Friday, March 28, 2008

Dana Rohrabacher vs. Shell Oil

We all know where Crazy Dana stands on the question of Global Warming. One can only ask "why?"

In an interview with Charlie Rose this week, James Hofmeister, President of Shell Oil Company, made the point that "the debate is over." If even the president of one of our largest petroleum companies can make that statement, you wonder why the likes of Sen. Inhofe(R - OK) and Dana continue to chant the mantra of denial.
What to they have to gain?

While I don't agree with all of what Hofmeister said, especially about where we need to go in the future, there are two points that become clear... especially if you listen to the entire interview. The first is that Hofmeister is not talking from his personal viewpoint. Under questioning from Charlie, he made it clear that his statements are completely in line with the positions of the Board of Royal Dutch Shell (the parent company) and it's CEO, Jeroen van der Veer.

Hofmeister went on to explain that the only thing accomplished by such denial is to delay arriving at the solutions we will ultimately be forced to accept. We will all have to pay the costs of such delay, both in terms of the implementation of new solutions and in terms of the mitigation of the effects of global warming that could, possibly, have been prevented by prompt action now.

The only thing that I can see is that Dana thinks he benefits at the polls by continuing this charade, that the voters have been sold this crap for so long that they think it smells sweet, that they are the ones who know better in the face of this "vast left wind conspiracy".

What they will find is that those like Dana and Senator Inhofe have been selling snake oil and the sickness is getting worse. Of course, when we could have stayed at home and taken an over-the-counter remedy, now, because of people like Dana who have abused their access to the media, we may need major, expensive surgery.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Waxman expands Blackwater Investigation

Rep. Henry Waxman is making a name for himself as the guy in Washington who keeps asking questions about ethical behavior, especially in the executive branch of government. One of his more recent targets seems to be Blackwater, a company that is either a loose committee of super patriots of a bunch on down on their luck Rambo's looking for a thrill while getting paid for it.

I am not sure how this will affect Dana, but we do know that he has been a big supporter of Eric Prince, Blackwater CEO. In fact, Prince once worked as a aide to Dana in Washington and I am sure that the connection is just too lucrative for it to have gone away.

The question here is whether the "contractors" who work for Blackwater are really that, independent contractors working for themselves, or whether they are employees. It would seem that Blackwater wants to have it both ways. They are contractors when it comes to the point that Blackwater may have to pay the same employment taxes that every other company has to pay. This is the question the Waxman is trying to answer. If they were to be considered employees, then Blackwater owes a bundle of money plus penalties for the Social Security taxes that they did not pay. If they are determined to NOT be employees, then I wonder how many of these well armed, happy go lucky chaps have been paying their self-employment taxes. It might be that a number of them have run afoul of the law.

Oh yeah, it was tax evasion that send Al Capone to Alcatraz, wasn't it.

An Associated Press story questioned the quality of people that Blackwater has been hiring anyway.
Private security contractor Blackwater USA has had to fire 122 people over the past three years for problems ranging from misusing weapons, alcohol and drug violations, inappropriate conduct and violent behavior, according to a report released Monday by a congressional committee.

That total is roughly one-seventh of the work force that Blackwater has in Iraq, a ratio that raises questions about the quality of the people working for the company.

But, they are employees when it comes time to discuss the protection of their behavior in Iraq by the State Department.

So, Dana, just how close are you to your one time aide. Did he learn all the secrets of maneuvering through government contracts from his one time boss?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Is Rohrabacher in favor of imeachment?

I doubt it.. but still you can't tell from some of the speeches he has been giving lately. For example, from his February 26, 2008 speech as reported in the Congressional Record.
In my tenure as a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, both as chairman and ranking member of an investigative subcommittee, I have witnessed firsthand behavior by the Bush administration which I find deeply troubling.
The disdain and uncooperative nature that this administration has shown toward Congress, including Republican Members, is so egregious that I can no longer assume that it is simply bureaucratic incompetence or isolated mistakes. Rather, I have come to the sad conclusion that this administration has intentionally obstructed Congress' rightful and constitutional duties.
Now, I am beginning to see a bit of Dana's re-election strategy. He is trying to distance himself from Bush about as far as he can go. Still if the truth were known about just what he thinks of this administration, he might even come up with a couple of Republican Challengers. There must be a few who still trust Dick Cheney with a loaded shotgun.