Obama NSA Chief Has Ties to Chevron’s Board?

February 17, 2009

During and after the presidential primaries and the general election Barack Obama’s “progressive”, clean energy, environmental activist supporters fought for their candidate of “change” as a new entity in Washington, initiating a revolutionary era in energy production and usage. Well, just like everything else Obama championed before he was elected, he now has had second thoughts about his first thoughts. Frankly, I’m equally concerned about the NSA chief’s oversight of wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping. But this is about energy.

Obama’s last and final pre-election “position” on domestic off-shore oil was for limited drilling: Just parenthetically, has he dropped these positions?
And what about these?

Obama’s choice of General James Jones as National Security Council chief may gall the activists looking forward to saving the U.S. from increased off-shore oil drilling and coal production. Before John McCain supported domestic oil drilling and the polls showed drilling was a popular idea, Obama OPPOSED it. Nancy Pelosi refused to bring the issue to a vote in the House so as not to embarrass the Democrats. Just before the election, Obama and Biden suggested coal producers should be put out of business. Obama seems equally committed to every contradictory position he takes. His supporters haven’t wanted to notice the disturbing truth until now. General Jones portfolio will include the national security implications of energy supplies as well as domestic energy production. General Jones comes from the same Chevron Board as former NSA chief Condeleeza Rice. Even the Daily Kos, a vociferous Obama booster blog expresses some queasy misgivings.

Gen Jones’ ties to Chevron and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggest a platform of enhanced oil drilling in the U.S. as well as an increase in coal production, with or without clean technology.

Here, I quote from a Democracy Now radio show from December 2008 (URL at the bottom) because Amy Goodman from Code Pink was an Obama supporter, bundling a lot of cash for her candidate. And though I must raise an eyebrow at the cynicism of perennial candidate Ralph Nader, I believe he holds many environmental views of environmental “progressives”.

AMY GOODMAN: What about Marine General Jim Jones nominated as National Security Adviser? Interestingly, President Bush’s first National Security Adviser, of course, was Condoleezza Rice. She came from the board of Chevron. That’s exactly where Marine General Jim Jones comes from. Jim Jones comes from Chevron and the board of Boeing and the chief executive of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, which has been criticized by environmental groups for, among other things, calling for the immediate expansion of domestic oil and gas production and issuing reports that challenge the use of the Clean Air Act to combat global warming.

RALPH NADER: Well, Jim Jones is basically the representative of what President Eisenhower cautioned us about, the military-industrial complex. He is experienced. He’s clever. And now he’s in the White House. So the question is, who’s going to run what? Is Obama going to transform Jim Jones? Is Obama going to transform all these establishment appointees? Or are they going to, in effect, transform him, in contrast to his more liberal rhetoric?

It’s very hard to appoint people with fixed opinions, fixed constituencies around the country of vested power, and say, well, we’re going to use these to change America, because if they change, that will give great credibility, and that will offset the corporate power structure from Washington, D.C. You know, that’s never been done before, Amy. Usually, when you appoint people who have fixed positions, who have experience in set ways, who represent the power structure, they’re not about to be steered into a progressive path of hope and change by someone at the top in the Oval Office.http://www.globalexchange.org/update/inthenews/5986.html

Obama took so many differing positions during the presidential campaign that it was hard to keep up. In his infamous “bitter about their guns and religion” talk before supporters he stated his belief that auto plants in the Great Lakes region were not coming back. In the “change” video he he seems certain that fuel efficient “plug-in” vehicles can be made available by the auto industry within six years. Sheesh.

Obama’s appointment of General Jones to oversee the national security energy issues may signal that this is not change we can believe in.

Advertisements

A Quick Peek Behind World Net Daily

February 16, 2009

Lately, I’ve been scouring the Internet for political stories. I look for different voices because the MSM has been so lax and so partisan in covering any subject that detracts from their reporting agenda. Looking behind the curtain to see who owns what media has been an eye-opener.

I often see citations to World Net Daily, WND, as verification for facts used in articles or in comment sections of WEB reports. My confidence has been shaken in just about everything, so I thought I’d take a look at this Right Wing publication. Forgive me if you’ve known this forever:

Editor Joseph Farah and Western Journalism Center own WND. Many who’ve contributed financially to the publication are California based conservative activists. One exception to the California supporters is Robert Beale, Minnesota resident, whose $3 million home was seized for back taxes by Minnesota authorities. Beale founded the Minnesota Christian Coalition, associated with the Christian Coalition of America. His son is the columnist at WND, Vox Day. Another top board member is Wayne C. Johnson, long-time member of the Chalcedon Foundation.

The Chalcedon Foundation, a far-right group founded by R.J. Rushdoony advocating the idea of Christian reconstructionism — a philosophy that aims to remake the world from a biblical worldview. In this worldview, the mandate for Christians is not just to live right or to help their neighbors: They are called upon to take over or eliminate the institutions of secular government.

