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Archive for June 25th, 2010

Managing a Crisis to Catastrophe

By Jerry A. Kane

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar altered a signed report submitted by seven experts who had been advisors to Brother O on offshore drilling safety following the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The Chicago-way practitioner added two paragraphs to the final report calling for an immediate halt to drilling operations and a six-month moratorium on permits for new wells being drilled using floating rigs.  

“The experts … involved in crafting the report gave … their recommendation … It was not their decision on the moratorium. It was my decision and the president’s decision to move forward” [with the moratorium].—Ken Salazar

But Salazar submitted the report without notifying the experts that he had added the moratorium recommendation. He then reported to Brother O that the panel of experts had “peer reviewed” his recommendations for the moratorium.

“None of us actually reviewed the memorandum as it is in the report. What was in the report at the time it was reviewed was quite a bit different in its impact to what there is now. So we wanted to distance ourselves from that recommendation.”—Ken Arnold, one of the seven oil experts

The experts, who had been recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, wrote a letter to Salazar complaining that he had misrepresented their opinions and that the moratorium on drilling was a bad idea for the following reasons:

Shutting down a rig is much more dangerous than continued drilling; the Deep Well Horizon exploded while being shut down.

Floating rigs are scarce and in high demand worldwide; they won’t simply sit idle in the Gulf for six months; they will move to the North Sea and West Africa and won’t be back to resume drilling for years.

The best and most advanced rigs will leave first, leaving the older and potentially less safe ones operating off the U.S. coast.

To compound the environmental consequences of the spill, Brother O and Salazar released an altered report to justify an economic shut down to huge parts of the Gulf region. Brother O’s moratorium on deepwater drilling affects 33 platforms, each one employs between 180 and 280 jobs, and each one of those jobs directly supports at least four other industry related jobs.

The moratorium is hurting the people in the Gulf states. More than 120,000 jobs could be lost in the region if the drilling ban continues. The ban will keep the country dependent on foreign oil, cause energy prices to skyrocket, and add an economic disaster to an environmental crisis.

What is more, in the middle of the unfolding catastrophe, Brother O remains aloof from the clamor of the devastation in the Gulf. Spellbound by a grandiose sense of self-importance, America’s false messiah stands naked before the world, a dithering master of empty platitudes gushing hot air to the dirty, itching ears of the fools who elected him.

For more information on the altered report and the effects of the moratorium in the Gulf region, see Injunction notes that Obama admin manipulated experts’ opinions in moratorium decision by Joel S. Gehrke Jr., Jindal vs. Obama: Time to End the Drilling Moratorium by Mike Brownfield, and Experts Say White House ‘Misrepresented’ Views to Justify Drilling Moratorium by Fox News.

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Christie answers a question regarding “softening his image” while talking with seniors at a town hall meeting in Linden, New Jersey, May 19, 2010.

“Our personalities are in a large degree a product of who our parents are, how we grew up. My parents always taught me not to be afraid of conflict. … And you should confront problems head on and not sweep them under the carpet. …

Because the times are so difficult and the problems are so big … I’ve decided to take the approach of being very direct and very blunt and not mince my words. …  

I’m not angry; I’m just determined. … When I say I mean something, I mean it, and I’m going to fight for it.”— Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor


 

Governor Christie: Style 4:39 Video

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Former political advisor to George W. Bush Karl Rove and former GOP chairman Ed Gillespie are building an organization to counter the George Soros-led Democracy Alliance, whose mission is to build a lasting political infrastructure of think tanks, activist groups, leadership schools, and media outlets keep leftist Democrats in power.

In its development stages, Rove’s Republican-friendly group is more of an umbrella organization for American Crossroads (voter mobilization); American Action Network (polling and advertising); American Action Forum (policy); Resurgent Republic (polling); and the Republican State Leadership Committee (an association representing state officers such as secretaries of state).

The Soros-backed organization has teams of professionals directing its operations and both SEIU and AFL-CIO as institutional members. It funds the Center for American Progress, Media Matters for America, Catalist, People for the American Way, EMILY’s List,  ACORN, and the Secretary of State Project which has elected the chief electoral officials in at least nine states.

Soros and high-dollar Democratic donors created Democracy Alliance after Democrats failed to reclaim the White House and the Congress in the 2004 election. The low-profile organization bankrolled Democrats to victories in 2008, winning the presidency and a super majority in Congress, and is currently establishing affiliates in at least 19 states.


 

Karl Rove Building The Right’s Answer To The Soros-Led Democracy Alliance

By Matthew Vadum

Bush political advisor Karl Rove, whom leftists consider to be a Snidely Whiplash-like figure, is reportedly putting together a group on the right to be an answer to the George Soros-led Democracy Alliance.

Politico reports on the developing group, referring to it as

a massive fundraising, organizing and advertising machine based on the model assembled by Democrats early in the decade, and with the same ambitious goal — to recapture Congress and the White House.

Also involved is former GOP chairman Ed Gillespie. “Where they have a chess piece on the board, we need a chess piece on the board,” he said. “Where they have a queen, we shouldn’t have three pawns.”

Although the article says Republicans are trying to “replicate” the Democracy Alliance, the as yet unnamed group isn’t quite the same. Democracy Alliance has teams of professionals directing operations, but it’s not clear how the new group is operating in terms of its internal structure.

The mission of the low-profile Democracy Alliance is to build a lasting political infrastructure of think tanks, activist groups, leadership schools, and media outlets to help the left gain and keep power. It was created by high-dollar Democratic donors –Soros, Peter B. Lewis, Herb and Marion Sandler– after Democrats failed to reclaim power in the 2004 election — despite favorable polls and record contributions by high-dollar donors.

This new Republican-friendly group, on the other hand, appears to be an umbrella group for five separate right-leaning organizations: American Crossroads (voter mobilization); American Action Network (polling and advertising); American Action Forum (policy); Resurgent Republic (polling); and the Republican State Leadership Committee (an association representing state officers such as secretaries of state).

The Democracy Alliance, which counts both SEIU and AFL-CIO as institutional members, helped Democrats give Republicans a shellacking in 2008. Now it’s organizing state-level chapters in at least 19 states, and once-conservative Colorado, which hosts the Democracy Alliance’s most successful state affiliate, has turned Democrat blue. Colorado funders such as heiress Patricia Stryker, technology tycoons Tim Gill (Quark Xpress) and Rutt Bridges, poured money into state-level projects and it paid off.

The national Democracy Alliance funds key institutions on the left: Center for American Progress, Media Matters for America, Catalist, People for the American Way, EMILY’s List, (the now-dissolving) ACORN, and the Secretary of State Project which has helped elect the chief electoral officials in at least nine states.

Will the new Rove-led group make a difference? Time will tell.

Follow Matthew Vadum on Twitter.

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