, 6/3/01.]   Although the White House refused to release the names of the industry executives the Cheney task force met with (and even went to court to block a Congressional inquiry), later investigations determined that 18 of the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign's top 25 energy industry campaign contributors attended Cheney energy task force meetings. [Don Van Natta Jr. and Neela Banerjee, "Top GOP Donors in Energy Industry Met Cheney Panel," New York Times," 3/1/02.]  

ADMINISTRATION CODDLES ENERGY INDUSTRY THROUGH POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS WHO PROTECT BUSINESS IN FAVOR OF CONSERVING ENERGY: This administration's political appointments from the energy industry have loyally protected big business from any proposal to conserve energy or hold the energy business accountable for environmental harm they cause.  The recent Sago mining disaster in West Virginia highlighted the Bush Administration's industry-friendly mining safety policy, which has resulted in fewer safety inspections and fewer fines for safety violations. [Seth Borenstein, and Linda J. Johnson, "Under Bush, Mine-Safety Enforcement Eased," Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/8/06] As former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-FL) recently commented, the Bush Administration's hiring energy executives and lobbyists to fill government positions is like "foxes guarding the henhouse." [Joe Scarborough, "Scarborough Country," MSNBC Transcript, 1/10/06, 10:00 PM EST.]

Following are several egregious examples:

*J. Steven Griles, the former Deputy Secretary at the Interior Department, received payments from his former lobbying firm totaling more than $1 million while acting as the number-two official in that agency.  In spite of promising to avoid conflicts with his old firm and clients as a condition of his Senate confirmation, Griles continued to assist the energy and mining industry clients his old firm represented.   Soon after joining Interior, Griles held a dinner party for department officials at the home of his former lobbying partner.  He also intervened in a case regarding the right of his old clients, Chevron and Shell, to drill for natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of California.  [Rick Weiss, "Report Critical of Interior Official; Inspector General Calls Deputy Secretary's Dealings With Companies Troubling," Washington Post, 3/17/04] He helped another old client, Advanced Power Technologies, Inc., win more than $2 million worth of sole-source, no-bid contracts from the Bureau for Land Management (BLM) for aerial mapping work the BLM never requested. [John Aloysius Farrell, "A Fox in Interior's Henhouse," Denver Post, 4/4/2004.]

*In 2002 and 2003, Philip A. Cooney, former oil industry lobbyist and then-Chief of Staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, made dozens of changes to government climate reports that greatly weakened the reports' stances on global warming.  Contrary to the findings of the scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, Cooney's changes minimized the links between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. [Andrew C. Revkin, "Bush Aide Edited Climate Reports," New York Times, 6/8/05.]  Cooney had no scientific training, but had worked as a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute for more than ten years.  As a climate team leader there, his focus was on defeating legislation that would restrict greenhouse gas emissions. [Revkin, "White House Calls Editing Climate Files Part of Usual Review," New York Times, 6/9/05].  Two days after Cooney's revisions came to light, he resigned from the White House and took a job with Exxon Mobil, which has long lobbied against cutting emissions and has continually questioned the risks of global warming. [Revkin, "Former Bush Aide Who Edited Reports is Hired by Exxon," New York Times, 6/15/05.]  

*On January 30th, 2004, the Bush administration proposed new industry-friendly mercury pollution regulations for power plants.  Reducing mercury emissions is an important public policy goal because mercury can cause serious neurological and developmental damage.  A large portion of the proposed regulations was taken, sometimes verbatim, from suggestions drafted by industry lobbyists from Latham and Watkins, a major firm representing utility and energy companies with a vested interest in the regulations. [Eric Pianin, "Proposed Mercury Rules Bear Industry Mark; EPA Language Similar to That in Memos From Law Firm Representing Utilities," Washington Post, 1/31/04] Instead of requiring coal-burning utilities to use the best possible technology to reduce their mercury pollution (as was discussed in earlier in the rulemaking process), the final Bush rules imposed only a lower standard endorsed by the energy companies.  The architect of the new rules and head of the EPA's air policy office was a former partner at Latham and Watkins. [Pianin, "EPA Led Mercury Policy Shift; Agency Scuttled Task Force That Advised Tough Approach," Washington Post, 12/30/03]


Originally posted to Rep Louise Slaughter on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 09:40 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks Congresswoman (23+ / 0-)

    Recommended as always.

    This is a great issue for us.  And love seeing the leadership bringing so much heat.

    •  Media Reform (22+ / 0-)

      Thank you Ms Slaughter.
      One very important thing we have to focus on other than all of the other disasters the Republicans have put us in is Media Reform.  We need:

      1.  An honest media--truth in advertising.  The National Enquirer can get sued for false stories about celebrities, why can't Fox News be sued by the US government for making false statements.  We could have a non-political organization like Media Matters as a watchdog.
      1.  No Selective Advertising--if an advertisement is true it should be run.  It is totally f'ed up for Clear Channel to decide if they want to play an ad, they should have to if it meets approval by Media Matters.
      1.  Disclaimers--slanted 'News' like Fox, Scarborough, O'Leilly, etc should all be proceeded by a disclaimer that "The following statements may be false and are only our opinion and there may exist other views more truthfull."

      This could be a start but if we win back one of the houses and do nothing, Fox News will still be there to shill shrill-ly the Republican talking lying points.

      its a non-stop disco betcha its nabisco betcha didn't know...S.O.A.D.

      by kharma on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 09:55:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The real reason gas prices are high (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing

      seems to be that we now are competing with other nations such as China who have already run out of oil and gas and thus are willing to pay more.

      China already has almost as many cars on the road as we do and seems to be talking to everyone, going to Venezuala and SE Asia and negotiating with the Russians for a pipeline to the Pacific.

      Despite that, we need an end to oil company tax breaks and subsidies and even allowing office workers can use mass transit in many cities, a windfall profits tax to give relief to carpenters and truck drivers and other people who use their vehicles for work.

      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

      by rktect on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:09:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Refineries (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bronte17, greenearth

        It's the refineries who are profiting most and creating a shortage.

        The oil company refineries set the 'wholesale' price for gas, diesel, fuel oil, etc.

        It is this step of the processing at which the oil companies are making the record profits.

        It's not the pumps or the raw oil that matters as much as the refined petrochemical product pricing.

        The refineries are operating at 85% instead of 95% capacity is creating an artificial shortage during peak summer travel months.  This seems very similar to the artificial shortages that were created by Enron in California for electricity and natural gas a few years back.  I'm sure Californians still remember these.  This is the result of both de-regulation and the consolidation into near monopolies.  Anti trust laws need to be applied immediately.  Who has standing?

        So, it's not the raw oil supply that's driving the demand, since Venezuela and other nations are announcing recent major oil discoveries.  These discoveries should even sate China in the very near term.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:27:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I heard yesterday that China only imports 12% (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rktect

        of their energy needs.  Can that be true?  

        "Yes dear. Conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

        by tribalecho on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 12:02:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's because (0+ / 0-)

          about 70% comes from coal, as opposed to only about 24% in the U.S.

        •  World Oil Reserves and Usage Rates (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          frisco, Tinfoil Hat, Pam from Calif

          World Oil Reserves and Usage Rates

          Lets say that in 1980 there were a projected total of 1500- 2000 Bbo in World Oil reserves and that in 1980 the World had used 500, had another 500 in proven reserves and expected to find another 500-1000 Bbo by 2100.

          With unrestricted production and increasing demand and more oil used and less oil discovered than we thought, we have run out out even faster.

          Today the numbers are probably closer to a projected total of 1500 Bbo in World Oil reserves of which the World has used 750, has another 250 in proven reserves and expects to find another 250 Bbo by 2100.

          The usage rate is about 84 Mbo day which gives us about another 8 years to have either discovered the projected 250 Bbo expected to be discovered by 2100, or to have run completly dry.

          Meanwhile the rate of increase of use is increasing at an increasing rate and there is so far no indication of anybody conserving anything.

          Long before we run completly dry people will start having major proplems with supply, prices will increase to maybe $100 gallon, or to put it another way people will be willing to carjack you dead for the contents of your gas tank.

          Societal disruption will be augmented by global warming so that the cornfields that are expected to produce the corn for the ethenol will be deserts and the great agricultural basins of the west which depend on snow melt to provide water will discover there no longer is any snow melt or water, and the fisheries will be devoid of fish because we have killed off the reefs, and the cities will be both drowned and hungry.

          Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

          by rktect on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:45:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  China has used up their oil (0+ / 0-)

          but finds it very difficult to import from the Middle East.

          That is probably one reason we are in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Iran and the rest of the mideast, so that China can't beg borrow or steal access to the refineries of the Gulf by fomenting revolution with the shia down around Basra and then rigging a pipeline across Iran.

          China is also shut out of the Pacific Rim and SE Asia by Japan, and has been negotiating like hell with Russia for a pipeline to run to the Pacific.