Another Board member is Abe Siemens.

A search of the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets political donor database reveals that Siemens has donated to numerous right-wing politicians and causes, including Howard Phillips, the U.S. Taxpayers Party, its successor the Constitution Party, Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, Howard Kaloogian, and the Gary Bauer-led Campaign for Working Families. (Update 7/12/2008: Siemens is also longtime donor to the Media Research Center, listed as an “associate” in the MRC’s 2007 annual report.)

Read the whole story here:

The Chalcedon Foundation is interesting. Their web page covers subjects ranging from battling the influence of homosexuals to “states rights”.

Mother Jones, a Left wing publication discusses the aims of Reconstructionism.

Reconstruction’s main think tank—are Howard Ahmanson and Nelson Bunker Hunt, both of whose families played key roles in financing electronic voting machine manufacturer Election Systems & Software. Ahmanson is also a major sponsor of ultraconservative politicians, including California state legislator and 2003 gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintock.

and this

Besides facilitating evangelism, Reconstructionists believe, government should largely be limited to building and maintaining roads, enforcing land-use contracts, and ensuring just weights and measures. Unions would not exist, and neither would unemployment benefits, Social Security, and environmental protection laws. Public schools would disappear; one of the movement’s great successes has been promoting homeschooling programs and publishing texts used by tens of thousands of homeschooling families. And, perhaps most importantly, the state is “God’s minister,” as DeMar puts it in Liberty at Risk, “taking vengeance out on those who do evil.” A major task for the government key Reconstructionists envision is fielding armies for conquest in the name of Jesus.

Read the whole article here:

I’m pretty much done with believing everything I see in print. But some of what I see quoted as Truth just scares me.


Will There Be Enough Buses for Obama?

February 13, 2009

I give up. My only question now about Obama is are enough buses for all the voters Obama will throw under them? His disingenuous use ’em and lose ’em routine is so, soooo tired.

He started his under-the-bus routine early in his career, keeping incumbent Alice Palmer off the ballot by challenging her every ballot petitioner so he could run unopposed.The story is here if any of his starry eyed followers care to remember. Since then, of course, Obama is all about making sure every vote counts-when it counts for him-funding Acorn to sign up every crack addict and cartoon character capable of boarding a bus to the polls.

Then, Let’s see, hmmmmmm. Backtrack Barack changed his mind on:
Reverend Jeremiah Wright in a “Lincolnesque” and graceful toss under the wheels
NAFTA-didn’t mean what he said
Gun control
Gay marriage
Separation of church and state
FISA
Campaign Finance Reform
His position against “state secrets” as applied to tortured detainees
A clear policy repudiating Bushes’ signing statements which undermined the separation of governmental powers and drastically increased the power of the executive branch
The death penalty
The Fair Pay Act-setting standards for equal pay for women

In his zeal to present a picture of bi-partisanship on HR 1 with Republicans he has failed to oppose:
The elimination contraception and family planning funding for poor women
A severe cut in funding for work rehabilitation for the blind
Huge cuts in funding for
* State stabilization fund, cut by $39.78 billion
* Title I, cut by $6.5 billion
* Special education/IDEA, cut by $6.75 billion
* Head Start, cut by $1 billion
And
Prevention and wellness funding for diabetes, HIV/AIDS and STDs. No surprise on HIV/AIDs since Obama praised Rick Warren’s AIDS Africa outreach which helped demonize gay activists and activated an abstinence only program that actually increased AIDs cases, especially among women. Even if he is a total homophobe, which I suspect he is, wouldn’t he fight for funding for the health issues that strike the African-American community so disproportionately, AIDS and Diabetes?
And

I’m sure there are plenty of other examples I can’t recall. Oh yeah. Obama was going to pay Hillary’s campaign debt if she gave him her donor list and campaigned for him. And um, that didn’t happen, the debt payment, that is.

I suppose Obama doesn’t really give a hoot about the people who gave him their money and worked so hard to elect him, even the ones who still dream of the GQ president on long winter nights. If they thought they heard him make a promise he’ll inform them they were mistaken. No, that’s wrong, according to spokesbots from the Obamanation. He’s the worlds smartest and most arcane thinker, dreaming up convoluted tricks with which to snare his enemies. NOT!

See ya under the bus Obots.


What’s Going on Inside Obama’s Faith Initiative?

February 8, 2009

Is there much doubt that Barack Obama wants to reward and foster young men, or at least youth, with whom he wants to identify? Rapper Ludacris, set the tone for much of his misogynistic primary campaign, John Favreau, aka the Groper, was his dismal speechwriter, borrowing the fabled but mindless chant “yes we can” for the campaign. For the new faith initiative the White House has chosen another youth, a 26 year old Pentecostal pastor named Josh DuBois to head the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a continuation and expansion of the Bush faith based initiative described hereand here

Obama believes the Bush initiative was hobbled by insufficient funding and should soon exceed the $2.2 billion doled out to religious institutions in 2007.

