Thursday, January 19, 2012


The question is will President Obama now sit and do nothing while the oil and gas industry spends tens of millions of dollars to crucify him for his right minded decision on the Keystone Pipe Line that would bring dirty tar sand oil from Canada to Houston, Texas?  This is the behavior that makes me think Obama lacks any spirit for political combat.  His deer in the headlight approach just doesn't work for me and many of the folks who voted for him in 2008.  Yes, I will vote for him again because there is no choice, but I am not sure all those independents who wanted change will do so.  I for one don't think there is anything wrong with criticizing the President as some of my commenters believe.  That kind of criticism finally caused him to get real about the pipeline decision.

The Bureau of Land Management is unleveling the playing field again.  They are raising fees for citizens visiting some of our great landscapes and monuments while still charging less than ten years ago to the livestock industry for their grazing rights on publicly owned land.  I don't have a problem with them raising fees for visitation if it is put back into protecting these places, but how is it they look the other way on the continued abuses of our watersheds and deserts by the ranching industry.  Many ranchers are very responsible, but when the bad ones act up nothing happens for years.  It drives me crazy.  And the subsidies generated by outrageously generous grazing fees is ridiculous. The GAO in 2009 reported that Feds spend $144 million a year managing that live stock grazing.  The fees that are charged are only around $21 million.

I see the Governor has sat down to chat with the catholic bishops and clergy.  I wonder if she would do that with a group of muslims, hare krishnas or atheists.

1 comment:

Bubba Muntzer said...

I invite Obama coddling Democrats to explain why, after he spent his first three years attending to the interests of wealthy donors and caving to Republicans at every opportunity, he is now suddenly canceling dirty oil pipelines, making recess appointments people have been begging him for months to make to the National Labor Relations Board, which hasn't even had a quorum for a year now, and this new consumer protection agency, and sounding on the campaign trail like the populist we thought we elected in 2008. It's only because of the heat he is feeling.

Fear controls us in oh so many ways. Fear of some wacked out religious right Republican alternative to Obama, fear that our criticism will weaken the weak president even further, fear that peers in the local Liberal establishment will look askance at our criticism of the president, who just goes on being influenced only by the ones who can purchase influence, not by we the people. Meanwhile our standard of living continues to decline and wages keep sliding (new hires, our children, are bearing the brunt of this trend), we continue on the path to a two tier education system, private for those who can pay and a deteriorating public system for most of us and college for almost no one, and even Democrats are constantly angling for ways to destroy what little is left of the New Deal, i.e., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, while meanwhile, unemployment insurance, workman's comp and SSI disability insurance are stripped from thousands more every month by simply making them contract employees.

Dissent, people, is the only influence we have. Remember that the president has fears, too. His paymasters have fears. The Occupy Movement is being given credit for changing the terms of the debate. It's done that, but more to the point, that fact is raising the political consciousness of the masses. It's not so much those people in the street, it's everyday people, seeing people in the street, starting to overcome their fear of dissent, starting to get up on their hind feet to say,"No."

No, we don't need to be under a political system corrupted by money, a system of, by and for the rich. No, we don't need Obama. We don't need either party. We have more power outside the system. To put it a way a wonk can relate to, all this is reflected in the polls, which show independents turning away from Obama and the youth who propelled him into office and much of his natural base being very dissatisfied with him.

Unless you're satisfied to see corporations recording record profits while our elected officials tell us we are out of money, unless you want wealth and income disparity, which are already back where they were in the 1920s, before Roosevelt, before the successes of the union movement, to keep getting worse, unless you want the kind of savage Capitalism they had back then, unless you want Democrats in the White House and Congress to keep on acting like Republican Lite instead of representing the interests of the working classes like they are supposed to, we must express our discontent. We need more people complaining about the president, especially people of influence, what are called opinion makers, like Jim Baca.