          Most of the oil that remains is in Canada and Russia, we have about 600-700 Million barrels in reserve in the US which is enough with conservation and rationing to hold us for about 2 weeks if every other source dried up.

          Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

          by rktect on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:53:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The 'real' reason? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux

        You drank the kool-aid. Same old crap about the price of oil being set by free market competition. It ain't. Period. You've been lied to by the media, the talking heads, and the president. Don't believe it, and when we get access to Dick Cheney's secret Energy Policy papers, we will have the truth.

        Global warming is real. Fossil fuels are being abused. But my point is that this does not make it OK to rip us off.

        •  Free Market ? oxymoron? (0+ / 0-)

          I don't dispute we have all been lied to by the media, the talking heads, and the president among others. Most of us are used to being able to identify those issue and research them for ourselves.

          In 1993 we put in a new city at Hawtah, SA. That was the last major field discovered. One reason we are getting in bed with the UAE is its proximity to Hawtah's gas fields in the empty quarter is much closer than the Easterns regions refineries running from Abquaiq up to Basra.

          The Chinese have run out of oil, the Saudis are washing the last remnants from their old fields, there isn't much left on the continental shelfs offshore, the Venezulian oil is sour or high in sulpher, the Canadian oil is shale, and the Chinese have now sucessfully negotiated a pipeline to bring the Russian oil to the Pacific coast. (Think big time environmental disaster.)

          We have also lied to ourselves about global warming and running out of energy. I can remember it being a hot topic in the sixties and again with Carter who advocated conservation. Big oil took that series with the Reagan years and we all went back to the "I can't drive 55" mentality.

          Nobody here disputes global warming is real or that we have made a huge mistake in using up our fossil fuels. The problem is that most of us live on a budget that can afford cheap oil but not a new car that can run on ethanol, photovoltaics, passive solar or windturbines.

          For Republicans the problem of supply and demand comes down to dominate or submit. That may work when you are the packs Alpha male or sole super power, but what happens when the young wolves decide its time to take down an older, weaker, ailing, isolated rival.

          China is definitely following the Avis manual. "We're number two but we try harder." The Chinese have just made the grand tour of every oil producing nation on the planet and are trying to get rights to drill for oil in Nigeria.

          Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

          by rktect on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 04:21:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Is Rep. Slaughter coming back (3+ / 5-)

      to answer questions or elaborate on anything mentioned here?
      Or is this another hit & run pseudo-political ad? I'm getting pretty tired of those.

      "We are upping our standards ... so up yours." (Pat Paulsen for President, 1988)

      by PBen on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:25:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ms. Slaughter, we need single payer . . . (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, laurak, Dallasdoc, PBen, greenearth

      health insurance.

      The American people deserve exactly the same health insurance that our public servants give themselves.

      Please read my diaries about Blue Cross of California.  Would you or your colleagues tolerate such indignities? I don't think so. Not for a minute.

      Ms. Slaughter, the Dems must start to speak out in force every day about the healthcare crisis.

      This matter involves the national security of the United States.

      The American people deserve the health care that you have--nothing more, nothing less.

    •  Several points (4+ / 0-)

      REPUBLICAN TRACK RECORD ON DEVELOPING ENERGY POLICY

      You make the case that the track record, going back at least to Ken Lay and Enron, shows corruption and excess profits maybe 13 Billion total this year alone, that justify a windfall profits tax, which should include puntive damages in the form of taking back the tax cuts and subsidies, and passing them to the average Joe who has to use his pickup truck for work and can't take mass transit. This should be called "Keep America Moving Forward."

      We should offer to take 10 Billion dollars from the corrupt Big Oil crooks and con men and give it back to average Americans as a tax cut.

      AMERICANS PAYING THE PRICE OF CORRUPT ENERGY POLICY

      CHENEY'S ENERGY PLAN FAILS TO REDUCE OVERALL ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN THE US:

      RECORD HIGH GAS AND HOME HEATING OIL PRICES (UPDATED FROM AMERICA FROM SALE REPORT):

      This part really is a separate point. The permanent members of the UN Security Council have been trying to corner the worlds oil reserves since they were in the control of the Ottoman Empire.

      The US has viewed China as a rival since the days of the Opium Trade.

      Since the Civil War, most of our wars including the actions of the Spanish American War in the Phillipines, the  World Wars, Korea, the Wars in SE Asia, the Cold War with the Russians, the covert actions in Africa and South America, the Drug Wars in Columbia, have been about attempting to corner the market on oil all over the world.

      We have in fact cornered the market, but we have used up most of the billion barrel resources already and we are now fighting over millions of barrels.
      Our pro oil policies include Eisenhowers National Defense Highway System, Slogans like "What's Good for General Motors is good for the USA, and "See the USA in your Chevrolet", and a merging of  our love of the automobile and going fast with our national identity.

      In the Seventies President Carter uttered the heresey that we were hooked on oil and going to run out and needed to conserve and he lost to Reagan because nobody wanted to hear the bad news.

      AMERICA CONTINUES TO GROW MORE DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN SOURCES OF ENERGY.

      The following all refers back to Part I

      ENERGY/OIL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES DOMINATING
      NATION'S ENERGY POLICY

      KEN LAY AND BIG OIL WRITE THE CHENEY ENERGY PLAN:

      COMPANIES SUCH AS KEN LAY'S ENRON CORP. RACKED UP HUGE PROFITS AT CONSUMERS EXPENSE WHILE GAMING CALIFORNIA'S ENERGY CRISIS IN 2000-01:

      CHENEY'S "ENERGY TASK FORCE" MADE UP OF OIL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES MAKES INDUSTRY FRIENDLY RECOMMENDATIONS:

      ADMINISTRATION CODDLES ENERGY INDUSTRY THROUGH POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS WHO PROTECT BUSINESS IN FAVOR OF CONSERVING ENERGY:

      The reason we are in Afghanistan and Iraq and Iran, Pakistan and India and Japan is that we are trying to prevent China from gaining access to Gulf oil by means of a pipeline across Iran to the Tarim Basin.

      China is retaliating by driving prices up and cutting its own deals with our suppliers, with Venezuala and with the Russians.

      We don't need to run out completely, just to the point where gas rationing is required and our society will be in chaos.

      This is all compounded by the effects of global warming which the oil companies fought tooth and nail. That may have made them an extra 10 billion a year for a decade but its going to cost the rest of us 100 Billion a year in Katrina like storm damage, fires, mudslides, drowned cities, property loss, loss of profit and human lives.

      Thats not counting the 10 trillion dollar deficit and the cost of the war in Iraq in lives and treasure

      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

      by rktect on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 12:39:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You (16+ / 0-)

    Thank you for standing up for us.  

    Could I please ask you to do us all a favor?  Remind your colleagues that we are struggling out here - health care, gas prices, falling wages - all are taking a very real toll on very real people.  

    •  This is an important point - (0+ / 0-)

      Even in my post below, i talk about the political implications of this and how we should frame it, but lets not forget that there are record numbers of Americans suffering currently.  Yes I would argue that this is thanks to the republican agenda, but lets hope that our democratic leaders can do something to alleviate this suffering right now.

      --- Currently taking submissions for a new sig line ---

      by ETinKC on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:01:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can I just say how happy I am (15+ / 0-)

    Leader Pelosi brought Matt Stoller et al. to talk to everyone about how to connect with the netroots? I'm starting to see the difference, even if you've been on board since way before that.

  •  The Overarching Theme (15+ / 0-)

    Is that the Republican Party is not willing to plan for any kind of future. You don't poison your children if you have any kind of hope for the future, even a hope that rests on private sector innovation.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 09:44:13 AM PDT

  •  Rep Louise Slaughter (8+ / 0-)
    Excellent.

    Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. Sherlock Holmes.

    by Carnacki on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 09:45:02 AM PDT

  •  Democrats = Underdogs (3+ / 0-)

    And America loves underdogs.

    If we can keep playing this up over and over again ... we finally may be on to something.

    Recommended.
  •  don't let them get away with this shell game (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth
    thank you congresswoman slaughter.
  •  Thank you for engaging with us (7+ / 0-)

    I know, and most of the people here know, that Democrats have been mostly on the right side of this issue.  And while those are some noble attempts that were squashed by the republicans in Washington, we need a simple message that will resonate with the American people.

    We need to distill Congresswoman Pelosi's words down to a message to the people that Republicans are currently and have always been, in the pocket of Big Oil.  The are giving the peoples money to increase CEO's Paychecks and profits.  

    Then one simple phrase about what we are going to do about it-

    Democrats will eliminate the dependence on Foreign Oil by (pick a year).  

    The details need to be there about how we will do that, and there are many good plans, bet EVERY democrat in DC and beyond should be parroting that phrase.

    --- Currently taking submissions for a new sig line ---

    by ETinKC on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 09:51:22 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Rep. Slaughter! (0+ / 0-)

    We need you to do just what you're doing.