Mr. Dubois, a former aide to Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Charlie Rangel, has been working with the Obama campaign on outreach to the faith community since 2006 and will now lead a varied group of 25 in implementing the president’s plan. Interestingly, Mr. Dubois’ second in command will be John DiIulio, the first director of Bush’s faith-based initiative who resigned after seven months in the job with the George Bush initiative. DiIulio, who was a strong supporter of the “compassionate conservative” model that Bush campaigned on in 2000, said later he felt the office had turned into a political operation and that the White House, run by “Mayberry Machiavellians,” was using federal funds to reward organizations that were in line with White House policy positions.

Mr. Dubois’ parents were early followers of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. He was one of the advocates pressing Obama to invite Rick Warren, despite outrage in the LGBT community, to deliver the presidential invocation. Obama called his invitation to Warren an example of bringing diverse voices to the table. It appears the cynical courting of the religious right was really Obama’s priority rather than increased dialog among differing opinions.

I wondered why Mr. Obama chose to place his expensive faith initiative in the hands of a youthful, inexperienced Pentecostal rather than a mature individual with a public agency background from a mainstream religion. I think the answers are probably that evangelical faiths have become increasingly influential and politically powerful within the last two decades. Mr. Obama, himself, has a predilection for preaching, personal, evangelizing religions and charismatic leaders; his long-time pastor Jeremiah Wright, espousing black liberation theology, would fit that mold. Obama is also interested in mining every demographic for possible voters, youthful voters and Christians. The president is more interested in building a constituency for 2012 than satisfying the expectations of his devoted supporters.

Obama is aware of the significant growth of Pentecostalism in the U.S. and around the world. Evangelicals and Pentecostals formed the backbone of George Bush’s White House win in 2000 and 2004. Their lack of enthusiasm for John McCain, encouraged by Rev. James Dobson, probably played a significant role in keeping Republican turnout low in 2008, ensuring an Obama victory.

It has not been lost on Obama that Republican V.P. candidate, Sarah Palin, invigorated the McCain campaign, in part due to her personal charisma but also because she is a conservative, Assemblies of God Pentecostal. Throughout the campaign Obama’s crowds were rivaled in size only by Sarah Palin’s.

Mr. Obama’s resuscitation of Bush’s faith initiatives have disappointed many of his secular and “progressive” supporters. Despite his campaign promises to retain a faith outreach many, including nonbelievers, secularists, gay and pro-choice advocates are surprised and chagrined at the breadth of the proposed programs favoring religious groups whose practices are inimical to Mr. Obama’s “progressive” base. Many are particularly disappointed that the president has chosen to distribute so much taxpayer funding to organizations that practice discrimination based on religious beliefs. The new president has stated that the government will review all grants to review their discriminatory practices. However, no anti-discrimination language has been added to the bill, which will undoubtedly hamper any legal enforcement.

Obama apparently views disagreement with his faith initiative as a “distraction” from more pressing problems, but after his back track on FISA, inaugural invitation to Rick Warren, needless elimination of family planning funding in HR 1, and failure to sponsor the Fair Pay Act, Obama’s supporters may wonder which side their president is on.


COINTELPRO redux?

February 1, 2009

Everyone here who remembers the sixties, raise your hands. Plenty of hands up. OK. How about the sixties era AND The New Left? A few hands went down. Now add COINTELPRO to the mix. The numbers are a lot smaller.
COINTELPRO ins the acronym for Counter Intelligence Program officially carried out by the FBI and the CIA between 1956 and 1971 against domestic political dissenters . Operation Chaos was a sister program of internal disruption devised to work in conjunction with the domestic spying program. The targets of COINTELPRO investigations included Black activist and civil rights groups, white hate groups, women’s, gay, and student anti-war groups. Groups were infiltrated. Some of the tactics used to disrupt them were:

Using “friendly” media to spread false and misleading stories
Planting spys and informants
Creating “snitch jackets” for leaders which created suspicion against them
Lying to many persons within an organization to create dissension
Planting evidence for false arrests, framing targets, convictions and long sentences
Encouraging the use of drugs and easy sex
Alerting local police to false crime scenes
Lying to spouses about sexual affairs
Entrapment
Police raids and shootouts

The program was officially disbanded in 1971 when the covert investigations were made public. The history of the COINTELPRO is described here:

Some of the techniques used to disrupt organizations engaged in protests and dissent were:
Planting informers within the group, or agents provocateur some of whom became leaders and encouraged violence. Often the followers would be arrested and convicted but the “leaders” went free. Wikipedia has a long list of relevant articles here
Here’s a sample

— President Truman received inside information on a former Roosevelt aide’s efforts to influence his appointments, labor union negotiating plans, and the publishing plans of journalists.