  •  Great list of Republican Abuses (8+ / 0-)

    But please, let's see more in the way of positive proposals!

    Check out www.apolloalliance.org if you need some suggestions!

  •  Accountablity Please. (11+ / 0-)

    No Bid Contracts.
    Selective Leaking.
    Lies about costs (Medicare Part D).

    The list goes on and on.

    These guys are criminals and they need to be laid by the heels and brought to justice.

    Please.

  •  And your proposal is? (7+ / 0-)

    I commend you following up on Rep. Pelosi's comments, and for holding a presser to keep focus on the Republican culpability driving this.

    Your references to Democratic amendments are all in the past tense.   Do you plan to reintroduce them in another bill?   Sponsor new legislation?   What?

    One of the best attributers of this community is our ability to mobilize.  Let us know what you plan to do beyond pointing out the link between oilmen in the govt. and record gas prices (worthwhile though the repetition always is). We will write and call our reps, we'll petition, we'll notify our friends, maybe even donate.

    Please define a proactive course, and set us loose on it!!

    Election fraud, negligence, torture, spying... What's it gonna take? A BJ?

    by kamarvt on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:09:41 AM PDT

    •  The million dollar question? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      Is there such a thing as a Democratic proposal?  And we should cheer because Nancy didn't roll over for once?  Forgive me, but as a lifelong Democrat and an old one at that, I am still waiting for real leadership from you all.  So how about an actual plan???

      Someday the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. -- H.L. Mencken

      by CalDoc on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:20:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't let go of this (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for keeping the momentum from Rep Pelosi's speech going!

  •  Riddle me this (6+ / 0-)

    Why is it if it takes months for the price paid per barrel to effect what the gas costs that we pump today, is it that we pay more every day the barrel cost goes up now ? That is gouging no matter how you look at it .

    -8.63 -7.28 Vote+$.01 I will vote Dem., but in protest and support.

    by OneCrankyDom on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:12:21 AM PDT

    •  oops, Thanks for your hard work also ! n/t (0+ / 0-)

      -8.63 -7.28 Vote+$.01 I will vote Dem., but in protest and support.

      by OneCrankyDom on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:13:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  simple: irrational fear in the market. (0+ / 0-)

      sorry, there's no conspiracy here. move along.

    •  No it isn't gouging (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nancy in LA

      Gasoline and oil are both independently traded on futures markets. The latest futures market data for both of these items (also, heating oil and natural gas) is here:

      http://www.bloomberg.com/...

      When crude oil prices spike, buyers of refined gasoline notice this and bid up the wholesale price of gasoline as well (currently $2.12/gallon).

      There's no gouging for either of these items, just a supply/demand relationship that's becoming more and more skewed in favor of demand.

      Get used to it. The age of cheap gasoline is over, never to return.

      •  gouging is TYPICALLY based on increased demand (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        laurak, HarveyMilk, jarrrettg, greenearth

        what makes it gouging is that the cost of production is far lower than the price, which can only happen when the sellers have control over the market. this is particularly upsetting when the sellers are also the beneficiaries of all sorts of tax breaks and subsidies intended to stabilize the price of the commodity. it's a one way street -- when times are "bad" for the oil companies, we prop them up with public money. when times are "good" they sneer at us and blather about how we "don't understand the markets", but that money sure doesn't flow in the other direction.

        I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

        by UntimelyRippd on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:28:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whatever... (0+ / 0-)

          Oil prices dropped to ridiculously low levels in the 80s and 90s and oil companies got killed. Do I think that oil companies are all sweetness and light? Of course not.

          And just because the production cost is much lower than the price doesn't make it gouging. Remember, it's not oil producers that set oil prices: it's consumers.

          Lets say my local gas station (the only one in town) can only supply 3/4 of its gas since they aren't getting regular deliveries. So, they say, they will auction off the gas they do get, and whoever pays the most will get it.

          Is this gouging? No it's just the way the market works. Some number of people aren't going to get their gas no matter how you slice it since the supply is restricted, and the only way you can moderate that is with the price.

          •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

            but it's way more complicated than your analogy.  Sometimes the market works and sometimes it works against itself.  The question is, what's happening?  

            My question:  Why so fast?  Why so fast a rise in the last two years?  

            He not busy being born is busy dying.

            by jarrrettg on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:05:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenearth

            In this scenario, SUPPLY sets price, combined with demand.  If demand stays the same or goes up, but the SUPPLY goes down (say for instance, when crucial production infrastructure is destoyed in oh, I dunno, Iraq) then VIOLA, prices go up.  Notice that consumers do NOT directly affect this scenario- their demands stay the same.

            When supply goes down, prices go up.  Simple economics.  Production has been reduced, prices have gone up.

            The REAL question is this:  How has big oil conspired to reduce production IN ORDER to drive up prices?  Think "White House Iraq Planning Group" for the answer to that one.

            The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes. --Thomas Paine

            by Citizen J on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:08:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe... (0+ / 0-)

              The REAL question is this:  How has big oil conspired to reduce production IN ORDER to drive up prices?  Think "White House Iraq Planning Group" for the answer to that one.

              Yeah maybe, and in that case they've done us a huge service, ignoring all the death and misery they've caused. (Note that this is in no way a defense of those fuckers, I'm just making a point here).

              Higher oil prices are absolutely necessary if we're going to survive as a civilization because the alternative is cheap oil right up to the crash, which is getting more imminent all the time. If the neocons have managed to sabotage world oil production such that it stays at a lower level for longer, thus conserving global supplies and forcing conservation through demand destruction, that's a good thing for us in the long run.

              •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk

                Americans must come to realize what the TRUE costs of oil are, NOT the artificially low ones that we've been led to expect.  Funny how the "Free Market" Rethugs don't want Free Market forces to apply to petroleum.  If Big Oil had to secure their OWN supply lines, for instance, rather than depending on the American Military to secure pipes, ships, etc oil products would be a hell of a lot higher.

                Once the true costs of oil really become known, you won't be able to stop the rush to alternatives- it'll be the proverbial green tsunami.

                The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes. --Thomas Paine

                by Citizen J on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:16:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Only problem is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greenearth

              that global production has gone up.

              http://www.eia.doe.gov/...

              download table 4.4

              You will see that world oil production in thousands of barrels a day:

              2002     76,935
              2003     79,650
              2004     83,044
              2005     84,079

              •  Therein lies the rub (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenearth

                So if production actually went UP and their costs stayed the same, but we're paying more... wait a second here.  1 TRILLION in profit between all 6 American oil companies last year.....

                Nope, I'm not worried, we've got Dear Leader to protec' us from the bad people.  Oil Companies are GOOD "people", so nothing to worry 'bout here, nope.

                The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes. --Thomas Paine

                by Citizen J on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:21:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  ALL gouging is market-based. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HarveyMilk, greenearth, OneCrankyDom

            What do you think gouging is, anyway? There's a heatwave. Overuse of AC causes a blackout. Suddenly, ice costs $5 a pound. Why? Because demand has outstripped supply, and the "market" drives up the price. But guess what? The convenience store owner who is emptying his freezer and making a killing is almost certainly violating laws against gouging.

            The point about oil (and gasoline) is that it isn't a functioning free market in any sense of the word. Gigantic transnational organizations (called corporations) which operate under all sorts of special legal protections, tax exemptions etc., control the supply. When the supply is relatively plentiful compared to demand, oil company profits are "fair" -- and to the extent that they aren't, we subsidize the industry to make them fair.

            But when the supply is restricted compared to domain, there is no such reverse effect -- the oil suppliers can make extraordinary profits, because the oil costs them very little compared to what they can charge for it.

            By the way, the idea that the oil companies "got killed" in the 80s and 90s is absurd. They didn't make absurd amounts of money, the way some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists did, but the oil companies prospered just fine.

            I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

            by UntimelyRippd on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:34:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Grr (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              artifex, Boss Tweed

              The point about oil (and gasoline) is that it isn't a functioning free market in any sense of the word. Gigantic transnational organizations (called corporations) which operate under all sorts of special legal protections, tax exemptions etc., control the supply. When the supply is relatively plentiful compared to demand, oil company profits are "fair" -- and to the extent that they aren't, we subsidize the industry to make them fair.

              But when the supply is restricted compared to domain, there is no such reverse effect -- the oil suppliers can make extraordinary profits, because the oil costs them very little compared to what they can charge for it.

              Ah, the "oil cartel" conspiracy theory, the final stop of people who don't know anything about oil production. You should go stop by http://www.theoildrum.com , they have loads of the science behind oil production and pricing.

              Every single move of the price of oil in the last 50 years has been directly explicable by supply and demand characteristics, and not in terms of how much shadowy manipulation oil companies have done. Remember the oil shocks of the 1970s? Were oil companies responsible for those? No, they weren't, it was geopolitics, just like it's geopolitics (and fundamental supply considerations now). Over a period of time, oil companies generally make a similar profit per invested capital as other industries.

              Blaming oil companies for this is just plain wrong: oil companies don't control the price of oil since any dropoff in supply just causes the price to rise and create an incentive to sell more oil.

              What we have to do here is stop pissing and moaning about people who saw the US's suicidal trend toward oil addiction and took advantage of it using perfectly legal methods. Our present economic woes are due almost solely to bad decisions made by the American people and their leaders. Period.

              •  Explain (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenearth

                This still doesn't explain record (obscene) profits of oil companies.

                Yes, I'm familiar with supply and demand.  Price gouging cannot occur with a commodity that is not in demand.  

                But why did ExxonMobil turn in a $38 billion profit last year?

              •  uh ... SUPPLY and demand ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... bit rude to suggest that i know "nothing" about oil production. "oil cartel" conspiracy? OPEC is not exactly a secret brotherhood.

                here's what i know:

                a. the cost of producing oil for the market puts a floor on the price of oil,
                b. the supply of oil (as well as refined gasoline) is constrained by large-scale institutional factors. one is the relative success or failure of OPEC and other sources to limit (or force, for that matter) output. another is the ability of infrastructure to pump, store, and deliver the oil from under the ground to the refinery. for gasoline (and other refined products), a crucial limiting factor is refinery capacity. note that both of the latter two factors are controlled almost entirely by the oil companies. they decide how much to invest in infrastructure, exploration, and so on. a third is the ability of speculators to leverage financial power in order to withhold petroleum from the market.
                c. the oil/gasoline companies are among those functioning as speculators in the oil market. how do i know? because if they weren't, then they wouldn't see such a dramatic increase in profits when oil prices rise -- their "suppliers", such as the Saudis, would simply charge more for the oil until Exxon's margins were more "normal".

                every summer, gasoline prices rise. we are typically told that one reason for this is that refineries cannot switch quickly enough from winter blends to summer blends. hmmm. that sure works out pretty well for Exxon, doesn't it? so now, sitting on a kabillion dollars in windfall profits, do you suppose Exxon is going to invest in new refinery capacity, so that next year it will be able to ramp up production of summer blends in order to meet the demand without a price spike? uh ... why exactly would they want to do that?

                i question your claim that "over time, oil companies generally make a similar profit per invested capital as other industries". the nefarious accounting of the oil companies is comparable to the nefarious accounting of many other large industries, especially those with significant political clout -- somehow, no matter how much money they make, they don't ever seem to make any money.

                Were the oil companies responsible for the oil shocks? I don't know. Neither do you. Middle East politics has been a very murky business, ever since it turned out that the Arab nations owned a gigantic chunk of the most important industrial resource on the planet. Conspiracy theories always seem wacky and paranoid, but it's also pretty wacky to believe that a half-dozen corporations whose economic footprint dwarfed that of almost every other nation in the world were just standing around, watching and reacting as idealized market participants to the machinations of OPEC.

                yeah, Americans are paying for their dimwitted Pollyannaish outlook -- sold to them by their leaders. their leaders. from, uh, where? oh, yeah. i remember. their leaders from the oil companies. but that's a different complaint. you're right, in some sense Americans are getting what they deserve. but that doesn't mean the oil companies are getting what they deserve. because what they mostly deserve is to be nationalized. they quite clearly don't operate in the best interest of the citizenry, raising the obvious question as to why we permit them to exist.

                maybe you don't have an objection to unethical people using "perfectly legal" (legal largely because they've pretty much owned our government for about 130 years), but I do. legal is not the same as moral, or ethical, or right. the perfectly legal methods have included hijacking the US military to act as enforcers of access to oil fields and rearranging US tax laws to ensure that the vast majority of their income will be immune from taxation. the Iraq war is happening for exactly ONE reason: because there is oil there. it has cost us $200 billion and counting. that is a cost of production that the oil companies don't have to pay. that is DUMB.

                I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

                by UntimelyRippd on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:38:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm too tired to argue this entire post... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  UntimelyRippd

                  Just suffice to say that I agree with a large chunk of it. I apologize for my "rudeness", I read cluelessness in these forums every day.

                  Lets just agree to disagree on some of the stuff here and just jointly agree that the entire reason why oil companies are able to do what you claim they are doing is bad choices by Americans. If Americans made better and more educated choices, everything you're saying would be impossible.

          •  'Whatever'? (0+ / 0-)

            That's about a hundred-billion dollar "whatever". Well done.

            I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

            by UntimelyRippd on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:36:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But Remember (0+ / 0-)

        That age took a lot longer to come to an end than the price of gas took to rise.  

        Makes me think there's a little more to the current story.

        He not busy being born is busy dying.

        by jarrrettg on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:29:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm so sick and tired... (8+ / 0-)

    of every time the Dems propose a sane bill and the Repubs outvote it, the MSM headlines are "Democrats Fail Again to ... (fill in the blank)."

    When are some sane media operators going to bravely come forth and tell it like it is, "Republicans once again block Democrats from passing meaningful Reforms"?

    "We are the leaders we are waiting for"

    by Gabriele Droz on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:20:10 AM PDT

    •  Huh? Where have you seen those headlines? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth
      I'm so sick and tired... of every time the Dems propose a sane bill and the Repubs outvote it, the MSM headlines are "Democrats Fail Again to ... (fill in the blank)."

      Huh?  Where have you seen those headlines?  

      All I ever see are headlines for the Repub-framed versions of Repub initiatives, and articles where the Repubs criticize Dems for being obstructionist (I wish!) and not having any ideas of their own.

      Blocked Dem initiatives are almost universally ignored if they can't be wedged into that storyline.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

      by Bearpaw on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:16:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tired of those headlines? (0+ / 0-)

        Then write to the media that YOU know what is going on, and are very surprised that the Media does't report the whole situation as it really is.

        Let them know, you know what is going on in a professional way, then give them a recommendation as how to change it such as:

        I am sure that your reporters want to get all the facts out as they really are by doing the actual investigation and research that provides a well written article to report ALL that is really happening, after all, our Democracy depends upon people getting ALL the information, not just that from one side of the view.

  •  Rep Slaughter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wary

    Thank you for this.  

    Another issue is that it seems that there are always big words, but little big action.  We would love to help, but right now we are without a plan put forth by Congress.

    Please (if you can) read some of the excellent recent diaries with solid plans that could work to cut emissions, improve healthcare, etc. I'm not sure if Congress could act on any of them, but there are great nuggets that would compliment any plan put forth by the House.

  •  America needs a major solar hot water push (6+ / 0-)

    Solar hot water heating systems are cheap and simple, and could employ alot of Americans in manufacturing them and installing them. These would be good jobs.

    These systems are as simple as a 4x10 foot rectangular solar collector on the roof and a tank in the basement.

    Many people use oil for hot water and this could greatly reduce demand for oil and hence lower the cost.

    Perhaps 5 years loans could be cheaply financed by the government? Tax incentives? Organize work crews to install them? It could be a tremendous public works project.

    Solar hot water heating pays for itself in 4-5 years, and is an easy way to save a lot of fossil fuel.

    My message to hopelessly apolitical people: fuck politics, save energy

    by Will the Organizer on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:22:05 AM PDT

    •  Talk to your insurance company before (0+ / 0-)

      you invest in this though. Those creeps might suprise you and not protect your house from damge caused by the thing.

      I agree, though. Solar water heating is a good idea.

    •  It works great in some states (0+ / 0-)

      that see alot of sunshine like FL, NM, AZ, TX, CA but in other states up north....not so much.

      Great idea for a public works program & tax breaks!    

      •  im not an expert but I think it does work in nort (0+ / 0-)

        you can fill the pipes with antifreeze which runs through a heat exchanger

        systems are sold for northern climates

        ive read as long as ambient outdoor air temp is above 25 degrees it will help to warm water but maybe thats wrong, anyone know?

        My message to hopelessly apolitical people: fuck politics, save energy

        by Will the Organizer on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:24:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Right on. (0+ / 0-)

      Also how about tax credits to put PV solar on the roof?
      Highest demand is during the day when most folks are not home. Why not make your roof help reduce the demand on generating stations when it counts the most.
      Less emissions during the day when ozone generation is at it's highest.
      Less greenhouse gasses generated.

      I was speaking with a recovering repub last week who was debating getting one of those gas / electric fancy schmancy autos, and her concern was it would take years to recover the extra expense of said vehicle.
      I asked her "and the time frame to recover your expense of what you own now is how long? "Oh never" she said.
      QED

      "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

      by Tinfoil Hat on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:46:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Accountability. Oversight. Enforcement. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boorad, drewfromct

    Three things missing from the DC status quo that should be on the lips of EVERY public-facing member of the Democratic Party.  We must own these issues.  Our party must come to embody them in the minds of the public.  This will allow the Left to regain a foothold in the American political process.

    Accountability.

    Oversight.

    Enforce.