— The Kennedy Administration had the FBI wiretap a Congressional staff member , three executive officials, a lobbyist, and a Washington law firm. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy received the fruits of an FBI “tap” on Martin Luther King, Jr. and a “bug” on a Congressman, both of which yielded information of a political nature.

— President Johnson asked the FBI to conduct “name checks” of his critics and members of the staff of his 1964 opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater. He also requested purely political intelligence on his critics in the Senate, and received extensive intelligence reports on political activity at the 1964 Democratic Convention from FBI electronic surveillance.

The Cointelpro documents disclose numerous cases of the FBI’s intentions to stop the mass protest against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish the assignment. “These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations.” One 1966 Cointelpro operation attempted to redirect the Socialist Workers Party from their pledge of support for the antiwar movement.[12]

The FBI claims that it no longer undertakes COINTELPRO or COINTELPRO-like operations. However, critics claim that agency programs in the spirit of COINTELPRO targeted groups like the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador,[13] the American Indian Movement,[14][2] Earth First![15] and the Anti-Globalization Movement.[citation needed]

[edit]

These programs were highly successful in disrupting cohesion within a dissenting group.
The justification for this governmental conduct was based on a cold war model. The Soviet Union was assumed to be the hidden force behind internal dissent. The programs were narrowed but not terminated.

Much of today’s domestic covert action can also be kept concealed because of government secrecy that has been restored. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a source of major disclosures of COINTELPRO and other such activities, was drastically narrowed in the 1980s through administrative and judicial reinterpretation, as well as legislative amendment. While restoring such secrecy, the Reagan Administration also reinvigorated covert action, embracing its use at home and abroad. They endorsed it, sponsored it, and even legalized it to a great extent.

So here’s my point: The President G.W. Bush administration, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks pushed through another domestic surveillance program, FISA II:

The Act was amended in 2001 by the USA PATRIOT Act, primarily to include terrorism on behalf of groups that are not specifically backed by a foreign government.

An overhaul of the bill, the Protect America Act of 2007 was signed into law on August 5, 2007[2]. It expired on February 17, 2008.

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 passed by the United States Congress on July 9, 2008.[3]

Here’s the Wikipedia article:

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (“FISA” Pub.L. 95-511, 92 Stat. 1783, enacted October 25, 1978, 50 U.S.C. ch.36) is an Act of Congress which prescribes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” (which may include American citizens and permanent residents suspected of being engaged in espionage and violating U.S. law on territory under United States control).[1]

The ability to expand FISA ‘s reach to individuals is possible here:

Lone wolf amendment

In 2004, FISA was amended to include a “lone wolf” provision. 50 U.S.C. § 1801(b){1)(C). A “lone wolf” is a non-US person who engages in or prepares for international terrorism. The provision amended the definition of “foreign power” to permit the FISA courts to issue surveillance and physical search orders without having to find a connection between the “lone wolf” and a foreign government or terrorist group.[21]

[edit]

Candidate Barack Obama assured the Left leaning backers that he would not vote for FISA, which contains retroactive protections for telecommunications companies which have engaged in warrentless spying. He promised that he would “filibuster” the legislation should it come to the Senate floor:

But:

Obama missed the February vote on that FISA bill as he campaigned in the “Potomac Primaries,” but issued a statement that day declaring “I am proud to stand with Senator Dodd, Senator Feingold and a grassroots movement of Americans who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty.”

And :

Obama came down on the side of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who argued that a provision in the new law reaffirmed that FISA, and that act’s courts, gives the final say over government spying. President Bush has argued that a war-time chief executive has powers that trump FISA. Really?

“It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance — making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law,” Obama said today.

Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the most prominent Republican opponent of the compromise bill, issued a statement today calling that exclusivity provision “meaningless because that specific provision is now in [the] 1978 act.” Specter said Bush just ignored existing law in starting the warrantless surveillance program.

Candidate Barack Obama, constitutional lawyer, also distanced himself from repudiating Bush’s claim of the extension of executive powers by the use of signing statement, which allow a president to ignore a bill that he has previously signed. Signing statements undermine the checks and balances of governmental powers built into the American constitution.

Barack Obama has brought presidential campaigning into the 21st century, gathering tens of millions of email addresses from advocacy organizations like MoveOn.Org, environmental causes, donation lists, personal messages to the Change.gov site and presidential data bases,etc. More personal data will be collected as part of the new HR1 stimulus plan for electronic updating of medical records. T from he program is called Barak Obama 2.0. The president will collect a huge group of community organizers (probably paid for in the new stimulus bill) that will collect data for the next election cycle.

And Oh My. What will he do with THAT.