    Rinse.

    Wash.

    Repeat.

    We can do this!

  •  Speaking of 'America for Sale' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, greenearth

    It's a bit off topic for this diary, but let's also talk about how lobbyists wrote the Medicare D prescription bill to screw seniors while maximizing profits for themselves.

    Energy costs are a huge issue, but let's widen the discussion of corrupt legislation in order to include other rancid Republican "accomplishments" like Medicare D.

    This will help people understand that Republicans are all about picking our pockets to line the pockets of oil companies, Big Pharma and their other corporate campaign contributors.

  •  A Radical Concept: (7+ / 0-)

     I could be wrong, but I think Americans appreciate it when politicians stand up for them and take on the interests of power and greed who would expoit them.  

     O.K, so I'm only talking about the 98-99% of Americans who would benefit from taking on Big Oil (Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Credit Card...) and, I admit, that's not all Americans.  But, I think it may good to play the odds here.

     I'm just saying. . .

    BenGoshi
    ___________________________________________________

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:32:46 AM PDT

  •  You rock, lady! (5+ / 0-)

    From this article

    If the unsung Democratic guerillas were ever to adopt a mascot, it would have to be Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.). The 10-term congresswoman from upstate New York is someone you don't hear about very often because: a) she's a House Democrat, and the media only has room for one of those, if that; and b) she's far too feisty and interesting. In a different news world that actually covered opposition parties, she'd be a media darling. Slaughter rarely bites her tongue, and she doesn't mind turning the tables on reporters. At age 76, she looks at least 15 years younger and has the energy of someone 50 years her junior. When I met Slaughter at her top-floor office in the Rayburn House Office Building to talk about why no one knows what she's been doing, she was ready to vent.

    "There's this assumption that we're the Three Stooges over here, bungling around," she said, rolling her eyes. "I hear it all day and all night." What's wrong with Democrats? she mimics. "There's nothing wrong with us!" Slaughter herself has waged an ongoing—and largely unnoticed—campaign to highlight the ways in which Republicans have abused the legislative process, locking Democrats out completely and awarding themselves unbridled power. She almost single-handedly forced Republicans to back off on plans to tamper with the Ethics Committee in order to give Tom DeLay a break. The problem she and her colleagues run into over and over, Slaughter tells me, is that "nobody knows what we're doing up here because nobody ever covers it." A perfect example occurred at the beginning of March. Slaughter, who is a ranking member on the House Rules Committee, released the report "America for Sale: The Cost of Republican Corruption," outlining all of the ways that congressional Republicans have not only gamed the system, but created their own legislative system. She followed it up a week later with a legislative package to reform the House rules process, one of the major sources of GOP power.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

    by darthstar on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:38:19 AM PDT

  •  Ms. Slaughter - (4+ / 0-)

    You know and we know all about that energy 'Task Force', but the country probably couldn't identify the phrase. The way Cheney's people have been sitting on the records, there has to be explosive material in there. Get it. Whatever it takes. Even if you fail, the effort will seep into the media and generate suspicion.

    Jimmy Carter was right. Take advantage of his elevated standing with the public, and get some revenge for all that 'malaise' crap we've had to listen to forever. You might start here.

    Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

    by adios on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:42:17 AM PDT

  •  Given that fuel costs are... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jarrrettg

    going to factor in to the cost of every other product,and thus really drag down the economy, we really need to improve our railroads. Trains are probably our most fuel efficient, and soon to be, if not already, cost efficient way to transport large quantities of goods over land. Unfortunately, our current railroad system is something that would make Albania blush.

  •  i'm reminded of butthead here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rjo

    "umm, words ... word ... word"

    i.e., red meat is not concrete. actions are.

    what are you going to do about it?

  •  i too am fightin' mad! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HugoDog

    so we're addicted to oil, right?  so we're gonna do something about it, right?

    so what do we do?  we lift all protections we were in the process of establishing and let the dirty air roll and 'save our climate' be damned!

    that's the way an oil man protects the environment.

    i suspect that the whole shebang of 4 dollar/gallons and iran and oil addiction speeches was just such a setup for dumping the little protections we had.

    fed up again, f

    •  CAFE standards (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dems2004

      have been a terrible failure as they allowed for too many loopholes and forced automakers to make cars that consumer did not want.

      A much better alternative would be European style gasoline taxes. If you push up the cost of gasoline, consumers will respond by demanding more efficient cars.

      We need to have an honest discussion about gasoline taxes... call it a tax on OPEC. Or a war tax, but at the end of the day, a real market solution is going to be a lot more effective in reducing gasoline consumption in government edicts that industry lobbyists are able to circumvent.

  •  Lobbying reform (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    I think trips for educational purposes should be allowed.  

    However, the best way to root out corruption is to have campaigns publicly funded.  That would put an end to "pay to play" practices.  Anything short of that would be akin to a bandaid fix for a serious problem.

    I think another issue is Congressional pay.  You guys should be getting paid more.  Yes, I'm totally serious.  You should be paid a salary that is competitive with the private sector to a) attract more political talent to get involved and b) try to minimize the temptation for kickbacks, etc.  However, this would also be coupled with a moratorium on working for the private sector.  

    I've read too many stories about staffers and politicians who leave "public service" and go work for a lobbying firm or get a cushy job on the board of some corporation that they helped while in office.  Congresspeople and their staff should not be allowed such work for a MINIMUM of 3 years.  However, working at a College or University should be exempt.  

    Finally, make the whole process uber transparent.  No more secret meetings with lobbyists.  If everyone can see what's being discussed then that would serve as a BIG deterrent to corruption.

    Just my 2 or 3 cents.  :)

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

  •  also near to our hearts (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laurak, Dems2004, rjo, 73rd virgin

    PLEASE don't forget about net neutrality!  

    This issue may not have the immediate impact of oil prices, but destroying neutrality would have a huge long-term impact.  What ARE your fellow Dems (like Towns) even thinking about when they support the GOP here?  And how can we get this issue into the mainstream media (or even wake up the natural corporate allies that we have here to take louder action)?

    Thanks for stopping by, and best regards,

  •  How can we pressure media? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm at work, so could not see if your conference was streaming, Rep. Slaughter. How many attended? Which agencies were represented? Thanks for your work and toughness; now: how can we help pressure D.C. institutional media to stand up and pay attention when Dems call press conferences and publish important reports? Names and phone numbers, please.

  •  Did you get to re-post up your PDF by any chance? (0+ / 0-)

    The report about the corruption?

    (and thanks for all your diligence)

  •  Before Hurricane Season, Count Ohio Votes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laurak, greenearth

    Dear Louise Slaughter, Thank you so much for being so strong, courageous and ethical...just so beautiful and inspiring to me.

    With the upcoming Hurricane Season and already fooled once...I sent this to Senator Kerry.

    Dear Sen. Kerry,
    Such a Good Fighter. Please consider my plea to count ASAP the secured Ballots from Ohio's 2004 election. Please COUNT OHIO'S VOTES EARLY BEFORE HURRICANE SEASON, BECAUSE IF YOU WON, YOU WILL SAVE MORE LIVES AND WORK ON GLOBAL WARMING. Please, I am very serious--I live on the coast. We were already fooled once.

    And, if the GOP didn't cheat in Ohio in 2004, then they have nothing to worry about. But, If you won, then NO to any GOP Theory of Cheaters-Keepers.

    I bet Coastal Republicans are getting more Purple and Blue as this Hurricane Season approaches.

    And, Anti-Reality, Anti-Science, Non-Problem-Solving Republicans will cost more American lives than 911 and terrorism.

    Now we live in a Post-Katrina World...Thelma Bush and the Louise GOP (No Reference to You) and their Greater Extinction-Level Job Performance may take us all down with them as they have pushed us past the Tipping Point to 425 ppm of CO2 and Methane.

    ...
    http://news.independent.co.uk/...
    Global Warming: Passing the 'Tipping Point'
    By Michael McCarthy
    The Independent UK

    ...an investigation by The Independent has established that the CO2 equivalent concentration, largely unnoticed by the scientific and political communities, has now risen beyond this threshold.

    This number is not a familiar one even among climate researchers, and is not readily available.....So we asked one of the world's leading experts on the effects of greenhouse gases on climate, Professor Keith Shine, head of the meteorology department at the University of Reading, to calculate it precisely. Using the latest available figures (for 2004), his calculations show the equivalent concentration of C02, taking in the effects of methane and nitrous oxide at 2004 levels, is now 425ppm. This is made up of CO2 itself, at 379ppm; the global warming effect of the methane in the atmosphere, equivalent to another 40ppm of CO2; and the effect of nitrous oxide, equivalent to another 6ppm of CO2.

    "The passing of this threshold is of the most enormous significance," said Tom Burke, a former government adviser on the green issues, now visiting professor at Imperial College London. "It means we have actually entered a new era - the era of dangerous climate change. We have passed the point where we can be confident of staying below the 2 degree rise set as the threshold for danger...."
    ....................

    As Mark Crispin Miller argues in his book Fooled Again, the extreme fundamentalists GOP goal is Armageddon.

    Or, it may be their cover story to blame God for the GOP's responsibility for denying while exacerbating Global Warming. Either way, you get Greater-Extinction-Level Job Performances from Thelma Bush and the Louise (again no reference to you) GOP.

    GOP also worried:
    from: http://www.dailykos.com/...
    Main Stream Ohio Republicans Fear Election High-Jacking
    by JellyPuddin
    Sat Apr 22, 2006

    Mainstream Ohio Republican leaders now fear their party--and the state--are about to be highjacked by the Rod Parsley/Ken Blackwell fundamentalist machine unleashed by Bush and Rove in the upcoming Governor's race.

    Extremist right-wing screachers, such as Pastor Rod Parsley of the World Harvest Church, Ann Coulter, Alan Keyes, Ohio gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell and followers of Jerry Falwell, have taken center pulpit in an escalated war over what really happened when George W. Bush was allegedly re-elected in November, 2004, and who will occupy the Buckeye Statehouse in 2006.
    .............

    Please get rid of Non-Evidentiary E-Voting, scanning, lever machines (I know Chris Dodd and Steny Hoyer supported E-Voting...DON'T LISTEN TO THEM). Paper ballot evidence has been removed on purpose, we know what that means without catching "fraud."

    See: Lynn Landes site http://www.ecotalk.org/... for parallel elections, write in elections, and open elections if we don't get the machines out by the 2006 election.

    And, No Democrat should support any Abramoff action:

    Abramoff's Diebold --> Ney's HAVA = Non-Evidentiary E-Voting

    Please Count Ohio’s votes before Hurricane Season to Prove Who Won. No "sour grapes" in the face of Hurricanes. No sir.

    many green, yellow, blue and now purple dogs are a majority.

    by Prove Our Democracy with Paper Ballots on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:24:45 AM PDT

  •  Yesterday Rush Limbaugh told me that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    gas prices were high because the environmentalists were commies and that global warming could not destroy the planet because nothing had ever destroyed the planet before.  Unfortunately there were millions of others listening too, including many who didn't choke and wonder what he was on.

    "Yes dear. Conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:48:18 AM PDT

  •  Speaking of corruption, what is being done about (4+ / 0-)

    Internet access for sale?
    http://savetheinternet.org/...

    Main stream media is already owned lock-stock-and-barrel by a handful of corporate interests that daily distorts our news in favor of the current administration's wishes.

    The internet is the last vestige of the First Amendment.  Freedom of speech...Freedom to assemble...Freedom to redress the government...

    Just what is being done by Congress?  Many thanks to  to astronautagogo.  (sorry I don't know how to embed the links ;-)

    •  Among all of the other issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      laurak

      This really is also a big one.  Part of what has made the revelation of Republican corruption even possible is, precisely, internet neutrality.  

      Please, Ms. Slaughter, don't let the big Telco's undermine the internet.  It is the last bastion of wide open information and available to all (well, most everyone, anyway...)

      -7.88, -6.72. I AM paying attention, and I am so fucking outraged I can't see straight. TORTURE and ILLEGAL SPYING ON AMERICANS are not family values!

      by caseynm on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:10:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keep pushing that Energy Task Force scandal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, greenearth

    I still dont know what exactly went on during those meetings, but I'm sure Cheney's Energy Task Force has all the makings of a big scandal. The fact that they are being so secretive about it says alot methinks.

    Go [hunt] yourself, Mr. Cheney

    by Iconoclast421 on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 11:58:27 AM PDT

  •  Just sent the like to the Report to my Senator (0+ / 0-)

    through the comments box on his web site.

    Proud member of the Angry Left.

    by JLFinch on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 12:08:27 PM PDT

  •  Dear Rep Slaughter--or the staffer who reads this (8+ / 0-)

    I'd just like to make one tactical observation--every single place that she and the dems use the phrase "We have talked about...corruption" or "We have talked about...soldiers lives..." or whatever else the Democrats (my representatives) wish to make the public know they are concerned about

    PLEASE SUBSTITUTE THE PHRASE
    "THE DEMOCRATS HAVE FOUGHT..."  The american people, and especially the indpenedents you want to win over, want to see that the Democrats are fighting not just "talking.*  They want to rest assured that you not only can diagnose the problem, but that you are planning to do something about it.

    Forgive me for the caps, and forgive me for the bolds, but I feel very, very, strongly about this. This is as much a rhetorical issue as it is a real one. The american people voted for bush because they thought he'd do something and, frankly,they hardly cared to know what.  Now you are asking them to turn to the dems but you keep talking about...talking...

    Don't just stand there, tell us not only what you are fighting for but that you are fighting.

    best
    aimai

  •  This I can get behind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    Everytime a Republican opens their trap it should be shoved down the press/people's throat by the Dems that the Republicans caused all of this.  Not some of it, not a little piece, but all of it.  

    Sure there is increasing demand from China/India and shrinking supply from peak oil, but those a re factors that take years or decades to play out.  We went from $1.50 gas to $3.00 becuase of the republican energy policies and because of Iraq.  Period.  Don't ever let them walk away from that albatross or they'll try to hang it on our necks.

    Get in there and start swinging Rep. Slaughter, this is the sort of thing the Dems need to be doing every single day to win back the congress this year.

  •  Welcome once again. (0+ / 0-)

    A diary on Green Energy was just posted that is quite good.  Please read, and/or have staff read. We need to "Go to the Moon" with an energy program.

    Thanks a brazillion for your work for us.

  •  Please help maintain Network Neutrality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    This is of extreme importance

  •  All I Can Say Is That This Gives Me Hope (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomad23

    I mean, maybe the days of the sound bite are over. I was listening to a bit of Joe Klein on the radio today. He's hopeful too. John McCain (who is turning looney now, I admit) deserves some kudos for bringing 'straight talk' to the Republican party, even if it was rejected. Howard Dean deserves admiration as well. (George Bush never engaged in straight talk. He just pretended to and everyone pretended to believe he was.)

    Here we have a representative talking directly to many unknown Americans. She'll actually read Tim's little pointless post? Who woulda thunk it?

    Thank you Ms. Slaughter (and kos), I'm not sure you realize what a pioneer you are. Hopefully in 50 years, we'll look back at how pathetic political campaigns were for a few decades, and how the internet and some frustrated politicians and voters said, "Enough!" and they learned to talk to each other directly again, with politicians demanding input and help from constituents, and voters demanding honesty and intelligent policy from politicians. When Americans learn to expect intelligent discourse with each other, it'll happen.

    Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

    by chemsmith on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:03:58 PM PDT

  •  rep slaughter (0+ / 0-)

    thank you for talking to us, now and always.

    my #1 issue for November is the environment. We can do so many smart things about it and they can trickle down and fix other problems!

    • We can stimulate the economy by creating new markets and new technologies
    • We can improve our health - the healthcare system is swamped enough without a surge in childhood asthma, etc.
    • The wetlands in the gulf will provide natural protection from hurricanes, except we are ruining them!
    • We can leverage free resources for energy instead of oil. This will lower oil prices (in theory at least - those companies are thieves), clean up the environment, help national security, and so much more!
    • Improve public transportation. This can help people's budgets and their quality of life - as well as reduce our energy needs.

    Please, please rally the Dems together behind RFK, Jr and Al Gore. They are wonderful leaders. Please make this a top issue. It is something all Americans agree on, except the 1% or so of hyperrich parasites that are feeding off of all of the pollution the rest of us have to live with.

  •  For all of their talk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    73rd virgin

    about Democrats living in the pre 9/11 world...

    Republicans seem to be unwilling to let go of the pre 9/11 energy policy.

  •  Universal Health Care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    please.

  •  I'm led to understand that the current... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    strategy by the Democratic Party is to lay low for the time being and let the Republicans wallow in their own waste products.

    While I think that may be effective, it is even better if the Democrats occasionally stepped out of the shadows to simply remind Americans of the truth.  To dig themselves out of this hole, the Republicans are spinning short and long term history.  Democrats should take every oppertunity to close doors to this type of spinning.

    Your news conference with Rep. Waxman, to inform Americans what conditions lead to this type of inflation is on the right track.  Party coordination and the distribution of talking points would help.

    Thank you, Rep. Slaughter.

    Certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man. - OWH

    by blockbuster on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:26:07 PM PDT

  •  Thank you Congresswoman, for caring (0+ / 0-)

    for truly caring, about our country and its citizens.  It's good to know that people like you are still out fighting hard for us citizens.

    Thanks again!

    Can't wait 'til -08, censure and impeach NOW!

    by Rogneid on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:26:20 PM PDT

  •  Some ideas (0+ / 0-)
    1. Windfall profits tax on oil.  Proceeds to be used exclusively to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels:

      a) Bike lanes on major roads
      b) Major investment in mass transit
      c) Major investment in solar, wind, tidal, water etc. power.

    1. Repeal the Patriot Act, and start calling it the Stolen Freedom Act.  
    1. Repeal the portion of the Bush Tax Cuts that affected the rich.  Say, those making more than $1 million a year.
    1. Demand public notice of total executive pay for all publicly held companies.
    1. Tax pollution. Heavily.

    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, and the creed of slaves." William Pitt

    by plf515 on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:29:44 PM PDT

  •  Read every comment? (0+ / 0-)

    Great. Please support HR 3037, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005:

    http://thomas.loc.gov/...

    Yes, I know a lot of people over hype hemp, but it is part of the solution. We really need to move towards a carbohydrate economy. For more information on hemp and HR 3037 please see read the CRS Report "Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity" at:

    http://www.opencrs.com/...

    For more information please see Vote Hemp at:

    http://www.votehemp.com

    Thanks,

    Tom

    <div style="color: green">"The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an useful plant to its culture" -- Thomas Jefferson</div>

    by tommurphy on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:35:00 PM PDT

  •  Don't forget the INTERNET issue! (0+ / 0-)

    This is good news, but do not forget to address the "sale of the internet" to private companies.

    Diary here:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    and here:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    We the People need this medium, and cannot afford -- literally, in some cases -- to permit it to be so restricted.

    Intervene.

    Thank you.

    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:38:36 PM PDT

  •  Corporations are given the same standing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    as individuals in court in the form of corporate personhood.  Corporations are given tax subsidies and conditions that subsume their purpose and fatten the bottom line that is shared with investors or distributed to management in disproportionate fashion.  Corporations are allowed to work offshore so as not to have taxable income.  If I work off shore the perils of tax equalization hit immediately.

    It is NOT just Big Oil that is causing the condition of putting corporations far ahead of the common good.  The American public is losing the Corporate Amazing Race because the value of their economic contributions are given such a vast headstart.  Big Pharma has also had an American Idol run.  The mass media is corporatized and incentivized to provide fluffy content that will draw advertisements to entice the public to buy more corporate product.  The entire system needs to be overhauled.

    Big Oil should be tarred and feathered as an immediate and painful example of how corporate windfall profits accrue to the elite few not the gas oppressed many.  They have an expectation that it will continue because mainly republicans have supremely enabled the New Dawn of Corporate Kings & Queens at America's expense.

    Many corporations do good works but for a reason.  Their tax structure should be reflective of independently verified corporate results, contributions to the common good and community, a productive expanding workforce and their business practices.  Not because an earmark or a congressional campaign contribution is waiting.

    Thank you for continuing the good fight.

    Every time history repeats itself the price goes up - Anon.

    by Pithy Cherub on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:52:01 PM PDT

  •  Ctrl-V Pelosi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    Glad to have a living breathing person interacting with this site, as opposed to "Ctrl-V Pelosi" simply talking at us when she has something to say.

    It's a welcome change!

  •  Rep. Slaughter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat, chgriffen, greenearth

    Thank you as always for your diary, and your request for comments.

    I am particularly concerned with the unprecedented participation by fundamentalist Christians in our governmental decision-making.

    I find it amazing that fundamentalist thought can influence such critical issues as whether Plan B can be sold over the counter. I find it amazing that health care providers use religion as a means to refuse care to those of whom they don't approve. I find it amazing that any attempt to "level the playing field" in our national discourse on faith is seen as an attack on Christianity. (Try getting a government opened by a prayer from any other religious group and note the reaction.)

    Seeing what religious fundamentalism has led to in other countries is truly frightening. That's no road for America to go down. Each of the discussion points raised by fellow Kossacks upthread is also crucial, but frankly, I would feel safer if the "wall" between Church and State were strengthened.

    Thank you!

  •  Energy Policy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, greenearth

    Hello.  You are my local Rep, so it is great to see you post here.

    Obviously point out the joke that is our current energy policy- I think "use as much oil, as inefficiently as possible, and then complain when the price goes up" sums it up.

    BUT - It would be great to offer a better way- an energy plan focusing on the following:

    1. Demand increased efficiency standards for all appliances, cars, houses, etc.  
    1. Incentives for purchase of smaller, highly fuel efficient cars.  Increase taxes on larger cars.
    1. POUR money into alternative energy research.  A great way to do this would be to divert a windfall profits tax on oil companies to this.  Oil is nearing peak, so prices are not dropping anytime soon.  We need an alternative fuel in place soon, BEFORE the situation becomes desperate.
    1. Incentives for development of mass transit, and development of city centers - to get away from the absurdly wasteful long-commute suburban lifestyle that is ONLY made possible by cheap oil.  
    1. Stop using guns and bombs in the Middle East.  There is something like a $15-20 risk premium in oil right now because of jaunts into the MidEast.
    1. Make clear how expensive oil is when you add in all the externalities (environmental damage, global warming, etc.).
    1. Note how sensitive our oil infrastructure is to weather (per Katrina), and the world market is to external shocks (last week's Iran-US theatrics pushed the price up $10).
    1. No matter whether we open up the Strategic reserves or find out that their was some price fixing scheme that added a dime to the price of gas - we are running out of oil and we need to start looking elsewhere for liquid fuels (not to mention the looming natural gas shortage).

    Thanks
    Ben

  •  God she's on top of it! (0+ / 0-)

    Did anyone else catch it?  She said "TRADITIONAL MEDIA"

    She's been paying attention!

    I really like this Louise Slaughter.  She's listening and engaging us and I'm really impressed.

    Ms. Slaughter, if I ever see an advertisement on dKos saying you need campaign contributions, I'll hook you up!  (That means about $10, because I'm really really poor.)

    Will you spend an hour on the ground for every 100 hours you spend fuming online?

    by dspivak on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:08:38 PM PDT

  •  Keep it up! (0+ / 0-)

    And...ON EVERY OTHER TOPIC!  :-)

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    Changing America 1 cup at a time... "I'm not a Liberal, I just use my brain."

    by coffeeinamrica on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:31:50 PM PDT

  •  Boycotts? (0+ / 0-)

    Representative Slaughter,

    Obviously, people are fed up with gas prices around the country. A Texas county in particular is moving to boycott Exxon Mobil.

    People are frustrated and not sure how to hold big oil companies accountable. I think it's sinking in that Republicans and big oil go hand in hand, but the elections are still months away.

    My question for you is, how can we (the people) lower gas prices NOW? Are boycotts feasible, or will they just hurt local workers and leave the big guys unfazed? Should we expect Congress to act in any meaningful way?

    (And ... I appreciate all you're doing for people-powered politics. It's great to see you posting so regularly.)

    Thanks,
    D

  •  Represntative Slaughter Thank YOU! (2+ / 0-)

    Thank you and all the Democrats for ALL you to in keeping up with your grass-net roots supporters!

    Y'all make us feel so special, like we are REALLY part of the Democratic Party and the Government!

    Thanks for treating us as citizens rather than merely 'base votes'--that means so much to us!

  •  Thank you Louise (2+ / 0-)

    Thank you Louise..Hope you can jump start other dems to fight ...Finally we are seeing courage ...Keep it up..

  •  This diary by mateosf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, Mrcia

    The myth of "oil price gouging" will hurt us all UPDATED is awesome.  I recommend reading it.  It has a lot of good info re petroleum industry and prices.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "A child miseducated is a child lost" John F. Kennedy

    by Pam from Calif on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:48:38 PM PDT

  •  Bush/Cheney 'energy policy' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    Assuming that we are able to take VP Cheney at his word (which may be a stretch), certainly this old  , and frequently referenced comment from 2001 would suggest that conservation has never been high on his priority list for public policy:

    "To speak exclusively of conservation is to duck the tough issues. Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy," stated Vice President Dick Cheney in an April 30 speech on the President's National Energy Policy.

    And I have yet to hear either he or Bush take responsibility for any of their failed "policies".  It is surely a hallmark of inept leadership when this administration stumbles from one "surprise" to another.

    But I guess placing the blame elsewhere is common practice for these people; just look at their old buddy Ken Lay trying to shift the blame for Enron's collapse to the press:

    Kenneth Lay, Enron's former chairman and chief executive, remained defiant in his criminal fraud trial, blaming Enron's former chief financial officer and newspaper articles for causing the market panic that led to the company's downfall, while saying there were no underlying problems with the business. In his second day on the stand on Tuesday, Lay blamed Andrew Fastow, the former chief financial officer, for profiting from improper transactions, and asserted that The Wall Street Journal had conducted a "witch hunt" against Fastow and Enron.

    Thank you Congresswoman Slaughter for standing up against this greed and incompetence and working on behalf of all American citizens in trying to return this country to sane and just policies.

  •  Run A Contest! Who can point to one true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    thing that Bush has said or promissed since taking office? Bonus question:  who can point to one true thing Cheney said?

    •  Bush (0+ / 0-)

      In DC, March 29, 2001

      "And we need a full affront on an energy crisis that is real in California and looms for other parts of our country if we don't move quickly."

      What do I win?!  ;-)

      Changing America 1 cup at a time... "I'm not a Liberal, I just use my brain."

      by coffeeinamrica on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 04:34:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just wanted to say... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    That I couldn't help but laugh out loud while watching CNN's coverage of your protest. Not, of course, because of you, but because of the Republican response they showed - "Clinton vetoed ANWR drilling in 1995!"

    Now, do me a favor and ask your Republican counterparts whether Clinton is currently in Congress, whether Clinton was ever in Congress, and whether events in 1995 or between 2002 and 2006 are more relevant to modern concerns.

  •  You GO! (0+ / 0-)

    Rep. Pelosi's remarks yesterday were thrilling. Period.  She is telling it like it is and that's what people want to hear -- red state, blue state and all us purples that want America back.

    Thank you so much for your efforts.  You're amazing!

  •  we're behind you (0+ / 0-)

    and we're trying to get you some reinforcements....

    thank you for keeping the people in mind.

    'life is like Sanskrit read to a pony'~lou reed

    by 73rd virgin on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 04:29:56 PM PDT

  •  Rep. Slaughter this is the issue that speaks (0+ / 0-)

    volumes to Americans of all walks of life.  The oil men in the White House are taking our hard-earned dollars and lining their pals pockets with it!  That's the rallying cry and, as long as gas prices continue to rise, when November rolls around, Katrina and gas gouging should be the Dems message on a daily basis.  Drown out the gay-bashing, fear-mongering Right wing cronies with "Remember Katrina!  And stop the gas gouging!"  These are real issues for everyday people.  Even Iraq is too remote for the majority, but shelling out handfuls of money, knowing that the oil barrons are collecting it with glee, makes average citizens CRAZY.  And crazy is good for change.  Thanks for giving us all this information and for doing such a great job representing the people instead of the corporations!

  •  Props to you and your staff (0+ / 0-)

    Sincere thanks for your efforts.

    In regards to long term strategies for building a viable progressive movement, I strongly encourage you and your staff to consider the rising phenomenon of worker owned, democratically controlled cooperative corporations vs. absentee owned, capital controlled corporations as a paradigm of economic organization. John Dewey said that "politics is the shadow cast over society by big business". As we know, the constitutive bylaws and executive organization of the near total majority of capital controlled corporations place a legal imperative on the executive management, as fiduciaries of the corporation's shareholders, to subordinate every operative goal to the purpose of profit maximization. The corporate engine that drive US and world economic activity is thus constitutionally incapable of balancing social needs or the common good against short term private profit. The consequences for our politics and society are self-evident. The capital controlled corporate forms that dominate our economy, acting as command hierarchies, have become the instruments by which their majority owners, a tiny minority of the US and world population, express their drive for economic and political supremacy- the antithesis of our democratic experiment.

    In the long term, this dynamic can't be contained, and must be changed if we are to preserve a viable democracy. Capital controlled corporations are simply the most influential and dominant institutions of our time. They are the institutions by which the vast majority of the material human world is constructed and reproduced, the primary drivers of informational human culture, the institutions in which most of our people spend most of their waking life and upon which nearly every single American is dependent for the very physical foundation of biological human life.

    The most significant advances in the empirical development of alternative democratic modes of economic organization are currently being made in a network of several hundred federated worker owned and democratically controlled cooperatives that form the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation of Spain's northern Basque country. This experiment in worker self-management, with its basis in full worker ownership and cooperative democracy based on teh principle of one person, one vote, was begun over fifty years ago during the fascist party rule of Francisco Franco. The results to date of this experiment are significant. Concisely, it has been demonstrated that the worker owned and democratically controlled cooperative corporation is a adaptive model of economic organization that is capable of matching and exceeding the performance of absentee owned capital controlled corporations across a broad spectrum of advanced industrial and high technology activities neccessary to modern society, and is capable of development of unlimited sophistication.

    The main impediments to the growth of this form of economic organization are insuffienct popular acculturation to cooperative methods and values and the concentration of capital ownership in an ideologically hostile subset of the population, both of which are surmountable. I encourage you and your staff to look in to the possibilities that this development holds. I strongly recommend the Cornell International Industrial and Labor Relations Report, "Making Mondragon: The Growth and Dynamics of the Worker Cooperative Complex" by William Foote Whyte and Kathleen King Whyte. I've mailed a copy to your office. I believe that the development of a strong democratic cooperative economy is the essential economic foundation for a successful progressive politics and society of the 21st century.

    you are human:
    no masters,
    no slaves

    by guidoreichstadter on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 05:50:33 PM PDT

  •  I've Got a Few Ideas... (0+ / 0-)

    Try this tact:

    The Bankruptcy Bill: "The Democratic party has fought the credit card companies on behalf of the American people.  The Republican party fought the American people on behalf of the credit card companies."  

    Medicare: "The Democratic party has fought the pharmaceutical industry on behalf of the American people.  The Republican party fought the American people on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry."  

    ...and one more...

    American Theocracy:  “The Democratic party has fought for religious freedom on behalf of all Americans.  The Republican party is attempting to eliminate the separation of church and state which undermines religious freedom."  

    See how this works?  Most of the bills that benefit only corporate interests have been passed by the GOP-controlled Congress with a simple partisan majority.  Each of those bills is an opportunity.  Americans outside the beltway may not understand that these destructive bills didn’t receive bi-partisan support.  If a lousy anti-middle-class bill becomes law, repeat-repeat-repeat-repeat that the Republican majority is the reason why.  That message is not getting communicated by the media, which brings me to my next point:

    Start verbalizing what most Americans already know: Fox News is owned and run by Republicans, propagandizes for the GOP, lies without ramification, damages and trivializes our democracy.  Tony Snow wasn’t plucked from private industry; he simply worked his way up the Bush corporate ladder.  An earlier poster was dead right – if democracy in this country is to survive, “news” channels need to be held accountable for their every lie and deception.  Freedom of the press is an indisputable right, but if a corporate interest calls itself a “news” network, then it should be held to extraordinarily high standards of conduct.  Dan Rather was forced off the air for getting facts wrong about a story that was fundamentally correct.  Why is Rupert Murdoch’s band of liars allowed to mislead, distort, and outright lie on a daily basis while suffering no consequence?  If they have no accountability or regard for balance, then they should be rebranded “The Fox Opinion Channel”, or “The GOP Network”.  They have no right to imply that they report the news.

    Stop the double-speak.  Bush has broken the law by spying without approval of the FISA court.  This is not up for debate, and every time a Democrat alludes to the “possibility” that a law was broken I go completely nuts.  Bush broke the law by spying on Americans without warrant or approval.  He will no doubt break the law again by spying on Democratic campaigns this Fall.  He broke the law by lying to Congress in the build-up to war with Iraq.  He lied to the American people when he indicated he didn’t know who leaked Valerie Plame’s identity and every GOP Senator and House member that continues to block an investigation is obstructing justice.  These are not debatable opinions, and the Democrats will never be seen as leaders if they don’t cut through the noise and speak honestly with the American people.

    I could go on and on, but I’ll finish up with the one item that has to come first before any Congress member can count on my vote.  If you voted for war with Iraq, stop saying that you stand by your vote.  What lunacy!  You were lied to like every other American.  You didn’t do anything wrong, but standing by that vote knowing what we know now is idiotic.  Do you want people to believe in your sincerity?  Your intellect?  Collectively stand up and say:

    “I voted for the war because the Bush Administration asked for our support.  I assumed that the intelligence presented to us was sound.  However, we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Congress and the American people were repeatedly lied to, that the Bush Administration withheld information and fixed facts around their pre-determined decision to take our country to war.  We now know that those who tried to give us legitimate intelligence were smeared and intimidated.  We now know that the Bush Administration had no exit strategy and refused to listen to the advice of our best military experts.  I regret having voted for this war, and certainly would not have voted the way I did had Bush, Cheney, Rumseld, Rice, and Powell simply told us the truth.  I, like all Americans, have been pawns to one of the gravest deceptions ever perpetrated on the American people, and with a Democratic majority in Congress, the Bush Administration WILL be held accountable for these crimes.”

    Trust me.  If you articulate America’s rage, we will move heaven and earth for you.  If you continue to imply you’d “still vote to go to war with Iraq”, then you’re no better than George Bush and just as moronically stubborn.  

    Thank you for listening!

    Dale East
    Proud Democrat
    Proud American

  •  CNN's 'We Were Warned' a must-see (0+ / 0-)

    Check out CNN Presents: We Were Warned.

    A must see. Some great links there, too.

    The worm is turning, I think, if even CNN gets it.

    The only thing 9/11 changed is the standard of presidential failure.

    by thinkdouble on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 09:37:23 PM PDT

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